Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday random thirty...'n' stuff

MattPose   Here's Matt looking decidedly dapper at his Grade 8 graduation Wednesday night. That's right, next September he'll be in High School. It is to shudder.
   Although I outwardly scoff at sentimentality, I have to admit there were times during the evening when I had to blink a bit, because I had "something in my eye." This group of kids impresses the hell out of me. During the graduation ceremony every single award winner was heartily cheered by the entire group. In fact, during the closing presentation, a slide show of student photographs past and present, every single student's picture was met with delighted squeals and cheers. Not one child could claim they were left out, held in less regard than any other. I predict great things for these students over the next four years, and beyond.
   For more pictures, visit my
Flickr photo set for the event.

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   Wish me a Happy Blogaversary. As of yesterday, AWV is four years old. It's still not too late to take advantage of our two-for-one offer.

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   Also, Happy Canada Day tomorrow. This July first, Canada will be one hundred and forty-one years old. Sure, that's nothing compared to y'all's two hundred and thirty-two years, but that just makes us younger and hipper.

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   Also, also, having been horribly remiss, here are three whole weeks worth of Friday random ten lists for your perusal. Have a great holiday, be it tomorrow, or Friday.

June 13th

1) I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
2) I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues - Elton John
3) Silent Warrior - Enigma
4) Now - Days Of The New
5) Just One Of  Those Things - Branford Marsalis
6) Eagle Will Rise Again - The Alan Parsons Project
7) Arnold Layne - Pink Floyd
8) Children And All That Jazz - Joan Baez
9) A Million Vacations - Max Webster
10) Navy Bean - Tracy Bohnam

June 20th

1) Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) - The Mamas & The Papas
2) Spoon For A Knife - The Jive Kings
3) Thirty-Three - Smashing Pumpkins
4) Good Company - Queen
5) Wild World - Cat Stevens
6) Your Song - Elton John
7) Hello Goodbye - Live On Arrival
8) Dance With The Devil - Breaking Benjamin
9) A Million Vacations - Max Webster
10) Goodbye Cruel World - Pink Floyd

June 27th

1) Why'd You Lie - Colin James
2) Fight - The Tragically Hip
3) Lagavulin - Wide Mouth Mason
4) Lithium - Nirvana
5) Next Contestant - Nickelback
6) Dolly Dagger - Jimi Hendrix
7) Starseed - Our Lady Peace
8) Touch Me - Ian Thomas
9) Supernova - Mike Oldfield
10) Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This morning

Me: "Hurry up, Matthew. If you don't leave the house right now, you're going to be late for school."

Matthew: "Well, I'm going to be late, then, because I'm not going anywhere without straightening my hair."

   Oh, the many joys of raising a fashion conscious teen!

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Special characters

   In a comment to my previous entry, Bea asked,
"how do you make that little degree symbol, anyway? I can't find it on my keyboard."
   Well, Bea, don't beat yourself up over it. You can't find it because it isn't on your keyboard. The degree symbol (º), and many other similar symbols, like the Yen (¥), Pound (£), and Euro (€) symbols, or the copyright (©), and trademark (™), symbols are special HTML entities. They are available using the html editor built into your journals software. For example, in order to create the degree symbol, switch your edit text box to the html setting, and type "°" (without the quotes). When you switch back to the text view, you will see the degree symbol.
   One of the most useful html entities I have discovered is the 'non-breaking space.' You may or may not have noticed, but the AOL Journals software has a tendency to eat spaces. You'll type something in, click 'save,' and check the result, only to find that the space between two words has disappeared - likethis. You click 'edit,' and insert a space, then click 'save' again. Sometimes that even works, but often, no matter what you do, those two words remain gluedtogether.
   The solution is simple. Switch to html view. Find those two words, and right between them, type " " (without the quotes). This will insert a space between those two words which is, in typeface lingo, non-collapsable. It forces the text editor to leave a space in there no matter what. The only odd thing that sometimes comes up is the fact that the 'non-breaking' part of that space means the text editor will never insert a line break between those two words. So if they occur near the end of a line, using a non-breaking space can result in a non-uniform line length.

   Sound too complicated? Never mess with the html functions of your journals software? Never fear. The most commonly used of the html entities all have keyboard shortcuts which work in most word processing programs and Internet browsers. If you are using Windows™, these shortcuts use the 'ALT' key and the numeric keypad buttons. For example, the degree symbol can be easily inserted as you type by holding down the 'ALT' key, and typing the numbers 167 on the numeric keypad. When you release the 'ALT' key, the degree symbolº will appear. 
   Here is a list of available special ALT characters. Your browser may not support all of them. Have fun experimenting.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Suddenly, Summer

   Summer happened this weekend. Friday the mercury hit 33ºC. For you 'Mericans, that's just about ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit. Only ninety-two, you expostulate. But remember with our 65% relative humidity that feels like about 114ºF. In the shade.
   Still it wouldn't seem quite so bad if it weren't for the fact that Thursday's high was 19.5, or a lowly 67 degrees. I think we need to relabel our months up here. So far this year, we've had January, January, March, March, March, and August.

   Last night the wife and I went down into the city to a little bar - right near our first apartment - to see a band called Headbone Station. One of the band members is an old high school buddy of mine, so we thought we'd check 'em out.
   Except when we got there we found out they weren't playing that night, regardless of what their MySpace page said. So we sat and had a beer and listened to the Pete Martin reggae karaoke experience instead. Man, I'll tell you; there's a real feeling of responsibility in being the only members of an audience. It was like we were in some little cabana at an unpopular resort somewhere in the Caribbean. Pete was playing just for us. We felt guilty leaving after only one beer.
   Well, not that guilty. He wasn't really all that good.

   Now, here are two Friday random ten lists for your perusal...

Friday, June 6th

1) Abacab- Genesis
2) Indian War Whoop - John Hartford
3) Please Love Me Forever - Tommy Edwards
4) The Times They Are A-Changin' - The Byrds
5) Wondering Where The Lions Are - Bruce Cockburn
6) Fast Car - David Usher
7) Every Breath You Take - The Police
8) Obsession (Reprise) - Robert Michaels
9) Betrayed - Avenged Sevenfold
10) The Navy Song - Billy Talent

Friday, May 30th

1) Cocaine - Eric Clapton
2) Kind-Hearted Woman - Colin James
3) Uncle Salty - Aerosmith
4) Spawn Again - Silverchair
5) My Friends - Dar Williams
6) Miracle - Matt Dusk
7) Breakdown - Guns 'N' Roses
8) Nautical Disaster - The Tragically Hip
9) The Fire - Reel Big Fish
10) I Ain't Gonna Be Your Monkey Man - Willie Dixon