Friday March 31, 2006



Gattofont is a new font for cat lovers from font studio studiocharlie. Studiocharlie also designs objects, furniture, videos, and clothes.

Gattofont consists of 62 different cat silhouettes. It's available in OpenType Format (for Mac or Windows).

Regular price, $16.00; on sale for 40% off at until April 27.

Gattofont ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Fri, 31 Mar, 11:37 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday March 30, 2006

Shorten My Sig - Not

I received an unusual email request today from SFFN.

SFFN is the San Francisco Freecycle Network. In case you're still unfamiliar with Freecycle, it's a "grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns." Membership is also free. If you have some item you don't want but would rather not throw it away, don't want the hassle of selling on Ebay, and just want to re-home, you can offer it on your local Freecycle list.

Let me repeat the important part of that.

You are offering to give something away that you no longer need or want that someone else does want. All it costs is a miniscule amount of time and effort. The entire transaction is FREE ...
       Continue reading "Shorten My Sig - Not"

Shorten My Sig - Not ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Thu, 30 Mar, 08:57 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 29, 2006

ToDo Menu

Controlling Your iCal To-Do items

If you use Mac OS X, you may have tried using Apple's iCal to handle your task list. Unfortunately, this requires opening the large iCal window to add, edit, or view your tasks. Happily, there is a way around this problem. ...
       Continue reading "ToDo Menu"

ToDo Menu ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Wed, 29 Mar, 17:26 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday March 28, 2006

Lost and Found

The Journal of Robert Hooke

A manuscript "charting the birth of modern science" and misplaced for more than 200 years, has been found, sold to a private party, and will be housed at Britain’s Royal Society. ...
       Continue reading "Lost and Found"

Lost and Found ( in category In The News , SciTech ) - posted at Tue, 28 Mar, 22:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday March 27, 2006

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_12

This spring is wetter than winter was, with rain, then blue, then grey, then more rain. There's a big storm on the radar for tomorrow again.

This week was the Taligent Alumni reunion lunch. We do these once a year - former employees of Taligent get together to talk and eat. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2006_12"

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_12 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 27 Mar, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 26, 2006

How to Get Happy

Happiness, it seems to me, consists of two things: first, in being where you belong, and second -- and best -- in comfortably going through everyday life, that is, having had a good night's sleep and not being hurt by new shoes. — Theodor Fontane

What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life. — Leo Buscaglia

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within. — Ramona L. Anderson

Harvard University is offering a new Psych course this semester which has become the most popular course on campus. Psychology 1504, or "Positive Psychology," purports to teach the psychology of happiness.

       Continue reading "How to Get Happy"

How to Get Happy ( in category In The News ) - posted at Sun, 26 Mar, 00:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday March 25, 2006

Treasures 2006_12

What we remember from childhood we remember forever —
permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.

-- Cynthia Ozick

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Two mule deer near the walking trail

  • Bright orange California poppies, soaking up sunshine

       Continue reading "Treasures 2006_12"

Treasures 2006_12 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 25 Mar, 11:22 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 24, 2006

Continuous Partial Atttention

In today's commentary, I discuss the problems of the "always on, always accessible" society.

Read my commentary...

Continuous Partial Atttention ( in category commentary ) - posted at Fri, 24 Mar, 13:16 Pacific

Thursday March 23, 2006

Fun With Print

MIT has a blog on the future of advertising technology. Knowing MIT, it can only be interesting. ...
       Continue reading "Fun With Print"

Fun With Print ( in category Odd Corners ) - posted at Thu, 23 Mar, 09:32 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 22, 2006

Patently Ridiculous

Those of us who work in the technology industries know that the US Patent and Trademark Office has been in trouble for years. The PTO seems willing to grant just about every patent application they receive — for algorithms, genetic sequences, and ideas, as well as "real" inventions. ...
       Continue reading "Patently Ridiculous"

Patently Ridiculous ( in category In The News , Random Thoughts ) - posted at Wed, 22 Mar, 12:34 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday March 21, 2006

The Math You Learned

In today's commentary, I discuss Steve Yegge's recent essay, Math For Programmers, and my thoughts on high school mathematics and its effect on what I do in my job.

Read my commentary...

The Math You Learned ( in category commentary ) - posted at Tue, 21 Mar, 00:40 Pacific

Monday March 20, 2006

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_11

We had a couple of storms again this week, mostly at night, interspersed with cool sunny days. By the weekend, it was blue and lovely with California poppies popping everywhere.

We had lunch with a netfriend who works at Google. They have a terrific company cafeteria. It rival's Apple's for selection and quality. Wow. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2006_11"

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_11 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 20 Mar, 00:11 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 19, 2006

Dropping the Pink Elephant

15 Ways to Say What You Mean...and Mean What You Say

Close your eyes and don't think of a Pink Elephant

According to author Bill McFarlan, the mind instantly ignores the "don't" and concentrates on the rest of the sentence. He's named these unnecessary (and futile) negatives in speech "pink elephants". When we add "pink elephants" to our conversations, we are often denying something we haven't been accused of! Yet, as a result, we receive the reaction we were trying so hard to avoid. ...
       Continue reading "Dropping the Pink Elephant"

Dropping the Pink Elephant ( in category Books, Movies, Music , Verbatim ) - posted at Sun, 19 Mar, 09:17 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday March 18, 2006

Treasures 2006_11

Memory: a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.
-- Pierce Harris

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • A rainbow over the Bay

  • "Kitty TV" (The PG&E crew was replacing a transformer on the pole across the street. Raven was watching attentively.)

       Continue reading "Treasures 2006_11"

Treasures 2006_11 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 18 Mar, 00:35 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 17, 2006

Knowledge Sharing

In today's commentary I discuss the ways in which the World Wide Web provides us with a vast and ever-growing library where each of us can check things in as well as check things out!

Read my commentary...

Knowledge Sharing ( in category commentary ) - posted at Fri, 17 Mar, 15:08 Pacific

Wednesday March 15, 2006

Sustained Individual Success

In today's commentary I discuss some of my thoughts after reading part III of Marcus Buckingham's book, The One Thing You Need to Know.

Read my commentary...

Sustained Individual Success ( in category commentary ) - posted at Wed, 15 Mar, 10:51 Pacific

Monday March 13, 2006

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_10

The weather was weird this week. We had another cold storm come down from the north. There was lots of wind on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning there was hail on the ground at our house. "Higher elevations" (i.e. Los Gatos and 17 down to Santa Cruz) actually saw snow on the ground.

On Friday night we had a lightning storm around 7:00. One big Fratz took out the power for the west side of town. We ate a cold supper by candlelight. (We had just been looking over the leftovers, deciding what to have, before our choice was made much smaller...)

I finished filing my taxes. I'm due a refund. Considering that I'm (still) unemployed, every little bit helps ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2006_10"

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_10 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 13 Mar, 00:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 12, 2006

Sweeter Than Wine

Rich brought home a bottle of Firestone Vineyard 2004 Late Harvest Riesling. Mmmmmmm.

It's a desert wine (residual sugars, 15.5 g/100ml; alcohol 11% by volume). It's very nice. We're neither of us big wine drinkers, me even less so than Rich. I find most reds to be musty and most whites to be sour. But I do like many desert wines - Muscats, Rieslings, and Japanese plum wine top my list.

This one is absolutely delightful, like a light liqueur. It wasn't cheap (but we won't go through it very fast). If you happen to be in the Santa Ynez Valley, CA, Firestone Vineyard is outside of Los Olivos, north of Santa Barbara.

04 Lh Riesling
Sweeter Than Wine ( in category Show & Tell ) - posted at Sun, 12 Mar, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday March 11, 2006

Treasures 2006_10

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
-- Mary Jean Iron

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Pepperidge Farm peach turnovers; Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream

  • More white lilac blossoms

       Continue reading "Treasures 2006_10"

Treasures 2006_10 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 11 Mar, 14:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 10, 2006

Realtime Productivity Reduction

Welcome to Cubeville

In today's commentary I discuss two articles on office cubicles as well as my own feelings on the subject after working in Cubeville for two decades.

Read my commentary...

Realtime Productivity Reduction ( in category commentary ) - posted at Fri, 10 Mar, 13:09 Pacific

Thursday March 9, 2006

How to Catch a Mouse

I recently ran across a write-up of an elegant and humane "catch and release" method for ridding your home of unwanted house guests of the rodent variety... It looks like a cute trick. Happily, the only time we ever had a mouse in our house, we knew exactly where he was and were able to trap and remove him in an even simpler fashion. ...
       Continue reading "How to Catch a Mouse"

How to Catch a Mouse ( in category Nature/Cats , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Thu, 09 Mar, 12:28 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 8, 2006

Egad! It's Tax Time.

Here we go again. Time for my yearly plug. :-)

I loathe tax time. I bear a deep and abiding dislike for the proportional tax system and I don't trust the IRS.

I also don't enjoy paperwork (although I'm far less allergic to it than Rich). If I had a choice, I would much rather not handle my own tax preparation. Unfortunately, we had a Very Bad Experience about twenty years ago; we're averse to trusting a third party to handle such an important financial process for us.

So, every year at about this time, I drag out this year's folder, stomp on my natural procrastination tendencies, and start typing numbers into little boxes. ugh. The good news — I type those numbers and the computer does the math. I do my taxes using Turbo Tax. The program handles the painful parts so I don't have to. ...
       Continue reading "Egad! It's Tax Time."

Egad! It's Tax Time. ( in category Random Thoughts , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Wed, 08 Mar, 00:12 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday March 7, 2006

Great Managing

Has Your Manager Read This Book?

In today's commentary I discuss part I of The One Thing You Need to Know, by Marcus Buckingham. I've begun to understand why so many tech-industry managers are... mediocre at best.

Read my commentary...

Great Managing ( in category commentary ) - posted at Tue, 07 Mar, 00:10 Pacific

Monday March 6, 2006

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_09

Talk about March coming in like a lion. February ended with lots of rain, gusty wind, and some hail (and lightning!). The rest of the week was variable but usually cool and greyish.

It's been a very quiet and uneventful week. I keep applying for jobs. No calls or interviews as yet. :-(

In the News: Jupiter is growing a new red spot.

If you think science is cool, take a look at Cool Science, a portal site with links to "Insanely Great Science Websites". ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2006_09"

Weekly Wrap-up 2006_09 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 06 Mar, 00:25 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 5, 2006

Services with a Smile

Controlling the Mac OS X Services Menu

Mac OS X provides users with a terrific cross-application toolbox — the text services available from the Services menu. These provide users with the ability to perform a wide range of text lookup and manipulation activities, e.g. inserting the current date, changing character case, adding or removing quotes, speaking text, or checking a word in the system dictionary.

Unfortunately, while Apple made it trivially simple for applications to register their services and add them to the menu, it did not provide a simple method for users to control the results! Thus, practically every application I install adds some new service (whether I intend to use that service or not). The system software also adds a bunch (e.g. Chinese translation) that I simply don't need.

As a result, the Services menu grows larger and longer. Finding the services I actually want to use becomes frustratingly and difficult.

The Good News: there's a solution. ...
       Continue reading "Services with a Smile"

Services with a Smile ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Sun, 05 Mar, 00:49 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday March 4, 2006

Treasures 2006_09

A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.
-- Anonymous

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • A nifty small museum I walked through in a dream. It was especially neat because I knew I was dreaming, so I was amused and pleased by what "I" put in the room.

  • Naps with the kitties. Squirrel holding my arm. Bebop pillowed on my head. Mez against my leg. Raven did his nap with me sepPURRately; he got belly rubs.

  • Purple finches with bright red heads

  • The white lilac is blooming

  • Another (short) hail storm. Watching ice marbles bouncing in the street. Listening to the racket on the roof.

Treasures 2006_09 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 04 Mar, 11:16 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 3, 2006

Science Snack

NewScientist is a most excellent science periodical, published in the UK. A friend of ours subscribes and loans us the magazines after he has read them. Recently, NewScientist expanded their online offerings: Blogs have arrived!

In a new addition to our top quality daily news coverage, we have launched two exciting blogs. We search out the world's most weird and wonderful science and technology news links - so you don't have to.
Enjoy one or both. No calories in these "snacks"!
Science Snack ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Fri, 03 Mar, 08:28 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday March 2, 2006

Tastes Like... Maple Syrup

I've been using Walden Farms carb-free sugar-free pancake syrup. It tastes like... maple syrup. Slightly thin, to be honest, but not watery. No chemical aftertaste that I could detect. Quite nice actually.

If you're used to pure Vermont 100% maple syrup, this isn't it. But it's better than the "other" carb-free brand I tried, and as good or better than most store brands. ...
       Continue reading "Tastes Like... Maple Syrup"

Tastes Like... Maple Syrup ( in category Show & Tell ) - posted at Thu, 02 Mar, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 1, 2006

Billable Hours

Unclear on the Concept

In today's commentary, I discuss the weird and often unfair world of "billable hours" as exemplified by a recent posting to ComputerWorld's Shark Tank.

Read my commentary...

Billable Hours ( in category commentary ) - posted at Wed, 01 Mar, 00:15 Pacific