I had the weridest dream last night! Unexpected, new dream too.
I was in a college (but I wasn’t in college, see? It wasn’t my college. Maybe I came back to it? I think I was visiting a friend’s class…). I was in a class taught by a fairly young male professor, possibly a young version of the one from Good Will Hunting or possibly that guy from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Northern Exposure. I’d brought Junior to class for some kind of show-and-tell (it was a discussion class, not a lecture class). We were all sitting in those desk-chairs in orderly rows in the blue-walled rooms, and I was showing Junior off to students. Junior had a bit of a plucking problem, much worse than the one he has in real life – his wings were bare and his sides too. Suddenly I could see that he had poop backed up inside him, all the way from his little butt to his neck! I had to take him to the vet, but I had to find the professor to get out of class. I looked in a lounge for him – it was a small lounge with a white microwave (in fact, I think it was my girlfriend’s white microwave) – and I looked for him in a blue bathroom with showers in the middle. No professor! Then I woke up and sat straight up.
What could it all mean?
Vendors vendors vendors. Why do they vex me so?
So, when you’re discussing pricing with a potential customer, and you give him a price over the phone, then discover it’s wrong and add the new price to an e-mail filled with marketing material, well, you should call out that new price, lest the potential customer think that the number from the phone conversation is canonical.
And when a customer repeatedly mentions one specific need in multiple conversations, and you have two products with very similar names, and only one of those products offers the feature that fulfills that very specific need, well, make sure you sell the customer that product. Especially when that product costs more!
I hate vendors.
One of the virtues of living in LA is that everybody you know is part of some scene. This one friend, she’s plugged into the house/hip-hop/world music scene – she puts on shows, she writes, she’s a woman about town. And sometimes she drags me out to see shows I’d otherwise avoid.
Somehow, 1500 folders destined for one of our clients ended up at our office/apartment instead. That’s a lot of folders. We lack a recieving dock, but at least we have a big ‘ol driveway for the FedEx man to park his truck in. Here’s our full palette of folders, outside and in:
I repotted a bunch of plants about a week ago, and my thyme, for one, is ecstatic about it. At the beginning of the weekend, it decided to bloom! I’ve included pictures here for your viewing enjoyment:
I didn’t even know thyme had flowers (well, thinking of it now, it’s got to have flowers, since it don’t have seeds or anything). They are kinda pretty!
In retrospect, this probably means I should be harvesting more thyme so that the plant spends time growing new leaves and not flowers. When the flowers go, I’ll harvest and dry a whole bunch. Maybe make some thyme oil?
Ya know those ads for T-Mobile where Catherine Zeta Jones snidely makes fun of people who walk down the street absorbed in their work and other important activites, rather than paying attention to silly people around them? She says, well, if only this person had a camera phone, they’d notice the, like, world full of unimportant stuff? Well it’s totally true! I walked up the street earlier today to drop some letters in the mailbox, and I brought my Nokia 3650 with me. Once I realized I could take photos of everything, I did actually pay more attention to stuff around me. So, here’s my ‘hood:
I live on a busy street. Many cars! But not as noisy as you’d think.
There’s no more apartments north of me, so a lot of people park their car on the street and slap a for sale sign on it. With all that traffic (and people stacked up on the street at rush hour), they figure lots of potential buyers will see it. Not a bad idea, and generally the parking enforcement folks will let for sale cars stay there for 3-5 days before slapping a ticket on it.
Some of these cars are even pretty cool!
Some proportion of the cars parked up the street aren’t for sale – they’re for living in. It’s nice in some ways that people get this second chance. I’ve seen a whole bunch of our “neighbors” at the bus stop, and you’d never believe they were living out of cars. Many people live in mobile homes or camper shells, and move from street to street around here.
Round the corner and you find yourself in a quiet residential neighborhood with little traffic. What a change!
The flags are out for this memorial day!
Some of the houses have elaborate gardens. One includes this very long flower.
Another has cute bonsai trees in it. Seems like a fun thing to try!
End of entry ahead!
So I’ve configured and set up and used OS X for a day, and I’m starting to develop an opinion. There’s a bunch of things I love, and a bunch of things I don’t love at all, and a bunch of things I just have to get used to.
Things I Love
One of the main reasons I upgraded to X was to make my address book talk to my cell phone. Success! While my Nokia 3650 is not compatible with iSync, using SmartVCard, I was able to export all of my contacts from Address Book and import them in my phone. Bluetooth file exchange has been fun fun fun – it’s easy to send files to my phone and recieve them from my phone. Only problem is, I can only send one file at a time – it would be nice if OS X would let me queue files for transfer, rather than making me wait for the completion of each transfer.
The new Apple and Application menus
I realize I’m the only person in the world who likes these, but they sure work with the way I work. I always loaded up my Apple menu with stuff, but I stopped using it for everyday tasks like application launching when I discovered DragThing. Having system controls in the Apple menu is convenient and similar to the way I had my system set up before.
Having application control options in the Application menu is also convenient. And I like that you have the name of the app you’re in right in front of you! Better than searching for Preferences everywhere.
Yeah, everybody said “lickable” three years ago. But you know, it just looks like the OS of the future. I like to sit there and say “this is me, using the OS of the future.”
ODBC ODBC ODBC ODBC
I haven’t used it yet, but about a quarter of my job involves fooling directly with databases. ODBC support lets me do that easily on my Mac. I love that! Databases are good for most everything.
I don’t like having to use the command line, but I sure like being able to do all those things that UNIX lets you do.
Things I’m Not Sure About
… in which I’m writing this entry. Fast? Yeah, and I like that. Pop-up blocking? Glad it’s easy to turn on and off. The famed bookmark management? Well, seems like what you could do in IE 5, if you knew what you were doing and how to use your tool. A lot of people turned off those side panes in IE, but that’s exactly the functionality they provided.
Those Buttons In Finder Windows
I like that they get you places quick and easy. I’m not sure that I like that they’re necessary.
OK, I’ve loved iTunes for years. I’ve already organized my photos in iPhoto, and I’m a most happy boy! But iCal, Address Book, Mail? Seem like good apps. Not that many features. The look just isn’t as nice as Entourage. We’ll see how they feel when I’ve set them up fully. I do know that I like that you can show and hide classes of events in iCal – that’s a great addition already.
Things I Know I Dislike, And Am Pretty Sure I Won’t Start Liking
1. Clutter. Boy this gets full fast! Just a few commonly-used apps and a few system utilities open and yer entire screen is full.
2. Every app is in there. Even the ones I don’t want, and never plan to manipulate, like DragThing. This used to be ok in OS 9, because the list of apps wasn’t out in front of you there. Now it is, so it needs to be possible to exclude certain applications from the Dock.
3. Why’s the Trash in the Dock?
4. I have an extended keyboard. Why can’t I map some single key, like F15, to show/hide the Dock, rather than using command-shift-D?
I’ve solved most of these by also using DragThing, an application and file launching bar with tabs and all sorts of customization that I’ve had installed since about 1997.
Those Flat Microsoft-Style Buttons
A few years back, Microsoft decided that it didn’t need to put buttons in button bars on beveled buttons; these buttons could just be icons on flat backgrounds. For some reason, this has been imitated in OS X. Why not just make buttons look like buttons?
Buttons Without Labels
In the Dock and elsewhere, there are buttons with no labels at all. Sometimes you get a tooltip if you mouse over a button. Guess what, I want to know what buttons do. Give me a label.
Brushed Metal Interface
I’d always hoped this would make more sense in OS X. You know what, it does, at least for a few apps. It’s great in the iLife apps, which all use a single-window interface. It’s suboptimal here in Safari with a multi-window interface.
It’ll be fun to see how I feel about these in a month.
Today was a big day: purchase Nokia 3250. Upgrade to OS X. Purchase USB Bluetooth adapter. Learn how to sync said phone with said OS. Oh my! Probably should write a more detailed version of this. But it’s late. This is more of a “oops, I should write tonight before I go to bed” entry. No useful information to be disseminated at this time.
Oh my. But imagine what dreams I’ll have!