Just Shelley

Home Sweet Home Outside the St. Louis Inner Loop

The last few months have been a blur of activity as we found, and bought, our new home. We’re now proud owners of a 3 bed/2 bath in unincorporated St. Charles county. I’m writing this from my office in the new home, watching the sun rise, sitting in its light by the window. The photo of the backyard is from the realtor’s photos. I’ll take some of my own when the weather clears.

One of the moving company people and the cable hookup guy both talked about how quiet the area is where we’ve moved. “Unlike St. Louis county and its recent troubles”, was left unsaid. I hate the thought that folks think we’re leaving St. Louis county because of those “black problems in Ferguson”. We picked the location because a) it’s close to Roomie’s job, and b) the housing is still relatively affordable where we moved.

But, it is true that we we also wanted to move away from Shrewsbury, though not for the reasons some would assume. If Shrewsbury is not Ferguson now, it will be in ten years. It has the same problems Ferguson has: too many police for too small a population, many of whom suffer much of the same arrogance demonstrated by the Ferguson police department. I haven’t seen any racism, but if other communities are any indication, it’s there, just under the surface. Compounding the problems of racism, and too many police stations under too loose a civilian control , is the fact that the generally liberal, white leadership in this area is the most astonishingly insipid group of people I’ve ever come across.

The attitude of the leadership is don’t rock the boat, don’t speak out; if you must protest, do it quietly and try not to disturb those attending the Cardinals game. Where the rural, conservative leadership in the state encourages people to speak out and to make a noise (as long as you’re speaking what they want to hear, and the noise suits their agenda), the leaders in the liberal urban communities surrounding St. Louis do the opposite: just shut the hell up and do what you’re told, people. You will vote for this candidate. You will follow these rules when you’re unhappy. Above all, you never question the leaders, because the leaders know what’s best.

It’s no wonder that Missouri swiftly tilted from purple to red in recent elections: the blue blood in our veins is thin, and anemic.

Now, in our new home, we’re surrounded by conservatives. We’re unlikely to agree with our neighbors on anything. But at least we’ll be surrounded by people who aren’t afraid to speak above a whisper.

And we have trees in our backyard.

JavaScript Writing

JavaScript Cookbook 2nd Edition: Live and Personal

JavaScript Cookbook cover

The second edition of the JavaScript Cookbook just went live at O’Reilly. If you’re wondering why I haven’t been writing about technology as much lately, it’s because I was saving all my tech writing mojo for the book.

We went a somewhat different path with the second edition. I spent a lot less time on syntax, and a lot more on JavaScript in use. When I wrote my first book on JavaScript, in the dark ages that was the mid-1990s, syntax was about all you had with JavaScript. Now, JavaScript is everywhere. It’s the programming language that ate the world.

Well, nibbled the world. JavaScript is still that friendly, approachable language, even with the new ECMAScript additions. JavaScript has never roared; it’s meowed and purred its way into our lives. Good kitty. Nice kitty. Here, have a closure.

In the new edition of JavaScript Cookbook, I covered JavaScript in the browser, and re-visited our old friends (Ajax and the JS objects), yes. But I also spent a considerable time covering JavaScript in the server, in the cloud, and in our mobile devices. The only environment I didn’t cover is the open source hardware, DIY, wearable world, and that’s because I feel these need more preliminary introductions to the environment, so you don’t do something like fry your new Raspberry Pi. Or Computer. Or shirt.

I will never join with those who are critical of JavaScript. I have always had fun with this language. There’s just so much you can do with it.