Archive for February, 2006

Sunset in Mysore

silhouette of a statue of a bull, against a sunsetIt was late February 1995 that my brother and I walked up 250 million steps to the top of a mountain, to see this large statue of Nandi, the sacred Bull, on the way to the Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore, India.

As sun started to set, I took this photo and we began the long walk down. Before long, an elderly local gentleman, obviously well-used to this flight of steps and the altitude, caught up with us and stopped to ask us, “No stick?”, brandishing his stick to illustrate his point.

“What do you need a stick for?”, we asked. “Lepers”, he replied.

My brother and I laughed at the thought of our being beset my maurading lepers, and I had a vision of fighting a gang of them, in a scene resembling a Zombie film, with bits of their limbs falling off as we defended ourselves.

“Not lepers”, retorted our new friend. “Leopards!”

“What use would a stick be against a leopard?”, I asked him. He eyed our hands, empty except for a bottle of water and the ubiquitous Lonely Planet guidebook.

“Better than nothing”, he replied, scornfully, and resumed racing down the dark mountain.

I’ve never run down a staircase so fast in my life.

Good golly, Ms Molly

Molly and 7 year old Marina smiling

So that Molly Holzschlag came to stay for a couple of days in my subterranean lair, to drink wine, talk geek and frighten my children. If you’re interested, pop over to eBay, where I’m auctioning all the bogies that she wiped on her pillows. Then, that Malarkey popped in for a Guinness and a curry, too.

We put the world to rights, played guitar and drank some more. We accessibility types aren’t always grumpy and right-on, you know.

There’s more pictures in Molly’s photostream.

Ajax, Hijax and accessibility

Clearleft’s Ajax training course

Last Friday I mosied down to the Big Smoke for clearleft’s Ajax one-day workshop presented by Jeremy Keith, and catch up with Molly, Lloyd and the rest.

It was their first training day, and was very smoothly organised; central venue, plenty of coffee, fresh fruit, good lunch – although they forgot the “Huggies” rule (H.G.I.S.: Hungry Geeks Inhale Sushi). Keith has all the essential qualities of a fine speaker; his timing was very good, he’s entertaining, discursive, passionate and knowledgeble about his subject matter. I’d certainly attend another Jeremy Keith extravaganza. (I have no connection with … blah blah disclaimer blah.)

Here are my main take-homes from the day. They’re geeky, so watch out …
Continue reading Ajax, Hijax and accessibility

The webdev community’s response to the Target Lawsuit

You probably know that the American National Federation for the Blind are suing Target over their inaccessible website, after alerting them to the problem months ago and seeing no remedial action – even though the fixes would be trivial.

What’s shocked me is the response to it by some in the web development community.
Continue reading The webdev community’s response to the Target Lawsuit

Back from bandwidth meltdown

It’s a new month, so my bandwidth counter’s been reset after a two-day outage (I didn’t have the dosh to pay for more bandwidth at the tail-end of the month). The greatest demand has been for a couple of rather worthy but dull posts on WordPress accessibility hacks and Conditional Comments (probably because the latter is in the first page of Google results for a search on “conditional comments”).

The only personal posts that have figured highly in the top ten bandwidth suckers (sob! you don’t care about the real me!) are one about my niece’s bum (possibly NSFW) and one about a Big Friday night (certainly NSFW). These contain pictures of a teenage girl’s arse, and a multiply-pierced penis so I’m not surprised they’re heavily viewed: I get a lot of visitors from Germany and Benelux.

Anyhow, to stop bandwidth meltdowns, I thought I’d upgrade my hosting package, and pay for it by adding some text-only Google ads to the posts, between the text and the comments box.

But I wanted to ask you first. Would you stop visiting if I sell out to The Man?