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Gardening

This is my entry for this month’s IndieWeb Carnival, a monthly challenge to write on a specific topic. For this month, Mark Sutherland selected Gardening. I used to despise gardening. I hated every part of the process: pulling weeds, planting, watering, pulling more weeds. None of it appealed to me. The flowers that came out of it were nice to look at, but that never outweighed the work I didn’t enjoy.

My Favorite Politician Isn't Real

I wrote this in June, 2014 as part of a college course about civic responsibility. It came up today in this fediverse thread so I decided to dig it up for some reflection. Looking at it again 9 years later, I was right. I’m still a hypocrite, and the privacy situation has absolutely gotten worse. Below is the text I wrote for the assignment, unedited from 2014. Sam Seaborn is not a real politician.

"Just Learn to Code" Isn't a Real Solution

Last week, I saw a video on Instagram about the WGA strike that stuck with me. I unfortunately don’t remember who posted it, but he has worked as a TV writer for decades and currently writes for a popular Netflix show. It was posted by Michael Jamin, who has worked as a TV writer and producer since the mid 90s. His video was a response to a comment that basically said it was unreasonable for writers who only worked part of the year to expect health insurance.

Three Months of Work Log

I don’t remember where, but I saw a recommendation a few months ago to keep a written, daily log of everything you do at work. Toward the end of February, I decided to apply this to my own work and I’m writing this after just finishing the third month of doing so. This is my method for tracking my work. I have a folder on my laptop called work_log and each month gets its own Markdown file.

Complaining

The last two blog posts I started drafting were just complaining. Both were about terrible UI on company websites and I didn’t post them because I just didn’t want to be that negative. Everyone knows UI on the internet is a mess and I’m not a UI guy, so anything I have to say about it wouldn’t amount to much other than senseless whining. Nobody wants to read that. Complaining about the same things as everyone else isn’t just not interesting, it actively makes the ecosystem worse.

Self Code Review

When I submit a change for code review, I take time to review it myself before tagging any of my teammates. Of course I look through the code in my editor before deciding I’m finished with the change, but that is only the first step. After I think the change is ready, I push my changes to Github and open a draft pull request. Using an interface designed for code review puts me in a critical mindset and helps me find issues I didn’t notice in the editor.

My Awful Basement Lights

My partner and I bought our house in 2019 and it very quickly became obvious that the basement lights were awful. There are six lights, two per switch with one switch at the top of the stairs, one near the ceiling behind a bar, and one on the opposite side of the room. It was annoying trying to turn all the lights on or off without tripping over anything, so we quickly bought some Hue bulbs to be able to use voice commands with Google Home to control the lights.

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends

Nicole Perlroth’s This is How They Tell Me the World Ends is a deep dive into the history of the global cyberweapons market. It covers the origins of bug bounty programs, some history of offensive operations at the NSA, a narrative of well-known cyberattacks, and discussion of the risk the United States faces from digital attack. It is equal parts exciting and terrifying and overall a worthy read for anyone interested in cybersecurity.

Remaking My Site

I had the idea for this site around 5 years ago (I think I first registered the domain in late 2017) while I was working as a software engineer and partway through a master’s degree in data science. I was convinced it was going to be a data science blog where I’d show off all the neat projects I completed, post tutorials, and all the other cool things people do on data science blogs.