Screensaver hotkeys and iTunesControl

I made the switch to Windows 7 as my primary operating system on Wednesday night. As is customary, I decided to fiddle with and tweak my new setup. The first thing I went looking for was a global hotkey for turning on the screensaver. I sleep next to my computer so when I go to bed I want the screens to go blank. I was using Ultramon to accomplish this on Vista, but since Ultramon is kinda broken on 7 (Maybe I should just make the switch to DisplayFusion?) I was wary about installing it. After going through a couple freeware applications that didn’t work, and deciding not to purchase Turn Off Monitor, I bit the bullet and installed Ultramon. I basically disabled everything except the hotkey.

After looking into it further I probably could have used AutoHotkey with NirCmd. I’m not sure if this combo would work on Windows 7 but I’ll try it out this weekend and see what happens.

The next thing I wanted was to be able to control iTunes with my multimedia keyboard keys when iTunes didn’t have focus. I found 2 different ways to do this: a plugin for iTunes written in 2003 and iTunesControl. I tried the plugin first and it worked great but I was a little wary about what some people had posted about problems with smart playlists. I installed iTunesControl and was very impressed by the available features. At first the on screen display bothered me, but after playing around with it I really started to like it. It’s mostly unobtrusive and it allows me to skip songs without having to listen and find out what they are. It even pulls album artwork, which is something I really appreciate. I’d recommend trying it out and seeing how you like it.

2 years 3 months 20 days ago

(Time courtesy of Wolfram|Alpha)

Taken on Feb. 8th, 2007

Taken on Feb. 8th, 2007

Since I started this blog. I was a sophomore in college. So much has changed since then.

I last blogged 4 months 3 days ago. Since I last blogged I graduated from college; I worked on Beauty and the Beast and had the biggest house (sold out!) in 10 years; I went on a cruise for the first time. I had a lot of average days, some great, some terrible. I’ve stressed out a lot less.

The summer has started for me, which means I spend most of my days at work for 8 hours a day in front of a computer. Strangely enough, this gives me a lot more free time than I had during school between classes, friends, theater, work, and relaxation. This is the time when I start to seek people out online, I start to blog again, I start following twitter and friendfeed like a fiend. I start other random projects that may or not pan out. I watch more TV. I read.

Taken on Jan. 15th, 2009

Taken on Jan. 15th, 2009

My goal for the end of the summer is to learn how to memorize a shuffled deck of cards. Useful? No. Cool? Hell yes. I’d also like to catch up on my reading, my TV, and say goodbye to NYC.

I can’t believe I never mentioned it on here but I’m going to be moving to Seattle to work for Microsoft. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I don’t know anyone over there.

Now that I’m sitting here I find that I have so many things that I could write about, but I don’t really feel like doing it. I think I’ll go back to reading The Host.

Taken today May 28th, 2009

Taken today May 28th, 2009

January Failure

Did I make only one post so far? That’s atrocious. I went to California, does that make it okay? No, I didn’t think so either. It was a blast. I love skiing, it was warm in the bay area, and Napa was pretty sweet. Check out the Del Dotto Caves if you get a chance. The tour was awesome (and full of tasty wine!).

So I didn’t make my resolution this month. I read a lot though, and did some traveling. I’m back at school taking classes now and getting ready for Beauty and the Beast. Auditions are next week and we had a minor crisis with directors. It’s taken care of now, but it was a stressful couple days.

I’m going to keep reading books. I’ve been checking out LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads to try to figure out which one I want to use. This involves actually joining each one, adding books, checking out the community, etc. This might take a little while, and it isn’t my main priority.

First day of a new year

What did I do today? Well last night around 2am I finished Marked. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about the book. I decided to read it because I really enjoyed Twilight. Twilight had it’s issues, sure, but it was a story that I could really get behind. It was paced well, it had a good cast of characters (maybe a little Mary Sue, but even so), and I didn’t have a lot of reasons to complain about the writing.

Marked covers all of maybe 5 days in 300 pages. It was terribly slow getting started and all I wanted was for it to start going somewhere. You know how as you get closer to the last pages of a book, you start wondering how it’s going to wrap up everything in time (I felt that way about The Diamond Age)? Well as I neared the end of the book I started wondering if it was going to go anywhere by the end. The climax was hardly worthy of a novel and all I wanted was to see the story go somewhere. So there’s a sequel, in fact there is a whole series of books that follow this one. I don’t know that I want to go out and buy them because I was so disappointed by this one, and yet I want to see where the series is going. Decisions, decisions…

I slept in and downloaded a bunch of movie trailers.

  • I think 9 looks pretty cool.
  • Dragonball might not be as bad as I initially thought (and Emmy Rossum is in it)
  • Fast & Furious must be better than the last two movies because the entire original cast is back.
  • Fired Up looks legitimately funny.
  • I watched Gran Torino and it was amazing. See it if you can!
  • He’s Just Not That Into You looks like a great adaptation of the self-help book for women. I want to get it and read it actually.
  • Inkheart might be good. Dunno.
  • I missed Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and I wish I had had a chance to see it when it was in theaters. When does it hit DVD?
  • I watched a bunch of others, but I really don’t have much to say about them. [shrug].

I’m going to try to finish Let the Right One In tonight so I can watch the movie tomorrow. It’s okay, not what I was hoping for but an interesting read nonetheless. I seem to be on a vampire stint recently. That’s another thing I disliked about Marked: vampire is spelled vampyre. I’m know it’s a legit way to spell it, but it distracted me from the text every time I saw the word.

New Years Resolution

I have never once followed through on a New Years Resolution. This may be due to low willpower or the fact that I’ve never really wanted to follow through on any of them, but I want things to be a little different this year. I want to write every day for one month. It doesn’t need to be January, but I’m going to try to make it January. If I fail I’ll try February. I’ll have 12 shots to do it, so I hope I succeed.

Why do I want to write every day? I was thinking back to my senior year in high school when I went on a trip to Mexico with my AP Spanish class. It was suggested that we keep a journal, but I thought I was above that and I didn’t bother. Now looking back I have some great memories, but I know I must be forgetting things. If I had written things down, even just a list of things I did that day, I could reread it and remember everything that had happened.

I don’t expect any of my months to be terribly interesting, but I want to see if I can. Plus I will be traveling quite a bit this year, so it will be good practice for the future.

I’m not sure if I want to do it in a pen and paper journal (which I am horrible at, I think I type faster than I write at this point) or if I want to blog it or if I want to do it in my iPhone. I may have to find a good journal type application for the iPhone. Or I can just use the notes feature.

Will anyone but me want to read this? No, probably not, but this time I’m not doing it for them, I’m doing it for me, and I think that is why I might actually be able to last longer than a week.

One more resolution, next year I need to go to a real New Years Eve party on 12/31/09. Think I can do it?

Death Cab For Cutie – The New Year

So this is the new year.
And i don’t feel any different.
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance (in the distance).

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

To Be Continued…

Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don’t put off being happy until some future date.

- Dale Carnegie

I was reading over some of my old blog entries tonight and I was reminded of how I used to start every blog post with a quote. I’m not sure why I started doing it, but looking back I always appreciated the quotes I found. I’m trying to get my hands on some of my old blog content that was on a free hosting account that went down. With any luck I’ll get all those posts back. It ought to be pretty intersting stuff.

©2008 *meppol

I remember when I used to spend hours every night trolling Deviant Art for new and cool art. This is what I found after about 5 minutes of looking around, It’s a Christmas version of the Twilight book cover. I read Twilight, and I really enjoyed reading it, truth be told. It is far from a literary masterpiece and the story is contrived, but for those of us who want to escape into a romance where everything works out in the end it does it’s job well. I was not a big fan of the movie, simply because the romance was unfortunately cut short. I really liked the way Edward courted Bella in the book, and I think they got fast tracked in the film to make room for the conflict at the end. It became an action movie instead of a romance. You can probably guess what I care about more.

Christmas is coming up, and I should do some shopping. Meh, that isn’t really worth talking about. I don’t know why I’m writing. Again. For the millionth time. You’d think after stopping and starting so many times I’d have it figured out. But I don’t. So I write when I want to write. And I don’t when I don’t.

This might have to wait until later. I feel like I have a lot to say, but I don’t know that I want to say it to the world. It may be time to start writing private posts again. In any case, to be continued…

“Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.”

Courtesy of Niels Bohr

Lesson for life: when you say you’re going to be somewhere, show up. Someone might be looking forward to seeing you, even if you don’t know it.


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