Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

Soo Busy.


Nope - I haven't written anything in a while. Nah, I didn't forget about you - we've just been soooo busy. Last weekend we drove around looking at neighborhoods. Monday night was soccer. Tuesday was looking inside actual houses - after we got a lovely tiramisu at Tutta Bella. Wednesday we came straight home and watched Casino Royale - it was very good. Tonight we did more house-looking. And we've got more lined up for Saturday.

We also have to decide whether we'd like a townhouse, or an actual house. It's a tough soul-searching kinda decision. Do we want frugality or lazyness? New construction or old? Close in or crime-ridden? Will we sell the second car? Soo many choices.

On a less whiny note, I've been getting some nifty icons from Icon Buffet. Lots of pretty stuff, and I'm particularly enamored with the delightfully smooth and alpha-transparent .pngs they provide. For my next design of the blog, I'm going all .png baby. Sorry in advance IE6 users - the site will be usable for you, but IE6's failure to handle alpha-transparencies will make the graphics uhg-ly. Time to consider FireFox.

I am PO'd.


It was my mistake, this time. But this was round three of troubleshooting tennis, and the first two rounds were due to the client's malformed code. And these project specs didn't just creep - they leapt out of bounds. So the last minute data-harvest & replace variables I wrote were missing a closing parenthesis. Stupid parenthesis! I know you're supposed to be there. You know you're supposed to be there. Why don't you just be there? Dreamweaver & Firebug, aren't you supposed to help me catch these things? And since when has Firefox had a more forgiving (JavaScript rendering, in this case) engine than IE? Sonofabitch.

It pisses me off that I'm the one to blame for this issue. In the beginning, I gave the customer a fully working and fully tested page. Then, several surprise difficulties later, my code is bad. Dammit - it's still my code that was bad.

And, it looks like its going to snow again. Crap.

Oh, and the bus I got on is an express, but not the kind of express that stops where I needed to be. So, now I'm waiting to be rescued from being lost. Gods dammit!

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How I Spent my Weekend.


I was shooed out of work early on Friday; having worked some long days during the week. (There are many benefits to having a European boss.) So I went down to Pike Place Market and pretended I was a tourist. I got some delightful tulips (fresh from the farm), some cheese from Beecher's, a very sweet 'champagne' mango and some raspberries. I'm particularly happy about the tulips - they're much better than the beat-up snap dragons I got at Trader Joe's last week.

On Saturday we did some exploratory house-hunting - it was very demoralizing. Oh well - I'll have to select a real estate agent. At least we got lunch at Dick's. I love Dick's. ;) We caught some soccer (footie, if you prefer) on the cable; we saw Tottenham's keeper score a goal for his team. In the afternoon I did some coding, and in the evening we watched V for Vendetta - a quality flick.

Today I did a serious amount of slacking. But I also made some chocolate - hazelnut scones while the husband was working. Later we got a Papa Murphy's pizza, and ate it while watching America's Funniest Home Videos. Crotch hits are always funny, no matter how old you are. I love the peaceful, do what you want, Sunday evenings that the hubby and I get to have now. This is much better than the hurry and pack, and then go to sleep early so he can drive back up in the morning type evenings that we used to have.



We finally found a new Web Developer at work. It took a lot of searching, but this guy'll work out very well. Apparently there are lots of companies looking for Web Developers. So if you've ever wanted to try to be a professional, or just break out of what you're doing now, it's a good time to be looking. Just in case, let me give you some tips on what to do, and what not to do, when applying for that job.



Here's a trio of quick internet dabs of fun.


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This weekend we drove down to Portland. Among our activities were tax-free shopping at REI, eating some good sushi, and going to my Mom's 'graduation' party.

We also went to see the new townhouse that a pair of our friends bought. It was very pleasant. Though they had just moved in, the hostess had kindly laid out some snacks for us. A washing machine attacked the husband, but he and the man of the house eventually managed to get it and the dryer up to the laundry room. The husband even got to say "Yep. I've see that before. Yer gonna need a new plug.' when the dryer cord turned out the be the wrong one. Such experience!

We also got to play The Starfarers of Catan with our friends. We've had a copy of this board game for a while - but I'd been intimidated by it's staggeringly large number of pieces and complexity of play. So I was glad to have them help us learn how to play it. We really enjoyed it. The husband was winning for a while, but the win was swiped at the last minute by the lady of the house. She's very sneaky - no hard feelings. :) The Starfarers is a spin-off of the popular (in some circles) Settlers of Catan boardgame, and Starfarers fixes some of the issues that Settlers had. Specifically, the 'event' cards do a good job of keeping the other 3 players involved when it's your turn by having them play the part of pirates. It was good fun.

P.S. - Our set includes "Drive Rings" to attach to the Motherships so that you can install boosters without breaking the Motherships. If your set didn't come with these, perhaps you can harrass Mayfair Games for some.

Super Paper Mario?


I'm a little worried. I just read EGM's Preview of Super Paper Mario for the Wii. I loved the Cube's Paper Mario, and was hot for the sequel. But it seems like the new one will be a whole lotta platformer, with just a tad of RPG. Hmmm...

Who am I kidding? I'll probably love it.



For your amusement, I will tell you a story from my past. This is my sister's favorite story. It happened when I was about 12, so a good decade and a half ago.

I was walking to school in the morning and was approached by 2 of my peers. They were somewhat antagonistic girls, though they were not my enemies. They were more worldly than I was, as were most of my peers at the time. They asked me "Are you a lesbian?"

I could tell by their tone that this was a trick question. However, I did not know what a lesbian was, so I did not know what the correct answer was. After a bit of consideration, I answered "Maybe..."

This tactic worked well, and they left. Hooray for ambiguity!

I Am, In Fact, A Code Monkey.


Remember the 'CodeMonkey' and 're: Your Brains' songs I wrote about a while ago? I was listening to John Hodgman's audio book 'The Areas of my Expertise' and the dude singing songs sounded very familiar. It's the same guy - Jonathan Coulton!

The state songs are particularly funny. Here is the Oregon state song, in it's entirety:

It's pronounced 'Oregon'.
Please pronounce our state correctly.
It's pronounced 'Oregon'.

"Oregon" from 'The Areas of my Expertise

Weekend Fun.


Some random things you might enjoy - because I know I did. First - Ikea Vs. Windows. Second, this cat is about to kick your ass at tennis. More at

Lastly, I'm sure that by now you all know how to make rounded corners using CSS, but what about square corners? Even those of you who are 'non-technical' should check out this very important technique. Also at the same site, here's How Not To Put Out a Grease Fire. If you want more success in dousing grease fire, smother it first with a lid, then baking soda. Not flour, as I had thought.

Tight & Sweet.


Last night I got my RAM from NewEgg and cracked open my computer case - a sweet little Antec Aria. First off, I didn't even need a screwdriver to open it - just a thumbscrew on the back and the 3 aluminum panels slid off. I hadn't opened it up since I first built it about a year ago, so I was expecting to have to get the compressed air and blow out the usual supply of dust-bunnies that any well used computer accumulates. But lo, there was nary a dust bunny in sight! I quickly had the RAM in and closed the case up. It was a delightful experience, far superior to working inside the Fry's case-of-the-week special. Excellent work, Antec.

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