I’m Such a Nerd - Now a Wine Nerd

April 4th, 2012

I make a living on the internet - that makes me a nerd. I build websites - that also makes me a nerd. And I do local search engine optimization - also the sign of a nerd. I love wine - and with that I’ve again become a nerd!

How much of a wine nerd do you ask? Well, I started a wine blog. I’m officially a wine nerd now. Beyond drinking it I seem to want to write about it.

Introducing the Wine Charlatan.

The Wine Charlatan

On the web nerd side of things the site uses responsive web design to reformat the layout and sizes of things to respond to different device screen sizes. Check it out.. open it on a full sized desktop monitor and grab the side of your browser window and shrink the width down to the size of a smartphone. You’ll see things change for tablet sizes and phone screen sizes.

An Ode to a Very Special Little Rescue Dog

March 25th, 2012

Lucy Lu
Lucy, a Yorkshire Terrier, was rescued from a puppy mill just about 3 years ago. She arrived in our possession as a small furry ball of fear. She had no muscle tone in her legs, and for the first month could not walk more than one block before becoming too exhausted to continue. By the looks of her elongated nipples and stretched vagina, and based on her lack of muscle, we suspected she spent most of her estimated 4 to 5 years stuck in a cage pumping out puppies. Lucy also had just one eye so we suspect that people purchasing pure breed Yorkies from that mill were never introduced to the mother of the litter. Lucy led a very sad life, till she met us.

She slowly came around. Became more energetic, slowly could walk a little farther, developed some good muscle tone in her shoulders and hips and eventually discovered play. The video below is her playing with a small tennis ball about a year after we got her. This pouncing and rolling on her back became her signature play. It was always a solitary play. If you tried to get involved she would simply abandon the game.

Lucy was a very nervous dog. Afraid of sudden and loud noises. Afraid of other people she didn’t know. During lightning storms or Halloween and New Years fireworks she would shiver in fear till she was panting from overheating. We would do our best to comfort her and keep her cool. Other than those kinds of extreme sudden noise events she did get a little better with time and would not be quite so jumpy at lesser noises.

She was uncomfortable, even with us, when you would place your face too close to hers. She would turn away. Except once in a blue moon, when she was particularly happy, she would give you a quick little kiss. Just a lick or two but we always treasured those rare kisses.

Lucy loved other dogs, especially larger dogs. Whenever we dropped her off at doggie day care Lucy would instantly go snuggle up to some random large dog she’s never met. We suspect that though she had little human interaction at the puppy mill she was obviously around other dogs and they were her go to spot when she needed comfort.

Lucy was a lap dog. She loved to snuggle with us on the couch. Her and Maggi, our miniature Schnauzer, snuggled together a lot. Seems they took turns as to who would be the pillow.

Lucy was a beautiful dog. Though the vet said it looked like she was born with the one eye it was probably a rare recessive trait and not passed on to many of her puppies. Her puppies were probably perfect Yorkie specimens. Her one eye was very endearing. The long hair on top of her head grew over the missing eye to create this adorable side bang action.

Lucy was over flowing with pure cute. It was heart-melting. Her little mouth and how sometimes one fang would poke out from her lips or when she was fully asleep the tip of her tongue would poke out just a little bit. How she would let out little snorts. Sometimes in happiness, some times in disgust. All cute.

Lucy was a dancer. She would break out in a random hoping while scratching at the ground. Sometimes hoping high, other times in circles and legs flailing about in odd directions. We thought she should audition for “So You Think You Can Dance”. We would say to her “Dance it out Lu. Dance it out” and she would proceed to bust out a few more moves. I wish we had a video of that.

Lucy had a sudden seizure last night and died. We don’t know what caused it. Could have been a brain tumor, a stroke, or her overworked nervous little heart gave out. It was very quick and she did not suffer. We’re thankful of that.

We’re sure going to miss you Lucy. You were very very special.

Support Your Local Animal Rescue Organizations!

We received Lucy through Angel’s Rescue out of Merrit, British Columbia. Today we sent Angel’s a donation through Paypal. If you are in the Southern Interior region of British Columbia, why don’t you go send them a donation too. If you are located elsewhere it should be rather easy to find an Animal Rescue organization in your area. Just do this search in Google - yourcityname Animal Rescue. You should be able to find one. Most have Paypal donation buttons on their websites.

If you are a dog lover why not adopt your next dog. It’s a wonderful thing to give a stressed animal a new life in a loving home. If you are a serious dog lover, adopt the older dogs. Very few people are willing to do so and many of the older dogs get put down. Instead give that older dog a nice comfortable retirement home for the last year or two of it’s life.

More Photo’s of Lucy

Lucy of the NestLucy of the GardenLucy and MaggiLucy the SnugglerMore snuggles with LucyMaggi as a pillow for Lucy

Centering a Div in IE9 Using margin:auto

January 5th, 2012

Almost 2 years ago I after Internet Exploder 8 was released I wrote a post about how to get divs to center properly when using margin:auto in your CSS. Now with the release of IE9 - yet another piece of shit MS browser - I’ve encountered similar issues with getting it to obey centering styles.

For IE8 there were 3 different methods that could be used to make it work;

  • Set Width:100% on the containing element
  • Set Text-Align:Center on the containing element
  • Use Transitional Doc Type

With IE9 the use of the Transitional Doc Type is now obsolete, at least for me as I’m building in HTML5 now. Maybe it still works if you use the Transitional, I don’t know. Nor do I care, so I wont bother testing it. If someone tries it please leave a note in the comments as to whether or not that works.

In my testing the text-align center trick is not working for IE9 - so that’s off the table too. Good, this was a dumb hack anyways. Having to set a broader element with centered text alignment then every other element inside it would need to be reset to left alignment - makes for bloated CSS files.

Solution : Set Width:100% on the Containing Element

So the fix is to set your containing element, the one the centered element is to be centered within, to have a width of 100%. That will get that pesky div to center in Internet Explorer 9.

For example, if your were building a fixed width centered web page that was to be 1024 pixels wide you could set the body to width:100% then set your wrapper div or what have you to width:1024px and then center it with margin:0 auto. So your CSS might look like this;

body {width:100%}
#wrapper {width:1024px;margin:0 auto}

The one extra rule of width:100% does not add much bloat, though it should not be necessary if the asshats on the Internet Exploder dev team could ever get their act together and build a browser that renders as well as FireFox, Chrome, Safari or Opera.

Playing with HTML5 for First Time

June 24th, 2011

I dabbled with HTML 5 for the first time last week. Built a small website for a Pool Cleaning company in Fort Worth, TX and decide to try using HTML5.

Me likey! Just scratching the basics, not doing any fancy geo-location stuff or anything.

Note, to make the new elements like header, footer, aside, section, article, etc… compatible for Internet Exploder all you need to do is include this HTML5 java script enabler.

On another site I built later for this painter in Kelowna, BC I had forgotten to include that piece of java script. Revealed the finished site to the owner, having failed to do all my cross browser checking, only to realize they were looking at it in IE8 and it was totally broken since it did not recognize nav tags. And with a huge number of people still on IE 8 and IE7, that java shiv is essential.

Appears my CSS Sticky Footer solution also works just fine with HTML5.

My Wife is a Food Blogger

January 27th, 2011

My wife, though she detests the word, is a foodie. Whenever there is nothing on the television the default channel is the Food Network. Every week at least one meal is something new she’s never cooked before. She’s been a waitress, a bar tender, bar and restaurant manager, for years (long before I met her). She’s just all about the food. Good food.

So over the holidays I built her a recipe blog for posting her recipes and such. We launched it at about New Years. Prior to launch she uploaded dozens of recipes, so there is quite a menu so far, and since launch she already has guest recipes from other food bloggers and even a Food Network celebrity chef. And our mail box is receiving samples of specialty olive oils and vinegars, organic cheeses, chocolates and other items that I’m lucky enough to be able to taste.

Everyone in internet land, please wish her luck!