Merry Christmas

I wanted to say Merry Christmas to everyone. I have not been posting a whole lot lately because… well a lot is going on in my life, and I am also in the middle of switching to a new server.

Anyway, Merry Christmas (or happy holiday for everyone else out there) to all, and to all a good night.

The Loss of a Legend

Diamond Darrel 1966-2004

While some people may not classify Diamond “Dimebag” Darrel as a guitar “Legend”, I would. He was the guitarist of one of my favorite bands throughout the 90’s. He was shot dead by a crazed fan last Wednesday (December 8th 2004) night while performing with Damageplan.

I remember when I began playing guitar I spent hours practicing his unique riffs. They always had a strong blue-ish undertone while remaining distinctly metal. I would listen to my tapes of the first two Pantera CD’s many times over while delivering pizza.

I have never idolized any celebrity, but Diamond Darrel’s guitar prowess has always impressed me. His death is a great loss.

Jason Kottke, Ken Jennings and the Jerks at Sony

To echo the sentiment from Anil Dash, I am really not interested in Jeopardy. However, reading Jason Kottke’s original postings about the Ken Jennings saga, I have enjoyed a little heightened interest in the path of the famous Ken Jennings.

A little background on this goes something like this: Kottke has been really interested in this whole Ken Jennings saga and found out several months ago that Jennings would last around 60+ episodes. Time passed… Kottke pieced together (after some research) the final questions and then managed to get the actual audio byte and posted it to his website. While it might not have been the best decision he did immediately remove it when he was contacted by Sony’s TV (legal) department. He then posted a teaser transcript of the final question that was black text on a black background. Since then Sony TV’s legal department has filed legal action against Kottke.

Sony has, however, not persued The Washington Post about their spoiler on the Jennings saga. This begs the question are blogs journalism (read more here, and read some more here), and what rights do bloggers have as individuals?

Kottke has removed the spoiler (audio and transcript) from his site and has had his enthusiasm both for blogging and Jeopardy zapped.

This post influenced by: Sony, Ken Jennings, and me (kottke.org)

Feedback, My Response & Some CSS Techniques

After quite a few bits of criticism from my viewers about the ÒChristmasÓ theme that I had applied to my site, I have decided to:

  • Keep the Christmas theme as the default until after Christmas, frankly because it’s my site and I want to be obnoxiously Christmas-like.
  • Add a style switcher so that you can go back to the Blue theme that most people missed. And yes, humbug right back to you!
  • Add a fixed width theme based on the Christmas layout and the Original colors scheme.

You can switch the styles from the section titled Ã’Select A ThemeÓ off to the side of the main content. Also those of you that use FIrefox (numbers are way up!) you can access a Ã’LiteÓ theme (ala Douglas Bowman’s Bleached theme).

In the midst of redisigning the style sheets, I cam across a unique display error that only seemed to effect Safari.
(Note: I did not test it in IE or Opera, only Safari and Mozilla (Firefox).)

The Problem:
The navigational menu at the top of the page is a styled unordered list and should be displayed horizontally with each element next to (not top to bottom) of another across the bottom of the ÒdivÓ element. This was not working as I intended. Safari would either place the elements stacked vertically or horizontally across the top of the container ÒdivÓ element.

Dustin Orchard seemed to have a little to say about unique positioning issues using CSS involving ul elements.

The Solution:
It seems that when a container element is use to absolutely position another styled element on the page Safari requires the parent container to have a width specified to prevent it from vertically stacking the elements (a problem if that is not the intended effect).

Here is the CSS in question: (note: the attribute in question is deeply indented.)
Also I have benevolently allowed directory viewing in my CSS Directory. Enjoy!

#header {
	position:fixed !important;
	position: absolute; /* this is because IE cannot handle fixed positioning*/
	background:#800001 url('/PIX/happy_holidays.gif') 50px 5px fixed no-repeat;
	width:100%;
	border-bottom:1px solid #000;
	height:75px;
	z-index:1;
	}
#header .sitenav {
			width:50%;

	background:#800001;
	position: absolute;
	bottom:0px; right:50px; top:auto;
	margin:0;
	}
#header .sitenav ul {
	margin:0;
	padding:0;
	text-transform:none;
	white-space:nowrap;
	}
#header .sitenav ul li {
	margin:0;
	padding:0;
	list-style:none;
	background-image:none;
	line-height:normal;
	}
#header .sitenav ul li a {
	background:none;
	display:block;
	float:right;
	height:auto;
	border:1px solid #00CC00;
	border-width:1px 0 0 1px;
	margin:0;
	padding:2px 16px;
	text-decoration:none;
	font-weight:normal;
	color: #FFF;
	white-space:nowrap;
	}
	#header .sitenav #home { border-right:1px solid #00CC00;}
#header .sitenav ul a:hover { background:#ccc; color:#000;}
	#header .sitenav ul a:hover span { color:#fff;}


I hope this helps some one out.