Aug 13, 2015  •  In Aerin, Claire, Personal

Lazy Days of Summer

Aerin is still at an age where the things she says can sometimes be difficult to understand.

“Umma, can yoo be the peejun and I be the pellekrin falkon?”

“Huh? Can you say that again?”

Luckily, Claire can understand her little sister better than anyone else.

“Umma, I know what she said! She said, ‘Can you be the pigeon and I be the Perigrine falcon?'” (Both kids love Wild Kratts.)

Thank goodness for older sisters.  :-) 

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While the first half of summer was busy with camp, this last month is relatively dull. Trips to the local playgrounds and urban water park. Sleepovers at halmuhni and halahbuhji’s house. Weddings. An excursion to the museum. And daily study sessions with umma so that they don’t fall behind in school. (Can you believe my 4-year-old is already reading level 3 books and starting fractions?)

It sounds like a lot when it’s laid out like that, but these last weeks before school starts again in September have been easy-going and lax. And I prefer to keep it this way. Both girls love school, but summer vacations should be loose and lazily enjoyable, no?

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As you can probably imagine, my days have been busy with the kids. My health is slowly but steadily on the mend, and I’m currently looking for part-time or even full-time work since both girls will be in school from 8:30-3:30 every weekday come September. (If you have any leads, please let me know!)

There are days when I can’t wait for J to return home from work so that he can take over while I escape to take a long bath to destress. Claire exhausts me with her endless questions and Aerin still isn’t potty-trained.

But my girls are pretty amazing. Their imaginations, creativity, and spunk astound me every day. And when they randomly run over to give me a hug, to tell me, “Umma, I love you”? Those moments are just about perfect.

Aug 12, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Geek, Star Wars, Web

Watch Star Wars in Text Animation

This may be old news to other Star Wars fans, but I can’t believe I haven’t come across this until now!

As the title of this post implies, you can watch Star Wars Episode IV in ASCII via telnet. Just type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl into any command line and watch the magic unfold!

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Brought to you by ASCIIMATION, the enterprise started in July 1997 and has been last updated in January this year. The movie, at the moment, contains 16,481 frames8-O 

A huge thanks to J for the tip!

Aug 4, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Blogging, Geek, Personal

Late to the Mobile Game

I may be a technology- and gadget-loving geek, but there are some topics that cause me to be bullheaded in my old-fashioned ways. Physical books over e-books/e-readers. Text over videos. (I hate it when I click over to a promising article to discover that I would need to watch a video to see what it’s about. Also, no vlogging or Vine for me.) And websites’ desktop views over mobile views.

Yes, even when browsing the web on my phone, I prefer to view every site as they were originally designed. I appreciate good design. I want to see these designs on my phone, even if it means a longer loading time.

So I put off creating a mobile version of this blog for quite some time, knowing full well that some most people would disagree with me.

But it was a losing battle. Earlier this year, Google announced that it will begin to penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly. And I began to see the ramifications of this decision a couple of months ago, when my traffic began to decrease. More specifically, traffic from search engines….which actually makes up a large chunk of my visitors.

I began work on a responsive design and I did a pretty job of it, but I hated that I couldn’t control every little aspect of it — at least without a lot of extra work — due to the vast varieties of mobile devices and screen sizes out there.

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What my site would look like in a responsive format…but it looked crappier
and crappier as the screen decreased in size. It just wasn’t worth it at the end.

So I decided to go with a trusted mobile plugin, WPtouch. It was easy to set up, the customization painless, and…well, take a look! (If you’re not already viewing this on your mobile device, that is.)

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Best of all, there is a toggle at the bottom of the page that allows you to switch to the desktop view if you so desire.

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It’s not my ideal solution (because if I had my way, every site would look and behave exactly the same on every device and every browser), but the masses — and Google — have spoken.

What do you think? Go take a look and let me know if you notice any bugs!

Jul 21, 2015  •  In Infographics, Information, Relationships, Web

The Disapproval Matrix

Where does criticism come from, and how should you handle it? Look no further than Ann Friedman’s Disapproval Matrix.

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Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.

Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too. 

Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.

Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.

Via Kottke.