August 14, 2003

Oh, Obviously!

Posted by Scott at 09:30 PM

Hunt for the GFI - The other day Michelle plugged in a faulty barbecue starter into an outlet on our deck. Because this is a recently built home, I assumed that either a circuit breaker tripped or a GFI. Checking the breaker box, I found no circuits that had tripped. I had a strong inkling that it was a GFI, but the question was: where? I looked around the deck, walked around the house, etc. No luck. At last Michelle suggested I take a peek around the inside of our garage. Sure enough! Tucked behind our tractor was an outlet with a GFI button that had tripped. Once reset, the outlets on the other side of the house worked again, including the one that powers our Mosquito Magnet. I'm glad I didn't call in an electrician on that one. Geez! The GFI for the deck is located in the garage! Oh, obviously! Is this some sort of strange electricians' conspiracy?!

Hilary Duff marathon - OK, try to keep you meal down after that byline. Tonight I dropped by the local BlockBuster and rented The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Agent Cody Banks. That's more than my quota of Hilary Duff. Hopefully she's less annoying than five years ago when she starred as Wendy in Casper Meets Wendy. She'll also be starring in Cheaper by the Dozen this Christmas.

The Two Towers for $2 - While I was at BlockBuster I noticed that they have a special. If you pre-order The Two Towers, they'll throw in 7 rentals for $30. Considering that 7 rentals would cost $28 anyway, I couldn't pass that one up. If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, consider this option.

Internet Explorer craziness - Internet Explorer (IE) drives me crazy about once a month. I do something to the website, however minor, and it always seems to have some quirk when rendered on Internet Explorer. I make the change. I run the new page through an internet validator service. I look at things in Apple's Safari browser. I look at things in a mozilla based browser (think Netscape).I tend to forget how rare it is that I don't use Windows or Internet Explorer at home. So when I get to work I sometimes take a quick look with my PC's copy of Internet Explorer. (I usually run Mozilla Firebird at work) I'm amazed at how many times Internet Explorer can screw things up and force me to re-write perfectly correct code. If IE didn't have a majority of the market share, I'd just forget about it but ... ARgh! Oh well! I tweak, hack, etc the code until it renders right on IE and still validates. It usually involved dumbing things down to some stupid blunt workaround. It's like telling William F. Buckley to write for a second grade audience. Thank you Microsoft!

So when did this come up? When I rearranged things to put an author thumbnail next to the title, the dates would often disappear in an inconsistent manner. Not move, not use the wrong font. No, just disappear! It's yet another Microsoft bug regarding their handling of what's known as Cascading Style Sheets, CSS for short. CSS is a wonderful technical concept for web development but Microsoft's implementation is so poor you spend half your time trying to work around their bugs. I'm not saying other browsers don't have rendering bugs, but having your text completely disappear is pretty major. Compound this with Microsoft's recent announcement that they have no plans to update Internet Explorer (aside from security patches) for several years and it makes you want to just give up on CSS techniques. Don't get me started on Microsoft's half arsed attempt at Portable Network Graphics (PNG). They wouldn't want anything to be truly portable, you know!

Foxtrot nails it again - So have I had enough Microsoft venting yet? OK, one last thing to make me feel better. Many friends know that I used to run Linux on my PCs and I still use Linux machines every day at work. Linux has failed to make major inroads on the desktop (unlike the embedded and server computing markets). Leave it to the Foxtrot comic to show us how to make Linux competitive with Windows. If you've ever had a PC crash with the infamous blue screen of death, you can relate.


Cassidy rented Agent Cody Banks today, and we watched the Lizzie movie the other day at Molly's house. Yesterday we played the board game, "What Would Lizzie Do?". Yes, we are Duffed out. Okay, is she smart or snobby for leaving Disney? Will she find true fame, or will her career be over?
Anyway, nothing new here. Mom and Dad are in Wisconsin at the Dzvonkowski(I'm sure that is spelled wrong) family reunion. We are going to Chris and Katie's tomorrow for a big party, and it is their 1st anniversary. We have been busy buying school supplies, shoes, and uniforms. The older 3 start school next Monday, the 25th, not that I'm excited about it. TJ is handling his broken wrist rather well- it's meant no swimming, which is rough since it's been around 90 degrees, but he's okay. He has less responsibilities too. I now truly realize how much of a help he generally is around here. He has been less physically active this week, doing things like painting, working on his fish tank, and trying to read his one summer requiremnt, Tom Sawyer.
I guess I should goto bed- it's 11:05, and who knows if Kyle will wake up or sleep thru the night.
Happy Sunday!

Posted by: alyssa at August 17, 2003 12:04 AM

I actually watched Agent Cody Banks with Claire and enjoyed it. It was a little like a Bond movie with less sensuality but not as cheesy as the Spy Kids stuff. I didn't watch more than about five minutes of the Lizzie movie. Hilary seems to have this stupid trademark 'shock and awe' look that makes her look so stereotypically blonde.

Thanks for the first day of school info. I plugged St. Cyp's and Milford Elementary into the countdown program. Hope you had fun at Chris and Katie's yesterday.

I can relate to TJ trying to get back into his reading plan. Only this week I got back into reading "Cheaper by the Dozen". I was inspired because Claire and I have been watching the sequel movie, "Bells on their toes". It played on AMC the other morning.

Sunday Michelle and I tried to take the family to Boire field, the little private plane airport in Nashua. Years ago we used to do that with Claire and Abby. The boys are just enamored with airplanes these days. Unfortunately it was 5:15PM. Little did we know that the airport effectively shuts down at 5PM on weekends. So we didn't get to see any airplanes land. We were sitting there at the foot of the runway eating Burger King meals and wondering what was going on? Where are the airplanes?! Oh well, we'll try again a bit earlier.

Posted by: Scott at August 18, 2003 06:37 AM