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Sixth-ish Sense

For a while there, I thought I'd lost my sixth sense. No, I don't see dead people. I don't really want to, either, since I hear they have very poor fashion sense. (I don't blame them, it's hard enough to coordinate your accessories in this life so you can go from day to evening—imagine the complexity in the afterlife where you go from dimension to dimension.)No, This is the sixth sense most of us share—a sense of humor. When I lost my glasses I had a hard time seeing—now I had a hard time laughing.

I always used to carry humor with me and it came in awfully handy. I remember laughing all through my wedding—watching our mothers cry. I remember laughing with my sister in my mother's hospital room. Even my mother laughed—it only hurt when she didn't laugh.

So last month I realized my sense of humor had disappeared faster than my hair (and trust me, it's better to be able to laugh about your hair of lack thereof), I started looking for it. My sense of humor, not my hair.

When I lose something I tend to look under the bed first—as if it has some kind of otherworldly gravitational pull. All I could find under the bed was socks. I seem to have some kind of karmic connection with laundry. I can't explain it. When I was younger sometimes I would see strangers and somehow know what their laundry hamper was like. Chalk this up as one of the more dubious of my many dubious talents.

Of course, I am not alone at this. My friend Brian always said he got the impression Debra Winger hadn't changed her underwear in days. Personally, I didn't see wicker in her bathroom. Maybe she used a pillowcase. But I digress.

I kept looking. I read a book by a favorite author. I thought I'd found my sense of humor again on page 72, but not quite—it was like when you can almost remember something—you know the letter it starts with, but you can't remember the rest. I tend to think things start with K (supposedly "K" is the funniest letter of the alphabet) then they turn out to have started with an S. It annoys my wife no end.

Maybe I left it in the car. Only a few days ago the glove compartment ate my cell phone. Well, more like swallowed it whole, since no chewing was involved. I knew I'd left it there but now it was gone. Then I heard some rattling in the dash and I could see the phone behind the radio. It was a good trick, but this is a very special phone. Maybe I shouldn't have bought the "stealth" model.

The only way to get it out was to butter it or remove the glove compartment door. I seemed to remember that the phone's warranty was void if it was covered with any kind of dairy product, so I removed the glove box door. It's the kind of thing you look back and laugh at. But I wasn't laughing.

I still hadn't found my sixth sense. After going through the kitchen "junk drawer" and finding only junk, I braced myself to delve into the domain of sofa cushions. This is always a last resort since they have harbored everything from a five-piece place setting to a live lizard. It was a small one (the lizard, not the silverware) and apparently felt very much at home there after sneaking in through the front door. I suspected it was entering a new phase of metamorphosis and was turning into a couch potatophibian.

The lizard was on my wife's side of the sofa (she didn't know about it until now). The lizard, not the side. Yes, we have sides. We got this double-sofa because on a regular sofa, my tiny wife can magically transcend dimensional confines and somehow cover every square inch so I'm left sitting on the arm (the sofa's arm, not hers, she wouldn't sit still for that, but sofas generally do).

My wife's side has had its own metamorphosis—into a new kind of home-office. She works there with her laptop, while watching two VCRs and broadcast TV and talking on the phone at the same time. I am lucky if I can do one thing at a time, and she gets bored unless she's doing about 17.

So I waited until she was temporarily outside, watering plants (something she hasn't figured out how to do yet from Command Central). I picked up the cushion and found no reptiles, no amphibians, not even a mammal. But I did find:

12 pens a drying, 11 pencils dulling, 10 scraps of paper, 9 colored pencils, 8 little tic-tacs, 7 yellow post-its, 6 remote controls and—5 stainless spoons! 4 paperbacks, 3 car keys, 2 TV Guides, and a CD of Ottmar Liebert.

I laughed. And with that, maybe I found what I was looking for, too. So remember, humor is the best medicine, and living well is the best revenge.

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New! Bitmotion Universal Component System

http://www.bitmotion.com/ucs/

Now that Fusion's future is secure, BitMotion introduces a whole new concept for adding features to Fusion. The Universal Component System is an integrated subscription system that gives you a continuous supply of new features downloaded right inside of Fusion.

These features use large controls that make them easier to configure and use. Choose dates using the built-in calendar and see images previewed right in the properties dialog, even animated GIF images display with their animations!

The annual subscription entitles you to freely download all the modules that are released within the year, plus get free email and newsgroup support, and receive free upgrades to the product.

Plus, if you have a basic understanding of JavaScript, you can create your own new features! Fusion has never been so easily to customize for yourself and your clients.

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Add Photo Realism To Your Site—Outside The Box

I found a truly fantastic graphic product last week. I personally use it and highly recommend it.

It's called Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 (Volume I and Volume II). Each volume contains 50,000 photos. But these are special photos, where the objects and people are cleanly cut out of their background, rather than being stuck in a traditional box.

There are two advantages to this: 1) You can combine these images into new images—take one of their people and add a photo of a car or camera, toaster or tool (there are images of just about anything you can imagine, 50,000 of them, on 8 CDs or one DVD), and voila, you now have a custom picture with just what you want. Or you can use them separately, and because they're not trapped in a box, they really integrate into the page.

These are high-quality images that are perfect for the web—and are easy to use with all your software, including Office.

Right now you can save $10 by going to

http://www.hemera.com/jumppages/fuseletter/jp-fusel etter.htm

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Saving To A Template

Looking for an easy way to move Fusion files? The way to go is with a template. If you try moving the files manually through the Explorer, the system gets confused, because it's looking for files in specific places on specific drives.

So Fusion has a feature like DTP programs that let you collect all your files into a template (and a .NFT file) so you can move them safely without fear of losing something.

Making a template is easy:

1) Go to site view.

2) Choose "Export as Template" (which may also say "save to template," depending on your version).

3) Tell NOF the name of the directory where you want to save the new template. This can be a new directory. In this example, let's call that directory C:\my template

Now you can move C:\my template anywhere you want—to another drive, disk or directory. You can also use ZIP compression software like Winzip to turn the entire directory into a single file which you can easily email.

If you use ZIP, make sure you to choose "recursive directories" This ensure that ZIP stores all the subdirectory info, too. If you don't do this, the template won't work.

TO USE THE TEMPLATE:

If the file has been zipped, then use your zip software to unzip the template file WITH all the directories intact. Click on Extract, then make sure "use folder names" is checked. If all the files unzip into one directory then the template won't work properly.

1) Start NOF. From the startup menu, choose "New from template"

2) Select the template.

3) Type the name of the site you want. In this case, let's call it "My New Site"

NOF will copy all files, install the style, and have everything in the right place. Then it will work like any other NOF file.

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DO GOOD

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ONE MORE THING: Only the name has changed

Why the name change? Since NetObjects has a new owner, I figured it was time for this letter to have a new name. Over time this has morphed into a more personal e-mail, so the name reflects that.

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The SchoomozeLetter is ©1998-2005, Daniel Will-Harris, all rights reserved. If you'd like to use any article on the web or in print, please ask for permission. If you're an agent or publisher looking to publish these pieces, just drop me a note.