Thoughts for the week’s end

I knew nothing about land-grant universities before I started working at WSU. Of course Stephen promised me (and followed through on) a commitment to open source and I was convinced that we had an excellent opportunity to help people share their work, but I still had a lot to learn. I absorbed those lessons quickly enough that I felt comfortable giving a talk at WordCamp San Francisco a year later on how the ethos of open source aligns with the ethos of land-grant.

It may go without saying how much I believe that the ethos of free and open source software aligns with the University’s land-grant mission of advancing communities through the sharing of our work.

Me, resigning.

While I was poking around at some old documents this week, as part of the never-ending (or starting) task to organize things stored in the cloud, I stumbled upon the resignation letter I submitted when I left WSU and was happy to see that I even included my feelings there. That line was followed with some thinly veiled snark about hoping the university continued to embrace that ethos.

The web department may have been losing some of its ability to drive change—or I may have been sapped of the energy to fight for it, but that general ethos remains an important part of the greater institution and the people who work there. That’s why I still root for WSU and still love seeing stories like the one this week about the Bread Lab and it’s work in producing an affordable whole-grain sandwich bread. It’s cool to see a collective of bread producers around the country working toward a common goal.

I’m looking forward to trying out King Arthur Flour’s version of the recipe.


Speaking of land-grants, I’ve been absorbing the content from Colorado State’s massive billiards resource for the last couple weeks. It’s so great.


And! Brian Boyer’s tweet: “The best things on the internet are published by university extension programs.”

I’ll stop soon, I promise. But “Clipping a Dog’s Claws” was consistently one of the most visited pages in the WSU ecosystem. People want useful and accurate information. Land-grant universities share work with the community by definition.


I pulled out my very dusty from sitting on a shelf 2011-era Macbook Air so that I could connect a DVD drive via USB and two things…

How sad is it that the fancy expensive USB-C dongle for my Macbook Pro won’t supply the required power for this DVD drive to work.

But the real point is that the keyboard remains fantastic. I love typing on that Macbook Air and I’m happy that I’ve kept it around. If I ever decide to write a novel, this would be the laptop to do it on.


It’s so weird that I bought a DVD drive in 2020 and signed up for Netflix DVD for the first time in 15 (?) years just so that I could rent a movie that I used to own but got rid of because “you’ll be able to stream everything in the future!” 🏴‍☠️


When I first starting writing these weekly posts, the ' character was in the title. For the last couple of weeks that ' has been converted into a when I save the first draft.

I’m not versed enough in Gutenberg’s organization to know where to look. In the olden days, I’d use git bisect to figure this out in a few minutes. Check out a revision, refresh, check out a revision, refresh. The world of node_modules makes me think this is less easy now.

I need to spend some time figuring out the right workflow for the new world.


Very excited to learn this week that the back of a Google Pixel 3 shatters just as well as the front. 🤦‍♂️

It may be that this phone is cursed. I dropped my Pixel 2 and broke the screen, but because it was already paid off I went ahead and waited out the few months until the Pixel 3 was released rather than pay the fee for the replacement.

Then I dropped the Pixel 3—at less than a year old—and shattered the screen. This time I was well within the replacement period, so I paid $99 for the exchange. But the refurbished phone I received had a strange issue where it would flash bright green repeatedly.

Google kindly sent another (I think new) phone to replace that one, but in the day or few that I had both, I was carrying the old one because I hadn’t yet transferred all of my 2FA stuff and it fell out of my bag while I crossed the street and went straight down a sewer drain.

That was a strange feeling. It was like I had thrown $900 into a sewer drain.

Luckily, Pullman’s sewer drains aren’t secured shut in any way and Michelle and I were able to find it. Here I am, 3 months later, and the replacement has a shattered back!

I’m grateful that I pay $5/month for the extended warranty and that Google only charges $99 to replace a cracked screen/back. And I’m grateful that the replacement will be here almost 24 hours later.

But yeesh, let this be the last time!


Of all the people in the world to go to bat for… Rod Blagojevich? As a resident of Illinois for my first 31 years, I feel personally attacked.


There was a moment when we were told Bloomberg might run for president when, even as a fairly staunch anti-billionaire, I thought to myself… “maybe?”

Of course, then—ignoring, for now, the person he is—his campaign started buying influence via meme (sorry, two weeks in a row with that one) and anyone sitting back to calculate the math of what it means to be a political candidate “worth” 60 billion dollars can come to the conclusion that the campaign can effectively last forever while spending gobs more money than anyone who is not a billionaire.

So, okay. That’s irritating and disgusting and not the world I want.

After Wednesday night’s debate, Bloomberg’s campaign released a doctored video that implies all other candidates stared blankly when Bloomberg talked about being the only one that had started a business.

Which gets under my skin so much more than I should allow it to. A person with virtually unlimited campaign funds intentionally spreading misinformation to millions of people to influence an election in his favor. Four years after an election that was swamped with intentional misinformation. 🤮


I still think of Project Nebraska every time I get snarky.


We were walking in the neighborhood tonight—it’s actually getting warm enough and light enough for evening walks!—and saw our first Bloomberg 2020 sign in a yard. My snark came out as: “I wonder how much he paid them to put that up.”


On a positive note, I finally finished Orlando, by Virginia Woolf, who I hadn’t read before. I don’t think I understood much of the book’s references, and it took me a while to read, but it was interesting in many parts and contained a handful of moments I was not expecting that caused me to actually say “oh shit!” out loud while reading. 📚

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