Stuff from July, 2003

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on July, 2003.

Summer Vacation 2003 Pt. 2

Well, we went to the Goddard Space Flight visitor center today. It was worth the AAA gem that it got. Saw some videos, saw the Gemini mock-up. Got the work-out done with early in the day. It actually wasn’t the last leg day of the trip - that’s coming up here on Saturday. Anyways. The center, although small, informed us about the various NASA installations throughout the nation. We then went outside and saw some rocket mock-ups which were alright. A little disrepair. Finally, we went to the gift shop and got my dad a birthday present shirt and astronaut ice-cream. Man, that stuff is good. I guess another pretty slow day. That’s mostly because it has been raining. No laying-out-in-the-sun today. I’m peeling anyways, so I might as well take care of it and sit inside. Movie night again tonight. Who knows whats in store. I wanted to order Anger Management on the hotel service thing but it isn’t offered in our area. Fer shame LodgeNet! More tomorrow, which will be the Fourth of July, 2003. Enjoy your fireworks and be safe. Don’t get hurt.


Summer Vacation 2003 Pt. 3

Well, today was the last day in Maryland. Flying back tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. It was good to visit Katy. But before I re-cap the day, I’d like to note two things. First, I have been counting Nissan Altimas, and there is a disproportionate amount of them on the road here. It is the most strange thing. Every time we go somewhere, let’s say for about 2 miles, I’ll see about 5 to 10 Altimas. Who would have thought? It’s not just the new ones either, there are Altima’s of all model year driving around out here. Plus, no road salt so much less rust. And the other thing worth mentioning, I learned a term called “Kiss and Ride.” It means “drop-off.” See? I didn’t get it either. We were at the Metro terminal and they had a sign pointing to the “Kiss and Ride” area. I guess that’s the terminology for ya. Moooving on. We had a lovely breakfast together and then went to church. It was only 40 minutes long so that was good. We actually got the whole family there. That went well. Then I went with Katy to the University of Maryland College Park and we worked on the websites she’s creating. Nothing like the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer to make a website about. Anyways, we tweaked some CSS and worked with the links. It was successful despite the incredibly old computers that were hooked up to the internet. Why would you have to access the A: drive off of the command line? Those are some serious network administrator restrictions. That’s when I found out that my website looks like crap in IE 5.00something. Crap! I thought it would work reasonably well, but something in the top nav is conflicting with the layout and causing things to actually move around when you roll over the top links. I think IE interprets the nav code as a bastardization of CSS and messes things around accordingly. Perhaps a couple more pixels of space would help the other problem of column’s pushing one another around. After all, my thin right column is stuck at the bottom of the page in that browser. At least the design is standards compatible, as I know from testing in Mozilla and visiting the W3C site. However, I fear my accessibility is not what it could be. Shame on me. Seriously, I just don’t know about this design. Is it original enough? I spent so much time on it, why do I feel like I am fighting with it? Late one night when I couldn’t sleep I did think what that background image up top would be. Obviously since I used the SX-850 colors, I’ll take one of the hi-res E-Bay photos I got and use that for the background - preferably the radio tuning dial which would scale horizontally quite nicely. Off track again. We finished up at the lab and went to Ruby Tuesday’s. It was quite possibly the nicest dinner that we have all shared together in sometime. Which is also true of the vacation. We’ve visited our sites, taken our pictures, eaten out food, lifted our loads, enjoyed our time together, soaked up our sun; now it’s time to resume the rigmarole of daily life. We go back home to pick up the load again, our ability to bear it reinforced by the time and meditation our vacation has given to us. In a way, it’s back to the real world. Tomorrow I have a plan, a schedule, a task-list. This past week I didn’t. Tomorrow I have people to see, chores to finish, orientation to prepare for. Yesterday I didn’t. But still I’ll go to bed now, looking forward to the adventure that is tomorrow.


I was playing Solitaire for the first time in some time, and it happened to be on WinXP. I love these deck options! And the game isn’t bad either. This deck option is my favorite:

Adorable frog thing.

I had to make it a Bitmap, I am sorry Web Standards Gods. Either way, I have no idea why this image matters to me, but it brightened my day. Hope it does the same for yours.

My Dearest Sister

As per request, this message is intended to wish Ms. Katy Micek a safe and healthy remaining intership at Goddard Space Flight Thingy. May all of her days be filled with joy, happiness, laughter, sun, CSS, HTML, and fun. Not many weeks left, hang in there sis’!

Additionally, may your teeth not be struck by anything hard enough to break them.



Justin and I talked about a bunch of things today. I don’t know if we are the type to sit down to coffee (or something similar, I don’t really like caffeine) and shoot the breeze/chit-chat/catch-up for hours. Maybe we are. Either way, when we have something to work on, we communicate quite well and naturally. Today we helped me out a lot by faxing the ISSN registration papers (20 to 30 business days to process…wow), registering tumbledry.org, examining the options at alterahosting.com, and mod_rewriting. About mod_rewrite: it’s unbelievable! The ability to secure a site through regular expression pattern matching and subsequent spitting outage of a Forbidden page is wonderful. So here I am, slowly coding and re-coding, checking and re-checking some mod_rewrite code so we can submit it and have it added to the VirtualHost (which we can’t do very often, it isn’t an automatic feature). I consider myself greatly blessed to be able to add mod_rewrite rules to the VirtualHost without possessing a dedicated server.



SimpleBits - SimpleBits is the home of a wonderful, standards compliant, funny, engaging, and writer of useful code designer. I enjoy the offerings on this site on a regular basis, and if you have any interest in standards, good design, sample code, or Dan Cederholm’s day-to-day life, then you should visit as well.

What Do I Know

What Do I Know - Todd Dominey’s well written, interesting, well-designed, informative, completely accessible web log. He is quite a designer - I respect anyone who can get the PGA Open Championship webdesign job. I found this site through zeldman.com and have been visiting since. I think it’s the writing and the knowledge of the writer that make this site worth visiting and re-visiting and then bookmarking.

The Digital Dude

The Digital Dude - The Digital Dude has a long history. He has done flashed introductions to the online websites of many organizations, including the Warner Brother’s movie Any Given Sunday. He also made the intro to Perfect Storm. I am amazed at his self-taught skill, sense of style, well designed flash pre-loading, and innovation through things like surround sound in Flash. Finally, his site has been “coming soon” for sometime, but his site still maintains huge traffic because everyone knows that when the Digital Dude releases something, it is always incredible and way out of the ordinary. Finally, I made the AOL AIM icons for xdude.com and sent them in a while ago. They got posted! Therefore, I can credit him with one of the only reasons my name appears in a Goolge search.


I forgot to mention (or maybe I forgot I wrote about) the basketball game we had going a couple of days ago. It was a lot of fun. Participants included me, Steve, John, Matt, Tommy, and Richard. Playing basketball in the summertime sure brings back memories. We’ve been playing every summer for four years straight. Back when we started I was a complete basketball novice - I credit basketball and fall football over there at Steve’s with helping me discover that I actually can handle sports. Tons of good memories of just plain fun competition, and relatively few serious injuries. Also, we took a picture of all of us at basketball - I plan to take that one to college; one needs to have some concrete memories of the summer. That is partly why I keep this log. Life is full of so many good times that it is good to be able to remember what actually happened. Regardless, my broken toe seems good enough to play basketball, and that’s great news.


Ebay Lead

We receive the Tech section in our newspaper every Monday. Throughout the week I devour every article and review inside, fully aware that the topics covered are just the tip of the iceberg for that certain subject. It often serves as a jumping off point into the online world. I do wish there was more information for webdesigners, like statistics on who uses what browser and platform, but that’s what A List Apart is for. However, the Tech section occasionally has some great opinion pieces about online living that definitely set it apart from most online publications. For example, I recently read a piece by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post about Ebay. His article contains a fantastic lead.


Reverse Horoscope?

You know, I dislike pointless emails as much as the next guy, but I figured I would try one today. It only took 3 minutes to go through so I don’t feel like I wasted any time. It was your run-of-the-mill, series of questions, chain-letter, basic psychology sort of fortune teller email. It asked for my favorite number so I chose 4.3 - now 4.3 is a good number, its better than 4.2 or 4.4 and it represents a high A average. It popped into my mind and I used it. Later on in the email it turns out that my number represents “how many close friends you have in your lifetime.”


Rumination of my Heart

Right now there are a lot of things running around in my head. If I were to follow the rules of good blogging as set out in some “A List Apart” article I read recently (saying exactly what those things in my head were, and describing them thoroughly), I would run out of room on this page. I will be succinct and general for my own privacy as well as everyone else’s.



I was at explodingdog.com. I have this really long list of good pictures from there that I am going to print out and post on my dorm room walls. Hopefully my roommate won”t think I am too weird. Then again, they are funny and he does have a book. I guess that makes it ok. Ha! No, but he does have T-Shirts as well. They are hot. Linky:


Matchbox 20 - If You’re Gone

I think I’ve already lost you
I think you’re already gone
I think I’m finally scared now
You think I’m weak - but I think you’re wrong
I think you’re already leaving
Feels like your hand is on the door
I thought this place was an empire
But now I’m relaxed - I can’t be sure