Size of Folder contents, in Windows

If you are a Windows user who never bothered to change your file display to ‘details’ and just use large icons in Windows Explorer, this will be of little interest.


Folder Size Explorer Extension adds a new column to the Details view in Windows Explorer. The new column shows not only the size of files, but also the size of folders. It keeps track of which folders you view, and scans them in the background so you can see complete size of all files within the folder. It’s very useful for cleaning up your disk. Once you get used to having that information available, a directory listing simply looks incomplete without it!

And it works like a charm. For W2K and XP.


Parenting article from Time

Good article/sidebar here I read while waiting on auto repair this morning. timely.

Title: How Can a Parent Help? , By: Levine, Mel, Time, 0040781X, 1/24/2005, Vol. 165, Issue 4
Database: Academic Search Premier
Section: Society
How Can a Parent Help? (article online here)

Mothers and fathers can do a lot to ensure a safe landing in early adulthood for their kids. Even if a job’s starting salary seems too meager to satisfy an emerging adult’s need for rapid gratification, the transition from school to work can be less of a setback if the start-up adult is ready for the move. Here are a few measures, drawn from my book Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, that parents can take to prevent what I call “work-life unreadiness”:

• HELP YOUR KIDS FIGURE OUT WHO THEY ARE. You can start this process when they are 11 or 12. Periodically review their emerging strengths and weaknesses with them and work together on any shortcomings, like difficulty in communicating well or collaborating. Also, identify the kinds of interests they keep coming back to, as these offer clues to the careers that will fit them best.

• TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE ON A REGULAR BASIS. Instead of obsessing about the need to be admitted to a good college (a grossly overrated priority), talk to them about life beyond the undergraduate years. Discuss the joys and downsides of your own career. Kids need a range of authentic role models–as opposed to members of their clique, rock idols and vaunted athletes. Have regular dinner-table discussions about people the family knows and how they got where they are. Encourage your kids to form some ideas about their own future. When asked what they want to do, they should be discouraged from saying “I have no idea.” They can change their minds 200 times, but having only a foggy view of the future does not bode well for it.

• BUILD YOUR KIDS’ WORK SKILLS. Teachers are responsible for teaching kids how to learn; mothers and fathers should be responsible for teaching them how to work. Assign responsibilities around the house and make sure homework deadlines are met. Encourage teenagers to take a part-time job. Kids need plenty of practice delaying gratification and deploying effective organizational skills, such as managing time and setting priorities.

• PLACE TIME LIMITS ON LEISURE ACTIVITIES. Playing video games encourages immediate gratification. And hours of watching TV shows with canned laughter only teaches kids to process information in a passive way. At the same time, listening through earphones to the same monotonous beats for long stretches encourages kids to stay inside their bubble instead of pursuing other endeavors. All these activities can stunt the growth of important communication and thinking skills and make it difficult for kids to develop the kind of sustained concentration they will need for most jobs.

• HELP KIDS DEVELOP COPING STRATEGIES. They should know how to deal with setbacks, stresses and feelings of inadequacy. They should also learn how to solve problems and resolve conflicts, ways to brainstorm and think critically. Discussions at home can help kids practice doing these things and help them apply these skills to everyday life situations.

• MAKE SURE THAT CHILDHOOD IS NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE ACT TO FOLLOW. Don’t overindulge kids with spectacular vacations, opulent material possessions and relentless tides of programmed activities after school and during the summers. Avoid creating hyperinflated egos living within protected spheres that will burst in the early stages of a career when supervisors won’t care how gorgeous your kids are or what “cool dudes” they’ve become or what great ballplayers they were in high school.

What about the son or daughter who is grown but seems to be floundering and wandering aimlessly through early adulthood? Parents still have a pivotal role to play, but now it is more delicate. It is essential for strong family ties and trust to prevail throughout this trying period. Parents have to be careful not to come across as disappointed in their child. They should exhibit strong interest and respect for whatever currently interests their fledgling adult (as naive or ill conceived as it may seem) while becoming a partner in exploring options for the future. Any career advice should be offered respectfully, and parents should never make it seem as if the young adult’s quandaries have easy answers. They should certainly offer room and board and occasional gifts or grants but not bankroll their start-up adult entirely. Most of all, these new adults must feel that they are respected and supported by a family that appreciates them.

Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’

I’ve been collecting music through my subscription to MusicMatch (crummy software, great subscription service). Musicmatch offers 99 cent song downloads, and I tried it once, but the download came with DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, and I couldn’t load the song on my mp3 player so whats the point?

So instead, I stream music selections from the service, and record the streams to mp3 files in the background on my PC, sometimes at work, sometimes at home. Then I cut the mp3 files into 15-20 minute pieces, and load them on my mp3 player and listen in the car. I’ve collected quite a bit of music this way over the last few months, and the quality is only partially compromised; still better than FM radio, but not quite CD quality.

Anyway, the point of all this is, prior to our Nashville trip, I was looking for Rhonda Vincent music, and Musicmatch pointed me to her contribution to a tribute album called “Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers”. The Louvin brothers were an influential gospel/country duo who were earlier similar in style but not nearly as well known as the Everly Brothers. They didn’t have any pop hits, but were on the country charts in the late 50’s and early 60’s. [They are also remembered for the flamboyant album cover art pictured here.] I went ahead and recorded the whole album from the musicmatch stream. Later in rotation on my mp3 player, the songs kept impressing me; they were outstanding vocal duets with an old-fashioned flavor, but with a 21st century studio production quality. And many of the vocals sounded familiar. So I went back and looked up the album to see who was on it. Wow: Alison Krauss, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Linda Rondstadt. Three of the contributors were onstage at the Grand Ole Opry when we went last month. And the reviews for this compilation are tremendous. The Alison Krauss/James Taylor duet got some airplay on CMT when it was released in 2003, but I don’t remember it.

I recommend the album highly, there are no clinkers like with the “O Brother” phenom. Many of the songs are about heartbreak, but there are other “country” themes, and some gospel numbers as well. The material reveals the bluegrass, gospel, and blues influences on country music without the overproduction and pop flourishes common to county music today (Garth, Faith, Toby, Shania, etc.) Audio clips are available on the site.

Dear Red States

This is rich!… sent to me by Pat M., and found a couple places around the web.

Date: Fri Jun 24 11:54:43 2005
Dear Red States…

We’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon,Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss. We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
red states mapSince our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures of their
children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we’re not willing to spend our resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country’s fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95 percent of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and
condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy b*****ds believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we’re taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt
weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
Blue States

* this is in or around United Blue States of America

Can you hear me now?

The NYT’s Thomas Friedman sounds an alarm that the U.S. is seriously lagging behind the developed world in providing widely available and reliable connectivity. He also makes the interesting point that U.S. politics has often been guided by the parties and candidates that sieze and command new technology.

(registration may be required to follow the link; complete text follows in the comments)

Austen and Family visit

Austen, Deri and Ira came to hot and humid Florida for a 4 day visit. We managed to go pontoon boating on the St. Johns River; hit the beach for sunrise, castnet lessons and a lagoon tour in Bob’s fishing boat; dined on beer can chicken prepared by the Saltz’s; snorkeled Alexander Springs; several dinner’s out; and a day at Epcot.

Photos at the family website — I can’t organize anymore ‘sets’ of photos on without getting a paid account.

Deri has posted some additional pictures here, and Austen posted here.