A fun bit O’ picture takin’

Rob and Sharon are getting ready to have their first child and they asked Paula and me to come to the beach with them yesterday to take some portraits of the happy parents to be.  We had a great little lunch (their treat: thanks guys!) then headed down to the boardwalk to catch the warm tones of the sunset light.  A combination of some great light, some great equipment and great pre-setup by Rob produced some great pictures.  After grinding through over 300 frames I was bound to happen upon something they liked.

This was my favorite:

A portrait of my friends Rob and Sharon

Now, I just need to bill Rob for the therapy I’m going to need to get over using his sweet camera (I’m not sure, but buying my own D2X just might cost less than therapy).


Beautiful Creatures

Some more wonderful web kismet today… wismet, if you will.

I was looking for a link I had tossed in my “interesting” folder in favorites and noticed another link in there I didn’t recognize (it was an old link to an indi comic site).  Through that link I found Andrew Bell’s “the creatures in my head” page.  This site, full of wonderful, expressive creatures, sucked me in.  I highly recommend checking out his site.

You can navigate Andrew’s pictures chronologically, but I recommend hitting the “random” button on the page (go to his site, click on the creature on the homepage to get the navigation, then click “random”). Andrew creates the pictures then ads a delightfully appropriate caption, take the time to read those too (the picture below-right is titled “but… you said no one would get hurt.“)



The end of an era…

Well honey, I love you, but the time has come to part ways.

We can still be friends, right?

Yep, I finally got it done, I put the Corvette up for sale on Craig’s list.

Want to help?  If you refer the future owner to me I’ll give you a 5% finder’s fee.

Design Sites

A great site for the color blind web developer

I’ve built my share of web pages.  I can do the layout.  I can do the CSS, HTML, etc.  I always have problems picking a color scheme.  I’ve now found a site to help me out with that part of the process.

If you aren’t a natural at picking colors and/or were not professionally trained as an artist, you may find getting a set of colors which complement each other is difficult.  I usually use a set of colors from a design book or copy a pretty web.  If, however, I need a specific color… I’m SOL.

Enter  This site is a variation on a tool which has been floating around the net in open source for a while (see “A little history lesson” below).  What I like about this particular implementation is it has a slick interface combined with the ability to export the color blends as a Photoshop Color Tables (great for all the pixel-pushers out there).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Either start with a color in mind our use their blending sliders to construct a color (I decided to go with a nice, bright blue for this run)

  2. If you like your blend, you’re done!

  3. If you’d like to tweak the blend, click the “Direct Edit” radio button then adjust individual colors on your palette using the same sliders from step 1.

That’s really about it, go forth and create.  If you do end up using this on a web site, please let me know, I’d like to provide a link to your creation from this post so others can see how this tool can be applied to web design.

A little history lesson

The original tool was called ColorMatch 5K and was entered by Kim Jensen into a 2001 web competition which required the tools submitted be less than 5, 120 bytes.  Due to the size requirements, ColorMatch 5K was limited and didn’t have a ton of cross-browser compatibility, so many sites took up the code and improved upon it. is my favorite, a quick search could help you to find yours.


Bathroom, days three and four

A big tip of the hat goes to Phillip for all his help over the past couple of days.  There’s no way I would have been able to get this 316 pound cast-iron tub into place without his help (or have put the plumbing togehter without his tools :)).

5 hours Saturday, 3 hours Sunday.


Redundant Department of Redundancy Dept.

Don’t settle for just any podiatrist, make sure your new doctor has a specialty.

Hotmail Microsoft


I just posted to the team blog about upcoming improvements to the Windows Live Mail beta.  The languages we were hoping to roll out back in December should be coming out very soon.  If they’re not out by the end of this month, I’ll eat…

… um …

… this tasty, fresh Twinkie snack cake (aw heck, I’m just being realistic, this is software, after all, and the wind can shift direction without warning).

At any rate, the English speakers in Canada should be happy to know that they’ll soon be able to join the crowd from the UK, US and AU.  As soon as we roll out French for Canada we’ll also be able to roll out English (we want to be fair, after all).

So if you’re on the list, be patient, we’re upgrading servers as fast as we can.  If you’re not on the list, what the heck are you waiting for?  Get over to and sign up!

And now, a picture of my dog cross-bred with a Brewer’s Blackbird:

A bird with a dog's head pasted on


End of day two

A shorter day today (took a break for Rob and Sharon’s baby shower), only three hours. No more ugly vinyl floor, yay!


Bathroom remodel, day two.

Vinyl is nice and all… but it’s gotta go.


End of day one.

After swinging a 5 pound sledge for 4 hours we are now short 3 walls, 2 shower doors and 1 bathtub.

I think we’ll sleep well tonight.