cursed cursor

posted by victor @ 2:11 pm January 25, 2009 in geek,writing

cursorOkay, so one of the MANY things Apple got right is the way the mouse cursor automatically disappears whenever you start typing. Makes sense, doesn’ t it. I mean, why the hell would you want the stupid cursor to BLOCK YOUR VIEW of what you’re typing? Which is exactly what I’ve been dealing with, here in XP land. I know the wizards at M$ made this an option in the Mouse control panel, but that “feature” only works (of course) in M$ apps. In other words, if you’re working in Final Draft or OpenOffice (as I do, mostly), then you’re shit outta luck.

Until now. I searched and searched, and finally found Desk Angel, an amazing and yes, FREE little wonder of a utility that throws this life-altering feature in as an afterthought (!), along with a very intuitive, OSX-style screen grab utility and many others. These two are the only features I need and use and I am eternally grateful for William for finally making it true. And free. Thanks!

done in by a nipple

posted by victor @ 11:23 pm January 19, 2009 in geek

swanknipsAs a lifelong (and still active) Apple Fan, I find myself in a strange place. Writing now occupies a large portion of  “what I do” on computers, and I am really digging IBM ThinkPads more and more. The reason being, as I have come to realize, is that I am a nipple man.

The downside to this affliction, for an Apple Fanboy like me, is that this means using Windows (or Ubuntu — a problem if you’re relying on apps not native to Linux). Gah. But with some (okay, a LOT) of tinkering and tweaking, tpnippleI’ve come up with an XP-based laptop I really like. So much so that after a few months, when I experienced the inevitable pang to “go back,” and did, the glorious OSX experience wasn’t enough to keep me there. Minutes later, I was back on my little X41 and loving it. So I now have a sweet, new(ish) black MacBook just sitting there. Egad. I may even sell it.

adventure

posted by victor @ 10:55 pm January 7, 2009 in life

parisWhen my wife and I married, we opted for a courthouse hitch, a trip to Paris, then a backyard celebration with close friends and family. One of the reasons to marry at all, we believed, was the involvement of people we care about in the declaration and promise of marriage. To that end, we came up with a plan (riffing off and expanding on ideas we’d seen elsewhere)…

Each attendee at the party would be assigned a word, something we agreed a great marriage should have — humor, authenticity, etc. The recipient would be someone who somehow symbolized the attribute to us, and would henceforth be a reminder to us to sustain and empower that aspect of our union. I hand-tooled the words onto the little candy tins everyone had at their assigned seats, and… It was a hit. Curiosity about everyone’s “word” led to a series of impromptu speeches by all. The evening was completely amazing and wonderful.

adventure1One guest has followed through in a particularly enjoyable way. Our friend James, who snow-boarded and mountain-climbed and things like that, represented “adventure” for us, and to this day we receive snapshots from around the world reminding us to be adventurous. And while neither of us has taken him up on his offer to join him in paragliding {gulp}, it sure is fun to hear about — and, as we did today,  receive pics of him actually doing  (yes, those are his feet).

goddess

posted by victor @ 11:29 am January 6, 2009 in life

goddessOne of the odd little items my father left behind was a very interesting and beautiful hood ornament. I didn’t know where it came from, but  it was found among his belongings and I wanted it. It’s heavy, and old (much more weathered than the one pictured here). I have long planned to mount it on a proper base… But there was something about this regal little creature just lying on its side that seemed, I don’t know, more appropriate somehow. More a  relic of a bygone age. Just how bygone I never knew.

Until recently. Ava Gardner came onto my radar a few weeks ago. Of course I’d heard the name many times and seen some pictures, but I stumbled across some amazingly timeless images of her in various noir settings, and Holy Shit. Looked like some of these were taken last week. So we rented The Killers and watched it. There she was. Ava the Goddess.

avagardnerIn one of the earlier scenes, Burt Lancaster pops the hood of a big, fancy sedan by lifting up on a lovely ornament. My lovely ornament. The movie was set in ’34, so I searched 1933 hood ornaments, and there she was. With, it turns out, quite an amazing pedigree. From a 1933 Cadillac Phaeton V16. Fitting that I should learn the details in ’08, the flying gal’s 75th anniversary. She’s known as “The Goddess,” and is patented. I don’t know how my father came upon it, but now I certainly know why he kept it. And why I shall keep it as well.

source edit

posted by victor @ 11:09 am January 3, 2009 in geek

iquitI’m hanging out a lot in Windows land these days (only reason: diggin’ writing on the ThinkPad). A few tweaks and what the heck, I can switch between OSX & XP machinery without too much culture shock.

Then I decided it’d be nice to find a free little text editor with FTP capabilities (like the awesome TextWrangler on Mac) that I could use for quick remote web tweaks/fixes/whatever.

ZOMG. WTF. &%#@. Okay, well, there are many. It’s Windows, for fuck’s sake. But almost every single one I found is an unusable POS in some regard… I won’t bother with an itemized diss on those that didn’t pass muster (Jedit, CoffeeCup, Cpad, Crimson Editor, PSPad, SuperEdi), except to say that what stopped me with most was s-l-o-w (or F’d up) FTP functionality. Or sometimes, a hideous, virtually unusable interface.

Then I found Source Edit. Simple, lean, and useful. Like TextWrangler, it has lots of tools for hardcore coders (unlike me), but also includes a nice set of basics for those of us that just want to get in-get out without a lot of rigamarole. So here is my geek PSA for anyone searching: Try it first.

hobo stripper

posted by victor @ 5:40 pm January 2, 2009 in life,writing

hobostripperThis fun site came to my attention recently, and the reading is good. Says the host, “My name is Tara and I live in a van. Down by the river. And I dance nekkid for money.”

Tara has apparently settled down somewhere recently, but the site offers a wealth of accounts from past adventures. Her writing is warm, down-homey, and crisp. Not to mention drawn from some pretty fascinating material. She also includes plenty of how-to tips. For example, how to stay safe. Or pee. When you live in a van. Down by the river.

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