March 25, 2003

This or That 2003 03 25

Today's This-or-That:

1. Poetry or prose? - Prose, baby. I like some poetry - and no, it doesn't start with "There was a..."
2. Funky modern art or the older, "classic" variety? - I guess the "classic" variety. I mean, if a dog barfing on newspaper can be called "modern" art, I don't think I really care for it...
3. Sculptures or paintings? - I like them both. In moderation.
4. Theatre: exuberant musical or serious drama? - yes. More likely the "serious drama", but both have their place.
5. Ballet or modern dance? - ew!! Ew ew ew ew ew! No, I'm not a fan of dance of either variety, even though my wife has danced both.
6. Movies: major studio or indie? - want effects? go with Major Studio. Want it to be interesting, try indie.
7. Authors: Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss? - Yes.
8. TV: PBS or A&E? - PBS. A&E has some good stuff, but a whole lot of crap, too...
9. Music: Beethoven or Beatles? - Yes.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You are a contributing member of your favorite art museum, and visit on a regular basis. They announce a new, temporary special exhibit by an artist surrounded by controversy...this person's work and/or political views offend you. Do you stop supporting the museum, or just stay away during the time the exhibit is there? - Oh, please... if I had money to give to an art museum, that would not give me the right to tell them what is or is not art. I'm a geek. What do I know from art? (although I might have a word with the curator, if they display newspapers with dog barf on them...)

March 21, 2003

Friday Five 2003 03 21

Today's Friday Five:

1. If you had the chance to meet someone you've never met, from the past or present, who would it be? - That's a tough one. Mother Theresa? Albert Einstein? Richard Feynman? Actually, growing up, I always wanted to meet Gerald Durrell, a naturalist and writer, and founder of the Jersey Zoo, and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

2. If you had to live in a different century, past or future, which would it be? - Last third oDf the 20th Century. I kinda liked it, I wanna go back!

3. If you had to move anywhere else on Earth, where would it be? - Australia sounds very nice. They can move me there.

4. If you had to be a fictional character, who would it be? - Bugs Bunny. Always has a great time, travels, sees the world...

5. If you had to live with having someone else's face as your own for the rest of your life, whose would it be? - some other nondescript person.

Posted by Squiddy at 01:42 AM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

March 18, 2003

This-or-That 2003 03 18

Today's This-or-That:

1. Cold frosty ski slopes or warm sandy beach? - Yes. I have to choose?
2. Chevy or Ford? - Eww! American Autos! (My Toyota has been faithful for almost 9 years now...)
3. Mac or PC? - PC. Mac is wonderful, but Apple lost the war many years ago...
4. Dial-up or high speed internet access? - High Speed. I couldn't go back to dial-up now. No way...
5. Small *family-only* wedding or large 200+ guest wedding? - family-only, and a few good friends.
6. Would you rather be the bridesmaid or the bride? (if you are a guy, substitute best man or groom) - Well, I'm married, so... groom isn't available. I *am* available for the Best Man position, tho'...
7. AC/DC or ABBA? - AC/DC?!? I wanna keep my braincells, thanks. ABBA! For sure.
8. Roses or daisies? - Roses, of course. Daisies are boring. (Actually, I don't really care. A flower is a flower...)
9. Trashy romance novels or classic literature? - Trashy romance novels are ok when you've got a bad case of insomnia. Cures it in no time! Otherwise, give me a good classic, any day!
10. NEW! Thought-provoking question of the week...If you had to choose one...would you rather be blind or deaf? Why? - Deaf. While I'd miss being able to hear, it would be much easier to adapt to the world of silence than to the world of darkness. I'm a very visual person, so losing my sight would be devastating.

March 16, 2003

MSN rocks...?

No, not really... but this does. When you go to MSN, and go to the Member Directory, it will ask for your Passport, or allow you to set one up. It then lets you choose a nickname. It will allow you to enter a nickname, or choose one of the four displayed random nicknames. Don't like the four on the screen? You can click a link to display four more. And four more, and so on, and so on...

Nothing unusual about that, other places have it. The thing that is unusual is the words in the random list. As a quick sample, here are some of the nicknames I was offered:


Many others sounded like really bad band names. It's fun! It's exciting! And you can blame my wife for telling me about it!

March 13, 2003

Friday Five 2003 03 14

Today's Friday Five:

1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not? - Not really. I'd rather talk to people in person.

2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone? - A wrong number. Dagnabbit!

3. About how many telephones do you have at home? - Three. One in the diningroom, one in the master bedroom, and the cellphone.

4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened? - Most people who call technical support lines. 1) state your problem. Carefully and clearly. 2) listen when the technician speaks. 3) if you did something stupid, admit it. Everyone does, even experts (except me, of course. I've never toasted important files. Nope. Never. Not once. No no no. psst - wanna buy a bridge?)

5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not? - depends on who, and why I'm contacting them. Usually, e-mail is better, because I can put down exactly what I want to say, and take time to make my meaning clear.

March 11, 2003

Somtimes I wish...

people would stop doing stupid things with their time. But then, these idiots are elected members of the legislative branch of the US government.

In the spirit of this light-hearted attempt to let the French know their displeasure, I have added my own: from now on, I shall refer to "American" Cheese as "Dumbass" Cheese. Now, get back to work, and stop wasting time.

This-or-That 2003 03 11

Today's This-or-That:

1. Married or single? - Married, since September 1998
2. Knit or crochet? - I knitted a "thing" about 3 feet long when I was about 14, just to show I could do it. Then I undid it, rolled up the yarn again and gave it back to my mother.
3. Homebody or world traveller? - World Traveller until I was 23. Since then - nada.
4. "Star Search" or "American Idol"? - Are you MENTAL?!? I don't want my brain to melt...
5. Dancing or karaoke? - I can't sing, so definitely not Karaoke. Unfortunately, I can't dance, either...
6. Elvis Presley or Elvis Costello? - Mr. Costello, of course. Mr. Presley has left the building.
7. Bus or train? - train's much more comfortable. And a train ride through the rockies, or any other large spectacular mountain range, is amazing!
8. Batman or Superman? - Batman has a cool Batsignal, sure, but Superman is the Man of Steel!
9. Chocolate or vanilla? - Chocolate, of course. From the Church of Bernard, of course.
10. Which came first...the chicken or the egg? - the egg, of course. The bird that laid the egg wasn't quite a chicken.

March 07, 2003

How to skin using JavaScript

[note: this is incomplete - some of the javascript / css files need to be reconstituted. Once this is done, this note will be removed. Thank you]

Many of the sites out there are "skinable", meaning you can choose an alternate look, which will be your default as
long as the cookie they set in your browser remains intact. Most of these, such as the one ScriptyGoddess has on her
site require PHP or some other server side scripting language.

Not everyone has access to PHP, so for those of you who do not, we present a purely Javascript solution.

install skins.js on your server. Place the following in your block:

<script LANGUAGE = "JavaScript" SRC="skins.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

make sure you have the correct path to skins.js - you may have to put the full URL. Then place this just after it:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
document.write("<link rel='stylesheet' href='"+whichCSSFile+"' type='text/css' />");

(replace "michaelTest" with the name of your blog, for example) then place a block like this in your page, wherever
you want to have the skins changed:

<a href='javascript:jump("");'>0</a> |
<a href='javascript:jump("1");'>1</a> |
<a href='javascript:jump("2");'>2</a> |
<a href='javascript:jump("3");'>3</a>

Place alternate stylesheets in your main blog directory, calling the main one "styles.css", and in this case the
others will be "styles1.css", "styles2.css" and "styles3.css". You can have as many different skins as you like -
just name it "styles" + whatever you place in the quotes in the jump("") call.

When someone clicks one of the links, it will set a cookie in their browser containing the information to select the
appropriate version of your stylesheet. I have implemented a very simple demonstration of this on my site - all it
does is change the background colour for the page, but my wife has just implemented full-featured skinning using
this technique on her site: Waiting for Godel.

And voila, you have skins! If you use this, please leave a comment with a link to your site, or a trackback ping.
This way, if there's a problem, I can let people know. Enjoy!

UPDATE 2003 07 23
Please, do not link directly to skins.js on our server. Right-click the link, and select Save As, and save it to
your computer, then place it on your own website, with the correct links. Thank you.

Also, you should modify the code above like this:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
document.write("<link rel='stylesheet' href='"+whichCSSFile+"' type='text/css' />");
<link rel='stylesheet' href='styles.css' type='text/css'>

This change will use your default stylesheet even if the visitor has javascript turned off.

UPDATE 2003 07 29:
It seems not all browsers like to work with the implementation above:

<a href='javascript:jump("");'>0</a> |

will not work in Opera, for example. To get it to work with>everything<, like the implementation on this site does,
try using a clickable image, like this:

<img src="/squidblog/clearsquare.gif" width="10" height="10" alt="default" border="0" onClick='javascript:jump

This would give a 10pixel by 10pixel turquoise square like the one in the top right corner of this page, that is
clickable, and would set the skin back to the default value.

You, of course, can use any image you want. Or use a button.

Hope this helps.

Posted by Squiddy at 07:29 PM | TrackBack | Comments (6)

Friday Five for 2003 03 07

Today's Friday Five:

1. What was the last song you heard? - Lullaby - Charlotte Church.

2. What were the last two movies you saw? - let's see... late last night, it was an absolutely abominable Dolph Lundgren action flick called "Captured", aka "Agent Red". Dolph doesn't choose 'em very well. The movie before that was? Something on late night tv that I can't even remember...

3. What were the last three things you purchased? - if you mean personal? this implies money to spend on
self. These days, it's food, clothing, and shelter.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? - pay bills, do laundry, visit the in-laws, and... need?
to do? uhhh...

5. Who are the last five people you talked to? - my wife, my son, our friend Brent and his daughter Rachel,
and... a wrong number.

March 04, 2003

This-or-That 2003 03 04

Today's This-or-That:

1. Soup or salad? - what? I have to choose? Can't I have both? Well, if I must choose, then salad.
2. Hot or cold sandwiches? - cold. Hot are good, but only now and then.
3. White or whole wheat bread (or rye, etc)? - multigrain. Dempster's Multigrain Flax is delicious, and good for you, too!
4. Pack a lunch for work/school, or buy it? - I prefer to pack it, but... all too often, I buy. Tsk.
5. If you eat chain, or mom & pop type place? - fast-food chain. Usually.
6. Tuna or chicken salad? - yecch to both! heavens!
7. Cheese: Swiss or cheddar (or American, etc)? - Swiss or cheddar. And what the heck is "American" cheese?
8. Mustard or mayo? - yes.
9. Sandwiches: wrap/pita pocket, or regular bread/roll? - regular bread.
10. Sweet stuff: cookie/cake or fresh fruit? - fresh fruit, baby!

Note: not much in th way of personal entries here lately, because I just really haven't felt up to it. If something changes significantly - for better or for worse - I shall document it, but... the status quo still sucketh.