Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Past Blogs

Fabulous Machine.


I discovered the most wonderful machine at the gym - the Stretch Trainer! One of my problems stretching effectively is that I find it difficult to get my body in the right position without falling over. The Stretch Trainer's pivoting seat takes care of that, and is almost fun.

I've also noticed a new tool at the gym. There's a dude who has repeatedly neglected wiping down the weight equipment after he uses it. Ewww. What's the standard for social consideration here?

1 comment(s).

A New Hobby.


Making Glass I am starting a new hobby - glassblowing.

During last month's vacation to the Oregon coast, I blew my own glass float at Lincoln City Glass Center. I recommend trying it yourself if you can't find your own on the sand. I've signed up for a set of lessons at a local hot shop next month and I'm quite looking forward to them.

I enjoy that working with glass is both an art and a technical craft. Each finished piece is absolutely unique, and very different from more common 'arts and crafts'. Most of all, I like the permanence of glass pieces. Practically all of the work I do on computers is intangible, always changeable, and never perfected. Once glass is done, it's done, and it's going to last a very very long time.

A somewhat interesting fact: It's been a long time since Dale Chihuly blew the glass himself. He's more of a director and designer of glassblowing.

The Developer's Prayer.


Here is a "prayer" which appears on refrigerator magnets and bumper stickers all over the country:

Lord help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.

I suggest a similar one for programmers and developers:

Lord help me to develop the product that my marketer thinks it is.

Pew Pew Laser Recipes.


I made a very subtle change to the site last week that probably went unnoticed. I added a recipes section and put a link near the top of the page. There, you'll find recipes for my famous Peanut Blossoms, as well other things that I like to eat. Enjoy!

A Transition.


A Sounders FC Supporter The husband bought season Sounders tickets and I love it. I love the games and the team, and I'm not going to apologize. I'm hooked on the joy of cheering for my team along with a crowd of twenty thousand. Winning a well played game is a powerful and addictive happiness.

As a native Portlander, I've had a stormy past with pro sports teams. I fell into the Rip City crowd of the early ninties, but the near wins and the subsequent team attitudes were far too depressing. The Winterhawks were the best thing happening, but I just can't drag myself out to Renton to see a game in unfriendly territory.

It's been more than 2 years since we've moved to Seattle from Portland. We've got a house and two cats. I'm ready to admit that Seattle is my home - for now. Supporting a sports franchise is part of the transition. I can't be Sounders 'till I die, but I can be Sounders while I'm in Seattle.

Smooth Animation Using jQuery's slideToggle() - Details.


I have written a more detailed description of the solution I found to jQuery's jumpy animations in Pew Pew Laser Articles. Though I'm working with the slideToggle() function, I bet the solution would fix similar cases using animate(), show(), hide() and other animation functions.

Essentially, the solution works by storing the heights of animating elements before they are hidden, and then re-applying those heights just before starting the animations. I'm pretty proud using the array and jQuery's each() function to simplify the grunt work of storing and re-applying the heights. It may well be my best JavaScript work.

Still Employed.


Last week was a tough week at work - it was time for a "reduction in workforce". Some folks had been extra stressed over the past couple weeks. I'd actually been a little worried that they were just going to shutter the place - like an FDIC bank seizure.

On the day that everyone was let go, I was completely oblivious. It's tough to see people go; colleagues that I've been working with for so long. As always, I regret missing that last precious opportunity to say goodbye. To everyone who was laid off, I wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.

I understand that staff cuts had to be made. It's a helluva tough economy, and no company is surviving unscathed. I'm relieved that we've made the changes; and of course I'm relieved that I'm still working.

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