Michelle is made of 100% concentrated pure awesome!

>> Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Well, the title about sums it up, doesn't it? Out in West Virginia, a cloud of concentrated, one-hundred-percent awesome has arrived on Earth and coalesced in the form of Random Michelle, who (much like Clark Kent) appears to be a mere human mortal but in point-of-fact is awesome. I'm sorry, I don't think I've made my point: are we clear that Michelle is awesome? Have I mentioned that?

Now, many of you already know this. You read Michelle's blog, you've gotten loot from her, you use her UCF icon. And you might be wondering, "Whence this outpouring of worshipfulness, Eric? Not that she doesn't deserve it (she is awesome), but why now?"

Do you see my duck?

If you see my duck, you see the reason Michelle is awesome. And if you don't see my duck... if you don't see my duck, I will probably start sobbing inconsolably, grieving for the cruelties of the world, or at least the cruelties of XML coding, which was clearly conceived by some degenerate worshiper of squelching amorphous dark gods on a Stygian shore in a dismal and forgotten age. Should the Ponape Scripture turn up abandoned on a table in some musty, oppressively dark library, the first page will surely begin with a "body" tag followed by lines of gibberish that, when put into a computer terminal in a dank basement on the Miskatonic University campus, allows a picture of somebody's cat to be properly displayed with a 5-pixel offset in Internet Explorer....

But my duck! See my duck! Michelle, thank you for my duck!

Those of you who followed the comments in my depressed rumination on totalitarian tactics in the Twin Cities might have noticed that Michelle offered to help me fix a problem I was having with the coding of the Genesis template by InfoCreek that I'm using for the current (and long-term) layout for Giant Midgets. So I took her up on it, and sent her an e-mail, and the XML code, and she generously took the time on her day off to look at it and send me back a possible solution--

"Possible"? No, verily--can you see my duck? If you can see my duck, you see that Michelle solved my problem with the same easy efficiency of Sherlock Holmes on the penultimate page of a Conan Doyle short story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Michelle!

Now, the internet can be an unforgiving place: I can see the duck in Firefox ( and Konqueror, but I'm not at home (I'm getting that airbag fixed in the VW) and can't check the page in IE right now. Nor do I use Opera or any of those other browsers. So, if you cannot see my duck, add a comment letting me know and let me know what browser/OS you use and exactly what you do see.

(And once again: thank you, Michelle! I'm burbling with happy right now!)


Random Michelle K Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:24:00 AM EDT  

Y'all are going to give me a complex this morning!

It was nothing, really.

What would make me happy is if you actually had a better understanding of *why* things worked. :)

Lance Weber Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:30:00 AM EDT  

Looks good in FF/OSX, FF WinXP, IE6, IE7 and Safari, but the status bar in IE7 displays "XmlHttpSend failed [Object Error] <br>undefined"

I mean, it looks good if you like ducks, that is to say uncooked ones obviously not prepared Peking style.

Oh, and I didn't test with Google Chrome yet :)

Random Michelle K Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM EDT  

Oh. You may want to place a hyperlink tag around the image as well.

I'd assume the
error could be solved by changing it to

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:51:00 AM EDT  

Well, I'd be happy if I had a better understanding of why it worked, too--I'll try to work on it. In the short-term, though, I'm just happy to have it pretty (or, next month, scary--I have a great one for Halloween).

Speaking of lack of understanding: I don't know what the error in IE7 means, and would be happy to receive any education on that score. Thanks for checking it out, Lance.

Carnivore that I am, I love both kinds of duck. I usually do a duck for Thanksgiving--roasted in the oven with a covering of paprika, salt, pepper and sometimes garlic, stuffed with apples or sometimes pears. Heavenly. But they're also wonderful paddling around. The duck in this picture was actually engaged in evasive maneuvers in a small pond--there's a four year-old out of frame who was running from one side of the pond to the other, trying to be friendly (the ducks were understandably uninterested in a small child's concept of "making friends").

I'll see if I can figure out how to do the hyperlink thing.

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM EDT  

I do believe that did it re: the hyperlink around the image.

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 12:03:00 PM EDT  

Now, what is an "Object Error"?

I set up the picture with a link to the image in Picasa embedded in the XML itself. I.e., the page calls Picasa, it doesn't call a widget that calls Picasa--does that make sense? So is the IE7 error perhaps because something in IE7 is looking for a call that doesn't exist?

I ended up using Michelle's suggested replacement code as a total replacement for the existing header, since the first attempt at simply including it resulted in the original header appearing above the image (this was something I could have lived with, but it wasn't what I wanted; had I lived with it, obviously I would have just used the image sans title text). It may be that there was a section of "style" coding I should have deleted.

I still maintain that XML is a product of Cthulhoid cultists.

Matt Warnock Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 12:52:00 PM EDT  

Yes, Michelle is awesome, she should have her own day or something.

Like the new look of the site and the banner!

Random Michelle K Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 12:59:00 PM EDT  

I was dumb.

I typed the correct tag into my comment.

So of course you couldn't see it.

Try replacing <br> with <br />

kimby Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 2:06:00 PM EDT  

I can see the duck, and I love the duck! I would love him even more on a grill with a glass of white wine, but that duck is nice too!

and yes Michelle is totally made from teh awesome! (and maybe sometime can explain to me how i could put a pretty picture up on my blog too? If of course i ever decided what i want my "thing" to be)

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 3:11:00 PM EDT  

Mmm--grilled duck sounds good, too. Maybe with some grilled veggies and a nice-but-inexpensive wine? I like Toasted Head Chardonnay, I'll bet it would go nicely with a grilled duck.

But Kimby, why feel like you have to pick one? I have another banner ready for October, and by the end of October I'll have another replacement for a week or nine months, depending on when I get sick of it. Hopefully a nice fall or winter photo that is yet to be taken....

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 3:19:00 PM EDT  

Michelle: there doesn't seem to be a (bracket)br(close bracket) tag anywhere in the code. Even with widgets expanded, all the break codes appear to be proper ones.

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 3:20:00 PM EDT  

(I.e. there are (bracket)br/(close bracket) codes in the footer and at least one of the widgets, but none of the broken break codes.)

Random Michelle K Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 4:11:00 PM EDT  

Kimby, I can probably help you as well, depending upon how comfortable you are mucking about in the back end and getting your hands dirty with code and all that.

Random Michelle K Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 4:12:00 PM EDT  

Well then Eric, my second guess is demonic possession.

I'm pretty sure a sacrifice of doughnuts is going to be required as some point in this process...

Jeri Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 4:32:00 PM EDT  

Michelle, I think that you have a new quote for your blog sidebar!

And I agree, she is made of awesome.

Eric, I like the new look, very clean and readable - much more professional than the usual bloggerishness.

vince Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 5:03:00 PM EDT  

Eric, I just checked on on IE7 here on WinXP, and everything looks fine now. And yes, Michelle is very teh awesome. I adore her in a geeky, she's-already-married-so-there-is-no-icky type way because she is so willing to help when and where she can.

MWT Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 6:15:00 PM EDT  


(from Solaris Mozilla version Ancient, anyhow. Will check from Mac Opera later tonight. ;) )

Lance Weber Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 8:33:00 PM EDT  

I tested it in lynx for you too, here's the screencap.

Eric Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 8:41:00 PM EDT  

Lance: I love the way it rendered in monochrome--it really captures the inner essence of an animal that is at home on land, on water, in the air, and--as we've said previously--on the grill or in the oven. Yes, I look at the screenshot, and truly I see an animal that is at home in all four of the classical elements, as no other creature can be. Well, maybe a fish if you threw it at somebody. No, wait, even then it wouldn't be at home on the ground--yes, ducks are truly the most unique creatures in the entire world! Aside from merkittens, I mean.

Nathan Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 11:05:00 PM EDT  

I totally see the duck...Firefox 3.0

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