Category: Uncategorized

Omnivore normative behavior

When reading about responsive web design, you’ll often come across the term “Hamburger Menu” and it will sometimes make me hungry. But it won’t make everyone hungry. It won’t make vegetarians hungry.  Nor pescetarians.

We live in an omnivore normative society where the assumption is often made that meat eating is normal and all else is the exception. Damn Omnivore Normative Behavior.

My current podcast subscriptions

One thing that I like about commuting versus working from home is that it gives me a specific buffer period where I can transition between working and not working. I use this buffer period to listen to music and podcasts and tend to go in phases where one is dominant.  Right now, podcasts are dominating.  Here is what I am currently listening to.

Girl Friday

Erin Gloria Ryan hosts a discussion that comes out every Friday that centers on the media, but especially woman’s experiences. The “Man Displeased” segment at the end helps show the comments that woman, but especially woman in the public eye, face.

All Songs Considered

NPR’s music podcast that introduces me to great music.

How I Built This

An interview by Guy Raz of NPR with someone that founded a company. It’s great to hear the stories of how companies that I respect came to be.

This Land Is Our Land

This started as a podcast focused on the trial of the Malheur refuge occupiers, but has also done a good job exploring land rights issues.


It seems to have gone on hiatus, but Cory and Matt do a great job of exploring what it means to be a leader, especially in the context of engineering leadership.

Post Status Draft

The one WordPress podcast I listen to.  Joe and Brian have a great discussion about both current events in the WordPress community and evergreen topics like teaching yourself.

99% Invisible

Taking its name from the phrase “Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”, this podcast looks at the hidden parts of design and how they influence who we are.

Savage Lovecast

Dan Savage serves up great advice every week in the humorous way that he is known for.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

The NPR news quiz, in podcast form.  I dream of being a contestant or panelist.

Gears! Gears! Gears!

I bought my friend’s three-year-old son Gears! Gears! Gears! as a holiday present and he absolutely loved it. Within moments of unwrapping it, he was building machines. The surprising part was just how much and his mom and I loved it as well.  If you are looking for for a STEM toy for a three-year-old who you want to encourage to be creative and build things, I recommend Gears! Gears! Gears!.

Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr is alone at No. 2 on the career scoring list after an assist Thursday night against the visiting Bruins. He passed Mark Messier with his 1,888th point.

Source: Jaromir Jagr passes Mark Messier for No. 2 on NHL points list

22 seasons into his NHL career, Jaromir Jagr now has the second most points of any NHL player.  You can get a point one of two ways: either you score a goal, or you assist another player in scoring a goal.  There can be up to two players given an assist on a scoring play.  Jaromir Jagr is now second behind Wayne Gretzky.  If Jaromir Jagr scores 76 more points, he will tie Wayne Gretzky. If we subtract every goal Gretzky ever scored.

A lesson from a fellow OSS maintainer: Why I took October off from OSS volunteering

For some people, when they realize how me and all other project maintainers out there are treated, they are horrified (and I’m not exaggerating when I say all project maintainers; I have yet to meet a maintainer who doesn’t suffer this kind of abuse). Others, though, don’t quite get it, so I’ve tried to come up with an analogy to help explain it.

Source: Why I took October off from OSS volunteering

Reading Brett’s tale of how he as an open source maintainer was treated, kept making me think “yes”, “this”, and “OMG, so much this”.

Working in the open and taking on the burden of maintainership is a giant challenge. Over the last year+, I’ve tried to say thank you more often to fellow maintainers.  It’s a small act, but it’s one that I think is important for anyone that considers themselves a leader. 

I am a designer

“Designer” is a label that I’ve struggled with for a number of years.  What does it mean to be a designer?  Have I earned the title?  If yes, what was it that I did.  If not, what do I need to do? Labels are always hard to apply, especially when it comes time to apply them to ourselves.

I am a designer.

If you google the question “What is the definition of a designer”, you’ll find that it says a designer is “a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built, typically by drawing it in detail.”.

Does that mean that every teacher is a designer?  They plan the workings of their lessons before they are presented.  They might draw out how students will interact.

Is a UX designer not, since the way they work isn’t “typically by drawing it in detail.” They think about the information architecture, many times before the information has been fully planned out.

I am a designer.

During one of my first jobs, I worked closely with three people who were all talented designers in very different ways. There was absolutely overlap in the skills they had and the tasks they did, but none of them was any more or less a designer. Each also showed me a different piece of design that needs to be thought about.

Jim could see the big picture better than almost all people I met.  Jeff could see the details, the colors, and the overall language a site gave off.  Foo could see the micro-interactions that really give a website it’s flavor.   I grew working next to and with the three of them.

I am a designer.

To me, deciding what how something should be for another person is what makes someone a designer. This could be deciding the colors they see, the typography they read, or the articles that are highlighted.  It’s not the label that matters nearly as much as the willingness to take the burden of choosing that makes someone a designer.  Yet, even though I take that burden often, it doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe if I repeat that I am a designer enough, I’ll accept that I am a designer.

I am a designer.