Archive for July 2005

July 15, 2005 – Hit counter   1 comment

Experimenting with a hit counter

Free Hit Counters


terror alert banana

Here is where I would write something if I was actually posting anything useful. But, I’m not. whistling


Oh, the dancing banana. Yeah, that indicates the Department of Homeland Security‘s Threat Advisory Condition.

I kid you not!

Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 15, 2005 – Is Pittsburghese a language?   1 comment

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I thought this was interesting. I learned English in Canada and I have never lived outside the “North,” but I was/am obviously influenced by U.S. media, particularly entertainment.


Abstract Image

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Dixie
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Midwestern

Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 13, 2005 – Table border color   1 comment

Butchering Web Standards to get a simple table border

Since the Y!360 editor strips legitimate HTML out of blog entries, we need to improvise. This tutorial fakes a table border.

First, in the defense of web standards, I have to say that this kludgy technique (although it works, dammit!) goes so completely against my grain that I want to retch.

Okay… That’s out of my system.

Now let me explain what I did.

The WeatherPixie

Basically, I used two nested tables. A nested table is simply an HTML table placed inside the data cell of another. One table is nested inside the other, like those Russian dolls.

The simplifed code looks like this (I colored each table’s code to distinguish them from each other):
















In the above example, the green table is nested inside the blue one.

Next, I set the attributes of the outer table like so:



Let’s look at each attribute, one at a time. The background color will simulate the desired border color. The table’s real border is set to zero, since I want to hide the default grey color that I can’t change. Setting either the cell spacing or the cell padding will let the background of the outer table peek out around the edges of the inner table.

And all of that, my friends, produces the blue border. (Oh my! Such deviation from the standards makes me feel so… so… dirty. And not in a good way.)

Okay, moving on. Within the inner table we place our content. First, let’s look at the overall table attributes:

 <table border="0" cellspacing="4" cellpadding="3" bgcolor="#ffffff" background="url">


I’ve hidden its border here, because the inner table is used for placement of the elements only and, except for the background image, is not part of the visual effect. The spacing and padding give the elements a little breathing room. Fiddle with those numbers to suit your taste. (Tip: Temporarily set the border to 1 while you tweak these values to see the effects of your changes.) Finally, I added a background color because it is the right thing to do in case the image is unavailable or the user’s browser doesn’t do images.

Next, comes our content:









In this example, I use two columns and span the first row, with the title, across them. Then, in the second row, the body of text goes in the first column and the WeatherPixie is right justified in the second column. But, you could do lots of other stuff. This is just an example.

Hopefully this is good enough for a start. If you’d like more detail, then feel free to drop me a line.

Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 13, 2005 – Firewalls bad   1 comment

text weather pixie url



I’m pretty sure that the readers of this blog—both of you—have (almost) no interest in firewalls or network security. Truth be told, even though I have network administration responsibilities, I have almost no interest in firewalls and network security either. Maybe I should, but I don’t.

Even so, you may realize that firewalls are considered a basic and indispensable network security device, like brakes in your car. You may not understand the nitty-gritty of how they work, but you sure as sunrise want them present and operating.

Me, too. That’s why I was so impressed with this article. The author, Stuart Berman, throws away what we are supposed to believe and comes up with a unique, though unconventional, solution. I love this way of thinking.

We need to challenge the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” and “everyone else does it that way” approaches to doing things. Once in a while, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “What am I really trying to do here? Is this the best way to do this?” We need to give new ideas a run through the “sanity checker” before we discard them out of hand. Some of the best ideas are such because they were conceived out of the box. I think we need more of this kind of thinking.

Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 11, 2005 – Too long for a Blast   Leave a comment

I have an… interesting, let’s call it… sense of humor. Actually, I have to be careful “cracking wise” online, since something meant as funny can be taken as serious. And even the toolbox of smilies isn’t going to help when that happens.

Not that life is a big joke, but hey, you gotta laugh sometimes. For example, I think this is funny:

“The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we’d all pile into the car – I forget what kind it was – and drive and drive. I’m not sure where we’d go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called ‘Dad.’ We’d eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.”—Jack Handy

Have you recently read something online or heard something somewhere that made you laugh? How ’bout sharing?

Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 09, 2005 – Like mazes?   Leave a comment

Posted Saturday, July 9, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 08, 2005 – Broken Poems   Leave a comment

I’m feeling a little droopy today, so I’m reading some broken poems to, hopefully, spark up the… what’s it?… that thing… oh yeah, my brain.



a novel blazed in my head

to hit these keys
to enter yr apartment
& take out the trash
did she misremember your name
coming to believe a person

the box in my brain

in the great canadian shanty town
wishing there were a barometer
before it grows legs & walks off
but you might find it somewhere
probably asleep by now

3 years later

my twenty dollar target stool
what else’s worth holding onto
at the opera
go on, kiss it
the rumble of two bumpers touching

Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 by Grant in Random

July 07, 2005 – Fallback skill for a dodgy economy   Leave a comment

How to fold a shirt. (Requires Flash)

If I practice, I can beat out the competition for that GAP job.

Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 by Grant in Random