28 Nov

Safari crash cause found?

Though the Panther update has been mostly great, I have had consistent problems with Safari crashes, mostly right after using the ctrl-click menu. (Safari was very stable for me until Panther.) Recently I started to notice that a few other programs were crashing in the same situation; it’s just that I use the menu in Safari much more often, so it seemed like a Safari-specific problem at first. Well, I finally looked closely at the crash log, and what I saw there indicated that the problem might be with the version of Circus Ponies Notebook I installed a few months ago for testing. I checked the Circus Ponies discussion forum, and sure enough….

Since I was only running a demo version, and it had expired, I hadn’t updated to the newer version that fixes the problem. So this gave me incentive to remove all remnants of Notebook from my Macs. We’ll see if it works.

Regarding Notebook, it actually looks like a great program and I think it’s worth trying out; it just didn’t do what I was looking for at the time, which is why I didn’t upgrade to a paid version.

26 Nov

Tofurky: It’s What’s For Dinner

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, and this year it looks like we’ll be eating Tofurky. Looks like we won’t be the only ones, either. Tofurky is all right. It’s not turkey, but it’s good enough in its own way. I don’t like their gravy, though, and usually make my own. (See below for the recipe.)

Some years I actually make my own “faux turkey” recipe, and it’s much better than the Tofurky. As a Thanksgiving treat, here are three recipes, for “Turkeyish” Stuffing Pie, Vegetarian Brown Gravy, and my grandma’s Pumpkin Pie!

Read More

24 Nov

More scary earthquake stuff

Researchers have theorized (with pretty strong evidence, apparently) that a magnitude 9 earthquake on January 16, 1700, generated a large tsunami that reached Japan about 14 hours later. This quake was in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, running from Northern California right up to British Columbia, which “appears to be subject to monster quakes every 500 years.” Yee-ikes. I admit it, earthquakes scare the hell out of me, and though I love the northwest, articles like these tend to make me think about moving somewhere less seismically active.

22 Nov

Just an odd thought on November 22

I was born two years after the Kennedy assassination (well, close enough). Though it happened before I was born, I grew up in the shadow of that event, in the changed America that resulted. I knew that almost everybody older than I was thought of it as a major event in their lives, one of those things after which “it never was the same.” But to me it was second-hand, despite the books on the assassination that I devoured voraciously for a time when I was about 10 or 11.

And now, I realize that the children born this year will probably relate to 9/11/01 the same way I related to 11/22/63.

22 Nov

Krist Novoselic, Lieutenant Governor?

I am having difficulty wrapping my mind around the concept of Krist Novoselic as the next Lieutenant Governor of Washington. I remember when Jason and I went to Olympia, years ago, to protest the Erotic Music Act (which was later found to be unconstitutional). Krist was there, earnestly speaking to the media, and we all thought he was great for doing it — because despite his celebrity, he didn’t seem entirely comfortable with speaking in front of the cameras. He was awkward in his speech, but he clearly believed in the cause and was not there for publicity but because he thought it was the right thing to do. (And since then, he has continued to work for causes he believes in.)

I guess I can’t imagine him as a politician in a suit, because politicians — even the ones I generally agree with — are so slick, and polished, and cynical, and I just can’t imagine that Krist may morph (or has?) into someone like that. I hope he’s still the same as he was, only older and wiser, and that running for office won’t turn him into just another politician. We have plenty of those already.

I will probably vote for him, though, if for no other reason than that day in Olympia, more than 10 years ago.

22 Nov

A Seattle holiday tradition returns

Here’s something for the Seattle folks: Chubby & Tubby Christmas trees will be back this year! For many of us, buying trees at C&T was a yearly ritual. They had the cheapest trees in town (as well as some other, more expensive ones if you felt like splurging), and the trees were not bad quality, so every year we would go to one of the stores, trudge through the store following the painted path directing us to the tree shed, and leave with a nice tree and our wallets less than $5 lighter. (Just in the last few years the price started to go up a bit, but it was still low.) Then the stores went out of business earlier this year, and it seemed that another bit of Seattle history would be gone. Not for now, at least… and the link above mentions that one of the stores might yet reopen.

20 Nov

“Leroy” is dead

Gene Anthony Ray, who played Leroy in the movie and tv series Fame, has died at the age of 41. He was only three years older than I am. I only watched the tv series for the first season, I think (then I went off to college and didn’t watch much tv any more), but I really loved the movie. And of course, “Leroy” was part of what made it great.

20 Nov

Format changes and new frequencies

The Vancouver Radio Museum Time Tunnel is interesting in the same way that the list of stamp-issuing entities I posted about the other day is, I think. It’s just basically a list of the radio and tv stations in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and how they changed over the years. Sounds dry, does it? Yet somehow, it isn’t. Excerpts:

1998 July 21: ORCA FM officially signs on the air with ?All whales . . all the time? at 88.5 FM within 15 km of Robson Bight and at the Vancouver Aquarium.

You’ve gotta wonder about that one. Then there are the format changes:

2000 Sept. 2: CJVI AM 900 Victoria signs off the air unceremoniously at 5:05 pm after over 78 years of continuous broadcasting.? Last song played was the Fortunes “You’ve Got Your Troubles.” At 5:06 pm CHTT (HOT 103) FM 103.1 signs on with today?s hit music with? ?N Sync?s ?Bye, Bye, Bye?.

2001 Jan. 31: CKLG 730 signs off 1 day short of 46 years on the air.? At midnight following the playing of Sarah McLaughlin?s ?I Will Remember You?? NW2 launches with 24-hour news radio powered by CKNW.

1979 Jan. 6: At noon, CKLG FM? signed off the air with The Beatles: ?The End?? followed by the Doors: ?The End.?.? After being off the air for just over 3 minutes, the sound of ocean waves and an introduction of CFOX FM 99.3was heard.? It?s first song was Steely Dan?s? ?FM?.

Yup, it’s the format changes that really interest me here — the discordant shifts from oldies, to jazz, to Christian, to news; the poignant songs chosen to end each station’s broadcast life; the songs chosen to begin the new formats; and the constant changes in station names, from the 60s when most stations were known directly by their call letters, to the 80s-early 90s when the names started to be more abbreviated and catchy, to the 2000s when stations have names like “Jack FM”, “The Team”, “The Wolf”, and “Mountain FM.” (Seattle has “The Mountain,” as well.)

I can’t pick up most of the Vancouver stations (except sometimes AM stations, at night), so this is mostly an academic interest. I wish there was a site like this focusing on Seattle stations.

19 Nov


I am trying to regain my German skills (I studied German for 6 years but have lost most of the vocabulary) by reading some online journals in German, and looking up the words and phrases I don’t know as I go along. The LEO German-English Dictionary is a great resource for this.

Today I stumbled on the word “der Gedankenaustausch.” It turns out that it means “exchange of ideas.” I like that. I’ll try to remember this one.

18 Nov

Spamming slime hits Seablogs site

If you have a website that allows people to add links to their own blogs without human intervention, you might want to change that. Some jerk has made fake “blogs” promoting certain medications beloved by spammers (one starts with a V; you know which one I mean), and is posting links to his blogs on sites such as Seablogs. (I’ve reported this to the Seablogs maintainer, so hopefully by the time you read this the links will have been removed from the Seablogs site. If they’re still there, you’ll know. They’re pretty obvious. They are named after the medications in question.) He’s obviously trying to get a lot of links so that he can get a better PageRank on Google, so I’m not going to link to the spammer’s sites, but they are on Blogspot and the “blogger”/spammer calls himself Yogendra. Check your sites and make sure the guy isn’t spamming you, too.

18 Nov

Elobey, Annobon and Corisco

No, they’re not new brand names for food products. They are a group of islands off West Africa, that issued their own postage from 1903-1909. Along with such obscure places as Eastern Remulia, Eupen and Malmedy, Dedeagatch, Cilicia, and Bhor, they are listed in the Linn’s Stamp News list of Stamp Issuing Entities Of The World. “But wait,” you say, “I don’t collect stamps.” Doesn’t matter. The list is great — each place has a paragraph or two of description, describing the political history of the locale, not just the philatelic history. It’s truly fascinating to read about these nations or states that are mostly forgotten now, and what happened to them. I suppose perhaps you have to be a certain sort of geek to enjoy this sort of thing; I am clearly that sort of geek.

16 Nov

Fast-food exercising

On the McDonald’s Japan site, Max found a rather unusual little Flash movie: shoulder and back exercises to stay healthy while consuming chiizubaagaa setto, I guess. (That’s cheeseburger set, the equivalent of a cheeseburger Extra Value Meal.) I thought they looked like the bust exercises from Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, but I have been told I am a perv for thinking so. Hmph. Anyway, it’s cute but strange. Enjoy.

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