Opacity in decimal, then Hex

If you’ve ever set CSS background colors to semi-transparent, you’ve had to make the cross-browser compatible. Here’s the basic code:

  background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);
  filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.BasicImage(rotation=1);
  filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#cc0E212A, endColorstr=#cc0E212A);
  -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#cc0E212A, endColorstr=#cc0E212A)";

The first line is for all the modern browsers, the next three for MSIE varients (IE7, IE8, etc). Important to note – don’t have a solid color declaration or it will override the filters in IE.

Also, and most annoying, the IE opacity is in HEX, not decimal. (That’s the first two digits of the #cc0E212A string). It’s oddly difficult to find cheat sheets, so here’s one:

10% = 19
20% = 33
30% = 4c
40% = 66
50% = 80
60% = 99
70% = b2
80% = cc
90% = e6

Mostly, this is for my own reference.

Why I Went to Urgent Care on Annual Review Day

Inmage: Stanley FatMax!
It's a Really Good Knife

It really looked to be a fun day. I had two major things on my agenda – pack up my former boss’ office computer (she has moved to Canada to work remotely), and go to lunch with my current boss for my annual review.

My former boss is the office Art Director, and has a dual-monitor Mac Pro. I was to break it down and pack it up to arrive in Toronto in a week or so.  I had ordered her Mac Pro and wisely kept the original box. No problem there. However, the monitors were older and had no boxes. I had similar monitor boxes though, and could easily modify them for my purpose. After all, I am a handy man with a tool!

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Earl is coming – are you ready?

Now that hurricane season is finally here, and we’ve got a good sized storm headed our way on Thursday evening, it might be a good idea to run over some basic storm prep.

When Fran hit Raleigh in 1996, many folks were unprepared for the blocked roads and 3-5 day power outages. There are a lot of simple things you can do to prepare for a big storm. You’ve got about three days to prepare!

  • Make sure you have all of your prescriptions filled.
  • Fill your car(s) with gas.
  • Charge your cell phones.
  • Get some cash from the ATM.
  • Make sure you have a portable radio and flashlights.

Go to the grocery store, and make sure you have the following:

  • Fresh batteries for your flashlights and portable radio.
  • Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 5 days. (depending on how far from town you live). Don’t forget pets!
  • Food – non-refrigerated/frozen, at least enough for 3 to 5 days.
  • Non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices.
  • Foods for infants or the elderly.
  • Non-electric can opener.
  • Propane/charcoal for the grill
  • Paper plates / plastic utensils / trash bags
  • Pet food/litter.

There are a lot more things you can do, depending on your level of comfort/crazy, but those things cover the most of it. For way more info, you can go to the national Hurricane Center disaster prep website.

Stay safe y’all!

On Strike!

Image: Small Black Cat
This is Pyewacket, looking cute.

(Warning – this story deals with the bodily functions of a cat.)

AS A PET OWNER, I feel a natural impulse to care for my pets. The well being of my animal friends is uppermost in my mind. I take pains to buy them good food; to provide them with a safe place to live. I even go so far as to buy treats and toys for their benefit.

However, one must balance the base desires of the pets against their best interests. The dog, Dojo, would be very happy to eat an entire jar of peanut butter, lid included. I do not permit this. The cat, Pyewacket, would love it if I would rub his back continuously when he ate his evening meal. What started as a pleasant moment or two proved to be tiresome at 5+ minutes, so I ceased. Pye then refused to eat for some time in protest. I knew he would resume eating eventually, since his fussiness was purely driven by his peevish nature. In this I was proven correct, after only two days of the hunger strike. In general, I am able to balance my chattels’ needs and wants well.

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Ow, Ow, Ow

My Poor Finger
My Poor Finger

(Note: This happened several years ago. Sorry Mur! Warning – this story contains quite a bit of graphic detail about an injury.)

WOODWORKING IS ONE of the great passions of my life. I discovered this at an early age, when my father would be carving animals out of deep, rich woods such as Mahogany. By the time I was a teenager, I began agitating for a band saw, and other tools to further my interest. Then as now, I was cautious to the utmost, as my love of woodworking coincided with my love of music. I was ever fretful about my fingers.

Adding to my concern was my Uncle Jack, who had lost a finger in a machine accident many years ago. As I observed his various difficulties with gloves, I resolved to be vigilant.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

COUPLES ARE WONT to go through many pleasant infatuations after getting married. A gardening fad, a fancy for sewing, a board game craze – these are all well known. Sometimes these are long and involved, others are brief, like a shooting star. My conservative estimate is that my wife and I went through at least 5,237 different mania during the seven years we were married.

The majority were of a singular kind – I began woodworking, she began doing something called ‘tatting’. Notable were the obsessions that involved both my wife and myself, such as the ‘survivalist’ frenzy of 1999, or the disastrous ‘Atkins Diet’ event. For a time (an odd time), I even found myself saving dryer lint for a planned future mania (I was not informed what that might be). Few of these frenzied activities came and went as quickly as the Great Dehydration Passion of 1995.

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Television Is Bad For Your Health

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Cover Art by Eric Maynard

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

IT IS CURIOUS TO SEE how the male mind works. I had been married for several years, and during such time the size of the television had never been an issue. A 27″ television was quite large, and suited our needs well. However, upon finding myself single again (alas!), I found that the size of the television was a source of difficulty. It should be larger. I did not know why this should be, but there it is.

My recently departed spouse had left in such haste as to not have a television. Finding herself suddenly with extra time on her hands, she lamented this fact. I was sympathetic, and since I was eager to purchase a new one, sold her my current set. I delivered it myself, even carrying it up a flight of stairs. Such was my health and vigor – a manly man am I.

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Post-Op

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

MY  SURGERY WAS COMPLETE, so I returned to my humble abode, and did rest. A few beverages, a cold compress to reduce the swelling, and sleep.

I awoke feeling some tenderness. Mild discomfort. This was to be expected, I was advised. I was further advised to avoid sex for 7 days, and continue to use protection for a month, until such time as I could return to the doctor’s office and it could be determined that I was, in fact, sterile.

However, upon rising from my chair I saw that mild discomfort was merely the beginning. There was an odd sensation of pressure, and a distinct pain that went with movement. It was rather like a small dog had bitten my crotch, and would not let go.

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Dr. Warm Hands

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

THERE ARE FEW THINGS as near and dear to a man as the subject of reproduction. In particular, the tools he uses for the purpose of reproduction. We learn as boys that they are not toys to be put on display at a dinner gathering. We discover in the most alarming way that they are delicate, and the merest injury will cause a disproportionate amount of pain. The advantages of the arrangement seems dubious at best – they get in the way, are sensitive to misplacement of the undergarments, etc… what good are they, really?

This perspective is modified somewhat in the teenage years, as it is discovered that there are indeed compensations for the otherwise noted shortcomings. These bring about a new set of complications, but they are generally ignored in favor of creativity and experimentation, not unlike an artist finding a new brush who sets about painting every surface he finds. Subsequently, an alarmed property owner may take issue with his muse. We thus learn that discretion may be useful in our efforts.

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J’accuse!

Yeah, they're pretty cute. Lucky for them!

IT IS MY HABIT, when preparing to go to bed, to read a bit. Nothing weighty, perhaps a periodical, or some fine book that can easily be read in small doses, or a book I’ve read before. I prepare a beverage of some sort, and a small something to nibble on.

Last night, as was my custom, I poured a glass of milk, and joy, there were some chocolates in the fridge. “Just the thing!” I thought. Being modest in my desires, I took two of these dainties, and went to my bed, placing the milk and chocolates on my nightstand. I had, of course, attracted the attention of my chattels, to wit: a 65lb white Shepard mix named Dojo, and a small black cat, Pyewacket. I do not normally share the bedtime snacks, but hope springs eternal in the belly of the cat and dog.

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Code, Essays, and other thoughts by Joe K~