Sunday, December 23, 2007

MOG Has Issues

OK, so I know that I was raving about MOG, but seldom is anything perfect, and MOG is no exception.  First off, they're affiliated with Rhapsody, which means that in order to listen to my recommended artists, I have to install Rhapsody, which means I have to sign up and give them my credit card number.  Not gonna happen.  Period.  At least lets me listen for free.

Second, I tried making a custom skin for my MOG page, thinking I would do an ELO-tribute style, something with lots of blue and red and yellow and some stars in the background, a la Out of the Blue.  Turns out that the set of skin files you download is old and doesn't include some new items that MOG has added to their pages.  So I dig and find the offending CSS that doesn't match my page, it's on a second CSS file that loads AFTER mine does, so I can't override it.  Hmmmm....  Further, it seems that the skins you make only YOU can use.  What's the point if I can't share them with others?

Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed.  If you want to read my latest post over there, here it is.

Monday, December 17, 2007

MOG Rocks Even Better

As much as I like(d), I'm finding MOG to be a better music listening/sharing service.  For one thing, I found that the "scrobbler" was eating a bunch of processor and memory on my PowerMac G4.  After switching to MOG, I found that it was MUCH less obtrusive.  Their "MOGifier" is a preference pane in your System Prefs, and uses about half as much memory as the scrobbler and it's much less processor-intensive.

Beyond that, MOG is related to Gracenote, the same service that identifies your CD's when you put them in your computer to play them (or rip them).

Give them both a try and see which you like better.

Monday, November 26, 2007 Rocks!

If you get bored with your mp3 collection (or your CD's or other music), may I suggest you hop over to and download their player software?  You type in an artist and it generates a playlist of similar tastes for your listening pleasure!  You can also select a category or tag (like "classic rock") and it will stream items that fit the category or tag.

I've been playing with it for several days and I love it.  The variety is nice and the software "learns" your preferences (because it watches what you listen to, even if it comes from iTunes!) and tailors your "station" to your personal tastes.  Go give 'em a try!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Puttin' Up Pickles

We've been putting up pickles around our house this week. Earlier in the week I found large cucumbers for 50 cents apiece and decided to make some dill spears, using just left over jars and (knowing they would be eaten within the week) didn't bother canning them properly. Tonight, though, Pete and I went and bought a dozen canning jars and made some bread & butter pickles, 5 pints of them! I can't wait to try them, but want to give them a couple of days to cure.

Canning was something my mom did, farm-raised girl that she was. Of course, during the 70's it became fashionable to make your own wine, cheese, etc., but mom did things like canning and making bread because it was her background. I remember fondly the times I spent in the kitchen with her, helping to can pickles, catsup (which was really chili sauce, but she called it 'catsup'), and jelly. Tonight, all the watching I did many years ago came in handy, as we were able to successfully make our own pickles and can them properly.

My paternal grandmother canned also, using the fruit that my grandfather raised. I remember some delicious blackberry jam!

I think the world is losing something with all the pre-made food. The feeling of satisfaction you get from canning your own foods is disappearing from civilization. And the amount of money you save by buying fruits and vegetables in season and "putting them up" for later is a big help if you're on a budget.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gay Icons

I got to thinking recently. I loved Apple's old "Think Different" campaign, but it lacked something - some gayness! So I have been busy with GimpShop creating some new desktop pictures that sort of satire the old "TD" campaign, but with gay icons!

I created a Picasa album with the first four pictures in the series. I'm hoping to add to them as time permits. Feel free to bounce over there and check them out. In addition to Liberace(with Cher!), you'll also find Warhol, Rock Hudson, and Alan Turing (a personal favorite of mine, the uber-geek if there ever was one).

Konkrypton's Desktop Pics

Like Robert Oppenheimer, Turing was treated badly by his government after his WWII service. He wound up committing suicide, sadly, because of his homosexuality. Shocking that the Brits treated him so poorly when he did such outstanding work in both decoding the Enigma code and creating the programmable computer. A full bio of him is available on Wikipedia.

Late addendum: Just added a new pic of George Takei!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Getting Philosophical

I was going through my sticky notes (on the computer, not literally) and found a quote. I didn't recognize it at first, then realized I'd written it myself one night after the issue of a "personal philosophy of life" had come up in a conversation with someone.

Here, without further ado, is my perspective on life:

Live every day as if it will never come again, for it won't. When you speak to someone, speak as if this might be the last thing you ever say to them, it could be. Laugh with every fiber of your being, and love the same way. When you must cry, do it without shame, for we all have shed tears. Never focus only on the negative; when you're blue, all things seem dismal.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

On Coming Out and Growing Up

2006 was a busy year for coming out, that's for sure. First it was Lance Bass (of N'Sync), then T.R. Knight (of "Grey's Anatomy"), then Neil Patrick Harris (from "How I Met Your Mother" and "Doogie Howser, M.D."). Oh, and let's not forget the coming out of Lt. Sulu! George Takei outed himself in 2006 also! I'm so gratified that we've reached the point where these people, in the public eye, can admit their orientation and still keep their jobs. We've fought long and hard to get here and it really warms my heart to see this happening.

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Takei at a Star Trek Convention back in the 80's. He struck me then as a terribly funny man, with a great sense of humor and a HUGE, booming laugh. His normal speaking voice is deep and a bit gravelly, and he is quick to laugh at a joke. He seemed to genuinely enjoy the company of Trekkies (or Trekkers, if you prefer). To find out all these years later that he's a member of the family was a welcome shock. I never would have guessed.

T.R. Knight is much loved in our household, and was BEFORE he came out. My partner was salivating over his character George on "Grey's Anatomy" every week anyway, and now he has even more reason to! I applaud Mr. Knight for the calmness and quietness of his announcement, at the same time I am apalled at the comment by Isaiah Washington that forced him out of the closet. You'd think a black man would be more sensitive to prejudice than that.

And Doogie! I've always liked Mr. Harris, and remember his old TV series fondly. My favorite episode was the one when he told his parents he was taking his savings and moving into an apartment with his friend Vinnie. When his parents hedged, saying it wasn't a good idea, his character's reply was a perfect example of the "line in the sand" that we all have to draw with our parents at some point. Doogie simply said, "I don't think you understand. I'm not asking you. I'm telling you that this is what I am going to do." End of discussion.

I had a similar conversation with my Mom when I came out as a teenager. She tried to constantly engage me in a (sarcastic) conversation about my chosen lifestyle. I dodged questions, got frustrated and annoyed and generally put up with her taunts until one day I'd had enough. I finally said to her, "My sex life is none of your business and is not open for discussion," and refused to respond to any question or topic that involved my personal life. I literally "didn't hear" anything she said on that subject. She finally realized I was serious and gave up.

It was a defining moment in our relationship, and when she finally "got" that I was adult enough to say that and stick to it, she seemed to respect me more. We all have a moment like that with our parents, when we have to tell them, "I don't think you understand. I'm not asking you. I'm telling you that this is what I am going to do."

For those who haven't come out yet, take heart. Not all stories end as well as mine, but more of them do than you might think.