Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Website

I'd like to make a website that looks something like the following:

I. Home Page--This would be a welcome page, showing an overview of the website without giving away too much personal information--just news highlights and whatever's been updated on the website.

II. Login Page--Really secure website. You've got to type your info to get any further. Once in, you are allowed to make changes to the website...add your News, add what you know about a person, post pictures, etc. (Probably have the person's name recorded with the changes they made and the time of the changes--and as webmaster be able to roll back to see a previous entry that got erased--tactfulness, and what have you).
III. News--this page would have a Calendar, allow people to post changes to the calendar, and have a Forum to post messages about what's going on with each branch of the family.

IV. Genealogy--I really like the Visual Thesaurus (go here and click 'Look it Up') and would like to see a family tree program like it.   The genealogy page would look like this

excepting that
A. The dot's would represent Unions (marriage) out of which come Children
B. The boxes on the right would show biographical information about whoever you click on.
C. The color of the connecting lines would represent the relationship (parent-child, sibling, married, divorced, etc.)
D. You could add to the tree (just a click and type away), or you could add stuff to the biographical info.
E. Here's what the biographical info would entail:
1. Name, Birthdate, Date of Death, Place of Birth, Place of Death, all that stuff
2. Medical concerns
3. Biographical synopsis of their life
4. Photos, newspaper articles, map of travels
5. List of parents and children, friends, other relationships outside the family
6. Interests and activities
7. Anecdotes from people who knew the biograph-ee

V. Who's Who--this would be an alphabetized phone list, with links to the biographical info above, and give internet presence info too. There would be a section for friends of the family.

VI. Writings--anecdotes written by family members about things like: "How we met", "Growing up with Grandma and Grandpa for parents", "Heirlooms". There would be a different forum started every couple of months.

VII. A timeline with a map--you scroll over the timeline and dots appear on the map (with comments beneath), representing where members of the family are at that time--it could even have search criteria, so you could look at one person, or one branch of the family at a time.

Anyway, that's what I'd like to see.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yikes! Bikes!

I live in Spokane, WA. At beginning of summer I bought a commuter bike from Pedal-2-People, a non-profit organization geared towards bicycle education and ridership. It's great! (So is P2P!) Since summer started I've biked to work at least 40 times, so that's about 160 miles...about 6 gallons of gas. Oh well. It will add up eventually.

One of the issues with riding a bike is knowing the rules of the road. Today I decided to look them up online. Turns out there are laws governing bikes!

Of equal importance, there is etiquette to riding with traffic, and that's what I'm most interested in with this post. Here's my contribution: "Behavior on the Road". Please feel free to add your bit as a comment.

1. Bikes are a fact of life. For drivers: don't tailgate, they are granted the same rights AND responsibilities under the law (end of story).

2. Be aware that the public opinion of bicycles is newly forming. Anything you do that isn't "Same Rights, Same Rules, Same Road" really undermines that message. Therefore, do STOP at stop signs. Signal at intersections. Don't let cars push you around. Be aware of your less-visible/more-likely-to-get-splattered status and think about the obstacles ahead that might push you out into traffic.

3. Don't be a jerk. In fact, say Hi when you see a fellow biker. You're both in the same situation.

4. Passing--Keep right except to pass or to turn left. And when turning, use your hand signal.

5. Oh yeah, if you're thinking of parking on a bike lane, PLEASE DON'T!

I know I'm running on here, but on a side-note it's pretty cool that cyclers are required to wear helmets. It encourages the question "Why" to which I would answer: out of consideration for others who will have to clean up the mess if you crash.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quality Programming

As we get older, do we become less impressionable?

Recent exploration of TV programs shows a new line of Reality Television, teams of people (professionals) working together to some goal. I've recently seen "Design Challenge", "Project Runway", "Shear Genius". In these shows are strangely familiar characters in different circumstances. The entertainment factor for me comes from watching these different people cope with the group dynamics, and in being able to predict who won't get through to the next round. In fact, I'm getting pretty good at predicting.

Perhaps the reason for the popularity of reality television is that lingering childhood "need"* to learn behavior by observation.


(*need = latent instinct for it ever entirely surpressed?)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In passing

Amanda and I are moving to a new apartment. I haven't been posting but have many ideas. More to come.