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Archive for September, 2007

a new sidebar feature

For the last little while, I’ve been developing quite the love-hate relationship with Thunderbird, my email program. It’s amazing. It’s open source. It’s just what I need.

And that is entirely the problem.

One of the things I love about Thunderbird is that, besides checking all of my email accounts and collecting the various bits of mail and depositing them in one very handy place,  it will also collect all the blog feeds that I subscribe to and organize them into the little folders I created: Friends & Family, Photography, Light Reading, etc. One of the things I hate about Thunderbird is that, once it collects all those feeds (I have subscribed to over 50), they sit there in my email box, glaring at me, like an unread bunch of toddlers demanding attention.  And so I spend all my spare time, and quite a bit that is not spare, going through them all and giving them the attention they demand.

I’ve finally had enough.

Yesterday, I transferred all my subscriptions to Google Reader, a web-based feed collector that I can go to only when I want to, that won’t stare at me and get all puppy-dog-eyed and demanding.

It’s wonderful.

I can still organize my blog subscriptions into different categories (I can even put them in more than one, if they so fit). It updates faster than Thunderbird (though that was really my fault: I had Thunderbird set to check the subscriptions every 2 hours). I can check my feeds from anywhere, instead of just from work. And the coolest thing–I can share what I’ve found with others without writing a blog post about it.

Each post that shows up in Reader has a button below it called “Share This.” When I click it, it throws the post onto what is, essentially, a public “Rik’s Blog of Favorite Blog Posts” that anyone (with the link) can access. It even has its own feed, so I could actually subscribe to my own favorite posts.

Of course, there’s no point in doing that. No one wants to receive the post twice.

However, what I can do with the feed is this–throw a subscription widget into my sidebar so that anyone that comes here can see what I’ve been reading and find entertaining and share-worthy.

And so, if you will kindly throw your glance to the right, scan through the sidebar widgets and you’ll find the one that lists what I’ve been reading and enjoying lately. Or pop on over to the list to see even more (although right now, it’s fairly empty–I did just start using it, you know).

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daddy, why are you stopping to take pictures all the time?

Just because, Sweetie…just because.

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rpotd: “getting serious”

getting serious

Taken back in Simi Valley, at a park next to the railroad tracks by our apartment.

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we’ve got a new look

In case you haven’t noticed (or in case you’re reading this via one of the many feed readers), we have a new theme up and running. I like it because it will actually display the entire picture that I post (as opposed to the last theme that cut off the last 20 pixels or so on the right). It also will tell you who the author is (a feature we get requests for more often than anything else) (ok, so it’s just our grandparents asking for it, but hey, it’s still the only feature being requested), so there’s no more confusion there.

Plus, I spruced it up for Fall. Just for you.

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my kids meet the silver man

Our kids had never seen a street performer before, so, back in June, when we were walking around The Plaza (in Kansas City), looking for the P.F. Chang’s, and saw this guy, they were instantly mesmerized. We were heading the other direction, though, so, despite all their protests, they didn’t get a chance to really figure him out.

Later, though, after dinner (and a promise to try and find him later), we came back, and sure enough, he was still there, with a crowd of about 20 people sitting, standing, pausing, watching.

What does he do? What’s his gig?

Nothing.

That’s right: He does nothing. He dresses in silver/gray clothing, paints all exposed skin silver, grabs a silver cane and sits on a silver box with a silver cup out for tips.

And then he does nothing.

He doesn’t move. He hardly blinks. Never reacts or changes his expression at all.

Except when you put money in his jar.

With the money deposited, he’ll change his position. Not drastically, but slightly. And then he’ll hold his new position until somebody else tosses in some cash.

We deposited a dollar so that my kids could take a picture with him. He did his little movement (it was quite little–perhaps he moves more for more money?) as my kids took up their positions. Our daughter, who was the most excited to go see him, wouldn’t get that close to him. Our son, who could care less, basically went up and stood between the guy’s legs, almost climbing into his lap (did he think he was a statue?). He wedged himself in there so tightly that the man had to lift his cane off the ground and shift it over to the side.

That’s probably why the silver guy’s wearing that slightly amused expression on his face.

As we were leaving, we heard someone quietly comment to someone next to them, “That’s the most I’ve seen him move all day.”

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hole(s) in the wall

Somewhere in Colorado. Taken right before this fairly popular shot.

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On a recent vocabulary test:

Use the word “reserved” in a sentence.

 In our country, it is a good manner for girls to be reserved.

Uhhhh, am I the only one worried about those kinds of manners?

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