Wednesday, May 21, 2008 tip #1

Tonight I was prompted by a Twitter from Wil Wheaton (who I follow on Twitter) to figure out how to create a hotkey to bring up the word count dialog.

Since I took the time to figure it out I thought that I would mention it here.

Within the Writer choose the 'Tools' menu and select the 'Customize' item from the menu (or hit Alt+T then C).

Choosing this menu item will launch the 'Customize' dialog. From here click the Keyboard tab, and choose a Shortcut key that is not in use (I chose CTRL+F5). Within the Category field (near the bottom left) choose 'Options', scroll down in the 'Function' field and choose 'Word Count'. From here click 'Modify' (on the right near the top) and then click OK and you are done.

So there you go, pretty straightforward, once you know where to look.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gaming and Beer

Usually one has to be careful mixing gaming and beer, but last night it seemed to work. The 5 of us were continuing last weeks Zombie Apocalypse game using the World of Darkness rules. My wife brought beer when she got home from work so we all had one or two or three, but no one got too buzzed to game, so it seemed to be alright. I would not want to make it a habit to drink and game but occasionally it may be ok.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Looking for a church

I need to find a church that will provide what my family needs spiritually. In the past I have been burned by legalistic churches, and fly by night churches, and I have gone to some good churches, but those are too far away for regular attendance.

What we need is a church that will allow us to explore the mystical relationship between God and man, both corporately and individually. We need a church that, while it does not condone iniquity, it does not attack or destroy ones who stumble.

I need a church that has people and resources to help me explore the theological and spiritual history that 2000 years of Christianity have created. And will do so without prejudice regarding the source of that history (within reason of course). I want to study the early church fathers, as well as the teachings and theology of Catholicism, Protestantism and post-Protestantism. The Catholic church teachings, the Methodist, the Anglican, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian... well you get the point.

There are millennia of thoughts to explore and while I have done some of this on my own, and have done some at previous churches, this is something that I think I need to interact with people about.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recycle, Renew, Reuse

While I am not a green, nor an environmentalist, and I don't celebrate earth day, I do like to recycle. I like to find new uses for old things or new owners for old things.

You see the thing is that I really don't like waste. I'm not sure why, maybe because my house burned down when I was 12. But for whatever reason, recycling has always appealed to me. Which is probably why I started using ebay, and craigslist. Recently I discovered FreeCycling or FreeSharing and surprisingly in about 10 days I have cleared out about 15 boxes of stuff some of which I would have eventually thrown away or recycled. Recycling is good but reusing seems to me to be better.

Here are a few sites that can get you started:
I am registered with 15 groups in my general area and I have found that there are some common rules and expectations.

Most use a variation on the same format for the subject line either Offer, Received, Taken or Wanted depending on the situation. Offer if you are gifting something, Taken if something you have gifted has been picked up\taken. Wanted if you are requesting something and Received if you have received what you requested. It is pretty simple and straightforward, for example if I had a dining table to give away I would put the following in my subject line - OFFER: Dining Table, 75056. Keep in mind that some groups want the city listed while others want the zip code instead.

Some groups do not allow "First come gets it", in other words, the giver is required to pick someone to give it to.

None of the groups allow you to sell things, and this is not a charity so you are expected to give to the rich and poor alike. The idea is to keep things out of the landfill, so everyone needs to be encouraged to participate.

Be polite - if you say you are going to pick something up, do so, and if you can't pick it up contact the giver to let them know. Failing to pick something up or at least contacting the giver is a sure fire way to burn someone out on this process.

So now I am developing a process of sorts when getting rid of things:
  1. eBay - Can I sell it on eBay? Do I want to mess with shipping and eBay fees?
  2. craigslist - Can I sell it on Craigslist?
  3. garage sell - Can I sell it in a garage sale? Do I want to mess with a garage sale?
  4. FreeSharing - Does anyone on my various reuse group lists want or need it?
  5. Give to charity - Is it likely to be worth anything to anyone? We are lucky enough to have local community charity that uses a thrift store to generate revenue. So it is not uncommon for us to take a truck load of things there since we know the money generated will go to good causes.
  6. Recycle - Can it be recycled?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last Friday's Game

As I mentioned last week my gaming group is starting up a new game to play until we get 4th edition D&D. The first game is in the can and I must say we all had a lot of fun. One of our gaming buddies who has been on hiatus was back to game with us, which was nice. And someone other than me was running the game, which was also nice.

Usually I prefer running a game over playing in one, but I need downtime sometimes. A game where all I really have to worry about is my character and their interaction with the game world is nice once in a while.

And our DM is doing a real good job of keeping the stress and tension up, which is needed in this type of game. We are all enjoying this game a lot. So much so, in fact, that once we got all the characters made and started gaming we didn't notice the time go by. It has been a long time since we gamed past 4 in the morning.

A very fun night was had by all.

Software Categorization

I am a pack rat. And while I am trying to pursue a more uncluttered life I still want to keep any applications/patches/utilities that I download. My problem is that I do not have a good system of organizing the files.

What I want is a system of categorizing software that will work for storage as well as portable apps on a thumb drive or CD/DVD. The system also needs to be intuitive, and easily extensible. Also, I save files for Windows (all flavors), as well as Linux, Dos, Pocket PC, and a few others, so I need an easy way to indicate what OS type it belongs to.

Currently I am thinking about using the following as my top level of organization:
  • Entertainment - Games, Gaming tools, Game creator toolkits
  • Hardware - Drivers, Hardware tools
  • Multimedia - Audio, Graphics, Video
  • Networking - Browsers, FTP, Email clients, etc...
  • Operating Systems - Windows, Linux, Dos, etc...
  • Productivity - Office suites and apps, Finance apps, common and general use apps, ect...
  • Programming - App Dev libraries, IDE's, runtimes, tools
  • Security - Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Firewalls, Hacking tools
  • Utilities - Auditing, Compression, Monitoring, etc...
  • Virtualization - VMWare, Xen, Emulators