Month: March 2007

Quick and Easy Meals

These are the faithful Haffly-household menu stand-bys. That is, when there aren’t leftovers for lunch or I’ve worked a long hard day and don’t feel like cooking “real” food (i.e., a main dish and two side dishes), this is what we often end up eating, with fresh vegetables or fruit on the side.

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Online pedometer

Thanks to a tip from PenguinGirl, I am now in-the-know about Gmaps Pedometer, a neat application that uses Google Maps to help you get your walking/running mileage. I wish I had known about this a year ago when I was training for a half marathon before I biked around town, stopping at corners to jot down the mileage from my cyclometer. (Similar to jotting down grocery aisle contents for my Efficient Grocery Shopping List, I got a few strange looks.) I’m starting to get back into running again (up to 8 minutes… sigh…) and will be using this online pedometer for sure!

Free online metronome

I’ve already shelled out a lot of money for my harp lessons (including lessons, harp rental, replacement strings, music books, and a chromatic tuner) but now I need a metronome, because the “real” songs that I’m playing now actually have tempos to follow. So I was excited to find a free online metronome (there are other ones out there but this one is the most visually pleasing)!

Adventures in Transparency

Or, There’s a lot I still don’t know.

Or, There are no stupid questions, but lots of ignorant designers.

I’ve been working on web photo gallery templates like a madwoman and wanted to have an effect where the photo thumbnails are dim until you hover over them. There were other things about the specific layout I was working on that were new for me, as well — two that come to mind are working with transparent .pngs and trying to get them to work in IE6 and having slightly transparent text in certain areas. (Some other specifics about the project specs — the page had to work in IE6, IE7, FireFox 2, and Safari 1.5.)

Thank goodness for Google. Here are all the new things I’ve learned while working on these templates:

  • How to use bgsleight.js for transparent background images
    • How to get bgsleight to work so that you can click links in IE
    • That “stretched” images don’t look very good
  • That -khtml-opacity even exists (and is necessary for some versions of Safari to have different opacity levels)
  • That IE’s filter: alpha(...) only works on objects that have “layout”

Here are the specific details for my own reference, but maybe someone else may find it helpful…

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Menu planning

I’ve tried different methods for deciding what to cook:

  • Single-hood college years: No plan. Run out and buy what I decide to make on the spur of the moment or eat what I already had around. Result: Lots of trips to the store and rather unhealthy choices like ramen and boxed mac-n-cheese. (I’m a chicken-flavored ramen addict.)
  • Majority of married years: Weekly plan. Once a week, look at grocery store ads (to catch sales) and recipe books and work out what to cook for the week. Result: Worked nicely, but ended up spending quite a lot of time picking out recipes that resulted in a balanced diet — probably spent about 1.5 to 2 hours a week planning the menu. Would end up getting a lot of food on sale that wouldn’t get used.
  • Currently trying out: Monthly/weekly plan. More below…

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Harp adventures

I’ve wanted to learn the harp since I was 13 years old, but never knew how to go about starting. About a year ago, there was a harpist performing in our local farmer’s market, but I was too shy to go up and ask how one could go about learning to play the harp. Several months later, another harpist showed up at the farmer’s market, and I hid behind a pole while my husband went up and asked her for some ideas about how to learn. She pointed him to Kline Music, a music store in Sacramento which rents small harps on a month-to-month lease (the money can go towards the purchase of a harp). Finally, I stopped wimping out, got some phone numbers of different harp teachers in Sacramento, and signed up for some lessons from Peggy Brown of Harps Ltd.

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