Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

Three Questions.


There are 3 questions that I must remember to ask when scheduling any doctor's office visit (other than a yearly checkup).

  1. What is involved with this procedure?
  2. Will you mail me the results?
  3. When should I expect results?

2 comment(s).

My Globby Glass.


My Globby Glass This is my globby glass. I made it during my second glassblowing class. It's a drinking vessel; that's right folks, it will contain liquid! It may be blobby and misshapen, but I love it, because I made it. Many thanks to the husband for taking the photo.

1 comment(s).

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting.


Here's the recipe I used for frosting the cupcakes I made for the our work for the 48 Hour Film Project. It's a tasty frosting, but very gooey and sticky. Consider yourself warned.

Mix all of the above ingredients over low heat until combined. Then heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then cool for 30 minutes.

This recipe is originally from Betty Crocker's Big Red Cookbook. Betty and company are kind enough to provide nutritional information:

For Art.


On Friday, as soon as I got home from work, I got started on the cupcakes for the 48 Hour Film Project. I tried a new frosting recipe - a fudgy concoction of butter, cocoa powder and powdered sugar with a bit of karo syrup and vanilla. It was tasty, but very gooey and sticky. I really need a sturdy frosting that will put up with travel and hot sun. Does anyone have a recipe they can share?

On Friday night, we got the specs for our film - a Film de Fem featuring Kristy Brown (occupation: illustrator), with a tie as a prop, and the line "Wrong, guess again.". I finished off the cupcakes while the script was written, and the husband went to a planning meeting. Once finished, we threw together some props and went to bed at about 1am.

Saturday was a long long day. We were up at 6:45am and on set (an office in SoDo) by a hair after 8. The husband got started on the credits, I finished paperwork and directed production assistants. I had good success at shopping / prop procurement on the day.

At noon, we broke for lunch. I and a lot of the crew got some burgers from Burger Madness - delicious and hearty.

I and some other folks, including the husband, were recruited as extras. I learned two things about acting: weary comfy shoes, and choose a lightweight prop.

At 4 we headed to the second location: a recently built house (an investment property) in Pacific - about 40 minutes away from Seattle. That shoot was tough - it felt very long, and I think everyone was getting exhausted. The husband left early to get some food, and start editing in a comfortable environment. We finished the shooting at about 10:00pm, and I got home at about 11:00. I ate some dinner and the husband, and later the producer, worked on more editing. I took a shower and got to bed at about 1am.

The husband got to bed quite a bit later, and he got up sometime in the morning to dash off to Adobe work on the film. I slept in, and am now preparing for the wrap party.

I think the film will be on YouTube in about a week; I'll post a link when it's available.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?


I'm going to be quite busy over the next 30 days. Tomorrow night we've got another home Sounders game; vs. DC United. On Thursday I've got my 3rd of 4 glassblowing classes. I'm really enjoying glassblowing; I think about doing it all the time. I'll be signing up for the Intermediate class as soon as I can.

This weekend we're doing the Seattle 48 Hour Film Project. I've got to start the cupcakes on Friday when I get home from work, and I'm also going to be the Production Manager. The husband will be editing on Sunday.

Next week I've got a doctor's appointment - my primary care physician says that one of my moles is suspicious. I've also got the last glass blowing class that Thursday.

After that, we go to Hawaii for nearly 2 weeks. Yay! We've got just a few outings planned in Hawaii - but we're focusing on having a relaxing vacation.

Shortly after we return, the folks-in-law are coming to visit. And on that weekend, we've got another Sounders game; in fact it's Sounders games every Saturday for 3 weeks. On the first Saturday, I'm also hoping to get into the glass blowing studio to make another Ballard Artwalk piece.

Whew; very busy indeed. The blog will be a bit neglected. I'll fill it up with some canned posts, but consider yourself warned.

1 comment(s).

Firefox - Keyboard Commands.


I love keyboard commands - they let me work much faster. Sometimes, it irritates me when I have to switch over the the "slow boat" mouse for my human computer interactions. Apropos, I present this most useful keyboard command for Firefox.

Shift-Control-T (or Shift-Command-T for you Mac users):
It re-opens the last tab that you closed in the browser. I use this all the time. (You all know that Control-T will open a new blank tab in Firefox, don't you? I knew that you did.)

Drupal Tricks for Dummies.


Here are a couple of tips that may come in handy when you're first working with Drupal. At the very least, these are things that I hope I remember next time I dive into Drupal.

Want to put some content on the home page?
In Administer > Content Management > Content, set Update options to "Promote to front page", check the content item, and click "Update".
Want to remove content from home page?
In Administer > Content Management > Content, set Update options to "Demote from front page" check the content items, and click "Update".
Want a universal footer?
In addition to the footer "block", you can set a footer message at Home > Administer > Site configuration in the "Footer message" box.
Special bonus tip:
When importing content into a Block, if the content contains important divs, spans, ids or classes, set the Input format to Full HMTL. Otherwise, your existing HTML will be overwritten with semantic elements - potentially neglecting important styling when the site is viewed through a browser.

Firefox - Zoom Text Only.


A somewhat recent update to Firefox 3 introduced an awesome new menu option: View> Zoom> Zoom Text Only. Is the text too small on your giant horking monitor, or a teensy tiny website? Simply check Text Zoom Only and bump up the text size. ("Control +" or "Control -" are the key commands to increase or decrease text size.) I find the text size increasing option a much better solution than whole page zoom - which tends to make images look ugly.

I use text zoom all the time for testing the flexibility of web page layouts. In fact, I first noticed Firefox's new menu option when I tried to increase the font size on a page and got the irritating full page zoom. But I was pleased to find the menu option to enable Text Zoom. Previously, it was only available using Firefox's about:config option (similar to the Windows Registry).

Beware Change.


When working on a project (both professional and personal), change can cause problems. Particularly in our modern age of quick and simple electronic edits, it can seem that a minor change is as simple as just making the change. Understanding the full ramifications of the change is critical to a smooth project.

Consider changes even to team meetings. I wasn't included in an original meeting request because I was on vacation at the time. But when the meeting was re-scheduled when I was back in the office, I wasn't included on the updated meeting notification. I was surprised to be called in to a meeting that I was unaware of and unprepared for.

Consider a kitchen remodel project, with a change to the configuration of the cabintry. If the entire planned cabinet plan isn't checked against the new change, there could be a big giant void in the finished kitchen. This story has often been told on HGTV and also happened to one of my co-workers.

A well planned project will have written change orders, which are signed off on by project stakeholders. These change orders will carefully and deliberately reconsider all aspects of the project in light of the change.

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