Geek Rant

 Saturday  August 16, 1997

Still fiddling with this damned page instead of writing, but it's okay this time because weekends are guilt-free opposed to the rest of the week, which lately has been guilty playtime. But it's still a pain in the ass.

It was kindly pointed out to me by Diane, the first intrepid visitor to this space, that the original layout of the index page and first entry was a bit wonky. Seems my "CHUCK'STAKE" logo was scrolling off the page. It didn't look that way on my steroid-enhanced 17-inch monitor set to 1024 x 768 resolution, but when I popped it down to 640 x 480 there it was, big as life and twice as ugly. And that's when the nightmare began. Now when I'm working on the layout I'm trying to make everybody happy. I'm looking at it in Adobe PageMill's preview mode, with Netscape and with the evil Internet Explorer. I'm looking at it in 1024x768, in 800x600, in 640x480, in 256 color, in 16 bit HiColor, in 24 bit TrueColor -- and I don't even know which of these damned color options work best on the Internet anyway. All I know is that if the page looks good in one mode or browser it looks like caca in another, my monitor crackles every time I switch so I have an irrational fear that it's going to explode in my face, I can't decide which resolution to design for, and this whole thing is giving me a headache. And to top it all off, Beth's making fun of me for being anal. Boldly mocking me from three feet away. No respect. So if anybody out there's got any suggestions, please feel free to e-mail them. Stop me before I design again!

Okay, geek rant off. You're not here to read about design particulars anyway, are you? You're here for the juicy stuff, the soft underbelly of a life lived in the shadows, the frisson of living vicariously. Wrong page, pal. The high points of my day were baby playtime, a nap and a birthday party. Juice that.

Baby playtime was at Gymboree, a program for toddlers that's supposed to help them develop socialization skills, coordination, muscle tone, and a host of other things that will make them grow up to be solid, dependable members of society. And least that's the party line. I think the true purpose is to make the parents look stupid, and in that it succeeds phenomenally. Imagine if you will a group of sleepy 30-something parents sitting in a circle on the floor, singing such songs as "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," "Bubbletime, Bubbletime" and "The Wheels On The Bus" while bouncing the squirming children on their none-too-limber knees, doing "Ring-Around-The-Rosie" with a giant loop of slobbery cloth, chasing the kids over toddler-sized obstacle courses and then floating a multi-colored parachute over them while singing more nonsense songs. The kids love it. Of course they do, their parents look like morons. Zoe and I go every Saturday.

When we got home I turned care and feeding of the princess over to Beth, flopped on the couch to channel surf, and woke up three hours later. I had weird dreams, probably influenced by the Vietnam documentary that was on the Discovery Channel and an article I read the other day about Fred Goldman. Fred and I were in a helicopter flying over a bunch of rice paddies while he talked about I don't remember what. What I do remember is looking at him and thinking that, yes, that moustache looks as stupid in person as it does on TV, but that he's not such a bad guy in person, not such a ranting panzy. I was happy to wake up after that.

In the afternoon we went to my mom's house for a birthday party for my brothers Gavin and Terrence, who are twins. Being twins, they usually get matching gifts and today was no exception. I gave them each a Gap gift certificate, someone else gave one a shirt and the other pants that were obviously chosen to go together, Gavin gave Terrence a CD Gavin wanted and Terrence gave Gavin a CD Terrence wanted. They live together (still, at the age of 33), so they swap clothes and such all the time (still, at the age of 33), which means that giving one something means giving it to them both anyway. I'm glad I'm not a twin. It bugs me when Beth takes a pen off my desk, so there's no telling how nutso I'd be if I had to share my underwear with myself.

And so goes another Saturday in my juicy, shadowy, frisson-filled life. Bet you can't wait 'til next time.





Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins