I’m standing in the shower to take this, by the way. Back in Singapore.


I think the ones where we climbed and got a view (and a breeze) were my favorite.

Writing this down somewhere I know I can find it again, since it’s the second time I’ve had to teach myself:

iPhoto saves a duplicate of rotated photos, because it saves the original untouched copy of all edited photos, and a rotation counts as an edit. Thank you, iPhoto—hard drive space may be really cheap these days, but not on a laptop.

So, when space gets really tight on my laptop, I start rotating photos before I import them into iPhoto. Actually, since iPhoto ’09 stopped re-organizing photos into folders behind the scenes and just using dates for folder names, I now create folders before importing too.

But, when you edit a JPG, it loses quality. So you need something that does lossless rotation. Enter Xee, a lovely little piece of freeware that is a tad underdocumented.

In Xee, open the first image in the folder. Use cmd-arrow to flip through the images. When you get to one that needs rotating:

  • cmd-R to rotate (or cmd-shift-R to rotate the other way)
  • option-0 to resize the image to the window and see what you’ve got (optional)
  • cmd-S to save losslessly
  • cmd-arrow to go to next image.

This is why I didn’t import photos between late September and Christmas—too much friction in the workflow. Sorry to all those people I was supposed to send photos to in the betweentime. Or between Christmas and April. Yeah, my bad.

Six hours of sewing class, and I made a cosmetic bag and a satin pillowcase. Please note zipper, buttonhole, and ribbon. Soon will attempt hula skirt.

So, the key to managing information is having it available when you need it, but not letting it clutter your mind or life until then.

A potential approach, for the geeky-minded Mac user. If you’ve ever wondered what use Automator or AppleScript might be, here’s one way I use them. Even then, this post is probably really boring.

I keep notes on the projects and photogifts I am working on in iPhoto, in a quick-to-launch TextEdit file. I never need these notes unless I am actually in iPhoto, doing stuff.

So, I made an Automator workflow that opens my iPhoto Notes file, and saved it in the script menu that always sits in the main Mac menubar.

So—information accessible in two clicks when I need it; but entirely out of the way and not cluttering my OS-wide Favorites menu since I don’t need it that often. Nothing for me to remember about where I saved a file or what I named it (or what words I used in it—full-text search isn’t really the end-all, be-all of file organization, if you ask me). To keep the script menu from becoming cluttered, I saved the workflow in username/Library/Scripts/Applications/iPhoto. Putting it in an application-named folder inside Applications means it will only show up in the script menu when iPhoto is active. (Huh. Maybe you’d think an Apple application might have its own script menu, to make it easier to use AppleScript? Apparently not. Thank you, Apple.)

This is Microsoft’s idea—it’s my attempt to replicate the Work menu in MS Word, which lets you pin certain files that you want quick access to, but that you don’t access enough to keep them in the Recent Documents menu. My Work menu generally consists of my current syllabi, and the Extended CV file where I enter every little thing I’ve done re teaching workshops, showing up at a prospective students day, etc.

The other use I’ve found for this approach is reminding myself to what size I want to crop a photo for my blog header, information I need maybe every 3 months (except for using it 3 times in the last week or so). For this one I used an actual script in Script Editor rather than an Automator workflow (thank you, Apple, for doing a half-assed job with Automator so it isn’t nearly as useful as it could be).

tell application “Acorn”
display dialog “Ocean Mist Theme, default header size is 736×229.”
end tell

“Display dialog” pops up a little dialog instead of launching TextEdit to show me a file, a wee bit quicker for short bits of information.

(I don’t understand how it is that Acorn 1 understands “display dialog” but doesn’t seem to be scriptable such that I could just automate the resize and the crop setting, but okay.)

dishcloth sampler 1
Dishcloth sampler #1. You can’t tell, but the bumpy part in the middle is a disastrous attempt at seed stitch that looks better here than in real life. There’s a yarnover thing I hadn’t figured out.

dishcloth sampler 1 redux
Dishcloth sampler #1 redux.

dishcloth sampler 2
Dishcloth sampler #2. Much better. I designed the pattern stitches myself. My sister proclaimed me ready to move onto a hat. That was while we were in Hawaii. I started the hat, but have done nothing on it since I left my sister’s house. I’m pretending it’s because my cats will attack string, but really it’s because I’d rather play around on the internet to keep my hands busy. That’s okay, because I’m knitting a hat for her kid, but she isn’t even pregnant yet, and I designed the hat way too large. So if I finish it in about four years, it’s probably fine.

Over four days on a sailing ship, I made hundreds of attempts at getting artistic shots of sails, rigging, etc.

About three of them might conceivably be worth looking at:




Click to embiggen (and then the shots will not be out of focus. I have thumbnails set to be very compact, and therefore fuzzy, so that posting pix doesn’t slow the entire page load to a crawl, cause I hate that). The first one is definitely my favorite, and is currently the wallpaper on my phone—the third is possibly too cluttered.

I would probably have a slightly higher success rate if I aimed for quality over quantity.

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