New Years Yorkshire Pudding Dissaster

I’m taking a road trip with my daughter Kailey to visit my Mom in Northern California for NYE. My Mom is a fantastic cook and runs a cooking blog at, and she likes to do big family meals for the holidays. This year, we all took on a different course, my Mom making the Prime Rib, Brian (her husband) making the yorkshire pudding, Kailey made the dessert (brownies), Trevor (my brother) made the green beans, and I made the salad featuring my Roasted Pecan Vinaigrette. We had a bit of excitement when Brian’s Yorkshire Pudding began smoking up the kitchen pretty badly. To spite the issues, the yorkshire was delicious! I took a glide of the happenings…

Age Verification for Alcohol Websites… Is it Required by Law?

Most websites even remotely related to alcohol will ask you to do some sort of age verification before you’re able to view their content. They generally do this by asking you for your birth month/year or simply ask you to check a box, click a button, or whatever to acknowledge whether you’re over the age of 21 or not. I find these ploys so easily defeated that I think they’re silly. However, they’re so pervasive that I had to wonder whether it was required by some sort of law… or was it simply alcohol vendors attempting to be responsible… or was it simply a convention most sites see their competitors employing and they assume they must also? I decided to do a little research and figure this out.

Firstly, I want to say that I believe our job as web designers is to make information accessible. I strongly believe we should limit the number of hurdles one has to jump over to get to that content. So, I vehemently oppose those pages which offer little more than an animated site logo and an “enter” link of some sort. These need to be vanquished from the web entirely since they offer zero value to the site visitor. I view the “are you 21” page as a similar barrier to the content.

Even if you think verifying the age of site visitors is a good idea, then we have to ask ourselves how we can do so effectively because anyone who can do simple math can add a false birth date/month to access the site’s content. Are we really being anymore responsible by creating this hurdle? Any sense that we are being more responsible is clearly an illusion.

So now the question, are we required by law to verify the age of the visitor prior to allowing access? The simple answer is thankfully “No!”. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) issued a report in 2008 titled “Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry” which offers various suggestions. Here’s a quote…

It also recommended that sites featuring content likely to have strong appeal to minors, or that permit alcohol purchases online, consider use of age-verification technologies

So there it is. It’s up to the industry to self-regulate. It’s our choice. It is not law. And since it is not good design, I would love to see these pages removed unless we find a way of verifying age which is not so easily defeated.


Breathing New Life into this Old Domain of Mine

Hello World Indeed!

I registered nearly 13 years ago, May 13th 2000 to be exact. In all that time, it’s mostly been nothing more than an email domain for me. I love that my email address is my Not many people enjoy that luxury, but not many people have as unique a last name as  me either. Google “geirman” and you’re likely to find pages about me or people I’m related to.

I’ve been in web development since 1998, so geez… 15 years now. During some of that time, this domain has served as my portfolio site. It was never much of one at that. As a web developer, your own site is the last one to get love.

Inspired by all the many great technical/development blogs out there, I thought I’d just start my own, probably mostly about web development topics, which is a renewed interest for me as of late. This past year, I’ve been working on a new company, FrogQuest, which has reintroduced me to my love of web development. Many years ago, I considered it a passion, but then moved up the ranks into management and while I’ve always done some development here and there, I’ve never done so intensely and with purpose as I have lately. And now, I realize, I missed it.

And so, here we go. Let the experiment begin.


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