Snap Shots (revisited)

I wrote earlier about adding Snap Shots to Mac 5. It will enhance any external link by giving you a small preview of the destination web page. I think it is most useful when it defines a word or phrase using Wikipedia. But it can also be neat to see a preview.

Recently, Snap Shots started doing something I considered invasive. It scanned for phrases it our posts and decided to attach links to them. I could also see that ads now appear under the Snap Shot previews, so this was about making money (fine) by randomly picking out key phrases in our posts (not fine.) I noticed it when posting the witness I gave at Dad’s funeral. I sure didn’t want to be randomly selling things in a eulogy!

Turns out, I can create an account and control that new phrase-link option. I turned it off. I turned on charitable contributions so that a portion of the ad proceeds will go to the International Red Cross.

So I’m still sold on Snap Shots.

YouTube Thumbnail Math

YouTube currently auto-selects 3 frames from your uploaded video to use as the video’s thumbnail. Knowing this, you can try to position one or more desirable frames at these exact locations:

X = Video length (in sec.)

Y = X divided by 4 or X/4 (in sec.)

Y is the 1st thumbnail.

2 times Y or 2xY (in sec.) is the 2nd thumbnail (poster frame).

3 times Y or 3xY (in sec.) is the 3rd thumbnail.

Pond Pump #3


When we bought the house, there was a stagnant pod with a little stream of water streaming up in the middle. One of my early projects was to clean out the pond and clean the pump. It worked fine for several years until I had to replace it with Pump #2… which went out this winter after about three years. I’m amazed that these little pumps can run continuously under water for years.

Photo of pump #3 that is now installed and circulating the water. Just in time for spring. Note the little slica gell pack. Keeps moisture down. Wouldn’t want a pond pump getting moist.

Willin’ Map

One of my favorite songs is Willin’ by Little Feat. I like their live version as well as Steve Earls version. Linda Rondstat made the song famous. It’s a truck driver song and has these lyrics:

I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari

Tehachapi to Tonopah

So what does that trip look like? Google maps let’s you mark up a map and save it. You can optionally share it publicly. Willin’ Map.

Obama is Winning Texas

Since the Texas primary last week, the media has been referring to Texas as a Clinton win and moved on to Mississippi and Pennsylvania. That was much of what was discussed on Fox News and CNN tonight.

I was trying to understand what the effective “win” number is for Obama. I figured it is the total number of Democratic delegates *minus* the super delegates divided by 2 plus 1. If Obama goes into the convention with one more delegate than Hillary, how can the super delegates override this? No matter… as I was looking at the CNN tally site I saw *TWO* entries for Texas. One for the primaries and one for the caucuses… which are only 41% counted. (They’ll be counting until March 24…. very manual.)

So while Clinton beat Obama in the primaries 77 to 71 (or a net 6 delegate gain), projections are showing Obama beating Clinton in the Texas caucus 38 to 29 (a net 9 delegate gain.) This puts Obama winning Texas with a 9 – 6 = 3 delegate lead… a state that was supposed to be a “Clinton firewall.”

This was not mentioned on any of the news shows I watched tonight, but some bloggers are noticing. The media have no patience for slow countin’ Texans.

Joe Purdy

A song used in a Kia commercial caught my ear last night. “Guess I can’t get it right today…. guess I’m going to give up.” It was a simple folksy song with a high, rough voice I had not heard before. After a Google or two, I quickly discovered Joe Purdy. Looking up his name in iTunes I found his many songs and albums, but three of the songs were very popular with a high number of downloads. It turns out those three songs have something in common:

“Can’t Get It Right Today” – KIA Commercial

“San Jose” – TV Show: Gray’s Anatomy

“Wash Away (Reprise)” – TV Show: Lost

Amazing what a little exposure on television can do for you.

Meanwhile, I discovered I could listen to all of his albums on his website (at least for now) so I put on the headphones and have already listened to three of the albums as I work on Fiveforks Wiki. I’ll likely buy two or three of these mellow and relaxing albums.

Oh… and I finally watched the Kia commercial to understand why they chose this song. You go so long between fill-ups you might forget what side the gas tank is on. Pretty funny idea.

Note: There is no broadcast radio in any of this story.