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2 Pizzas leftover, what kind of party is this?

Posted by james on March 12, 2006

I'm not a catholic, but I've decided to give up extraneous computer time for lent. I still must work, and I've allotted some email and checking important things on the internet, and also this post. But in general the rest is cut out. That means when I get home from work, where usually I check email, surf craigslist and forumshawaii, and then watch movies or play games, all that is now replaced by me... wandering my house trying to figure out what to do with myself.

It's enlightenting to see just how much I depend on computers to take up my time. What do I do with myself? I'm hoping that I'll start using this extra time in the way that makes sense during lent, more focused on God. I have a whole bunch of unread books (Every Man's Battle, Purpose Driven Life, Searching for God Knows What, the Case for Christ), but I haven't started reading them. I have, however, fixed my motorcycle (still runs like crap though) and attempted to fix my car's A/C (still doesn't work), clean my house, and wander around quite a lot. I even journaled for the first time in 3 months.

I just had some people over my house in an atypical James' house get together. Normally I invite people, they show up late, and it's loud and food everywhere and people doing all sorts of things (working on homework, talking in other rooms, working out/arm wrestling, then talking during an entire movie). This time not many people came, no one worked out, we watched no movie, and instead just talked the whole time. I didn't even realize how long it's been since I had that, hours just to talk to a small group of people about random things and God things. It's amazing how much "fellowship" time we have as a group, but how little we talk about the kinds of questions that are so pertinent right now. Who is "us"? What defines us? What is our goal or mission? What can we do to further that? Interesting stuff.

We used to be an offshoot service called Upper Room from a large church called New Hope Leeward. Now we're just a collection of people leftover from that, still hanging on to the now defunct name, and spread over a number of ministries, bible studies, churches, and social gatherings. Who knows where we'll go and what we'll become.

I'm really tired and have a whole lot of pizza in me. Not too bad.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Posted by james on March 1, 2006

How come if I leave blue cheese dressing out on the counter for a night, I'm pretty sure it's not good to eat the next day... and if I left it in a warm/wet place for 24 hours or so I'm pretty sure it would kill me to eat it...

But why is it ok when it's in my body digesting? Does it go bad in my stomach but since it's already there it doesn't affect me?

Konfabulator (aka Yahoo Widgets)

Posted by james on Feb. 25, 2006

I loved OSX's Dashboard. From playing with Lauren's PowerBook, it's the one thing I wished I could take back to Windows. And now I can! Yahoo Widgets is pretty much the same thing.

Fun little pretty "widgets" like a world clock, a random picture viewer, a calendar that stays on your desktop, local weather. Simpler than downloading a bunch of separate utilities (each with their own interface and quality).

Good things; lots of widgets, so you'll probably find something interesting. Plus, lots of attention to small details, like the preferences windows for each widget (awesome). The whole thing is very nice looking and also very simple. You just download a widget and double click, bang it appears on your desktop (no install, neat). And the best part, it's a platform for anyone to make their own... freedom!

Bad things (here we go); some widgets are very cavalier with memory usage (10mb for some), and each widget runs in it's own process (so that's 10mb x each widget for the bigger ones). They try to cram every available option into a context menu for the system tray icon instead of using a more traditional preferences window, or even a control panel (which would fit their theme and be so much nicer). Awkward. A lot of the widgets are very simple to the point of being only marginally useful (an awesome day planner... that only shows 1 day at a time? A calendar that doesn't sync with the day planner? A todo list you can't sort?). Their list of widgets to browse through is only moderately sorted into large categories. No ratings (what's the most popular?) so basically you're going through lists of 100-200 widgets looking for some that may be interesting. Tedious.

So sad, such a great idea. I'd be tempted to dump Rainlendar and go with widgets instead, but I haven't found what I need yet. I'll give it some more time, but I'm not hopeful that I'll find exactly what I want.

Last note; it used to be called Konfabulator. What a great "mad scientist" kind of name, easy to remember and spell, very unique. Now it's "Yahoo Widgets". How boring and typical, while at the same time further poluting and diluting the definition of "widget". Yuck. It's another 5.0ism.

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