Monthly Archives: February 2002

First XHTML design

Oak Creek Library screenshotLast week I unveiled a redesign of the web site for the Oak Creek Public Library.

It’s my first site design using XHTML and it also features a layout done completely with cascading style sheets. In this age of information, it’s especially important for public libraries to have web sites which are accessible to anyone, including those with disabilities. Using these two technologies allowed me to create such a site (plus it gave me a good excuse to really delve into XHTML).

Sherman Alexie

Last night I went to hear the author Sherman Alexie speak. He’s of Native American descent and has written several books of contemporary native fiction, short stories and poetry. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie Smoke Signals.

What a great speaker! He was funny, poignant and very thought provoking. I really enjoyed his take on American culture, current events and just life in general. I also liked his philosophy that a great deal of the world’s problems can be traced to the fact that people think their way is the only way, what they believe is right and people who believe otherwise are wrong. Wars, religious conflicts, political conflicts, discrimination and so forth can all be traced to the fact that somebody thinks they are right. Near the end of his talk, Sherman (I can call him that, he autographed a book for me!) asked the audience to think about one thing in the next 24 hours. “You might be wrong.”

No snow, now ready to camp

I still haven’t had an opportunity to get out hiking on my snow shoes this year and a few weeks ago I was still wishing for some winter weather. Yesterday I got a Cabela’s catalog in the mail. As I was flipping through it and drooling over the new camping stuff they had, I realized that now I’m ready for warmer weather (which of course means that we’ll probably get some serious cold weather with lots of snow). I figure I’m maybe 2-3 months away from my first camping trip of 2002. Who knows, if the predictions for an El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific are correct, maybe sooner than that.

Orchestra Baobab

There’s a lot of good music that comes from the continent of Africa. The shame of it is, you never hear it on commercial radio stations here in the United States (thank heaven for public radio). Lately I’ve been listening to an excellent afro-pop album. Pirate’s Choice is a disc that came from a 1982 recording session when the group Orchestra Baobab was at their peak. It’s just been reissued with a second disc of bonus material from the recording session (which is every bit as good as the material on the first disc). The music itself has a very laid back tone to it — not what I first expect when I think of this type of music. You can also hear the heavy influence of Latin and Cuban music on the band. Just the thing to help you think of summer in the middle of February.

Css-discuss list

An new e-mail discussion list for web designers started last week. Css-discuss is a list devoted to discussions of cascading style sheets and their use in web design. I’ve only been subscribed to the list a few days, but I’ve already learned more from css-discuss in a couple of days than I’ve learned from other e-mail lists in months. Kudos to CSS guru and List Chaperone Eric Meyer. Nice job.

Now if I just had some more time to read all those e-mails…