I was thinking about the problem I’ve always had with wanderlust today. I have always wanted to travel widely, and in my younger days coming up, I read many novels and tales of traveling life, of faraway venues and diverse, lifelong friendships made along the way through thick and thin, seeing strange landscapes and both beauty and turmoil during the grand journey. I was studying the sciences during those years, and often imagined that at my age, I’d have seen quite a bit by this point in my life, what with business travel and yearly vacations.

I haven’t done any travel to speak of, a couple of business trips, and some road trips up and down the coastline. I haven’t made it out West, and definitely haven’t made it to the main targets of my wandering imagination. It seems that travel was just way out of reach for me financially, and during the times when the finances would have probably been okay, just having the time to go was a struggle.

I have several friends who have traveled widely, and they urge me to scrape something together and to “just go!”, which sounds great, and it’s sounding much better every time it comes up.

Facebook apps

I’ve been getting back in touch with a bunch of long-lost people lately on Facebook, which is the time that Social Media is at its very best.

I’ve been running into some issues lately with several apps (not just this one) where some of the basic functionality just does not work with Opera.

Facebook's apps are so fail, they have a standard warning text.
Facebook's apps are so fail, they have a standard warning text.

I’ve been using the Opera browser as my primary for about six or eight months, and it’s like riding a rocket, but things like that are ridiculous. Opera is more standards-compliant than any other browser, and you run into things like this. First guesses would be shoddy programming by apps developers, but I’m also starting to wonder if maybe it’s something in the FB API, since there is a standard display message about it.
It might have to do with the widget framework that they were harrowing to developers. It might be worth writing an FB app just to try to hit the Opera barrier.

Have any suggestions for an FB app? Leave ’em in the comments!

Way to go WP

I saw the announcements for the full release of WordPress 2.7 early, but didn’t get to check it out until a few minutes ago. The update kills some bugs, but also totally AJAXes the admin screen, adding a lot of flexibility and control, and updates the whole experience. I’m really excited with it so far. Check out the video that got me grabbing at my nearest shell session to get the update installed. If you have been blogging for a while with WP, you need this update. It’s the slickest 5-minute upgrade in WP’s fine history!

Back to the polls

Last night I left work and trekked over to pick up the girls, and then stopped by the polling place on the way home. This is the first time I’ve taken the girls with me to the polls, so it was a bit of an education, after all of our talks a couple of weeks ago about the general election. They showed some concern, “But Obama already won, so why are you voting again?” “That was for The president and for several other jobs,” I explained. This was followed by a glossy overview of the House and Senate, and the basics of runoffs, recounts, and terms of office. They are suddenly at an age where they are reading all the signs and pointing things out that the signs say (which tells me that very soon, I’ll be explaining what the dials and lights are on the car dash, and will soon thereafter have two backseat drivers).
The Manual
The traffic was really heavy in the area, and we got there about ten minutes before seven and quietly got in line. The queue seemed long at first, but moved very swiftly. We got about halfway through the line when they announced that the polls are closed, that everyone currently in line would be able to vote, but that anyone arriving thereafter would not be able to. This seemed fair, because the polls were scheduled to close at 7pm, and it was a few minutes after at that point. When we got to maybe 6th in line, there was the highly anticipated noise of a disgruntled latecomer, furious at not being allowed to vote. It was hard to make out any of the arguments outside the building, but all the expected noises were in accompaniment, including a very loud, “…in the cold to come down here and do my part!” Those of us still in line chuckled quietly as the polling officials and volunteers exchanged glances and suggested that they might need backup.

Today’s hit list

  1. Vote
  2. See results of polls
  3. Upgrade Opera on all machines to 9.62 (security patch for History and Links areas)
  4. Catch up on podcasts while waiting in line to vote
  5. Make space on DVR for new Dr Who series to start
  6. Recycle two more donated desktops to ‘net kiosks

Of course, this is all after the dawn-to-dusk work schedule and homework, bath and bedtime, as well as the sitting in the car.
Is everyone ready to make US History happen? Let’s rock!

What does *your* list look like today?

Peeking at the ballot

In preparation for voting day tomorrow, I was looking at some of the local amendments that will be on the ballot for GA, and found some really vague verbiage (if you could possibly imagine that). The little bit that will show up on the ballot itself looks innocent enough, which is why most people will just vote yes or no without understanding it.
I found A good breakdown over at VirusHead that deserves a good read-through by anyone in GA who hasn’t already voted.
From all the news coverage of the early voting and tales of people spending hours and hours waiting in line to vote while precincts had network outages, it looks like it will be a history-making voting year in many more ways. I hope to hear on Wednesday that voter turnout is at an all-time high, and that all demographics are more interested in politics in general. No matter which way the presidential election goes, there will be an historic precedent made (either by “race” or by gender), so there won’t really be a surprise there.
Another good surprise would be finding that all of the heavy discourse has not only brought more of the public to the polls, but also has them interested in their local government. I’d like to see statistics on exactly how much stuff is done more or less “by default,” or under the radar of those who will be affected. Not by hiding, but by the public not paying attention.

ASMW – Earthbound

Last week, I found Earthbound when looking for some funky soul music after seeing a local soul band that really struck me (another post in the making). Earthbound has a really comfortable feel. The percussion never feels rushed, and there is a sense of place and balance between the brass and the percussion. Kira’s lyrics are always upbeat and mature, and her voice is both energetic and calming. I don’t think they will be coming to Atlanta any time soon, as they are base in Canada… pity.
Besides hearing the full track of “Find Yourself” featured here, be sure to check out the tracks “Open Up Your Arms” and “Letting Go”. At the time of this writing, both albums are still free. Of course, as tracks become more popular on Amie Street, the price goes up, so get up on it!


ASMW – Cubicle

“We’re gonna make millions, millions I say!”

This week’s band is a high-powered post-punk group from California called Cubicle. The first thing that got my attention while browsing new albums at Amie Street was the album cover, an obvious throwback to the old DRI (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) logo from back in the late, late 80’s skate punk days, but with an update: a briefcase and cellphone. I immediately popped open the player for a few samples and found a band with a lot of energy who find humor in our everyday grind, poke fun at the corporate way of life, the slag, and the slack. Their Myspace page points more toward a “must-see” live show.
“It’s imperative to know how to get scheduled in.”
Be sure to check out “Cooking the Books” and “Corporate Card”.