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Archive for December, 2005

Cartoonster

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

cartoon of boy's hand drawing a cartoon

Cartoonster.com has free step by step tutorials to teach you how to create fun animations.

Max Design

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

MaxDesign : some of the best tutorials on the net.

One thing fixed, 324 left to go

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that there is no longer an odd red bar (Firefox) nor a big red box (Internet Explorer) when you move the mouse over the big banner picture there at the top.

[Now for the boring bit unless you’re fascinated with css.]

I was perplexed because I was sure that at some stage (late at night) I’d added a border in that red colour (#990000) but I went through the css with a fine toothcomb and could find nothing. Then inspiration struck and I realised that it was a hover effect causing the red bar/box.

I’m still at the stage where I have to check css code, especially when it means having one set of links behave differently to another, so I pulled out Rachel Andrew’s excellent book, The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks. It took less than a second scan the index, straight to pages 7 and 8 for a revision of contextual selectors and bingo, it’s fixed.

Big beaming smiles all round.

I’ve tested in Firefox, IE and Opera on Windows, if anything’s broken where you are, could you let me know?

Next steps: reduce width of the layout so that viewers with 800×600 displays don’t have to scroll horizontally (sorry about that) and set the content column (this one) to flexible width so that it resizes.

 

I’ve a small black and white dog at my feet at the minute, saying a big thank you to everyone for their good wishes. She’s feeling a lot better, can climb the stairs and jump on the bed now but… just a minute, she’s whispering… oh, one of those special doggie chocolates from the tin on the top shelf would make your bad leg feel a lot better would it? Okay, let’s go get one…

Night, night.

The late shift

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Dizzy the dog standing in the park, ready to chase a squirrel

Dizzy seems to have hurt her back leg and has been moaning and whimpering on and off for most of the evening. She let me carry her out for a pee ‘n’ poo break but was happy to curl back up on the sofa and didn’t even want a biscuit. She’s finally gotten to sleep now but if it’s no better in the morning, I’m off to the vet. Think happy thoughts, would you?

What does Wales mean to you?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Andrew at Wonderful Electric has a question:

“Can you describe a significant aspect of Welsh life in 12 words or fewer?”

I would be really interested to hear what Wales means to you, especially those who live elsewhere in the world.

Gone are the days that you could correct a Frenchman’s assumption on seeing a GB number plate that you were anglaise – the mere mention of the word galloise would have him almost genuflecting in deference to the Welsh rugby team (I may be exagerrating a teeny bit there, sorry)

But it would be interesting to hear from Kirsi in Finland for example, what do you think of when you hear the word Wales or Welsh?

You are NOT adopting my pet

Monday, December 5th, 2005

From the Sacramento section of Craigslist:

I received a mass of e-mail thanking me for this bit of truthful humor. Thank you, and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Most people requested that I repost it. So here it is, with A LOT more content.

I rescue, and foster, and have placed several adoption ads through Craigslist throughout the years. My inbox is flooded with messages all the time.

  • To the people who message me with no information about themselves, or their experience with animals. You are only interested in how to get to my house, how big the animal is, and whether or not it’s free. You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who aren’t going to be home, but ask me if I can drop the animal off at your neighbor’s house. You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the 14 year olds who want the cute cuddly kittens, or bunnies. Does your mother know you’re scanning the adoption forum? Do you have a job to care for these animals? You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who inquire about the iguanas but who openly admit that they have no knowledge of how big they actually get. You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people from Connecticut, Mass, etc, who message me and ask how far I am willing to drive… Well, I’m not. You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who ask if I know any numbers of breeders and if I could get them a nice discount. Hello? You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who ask if they can adopt puppies and kittens in pairs, so they can breed them when they get older… You are not adopting my pet(s).
  • Once in a while I recieve a purebred cat, or very desirable breed of dog, or expensive species of snake that needs to be put up for adoption. These obviously get the MOST replies. Most replies consist of “I want it, e-mail me with pics.” Um, no. But thanks for playing. You… are not adopting my pet.
  • Some e-mails contain “I’m interested in the animal for adoption. Please call me back today after 9, or tomorrow between 10 and 11, or again after 3.” No, I’m not taking these orders from someone I don’t know. If you REALLY want to adopt the said animal, then YOU will contact me when it’s convenient for ME. Otherwise… You, are not adopting my pet.
  • Alot of the e-mails consist of “Hello, we’re 3 college girls sharing an apartment, and we want to adopt your kitty! We can offer lots of love!” That’s very sweet of you girls, really, but what will you do when you graduate college and move on with your life? Where will the kitty end up? You are not adopting my pet.
  • And of course, only a few e-mails consist of, “Hello, we are a loving family of four living in a nice house with a fenced in yard. We have lots of experience with animals, and are looking for one more to add to our family.” YES. YOU are adopting my pet.
  • Often times people surrender their animals to me because the animals are sick or injured, and the people don’t have the time or the desire to care for them. Once I make sure the animals are doing well, I will put them up for adoption. The SAME people who GAVE me their animal want to adopt them back. Are you kidding? No. Just, no. YOU are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who tell me that I’m selfish for charging a small adoption fee… SELFISH? If I were truly selfish, I would not be doing this in the first place, now would I? You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people interested in small animals and reptiles. When I ask you which veterinarian you plan on using, and you tell me that only dogs and cats need a vet… WAKE UP. Exotics get sick TOO. You are not adopting my pet.
  • To the people who want to adopt an animal for a birthday or a Christmas present… That’s sweet of you. While your intentions are good, absolutely NOT. When the recipient of this animal decides that they don’t want it, what will you do then? You are not adopting my pet.

I’m sure there will be more…

I had a (silly) dream

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

I accidentally caught a few minutes of that loathsome woman on The Weakest Link again last week, just in time to see the following exchange:

Robinson: The name of a seaside town on the southern coast of the Bristol channel?
Contestant: Weston-Super-Mare

Now I may have been projecting my own thoughts on that poor contestant but I swear that he looked her straight in the eye and emphasised the word mare.

That same night I had an odd dream. I was in the Weakest Link studio (not participating, just standing there with a pair of red, fluffy headphones – it was a dream, okay?) and cheering loudly as each contestant managed to insult Ms Robinson with their answers.

The trouble is, I can only remember one question:

Robinson: Ram is to ewe as dog is to what?
Contestant: Bitch!

Martyn has just come up with a few off the top of his head (rolling his eyes, muttering “I can’t believe you’re going to blog this”):

Robinson: What is the capital of Russia?
Contestant: Moscow.

Robinson: What is the mechanical device that prevents a spindle turning backwards?
Contestant: Ratshit! [a little artistic licence is needed here]

Robinson: What is the more common name for the Parus major?
Contestant: Great tit!

Robinson: What is the scum formed by oxidation at the surface of molten metals more commonly known as?
Contestant: Slag!

Knowing you lot, there are plenty more to be written so that’s your homework for this week: your best undercover insults please!

Daisy helpdesk

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

If you’ve landed here via google searching for “Typepad template” Christmas or screaming fishing reel ring tones, email me (daisy AT chasingdaisy.com) and I’ll be happy to try and help.

I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of Fiona Bruce, smoking or otherwise and I’ve no idea what her legs look like. But here’s one young lady with a damn fine pair of legs.

If you’re looking for Christmas cartoons, they’re all stored in the Christmas 2003 category, page 1 and page 2. [Some of the images are still stored on the typepad blog but will be moving very soon to this domain.]

This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the Daisy party. Hic. Thank you for listening.

Apostrophes and Catastrophes

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Apostrophes and Catastrophes is the title of singer songwriter Wolkenvelden (aka Paul Hunt)’s new cd:

Wolkenvelden (after the Dutch for “blanket of clouds”) is my nom de guerre as a singer-songwriter. The tunes on Apostrophes & Catastrophes range from quiet porch strums to punkish indie rock anthems, all with an introspective lyrical feel. The entire album is available on CD or as a free download. Featured tracks as well as demos of new songs regularly appear on the front page blog. All music is licensed as Creative Commons Sampling Plus.

I’ve only been able to listen to the album once (then got blackmailed into finally watching The Usual Suspects) but am definitely going back for some more.

Oh the lyrics are listed too. And donations are welcomed.

Little steps to accessibility : Title tags, part 1

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

[Note: the title of this post should be “Little steps to accessibility : Title attributes, part 1” but I’ve found that editing post titles in WordPress can cause problems so I’ll leave it as is but refer to title attributes rather than tags from now on. Thanks to Matt Andrews for pointing me to Roger Johansson’s article, HTML tags vs. elements vs. attributes]

Anyway, a bit of tinkering under the hood took place last night and if you’re reading this with Internet Explorer you can now resize the text by clicking the “View” button on the top menu bar of the browser window, choose Text Size then Larger or Largest.

For your commenting pleasure, we now have live preview (via this plugin), with the option to add title attributes to your links – hooray!

Not sure about title attributes?

Let’s say you wanted to leave a comment on a discussion about books. We’re all recommending our favourite books and you would like to add your twopenorth (that’s around 2 cents for our American cousins) but rather than just type the author and title of the book, you’d like to link to a specific version of the book on, say, the Amazon website.

Copy and paste the text from just above the comment box, it’ll look like this:

<a href="" title="">

Between the first set of double quotation marks, add the url of the site you want to link to.

<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/etc." title="">

Then between the second set of double quotation marks add a descriptive title of the link you’re using, in this case you might write

<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/etc." title="Amazon listing for Nevil Shute's book A Town Like Alice">

You’ll then produce a link like this:

Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice

Now, I’m still on the learning curve with title adding. I’ve a feeling that you should avoid using single quotation marks and I’m very unsure about the duplication in the example above but I’ll research it further. Contributions are, as always, welcomed.

It’s also really helpful to use title attributes on links within your blog posts – not only are they read out by screenreaders (with the option switched on?), sighted readers can hover over the link to find out more about the url you’re sending them to.

Later

I’m also unsure about omitting the title attribute if the link text itself is self-explanatory. For example, the link in the new first paragraph:

Roger Johansson’s article, HTML tags vs. elements vs. attributes

I’ve used the author’s name and the title of the article so I would lean toward not adding a title attribute here but I’m wondering if that’s correct. More research to be done!

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