Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

Chocolate Cupcakes.


Chocolate Cupcakes I made more cupcakes this weekend. These were follow-on cupcakes to the batch that I made for the husband to take along while working with his 48 hour film festival team. (Alas, the film is not available on-line for a while yet.) My cupcakes were apparently much enjoyed by the film cast and crew; even though I substituted one cup of hot water for the coffee called for by the recipe.

Since I had a bunch of frosting left over, I decided to try the cupcakes again, this time with the coffee. The with-coffee cupcakes were better - noticeably larger and fluffier. Here is the recipe that I used, taken from Caprial's Desserts, by Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey.

Whisk these.

Mix these into the above, until well blended.

Mix into the above, one at at time.

Mix into the above; low speed.

For medium sized cupcakes, bake at 350° for about 20 minutes (use a toothpick). I got about 28 cupcakes out of this.

2 comment(s).

Irony Fail, Cupertino.


Irony Fail, Cupertino Every time I've tried a couple of times to connect my Macbook Air to my desktop PC, I got only this picture at right. Being an old-school PC user, I immediately recognized this as a Windows BSOD; clearly an error which meant that I wasn't connected.

This weekend, the husband got a new work Macbook Pro with Leopard, and he laughed wildly at this screen. He pointed out that it says "Connected", and lo and behold, I can, in fact, see my PC's files through it. Curse it Apple; not everyone is used to irony in their operating system.

1 comment(s).

My Evening at Refresh.


I went to last night's Refresh Seattle talk. The presenter was the head designer of a new document sharing / extra-net service, and he talked about the problems encountered with designing the behaviors of the service. I was particularly impressed by how they simplified the sign-up process. Users hate to sign up.

I was quite shy as I felt rather out of place. The mini-conference of Refresh was mostly attended by designers - who both design and develop a project from concept to X/HTML. With Widemile, I get the designs from our creative department, code it up, and plop it into our testing platform. With my narrower skill set, I felt as if I wouldn't have anything much to contribute. (Until someone needs to know some advanced page optimization techniques, anyway.) I'll go back a few more times, at least.

I did go have a drink with some of the other attendees afterwards. I talked to a few people about stuff. We talked about the ways in which Vista sucks and Leopard rules, the curse of designer-itis, and how many people at the table had iPhones.

Won't Someone Please Play with Me?


I've been playing a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the rift. A lot. I've been playing on the bus, during televised soccer matches and before bedtime.

Once again, I find the FFTA's job system (with skills learned via equipment) very addictive. The gameplay additions in this sequel aren't revolutionary, but I'm enjoying them. If you would like a hand-held tactical game, particularly if you skipped the first FFTA, I encourage you to pick this up.

There are some features of this game that I can't use until I find some real life friends with FFTA 2. There's some kind of raffle available if I can hook up with someone else over local wi-fi. Not on-line, though.

Does anyone else have this game? It'd be pretty darn sad if I had to hang out outside of PAX and accost strangers during lunch next month.



Good news! There is a new Simon's Cat animation available. You can also check out previous episodes here.

Experiments with IE6 and Alpha .PNG Solutions.


One of the things that I've been busy doing is working a new article. IE6 (and lower) .PNG Experiments is a series of tests of various solutions for the grey background that appears on .PNGs with alpha transparencies in Internet Explorer 6 (or lower).

The really important part of this article is the major drawbacks to any solution that is based on using the AlphaImageLoader filter. In short, doing so caused hard lockups of IE6 that some serious Microsoft ninjas were unable to resolve. My very strong recommendations is that you use a graphic-based solution such as using Fireworks to add an alternate color palette to the image, or simply re-matting the image against the desired background color.

Nice Girls Don't Get Things Done.


There's a certain point at which being polite to some co-workers makes me look less than competent in front of others. Letting your unscheduled meeting linger for "just 3 minutes" in the meeting room that I reserved means that, at best, I lose the opportunity to open meeting documents on the projector. At worst, it means that my meeting runs over into the next one.

Now that we understand each other, get out of my meeting room. And don't get me started on proofreading your copy.

Fluff Piece.


Yes, it's been a while since I wrote. I've been ...busy. Yeah, that's it ...busy. So, here's a fluff piece.

Take a look at these fabulously cute kittens, now available for adoption. The remind me ever so much of our very own Cotten and Ingrid. In case those little cuties do turn out like our own tabby and calico, I will warn you of their behavior.

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