Three New Mac Ads

The “Get A Mac” ads have become a form of mini-entertainment in our household. New ads are newsworthy enough to be announced on My Yahoo and so I end up seeing them over the internet before TV.

I’m pleased to report that one of the new ads mentions “checkbook” twice… even if it was the PC bringing it up.

Long live the Mac. Long live the checkbook.


AdBlock Plus

I use FireFox as my browser, in part to avoid what I believe are greater security risks using Internet Explorer. I use FireFox on Windows and Mac.

The number of video ads have been growing on the sites I visit to read up on news, especially on My Yahoo and in blogs. I did a search for advertising blockers on the FireFox web page and found AdBlock Plus.

It installed very easily, and asked me to pick an ad blocking filter service. I chose the first one called EasyList (USA). I went to My Yahoo and was very happy to see no banner ad at the top. Not only was it not showing, but all the news items shifted up so the banner space was put to better use.


I went to one of my favorite blogs and found good news there, too. No moving iTunes ad that I was used to seeing. Although I actually felt a little bad about that, since I’d much rather support Scot than Yahoo.

Later as I worked on updating our church website, I found a surprise. The random photo in the header did not show. I quickly figured out it was because I was using the banner ad feature in Joomla, which is the system I use to update the site. Instead of showing banner ads, I show snapshots from the church photo gallery. If someone clicks on the photo, it jumps to the photo album. Much more fun than real banner ads, but AdBlock Plus doesn’t know that. It just sees the word “banner” in the image source path so it blocks it.

Quickly figured out that a click on the “ADP” button let me choose… “Disable blocks from” The ADB button turned from red to green, and the photos are back.


I recommend FireFox and AdBlock Plus!

Ted Poolside

Mom really liked the photo we were able to take around the pool at Anna Maria this year, but alas, Ted was unable to be in the photo because he was tending to Clio. Not to be deterred by the laws of physics, Mom took a photo of Ted in her backyard so that he could be incorporated into the family photo. I used PhotoShop Elements (which is a simplified version of PhotoShop.) It was amazingly easily to bring in the photo because the lighting in Mom’s backyard was so similar to the pool shot.

ted-backyard.jpg Family_Picture_Anna_Marie_Ted.sized.jpg

In a similar trick, I had Grant take a photo of me on the front porch at Anna Maria so I could crop myself into a group shot. Grant and I still crack up at Dad posing in the photo with me (he was in the target photo.) That can be seen in the Anna Maria gallery where Ted has now officially joined the vacation (digitally.)

The Bad Y2K (revisited)

In late 1999, a group of us with kids in tow went on a holiday weekend in Cloudland State Park. We stayed in cabins. I wrote a poem called “The Bad Y2K,” got some of the kids to help illustrate it, and I created a website on AOL using the screen name TheBadY2K. It is still there. Probably will last as long as AOL. [As it continues to decline, AOL shut off member web page services. Moved to mac5. – JC 1/16/2009]

I don’t know how many other people wrote poems about Y2K and had them illustrated by kids, but I felt like this provided some unique, historical insight into the “Year 2000 Problem.” So a link can now be found at the bottom of this Wikipedia entry:

Steven / Cat / Yosuf Is Back

Born with a first name of Steven, commecialized as “Cat Stevens”, and then quitting the music industry he named himself Yosuf. After almost 30 years, he’s back with a new album and may be touring. He has an interesting point of view, having been at the top of western capitalism and then turning away from it all to become a devout Muslim and family man.

Cat Steven’s music is some of my favorite. I did not know about the bout with tuberculosis being a catalyst for his greatest musical success.

Continue reading