Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam - My Mental Maelstrom


Bloglines are clogged!

Things seem to be coming through now so maybe it ahd to do with the maintenance they were doing yesterday. I am now once again endorsing bloglines with a watchful eye…

So I’m going to have to hold my full recommendation Bloglines for the moment. It seems totally awesome if I can get it to work right. At the moment very few of the blogs are showing any new entries since I added them to Bloglines. If I get it sorted out I’ll let you know…



I’ve been meaning to learn more about all this “syndication”, “feed” and “RSS” stuff for a while now and I think I’ve finally got a start. I also think I’m digging it. Many sites produce a “feed” or a summary of your web content in a generic form that can be read by feed readers. Movable Type, Word Press, Blurty, and Live Journal seem to be doing this automatically, since I had no problem adding feeds from any of my friends on those services even though I’m pretty sure many of them have no idea what a feed is. Blogger and Blogspot can produce feeds but only if you turn them on and set them up in the settings>Site Feed section. By default they’re turned off. You can choose RSS or Atom ( the two major formats).
I discovered all this after trying Bloglines. It’s a web based feed reader. I just typed in the URLs of the blogs I read and if there was a feed (or several formats of feed) to be found Bloglines found them and let me subscribe. The immediate appeal of this is being able to go to one web page and see all the blogs I read, much like a “friends” page on LJ or Blurty. At first I thought I wasn’t really going to like Bloglines for several reasons. First, I like to see people’s individual styles and personalities on their websites, and second, unless you know what you’re doing and customize your own feed, comments are usually not included. Then I realized that Bloglines was still an awesome tool.
Normally I open all the blogs I read (using Firefox I right click my blogs folder and choose “open in tabs” which opens every blog in the folder in its own tab). I then have to look at each one and see if there are any new entries to be read. Now with bloglines, I just go to that one page and if anyone has updated since the last time I looked, the entry will appear on my list (as well as the number of new entries appearing in parentheses next to the feed name on the left). Any entries I’ve already seen will not. I can, if I choose however, view all content from the last hour, day, week, etc. I basically use it as a notification tool. If there are any new entries I will click the link and go to that person’s blog to be greeted by their personal style and see all the comments on the entry. I think syndication is probably going to become more and more popular and widespread.
For my site, MT produces three different formats of feed by default. I go a step further and use Feedburner for my feed. This is a website which allows you to put in the URL of your feed (any of the formats) and it provides you one link to put on your page so that no matter what format people want, they can all use that same single URL and feedburner will provide whatever format they need.
I’m still very new to this myself so I can’t really say if Feedburner always works, and I’m really just beginning to comprehend all of this, but I would highly encourage any bloggers to try and learn more about it. If nothing else, try to provide a feed of your blog for those who do prefer to use feed readers to keep track of their content. It seems most blogs are pretty much providing some feed capabilities without any user knowledge being needed, but as previously mentioned, in the case of Blogger or Blogspot you will have to do st least some minimal setup. I know you’ll need to turn feeds on, but I’m not sure what you would put in the required fields. I’d be happy to help any of you who want to try and enable it but don’t know what to do.


The weight of the world vs. the weight of my body

I started getting really cold feet about this condo business once I’d crunched the numbers, but have made some peace with it now. I talked to our bank this morning and ironed out all the numbers and have now worked out a plan that should work for us, although it will stretch us uncomfortably close to our monthly limit. This is some heavy stuff man. I’ve found this whole process to be like a series of ninja hurdles. Every time you think you’re done, another one pops up.
First we had to pick a place and a realtor. Then we had to see other options and actually decide. Then we had to make the offer and have some money ready to go up front. Then I saw what the “closing” costs would be and thought that there was no way this was going to happen because we have NO money saved up. Then we borrowed some for the up front payment (thanks, Papa!) and worked out a financing plan that alleviates the closing costs problem. Now if our offer and loan all go through we’re going to have to show we have “liquid assets” enough to cover at least three months of payments, which we do not. We shall see what happens.
In other exciting news, after getting back from out UK trip where we had pretty much blew off the diet, we went back onto phase 1 for two weeks to try and do some disaster control (I had been meaning to go a little stricter for a while anyway just to get a little closer to where I’d like to be). The two weeks is over and I am at my new record lowest weight. Sweeeeeet. Some people think I’m getting too skinny, but believe me, it’s only by comparison to the old me. There is still some flab and some love handles going on. I am no skeleton. Nor do I intend to be, but I’m liking the progress I’m seeing.


This one’s for Jenny

Who, by the way, I’ve always thought (and still think) is incredibly cool, intelligent, talented, intriguing, and beautiful if a bit self-destructive possibly.
Why is this one for Jenny? Because it’s about Oasis. Now I think I remember reading that she may have gotten over her whole Oasis thing, but mine is just starting.

Continue reading…


Heathfucious say…

I came up with something the other day that I was quite proud of. I was thinking about my creative pursuits and how much they are a part of me. How much I enjoy doing work related to music, acting and such. Then it dawned on me: You know if you are in your perfect occupation if you enjoy working as much as you enjoy not working.
For example my job is great as far as jobs go, but I still prefer being home and goofing off, watching movies or doing any of the cornucopia of leisure activities I enjoy. However I do enjoy my creative pursuits just as much as I enjoy doing nothing. Even if I was infinitely wealthy I would still be pursuing the music, acting, writing, film making etc.
I figure maybe .0001% probably fall into this category. I wish you all luck in finding that job which you enjoy doing as much as you enjoy not doing.


Are we stereoypes?

Jess and I drove to Houston to see the LOTR exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science today and then drove home. It ruled.
Regarding the title: As Jess was fixin’ up some grub, I stood there noticing that we were both wearing T-shirts we got at a mad $5/shirt sale at Mondo Tees, a local business which sells sort of “retro”/cheesy t-shirts. She was wearing a Sin City shirt and I was wearing an “Austin Film Society and Alamo Drafthouse Present “Kill Bill” shirt.
I suddenly had to laugh and say “Here we are wearing shirts with a film by an Austin director, a local hip Austin theatre, bought at a trendy local Austin retro T-shirt shop, I’m an actor and musician, we make our own short films, we don’t eat refined carbs, you work for a green high tech company, me for a video game company and we drive a Prius hybrid. We are such stereotypes. I roll other people’s eyes at us.”


New from Chef Boyardee!

Conversation from work today:
I was joking with a co-worker who used to be the only woman on our particular team before she moved to another project and she was saying that it was good we just hired another female tester to keep the female representation on our team.
“Yeah since we lost you it’s just been way too testosterone-y over there. Hmm, that sounds like a new product from Chef Boyardee. Testosteroni!”
Another co-worker:
“Now with 25% more BEEF!”