Category Archives: Reflections

I’m back here.

The other site will be coming down soon. In the meantime, yes, I’m getting “back into blogging.” Again.


Ahem…Fathers’ Day Approaches!

The Boa.xm | Booq

Not that I'm one for Hallmark Holidays, but sign me up for this sweet sweet backpack.  I'm currently toting a completely functional Eddie Bauer – completely functional, but re-appropriated from its former function as Family Vacation Backpack.

Bottom Line: Tell the Pook that Daddy needs a new backpack.

Its all about Style

Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know | General Disarray

Most people use word processors like MS Word like they would use a typewriter — manually making section headers bold and centered, inserting hard breaks between paragraphs, etc. This formatting method is fine for short documents, but for long documents that include multiple sections, figures, tables and other elements that need to be styled consistently throughout the text, it pays to learn Word’s advanced features.

If you’re like me (my sympathies and God help you, btw), you use the Microsoft Office apps a whole lot during your workday, and maybe even fairly often at home. If you’ve ever had to deal with collaborative documents, multiple review passes, and general document churn, you know that the pristine Word doc you sent out on Monday looks worse than Nicole Richie after a 3 day bender when you get it back. New fonts, crazy extensions and bastardizations of the Normal style, and general disarray.

What we have here, then, is what everyone in your office needs to read: a quick how-to on styles and formatting. Styles are your friend. Styles keep the document looking cohesive, the numbered lists looking orderly, and the hair from falling out of my head.

So follow the link, read the post, and pass it along. If we’ve got to use these Godforesaken bloated apps, we may as well use them right.

I’m supposed to be cleaning the bathroom

Der Scrubbing Bubbles, ja!Instead, I'm sitting on the couch watching Gilmore Girls on TiVo. Can you believe how freaking lame Rory is? And what an idiot Lorelai is?

Whoops, sorry…I just gave away the plot to the whole episode season series!

I watch this show weekly, or more often depending on how the week's re-runs on ABC Family are. It's one of those married things, like errands and baby "duty" in the mornings.

(OMG OMG, Lorelai is giving a drunk toast at Lane's wedding! Idiot!)

Anyway, these things we do when we're married…like not cleaning the bathroom…I'm not sure the rest of the world gets them. I have single friends who don't understand how we can live with one TV, much less one with rounded corners. I have married DINK friends who can't grasp the concept of 6am wakeup calls over the baby monitor. Or baby monitors. Or babies.

What causes my pause is not the bits and details, but the bigger picture: I'm married. I have a kid. I have a house in the suburbs, two cars, a lawn tractor, and a shed. When did this happen?

So it happened almost seven years ago. That doesn't change anything. Every once in a while I still wake up and wonder if this is my beautiful house, my beautiful wife, and how I got here. And I think that's a good thing. Not wondering would be worse.

Time for those Scrubbing Bubbles.

Sounds silly, but a bit on Mac virus protection…

Automating ClamAV | The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

I'll be the first to tell you that my Mac is completely bare of virus protection.  And while I sit in my smug knowledge that nothing is cracking my iron-clad OS X security, I still worry.

About my parents, that is.

Mom and Dad re the proud owners of a 17" G5 iMac.  Sweet rig, really, especially compared to my (comparatively) pokey 12" PowerBook.  They're not power users of any sort.  Dad does the bills and the taxes, Mom checks e-mail and does shopping and vacation planning.   But still I worry.  I worry because I occasionally get calls from home that start with "Nick, do you have a minute…" and end with "…and so now the Dock is upside-down in the middle of the screen."

More often than not, it's Mom who "discovered" the issue and called Tech Support (me).  And nearly every time, the root cause of the error is PEBKAC.

This is not to disparage my Mom in any way – she's a wonderful woman, a great grandmother to my daughter.  But she's not the computing type.  At all.  Back in the days of our Apple II, she stayed as far away from that machine as possible.  When we had our IIgs and I was busily composing my first personal budget in Ye Olde AppleWorks GS, she resisted all attempted to introduce her to Word Processing.  It was as if she thought that with one wrong keypress, she'd blow up the house.

In the modern age we now inhabit, she's a bit more computer savvy.  A bit.   She uses MS Office on the Mac.  I've gotten her off of her ISP's webmail and onto  And she's a FireFox convert (nothing wrong with Safari, but the shopping site incompatibilities made a swicth easier than having her use two browsers).  But she still does kooky stuff.  She can't find her e-mail ("Mom, what folder are you in?" "Folder?" "Thought so.")  She drags stuff off of the Dock at a regular clip.  She can't get the hang of iChat.  But she keeps plugging away.  She's going to figure this stuff out.

So, while I know that the odds of Mom and Dad getting a virus on their Mac is up there with the Clippers as the next NBA dynasty, I'll be dropping virus software on their compy.  Because while the odds are low, I still don't want the house getting blown up.

Sunday Muddy Sunday

Couple of items to close out the weekend:

1) Sure-fire sign that spring is here? I already have weeds in my lawn. Unbelievable. Just dropped $50 worth of Scotts’ finest out there today to get rid of them. Of course, they say that all the fertilizer and weed control in the world is useless when your lawn gets dry. So here’s to another 2 months of good lookin’ suburban yard carpet, followed by that splotchy, off-green crap that I know and love.

2) Speaking of lawn care, at least the distribution of fertilizer was excuse enough to bust out the lawn tractor. Yee-ha! Know how to turn a molehill into a mountain and have fun doing it? Take a simple task — say, raking the yard and clearing the little sticks and stuff from winter, and add in 18 horsepower of gas-powered brute force. Now we’re talking! Who needs to rake leaves onto a tarp when you’ve got a handy-dandy utility trailer? Why break a sweat taming those brambles and brushpiles, when you can rope ’em to the tow hitch and drag them out? And a push-behind spreader? Not bloody likely! Hook up the tow-behind broadcast spreader for the best in easy application! Yes sir, that’s the way to get the job done.

3) Speaking of getting the jorb done, the Metropolitans are a sparkling 4-1 to start the year. All good.