Bumbling my way through life and web design

A common phrase I’ve been hearing lately is “Our kids’ kids will be paying for that.” I understand the meaning and the rationale behind such a statement, but I think it’s fundamentally wrong. The people making such a statement are either politicians whose kids’ kids are already paying for one thing or another; or it’s people who chastised anti-war protesters who are now protesting themselves. These people probably genuinely have small children. Will those kids’ kids be paying for the spending that’s going on? Sadly, no. It’s all generational.

Let me break this down for you. I’m 33 and a child of babyboomers. What does that have to do woth anything? Nothing. Just tryong give generational relevance. Anywho, I figure I’m paying off the Cold War and parts of Vietnam. Spending kind of went apeshit crazy in 80’s so I’ll hand over some of that to that generation born in the 80’s to early nineties.

The other kids born in the 90’s are paying off the spending that happened in their decade and up until the first tax refund of the 2000’s though I guess that was funded through a previous surplus. Not really sure how that works out, but it was pre-9/11 logic that seemed to have worked at the time.

Speaking of 9/11, that event really ramped some spending which I believe foisted off on the kids born in the aughties. We had two wars, another tax cut/refund, a prescription drug benefit thing, and a corporate bail out. Whew. This is all before the current administration. Using the Cold War as an example, I’m willing to push the payoff until maybe the late 10’s or even early 20’s.

Now we have yet more corporate bail outs, a stimulis package, healthcare reform, the same two wars, and yet more to come. The payback gets pushed into the 20’s and 30’s.

So, sure, your kids’ kids may be paying for it, but depending on your generation, your kids’ kids are already paying something else off. Think before you react. Do the math. Stick it to the man, tell your kids to not have children of their own.

We could just all hope that the 2012 premonitions come true which I’m sure will be blamed on Obama.

I have this problem: I can’t let go. Stuff bothers from earlier in the day, earlier in the week, month, year, decade, etc. I think you get the picture.

On a recent date, I was asked about my passions, how I wanted to be remembered, and what I wanted out of life. I was at a loss for words. I didn’t have an answer for any of those queries. My date couldn’t believe that. All she talked about was how much she traveled and how she didn’t want to settle. She couldn’t believe that I’ve only been to Mexico and that I was nearly 30 by the time I actually I did leave the United States. I actually apologized.

I had plans to do three weeks in Europe this past September, but I took a new job in the last 12 months and lost any kind of vacation time. I could’ve done a week but couldn’t justify the cost for such a short time period.

As far as passions, I don’t really have any. I have the attention span of a gnat and get bored really easily. I don’t feed the poor or recycle (CRV doesn’t count). I have complete and total disdain for all politics, and the people who live every moment of their based on a political affiliation. I don’t try to save the dolphins, dogs, cats, etc. I just exist and try to make it to the next day. I’m not one of those “live every day like it’s your last” kind of guys. I’m just your average, really boring guy. I use to be passionate about web design, but it’s my job. At one point, I wanted a CSS hack named after me, but I finally all the decent hacks have been discovered by people that don’t actually work in the trenches and sit around and think about it all day.

This leads to how I want to be remembered. Does writing late night, self-loathing blog posts on my iPhone count? Didn’t think so. I guess I’d like to be remembered as a good friend and confidant. I don’t see myself inventing anything or coming up with an awesome CSS hack. Would I say I’ve lived a life? I don’t know. I’m only 33. I still have a lot of life to live. Does this mean I should extensively travel? Absolutely not. I don’t think one has to do with the other. It’s selfish and pretentious to think that you’re better than me because you’ve visited every continent including Antarctica. Have you ever sat in a bar in small town Iowa to have a beer with the locals? I’ve always said I haven’t seen enough of this country to want to leave it.

Finally, what do I want out of life? I’d like to move one more time and settle where ever I end up. I’d like to get married and have a kid or two. Honestly, I don’t see marriage happening any time soon. I’m a difficult person to be around. I have equal parts of my mother and father informing my personality. My moodiness, temper, and self-loathing all come from them. I’m passive agressive, bottle up my emotions, and have a debilitating fear of rejection. I’m very apathetic but like to push people’s buttons. I’ve been told I should see a shrink, and I guess it’d be nice to have someone to talk to. I just don’t see the point.

Well, it’s 2am, and I should be in dreamland. I’ll probably regret posting this come the morning.

When walking to work, I usually just try to mind my own business. I focus on an object a few blocks ahead of me and keep staring at while I’m pounding the pavement. The one thing that has come to annoy during my time in the Bay Area is the excess use of the car horn by the drivers.

They honk at each other.

They honk at buses.

They honk at pigeons and seagulls.

They honk at me.

This past Thursday morning, I was going through my usual walking routine. I take one of three routes. What can I say? I like to mix it up. Anyway, during that particular morning’s walk, I was waiting at an intersection when I heard a Smart Car honk at an SUV who was already speeding through a yellow light.

smart car
[Image Credit]

As I walked past the Smart Car, not looking at the driver, I bring my finger to my mouth making the “shhh” sign. What’s the driver do? He honks at me! Taking exception to having a horn honked in my general direction, I did the most logical thing I could: I gave him the finger. He responds with a longer honk of the horn.

Allow me to sidetrack for a moment here. The horn on a Smart Car isn’t the most manliest horn. It just doesn’t evoke a sense of fear or respect.

I’m continuing my walk to the BART station. I noticed he has rolled down his window and is giving me the evil eye and honks one last time. Karma was against him as he got stopped at another yellow light under the freeway. Window still down and evil eye still pointed at me, I look right at him and holler “What the fuck you gonna do?! Roll up your fuckin’ window before something happens to your little Hot Wheel car!”

The light turns green and he was gone. This woman walking behind me said, “Didn’t he realize you’re twice the size of that car?”

I laughed, and with that, my morning started out pretty well.

Reform
Maybe we should get ourselves some of that reform.

I had plans on writing my take on the health care/death panel/reform debate going on right now, but I came to realization at about word 400: I just don’t care.

You heard that right. I don’t care.

The government is going to do whatever they want. The public be damned. The previous administration got the country into two wars, passed tax cut after tax cut, bank bailouts, and some prescription drug thing. It’s okay, though, because my kids will pay that bill.

This administration has passed a stimulus package, more bank bailouts, auto industry bailouts, some “cash for clunkers” thing, and pretty soon, its health care reform package. It’s okay, though, because my kid’s kids will pay for that. As far as I know, he’s planning on bringing an end to one of those wars. I think.

I’ve been paying attention to the protests. From what I can tell, it’s a case of the shoe being on the other foot. The dirty, hippy, left-wing liberals protested the wars. They defaced the president by making him look like a vampire, Alfred E. Newman or Hitler. These people were vilified for being unamerican and disrespectful to the office of the President of the United States of America.

With the current administration, you have the hick, gun-totting, right-wing conservatives protesting outside town hall meetings and yelling in the faces of politicians. They deface the president by making him look like the joker, Alfred E. Newman, or Hitler. These people have been vilified for being unamerican and disrespectful to the office of the President of the United States of America.

I don’t care what your political stance is or who the President is at the time, but pulling the Hitler card is just plain wrong. I’m fine with vampires, jokers, and Mad Magazine mascots, but neither one of these guys should be compared to what is basically pure evil. Besides, pulling the Hitler card is lazy. You can do better than that.

(Quick note: It’s late/early. I didn’t feel like hunting down Fox News or MSNBC clips to support my vilifying statements. I’m sure it’s there. O’Reilly and Olbermann have to get in their airtime.)

[SOAPBOX]
The one big difference between these two protests is that dirty hippies never brought friggin’ assault rifles to a protest!

assault rifle
[Image Credit]

Further research tells me that this guy calls himself a Libertarian. I always thought of them as that other party nobody really cared about. I guess they’re heavily armed and pissed off. I take back my previous statement about the gun-totting conservatives. I’m all for the second amendment. Better to have a gun and not need it then to need a gun and not have it but leave the assault rifle home when going to a protest when the President is a mere few hundred feet away.

This was in Phoenix, too. It’s just a bad year for Phoenix and Obama. First Arizona State University wouldn’t bestow an honorary degree on him. Now, the citizens apparently want to show him they’ve got guns and know how to use them. I consider Phoenix my home, but I guess I gotta start packing heat when I go back.
[/SOAPBOX]

Here’s my final word on health care and health insurance. People are bringing up death panels. Like them, I never read the proposed bill. What I do know is that every two weeks, money is taking out of my check goes to my own death panel/health care provider. Health insurance is always about the “what-if’s.” You pay it because you feel you have to. I haven’t been to a doctor in two years. The only reason I went was so I could make my mother happy. I have to agree with a friend of mine who said when you pay for health insurance, you’re paying for that person who goes to the doctor for minor bump or scrape or ache or pain. What you get out of it versus what you put in is a very wide margin.

Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

I read somewhere that Internet Explorer 8 was supposed to be the end-all-be-all for web browsers developed in a Seattle suburb. It was going to grab a web designer and love them and hold them and even name them George.

hugo011

But, sadly, like previous of Internet Explorer, it does have it’s shortcomings. This time, though, it removed a feature that actually existed in previous iterations: the opacity filter. Sure they could’ve just implemented the CSS standard for opacity, but that would have been both smart and easy, and we all know Redmond doesn’t want to do that.

What to do, what to do

Despite declarations that it was back, nothing ever worked. No hack. No filter. No custom CSS implementation. Nothing. After bashing my head on my desk for a good 30 minutes, I said to myself, “Self, why can we just use a transparent PNG to handle the background opacity?” DING! (or PNG!)

In my mock-up, I adjusted the opacity of the area I wanted to have a little see-through and grabbed a 5×5 swath of the area and saved it as a transparent PNG-24. Plugged in as a backgorund, and bickity-bam, I had a transparent background with an opacity of 90% that works in both Firefox and Internet Explorer 8. I’m assuming they’ll work in Safari and Chrome because those browsers are pretty standards-compliant when it comes to transparent PNGs. It should work in Internet Explorer 7 because I know it’s pretty friendly to the PNG. If you have Internet Explorer 6, upgrade already. You’re hurting America.

Added Bonus

It should be noted that this workaround (not hack) will not cause your text to be dithered out. It stays clear as day. Also, the 5×5 was only 117 bytes so the file size was really small.

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I decided to restart my blog. With most blogs, I needed a focus, and the best I could come up with is something I’d like to think with which I’m the most knowledgeable: web design.

I don’t plan on being the end-all-be-all; I just hope to provide a place where I can vent and hopefully offer help with problems that I’m struggling through. These problems include fighting with Internet Explorer, coming up with JavaScript solutions, and looking further under the hood with PHP, JSP, and anything else that arises.

My ultimate hope is that somebody finds whatever I post helpful.

Don’t get wrong now, I may also divert from that topic and write about my day or whatever movie I’ve seen, video game I’ve played, or album I’ve heard. This is my place to vent. You never what you may come across.