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Just checking what you folks are looking for when you land in my blog.
“Kurt Darren’s Loslappie translation” was a search term. I give it my best shot.
Apologies in advance for butchering the translation.

LOSLAPPIE (Ek Wil Huistoe Gaan) (Loslappie, I will go home)

O ek wil huistoe gaan na mamma toe
Oh, I want to go home to my mama,

Die rivier is vol my trane rol
The river is full, my tears are rolling.

‘n Bokkie wat vanaand by my wil lê
A young ‘buck’ who wants to lay by me tonight, (*1)

Sy kan maar lê, ek is ‘n loslappie
She can lay because I’m an easy guy (*2)

Ek wens ek het vlerke soos ‘n engeltjie

I wish I had wings like an angel.

Dan vlieg ek deur die tronk se tralies heen
Then I fly through the jailhouse bars

Dan vlieg ek na die arms van my moeder
Then I fly into the arms of my mother.

En daar sal ek bly tot die dood
And there shall I stay til death.

Koor (Chorus)

Ek wens ek het vlerke soos ‘n arend
I wish I had wings like an eagle,

Dan vlieg ek maar verewig oor die see
Then I fly forever over the sea

Dan vlieg ek na die arms van my moeder

Then I fly into the arms of my mother,

En daar sal ek bly tot die dood
And there I shall lay til death.

(*2) There is no English for “loslappie”
I’ve read an interpretation of “male tart.” Literally “los” “lap” = “loose”+”rag”.

Edit: By the stats on this page, it’s amazing how many people are interested in the translation of this song. Translations, with help from Izelle!

(*1) Literally “bokkie”=”young buck”, colloquial/slang “bokkie” can also mean a sweetheart.

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Nope, we ain’t talking retirement plans.

I have a basic HTML site with multiple pages. I am creating a flash site with just one page, the index.html, that executes a swf. The problem is multilayered.

1. How do I redirect visitors from one of my old HTML pages to the index.html page? In the good old days, it used to be a simple javascript redirect. But not anymore, apparently. Using the 301 permanent redirect is the proper way to go. It preserves page rankings.

The 301 comes in many flavors: PHP, ASP, etc. I can’t do any of these. The best I could attempt is making the .htaccess file (only on Linux). Which leads to my new dilemma. I am hosted on a Windows server on Godaddy. Cue ominous music.

2. When I signed up for Godaddy, they asked me a crucial question. If I’d taken the time then to study for the answer, I wouldn’t be in half the pickles I get myself into. Every time I hit a brick wall having to do with coding, the solution was qualified with “only if you’re on a Linux server.” At the time, Linux sounded foreign, and I thought my site needed to live on a server that matched the OS on my own computer. Nope, they don’t have to match. For my straight HTML site, the Linux server offers more flexibility.

Luckily, GoDaddy makes switching easy. After googling the solution, I just had to “upgrade/downgrade” plan, and select “Linux” instead of “Windows.” The change will effect in72 hours.

For a few teasing moments I considered switching domain hosts entirely, maybe try Hostmonster. But I’ll stick with Godaddy for now and see how I like Linux.

3.I have site statistics code on each of my html pages. What is the analogy in a swf file? How do I know if people are spending time ogling photos, watching the videos, or listening to the audio page of the website?

The answer to that is Google Analytics (one word?). There’s a component that I can use in the Actionscripts that dumps data to an html file. I’m still not sure if and how it works in AS2. Lots more reading required.

Problem #1:
My main FLA file calls in two swfs in two areas of the timeline. SWF1 gets data from an XML file. SWF2 reads a different XML file. I run the main SWF, invoke SWF1, the data looks fine. I go to SWF2, the data is the same data as from SWF1. You who already know the answer, good on you!

I tried unloading the old SWF1. I renamed instance names in SWF2. I renamed variables in SWF2. I thought I was reading the wrong data file. I renamed variables in the XML file. As with all my Flash adventures, I kept butting my head against walls til there was nowhere else to go. I did notice that when I reloaded the main SWF, the problem sort of went away. That’s when I had the glimmer of an idea that it had to do with the cache. Identifying the source of the problem is 9/10’s of the battle.

A google on “preventing xml cache flash” gave me the solution. Thanks to Ziyad at flashden

http://flashden.net/forums/thread/help-with-xml-cache-buster/5849

xml.load(“images.xml?null=” +random(Infinity));

Four hours worth of wall hammering, and one measly statement cured the problem. It only works when the swf is uploaded to the server, and will break when testing locally.

Problem #2:
How do you change the size of a textbox, without the text inside being squished or stretched?
Answer: Click on the box until you get to point of text input (white inner box with handles). Grab the handles then, and not before.

I could use a nap now.

Back….

Problem #3:
When is an EQUAL not an EQUAL? when it’s a DOUBLE EQUAL. You Flashy people know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, don’t you? Smarty pants.

In programming languages of old, “If A=B” used to mean “if A equals B”. But not in flash, it don’t mean diddly.

A=true
the trace shows true
A=false
the trace shows false
If A=False, then do stuff.

It failed to do stuff. WHY? Because Flash need the comparison operator EEEEEQUAL. as in If A==False, not the assignment operator =

Aaargh! That one killed me. That’s what happens when you give a programmer just enough knowledge to royally screw things up.

I got onto yet another tangent. This time it’s tweening tutorials (say that three times fast). Tween tutorials, tween tutorials, tween tututtututoooorials. I’m fine. At first I wanted to learn the parameters for transitions. Here’s the Tweening for Dummies tutorial:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/tweening.html

I was spinning my wheels and getting dotted lines, instead of a solid line with an arrow, which tells me that I Tweened incorrectly. The answer is I have to break apart the objects, sometimes I have to break it twice, if I’m tweening text.

I did find a cool tutorial on simulating handwriting.
http://www.mudbubble.com/db_tutorials/db_tut_write2.html

Played with that for a while, then I finally got on track and went ahead and loaded content into the flash site.

Here’s an interesting quirk. I compiled a flash into a swf. I have a small close button Action. When I mouse over, the Up and Over states are perfect. The button changes color as it should. When I embed the swf into a FLA, and compile that into a swf. The main swf acts odd. In the over state the movie clip/button jumps about a pixel up. I read up on the problem, and tried to “snap to pixels” but that didn’t seem to do the trick. Or maybe I’m not doing it right. In any case, I tried it testing it seven ways to Sunday, and the main swf refuses to behave right. I eventually gave up on it because it’s trivial enough to not really notice, but bugs bug me. I may revisit it later on.

This is like one of those jokes that the Riddler used to leave for the campy TV version of Batman and Robin.

I’ve been playing around with Netstream (the Netstream Method?), for streaming FLVs. When I lift code pieces, I learn just enough of this stuff to do harm and confuse myself silly. Anyway, here’s a cute little netstream statement that reads:

ns.pause();

Now, one would assume, that a Pause would mean, Pause the stream. Incidentally, why is a Pause statement attached to the Play button anyway? You boys and girls jumping up and down, who already know the answer — put your hands down and give the other kids in class a chance to participate!

I had two buttons on the movieclip: a play/pause and a Close player. All of them have the ns.pause(); in their respective button click functions.

This is the sequence of my clicking the buttons on my FLV player:
Play – Close. Window closes, clip pauses, sound closes.
Play – Pause. Clip pauses, sound closes.
Play – Pause – Play, perfect.
Pause- Close – BOOM, the window closes, the sound continues. WHUH? Why is it not PAUSEing?

Well, read the clues Sherlock! It’s a fargone toggle! Isn’t hindsight wonderful?
The ns.pause(); has actual parameters as stated in TFManual. Oh, excuse me, the Adobe FManual

So if I actually want to turn the toggle-ness off, and want it to, well — pause, as opposed to pause-resume-pause-resume-etc, I have to tell it

ns.pause(true);

Adobe clearly lists “true” as a parameter, though none of their examples illustrate that exact statement. Maybe they assume that the audience is old enough to figure it out. Or their technical writers were playing games with our heads.

It only took me three days of arduously twisting other parts of the actionscript to figure this out. The former function tester in me was obsessed with fixing this irrational behavior in the movie player. The problem haunted me incessantly. It was a combination of luck and brute force permutations of testing that I even stumbled on the solution.

I think my lesson learned, may be “don’t insert code pieces unless you know exactly what it’s doing.” NAH. I’m sure to repeat that mistake, out of sheer laziness. I’d rather others build the code, and I wedge it in with a sledgehammer.

One interesting thing about Netstream, which I discovered, is that it adds much less code than using Adobe’s built-in UI components, which reportedly add significant bulk to the SWF. Now that splains a lot. The book I learned from, utilizes several UI components. It didn’t mention the resulting file size. As it is, this is a pretty large site. I’ll have to trim something from it.

ONWARDS!

I’m trying to stick a Youtube into a Flash swf call. Easy enough, eh? Here is the way to do it. I massaged several variations of it. It was day’s end, I was tired, and the code finally clicked in place. I got to do the victory dance: getting out of the chair and scrounging something more nutritious than pickle chips.

The Youtube was sized correctly, landed in the right spot on my stage, and it played beautifully. TOO BEAUTIFULLY. The blasted Youtube wouldn’t disappear when I jumped to another part/page of my timeline. I gave it a day of rest, hoping that the solution would magically appear in a dream. No such luck.

I tried the “turn off the Youtube” fixes suggested by everyone on that thread (the yt destroy call). That worked….NOT. If I didn’t immediately follow the destroy with a load, the thing would hang forever, as if in an infinite loop. I gave up on that path, and decided I’d stream FLVs directly from my site. That was something I wanted to avoid because of the potential for a bandwidth problem.

I have a nice template for a FLV player. There must be something inherently odd about handling sound, because this developer forgets to close the sound when I close the player. The sound stayed on til I migrated to the next FLV. At least this movieclip sound turns off when I moved to a different page. I’ll have to dig into the ActionScript more.

That’s another one of my new acquisitions. I’ve been trying to avoid having to learn ActionScript 2, but I was forced to play with it while failing to shoehorn a Youtube into my Flash. Imagine how much more productive I could be if I actually learned this stuff from the top down, instead of sideways-in. One of these days I’ll get me ActionScript for Dummies. ‘

I’ve been boggle-eyed from playing with this. I could use a good break about now before I break everything to pieces.

First, I had hesitation about how a Flash site gets indexed by Google. Then I did some research and found that Google will index Macromedia fine.

The next generation of kids is so computer savvy it scares the bejeebers out of me. I bought a Flash template from Flashden. I could not have built something like this from scratch if it took two of my lifetimes. And I’ll bet it took him no more than a few hours to compose. I have serious Flash envy.

Although it’s a very nicely built site, there’s a reason why it came so cheap. The support, as it were, is next to nil. It comes partially documented, aka one page of HTML telling me where to modify the XML and Image files. I had those figured easily. It’s the internals, in the action scripts and buttons that I had to poke around for. And I did plenty of poking.

The site came with two extra navigation buttons that go nowhere and no extra frames to go with it. I have to add those on myself. The FLA source code delivered with the SWF don’t match up exactly. When the FLA is recompiled (or whatever they call that in Adobe lingo), the SWF menu mouseover is skewed by a few pixels. Easily fixed once I found the definition of the navigation menu, which is harder than it sounds.

Right off the bat, the thing is missing three fonts, not mentioned nor included with the site package. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the system default font shoves one of the titles under a photo. The designer says so sorry, you’ll have to fend for yourself. A Google search for the fonts tells me they cost upwards of $20.00 apiece. I found suitable substitute fonts.

For a change, it renders perfectly under I.E. and poorly under Firefox. There’s a big chunky white bar on the bottom horizontal. But it does work fine in Seamonkey, a browser which hardly anyone uses.

I’m sure if he were reading this, he’d take a defense. I understand programmer’s hubris, both from a personal perspective, and having met many such a one in my day. I’m not exactly complaining, just explaining that one gets what one pays for, when one buys from a budding designer.

I think I need three more serious weekends pampering this baby, and she’ll be close to ready to launch. It looks and sounds sharp!  I just need to get walk away from it a little because I’m a tad goggle-eyed right now!

… at the language learning. It’s only been two months but I can’t let a day pass,  without practice.

I began at Dr. DuPlessis’ website, Afrikaans.us. At first, I couldn’t find a “starting point”, but that’s the best feature of the site. It’s self-directed. I also like the fact that all the Afrikaans is accompanied by English translations and the vocabulary lists have pronunciations. I bought Lydia McDermott’s “Teach Yourself Afrikaans” book and CDs. I’ve been plugging away at that since day 1. I’m working on chapters 4 and 5.   If I get stuck on a lesson, I move forward on the CD to familiarize myself with the new dialogues.

I get my daily Afrikaans fix, by a couple a methods. I try to interpret one article, from Die Burger online. Even if I have to look up every third word, it’s good exercise.

Once in a while, I’ll visit Radio Sonder Grense. That’s just pressing my proverbial nose against the window. I remain on the other side of the glass in listening skills.

I use ANKI, a brilliant piece of freeware, that shows flashcards based on timed intervals. It tests my hardest vocabulary words at a greater frequency than my easy words.

Even my web browser speaks Afrikaans to me, both at home and work. I installed the Afrikaans version of Firefox, and now, among the other commands I learned, I “open skakel in nuwe oortjie”! My IT gal at work may not have appreciated that, when she has to remote into my computer,  because one day my Firefox mysteriously reverted back to speaking English again.

In order for me to not get stuck in a learning rut, when I don’t feel like memorizing vocabulary, I’ll go watch Kwela or Egoli. I’m not even an American soap opera buff, so I force myself to watch “Egoli”, for the English subtitles. Kuduclub.com has a subscription-free viewer area.

Here’s a shameless plug. It was on the Learn Afrikaans yahoo group (thank you forumites!) where I found a pointer to a textbook used in South African schools. I ordered directly from the author’s website, and received my copy just this week. The book is “Afrikaans Handbook and Study Guide.” (approx $17USD, postage paid). http://www.afrikaanshandbook.co.za The author, Beryl Lutrin, also happens to be a lovely woman!

I can’t say enough good stuff about this book. It contains everything I wanted to learn about … everything! Namely, grammar, and the rules about “om” and “te”, and word order. My goal is to get to a point where I can think in whole correct thoughts/sentences, sans translation.

I think reading helps a lot, in that it give me a feel for the word order without having to translate too much. A learning by osmosis, as it were. At least Afrikaans doesn’t have that many difficult rules and few exceptions. In contrast, an English learner has know that “bough” and “bought” sound like “bow” and “bawt”.

English is my native language. I retain a lot of the vocabulary from the Latin I learned in school.  I picked up a wee bit of Spanish while living in the city for many years. And I have a child’s level of fluency in the language of my parents.  So Afrikaans is a sort of “fifth language” for me. Sometimes I experience what I call “language leakage.” If I can’t remember the Afrikaans word for something, I mentally substitute a Latin word.  “Nobody is eating the meat. ” becomes “Nemo die vleis eet.”   It should be “Niemand”.

I know about 300 words in Afrikaans, and recognize a lot more.   I’m targeting 5000 words, so I have quite a ways to go. Unfortunately this is real life, and not a movie;  I can’t pick up the language as fast as the way Neo plugged into kung fu in The Matrix!

Overall, it’s fun and enjoyable. I feel challenged and accomplished.  I had a fleeting funny thought,  that if I ever got stuck in Scrabble with a rackful of vowels,  I could clear it out with a few choice Afrikaans words!

Onward!

I’m working on a new project. Or rather, I’m procrastinating about working on the new project.  Once I start it, I won’t be able to stop. I don’t mind the actual work of the project,  but I  just have to shift myself into gear.  I think it’s the apprehension of the unknown that scares me into a frozen state of inaction.

Like the Ellen DeGeneres skit about procrastination,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU-0bF_sSas

I find myself doing about a hundred other unrelated and barely tangential things, like visiting News24, or DieBurger , then the Huisgenoot Tempo music magazine site,  or logging into my Kuduclub membership and downloading a month’s worth of Egoli episodes of which I may watch two or three.

I don’t even like American soap operas. I keep telling myself Egoli is good practice hearing Afrikaans spoken at a normal speed. Who am I kidding, it’s just another procrastination ploy.

I was even washing the cars the other day, just to get away from it. And if it’d been warm enough, I would have waxed and hand buffed the fleet.   I could put this procrastination to good practical use.  What other projects could I complete, before starting this one?

For a new year, it should be relatively slow going. Lots of those “indoor chores” that got ignored during the rest of the year start piling up. Like, eBaying things I’ve been putting off selling. Ugh, I’d rather go out and shovel some more snow.

Progress on the language acquisition is … progressing. Afrikaans is an interesting language in that it has just enough words in common with English, like “hard”=hard but pronounced differently, and “voet” = foot, just spelt differently. And then there are those words that have no relation whatsoever to English, like “vordering” = progress. There’s no way on earth I can remember that without resorting to a mnemonic. Oddly, I can remember “pisang” = banana without a problem! My memory is an unpredictable thing.

Here’s my latest musical discovery. I know, they’ve been around for a good number of years now, but I’ve always been a dollar short and a day late.  Their names are David, Carlos, Sebastian, and Urs. No, not a successor to the Beatles, but close. Collectively, they’re known as “Il Divo.” I like their music, and their voices, and I enjoy popera.

I confess, Urs is very easy on the eyes. He reminds me of Keanu Reeves. It must be the long dark hair and the almond-shaped eyes. Then there’s that moment in “The Power of Love”, punctuated by the four quick camera shots,  he takes a sharp intake of breath and looks like he’s stalking for the kill. You Urs fans know, what I’m talking about, eh?  (at 3:36) Swoon!


We all know Urs is a metal rocker underneath the Armani suit 😉 .  I would never have guessed he was Swiss. My initial thought was that he was Spanish.  I took David for a German, but he’s American. And I thought Sebastian was American, because he looks like a self-centered jerk whom I know. Seb himself seems like a sweet fellow.   Tanned Carlos, Brazilian? No, Spanish. I am a lousy judge of nationality.

So, I’m at the ticketing website, agonizing over where I should buy their concert tickets. Do I drive three hours to Boston for a smaller venue, to see them up closer, or one and a half hours, and have to battle crazed New Yorkers on the dreaded Long Island Expressway, at a huge venue. Same price, different driving conditions.

Or should I go for curtain number three: a new 10x optical zoom digital camera – the Panasonic DMC-TZ4/5 with their lovely Leica lens, or the Canon SX 110IS with their consistent SLR quality? Besides the technical details, there’s the mechanical.  I’ve hefted the Canon in my hand, and I don’t like the chunkiness of the AA batteries.  I like the metal in the Panasonic body.

Argh, decisions, decisions, decisions.