Saturday, September 16, 2006

iTunes is stupid

If you use iTunes for any time at all, you will inevitably decide that you want some of your music files to reside in a new location. In my case, I decided that having my audiobook files that I ripped from audiobook CDs in the "Compilations" subfolder was unneccessary; they should be in the "iTunes music" directory. However, there is no way to move these files without losing their iTunes meta-information: how many times I have played them, what they are rated, what playlists they belong to.

Programatically this cannot be hard to accomplish. I don't understand why it hasn't been included. This is just one of a number of features that the program should include but doesn't.

Possible reasons not to include it:

1) The programmers and their masters don't know anyone wants to do it.

2) It goes against the apple ethos of "few options, my way or the highway."
More likely. Stupid.

3) ?

Brilliant: AARP computer tutorials!

i came across this while trying to demystify the checkbox in itunes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Callwave is a free voicemail alternative for your cell phone. you don't have to do anything differently from what you do now, and it's actually easier to check your messages. There are several cool things about it:

1) you can screen your messages and pick up if it's someone you want to talk to
1.5) [a side effect of item 1] you have a second chance to answer the phone if you didn't reach it during the normal number of rings
2) you can get a text message when you have a voicemail (regular voicemail noticiation won't work). the text message tells you who called and how long the message was
3) you can screen and listen to your messages from your computer (windows only)
4) if you are screening from your computer, you can transfer the call to any number (i.e. your work line, your home line).

i've been using this for over a month now and i'm totally sold. the best part is seeing and listening to my messages on my computer. i hate having to dig my phone out of my bag to check my messages, and then i hate having to dial something and hold the phone up to my ear during the standard airtime-sucking voicemail retrieval process. now my little floating widget on my computer screen tells me if i have a new message. if i want to hear it, i press the play button. that's it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Robert Parker, blogger

Well, managed blogging. It's at Amazon. Great tone.

Awed by inability

Several parts of a group of climbers came by us while we were lounging on the rocks at Chilao Flat. The leader of last three stragglers was a girl who had no sense at all of where the trail was. These are trails used by hikers, bikers, horses, dogs and climbers. Big, wide, honking obvious trails. She made an obvious mistake right in front of us, one that required a lot more effort than following the footsteps in the sand would have required. Then she asked us a couple of times if she should go down the wrong side of the hill. As she left she called after the group in front of her to wait. I thought, if she is that group's best trail follower... Then I realized that was impossible, because there can't possibly be two people in the world worse at following trails than her.

Hike at Chilao Flats

AR and I took the woof for a hike today. The starting elevation was 5200'. The sky was amazing. It was great to get out of the city.

BD was especially tired. We stopped several times for him to rest. Once we were near a bee nest and spent some time watching them. In this picture there is a bee resting on Mac's left foot.

The sandy trails are something you see a lot here. I remember them in Colorado, but not on the East Coast.

There were dramatic clouds too. No rain, but eventually a little shade. We spent a while lying on a rock and looking at the clouds while Mac divided his time between panting and thinking about what it would take to get up onto the rock with us.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fold Wallet v1.0

You know I love plaid. This is the outcome of my latest make-it crush.

I've been interested in making wallets for a while now. Ultimately I have another style in mind, but I'm stuck on that front. So meanwhile, I decided to learn a bit about wallet making. This is the best set of instructions I've come across; they're easy to follow and encouraging.

This is the first wallet I've made (besides the nylon one that I have a faint memory of making in seventh grade). There's a lot I want to improve. Some improvements will come when my sewing skills improve. I also need to figure out a way to keep it from sagging. Finally, making plaid fabrics line up is really hard! Nevertheless, I'm very happy with this for a first effort.

What do I do with something like this when I've made one I like better? I have a hard time throwing things away. Donate it to Goodwill? I wonder if they would take it.

I also discovered that my bobbin winder doesn't work. To run, it requires that I stick a flathead screwdriver into my machine, which makes me squeamish. I'm loathe to get it fixed though; I have a very basic machine and don't want to spend a lot of money on it. So for now, sewing requires a screwdriver.

You can see the how the card-holding pockets aren't flat across, and how uneven my stitching (on the sides especially) is. Click for larger image.

With cards and bills in it, the wallet holds its shape respectably.

My plans:

  1. Use fabric interfacing to make the card pockets stiffer.
  2. Use some kind of plastic to give the outer wall some more shape.
  3. Use pinking shears on the seam allowances, which should de-bulk the edges of the wallet and make sewing it smoother.

Advice is welcome!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006