“You can do anything with HTML and CSS” on memory, code, and a belated birthday wish

It’s Saturday.

Today some of the family I have locally and I will visit the grave of my maternal great grandmother.

I never met her. I am looking forward to hearing about her on a day we’ve dedicated to her at her final resting place. I’ve conspired with my cousin to put this gathering together and I hope it goes well.

There are two people who I was under the impression were alive when I was born. And I was wrong.

The first person I thought was alive was Walt Disney. I watched him on Sunday nights! It seems like he was the host of “The Wonderful World of Disney” during my childhood. [more]. I believe this impression stayed with me until my 30s. I never looked it up. I know he died. But when? When I finally looked it up on the internet I learned he died in December 1966. That date is before I was born.

Memory is malleable. Memory is suggestible. Memory is unreliable. But memory is beautiful too. We hold memory dear.


The second person I thought was alive was my grandma’s mom. My great-grandmother. My aunts and uncles and mom loved her. My parents described taking her to a movie once. They told me about her. I thought I was too young to remember her.

I saw photos of her from when my parents were dating. She must’ve been in a memory from infancy I didn’t retain.

I imagined her holding me when I was an infant. There was some photo of her holding a baby with a white fluffy blanket. I imagined how soft that was.

But alas, that was not a real memory.


I hope to get to know her better today by getting my family to share more about her.

Yesterday I did some more reworks on my old headers. My facility with CSS backgrounds and the interactions between background-image, background-size, background-repeat, background-position are really intricate. I realize now that I’ve been thinking in terms of HTML elements for every particular part of a design. I suspect I could’ve been implementing many of these optimizations for years, but didn’t. I particularly enjoy exploring what I can do with the gradients. But then, I’ve mentioned this before.

HTML and CSS are amazing.

I am reminded of the quote from Harvey Pekar:

Comics are words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.

Speaking of which, in February 2021 I tweeted about the movie about Harvey:

Best comic book movie remains American Splendor.

Here’s a song from that film, called American Splendor by Eytan Mirsky.

Get it on Bandcamp

I find sad lyrics like this really inspirational. I know they read as depressing. I know they make me cry. But they are beautiful.

I’m no hero, just a guy…
Who was born to live, suffer and die
I’m a man, just like you,
But I’ll shout at the top of my voice
‘til my point gets through

I thought that life was one long struggle,
It looks like i was right
I know i’ll never win this war, but
I won’t give up without a fight, and

Where is my American Splendor?
In a world that’s cloudy and gray
Where life keeps passing by me
Day by day?

The distance between American Splendor and Lawrence’s Don’t Lose Sight is short.

This shit’s gonna kill me
But I won’t let it
And I try to give ’em hell
But they don’t get it
So I tell myself when I sleep at night
Don’t lose sight
Baby don’t lose sight
And they try to give me up
But I won’t give in
And this life will get you down
But I keep living
So I tell myself when I sleep at night
Don’t lose sight
Baby don’t lose sight

Don’t lose sight. It may be that the world’s badness is insurmountable. And that the powers arrayed against us, against doing right and doing good are huge. But we keep on. I won’t give up without a fight. Harvey didn’t.

You can do anything with words and pictures.

Oh well, it's probably idle speculation. In the long run, we're all dead anyway.

Pekar is one of the people I think of as I create comics.

I have a number in various untidy unfinished states.

But I also have made a few. Including some that I’m proud of and that were published.

Comics are words and pictures. I say that the web is HTML and CSS. And you can do anything with HTML and CSS.

(Code for those concentric circles looks like: <div style="margin: auto;height: 244px;width: 456px;background-image:repeating-radial-gradient(circle at 50% 50%, #222, #222 10px, #fff 10px, #fff 20px);border: 1px solid #222;"></div>, but there are probably other ways to accomplish that as well. SVG. PNG. JavaScript & a canvas tag. A bunch of elements with aspect-ratio: 1 and border-radius: 50%)

You can do anything with HTML and CSS.

Facebook is just HTML and CSS.

I have been doing web pages for a long time and saw the empires of AltaVista and MySpace and America Online and Compuserve and Netscape rise to dominance and then fall and so anything that I post on any service I don’t trust will exist forever.

But Facebook is just HTML and CSS. It can be replaced by our own thing.

Which brings me to reading the morning news via RSS. I’ve not done that in a few days, and I see from gRegor’s Braindump 2024 that I missed his birthday. Happy Belated Birthday Friend! My appreciation for all things #indieweb has been enriched because I know gRegor.

And he cares about health and safety. Part of the recent IWC2023 was that it was outdoors, and still, one participant caught COVID. Now that person probably did not get it at our camp, nobody else tested positive and got sick. But still, we need caution. I appreciate that gRegor is working on safety pledge language.

…I won’t give up without a fight…

Excellent stuff.

Okay, I now feel the itch to finish this up and go to the beach.

I’ll leave you with some small–literally <small>–calls to action:

check out indieweb dot org
check out gRegor Love dot com
read some of my comics
go learn to make web pages
go learn about Harvey Pekar

Don’t lose sight, baby don’t lose sight…

Aw shucks, I’m enjoying reading RSS and just stumbled on James’ The Web Is Yours and it’s thematically related to what I wrote today. It’s in the wind. The web is yours. And it’s just HTML and CSS.

one comment so far...

that was beautiful. Caught me in a reflective mood this Saturday morning too. Hope your remembrance stirs up more stories and memories. I love that your family keeps her memory alive like in Coco – no one’s really gone if you keep them in your heart! – so much that you felt her presence so vividly.

I wish I got to know my mom’s dad. I have only one memory of him from when I was 6 at the end of his life. I heard so many stories about him because everyone thought I had his personality… and eyebrows!

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