Monday, May 24, 2010

SOFTWARE: Chrome? No.

I mentioned Google Chrome the last time I posted before today. I tried it. Gussied it up with add-ons and then put it away, except for specialized use. I can/should use it for sites like this one, gmail and the various Google Docs stuff. But here I am using Firefox to do my posting anyways.

Chrome is fast, but a lot of that is pre-fetching, which I hear Firefox is catching up with. I shaved micro seconds off my normal bulk loading process and there are things like the FasterChrome add-0n that just works waaaaaay better than a key Firefox add-on AutoPager.

But there are things I need and want in a browser and Chrome doesn't have them. First and foremost is NoScript. Scripts don't run in Firefox until I tell them. And that's a key to survival, surfing the 'net these days. There's MORE likelyhood of a drive-by javascript infection these days than you downloading a virus through email. I simply don't want that worry. Bad enough that a trusted site COULD get infected and get you anyways, but there's only so much paralyzing fear you're allowed before you might as well shut off the computer permanently.

There's other bits and stuff I have gotten used to in Firefox that I don't want to give up. I LIKE my zooming of images and text separately and easily, with site settings remembered if I want. I like the control I have for placing close buttons to the far right of the tab bar, rather than on each individual tab. And there are a whole raft of tiny little useability aids that I'm loathe to lose for the sake of less than a second every now and then.

But NONE of that is the REAL REASON I won't switch. Chrome, BY DESIGN, doesn't support bookmarks as I know them. You can't open a side window with your organized bookmarks where you can drag and drop the current site easily. You CAN drop down a folder icon in your tab bar and cruise to your intended bookmark and open it up. But a drop-down menu and a visibly open-all-the-time bookmark window are two different things. And Chrome can't/won't ever have that most basic of browser needs. EVER.

Sooo, I turned off XMarks synchronization of bookmarks between Firefox and Chrome (and on my various machines) and fine-tuned Chrome to be my Google access machine. For that, I will continue to keep using Chrome.

For my regular browsing otherwise? Firefox. End of discussion.

LIFE: I've Survived the Vermin

I've had a few enquiries and expect maybe the odd visitor given some nice things Bobby Wolff said about me over at the bridgeblogging site. So here's the update.

I'm alive if not thriving. The bursitis has been brought under control by the cortisone shot. The rotator cuff issue remains as it has been for the last few years. The doctor's orders to "Don't do that," seem effective as long as it's conscious movement. Every now and then, I still idiotically reach behind me and then his 'cure' seems waaaaaaaay less effective. But I'm also following instructions to only work three hours straight and then take at least as long to 'recuperate.' Pain is a great motivator.

As far as the critters are concerned, I seem currently to be vermin-free. The bed bugs seem to have been blasted into oblivion. No sign of a single little vampire bug in the weeks since the bomb went off in the bedroom. And the aftermath of their assault on my shoulder has almost completely disappeared. There are still marks there seven weeks later and I wonder if they're permanent. Not exactly the kind of battle scars to make the girls swoon, but I'm long past the stage where that's important.

The raccoon mother and her kits seem to have left the garage for parts unknown. Expensive as all hell to make them go from one side of the garage wall to the other side. Yep, there's a city ordinance that prevents the critter-catcher from moving the raccoon more than a kilometre! In fact, he set up a box with a big circular hole in it just outside the wall of the garage (which is more like a dilapidated wooden shed). He then trapped the raccoon and it's kits. He made the mother watch as he placed the kits in the box and then released the mother. Over the next hour or so, she moved the kits out of the box elsewhere, one by one. According to the guy, the act of manhandling the children made it 'unlikely' that the mother would take up residence here again ... this spring. So far, he's been right.

He also placed grilled fencing over the more obvious ground-level access points. Which were fewer than I thought. The ones in the rafters remain as easy-access as ever, if you're a pile of fur with a really flexible skeleton.

Which brings us to the future. The garage has always been there for two reasons, to store the recyclables and for storage of things by the rest of the family. Dad's wood pile (home of the raccoon this spring), Rick's boat (the raccoon latrine) and Wayne's truck parts. By summer's end, the garage will have been emptied out of those things, making nesting places unavailable next spring for any bandit-masked invaders from finding a comfy home again.

Plus, I will lay in a supply of coyote urine by then.

Yep, you read right. Coyote urine. Apparently available at hunting stores and apparently (no surprise) one of the least favourite scents a raccoon can come across. Definitely NOT a place to be housing babies near. Which is what I want.

But that DOES bring up a question. I know how you harvest milk, eggs, snake venom and all kinds of other animal products. Just how do you collect coyote urine?

Wait! There are some things that better remain mysteries.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

LIFE: Yes, I Live

Well, any excuse to give Google Chrome a try. I'm not switching over from Firefox, but there are some things that I'm going to switch to Chrome as the web-browser of choice. I'm still sorting it all out. But that's NOT what's been behind the absence of rants and, well more rants here over the last five weeks.

Seems I managed to tear my rotator cuff in my right shoulder. That actually happened a while back. Years ago. But I followed my doctor's orders (When asked how to get rid of the pain caused by reached upwards and backwards, he said, "Don't do that.") until early in March when a bad case of bursitis set it. Seems my little bout of actually working for a living for the last six months (Basically 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week) finally caught up with me. The new orders from the doctor? "Rest." And he gave me the pills to enforce it.

Plus I got to apply cold packs twice a day for 15 minutes. Which left the shoulder area numb. Which made it the perfect feeding site for a half-dozen bed bugs that invaded the premises. Which led to a visit from the fine folks who murder the little bugs for a fee. A BIG fee. But one I paid happily. My mother always used to say, "Don't let the bed bugs bite!" Trust me, she was right.

The visit by the critter-killers resulted in my room looking worse than usual. It ACTUALLY looked like a tornado had struck, rather than just a place where piles of stuff collected dust and no reasonable person would suspect somebody actually slept there. My bed was rent asunder and had to be put back together again, with the covers over both the mattress and bedspring. I was still in my drugged-out blissful/pouting stage, so Patrick came over and repaired the damage and finished the work I paid the exterminators so handsomely to perform. I also got a new frame for the bed, the former wooden one finally being consigned to the scrap heap it should have gone to 3o years ago.

The new metal frame was actually worth the money. I had been missing one of the legs on the bed for about the last two decades, that corner of the bed being held up by computer books (including my Delphi 1.0 manuals). All that time, I've had about a ten degree lean downwards and to the door-side on the bed. When people say they slid out of bed and got going in the morning, they're probably being figurative. Not me. That LITERALLY has been happening to me for most of my adult life. Over the bed-bug-proof cover (aka The Tomb) for the mattress, I put a waterproof latex-like cover, then a hypo-allergenic cover and then a cotton cover. It was about then that I felt a little safe from the predations of a what I long thought was a figment of my mother's imagination. I've stopped reacting to every little sensation that happens as if it is a return of the boogie monsters. Just recently.

Even still, the cluster of 15 bites on my shoulder and upper arm have now almost healed. Almost. I've gone through two tubes of hydro-cortizone and the bumps, once as high as a finger, have retreated to scabbed-over pockmarks. It looks like a bad case of acne. Or so I've been told.

Tuesday, I get the final set of x-rays and ultrasounds to determine whether I will be having surgery or whether I will just be sucking it up. As recently as last week, I was hell-bent on getting some carving done. Now, I'm not so sure. I've off the goof pills as of last Saturday and down to using Advil to handle it all. Course, I've been limiting myself to a couple of three-hour sessions on the computer a day as I continue to try and finish the Project From Hell. There's light at the end of that tunnel. Or so I hope.

So, that's basically why I've been away from this, a pleasure I can't allow myself when computer time is so limited. So limited in fact, I can't even get into the tale of the raccoon that's using my brother's boat stored away in my garage as a latrine. Peeeee ewwwweeeeee!

Please Mommy, can it be 2011 real soon?