What's New? 2005-02-15

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What's New? 2005-02-15

 Sunday 27 February 2005
  Userland Radio minimal page I use Userland Radio to make this website.

Today marks the day I've given up twelve years of page design with HTML in favor of Cascading Style Sheets, a modern, better way of doing things. I make notes about my work with a new web site in an article named Userland Radio: switching from HTML to CSS. I don't discuss the CSS design or syntax, but rather what's necessary to have Radio work with CSS. I hope you find it handy.


Lila: Birdie, I'm turning you off. I have a pink candy and I'm going to my grandmother's house.

So sayeth Lila to the toy bird which repeats everything she says, albeit speeded up. It's one of her favorite toys.

After announcing her day-weaning Lila has slept on her own for these two nights (the first night in a nest she made in my office, next to the chair in which I worked until early morning, the second night in her bunk bed), spent two days all by herself at her pre-school, and has been generally independent all around. It's rather impressive, even though she's not completely weaned, only 99 per cent...


It's time for a play-date, another way the kids spend time with those whom they enjoy playing. When the playground and schools just aren't enough time. Here are Cynthia and Serafina.

 Saturday 26 February 2005

Yet again we head over to the grandparents for dinner. I can't remember what the occasion was; probably just a nice ending to a quiet day of gardening and cleaning around the house. Here Isaac and Zadie sharing two loves: chocolate milk and trains.

Then it's time to lay out the dinner - baked chicken, potatoes, salad, and some veggies - and enjoy one-another.

Then we head out to the Kaleo Café for some Hawaii'an desserts, hula, and ukelele. Exhausted from all the physical exertions and the socal interaction, the kids head out arm in arm.

 Friday 25 February 2005
  Tomfoolery in my office. Sometimes everyone has to jump all over my chair, preferably when I'm trying to get something done. I guess my camera is wiggling a bit :-)


Lila: I miss my mama meek. I suck and I suck and I get bubkis. Then I suck and I suck and I don't get a peep.

So Lila announced that she was day-weaned. We night-weaned her over a month ago.

She strolls around the dinner table, showing us that she's giving her doll mother's milk.

Lila gives mother's milk

And then, to top off her independent streak, she sleeps all by herself in the bunk bed in the back bedroom. Wow.

Lila sleeps by herself in the bunk bed
 Saturday 19 February 2005
  Isaac asks to go to his favorite sweets shop, Krispy Kreme, and we relent. Floyd, the manager, has been making seasonal and holiday displays in a corner case. This is his Valentines Day offering:

Floyd's valentines day diorama at Krispy Kreme
 Saturday 19 February 2005
  The flu over, I take the kids to May's Coffee Shop to celebrate. They're cuddly.


Sleepover with Aunt Pamela at our house!

 Friday 18 February 2005
  There's been some discussion around the 'net about the early days. So i started thinking about where all of this got started.

The online running commentary about my life and what was new to the 'net started in November 1993. In 1995 I added a monthly column I'd been writing for the customers of Sirius, a San Francisco ISP. In 1995 I also wrote a book published by Macmillan about CU-SeeMe, an Internet-based videoconferencing system. In 1995 my commentary about an anonymous digital money system, DigiCash, was added to the 'blog, as we were using it to sell the CU-SeeMe reflector list (for a digital penny).

All of this was done with UserLand Frontier; version 1.0 of which was released in January 1992, and I'd had some beta versions. NCSA Mosaic, by Marc Andreessen et alia, arrived in early 1993. (This was the era of Serial Line Internet Protocol, SLIP; Point-to-Point Protocol, PPP, was still a long time in coming. It was the height of geekdom to be able to have several open command-line terminal windows active over one modem connection, so one could have separate spaces for ones Gopher, Archie, and Lynx browsing.)

Rebecca Blood writes "Jesse's 'page of only weblogs' lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999." Perhaps for some bizarre definition of 'blog. If you mean to say that SIX YEARS after Wired magazine's issue 1.01 came out (Mar/Apr 1993) there were only 23 people posting "periodic posts on a common webpage... often but not necessarily in reverse chronological order" [Wiki], I got a big bridge to sell you.

making a web page (Looking around my own site this evening I discover that not only was the net much more conversational than Ms. Blood implies, it was so chatty that it was worthwhile to describe some of the tips and tricks of making my 'blog; here's a screenshot from Christmas 1996.

Dave Winer - the creator of Frontier - started his 'blog at the end of April 1997, wherein he speaks of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Not 1.0. For crying out loud, the fruit-colored Apple iMacs were introduced in August 1998 to a world that was already very comfortable with modems, the web, etc.

It's true that each generation remembers history as starting in their lifetimes, but y'all need to be a bit more careful with your assertions. Why, back then, we didn't even have...

 Thursday 17 February 2005
  Mozilla Firefox download counter 25,000,000 Firefox downloads Technical and evangelism issues aside, I'm really groovin' on these Mozilla Firefox web browser graphics.

From the Spread Firefox website: "...You all are spreading Firefox to a quarter of a million people a day. More than 500,000 sites now link to Firefox according to Google--a fivefold increase from six months ago... What was just a small flame 100 days ago has since exploded into a phenomenal demonstration of the power of open source.


"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."

-- James Burgh from Political Disquisitions: or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses, London, 1774-1775
 Wednesday 16 February 2005
  Look who is on a camel near Jerico...

Jerico camel


Speaking of the middle east, there was a large explosion today in south Iran. Tension is high because of reports that Israel might preëmptively strike at their fledgling nuclear program in an effort to forstall Iran gaining nuclear weapons. Initially reported as caused by a missile, it was today explained away as blasting work during the construction of a dam.

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf The truth doesn't matter; what does is that we've once again thought of the Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, aka "Baghdad Bob". Imagined by john_frink at Fark.com:

There was no explosion. The especially loud sound was the joyous people of Iran giving spontaneous and simultaneous thanks to Allah for an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise.

 Tuesday 15 February 2005
  Lev Piatigorsky: (2005-02-15) Israel; check it out!

Tel Aviv sunset


Candlelight wedding chapel, Las Vegas My lack of interest in the royalty-as-celebrity is balanced perfectly by my love of protocol:

The 1836 Marriage Act bars the royal family from civil marriages, says Stephen Cretney, Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

"The legislation which governs civil marriage in England is expressed not to apply to members of the royal family. There is no statutory procedure whereby members of the royal family can marry in a register office."

Were the couple to wed under current legislation, Dr Cretney said the Prince of Wales would not be legally married and Camilla would not be his wife.

I'm not saying Buckingham Palace called for advice or anything, but let's say I'd mention Las Vegas...


Here's an HTML syntax hint for displaying wide panoramic images in a smaller web page: either crunch the panorama down to a fixed width (seen here at 486 pixels wide) and have it link to the bigger panoramic image

San Francisco from Twin Peaks
San Francisco from Twin Peaks

or use the div style construction to make a view into the bigger panorama, a view that is automatically sized to the width of the web page, a view which gives you a horizontal scroll bar to see the entire panorama.

[UPDATE: Unfortunately this CSS does is not gracefully handled by non-compliant web browsers. I'm not shocked to see that Microsoft Internet Explorer makes a hash of this, but I am surprized that Apple Safari does too. Firefox handles it perfectly. I've removed the style demo which was here by putting it within a comment; use View Page Source or whatever to see it.]

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