Friday, November 21, 2008

Computer tips: file opening dialog

Many times I've been bothered when opening files in MS-Office: I'll seek to open a recently-used file and rather than guess at its name with alphabetic access, I go to view details, date (sort descending). My problem has been the small dialog box, the need to move everything to the right to find the date tab (thus losing sight of the filenames), and the need to hit date perhaps a few times to find descending (subfolders further confuse all of this). I've thought: "there's probably a better way..." but because the file editing regularly has taken precedence, only now the solution is at hand.

Give up on bloody computers? No.

First, the assorted tabs showing file details are all useful to some extent, but the name & date are typically most critical. The date column can be dragged to the left so it becomes the second column. Neat! I've read that pushing Ctrl key on closing a dialog box saves the settings. Nice! To get default view with Details, go to Desktop (first close all windows) open My Computer and set the View to Details (or other desired setting or sort layout). Then click Tools - Folder Options - View and click "Apply to all folders" Click OK and the world is slightly better. Use the energy saved (& unmanifested angst) being friendlier & helpful to others.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Can one be a reformer or crusader in the USA? Is it really possible to "work for the people" and the public interest?


But when "change" begins to curtail profitable operations by the mighty & the powerful, they fight back. They may have billions of dollars (oops - post bailout: hundreds of billions) in wealth to throw at their critics. So no surprise when the forces of change choose very carefully among many sacks of shit, which ones to clean up.

Even then, the crusader is liable to be burned.

The public is hungry for scandal. A mob mentality is stoked by smarmy weasels such as Billow (Bill O'Reilly), Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and a nest of others. Their vile & polarizing attack approach is popular: akin to pro-wrestling and a substitute for as yet untelevised public executions.

The mob enjoys watching those with hubris get their comeuppance. So a quick goodbye to "evildoers" such as former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, former Senator John Edwards, and a host of others due to sexual fiendishness. (Digression: We wonder how the family values crowd reconciles the adulteries & callousness of Sen. John McCain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Is foregiveness and reconciliation only for Republicans?... )

Anyhow, the moral takedown may appease the mob for awhile, but who benefits? (In the case of Spitzer, perhaps AIG?) Whose territory is once again open for plundering? That entitled elite seeks darkness. Only systematic and sustained transparency can root-out such problems. Shining a spotlight cannot be enough: the person holding it is a target, and the roaches escape. We need to turn-up all the house lights to systematically root-out the worst social infections.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


"Let's avoid partisanship"

The US Republican Party & the failed policies of George W. Bush were thrashed at the polls. Now the talk from jackbooted right-wingnuts seems reasonable "We pray President Obama will govern responsibly and avoid divisiveness..."

Watch again the Republican National Convention speeches in Minneapolis Saint Paul. Inside the hall, a goon parade mocked, ridiculed & slandered their Democratic opposition; outside, their hired thugs beat-up on peaceful assemblies.

(Remember "Friendly Joe" Lieberman as a key part of these celebrations).

Disrespect for law & people has continued too long; true terror.

Don't be taken in.
"Cute little snake, it's not dangerous anymore.
... aarrghh - fuckin' thing bit me!"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Common Dreams & Memes

I've multiple important bases in my life, so each day I read news articles from assorted places around the world. Via the wonders of the internet I check local news of Hawaii via, local news of Sweden from Swedish newspapers and The Local, Korean news from The Korea Herald (and elsewhere), news of Japan via assorted bulletin boards & feeds such as J@pan Inc and "The Community" in Japan, news of the Middle East from Haaretz and sometimes Al Jazeera. I check news of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, science news from New Scientist, plus technology & finance news from here, there, and everywhere.

As if that were not enough, there's the need to keep up with assorted hobby-related news & auctions, and of course professional reports & journals. I often write in my own Pretrend blog ( and earn a living by decent work...

And be with loved ones. And simply live.

But every day I also read Common Dreams - an amalgam of "progressive" articles from various sources. It is great: combining stories, reprints, links and comments on political economy sure to get my blood racing.

A recent article by Tom Engelhardt ("Foreclosed: The George W. Bush Story") looked critically at the
legacy of the Bush administration. It included a provocative quote from a 2004 article by Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt" (New YorkTimes; published also as "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush") - where "history's actors" who "create our own reality" mock the careful "reality-based community" who follow behind attempting judicious study of what's been done. This hubris is the voice of The True Believer: "we create our own reality" and evade the dreaded u-word: uncertainty.

A related article elsewhere by
Christian Salmon, "Scheherazade in the White House" follows-up by discussing political stage-management, quoting Prof. Ira Chernus on Karl Rove's Scheherazade-like approach to ruling others: "When policy dooms you, start telling stories -- stories so fabulous, so gripping, so spellbinding that the king (or, in this case, the American citizen who theoretically rules our country) forgets all about a lethal policy."

A "leta" to Common Dreams on US Election Day is commanding:
"Why do people find degrading, defacing, belittlement of a man who was willing to take on the responsibility of the Presidency if elected. What do you gain from the demoralization of the administration. Why is it helpful to tear apart the years served. Is this what you say , talk about in front of your kids. You are their mentors. You should be using Positives Repectful thoughts how else are they going to grow up with the right outlook of politics. It is you who are painting the pictures of people who were elected. Think about it. You vote in dog catchers, local government, church elections. Isn't it time to take a good look at SELF. Let the President leave office ... throwing the keys happily on the desk in the OVAL OFFICE....he has aged during his terms. He deserves your respect. Your children have to hear and see this from YOU "adult citizens of America. GOD BLESS AMERICA." (sic)

The marketing story, or meme, is powerful imagery to shape reality. Those directing government powers, with much money & huge access to media outlets, might do as they wish - eluding comeuppance.

The article by Salmon finishes by reminding us that Karl Rove resigned from government saying "I'm Moby Dick" ... evading reality's deadly harpoon.