New website: Jeffrey and Anna

At work and at play, I’m always makin’ websites! Shortly after getting engaged at the beginning of the year, I started brainstorming on how best to tell family, friends, and the world at large about us. Naturally, it would be a website, but I realized I’d have to pick up a pen and pencil for the first time in years if I really wanted to make it special.

Screenshot of Jeffrey and Anna

After a few months of tinkering, I present to you Jeffrey and Anna, a super-fun, animated adventure through our life. Everything has been coded (save for some plugins) and drawn by me, and written by both of us.


What follows is a bit of a technical walk through the site.

Jeffrey and Anna is, naturally, pure HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It adapts to different resolutions and form factors with media queries, using the same technology to gracefully degrade for less capable browsers. The site is very different from on a desktop computer, but hopefully just as usable, when you view it on a phone or tablet.

I drew everything on paper, scanned it, and colored it in Photoshop. I designed the site to use different complementary color schemes for every section, and further personalized it with Google Web Fonts and Font Awesome.

Superscrollorama is the engine behind the animations which happen as you scroll through the page. I slightly modified the library to detect whether you’re scrolling up or down, and to cause certain animations to start from wherever you currently are on the page.

I used certain parts of Twitter Bootstrap. Scrollspy causes our clothes to change as we jump through the sections, and Carousel provides CSS-animated navigation between subsections.

The site runs on Rails, my current web application framework of choice. Being database-driven, it doubles as our guest list management tool, as we can easily create invitations for guests by using RailsAdmin – and guests can enter their automatically-generated RSVP codes to instantly notify us of their attendance.

The stylesheet is written in Sass + Compass. Compass’ astounding ability to automatically generate sprites would have been an amazing help, given the massive amount of images on the site, but unfortunately, the sheer size of the sheets it generated caused the site’s performance to slow to a crawl. It turns out that it’s not a good idea to have dozens of images at tens of thousands of square pixels moving around on the screen at once. Instead, images are individually crushed and preloaded.

A little easter egg: some of you will see a little range slider in the lower-right corner of the page. Use it and see what happens!

I feel that this site represents the epitome of my current skills. It’s a bit hard to poke through the files on the site as it’s minified for best performance, but fortunately, it’s all open-source! Please poke through the code on GitHub, and feel free to comment (or create an issue) with any suggestions.


For those who are wondering, we haven’t sent out invitations yet! There’s still the task of combing over the list with the parentals, and then collecting the physical addresses of almost a hundred families. It’ll be a few weeks. But do be on the lookout soon for the location and date of our wedding!

Throwing out a bone.

So I live in San Rafael which is a social deadzone. There are invisible borders around Marin which repel the majority of Bay-dwellers, rendering it inaccessible to anyone lacking private transit.

HOWEVER, I haven’t thrown an event at my house in quite a while, and it seems that at this point not too many people have concrete plans for New Year’s celebrations. That, and my birthday’s on the 26th, and it’s always nice to be able to throw the party sometime around then, instead of, like, March.

Therefore, I am forming an exploratory committee to run for host of a New Year’s / birthday party, at my place. I am considering offering rides earlier in the day to those for whom transportation might be an issue. I am also considering heck of dranks, and perhaps homemade cuisine.

So, show of hands. Who might be interested in attending? Guests are allowed to bring friends to this event. Give a shout, or at least a suggestion.

Japan trip details

Shiranne and I will be going on a vacation to Japan from October 12 to November 3. During that time, we’ll be staying in the following areas. We’ve got a few schedule constraints because of Jewish holidays, but hey that’s cool:

October 12 – 14: Minato, Tokyo
We’ll be near Chabad Tokyo and celebrating Sukkot.

October 15 – 16: Takayama, Gifu
We’ll probably hike in both Kiso Valley and Shokawa Valley, and check out the Doburoku Festival.

October 17 – 19: Shinjuku, Tokyo
Chillin for Shabbat, seeing them crazy Harajuku folk, and perhaps seeing Shugo Tokumaru in concert.

October 20 – 21: Chuo, Kobe
Celebrating Simchat Torah, but probably also squeezing in a visit to Osaka Castle and Nara.

October 22 – 25: Shimogyo, Kyoto
Staying for a long time, but probably traveling to Iga-Ueno for a day to see the ninja museum. Checking out the A-Bar upon a friend’s suggestion. Also trying to catch the Jidai and Kurama matsuris.

October 26 – 27: Minami, Hiroshima
Stopping off at Kurashiki, and visiting Miyajima Island.

October 28 – Nov 3: Chiyoda, Tokyo
Our last stop; staying for a week. Probably doing a lot of traveling, a few destinations being Himeji, Hakone, Akiyoshidai, Hiraizumi, Mashiko. Also try to go to the Meiji Shrine fall festival. We’ll be staying really close to Akihabara, which should be some geeky fun.

So that’s the skeletal structure! How expensive!!! If anyone has any suggestions feel free to throw ’em out there.

Here’s our shit on a map!

Gettin things done

I done canceled my ticket to Israel. Got a hefty fee but hey that’s international travel. Now it’s on to deciding where exactly I’m going within the next year. A few ideas on the table are:

  • Paris since I haven’t been there for almost a decade and to visit Hannah
  • Japan some time early next year because it is Japan but I would have to find certain people with whom to go
  • London because I kind of have to go through there anyway since I have credit with British Airways?

Despite having canceled my JFK-TLV ticket, there’s still the whole JFK thing. I COULD just not go to JFK because missing work for even a day is enough to make up for the amount that I won’t be getting back, or I could decide about when to book a returning flight and spend something like a week in New York with family and Hannah and other friends. I think I deserve a vacation, anyway. Anyone around the area want to hang out some time after July 6?

I am also getting big repairs done on the car I’m currently driving – my late stepmom’s Jaguar X-Type. Gosh I don’t like driving it because it’s big and gets 19MPG but I gotta spruce it up to sell it – because I’m going to buy a Prius!

Heck yes I have put down a deposit for a Prius which will be arriving within 3-6 weeks. Looking to get the #2 package (which has cute things like keyless entry and aux audio input and a reverse camera), and looking to get it in a bright color, preferably white (for safety reasons – most visible on the road). Now for a dude, a white Prius isn’t especially a fashion statement. But heck I don’t care, I’d really rather get 45MPG instead of 19MPG (with premium fuel). Sure, almost every other car you see in Marin is a Prius. That’s a good thing.

‘Sides that, I’m meeting cool new people and going cool new places. I’m probably sticking around in Marin for longer than I expected mostly because I like the job I’m at a whole lot. I’m making enough money that transportation shouldn’t be a barrier for me, in my mid-20’s, to be a social dude. And despite my plans to get a car, I’m looking to take the bus as much as possible as well. I took GG Transit into SF the other day and it worked like a charm. I also got to catch up on my video podcasts on the bus.

Back to work. Hooray!

Flight booked

I just booked my flight to Israel. JFK to TLV, July 8.

I don’t know how much I talked about this but yeah, this summer I’m leavin’ America for a while and spending time with Shiranne in Israel, while taking part in a professional internship program. A lot of it is for evaluation purposes – what it’s like to live for a long period of time outside of America, working in another country, spending a lot of time with Shiranne (finally!), etc.

Now don’t worry because it’s a round trip flight – I have an arbitrary return date of November 16, but that doesn’t mean much – at this point I don’t know how long my internship will go, so it could be months before or after. But I do plan on heading back to California and workin’ in the Bay Area. For now, at least.

By the way, I’m having a great time at my current job. I’m in the process of implementing a forum, after having successfully implemented an internet TV section and adding a whole bunch of improvements, etc. etc. It’s fun, but the only problem is that the job’s in Marin – and eventually I want to move out of Marin. And of course, first I’ll be moving out of America for a bit.

That’s what’s going on! Back to work and then off to Fanime.

umm

I am going to Fanime too guys woo woo but I am so removed from the entire Bay Area group at this point that I don’t think anyone will especially benefit from the knowledge that I will be there!

Wow that sounded kind of depressing. Not supposed to be! I am going to have a load of fun, and alcohol!

Damn it that still sounds depressing!

By the way here is my number in sexatrigesimal because other people are doing it in clever ways and maybe if I do it clever-style then more people will want to take it down even though they can get it on my Facebook whenever: 1WOUD98

One would ninety-eight, indeed!