Keeping better track of our stuff with Delicious Library

delicious_library_shelf_screenshotEver wonder where your books and movies have mysteriously disappeared to? You’re pretty sure you’ve lent them out, but are not sure to whom, or by when you’d agreed to get them back? That has been happening to us more and more lately.

Delicious Library can help. This software is so cool, in so many nerdy ways. You get a nice graphical overview of your stuff (images and item details courtesy of various Amazon servers — ca., .com, .de, .uk, etc.). But it’s truly snazzy how the data gets into this program’s database on your Mac: manual keyboard entry, text file importation, or scanning the barcode with your computer’s webcam. How cool is that?

It also can look at your Address Book application and if you tell it to whom you’ve lent something and when it’s due back, it’ll keep track of that for you. It’ll import your iTunes music and videos into your Delicious Library for you effortlessly, if you like. You can organize your library of books, movies, video games, etc., into different “shelves” of your own definition or set up a “Smart Shelf”, which watches your library and automatically adds items to that shelf based on pre-defined criteria. For example, a Smart Shelf based on your items that are currently out on loan. You can also export some or all of your library’s shelves to text files, Excel-compatible files, or even gorgeous HTML pages for displaying on your website. For the truly geeky, you can hook up your own scripts to events in Delicious Library and automate certain tasks (apparently — I haven’t tried this yet).

Delicious Library is what every software wants to be:

  • Intuitive
  • Attractive
  • Innovative
  • Interactive
  • A pleasure to use

Two final thoughts:

  1. It’s only available for Mac OS X; sorry Windows and Linux users.
  2. Unknown, I know you’ve got our Mad Men Season 2 DVDs!

miscellaneous

Remarkable AspirinSarah got me an aspirin book several months ago (Aspirin: the remarkable story of a wonder drug) from the local half-price bookshop. It spans aspirin’s history from ancient Egyptian/Sumerian times to the present with large portions devoted to political and economic implications of scientific and market research. Fascinating stuff, if a bit dry.

We learn early on about willow bark compounds and the salicylic acid they contain which acts as a pain reliever but must be combined with other chemicals to made ingestible (for most people) without nasty side effects. But the real mind-blower comes in the last couple pages, after taking us through two and a half centuries of politics and economics and hopeful science. We come back to the salicylic acid that started it all. It’s not only found in willow bark, but also in lots of fruits and vegetables. Or at least it was — maybe it’s not so prevalent anymore. Its function is to help diseased parts of the bodies commit suicide before causing infection to the rest of the plant. But breeding crops to be resistant to disease or controlling environmental aspects through pesticides may have resulted in lower salicylic acid levels in the foods we ingest — which makes you wonder whether our industrial farming has deprived us of cancer-fighting abilities. After all, in theory, a cancerous cell is one that goes haywire and fails to commit suicide before coming a danger to the rest of the organism. Great food for thought.*

Romantic Pumpernickel?Speaking of food for thought, Sarah and I spotted this sexy loaf and were so intrigued we I just had to buy it. I’d been thinking about a loaf of this stuff before seeing the packaging, and that sealed the deal for me. It’s the kind of stuff my great-grandfather’s brother used to bake himself. It’s got so many nuts and seeds and stuff in the “dough” of the bread (if you can call it that) that a 500g package is only a few inches deep. Dense stuff.

The odd thing is, there’s nothing at all on the packaging we could find that hinted in the least as to what the embracing couple on the front has to do with the product on this inside. Weird, huh? Still, this brand was much cheaper than other similar ones in the same aisle. I made a bologna sandwich out of it (well, as much as I could — Mortadella is a close bologna approximation) and it was good, but not that good.

resistance is futile

I’ve caved in to social pressures and have started reading Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen. The “social pressures” mostly consisted of Sarah getting irritated with my questions about plot points in the movies over the years.

Tammy has graciously lent us the first two books in German. Sarah started the first one back on our cruise and quickly picked up speed. I’m tearing through Stein der Weisen. It helps that she’s looked up all the words I don’t know (which are surprisingly few, I’m happy to report). If I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, I’d probably finish the book.

*hack* *cough* *hock* *clang*

Oh man, I think my cold just took a turn for the worse — and just when I was starting to feel better, too!