Archive for March, 2007

More Google Geeky Goodness

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I have always used Bloglines to keep track of all my friend’s blogs and other RSS feeds. However, being a fan of all things Google and only just really discovering Google Reader today, I think I’ve left Bloglines behind.
Don’t get me wrong, Bloglines is great and I can’t really say it lacks in any way but I just found Google Reader more appealing to me in some intangible way. It just “felt” better. Both services also have plugins for Firefox that can alert you when you have new unread posts (Bloglines Notifier and Google Reader Watcher). Now it should also be said that I only use these services in the most basic way. all I want is a central place to view all my RSS feeds and to be notified when one of them is updated so I can’t really say if they’re comparable when it comes to feature beyond the basics. For example I know Bloglines has all kinds of bells and whistles beyond these basic functions but I’ve never touched any of them nor can I say if Google Reader has comparable bells and whistles. Being that I already use many of Google’s other features (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.), I also find it appealing to have everything I can consolidated under one umbrella (as the long as the services are also among the best options available also). Don’t foret to go into Firefox’s Tools>Options>RSS menu and set your default reader to make subscribing to web pages even easier.
All I can say is that in initially setting up my Google Reader account and checking out the basic needs I have from a reader, I think I have left the Bloglines ranks for the great land of Google.

Lifehacker: Geeky Overload

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Thanks to my friend, Jon, I have discovered Lifehacker. I so love this site. Since discovering it, I have started using:

  • Rocketdock and Launchy, two kick ass programs that increase the efficiency of using my computer.

I also discovered

  • IZarc, a great free archive program for dealing with .zip, .rar and other archive types
  • Gaim, a free multi platform IM program (like Trillian, except it’s open source and free but I haven’t had a chance to actually try it out yet) and
  • Paint.net which is a great free alternative for anyone who can’t afford Photoshop (GIMP is another free alternative)
  • Free Download Manager and DownThemAll, 2 free download manager/accelerator programs which speed up your downloads and allow you to resume downloads if they’re stopped for any reason (by your own hand or by a crash/restart, etc). I prefer FDM, but DTA is good if you often find yourself wanting to mass download all the links on a page (such as downloading all images on a page or all mp3s on a page)
  • Firebug which allows you to see the HTML and CSS of any page you’re viewing and let’s you make changes to the code right there in your browser and see the changed immediately (obviously it doesn’t actually change the code on the server but just temporarily in your browser).

I was already using ExplorerXP and several other recommended plugins and programs.
In general I’ve found Lifehacker’s opinions and suggestions indispensable.

Locked up, Day 1

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As Jess wrote here,I am now locked up in a medical research facility until April 1. After doing our taxes, both Larry and I suddenly realized we needed to do another Medical Research study to get some more cash influx and allow us to continue our lives as artists concentrating on our craft. We went to a screening, which consists of listening to someone meticulously read through the mound of paperwork for about an hour or more and then having a battery of tests performed such as urine collection, ECG, vital signs, having blood drawn, etc.

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Damn Dirty Apes

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I just realized something I haven’t written about yet. Larry and I have been writing and rehearsing an original improv/sketch comedy show with our friend, Jon Steele (his real name). It all started a couple of months ago when we decided we wanted to put something together and by the end of the first rehearsal we already had almost an entire show’s worth of ideas to flesh out. There’s a few strictly scripted pieces, but most are just loose skeletons that we improv around. They’re still kind of scripted but just not strictly. They’re more like specific plot points to create the basic story flow and resolution with room to play. We also have a few pieces that are just a very loose concept and are improv’d from audience submitted suggestions. We’ve done two test performances in our living room for friends and have received very positive feedback.
We’ve settled on the name “Damn Dirty Apes” for our troupe and the show is called “The Madhouse” as there is a running set of sketches involving me as Charlton Heston.
I wanted to present two of my favorites to here now. Naturally they are the fully scripted pieces since I can’t really present any of the improv pieces.
The first one is “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s General Store”.
The second is one I’m particularly proud of, as we’ve taken one of the most basic lowbrow comedy staples, the dick joke, and turned into one of the most densely pun and innuendo packed and dare I say, intelligent pieces we’ve written. It is known to us as “Dickin’ Around”.
We hope to start booking the show soon and perhaps participating in some of the improv Olympics that go on weekly around here.

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BLAH!