Pardon the Dust

Although this is now the official home of Muddled Ramblings and Half-baked ideas, there’s still a lot of construction work going on. Some parts aren’t finished yet, and others, well, they’re just a bit on the ugly side. Obviously I’m not going to win any design awards, but that doesn’t bother me much.

Don’t let the construction deter you, though! Look around, and let me know what you think!

Today: Modified the Site Meter widget to show the MOH and next big number.

41 thoughts on “Pardon the Dust

  1. I have updated the link at Five O’Clock Somewhere. BTW, I like the new font and color for the “Muddled Ramblings” part of the header. And the photos look good.

  2. I thought I just left a comment, but it’s not showing up … I did have to type my name, email, and URL instead of those showing up automatically. Does that mean I have to be moderated again?

  3. Apparently so. It’s supposed to be by email (and the email address doesn’t have to be real) so maybe you typed it differently the second time.

    [edit]It turns out that the addresses are saved along with the URL of the blog (so you can run more than one) and when the domain change came through, your previous previousness was disassociated.[/edit]

    Now that I think about it, I think gravatar support (which is also email based) is supposed to be automatic. I have some other spam-catching features installed, so I may try the blog without the moderation for a while and see how that goes.

    First I need to make this pop-up window way less ugly…

  4. hm… in the non-popup comment view, gravatars work (at least yours does). The popup window seems to have been more or less abandoned by the WordPress guys. Happily I can do a lot of cutting and pasting to get it back up to speed.

  5. The duck is on a random interval, but that time can be pretty long. I think the interval is between ten seconds and two minutes, though I changed the numbers a lot and I might be wrong about that. The duck quacking is similarly random, with the interval long enough that more than half the time he doesn’t quack at all.

    There are actually two duck animations with the only difference being the direction the duck flies. I’ll be adding a new special surprise today!

  6. The duck did quack tonight, although it didn’t last night. Have only seen it fly one way, though.

    Trying to figure out whether to call the duck “it” or “him” or “her.” Associated Press style dictates that if you know an animal by name, you refer to the animal as “him” or “her,” but if you don’t know the animal’s name, it’s “it.”

    For example in photo captions, “Sheepherder Esteban Cordova directs his border collie, Sheba, as she rounds up the sheep,” versus, “A horse in a pasture in Valencia County enjoys the sun upon its back.”

    So, does the duck have a name?

    (Weird thought just occurred … have a contest or a poll to name the duck.)

  7. What’s a nice serif font that comes built-in on windows? Something a little more elegant than Times-Roman

    While I’m on the subject, do all macs have Baskerville installed or am I the only one who has ever seen Allison the way it’s intended to be? Can a mac person out there check to see if they have that font installed? Thanks!

  8. I like Georgia (the font; I’ve never been to the state or the former SSR). I assume it’s pretty universal, since Blogger uses it in my template.

    Baskerville’s good, too … it has some subtleties that I like, such as the not-quite-closed bottom loop of the lower-case g. I don’t know about Macs, but it came standard with my Windows-based machine.

  9. On the older version of Windows that I have at work, it’s called Baskerville Old Face; on the newer version, it’s just Baskerville. I don’t know if that makes a difference.

  10. Bizarre occurrence attributable, I’m sure, to the execrable browser I’m forced to use at work …

    When I closed the comment window, all the rounded corners of the post boxes and the sidebar disassociated themselves from their boxes.

    At least the duck seems to work all right.

  11. You probably don’t need to bother. I’m used to seeing disassociated rounded corners at work, since IE does the same thing to my non-work email provider’s website.

  12. I noticed yesterday at work that on older IE, the corners are now staying associated with their boxes, but there’s a quarter inch or so of blank background around said boxes in a color that’s not quite the same as the rest of the background and that lacks the graphics of the rest of the background.

    But you probably shouldn’t be wasting your time making this blog look OK in IE, when you can make it look awesome in good browsers. I’ll just grin and bear it when I access this blog from work.

  13. That’s good to hear. I was about to resort to a bit of a hack to get IE to respect the “don’t pull the info from your cache” directive. I’ll fiddle with the widths a bit to perhaps make IE happier about fitting the sidebar in, but I can’t even look at the site with my windows machine at all (no internet at my house – still), so I’m shooting in the dark.

  14. On Cornhusker’s computer, the blog looks better on IE than it does on Firefox, partly because of all the missing Firefox plugins.

    The boxes, rounded corners, shadows, and background all look the way they’re supposed to, and the duck’s quack is especially resonant, as this machine is enhanced for maximum karaoke experience.

  15. The only plugin required is Flash Player, which is what displays the banner. I’m surprised it’s installed for one browser but not another, but that must be a Windows sort of thing.

  16. What time zone is associated with the comments? They aren’t GMT, the poster’s local time, or the reader’s local time, so they must be Prague time?

    I’m posting this at 9:10 am, PDT.

  17. Oh, 9 hours is GMT with an hour offset for Daylight savings time.

    Still, you’d think WordPress would shield us from the confusion of seeing comments made in the future.

    • I would have thought that WordPress would be able to convert the time to the user’s local time. Maybe I can code that up. I’ll look into that when I have a more reliable Web connection.

  18. The time-zone convention online is UTC (Universal Time Corrected) rather than GMT. UTC does make allowances for Daylight Savings Time (or Summer Time if you’re in the UK), although, as different countries have different dates for the time shift, complete consistency is not possible.

    Meanwhile, on all of the blogs that I frequent, the time is given in the time zone of the blogger and not the viewer. It should be possible to give the viewer’s time zone; I can’t imagine that it would take much extra coding.

  19. Right now I’m working on freeing the duck (and Shatner) from the banner, so that when you hear them you will see them as well. I might have that done as soon as tomorrow.

  20. On another note, I’m trying to decide between having recent comments sorted by post or not. I’m switching the list over to unsorted, so it’s easier to spot the latest. I do like having the episodes listed over there, though.

  21. I, too, like having the episodes listed. Being able to see quickly whether there are new comments is also good; however, when a post has a new comment, it does go to the top of the list, so new comments are still reasonably spottable. One interesting “feature” of clicking on the link in the sidebar to see comments is that gravatars work. At least on my computer, they don’t show up when I click on the “Comments” link at the bottom of the posts.

    Also, the links to other blogs sometimes go AWOL from the sidebar — although that may be more a function of having a crappy Internet connection. They report for duty all the time when I’m on a high-speed connection and about half the time when I’m on dial-up.

  22. The sidebar link takes you to the single-episode page, which also lists comments under the article. The comments link brings up the comments window, an old WordPress feature that is not really supported anymore. (That’s why it looked terrible at first and still doesn’t look that good.) At the time the single-episode pages didn’t have a good way to navigate back to the main page, so the popup comments window was much better. Now that I’ve fixed that, I may remove the popup again. If I remember how.

  23. I think I need to come up with different math for the motion of the duck. On browsers that play the animation at high frame rate (they all seem to differ), he can be a spaz.

  24. Right now, in Firefox 3.0.10, the duck’s doing ok. the thing is, he’s moved from the flying across the top of the page to flying through the middle of the screen. And the future comments are interesting.

  25. I like that you’ve gone back to the recent comments in the sidebar being sorted by post.

    I haven’t seen the duck lately, so I can’t comment on it. You have mentioned Shatner a couple of times, but I’ve never seen any sign of him. I assume you’re working on tweaks.

  26. Different browsers play the flash at different frame rates, so Shatner’s lip-synch is hit and miss. He’s not in the regular rotation right now. The duck will fly across the screen every once in a while, but the interval is random. The duck has only been tested on Windows a little bit, but worked at least once on Internet Explorer.

  27. I have yet to see or hear Shatner on my own computer, although I was in the same room as Gerald when he got him — many times. I thought maybe it was just being on a slow connection, but tonight Gerald and I are on the same high-speed network.

    For that matter, the duck is no longer showing up on my computer either. I’m now wondering whether somebody changed my Firefox settings when I wasn’t looking.

  28. It is clear that something in my settings has changed. I am no longer getting the duck, and I have never had Shatner. I have searched through all of the menus on Firefox, and I can’t find anything that would reset a setting that might be blocking those entities. I am wondering whether my employer’s computer system, as a condition of being able to log on, might be restricting what I can see, even when I’m logging on from another system.

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