Monday, May 15, 2006

A bit more on the Mac

And Survivor stuff too!

I'm sorry that posting to this site has become such a rare event. As I've written here before, the time available for blogging is not what it was. The primary culprit remains that I'm missing about two hours plus out of my day, every workday. What free time I've had has gone into playing with the Mac. David Pogue's Missing Manual is my primary reading material again. It makes more sense now that I'm more familiar with the Mac interface, and it contains a lot more information that Leo LaPorte's book. LaPorte was great for an introduction but left too many side-roads unexplored. I wanna see everything! I'm that kind of guy.

I don't want to bore you with it, but...

Today I realized that OS X's "services" include the ability to send e-mails composed in programs other than Mail. Programs like Pages, for example. Pages is Apple's word processor and it's very pleasant to use. It's better than Blogger's compose window (anything is better than that), and better than G-mail's because it's less cluttered. Unlike Apple's Mail program, Pages will easily allow me to keep a copy of my postings on this computer. I can compose and format here, and call up services --> mail when I'm done. Presto, my post appears in Mail, needing only to be addressed to NWW.

I like it. I'm also (slowly) finding a few very handy keyboard shortcuts. Cut and paste were easy, and I finally figured out how to send my cursor to the beginning or end of a line (command arrow left or command arrow right) while editing. Add little command tab action for fast switching between apps and slowly getting a grip dealing on screen clutter and things are starting to come together. Hiding programs (command H) is brilliant, as is Expose.

Rebecca and I are also messing about with some of the iLife apps. Rebecca used iMovie, for example (or was it iDVD?), to create a slideshow for a church event. It was played on the DVD player there as a background for a social event. I upgraded to the full version of Quicktime, primarily so that I could copy HD video clips to this computer for future playback. They look terrific! I do wonder, though, if I am in fact seeing them in the full HD. Does anyone know if the iMac screen is capable of HD playback? To my eyes, the HD clips I downloaded from Apple look better than the DVDs I've viewed here.

And the Survivor stuff? Well, I won a pool at the office when Aras took the prize last night. I can't say that I particularly liked him. It's not that he is totally unlike-able, but he a couple of character flaws that did grate on me. Some of that is simply his youth, like when he berated Terry over the older man's take on the whole mother - wife issue. Frankly, Aras' looked and sounded every bit like a child during that exchange. Yer mum, kid, is a warm cocoon that you'll be very close to all your life, even after you've molted out of dependency on her. Yer wife is more like your left arm. You don't outgrow her. You might make headway on this issue if you get out of the basement and find yourself in a relationship that isn't based on depenency. I'm rather skeptical that an unearned million bucks to help you "find yourself" will help much. If he is not careful, Aras may in fact wind up with someone dependent on him. The taunts about Terry and women were a pathetic smear and only made Aras look like five year old who'd just learned a new taunt on the playground. Kinda like holding a hammer makes everything look like a nail.

Still, I have hope for Aras. I think he has potential.

The other choice in the final was much worse. Fake boobed, fork tongued Danielle was impossible to warm up to in any way. How can she ever have expected anyone to take her offers of alliance and reciprocity seriously when she never followed through? Every time it was her turn to return a favour, her response was "I have to see how this will play out for me. You understand, right? You'd do the same. It's only rational." Frankly my dear, this attitude is completely irrational. I know the game prompts you to break promises but the point here is to balance that off against the very human need to form and maintain reciprocal relationships. I'm not talking about contract law here, I'm talking about everyday life. Danielle was repulsive through most of the show and the fact that she only got two votes last night ought to hammer that home.

Both candidates displayed the unthinking narcissism that is the calling card of too many young adults. Displaying it is not the most horrible thing - after all, we have to grow out of it by seeking transformative experiences. Aras, bless him, did display some of that seeking, as did the tiresome Courtney. They tended to express it as seeking self fulfillment and perhaps that is understandable in our culture, a give me, I want, I need kind of culture. If you think I'm being too hard on them you have to understand that I'm not saying anything of them that I would not say of myself at that point in my life. I think that attending Mass every week has sharpened my thinking about my relationship to the community considerably. You have to give, sometimes without any realistic hope of getting anything back. You simply do it because it is right.

Courtney talked last night about how difficult situations can be gifts and in that she really was onto something. Giving without counting the cost is hard, as is learning to see all of the needs that cry out for us to respond to. Doing so leads to real personal growth, however. Unless Danielle realizes this, she will be a terrible candidate for someone’s wife. "Yes, know that I said for better or worse, in sickness and in health, but I'm really bored with you and I want a divorce. You understand, don’t you? Besides, I have better offers and I need to do what's best for me. And that cancerous lump of yours is so, like, gross. Ta!"


Hmm, it seems links created in Pages don't make the jump to Mail. Or something. I've no time to add them, sorry, but you can tell where the intended links are by the colour. At least the one added from within Mail still works. I'll work around that in the future.

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