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'Excellent' - C. Montgomery Burns

iPod Madness

22. December 2004 | Category Money

Seems now that even the banking world has caught onto the iPod addiction that has plagued the country. Citibank is now offering an iPod mini in lieu of interest for opening a checking account with them. It seems like a tantalizing offer, but has it’s caveats. Seems you have to park some good chunk of money in there for a year, have it in a no interest checking account and pay some bills online as well. The only part that may be interesting is the online billpay which I’ve never done but could possibly have issues with.

It looks like it would work though, so all things executed properly, I should have me a shiny new iPod mini come April. I’m cautiously optimistic.

[Listening to: Kermit & Big Bird Stoned – Comedy – (2:29)]

Season Greetings! — Christmas Letter 2004

20. December 2004 | Category Personal

We here at the Piotter family hope this letter reaches you in good company and spirits for this upcoming holiday season. As you have probably eagerly awaited, we shall go on about our family and doings this past year.

Linda finally saw the last of her kids through high school. She has taken up a position with the church finance board. She was the glue that kept everyone together and doing their own things this year as well. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends this past year.

Michael has had quite an interesting year as well. He has worn a few different hats this year in regards to employment. He started out this past year working for Michael Foods in Gaylord as the Safety Intern, where he learned all about keeping a large processing plant safe and poured over oodles of exciting MSDS data. From that job, he found a position with Sibley County Highway Engineering Dept. for the summer, scouring Sibley County and helping survey things for future improvements to infrastructure. A roadway widening project the County had contracted out led to Michaels third job, working as a grade man for Brunz Construction out of Madison Lake. They needed help completing their work in Sibley County and other various housing developments near Mankato.
Michael, continuing his work with the Green Isle CTC, also was excited to see traffic to his genealogy website increase, along with some correspondence from far flung relation here in the US, as well as Canada and Europe.

Lynnea had the joy of spending spring break in Italy with friends from Gustavus. This summer she had the great opportunity to intern at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She also started her final year of nursing at GAC and moved to a posh apartment with some girlfriends. Now she currently sorts through applications for various grad schools sprawled out upon the country, of which she must only choose one.

James graduated high school and was accepted into Alex Tech for the Carpentry program. He is enjoying learning how to build almost everything. He also had what he considered a fun job of milking cows for some friends of the family during the spring and summer. He also got to spend some quality time with his sister this summer while working at a Autism Camp in northern Mn. He has had fun decorating his car with musical accessories and other various doodads.

Hope everything finds you well and in the best of health and spirits this holiday season and wishing you a blessed 2005!

The Piotters ~ Linda, Michael, Lynnea & James


Mozilla disappointments

7. December 2004 | Category Technology

With today’s release of Thunderbird, it appears Mozilla is starting to go somewhere decent. While it may be in it’s infancy, there are too many things that disappoint me to get on the bandwagon with Thunderbird and/or Firefox.

Sure, I prefer Mozilla products to the pitiful Microsoft alternatives. I have been using Mozilla Suite since 1.3, I believe. I don’t think I’ll ever change, this Suite covers my email, web browsing and is starting to support a calendar program to boot. I love it.

My problem is with the individual products of Thunderbird and Firefox. I first thought they would be standalone components of the Suite. While they share alot of the similarities, they are missing a few major things in my book.

Firefox is missing the ability to collapse the menu options for each line above viewing window unlike Suite browser. And you have to add on oodles of extensions just to get some Suite browser functionality. Needless to say, extensions are very cool, but some extensions don’t work, and then they are extremely tedious to remove.

Thunderbird lacks in similar areas too, but the major drawback to me is the lack of being able to open a link in any email in a new browser tab either in Firefox or Suite browser. Having browsed the support info, it looks like a nightmare to figure out how to do this onesself.

So I’m gonna continue to avoid the hoopla over the glamourous Firefox and Thunderbird and be excited about Mozilla Suite releases and updates. I just wish they’d name it something catchy and stick with it, unlike the debacle Firefox has been through.

Although I’m confused about why Mozilla has it’s plugins/extensions listed on numerous different sites, here are extensions I like for whatever Mozilla product:

Mycroft install various site searches
Foxytunes favorite music player controls in broswer
del.icio.us the ever popular metatagged online bookmark site


MSN Spaces

3. December 2004 | Category Internet, Rest of Site, Technology, Updates

Seems MSN is finally jumping on the blog bandwagon. So I’ve signed up with:

the epitome of ambiguity @ MSN Spaces

Not sure if it’ll be as cool as this weblog, but it’s something interesting at least. After toying around with the features and custom settings, it might be a good thing for people wanting to get into weblogs fairly easy. Even heard they might integrate the newest MSN Messenger to post to this Spaces site. We shall soon see.


Black is Depressing?

30. November 2004 | Category My Websites

Recently got feedback that my website needs to be more ‘happy’!?!? Hm… black and neon green just don’t jump out as happy and exciting I guess. I thought I had read somewhere that a background in either black/white is bold and effective. Having done white for a good chunk of time and thinking white looked dirty and boring, one naturally considers the dark side of the color spectrum. And I think the shade of green I’ve implemented is a nice constrast as well to the utter blackness. I’ve always liked blue, but it doesn’t have the visibility a neon green does.

So what was I advised to do? Emoticons and awesome psychedelic backgrounds with lots of pictures and colors. Kinda the opposite of what I got now. Hm… and this was from a 13 year old kid. Is he onto something or just kidding? I may revamp some un-happy areas of the site as a result. Damn kids!

[Listening to: Happy (Live From Central Park) – Sheryl Crow & Keith Richards – (3:21)]