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March 2011 - Posts

LastTab 3.0t3 released

Bleary-eyed, but it's released. Truth be told I'd rather not release it right now, but, since Mozilla went ahead and released Firefox 4 I felt I had no choice. Version 3.0t3 is, at this point, more or less the successor to LastTab 2.2 so I'll be releasing it on Mozilla's Add-ons site shortly. I seriously didn't get anywhere near the time I would rather have to dogfood the new features, but such is life and a promised release on the weekend. Hey, it's still technically the weekend, lol. I unexpectedly ran into issues that just had to be corrected before release.

Aside from the gripes I actually am happy with the new Enhanced Menu popup. I had always planned on adding this popup, but as I got into creating it I realized I really miss the binding features of WPF. So I included a primitive version of a data binding engine. Some parts of the Enhanced Menu are bound to each other so it simplifies the coding some. I didn't have time to fully flesh it out the way I want for this release, but I eventually plan on using it for the options dialog and other parts of the extension as appropriate. Might even see about releasing it as a separate download.

Something new to LastTab is what I'm calling content detection for the previews. Like the data binding engine this was a completely unplanned feature. Now that I have a widescreen monitor I noticed how much space I was staring at in the previews and got curious about getting rid of it. Starting investigating the DOM and how to spot the real content on a page. Over a few weekends -- when I had time to work on LastTab -- it became my little obsession as I saw how neat it was. Perfect it ain't, which is the prime reason I included an option to turn it off, but I think over time it'll get better. Overall I much prefer it to the standard "show everything" previews. It'll really come into play with the planned all previews popup and help give each tab more distinctiveness, since the previews will be different dimensions.

Content Detection Comparison
On Off

One other new thing about previews in LastTab is how the size of the previews are specified. Previously you would specify an integer width. I decided to eliminate this in favor of a monitor resolution dependent scale. I thought this would be more user friendly in the sense that you can use a slider to specify the preview size.

Okay, time for sleep.

Posted: Mon, Mar 28 2011 1:01 AM by Humpty | with 7 comment(s)
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LastTab and Firefox 4

I've been noticing more people coming to my blog using Firefox 4. There is a version of LastTab compatible with Firefox 4 on my web site. I haven't made it available on the Mozilla Add-ons site because I've discontinued work on LastTab 2.x series in favor of 3.x. I haven't considered it functionally equivalent enough to version 2.2 to release it there yet. Version 3.0t3 will be released this weekend and is functionally equivalent enough to version 2.2 that I'll release it to Mozilla Add-ons.

Posted: Wed, Mar 23 2011 9:52 PM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Things I've learned (from chasing this woman)

Despite the title this is not, I suspect, going to be a dating adventures post. Rather it's really going to be what I've learned about myself and life as a result of pursuing a woman. Since I view life as a classroom I try to distill lessons from my experiences. I think I'll go the bullet point route in offering up said learnings this time.

Say what you feel

A friend had turned me on to Steve Pavlina's site some time back, and one post in particular stood out to me in the midst of feeling down about this woman. Basically it was just about not playing the dating game, trying to guess intentions, and just outright say what you feel. I did this with this woman, but as usual when calling I got the voicemail, so left a voicemail saying I was interested in her beyond friends. It was actually a very tough thing to bring myself to do, I was shaking before and after the call. But oddly I had a strength when I was saying it because it was the truth. I was comforted by the fact that I was simply telling her what I already felt. I was thinking after the call my shakes were due to me being truly honest about something I would usually keep hidden. Almost like removing the caked on dust on something that's been too long dormant. That's how my energy body felt to me. I was finally letting my energy flow through my blue ray energy center instead of impeding it.

Since then I've been coming back to this lesson from different ways. I'm starting to settle on this woman is probably stringing me along, not maliciously, but because she has a hard time saying no. She told me this when we first started talking, in relation to her family wanting her to do something that she didn't really want to do, and then making up excuses as to why she couldn't do it even though she had already agreed. She is a very nice person and very friendly, but I see now how such behavior is actually hurtful in its own way. At least if you're doing it out of a desire to not hurt the other person by not saying how you truly feel. There's nothing wrong by being honest, in expressing what you already feel. If you think it'll hurt the other person to say what you know they don't want to hear, take comfort in knowing you'll just be expressing your truth. It's taken me experience – and this experience with this woman in particular – for this lesson to truly be learnt. Having experienced both sides of this honesty issue I feel I have a more balanced view on it.

Generally speaking I might say lying to protect someone from the truth is not a wise thing. It's akin to trying to put out a fire with a fire. The ends do not justify the means. It may be difficult, incredibly so, to speak a truth you know another doesn't want to hear. But if you think you're sparing them that hurt, just know you're trading it for another. Again, it's taken me experience to learn this, but it's been reinforced to me that nothing bad truly comes from being honest.

Face reality, not a fantasy

Another lesson I've learned in regards to pursuing this lady is the importance of honestly dealing with yourself and not living with delusions. One of the first things I thought about after calling this woman and expressing how I truly felt about her was how I could no longer live in a delusion. No longer could I fool myself into thinking she's interested in me when there are signs she isn't. This isn't to say I discount this possibility, even now, it's just the delusions I'm talking about are more of a cognitive dissonance. Ignoring and minimizing things that don't support what I want to see, preferring things that support what I want to see, no matter how small or infrequently they occur.

It's hard to give up on someone that you really like, it's especially hard when they give you signals that you can interpret in a way different from what they intend – e.g. they can't say no. All the unreturned phone calls, the excuses for not being able to do something go flying out the window when they smile and talk with you so freely. When you're in the midst of such a state it's hard to get out, let alone even notice you're in it. I think this is why women stay with abusive boyfriends. "I can change him." "There are times he's nice to me, he doesn't really mean it." It's a powerful drug.

The mystic in me thinks about this in regards to reality creation. I think it is necessary to imagine what you want to create, to give it energy, breathe life into it so to speak, in order for your dreams to come about. But I guess the more balanced view I'm coming across now is to notice what you create and not just what you want to create. If you fall off your bike don't pretend you didn't. Accept that you did, try to analyze why, and then try again to ride without falling. I suppose another idea that comes to mind is there's nothing wrong with failure, not achieving what you set out to achieve. Nothing to be ashamed of.

Don't act contrary to what you want

This is a relatively recent lesson. I was taking an elevator down at work to go take a walk – ya know, feeling bummed. When it got to the first floor it bobbed up and down like the cable was going to break or something. I got out a floor earlier and just walked to the ground floor. Later when I got back to the building I had a thought to just take the stairs up. If I did that that would take me past this lady's cubicle and so I might have to face her and I didn't really want her to see me in the sad state I was in. So even though I actually really wanted to talk to her, since she was the reason why I was bummed, I ended up taking the elevator back up and didn't talk to her. The next day when I was thinking about this I realized if what I really wanted was to talk to her I shouldn't take steps that are contrary to this. Regardless of what reasons I may present to myself to justify my behavior, that doesn't change the fact I'm acting opposite from what I want.

It's been a common behavior pattern of mine to become emotionally self-destructive and get into a downward spiral when things don't go my way. I presume to know what the other person is thinking and act on that, instead of what's actually happened, things they've actually said. Now I see more clearly how such behavior hasn't helped me. Prematurely cutting off communication with someone is usually what happens. Which, in light of what I've learned, is not at all what I really want. I really want to talk to the person, I just get hurt and lash out in unproductive ways.

The following day I decided to ask this lady if we could go for a walk so I could talk to her outside of work. I can't say the end result of the talk we had significantly changed anything, but I at least felt better. I was doing what I really wanted to do: talk to her and ultimately date her. I had that same shaky feeling I had when I told her how I felt about her when I asked for the walk. It's what I really wanted to do, but for too long I've denied myself from expressing such behavior. I think I'm on the right track. Nothing bad truly comes from expressing your truth.

Summary

I've mentioned before how I think people are fragmented beings, how we aren't fully aware of ourselves. These experiences, and the lessons I've been learning from them, have been shedding light and clarity on what that means in terms of day-to-day actions. One of the biggest obstacles I've been noticing to becoming more aware of these lessons is fear, fear of humiliation, fear of not knowing something you think you should already know. That last one seems a bit comical to me now, how can you feel bad for not knowing something you don't even know you should know. But yet I've gotten that thought from others before, "you should know these things at your age by now". Depending on how someone processes that thought it can be a great stumbling block in knowing, integrating, and accepting yourself. Living to the expectations of others instead of being yourself. You'll never find yourself if you keep looking to someone else.