Posts from March 2011

Messing with depression

Mar-30-2011 7:02 PM

Depression isn’t quite just a choice; circumstances and events color it, no doubt about that. But there is an element of will to what you feel like day to day. You can actually decide to be thankful and happy because of that. It’s not a magic cure, but it might beat straight depression.

A recent answer on Ask MetaFilter reminded me.

If you’re doing better, then you’re good. The world evolves and so should your happiness. Whatnotever is right in saying that you will never “arrive” at some type of eternal happiness. That being said, happiness can be a lifestyle. It is the spiritual quest. To wake up in the morning and say “Today is going to be a good day!”

That sounds like a self help book I know, but guiding your meditations (meaning thoughts) to take control of your life is the point, right? Don’t see bad times as “regressing.” That’s self condemnation. If you’re going to decide that there is something wrong with you, seek professional help. If you don’t find it serious enough to seek professional help, then you’re not regressing, its just a bad week. And bad times don’t have to last for a certain length. Don’t decide to early “It’s a bad day.” or “It’s a bad week.” when it could just be a bad morning or day.

Moods are often guided by expectation. Expect to be happy. When you see you’re not happy, take control of it. If its beyond your control, know you will be happy again. You are already doing better and taking steps towards gaining control means that you have the opportunity to be even happier than the average individual. Good luck.


I’ve been messing with depression again. I get down about my failures, about things that are happening to people close to me, about the meaning, repetition, and rhythym of life. Strange as it sounds, it gives me a high. It’s an easy way to access strong emotions—just get blue, put on some hopeless music, and funk.

I imagine that’s not very healthy, though, and the reason I do it is because that’s what I’m used to doing. The needle’s worn the grooves too deep. I’m also afraid that if I don’t feel down I’m not paying attention to issues. Maybe I just need to concentrate.

Don’t get me wrong, though. There are things that should make you sad. Lots of stuff. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad. That’s meta depressing.

Gmail Smart Labels

Mar-29-2011 8:11 PM

This is one of the best Gmail Labs ever. Basically it filters out messages that aren’t personal. This is really great, especially for people that get a lot of email, I bet. Pretty much everything not sent by a human is bunged neatly away into the respective Bulk, Notifications, and Forums magilabels, ready for your attention only when you choose to give it.

If you need to, you can add a filter to make sure certain notifications or other Smart stuff does land in your inbox. Don’t edit the SmartLabel Filter unless you intend to, though. It affects everything for that Smart category.

Gmail Smart Labels Lab

Smart Labels, putting the relevance back into (1).

Firefox 4

Mar-20-2011 6:54 PM

Firefox 4 logo and wordmark

It’s in RC now, so pretty much baked.

Panorama. It’s an interesting feature/solution to handle many tabs. I feel that it may not catch on with casual users. Maybe with some power users. It feels clunky to me. It has potential, but it needs improvement and a more visible integration.

Multi-process. Firefox doesn’t have a full multi-process tab design yet, but it does have sandboxing of several, if not all, plugins. I don’t seem to have plugin crashes much in Chrome or Firefox, but it’s definitely a nice feature. Mostly, though, I like being able to kill a single tab in Chrome. In Firefox, if it’s not a plugin crashing, the whole app hangs. Super annoying. I have had a few whole app hangs with Chrome, but not as much as Firefox, I think. Also, Firefox occasionally has really random crashes, while Chrome tends to be pretty solid.

New add-ons page. Stuff in a tab, kind of like Chrome. I like it, though it’s inconsistent. The rest of the settings are still in a window. That won’t bother most people, I think, but it’s a little strange.

Speed. Firefox keeps improving, though it seems destined to always lag behind WebKit. I’ve heard that Firefox 4 start up times and general operation speed are also pretty good, maybe even comparable to Chrome. Even Chrome seems to take a little while to start up on my system, though, so I’m not really one to judge speed.

Tabs on top. Nice change. As I saw someone saying, it makes tabs easier to understand since they look more like physical tabs in a file folder. Unlike Chrome, the original window decoration is kept, although the tabs and Firefox button can cover most of it. I’ve gotten used to it, but Chrome’s use of non-standard window decoration still bugs me.

New theme. On Windows XP, simple, unobtrusive, and neutral with subtle highlight effects. I approve, because the XP theme in Firefox 3 was ugly. I’m not sure yet about the Firefox button, but I have a feeling it’s easier to navigate than Chrome’s menu. I also like the classic menus disappearing—apps look so much cleaner without a bunch of them.

Miscellaneous. Now has pinned tabs like Chrome. I prefer the way Chrome’s behave, though. Now has a syncing service like Chrome. If you use more than one OS or computer, it’s an easy way to keep things synced up, which is more important than you might think when your browser is about your most used app.

I was a Firefox user for a long time. Chrome made a surprise appearance and I liked it, but didn’t feel comfortable enough switching each time I gave it a shot. At some point, the state of Chrome, especially of add-ons, clicked and I switched over. I try Firefox now and then but can’t really switch back to it full time. I’ve become very comfortable with the way Chrome does things. I still hold out on Firefox for web development, though. Chrome has a pretty good dev tool, but I prefer Firebug.

stretta / Escape Philosphy

Mar-05-2011 12:15 PM

I ran into this guy (one Matthew G. Davidson) via Sonoio. He does modular synth, ambient piano like Brian Eno, and some of both. The synth is just badass cool and talented. The piano is calm, relaxing, and not classical nor new age trash. You can listen to all of his stuff between Bandcamp and SoundCloud.


A Towering Achievement of Indescribable Beauty

Beautiful and relaxing ambient piano. I think I like it a little better than Brood XIV.

On Bandcamp for $5 or legally download MP3s free via torrent.1

Brood XIV

Sister album to ATAOIB (with “overdubs of modular synth”). More goodness.

On Bandcamp for $5 or legally download MP3s free via torrent.

A Funneled Stone

A modular synth album. This is how I was introduced to stretta. It’s fun to listen to, but I keep forgetting I have it. Then I remember and have a nice sort of surprise. Some of the tracks remind me of the creepy parts of the Halo soundtrack. My favorite track is The Future Never Spoke; it sounds like something out of an old video game except in higher fidelity.

On Bandcamp for $7.99.

Error Correction

It’s been a while since I listened to this one, but as I remember it’s an EP in the style of A Funneled Stone.

On Bandcamp for $5.


He also has some samples for download if you’re into that sort of thing.

  1. New to torrents? Grab µTorrent and have fun.