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August 29, 2004

Week ending

You know that old quip, "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out?" Well, Friday night we went to a party and a wedding broke out.

Saturday we spent the afternoon at a Mariners doubleheader. Annabel did OK despite us losing her pacifier on the trip into the stadium.

Always fun to to have these sorts of conversations at the ballpark:
"OH, what a PRECIOUS boy, at his FIRST BASEBALL GAME!"
"Well, actually, it's HER SEVENTH game this year."
"..."

Today... exhausted. Too many errands to run, plus I have two websites to design, four music reviews to write, and I think I have to do something and frame Guilder for it.

My absentee ballot finally arrived yesterday. I hate hate hate the new "pick a party" primary system. I'm all for a Louisiana-style everyone-on-the-ballot primary -- or the insta-runoff single-transferrable vote. Oh, I don't talk much about politics on here anymore, but the Seattle Times did an about-face from 2000 and endorsed John Kerry. It's surprising because the Times is NEVER WRONG. No, never ever are they wrong.

Annabel is moving to solid foods. See here and here.

Posted by dylan at 03:37 PM

August 25, 2004

Open Discussion Time

I don't have an "about" section on this here website. Would my vast readership of eight like me to add one or no?

Posted by dylan at 11:56 AM | Comments (4)

August 24, 2004

GROWL.

MT just ate my last post. ARRGH.

So, the short + sweet version.

Photobloggers show: I'll steal from Jeff.

Tyd has gathered photos from eight Puget Sound-area photobloggers including herself, Jerry Kindall, Cat, John Poetzel, Chas Redmond, Dylan Wilbanks, Jeff Youngstrom, and me. he gallery is also showing work by three other photographers -- Bob Carpmail, Tera Ruddel, and Tina Weston -- and a sculptor, Bruce Salisbury.

If you're interested, the opening reception will be August 21 from 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm, and the show will be up through October 16. The White Dove Gallery is located in Lakewood, Washington (south of Tacoma) at 5934 88th Street SW. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am-5pm. Their phone number is (253)582-7859.

So yeah, go check it out. Great photos. I even got some compliments for my lousy shots.

Comments are fixed. I ended up renaming the comment script, and that did it. Don't ask me why. All I can guess is that I have multiple versions of MT-Blacklist and MT fighting each other.

Considering a move to Wordpress, but I have an unlimited MT license that I picked up for a mere $35 (thanks to being a beta-tester) and MT 3.1 should solve a lot of problems.

Annabel is over her cold, mostly. She's still a little stuffy and coughing, but she's happier than she's been in a week.

Posted by dylan at 08:11 AM

August 19, 2004

Silly season blogging

I have a lot of things going on right now: Work just got a whole lot more complicated, my in-laws are in town, and it's the silly season. So, I'm not blogging a whole lot, and unfortunately, I'm not sure how much more I'll be blogging this year (due to the complications at work).

Here are some announcements before you all adjourn to the fellowship hall for coffee and doughnuts.

The Seattle Webloggers photo gallery show opens Saturday in Tacoma and runs through October, and I am one of eight photographers/bloggers exhibiting. There will be a reception on Saturday from 2:00-4:30; with my in-laws in town I will only be around for the first hour, so come early to see me in person. See tyd's announcement for more. I have five shots in the show, all of which made previous appearances on the fotolog.

I have a review of the new Old 97's album up on Blogcritics. It's not exactly positive.

Oh, and the comments are really borked now. I installed MT-Blacklist 2.0e and it's blocking spam... but it also appears to be interfering with the ability to make comments on a couple of blogs. So, if you try to post a comment and it doesn't work, well, I'm working on fixing the problems. Hopefully, MT 3.1 will be out at the end of the month.

New pics of Annabel over on her blog.

Posted by dylan at 11:07 PM

August 10, 2004

Spam storm

I'm getting flooded by comment spam right now, and there's not a lot I can do about it. Without a version of mt-blacklist that works on MT3.0 (C'mon Jay! C'mon Trotts!), I can't keep the blacklist updated... so I'm getting absolutely deluged by these advertisers.

So, as of midnight PDT tonight, I am changing my policy. You want to advertise on my site, fine. Just read the fine print:

Note: If you would like to advertise your commercial site through my comments, I charge $150 per listing if you contact me first, $300 per listing if you do not have my pre-approval.

I'm sending out bills to my new advertising friends shortly.

Posted by dylan at 10:52 PM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2004

Edgar retires

Edgar Martinez will announce his retirement today. Edgar was the face of the Mariners the last 10+ years, a sex symbol to countless women, and, oh, a damn fine right-handed hitter. Baseball Prospectus is reprinting Derek Zumsteg's requiem for Edgar, and I recommend you go read it.

Posted by dylan at 01:49 PM

August 07, 2004

Blogcritics

I've joined up with Blogcritics. First article: A shaky defense of Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Posted by dylan at 10:45 PM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2004

Arson City

I went out tonight and watered the garage. While it's unusual for me to water anything in the middle of the summer, I took the precaution of hosing down the garage walls, the wooden fence, and the giant pile of wood and blackberry cuttings that I probably should have run to the dump a long time ago.

Yup, we have an arsonist prowling around north Seattle. Hopefully, giving all the burnables a good soak will dissuade the jackass from thinking about starting anything around our place. The motion activated light should help too.

Susan didn't even know there was an issue; she looked askance at me for wanting to go out at 9:30 at night to water. Turns out that she didn't even look at the front page of the paper today. Big headlines. Big picture. Picture with firefighters and burning condo construction site. Nope, she went straight for the comics and the opinion section and didn't even glance at Section A.

"Do you have to water right now?"
"Yes, I didn't get a chance to earlier."
"But can't it wait til tomorrow?"
"NO! That stuff can burn! And there's an arsonist in the neighborhood."
"But... what arsonist?"
"Didn't you read the paper?"
"Well, that's what I get for thinking local news isn't important."

Heh. Why do we keep paying $5 a week for the Times again?

Posted by dylan at 12:05 AM | Comments (1)

August 01, 2004

On CSS and modern web design

This week I helped interview people for a web/graphic designer. One of the multi-part questions I asked went something like this:

What are the advantages to using CSS in web design? Which do you prefer, tableless design or layout governed by tables?

(I love these long, multi-part questions in interviews. I get to play Grand Inquisitor.)

I was stunned by the responses I received. Some people didn't know what CSS was. Others did know, but their response to the second half was, in summary, "Table designs are better because of browser compatibility issues, and besides, tables are what I know."

There are one browser in use that lack adequate CSS support for tableless design -- Netscape 4. How many people out there are using Netscape 4 for browsing? According to w3schools.com, 0.3%. Opera 7, my least favorite browser in the world (that's another post), has a 2.3% market share, and it's CSS1 compliant. The browser compatibility excuses goes out the window.

What disturbed me more was the almost hostile attitiude some of the interviewees had towards learning the new CSS-based techniques. One person, fresh out of a local web training program, received little (or possibly no) training in CSS and tableless design. Another person just didn't see any practical value in learning CSS, even after I listed a couple of reasons why someone would choose to forego tables. It worried me that someone with web design experience would choose to not read up on the new trends and at least try to understand the basics of tableless design. To me, it showed someone who was not taking web design seriously.

If you asked a doctor about a recent medical innovation, and the doctor's response was, "I heard it doesn't work in some patients, but I haven't read any of the literature, and the videos I've seen of the procedure strike me as too complex and not worth my time to study," what would you think? Let's try that with a real example. Say your gall bladder has so many stones it looks like a beanbag. The doctor tells you they're going to make a massive incision to pull it out, meaning you'll need to be out of work for 4-8 weeks lest the stitches bust. However, you've heard of the new keyhole surgery for gall bladder removal -- small incision, laproscopy, out of work a week, no worries of your pancreas flying out of you at some inopportune moment. You ask your doctor why he prefers doing the old-fashioned surgery methods. "Oh, it doesn't work in some people, and I don't have the time to study how to do it, and it's just not proven." You tell him that it is now the preferred method of pulling out gall bladders, and it's been performed on millions of people. He still shakes his head and says, "I don't have time to read the literature." Wouldn't you grab your painful self and high-tail it out of that doctor's office?

I will admit that I will still use tables for some forms of layout. I had a problem with a search form last week that could only be effectively solved with a table. I do not build templates with tables anymore, though. For every excuse I hear for using tables for layout, I can think of three good reasons to use CSS and divs. If you're planning on getting paid as a web developer, you better learn and understand how CSS and divs work (as well as all the bugs and gotchas) or you better start thinking about a new vocation.

Posted by dylan at 05:20 PM | Comments (5)