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The coffee was extra good for some reason today – maybe the preceding 9.5 hours of sleep helped. Gracie goes briefly to the vet for routine maintenance, I go pick up some newly-dry-mounted artwork at the bro-in-law’s frame shop, and we visit the neighbor who’s in the hospital (she’s just fine. Whew.). Then tonight to Manuel’s Tavern for another friend’s improv show. Life is so good at the moment.

Dabbling in jQuery

One of several possible jQuery slideshow layouts. Click to see a larger image. Soon, when you click on this, it'll have a jQuery add-on so it won't have to load in another page.

I am going to install an automatic rotating photo header slide show on both my blogs with jQuery. (At some point.)

I found this tutorial for doing dynamic jQuery headers yesterday, and this morning my aggregator came up with this more basic tutorial. I’ve been playing with jQuery slide shows – here’s a sample.

To make them I used Jalbum, a free Java-based web photo slide-show app for PC and Mac to make those. I started with Flash slide show templates, but Flash is hateful. The jQuery versions don’t require a browser plug-in and “degrade gracefully” if the user’s Java is not enabled. I used DrMikey’s Lightbox2 for the album linked above.

13 April Update: Came across this article and thread about Including jQuery in WordPress The Right Way.

Flatiron Rising: 1902 | Shorpy Historic Photo Archive

The Flatiron Building rises in Manhattan in 1902

Shorpy posts vintage photos, with good quality and detail. Make sure to click through and look closely at the full-sized image. This is wonderful. My maternal grandmother, whom I am so happy to say I came to know pretty well, was about 2 years old in 1902—though living in Paris at the time. Having known her gives me a less remote feeling of connection to historical scenes like this; a person I spoke with regularly, as an adult, was alive in this world of horses, hats, Victorian dresses, and nascent automobiles.


A Quiet Night Walk

It’s just past 10:30 on Saturday night and I’m just back from walking Gracie. Early in the walk I was musing on the dinner party I’d gone to with Ellen and the folks we visited with, and the fact that when we came home we found that Gracie had chewed up the nozzle of a little spray bottle of eyeglass cleaner. We had turned the corner a few houses down from ours, and I watched her sniffing the grass and wondered motivates her to chew things up from time to time. Does she need a crate, would another dog help, what… and I suddenly noticed how quiet it was in the neighborhood. No peepers, no crickets, no nightbirds. I also realized I had no idea what the names of the usual nocturnal noise-makers are. Another post for that sometime.

I had my phone, could have been listening to a podcast or some music or the radio, but it no, it was so quiet. She did her business, stopped in the middle of the street, and looked up at the sky as she sniffed the wind. We heard a dog bark from some streets away and stood there for a couple of minutes just listening. I shaded my eye from the streetlight and tried to see the fleecy clouds in the light of the half moon. They didn’t seem to be moving. It was chilly, but not cold. It felt satisfying to hear just the night breeze in the trees, the occasional car go by on the main road outside our street, my own clothes rustling as I walked and my shoes off-rhythm with Gracie’s claws on the asphalt as we came home.