Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quick hits

None of these things are quite meaty enough for their own posts, but here's hoping that all together, they'll make a lovely tapestry of ideas rather than a jumbled chaos. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Work with me, here!)

1. Delectable U.S. news: I still believe the U.S. is a sinking ship, and I still think the Democrats make the Liberals look both competent and left-wing, so I'm hardly staking my hopes on them. But I have to admit, I have been veritably salivating over the coverage of the upcoming U.S. election these days. From Florida Senate candidate Katherine Harris to incumbent Virginia Senator George Webb to disgraced former Florida Congressman Mark Foley, every day it seems that there's something new that makes the Republicans look terrible. And that's just the last couple of weeks! The current wisdom is that it's not only possible for the Democrats to take over the House of Representatives in November, but likely. Any lefties who usually avoid U.S. news because it's too depressing should seriously rethink that right now--'cause you're missing out on some mighty fine schadenfreude.

2. Coding problems: A reader points out to me that my blog's "right-hand column is totally oversized, which has resulted in your posts further down the page to be inflated to font size 50 or something." Further digging has revealed that this seems to be an Internet Explorer-specific problem. I have one suggestion and one request about this. The suggestion: if you're really still using Internet Explorer in this day and age, might I recommend a real browser? The request: I do want to fix my coding even if it's only the IE militants who are inconvenienced, but since I can't see what they're seeing, it's awfully hard to fix. Anyone willing to help? It'd be appreciated!

3. Incomprehensible Tories: When I first heard about the fact that the Conservatives were making even sitting MPs face a nomination battle, I thought it was a) probably a ploy to get the likes of Rob Anders out of their caucus without losing a seat, and b) a truly ingenious tactic. Now it seems, though, that the party went to the wall for Anders, going so far as to produce a minor scandal. I have two questions about this: a) Why on earth would the Conservatives risk that kind of scrutiny over Rob Anders, and b) if they weren't going to use the nomination challenge to get rid of him, then why did they have sitting MPs face challenges to begin with? I just don't get it.

4. Essay question: Do you own a Blackberry? If not, do you want one? If so, is the Crackberry moniker apt?


West End Bob said...

1) Yes, the pleasure derived from the repuglican's current misfortunes is quite nice - My fear is that the passive US public will return the lowlifes to office anyway. It never ceases to amaze me how many "Bush-Cheney" bumper stickers are still being proudly displayed.

1) Hopefully someone with great HTML skills will correct the IE coding problem - and not in a rude manner. I continue to press "drf" to join the 21st century and get rid of IE to no avail . . . . Alas, I believe the endeavour is doomed to failure.

3) Nothing to add.

4) No, don't own a Blackberry - I get enough grief about a PalmPilot.

Anonymous said...

(Some of us do some of our blog reading at work, where we don't have the ability to choose our own browsers. Shhh!)

Anonymous said...

Also, i just tried to validate your HTML and it has 294 errors apparently...

Don't know if that would fix the IE issue, but 294 errors can't be good.

West End Bob said...

Also, i just tried to validate your HTML

How do you do this, rc? I'm a newbie to this HTML stuff and need all the tips I can get. And, if you find these errors, are they highlighted so one can attempt to correct them?


Anonymous said...

It's very simply. Use the W3C Markup Validation Service - just enter the URL of the page you want to validate and they do the rest.

Their error messages aren't always easy to understand if you're new to HTML, but at least you can then start googling to see if you can find out what it means and how to fix things.

Also, if you use Firefox, there's a wonderful extension called Web Developer that no one who works on websites should be without - it has both the HTML and CSS validator built in.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Eek, thanks for finding my 294(!) errors. Unfortunately, I wouldn't even know where to begin fixing them. I'm beginning to think I need an HTML geek to look things over for me. Sigh.

beanie baby,

*blink* Don't have the *ability*...wha? Your employer forbids you to use certain browsers? Um, why? And why do they care?

Anonymous said...

I switched to IE to look at your page (yeah, I normally use Firefox), and I noticed your link sidebar doesn't appear either.

And yes, those fonts do get a bigger a couple of fonts further down, although frankly, I doubt it has anything to do with the green borders (as I think was implied in the post).

Anonymous said...

Your employer forbids you to use certain browsers?

Mine doesn't allow us to install anything on our computers. I think this is pretty common in large organizations that have big security requirements to their licenses. (Some legitimate IT security concerns and some probably specious.)

Oh, and I'm writing this from not a Blackberry, but I very similar device. Crackberry.... maybe. I don't use all the features because I fear I'd be using the think even more often then I do already.

Anonymous said...

Firefox has recently been revealed to be extremely vulnerable to certain viruses and other problems.

Don't have a link to the story now, but it was on Google News. You'll find it there.

A good webmaster ensures that his site is readable by users of all browsers and doesn't force them to use some strange software that can expose their computers to all sorts of things. Sorry, but as long as you are this narrow-minded about your "service", your link will be removed from my site (which views equally well in all browser types!!!!!!)

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Hey, read me or don't read me, whatever. But I'm not sure what you'd have me do other than the efforts I'm currently undertaking to make my blog more readable to IE users. If you have suggestions on how to fix the problem, I'll listen to them from you, just as I will from anyone. As you can see in the post itself, this was the whole point of bringing this issue to the attention of my readers--I thought they might be able to help.

West End Bob said...

Werner Patels:

The Firefox vulnerability story has been updated as a hoax, so don't worry about it.

radical centrist:

Thanks for the tip and link - 'Preciate it!

Anonymous said...

I usually use firefox, except I'm off at my parent's house for the weekend with only microsoft's feature laden shite-mobile for browsers. But I'll live :)

Anonymous said...

No, I don't have a Blackberry.

I have been unimpressed with the etiquette of some Blackberry users (writing terse e-mails without bothering to check previous file or even telling me he was away from his computer and writing with his thumbs, shouting into it when it rang as he was chairing a meeting, and not really apologizing, spacing out of meetings entirely.) I'm afraid that it would suck me in more quickly than the wireless laptop and the cellphone did.