We’ve Moved!

No, not Mike and I. The blog! We are now at a new host, which costs less, provides more, and even deals with billing better. And I bet this year my domain won’t fail to renew! So now you know! Same blog name, different blog IP address.

July 22nd, 2010 • 7:18 am • dinane • Posted in Site1,177 Comments »

Why Has Nobody Told Me?

I just discovered the best thing since red bean paste. No, better than red bean paste. It is called dark lotus paste, and it is the bestest most wonderfulest thing ever.

I just got back from a lovely lunch with my friend Josie. She has been working in Chinatown for a couple years, and yet this is only the second time we’ve had lunch together. And now she’s switching to a new company outside of the city. But lucky for me, we got our last Chinatown lunch in today. We had shabu-shabu at a place that Google doesn’t seem to know how to find.

I was following my directions on my phone, when I hear a familiar voice call my name. It was of course Josie, and she steered me in the opposite direction I was about to head. We were ushered upstairs, where we were alone for most of lunch. Lunch was awesome, chatting with Josie was awesome, and then she suggested we hit up a bakery before I walk back to work. I am so glad we did.

Josie ordered what she wanted, while I stood confused and in wonder. She helped me find my red bean paste ball thingies with sesame that I love, so I ordered a couple of those, and then decided to be brave. I got a custard bun and a dark lotus seed pie.

We parted ways – I should be working, after all – and on my walk back I decided to take a nibble. So I tried my lotus pie, and it was just so wonderful and decadent and I just simply love it. I wish I got 5.

I didn’t know!

So delicious…

June 11th, 2010 • 1:06 pm • dinane • Posted in Food2,181 Comments »

Too Little or Too Much

This morning, as Mike dropped me off at the T station, I heard blood-curdling screams coming from the car in front of us. I rolled my eyes at first, imagining yelling kids and a flustered mom and turned to walk to the station. But then I heard a woman’s voice very clearly screaming:

“Somebody HELP ME!”

So while trying to look as nonchalant as possible, I grabbed my cell and dialed 911.

The state police helpfully forwarded me to the locals. I stared at the license plate and memorized it. I told the police exactly what I heard, and what I was seeing. What I was seeing was a man repeatedly getting in and out of a woman’s car. Opening and closing doors. Opening the driver’s door, the passenger’s, the driver’s, the passengers. And occasionally I heard her just scream.

I gave my best description of the vehicle, of the man, of his clothes, of his hair, of everything I could see. I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t see where that terrified voice was coming from. I couldn’t even answer, “White, black, or hispanic?” I just watched and reported.

They said they’d send someone. This was just as he was finally walking away, carrying his backpack. She peeled away back into traffic. I gave my name and number, not knowing if I really should.

So I’m stuck in a haze of wondering. Did I do too much? Did I do too little? Should I have walked away? Should I have approached the car? Should I have left my name? I don’t know. I can’t know what was happening. I just knew that she screamed for help and I … I couldn’t do NOTHING. I did the best I can. That’s all I can do.

I really hope she’s okay.

June 1st, 2010 • 9:32 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Uncategorizable590 Comments »

Style Geekery

If you are not a fan of programming and making pretty websites, this is not the post for you. But if you can get really excited about making a website look the SAME in all browsers, this is the post for you! I just successfully added some PHP to my WordPress theme, along with some tiny CSS tweaks, which allowed me to fix the bane of my existence – the extra space or lack of space above the left hand side of this site.

See, due to stupidity in the CSS rendering engines, my site didn’t look quite the same in every browser. Soooo close, but no cigar. In IE, the space between the headings and the content was too big. In Firefox on the Mac, there was no space at all. But every other browser I tried agreed on the placement that I wanted. And it has always irked me. But I hate the way that browser testing is usually done with CSS – counting on one bug to fix another.

So finally, I spent some time with the Google. I learned about all kinds of mechanisms, both server- and client-side, and found many to just not work. But then I came across this site, where the writer shows some variables that WordPress makes available. His solution is quite elegant, designed specifically for WordPress, and almost perfect.

I say almost, because it doesn’t differentiate the OS. Since I have a problem specifically with Firefox on a Mac, I really needed that. So I updated his function to suit my needs. Here it is, in all it’s simple glory:

function browser_body_class($classes) {
	global $is_lynx, $is_gecko, $is_IE, $is_opera, $is_NS4, $is_safari, $is_chrome, $is_iphone;

	if($is_lynx) $classes[] = 'browser_lynx';
	elseif($is_gecko) $classes[] = 'browser_gecko';
	elseif($is_opera) $classes[] = 'browser_opera';
	elseif($is_NS4) $classes[] = 'browser_ns4';
	elseif($is_safari) $classes[] = 'browser_safari';
	elseif($is_chrome) $classes[] = 'browser_chrome';
	elseif($is_IE) $classes[] = 'browser_ie';
	else $classes[] = 'browser_unknown';

	if($is_iphone) $classes[] = 'mobile_iphone';

	if(strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Mac') !== false) $classes[] = 'os_mac';
	elseif(strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Win') !== false) $classes[] = 'os_win';
	elseif(strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Linux') !== false) $classes[] = 'os_linux';
	else $classes[] = 'os_unknown';

	return $classes;

I simply added that to my theme’s functions.php, and the magic happened. What it does is add some classes to the body, which is already being populated by WordPress’ body_class() function. I took the example provided by Nathan Rice, and just added a few things that I needed and preferred. So now that my body tag includes the information I need, I was able to update my CSS thusly:

   width:            654px;
   border:           0px;
   margin:           0px;
   padding:          0px;
   position:         absolute;
   top:              59px;

.browser_ie.os_win #content
   top:              57px;

.browser_gecko.os_mac #content
   top:              61px;

And finally, my website looks right on all the browsers I ever use. And that makes me happy.

February 11th, 2010 • 12:16 pm • dinane • Posted in Site1,484 Comments »

Happy Again

It seems that I have finally got my site and theme back the way I like it. In fact, it is a little bit better in some ways. And I pass XHTML Strict validation again. That always makes me feel awesome.

I am a happy dinane.

February 10th, 2010 • 9:57 am • dinane • Posted in Site1,113 Comments »

Well, This is Something, Anyway

After much trial, tribulation, and annoyance, my site is more or less readable again. Woo hoo! But I’m having issues with comments. Boo hoo… For some reason I can’t comment. If you can comment, do it! But you probably can’t. It probably won’t work. Unless you’re a spammer… for some reason that is working… they must script their comments or something, I don’t know. Spam Karma is picking them up just fine. But any comment I try to make goes nowhere.

Anyway! At least we can all read old nonsense I wrote once. And my pictures are where they belong. And I’m typing this, aren’t I? And actually, some parts of my theme are better than they were before… But still, what a giant pain in the ass.

February 9th, 2010 • 3:59 pm • dinane • Posted in Site4,255 Comments »

What’s With the Mess?

I was hacked! Oh no!

I’m in the process of putting everything back together, but in my haste, I did not backup my style theme, which I couldn’t have restored anyway, as the PHP may have been damaged. But it would have been nice to have it for reference… As I put things back together, this will start looking more like you remember. But for now, we’re stuck with a bunch of seriously crazy divs that don’t get along.

But at least the data is still here. I love my data.

February 8th, 2010 • 4:06 pm • dinane • Posted in Site773 Comments »

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving was, I believe, a great success this year. Much food was enjoyed, much friendliness was experienced, and much entertainment was had. I do have a few notes on cooking that I thought I’d jot down for posterity.

  • Adding chives to the mashed potatoes was pretty, but made several people less willing to eat mashed potatoes. I was not one of them, but I am a gracious person, and I will not add them again. I may sprinkle on some parsley for color, but only on top, not mixed in.
  • Using real garlic in the milk/butter mixture for the mashed potatoes is a great improvement over the powder. Also, using a ridiculous amount of garlic overall is a good thing.
  • No regrets from using the biggest squash in the store, especially since I found equally huge apples.
  • The replacement of the raisins in the stuffing with a craisin/raisin/yellow raisin combination was awesome. Perhaps even more crasins could be added next time. And a pear. More fruit makes for better stuffing, me thinks. Oh, and a bit of a sharper onion might be a good idea, or perhaps more onion. Something was lacking on that end.
  • Apparently I need a sign for the plain vs. good stuffing. There was confusion, and some people were disappointed. Silly people. Use your eyes!
  • More gravy. I didn’t have enough to make the soup as thick as I would have liked.
  • An alternate scheme is required for the banana pie. It goes to mush too quickly, and people get mad when I have to throw out the runny goop that was once pie. Best idea so far: don’t put the bananas IN the pie, add them afterward. Perhaps preparing it in a tart pan would be a good idea. If I just did the crust and pudding, and added the bananas and cream on a per-serving basis.
  • Don’t forget the peas.

There was one unfortunate incident involving poor innocent Mimic. He got out on the screened porch, where the pies and drinks live, some time after dessert but before we went upstairs to play dominoes. He was out there for far too long and had to go to the litter box. He was a resourceful dude, though, and used an empty cardboard box (previously left out there for his lounging on nice days). He has forgiven me, thankfully. He has also recovered from the large number of guests, having spent last night playing, pouncing, and meowing up a storm. He’s not a shy kitten, in that he’ll come out to visit with guests, and even allow pets. But he is more subdued around strangers, to the point where many people don’t believe us that he’s a chatty cat.

But aside from that, I think everything else was wonderful. We even went bowling!

I hope you had an equally nice Thanksgiving.

Now to get the Christmas stuff ready…

December 1st, 2009 • 11:57 am • dinane • Posted in Cats, Family, Food1,907 Comments »
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