Tuesday 29 August 2006

Come Labor Labor Day With Me

Damn I’ve been so sad. Watching my kitty die really brought up all the other stuff, too. It left me empty. So in the spirit of proaction, I have an unexpected but enthusiastic request:

Who’s up for a Bar Camp at my place, this Labor Day Weekend? We can talk the geekest speak. Show off all our stuff (WiFi is free, of course, and lots of seating and sleeping bag space available).

But I do need your help: I need some labor! I want to rip all the negative from my home, re-align its Feng Shui, and get it all proper. I’m talking rip out carpets, sand down wood, polish it up. I’m talking total wardrobe toss. I’m talking we’re going to clean it with bleach.

And I need you.

I can’t pay for your transport here to Tucson, but I’ll get you from the airport to the digs. I will buy and cook you the best food. Or order great pizza. Whatever we need. And we’ll talk CSS during breaks, too, if you like.

I really need friends here, and I really need to cleanse this house. Rituals of many cultures do a cleansing upon the death of loved ones, so we can celebrate life. I feel I need to do this.

Let’s celebrate some life. And pass me the Windex, okay?

[*Note to the British: Labor Day is where we celebrate unions, for those who don’t realize, and for those Brits who think we don’t have them ]

Leave your RSVP’s below.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 13:47 | Comments (32)

Saturday 26 August 2006

Oh, Just What I Need, More Stalkers

This is a post about the way we define personal versus how we define private.

I log on this morning and Faruk IMs me a link to my “page” on AboutUs.Org.

AboutUS is apparently some kind of “who’s who” of the Web. The disturbing issue is how much personal information is gathered on a page, including address, phone numbers, and maps to your place.

Social networking encourages us to share information. My thought is that AboutUs isn’t going to XFN or RSS or Technorati or respective networks such as 9rules to ask for information.

Rather, information is gathered independently and apparently via domain registration information. Which, as most know, if you want to make contact information on domain names private, you’re going to likely pay more money and make it more difficult for legitimate people to find you.

I think AboutUS is creating a blurry line as it gathers all this information into one grouping. I’m not the only one who is concerned and I think a solid conversation is in order.

There’s a boundary here that even I, Ms. Spill-it-all-Personal can argue for. Some of life’s concerns are personal. Some are private.

Personal. Private. There is a distinction of great importance between these two issues.

Any network that decides on its own to determine how, where and when information that should be private is made public is challenging a very sensitive concern.

Here in the U.S. I cannot control certain information being published about what I own, what I owe, and where I live.

Otherwise, that information, which to my way of thinking should be private anyway, is already public. It isn’t as easy to get to, though, and hasn’t been for a long time.

AboutUs changes that, or tries to.

I don’t mind people wanting to get to know me, but I do mind making it easier for even the best of guests to show up at my doorstep uninvited.

The good news is, at least for me, none of the information on AboutUs regarding my real location is quite up to date. Otherwise, who knows? John Dvorak might have even showed up at my door.

AboutUs: Think about what you’re doing. Readers, what do you think? Check it out and let’s discuss where the lines really should be drawn between what is personal and what is truly private.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 12:04 | Comments (68)

Tuesday 22 August 2006

Flowers for Tara, Best Friend of My Life

As many readers and friends here know, I’ve been accompanied on life’s journey for nearly 18 years by an incredibly sassy, smart and tenacious kitty, Tara. And, as many readers also know, she was diagnosed with a terminal disease of the kidneys way back some 17 months ago now.

She was very sick at the time, and the vet said “we can help her go now” and something told me that it just wasn’t time. And boy, I sure know this kitty. She not only improved but has lived the last 17 months, for the most part, in comfort and style with only an adjustment to her diet. The vets were astonished, but having known her ferocity and tenacity all those years, I sure wasn’t.

Well, my friends, the time has come. Tara has deteriorated so much that while she is still sentient, she cannot lift her body at all, is refusing all food and water. She can’t move much, but she’s still there, and she’s not in terrible pain.

At 4:30 PM Arizona time, the vet is coming to the house. When he leaves, he will leave with Tara’s body, but I know something, even in these difficult times when I personally am struggling with issues of faith, hope, and spirituality.

I know this: Tara’s spirit will never leave my heart and being. She’s had a hell of a great life, and I have had a great life with her.

My best friend, ever companion, always soul and heartmate: I am logging off now to spend the last of your hours holding and speaking with you as you make this final mortal passage.

Readers, your good thoughts for peace for my best friend, who saved my life at least one time and if I am worth anything today to you, for you, I just ask you think a good thought for her today, and maybe one for me too, because this is just so damned difficult and so damned sad despite all the intellectualizing I can put to it.

Tara, you are my best friend always, I love you, and let this entry allow the world to know how beautiful a soul you are. And how blessed I have been to have had the honor of spending so many years with you.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 13:24 | Comments (72)

Thursday 17 August 2006

Web Directions and Extreme Standards in Australia

extreme standards sydney australia 26 september 2006

I absolutely cannot believe how fast time is zipping by! I must have had my head everywhere but in iCal lately, because lo and behold I realize I’m just about a month away from visiting Sydney for Web Directions.

Visiting Sydney and making a slew of new friends at Web Essentials last year was a highlight of world travel, professional pride and personal fun for me. I’d never been that far South, and I think two things especially made me fall in love with Sydney: How unexpectedly colorful it is, and how warm the people I met while there were. In fact, I see a few of your names on the speaker roster this year! (Ben, Gian, Donna, Kevin, I’m lookin’ at you . . . )


This year, I’m going back with Andy Clarke in tow, who has never crossed the international date line. Our dear Malarkey has apparently already started his ’round the world trip, fearing any time spent without his MacBookPro would cause the world to start unravelling at its seams. You can see here the beard he’s grown during his recent seafaring days.

On Tuesday, September 26, we’ll be in Sydney presenting Extreme Standards, a full day workshop that we’ve taken a new approach with we’re absolutely certain is going to be a heck of a lot of fun as well as profoundly informative.

Extreme Standards is the perfect one-day to get you on board with the most contemporary practices in markup and CSS, and quickly see how they relate to accessibility, SEO, and most importantly really flexible, interoperable Web design.

The presentation style is going to be a bit unique, with a combination of hard information delivered fast, succinctly (and with great wit and charm if all goes right ;-)) and with lots of visual representations to ensure rapid understanding. We also will be playing some games that, as much fun as we’ll have with them, are sure to help you remember the skills we’ll be sharing. While many attendees will know some of the content, there’s a lot we’ve done to hone in on the most common trouble spots in markup and CSS, including laying out forms, working with positioning in ways you might not have imagined to get results, and coming up with a significant browser policy to ensure your design and technical savvy are appreciated to their fullest by your site visitors.

In addition to our workshop, be sure not to miss Andy’s Creating Inspired Design during the conference itself, and while I know many of you will be out trying the local brews the night before, come have breakfast with me. I’m actually at my most entertaining in the early part of the day.

So, despite the fact that world events and attitudes appear to be conspiring against those of us who enjoy freedom of movement about the world, I sure hope we’ll see you down under. Let me know if you’re going!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 05:25 | Comments (22)

Monday 14 August 2006

Angry, Not: Zeldman, Meyer, and Fair Concerns About the W3C

Eric Meyer has written a great post, Angry Indeed and it’s one that’s going to be read and linked to.

A lot.

I agree with many of Eric’s perspectives on this issue and therein lies the great irony of the entire conversation as to the relevance and strength of the W3C.

I do want to clarify something right away: It’s not WaSP that believes the W3C is interested in changing course, but that I believe it. All BUZZ posts are the opinions of their opinionated authors, as it clearly states on every page of the WaSP web site.

Still, to keep a separation of church and state, as it were, I am posting this response here on my own web site.

Now, as for my rebuttal to Jeffrey Zeldman, I discussed this at length with industry leaders who are or have been involved with the W3C such as Tantek, Hixie and Kevin among others, including Eric.

One thing everyone agrees on, including me, is that the W3C is becoming very limited in terms of real-world contributions and other groups such as WHAT-WG and are truly advancing the web, not the W3C.

I’m biased, admittedly and unabashedly. I came to the W3C far later in the game than many of my colleagues. Why that is, we can save for another discussion on a different day. But the fact I’ve only had a year and a half in, and my experience has been almost wholly positive, well naturally I’m going to have a hopeful perspective.

That I came in via Richard Ishida and the i18n pathway was especially fortunate, for that group is doing really good work in all ways, including outreach. I have done precious little in the HTML working group, which I joined because Steven Pemberton asked me. My hope was to do some outreach there too, but I’m very limited – just as most of us are – in my care for XHTML 2.0.

All I really, really want from XHTML 2.0 is href to be available for any element. That gets me hot. Other than that, what am I supposed to outreach? That I think Web Applications 1.0 (also referred to as HTML 5) makes more sense? Because in many ways, I do.

Eric points to the seeming dichotomy of my arguments, and he’s absolutely correct. He knows me very well and if anyone can point out flaws in me, I’m going to have to let Mr. Meyer have his way.

But, I’m torn! I’m at the W3C now. And I see some good things. And I especially see some amazing people. As a person who is a social connector, problem solver and ultimately, an optimist, my hopes prevail.

Does it make a difference that this conversation is being followed carefully by the W3C? That the W3C wants desperately to solve its problems? That maybe instead of us abandoning the great mindshare we have there that there’s an opportunity for restructuring, refocus, and hey, let’s face it, better communications for all?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 07:39 | Comments (66)

Sunday 13 August 2006

Are We Failing the Web?

I am an optimist. I know the web is worthy of more than my limitations. It’s worthy of more than your limitations.

Yet I fail the web daily.

Shake this down, my friends:

  • Education. Education for web professionals is a premium, not an expected expense. Yet, education is about resources. If we don’t empower educators, we are all doomed.
  • Tools. We have a growing selection of tools, but we have to learn to master them. No web design tool at this time is a fix-it-all solution for us as designers or developers. I know designers and developers who are optimistic regarding the next generation of tools, which will come to us via Adobe and Microsoft. What do you think? How can Adobe and Microsoft help you better?
  • CSS. You know what, CSS is really fucking hard. I wish I could say this more gently. I can’t. I understand a lot about CSS. Some of the most difficult concepts I can explain to you. I can teach you CSS ’til your eyes are a different color but here’s something I can’t do: I can’t teach you to make beautiful sites. As much as I know technically doesn’t make me a designer.
  • Workflow. I think our problems workflow-wise are better solved by looking at iterative cycles. We have to take a broader look. The economic, social, and technical realities come into play. I like the word iterative. I think of doing something wonderful and helpful again and again. Now that feels good!

Have I failed the web? Have you?

A bigger question for my tribe and then some: Are we failing the web? What do you think? About browsers? CSS? The W3C? Yourselves?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 20:33 | Comments (32)

Saturday 12 August 2006

Best Schwag Ever

I’ve been organizing things around the house and office and ran across some great schwag I’ve picked up over the years. Among the expected t-shirts, cheap pens and oft-nice conference bags, I found a sturdy, wirebound, hardcover notebook and a silver fine point refillable cartridge pen. Ooh, great schwag, especially this pen, which is one of those pens that you start out writing with then find yourself doodling, then drawing because it’s just that cool a pen.

This schwag courtesy of Macromedia Government. I guess at one time Macromedia must have been doing some educational outreach to one of my government clients because I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this! But I’m sure glad I found it in the schwag pile, and seeing the old Macromedia logo put a smile on my face for sure.

Tell me your schwag stories! Worst schwag, funny schwag, but especially the best schwag. My favorite top three schwag stories as of the weekend’s close my time will win the author either some schwag, or a book (you’ll get a choice) from the Molly archives here.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 03:10 | Comments (31)

Thursday 10 August 2006

Ode To My 12″ PowerBook G4

I love you, my dear mac, indeed I do
in my soul and heart I shall e’er hold you true

So silver, so sleek, except for the bump
that cycles around from fore to rump

But to protect you, dear mac I’ve always tried
unlike that naughty Ian Lloyd!

He wraps rubber bands ’round his 12″
and only takes it out when he’s in a pinch.

Oh, my PowerBook, with your sturdy G4
Can a MacBook really offer so very much more?

Everyone who’s got one says they’re so smart

Call me sentimental,
but it’s ’til your death do us part.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 14:36 | Comments (23)

How I Feel


How I Feel

  • Editing: 2 books
  • Writing: 1 book, 2 articles
  • Answering: 94 backlogged emails, 10 telephone calls
  • Helping: My poor cat die in less pain
  • Feeling: Exactly like this (stressed! I need a massage . . .)

Update: Oh, and then I read about mass murder plots by terrorists and feel SO much better. I am so ready for hatred to stop. Can’t we ALL just have a massage? Please?

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Posted by:   Molly | 05:01 | Comments (12)

Friday 4 August 2006

Mineral Art


Mineral Art

Photos from an 8,434 pound rock filled with azurite in drusy vugs, malachite, chrysocolla, quartz and iron oxides. Mined in Morenci, Arizona, about 45 miles from where I live in Tucson. Amazing colors! Check em out.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 14:43 | Comments (7)

Tuesday 1 August 2006

Google, er make that Flickr, er, Yahoo nugget of the day

Ladies and gents, there I was checking up on my headlines and lo and behold, this was my Flickr nugget on my Google Homepage today.

funny picture from tom coates (of yahoo) inspired by simon and paul. Small world!

Thought I might share it with you, considering.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 16:58 | Comments (18)

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