Oatmeal

A digital pillow fort

The Hulk’s real power is pants preservation. Those things stay intact, no matter what.

"Whenever I have some time to myself, I panic."

Whenever I have some time to myself, I panic. Unstructured time — especially spent alone — is phenomenally rare in my life and I feel an overwhelming obligation to make good use of it. I should get some laundry done. Meal prep. Ask each item in my dresser if it brings me joy. Figure out how to fold a fitted sheet. Paint my nails. Work on the play I’m writing. Do a face mask. But instead, I deal with my option paralysis in the least helpful way possible: by scrolling through my phone alone in the dark until I run out of battery (literally or figuratively) and put myself to bed feeling like I’ve lost something valuable and hating myself for it. I can’t be productive, and I can’t fully relax, and I can’t possibly be alone in this.

Not alone at all. Not at all.

The feeling described in this article by Molly Conway is one of the reasons that I so love to play boardgames and roleplaying games. Contemporary society, at least as far as I’ve known it, doesn’t generally value or respect playtime (especially for adults).

Sitting down with a group of folks to play a game, especially a time-consuming one, takes a concerted effort of scheduling and intention. You have to want to play…to prioritize it. This isn’t to say you have to turn play into work, but, it has to be something you want to do enough to make the time to do it. I like that. I want play to be something that I prioritize.

So, rumble leaf, tumble leaf — go play!

A snowy street, with brick buildings along either side.

Snow street.

Link logging

WebAuthn; A better alternative for securing our sensitive information online

I’ve mixed feelings about this — but tbh, I am not in the lease qualified to opine one way or the other. That being said, I’m really digging the .guide TLD.

Video of a Japanese Space Probe Touching Down on an Asteroid

While I was struggling get some react and an API to cooperate other people were landing a probe on an asteroid.

Grainy image of the probe’s landing zone

The Geography of America’s Mobile and Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.

I catch myself (panicked) thinking about this a lot in the context of climate change, wondering where we should live if we are going to be stuck there.

Technical communication is particularly hard for newcomers

One of the key components to good technical communication is the right amount of context.

Cache-Control for Civilians

One of the most common and effective ways to manage the caching of your assets is via the Cache-Control HTTP header. This header applies to individual assets, meaning everything on our pages can have a very bespoke and granular cache policy. The amount of control we’re granted makes for very intricate and powerful caching strategies.

Handy dandy skip to point link

The Growing Complexity Of Developing Websites and the Growing Ease Of Using Site Builders

Developers like to develop. They like code and development tools and they’re bringing more of those things to the design and development of websites. Instead of writing HTML and CSS directly, now we’re told to write both inside Javascript.

Continuing,

The downside of this change is that it’s becoming more difficult for someone new (particular on the design side) to enter the field. The barrier for entry is increasing as the requirements are growing more complex.

I think this is spot on — something that I believe is missing from this conversation, however, is that raising the barrier for entry also runs the risk of making the community even more homogenous.

The Great Divide

Very much in-line with the previous entry:

The divide is between people who self-identify as a (or have the job title of) front-end developer, yet have divergent skill sets.

This article is nice in that it spells out a solution, and offers some guidance for how best to talk about the work of front-end development…and points out that front-end development can mean a lot of different things to a different people.

An exercise in progressive enhancement

A recent project I’ve been tinkering with was a good use case for me to familiarise myself with the actual implementation of a site that works without Javascript, but is enhanced by Javascript when it is available.

Making Things Better: Redefining the Technical Possibilities of CSS by Rachel Andrew

A CSS tech-talk liveblog,

CSS tries to avoid data loss.

Writing in Emacs

A nice little assortment of packages for writing words inside of emacs. I’ll also take this as an opportunity to plug my homespun config that I’m still really digging: tilde.el

Code hidden in Stone Age art may be the root of human writing

🤯

Climate crisis and a betrayed generation

Leading to ⤵️

The Servant Economy

West Marches: Running Your Own

Zelda Breath of the Wild meets table top gaming! An open world, sandbox style RP is something I’ve always wanted to try…maybe set on the high seas! 🏴‍☠️

Check out all these historical Jolly Roger flags from wikipedia

Shout out to the best from the collection, Jacquotte Delahaye’s Back From the Dead Red” flag

Shout out to this, the greatest flag — a lady pirate dancing with a very jolly looking skeleton holding a spear.

Meet the Maker: Sissy Moon Ceramics. I went to undergrad with Sinda. I want to make things on the web like she makes cermamics.

PN: One of the defining features of your work and Sissy Moon in general is the playfulness. That playfulness feels quite deliberate. Why is playfulness so important?

SK: Playfulness is important because life is crazy. Seriousness is bland at best and suffocating at worst. There’s a lot of heaviness in our lives. Humor and fun help us breathe.

PN: Based on your own experience, is there any advice can you pass along to other artists and makers?

SK: Make high quality work and make it from your own heart.

New fav hex code: #baaddd

Parenting is not being able to check the mail for over a week because you have no clue where your kid stashed the post box key.

🔑 🤷‍♂️ 🕵️‍♀️

I would love to see the logic iOS uses when determining where to output a call’s audio. Whenever I get a call it rings on my phone, computer, and watch at the same time. Often times I’m wearing wireless headphones that can pair to any of those three devices, but that are most often paired with my phone. I usually accept the call on my watch, but the audio is immediately available to my headphones.

╰(˙ᗜ˙)੭━☆゚.*・。゚

Man in yellow coat pulling a child on a sled through a snowy city street.

Snow day explorations

Large masonry oven.

Oven lovin’ — totally smitten

Link logging

Tokyo Neapolitan: The New Wave of Japanese Pizza

If you are gonna do a thing, you might as well do that thing as well as you can. 🍕

The Famous Photo of Chernobyl’s Most Dangerous Radioactive Material Was a Selfie

…I looked through all the other captions of photos similar photos of the destroyed core, and they were all taken by Korneyev, so it’s likely this photo was an old-school timed selfie. The shutter speed was probably a little slower than for the other photos in order for him to get into position, which explains why he seems to be moving and why the glow from his flashlight looks like a lightning flash. The graininess of the photo, though, is likely due to the radiation.

Living Systems | James Grier Miller | 1978

Confession — I haven’t dug into this yet. As someone with 2 degrees in Human Ecology (e.g. the interdisciplinary study of people and our environment) I feel obligated to read this.

A bit more background on rights for nature.

Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future

What do I mean by the open Web”? I mean the World Wide Web as created by Tim Berners-Lee and extended by later coders. The open Web is effectively a set of protocols that allows the creating, sharing, and experiencing of text, sounds, and images on any computer that is connected to the Internet and has installed on it a browser that can interpret information encoded in conformity with these protocols.

In their simplicity, those protocols are relentlessly generative, producing a heterogeneous mass of material for which the most common descriptor is simply content.” It took a while for that state of affairs to come about, especially since early Internet service providers like CompuServe and AOL tried to offer proprietary content that couldn’t be found elsewhere, after the model of newspapers or magazines. This model might have worked for a longer period if the Web had been a place of consumption only, but it was also a place of creation, and people wanted what they created to be experienced by the greatest number of people possible. (As advertising made its way onto the Web, this was true of businesses as well as individuals.) And so the open Web, the digital commons, triumphed over those first attempts to keep content enclosed.

Autism from the inside

Reframing,

When I come across instances of this folk understanding of autism, I am reminded of Edward Said’s 1978 description of the orientalist gaze, in which the exoticised subjects endure a kind of fascinated scrutiny, and are then rendered without depth, in swollen detail’.

…In this anaerobic environment, the qualities routinely assigned to autistic people — lack of empathy, unworldliness, humourlessness, the inability to love — are the exact inverse of the qualities that a neurotypical society most prizes.

For a moment, let’s flip things over. To an autistic viewer like me, neurotypical life can seem astonishingly unemotional. I’m so overwhelmed by the sensory onslaught of a busy room that I’m almost tearful, while neurotypical folk appear to wade through clouds of sound, light and odour, entirely oblivious. It’s hard to resist the impression that they’re numb, or unreal somehow. They are certainly displaying a lack of affect in the face of extreme provocation. Where I am in constant movement; they are somehow still.

The incredible nature of Abstract Art and how it can change the way you think about everything.

The point of the art wasn’t what you saw on the original painting, but what it left behind after you had looked at it. The experienced stayed and lingered with you. I thought this was incredible, and beautiful and amazing.

Variations On A Utilitarian Theme

Read along, if you will, as I tell a little story of sorts through a series of excerpts. It is essentially a story about the links among prevalent trends involving surveillance, data, security, self-documentation, and happiness.

The Ones Who Walk Away From…Facebook

How I lost my legs and gained… you want me to say something inspiring here

Don’t miss the author’s sneaker reviews.

Component frameworks and web standards

This post has three parts: in the first, I look at what I like about the web standards stance” or a vanilla approach”. In the second, I share what I liked when I used a JavaScript component framework. In the last part, I look at whether these two approaches are actually different: maybe I assumed a false dichotomy?

How to master advanced TypeScript patterns

This Medium post sneaks in a pretty solid overview of currying (as I understand it, at least).

We Need Chrome No More

The dominance of Chrome has a major detrimental effect on the Web as an open platform: developers are increasingly shunning other browsers in their testing and bug-fixing routines. If it works as intended on Chrome, it’s ready to ship. This in turn results in more users flocking to the browser as their favorite Web sites and apps no longer work elsewhere, making developers less likely to spend time testing on other browsers. A vicious cycle that, if not broken, will result in most other browsers disappearing in the oblivion of irrelevance. And that’s exactly how you suffocate the open Web.

Flashback to the last week’s link log, from Choo’s documentation:

A fun way to think about browsers, is as a standardized Virtual Machine (VM) that includes high-level APIs to do networking, sandboxed code execution and disk access. It runs on almost every platform, behaves similarly everywhere, and is always kept backwards compatible.

The Super Tiny Compiler

Learn about compilers by reading through a very tiny one.

Dynamicland

Our mission is to incubate a humane dynamic medium whose full power is accessible to all people.

Field Guide to Bash Terminals

A bit shorter than the bash man page. Good, basic, info.

A Beginner’s Guide To Dragon Ball

The biggest lie you’ll ever hear about Dragon Ball from both fans and critics alike is that there are long stretches of episodes full of attacks charging and nothing else. It was something I had always heard about the show and was warned about when I decided to check it out. I waited and waited for these fabled episodes and by the end of DBZ, I realized they don’t exist

Once upon a time I watched a ton of Dragon Ball and One Piece…in French. They use the imperative tense a lot. I’d like to re-watch some of each in English one day.

Freestanding brick wall in front of a mill building.

I created a tag-specific rss feed for my blot.im site, and you can too!

I’ll be the first to admit that I post a lot of disperate stuff to my website. Maybe folks don’t wanna follow it all? Maybe you just wanna follow my link log posts? Now you can!

I’ve added the ability to subscribe to rss feeds for posts with a specific tag. From any tag page, you’ll now find a link that (as of this moment) says Follow this tag.” Clicking that will expose the tag-specific rss feed.

Do you use blot? Wanna do the same?

3 easy steps:

Step the first

Create a new view to use for the rss feed. I called mine tag.rss.

Step the second

Paste the following code into the newly created view.

Step the last

Access the new view, someurl.com/tag.rss?name=pineapple, where pineapple is any tag you’ve applied to content on your site!

Now that you’ve got a working tag-specific rss feed, expose it to your readers somehow.

As always, huge shoutout to David, the mastermind of blot.im.

Of note: this functionality is currently undocumented and could change down the road.

Black and white dog lounging in an armchair.

Weekend vibes

Dragons, cars, work, mills and states starting with the letter 'M'

March! February has come and gone, and March is now begun.

Things of note:

  • The car
    • broke
    • was fixed
    • broke again
    • was fixed again (this time for good, we hope!)
  • I ran the first campaign session for a Dungeons and Dragons group that I was invited to GM. I think it went pretty well! The group is a) HUGE and b) new to Dungeons and Dragons so we’re taking it slow. Doing this, and reading like a million books, has led to my really wanting to play some other games. Making the time between work and family is hard. Who new, making time to play games as an adult in this day and age isn’t wicked easy.
  • We (aka family unit) explored some of the greater Portland area, including the mills of Biddeford and Saco
  • We continue to noodle the potential possibility of one day, maybe, moving from Maine to Minnesota
  • Work-wise I’ve been focused on a lot of QA tasks as well as doing some frontend stuff. A recent project has brought me back into the world of CSS preprocessors…such feels. It looks like next month I’ll be partially focused on writing a lot of documentation which I am wicked excited about. It is probably my favorite work related activity these days
  • The migration from WebFaction to Linode is more or less complete. Linode is nice
  • I continue to poke at side projects, finishing” nothing
  • Got new glasses

For those times you need a little rainbow

.rainbow {
  text-fill-color: transparent;
  background-image: linear-gradient(90deg, #F79533 0%, #F37055 15%, #EF4E7B 30%, #A166AB 44%, #5073B8 58%, #1098AD 72%, #07B39B 86%, #6DBA82 100%);
  background-size: cover;
  -webkit-background-clip: text;
  -webkit-text-fill-color: transparent;
          background-clip: text;
}

When applied to text, this class changes text’s color from whatever it is by default to a rainbow 🌈.

It is an interesting bit of css because it achieves this by essentially turning the text into a knockout overlay on top of an embedded background image (the rainbow gradient). The text itself is transparent, allowing the background beneath (behind) to show through. This is all achieved without needing to convert the text to svg, or use some weird font. Straight up css 🦄.

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