Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 2008

Outliners

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I was a long-time user of Symantec’s Grandview, an unmatched outliner that ran under DOS. So far as I can tell no Windows outliner really matches its speed, capability, easy of use, and interface. But I recently had need of an outliner, so I started looking. Two posts that were quite useful:

  1. Overview of Windows outlining programs — though somewhat out of date.
  2. Outliners and Mind-Map programs — good annotated list.

And this site has a series of articles on effective use of outliners.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

Nifty approach to beet greens

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Read about this clever preparation. And let me emphasize: never discard beet greens—they’re delicious and highly nutritious.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

J.M. Fraser and Booster

with 3 comments

J.M. Fraser shaving cream is exceptionally good, and I really enjoy the various Booster aftershaves. In the US, we’ve had a good source for a while: Shaving Essentials carries both. And now I see that Canadians have a ready supplier—which is good, since both products are Canadian.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Shaving

Hard-water shaving

with 4 comments

Hard water works against good lather, and very hard water can make lather almost impossible. The ideal solution (for shaving, doing laundry, showering, doing dishes, and so on) is to buy a good water softener (that recycles based on volume of water used and not on time) and plumb it so that all the water in the house goes through the water softener except for the kitchen cold-water tap. By having all water soft, the pipes will say clear, the taps will operate better, and hard water deposits will be a thing of the past.

But installing a water softener is not cheap, and if you live in an apartment, it may be impractical. A good fallback is to buy “purified” water at the drugstore (essentially distilled water), which costs about $1/gallon and is sold for use in humidifiers and steam irons and the like. Then get something to heat it with—and my recommendation is the Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle, which will heat water to the temperature you specify: from a full roiling boil down to moderately warm. You will have to experiment a little to locate the setting that brings the water to the ideal temperature for shaving, but then you have hot water that will produce a flawless lather and will rinse razor and face with no traces of soap scum.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

The book and self-published books

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The second edition of the Guide to Gourmet Shaving has been available from Lulu.com for a little while, and today I approved the book (having received proof copies and deciding against further changes), so in 6-8 weeks it will be available on Amazon.com. Until then, Lulu is the only source for the second edition.

This is a self-published book, and that section of the book market is growing rapidly. Tom Colvin notes in Becoming a Writer Seriously:

Publisher’s Weekly has recently revealed an absolutely astonishing figure for POD books in 2006 and 2007. Here’s its summary:

The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422. Although it has tracked production of on-demand titles in the past, this is the first year the company has broken out the segment to better show the differences in the traditional categories (such as biography, fiction, juvenile) and the on-demand segment.

You can read more of the article HERE.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Books, Business

RecentX: cool, but not free

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Still, it looks pretty good. Via Becoming a Writer Seriously, who says:

If you juggle lots of documents, folders, programs and websites, you know how frustrating it is to dig down through Windows Explorer [!] and various history lists to get to what you are after. RecentX makes it a snap. It intuitively gathers locations of your most-accessed files and sites into clear lists. To see how it works, just view the demo’s at the program’s homepage.

For me, the program still seems worth the purchase price of $19.95 for the time and frustration it will save.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

McCain’s problem with the GOP base

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Sridhar Pappu has an interesting report in the Washington Independent on McCain’s difficulties with the base:

In late January, just days before her son would win the Florida Republican primary, 96-year-old Roberta McCain—whom in another era might have been called a real broad, a pistol — was asked by a C-SPAN interviewer how much support her 71-year-old boy had among “the base of the Republican Party.”

“I don’t think he has any,” said Mother McCain. “I don’t know what the base of the Repub—maybe I don’t know enough about it, but I’ve not seen any help whatsoever.”

Pressed about whether, given that, he could take the nomination, the elder McCain snapped: “Yes, I think holding their nose, they’re going to have to take him.”

Since then Sen. John McCain has gone through a Russell Crowe in “Gladiator”-like journey: from front-runner, to broke-and-destitute has-been, to the man who would win the GOP presidential nomination. Yet little has changed for the Arizona senator when it comes to the base — the internal light at the center of the modern Republican Party, whose foundations were laid in the successful presidential runs of Richard M. Nixon in 1968 and 1972, and fully-realized with the triumph of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

In it’s design, the GOP base is a three-legged chair, wobbly at moments, but effective if put together by the right assembler. One leg consists of social conservatives — those members of the evangelical movement and Moral Majority, who seek to eliminate abortion and restore Christian values to the environs of the public school system and to government at-large. Then there’s the fiscal/small government types, which includes Wall Street, people who spend their off hours debating the tax code at The Palm, with expense accounts … of course. The final leg are defense hawks — the folks who pushed for a build-up of military strength as a way to outspend the Soviets, who advocated the war in Iraq and consistently push for increased defense spending during dinner parties in McClean.

Banded together, with a leader they believe in, these three are like the Avengers under Captain America, seemingly able and ready to defeat any opposing candidate. But McCain–his heroism in the Vietnam War not withstanding — is not Captain America, much less Ronald Reagan.

Indeed, you could say that McCain has spent his career alienating the base. Running against George W. Bush in 2000, McCain accused his rival of pandering to leaders of the religious right, whom he called “agents of intolerance.” Specifically, he said Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell — fixtures in the religious intellectual movement that surrounded Reagan — were “corrupting influences on religion and politics.” All three parts of the GOP base bristled at McCain’s biggest achievement, campaign finance reform — which they saw as an instrument of limiting their influence in the corridors of power.

McCain’s litany of sins against the party goes further. …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 May 2008 at 11:12 am

Posted in Election, GOP

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