Book Discussion Group – Vote for the August Book!

Voting has opened for the Book Discussion Group’s August book. Vote early. I’ll close voting on Monday. Jackie and Lou Ann provided this month’s selection. The choices this month are:

Flexing the Web Design Chops

Everybody has something that they wish that they could do. For me, it’s art. Specifically drawing. More specifically, sketching. However, I’m just not blessed with that talent. If you’ve seen me draw, you’d feel an irresistible urge to remove the hot pokers that have somehow found their way into your eyeballs. My skills as an artist are, shall we say, extremely underdeveloped.

That being said, I really enjoy laying out and designing Web pages. The portion that requires a creative, artsy side frustrates me a bit. I’m always envious when I see an amazing design like, or an artsy-but-simple design like Karen Cheng’s. To compensate, I tend to favor a less-is-more, simplicity-is-good style of Web design.

Kate is hoping to turn her quilting hobby into a business. She hopes to sell custom baby quilts on commission, and possibly other items too. She tasked me with creating a Web site for the business, starting with a blog. I’ve had the basic design done for several months now, but just this weekend finished plugging everything into Blogger and getting it up and running. It’s pretty standard for a blog. Nothing schamncy. But I figure, why mess with success?

Laying out the rest of with full navigation and all the various components she (we!) want to include will be a bit more challenging. It’ll be a while until we’re ready to launch the site, as I need time to design/program, and she needs time to build an inventory. For now, you can see what we’ve done with the blog.

You Can’t Love a Dog

Casey in West VirginiaI was known, once upon a time, to have said that you can’t love a dog. Kate likes to occasionally throw this in my face when I tell Casey that she’s the cutest dog ever and I love her. I tell Kate it’s special doggy-love that isn’t the same as people-love, but I don’t think I’m off the hook.

We spent the past week in Davis, WV hanging out with my family. It was fun, and I really enjoyed spending the time with my rents and siblings. But Saturday morning was a fiasco as we tried to leave. Between packing, cleaning, and my parents’ minivan dying, tensions were running a bit high. So when Kate came out with the dog and she *poof* disappeared, it was NOT GOOD.

Kate and I had, earlier in the week, had a casual discussion about letting Casey off the leash on a few of our hikes. I, being the more conservative party, wouldn’t take her off the leash when walking her. Kate, being a bit more bold (and confident Casey wouldn’t run away), let her run to her heart’s content. Having seen Kate’s success with the dog off the leash, I followed suit and let Casey run a bit when I was the leash-holder.

So needless to say, when Kate let the dog out, without a leash, and she *poof* disappeared, there were many things running through my head. Not the least of which was I KNEW WE SHOULDN’T LET THAT STUPID DOG OFF THE LEASH.

We spent five or ten minutes walking around the house (which is HIGH on a mountain, and DEEP in the woods) calling for Casey in various tones of voice. Happy, angry, lighthearted-come-and-we’ll-be-best-buds-forever, you name it and we tried it. I had visions of walking around for the next 3 days with a doggy search party in order to find my lost pooch. With panic rising in my chest, I used the ultimate in my doggy-retrieval repertoire. At the top of my voice I shouted “Casey, want a chewy?!?!”.

And Casey, God bless her, magically *poof* appeared from the mystical place to which she had gone. My parents van. That’s right, my lovable adopted dog was so afraid of being abandoned, she decided to make sure she would get home, one way or the other, and had snuck into my parents van. There were muddy footprints on my mother’s pillows to prove it.

So the disaster was averted, and I’m afraid that Kate now has further ammunition in her “You can TOO love a dog” argument. Blast.