Sunday, April 22, 20:48 CDT
Well, the new design's still pretty tentative, and it has yet to spread beyond the front page, but it's a start.

I've discovered two things about stylesheets. They're rife with potential, and they tend not to work like they're supposed to. That said, I'm going to use them anyway. There're just too many possibilities not to, and they fit nicely with my feeling that pages should be coded in dirt-simple HTML that renders acceptably in anything more advanced than telnetting to port 80 and typing GET.

That gray box you might or might not be seeing over to the right, for example - it's just a paragraph with some special formatting applied, which means that even if your browser doesn't do CSS, nothing much is lost, and I never have to use a table for layout again.

(My current stylesheet (brennen.css), in case anyone wants it. Not a very good example file, I'm afraid, but I'd like to turn it into one.)

Anyway, where do I start here? Going over everything worthy of mention that happened since I last made much effort to update this would take a painfully long time. I'll try to hit a few highlights anyway, in no particular order:

Somewhere in there, I went to a concert in Lincoln - Oleander, Fuel, and Three Doors Down. Oleander was passable. Fuel tore the roof off. Three Doors Down played reasonably well, but they couldn't match the sheer intensity of Fuel's performance. My ears took about a week to stop ringing. Many more concerts, and I'll be as deaf as my dad - and if I get another chance to see Fuel live, I'm taking it, hearing loss or no.

I've been doing depressingly little offline reading since I started school, but I did manage to finish The Prydain Chronicles, by Lloyd Alexander. Yes, they're juvenile or young adult fantasy, or some such classification, but they remain very much worth the reading, in order. Taran Wanderer, the second to last in the series is an outright masterpiece, and The High King, the inevitable cataclysmic Good vs. Evil conclusion finishes things off beautifully.

I am officially addicted to Black & White. In many ways, this may be the coolest game I've ever played. Whenever I finish the single player story mode (actually probably the weakest element of the game, and still impressive), expect a review, but don't expect it any time soon. I'm having too much fun just messing around.

The Sioux City Public Library's book sale (towards the bottom of the page) is going on right now, which means one of those rare opportunities to indulge my bibliophilia with relatively little cash outlay. Among other things, I've found copies of:

  • Martha Wells' The Death of the Necromancer, which I'm about halfway through - sort of a gaslight era alternate world urban fantasy with undead minions of darkness scurrying about. It's good, but I get the impression it's a sequel, and I'm not enjoying it quite as much as I think I should be, if you know what I mean.
  • The Golden Key, by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott, which I hear is good, despite the three authors and a hefty pagecount.
  • O'Reilly's Whole Internet Guide, a revision published in 1994. Talk about a nostalgia trip.
  • The Adventure Game Book, which appears to contain a map and walkthrough for most of the great classic text adventure games, starting with ADVENTURE itself.
  • Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity
  • Most of Doc Smith's Lensman series, which I've been wanting to read for a while.
  • Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials - very cool, even if it does clash with my own mental images of some classic SF aliens.

I spent a couple hours standing in the rain today, watching UNL play rugby against, I think, Northern Iowa. (My cousin Beau plays for Nebraska.) I've only watched three or four of these games over a couple of years, but so far I'm noticing a disturbing correlation between rugby and the occurrence of rain, cold, and gusting wind.

Looks like Saalon is doing the journal/weblog thing now. And doing it better than I am, too. And after everything I've taught him... Ingrate.

Think I'll go fiddle with my update script... Need to get it to spit out lists of archived updates and so forth before I actually show anyone the code. 'course, it'd probably be good to clean it up and document it so it looks less like something written in BASIC by a 10 year old with a sketchy grasp of cause and effect...