Menu’s continued…some more

So it turns out it was my attempts to make the menu semi-transparent that killed it in IE. I’ve since modified the CSS to get the same effect, and IE ignores the opacity setting there, so now the menu works (as far as I’ve seen up to this point) in both FF and IE….

If you can’t get a menu to work leave a comment…

Menu Problems Continued

So I thought I’d finally gotten the menu working correctly, it looked great in Firefox, it looked great in Opera, and it looked great in IE 7 too. Then I got in to work and tried it out on IE6 and…failure, the same stupid problem with the sub-level menu’s not folding out.

I’m sure it’s partially related to IE’s standards compliance issues, but at the same time the demo’s for the plugin I utilized work in IE6, so there might be a setting that just needs a tweaking….

If only IE would get banned from the internet…

Dropdown menu issues.

I’ve been messing around with the dropdown menu on the site. If you use Firefox (and possibly Opera and Safari) it should work, most of them time. IE, because it’s such a poorly designed browser, is a bit less functional….though I believe I had IE7 working more or less. IE6 is another story.

Oh yeah…and if you’re interested in having a similar dropdown menu on your website, I highly recommend this one, which can be downloaded from

It’s coming along nicely from when I first started using it, partially because I started to read the support forums and saw what people were requesting, and made some requests of my own…and then realized that seeing as how I know php (the coding language wordpress and it’s plugin’s are primarily written in) I could make some of them myself. So I did, and then I passed along my work to the author, who’s been quite enthusiastic about my contributions. He’s slowly beginning to incorporate them, as he looks over them and starts to understand them. I’d say the most noticeable addition would be the little “>” that indicate sub-menu’s, but he hasn’t gotten around to incorporating that one just yet.

Recently he’s also made some javascript changes, and since he’s utilizing the wonderful jQuery library I’ve been able to further tweak/modify/condense those down too. The keyboard navigation (that I suspect…no one uses…but if they wanted to) has now been greatly enhanced.

Currently I’m trying to work on fixing up the fancy slideouts of the menu’s, unfortunately I’m getting some weird results (this is the cause of the menu issues). Hopefully I’ll resolve them soon.

And of course if you’ve read things this far…you now think I’m a dork… good for you.

I don’t write these often enough…

It’s apparently that time again – that time when I realize it’s been a month or more since I last posted to the blog. I realize I use this website for more then just a blog (though not necessarily much more), but since this is the face of it, I really should take the time to write up a brief post every now and then.

So let’s see. I guess the biggest thing, related to this site anyway, is that I’ve begun working on “Interdementia”. While the menu still says “Interdementianal” I think I’m going to change the name to “Interdementia”. I’d say it has a better flow, though “Interdemential” I think might better convey what the story is about. Ultimately, though, I think people will get enough of the idea from “Interdementia”. Currently work has only begun on one of the main story threads, and I plan to weave several of them together. What I haven’t yet decided is if I’ll ultimately present each thread seperately, or interweave them together. For now, though, I’ll concentrate on this thread, and provide it on a semi-regular basis, hopefully. It likely will not have been proofread, so expect typos and other things. I’ll eventually clean it up, and probably flesh it out more. I think some of the earlier bits are a big dialog heavy, and could use some additional descriptions, but we’ll see.

And now it’s bedtime…so I’ll post more tomorrow…in theory.

The Ice Cream Truck Man Cometh

I dunno if this is a normal thing in more urban areas, but since I’ve moved into my condo I’ve noticed that ice cream trucks steadily drive through the area during warm weather, harping their wares with musical accompaniment. I suppose there’s a logic too it – there are a lot of condos and apartments packed into the area; probably a large number with small children. A concentrated mass of potential customers.

Initially they always seemed to play one song, “Turkey In The Straw”, though I admit I always think of the lyrics to “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” since…I don’t know the lyrics to “Turkey In The Straw.” Anyway, the song was always annoying, but at least it was “normal” in that ice cream trucks are known to play that song.

More recently, however, there seems to have been an influx of drivers seeking variety in their music and have begun to play other tunes – tunes that show their unfamiliarity with American music.

Sure, at first it just seemed like they’d expanded the variety of American folk music they were playing, “The Entertainer”, “On Top of Old Smokey”, etc.

But then things started to get interesting.

One day I heard the truck playing “Greensleeves,” this initially struck me as odd more because I was originally introduced to the melody as part of “What Child Is This?” a distinctly religious Christmas song. Now, realizing all of this I pushed aside the absurdity of playing Christmas music to sell ice cream, and instead thought it a bit odd to be playing an old English folk song in the Maryland suburbs. This isn’t as odd as playing it in say Bahrain, but it is still strange. Upon researching the matter, though, I found that this song is pretty common for Ice Cream Trucks… in the UK. Maybe the owner got the truck cheap on import and just used the stock music?

But wait, things get stranger! Yes, indeed they do. As I’ve already mentioned, I initially thought of Christmas music when I heard “Greensleeves” but then corrected myself, however, “Silent Night” is most definitely Christmas music. So is “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”. “O Christmas Tree”, “Joy to the World”, “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”, and had I taken the time to write them all down, the list would go on. The Ice Cream Trucks are now most certainly playing Christmas music. Religious and secular songs alike.

Oh sure, they still intersperse it with the American Folk tunes, and “Greensleeves”, but now they play Christmas music more then anything.

I can only think the motivation for it is that they think people will think of snow, and somehow associate snow with ice cream, and want to have ice cream. I don’t really see that works too well, but maybe. Another more likely possibility is that with the strong ethnically diverse community around DC, and the relatively low tier job that is driving an ice cream truck, these drivers might be unaware of what the songs they’re playing are about. Of course even this possibility has flaws, since someone clearly gave them that music to play. The real question is….why?

In a random internet search I saw that I’m not the only person who’s been noticing this:

Too bad I haven’t a clue where those were filmed.

New Home

So I realized today that while I’ve been spending a great deal of time transitioning to the new webhost, and then trying to tweak wordpress and some other areas of the site, as well as started posting more of my writing, I hadn’t actually updated the blog with a regular post….

So here we go, our first post in a few months…I plan to start writing a few more, especially as I begin to incorporate more of my writing, but we’ll see what happens. I should have some custom header images too.

For those of you who are interested, the site name is obviously derived from Memoirs of a Transient Monkey, of which you can read parts of from the writing drop down menu. Setting up that menu was a pain, but I think it turned out well.

I’ve also put up copies of my plays “Couples Counseling” and “Just Like Heaven” from “A Demonic Satire”, also under the writing drop down, and to top it all off I’ve posted a video (streaming and downloadable) of the performance of “Couples Counseling” from the Grove City One Acts of Spring 2004. I’ll provide more details on that page shortly, you can get to it from the same menu, just keep following it down to the last menu tier. I confess the video isn’t very good, but it’s better then nothing. Hopefully my brother will eventually finish working on his short film version, and I can post that.

The other night, as I was going to sleep, it occurred to me that the “origin story” that will eventually open “A Demonic Satire” (it’s mostly written, but needs a bit of work) would go well with the title “In the Beginning”, so look for “In the Beginning” in some way shape or form to be posted soon.

I’m also going to begin drafting maybe an outline for a book about spiritual planes of existence and some random ideas I’ve recently had. It’s tentatively going to be titled “Interdementianal”, but I might mess with the spelling, or even the whole title. So stay tuned.

The Roof is on Fire….

Another day,  another building in my condo complex catches fire. First, back in November, or maybe it was early December, my building caught fire. From the news articles it sounded like some dumbass started that one on the 2nd floor, and then instead of trying to call 911 or do anything smart, they tried to put it out themselves. Obviously, had they managed to do so, I’d likely have never heard about the fire as it wouldn’t have burn through several units. If I was that persons neighbor I’d be livid. And then of course there’s the water damage that hit’s undamaged units thanks to the water needed to extinguish the fire. All in all I think fourteen families were displaced, and up to 7 others had minor water damage. I luckily escaped unscathed. Nothing like ruining the new home owner high like your new home burning down.

Then last Thursday night, at 10:30PM I’m trying to get to sleep, and I hear all this commotion outside my window. I think it’s just a stupid kid or something… I want to yell at them to pipe down, but I just roll over. Five or so minutes later I hear sirens…. lots of sirens, but they all sound like they’re really far away. I turn over some more, and after another five minutes or so I finally look out the window. Flames are shooting into the night sky. Lovely.  I don’t recall what finally motivated me to lookout the window, but I do know that I heard sirens in the distance for quite some time. This might seem normal, until you take into account the fact that the fire station is just up the road a quarter mile, if that. I dunno if they just sounded further away then they really were, got lost, or it was a completely unrelated fire, but it was slightly unnerving. Once I was aware of the fire, I recall seeing some fire trucks arrive, and I think I saw the ladder bucket thingy, though I don’t recall seeing any water, but they must’ve done something, since within the next 15 minutes or so it was reduced to a smolder. I did snap a few pics of it, I should post those…later. According to the news people were hanging onto their balconies and such, I guess their stairwell was on fire. Miraculously, I don’t think anyone was injured in either fire. Of course the report said another 14-20 or so families were displaced. This is made worse when you factor in that several of the families from the first fire apparently still haven’t gotten to move back in. The management company claims the county is holding up the permits, I honestly don’t know, but it’s been almost 6 months now, it’s getting ridiculous. It’ll likely be that much more disheartening to the group of families that were just displaced.

At the rate of two fires in six months it’s only a matter of time until mine burns down. Hopefully that’s just the pessimism speaking, cause I’d really prefer it not to burn down.

And unrelated to fires….. a few weeks back my brother was down here to start working on the most awesome painting of all time. If I haven’t already told you about this painting it’s likely because I fear you would die of sheer joy just in it’s anticipation. While he was down, I also bought this really sweet Cobra Commander painting.


A painting of Cobra Commander that my brother did.

I think it provides just the right touch of 80s kitsch to the living room.  If, of course, paintings of Cobra Commander weren’t ridiculously rad, which they totally are. Totally.

Condo Pictures

Yeah…I’m really good at writing here…I last posted in October about how I’d have photos, and now I have them! It only took 3 months! Yeah…I guess I still need to work on that. Technically I had the pictures posted in November or December…I just didn’t link to them here….


I actually should have at least one new photo to add/replace, with my lovely handcrafted guitar mount in the living room. Technically I guess you won’t see the mount so much as the mounted guitar…but maybe I’ll include a pic of just the mount for kicks. It was surprisingly simple to design, and took maybe 3-4 hours total to make, definitely beat the prices I saw online, I think.

Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to  mount the trombone to the other wall. That one’s gonna be a bit more complicated, since it doesn’t have handy built in strap supports or whatever like the guitar. My brother also needs to come down to start planning for the most awesome painting ever that I’m commissioning him to paint for the longest wall in my living room. It will be the most amazing painting of all time.

And if I’m ever actually home for a weekend, healthy, and my parents are free they’ll be bringing down some more old furniture to dispose of, I mean gift to me. It beats shelling out several thousand for new stuff.  This way I can save up for a much nicer bigger place later on, and then I can actually put new stuff in it.

I am really hoping to start working on “Memoirs of a Transient Monkey” again soon, of course I’ve been meaning to a lot of things…for quite some time, and yet I haven’t. I’ve been thinking, and I’m probably gonna do a complete rewrite of chapter 2. I’ll probably incorporate some of what I’ve already written, I’m just unsure of how much. I might actually adapt what I have for chapter 3, and instead create some sort of transition chapter as the new chapter 2. Of course what do you care?

New Condo, New Post

Whoot! So…it’s what, a year and 4 months or so late? It’s not like my hordes of adoring fans bother to read this anyway. They much prefer to send adulation to me in person, by way of mail bombs and the like….

Anyway, I have a new place! Yes, I just bought myself a condo. A lovely, recently updated, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom place with a little kitchen, a nice little dining room, and a living room. I’m still in the process of situating myself, but for the most part there’s more room then there is stuff to put in it. I’m sure that’s going to change soon though.

I’ll be posting pictures shortly  in the gallery…which if you’ve managed to find this, you likely already know how to find, but I’ll add a link once I do, and throw in at least one pic anyway.

Oh yeah, I’ll also have access to a pool, during the summer, and tennis courts. Of course…I’m still waiting for the condo association to send me paper work on all of that…. In fact, I’m still waiting for them to send me the information on the condo fees… I even called them about that. I moved in on the 5th, so it’s almost been a month. You’d think they’d have realized by now that I’ve moved in, they should’ve gotten all the settlement paperwork. I can’t very well pay them if they don’t tell me how.

Tonight will be somewhat interesting, being Halloween and all. Sadly I’ve got nothing special to do, though I’ve been dead tired lately, so that might not be a bad thing. I’m assuming all the little condo development kids will be trick-or-treating though, so I’ll have to pick up some candy when I drop by the super-market tonight. I suppose it will be a true test to find out if my doorbell (one of those electronic ones that you plug into an outlet) still has a ringer stuck outside after tonight…

I think, perhaps, I’ll start posting more of my random ramblings on here, but we’ll see. I upgraded WordPress…it looks like it might have new features, but I dunno if I’ll use any of them.

Well, this is enough avoiding work for now….

Ring around the Pentagram

Ok, it’s been a while since I last posted…I admit, I’ve lapsed a bit…there were quite a few times when I had things interesting enough to write about, but for some reason I never did get around to it…that is, UNTIL NOW! And by UNTIL NOW, I mean…the second time I worked on this post…since I didn’t finish it the first time…and then got distracted…whoops.

Would you believe I wrote that paragraph like 3.5 months ago? I suppose if you actually check this page, yes, you would believe that. Anyway, I’ve decided to just go ahead and finish the Pentagon story and get this posted. Then maybe random short posts occassionally.

So, lately at work they’ve actually been giving me more stuff to do, stuff that’s real work, and should lead to quite a bit more money, which would be a nice change. I’ve been doing database and webpage stuff for the Joint Staff, setting up stuff over at the National Guard Bureau’s Readiness Center. It’s a pretty cool place, soldiers walking around with automatic rifles on their backs, etc..

While this next trip wasn’t related to any work I had to do, one of my co-workers on the Joint Staff decided we should meet some of the people we support in the Pentagon. So I got to go on a trip to the Pentagon, which was pretty sweet. Lots of security, of course, they even take your photo and print it out on a badge, which you get to keep when you go. Seemed somewhat expensive, but maybe it’s harder to duplicate, though you still need a legit barcode to get past the gates. Once we got in I was surprised to find that the Pentagon actually has it’s own little shopping mall. Not one of those super shopping malls, just like 20-30 stores (Dunkin’ Donuts, CVS, Bank of America, eye care, dentist, doctors, some stores that rotate in for 2 weeks, etc). It makes sense when you think about it, I mean these people aren’t likely to be able to get out anywhere during their lunch hour, not with all the security, and the parking lot being a decent ways away, and then all the traffic…so it must be pretty nice. They even had at least one, and maybe more, food court – with lots of fast food type restaurants. But we were too good for the food court, so after we met the people we were there to meet we got to wander around on a bit of a tour. We saw several sections being worked on, upgraded, and whatnot. We also saw the E-ring, at least, I think it’s the E-ring. The nice fancy one on the outside that has the Secretary of Defense’s office and snazzy wooden paneling, and WINDOWS! As there are 5 sets of halls in the pentagon, only the outside offices get windows, I don’t believe there are any offices along the inside wall of the courtyard, but I could be mistaken, there are several hallways with windows though, so an office there would be kinda nice. The thing about these windows though, is that they had this nasty nasty yellow-green tint, and all the light that came in looked like that. I think that would hurt my eyes, plus it really ruins the whole view. I think it must have something to do with security, but what do I know?

 Anyway, we then went to chill in the courtyard for a bit. It’s a nice little courtyard, for a military facility, with a bunch of wooden chairs to sit in. We chose to sit in these, for a bit. The chairs were odd in that the seat part was incredibly steep back, but it was comfortable, anyway, then we wandered off to eat.

I forget a lot of what happened, as this is the  most recent attempt to write this post. Anyway, we got back to the office, and I find a voicemail on my machine. So I listen to it and the caller identifies themself as some guy at the Pentagon…and says he has my phone. Turns out it had fallen out while we were sitting in those super steep chairs in the courtyard, and this soldier or contractor luckily saw it and found it had a number listed as “home” in it, so he called that. Now the “home” number was actually for my parents home, as I still consider it “home”, but when my mom answered he just said something like “I have your phone” – without any sort of explanation. So my mom was confused and a little concerned, and for some reason he didn’t outright explain himself at first. Anyway, he finally mentioned he found the phone at the Pentagon and called “home” and my mom put 2 and 2 together and realized it must’ve been mine so she gave him my work number. Luckily the co-worker who showed us around was heading back over and offered to swing by and pick it up for me, so he did.

All in all and eventful day.

And now….let’s post this ancient thing.