Belated Thanksgiving Wrap-Up Post

Our Thanksgiving was very low-key. We did the dinner thing, sure, with turkey and gravy and potatoes and stuffing and many, many rolls. And then a nap. But mostly we just took it easy. I took it easier than Becky did over the course of the four-day weekend, as she had tons of grading to get done.

We did watch a movie before our dinner, though: Intermission, starring Colin Farrell and a whole mess of other folks. It was a fine, funny movie, set in the movie version of Ireland where everyone swears all the time and children are only slightly above animals in behavior. I don’t know if that’s how Ireland really is, but I just get the impression that leaving any item alone in Ireland for any amount of time is just inviting kids to steal it and set it on fire.

Saturday night we also caught a local program featuring a bit of concert footage from the band Cake. We didn’t get to see them when they recently played Boston, and I’m sorry about that, because they were really good in the bit we saw here. Hopefully they’ll be in our area again soon. I’m not much of a big fan of live music, but this is one band I’d like to see in person.

Becky took time out from grading to watch the Freaks and Geeks box set, which I declined to join her on. Going through high school as a geek outcast once was enough for me, thanks, especially since I was living it at the time. I kind of regret that decision, though, because I liked the moments I happened into the room while she was watching. So I might have to sit down and take a gander at this after all.

As for me, I watched some of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force vol 2 DVD that Dan loaned me, since I haven’t already gone through being an animated food item dealing with interplanetary threats in New Jersey. I really like ATHF and have a much higher tolerance for it than Becky does.

While Becky was busy grading I amused myself on the computer. One thing I did was crank up Beyond Divinity, a PC game I bought probably close to a year ago and had never got around to playing. I’m really enjoying it so far, though I repeat what I said when I first started it up way back when: turn the voices off unless you hate your ears. The voice acting is just appalling.

I also played around with my mp3 collection, trying to rescue it from the damage that iTunes did to it. When I first started using iTunes, I thought it was the bee’s knees, but soon afterwards the new app smell started to fade. Right now the only reason it’s on my machine was because Apple bundles it with Quicktime. iTunes is probably great if you have an iPod, but I don’t have one and have no plans to get one. I found it to be a memory hog and to have a lot of iPod and iTunes store junk built in that you can’t chop out if neither of these things interests you. In addition, I really hated the way it organized my mp3 collection and wouldn’t let me specify any other way.

The newest version of WinAmp, while certainly an improvement on the awful WinAmp3, wasn’t fitting my needs either. Its playlist functions and music library is pretty crude, for the most part.

Something new was called for. First I used a powerful but extremely user-unfriendly program called The GodFather to reorganize my mp3 collection from the stupid way iTunes had done it. Then I tried out a new media player called MediaMonkey, which has been impressing me so far. Unfortunately it has two big issues that are keeping me from loving it. First, instead of ignoring the initial “The” in a band’s name, it alphabetizes it under “T”. So The Beatles, The Cure, The Replacements…they’re all filed under T. Apparently the only solution is to rename them all to “Beatles, The” and the like, which I hate. Second problem is much less critical and more picky, involving not showing the comment field on the ID3 tag. If you don’t know what that means, then it won’t bother you. If you do, it probably still won’t bother you. I’m weird like that. The program is customizable, however, and there are a range of scripts for it that add a lot of functionality to it, so these issues may be addressed somehow.

I also tried out a site called that Matthew tipped me off to. It is, essentially, a group Linktank, only with a slew of additional features. I’ve been playing with it, as you can see here and it’s way spiffy.

Unfortunately, this rends my very soul in two. It’s got far more features and is way simpler to use than my lowly Linktank. It’s got someone else having to worry about code and bugfixes and hosting and such. On the other hand, it’s kind of drab. And if the person hosting this decides to say, “screw it”, there go my links. And I like the Linktank! So I’m trying to think of a way to make the two play well together.

I also did some lego sorting this weekend when I wanted to give my eyes a rest from the computer screen. This year, as a resolution, I need to buy some sets in which grey is not the primary brick color.

But alas, all good things such as four day weekends must come to an end, and work beckons me. Things are still super hot hot busy turbo XL, since we’re trying to catch up on all the stuff that got pushed aside for the huge upgrade release we’ve been doing for the past two weeks. Hence, blogging may be light again this week.

And yes, the leaf bag count in the upper right is still current. Layyyyyyyyyyyyy-zeeee.

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