Thursday, April 28, 2005

TIWIW: Garden State

Technically, someone (i.e. Zach Braff) "wrote" this scene in Garden State, but it doesn't contain a single spoken word.

Andrew (Braff) parks his car, gets out, and spies a decapitated gas nozzle sticking out of the back. Without so much as a pause, he pulls out the nozzle and tosses it in a nearby dumpster.

It's perfect. You never see him being chased by an irate gas station attendant, or for that matter fueling the car. All you see is the aftermath and the character's non-challant reaction to it.

...Also, it doesn't hurt that the scene feeds into my own personal paranoia/OCD of repeatedly checking the side-view mirror to be absolutely, positively certain that I remembered to disconnect pump from car before trying to drive off.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Things I wish I'd written (TIWIW)

I have a real fondness for the well turned phrase. Perhaps it's because I have such a hard time expressing things with words. I stutter and stumble and struggle against the long pauses that occur as I try to come up with the words to convey whatever it is that my mind silently grasps.

Whether it's a quote from a famous person, the lyric in a song, or a passage in a novel (usually by a British author, it seems), I really admire good writing. And there's a lot of it that originates right in my own "back yard", as it were. A few of the more recent gems:
"I feel like a UN translator for toddlers doing haiku narratives"

"While many admire the premise, it seems like [Woody] Allen's continuing his grim march into mediocrity"

"[She] involves her whole body in taking a poop: facial grimacing, guttural noises, legs scrunched up... If we adults did that, we'd be committed. Particularly if we did it in our pants, in public."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Window Media Player annoyances

Although my career is currently tied in quite strongly with the Microsoft universe, I consider myself neither a -phile nor a -phobe. There are some things that Microsoft does well – such as their developer tools! – and others that are downright rude. I place Windows Media Player in this latter category. There are a number of things that irritate me about this app, but today's beef is with how it [messes] up the context menu for audio files.

I have long thought that Media Player made a lousy audio player. I use iTunes almost exclusively for playing music and I use WinAmp for all other audio tasks (such as playing favorite movie clips). Nonetheless, Windows Media Player cluttered up the short cut menu for my audio files with its "Queue-It-Up", "Copy to CD or Device" and "Add to Playlist". Gah.

Now another area that MS totally missed the ball is by not providing a decent way to manage what gets added to the short cut menu of the different file types. Too busy focusing on other crap like Media Player instead of the core operating system, I guess. At any rate, I've long gotten used to manipulating the "Advanced" options of the File Types tab of the Folder Properties dialog in order to bend things to my will. For example, when I first installed WinAmp I used this technique to pare down the options to just two: "Play in WinAmp" and "Enque in WinAmp" (Notice too how WinAmp's options tell you which app is going to be involved?). So when I wanted to remove the Media Player options, that's where I headed. Only problem is that the Media Player actions don't show up in the Edit File Type dialog.

"Hah!" I thought, "I'll just search the registry for the [darn] things." No such luck; "Queue-It-Up", "Copy to CD or Device" and "Add to Playlist" don't show up anywhere in the registry. Thankfully, a Google search turned up this post at TweakXP to point me in the right direction.

The offending entries are located at:
Contrary to the advice of the post, I merely renamed the keys to "ContextMenuHandlerZ" and now, at long last, my audio context menus are Media Player free.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Giggle fest

Anyone who's met our dear daughter will know what a fantastic grin she has: wide and toothless, raising dimples in her cheeks, which in turn refashion her wide sparkling eyes into little quarter moons of joy. Often her smiles are accompanied by a coy little sidewards glance, as if she has some inborn knowledge of just how cute she really is. She willing bestows this gift upon almost anyone who meets her eyes.

This morning – as she sat nestled in my crossed legs, watching her big brother cavorting with our 5-pound Yorkshire terrier – she shared with us a new expression of joy: a full-on giggle fest. While not quite as infectious as that of her older brother, her laugh was so unrestrained and unforced, that her brother was compelled to continue his antics until he practically collapsed with exhaustion (something I was not even sure was possible!).

I feel so blessed to have shared that moment with the two of them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Wugum (?!)

This has happened at least three times during the past week. I do something for a complete stranger -- such as holding open the door behind me -- to which that person responds with a "thank you". As is dictated in such cases, I in turn reply... "wugum." Wugum? How is it that what my brain perceives as a clearly encoded directive to utter "you're welcome" comes out so garbled? Okay, repeat after me are-tick-yoo-lay-shun.

Friday, April 01, 2005


I had an April Fool's post all ready to go and was working on the graphics when the folks at thinkgeek beat me to it. Worse, I found out that a British company called Anatomicals actually markets one called Snoozers Are Losers!