Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

Canada - Redeemed.

6.25.2007

The husband and I went to Victoria as a 3rd anniversary get-away. And it was delightful to escape the our worries in the states for just a few days. We ate a lot, walked a lot, and saw a ton of stuff. We really enjoyed setting our own pace and exploring the city as we saw fit. Victoria is a very romantic city - picturesque and very service oriented. Although the cruise boat crowds can stress the capacity of the city, particularly when dining out. It's a great place to take your sweetie for a romantic weekend. Just practice your patience, and have some emergency snacks.

Shamus the Street PerformerI must confess that the husband took this picture. But he did so on my camera, so I'm posting it. Ha! Shamus the street performer here did a fabulous job of entertaining us.

Another of the Big Blue Butterflies A Big Blue Butterfly We went to the Butterfly Gardens, an indoor butterfly zoo. I don't know recall the name of the large blue butterflies, but they're quite tricky to photograph, because they very rarely open up their wings when they land. I got very lucky - twice!

SnapdragonsWe also spent a lot of time at Butchart Gardens. It was lovely, and it was great to be able to go through the gardens at our own pace. Snapdragons are among my favorite flowers. There are quite a few more pictures, but these are the best. I tend to take quite a photos; of course not all of them are great.

LOL Yourself.

6.21.2007

Surely you've seen LOLCats? If you haven't yet seen it, clear up an hour or so in your schedule before clicking the link. Among my favorites are Monorail cat, Kittens in Gondor, and I Played Your Guy. Oh yes, and this one is for Zelda fans.

If you still have more time to waste, you should check out LOLBots. There's some bad news for Gaius, and a very creepy blast from the past.

FireFox Lover.

6.13.2007

I love the Web Developer Extension for Firefox. I'm particularly enamored with the DOM inspector functionality (Ctrl-Shift-Y). Then you can click on an element, and a new window showing what CSS affects that element will appear. It's brilliant. Of course that's only one thing the Web Developer toolbar does. It's cookie menu renders Cookie Culler obsolete, for my needs anyway. You can also submit your pages to the W3C for validation right from the tools menu. There's several other menus that I haven't even explored yet.

I have found a few other helpful extensions:

Good and Bad Podcasts.

6.11.2007

I used to have a very long commute to work, and I started listening to podcasts to pass the time. I discovered one very good web design podcast, and one very bad web design podcast.

The very good web design podcast is the BoagWorld podcast - it's got a lot of things going for it. Number one, it's done by a couple of British guys. Americans love listening to British accents - everything sounds so much more clever in a British accent. It's entertaining, and chock full of useful content such as tips, reviews, and web-news. Thank you, Paul Boag!

The very bad web design podcast is Web Standards with Imagination by Dustin Diaz. Dustin is a bit more of a web-celeb then Paul Boag, and his website shows that he is a fine writer with excellent JavaScript / DOM skills. But he's just not a good speaker. I listened to the first half dozen or so shows, and they were all full of 'umms' and 'uhhs' and other fillers. I finally quit listening with a vengeance after he belched right into the podcast - a nice long one too! Dood! I don't care what you're drinking - that's uncool.

The curious thing about these diametrically opposed podcasts is that how each one has affected how I perceive each podcaster personally and professionally. I'll visit the Boagworld site occasionally to check out the forum or read the post. But I avoid Diaz' site, and generally discount his other articles because I just can't think of him as anyone but "that damn podcast burper." Bleck. I guess the lesson here is that it can seriously hurt your reputation and branding to release a poor product, even if it's in a different medium than your original.

Laws of Real Estate

6.6.2007

There are a few things that the hubby and I have learned about real estate over the past few years. I will now enumerate them for you.

Warning: As we enter a hectic month of moving, expect sparse entries by me. I tend to blog at home, and work at work. I also write in Dreamweaver (the code view), and have this secret, non-Myspace blog. Deal with my oddness.

PS - If you like, you can see my bling. I'll find a spot for a big link later.

The Man in the High Castle.

6.1.2007

I just finished reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. It is a great classic of science fiction, and I was inspired to read it by our recent trip to the Sci-Fi museum. I am sad to say that I did not enjoy Dick's Hugo winner much. I suspect that The Man in the High Castle was about something other than the story related by it's words. I'm incredulous that Dick would write a story about the actual events depicted; the story and characters are simply not meaningful or compelling enough. Since I'm too young to be a contemporary of this novel, I suspect I'm missing the necessary topical prerequisites to understand the subtext of the book. I've never been skilled at catching the secondary meaning of stories. Several other revered sci-fi novels (A Case of Conscience, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and particularly Stand on Zanzibar) have left me as confused and apathetic as The Man in the High Castle.

My next literary adventure is The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. I think this will be a much better read. Neil Gaiman (Shame on you if you have read nothing of his.) wrote a introduction to the edition I have, and he talks about the fantastic future-resistance of The Stars My Destination. He even suggests that The Stars My Destination may be an early template for the cyber-punk genre. Perhaps I'll appreciate The Man in the High Castle more in a future reading. To quote Neil:

"You can no more read the same book again than you can step into the same river."

True that. I used to think that The Stainless Steel Rat was serious sci-fi.

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