Recently, in the Misc. category…

I Took the Web Design Survey The other day, Zeldman wrote about their research on women in web design and mentioned this interesting bit:

The data they mined concerned women and minorities in the information technology (IT) workforce. IT was as close as we could come to our specific field. There is no data on web design and web designers. Web design is twelve years old, employs hundreds of thousands (if not millions), and generates billions, so you’d think there would be some basic research data available on it, but there ain’t.

Not coincidentally I’m sure, A List Apart is doing a web design survey to learn about the people in our industry. It’s a pretty quick survey, and there are prizes, so I encourage any web workers out there to take it.

Like most bloggers, I don’t blog very often. I was thinking about this as I was considering what I could write for ProBlogger’s Group Writing Project. It occurred to me that this would be a good time to cover those things I should have blogged over the past year but, for whatever reason (laziness), I did not.

And so, here it is:

2006 — The Blog Posts that Weren’t


We started the year on vacation in Europe. Within a short two weeks we managed to hit France, Italy, Switzerland, and Amsterdam. It was an amazing trip, but I was sure glad to get back to boring after two full weeks of different.


No, but seriously. He shot a guy. In the face.


I finally got around to buying the equipment I need to network our old Series 1 TiVo. Now to just find time to do it.


We changed our phone service over to Vonage. I love that they email me my voicemail messages.


We went to Lebowski Fest in Austin. The absolute best part was twenty Walters screaming at a bowling alley employee who looked vaguely like Larry.


I’m still learning Rails, but I had to unsubscribe from the Rails mailing list. Way too much noise. And they allow anonymous posting, so there was a lot of spam. Every mailing list should be run by Steve Champeon.


We received our yearly feedback from the PRP judges. Nothing particularly noteworthy this year. The one thing that always bothers me is the complaints about not enough events on the calendar. I’m not sure how the webmaster can be blamed for that.


Bloglines screwed up some of my subscriptions, losing posts I was keeping new. So, I installed ReBlog on my own server. It’s nice, but without Bloglines 200 post limit per blog, it’s easy to get way behind.


We went to the Webmaster Jam Session. CoffeeCup did a great job running it. A lot of it was a tad basic for us, but it was a good experience anyway.


We played the McDonald’s Monopoly game. Not play like going in and buying burgers to play. Oh no, we sent away for entries. A lot of entries. Since each entry includes basically a $1 gift certificate to Best Buy, we actually made money on the deal. Sort of.


Absolutely nothing happened this month.


Q: Can an annual award by a news magazine jump the shark?
A: Yes. Yes it can.

Screenshot of Google ads for luxury cruises to Mars Has anybody seen ads like this? These were in Gmail and, sure enough, they do go to and

Searching around, I found someone else has noticed this as well. The text of the ads seem to be used by Google for various ad examples. But, I don’t see why they would be in the Adwords system as actual ads. Are they used by Google for testing somehow, are Adwords users creating them accidentally, or is it some clever click fraud scheme?

Regardless, a search for “Luxury Cruise to Mars” shows these ads appearing on a lot of sites (mostly “Coming Soon” sites). I’d be curious to know why these ads are out there.

As promised, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. The story has been rattling around in my head for a while now. I’ve visualized most of the major scenes, but the subplots are still a mystery even to me. It’s something of an action/thriller novel — I’ll give more details when I start writing it. In fact, I’ll probably post excerpts here from time to time.

I’ve finished a few small web sites recently. I’m doing on-going maintenance for one, another in development, and another that will probably be starting soon. I’m really hoping to have my plate pretty well clean going into November, because I have my own project I want to start. I’d really like to be working on my project during the day and my novel at night. And watching television. Sweet, sweet television.

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed the Red Cross link in the corner, please do. I’ll most likely leave it there for the rest of the year. If you can give, I highly recommend it.

Around this time last year I wrote about my 2004 resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. So, this seems like a good time to look back at how I did, and make some plans for next year.

Continue reading “End-of-the-Year Clearance”…

The whole OKC bombing conspiracy theory came up on MetaFilter recently. In the comments, an engineer who studied the data explained exactly what happened. It’s pretty technical, but readable, and very interesting. Definitely something to reference next time some crackpot tries to convice me a Ryder truck full of explosives couldn’t possibly have done that much damage.

I’m on my way out for the weekend, but wanted to clear the following off my list before I go. So, do with these what you will:

Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do) — I’ve been guilty of a few of these myself. Heck, I’ll probably break three of them just writing this post. Tips like this are useful as I try to do more writing. (via EyeBeam)

As a resident of Oklahoma City, I just have one thing to say about this:

Tulsa, you can have it.

A little pre-spring cleaning:

  • Technicolor—Yet another color harmonies generator. What makes this one stand out is the sample layout, where you can see how the colors you choose look together. I haven’t decided if I like this one or EasyRGB’s better. (Via Scriptygoddess)
  • The trouble with Rover is revealed—A good write-up on how NASA was able to fix Spirit. If you’re a software developer, this is a fascinating case study in troubleshooting.
  • One Format—This web site will allow you to generate a user style sheet according to your font size and color preferences. Internet Explorer has long supported the use of user style sheets to control how web pages look. Unfortunately, it’s only really useful to people who know CSS. This tool makes it easy for anyone to benefit from this accessibility option. (Via The Making Connections Unit)
  • Develop rock-solid code in PHP: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3—I haven’t read much of this yet, but it looks really good. It’s easy to pick up the basics of PHP, but this tutorial should be good for anyone wanting to do advanced PHP programming.
  • Tiger Direct Clip Art & Fonts—A decent collection of royalty-free clip art. It’s not organized well at all, but the nearly 200 fonts make it worth bookmarking.
  • Speaking of fonts, dincFONTS is a huge collection of beautiful fonts that are absolutely free.