Monthly Archives: September 2003

Made some changes

I’ve made a few changes to the site. If the page looks weird, please let me know. I’ve tested my changes out on quite a few browsers, thanks to BrowserCam|http://www.browsercam.com/, but it doesn’t cover absolutely everything.

In summary, here are the changes:

qqq|* Eliminated “tables” as a method of laying out the page. Tables are still useful for displaying tabular data, but for too long they have also been used as a layout tool. They were never intended as such, and so now I am using “div” tags to lay out and style all of the data on the site. This is probably the biggest change, and is the one likely to cause the most problems if you’re using a weird (or old) browser.

  • Condensed the site’s stylesheet, removing redundant tags, collapsing some tags together, and adding some new tags for clarity.

  • Made sure the code of at least the homepage was compliant with the XHTML 1.0 Strict|http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/ specification for structured documents, and the CSS 2.0|http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/ specification for document style sheets. This won’t be a visible change for most, but it should ensure that our site will work in the browsers of the future. You can check the compliance of individual pages using the links you will now find if you scroll to the bottom of the page.

*Re-separated the photo gallery from the flow of the site. Hopefully this will be faster and less confusing to people who come to the site just to see the photo gallery. As the gallery continues to grow and grow (it now holds 2,734 photos!), I believe it’s important to keep it more separate. Some day it may even need its own server!|qqq

That’s about it. These changes should make it easier for us to alter the style of the site, as well as (hopefully!) make it look better to everyone.

Replacement Mac Fund-Raiser

This Sunday, while Becky and I were housecleaning, my venerable Mac clone machine suffered a brain hemmorhage. Despite my many attempts to revive it, including completely disassembling and reassembling all of the parts, and replacing the power supply with a fresh, new one, the machine will now no longer boot up.

So now I am faced with the task of acquiring a computer to replace my dear old desktop machine. We do of course still have the Pismo Powerbook and Becky’s HP Pavillion, so we’re not without computers. But I do like having a desktop Mac which can also act as a server – home.prwdot.org was hosted on the now-deceased PowerMac.

With that in mind, I’ve revamped my ‘clearance sale’ that has been on the Project K|http://projectk.mine.nu:90 website for a while now. It now includes items from the ex-computer that can be salvaged and used in other computers. The sale also includes other random items such as CD players, SCSI CD-ROM drives, cell phones, Anime DVD’s, and other electronic gadgets.

So visit The Sale|http://projectk.mine.nu:90/viewtopic.php?t=83 and see if there’s anything you’d be interested in buying to help out a good cause. Many thanks to my friend Dylan from the All Things Macintosh|http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/macdsl forum at Broadbandreports.com for running the Project K forum and for putting up the big announcement on his site.

lazy?

Now that I don’t have to get up and go to work everyday I have had a much easier time getting myself to the gym. I go to the gym to compensate for my sedentary, computer loving, job-searching life. Why then, if I am looking for an active, energizing workout at the gym, do I actively seek out the closest parking space to the door? Why does the thought of walking across the parking lot make me cringe?

Labor Day Weekend

Becky and I were in Townsend this weekend, visiting her folks. It was a very nice and relaxing weekend. Monday, Labor Day, we were at the annual cookout at the Lees’ house in Townsend. It was great to see all of the folks from the town, and there was lots of good food to eat.

For pictures of the whole weekend, visit the Labor Day ’03|http://gallery.prwdot.org/labor_day_03 gallery.

As for the rest of the weekend, we went canoeing TWICE! Once on Saturday, down and up the Concord River from the South Bridge to the North Bridge and back, and once on Sunday, up and then down the Squanicook River in Townsend. I don’t go canoeing a lot, and in fact I think the last time I was on a canoe ride of any sort was a couple summers ago… but it was very nice. There is something very relaxing about floating down a calm river with nothing to do but paddle. You can take your time, or you can go quickly. You can stop completely to look at something in or near the river.

On Saturday, Ken and Dianne were in another canoe accompanying us, and there were lots of other people out on the river, taking advantage of the nice day. It’s quite refreshing to paddle down a river and greet other boaters with a smile and a wave, remebering that you have probably passed those same people on Route 128 at 80 miles an hour and most likely muttered some choice words as they cut you off. None of that on the river. 🙂 It was also cool to see the backsides of all of these fabulously large houses in Concord, and to actually ride underneath the Old North Bridge|http://www.concordma.com/history.html.

On Sunday, Becky and I went by ourselves, and there was no one at all on the river. I was very grateful to be able to spend that time with Becky, relaxing, talking, and enjoying the peace of the outdoors. Now historically, I’ve not been one to spend much time taking in the outdoors. But these excursions may be encouraging me to rethink my position. I’m sure many of you are chuckling, as you have long realized the benefits of spending time in nature, and are amazing that I’m just coming to this realization. But please, give me a break. I’m new to this.

In any case, our trip down the Squanicook gave me much time to reflect on life and nature. I spend so much time online reading the observations that other people have made, whether it’s on a message board, a documentation website, a news site, or otherwise – other people are out there, experiencing things firsthand, and I’m reading about them. It is truly wonderful to be able to develop your own observations and opinions of the world, rather than to read, absorb, and assimilate those of others. So, I’ve come up with a few of my own observations. Forgive me if they sound trite, but I haven’t had much time to flesh them out fully: (Incidentally, this should also give me the chance to show off the new ‘quote-box’ feature I wrote into our site, that allows quoted text or code to be offset from the rest of the blog text for better readability)

qqq|When a river is shallow, you can more easily spot obstacles ahead. You may alter your course to pass around these obstacles. If you happen to run into an unforeseen obstacle, it will take some work to surmount it, but ultimately, you will be better off. You will know that the next time you travel this river, those obstacles can be avoided, and a better route can be plotted in advance.

A river that is deep may flow more quickly, and cover up obstacles. However, in the quickness of the flow, you may miss some subtle details of the scenery that surrounds you. An ancient inscription, a field of butterflies, or a sunbathing turtle. As for the obstacles – while covered by the deep water, they are nonetheless present, and they may subtly affect the flow of the river. If that water is deep and dark enough, it may cover the enormous felled tree that could stop you in your path.

It is possible for a person to canoe on his own. Two people, however, improve the situation immensely. The task of canoeing can be divided up between the two – one in back to steer, the other in front to paddle. In addition, the front-most person may be afforded a superior view of the river, and be able to spot obstacles at a great distance off. These obstacles can then be reported to the person who is steering, so that the course may be altered before the obstacle truly becomes an obstacle. Of course, when splitting the labor in this manner, it is important for the two to stick to their positions – it will do no good if the paddler tries to do the steering while the steerer is trying to steer in the opposite direction.|qqq

I hope you all enjoyed my newbie “naturalist” observations. Really, I’m anything but a naturalist, but I think that some of Becky’s tendencies are really rubbing off on me… after all of the things she’s picked up from me, it’s time I started picking up some of the best from her.

Now it’s time to prepare for another, albeit shorter, week at work. Becky, in the meantime, will be working full-time on her job search, so please wish her good luck, and let her know if you have any leads on museum education jobs in the Boston area. 🙂

Adios!