Free Long Distance and Double the Internet Speed for Half the Cost?

Sign me up. Got the call from the local cable company, Brighthouse tonight saying that with our current package, I can add VOIP telephone and and twice as much download rates for Road Runner for basically half of what I pay monthly for my traditional phone service. And they claim they have battery backup for phone service in case of power outage (we keep an old fashioned phone around for those just in case moments, though a cell phone now makes it less used). How can you beat that. And one less bill a month to deal with.
So if anyone has any experience with the digital phone service, I’ve still got two weeks before they come to install, I’d really love some feedback.

More Smoke and Mirrors from Bush’s Environmental Policies

Fewer Marshes + More Man-made Ponds = Increased Wetlands – New York Times
I’d really like to meet the genius who came up with this idea. “Hey, we can turn a negative into a positive if we simply start counting any puddle as wetlands. Heck, the golf course that surrounds my new house must have at least 15 ponds, let’s start counting those…ah screw the pesticides and fertilizers that filter into the ponds…”.
As a Florida native, it breaks my heart every time I take a drive through an area that once used to be “swampy”, and now is condo, or subdivision. I do enjoy playing golf, but would never trade a cypress swamp for a course. And nor do I think my goverment should either.

Tom, Can You Hear the Footsteps?

Reuters.com
In case you’ve been asleep the last 4 days, Abramhoff got 5 years 10 months for his role in the Sun Cruz line purchase. Still to come are sentences for his multitude of other indiscretions while a lobbyist. Though that sentence is bound to be lessened based on his cooperation with prosecutors, and run concurrent to these charges. I really hope these prosecutors are holding out for DeLay, and not just Ney.

Jan Schneider for Congress FL-13 in 2006

Jan Schneider for CongressJust a note to any readers in Congressional district 13, to support Jan Schneider in her attempt to take the seat vacated by Katherine Harris. I’ve gotten several emails pushing for her support, and come across a couple of blog posts as well, so I took a minute to check out her credentials. Not your soccer mom got bored, or super rich white girl with nothing better to do type of candidate. It’s also my understanding that a recent Democrat convert is being supported by the DNC. I hope that’s not the case, and all because one may have a few more dollars than the other. Shame shame.

I’d love to know more about this one, so if you have any details, do share.

Happy (Belated) Anniversary to Me!

So, just over a year ago I started blogging. I believe I’ve grown quite a bit in my web knowledge in a short time of actually using a site I’ve started. I tried doing something with just about every free resource out there, it just never “took”. It wasn’t until my friend over at tiny little dots adopted WordPress, and thus I installed it on my newly purchased domain, did the light go on. At once I felt at home. I immediately begin cramming massive amounts of CSS knowledge into my already crowded head. I now can I say I can see myself actually putting food on the table and a roof over my head some day doing this stuff full time. I’ve got a long way to go, and need to particularly see where I “fit in”, but it is quite exciting, a feeling I lost quite some time ago in regards to cooking.

So a hardy thank you to tiny for adopting WP and to trench for my first blogroll link. Also a big thanks to the many people who’ve stopped by and left a comment, it’s always nice to know someones reading the site 🙂

I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next year of doing this brings, what direction things will go, but if the first was any indication, it’s going to be great.

Favorite Mac freeware

A last minute entry into freemacware.com’s contest, listing your 5 most favored freeware apps. Their list is quite extensive, and I’ve found several apps I didn’t know about, but for the most part, these are the ones I use day in and day out. (I can’t say these are in any particular order)

  1. Cyberduck – a super great FTP client, that works hand in hand with several text editors and CSS Edit to allow editing files directly on the server
  2. Smultron – my text editor of choice. As noted, it works flawlessly with Cyberduck
  3. Growl – A sytem wide notification app, that works with numerous apps, including cyberduck to notify you when a file’s been up/down loaded, in itunes when a new song plays, can set up a gmail or mail notifier, and numerous other apps all with an unobtrusive faded in box in the upper right corner
  4. Adium – my IM app of choice. I don’t do IM with a lot of different people, however, I do a lot of work with people all of the world, so having AOL, yahoo and gtalk all in the same app makes it quite easy to connect with a client in their IM of choice
  5. VooDoo Pad lite – A fantastic note app, that works like a little wiki right on your desktop. I really love how I can make a table of contents type page, and then create “links” to new pages. I can really simply, and quickly organize a project this way. Also supports drag and drop functionality too, so I can drag an image to a page, a link generally anything. I’ve seriously thought about purchasing the “pro” version, or what ever they call it, simply because I use the app so much.

Some other apps I use/recommend are obviously firefox, as well as vienna and flickr export an iphoto plugin that allows quick and easy sharing of your photos via flickr.

If I’ve missed a great app, I’d love to know about it.

Landzilla- From the Swamp WordPress Theme Updated

I had a client who chose the Landzilla theme, but wanted some color changes. While in the process of doing that, I found the theme used a single index file, with no seperate header, sidebar, footer, etc. So I’ve repackaged the theme with the new colors, a few other changes, as well as a .psd file to insert your own 181 x121 pixel images into the four boxes in the header graphic.
A screenshot can be seen here.

Here’s the download.

Any questions, just leave a comment, I’ll try to help.

Oh, the name, well, Florida is really just one big swamp…

Pimping Emusic Again

I just can’t say enough about this site, and have been that way for the 5 on and off years I’ve been using it. I’ve downloaded everything from Charlie Parker to the Cows. Some of the recent stuff I’ve downloaded includes Tres Chicas, Minus the Bear, and some old stuff including fIREHOSE’s if’n.
So if you are interested in a free trial -50 downloads (will require credit card, but won’t be charged unless you don’t cancel after month), and want to help me get some free downloads (if you like the service and keep it after the month trial, I get 50 downloads myself), leave a comment or use my Contact Page. I’ll send you the special link that will help me get the hook up too.

Typeface and the Web

An interestingpost and comments regarding type face and web design. While I struggle to learn the basics, and don’t really notice the difference in types, I continue to read on the subject, and found a useful on-line tool to compare fonts, and the many other options that CSS allows in setting typography. I really am trying to approach my learning of web design from a usability aspect, vs a pure aesthetic one, which typsetting can have a huge effect on. Still a long road, to say the least.

A New Desktop Computer For Miklb

So, I’ve been toiling away for years now with outdated G3 macs, and kept hemming and hawing, waiting for the “next wave” of new Macs. Well, I couldn’t take it any longer, and broke down and grabbed one of the new dual-core Mac Minis as I had a 17” VGA monitor for the window’s box, as well as existing USB keyboard and mouse from the old imac. So it’s up and running, albeit I need to find someone locally who can install 3rd party ram, as I’m not paying Apple $300 for a gig stick of ram so than can install it for free. Maybe Comp-USA? Anyway, one thing that I noticed right off the bat was FireFox was not liking running on Rosetta, the built in conversion for older apps to the new intel processor. So I was all but switching back to Safari, as FF was just choking. That is, until today, when I found an “unofficial” build of the soon to be released universal binary of FF. Sweet. All of my extensions work with “DeerPark”, and things load as fast as they should be, no hang ups. (so far). I’m really loving the move to Tiger as well, not to mention the shear fact of having a processor and HD meant for this century :). I haven’t really had to time to play with any of the iLife apps, or use Front Row, but all in due time.
No to start saving for when the new 17” macbook pros come out.

Hosting My Own RSS aggregator

When I first started using RSS, I choose NetNewsWire Lite and was quite pleased with the functionality. I then discovered Vienna an open source, free, aggregator. Which I liked a little better than NetNewsWire. I then went on my merry way adding and subtracting feeds, and keeping up with multiple sites with no problems. Then I got my new desktop computer, all snazzy with OS Tiger, and have begun using it much, much, more than I ever did the old one. Thus a dilemma began, how to keep track of what has been read and what hasn’t when switching from desktop to laptop. Enter Gregarious. I can host it on my server, and access it from both machines, and, voilá , no need to use a desktop aggregator, no need to deal with someone elses hosted aggregator, and ads, I’m sure. It was quite easy to install (though I did have to manually import the sql database info), and easily imported my opml file from vienna, so all my feeds were picked up, and I never lossed a beat. You can take a look at my feeds at Miklb’s Feeds. Right now it’s the vanilla default install, but I intend to give it some customization (like I have free time right now…)
So, take a look, maybe you’ll find a feed worth adding to your reader of choice, or maybe you’ll decide to give Gregarius a shot yourself.

Sure Harris Was on the Up and Up in 2000

State: New questions dog the Harris campaign
harrisThe argument has been made over and over to defend the clown woman for her actions in handling the Election in 2000, and the events leading up to it (see Texas company hired to purge thousands of “felons” from voter roll, etc). Now she’s seen clearly in bed with an admitted criminal who’s been found to illegally donate to her campaign, she’s been documented to have worked with/campaigned with/for ol’ Duke Cunningham, who’s admitted to taking kick backs/bribes. If it looks like a circus clown, and talks like a circus clown…nah, that’s not fair to the memory of Emmitt Kelly.
My only worry is that she won’t run this fall, and Bill Nelson will actually have to campaign against someone.

And I Thought I Had a Bad Night

As much as I love food, and cooking, and know that real restaurants are out there with caring owners and concerned staff, the combination of my hard-headedness and bad luck, I’ve not worked in one in a long time. I loathe working in a restaurant right now, and pray for the day that I discover that I really can make a living working with the web, or some other career opens up, but until then, I’m in it.
And with that off my chest, I really had a bad night, and was looking forward to getting home, and watching my favorite hockey team take on their in-state rival. (yeah, another sports post, go figure). So I settle in on the couch with some munchies and fire up the DVR, and no sooner than the game starts, it was over. And it was downhill from there. So thanks Lightning for reminding me that I might not have been the only one who had a bad day, and that you’ve got to put it behind you, learn what you can from your mistakes, and accept the fact that somedays, it’s just not your day. Here’s to a better tomorrow, and a run for the Cup.

Anyone Up for some Fantasy Baseball?

I haven’t blogged about it before, but I’m a huge sports fan, baseball, football, and hockey, in no particular order, just depends on the season. I’m quite the homer, and have been a life long Buccaneers fan, as well as followed the Devil Rays since day one. It took a few years of the Lightning being in town, but I proudly say I was at their first playoff game in St. Petersburg, so I’ve been a fan for long enough not to be called a band wagon fan. I follow the sports in general as well, and since first going on line, have participated in one form or another of fantasy sports. For me, its a way of keeping up with the rest of the league, and gives you some one to root for when watching games other than the home team.
So, that said, I’m looking for other bloggers to play in a free online fantasy league via cbs.sportsline. Continue reading “Anyone Up for some Fantasy Baseball?”

Blog Designs, Function or Form?

This started out as a simple comment on Rachel’s design blog, but started getting wordy, so I converted it to a post w/trackback. (Which may be a thought for a future post, what is too long of a comment?)
The part I found myself relating to was the design of Squible, and user experience, which I found myself having recently gone through.
I had gotten busy, neglected my blogging, and when I got back into the swing of things,felt a new look was in order. Not having that much time, I opted for Squible. A good friend who also blogs noted that he “just couldn’t get his head around that format”. I fought changing things back for some time, but that comment hung around in the back of my head. I kept thinking that this guy is a “web guy, a designer. If he can’t get around it, what about the other 150+ a day that stumble upon place.” So when I changed hosts, and upgraded, I tried Squible for all of about 20 minutes, and then cobbled together a more traditional blog design.
Not that as a fledgling, wanna-be designer I don’t want to push my envelope, but I have to come back to the user experience. Much as my cooking evolved from wanting to be “everychef”, that is, I wanted to be Charlie Trotter, Jean Louis Paladin, Alan Susser, and Jean Georges Vongrichten on every plate. Little by little, I learned that my guests weren’t looking for me to defy gravity and mix flavors that might not otherwise be mixed, simply for the sake of “pushing the envelope”. It took me a long time to understand that my guests wanted a good meal. Sure, an unexpected flavor that contrasts but doesn’t detract, or a creative yet accessible presentation is fine, but make it edible. But I digress.
I still want to push envelopes, and broaden horizons, and all those clichés, but first and formost, I want the ramblings, and info to be accessible, and to flow in some manner that people will “get”.

Scooter Libby, Global Crime Fighter

Washington Post Can someone tell me why the Chief of Staff was “so preoccupied with national security issues”? They make it sound like he was personally out hunting Bin Laden himself. Maybe he was, and he and Cheney took shooting lessons together, as neither hit their intended target. I have a feeling nothing will ever come of any of this, and that the Republicans are going to successfully sweep ALL of this under the rug, until , oh 10 years from now, when someone’s broke and needs a tell all book.

“VOTE LEAVES COULTER DANGLING LIKE A CHAD”

“>Palm Beach Post (second story)

So when I first read about this, I thought it was much ado about nothing, a simple oversight by a transplant who registered to vote without a permanent address, blah blah, benefit of the doubt.
Now the truth comes out that she was simply a lazy bitch who didn’t feel she needed to follow the rules. Which is how the story originally broke. All she had to do was fill out the change of address form, and be done with it, but no, the woman who recently used the term “raghead” in reference to Arabs in a post 9.11 world, walked out of the voting precint she should have voted in, and drove to the one she originally registered in and voted. Which, is clearly defined in FL law, as a 3rd degree felony. What I would give to see her charged.

CSS Reboot Spring ’06

I cobbled this design out of something else I was working on, to break out of the constraints of using someone else’s work, but intend on something extrordinary for the site, especially the oft-not used entry page. So I signed up for the CSS Reboot as a means of having a tangible goal, as well as some pressure to knock one out of the park. So things won’t change much around here until May, but check back then for a whole new miklb.com.

Trying Out CoComments

CoComments

is open to anyone, though they have a caveat that if server load gets too high, they’ll shut down registration again. I hadn’t really paid attention to it, though I’ve seen it mentioned, but the concept is sound. How often do you leave comments on a blog, and then forget where, and wonder if there was a follow up? Happens to me all the time. I keep tabs on several RSS feeds that a general in nature, and will drop a comment on a strangers blog often, only to fade from my memory. Not anymore, if CoComments works as advertised. You are given a simple bookmarklet to use before you formally submit a comment. You then can keep track of the comments via their site, or better yet, your RSS feed. In addition, you’ll see a box in my sidebar, so visitors can see where I’m visiting and commenting. Another way of building community, in my oh, so humble opinion. Though, I’ve yet to see it in action, I’ve seen it on another’s blog. And I doubt it will take long before I put it in action. So go register if interested, ‘cause it could be like Google Analytics, and close with no notice.

New Attempts at Gulf Drilling

Reuters

New attempts at opening up the gulf to gas and oil drilling, this under the assumption that the current methods are “safe”. And that no accidents happened last year during the hurricanes. Whippee. Thankfully, even Mel Martinez is saying he will oppose the legislation, as well as most of the congressional delegation from Florida. If they would only draft legislation taking the area off the table for X number of years, so we didn’t have to hear about this every year. If you haven’t yet, be sure you’ve contacted your Senator and Congressman about this, or any issue you feel strongly about.