News Archive: May 2004

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

New Pictures Posted

06:25 UTC

Boy, was I wrong about the time frame on posting those pictures! The good news is that the two latest sections in Ummamum’s Picture Place are finally up:

Kicking It Up Another Notch

06:42 UTC

Alas, the reason for the delay in posting the pictures was that I learned how to make the site even better! Through the magic of PHP, a server-side scripting language, the very same page can be presented as XHTML 1.1 to Mozilla and other modern browsers, and as HTML 4.01 Strict to everyone else. In addition, style sheets can be blocked from WebTV (our site has been unusable on WebTV), and our fancy punctuation marks can be exchanged for plain ones for devices that cannot understand the special codes used to produce the fancy marks.

The upgrade to Version 12 will be a work in progress for a while, with old and new pages coexisting on the site in the meantime. Most visitors will not see much of a change, but users of WebTV will definitely notice it. So will anyone viewing the site on very old browsers (Netscape or IE 3, anyone?) or even today’s cell phones, for that matter.

For me, the transition should be less difficult than earlier ones. The new photo sections were launched in the new version, and all 2004 News Archive posts have already been converted, as well as the main Home page. And once the conversion is complete, site maintenance will be greatly simplified; a new link will only need to be added to a single PHP document instead of every HTML document in a section. This makes for faster additions and more timely postings.

A Weird Compliment

06:45 UTC

Last Sunday night, one of my co-workers, a young man, asked me how old I was. Immediately I replied, “Forty-six.” He stared at me for a second, then said, “No—honestly.” Then I learned that he thought I was younger—apparently a lot younger.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Version 12 Completed

04:45 UTC

The conversion to PHP is now finished. The following changes from the old version may be noted:

  1. All pages on will deliver as XHTML 1.1 and application/xhtml+xml to compliant browsers, and as HTML 4.01 Strict and text/html to everyone else (including Internet Explorer).
  2. Curly quotation marks, curly apostrophes, em and en dashes, and ellipses are automatically converted to straight quotation marks, straight apostrophes, double hyphens, single hyphens, or three periods, for older browsers, cell phones and WebTV, which cannot understand the HTML entity codes for the fancier marks. In previous versions of this site, the fancy marks appeared corrupted on these browsers.
  3. WebTV users will benefit from a special style sheet which specifies only the colors for background, text and links—nothing else.
  4. Site maintenance is now easier, thanks to the new modular structure. For example, a brief announcement may occasionally appear at the top of most pages, then disappear a few days later. It is all controlled by a single document!

Go ahead—enjoy the latest edition of The Oo Kingdom.

(Next upgrade post is Version 12.01)

Miscellaneous Updates

05:00 UTC

The following paragraph was inadvertently omitted from The Cat Who Says Hello:

Early in the morning on my birthday, Wendi told Shadow, “It’s Daddy’s birthday; go tell him ‘Hello.’ ” Boy, was I surprised when she ran into the dining room and greeted me with a very clear “Hello”! This was one of the very few times that Shadow would do this on command.

Our Rhubarb Custard Pie recipe received an upgrade this week (Mom’s original version was restored on January 19, 2007).

Several pages in Just For Laughs and A Heavenly Ummamum have been recently updated, several with additional background information.

Asthmatic Kitty

05:12 UTC

We took Sunny to the vet at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 12. He had been breathing heavily, and he would pant like a puppy after some activity. Dr. Michael Hotchkiss (affectionately known as Dr. Mike) told us that this was not normal for a cat.

Sunny’s temp was elevated at 103.8 °F. Normal for cats is 101.5 °F. His weight was up too: 11 lbs. 6 oz., but Dr. Mike said that Sunny did not look overweight at all. “He’s just going to be a big kitty,” he told us.

X-rays of the lung area came out normal (after the third try). Dr. Mike said that often, minor asthma will not show on X-rays. They gave Sunny a steroid injection which would last about 10 days, to see if his breathing would improve. It did. Apparently we have a kitty with a minor asthma problem.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

More Kitty Photos

04:25 UTC

I’m starting to add some older picture sections that were never published before. Early Autumn 2003 with the Kittens is the latest of these.

Our New Look

04:35 UTC

Most of you will notice a new look to our pages: a gold page background, maroon-colored navigation bar and a different font. This is the Memorial Gold theme, a throwback to the days when my dad was still alive (summer 2001). The Home page logo has also been changed to the patriotic theme.

NOTE: If you have chosen a different theme from our Style Themes menu, you will not see the color/font change. To see the new look, just select “Seasonal Default” from that menu.

Are you browsing on WebTV, Lynx or a phone browser? Don’t worry about it—the Style Themes aren’t available to you (sorry).

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A Humorous Recollection

05:05 UTC

Many years ago (1974 or 1975) I attended a local church known as Janesville Bible Baptist Temple. A certain David Heesen was my youth pastor. I spent a week at a Bible camp near Chetek, Wisconsin, during each of those two years.

Though I now attend a different church, and Brother Heesen is no longer the youth pastor there, our paths still cross occasionally. My latest encounter with him involves this website: a Google search for my name landed him on the October 2003 News Archive page. From there, he browsed a few other pages before going to the Contact page and sending me this message:

I remember a bus trip to/from Camp Chetek. We passed a highway sign. It was Hwy OO. Your face lit up. “OO,” you said.

Upon reading this I replied, “Now that you mention it, I remember the incident myself! Thanks—I think my visitors will also get a kick out of it.”

That isn’t quite the whole story! Recently I considered changing the name of the site, since “Oo” is confusing to some people (it gets pronounced oo instead of oo-oo). Had I done that, I likely would never have received this reply, a humorous recollection from thirty years ago.

Prettier Than I Remembered

05:30 UTC

The Memorial Gold theme looked boring, so I made the header div a paler gold (a color never used in the original). I think it looks much better!

Additional change (05:37 UTC): Used same color in the footer div and dropped the top border.

Is This a Blog?

06:00 UTC

Weblogs traditionally come in two types: the first consists of links to interesting articles on the Web, usually with a bit of commentary on each one, while the second is more of a personal journal or diary. Most weblogs (also known as blogs) today are a combination of both.

The Oo Kingdom News Archive began as merely an archive of site news and updates, with a bit of family and personal news mixed in. As time progresses, more journalizing is taking place, as well as more external linking and commentaries. Even the format of my posts resembles that of a blog, as I have mimicked the structure of other blogs.

Yesterday, I submitted my first trackback ping to another blog. If you want to see it, go to The Killer Biscuit and follow the link at the bottom to a corresponding page at*. In response to my ping, the blogger has linked back to my page and included a brief excerpt.

(*NOTE, 2/4/2022: has been gone for years now.)

So is this a blog, or isn’t it? What do you think?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Four Years Online

02:35 UTC (revised at 03:30 UTC)

Today—or tomorrow, depending on how you want to look at it—marks our fourth anniversary online. May 28 was the “official” opening date, but pages were online the day before.

The catch is that we haven’t spent the entire four years on (read our History page for the full story). The following details are excerpted from our family journal:

Saturday, May 27, 2000

…I did manage to get more Windows Updates, though, including an HTML editing program called FrontPage Express. Using that program, I published a new Web site on Charter, but I’m having problems learning how to do it correctly, and the site isn’t the way I want it yet…

Sunday, May 28, 2000

…Now it was time to fix the Web site. I learned a few tricks and discovered my mistakes from last night. By about 8:50 it was all published correctly! Joe even helped a little. I sent the “blanket” e-mail below, then Joe went online (9-10 p.m.) before bed. Wendi and I watched The X-Files

* * * * *

From: "Charles Petitt"
To: (list of recipients)
Subject: New Web Site Address
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2000 9:01 PM

Hey Everybody,

We have a new Web site! It's called Ummamum's Hideout, and the URL is

Visit often. We'll be making more changes as the days go by.

We hope everyone is doing well. Please e-mail us and let us know how you're doing. Also let us know what you think of the site and how we can improve it.

Bye for now,
Charlie Petitt

Since this e-mail was sent at 9:01 p.m. Central Daylight Time, we could say that the site was officially opened at 02:01 UTC on May 29 and be correct. So take your pick.