New Speed Web Design

New Speed Web Design

I finished the newest version of Speed Web Design on Wednesday, but I have not had the time to mention it here. There are still a few minor quirks I need to work out of the code and I’d like to make complete project pages for each project I’ve completed, but the site is basically complete.

When I was working on the basic design for the site—way back in April—I needed some kind of pattern to really make the banner stand out. I found that in Mando Gomez’s Flightplan desktop image and he was generous enough to let me use it. He does amazing work and seems like a genuinely nice guy, so I encourage everyone to make a donation using PayPal and stop by Mandolux for some excellent desktop wallpapers.

A Futon Torpedo

My brother plans to major in Physics and/or Chemistry when he goes away to college next week. I joked that he should invent a photon torpedo, but my mom misheard me. She thought that I wanted Jason to create a “futon torpedo.” The market for that would be astronomical.

Sacrifice at the Pump

The price of gas is killing me. In Baltimore, the price ranges from $2.56 to $2.70 a gallon for regular unleaded, which is two dollars more than I can really afford. It’s a good thing that Bush & Co. gave the oil companies what they so desperately needed: multi-billion dollar supplements and tax breaks.

Last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, they did a segment about corporations called First Drafts in which they showed the company’s current slogan and its less-refined predecessor. Most of them were funny, but the ExxonMobil one was the best. Their real tagline is “ExxonMobil: Taking on the World’s Toughest Energy Challenges.” Leno thought the first draft was more realistic: “Exxon Mobil: Bend Over and Grab Your Ankles.” I couldn’t agree more.

Myrtle Beach
Umbrellas on the Beach

My family and I arrived home from vacation late on Friday night and I’ve recovered enough to actually accomplish something. The drive to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—about 630 miles, one way—turned out to be more interesting than planned: the transmission on the minivan decided that second gear was a good place to stop shifting, whether or not higher gears were preferred. It turned out to be a relatively inexpensive fix, but added several hours to the already 12-hour trip.

The weather cooperated for most of the week that we were there, with the exception that the temperature was nearly 100 degrees the whole time; air conditioning and sunscreen were my very close companions during the sunniest, hottest, humidest (or most humid for the sticklers) times of day. A word of advice: golf isn’t much fun when the sun wants you to die.

We ate dinner at Planet Hollywood on the day we went to Broadway at the Beach—it’s like a very large outdoor mall—and were served by a very sarcastic/odd waiter. I could never tell if he was joking or being serious or just rude. At Crocodile Rock’s Dueling Pianos bar, I had a drink with my parents (a first); later in the evening we watched a fireworks display from a bridge over the lake.

The next day, we went to the Waccatee Zoo, an usual hybrid of modern animal preserve, petting zoo, and old-fashioned caged animals zoo. Parts of the Waccatee Zoo, like the alligator or deer enclosures seemed well-planned, but other areas like the tiger, lion, and baboon cages seemed inhumane for 2005 and more like relics from 1955.

We went to the beach for the second time during the week on Thursday (our last full day there) and Jason and I had a great time riding the waves on our boogie boards. What’s surprising about the ocean in Myrtle Beach is how warm the water feels; unlike Cape May or Ocean City, the water is probably in the mid-80s. It was a nice cap to what was a really fun week.

Update: I forgot to mention—and failed to photograph—a tie-dyed billboard along SC 17 in Surfside that featured a huge Jesus with his arms open and his head rising above the top edge of the billboard. The text on the sign read: “Who’s your Daddy? I am that I am.” It was the best highway sign ever and I didn’t take a picture of it.