Month 107

November was a quiet month and most of the things I did can’t be talked about publicly right now, so this monthnote should be mercifully brief.

Towards the end of November Uncharted Audio released Fun in the Sun, a new EP from The Council Flats of Kingsbury. Great timing, given the UK weather situation. A follow-up to last year’s Council Flats mini-album, the title track was selected for use in an online Toyota ad. Hurrah, our first proper synch, whereby we sacrifice credibility for filthy lucre. Although not much lucre and hopefully not that much credibility. There’s a brief bit of Christmas promotion to take care of and then the label will doze until the first of the 2011 releases are ready to go.

I’ve been hoping to dig into new areas of front-end dev and finally had a chance to read Mark Pilgrim’s excellent Dive into HTML5 and a slew of HTML5-related material during November. Some of the new JavaScript APIs look very exciting but – while I plan to gradually transition personal and playground sites – I won’t feel comfortable using the new tags on client sites on the open web for some time. Versions of Internet Explorer 8 and below require a JavaScript shim to create a proper DOM and apply styles to unrecognized tags. That means users running IE on Windows XP who can’t upgrade or those on newer versions of Windows who don’t know how to upgrade and also have JavaScript disabled or unavailable (potentially quite a few – a situation doesn’t look like it’ll get resolved particularly quickly) could end up with a pretty awful experience. Using HTML5 and CSS3 on platform-specific and -restricted sites is a different matter, of course.

None of this matters compared to baking cakes and making things to store in jars and bottles. This month I managed to make: another whisky and ginger cake (this time with Knockando); a fine ginger, pistachio and coffee cake with excessive lemon frosting; peanut butter cookies; madeleines; a fairly disappointing steamed marmalade and poppy seed pudding (I blame the recipe); six Christmas puddings; ketchup; a violent horseradish sauce; pepitas; and lemon curd as a gift for friends who came to visit for Thanksgiving. If I can get a little more practice I may start cake-working idea a go in January.