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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Mixmania! The Holiday Mix! 

Being a bear of very little brain, I haven't figured out how to make Blogger post something later. So I'll twiddle the date and it will look in later years as if I actually obeyed Jim's directive and posted my playlist on Christmas Eve. Here, then, is my Mixmania! The Holiday Mix! playlist:
  1. Halloween - Dead Kennedys
  2. Thanksgiving In Reno - Too Much Joy
  3. The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas - Allan Sherman
  4. Christmas Blues - Big Joe Williams
  5. Christmas Time - Bill Cosby
  6. Merry Christmas Baby - Charles Brown
  7. Christmas In The Caribbean - Jimmy Buffett
  8. Father Christmas - The Kinks
  9. Christmas Morning - Lyle Lovett
  10. Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) - The Ramones
  11. The Night Before Christmas (Hey Baby) - The Rave-Ups
  12. I'm Gonna Kill Myself For Christmas - Trout Fishing In America
  13. Santa Claus And His Old Lady - Cheech & Chong
  14. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
  15. Son of Santa - Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
  16. Santa's Beard - They Might Be Giants
  17. Chanukah Song Pt 2 - Adam Sandler
  18. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon
  19. Christmas In Prison - John Prine
  20. Jolly Old Christmas Time - Weddings, Parties, Anything
  21. New Year's Eve - Nina Gordon
  22. New Year's Day - U2
  23. Happy New Year - Lightnin' Hopkins

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday Kid Blogging 


This is actually a test to see if I can make a post appear at a later time. I'm supposed to post my Mixmania! The Holiday Mix playlist on Christmas Eve, but I'll be away from the computainment center and won't be able to actually do the typing that day. Here's hoping it works. I'm going to try to have it post today (12/21) at 0950.

Update:OK, so that didn't work. All it did was fake out the posted time, without actually delaying the post itself. Dang.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Here's The Thing... 

So here's the thing with the President Dumbass and the Illegal Spying and the push to reauthorize the PATRIOT act. Cast your mind back to October/November 2001. We were awash with news reports about how the Feds had enough separate bits of information in their hands to have arrested some of hijackers. Doing that would probably have uncovered most of the others. There was no shortage of information on which to base some vigorous police related program activities. The problem was that different parts of the government had different pieces of the puzzle and when underlings tried to make their bosses put things together the bosses didn't do anything (was her name Rowley?).

If we really want to fight terrorism (A debatable proposition for the current administration (Osama Who?)), then the last thing we need is even more worthless information decreasing the signal to noise ratio. We need people to act on the good information that pre-9/11 law is capable of producing.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Random 10 

  1. Bathtime/Hide And Seek Dumbo Soundtrack
  2. Intro - I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me Keith Jarrett Trio
  3. Walks The Streets Clorox Girls
  4. Fourthly King Missile
  5. Get Your Shit Together Beth Hart
  6. One Of These Things First Nick Drake
  7. Holiday In My Head Smash Mouth
  8. Grohg: Dance of the Opium-eater Cleveland Orchestra, Oliver Knussen
  9. Born In The 50's The Police
  10. I Got You Dwight Yoakam

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Javascript Weirdness 

This a continuation of the Safari Weirdness post below. You'll no doubt recall that in Safari if you create a button from Javascript you get an ugly square thing that doesn't look anything like the cool buttons you get when you hard-code the button in the HTML. Well it gets even stranger after that. According to the AJAX book I've been using, the best way to attach a callback action to a button is like this:
var theButton = document.createElement("button");
theButton.appendChild(document.createTextNode("Click Here You Big Silly"));
theButton.onclick = function () { respondToTheClick() };
If you do that you get your button, assuming you remembered to add it to the DOM somewhere. But when you click on it. It just doesn't work. No matter what you do, the xmlHttp.status you get back when the server routine prints its output is always always always undefined. This makes no sense to me. If you look at the Javascript console in Firefox the error message starts with "Component returned failure code 0x80040111" with some other gobbledy gook after that. Safari just reports xmlHttp.status as undefined. Now here comes the weird part. If instead of creating your button on the fly, you hard code it into the HTML
<input type = "button" value = "Click Here You Silly" onClick = "respondToTheClick();">
(and since you obviously only want it available sometimes otherwise you wouldn't be wanting to create it on the fly in the first place) and put it in a div element that is set to display:none which you toggle to display:block when you want the User to see the button, the button works like a charm and the returned xmlHttp.status is 200 just like you want it to be. Weeeeee!

That was a large part of yesterday morning. Googling the Firefox error message fragment I quoted just gets you a bunch of people saying "hmm... it's a bug in Firefox. Maybe they'll fix it soon."

So there you go AJAX people, use hardcoded buttons and hide them until you need them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I was channel surfing last night. Yeah, I know, big surprise. At Chez Hank we don't have the digital cable. We have your old school basic cable. On some stations even with our antedeluvian connection, there is some text shown over the top of the picture informing the viewer what s/he is viewing. Something like "CSI" or "Everybody Loves Raymond". After a few seconds the text goes away and you can see the whole picture again. Last night as I was breezing past the Hallmark channel (all saccharine, all the time) I noticed the following show title in the text box: A Boyfriend For Christ.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Still Losing? Yup. 

Here's the caption from a photo on one of the web sites I regularly visit:
Lance Cpl. Jeremiah K. Barr of King, N.C., a fiscal clerk currently serving his country with Quick Reaction Force, Provisional Rifle Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), sings and plays the guitar here during his spare time.
For those of you wondering, the web site is United States Marine Corps Image Archive. It is a site that shows pictures taken and submitted by Marines to document what it's like being a Marine. But if you check the URL it's a usmc.mil address, so the pictures are approved by someone official before they get onto the site.

So why is this caption an indication that we're losing in Iraq? Well I'm glad you asked, Internets. Check out to what unit our friend fiscal clerk Lance Corporal Barr belongs. That's right it's the Quick Reaction Force, Provisional Rifle Company. The operative items are 'fiscal clerk' and 'Provisional'. That means that Lance Corporal Barr is supposed to spend most of his time in some HQ unit driving Excel spreadsheets. But instead of doing that he is assigned to a Provisional Rifle Company. A Provisional Rifle company is what you get when you're running short of infantry and you round up clerks and cooks and truck drivers and form them into a temporary (dare we say Provisional?) infantry unit. Now I admit that every Marine is a rifleman, it's part of their mythos, but giving fiscal clerks rifles is not the action of a military that is on the upswing in their operations.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Safari Weirdness 

Buttons Here we see two buttons rendered in a Safari (that would be Apple's Browser for those of you not in the know) window. The one on the left was generated via regular HTML
<input type = "button" value = "Get Sample Info" onClick = "doGetSampleInfo();">
The one on the right was generated using Javascript manipulation of the DOM
var button = document.createElement("button")
button.appendChild(document.createTextNode("Edit Sample"))
Do you notice anything strange about the pair of them? That's right, the first is a pretty Aqua button like you expect to see in Safari. The second is an ugly rectangle that looks goofy next to its sibling button. Firefox uses only ugly buttons so they match in that browser. Opera is smart enough to use the pretty button in both cases. C'mon Apple get with the program.

Oh and you could also notice that the text on the pretty button is set via

value = "Get Sample Info"
inside the button tag. The text on the Javascript-generated button is set something like this:
<button>Edit Sample</button>
If you try
button.setAttribute("value", "Edit Sample");
button.value = "Edit Sample";
which seem like they should generate the same DOM entry as the vanilla HTML, you get a miniscule button with no text. Why is that internets?

Look! I'm being oppressed! 

The Chron has an article about how some CHRISTian school is suing the University of California because the CHRIST-centered education that the students receive does not meet the criteria for acceptance at the UC. The CHRISTians feel that they are being discriminated against and that the UC is dictating their curriculum. The UC's response is that they can learn any damn thing they want at their CHRISTian school, but if they want to go to the UC they should meet the standards of the UC.

Here's the amazing part: the suit isn't about biology. The actual bones in contention are a humanities classes. I was completely unaware that the CHRISTian view of literature is fucked up too.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Kid Blogging 


YA loves him some oatmeal.

Friday Random 10 

  1. Dancing Barefoot U2
  2. Walked Thin Wires Ed Kuepper
  3. Mary's A Grand Old Name Glenn Miller
  4. Summertime Janis Joplin
  5. Let's Do It Eartha Kitt
  6. White Light / White Heat The Velvet Underground
  7. Babelogue Patti Smith
  8. The Hypnotist Cross My Heart
  9. Alarm Call Björk
  10. Hell Of A Hat The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Monday, December 05, 2005


I got tagged by Jim over at Patriside: List 5 things that people may not know about you and tag 5 people to do the same. I'm going to blow off the tagging part since I don't actually have 5 regular readers, but if you really want to do it feel free.
  1. I'm a really good cook. I'm no chef, but I can follow a recipe and for certain categories of food (eg, bread) I can start with an idea of what I want and make said thing without reference to a recipe.
  2. I voted for Ronald Reagan. What can I say, in my misspent youth I was a nasty little bastard. I'm over that now.
  3. I like guns and the shooting thereof. It may cast doubt on my Yellow Dog Democrat cred, but I can't get behind much gun control.
  4. I was recently given advance notice that the money for my job at UC Santa Cruz runs out as of January 20. To rephrase, I've been laid off.
  5. When I was just a lad my mom wanted to encourage any musical talents I might have and so signed me up for accordian lessons. So for a while there in early 70's San Diego little Hank was a Polka machine. To this day I have a soft spot for any type of music that includes accordians.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday Kid Bloggging 

GraniteYesterday YW went to a birthday party at a wall-climbing gym. It was his first birthday party where I was required to sign a waiver of liability. Luckily for everyone involved there was no plummeting to their deaths. And for those of you paying attention who noted that he is not roped in, he's in the warm-up area of the gym and is about 2 feet off the extremely padded floor. He did, while roped in, climb about 40 feet up and touch the ceiling later in the party.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Random 10 

  1. They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More Jimmy Buffett
  2. Mile End Pulp
  3. You're Kind Paul Simon
  4. Baby's Got The Car Keys Trout Fishing In America
  5. I Can't Give You Anything But Love Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra
  6. Wide Open Road Weddings, Parties, Anything
  7. Dollars & Cents Radiohead
  8. Don't Hold Back That Feeling Andrew Pendlebury
  9. Blinded By Rainbows The Rolling Stones
  10. The Ballad Of Tom Jones Space With Cerys Of Catatonia

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