12/09/05 - Jolly & Festive We were in the spirit early this year and started hanging up our decorations right before Thanksgiving.  I've been wanting to snap a few pictures and put them up on the web - so here they are. 


The first picture is from last Wednesday when Texas had a series of abnormally cold days (in the teens).  It really is unusual for it to drop below freezing for more than a few hours, so we took advantage of the cold weather by lighting a fire, brewing hot cocoa, and reading a book by the hearth.  It was thoroughly relaxing, and with any luck, we'll have another cool night this winter to snuggle up next to a cozy fire.


I had my fingers crossed for snow (I really wanted a fourth picture with a snowman in it), but even though the weatherman predicted 2 - 4 inches of fluffy precipitation, we didn't see a flake.  Instead, we just got a little ice.  Bummer.



Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.


O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Thy candles shine so brightly!


Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents under the tree.


All is calm, all is bright.


And if you ever saw it; you would even say it glows.

- Nathan


12/17/05 - You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille My good friend Bryan back in Oklahoma after spending four years in Hawaii (well, Hawaii and lots of time in Asia and the Middle East).  His car was delivered to Dallas this weekend and he decided to stay with us for a few days after picking it up.


Bryan likes Italian so we took him to the Italian Inn - the home of the singing waiters (and waitresses).  It is a fun place to go and the majority of the music this weekend was in the seasonal theme.  On Saturday we visited the feral cat colony and fed a swarm of hungry little kitties!  It had been ages since we'd seen them that famished.  One of the local raccoons even stopped by to grab a bite.



On Saturday night we hit the town and spent several hours at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar.  It isn't just your regular bar, but a bar with two pianos and a handful of extremely talented musicians.  I was utterly amazed at how they could improvise various songs and play any request submitted by the customers.  They were a hilarious group and their job was to make sure everyone in attendance was having the time of their life.

- Nathan

12/18/05 - Christmas Lights Since we moved to Fort Worth I had asked the following questions several times during the holidays: "Where is a good place to view Christmas lights?".  Almost invariably, everyone would always say "Interlochen".  Well, it took us about five years but we finally drove out to this small neighborhood and admired the hundreds of homes lit for the season. 


There weren't just one or two Griswald's here, but a whole neighborhood of spectacular displays.  After driving through the various loops and streets we also stopped by the Festival of Lights in Arlington.  This was a neat display of animated lightshows (kind of like a Lite-Brite with motion) with a Christmas theme.  And of course, there were also several stops along the road with people selling hot chocolate...yum!

- Nathan

12/28/05 - Web Site Modifications I've had some extra time after Christmas this year and decided I finally wanted to make some changes to the diary.

 Ж Ж Ж WARNING - Boring Alert - The following info may not actually interest anyone Ж Ж Ж

 Ж Ж Ж Read at your own discretion or if you need help sleeping Ж Ж Ж

Anyway, the file folder tabs on the left and the right used to be part of each individual month's page.  That was all fine and dandy, except when a new year rolls along...then I have to add new year programming to 60+ pages of diary entries (no fun, trust me).  The solution?  I broke out the file folder tabs and stuck them in their own windows on the left and the right.  In form, the change is transparent - I wouldn't really expect anyone to notice (except for maybe the file folder tabs now scrolling independently of the diary page).  In substance, the change required some heavy duty programming (this is actually how I wanted to design the page originally - I just didn't know how at the time).  The end result is going to save me tons of time going forward (ie, I now only have to modify 2 pages instead of 60+), and I think it is pretty kewl (I'm easily amused I suppose). 


Visible Changes?  There are some "arrows" at the top and the bottom of the file folder tabs.  Since the tab graphics are so large (footprint wise), I have to provide some way to get down to 2006 or December.  As always, the tabs aren't required, but are more of just a flashy gimmick.  The red arrows at the bottom/center can still be used to move forward and back.  There is also a second red paw in the bottom left-hand corner; clicking this paw turns the folder tabs off and adds a separate drop-down box for selecting individual months (Clicking both paws should provide ample reading room).   Finally, I also changed the guestbook to a web service that will record entries and display them for everyone to read.  Feel free to post something so that it isn't so empty!


Bugs?  If you notice something fishy, send me an email and I'll try to fix it :).

- Nathan