random roundup

I seem to be falling behind in the blogging duties, so here’s a quick mass update of some stuff that’s been happening:

As you might’ve noticed from the recent Flickr posts, we bought a car! It’s a 2006 Mazda 3, and it’s the first brand new car I’ve ever owned. (Natalie got her Chevy new, but that was in college.) It’s a hatchback (“5-door”) with the Touring package (between the base and the Grand Touring), which means 17-inch wheels, fog-lights, extra airbags, and some other stuff. CD player but no tape deck, so hooking up the iAudio and/or iPod will take some extra hardware. Other than that, no complaints so far. The new car smell has permeated the entire garage

We watched Serenity a week or two ago … very good stuff. Still only seen a handful of Firefly episodes, so I either need to buy the DVD’s or snag it with MythTV (or both :)). Other recent movie viewage: crash (pretty good), In Good Company (alright). Also bought the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy DVD and Ghostbusters 1 & 2 DVD’s at Sam’s.

I’m watching the baseball right now .. slightly disappointed that the Cardinals didn’t make it this year, but I guess it’s kind of cool that the World Series finally came to Texas. 😉
Third game, bottom of the 13th top of the 14th, still tied 5-5

Picked up some really good CD’s lately .. (did I mention these already?): The Album Leaf’s In A Safe Place and The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (finally .. am I the last person to buy this?) .. tasty.

I think the comments are broken .. sorry. Sure cuts down on the comment spam though 😉

Location, Location, Location

I am here … but where’s Waldo?

Earlier this week, I heard about this thing called Mologogo .. which is basically cellphone+gps+java app+internet = homemade lojack! So I bought myself a cheap-ish Motorola i285 on the Boost pay-as-you go plan. It has builtin Assisted GPS (somehow uses the cell towers to help with the GPS fix I think). The pay-as-you go lets you get on the “wireless web” for $0.20/day (cheap!). And the mologogo java app lets you upload your coordinates to the intarwebnets at regular intervals.

So, like I said .. I am here. The app on the phone also displays a small map of your location, and any friends’ locations who might be logging their own coordinates. Nifty ..

I’m thinking about plugging the phone into the lighter socket in the car and leaving it there .. out of site, but still able to catch the GPS signal. 🙂

feeds and readers

It took me a bit longer than most, but I finally started using an actual feed reader for my blogsurfing activities. Up until a few months ago, I’d just been reading blogs through my list on blo.gs. However, my list of regular reads had grown since I started using the service, and I realized I was missing posts. blo.gs lists things in order of which one most recently had a new post. So, blogs that don’t update too often get pushed off the top by sites like Boing Boing that update 30 squillion times per day.

So I started using Bloglines, reading the feeds instead of clicking over to each blog in a new tab. Much faster, much harder to miss stuff you don’t want to since it tracks which posts you’ve seen.

Les Orchard makes a good point in his review of the new Google (feed) Reader:

Anyway, what I look for in a feed reader is how well it enables speed skimming: I’m going to ignore 70-90% of what I see in feeds, so I don’t want an aggregator which helps me carefully and methodically pick my way across the headlines.

I realize this is exactly why I like bloglines for reading the big blogs .. blogs with a high post count, but where I only care about a fraction of those posts. I scroll’n’scan through a day’s worth of posts, middle-clicking on anything that catches my eye.

The other feedreading method I’ve been trying lately involves rss2email and the IMAP account on my server at home. Posts get converted to individual emails which I can then read from Thunderbird on any of the computers I use. I lose the scannability factor, but it works great for the blogs where I normally read every post. ( sidenote: I picked rss2email because there it had a Debian package – “apt-get install rss2email” .. lazy me 🙂 )

Since I got around to using feeds, I was finally motivated to make my own feeds useful. I added one from Feedburner that mixes in my del.icio.us links and Flickr photos along with the regular blog posts.
woo. And according to the “Analyze” tab on Feedburner I am currently my only subscriber 😉