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Archive for April, 2008

A weekend in the high desert

April 29, 2008 Leave a comment

Last weekend we took a quick trip out to Eastern Oregon to stay with friends at a home in the Black Butte Ranch resort community. It’s in a beautiful location, and we always enjoy getting out of town to spend quality time with friends. All of our lives are so busy these days, I really look forward to these little getaways.

We took a Saturday afternoon hike on the Metolius River from the campground to the Wizard Falls fish hatchery. Along the path we saw the awesome sight of a natural spring dumping out of the side of a hill into the river.

The Metolius is sure a fast-moving river.

Lillian found a cool wizard stick, proceeded to throw it into the river, and it came back to her. I think that we wore Andre out running to catch up to it.

A quick Star Wars Girl impression.

And the stick goes back from whence it came.

Finally, some of the semi-wild fish at one of the Wizard Falls hatchery ponds.

Sushi Groove in SOMA, San Francisco

April 23, 2008 3 comments

Groovy sushi. Good stuff. Not cheap, but really good. Now if it were only closer to Moscone Center. It’s quite a walk, and on per diem, I’d rather not spend money on a cab to eat dinner.

Categories: food, sushi Tags: , , ,

PETA wants you to eat Frankenmeat

April 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Gotta love those wings that come from the test-tube birdsSo PETA has spoken. They’re looking for someone to create Frankenmeat™ for us to eat instead of yummy, yummy animals.

Here’s my prediction. If this succeeds, we’ll soon find after many years of eating replicated meat that we’ll find that our bodies do best when we’re given a variety of proteins, not just one singluar variety. It’s like a clearcut forest in that if all of the trees are of the same age that there will inevitably be a disease that only strikes trees that are of that age, and thus wipes out the entire forest. Plague of the future, I tell ya. Granted, our current lack of biodiversity in the food supply isn’t the best either. Bigger, badder, dumber and caged up doesn’t make things better.

Jim, prognositicator extrodinaire has spoken. 😉

What’s so special about “Paste Special”

April 18, 2008 1 comment

If you’re like me and deal with moving text around from one document to the next, you’re intimately familiar with the Copy and Paste functionality of most applications. If you’re extra savvy, you might even know all of the keyboard command shortcuts:

  • Copy – Ctrl-C (Win) or Command-C (Mac)
  • Paste – Ctrl-V (Win) or Command-V (Mac)

Well, since I’m consistenly moving text from one application to another, it’s quite frustrating when an application thinks that it knows what I want. For example, when I copy text out of a PDF file, and then paste it into a Word document, by default I automatically get all of the formatting that was in the source document (font, size, color, etc.) More often than not, these selections do not match the target document. Thus creating many more formatting clicks just to have the pasted text match the rest of the doc.

Lo and behold, Microsoft must have gotten enough complaints about this that they instituted the “Paste Special” command where you can past a copied bit of text into your document without all of that extra baggage. Hey, wonderful, I like that.

Oh, no, but wait, it’s actually not all that easy to use. You are required to select the item from the menu – there are no keyboard shortcuts for this sucker. And, every time you choose “Paste Special” you get an annoying dialog box that never has the right default selected. So that means more annoying, time wasting clicks. Speed is definitely not what this is built for.

This could be easily fixed in a couple of ways.

  1. Allow me to choose a default paste style. If I always want to paste as unformatted text, by golly you should allow me to do so. Don’t muck up the works with extra baggage.
  2. Give me a keyboard shortcut. Ctrl-Shift-V or Command-Shift-V would work well.

OK, that’s my rant. Over and out.

Categories: Uncategorized

Note to Tri-Met: Tab A must fit Slot B

April 9, 2008 1 comment

Took my car in to get fixed yesterday, and the repair shop is nice enough to provide free MAX tickets to get me to and from work while the car is in the shop. Problem is, well, these tickets don’t fit into the validators on the MAX platforms! On my way to the office, one validator was broken, and the other, after 5 minutes of stuffing folding and such, the train came and I had to get going – without being able to validate my ticket. Fortunately, I wasn’t approached by the MAX ticket police. I definitely would have had words with them about the sorry state of their technology, and how I’d tried to do the right thing.

On the way back to the repair shop, I got to the platform just as the train arrived. Yet, unfortunately, I had the same situation with the ticket not fitting into the slot. While fiddling with it, I missed the my scheduled train. Yay.

There were about 5 yellow jacket Tri-Met police there, who I asked for assistance. They were very polite, but in effect they told me that these tickets were badly designed and that you had to “rip them to make them fit into the machines.” Yeah, that’s a great solution. I can see Grandma Jones with her arthritis trying to tear an eighth of an inch off of the side of her ticket.

It took long enough to validate this stupid little ticket.

It’s a basic principle of good design here. You’ve got to design your product to fit the need. Somewhere along the way this design process broke down – the graphic designer, printer and validator manufacturer should have all caught this. Time to fix it Tri-Met.

Overheard on the Gresham bound MAX

April 9, 2008 Leave a comment

Female Wasteoid: Man, Gresham cops is mean. That’s where I was tasered the first time.

Male Wasteoid: Man, I wish that I could get tasered. You know, just to know how it feels.

Female Wasteoid:
Next thing I knows, they’re takin’ my DNA. Don’t know why they needed my DNA. I didn’t even do nothing!