Sleep

I’ve decided recently to try to work on my sleep. It sounds weird saying that. Sleep doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you can “work on.” I have trouble sleeping occasionally, and I know there are some things I can improve. I’ve read a lot about good sleep habits, and the best things you can do to help get a good night’s sleep. And I’ve already done some of them. I use f.lux on my Mac (and my PCs) to tone down the color on my screen before bedtime. I try to limit my caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening. And I generally go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am, so I’m in bed for a full eight hours. (Though I’m not always perfect about that. Or the caffeine thing…)

I decided this weekend to make one more change: I started to use an alarm clock app called Sleep Cycle that (supposedly) tracks your sleep so that it can wake you up while you’re in a light sleep phase. I have to admit that I’m a little skeptical about how accurately it can track my sleep; it uses the microphone to pick up the noises you make in bed, and tries to figure out your sleep cycle based on just that. So I’m not sure if it’s really doing anything useful or not. But I’m going to give it a try for a week or two at least. The basic version is free, so there’s no real down side. (Unless it turns out to be buggy, and just doesn’t wake me up at all, and I miss work.) Their FAQ says that it takes a few days to calibrate itself, so we’ll see how it goes.

On another front, I’m starting to think about buying a new mattress. My current mattress is about ten years old, so it’s time. I did a little online mattress shopping this weekend, though, and came away more confused than anything else. There are a lot of options and a lot of opinions out there. I may give up and just go back to Sleepy’s, where I got my last mattress, show them the receipt for it, ask for something similar, and hope for the best.

Jackson Pollock

I went to see the Jackson Pollock exhibit at MoMA today. Pollock has been a favorite of mine since high school. This exhibit is all stuff from MoMA’s collection, so it’s not a huge exhibit, and I’ve already seen all of the major works that are included. But there are a number of minor works and odd bits that usually aren’t out for display, so it was nice to see some of those, and to see so much Pollock work all together in one place.

I was hoping that they would have produced a new book to go along with the exhibit, but they don’t seem to have done that. I have only one book on Pollock, and it would be nice to have a keepsake from this exhibit. In fact, I couldn’t find any books related to Pollock in the museum gift shop. Lots of random Christmas¬† knick-knacks though. Tis the season, and all that.

I was hoping to do some more stuff in the city today, maybe including a visit to the Met, but I was really tired after I was done with MoMA, and went straight home. This was my first big excursion since my surgery, and I think it went pretty well, but I guess I’m not at 100% yet. Or maybe I’m just getting old. Maybe I’ll try going to the Met next weekend.

more Christmas music

And just to get carried away with the whole Christmas music thing, I also just downloaded the bonus tracks from A Charlie Brown Christmas that are available on eMusic. (I downloaded the original album from them a couple of years ago.) And A Bing Crosby Christmas, just to use up my remaining credits for the month. Boy howdy, I’m in a Christmas mood now!

printing

Hey! I got my iBook to print to my desktop printer, attached to my Win XP machine! Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound impressive, but it’s something I’ve wanted to be able to do since I had the PowerBook 1400, and I’ve never been able to do it until now. Relevant links:

Gimp-Print — for PC printer drivers

Mac OS X Hints — search for “SMB”, “printing”, or something similar.

Essentially, you need to enable SMB printing, install relevant printer drivers, then add your printer, using the arcane syntax “smb://user:pass@workgroup/server/sharename”.