Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
And so the Monopoly people selected the winning and losing tokens for their latest game sets.
The loser? My favorite token, of course. The iron is no more.
The winner? It's the cat...
It's a pretty cool token, really, though I was hoping the robot would win. But why couldn't they have dumped the stupid wheelbarrow or the stupid shoe instead of the iron?
Oh well. Guess I'll be the top hat from here on out. Who has a favorite token?
Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2013
So this is where "society" is at now...
Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013
I'd like to think I'm respectful of people's opinions, even when they differ from my own. Especially when they differ from my own. I'm not saying it can't be frustrating, or I'm above poking fun at opinions I don't agree with... but I think it keeps life interesting to listen to what others think. Sure it might be easier if everybody thought the same way as me about things... but it would also be boring.
Where I have a problem is when people make opinions while being unintentionally uninformed or after having been misinformed (either intentionally or unintentionally).
I try harder than most to make sure my facts are correct so I won't be guilty of these crimes of ignorance. But, hey, mistakes happen to the best of us, and so I try to be tolerant even then.
There are those who make opinions while being intentionally uninformed, and that's what drives me bat-shit insane.
It's only gotten worse on the internet, because people feel less accountable for their opinions when they're bashing them out at a computer. I see it most every day.
For the sake of not being dragged into a fight involving faith or politics, I'll leave those piles of shit out of this, but that's where the most grievous offenses lay. People become so completely absorbed by a religion or political party that they refuse to listen to anything that even hints at a contrary viewpoint. Even cold, hard facts.
Though I may be over-exaggerating here, because I've seen the same kind of ignorant behavior over comic book characters.
The thing that got me thinking about intentional ignorance tonight is product reviews.
Whether it's book reviews on Amazon... or game reviews on the iTunes App Store... or movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes... or wherever you find people spewing their opinions, intentional ignorance abounds.
Which all basically boils down to this...
Which inevitably has me screaming at my computer display... SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU ASSHOLE! Not that that really helps anything, but at least I get the rage out of my system.
Sadly, there can be no end in sight. Intentional ignorance is here to stay, and there's nothing we can do about it. Except to accept that it's inevitable and too many people on this earth are too stupid to want to change it.
Feel free to disagree with my opinion, I don't mind. Really I don't.
Unless you didn't bother to actually read this, in which case... SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU ASSHOLE!
Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
And so Google Reader is dead.
Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.
As in I opened up my feed reader this morning and it returned no new articles.
Now, before I jump into things, I should probably talk a little bit about why I even give a crap seeing as how blogs are dying and most everything ends up on Facebook anyway. The short answer is "clutter." Yes, many blogs and news sources post their articles (or, more likely, a link to their articles) on Facebook. The problem is that my Facebook newsfeed is also jammed up with tons of other stuff. And that's fine... I actually enjoy keeping up with my friends by all the crazy crap they post... but I don't want to have to go digging through all that to find the blog and news posts I'm looking for. I want them in a separate place so I can quickly get to the material I'm seeking. And that material generally breaks down like this...
And so... where am I at now that Google Reader has gone the way of the dodo?
Well, I can't very well give up having a central service to keep track of my feeds so I can make sure things are synced between all my computers and iDevices, so I went looking for another service. At first I hopped on the Feedly bandwagon as most my friend have because, hey, it's free. But what happens when they too realize there's no money to be made in free webfeeds? And so I bailed from Feedly and signed up with Feed Wrangler. Unlike other "free" services with no business model for actually staying in business, Feed Wrangler is charging $19.95 a year to manage your feeds. A relatively small amount that I am happy to pay so I won't have to go through the Google Reader crap again.
And how am I accessing Feed Wrangler?
Well... their web interface is really good. Very clean. They have smart feeds there which is a spiffy feature. But I prefer to use an offline app so I can have a more feature-rich experience and a cache of my feeds so I can read where I don't have internet.
My first "real" feed reader was NetNewsWire. Brent Simmons clearly new what he was doing when he created it, as the thing Just Made Perfect Sense. It worked like a dream. Everything was so smart in implementation. But then Simmons sold it to NewsGator who in turn sold it to an app house called Black Pixel back in 2011. Black Pixel was more like a Black Hole from which information never escapes, so I finally ditched NetNewsWire for a new app called Reeder.
Reeder was slick looking, but pretty much brain-dead. When you "mark all as read" in NetNewsWire, it assumed you didn't want to read any more from that feed and popped you to the next one. Reeder just sat there like a turd after choosing "mark all as read," which made me hate the fucking app every time I had to manually step through shit I wasn't interested in.... WHICH IS WHY I MARKED IT ALL AS READ!!! Even worse, you could only navigate backwards to the previous post IF IT WAS IN THE SAME FEED! If the previous post was in a different feed, too fucking bad, you can't see it. Dumb stuff like that permitted Reeder, but I used it most of the time anyway because the alternatives were worse. Reeder for Mac doesn't work with Feed Wrangler (yet) even though the iPhone version does, so I was forced to dump it at long last.
The app recommended for connecting to Feed Wrangler that works right now is ReadKit. Unfortunately, ReadKit is even more mind-bogglingly brain-dead than Reeder. Not only does it have BOTH the "mark all as read" stupidity AND the navigation failure... it also has stupid keyboard shortcuts that ARE NOT USER DEFINABLE! With NetNewsWire, Brent Simmons picked the biggest fucking key on the keyboard to go to the next article... THE SPACE BAR! With ReadKit, it's the "J" key or something like that. A key you have to hunt for rather than lazily smashing the bottom of your keyboard. Not that it makes any difference... ReadKit doesn't even have a "Next Unread" button. It has a "show only unread" option, but it doesn't work until after you leave the current feed. Insanity.
Meanwhile, Black Pixel finally released NetNewsWire4 Beta. Desperate for a feed reader that actually made it easy to read my fucking webfeeds, I downloaded it. Even though it doesn't sync with any feed service. The good news is that after you "mark all as read," you actually jump past all the stuff you don't want to read to get to the next unread article (would be nice if it popped you to the next feed automatically but hey, it's beta). So far so good. Does it manage to navigate to the previous feed when you hit the back button to navigate back through the stuff you've read? Oh... this is new... there's no back button. NO FUCKING BACK BUTTON!! I know this is beta software, but how in the hell do you justify releasing a feed reader without a fucking back button? There may be a key for that, but I couldn't find it. And there's no documentation to speak of, so whatever.
I give up.
The only person I trust to write a feed reader that makes fucking sense is Brent Simons, but he's out of that game. I suppose I could cross my fingers and hope that on of the many alternative reader developers take a minute to truly understand what makes a good user experience, but I'm beginning to doubt that will ever happen. Everybody seems to be releasing the same reader with the same failings... they just look a little different and have a different name.
And so I'm back to reading my feed bank by using Feed Wrangler's website.
Maybe one day I'll spend the time to develop my own feed reader. One that will remember what articles you've read regard of which feed they're in and let you backtrack through them. One that will actually MARK SHIT AS READ AND THEN MOVE PAST IT SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT ANY MORE. One that has keyboard shortcuts that make fucking sense. One that syncs with Feed Wrangler. One that doesn't make me start dropping F-bombs every time I go to talk about it.
But probably not.
Perhaps I should just follow Google's lead after all and give it all up.
Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2013
"GET BACK HERE, TACO BOY!"
I'm pretty sure I was already kinda awake, but it was those words reverberating through the hallway of my hotel after hearing a door slam that finally managed to really wake me up.
Or, in this case, more like parents not minding their kids at 5:30am.
Not the best way to start my day, but it did start my imagination running as to how some kid would end up with "Taco Boy" as a nickname. At least I hope it's a nickname.
After that minor incident, I really have no complaints about my day. None. Checkout at the hotel was painless. The shuttle to the airport was on time. The people at the Sixt desk were awesome. My rental car ended up being a Prius that I really enjoy driving. The trip down to my job site was completely uneventful. The day's work started early and went well. I had Dr. Pepper, Pretzels, and GIANT Kit-Kat for lunch. A nice breeze took the edge off the afternoon heat. I caught up on my emails. I had a terrific dinner with a friend from work. Now I'm laying in bed listening to cicadas (or some other noisy bugs) screech into the night.
Well, okay, I really could do without the screeching bugs, but it sure beats screeching kids at 5:30 in the morning, so there's that.
And now I just don't know what to do with myself since I have nothing to complain about.
A few more days like this and I may have to give up blogging.
Oh... speaking of kids... this video was shared on Facebook by Certifiable Princess and is must-watch material...
Just one more good thing to come out of my day.
Dayamn! These videos are like popcorn. You just can't stop reaching for another handful.
Except I have an early call to work, so no more for me.
Posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
So there I am working while Modern Family is playing on TV for background noise.
Suddenly I hear a voice that sounds familiar. I look up and Claire is trapped in her bathroom with a plumber. I'm thinking the plumber actor played some kind of wiseguy character in a 1980's comedy movie... and it's driving me nuts that I can't figure out who it is.
So I replay the scene.
Yes, the plumber is definitely familiar. But I can't remember from where.
Finally I can't take it any more, so I IMDB the Earthquake episode of Modern Family .
This happens to me all the time.
I see or hear an actor... have a vague recollection of seeing them in something else... can't remember what it was... and end up scouring IMDB for the answer.
And every time I feel the sweet victory of KNOWING... I can't help but think "What in the heck did I do before the internet and IMDB came along?"
I honestly can't remember.
And, unfortunately, there's no spot on the internet to help me figure that out.