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End of the Year

Posted 2010.12.31 18.19 in Pointless Blather

So 2010 is drawing to a close in a few hours. It went by quickly, except when it was going slow. There were ups and downs. Mostly downs. All in all, I’d rate it about a 4. Solid “Meh.”

Nearly adequate.

Just an Aside…

Posted 2010.11.19 16.54 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Normally I think of updates to WordPress the same way I think of vitamins. That is, something you use because you’re probably slightly better off with them, than without them.

It’s not been as bad lately – at one point it seemed like every other week there was an update that WordPress was nagging me about.

This time, however, I’m actually looking forward to the next upgrade. There’s this new feature that I’ve read about, where you can have different ‘post types’ – like, normal posts, little quick ‘aside’-type posts, picture posts, video posts, et cetera.

There’s been lots of times I would have liked to post some quick little one- or two-liner, some short thing that seemed appropirate at the moment. But it always seemed not to fit – like, you have the title, category, tags, excerpt, et cetera, and you end up with the meta data being three times the size of the actual post. So I’d just skip it, and the world would suffer a tiny bit more because it was robbed the benefit of my wonderful tidbits of wisdom. ;)

But this new post-type thing sounds like just the thing. Of course the ‘aside’ type is what I’m thinking of, but photo-types would be handy too. One’s theme has to be able to take advantage of the post types, but that’s no problem. I’m already thinking about updating my new theme so it’s ready to use the new features as soon as they’re available.

This is supposed to come in WordPress 3.1 which is coming some time in December. I might even grab a beta and get a head start, if I’m not too busy.

A New Day

Posted 2010.01.27 17.54 in Pointless Blather

I’m not over the “flu” yet, but I’m feeling much better. Even parts of me that were feeling unwell before the “flu” are feeling better now.

I feel like the ‘big purge’ that was the first twenty-four hours of “flu” was actually my body expelling negative energies. Once all the negative energies were gone, I just had to recover from the effort and trauma of getting rid of them.

Now I find myself smiling and joking, focusing on my work, singing a bit, and generally feeling good — feeling positive, almost. Granted, I also continue to talk to myself, argue with myself, and hear a nonstop whistling noise everywhere I go.

There’s still dizziness and all the aches and pains I aquired over the weekend when I was “sick”, but then other, chronic aches and pains seem to be going away.

I’ve even found that some of my temptations and indulgences no longer interest me.

Don’t know if this is permanent or how long it might last, but I hope it lasts a good long while.

It feels like a whole new day.

Welcome to 2010

Posted 2010.01.01 0.01 in Pointless Blather

Whoop-de-doo!

2009 – The Year In Review

Posted 2009.12.31 17.59 in Pointless Blather

As the last hours of 2009 wind down, it seems like a good time to review the year, how it summed up against other years. And generally speaking, it fairly well sucked. There were a few good points, lots of sucky things, and overall, I think 2009 is getting a failing grade.

In fact 2009 was sucky enough that it actually reached back in time and ruined the last half of 2008. It was just that sucky. 2009 – The Year Of Suck.

So back to 2009. What were some of the good things? The whole aquarium thing has been a big positive. Sure it’s a bit of a money-sink, a lot of work, and some responsibility. But it’s very relaxing and enjoyable, and I can’t help smiling when I watch the fishies and snailies playing. Especially the wee babies. Les is doing well with the big fish, the nursery tank is full of snail babies and a couple corydora babies. All-in-all the aquarium stuff lets me forget about my own problems for a while and just observe their simple and care-free comings and goings.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten about my kitties. Misha and Pixie continue to amuse, bemuse, annoy, and purr. Misha is wonderfully affectionate when she wants to be. Even Pixie is getting affectionate now and then, in her own derranged way. Though I must add, even though it’s been four or five years, I still miss Sylvie, and think of him almost every day. It’s mostly happy memories though, so it’s all good.

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Merry X-Meh.

Posted 2009.12.25 9.32 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So it’s the morning of Dec. 25th. I got my big gift – a new iMac! (It was a present from myself. Thanks me!) and things are looking pretty good so far. Nice bright screen, wide format, very sharp resolution, everything very fast and snappy.

The Magic Mouse is actually pretty darn neat, if only they’d come out with a Magic Trackball then I’d be happy. Anyhow, it’s very cool and I’m going to keep it, even if I don’t use it. It’ll be the first Apple mouse I haven’t thrown out or given away.

Transfering my data and settings over from my previous iMac was as effortless and flawless as usual, albeit a bit time-consuming. Well I guess you can’t transfer 75GB in an instant.

The new iMac’s hardware is so far pretty good. 4GB RAM is the standard, and I got the one with a 1TB hard drive. While I had upgraded my previous iMac to these specs, the new one still seems faster – perhaps because of the faster processors, faster bus, and/or faster graphics processor.

The new iMac also has a built-in SD card slot, which is a great idea. I haven’t tried it yet, but with most digital cameras nowadays using SD it’s a perfect choice to facilitate the transfer of photos to iPhoto, Aperature, or whatever you use.  I’d love to see a Micro-SD slot on the next version of the iPhone, in fact – it would be a great way to boost the capacity of the iPhone, at least in terms of storage space for music, videos, and a good place to store photos taken with the built-in camera.

I haven’t had time to play around much with the new OS (Snow Leopard, OS X 10.6) but compared to 10.5 it seems so far pretty similar.

Outside of the good and the ambivilent, there has been one huge disappointment. For reasons known only to Jobs, Apple has decided to change the external display adaptor yet again. I didn’t realize that they had changed this, so my “Mini DVI” cable that worked with my previous iMac is not compatible with the “Mini Displayport” on the new iMac. Had I known of this, I’d have ordered the adaptor when I ordered the computer. Now I’m stuck until I can get to an Apple Store, during the busiest shopping week of the year. Thanks Apple.

See, I run my computer with ‘dual heads’. That is, you have the built-in screen on the iMac itself, then I have a second screen next to it. This lets me use the smaller (21.5″) iMac but end up with more space than the 27″. My secondary display is a 19″ all-digital monitor. It was a great monitor in its time, but nowadays it serves admirably as a secondary display. Running dual-heads means I can edit / view things in full size on one screen, while having my tools, palettes, etc. all open on the other. So I can edit, tweak, change, etc. without having to page back and forth between windows or panes. It is glorious – once you’ve gone dual-head you can’t go back.

However, for the next day or two or three, I’m stuck with the single display.  Grrrr.

New Species?

Posted 2009.08.06 18.30 in Pointless Blather

How many new species have come along in the last, say, 10,000 years? Versus the number of species that have gone extinct in the same time period?

I mean, I think it’s sort of somewhat common knowledge that lots of things have gone extinct in the last few millenia – we’ve all heard of wooly mammoths, mastadons, dodo birds, sabre-toothed tigers, elephant birds, and so on and so on.

But how many new species have sprung up in the same timeframe? I don’t mean the genetically modified man-made ones, I mean like in nature?

One of the quirky things is how you define the word Species, of course. My understanding is that for a critter to be a distinct and separate species, it is capable of breeding with its own kind and producing viable (fertile) offspring. So you can tell two critters are not of the same species if either a) they can’t interbreed or b) they can breed but their offspring are themselves incapable of doing the same. (A good example would be Mules – a cross between a horse and a donkey. Aside from a few very rare exceptions, mules are not able to reproduce.)

This poses an interesting dillema though. How does a new species occur, if by (our) definition it cannot successfully mate with any other species? Like, if one animal were to mutate/evolve into something new, that would only work if there were other critters mutating/evolving in exactly the same way and exactly the same time, so that there was a breeding population that was always in sync and able to carry on. And this is actually probably what happens – there’s got to be some time of crossover where the ‘new’ species is still able to interbreed with the ‘old’ version, and during that time we might call them a sub-species or a variant, but not say it’s a truly new and separate species. At least, not till the variant had gotten so far from its original version that the two were no longer compatible.

And I’m babbling again, when really the question is simple. In the last 10,000 years, how many new species have come into being, verus how many species have gone extinct in the same time?

Is the world in a net-gain or net-loss of diversity at the moment?