Sat, Jun
24
2006

The Importance of Being James II

Sat, Jun 24, 2006

James may not be as ubiquitous as Michael and Bow may not be as common as Smith, but these names of mine aren’t rare either. I’ve known that there are other “James Bow”s out there, but I’ve at least taken solace in the fact that I seem to be the only “James Bow” with any presence on the Internet. That’s changed, however.

Dr. James Bow is a licensed psychologist operating in Livonia, Michigan and his domain name is www.drjamesbow.com. He has an impressive resume, providing “forensic evaluations” in a variety of areas “including child custody, parental termination, sexual offender, sexual abuse, and juvenile disposition.”

It used to be that, when I did a Google search on “James Bow”, the first not-me site that appeared was entitled History of the Debutante Season, not because of an individual, but because of a bow:

After the Industrial Revolution, as the middle class began to make large sums of money, the aristocrats were anxious to make alliances with wealthy entrepreneurs. The middle class daughters could be presented if they could find a sponsor from among the aristocracy. The Season started with the presentation to the Court during which the young lady bowed to the Queen-thus the name the St. James Bow. Parties followed this, each family giving their share. It was hoped that at the end of the season, a girl would have found a husband.

I’ve no idea whether Dr. James Bow pronounces his last name as in “bow and arrow” or “take a bow”. It’s still strange seeing my name out there, attached to a life I’ve had nothing to do with. Perhaps this is how all of the John Smiths of the world feel — assuming they’re not innured to this sort of thing.

Still, given that there are almost six billion people on the planet, I take solace in the fact that my name is still pretty uncommon — without resorting to the weird misspellings that seems to be all the rage today. And I’m pleased that the name I’ve chosen for my daughter Vivian is both traditional, and uncommon. There are no other Vivian Bow’s on the Net… yet.


Template Changes

Even though a slim plurality prefer the current template over this one which conforms more closely to Movable Type’s standard, I’m leaning more and more towards making the change. I couldn’t help but notice the comments people made about the new style having a cleaner look, with more whitespace, and the suggestion that the permalinks, comments and other items are best found at the bottom of the posts instead of near the top. These canny observations identified for me what it was I liked about the new look, and there are a few other advantages for making the switch.

Movable Type, with its two-column format, achieved much of what I intended to achieve with the sidebar length conforming to the article length, and it did it more effectively. Short posts no longer send the sidebar into oblivion and, better yet, the code for the sidebar now can be found at the bottom of the HTML instead of near the top. Things like stat counters or other items that make calls onto another server now have less opportunity to stall the loading of the page before the text of the articles appear.

I’ve also been able to modify the Movable Type template, allowing me to keep the date box look of the titlebar, and to include a footer, which again is at the very end of the HTML code. There are some sacrifices; the calendar doesn’t look as neat to me — but I’m told the calendar is a CPU drain when the blog is updated, so I might decide just to drop it (what do you think?).

I’m also not happy with the appearance of the blog title and subtitle in the banner, and I’m looking for suggestions on how to fix that. Different colour? Different photograph? Should I return to the old photograph, do you think? Or the streetcar, which has the added benefit of being a picture I actually took. The subway station photograph comes courtesy of the Toronto Archives.

So, I could still use your opinions. Please let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I’ll keep tinkering with the new look.


On This Day

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