Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tweaks and new procedures

It is common to post one's New Year's resolutions but I will try something different. I will post some things I changed in 2010 that seem to be working out.

Google Chrome
I tried to go Chrome earlier, but the absence of two plugins (since developed, see below) allowed me to make the change. Multimedia is better on my linux boxen than with FF.

Stripping out javascript
I went to blogtalkradio to download an episode of a show, and there were javascript elements inlined from sixteen seperate domains. Seriously?

Block this crap (and allow exactly what you want) with Noscript for FF or NotScripts for Chrome.

Page hacking with Greasemonkey
Your favorite pages the way you want them. The analog for Chrome is tampermonkey. Get some.

Dunno about you, but I am trying to track way to many things at once. I was originally using tab group functionality in FF/Chrome to eyeball sites and check for changes, but Reader does this for you using RSS. Track blogs, craigslist searches, whatever. Greatness.

CR-V3 battery pack
I had a decent prior-generation Pentax digital camera with a weird quirk; the minimum voltage requirements were quite high. This meant it would not always work normally on NiMH batts. It sat around for about two years until I saw a reference to a lithium pack shaped like two AA that fits right in there. Got it for $6 (shipped!) off eBay and the little cam is hummin'. It's just perfect now. I'm so grateful.

DE Wetshaving
Sounds more exotic than it is. Basically it means using a double-edged safety razor like your grandparents did. I had some 50s and 60s Gillette DE razors in the house but didn't really know how to use them correctly. I liked them but didn't love them. Enter the shave den forum. Here are the basics that really helped me:

  • take your time
  • remove beard bit-by-bit instead of all at once. This gradual process is called using "beard reduction passes"
  • no pressure; let the weight of the razor provide all the necessary contact force. Seriously.
  • work the shaving soap in a seperate lathering bowl; it takes about 60secs of whisk-like motion
The payoff is a morning shave that is actually enjoyable. Not joking: I actually look forward to shaving.

Probably the best-known player in the microlending/microcredit arena. I add capital when I can, and roll over paid-off loans back into new ones.

Just like the process mentioned above makes shaving enjoyable, Kiva makes me more eager to share what I have. I fuh-reaking detest begging and storefront bell-ringing, but actively look forward to that time of the month when repaid Kiva funds hit my account and I can re-loan them.

Yardbirds eat bugs, provide hours of amusement, create fertilizer, and lay eggs. Perfection.

I edit documents in Google's cloud rather than on my machine for the most part. Doesn't work for everything but works for most things.

Google Voice
Same for Google Voice. Really helps me take control of my mobile phone.

That's it for now.

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