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Archive for July, 2010

Streetscene in Columbus, OH, July 29, 2010.

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Here’s a short, obviously non-professional video about recycling building material. It spotlights Building Value, a nonprofit social enterprise in Cincinnati that salvages reusable materials for sale to the public.

Building Value’s mission is to help the environment, reduce the cost of disposal, and give architectural gems a second life. In addition, each donation empowers people with disabilities and disadvantages to increase their independence through the work of their parent organization, Easter Seals Work Resource Center.

This is one of several short videos produced by CincinnatiMaintenance.com, a for-profit cleaning and maintenance firm that describes itself as Eco-Friendly. I don’t know anything about this firm other than these videos. But there are some intriguing ideas here and I hope non-profits and for-profits alike will continue to explore ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

I also posted about this on Ohio Interfaith Power and Light. Thanks to New Media Cincinnati on LinkedIn for this tip.

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This has been a great year for our fish pond. Normally I have to stop the pump every 3 or 4 days and clean it out, a messy task. Early in the summer it quit working and I never got around to replacing it.

Even though we’ve had some very hot, sunny weather the pond hasn’t had the algae blooms we often get. This water is dark and reasonably clear. You can even see the fish, which is unusual for us. I assume it’s because these great-looking lily pads block out so much of the direct sunlight. I might even have to go in and trim them a bit.

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Test of iPod Touch

This is a test of the WordPress app for iPhone/iPod touch. I’m using it on the latter.

Still making a lot of mistakes on the keypad.

Next test — can I upload a graphic?

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The Sacred Harp community of Cincinnati has lost one of our dearest friends. Christine Cox died last Wednesday at 87, following a serious stroke in March of this year. Singer Eloise Clark was with her when she died, singing some of her favorite hymns. John Bealle has a wonderful tribute to Chris on his website.

The Cincinnati singers will sing at her visitation this Sunday night and her funeral Monday morning. Isaac Watts’ lyrics to “China,” which we will sing, read in part:

Why do we mourn departing friends,
Or shake at death’s alarms?
‘Tis but the voice that Jesus sends,
To call them to His arms.

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Those who know me even a little bit will be shocked that I say this, but for the first time — and the second — I’ve been disappointed in Apple.

Gripe #1:

I bought a new computer, a small MacBook (white model). There’s a lot to like — it’s fast, it looks great, and I got a good academic price along with a free iPod Touch. I was even prepared to grit my teeth and accept that the Snow Leopard OS (10.6) might not run my favorite program, AppleWorks, but it still works.

I realize that for Apple this is a low-end model, but I was really disappointed that they skimped by leaving out a FireWire port. Normally the USB 2.0 ports can handle many tasks. But without FireWire, it told me to run Migration Assistant over an Ethernet cable to my older laptop running 10.4. This didn’t work; after 12 hours it had only ported over about 20% of the files.

In the past Migration Assistant on FireWire has only required an hour or so to completely and thoroughly transfer files and applications. Fortunately I had a backup hard drive with both types of port, so I used FireWire to transfer from the old machine, and USB 2.0 to update the new. But it took several hours to complete the extra steps.

Almost as bad as a Windows installation.

Gripe #2:

I needed QuickBooks for Mac. I wanted the CD and printed manual, so I went to my Apple store and picked up a copy from the software shelf. There was no register to ring up sales. I assume they took them out to make room for the crowds coming in top see iPads and iPhone 4s.

After wandering around trying to figure out how to actually, you know, buy something, I finally caught the eye of a sympathetic employee who explained that to make my purchase I would need to register and when my name came up an assistant could help me. He could not, because someone was ahead of me. And there was no way for another employee to know who or where I was. I waited 10 minutes while the other guy dithered around.

I finally said to myself, “This is nuts,” put the software back on the shelf and left. I went to the Intuit site and bought QuickBooks online. It was the worst consumer experience I’ve ever had with Apple.

Yikes. What the hell are they thinking?

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Many fine pickers from Nashville and elsewhere are here. Really cool.

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