Sunday, March 20, 2011


This is a small thought, too big for a tweet, too small for a proper post, but here goes.

I put music on the websites I designed... awesome MIDI files back in 1998. Around that time, the convention in web design became "don't include music just because you can. Your audience is forced to listen to it, and they should be allowed to peruse the website at their leisure."

Given that, WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD do 99% of wedding photographers put horrible sappy "mood" music on their portfolios? I have my own music, or I might be at work. See the above reasoning for why the music on your website, if you choose to include it, should be on pause by default with the option to play. Web designers who create these horrendous Flash monstrosities for photographers: what are you doing? Have you ever opened the sites for eight photographers in tabs and then after a moment of aural assault had your (awesome) computer seize up and die under the weight of so much Flash??

Whatever your reasoning, stop, please.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Whine Time

Because (1) Dave lives far away from where I live and (2) I can't drive, I am the train-equivalent of a frequent flyer. Normally, I am a-ok with my 5.5 hour trips. I have power for my laptop, sometimes wifi, a comfy place to sit and if I book one of the fancy new trains, I can often get a seat by myself. Today, I have a very special seat - the handicapped seat. Perhaps so called because when they're done with me I'll be handicapped.

Pros: it's nice and private, lots of leg room. Technically a single - there's no one beside me.

Cons: this seat is so unbelievably uncomfortable. I have no idea how it was modified from the normal seats that I love, but all I have is physiological evidence of abuse-by-chair. My butt is simultaneously numb and sore. My neck started hurting within half an hour of sitting down, in the last four hours and 45 minutes that pain has worked its way down my spine to my shoulder blades. I can't find anything comfortable to do with my legs. It's right next to the toilet and smells like pee. AND to add insult to injury, the lady with the snack cart didn't notice/ignored me on her second pass, so I didn't get my tea.

Pros: VIA has a twitter account (@VIA_rail), and I have been able to use the free* wifi to complain to them already.

I'm looking forward to sending them the details on this seat when they email me to ask how my trip went in two weeks. I have also learned that if my ticket seats me in row 17, beware.

*Rather, my tethered iPhone because the free wifi is so spotty

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So close yet so far

Legend: Black = a point to include, red = to-do, blue = references
This is the discussion for the paper that has been (intermittently) plaguing my life for the last three years in a half-decent outline form. It's the last big hurdle between me and submitting this work for publication, but it's a pretty darn big hurdle.