Well, it's 10:45PM and I still have power. I understand that 400,000 people in Broward (including my family) are without power, and over 500,000 in Miami-Dade are without power. My power has blinked alot over the course of the day, but hasn't gone out for good. I went out this morning and put up most of the shutters on my house. I covered all the windows but two of them. I left those open so I had something to watch the storm through. I'm one of only 2 houses in my neighborhood who's actually got his shutters up. My neighbors don't seem to be taking this thing very seriously. I am. Granted, it's only a level 1, but even then the wind outside has been rough.
Looks like I have an unexpected 'Hurricane Holiday' this weekend. I'm gonna end up with a 4 day weekend because my company is closing down Thursday and Friday for the (currently) Tropical Storm Katrina. Man this thing came out of nowhere! I hope I have an opening tomorrow morning where I can go out and put my shutters up. Yeah, I know, it's only gonna be a minimal hurricane, but from the look of the forecast path, it's gonna barrel straight through my part of town! Better safe than sorry!
At least this hurricane was nice enough to NOT arrive on a Saturday morning. This one has actually extended my weekend. Granted it'll be a rainy, boring, miserable weekend, but I guess I'll have plenty of time to practice on the guitar and watch TV.
It's so hard to be patient when you are trying to learn something new. I've spent the last 2 months learning to play the guitar. Naturally you want to pick it up and instantly play like a rock star. It isn't going to happen. I've made excellent progress over the last few months, but I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not going to learn this instantly. I must have patience. It's hard sometimes...
Over the years, I've developed a love for learning. I'm always reading, always curious about new things, always wanting to know why something is the way it is. Recently, I started a new adventure in my continuing quest to learn - I took up the guitar. It has been a fascinating experience.
My friend and 'professor of guitar-ology' Dave, has been helping me out over the course of this adventure. He's given me several informal lessons and answered many of my beginner questions. His help has been instrumental in bringing me up to speed on the guitar at a very fast rate. He's written in his blog about the experience of teaching, but I wanted to give my thoughts from the 'other side' of things - the point of view of the student instead of the teacher.
Dave writes in his blog about how a good teacher just shows the student how to reach their goal by themselves. I couldn't agree more. In the past, I've tried to teach things to others and for me the hardest thing to avoid is just doing it for them. As the teacher, everything seems so easy and so obvious to me, that I sometimes don't understand why the student doesn't get it. You have to give the student time and just kind of give them a 'shove in the right direction'. That's what Dave has been doing. He's been shoving me in the right direction, when it comes to learning the guitar. As a student continues his studies of a subject, every now and then he'll have one of those 'Eureka Moments' where suddenly everything becomes clear to him and he understands what he was trying to learn. I've had a few of these moments lately with the guitar, and that is what I truly enjoy. It is the process of finally understanding something you've been trying to learn that, to me, is the best part of learning.
Here's to many more 'Eureka Moments' in the future!
I thought people might enjoy the below photo of a prank played on a coworker in my office yesterday. The covered his entire desk and everything on it in aluminum foil!
I spent yesterday evening up in Boca visiting with my friend, and 'professor of guitar-ology' Dave. It was his birthday on Monday, so I came up to buy him dinner and an Apple iSight for his computer. He spent some time giving me my latest lesson in the guitar (and my first homework assignment!) We spent some time discussing scales on the guitar. His lessons were very useful in helping me to understand scales. I was confused at first as to the different combinations of notes there are in each of the major scales. Once he explained that it's the same pattern for them all and the only difference is the starting note of the scale, then it made it a lot simpler and eaiser to understand. Once again, thanks for the help Dave!
Just a quick note to wish my friend Dave, Happy Birthday! May you have many more years of computers, Corvettes and guitars!
Here he is!
It amazes me how fast you get attached to your pets.
For most of my life, I never had pets. My parents didn't like pets. The closest I came to pets was a pet rabbit we kept out in a cage in the backyard. Not much of a pet. When I moved out and got my own place, I decided that I was going to get a pet of my own. I've always liked dogs. I grew up next to a house with 4 Dobermans, so large dogs don't scare me at all. I figured that once I got my own place that I would get a dog. Things didn't work out that way. After I'd lived on my own for a few years, I realized that getting a dog really isn't practical, since I'm never home. Dogs require too much attention and maintenence for a guy who's never home. He'd tear the house apart. So I decided, reluctantly, that a cat was a better choice since cats are very independent and pretty much take care of themselves. I'd always hated cates because I believed that they were very arrogant, aloof and unfriendly creatures. How wrong I was.
One day I went to the Humane Society and 'browsed' among the selection of kittens. I picked out 3 possible ones and spent some time with each one. The other two pretty much ignored me. Tiger (who at the time was named Peaches) was a little orange tabby kitten who was very playful and affectionate. I decided immediately to get him. I had planned to get 2 cats, so that they could keep each other company, but I couldn't find another one I liked so I stuck with him. This was almost 3 years ago and he's grown A LOT since the days of the tiny little bundle of fur that was so small you could hold him in one hand.
I've spent almost 3 years living with a young, active 'crazy' cat. He is a lot of fun to have around and he is great company. No matter what room you are in, he'll come in and sit nearby. When you come in the door from work in the evening, he's sitting there waiting at the door to greet you. Whenever I sit in the recliner and watch TV, he'll come over and position himself at the foot of the recliner, rest his head on my foot and go right to sleep. Whenever I lay down in bed, he comes in and 'tucks me in' every night. Then he proceeds to sleep right next to me, purring along.
Four days ago, I dropped my cat, Tiger at a friends house for a few days. I needed to get him out from underfoot because I was moving a lot of furniture in preparation for having the carpet in my house replaced. I knew he would just get in the way during all this so I dropped him off at the 'catsitters'. It wasn't even the end of the night before I really started to miss him. In my 36 years of life, I've only had a pet for less than 3 years, but he's become so much a part of my life, that I miss him when he's gone.
Luckily, I pick him up tomorrow. I'm anxious to get him back, but I don't think my friends are going to want to give him up so easily! :)
I got a chance to try out this mouse at the Apple Store this weekend and wanted to give my thoughts as to how I liked it.
When Apple announced this mouse, it was big news. Why, you ask? because it is the first two button mouse that Apple has ever produced! Apple has always insisted on one button mouses over the years. I never agreed with this philosophy of theirs. When I switched to the Mac, the first thing I did was throw a PC mouse on it so I can have the right click and scroll wheel functionality. Once you have those features, you can't live without them. OSX supports these features natively, and yet Apple didn't sell a mouse that provided these features. I always found this strange, but Apple has finally solved this oddity.
What do I think about the mouse? I have mixed feelings about it. It looks identical to the current see-through Apple mouses in shape and size, except that it is plain white plastic instead of being see-through. Other than the color change, the only noticeable difference is a very small rolling ball on the top of the mouse. The mouse works well as a mouse for general purposes - moving around, clicking, dragging etc. It is the features beyond this that have my uncertain.
The first thing I don't like about this mouse is the scroll ball. It is VERY small, almost to the point that you can't see the thing. This extremely small size makes it very hard to find with your finger and to properly roll. It is so small that scrolling any more than a short distance causes you to have to constantly roll the ball, then reposition your finger back to the beginning and roll again. Very annoying. Also, it doesn't seem to function well in diagonal directions. It works well for horizontal and vertical scrolling, but diagonal barely works. Replacing the scroll wheel with a scroll ball is an obvious improvement, but I think this ball is too small to be useful. It needs to be made bigger.
The second thing I don't like is only a minor annoyance compared to the scroll ball. The mouse does not have any visible left or right click buttons. It detects the mouse click by sensing whether your finger is on the left or the right side of the mouse. The problem is, most people, myself included tend to rest their finger on the left mouse 'button'. When you do this with the Mighty Mouse, it detects your finger resting on the left side and thinks you are trying to do a left click, even when you click the right side of the mouse! This means that in order to do a right click, you have to make sure your left finger is not resting on the mouse when you click the right mouse 'button'. It's a minor annoyance, but it's an annoyance, nontheless.
All in all, I think I'll have to pass on the Mighty Mouse. It doesn't seem to offer much new over a standard two button mouse with a scroll wheel.