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Jan 30, 2008

The Commute
last update: 01/30 @ 13:11
Here’s Robert just doing the commuter thing… He’s pretty handy with Sarah’s crackberry.

Jan 28, 2008

Who Knew…
last update: 01/28 @ 20:01

Who knew that the end of the rainbow landed at the DC District Courthouse building. It’s been a strange winter for weather, but I’ll take it….

Jan 27, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled program…
last update: 01/27 @ 14:20
I promised myself a new cute Robert photo for the blog after my geeky fun. He and Sarah went to the pool this morning (while I was nursing the backup process). After a big lunch, they are snoozing away.

Unrelated to that, there are a couple more photos from our dinner with Dan, Chris and Suz (the source of the famous tee-shirt) in Robert’s Section, at the bottom of the January 2008 page.

Jan 26, 2008

New Geek Fun…
last update: 01/26 @ 15:20

I decided I needed to play with AJAX a bit after seeing all the fun other folks are having with that on their web sites. Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of eye-candy for the sake of eye-candy.

But this seems like a good use of AJAX to me: having the comments and comment form for each entry in this page seems redundant and wasteful of page real estate (and perhaps of bandwidth, though that’s less of an issue as all the regular visitors are now on broadband connections). However, loading a page just to see the comments and form seems less than ideal.

So, now the comments will (should) reveal in-line on this page. I’m not completely sold on this, so let me know if you find it difficult or confusing; it’s easy to change back.

And for anyone interested, it was also pretty easy to set up: I’m using Scriptaculous (and Prototype) as the AJAX libraries. Actually, Scriptaculous is providing the reveal effect, Prototype is the real AJAX library doing the work. So I put those files in place and referenced them from the main blog page template. Then I Wrote a couple javascript functions to use the libraries to get and display my contents. Then I just needed to create a new “flavour” (that’s what Blosxom calls styles of content or sets of templates) to display the comments and form as a snippet of HTML.

The couple of “tricks” I tracked down to make it work reasonably well: set display to none for the container (not the CSS for the container) that holds the AJAX content (the comments in my case) and let Scriptaculous’s effect make it visible. And tell the web server (Apache, of course in my case) to send some no cache headers on the pages and page snippets involved in the AJAX content — otherwise they will be cached and not reflect updates as they should.

Of course, when I hear from folks that this really isn’t working, I’ll try to get it working better and update the tricks here. Perhaps for extra credit I’ll replace the comment submission button with an AJAX post to keep everything in this page…

The only downside I see to this approach is that I don’t expect it plays well for screen readers or for search engines. We’ll see if I have any time to make the comments more accessible for those two specialized types of visitors.

Jan 19, 2008

Posted Under Duress
last update: 01/19 @ 16:18
It’s not as politically incorrect as it could be, but I don’t think Robert will wear his new tee-shirt to day care. Uncle Chris brought that over when he came by for dinner earlier in the week. So far, I’ve been more general in my explanation to Robert of what the shirt says…

I’m not even sure he agrees with the sentiment. He’s been fighting a low fever for a couple days and actually has been napping again. We thought we might have seen the last of Robert’s afternoon naps until he’s our age.

Thank you for the shirt, the photo and the fun evening Chris (and Dan and Suz).

Jan 17, 2008

last update: 01/17 @ 13:22
I suppose it’s good to know that some things are hereditary. Robert clearly has inherited some serious stubbornness from his dad. We were heading in to day care this morning and he decided he wanted to be carried rather than walk this block. I thought he should walk.

We had an impressively long standoff until I caved and carried him over my shoulder (he wanted to be carried on my hip). It turned out OK in the end, but I expect there will be a few more standoffs in our future.

Turned out OK
last update: 01/17 @ 13:21
As I noted earlier, our trip in to day care turned out OK. While I wouldn’t carry Robert quite the way he wanted me to (or as much as he wanted me to). I was happy to go with his other request: an egg and ham bagel sandwich.

We were already running late for a morning birthday party and the sandwich seemed like a good way to delay our arrival until the party was over (rather than coming in at the tail end and seeing all the fun we missed). But I did have to wonder what it means when you eat something as big as your head. (OK, it wasn’t really as big as his head, but it looked it.)

And yes, he did share; but he gave me the smaller half.

Jan 14, 2008

last update: 01/14 @ 19:41
I came into the kitchen to see what Robert was up to in there and he said, “I’m having a barbeque.” I suppose he was.

Jan 12, 2008

Oh Shendandoah……
last update: 01/12 @ 21:11

I long to hear……..etc. A 75 degree day in the first week in January 08. Too much to resist for big boys and little ones, and when the river calls (or Uncle Hank) it’s time to head out to Harpers Ferry to send the boaters down the Shenandoah staircase, while the shuttle-bunnies go play in the national park.

Don’t worry, you’ll get to go downriver too, someday soon.

Jan 09, 2008

Fun trip for a sad reason
last update: 01/09 @ 11:16
We took a quick trip down to Richmond for a memorial service last week. Since we were bringing Robert along, we left a bit early and visited Maymont on our way (as Sarah noted earlier). Here’s their new-to-me exhibit on the aquatic life in the James River. More photos in Robert’s section

Jan 04, 2008

But Mommy,.. how….
last update: 01/04 @ 16:24

Context: In the Maymount park nature center, near exhibits of James River fishies, David had just explained to me that he didn’t know (nor did I) that eels were the opposite of most fish.

Me: Why’s that?

David: Because most fish breed in rivers, then swim out to the ocean to live, but James River eels spend most of their lives in the River but swim out to the sea to breed.

Robert: (with confused look on face, pauses.)
But mommy, how will they get back into their tanks in the museum if they do that?!

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