December 2006


I’ve told you why you should switch to firefox already: Because it’s faster, prettier, and more powerful. So I’m sure you’ve already switched. Here’s the latest trick I’ve just found.

You can search any search box on the web from inside your address bar. My 2 most helpful ones are “map XXXXXX” which automatically searches google maps and “dict XXXXX” which searches dictionary.com. But you can set up your browser to search any search box on any webpage. Maybe you’re constantly searching Mary’s site for how to clean up vomit? You could add “OH XXXXXXX” search function. Or maybe, you just need to know how much that present would cost at Amazon? Rather than going to the site, finding the search bar and typing in your search, just type “amazon *product name*” into the address bar. This website shows you how to add new search functions and even includes a download for a bunch of common searches to get you started.

Yep, that Works for me.

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In case you hadn’t taken a look at my sidebar recently (if you’re reading this on the single post page, you’ll have to go to the main page to see it), I’ve been racking up a lot of wins at Avery’s “Caption Me” contest where he puts up a photo and you get to add a caption. Now while I think I’m a pretty funny guy, the more likely reason I’ve been winning is that only a few people submit captions, so the competition is slim. This week, I’m the only one that has an entry. So, please go and leave a comment so that I don’t win by default.

I’m not sure what I expected from a government agency that changed its name twice in 6 months. But I was surprised to open Yordie’s citizenship paperwork  and find out that she was listed as a male. Now at first I was excited since Estifanos, Dylan (the dog), and I are out numbered 3 to 6, but my fantasy was broken when I remembered that I had been changing diapers for a couple of months and knew for sure that she was a girl. Then I got freaked out that maybe she was listed as a male on her passport and wouldn’t that be fun to change from 9000 miles away. But you’ll be relieved to know that she was listed as a female on both her passport and her US issued visa. Now you would think that in this day and age, her vital statistics would be transported (and used to fill out the certificate) electronically, but apparently there’s a guy in the back of some office filling these things out on a selectric. I guess this really shouldn’t surprise me since they have a form which they send to all international adopting parents that has an expiration time crossed out and a new length of time it’s valid typed in at the bottom of the page. Now I figured that they just had stacks and stacks of these blank forms around and that they were saving trees and tax payer dollars by filling out the information on the old forms and having the word processor mark out the old expiration length and type in the new one. But no, I was in their office and they fill out the whole form and print it from a word document. No one thought to just change the expiration time rather than enter it with the cross out and the new time at the bottom? Maybe that requires an act of congress or something?

Anyway, there were instructions on how to get it fixed that came with the certificate (apparently this happens a lot), which included needing a new passport sized photo. Have you ever tried to get a passport photo of a 14 month old (yes, this was a few months ago, I couldn’t post this until we got the final one back lest the agency read it and hold up our certificate). Our attempts at getting the picture are under the fold.
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It’s still Friday some places (here for one); here’s the top 3 things I found on the web (it was a busy week):

I guess I am the big surprise.  So who am I am.  Well I thought I woulld tell you 30 interesting facts about me, since I am a 30 year old mom.

30.  I am not computer savy, so often times I don’t understand Works for me Wednesday too well.

29.  I was raised by the beach in CA, and although I lived in Northern California and Chicago for many years my heart was always in So. Cal at the beach.

28.  I have two dogs and two cats who satsified my maternal instinct while, Brian got his PhD.

27.  I am the youngest of two daughters.

26.  I love to travel and garden.

25.  I had never really changed a diaper until August.

24.  I am an organizer and with three little kids, I have learned to be flexible.

23.  I always saw myself as having 2 kids, but now I can imagine having four someday.

22.  I have four seats in my car and three car seats.

21.  I love reading to my kids.

20.  I have a great family who has supported Brian and I on our journey to family.

19.  I am a great advocate for my kids.  They are my world.  The other day a preschool teacher commented on how my son was having problems writing his name. I got so mother on her.  “He just turned four.  He has nine letters in his name.  He is not starting school for a year and a half.  He has only been in the US six months.”

18.  My dogs who are 50 and 100 pounds both sleep in bed with me.

17.  I have a masters degree in social work.

16.  I work with homeless mentally ill people.

15.  I love to wake up next to my 19 month old slobbering on me.  It is the best feeling.

14.  I make my kids lunches everyday.

13. I met my husband in Mexico building houses.

12. We have been married 7 years.

11. We met in college and had a When Harry Met Sally relationship.

10. I love John Hughes movies and pop culture.

9. I love to watch my daughter play soccer, even though she kicks it in the wrong direction half the time.  She is five when holding hands with friends is more important than scoring goals.

8. I love to walk or run when I have time.

7. I am blessed with a loving, cute, and supportive husband.

6. I love having three kids to come home to everynight.

5.   I love that my four year old son thinks we look exactly alike except he is “brown and I am yellow.”

4. I know who Cailou is.  I watch him 20 times daily with my son.

3.  I have been to Ethiopia twice in the last year.

2.  I became a mother in April, but feel like I have known my kids their whole lives.

1.  I am a mother of three amazing kids.

So I’ve told you how to speed up your browser and make it pretty. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to switch, if not, hopefully these neat add-ons will do the trick. If the only reason that you haven’t switched is because you don’t want to loose all your cookies, it looks like you can import them from Microsoft IE.

I’m just left with 12 add-ons not including the 6 I already told you about. These really put the power into Firefox.

I’m pretty sure these two came with Firefox and I don’t really know what they do, but I wouldn’t delete them:
DOM Inspector
Talkback

I guess we’ll go alphabetical for the rest (the ones in bold, I couldn’t live without), because that’s the way they’re listed in my All-in-One Sidebar which happens to be the first one alphabetically:

All-in-One Sidebar puts a side bar on the side of the browser for easy access to your bookmarks, history, previous downloads, extensions, etc. Click on one of the icons and it opens up in an area on the left.

Cooliris Previews allows you to preview web pages (links) before you click on them. I haven’t decided how useful this really is since it loads fairly slow. I changed the setting on it so that it should preload the links (don’t do this on dial up), so we’ll see if it works better. It seems most useful when looking at the results of web searches.

Download Statusbar puts a little bar on the bottom when you download something instead of opening up a download window which tends to get in the way.

Drag de Go allows you to add functions to dragging links or text. For instance, if I drag a link up, it opens in a new tab, if I drag it down, it opens the link in a new tab, but stays on the tab I’m currently in. Dragging highlighted text up sends it to google and does a search automatically which has an added benefit because if you drag text that should be a link (a URL without a hyperlink), google will send you automatically to that website. So no more copy and pasting the URL into the address bar. It’s highly customizable including doing things (copy, open in new window, etc) to dragged images.

Google Reader Notifier adds an icon in the bottom status area which tells you how many feeds you have unread. I’m sure there’s probably one for bloglines too. You are reading this via feeds aren’t you?

Greasemonkey allows you to add scripts to your browser. I just added this one so I currently only have 3 (Smart Google Reader Subscribe, Google Reader Optimized, and Google Image Re-Linker), but there are hundreds of scripts you can add to make your browsing experience more enjoyable. Here’s a list of scripts, broken down by websites they change. Let me know if you find any that are really useful.

Link Alert adds an icon next to the cursor when you go over a link that’s actually a download. Don’t you hate it when you think you’re going to a webpage, but someone actually links directly to a huge PDF, you click on it, and now you’re stuck waiting for the download to complete and Adobe to open? This will alert you to the fact that it’s not a link.

Pronto Shopping Messenger pops up when you’re shopping and will take you to a page that list the same item at different stores sorted by price. Pretty useful this time of year.

ScrapBook allows you to save webpages (or even parts of webpages). And then go back and look at them in an organized/searchable fashion. I mostly use it to save conformation numbers I get when ordering stuff on-line so that I don’t have to print them out, but I’m sure other people could come up with some other useful reason to save web pages, especailly if you work off-line a lot.

TabMixPlus gives you more control over your tabs. Specifically I have mine set up so that if I double click on a tab it closes and if I click on the area without any tabs it opens a new one, but the preferences are pretty extensive (including where the next tab is opened and which tab you go to next after you close a tab) so set it up however you want.

Whew, I guess that’s it. If you’ve got an add-on that I missed that you like, please leave a note in the comments. What works for me? Making firefox work for me.

I needed to change the template of the blog since the old template didn’t have the necessary architecture for the big change to the blog coming on Thursday.  Let me know if anything looks totally weird to you.  I know about the header being cut off.  It’s going to take me a little while to fix the image since it’s a different size than the old one.

Actually, I’m not even that happy with the theme (comments are too small).  Any wordpress.com users out there have any suggestions for a theme?  Here’s my requirements:

  • Custom Banner
  • Shows authors name
  • No small comments
  • Sidebar isn’t really skinny (the quote looks stupid if its 4 words/line)
  • No weird colors

Check back on Thursday for the big announcement.  I’ll bet you already guessed it, given my requirements.

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