April 28, 2008

Pat Riley steps down. :(

Can’t really blame Riley for the team going 15-67. That’s really a group effort, to attain those lofty levels of mediocrity. As a Miami boy I’m going to miss seeing him on the floor, but maybe Spoelstra can turn the team around.

It’s a bad time to be a fan of Miami sports in general. :(… (More) “Pat Riley steps down. :(”

April 24, 2008

Mugler Cologne: The Muse

I just got stuff straight with the University of Louisville. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s taken about a month of steady correspondence with UofL to assure that I could go back; indeed today I was on the phone with 5 different departments for about 2 hours, trying to figure out why I could register for the Fall but not the Summer semester.

But now everything’s straight. And it was entirely my own doing; my father’s been in Florida for weeks so I’ve been getting everything in order myself, and if it was for anything else I’d have probably just given up at the complexity of it all; for a university that averages $23000 in total costs a year, they make it really, really hard to transfer back.

So I get off the phone, finally able to relax for a day or two and reach for a new scent. The scent was Mugler Cologne.

I don’t really know what I was expecting out of it, aside from it had to be generally inoffensive for all the pleasant reviews it had on here. What I found was a bone dry vetiver and the fresh scent of dryer sheets, with some pleasant spices lying very close to the skin and a sour, bitter sort of note when heated up that I can’t quite place. It’s a little ozonic to my nose, and overall I think it’s okay but it doesn’t really fit with my personality (I’m pretty much over fresh scents and vetiver is just a bit too heavy on my skin, especially with the coming weather.)

However, I came to a realization tonight at work. Mugler Cologne was going to be my muse from now on; the scent is an olfactory representation of all the work I put into getting … (More) “Mugler Cologne: The Muse”

April 20, 2008

Hanae Mori HM

Wore this stuff out of a sample atomizer today at work, and I couldn’t quite place what I was smelling right at first, though it was hitting me right in the face. It occured to me later that it is in fact a gourmand along the lines of A*Men, or possibly Armani Code. Where it differs from those two is the addition of citrus overtones, and some woods in the base make this an amazingly complex fragrance, especially for a gourmand. Think a toned down Gucci 1 or M7 without the bite, and the lush chocolate-vanilla notes of Angel*Men, and add the tiniest splash of Clinique Happy’s sweet orange notes, and you’re getting close to Hanae Mori HM. Very sophisticated, very classy for what it is.

Still, while I’ve got both A*Men and Code in my wardrobe, I really can’t be bothered to buy another gourmand, even one as nice as this. When I run out, though, it’s a whole different story. If you don’t have a gourmand in your lineup I recommend this sincerely.… (More) “Hanae Mori HM”

April 20, 2008

Sony Reader vs. Amazon Kindle = Form vs. Functionality

I’ve been considering my options on ebook readers for about a week now, and I’ve been going both ways on the topic of which one to pick. However, I think I’ve finally made up my mind.

Sony Reader

Pros:

  • Slimmer, sleeker, and all around a nicer looking machine.
  • Requires less time between charges (charging my iPhone once every other day is enough).
  • Simple, straightforward button layout which makes reading easier.
  • Slightly cheaper (though I will address this below).
  • More firmware hacks and the like are available, though I don’t mess with that stuff usually.
  • 8 shades of gray available, as opposed to 4 on the Kindle.
  • Comes with a very nice case.

Cons:

  • Lack of any text-search capabilities on the reader itself (you can do it on the software).
  • Less books to choose from.
  • Books are generally a few dollars more than through the Kindle store.
  • The Reader software is honestly not so good, having messed with it myself.
  • No easy way to subscribe to blogs, newspapers etc.
  • Doesn’t include an AC adapter.
  • No way to take notes, limited bookmarking functionality.
  • PDF support is bad at the moment.

Amazon Kindle

Pros:

  • Full text search capability through everything stored on the machine, including PDFs, Office Documents, and all types of eBooks.
  • Annotation and bookmarking is also available, thanks to the QWERTY keyboard.
  • Books can be beamed to your Kindle over the air through Sprint’s EVDO network.
  • This wireless capability also lets you subscribe to newspapers like the NYT and Washington Post, subscriptions running anywhere from $5.99 to $13.99 monthly.
  • You can also import blogs like this one (hint, hint) through an RSS feed, and Whispernet (the aforementioned EVDO network) will poll your blogs regularly for new content.
  • More books to choose from than the Sony store (though that may of course
(More) “Sony Reader vs. Amazon Kindle = Form vs. Functionality”
April 17, 2008

Western Kentucky Parkway blows.

So up at 7 in the morning, work from 8:30 to 5:30, and then I get to get in my car and drive to Louisville. That’s a four hour drive and change of time zone for those that don’t know the location. So I’m sort of tired, go figure. Hopefully this trip will clear up just about all the remaining obstacles to moving back.

Albums I listened to on the way up:

Live – Songs From Black Mountain
Live – The Distance To Here
Infected Mushroom – Converting Vegetarians CD2
Joe Satriani – Crystal Planet

“Shakawkaw” by Infected Mushroom is now tied in my memory to this drive. I do that for some reason, I’ll listen to a song and every once in a long while something will just connect. California Sunshine by Abakus, for example, brings back memories of the drive to Oklahoma we took about three years ago. I don’t know, something about the combination of the darkening sky, and the road opening up and revealing the city of Leitchfield, and the techno-guitar-thing that is the breakdown of Shakawkaw.

Got my one year evaluation at work today. Shafted. Will be talking to corporate about giving people raises that at least covers inflation.… (More) “Western Kentucky Parkway blows.”

April 14, 2008

UofL-bound once more.

Apparently I’m not quite smart enough for Business school, but I am smart enough to be a student in the department of Arts and Sciences. And that’s okay. Honestly I don’t care what they label me at the moment, but the thought that I really wasn’t going to be able to go back to Louisville bothered me more than I’d care to admit.

Three more weeks of class, a month to get ready, and then back in Louisville and this time I’m going with a focus that I didn’t have the first time. I was just so damn ready to get away from everything at home, that I forgot what I was going for.

The great stereotypical response to why I was even going to college would be “to make my parents proud”. It was during a visit to my mom’s grave a year ago that I came to a rather deep personal truth; they were already proud of me. However I ended on this trip, they’d be proud. I had to make me proud of me. That’s it. A simple thought, but it reveals all kinds of things about one’s true nature.

So I try again, again a little scared, little nervous. Lots of little details to cover between now and then, such as how I’m actually going to pay for all of this. But it’s all one step at a time, and I can’t do much about things like that at midnight, nor do I really care to.

The dream’s alive again, and I fear it’ll keep me from sleep for a night or two.… (More) “UofL-bound once more.”

April 12, 2008

Free custom ringtones on your iPhone: Still a reality.

There’s always been a few ways of weaseling your way through iTunes and turning a 30-second clip on your computer into a usable ringtone. iTunes 7.4 locked most of them down. For some reason, 7.5 opened some of them back up.

1. Convert the clip in question to a .m4a or .3gp file.
2. Rename the extension to .m4r.
3. Drag into your iTunes Library and sync up.
4. You’re done. Really.

This is tested working on 7.5 and iPhone version 1.1.4. I’ve now got most of my original music on my iPhone, ready to ring and ring. Joy.… (More) “Free custom ringtones on your iPhone: Still a reality.”

April 9, 2008

“New Folder” vanishes on Windows 98/ME

Bling writes that for some reason, he can no longer create new folders on his Windows 98 installation. The shortcut simply isn’t there anymore. I don’t know what would cause such a thing, but I do know how to fix it.

This time instead of going step-by-step, we’ll use a software-based solution. I found this program over at Annoyances.org years ago, and it does nothing more or less than create new folders. It is accessible here. You should have a New Folder button on the Large View of Explorer, and the F12 key is now also bound to the New Folder command.… (More) ““New Folder” vanishes on Windows 98/ME”

April 8, 2008

How to get a totally wicked awesome desktop, dude.

Generally if I have friends or colleagues over and they see my computer, they remark that my desktop is like nothing they’ve ever seen before, especially for a Windows environment. I am going to teach you how to get a wicked awesome desktop, without spending too much bank.

First off, lose the desktop icons. Right click anywhere on the desktop, click View (“Arrange Icons By” on XP), and then Uncheck “Show Desktop Icons”. Hey, you can see past all those icons and now you see your uninteresting desktop. Pimp that out by checking out InterfaceLIFT, one of the coolest desktop sites you’ll ever find, supporting nearly any resolution you can think of. So you have a sweet desktop and the taskbar. I realize that’s not too handy, not having anything really accessible on the desktop, so we’re going to add some stuff back. If you have Quick Launch buttons on your toolbar, detach them by right clicking the taskbar and unchecking “Lock the Taskbar”, and then dragging the Quick Launch buttons off and stick them up on the top of the screen (it should snap into place). You can now add shortcuts to whatever you want, and you’ll have little icons for each of them.

If you have a little bit of processing power to play with, you may want to forgo the above steps and proceed straight to the sweet love that is the dock. Those of you that run Mac OSX are familiar with this. Enter RocketDock, a free freakin’ dock. It is completely awesome as well as being completely free. Upon installing it, you can choose to move it anywhere on the desktop and can tell it to auto-hide. Currently I’ve got my RocketDock auto-hiding on the bottom with my taskbar on the top.

So … (More) “How to get a totally wicked awesome desktop, dude.”

April 8, 2008

The lost art of scraping your face with sharp bits of metal, and how to make it suck less.

Those of you that know me in real life know that, at any point in time, my facial hair is somewhere between “five o’clock shadow” and “hobo”. It’s not that I enjoy looking that way, it’s the simple fact that if I shave more often than about once a week, my face and neck become excruciatingly painful, and an angry red sea of ingrown hairs adorn the underside of my neck. Given a choice, I simply wait a week and shave then.

Having heard the same not-funny jokes too many times, I resolved to find a way to improve my shaving experience. Enter my other hobby, perfuming, and the group of enablers I keep company with, Basenotes. I posted a thread to the effect of what I have just written, and received several recommendations, many of them as cheap as one could ask for.

I bought nearly everything possible that they recommended, minus a new razor. I’ve got a few unused heads for my Gillette Fusion and I will be using them up, thank you very much. All the time in the world to buy a safety razor after these are gone. So I find myself with shaving cream in a tube not unlike a toothpaste tube, a boar-bristle brush, and some sort of miracle product that allows me to get an entire shave’s worth of lubrication out of 3 to 5 drops. Right.

Before I did battle with my face, I learned. Namely, I learned how to shave. Sounds a little backwards, but one of the members of the shaving website Badger and Blade was kind enough to make a lot, and I mean a lot, of YouTube videos covering nearly everything you’d want to know about shaving. The first video in a three-part series that I watched … (More) “The lost art of scraping your face with sharp bits of metal, and how to make it suck less.”