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Showing posts from May, 2004

As Easy As Playing A Piano (ALA discussion, contd.)

Scotacus -- You've made a good point, and I agree: using CSS for the sake of using CSS has very little to do with standard-based design. I think, ALA understands it very well, otherwise they would never preface this article with the editorial note it has. The "classification" of a future material, however, might get somewhat tricky, unless they will come up with some sort of compliance-rating scale for a code... So far, we just have to live with a regular validation routine.

In defense of my music analogy: music IS, perhaps, the most standardized artistic realm here is (starting from A = 440Hz, doesn't get any stricter, than that, does it? I am not even going to touch the scales and chords...); let me rephrase it:
If not for the plantation slaves, who introduced us to [initiative, or proprietary standards - quirks mode, if you wish] minor and major blues scales, which were later adopted and developed by jazz musicians [initial acceptance of a standard], we would…

A Very Thin Line (ALA discussion response)

I definitely see your point, and, in most aspects, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Yes, it's frustrating, that support for standards is not yet where we would like it to be. Yes, it's ironic, that sometimes it takes a hack to make things work as they are supposed to, and it's just infuriating, that nobody, but a little group of enthusiasts, seems to realize the importance of standard-based web design.
Yes, they are enthusiasts, may be hobbyists, purists, sometimes even called zealots and diehards, but look at what they actually do: they create, and explore, take things apart, and put them back together, share their ideas and experience, and feed on each other techniques, tricks, and hacks. All that for what? For the sake of the obscure idea of making the web a better place. And guess what? It's happening, may be, slower, than desired, but it's happening.
There will always be web designers, whose tool of choice is FrontPage. There will always be graphic artists, wh…

"The Manhattan Transfer" at Playhouse Square Center

We wondered, what would be more insulting for the artists: nobody at the backstage door after the concert, or just three people (us, hanging around to get an autograph - Dar's NYC-acqured hobby, sort of)... The concert was, as expected, great (I am more into their newer stuff, like Off-beat Of The Avenues, and Brasil, but the standards they brought this time were as amazingly crafted as ever, an a lot of fun), the crowd was kind of stiff, though. Oh, well...
They will play on December 16-19 at Blue Note in New York. I wonder if we will be able to see that one...

We're back

2445 mi round trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and back.
38:30 behind the wheel (Dar and myself switching).
One speeding ticket ($230) in Minnesota.
79 stills on Dar's camera.
2 hours of video on mine.
Everything smells like campsite.
Back just in time for Manhattan Transfer concert.
I need a vacation.

Vacation Kick-off

Just when I was mentally preparing myself to a 1000+ mi. drive to Winnipeg tomorrow: here they are, initial (INITIAL!) GUI requirements for the project, I am working on.
I have a feeling, that I will need all my will power just not to loose it, and let myself off on somebody.
Here is a quote from page 4 (first three merely listed all the topics, covered in the document):

Specific Screen Requirements
Screens shall contain background color, font size and banner displayed in image below.
Screens shall show applicable drill down levels when cursor is positioned over link.
Screen's banner area shall display navigation of current path user is accessing.
Search box shall be available on all screens.

Looks like they already designed everything on the page level. You should see the "image below", ripped out from a PowerPoint presentation. You really should.
Something is telling me, that I will eventually decide not to put this in my portfolio...
I should have not read this article at ALA. …

On Web Etiquette

You can be polite, and right.
You can be polite, and wrong.
Or, you can be rude, and loose an argument regardless.

Wrong Idol

LaToya London was kicked out last night. Sweet. Jasmin, who can't carry a tune without hitting a wrong note at least twice, stayed. There's no limits to idiocy, really. Well, we did vote for the president, who can't neither talk, nor think clearly, now let's pick a star, who can't sing. We already have miss Spears for that, don't we?
I just hope, Fantasia wins, for she is the best. But once again, who cares?

New blogger toys

One of them: email posting - this is how this post was published. Sweet. Another - comments (should be below the post). Even sweeter...

On Fighting Demons

Again. And again. They seem to be multiplying faster, than rats, but I have come to terms with myself, and my extermination practice. I certainly killed a couple (well, my be, one, and it fought back vigorously) yesterday.
That was an unexpectedly crowded jam at Club Isabella on Friday night. When Evelyn Wright said a week ago at Bop Stop "come sometime to Isabella, we'll play", she didn't specify, when; I thought, it was more, like "see ya tomorrow (later, around, soon, etc.)". I didn't expect her neither to remember me, nor to call me up (by name), when I come, especially that night, when it looked like a family reunion on stage, and sounded like it, too. The quiet background jazz duet we expected to listen to, and, may be, to play with, was there no more, volume was up 200%, and a group of kids was performing a cappella Manhattan Transfer's version of Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square. When they were done, they tried to depart, but were request…

Dar's date

I guess, when I said that the acceptable boyfriend for my daughter should be taller, than her, and younger, than me, I forgot to mention, that "younger" implies "I-don't-know-what-neither-LP-record-nor-open-reel-tape-recorder-is". Oh, well. Too late now... :)

I am going to New York.

I am going to New York tomorrow to move Dar out of her dorm. Assuming, that everything goes as planned, and I do have a trailer reserved (which is still yet to be confirmed by U-Haul), driving through Manhattan with that thing behind should be a lot of fun.

Shame on me...

After weeks of re-designing and checking my web site ( in Firefox and Safari, I happened to visit it with IE 6.0. Oh, my. Somehow I totally forgot to specify the DOCTYPE declaration, so my supposedly very professional web site was happily running in quirks mode. Needless to say, the results were stunning, especially the headers, rendered by "printplate.js" JavaScript - my latest experiment.
It's all fixed now, of course, but, yea... Shame on me...

Garage Band Demo Reel (one song :)

I just fugured out, that if I am going to give out to people my new "tenorSAX" business cards (printed on Sunday, still haven't cut them...), I should post some reference to my music on the website, since the URL is printed on the very face of the card... Here is a test drive: Empty City Blues. Recorded some day in February, 2004 on my home iMac G4 with a help of GarageBand application.

Yamaha Custom "Z" Tenor Sax YTS82Z

That's it. I have no more excuses. I have to really start playing now...
On Saturday, after several hours of talking and drinking we (Evelyn & I) achieved the state of mutual understanding of the necessity of acquiring a new instrument. Basically, she convinced me, that I need one.
Since "we are not rich, so we can't afford cheap things" attitude was a driving force behind all financial decisions in our family for the last 20+ years, the plan was to go for the gold (no pun intended). I was to start researching the market, going places, and checking out various horns in order to find the one and only I would like to play for the rest of my life.
The candidates were Selmer III Series, Selmer Reference 54, and, may be, pro-level Yamaha, or Yanagisawa, to compare at least - don't I need to know what I want before I spend 4+ kilobucks on something shiny? They don't make Mark VI anymore, that's a shame; however, used one is not an option for me: I like to …

Catching The Bus

Or fighting demons, you can call it that, too. Regardless of the naming convention, the fact is - I am playing again, every day (almost true) at home, and have already been to two jam sessions, at Parkview, and Savanna. The horn sounds nice - matte and fat - at home (I played #3 reed for two weeks, and, I think, ready to move to #3 1/2, but, since I already got a box of 3s, I'll just clip those), and very edgy and squeaky through the mics, for they are usually set up for vocals; kind of a bummer for me - my sound is what I basically have to show, not much else.
I guess, I'll have to impress the audience with the quality of phrasing, and incredible freshness of my ideas. I still have to figure out, how.
The people here so far are nice (I remember one and only one jam session I attended back in Cinti - I never got to play, and returned home with my squad of demons reinforced by one or two - no comparison whatsoever), friendly, and reasonably enthusiastic about letting someone th…