Archive for August, 2018

‪For my birthday I…‬

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Had coffee from Backporch

Worked on moving the last stuff out of and cleaning up our old house

Got an Ocean Roll from @sparrowbakery for breakfast

Did some unpacking at the new house

Went for a hike with Ruby, Miranda, and Jack from Tumalo Falls to Double Falls. We used the hiking baby backpack (that we picked up used yesterday) for the second time (yesterday we did the river trail)

Ate a weedgummy and took a load of moving junk to the dump

Went for dinner at Parilla – which was excellent the first time I went there and not very good time time

Blew out the candles Miranda put into the cheesecake my dad sent me; made wish

Watched Avatar because it was downloaded on my computer and we don’t have internet at the new house yet. Hooked up to TV via dongle and HDMI cable

Got ready for early start tomorrow at new gym and going back to the office. It’s Cassidy’s first day at CodePen tomorrow

Simply Banh Mi

Monday, August 20th, 2018

What is your wife’s cousin’s husband called? Anyway, that’s John Tran to me, who’s got a great little profile in byGeorge. The article opens up about his “objectively bad website”:

We have a pretty objectively bad website. If I paid someone to make that, I’d be pretty irritated. But I try to be real. I’m not going to pay someone to do this, and I think our food is good, so there you have it. You could have the best website, but who’s going to do that? Getting to the bottom’s real easy, so I went with that.

It’s really not that bad. It’s cute and funny. It’s got ordering links. It’s got a map and contact information. You could do a lot worse.

It reminds me of Dan Cederholm’s favorite website.

This is my favorite website. I visit it almost every day. It’s not responsive. It’s not optimized for iPhone. It looks blurry on a Retina display. It doesn’t use the latest HTML5/CSS3 framework. It doesn’t have a thoughtful vertical rhythm. The fonts are nothing special. It is neither skeumorphic nor flat. It doesn’t have its own favicon. It doesn’t have a native app or Twitter or Instagram. It doesn’t use AJAX or SCRUM or node.js or Sinatra. It doesn’t have an API or an RSS feed or VC funding. It hasn’t been featured on a prominent tech blog or won an award.

It tells me the soups of the day.

For the record, Dan posted that 5 years ago and it’s still telling the soup of the day.

Farewell, Charlotte

Monday, August 20th, 2018

She was one of the best ones. Here’s hoping her retirement is relaxing and rewarding.

I’m retiring from the web design industry. The web dev industry. Just the web in general. I’m so burnt out, and I don’t think it’s recoverable. It’s not a hidden secret that the web can be a toxic place and as designers and developers, the people who build this, we can contribute to making this a better or worse place. When I first started doing web design, social media wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as it is now and I would focus on websites as a source of entertainment or information. Then, slowly, the field evolved. Trends changed, mostly for the better, but the ones that changed for the worst have — in my opinion — soured the job for me. There’s a larger focus on being data-driven, hyperanalytical, and algorithmically intelligent, which has led to polarising politics and views to extreme lengths. As a trans woman, I get to see extreme misogyny and transphobia (and transmisogyny, the two together) first-hand spiralling online.

My Favorite Wisconsin Cheeses

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

I’m not a massive cheese expert. I’m sure there are all sorts of fancy cheeses I’ve never tried. I’m also limited in my cheese palette. I’m not a big fan of blues, anything goat, any of the smelly ones, or even swiss. But I have my favorites.

Sartori Montamoré

Pretty much anything by Sartori is awesome.

The Espresso BellaVitano is also supreme.

Landmark Pipit

Landmark Creamery’s Petit Nuage is the fresh version and seems like it’s more celebrated (it’s great), but I like the normal version.

Literally any super fresh cheese curds.


They better be under 24 hours old.

Cesar’s Queso Oaxaca

I’m a pretty big fan of your basic Baker Smoked String Cheese, but if you wanna go a little fancier this is the way to go.

Hook’s Cheddar

Older the better.

Cheddar cheese is literally a commodity in the US. It’s only usurped by mozzarella in popularity, because pizza. Wisconsin makes a lot of cheddar, but it’s largely unremarkable. If you’re gonna go there for fancy cheese eatin’ (not just for some random nachos), this’ll do ya.

Widmer’s Brick

I feel like Brick is pretty Wisconsiny as-is, and this is perhaps Wisconsin’s best. For a super Wisconsiny cheese, try a Butterkäse!

The Wonder Spot

Friday, August 17th, 2018

The Wisconsin Dells is a tourist mecca of a city. Loaded with water parks, mini golfing, go karts, boat tours, and the like. I grew up nearby, so I’ve done it all. It’s a naturally beautiful place (a “dell” is a pleasant “small secluded hollow”). There is water throughout the Dells like the lovely Wisconsin River and Lake Delton. They are full of cool rock formations like this:

So as touristy as the Dells are, it’s a lovely place to be anyway because of all the Wisconsin natural beauty. More recently, the Dells has become full of big year-round resorts. The Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge, The Wilderness… They’ve changed the Dells a bit. For one thing, they are open all year and bring the water park experience indoors. As a kid, the Dells were basically closed in the winter. Not so much anymore. But the resorts also keep people at the resorts. Why leave the resort where there is loads of food and fun right there?

I hope I’m not whining – I think the resorts are pretty darn nice actually, but they do make the Dells seem smaller. If you camp out or staying a little motel, you spend your time in the Dells bopping around to different parks and attractions and the whole city feels like this funzone wonderland.

Speaking of wonder, one of those attractions that stuck in my mind my entire life is The Wonder Spot.

It was this cheezy little tour, it probably cost something like five dollars. They would tell you that gravity works differently here at the Wonder Spot. I don’t remember all the details perfectly. It was something like a meteor was buried in a hill across the small valley and it was the cause of the strange gravity.

The tour led you down this path into a fenced area with a little wooden cabin.

It did feel weird in there. The tour was full of things like marbles running uphill, chairs balancing on 2 legs, and hanging from a bar feeling like you were being pulled in a strange direction.

It was damn memorable, anyhow. Especially as a kid, where you buy the gravity change hook line and sinker. As an adult, it’s still weird. It’s an optical illusion, but there is some natural component to it, and I’m sure accentuated by the angle by which they built the cabin and fence.

On a recent family trip to the Dells, I thought perhaps I could take some of the kids over there. But alas, we didn’t have time. We were having a great time at a resort ;)

But even if we did, upon looking it up, I discovered it was gone! Apparently, the city of Lake Delton wanted to build a road and offered up enough money to close the thing. RIP Wonder Spot, 1952-2007. That article has some fun anecdotes…

Carney, who bought the Wonder Spot from his sister in 1988, said he loved watching people’s reactions.

“I don’t know how many times I heard, ‘Do you sell Dramamine?”‘ he said.

One woman, after stumbling through the cabin, sprinkled her mother’s ashes on the ground.

“She just said, ‘This was mom’s favorite place and she wanted to be here,”‘ Carney said.

I’m not the only one to lament the loss.

it was all great fun in a mild, pre-Disney World kind of way that I appreciated.

So I like to think that the hole that drained Lake Delton was the revenge of the Wonder Spot, reversing gravity one final time.

That lake-draining thing is wholenother story.

I appreciate the final owner’s self-awareness:

Carney said the attraction was easy to promote because it seemed that, although “no one comes to the Dells area to see the Wonder Spot, everyone who does come here sees it. They all came here with their grandmas and grandpas,” he said.

It was 100% my grandpa and grandma who took me there the first time. I can’t wait to be a grandpa someday and find my own Wonder Spot.