Archive for December, 2009
Anytime I can just pick some weed in my back yard and turn it into something useful, it intrigues me. I have long been a fan of making dandelion wine, in spite of the fact that it is an incredibly time consuming task.
But there is another backyard weed that I find can be put to good use with far less trouble. It is Chamomile. You can actually make tea from the flowers. In fact it is thought to have a soothing effect, so it is great as a bedtime tea. I have also plucked raspberry leaves for the same purpose.
With chamomile all you have to do is pluck the flowers and dry them out. The next step is to steep them in hot water. Without going into detail, you can believe me when I say that it is much easier than dandelion wine. But then it is not quite as satisfying as dandelion wine either.
The other fact I found interesting about chamomile, after putting together a folio on the subject, was that the vikings used to put it in their shampoo to make their long braided locks shiny and lustrous! It is a comical image until you think of those braids protruding from a horned helmet on top of the head of an axe-wielding berserker!
I concieved the idea a couple of days ago to create a magic 8-ball. Not sure what gave me the idea. Things like this flash through my miniscule mind on a pretty steady basis. Usually it goes in one neuron and out the other. This time it was a bit different.
I had scribbled a few notes on it on the back of a scrap piece of envelope at the toy store. Robin keeps a stack of them for such spurious purposes, so I don’t waste good paper. I was packing up my stuff (laptop and all) to head home, but had left the envelope on the office desk. She picked it up and examined it, as she does most scribbled-on scraps of paper.
“What is this?” she queried. I explained the dubious concept to her, and she said “Neat.”
Well, that was all I needed to create the Sarcastic Magic 8-Ball. The code is PHP. The image was cobbled together on my old Jasc. It is actually a fairly simple script. Robin and the kids enjoyed asking yes or no questions and getting funny random responses. I put it on my impulse buy domain, www.ImNervous.com. Someday I will do something constructive with that domain. For now, it is just for fun.
Well, I have been tampering with InDepthInfo’s format again. I really liked the “new” look, but the fact was that the number of page views went down on every folio where I installed it. Also the ad revenue fell off. I consoled myself, thinking that at least the better look might get me more links, from those who did visit the site. Alas, it was a false hope.
Honestly, I could not figure out why there was a fall-off in traffic. But a quirk of fate stepped in to clue me in to a possibilty. I found a photograph for my how to make eggnog webpages. It was fairly large. When I put it on the site, it immediately dropped several positions on the search engines. I was flabbergasted. I have always been told that images are good. When I create a page on squidoo it fairly screams for some kind of image.
I removed the image, and POW, the folio pages were back up to normal. I put on my thinking cap, made sure the gears interfaced with the gears in my brain, turned the crank, and started the wheels turning. The only real difference between the two situations was that the photo forced a lot of the text below the fold. I am thinking that it might make a difference how much of the text, not just content, appears where the average browser will see it without scrolling.
So I have created a new template. I am still not happy with how it looks but it does force a considerable amount of text above the fold. I am trying it out on the Days of the Week folio. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
I have been messing with computers for 20 years, and I have been creating websites for more than ten. Believe it or not I never had occasion to do a print screen to create a screen shot before today. I guess I mainly worked with my own content.
However, I had a good reason. I was helping out a person writing to me at BreadInfo.com. I had a PDF file of the manual and wanted to show my correspondent the instructions for programming a Zojirushi. I could have sent the whole manual, but it is huge. So I decided to do the print screen thing. Little did I know how easy it would be.
Basically, in Windows XP, and probably most other windows systems, you just hold down alt and then hit the PrtSC key. This will print the window to the clip board. If you want the entire screen just hit the PrtSc button. You can then paste it to your favorite image editor and do what you like with it.
Well there is nothing like revealing your ignorance for making you feel young…and naive again.