Random can be good

random-words-2So, computers somewhere generate words in attempts of ensuring humans are the ones entering info onto websites. Sometimes the random words are fun.

I applaud those engineers/designers – and not the ones whose random word generators create words so hard to read that it takes three clicks of the “try different words” button before one finally appears that you might be able to recognize.


Why Mac, part 237


If a program exists called “Decrapifier” – then something is wrong with the system.

Macs just don’t get automatically slowed-down by malware, spyware, spamware, etc.

Bear with me – my wife uses a Windows computer, so I am speaking from experience. Her computer is always getting slower and slower. If it were easy to do, she might reinstall her software every week, just to keep things running smoothly.

I’m not saying this to create a division in the ranks – I’m just asking that if you are considering a new computer, please look at Macs. Be sure to go with an Apple factory refurb – full warranty and you save 15-20%.


Inbox zero? Naah.

inbox-etcYou may have heard of the movement called “Inbox Zero.” That’s the invention of Merlin Mann. The basic concept is that if you keep your inbox at zero by carefully putting all keeper emails in various folders and ruthlessly deleting the rest, you will be a happy camper.

My realities are: inbox 450 = happiness; sent box 50 = happiness; and trash folder 2100+ = happiness. I use Apple’s Mail for my mail client. My gmail account and work account both feed into there. Apple Mail automatically deletes stuff from the trash that is older than a month. That’s good enough for me; I never delete anything from there. So the more in my trash folder, the happier I am. (That means I have been ruthless with my other folders.)

I am afraid that if I file any incoming email in a folder other than the inbox, I will forget about it.

Maybe once a week or so, I try to spend an hour or so going through my inbox and outbox to delete stuff that I know I will no longer need. And I always delete stuff right away that I’m sure I am finished with. It’s always gratifying to see that trash box grow.

Yes, I use gmail’s feature of having a large amount of storage. I am always at about 25% of the capacity that I can use. I only delete stuff from there that has large attachments.


Not fit for scooping

ikea-scoop…But it is fit for being a toy!

Johanna’s daughter Elsie is now playing happily with this scoop, even as I write this. It’s just too light for using to scoop ice cream properly, but it makes a wonderful bright shiny bit of life for her.

Why did I buy it in the first place? It was only 99c at Ikea. I was a sucker for the design (and still am). But you know my philosophy of not keeping things I don’t need. So what a great thing to give it a new life!


Coffee in Kenya, fact 23

decaf-v-regularAs many faithful readers know, some of the finest coffee in the world comes from Kenya.

If you buy coffee there, you will always pay more for a cup of decaf. Why? The beans actually have to be shipped to Europe for the caffeine to be taken out.

Not so here. Wolfgang’s finest Estate-Grown cup costs the same with or without the buzz.


Too spread out

puck-coffeeWolfgang Puck made a mistake.

He published his first cookbook in 1981. He opened Spago, an exclusive restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1997. At some point he started selling canned soup alongside Campbell’s.

When did he go wrong? I’m not sure at what point this happened, but as is true for any company or human, when you spread yourself too thin, something suffers. Quantity is not my measure of success. I’d guess that Spago serves just as fine a meal as it did in 1997, but if I were a moth to the latest-hottest restaurants in LA, I’d probably not go there. In the back of my head would lie the knowledge that I would be eating a meal that could have come out of a can.

(By the way, the photo is from an instant coffee vending machine that bears his name. I didn’t try any.)


A song I can do without

journey“Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ ” by Journey.

If I went the rest of my life without hearing that tune again, I’d be very happy.

I actually do like one Journey song, Anytime. That was before they went to the pure pop phase, which is a bad move on any band’s part. I left top-40 radio behind when I hit about age 15.

Question for you: What song can you live without?

(Photo is from Wikimedia Commons. And if you liked this post, go here.)


Lake Volleyball

volleyball-lakeStevie Ray Vaughan had an album called “Texas Flood”. Last week Heather and I were down there for a staff retreat – and the song of the same name played non-stop in my head.

This was a rare moment when the rains had actually stopped enough to walk outside without getting soaked.


Pitch in for the sake of art


You may remember my post on labels. Well, my friend Lee is now collecting labels to create a work of art from. I’m also collecting for her.

If you would like to send me your labels, I’ll pass them on to Lee. I think I can convince her to let me post a picture of what she creates.

Just leave a comment. I can grab your email address from there, and I’ll send you my physical address. Or send me an email at phmerrill at g mail dot com.