Let The Web Begin

Helaine, Doppler and I are please to announce the opening of DopplerDesign.com, our new web development company. It’s the culmination of lots of thought and months of work.

Our plan is to serve small businesses and professional practices. These are businesses which often have no website or a site that needs a more contemporary look.

In 2013 there’s no choice. Today’s first contact is often over the web–not necessarily on a computer. DopplerDesign.com builds responsive websites, meaning they look great no matter what size or resolution the screen–even a cellphone.

If you don’t have a site, you don’t exist!

After three decades on TV, I understand the power of video. DopplerDesign.com will specialize in websites with video. It’s not that hard to do (meaning not that expensive) and it’s incredibly effective.

I’d love to make a functional and beautiful design for you. The DopplerDesign.com website will give you an idea of my skills. Each site is custom built for maximum effectiveness and reflects the vision of the site’s owner.

If you watched me on television for any length of time you know I don’t overpromise and I never hype. I will make you happy.

Most of you reading this have no need for a website, but I’d like you to take a look anyway. Maybe you have a friend or relative looking for a web presence. I’d appreciate your word-of-mouth help.

You can even share this on Facebook or Twitter. Look what Geoff Fox is doing now!

The Website’s Nearly Open

I feel like Mark Zuckerberg early on in “The Social Network.”

I have been working on the site for our new web development company. Long hours. This should be our showcase, right? It’s important to demonstrate what we’ll do. Everything is under the microscope.

I have been happily typecast for 28 years. Now, I need some cred as a developer.

Sometime later today I’ll officially open the doors. The site is running, but a few minor changes might still be made.

There is a special bit of hell web developers enter because of Microsoft. Thanks, Bill.

The web is based on standards. Car tail lights are red and electrical plugs have two parallel slots a specific distance apart because of standards. We don’t think or worry about these things. They’re always the same. The web is supposed to work the same way.

The web’s standards describe the response your browser gives when it receives a specific command. In a few critical cases Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is non-standards compliant. It does its own thing. Groovy, baby.

The code I write looks different on most versions of Internet Explorer. If I write four boxes across, IE might display three and one below the first.

Might? No, it did. Fixed.

There are inelegant hacks. They consume loads of time for little benefit. You’ve gotta do them. Each individual visitor is important no matter how they’re seeing the site. It’s a good challenge.

A moment ago Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome were all open on my computer. Gotta check. Gotta make sure.

The buzzword today is “responsive.” Websites are supposed to gracefully reformat themselves for smaller and smaller and larger and larger screens! A typical large LCD panel is 1920×1200 pixels. A phone might be 480×320 pixels. Websites have to look good for both. It’s tricky.

I am enjoying coding.

Quiet work. Intense. Very much like writing. Creative.

I mostly write CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). It’s the language which allows every website to look different. If you glanced at a CSS stylesheet you’d recognize lots of English words, but overall it would be undecipherable.

Most of what I do concerns how sites look. I build on WordPress. It’s mature software and reasonably bulletproof. Millions of sites use it worldwide.

I still have server backups made offsite each night.

I’m in a nerdy pursuit, no?

More later.

30+ Years Ago: Friends With Cameras

Click, click, click. Shooting photos is no big deal today. The incremental cost is zero. That wasn’t the case in the early 80s. There was film in the camera. You paid for that.

Beside the cost you never knew good or bad until the film was processed. You paid for that too.

Tonight my email brought these two actual film photos from August 25, 1981. My camera toting, film buying, friend was Jon Wolfert. Jon is King of Jingles. The Wolferts own JAM Creative Productions&#185 in Dallas.

The two shots below were taken in the WGR-TV parking lot on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I’m standing with my PM Magazine/Buffalo co-host, Jan Stager.

It was Sunny in Buffalo. Surprised? It’s true. Summer’s in Buffalo are bathed in sunlight. They make up for it starting around Halloween when the Sun disappears for the next 5&#189 months.

Thanks Jon. What a cool surprise to receive on this chilly mid-winter’s night, even though it was half a lifetime, forty pounds and one awful hairstyle ago!

&#185 – If you’ve never seen a jingle being sung and played, watch this. You will be astounded!

The Pebble Watch And Chester Gould

Message from Farrell on my Pebble Watch

I’m wearing the Pebble. I just got this message from Farrell in Palm Springs.

If you don’t know who Chester Gould was, please ask your folks… or theirs.

This Saturday’s Snow And Steven Segal

In the movie “Under Seige 2: Dark Territory” terrorists grab a transcontinental passenger train. On board, Casey Ryback (Steven Segal). Of course Ryack is not rounded up by the terrorists, but his niece (played by a young Katherine Heigl) is.

As the terrorist leader discovers her connection to their nemesis, she pulls a cannister of mace from her pocket and sprays it in his face.

Penn: Not mace, sweetheart. Pepper spray. Sold to civilians.
[snatches canister from Sarah]
Penn: But once you get used to it…
[sprays some into his mouth]
Penn: …it just clears the sinuses!

We are pretty much at the same point with snow. After last week’s blizzard, a normal snowfall just clears the sinuses.

Saturday we get a normal New England snowfall–and not a big one.

The snow starts around midnight Friday night and continues through Saturday. If duration alone counted this would be a monster. Luckily, this storm will be many hours of mainly light snow.

The European model data available to me has three hour resolution and one inch threshold for snow. In none of these three hour windows does Connecticut reach an inch of snow. But, as I said, this is a long duration event. The snow exits after dark. We could see twenty hours of the white stuff!

As the storm moves into the Atlantic it will ‘bomb’. By then it will be far east of us. We’ll get little of that fury, though snowfall numbers toward the Rhode Island border will be enhanced.

Most of Connecticut will get 2-4″ of snow, with a little less in Fairfield County and a few inches more near I-395.

I’ll keep watching the HRRR, the high resolution, short time frame model Our storm encounter is starting to move into its domain. The HRRR does show some heavier snow just west of us late Friday evening. If that trend continues I’ll update this entry.

Right about now there are lots of Connecticut residents suffering cabin fever. When they bolt the house on their day off they’ll face slippery roads and slow traffic. We shouldn’t have road closures or massive power outages this weekend.

Remember, all the slippery is in the first &#188 inch. Stay safe. Milk and bread will still be available Sunday.

My Life As A Dev

Today was a busy day at the keys preparing to open Doppler Design. First, I got an OK from Mark Shiffrin to go live with his site. Some of you might remember when Mark was Consumer Commissioner for Connecticut. He is pragmatic. He wanted to check and double check and double check again. Detail’s good […]

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The Mill House: One Of My Favorite Photo Spots

How weird today. The ground is snow covered. It felt like spring. The sky was blue. The wind was light. Songbirds have arrived. The Sun is as strong now as it is in early October. This might be my last major snow opportunity of the season. I headed to a favorite site a short walk […]

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What 377,444 YouTube Views Taught Me

Have you seen my time lapse video from this weekend’s blizzard? I pressed a tiny GoPro camera up against a windowed door looking at the deck and took a shot every minute until the lens was blocked by snow. As I type this, YouTube says it’s passed 377,444 hits! Are you serious? 377k! That’s viral, […]

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My Mainly Free Phone Line

With my new web design business almost ready, I realized I needed a phone number. I’d rather use something other than my cell. Google has free phone numbers for anyone with a Gmail account. I’ve got one. Actually a I’ve got a few. Shhhh. I can use Google Voice from my cell, home phone or […]

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Don’t Be Scared Of Wednesday Night

Everyone wants to know about Connecticut’s next snowstorm. No problem. No, I’m not saying making the forecast will be no problem, I’m saying the teeny bit of snow falling Wednesday night will be no problem. It will whiten what we’ve already got. Not much more. That’s it. Relax.

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