i thank you both very much. that was a big help.
i had never heard the term 'key' before.
as far as the original code goes, it works beautifully in my website. i must not have made a faithful distillation of it when i brought it in. that was what was aggravating me. i used the code to partially drive my website, but could not understand what it meant. aggravating.
ok. i will make a fresh start at understanding it. braces, keys, colons. hmmm