The · Rambles

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What I love about this computer: its shape and its look and the way it opens and closes. The fact that I can still see the screen perfectly well even when the sunlight around me is really bright--no more drawing the curtains unless I want to.

And, photobooth! I know I already said this, but it's funny the extent to which the new computer thrills come from photobooth, etc. I envied Iv so much when he got his new computer with this stuff two years ago or so. At some point I'll post the photobooth pics. We will buy that ethernet cord today and then I'll actually be able to transfer stuff from my old laptop... right now I'm really using both at the same time.

I must say, though, that the flaw in the design is the trackpad. It's a brilliant idea, combining the trackpad and the mouse button into one, and making one corner the right click corner. But it doesn't quite work yet. It does ignore my palms touching the trackpad when I type, which is great. But when I click, I have to click on the way bottom of the trackpad, or else it ignores the click. It's especially maddening for click-and-drag, although I don't quite understand why that doesn't work sometimes. It's usually easier to just turn on the taps and use those, but they aren't as precise.. and I'm not sure but it seems like the trackpad is even less sensitive to clicks when the taps are turned on. So my hope is that they'll include improvements in the trackpad function in the software updates til they get it right. And in the meantime I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

Another small complaint: tags on safari don't seem to work as well.

update: I found an adblock for safari! (not to mention that I could also use firefox on this computer [couldn't use it on the old computer cause of a bug]) I found it through macupdate.com

Also, I haven't mentioned that another one of the thrills of the new computer is using the updated earthdesk... which I highly, highly recommend. It used to show an image of the planet, centered on whatever medium to large city you choose, and time-accurate realistic depictions of light or dark, including moonlight... now it even includes live satellite images of clouds. On your desktop! It's so trippy. I could have had it on the old computer too but I didn't find out about the update until just before getting the new one. So I highly recommend earthdesk to everyone.
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Which is nicer: colored xmas lights, or white xmas lights?

I found these great solar xmas lights... http://www.herringtoncatalog.com/h719.html

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It's interesting that all the bloggers I read thought the debate was a draw. As I watch it on the cnn webpage, it seems pretty clear that Obama did better, and I'm not surprised that all the focus groups and instant polls named him as the winner. The bloggers must have been expecting McCain to spaz out or something. He wasn't a winner by a huge margin (IMO)... but when Obama spoke, he was usually clear, and made good points--positive and critical. McCain just muddled crankily. He did get in occasional good jabs at Obama, so it seemed like he scored points now and then, but they didn't take place in a framework that makes sense, except for the "Eh, you're stupid and wrong, you uppity usurper you" framework... as a result, they mostly fizzle away, while Obama's criticisms stick better, they are more memorable and fit into a narrative that makes sense. Obama's communicating with the viewer, McCain is just engaged in a polite fight for its own sake. So, I'm pretty happy with this.

Really I think that the more swing voters see of them, unscripted and together, the better. After all, the people who still haven't made up their minds--what's going to move them? It's hard to understand, but it seems to be basically charisma. That's to Obama's advantage, for the most part, especially when he's directly compared to a hostile McCain.

Plus Obama seems pretty committed to being the tortoise to his opponent's hare, so I think we can expect deliberate improvement over the next two debates--anyone know what they are about?

I sent off my voter registration today. I should have done it earlier, but oh well, I can still send off... an absentee ballot or whatever the term is, if I don't get my proper ballot in time. It's not like NY State is hanging on my vote--it's really for my own satisfaction. I found a couple great websites for overseas voters.

Anyway, the great revelation of this debate is that McCain has almost no hair on the back of his head. It's fascinating.

All right, off to part 3/3!
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I'm back from the Cape. It was great, but also work--since we were in a place where you need to be driven to most destinations, and there were five guests... seven if you count G and my brother, although my brother mostly helped. I'm happy to be back in the City where we can be more autonomous.

Today should be a great day but I've got one of those pesky headaches that I so rarely get. I'm also starving--I had three brunches in a row and I feel like I could eat more.

We got tickets for Ani Difranco for Wednesday here in the City, after spotting a pamphlet for her performance in Hyannis (on the Cape) on Sunday. I could go there as well, but I probably won't... I'd go alone and it's an hour's drive from the house.

Man this laptop gets hot!

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I'm trying to figure out how I could turn this into this. While keeping it thrifty.

edit: Damn, I just figured it out! Thanks guys!

I'll try to explain without resorting to the scanner which is all the way on the other side of right over there...

I'd already figured that for the wick, another "cloth bag" type thing should be used. In other words, the cloth container is extended by cutting a medium sized hole in the bottom, inserting something like a smaller cloth bag, and filling both of these with dirt. They'd need to be held together somehow of course. They could be roughly sewn together, and then as long as they weren't being carried about the weight of the soil would hold them together if the upper rim of the smaller cloth bag was big enough and overlapped the base of the larger cloth bag.

Then, that should be rested on top of a disk (plastic, pvc, wood?) with a hole in the middle, through which the smaller cloth bag would sit.

Then, that disk would be rested on top of a container to hold the water, which was also of the same height as the smaller cloth bag, the base of which would rest on this container's floor. Meanwhile, instead of installing a pipe, just cut a hole in the lip of the container that is big enough for your hose or watering can tip. This will serve both as the entrance for water, and the exit for overflow.

Conceivably this could be done with those big white industrial buckets, you know the type? Then the lid could function as the disk. But the bucket would, realistically, have to be cut to 1/3 its height, and the watering hole would have to be cut. For that I'd have to, you know, ask for some favors.

But it's thrifty! It really is!

In the short term--that is to say, this year--I might just use that method where you take a soda bottle with cap on tightly, turn it upside down, cut off the bottom so that it forms a kinda v-shaped bottle, and poke leaky holes just above the cap... then you bury it in there with the plant and fill that with water so that it slowly drip-waters your plant. This would work best while the plant is still a little too small for the container.

Mainly I'm thinking about this because our summers have a short but intensely dry period, like California's longer one... and that's when a lot of my plants, especially the thirsty ones, give up and don't quite die but really go bleh. And then these cloth containers are supposed to be a bit dryer than regular containers. We'll even be away for the first dry month, and B will be watering--he doesn't do it too frequently. And I'm thinking about getting some new plants.

This is giving me hope! I could even grow tomatoes, this way!

edit again: The downside is that one would *have* to keep up this system even during the rainy season, minus the water of course, once the second bag was installed. Heck, that could be the use for the piece leftover from the top of the bucket... and then it would still keep the planter off the ground. Or else you could use the bottom bucket to harvest leached nutrients, if you felt like emptying it once a week in the rain.
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I got some face makeup for the first time today. I'd decided not to, but then I did anyway. Because my lipstick broke today, so I had to pick up a container to put the rest in, and a lipstick brush (which they were out of)... luckily the company I usually default to now sells mineral makeup too, so that was two windowshops with one stone...

The reason I got it is because, though I am against 'covering up' as face makeup generally does, I'd tried this one natural colored finger-painting eyeshadow that I have around my eyes and finally noticed that, indeed, "even color" really does look better. And I do have the tendency to turn weird colors now and then. We'll see anyway.

Meanwhile my hair is not to my satisfaction. I'll have to go in and get it fixed. The one thing this hairdresser tends to do sometimes is to cut my hair in a blocky way with pretty straight lines, and then it bulks up and I look like Thelma from Scooby Doo. More or less.

Anyway--we're both really tired now. I think I'll do the dishes, take a hot bath and then curl up with a couple of books on quilting that I got from the library.

Hey while I'm on the subject, I recently ordered a bunch of fabric from fabric.com. Some of it was just random discounted bunches of cloth to practice on, but look at the fabric I got for the quilted cushion covers I plan to make:



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I'm sitting here with newly cut and styled hair. The hairstyle ended up being somewhat Tim Burtonesque... G and I always laugh about how the woman I see is fantastic at cutting hair, but dreadful at styling it. And I'm eating the hummus that I made just before leaving. Mm, mm.

I think I'll go downtown soon to buy a thermos so that I can make crockpot oatmeal, in a smaller & easier to clean container. But first I might take yet another shower and wash out all this hairgel...

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Does anyone know anything about dealing with blood orange stains on favorite shirts? I did a web search and found lots of websites with very weird unrelated combinations of blood orange recipes and makeup and cleaning.
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I'm knitting a swatch and I have a headache. I'm desiring company but not chirpy enough to make it worthwhile.
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