Seeded My Yard

Nothing like a little yard work to make your back sore, your legs hurt, your hands all dry and calloused… oh, and your paycheck take-up residence down at the local home depot. I spent the last few weekends prepping my front-yard for seeding. Here’s the current state of progress:

Front Yard

The Front Yard

Round up’d. Weed’s pulled. Ground tilled. Soil added. Seeds added. Seed topper added. Watered. Now I water and wait for seeds to sprout. I’ll post more pictures later to show the progress…



Holiday Conversations

do you have things that you either can’t or don’t want to talk about when you get together with your family? and by family, I’m not talking about the spouse and kids. i’m more talking about how we as adults relate to our parents, in-laws, and extended family. this is especially an issue when you’ve dramatically changed relative to who you were growing up. i feel that way, having grown up in the south, with the system of values you might imagine. removed from my upbringing by over 20 years of life experience, i now feel like my values and perspective are fairly radically different. religion and politics top the list of taboo topics for me.

…so sometimes getting together with family is a little weird. i certainly love my parents, and all my extended family. i enjoy every moment of the times i get to spend with them. i just feel a little weird and isolated with the knowledge that i’m not really the same person, and it’s probably best to just not talk about it.

e-trade User Experience Sucks

I recently sold some of the stock I purchased through my ESPP. My employer uses etrade, so as soon as the cash funds showed up in my account I went to the website to transfer the funds over to my financial institution. There are basically two options for transferring funds — through a wire transfer or a check request through the US mail.

I decided to try to transfer my money by wire. The copy on the page indicated that there will be a “small fee” (the word fee was hyper-linked) for the wire transfer. I clicked on the “fee” hyperlink to see what the fee is for wire transfers. The hyperlink went to a fees page that had a fee listed for every possible interaction with e-trade! Wow this is really targeted useful info e-trade. Thanks so much for making me wade through mounds of irrelevant information to find my fee for the wire transfer. Not my idea of good times…

So I went forward with the wire transfer. On the form I had to specify the amount I want to transfer. I would suggest that providing the amount of funds available for transfer somewhere on the page might be useful. Ok, so I leave the page, go find the balance on another page, and come back. Apparently it’s unreasonable that I didn’t have the amount memorized. Ok fine. So I specified the full amount, along with the rest of the information on the form and submitted it. The result…
Continue reading

WordPress Integration With Yahoo! Mail

I’m testing the WordPress integration with Yahoo! Mail.  If you are reading this, it actually worked!

java coding madness

if you have a method with 8 SWITCH statements with a combined total of 25 CASEs and 4 DEFAULT actions. And sprinkled throughout switch land is 41 IF statements, of which 15 have &&, ||, or both… and sprinkled all over SWITCH-and-IF ‘ville you have 5 or so try/catch clauses that throw exceptions, and in many cases catch them do some more stuff, and then re-throw them…. at what point should you have looked up from the smoking keyboard and asked yourself…. wtf?

:hover in IE7…. sucks….

As this is a somewhat relevant topic with respect to the kinds of things I would like to talk about here, I’m copying this post over from my now defunct blog over at….

I had some interesting findings while trying to figure out why mouse-event-based hover behaviors were so slow in IE7 for a DHTML web application on a major website that uses mouseover/mouseout events to change the background color of a table row. All other browsers (including IE6) did this lightning fast, even with very large tables. However, IE7 sucked major ass, even when tables were only 20 to 30 rows. (also note that for optimal performance in IE do this by changing the inline style backgroundColor property explicitly vs. swapping out style classes. That was another lesson learned on another day) …anyway read more…

recursive blog posting


Originally uploaded by jdarren

I think this might hurt my head. A blog entry from flickr containing a photo of my blog, that has a flickr badge that has photos from my photostream. Reminds me of a scene from spaceballs
[Dark Helmet and Sandurz come across an image of themselves viewing the screen. As they react, the screen mimics what they are doing]
Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: Now, you’re looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happend to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. Were at now, now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then!
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: I can’t.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

Looking for a color scheme

Looking for a good color scheme for my blog. Found this one called ahem “pooky rug” on


I like the colors but need to figure out how to effectively make use of color without going too crazy. I need a good visual designer to do this stuff for me, but i like a good challenge, so I’m going to tough it out and come up with something on my own.

Elegant Web Typography – SlideShare

I’ve been reading Elegant Web Typography on slide-share.  This is an excellent presentation.  One of the topics covered is the use of absolute (pixels) vs. relative (em’s or percentage-based) font sizing. There’s a nice slide or two devoted to the pros and cons of using absolute vs. relative font sizing.  After reading it, I’m questioning the value of relative sizing given the complexity that it adds to your CSS vs the very limited payoff.  Also of particular interest in this presentation is the concept of vertical rhythm. The basic idea (probably a little over-simplified) is to create an invisible grid of horizontal lines through your site and make sure all the text on the page falls evenly on a line in your grid system. Check it out!

my blog looks like ass

I am using one of the wordpress “sandbox” themes because I want as little interference as possible from existing CSS. I’ve purchased the CSS upgrade, so I wanted to find something that represents a fairly blank canvas on which to layer my own stylings. Complete creative control over the look will be nice, but in the meantime my blog looks like ass. Not sure when I’m going to have time to design a look and feel, so it may be like this for a while… sigh…