Archive for July, 2003

Like a teenager

Sometimes when I’m driving, my inner teenager shows through.

I’m sitting in traffic, just kinda waiting for the cars in front to clear. Then at a slight curve in the road, the road opens up and I can power through the curve on the gas. A little bit of later acceleration, a little bit of exhaust noise, a little more wind in the hair.

It’s times like this when I want a ‘stupid fast’ button on the console, right between the hazzard and headlight button. A button that causes that my inline 4 to sound and act something like an unmuffled V8 for a few seconds. Chirp the tires, get a little sideways, get pressed back into the seat. One time while thinking this last week, I heard the brrrrap of a lightly muffled V8 accelerating as an AC Cobra took off the other direction. Yep, that’s about what I had in mind.

While the teenage me would understand the car and the desire for a V8, he would recoil in horror at most of the music in the cd changer: several types of accordion, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, swing.

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Last Weekend’s Monsters of Accordion Tour

They gave a monsters of accordion tour and didn’t invite Accordion Guy. Ah well, maybe next year.

Daniel Ari on the Accordion

Danel Ari, Probably singing about an octopus.

Jason on the accordion, monsters of accordion tour

Jason, with Accordion.

Jason on the 6 string accordion

Jason, with 6 string Accordion.

Once more with the guitar

I missed getting any pictures of Aaron Seeman – I think because he was moving to fast to photograph while playing Dead Kennedy songs done at 200 bpm.

All pictures were shot with availiable light from the back of the audience, telling me that I need a camera that has better low light performance. Maybe something that is more sensitive then ASA100. Either that or I need to be in the front row.

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Redesign Finished

I think I’m done.

It’s designed for standards compliant browsers, there’s a hack for .png transparency in IE5.5 and 6, and there are apache redirects for older browsers that certain family members use.

My apache config file is using the following rules for checking older useragents that I know mangle the css:

# Rules to redirect IE3,4 & Netscape 4.x to the printer friendly template.
# Assume that there's a search arg.
    RewriteCond         %{HTTP_USER_AGENT}      Mozilla/4\.[567] [OR]
    RewriteCond         %{HTTP_USER_AGENT}      "MSIE [34]\."
    RewriteRule         ^(.*)$                  $1&print-friendly=true [NE]
# If there's no ?, then I need to switch the & to a ?
    RewriteCond         %{REQUEST_URI}                  [^?]
    RewriteRule         ^(.*)\&print-friendly=true$     $1?print-friendly=true [NE]

The hack for transparency is used in the logo at the top, and looks something like this: (this would be a plain image tag if not for IE/windows. grrrr.)

  sizingMethod='scale'); position: absolute; right: 0px; bottom: 0px; 
  display:block; width:340px; height:54px;">
    <a href='/' class='logo'>
      <img src="http:\//static.wiredfool.com/wflogoTransWhite.png" 
         width="340" height="54" align='right' border='0' 

The current image really doesn’t need 8 bit transparency for the background that I have behind it, since I really could have done a normal image antialiased to that color. But now I can change the color/image in the style sheet and make the browser do all of the antialiasing work for me.

So the browser compatibility matrix looks like:

Me: As Designed
Wife\@work: Uses PNG Hack, but ok.
Mom: Redirects to Print template.
Sister: Redirects to Print template.
XP Using Friends: Uses PNG Hack
People using good browsers: As Designed
Luddites: Accessible
Google: Accessible

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White Logo Workaround


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Black Logo Workaround


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Redesign in progress….

The theme is loaded – rapidly making changes to fix that which didn’t work quite right.

IE is going to be sub optimal, because I’m using png. Safari/Mozilla are nice. Older OmniWeb is questionable but readable.

Netscape 4.x? Good question. IE 4.5/5.x Mac? Another good question.

And it validated last night. But not right now. Update: it validates. Had some paragraph and div tags inside spans. Inline’s can’t contain block level elts. Makes sense.

It would actually help if IE6 just wouldn’t support png. That way they wouldn’t get a grey ‘transparency background’ on the logo and the fade. A bit of googling shows a possible solution, but it’s ugly. Solution is from http://www.alistapart.com/stories/pngopacity/discuss/6/#ala-1841 . I told you it’s ugly. now to see if it works. Looks like I need to have more absolute and relative positioning directives included to make the image line up where it’s supposed to be.

Now I’ve figured out how to hide the css from at least NS4.x and msie 3.x and 4.01. I need to find a 4.5 browser to test on rather than emailing screen shots around. This page http://www.w3development.de/css/hide_css_from_browsers/import/ is useful, but slightly wrong. IE 4.01/3 actually read the import from the first test, @import url (“…”); but not if a screen selector is added: @import url (“…”) screen;. So item #1 should not include the Mac IE, and item #3 should.

Great, and hiding the css from IE on the mac hides it from ie/windows. oh well. I’m done with exploiting browser bugs to hide css. I’m going to use apache to rewrite old css mangling browsers to the print template. Leave everyone else to cope with the standards.

The Matrix:

  • Looks fine in lynx. In fact, better than it ever did before.
  • Looks fine in Mozilla.
  • Looks fine in Safari.
  • IE 3.0/mac is hosed, with all the images centered on top of one another. With css hiding, it’s just a plain page. Good.
  • IE 4.01/mac is hosed without css hiding, works with it.
  • IE 4.5/mac is hosed. No text, just a blue bar.
  • IE 5.0/os9 is hosed, no text, just the sidebar.
  • IE 5.2/OSX is good.
  • IE 6/win misplaces the logo image, but it’s not too bad. Kind of artful in a way. Either that or it misplaces the background under the image.
  • NS 4 gets a plain page. Good.
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STP 2003

I’ve done a short writeup of our experiences on STP this year.

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STP 2003

Another year, another STP. As with last year, we rode the tandem for a couple of days to get to Portland, to ride the bus back for 3 hours. Once again, we didn’t get that many pictures because we were busy doing whatever we do on a bike for 10 hours a day.

Riders Leaving on STP

Riders are leaving at sunrise.

Last year, we had the tandem for three weeks before the ride – this year we basically didn’t ride in the three weeks leading to the ride. That’s not the best way to train. Not that I actually train for this sort of thing. But the difference between riding and not riding while ‘not training’ is a big one.

Sunrise Saturday morning

The sun also rises.

For the first time in the 4 that I’ve done this, there has been a significant headwind. This time there was a 10-15mph breeze from the south for 50-70 miles. It usually picked up later in the day, just to be helpful.

Riders waiting to cross the bridge

Raiders wait in the rain to cross the bridge.

Like three of the other 4 times I’ve done this, it rained. Not too heavy, not too unplesant or cold. The Saturday evening and the first half of Sunday was wet. One of the two riders who offered to pull through did so in the rain. Of course, he didn’t have a fender.

has anyone seen the bridge?  where's that confounded bridge?

We rode over that. It’s under construction with steel plates and bolts in the roadway. We didn’t even get to do the banked 270 degree turn at the bottom at full tilt this year, cause it was wet and we were being cautious.

There weren’t as many drafters this year, probably because we weren’t going as fast. A few people asked, a few just jumped on. We climbed well, passing a good number of single bikes — even some Litespeeds. But 50 miles in each day, we were feeling the burn.

Next year, and there will be a next year, we will need to ride a little more in the weeks leading up to it. I need to get the aerobars adjusted correctly so that my upper arms can relax. We’re going to take more pictures. And we’re going to get some friends on tandems to come with us to paceline. With feeling and 4 part harmony.

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The what was in the camera edition…

A grab bag of what came off the camera this week. Warning. Cat Pictures.

Capturing the light in a spiderweb

I’m still amazed that I can get pictures of spiders’ webs.

Dougal claims a chair

When he sleeps around the house…
World Traveler Class

World Traveller class.
chair with feet and tail

Chair, with paws and tail.

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For those of you who can’t see images…

If you were looking at this in any browser but Microsoft Internet Explorer, it would look and run better and faster.    (from http://www.tbray.org/ongoing)

A couple of my few readers (using xp/ie6) have told me that they can’t see some of the images on this site. Furthermore, after not seeing my images, they can’t see any others ’til they close the browser. I’ve checked logs, changed image locations, added spare apache processes to the server, changed the ways I’m referencing them, removed .pngs and they still get the errors.

I think that this page from microsoft describes the problem. Only I’m pretty sure that every recent image on this site has been run through imagemagick, at least to resize them to web resolution.

Coincidentally, Tim Bray has an article about choice in browsers: the upshot being that there are alternatives to IE, and they are taking the lead. Competition is good, and there are at least a couple good non-IE browsers for most platforms these days, built around either the Opera, KHTML, or Gecko engines. (Safari, Opera, Omniweb, Mozilla, Galleon, Konq, Phoenix, Camino).

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