Firefox 57 and Chrome 64

Lately, I’ve been extremely unhappy with both the latest iterations of Chrome and Firefox.  Chrome 64 is disabling the apps.   Firefox 57 has killed off quite a few add-ons that makes me WANT to continue to use Firefox over Chrome.  The two add-ons I valued the most were Tab Mix Plus (TMP) and Classic Theme Restorer (CTR).

First the Chrome issues…. Google’s Hangouts app no longer being supported wasn’t the biggest loss.  I would be satisfied as long as there was a decent extension that maintained a separate window so I can respond and chat with my friends.  First Chrome problem:  I started noticing that the app would sometimes start loading animation and then suddenly disappear.  In the past, Hangouts would open when I opened up Chrome or if I click on Hangouts icon on the Win10 taskbar.  Second Chrome problem: I also noticed that when after closing Chrome with the Hangouts app open and then going to reopen Chrome, Chrome seems to always remember the tabs that were open in the last session.  This was despite my default setting of “open chrome in new tab” option.  I initially thought it was an issue with the use of the app.  So I tried the Hangouts extension, but the second problem still existed.  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻.  This second problem is more than likely a result of the Chrome task still recognized as “active” in Windows.  I don’t think there’s anything I can do about this specifically.  The first problem… is irrelevant if there’s an alternative way to use Hangouts.

Second the Firefox issues… I had resisted going to Chrome and sticking with Firefox for a number of reasons. First Firefox problem:  I didn’t like the look of the Chrome layout of tabs on top of the search bar.  I’m used to it by now but I still think it’s an ugly layout.  Thankfully there’s no menu bar to make it look uglier in Chrome.  Second Firefox problem: I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t just left click to open a new link (any link from anywhere) to a new tab.  Sometimes when browsing, I still want to finish the page I’m reading but right click + new tab is a bit annoying when I’m actively reading something.  It’s also even more cumbersome if I want to open multiple links from my bookmarks at one time or if I’m searching something on Google related to what I’m currently reading.  Third Firefox problem: There’s no menu bar in Chrome.  Yes this is more out of formatting and style since all the other applications (Word, Quicken, Explorer, Adobe, etc) have a menu bar.

With these annoying cosmetic problems in Chrome, I just never made the switch to Chrome.  Eventually I ended up with a multi-browser system where important websites were strictly relegated to certain browsers.  I found this system worked pretty well and will more than likely continue forward with this approach.  Anyways, Firefox had two very important add-ons which were were Tab Mix Plus (TMP) and Classic Theme Restorer (CTR). TMP solved problem 2.  CTR solved problems 1 and 3.  It was only because of these two add-ons I never fully committed to the switch to Chrome.

But Firefox 57 has disabled these add-ons,  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻!!!! 

Seriously, was there really a need to “update” Firefox?  A google search shows that TMP and CTR were pretty popular add-ons.  I guess I wasn’t the only one that is currently struggling through browser angst trying to recover/partially recover the functionality of what was lost.  This is what I’ve discovered so far that kind of replaces TMP…

  • In the about config for Firefox, there’s a browser.tabs.loadbookmarksintab option that when enabled will open bookmarks in new tabs with a left click
  • In the settings, there is an option to open windows in new tab and opening a link switches to a new tab.
  • There is also this extension “Open Link with new Tab” that opens any new link in a webpage as a new tab.

They aren’t the best workaround but it’s the closest.  I hope the new TMP gets ported as an extension.  But for now, this is the new paradigm to live with.  Replacing CTR seems to be a little harder since there’s currently no add-on that does it for you.  There is a workaround (reddit) but it requires a little more work.  From what I can understand in cursory readings, I have to create a CSS file that contains specific code that dictates the look of Firefox.  The code apparently is taken from CTR’s code but there seems to be a process on getting Firefox to recognize and load this CSS file to force the design so the tab bar loads below the URL.  It’s doable but I need some time to read about it.

Bridge Coffee Company

December’s coffee comes from a California roaster called Bridge Coffee Company.  The beans are from El Salvador from a region known as Ataco, Ahuachapan.  According the Bridge Coffee website, these are “limited edition” beans directly from the grower Villa  Espana.  If that’s not impressive, the growers are family farmers who won the 2009 Cup of Excellence.

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The beans have a blueberry nutty aroma.  Grinding the beans releases a wonderful aroma chocolate intermingling with berries.  After making the latte, that first sip gave me an incredibly smooth taste.  The creaminess of the latte was perfect from start to finish throughout the palate.  This latte was meant to be slowly enjoyed in the morning eating breakfast.

Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton.  The Ten DollarFounding Father.  And now a modern musical!?Music and lyrics written by the talented Lin Manuel Miranda.  Ya… the same Lin-Manuel who already has a Tony for best musical for In the Heights.  His use of hip hop and rap into the musical scene is as groundbreaking as Rent‘s introduction of modern rock.  Although not his first musical to use hip hop, it was the one that swept the musical scene and spilled over into the common American pop culture.

When Rent was first introduced, I didn’t like the music because of it’s use of rock ballads and guitar riffs.  Little that I know that this genre would influence many of the later musicals that used this genre and other rock influences in the music.  Upon first listening to Hamilton on YouTube, I was struck by the realization that hip hop has finally invaded the musical scene and was immediately hooked by the music.  I was more hooked on the music than I was with In the Heights.  However listening to In the Heights again, that musical has a more Latin feel using Latin American music like salsa, merengue, and samba.

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Hamilton represents two things… the popularization of musicals in modern mainstream culture and the acceptance of hip hop/rap/R&B into musicals.  I think the latter will have more of a larger effect for future musicals.  Until the next big thing to come out of the musical world, I highly recommend trying to get face value tickets to Hamilton when it comes to a city near you.

de Fer Coffee and Tea Company

November’s Angels’ Cup coffee bean comes from the de Fer Coffee and Tea Company.  The beans come from the Sidama zone in Ethiopia.  From the description, I assume it’s a blend of the different beans from the small farmers in that region.

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While scooping the beans out to the grinder, I smelled this intense chocolate aroma from the bag intermingled with some nutty aroma too.  Smelling the ground coffee introduces a berry aroma mixed with the chocolate and nuts.  The latte has a strong chocolate milk with a wonderfully smooth aftertaste.

San Diego Squash Tournament

This past weekend San Diego Squash hosted a Squash tournament.

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The Men’s 3.5 was divided into two groups: a group of three and a group of four.  I happened to be in the group of four that needed to play three Best-of-Five matches (two on Sat, one on Sun) with a potential fourth match depending on how well I do against the opponents.  Fortunately I did pretty well and won against all three opponents.  It should be noted that two of the opponents were junior’s.  Their games were pretty straight forward and was easy to either overpower or deceive to win the match.

San Diego Tournament Results 11-12-2017

Unfortunately though, the game on Sun started at 11:15am and ended around 11:40am.  And the Final game started at 12:30pm.

Going into the finals, there would be a number of different factors that would undoubtedly affect my performance…

  • I was already tired from the 1st game and having less than 1 hour to recover was not enough time.  I drank some chocolate milk for quicker recovery but that milk didn’t seem to do much.
  • I tried to stay loose by continuing massaging my leg muscles.  But the right leg effectively cramped up during the match limiting my mobility.
  • I was also sick and/or recovering from some weird flu I got earlier in the week.  I didn’t get the full blown flu symptoms but I got like 20% of the symptoms… a little cough, a little runny nose, a little fever, etc…  Warming on Sat, I was out of breath just hitting.  So I knew my fitness would be impaired.  The lack of fitness is what probably did me in.

In the finals, I figured, I can probably go full speed for about 4 games.  I had to take and put pressure on the opponent before my fitness broke down.  Sadly, I couldn’t last long enough to finish the game.  If I didn’t have to play that first game on Sun, I think I probably might have won.  I would at least not have been tired to start with.

Overall, I think I did pretty well.  I was a bit disappointed that I got sick which affected my fitness.  My mobility was fine until the finals which I attribute to fatigue.  My service game was pretty good.  My drop game suffered in the finals as well probably also to fatigue.  I know I made some bad decisions in the finals.  The fatigue affected my form.  I think I was over-hitting and over-exerting on my swing.  My right upper arm muscle (deltoids?) are extremely tight and sore since Sat night.  I usually experience this when I try to force a swing in order to smash the ball.

I have to figure out some way to quickly recover in the future.  I guess not all chocolate milks are equal.  I should have spent the time to go to Whole Foods to buy the Metro Cocoa Milk instead of the Horizon Chocolate Milk that I bought at Starbucks that morning.

 

Game of Thrones

Up until Saturday, I may have been part of the 1% that never watched or read Game of Thrones.  It’s an HBO show based off the fantasy series of the same name by George R.R. Martin.  Google had a promotion where I can purchase two TV episodes for $0.99 per episode.  The promotion is a pretty good deal but frankly there’s not many TV series that I watch that’s worth keeping.

Since $0.99 per episode isn’t that much to spend, I decided to buy the first two episodes of the first season of Game of Thrones.  My thoughts… after watching these two episodes, I’m reminded at the death, nudity and incest that occurs in the series.  I recall reading about the shock viewers had at such nudity and incest when it first came out.  And It certainly lives up to it’s reputation.  I’m also reminded about the notorious cliff hangers that the producers end each episodes with.  They definitely leave viewers with a sense of “what comes next!?” type of feeling.  I can see how certain characters are favorites in the show.  From just two episodes so far, I like the scrappy Tyrion Lannister.  His dialog with Jon Snow about owning up to being a bastard dwarf is great and very revealing of his nature.

If Google has more of these promotions, I’ll be sure to take advantage of it to slowly purchase the other episodes.  However, this show after two episodes doesn’t strike me as something I would enjoy to ask the many people who I know that have DVD/Blu-Ray discs.