E-mailless for the Moment

Monday, February 6th, 2006

I’m in the process of restoring some email messages Thunderbird lost. While this is going on I have limited ability to send or receive e-mail. It’s amazing how much this restricts me. Every second thing I think of doing requires reading or sending e-mail to or from someone. I hope this is done soon.

Spring Migration Commences

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

So far this is an exceptionally warm winter and the birds seem to have noticed. They’re coming north sooner than usual. A few American Robins spend the winter in Prospect Park; but in the last week, they’ve become a lot more common. I counted at least 33 in the Botanical Gardens alone today.

I also had the first Cedar Waxwing of Spring today, and Ed Crowne found our first Winter Wren. Next up are probably the blackbirds: Common Grackle and Red-winged Blackbird. The lake will probably pull in a few more waterfowl. Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, and all three mergansers could easily show up any given day. It’s surprising we haven’t seen any of them yet. March will see the shorebirds coming through, and then in April the warblers begin arriving.

Getting Cable

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

Some companies still haven’t figured out they don’t live in a monopoly anymore. I’m on hold with Cablevision right now as I try to order cable service. If DirecTV’s phone tree weren’t just as bad, I might well have decided not to switch back to cable. Plus the DirecTV dish has an annoying habit of losing reception in severe weather. I’ll have to give up BBC America, but they’re not showing Dr. Who anyway. None of the other channels I lose or gain make any large difference to me. Neither Cablevision nor DirecTV offers TV5 Etats-Unis, which is the only channel I’ve been missing.

I had switched to DirecTV a few years ago because at the time Cablevision didn’t have digital cable in my neighborhood and wasn’t carrying the UFC. Now they do both. I mainly decided to switch back to cable to get HDTV (plus DirecTV is now part of the evil empire). DirecTV wanted $390 to install an HDTV box in my apartment, and $490 if I wanted a DVR. Cablevision claims they’ll do it for free. I should also be able to shave $20 off my monthly bill. We’ll see. I’m still on hold with them.

Update: Cablevision’s been late for two appointments in a row. When the installer showed up for the first appointment, he didn’t have the right equipment. The second one was more than an hour late, and I couldn’t hang around long enough for him to finish the job. The next appointment they can schedule is more than a week away. This really seems like a company that doesn’t want the business.

Firefox catches a cold

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Yesterday I upgraded to Firefox Everything seemed fine. This morning though I can’t open any window without getting this error message:

XML Parsing Error: no element found
Location: chrome://browser/content/browser.xul
Line Number 1, Column 1:


Recovery Continues

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

I’m about 80% recovered from Tuesday’s minor disaster. I eventually had to a complete wipe and reinstall of the operating system, followed by migrating the old user account over. Bleah. Not everything restored perfectly, but all my data seems to be intact. What’s annoying are the little things, like losing my font settings in Thunderbird, or System Events getting turned off.

The biggest problem so far is that iTunes can’t find my library, although all the files seem to be in the right place. OK. I think I figured that one out. The Tiger installer installed iTunes 4 but I was using iTunes 6, so I need to upgrade again. I don’t know why it didn’t get iTunes 6 when it imported all the old applications.

I have taken the opportunity to fix a few things I should have fixed long ago. For instance I’m now configuring most of my AppleScripts to ask Finder where the home directory is rather than just hard coding it.

tell application "Finder"
	set theHome to home as string
end tell

set quotesfile to theHome & "Cafe au Lait:support:quotes.html"

This will mean I can use the same scripts on my laptop as I do on my desktop.

ABA Convention 2006 Registration Opens

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Details are now being posted for the the ABA Convention in Bangor Maine this summer. (That’s American Birding Association, not American Bar Association.) My personal goals for this convention are Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Atlantic Puffin, and Bicknell’s Thrush. Plus possibly a good spotting scope. Hope to see you there!