Archive for September, 2006

The Office

So, I’ve never really worked in an office, per say. I have had several “business-related” jobs and even been an actual manager once for a whole year. Well, a Property Manager of this complex, which, by the way, is the worst job ever (but I did have a pretty sweet office with a balcony and those fancy cast-iron garden chairs). People are really touchy about their homes – thin walls, non-existant heating, icy driveways, appliance maintenance – it’s not fun…

Alas, I digress. The reason I am initiating this office-related discussion, is that, thanks to Alex’s (clearly we’ve been watching way to much TV) very thoughtful birthday present, I have (finally) discovered the TV show, The Office. Now I know many of you out there (at least one, nay, two, of you) strongly prefer the British version. I must differ. There really is nothing funnier than Dwight on a mission.



I do understand that things with a British accent are often funnier. And, of course, it’s not really “cool” to like the Americanized version of a British original. But, really. Look at him. It’s all in the facial expressions for me.

Picture from: http://lifedistilled.com/images/147/dwight.jpg


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Speaking of Reading…

I found this really cool website:


that allows you to keep a virtual library of your books. You can view them by covers or by title. I love it! I’m trying to figure out how to get the “recent reads” widget to work somewhere in my blog. I’m going to test it here to see what happens… And, no luck. Anyone know how to add widgets to a WordPress blog if it’s not on the list of available widgets?

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I’ve checked my Apple PowerBook G4 battery serial number about 15 times since I got the dreaded e-mail from Apple a few weeks ago. Each time I am relieved to note that my battery is not one of the millions of “affected” batteries that Sony produced. But the daily updates on engadget about laptops exploding is not making me feel any more secure. I would be very very very sad if this:


happened to my computer.

I mean, look how excited I was when I got it back in April 2004:


Wow. I guess its kind of cold in CT in April… slippers, long pjs, a sweatshirt. You’d think it was the middle of winter!

Exploded laptop picture from: http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/08/exploding-vaio.jpg

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This one’s for Jabiz

Those of you that know me, know I can often get over-excited about technology. In a completely dorky way. Well, here I go again…

I was recently discussing the wonders of RSS with Jabiz. I actually said: “Jabiz, you are not truly harnessing the power of the web unless you’re utilizing RSS.” Yes, I said “harnessing the power of the web” in all seriousness and in a very enthusiastic kind of way (mostly because I had already posted about it here).

Anyway, I’m sure that statement did not really clear anything up for good old Jabiz because I really didn’t describe why or how RSS allows you to do all that harnessing. Lucky for me, this awesome post that describes RSS in a very approachable way, came up in my RSS aggregator today that will do the job for me.

Stephanie of Back in Skinny Jeans, writes:

“We all have busy lives with very little time. Web surfing is fun but can take hours going to visit every single website and blog you enjoy. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could just get all the headlines of the most current stories from all your favorite websites and blogs in one place?

Well now you can, and it is called RSS feed.

Intrigued? Read more over at Stephanie’s post.

Interestingly, this post actually came up under my “professional” set of feeds. My two worlds are colliding/merging! All because of RSS…

Quote from: http://cravingideas.blogs.com/backinskinnyjeans/2006/09/how_to_explain_.html


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I just bought this book:


based on the recommendation from my wonderful friend Tammy (who I just spent the whole weekend with at ISKL for a Jay McTighe Understanding By Design workshop).

Here’s the review from Amazon:

“Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the glass-half-empty follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns, Germs, and Steel explained the geographic and environmental reasons why some human populations have flourished, Collapse uses the same factors to examine why ancient societies, including the Anasazi of the American Southwest and the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Not every collapse has an environmental origin, but an eco-meltdown is often the main catalyst, he argues, particularly when combined with society’s response to (or disregard for) the coming disaster. Still, right from the outset of Collapse, the author makes clear that this is not a mere environmentalist’s diatribe. He begins by setting the book’s main question in the small communities of present-day Montana as they face a decline in living standards and a depletion of natural resources. Once-vital mines now leak toxins into the soil, while prion diseases infect some deer and elk and older hydroelectric dams have become decrepit. On all these issues, and particularly with the hot-button topic of logging and wildfires, Diamond writes with equanimity.”

Sounds so interesting! Has anyone read it already? What did you think?

But, before I read that one, I have to finish re-reading one of my old favorites:


Ghostwritten by David Mitchell for my Book Club (my choice this time around). A very unique read. I’m looking forward to talking about it with the group.

Collapse picture from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/13/Collapse_book.jpg/200px-Collapse_book.jpg

Ghostwritten picture from:

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Travel Plans for 2006/07

As usual we’ve been working away to set up our travel plans for the year. Here’s how it’s all going to play out:

Redang Island for a long weekend in early October (you remember our pictures from our trip there last year)

Bali for one week in late October

Vietnam for two weeks in December/January

ThailandChang Mai and Phuket/Phi Phi in April

And that’s the year. As much of this:


as possible…

Now hopefully Alex will get a job at M’KIS next year so we don’t have to deal with the bizarre tax and residency issues here in Malaysia (basically if we have to leave at the end of this school year, I will have to stay in Malaysia for 182 days in 2007 – which means I would have to stay here until mid July at least). But, honestly, who could turn away such a wonderful teaching couple :)?

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I know I’ve been mocking Alex for his deep deep love of Google Earth, but have you seen Google Mars?


Wow! Talk about mapping the universe. That Google really is one amazing company…

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