Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Firefox 4 - A waste of time!

I installed Firefox 4 this evening. At least it was this evening. It's now after 10pm. I've spent the last 2 hours installing add-on after add-on to get it back to a reasonably useable state. Here's what it changed/removed/added:
Now I understand that themes are likely to be different and that some extensions might not work yet (partially why I waited sooooo long) but this is nuts. It's taken me over two hours to get this thing back to something which vaguely resembled my personal settings. To have to install an extension to get the title bar back is just plain stupid.

I know that new editions of things usually make some changes but some of these are fundamental. The 'save and quit' button for example is firefox's trademark. Why they'd get rid of it is beyond me! Personally I HATE theme changes. Basic updates I understand but people get used to how something looks. It should be a chosen option - include the new theme or save the old one and just make the basic changes. We all want to save time and continually learning a new layout is plain irritating and idiotic!

Result: Firefox 4's layout and interaction sucks!!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Google & Royal Engagement

Ok so I wasn't going to post here again but Google is officially pissing me off. Their latest "features" of Instant, Suggest and Preview are 'in-your-face-cannot-turn-off' ideas which have been created in the last few years. Suggest has been around for a while but Instant, the newest "feature" and Preview, also very new, are the latest ways Google has chosen to piss us all off.

Suggest...whilst annoying...was previously able to be turned off. Since Instant was launched that option is now gone and we are stuck with a feature most of us don't want. Preview is also blaring on to our screens and is by no means subtle. The major problem for me is that it eats bandwidth and for someone whose bandwidth barely lasts as it is I don't need another 'feature' downloading crap I don't want.

So what has this got to do with the recent royal engagement....well Google Instant, Preview and Suggest....like the endless news of the royal engagement....gives me information I don't want. I don't care who's engaged to who, I don't care what sites load when I'm halfway through typing "chemical elements + francium" and it decides to give me stuff about crap I'm not interested in because I've stopped to check that it's "francium" and not "fransium" and I certainly don't care what a site looks like if I can't read it and all I've done is click randomly to activate the scroll wheel.

Google....as far as I can see....has lost the plot. YouTube has been ruined with ads and comment verifiers (even when you are logged in) since Google took over. They've wrecked gmail contacts layout with the new design and now they've butchered the thing that made them so famous and popular to begin with: the search page.

See...we don't want it. Google became popular because it loaded fast and didn't clutter with ads. Not because you tried to read our minds, make us into robots, force your preferences on us instead of letting us choose our own preferences. And they certainly didn't gain popularity by hogging bandwidth (yes I live in the backwater country known as Australia which still limited bandwidth).

Google...to summarise...no longer caters to the searcher but expects the searcher to adapt to them. FYI microsoft did that and they lost a lot of their market to a company which didn't. I just really hope the same happens to Google if they don't shape up. It would, at the very least, be very entertaining poetic justice.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Blog Closing

Cause only like 2 people read this I'm closing it. If you want to subscribe to something try my Selmari/Selmarea blog about my CONLANG project - Selmari.

It is at: http://selmarea.blogspot.com/

Office 2007

Ok...I hate Office 2007. Amongst those who know me that is no secret. It makes the tiny amount of the page available even smaller with that bar and every time I've tried to do something it breaks now (I don't have it any more thank goodness). Not to mention the fact that it costs a fortune and eats up my computer memory.

However...I do like the program created by Microsoft to assist in the transition. It's where you open a Word 2003 simulation, click on what you would normally do, and then it will show you how to do it in 2007. A little late for this post perhaps but it's still cool. Check it out with the downloadable version before or try the online version at their website.

Kudos to Microsoft for this. It's an ingenious idea.

Download Simulation Word 2003-2007

Friday, 16 July 2010

Jamie's Food Revolution - OMG!

Just finished watching Jamie's Food Revolution and oh my god! For those who haven't watched Jamie Oliver has travelled to the US to look into what schools feed the kids and why people are dying from Heart Disease and Dietbeties. Trying to "create a seed of change".

Personally I agreed with EVERYTHING he said. And found myself getting incredibly defensive of Jamie as just about every person in the town was snide, rude and unhelpful. He's there to help people!

The food being served to these primary school children was just plain disgraceful! Pizza for breakfast. Chicken Nuggets for lunch. All fruit thrown in the bin and guidelines which insisted on idiotic guidelines. I was utterly appalled at the attitudes of the townspeople and personally thought they deserved to be called idiots!

Our attitude toward food continues to baffle and horrify me. I found recently that a cream I'd bought had sugar in it and that to me signifies the complete idiocy of our culture today. We accept the insane but if 100 years ago we'd been told that we'd put sugar in cream and live on oil we'd have thought it was a joke. And it seems like a joke except for one thing...we're killing ourselves and the younger generation. That's not a joke. That's scary!

I had to eat my Sushi just to keep reminding myself I wasn't eating the disgusting food on the screen but I really don't believe we'll change. I wish I could describe how shocked and upset watching that was for me. A good guy, trying to help others and being blackballed whichever way he turned. I can say I was shocked, horrified, appalled, felt physically sick and upset but really none of those things, though all true, come close to what I felt whilst watching that. It was both distressing and just plain awful to watch.

I sit here, thinking about this and feeling like if I believe hard enough we can change it but I don't think we will. I WISH we would. We are very very smart in some ways. We invent things all the time and have advanced beyond our wildest imagination. In other ways we are just plain idiots.

Recently I watched Star Trek: Insurrection. In that movie there is a culture. This culture knows technology. Can understand it. Can create it. They choose not to. I choose that. The more I learn, acquire and use technology the less I like it. Nothing is quiet. Nothing is as it seems. Nowhere is dark anymore.

I also have a message for everyone who thinks I'm crazy...I don't care. Some people have actively told me I'm either nuts or are generalising. I don't care. I don't like the lifestyle we're expected to live. I don't believe in it. I am not naturally spiritual however I know one thing for sure. I'm not going to find what I'm looking for spiritually with music blaring, food oozing and technology invading.

When I read and knit I am given the head-space to contemplate and reflect. With all of those other things invading my life I don't get that. I just don't want the same things anymore. I think I would be much happier if I just moved to a farm somewhere quiet, away from the city and the people, and lived the way I believe in and trust me...if I could I would!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Moving...again!

Today, for the third time (although I count it as the fourth which I will explain later) in a year and a half , I finally finished moving, not the unpacking, the moving part. I've come to a conclusion. Moving and two story houses should be illegal.

Moving I've decided in fact is a form of abuse. Think I'm being melodramatic or exagerating?? If you saw all my bruises, which make me look like I'm being abused, or felt my feet, shoulders, hips or knees you'd agree.

Moving alone is particularly sucky! This is the first time I've moved without any help at all. Although Admin did help me move three pieces of furniture it was only because they wouldn't fit in my car. One of the shelves is bigger than my car in fact. It doesn't count as help. Help would have been a trailer which didn't give me 10 more bruises. Help would have been someone turning up when they promised they would. Help would have been someone staying with me for another hour or two at least and help me carry bags of glass kitchen jars.

So I moved without help. Today I went for about 12 hours - 13 with an hour for lunch - and I didn't stop for two hours to read. I worked non stop, packing, unpacking, carrying, transporting....and I am EXHAUSTED! It is now 1am and I am more tired than I have ever been in my entire life. My knees, hips and feet are aching from carrying heavy things all day and today was not the only day I was moving. I've been moving for the last three days.

Moving is awful. I am not a stranger to moving house and I detest it more every time I do it. Moving takes something away each time. You live in a house (or room), you make it yours, you give the room/s a piece of your personality and you make it feel safe; a haven to escape to when life is hard. When you move you lose all of that. You lose the safe place and you lose a little piece of yourself.

To me moving crushes me a little each time. I have never, ever, in my entire life, moved out of choice. Every single time I have moved in my life it has been because of someone else. To be told to move I think is one of the worst things you can be told. You are being told that your safe place is no longer safe and that you must upend your life.

Now I'll explain the 3rd vs 4th time. I live at Uni. I move to uni, move no.1, I moved within Uni, move no.2, and I've moved again within Uni move no.3. However in the middle of that My mother moved, again. That means that as well as losing my safe room at Uni (twice!) I also lost my home. We stored everything so she could go off traveling. I don't begrudge her of that travel as she has wanted it for a long time, but I now feel effectively homeless. I would like to leave this Uni accommodation more than anything in the world but I cannot. I have no place to go.

I would not and could not ask my mother to stop travelling. It is not my right to do so. However I have an obsession with TV and it is difficult to watch Uni students going home, taking home their washing (which thanks to coin laundries I do but I do the washing not my mum!), and going to a place where they feel welcomed and safe. Uni accommodation I feel is anything but welcoming. It is impersonal, cold and cramped. And for some reason the place where I live does not provide a bookshelf or a desk with drawers. It is crazy because the two things we are expected to do is read and write.

I don't really have a point. I wish I did. At the moment I just feel extremely exhausted and frustrated. Plus I'm kind of lost. I'm back where I began; no closer to a place of my own I can make safe and stable. Stability is what I crave and I just hope that one day I have it. At the moment I feel like if there is a God he hates me! I hope he doesn't always hate me. I'd like to stay in the same house for more than 5 years - more than 10 years. That for me would be a dream come true.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

I've been watching Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares recently. Not for the once-again-reality-TV show but for the hilarious, sad people who have no idea about what a good restaurant is. Tonight it's a guy who advertises wood burning pizza on his sign and then uses more prepackaged stuff than my nachos.
My nachos, a staple item in my diet is the best meal I've ever had. I make my own pasta sauce and so aside from the cheese and chips my nachos is the perfect meal. The pasta sauce (I don't use meat sauce cause I like it to be fast) is made of tomatoes, garlic, capsicum, fresh basil and a little olive oil. It's a perfect meal that is ready in less than 10 minutes and fills me up nicely.
I watch this show in stunned disbelief. My nachos has more flavour and nutritional benefit than what this guy is selling and it would probably sell better too. And what I find totally ironic is these people obviously call Gordon Ramsay in because they are going under financially and yet they don't see anything wrong with what they have been doing.
Newsflash...if nothing was wrong then you wouldn't be going under!
Seriously it stuns me that people are SO completely and totally ignorant about food. I reckon I could run a better restaurant than some of these people. I can't cook as quickly but I cook good food and nutritious food that isn't processed or that has gone bad.
I'll admit I don't like Gordon Ramsay much, he swears too much and I don't like his abusive style. However, having said that I don't doubt he knows how to cook and he clearly knows how to effectively run a restaurant.
You may have remembered my 11 tips for healthy eating and cooking. I stand by those. None of those were original ideas. Most of them I've picked up along the way and I try, although I don't always succeed, to follow them myself.
Personally I'm obsessive about food. I love cooking I LOVE eating and I could talk food and language all day. My friend is right I should become a chef but personally I feel that becoming a commercial Chef would take all the fun out of it for me. I like doing it for my and my family and friends. I'll stick with that, and I'll keep making my own pasta sauce. Preservatives should be reserved for chocolate and marshmellows...and if I could make those myself I would!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Region Codes - The WORST invention ever!

Today I'm going to grip about region codes. Yes those all important numbers which say whether or not you can find your favourite movie in a version that works in your player. Now you'd think that will all the technology we have around today, iPods, mobiles, laptops, netbooks, GPS systems etc, that they'd come up with a way to give all people equal chance of watching their favourite movie.

It wouldn't be that difficult. Instead of torturing everyone who lives outside of the US make EVERY movie ever made region free. Unit currencies would take care of pricing differences but I have yet to see a logical reason for Region codes.

Take two of my favourite movies. A little known romantic comedy starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery called Simply Irresistible and an even lesser known film with Billy Zane called Invincible (and no I'm not talking about the one with Mark Walberg!). Neither of these films were popular. In fact I caught Invincible on TV late one night and stayed up until 1am watching it. I enjoyed it very much and spent 3 months ordering it in from the US to Australia. Simply Irresistible is I think my favourite movie of all time. It is, in my mind, the perfect romantic comedy. Humor, cooking, a great soundtrack, a cute lead actor, a talented cast...it has it all. But can I find it on region 4? NO!

Someone, please explain to me the Region code thing? In my mind all it does is hinder sales. I would have bought Simply Irresistible AGES ago if it were on region 4. In fact I can think of several movies that I haven't bought simply because of that barrier. My DVD player I hacked long ago to be multi region but my laptop is another matter. Laptops have this irritating feature which stop you from playing seasonal discs.

Personally I think it's a scam to force us to purchase software. Laptops are portable. It stands to reason that a portable device should be able to go international without TOO much trouble...but no. They lock computers and you are forced to watch your favourite movie on VHS - which is what I have to do with Simply Irresistible.

I in no way condone pirating. I know it's not a victimless crime. However I know how frustrating it is to try and watch things when they just aren't released. Fringe, the TV series, is a classic example. It hasn't been released here yet. The first 6-10 episodes were shown on ordinary TV before Channel 9 dumped it, as happens with all decent shows, and it was brought back with no notice on digital TV.

Australia, for those who don't know, is in a pointless transition. Some smart-ass decided that TV wasn't annoying enough with dumping shows without warning, moving them and cutting them off halfway through episodes (Channel 7 coped it from me for that I can tell you!), so they decided that we needed to go digital. Digital TV has several problems. Firstly it means that you can't record TV shows anymore with a VCR. Yes I still own a VCR! The digital signal has to go through a set-top-box and you have to get one for every TV, every VCR in the house. And then, even when it is connected you can't record on different channels because no set-top-box comes with a timer. Secondly if you lose a little reception, like during a storm, with the old analogue signal it goes fuzzy but it's still quite watchable, we've all done it with shows we liked. With digital losing just 1% of the signal means the entire picture, the audio...everything...is gone. Finally...a set-top-box costs. Now $100 isn't a lot to some people but it sure is to others. I am a student. $100 is a LOT of money to me and I definitely don't have money to waste it on something I really don't think is necessary.

All this brings me back to pirating. Without a set-top-box and with the DVD's still unreleased in Australia...how can I watch Fringe? And Gossip Girl? Without the correct region of DVD's how can I watch releases of Dr Who on my laptop? How can I see movies like Invincible and Simply Irresistible?? Can you see my point...people, not all but a great many, resort to pirating because they aren't offered decent alternatives. Unless someone gives me a set top box or an unlocked laptop I have no choice and that's what I chose. I bought Invincible as region 1 and then used DVD copying software to strip the region codes and make it playable on my laptop. Now technically even that is illegal but I have no other choice.

I call everyone to put a stop to region codes. Supposedly we are entering a new era of blu-ray - let's get rid of regions for blue-ray! Let's make sure the little know movies are transferred over to blu-ray and not lost and lets, for goodness sake, stop looking at all copying as people trying to beat the system and make money. Some of us just want to sit down and watch a darn decent movie!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Cooking & Moving

Cooking and Moving. Personally I don't think you can get two more opposite things in life. Moving is disorganised, frustrating and I hate it. Cooking is organised, rewarding and I love it.

I'm almost done moving...again. Once again I had to pack up my life and move without choice. I'd like to choose to move one day but I doubt I will. I've been forced so many times to move that I doubt I'll ever move by choice. Tomorrow hopefully I'll finish getting everything in. My kitchen gear will be the last stuff to move. I'm SO over it but I wanted to wait for my kitchen jars, of which I have dozens, so I can move them carefully and safely. Because I like to cook I HATE keeping my kitchen stuff in plastic so all my kitchen jars are glass. I spent almost two years tracking down tall glass spaghetti jars which were tall enough and have almost 30 spice jars now.

I've been thinking about cooking again recently. My mum made me sit down and watch a sweet movie Tortilla Soup. I wasn't that enthusiastic until it began and the opening credits are accompanied by this amazing cooking montage. My mouth was watering before it was 5 minutes in. Then we came down to my place, so she could help me move (yes she is an angel!) and we made Bruschetta with goats cheese, basil, lemon, baked capsicum, watercress and bread. God that was good! Then she made us these cucumber tart things I'd found online the night before whilst looking for recipes. They were equally good. Finally I'd had enough of moving this afternoon so I made homemade pesto with the leftover fresh basil.

I've been wanting to make pesto for ages but don't have enough money for a food processor however recently I got my hands on a cheap imitation of the "magic bullet" machine. It's not the branded original but worked great for pesto just the same (especially when I remembered to add a little water).

Ah food. It almost makes all this crappy moving business worth it...not quite but almost. At least the fabulous food along the way, and the movies I've watched as inspiration, have helped me get through this. Without my kitchen gear I'd be lost and I've only just realised now how much of my life does revolve around food. I watched Julie and Julia just the other day, watched Simply Irresistible whilst eating dinner, and watched Iron Chef whilst unpacking this evening.

Food is an art form it is true but it is so much more than that. Food sustains us, helps us forge memories, gives us personality, rouses the senses and gets us through life. It is incredible that we have turned something so basic and necessary in to something so amazingly beautiful and creative.

I don't understand why people wouldn't like to cook. I used to hate it but I have NO idea why. I am horrified that I lived (almost literally) on Rice Bubbles, potatoes and Nachos for so many years, putting my parents through hell. Now however I've discovered cooking can be done slowly, without the frantic rush required for restaurants, and have such begun to enjoy it, discovering new flavours and textures so rapidly I can hardly keep up. But I can say right now that it's all been worth it and I will definitely be cooking for many years to come.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Language Progression

Not very happy at the moment. I've been told I have to move which SUX! And because I'm tired and have zero motivation for study I've been working on my language. A lovely day of conlang-ing. :)

At the moment I'm studying Latin, which is not as dead as people think, and am learning a lot about the structure and evolution of English. Not having studied another language before (with any enthusiasm) it is fascinating to see how Latin is structured. From a linguistic view it's been awesome and I've gotten some great ideas.

Today I scanned my sketches and glyph/character drawings into the computer. Now I'm making digital copies which I will put up once they are finalised. I'm currently trying to decide what to call this language and can't think of anything right now. However writing has taught me to be patient, I will work it out sometime or another.

The best part of all this...not only am I making a language but a culture to go with it. It gives me a chance to have a base. For example for my writing I have a made up currency but instead of dollars and cents I have 'macre' and 'gratee'. So I came up with how those words evolved from my country/culture to modern use.

I love reading the debates about where to start. I find it hilarious because no one seems to agree. Personally I think it's up to the person. I began with the characters/alphabet. Some begin with the grammar, some with making up words, some a different spot altogether. In my opinion you can't only start in one place. To me the characters have to match the phonetics and the grammar has to be created early but you have to be able to test it with your words so you need to have some handy. I think it all happens simultaneously and you can't rush your creative mind.

I've done a mix of everything. I have some words with meanings, lots without, some grammar, some characters and some idea of the phonetics. It is great fun and I intend to keep going.

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Changing my email address to something more generic. Old one will be phased out gradually.