#750

9:44 pm, Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Three-quarters of the way to a thousand posts, woo.

We’re finally all done with Federal Way; last weekend we drove up in the F-350, got a U-Haul trailer (I had to buy a one-inch hitch ball — who knew they came in different sizes?), packed and loaded everything, and spent eight grueling hours cleaning every inch of our old apartment. The inspection went really well; the acting manager said we’d probably get back the maximum amount possible from our original deposit and my pet deposit. She actually said we were some of the cleanest tenants they’d ever had (a declaration my mom would definitely deem implausible).

During the trip we listened to the audiobook Don’t Know Much About History. It was good, but awfully short; only about three hours long. Opened with a great anecdote about what General Washington really said while crossing the Delaware. To wit:

“Shift that fat ass, Harry. But slowly, or you’ll swamp the damned boat.”

Then for a couple hours on the trip back, along that wonderfully exciting 133-mile stretch of road between Vantage and Colfax, Brett read aloud from Alan Alda’s biography, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. What a book! Either Alda’s one of the most talented people alive today, or he hired one hell of a ghostwriter. Some of his descriptions are wonderfully poetic; we both found ourselves interrupting the narration a few times to point out a particularly nice line or phrase. And the stories are really interesting. I thought Augusten Burroughs et al. had soured me on memoirs involving mothers with mental disorders (after a short while, most autobiographers start sounding whiny and bitter talking about their imperfect parents), but Alda covers the subject better than anyone else I’ve read, expressing affection and understanding instead of tired resentment. I love how optimistic he is through everything. Ostensibly, he had a pretty traumatic childhood — polio, boarding schools, few friends, a crazy mother, a father who worked in a traveling burlesque show, etc. — but he comes across as genuinely grateful for the “unique opportunities” it afforded him.

Today I discovered a really cool trick you can do in Opera 9. I’m sure this is prominently featured in a help article somewhere, but I rarely read those, so it was new to me. Basically, you can add your own search commands to the address bar and it’s super easy. I’ve used the “g” and “a” searches a lot (for Google and Answers.com, resp. — you just type “g whatever” in the address bar and it googles that phrase. Very handy.), but I’ve been typing out “en.wikipedia.org” (or using the bookmark) like a schmuck whenever I wanted to look up something. Now all I have to do is type “w fermi’s paradox” and the Wikipedia page comes right up. Saves a lot of time, bandwidth, and typing. Here’s how you do it:

1. Go to the web site you want to search from.
2. Right click in the text box you normally type into and select “Create search…”
3. Enter a name for the search and a keyword (this is what you’ll type to do the search from the address bar).
4. Enjoy your increased productivity.

Isn’t that awesome?

With no Game-A-Lot to hang out at, I’ve started participating in the Google SketchUp 3D Challenges again. So far I’ve modeled a Chinese abacus and a thumbdrive (pics below).

Boy, this was a long post. Time to watch 30 Rock and work on my analysis paper for Creative Writing.

SketchUp model - Chinese abacus    SketchUp model - USB Thumbdrive

2 Responses to “#750”

  1. Krunk:

    Regarding that new feature you found in Opera 9, they’re called keywords in Firefox. Another neat feature of keywords besides doing searches is they’re quick links to websites. Like when I type “blog”, it loads up http://www.krunk4ever.com/blog/. “babel” opens up babelfish, “sd” opens up slickdeals, etc.

    There is one change I wish keywords would support and I’ve talked about it here: Browser Keywords Evolution

  2. Mom:

    great blog entry and still no picture of the canopy. 30 Rock, huh. You’ll be there next Sunday for brunch. Bring a camera. You should what we have to do to go to the Jon Daily show or to SNL or Dave Letterman show.