Sunday, October 26, 2008

Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama

Obama for president: Opinion |
The summation at the end of the opinion piece, "Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time."

There is some slight discussion at FriendFeed about this, and a little more with Twitter.

The Anchorage Daily News seems to be the newspaper with the left-lean to it anyway up in Alaska. They were the ones that published negative opinion pieces about Palin's involvement with Troopergate after all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

FreeMind: a free "mind mapping" or "concept mapping" software

It's very possible that at some point this blog may actually take shape, or morph into something completely different. For now, since it's called "Anything and Everything", that will stay the amorphous blob that is this blog.

In the meantime, that doesn't stop me from exploring what kinds of content may wind up finding its way into here. For instance, while doing double duty on trying to discern any noticeable patterns in my interests and discovering new technologies that could be used for the classroom, I quickly Google'd "free mind map software" and came up with FreeMind, a java-based sourceforge project. It is free, GPL, and is pretty intuitive once you get it going.

There's plenty of keyboard shortcuts to keep the program moving along at a brisk pace, and I could see something like this working well in a technology-centered classroom focusing on writing or any kind of concept development. Also, I only gave it a whirl for a short time, but there looks to be plenty of bells and whistles to make things more colorful, add stamps and icons, prioritize, and more. I liked that the help file itself is actually set up as a concept map as well.

Apparently, there are all sorts of other free and proprietary software packages out there for this purpose, and if FreeMind ever doesn't do the trick, I guess one of these others could be a decent back-up. Here's some screen shots.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Organizing The iPhone Pages

Not to get in to too many details, I just spent the better part of the afternoon playing with authorization issues in iTunes as I tried to migrate from my old laptop to the new desktop. I wound up needing to completely remove all the applications from the iPhone one by one and reinstalling them through iTunes. Anyway, they're all there now, and I added a bunch more. With the new additions, the iPhone needed a new organization system for the pages of icons. These screen grabs (hold the home button down and press the on/off switch to get the grabs, by the way) represent my new pages.

Page 1 is all communications. Instant messaging, SMS, my contacts, and some social media applications and bookmarks.

Page 2 is the media page. Music, videos, movies, television, and books.

Page 3 here is the sports, games and fun page.

Page 4 is the PDA page: productivity, notes, accounts, and personal data. I love that there's two pages of entertainment, music, media, and fun before the productivity. Gives you a pretty good sense of what I use my iPhone for, huh?

Page 5 is information: news, weather, stocks, rss feeds and all the location-based information apps.

Page 6 is mostly for the camera and picture-related stuff, but there's some utilities and other tools here. My feeling here is that this is the page I'll hardly ever use, but who knows.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 is Cool but my Banks are Douches

I just started using a couple of weeks ago. It all started when I pledged to myself that I would start to clean up my personal budgeting. Living check to check is no way to live, and with a little commitment to the finances, staying on a budget is absolutely possible. It was something that used to happen for me when I was 20, but for the last dozen years I just haven't paid enough attention to it.

Well, I bought the quick and dirty version of Quicken from Fry's, but I got it at the same time as Spore, so guess what won out as far as time spent on my computer? I opened the Quicken box at least and took the CD out, but never made it past that. A couple weeks pass by and I see a post on Friendfeed about So, I loaded it up.

So far, I like the service. The reminders are nice, and budgeting is something I need to wrap my head around a lot more than I've been doing. The features of sending me text messages and emails about upcoming due bill payments is incredibly useful.

My biggest issue has nothing to do with itself, but a realization that most of the banks I do business with are all douches. I get paid twice a month, 15th and end of the month. The end of the month check pretty much goes exclusively to rent, nothing much I can really do about that. But, if you look carefully at the due dates in my email box above? They're all the 14th. Really? Every bank I do business with, can't you just put off your due date by one more day, please? I'm going to pay you, honest, but my ship doesn't really come in until the 15th of each month. So, Juniper Bank, GE Money, and Affiliated Computer Services, I see that you want your money a day before I get mine, but it just isn't going to happen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Verily, You Are Now My Friend

Seriously, my right arm hurts right now. I just went through my Friendfeed subscriptions, one-by-one, through the Friends tab, hovered over each of my subscriptions and if they had a feed included, I right-clicked, opened up their profile in a new tab, went through each of them, and requested friendships.

Why did I do this? Dunno, really, but it was the second time I've done it. It's made me realize, since it's the second time and all, that Friendfeed's Friend listing really needs to have some advanced sorting features. It was a pain to have to go through all 400+ of my subscriptions and try to remember if I had already friended these people in or not, so rather than try to figure it out, I just opened every one of them in a new tab in my browser. And now my forearm muscle hurts. I am such a weekling.

So, two three things have come out of this:

1) I am going to submit another request to the Friendfeed Feedback room. This time I'll see if they can't work on some extra sorting features for the Friend tab.

2) The algorithms on are all kinds of retarded. Because I like R.E.M. more than Cookie Monster likes chocolate chip cookies, nobody can ever be "super" compatible with me. Except Polly of course. The people who I thought were the most compatible with me turned out to be "medium", but in the end I just didn't care. I love to discover all kinds of music, and that's part of why there's over 800 bands in my library. More to come, I'm sure.

3) My pitifully weak arm makes me sad. I really need to start working out again. Just clicking a few hundred times, ok, maybe a thousand or so, shouldn't have caused any kind of strain, but there it is.

Now excuse me, while I go take some ibuprofin. Oh yeah, have I found a voice yet? Unlikely, but blogging about music, social media, and nonsense in general won't be too difficult for me, I guess. Go figure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back in the Days When I was a Teenager

Well, it's been nearly two decades since I started my first group on *Prodigy, Club A & E. It was 1990, I was 14, and my comic geek friends and I on Prodigy loved talking about comics. Except, we just couldn't stand that all the Marvel Zombies all got together on one board and all the DC Fans got together on different boards and never the tween shall meet. We didn't like room hopping back and forth all over the place, and on dial-up, it was expensive and time-consuming to keep running back and forth through all those bulletin boards. So, we made our own, and said it would be about Anything and Everything. We welcomed everyone, all comics, all fans, all genres. Of course, my nickname was Archangel, because, well, X-Men was the best. That didn't mean my stacks and stacks of Batman lost any allure.

Anyway, I'm having trouble finding my online voice, so what better place to find it than my original online voice from the dawn of my net days. Apparently a GOOD blog these days is very specific, small-scale, and appeals to a narrow audience. This blog may or may not be any of those things, but at least it'll be a little record of my inane comments for a brief period of time. Enjoy. Oh, and if anyone ever reads this blog, I'm going to be very surprised.