Saturday, December 24, 2005

Chrissie Wishes 

Hey ho and a Merry Christmas!
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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Licenced to Wiki 

Tara Calishain from ResearchBuzz has reviewed a 'Lovely, Information-Rich Wiki for Opera' (12 December 2005). The Opera Browser Wiki does look kinda useful.

While on the subject of Opera, I saved this little snippet from the Software Licence Agreement that I must have accepted this time last year:

You acknowledge that the software is not intended for use in (i) on-line control of aircraft, air traffic, aircraft navigation or aircraft communications; or (ii) in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of any nuclear facility.


Not even imaginary nuclear facilities? What could go wrong? Where are my plane keys?

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Mousing Around 

At Abscissatron and Other Imbroglio Programs you'll find a modometer - a small application that measures the distance covered by your mouse, and how many right and left mouse clicks. I read about it in the TuDogs newsletter, in which Sheina Weltman wrote of the modometer: "though why ever one would want to know this is somewhat of a mystery to me... a little bit of computational idiocy maybe." So now I've been thinking about why you'd want the information gathered by a modometer.

I use the mouse a lot, even though I can't follow my mouse pointer as easily as most people can. I probably move the mouse around more as a result so that I can pick up it's movement. I also swish it up to the top right corner of the screen so that I can find it. I might also use the keyboard shortcuts a little bit more too, and mouse gestures in Opera probably means that my mouse travels less while surfing the net because I don't have to move it up to the 'Back' or 'Reload' buttons.

Maybe you could use a modometer to measure the differences in the way people use their mouse? Do people of different ages, gender or culture use their mouse differently? If you did study this, it might also be useful to notice how often they move it for no reason, or where they move it. Do they pick it up so that it stays in the same small space, or do they swish it all over the desk?

On the one hand, I'm thinking this is a ridiculous line of thought. On the other hand, I'm thinking there are probably people who want to find better ways to interact with computers who might actually find this useful. I wonder how they do it?

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Diaphragm Out of a Brake Booster 

That's the honest to goodness subject line of an e-mail I wrote to myself. A friend who drives trucks reckons that diaphragms from brake boosters make great dog play things. Indestructible. I did need a great dog play thing but for some reason we decided not to invest. But just in case we need one in the future, I have mentioned it here. Alternatively, I could ask my friend again. Or I could buy a ball.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Semi-Lit For Christmas 

Isn't Cross St the place for Christmas lights anymore?
Ohhhh, sem-I.

I saw a great reindeer somewhere near Cross St and a Santa's legs falling down a chimney. There's a couple of houses on Lilly Crescent with lights, and there are 3D Christmas trees on the highway just past Caves Rd. My sister and her boyfriend tell me that if we' driven out to Karridale, there's some great lights out that way too. I became all excited at some funny little thing in a front yard but it was just our headlights reflecting off the unlit brake and flicker lights of a parked car. But, hey, if I thought I saw Santa or one of his elves, who's to say otherwise. Right?

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Streets of Stencil 

Streets of Melbourne is Greg Tippett's blog of the stencil art and streets of inner city Melbourne. I like this familiar view looking up from an undisclosed North Melbourne street.
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Monday, December 19, 2005

Nectarines from Nannup 

Every time I walk into our pantry I can smell nectarines. Mmm, very juicy. We have a box of season fruit from an orchard in Nannup. I hope I leave some for our Christmas visitors but it's not looking likely.
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Live Vor Der Cam 

Good grief. After updating my RD Contacts page, I thought I'd check the links using the W3C's Link Checker. From experience, I know that I really need to check links manually because an address might still be working but the content may have changed. So I clicked on a random link that I thought more likely to have changed. I discovered the link, which I'd annotated with 'Explore these colourful and original sites designed by teenager [Insert name of young woman with RP]", now points to a German site that is indeed colourful. I have learnt many new German expressions today.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Two Trips To The City 

In the last week I've travelled to Perth twice, staying a total of three nights. On Friday Mum and I drove up to take Megan, Callum and Rori to the airport for their big shift back to Tasmania. They took a 6am flight from Perth Domestic on Saturday. On Monday I caught the bus to Perth ready for an 11am appointment in West Perth on Tuesday. My teeth are AOK.

On the way up we visited both my Nannas and my Pop in Busselton. At Nanna and Pop's we ate rock cakes and roamed the garden - Megan took a cool photo of a bunch of cherry tomatoes, all at different stages of ripening. Then in Bunbury we wandered about buying a few last minute items and became lost in the Picton industrial area. We did, however, find our way easily to a replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that crosses a pond off the back streets of Waroona.

Megan took a 6am flight, so we stayed at a motel close to the airport and tried not to think about why the mattresses had plastic protectors. When you wake at 4.30am, you want to know the airport's not far away.

On the way home, Mum and I decided that when Bunbury's not completely dead or windy, it's impossible to find a park. But the Chrissie decos look great, and so do the grass trees growing in the Stirling Street traffic island. In Busso we stopped for a salad and juice from Bay Organics, where we sat on the front verandah and admired the kangaroo paws.

On Saturday afternoon a member of my book group rang to ask if she could sponsor me in the Lions Walk for Sight on Sunday. Lucky she called because I'd completely forgotten about it. Aaghh. A shower fell just before I started walking but I completed the five k circuit in the sun. We walked up to Leeuwin Rd, down a track past the satellite dishes and then along the airport road to where the old railway line takes you almost to Flinders Bay. From there we walked through the caravan park and along Albany Terrace and to Lions Park for a sausage sizzle. What's a fundraiser without a sausage sizzle?

On Monday I headed back to Perth on the bus. I stayed at Gill's and caught up with other friends in the city. Gill, Martin and I ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Cheers in Subi on Tuesday night. Why do I eat so much tuna from the can when it can taste like this? My friends tell me that infamous Perth identity John Kizon sat at a table nearby not long before we left for Baskin-Robbins. They're selling German Choc Cake ice cream again! The cake is actually sugary brownie, not quite how I remember it but then when I loved German Choc Cake ice cream there's no way I'd've eaten pickled ginger. Seaweed made me screw up my face too, although I'm sure that's because a Malaysian friend would give sheets of it to me to try.

I caught the 9.30am Australind to Bunbury on Wednesday. I nearly fell asleep while sipping my coffee before the scrubby trees outside Picton told me to buy a roast beef and salad sandwich to eat on the bus to Augusta. I handed the lady a fifty, thinking it a five, and was surprised to get so much change back. Then I settled back into my seat and listened to the call alerting passengers to prepare to alight at - Pinjarra. So I was an hour out.

And now I'm home! By the river and not far from the ocean and cooking my own meals. Megan's in Swansea and all is well.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Farewelling Our Local Taswegians 

Megan and the kids have stayed here the past week, so it's been full on while they prepare to move to Tasmania. We went to the end-of-year concert at Karridale School and I missed the star attraction - Fat Matt and the Year 3, 4 and 5s - because I sat with Rori asleep in the ute. She was all tired out after eating Nutella from the jar. Lucky we came in with time to spare before the Year 1s sang Kookaburra Christmas Cake and a song about Santa wearing thongs. They leave tomorrow and those of us not going to Tasmania are preparing to pack our tissues.
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