Why the fox rocks….

So like so many of the people out there I’m a Firefox user. I have been for a number of years now. Yet, I’ve only used a tiny portion of the browser’s capabilities and, I’m willing to bet that average joe IE user that switched over doesn’t either. It was a couple of weeks ago that I ran across a feature over at Lifehacker called “Show us you firefox” and the true power and adaptability of Firefox was revealed to me. The keyword here is extensibility. There are a slew of add-on one can add to their Firefox to customize and enhance it’s use. Let me show you some of the extensions I use:

Tab Scope: Hovering the mouse over a tab reveals a preview of the tab in question.

Colorful Tabs: Turns your tab background pretty colors.

TinyMenu: Turns my menu bar into a single button.

Smart Bookmarks Bar: Collapse the bookmark in your toolbar into icons

Tab Mix Plus: Allows you to manage your tabs better including a list of closed tabs and the ability to reopen them.  Also manages your sessions.

Source Chart: View page source as a handy graphic chart.

Anyway, think about adding some extensions to firefox to improve your browsing experience.

To all good things….Harry Potter **Minor Spoilers**

I’ll admit I’m a little sad at the end of the series.  I thought the book itself was good with a few things I didn’t like, mainly one instance of what I call “Robinson Crusoes’ Dog” (referring of course to the sudden appearence of a dog in the middle of Defoe’s book without any previous reference) in this case the harvesting of Basilisk teeth near the end of the book.  It seems silly to leave a basilisk corpse laying around for half a decade, but maybe it’s just me.  The book overall had a darker tone throughout the bulk and Rowling did an excellent job conveying a sense of desperation and loss throughout the majority.   She certainly left me craving some form of success to occur and when the tide begins to turn your own emotions soar along with the protagonists. While for mature readers the ending was probably glimpsed (at least in part) by most the “Battle of Hogwarts,” taking place throughout the last 150 pages or so, was some of the more exciting fantasy I’ve read so far.  In particularly Harry’s final confrontation with Voldemort.  I felt like Harry, throughout the course of 6 books, had simply stumbled upon the role of hero through no wish of his own.  He seemed to me a character that would have been happy to fly beneath the radar but, because to his birth and who he was, unable to do so.  It isn’t until the final stages of the last book (the decision to face Voldemort) that Harry completes his apotheosis into both adult and hero.  The Harry we see in that final confrontation is not the Harry we see on page 1.   I do have minor gripes about the expository scenes towards the end (I refer especially to the Snape flashback) I am hard pressed to think of another method through which those revalations could have occurred.  Overall it has been a fantastic ride and I am sorry to see it over and done with.

On a final note:  If you found the end epilogue not to your satisfaction I highly recommend you check out Rowlings brief interview over at MSNBC where she adds details to the rather hazy ending.  It can be found here.

Retrospective: Naked Wednesdays

Oh…Naked Wednesdays how I miss thee!  The lesser known, and less long-lived, sister “holiday” of Pick-up Truck Party Thursdays is only slightly less mourned.  Now, the first thing you have to understand about Naked Wednesday is that while it did indeed occur on a Wednesday there was no actually nudeness involved.  I believe the name came about as means to elicit discomfort and confusion amongst third parties.  In fact I’m not even sure who or how the name came about; perhaps a former participant could enlighten me.

Let us go back, dear reader, to the bygone year of 1999.  It was then, in my junior year of high school, that Naked Wendesday was born (nb.  I have no notes to confirm this so the date is extrapolated from rather hazy memories, I’m not sure if it occured pre-Perfect Dark or not).  Four friends to decided to pick a day when all matters and responsibilities academic, social, and personal were put asside in the name of entertainment.  We would rush home from school and then head immediatley to a friends basement where we would play video games to our hearts content.  Silly?  Yes.  Fun? Yes.  But there you have it.

These weren’t any games mind you.  We’re talking about the heyday of Nintendo 64.  When the tri-pronged controller, in its multitude of colors, reigned supreme.  We wiled away hours at such classics as Goldeneye, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart 64, and don’t forget 3D0’s (R.I.P.) glorious Battletanks series.  There was much soda and junk foods consumed, there was shouting and yelling, there were reset buttons slammed in frustration (I’m looking at you Mike!), and controllers hurled across the room. 

 Eventually, as assignments piled up and projects loomed, Naked Wednesdays tapered off until they were gone.  But Naked Wednesdays aren’t truly dead, their spirit lives on, though the time is gone and the people scattered.  We still remember.