Monday, November 24, 2008

Vacuum is working again

We needed a new battery for our Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. It is so nice to have it back in service again. I spend an hour sitting with it on Saturday afternoon practicing my doumbek and whistles in the music room. The floor is so nice and clean now. :)

They have a new model that is super cool, I recommend you get one for your home.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mountain Mandarin Festival

We went to the Mountain Mandarin Festival for the first time this year. Basically it's a street fair at the Placer County Fairgrounds just down the street.

No animals admitted but the S.P.C.A. had some you could take home if you wanted to adopt one or two.

We met Glenn Schussman, a quilter. He does nice free hand quilting. I liked him and think I'll use him to do the quilting on my next project. 916-487-1443 in Carmichael,

We met the authors/editors Ric & Jody Hornor of The Golden History Books in their booth and bought The Golden Corridor. These books are well organized writings from the 1800s, illustrated with remastered photographs and sidebars from local paper, letters and journal entries of the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Long Goodbye

I'm watching the Robert Altman film The Long Goodbye this week.

"I have two friends in this world. One is a cat. The other is a murderer."

The first 11 minutes is dominated by an orange tabby, much like Dean, and his insistence on his food, no substitutes.

The Long Goodbye was Morris this Cat's first finicky role.

The Governator has an uncredited scene where he takes his pants off.

The film is based on the the Raymond Chandler book OSN. Doesn't follow the book verbatim and has a different ending. Atlman insisted on keeping the screenwriter's ending by writing it into his director's contract.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Bond film builds on the previous movie

I took PTO on Friday to see the new James Bond film, Quantum Solace (2008). Good movie if you are into Bond and know the character. I'm not sure if you would completely enjoy it if you are not a James Bond fan (it is not dumbed down for the general audience).

As soon as we got home I put Casino Royal (2006) in the old DVD player and watched it again (5th or 6th time). It is so cool how they brought forward characters and themes from Casino Royal into Quantum Solace.

I recommend you rewatch Casino Royal before going to catch Quantum Solace in the theater, not required.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


After (during) the Caswell Concert we decided that we really did need to go to Lark Camp in 2009. To that end, I ordered a doumbek for the belly dancing music class.

It is a large (sombati size) aluminum Alexandria (best maker in Egypt) doumbek with bright blue hot paint and six tuning bolts. This hand drum is 19.5 inches x 12.5 inches which gives it a much larger playing surface, about 10 inches, than most doumbeks. The Mylar head is not effected by temperature and humidity like fish or mammal skin heads so it will sound just as good in the redwoods as the living room.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Savvy Web Tester's Tool Kit

My notes from the Erik Petersen presentation at Starwest 2008. Petersen presentation was an inspiration, both his technique and content. He used mind mapping software instead of PowerPoint. So a very scattered talk about dozens of unrelated tools was organized and cohesive. Bottom line, you have to get out there and try lots of stuff and keep the gems. Recommended getting into Portable Applications. Tool you keep on your thumb drive that don't require installation to run. There is a version of Firefox you can use that allows you to travel with all your bookmarks and cookies and when you leave the PC your surf history and cookies go with you, no evidence that you were surfing is left behind.
  • FLV Player
  • VUE---from Tufts University, the really really cool software used to give the presentation
  • wink---animate
  • pstart---launcher/organizer
  • psPad---editor with file types. Able to do an date inteligent global change.
  • winAudit
  • Double Finder
  • TCP/UDP endpoirnt viewer
  • Chrome Googles' brower
  • Cam Studio Recorder
  • Printscreen---Lightscreen
  • TimeSnapper---screen shot with playback, "Here is how I reproduced the failure, watch the movie."
  • xampp
  • Firefox Portable Apps
  • Firefox Profiles used at start up for different modes of browser usage.
  • Peterson's site that should have the Starwest 2008 notes for this presentation posted in November.
  • Firebug
  • Virtual Magnifier Glass
  • Selenium IDE---capture replay
  • MindMapping
  • Better Software, November 2008 article (TBD)
  • Freemind
  • Mindjet, MindManger--with Microsoft Project interface
  • iMindMap
  • mindmappingsoftwareblog
  • Generatedata :-) :-) :-) After seeing this I dropped all the requirements for BPX 4.0 to produce stochastic test data, we can buy this utility and be done.
  • WWILF---What Was I Looking For?
  • Versioned backup
  • fiddler---tamper with the data intended for Internet Explorer. Peterson did a little demo of fiddler and hosed his machine inadvertently, it really causes havoc when you muck up the input stream to the web server ;-) WARNING, this tool is considered a "hacker's tool", you may be prosecuted for owning it some day.

Music from Starwest 2008

Partial notes from: The Savvy Web Tester's Tool Kit, Erik Petersen

Very cool. I liked the video clips presented before the talk was scheduled to begin. He talked about guitars and music while showing YouTube videos.

Tools of one trade applied to a different domain result in surprising insights and beauty.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Koo-koo-katchoo, Mrs. Palin

Tribute to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, with apologies to Simon & Garfunkel.

Performed by Caswell & Carnahan
Lyrics by David Hakim
Additional lyrics by Jarion Monroe, Chris Caswell & Danny Carnahan
Produced by Taco Jones
Edited with grace by Livermoron

Todo List

I have been using techniques I learned at work (Achieving Your Highest Priorities) to keep my inbox empty. Palpable reduction in stress, sense of loss when I check for email and find nothing in the inbox.

Just heard about this web app that aids in maintaining your Todo List, cross platform; Gootodo, a paid service :(.

Learned about it listening to the interview with the author of Bit Literacy, Mark Hurst, on podcast #1 at Precision Change. Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst.

Does anybody know of a way to move email into iCal on the Mac?