August 5: Not a girl: shoes

A couple of my friends are in the next big city up from here, at an Internet-famous women's conference, whcih really needs no free publicity from me. As you might guess, I am not there.

One of the odder things about this conference is the many blog posts for the first-time conference goer. My friend Cecily even received a link to her advice post from another blogger I read. Perhaps it's not that odd; I've seen other posts for first-time ComiCon goers. It's the advice that I find so odd, specifically the advice centering around shoes. No one needs to tell a man or a geek (male or female) what kind of shoes to wear. Geeks just wear sneakers. All the time. Men's shoes are inherently walkable, whether they are dress or casual.

Women's shoes, on the other hand, are worse than women's pants. Women's pants pockets are all too often teeny vestigial things large enough to carry a single advil or birth-control pill. That's if the pants have pockets. Even if they fail at the secondary duty of pants (someplace for keys and cash), they at least succeed at the main task: covering the lower body. Women's shoes, on the other hand, fail at the task of making it easier to walk. For some reason, this doesn't keep women from buying or wearing the damn things.

So, Cecily (and other veteran attendees) needed to warn new attendees of this conference to wear comfortable, walkable shoes, because, strangely, there is a lot of walking involved in the conference.

I despair.

I console myself by making excuses: perhaps the walkable shoes advice is only needed for when the women are in the hotel at the conference, that when they are sight-seeing in the country's largest city, they have brought shoes to walk in.

And: many of the women with insensible shoes probably do not live in a city, work desk jobs, and have little opportunity to walk. They go from house to garaged car to office parking lot to elevator to desk, sit all day and reverse the process.

But I know that normally sane, sensible women really do wear unwearable footwear because it's "cute."

And I don't get it. I don't get the whole shoe fetish. I like shoes. I wear shoes, but I have enough shoes: one pair walkable sandals for summer; one pair walkable sneakers for fall and spring; snow boots for winter; hiking boots that cover my ankle to learn to ride a motorcycle; walkable, black ankle boots for dressy occasions; knee-high black boots; three pairs "pumps" from my former life wearing suits; black heels to wear with winter dresses I no longer own; silver sandals to wear with the one cocktail dress I own; my wedding shoes; running shoes; gardening shoes, aka old sneakers.

Frankly, I think that's a hell of a lot of shoes, but as they aren't enough to finance a down-payment on real estate, apparently it's not (Sex and the City refernce -- one character spent tens of thousands of dollars on shoes and was foreclosed from her apartment.) They also all fit me (are, in fact, a bit large). As much as I can understand the urge to wear a smaller pant size (it's a 16! I'm not so fat!) even when it is uncomfortable and unattractive, I can't understand squeezing into too-small shoes (it's a 7! I'm Cinderella and incapable of independent action!) What vanity is served by squeezing your foot into a too-small shoe? I get no joy in shoe shpping, as my preferred size is usually out of stock, and I see no reason to torture my feet. I never look at shoes and think "must have"! Tailored white shirts, yes, but never shoes.

I think I need to turn my girl card in.

February 14: Auto-numbering footnotes with CSS

I've been doing a lot of work on Christmas Baking: new recipes, copying new links from the Advent calendar into the links pages, and little things like creating a footnote style that will autonumber:

 * Auto-numbering footnotes. Wee!

I comment my stylesheets, yes.

.footnote { vertical-align: super;
  font-size: 75%;

Make the footnote reference number a small superscript. Pretty straightforward. vertical-align: super replaces the old <super> tag. Hard time finding that anywhere on the web!

.footnote:before { counter-increment: footnote;
  content: "[" counter(footnote) "]";

This is the auto-generating part of the footnote, using CSS's counter feature. Lacking all inspiration, I naed the counter footnote. Whenever an element with class footnote appears, the "footnote" counter will be incremented. I'm using the :before pseudo-selector to display the footnote number inside square brackets.

body, .footnoteDivider {
	counter-reset: footnote;

Here's the thing about the numbering: first, when you get to the actual footnote section, you need to re-start the numbering at 1. Secondly, before you use the counter, you need to start the numbering with counter-reset. Adding the counter-reset to the body tag makes sure you don't have to remember to add footnoteDivider to any tags.

<p>All I can think is, <em>Get a grip</em>.<a href="#unprintable"
class="footnote"> </a></p>

<hr class="footnoteDivider" />

<p><a name="unprintable" class="footnote"> </a>What I really think is
unprintable here because my mother and I maintain a fiction that I don't

You can see this in action on the notablog. So, the anchor link (<a>) pointing to the footnote is assigned the footnote class, and that creates a superscript before the space between the start and end tags (and that space is necessary). A horizontal rule divides the footnotes from the main text; that's whee I add the footnote divider class to re-start the numbering. Each footnote is listed with the anchor name tag at the beginning.

Unlike a word processor, this won't re-order the footnotes if the text is re-ordered. If you move a foodnoted paragraph up or down in the text, double check that the footnotes are still in the correct order.

July through October, 2009

One-liners about bad UI, Doctor Who, and the rest of my life.

What I'm reading

  • CSS: the Definitive Guide, Eric Meyer, O'Reilly.
  • Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, Richard Wrangman, a primatologist at Harvard. Fascinating. Covers evolution, hunter-gatherer societies, sociology and raw food diets.

What I'm listening to

  • Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! podcasts.
  • Smithereens
  • Earth Sun Moon, Love and Rockets

I bake too

And sometimes I write about it.