Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

jQuery - Core Table Functionality.


Check out this table. If you've got JavaScript enabled, you'll see alternating row colors and a highlight on the "hover row" - these are courtesy of jQuery.

Customer Date City Store ID Amount
ASH (A) 5/03/2006 Bellvue 16 508.51
BARBUR (B) 7/26/2004 Portland 13 8512.91
COUCH (C) 07/04/2006 Seattle 23 -4118.45
DIVISION (D) 07/11/2006 Tacoma 12 89.32
FLANDERS (NE) 09/22/2004 Centralia 24 480.41
HOLGATE (H) 12/2/2005 Bellvue 11 -56.15
BURNSIDE (B) 09/14/2004 Portland 17 600.64

This functionality is included in the core jQuery library. Check out my article for a detailed discussion.

jQuery - A Library.


I've been experimenting with jQuery, a JavaScript library, lately. And, with one exception, I've been quite impressed by it's elegance and simplicity.

It took me a while to come to terms with the concept that using any JavaScript library might be acceptable. Libraries and frameworks do have costs - there's the user downloaded file size, and your ability to grok the new system to consider. Writing the code from scratch so that I completely grokked it allowed me to polish, support and extend it. But certain web pages absolutely had to have that special bling-a-ding-ding. Coding many of those special effects (fading, animations, shrinking) is way beyond my skill level. Why not leverage existing technology that's been developed, vetted and browser tested by experts?

I investigated a couple of different JavaScript libraries before selecting jQuery as the one to learn. But jQuery provided a wealth of documentation, a variety of features, and suitable browser support. When I started working with jQuery, it was dead simple to learn. And I'm most impressed that jQuery can access any elements I can identify with CSS - this allows me to add JavaScript functionality in a non-obtrusive manner; generally without changing my markup at all.

Famous Boats.


In other news of TV I like, we watch a lot of Deadliest Catch around our house. We feel a special sense of kinship with the crab fishermen because many of them and their boats live in Seattle, some even dock in Ballard.

My daily commute crosses a bride over the Fisherman's Terminal, where many working boats are moored. Frequently I'll look out the window, hoping for a peek of a "famous" Deadliest Catch boat.

I did see the North American for a few days. While I am charmed by Sten Skaar and his goofy sweaters, the North American just isn't a major player.

A couple weeks ago, the husband and I were at Shilshole avenue, and we saw the Wizard, parked in drydock. Now THAT's a famous boat. It was very large and impressive. We didn't manage to spot any Coburns, though.

An afterthought: Are these crab fishing vessels "boats" or "ships"? I sure don't want Sig Hansen yelling at me for calling his rig the wrong thing.

Back to Civilization.


I'm back from this year's August camping trip to Ohanapecosh at Mt. Rainier. It was a delightful escape from routine and technology. (Though there was one point at which I wished I'd brought my DS - the father in law wanted to play Chess, but Clubhouse Games won't do DS-swapping.) We took many hikes, and saw many pretty things. I'm looking forward to seeing the husband's picture of the rainbow at the bottom of the waterfall.

I was pleased with my performance on the hikes. In past years, I would become quickly sweaty and tired on short hikes. But I was able to enjoy the hiking much more this year. It's nice to know that my efforts at the gym this summer have made me stronger and more fit. I've been disappointed that I haven't seen a decrease in weight or inches after going to the gym so frequently.

Why Aren't You Watching BSG?


If you're any kind of geek, you need to try the new Battlestar Galactica. Even you ladies with geeks should check it out. Yes, this is hardcore science fiction warfare, but sci-fi offers one of the freest mediums for storytelling these days. This is no space jaunt with fluffy haired flyboys and monkeys in space suits. Primarily, this an intensely engrossing drama, with real characters and real dilemmas.

Don't be shy, have just a little taste. Start with the 6 episode mini-series from iTunes or Netflix. How will you know you don't like it until you've tried it?

The new BSG is a very important part of geek culture. As the second half of the last season is approaching, the clock is ticking on geek-culture's ability to keep spoilers a secret. So, get hopping.

Nom Nom Nom.


I learned something interesting on Friday. According to my bank, if a bank card is left in an ATM for too long after a transaction, then the ATM will suck the bank card back inside and shred it. I'm intrigued by this "secret" feature that only happens when no one's watching. I will test this next time I have an extra ATM card to dispose of.



My mom said the frosting I put on those cupcakes was good, and so I promised I'd post the recipe for that too. Here goes:

Start slowly and mix it all together, for about 7 minutes. This yielded more than enough frosting for my 2 dozen cupcakes, though I tend to frost lightly. (I've found that I can microwave the chocolate on low speed in a ramekin. This is much easier than fashioning a double boiler.)

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