My god, I’m tedious.

I’ve skimmed my “recent entries” page.  The great majority of my posts lately have been of the complaining sort.  Or at least, they’ve started out with something that happened that I didn’t like, and meandered on from there.  This is totally unnacceptable.  Just because I’ve had a bit of rubbish time of late is no excuse for degenerating into the sort of behaviour that characterises other people’s journals.

So, unemployment, day two.  (Technically, day four or six, but I’m counting from this Monday, rather than last week, and I don’t intend to include weekends in the count.  The last two days of last week were time to unwind, that’s all.  Yes.)  Thus far, I’m enjoying the little things.  Like the luxury of a reasonably leisurely breakfast in the morning, rather than having whatever I manage to grab on my way to work.  The time to make coffee, and toast muffins before doing anything with my day is fantastic.  Muffins and chopped liver are a great way to start the day.  (I can hear the retching from here.  You’re all freaks.  Liver is great, and good for you, too.)

In case you’re wondering, I am utterly determined to enjoy being unemployed, even if I’d rather it was only for a short while.  Yeah, I have a few worries, and it’s going to crimp my lifestyle a bit, but on the other hand, I have the novelty of free time.  I can actually do most of the things I want to in a given day, and still have spare time.  There’s a very real danger that I might get around to some of those jobs I’ve been putting off for years – Ninth Art has already had some upgrades to its search function today, with more planned, and assuming that I’m still unemployed this time next week (I’ve got other things to do for the next while) I think I might finally get around to coming up with an overhaul for Black Ink.  God forbid I should be unemployed long enough to actually feel like doing some writing, though…

Yes, I know how well the last few times that I’ve remembered that I’ve got a website there and tried to do something with it have worked out.  This won’t be any different, but it’ll at least look prettier.  Well, it should.  Well, it might.  Maybe.  Stop looking at me like that.

Things that Rock(i)

I did this a few years back – spent a week talking about “things that rocked” on a daily basis.  I think I should start doing it again.

So, things that Rock today:  iTunes.  I don’t understand why anyone uses any other MP3 software.  Even if it wasn’t for my beloved iPod, I’d use this – other players may duplicate some or even most of the functions, but I’ve not found another that does the lot, and is so damn user-friendly. It keeps my music collection beautifully organised on my hard drive, makes searching and assembling playlists a doddle, has rather nice “smart playlist” functions where you can define criteria for it to search on, and it’ll build a (random) playlist that matches your options, and I could go on and on.  Instead, though, I’ll pick out my two very favourite things about it:

1) “Party Shuffle”.  I get up in the morning, I hit play.  And for the rest of the day, I get a constant random mix of my MP3s, skewing slightly toward the ones I’ve told it I like more.  I’ve used other audio players, and none of them have made it as easy to set a constant random shuffle going, or their shuffle has always been conspicuously less than random, and none of them have thought to add the function play may favourite tracks more often.  It’s such a tiny thing, but it means I almost never find myself skipping tracks on the shuffle – the storming tunes in my collection crop up often enough to keep me from feeling the need to go hunting for one, and I still get to hear the stuff I might otherwise forget about.

2) Shared music libraries.  I don’t expect anyone like like everything in my collection.  Hell, I don’t expect most people to like much in my collection.  But I’d be floored if there wasn’t something in the 4000+ tracks I’ve got that any given person could enjoy.  And likewise, the odds are pretty good that I won’t like most of what most people have on their machines.  But still – the shared music library function means that anyone on the same local network at least has the opportunity to take a look for themselves without any extra effort on anyone’s part.  Brilliant bit of functionality – I know I’ve listened to (and bought) stuff I never normally would have as a result.

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