Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

Past Blogs

Shocking & Disturbing.


So, Helen Mirren won her Academy Award for The Queen. But over the past few months, I've been wondering why hasn't anyone brought up 1979's Caligula? Oh yes, she was in that infamous near-porno. I've heard that the 'real actors' never knew what the final cut of the film would be, and that all the truly pornographic scenes were filmed in secret. But I don't believe for a minute that the actors were totally in the dark about this. Peter O'Toole, who also has an Oscar, looked right at a dude... shall we say... producing organic moisturizer. He looked right at it. He had to have a suspicion. John Stewart had Peter O'Toole on the Daily Show just a few weeks ago - and even Stewart didn't have the balls to ask one little question about Caligula. Dammit Stewart - inquiring minds want to know!!!



Even as an adult, I'm still surprised when some of the 'obvious' facts of life are explained to me. Here are some useful things to know:

4 comment(s).



I'd been wanting to order another pair of RAM sticks for my home computer for a while. I thought I had it on, but as I was shopping for something else, the particular kind I wanted went out of stock. Bother! So I signed up for their notify serice. The next morning I got an email saying that the RAM was in stock. But I went to the site and they were out of stock. Augh! So I just kept checking every couple hours, and finally the RAM was back in. Whew - I was finally able to buy it. Whew.

Also, our Wii Play finally came. Yay! Now the husband and I can compete in important events such as neon air hockey and cow racing.

Welcome to the Talkies.


I have installed the Vanilla forum here, so that you can leave comments and talk amongst yourselves here on Pew Pew Laser Blog. You'll have to Sign Up, because I hate form spam, and you hate Captchas. And while it's not pretty, it's much less ugly than it used to be. Enjoy!

Odd Sightings.


As I walk towards my carpool pickup spot in the evenings in downtown Seattle, sometimes I see some very odd things.

Shameless Promotion.


My company, Widemile, is looking for a new web developer in the Seattle area. It's an awesome job - we need more folks to help do it! We're looking for a developer with serious HTML skills, a server side language, and some experience with JavaScript, CSS and the DOM. If you, your friends, or your friends' friends are interested - let us know at



Okay menfolk. This should not be necessary, but here is your official notification that tomorrow is Valentine's day. My boss had an 'Is that today?!?' moment when I mentioned the heart-shaped cupcakes I'd made over the weekend. Sigh. So, all you fellows out there with ladies should probably bring home some flowers tomorrow. It's up to you what to bring, but I advise against showing up empty handed. So don't say I didn't warn you.

Nintendo - Please Take My Money.


This is no surprise, but I've been enjoying the Wii. The husband loves Wii Bowling, but I really love the Virtual Console. When we first got the Wii, the first thing I did was pony up $20 for 2000 Wii points.

First I bought Super Mario Bros for 500 points. It turns out that I was a lot better at this when I was ten years old. Then I bought The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for 800 points. It's nostalgicly wonderful. So this left me with 700 points...

Now there's another game to buy - Super Mario World. But it's 800 points, so I'm just a hundred points shy of buying it. I asked the husband what I should do, and he pointed out that I'll need to buy Paper Mario when it comes out, so I might as well buy a bunch more points. Sweet! Spousal buy-in!

CSS Milkshake.


As I've been working with CSS, I've discovered that many elements will accept a width specification easily. Others require an extra bit of trickery & a few elements won't take it at all. It turns out that this is due to the difference between block and inline level elements. Observe the span and div below, where each has the width specified to 200 pixels.

Spans are inline elements.
Divs are block elements.

The important result here is that width can only be specified on block elements, not inline elements. Links are inline elements by default. So if you have a link that you'd like to be a certain width, you must also convert it to a block level element (below).

Super duper really fantastically extra-long.

Unfortunately, if you're working with a horizontal list, I don't believe you can affect the width. The 'display: inline;' declaration on the LIs that makes the list horizontal opposes the 'display: block;' declaration necessary for specifying width.

For those of you who don't like CSS, here is a conversation I had in the car recently:

Me: Is it bad to have a milkshake with breakfast?
Husband: ... Let's look at it in terms of 'healthy' and 'unhealthy'.
Me: Yeah, it is bad. Except if you're Elvis.

Superbowl Wrap.


A few years ago, I didn't think much of football. It was pretty much two color-coded groups of guys who would line up, and run at each other. Sometimes the ball would get through the line of guys, sometimes not. It didn't really matter, because I never cared. I've since learned a bit more about the game, and I enjoyed Sunday's Superbowl. I've always like to see weather in a football game. It also was nice to be cheering for a team who won, for once.

Some commercials were good, some were stupid. We saw a TrunkMonkey ad - awesome as always. I was disappointed to see the monkeys banished from's ads. My favorite was the commercial for nuts with the premise that if you don't have some nuts to snack on in mid day, Robert Goulet will mess with your stuff. It was awesome - though I can't find a video anywhere.

1 comment(s).

Mas Vista y Tangento.


Penny Arcade's got a little comic about the many versions of Windows Vista out there. It's funny cuz it's true. The news also touches upon a point I'd like to expand upon: playing games on a computer is a pain in the ass.

I long ago gave up playing games on my PC. Oh, sure, I played Sam and Max and Afterlife, and I loved them. But after a while, it became just too much work. Installing drivers, making a DOS boot disk, upgrading a piece of hardware every 6 months or so? Fah, I have a life to live. Perhaps doing those things was more entertaining when they were new and interesting, but now I seem them simply as an impediment to actual fun.

Consoles (Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox) are simple to use. You just put the disc in and you're playing in under a minute. (I doubt many Vista machines out there will boot in 60 seconds.) There's no configuring, no installing, no troubleshooting and no issues. It's delightful. Also, when was the last time you curled up in a blanket on the couch in front of your computer? I thought so.

Poor Goomba.  He just can't get this CSS figured out. In the last bit of Penny Arcade news, if you've always wanted a Fruit Effer t-shirt, now's the time to get one. While you're shopping at ThinkGeek, consider these Super Mario Bros. Plush Keychains. I got a clutch, and they're so damn cute, they made me squeal like a little girl.

2 comment(s).

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