Archive for December, 2006


Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

One of the things I totally love about the Mac experience doesn’t actually come from Apple. It’s the Quicksilver app, which basically allows the machine to be controlled through keystrokes and keywords rather than having to click all over the place. For example you can bring up the dialog (command-Space) then type “it” and it will list all the apps with I and T in their names, starting with iTunes. Then it’s a matter of hitting Enter to launch the app, or for some applications Quicksilver will show a list of options or features which you can choose to run. The list is refined as you type more letters so you can be quite specific. Plus the app itself is very extensible so you can add Google searching and various other things – I’ve only really scratched the surface in my own use.

Last night I looked around for a similar tool for the PC. There are two or three, the most popular seem to be Launchy and Colibri – I decided on the latter mainly because at first glance it looks similar to Quicksilver and I’m a creature of habit. So far I’m very impressed – it was easy and quick to install and set up, and in the hour I’ve been working this morning I’ve saved tons of time by not having to click around and spend time finding applications and docs. Colibri doesn’t seem to be as customizable as Quicksilver or Launchy but for my use so far it’s looking good.

taken to task

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Today’s White House Briefing in the Washington Post is a litany of Bush-bashing in the media. Once again I say: for all the people outside of America who think that Americans are all for the current president, read the article. Pretty sour stuff.

On the plus side it contains a great simile: “Vice President Dick Cheney, looking as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”


Sunday, December 17th, 2006

From my friend Robin – this apparently is where my family comes from – the Mogendorff factory.

kids mishear the funniest things

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

At lunch today, Toby out of the blue said, “Daddy, did you know that Opa is wrong?” I asked him what he meant – apparently out of the blue he’d remembered a book my dad had brought him last month, where someone tells someone else to spread the word. Due to my dad’s accent, Toby thought the line was “spread the wood”, and it took me a while to persuade him that it was word, not wood. Now Toby is very suspicious of what his grandfather has to say.

Also Toby was telling me about his mall trip this morning with Emma, during the course of which they had a break for a snack. Toby told me he had a blueberry muffin. I said, “Ah yes, the state muffin of Minnesota.” Toby said, indignantly, “No, it was blueberry. Not steak.”

ipod update

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

A couple of days ago I got the new iPod firmware, and I’m very impressed. My iPod had been having a few minor issues – firstly it sometimes froze after I’d undocked it, secondly some files would cause it to crash and restart (the GQ Magazine podcast was for some reason one of the main culprits) and also a game I had downloaded from the iTunes store wouldn’t play (Apple gave me a refund so no harm done).

The update fixes all of these things, and was also no problem to install, so once again my trusty player is the perfect thing


Friday, December 15th, 2006

We were just talking after dinner about going over to see our neighbors who looked after the cats while we were away. We got them a Bermuda rum cake and some Bermuda rum in liquid form too, which I hope they will enjoy.

Toby said that we should just go round and “knock on the door several times until they answer.” We asked how many times several is, so he counted on his fingers while saying “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, several.”

mice on a plane

Friday, December 15th, 2006

This story is just too good not to mention. I wonder if Samuel L. Jackson is aware?

vacation pics

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Just uploaded a bunch of photos from our trip – you can see them here.


Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

On Saturday we went to the beach for another dip in the ocean – it was just beautiful. Our plan was then to drive up to the Dockyard area of Bermuda to see the dolphin show and have a nice pub lunch. However on the road out we came across a major traffic jam (major by Bermuda standards anyway) with lots of police and uncertainty about the cause. We heard rumors of a tsunami coming. This turned out to be a false alarm but it was a little spooky. The local paper now says that people are seeing the funny side, but it was rather strange to be there.

After lunch the traffic had all been cleared up and we did get the chance to see the dolphins and get a nice walk in the sunshine. We also enjoyed making sarcastic comments about the non-existence of a trail of devastation.

more in bermuda

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

We’re a bit more than halfway through our vacation in Bermuda and having a great time. We just had two excellent days of weather in the mid 70s F – yesterday we spent all afternoon on the beach, soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean. Perfection. By contrast, Minnesota had windchills this morning of colder than minus 15F, described by the paper as “shriekingly cold”.

Last night Emma and I took her parents up on their kind offer of babysitting so that we could go out for a fancy meal. Here’s where we went, it was really excellent. They had a wine buffet – $23 for as much as you liked with 8 different whites, 8 reds, a couple of bubblies and a rose. I was a tad shaky this morning as a result but it was worth it.