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Help Me Internet, You’re Our Only Hope

American Seating Envoy DeskAn American Seating Envoy school desk sits in our dining room. Our children used to study here. As an authentic school desk, it had seen its fair amount of usage. Years of students leaning on the desk stressed the weld and bent the support. As Cathy refinished the wood and re-painted the metal, I searched for someone to straighten or replace the support and spot weld the broken joint. A friend stepped up, and offered to handle it for me. American Seating Co. Envoy desk from Grand Rapids, MichiganAnd then I never saw the desktop again…

His job changed. He quit coming to the coffee house where we shared more conversations. Then he quit answering my calls and text messages. 17I suspect that the desktop is history. So I turn to you, the people of the Internet!

Can you help me find a replacement desktop for an American Seating Co. Envoy desk from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I do not know the year of manufacture. The only identifying mark beside the manufacturer stamp is the number 17 stamped on the back. Do you know this desk? Do you have a resource to help me replace the top? Thank you Internet!

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Your thoughts on embedded WMVs with progress bars

Let me reach out to the community for a moment. I’m trying to deliver a movie to be played in a web browser. The movie must play in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Firefox and Safari. The movie sits on a LAMP box. The movie is roughly 35MB windows media (WMV). jQuery is available. The challenge: Deliver the movie to the client without the client impatiently clicking the play button repeatedly (elevator syndrome), reloading the page, or giving up and leaving. This implies some sort of progress bar or loading spinner. I can’t seem to get a loader to work to save my life.

I’ve tried:

  • Various attributes on the object and embed tags
  • Using jQuery plugins like jQuery Media plugin and jMedia
  • Looked into other players and ruled out Flowplayer and SWFObject2
  • Tried getting Ajaxy but the document finishes before the movie completely downloads and the spinner quits too early.
  • I’m testing WVX streaming right now but it’s not looking good.
  • Some other stuff

The goal is simple: Take a large wmv movie and present a loading indicator until the movie is cached in the user’s browser. This one is giving me a real hard way to go.

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American Red Cross Tornado Blog

American Red CrossThe American Red Cross (ARC) has set up a website in response to the Tennessee tornadoes. I learned this because I follow @Redcross on Twitter as you should.

This site is for public information about the American Red Cross response to the Tennessee tornadoes of February 2008. [Source, Tennessee Tornadoes, American Red Cross] [more info]

They had a similar site for Northwest Flooding 2007. If you are looking for loved ones or have been displaced by a disaster, please use the Safe and Well List to help inform family and friends. Safe and Well is easily accessible through your phone using Twitter.