Entries from March 2009 ↓
March 30th, 2009 — World Domination - Leanne & Jon Plus Spawn
My very first job was at a fruit mart. My boss was fair in general, but pretty harsh about slacking off – if you had a second between stacking the carrots and taking a customer, you had better be wiping off the counters or restocking the salad bar. And if you’re going to the break area to use the bathroom, bring a mop with you and do the floors on the way.
Consequently, I’m pretty paranoid about others thinking that I’m slacking off at work. I like being productive, and get stressed if there isn’t enough to do. And I feel compelled to account for my time at work, which means I have a completely anal-retentive record of everything I do during the day, kept in Evernote.
Unfortunately, today my mental neuroses clashed with my physical reality.
You see, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can’t actually sit up in my office chair comfortably for 8 hours running. By 3:00PM, I was leaning back as far as I could while still viewing my computer screen. To anyone walking by my cubicle, I looked like I was either on cracked out on codeine or was trying to take a nap.
I swear, I wasn’t slacking off. Please don’t hit me with the mop. I just don’t bend much at the waist anymore. After fretting about this unnecessarily for 5 minutes, I discovered I could sit cross-legged and appear alert, albeit somewhat like an-overstuffed Buddha.
Problem solved. In a manner of speaking. Clearly, Buddha did not do a lot of desk work.
Image credit: carrots & Buddha
March 28th, 2009 — World Domination in Everyday Life
I need to take a post to highlight this useful site.
Before you purchase anything online, take a second to visit RetailMeNot.com.
This site offers coupon codes and discounts for just about anything. Do a search for the product you are interested in and for the company you are buying from. If there are any coupons available, the site will list the coupon code, the discount amount and the success rate.
Success rate is pretty useful. Once people try the code, they have the option to indicate if it worked for them or not. Coupons with high success appear at the top, with less successful or unreliable coupons below, marked as such.
I’ve used this site for 2 purchases online – my MacBook Speck Hard Shell case and for Shari’s Berries, a company that decorates chocolate covered strawberries the size of oranges. Multiple coupon codes worked on the laptop case, and the Berries coupon took off more than the cost of shipping.
In addition to offering discounts on products, this site also has coupons for services. Jon purchased another web hosting solution yesterday, and received a monthly discount.
So, thanks, RetailMeNot, for offering this service!
If you buy online, check the site out and save some money. Barring that, always Google “the product you want to buy + coupon code” when you purchase online. You may not find anything, but the Internet is pretty amazing due to the sheer number of contributors and a 30 second search is probably adequate to find any readily available, current coupons.
Image credit: retailmenot.
March 27th, 2009 — Other World Dominators
This is a sad day for us all.
Apparently, the ShamWow Guy is a devious character who purportedly beat up a prostitute after she bit his tongue.
More on the story here, here, and here.
I don’t know whether to feel betrayed that my illusions of the ShamWow Guy are gone (I mean, if you can’t believe in the ShamWow Guy, who else might be tainted? That Mr. Clean character has always seemed dodgy. And how can I ever trust those Charmin Bears again?) or to be amazed that so many people have posted about this. When did ours become a culture so concerned about the scandals of infomercial hosts?
Although, I have to admit that I’ve kind of always wanted a ShamWow. And I feel a little let down that the ShamWow Guy is not an upright citizen. Now I suspect his claims about the absorbency of the ShamWow are not to be trusted.
Image credit: shamwow
March 26th, 2009 — Guide to World Domination
I’ve been playing Tropico again.
For those of you who may not remember, Tropico is like SimCity, except you’re on an island and you are not a paltry mayor, you are El Presidente, so everyone must bow to your omniscient view from the sky. You also start the game with a palace.
First off, Jon figured out how I could play the game in Parallels on my MacBook. My mac is all for world domination, but sometimes the island music gets to it, so it prefers not to run Tropico directly.
Then, I opened up the game, set up my dossier to scale things towards total success in farming (I NEED my goat farms) and began my regime.
59 years into it, I was voted off the island.
See, generally you get a nice note every decade or so, reminding you to hold a free election. I must have picked a dossier that turned this feature off, or else the game has changed and you no longer get these reminders.
Apparently, not holding elections for 59 years has a slightly negative impact on your people’s feeling of liberty.
I figure, it’s good to find these things out in a virtual setting, before actually trying it on, say, France, and losing all the time and resources it took to conquer.
So, tonight I started a new island, this one concentrating on mining and building churches. (You have to build a lot of churches, or people get angry.)
I had another one going, but it was based on tourism, and all the tourist avatars are so fat and sassy that you just want to encourage the natives to eat them.
Unfortunately, there is no “Eat the Tourists” edict. Also, while that would probably raise your local population’s food-related happiness, it might strain your relationships with the US and Russia.
In any case, if you’ve never tried this game, I recommend it. Everyone should get the experience of watching teeny virtual papaya plants grow, and also the sheer awesomeness of building 10 construction offices and watching 50 little workers go to town on your apartment complex.
More on the new version of Tropico here.
Image credit: tropico and goat, cathedral & tourists.
March 25th, 2009 — World Domination - Leanne & Jon Plus Spawn
7 more weeks to go, give or take a week. Here are some things I’ve discovered about myself and pregnancy:
I’ve reached the point where I wake up in the middle of the night and I swear I can actually feel the baby growing.
Rolling over is an immense challenge – I start by rubbing my sides to get him to unstick himself from my ribs, and then he kind of reluctantly lets go and slides with gravity, and I can get in a comfortable position.
It’s pretty neat – when I eat or drink, it has a direct effect on his movements. If I have tea (doctor approved in small doses), he’ll start kicking around about 5-10 minutes after I start drinking it.
Although I love going to work (I don’t do well when I’m at home during the days), I’ve started looking forward to maternity leave, just so I can get some more sleep.
Being this fat has been great for my ego – seriously. It’s hard not to be aware of your weight gain or loss in our society. Initially, I was worried about what the pregnancy might do to my self-image, but it’s actually rather fantastic. You have an entirely legit excuse to be a seacow.
Baths are great and relaxing, but removing myself from the bathtub is becoming kind of a challenge. If they ever had a 7-Month Pregnancy Survivor, the challenges would be the most boring ever – The Stair Climb. The Snack Eating. The Attempt to Roll Over In Under 15 Minutes.
Finally, I have become reconciled to the fact that they will probably not invent baby teleportation before my labor date. I’m a little disappointed, but feel as though many people have done this before, and 200,000 years of evolution has to have gotten something right.
March 20th, 2009 — Dominating the World Technologically Speaking
In a post last February, I decided to buy a Speck SeeThru Hard Shell to protect my Macbook Pro. I promised to follow up with a review once I’d tried it out for awhile, so here is the review.
This case is actually pretty awesome, as cases go.
I run a lot of programs on my laptop at once, and I use it all day – 8 hours at work, and a few more at night. The case hasn’t made the laptop noticeably warmer, and I haven’t had any problems with it overheating (knock wood). The 74 vents in the bottom (I actually just counted them, and I came up with 75) provide enough ventilation to keep your laptop comfortable and running smoothly.
The holes for the ports on the sides of the laptop are aligned correctly, so you don’t risk damaging your machine when you plug in your mouse or headphones or whatever weird things you like to attach to your laptop. The holes in the front allow you to access your disk drive and open your laptop easily.
Although you can’t open your laptop as far as you can without the case, there is ample space in the back. You can open it up enough to view the screen comfortably, far over 90 degrees. It is easy to view the screen sitting or at a desk – no problems here.
Attaching Your Case
The case is easy to put on, and it snaps into place. I haven’t yet tried to remove it, but it seems pretty similar to a hard plastic iPod case, where you wedge a penny or a credit card between the case and the machine and carefully pry it off. Again, I haven’t tried this yet.
It is a little more slippery than the actual laptop, so if you’re carrying it around, just be careful not to let it slide. Likewise, if you place your laptop on a slick surface, I doubt it would slide off, but it’s slightly less secure than without the case. This is not a reason to avoid this case – just don’t be an idiot about how you handle your laptop and you should be fine.
Price was pretty good – after discounts and coupon codes found online, the case cost $21.82 including shipping.
If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s a decent variety of colors. I’m happy with my Aqua case, although it’s been suggested that I buy one to match my outfit each day. Which, considering I’m currently wearing maternity clothes and thus don’t have many choices about my wardrobe, is actually feasible. But unlikely.
Finally, the case stays pretty clean, seems to be sturdy (no scratches on it after a month), and is streamlined & light weight. Your covered 15″ MacBook Pro will still fit into the average laptop case, and will not attract any more cat hair (fun when it sticks to the surface) than before you put on the case.
All in all, I’d rate the Speck SeeThru Hard Shell as a worthwhile purchase at a good value. It accomplished what I needed, which was to protect my MacBook from dings and scratches without slowing or preventing any of its functions.
March 19th, 2009 — Dominating the World Technologically Speaking
It took about an hour and 15 minutes for poor Jon to troubleshoot this issue remotely for me.
Google had several tutorials on how to add images to your gmail signature, but most of them referenced Firefox add-ons that no longer supported this function, like Better Gmail.
Open Firefox, go to Tools > Add-ons > Get Add-ons, type in “greasemonkey” then download the add-on and restart Firefox. Or, you can download it here.
Then go back to Tools > Add-ons > Get Add-ons and type in “wisestamp” and install. Restart Firefox. Or, you can download it here.
Go to Tools > Add-ons > Extensions. Select WiseStamp and click Preferences. This window will open. (Fields will be blank.)
If you have an HTML version of your signature, paste the HTML into the editing window. You can make adjustments to your formatting using HTML.
If you don’t have an HTML version, click on the Visual button above your editing window. This will let you make changes in the editor, which is similar to the visual mode in WordPress or even Microsoft Word.
Make sure any images you use are uploaded somewhere. If you use the HTML mode, just use regular HTML code to insert the image. If you use the Visual mode, use the insert image icon and enter the image URL.
You can also add any social services (LinkedIn, Flickr) or contact methods (IM, Skype). These will appear below the information you entered in the editing window.
If you don’t want to promote Wisestamp, go to the Settings tab and check off Hide WiseStamp statusbar icon and uncheck Promote Wisestamp Project.
Use the Preview button to test your signature, and be sure to save your work. Log into gmail and click Compose. Your signature should show up automatically.
Thanks again to @jonheller for finding the add-ons and figuring out which ones worked the best. If you use this tutorial, please tweet him and tell him he’s great!
Good luck with your signatures and please feel free to post any questions.