Bart's blog

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Browser War

As someone who uses different computers in different places, sometimes abroad, I take my browser with me on a USB stick. I used to have one of these U3 sticks (not related to U2 or UB40) and for a while it worked nicely. Plug the stick in the USB port and a pop-up menu appears with your favourite applications, not only my browser but also Open Office, an FTP client, an anti-virus scanner with firewall (essential for survival if you're making use of internet pubs in Africa from time to time) and other goodies.

Alas, U3 never became a widespread technology, and support was dwindling. For each of these applications, a special U3 version had to be made. I got in trouble with Firefox, because the most recent versions didn't have a U3 version. For a while, I could update it the usual way, but in the end it became intolerably slow.

So I switched to PortableApps, which does essentially the same thing but is supported by a much wider fan base. And best of all, you can install any application, not just the ones in their (rather exhaustive) list. However, although I could install the latest version now, Firefox remained sluggish. So I thought I'd give the much hiped Google Chrome a go.

And I must say it works fine, smooth and fast. Of course it took a bit of getting used to. And there's one thing I still don't like: the way the bookmarks are presented. Instead of a bookmark toolbar on the left like Firefox has, Chrome has a dropdown list from the menu bar on top. Annoyingly, this means that you can't leave it open and that you have to navigate through the list and the sub menus to the bookmark you want. If you want to go to the next bookmark, you have to open the dropdown list again and go to the same folder and then click on the link. I keep finding this a bit tedious.

Like Firefox, Chrome has plug-ins (although not as many... yet), but I couldn't find a bookmark add-in of my liking. Meanwhile, I noticed that I wouldn't visit a number of sites and blogs as much as I used to, just because their bookmarks were out of my view. I'm a visually oriented person, I don't remember names that well (so I don't use the search feature of the navigation bar that often) but I know where I've stored things. Worst of all was that I didn't visit what used to be some of my favourite weblogs and comics sites as much as I used to.

But then I came across Slick RSS, an RSS reader with a handy interface (plenty of RSS readers of course, but this one integrates with my browser). Now I don't have to miss a post any more, cause Slick RSS warns me when there are new updates available. Still, not all bloggers use RSS (or Atom) and some of them have an RSS feed on their weblog but aren't aware of it (Blogger and WordPress automatically generate feeds) so it takes a bit of guessing to locate it.

So all in all, I'm a happy camper surfer again.

 

PS: my RSS feed is http://www.bartlog.be/?q=rss.xml (see the - very tiny - logo on the bottom of the main page)

C'est La Ouate

I've been in a French pop mood lately...

No Bare Breasts At The Dinner Table

Wolf today, during lunch:

'Mum, can I see your breasts?'

Mrs.B, slightly stunned: 'Excuse me?'

'Can I see your breasts?' Wolf repeats, while I nod vigorously in support. I feel it's important to support my son in his inquisitive nature.

'No I won't show you my breasts. There are no breasts to be shown at the dinner table!'

'But why not?' he asks.

'Yes, why not?', I add in support. I get a vicious look from the other side of the table. Clearly, Mrs.B does not have the same ideas about support our son's inquisitive nature as I do.

'No breasts at the dinner table', says Mrs.B in a stern voice. She make it sound final, but I see an opening here. Maybe naked breasts at the coffee table are still open for debate.

Etienne

Well Done

in

I spent the day on the roof of the annex again. It wasn't raining - probably for the fifth time this summer - so I got my gear together, scrambled up and forced everything through the teeny-weeny window that gives access to the roof. Getting up there is like finding your way through the birth canal all over again.

I'm building a new roof over the old one, because the old one is not as much a flat roof as it is a landscape with lovely dales and rolling hills. Unfortunately, the babbling brooks that descend from these hills stream in the wrong direction, right towards the house instead of to the rain pipe, which is convienantly located at the highest hill of them all.

So I spent the day laying out the foundation for the new roof, which I'm happy to say will now be sloping down away from the house towards the point where the rain pipe will connect. The revolution starts here!

That revolution also started with a serious bit of forced labour, because I had to lower heavy bags with pebbles that were on the old roof to the garden. I used a rope and balanced on the edge on the roof in the only corner where I had free access to the ground, the rest being surrounded by the ground level roof of the 'veranda' and the terrace. Good thing the neighbours are used to this sight, or they might call the police and fire brigade. 'The man next door is going to jump!'

Once these two metric tonnes of pebbles were out of the way, things were easy peasy. Unfortunately, the sun was desperately trying to make up for its long absence during these past few weeks. So by mid-afternoon, my brain was steaming in its own juices - despite the fact that I wore a cap. The roofing was also becoming sticky from the heat. So all in all, much fun was had by yours truly. By the end of the afternoon, the headache that I'd woken up with was back with a vengeance.

Then I was summoned to come down for dinner by Mrs.B, who was clearly very cross because she had to spend all day in the garden playing with the kids and feeding them biscuits and fruit and cool drinks - you know how hard summer afternoons can be - while I was having fun on the roof. But you know me, I'm not the one to keep all this pleasure for myself. So next weekend, she can do the roof.

One

One yearOne year

Happy birthday little guy. Daddy loves you very much. I hope you will always remain the happy boy you are now. I hope you will grow up to be a fine little boy like your big brother.

And I hope you'll sleep all through the night from now on. Otherwise you may find yourself celebrating your second birthday in the nearest foster home. That's not a threat, you see, just some friendly fatherly advice.

Big raspberry kisses

The Boy With His Finger In The Dyke

I know, I know. This blog hasn't exactly been a busy buzzing and whirling of interesting anecdotes and stories lately. That's because I had to spend all my time in stomping the verbose crap and filthy links out of the comments section. I've been spending all my time on training the spam filter to make the distinction between friends with good humour and @#!%§ fully automated drivel spewing vomit volcanoes who assume that I need powders and pills to get a stiffy. I do not need such chemical assistance, thank you very much - quite the contrary I would say. Through the power of day-dreaming and association, I can go from any innocent object or idea to a philosophical reflection on massive bossoms jumping up and down in a wobbly sort of fashion in under two seconds. So get lost with your crap and don't come back for the next fourty years or so!

Drip

Mrs.B had a shower the other day. Then she climbed out of bath, and had another shower, curtsy of a trickle of water that came out of the lamp. Now I distinctly remember only to have connected that lamp with electrical wiring, not with any water pipes. I'm daft, but not that daft.

So the roof of the extension has failed us again. We still call it a roof, but 'colander' may be a more appropriate name. Since we bought the house five years ago, not a year has gone by that I didn't have to climb up there with various roof reparation products. It's a roof with some issues. For one, the highest point of the roof is where the rain pipe is connected, so it's small wonder really that water keeps seeping in.

The worst thing is that I've made it impossible to know where exactly that leak is. I insulated the ceiling with rock-wool, and then put up a damp screen to prevent condensation (oh irony) and mould forming. So that leak could be anywhere, and the water will run over the damp screen to where it finds an exit, in this case the bathroom lamp. So I smeared another layer of that thick gooey stuff over the usual culprits (at six o'clock in the morning - the neighbours must think I'm a freak. Over the years, our roof has gathered quite a collection of air vents, most of which are completely useless now and serve more as rain vents than air vents.

Anyway, I've had it with that roof. I've been looking around on internet and I'm going for a EDPM rubber roof, which is guaranteed leak-proof for twenty years and should protect the house for the next fifty years. That means that I'll have to replace it when I'm ninety, but that's a worry for later.

LOLcat

Tyl's first word is 'puss'. Well sort of, he says 'chssss' or 'tssss' whenever he sees one of our cats. Macka is his favourite, because he doesn't scramble as soon as he catches a glimp of him. He even allows Tyl to pluck copious quantities of hair from his fur, although he does put the limit at pulling his tail.

His second word is 'Wof', which gives you an idea of how much he loves his big brother. Although it is not clear if it really qualifies as his second word, because we only think we heard him say it a couple of times.

For the moment, he doesn't have the urge to say 'mummy' or 'daddy', so we know what our place is in his ranking. I did get him to wave bye-bye. At first he thought it was just one of my crazy ideas, but at the moment he is really in to it. Everyone he gets into sight gets a very enthousiastic wave, and he won't stop until you waved back at him. When Mrs.B took him out to go shopping this weekend, he waved to every single person they saw.

Crazy

Bought me a couple of Aerosmith CDs today, in a bout of nostalgia

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