Author Archives: admin

Fun with CSS

It doesn’t really have anything to do with the rest of this site, but I wanted to experiment with a CSS technique that is very popular with a lot of web designers. Rounded corners work well with many web layouts, but most conventional approaches to making them require making custom images which can be tricky if you don’t have the right software, and requires new images every time you change the color scheme. I’ve seen other methods with heavy use of javascript, but that excludes some site visitors. There are also ones that use many extra DIVs to artificailly create the round corners, but they can be cumbersome to edit.

My experiment uses a text character, the bullet, •, instead of an image to put something round in the corner. If this interests you check out the rounded corner article I posted. Also check out Eric Meyer’s web site for all things CSS, and the CSS Zen Garden for stunning CSS designs.

Fiddling with Inkling

They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned… Well instead of making any progress on actual content for this site, I’ve been fiddling with WordPress trying to figure out how to bend it to my will. The progress has certainly been hampered by the fact that the last time I wrote any PHP code version 3.0 was all the rage. However, rustiness and my usual A.D.D. aside, I did manage to achieve my objective: I’ve added a page onto the Inkling site that presents all the entries in chronological order. While it is more convenient for a frequent visitor to a blog to read the most recent entry first, it can be confusing to a new visitor who wants to get caught up on all the back posts, hence the Newbie link.

The way I did it was a little quick and dirty, and I am sure that any real programmer worth their salt would be aghast, but at least it didn’t require too many lines of code and kept most of the default template intact. All I really did was exploit The Loop by cramming all the wp_query objects into an array incremented on each iteration. Next, reverse the array. Then walk back through the array in a foreach loop, plucking the wp_query objects back out. It may have been a bit heavy-handed, but then I could use all the WP loop functions just like normal. At some point I may dig deeper into the WP source because I am sure there is a cleaner way (and feel free to chime in if you know one), but this met my needs of the moment.

A few words on the death of Anders Inkling

Don’t be alarmed, Anders Inkling is not dead. That is to say there have been no recent reliable reports of his death. In point of fact Mr. Inkling dies with some frequency. Declarations of his untimely undoing surface with clock-like regularity in the tabloids, the financial press, and the odd police blotter. Yet to date, the genial Mr. Inkling has shown a remarkable tendency to show up. Inkling sightings occur at all the right parties, all the important fashion events, and he seldom misses an opening bell at any of the major exchanges. All this regardless of the most studied declarations put forth by an increasingly longish line of nonplussed medical examiners. To say that the man is resilient is akin to saying that Manute Bol’s stature is a smidge above average.

The truly odd thing is the fact that a man of such singular appearance and peripatetic vitality is so often mistaken for a corpse. Although in defense of coroners across the globe, the majority of the suspected ex-Inklings tend to turn up with a dearth of distinguishing marks (some with a dearth of attached limbs), yet these carcasses (one can hardly call them anything else) are always accompanied by an overwhelmingly persuasive array of evidence confirming the identity of the victim. Or so it would seem, until the next film premiere where Anders will certainly appear, squiring a small cadre of supermodels.

Of course the grim reaper is not the only spectre that Mr. Inkling has demonstrated a flair for avoiding; he is also highly accomplished in the art of paparazzi dodging. Apart from a global army of customs agents, there are none known to have seen an unclouded photo of the man. The visage of the scion of Wall Street, the scourge of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is immediately recognizable, yet inexplicably undocumented.

Beware the Ides of March!

Actually this post has nothing to do with March, Shakespeare, Julius Caesar or the grave warning about the Ides. What it does have, and in abundance, is humility and guilt. I can’t believe I let two weeks go without an update. Unfortunately I’ve let life get in the way of blogging. I don’t know how some people do it – maybe I need a staff of writers. Or maybe I need a staff to take care of all those little distractions that pile up like fixing the toilet, geting bitten by the cat, cleaning litter boxes, maintaining other web sites, trying to eke out a living. Whew! What a complainer! anyway, for all the angst and delay I have precious little to show for it. Not even any new interview material! At least be thankful for this, I waited one extra day to make this posting, otherwise the title would have been “3.14 Happy Pi Day!” Yes Virginia, there really is a Pi Day. ;)

Mobilize the stenographers

My Dear Ms. Pettigrew,

It can no longer be doubted. Yes, the sudden influx of chartered accountants setting up shop in Paris, London, Tokyo, Prague, L.A., and New York was an early warning sign that should have been heeded, but alas, it was all too easily and ironically dismissed as a statistical anomaly. Tsk, tsk. I’m afraid there will have to be several adjustments and a journal entry in the ledger. So be it. However, today, when 14 global suppliers of bicycle tubing all announce product shortages for the coming quarter, one can only conclude that Anders Inkling is orchestrating a return.

I can only advise one course of action: hiding. There is simply no time to counter with field MBAs. Campus recruiting is down. Our online training courses have been allowed to lie fallow leaving our ranks woefully depleted. Even our most lethal economists are outflanked. Such is the siren’s song of complacency: even we, the most vigilant, are caught napping after five years of quiet on the frontier. The gossip, the rumors – Inkling’s a ghost, Inkling’s dead, Inkling’s retired, Inkling lost it all in a ponzi scheme. Blithering ninnies! We’ve been caught resting on our collective heels while Inkling’s accountants leap nimbly hither and yon.

Inkling is playing his first card and your best chance, your only chance, is to mobilize the stenographers. That’s right, the stenographers. There is no point in arguing. There methods are violent and antiquated, yes, but effective, and more importantly, violent. Once set out on a task they operate autonomously, and relentlessly. Set loose in the wild they MAY succeed in creating enough mayhem to misdirect his attention long enough to allow you to escape. It’s a fool’s hope, how could they succeed? How many are even left? Six? Seven? Oh where are the secretarial pools of my youth? But succeed they must! You can’t be caught, you must escape!

Escape, yes. Was I not clear on that point? Well let me endeavor to be crystalline: FLEE! RUN! Hide! Dodge! Evade! Go underground! Duck! Cover! Tuck and roll! It’s your only chance to survive long enough to recover the valise. It is the only thing he fears. Even now his daring is boundless. Even here in this office building, this steel and glass citadel that is my fortress, even here he launches his nefarious ploys with all his sneering contempt. Inkling’s junior ad execs have infiltrated my mail room staff. I spotted their clumsy stapling on an inter-office memo this afternoon. Lucky for me Inkling’s ad team never could handle a stapler properly, always insisting on stapling at creative angles relative to the plane of the paper – arguing that the dynamic tension of an oblique staple was “just the thing” to tip the signal-to-noise ratio of inter-office demographics. Poppycock, paper clips are “just the thing,” but the point is moot: They are in.

The escape chute under my Herman Miller office chair has grown snug in the five years since I had it installed, but I congratulate myself on my foresight nonetheless. If we meet again it will be under darker circumstances. Mobilize the stenographers! I beg you! If not for yourself, if not for the safety of the valise, then think of me and what we once meant to each other.



Miscellaneous updates

  1. Inkling is rising, but slowly. The smartest guy I know is working on an episode and I have some ideas, but they are not ready for prime time.
  2. I’m totally slacking on interview questions despite the fact that I’ve had several folks give me the nod of approval. Chris, Randy, Edith, Jeff – they are all waiting for questions. Fortunately for me they are all REALLY busy so they probably haven’t noticed that I’m behind. Shhh.
  3. I’m waiting on Sidney’s responses. I’ll have to noodge him a little.
  4. I’m still getting some comment spam, but fortunately not too bad. HOWEVER, a genuine, legit, bona fide comment sure would be appreciated :)
  5. Pligg has a new version coming out soon, so I’m waiting for that to come out before I resume slacking off on building the Books By People YOU know section
  6. I’ve increased the frequency of my abuse of CAPITALIZATION
  7. I threw my back out and had to cancel a dance performance. I was bummed and so was my dance partner. AND I lost one of my best excuses for slacking on this site!