Thursday, February 25, 2010

Choices, choices.

Some updates that downloaded themselves yesterday have furnished us with a panel and even a little shortcut icon suggesting we make a choice as to our browser and offering information about the options.  As I've said before, I'm really very shiftless when it comes to anything like this, generally taking an 'if-it-ain't broke...' line over them.  I knew about Firefox, but felt, perhaps wrongly, that the security issues with Internet Explorer which led people to recommend it before had largely been ironed out now.  I was momentarily tempted by Google chrome, but then I read up on the reviews, found it very easy to focus on the negative ones ( which derives from a personality trait which extends to other areas of life...), and decided not to bother.  Rosie uses it and swears by it all looks a bit newfangled to me.

However, on having the choices arrayed before me, I was intrigued.  I didn't know there were so many.  Sleipnir immediately appealed, with its Norse mythological equine associations, but on examination looked strictly for the geeks.  Greenbrowser claimed to be, well, green, and we all bite at that bait, don't we?  But how is it green?  I read somewhere the other day that even medium-sized server farms are using the energy of small cities, or something like that, and while we all think we're being good sitting at home not going anywhere and reading on-line instead of chopping down trees (not that I would necessarily be chopping down trees if I wasn't reading on-line, but somebody might in order to provide me with books and newspapers), and only worrying a little bit about our stand-by lights, when the chips are down on our energy supplies, the internet isn't sustainable either.  (Guess where I read that, on-line!).  Flock promises to help you 'get the most out out of Facebook and Twitter', so they can flock off somewhere else, but Opera looks quite interesting, as does Avant ...

So here I am, in the second week of our winter holidays, and it's raining ropes outside.  I've attempted to make a couple of business calls and sent a business e-mail, but everyone seems to have headed off to the mountains for winter sports.  Dog-walking is pretty much out of the question, despite the recent arrival of Molly's new raincoat - I'll feature this with a photo another time - so I have the afternoon ahead of me,  I could spend it researching, installing and learing how to use a new browser...

Or I could do a number of other things.

I shall put my reviewed options before you (yes, yes, I know by the time the votes are in the afternoon will be over anyway, and probably our internet will go down in the wind and rain anyway, as it does, but this is a flimsy, thumb-twiddling kind of post not rooted in any spirit of serious enquiry).  I did consider finding one of those free on-line widgets to offer you a multiple choice questionnaire, but they all look complicated and likely to involve me in some Faustian bargain, and probably it would take me all afternoon to work out how to do it.  I could:

1) Mess about installing a new browser, experimenting with which might lead me to catch up with some of your blogs, a desirable bi-product.

2) Read Jane Smiley's 'The Greenlanders', which I first read years ago, and which being snowed in last month reminded me of, so I bought a penny copy on Amazon to read it again.

3) Cut up the last of the old sheepskin coat to make soles for the slipper socks I've made out of a felty old sweater.  Maybe make some pompoms to adorn them.  Mmm, this one's looking quite good, doesn't require too much specialist equipment, unlike...

4) finally making up the cushion covers I knitted at least a year ago but never got around to sewing together. Tom complained that his pillow was getting lumpy from washing, so I bought some new ones, which frees the old ones up for sofa cushions.  Involves making available large surfaces, heating my room, getting out the sewing machine, and probably quite a bit of head-scratching.  I could listen to something while I was doing it, though the sound of the sewing machine is a bit intrusive, and my room would like to feel useful again, I'm sure.

5) Watch the DVD of '84 Charing Cross Road' which I got  for Christmas.  In fact though, I find it very difficult to sit and watch a film on my own of an afternoon, unless I'm ill, or ironing, but then really one misses bits.  Might be better to save it and persuade the Saturday Film Club they want to watch it.

6)  Ironing.  Enough had accumulated that really needs it, especially in the damp weather when it serves to air things too.  I could listen to Proust, which I've recently taken up again and am enjoying all the more for the break.  The Balbec interlude in the middle of the first part of 'Sodom and Gomorrah' was so haunting, and I've had that dream he has about his grandmother being still alive and abandoned somewhere, and what must she think of him...

7) Bake something.  Flapjacks - we've gone off porridge for a bit so oats and syrup are available -, scones, soda bread (I've a mix) all spring to mind.  It will warm the kitchen and downstairs, fill it with sweet aromas, and generate unnecessary carbohydrate which we will eat and then we will get fat.

8)  Write a ghazal.  Haven't done that for ages.

9)  Draw/paint something with Inktense pencils, like the pigeon that sat in the eucalyptus tree on a misty day and I photographed it with a view to this, being all subtle blues and greys and greens and mauvey colours, and very pleasantly shaped.  It wasn't any good as a photo, the composition was all to bits and there was a branch across the pigeon's body.  Haven't done that for ages either.

10) Where sackcloth and ashes and mortify myself that my life in this Vale of Tears is currently so easy and pleasant, and that although it contains all these wonderful possibilities, I fritter it and achieve so few of them.


Ten is quite enough to be getting on with.  Your votes please, brothers and sisters.


And because you shouldn't have to labour through a daft post like this without some pictorial reward, here are some competitors in the Tredaniel Seagull Winter Olympics figure skating. 



And now it looks as if the sun will come out and the rain may stop after all.
  

21 comments:

The Crow said...

I vote for number nine - and the flapjacks. (You can tell I haven't had breakfast yet - little after 8am here,)

Nimble said...

Mm, baking is always my first leaning. But slippers assembly sounds like it promises a fairly quickly gotten sense of achievement.

When I read a small amount of Proust it left me breathless because of the rare occurrence of periods.

One more opinion: Firefox is quite fast and fairly stupid-proof. Enjoy your afternoon!

Catalyst said...

After all of that writing, is there any time left to do any of those things?

marja-leena said...

As Catalyst said! Hmm, all those things (except maybe ironing) sound good, but I personally lean to #9. #10 is describing my current state too well!

As for browsers, I can only speak well for Safari on the Mac but have heard good things about Firefox.

Love the Seagull Olympics figure skating (that's one of the things on which I'm frittering away my time, er, I mean the human version)

Kate said...

Since I didn't know what it was, and had to look it up, I vote for the ghazal.

HKatz said...

Ghazal and drawing. Draw whatever it is you wrote the ghazal about. Not sure how you'd have time for both in one afternoon, whether it's today's afternoon or a different day's afternoon, so this is likely a thumb-twiddling answer as well...

Rosie said...

o go on, install google chrome, you know you want to really

Fire Bird said...

Slipper socks and flapjacks...

Lucy said...

I ought to do this more often. Not bore you all with it, but set down my options, because it did spur me to do as many of them as possible.

I succeeded in making flapjacks, with partly muscovado sugar and raisins and linseeds in, so they were quite wholefoody and muesli-ish, and I did some ironing and listened to some Proust. The Balbec interlude is actually most of the volume, and has degenerated from the lyrical paean of grief for his grandmother into his tedious tormenting and suspecting of Albertine and her almost as tiresomely playing along with it, of which I'm sure there's much more to come. However, there's still the fun of the Marquise de Cambremer and her artistically enthusiastic salivary glands, and the wonderful servants Celeste and Marie-thingammyjig and their bizarre poet-peasant diction, and still lots of lovely seashore light and seagulls.

I also made a good start on the slipper socks, cut out the soles and sewed one of them on in the evening watching telly. I'll take a photo when they're done.

I also gave Molly a walk and a brush, took her photo in her new coat, and gave her a trim round the ears. I'll have to evne them up and one of them's now a bit longer than the other.

And I lit the fire and made some nice little chicken pot-pies for supper.

I don't think I'd have achieved half as much if I hadn't set it all out like this, and received your encouragement, so thank you!

I still haven't decided about the browser, but feel if I do change I'd quite like something different and a bit elegant... There is now a Safari for Windows too.

His Girl said...

Sew the pillows! The thought of you cooking makes me hungry.

HLiza said...

Mine is Firefox, hubby got it for all our laptops..I didn't know how he did it and I had no idea you have so many other choices! I'll go for the drawing as ironing sounds very much burden and reminds me of what I need to do this weekend. And remember to show us what you did!

angeline said...

If you can get through Greenlanders, you will have my everlasting admiration. I tried it once - and I am a huge Jane Smiley fan - and it made me want to hide in the closet and cry.

kamal said...

مكتبة العرب

http://www.2vip.info/

Barrett Bonden said...

I think Kamal says it best.

As I mentioned, my grandson insisted I install Firefox but whatever protection it provided was countermanded by the problems it imposed. It is now a memory. I enjoyed your attempts to winnow software by criteria other than functionality (horrible word) and wondered if any of us have ever had a sentimental attachment to software. It is said that no one ever changes their WP but this is not sentiment at work, rather the fear of letting go the hand of nurse. Back in the DOS days the company I worked for provided us with FM3, a file management system that was easy to use and its benefits self-evident. I copied it on to a floppy and installed on my own computer at home. That was a form of sentimentality. In those days innovations often were recognisable giant steps forwards. Within a month or so the next version of Windows incorporated all the features of FM3 and sentiment gave way to pragmatism.

While ironing my mother used to listen to Wilhelm Backhaus playing the Hammerklavier and Eliot reading the Four Quartets. Though nothing on this earth would ever induce me to iron anything again (or to polish even a smidgeon of brass) I can get sentimental about the thought of you ironing to Proust. What's it like to have an intermediary? What sort of voice? And hardly any distance at all from Cabourg. I shall go away and write an ode to Photoshop Elements 3.

Plutarch said...

Time for another ghazal.
Nowadays Heidi does all the ironing. She listens to the radio and says she enjoys the combination. I have to admit to taking pleasure in doing something useful and self-indulgent at the same time. Before Heidi came into my life, I used to iron meticulously with Radio 4 for companion. Proust and ironing must be hard to beat. I imagine those long sentences counterpointing the quivering motion of the iron in pursuit of creases. So, too, Eliot reading the Four Quartets about which in the old days, I had long ago been informed by BB and duly impressed. Have you heard of the sport or occupation called extreme ironing where ironing equipment is transported to a mountain top, or, who knows, to the bottom of the sea?

rb said...

I would either read, make flapjacks or check out the browser - I would flit between all three actually as that is how I operate and why my computer is always grubby.

I use Firefox and Safari on our Macs and Firefox on the other computers (one of which runs Windows - yuck so slow! and the other runs Ubuntu - fast). I prefer Firefox but there are some things, uploading where it is prone to crash occasionally and where Safari is more reliable). I did tinker with Chrome once but I didn't bond with it. But lots of people swear by it so I will probably give it a try again another day.

Rouchswalwe said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Mol's new raincoat!

christopher said...

I assume it is the same Jane Smiley. Oddly enough, I know the sister fairly well to the American writer Jane, a Gail Smiley, who practices as a psychologist here in the Portland Oregon area.

zephyr said...

i switched to Firefox simply because i was fed up with Explorer crashing all of the time...and i have not looked back nor have i been tempted by any others.

By the way, i just read about the devastating storm that swept through France...and i am hoping you, your home, and neighbors are all safe and sound.

zephyr said...

P.S. on the browser question:
My experience with Safari, when i helped my friend set up her blog, was awful...found it to be just terrible...and so have some other blogger friends...just FYI/my 2cents

Dick said...

All pretty sound options, except the ironing. You didn't do the ironing, did you?