Tech Juice Cleanse warm-up: WordPress weeding and identity iteration

With thanks to Robert Monk for the photo and West Philly’s Satellite Cafe for kale smoothies since before they were cool.

I have some free time coming up and I’ll use some of it to work on a little garden plot of personal tech-adjacent projects. I’m calling it a Tech Juice Cleanse. The intent is to:

  1. Exercise my values and motivations through novel–even quirky–teaching perspectives
  2. Learn tools to bring to life some ideas that have been waiting patiently for me to get around to them
  3. Generally re-connect with the fun parts of being a tech worker. NB: There will be sewing.

Step 0 was to update my WordPress theme. The old one was perfectly functional and had banner photos harvested from treasured travel memories, but it was visually clunky.

So out with the old, in with Rikke. It’s nice, right? I’ve done precisely zero CSS wrangling, just some … Read the rest

Un-Borked

Erm. So, WordPress had replaced the widgets in my right sidebar with my penultimate post, but only on the front page. If I clicked a post to view it on its own page, the sidebar worked correctly. But it persisted even if I deleted a post or changed my theme.

I managed to fix it, but I’m not sure how. I do know that my web host upgraded WordPress a few days ago and that I only noticed the issue yesterday. Yesterday I did notice that the html editor was adding a lot of div tags that it wasn’t using before. I went through my last few posts and replaced them with the good ol’ P (paragraph) tag. The front page works again. I’m not 100% convinced it’s because of the deleted div tags, but the sidebar in my theme is indeed differentiated with div tags, so maybe???… Read the rest

“Uterine Invader! I mean, happy breeding to you!”

With thanks to JJ for the quote!

Folks, somehow this ended up in my uterus:
Uterine invader!

I KNOW, RIGHT? I’m as confused as you are, but I suspect that project partner, housemate, and special friend Far McKon may have had some involvement. I raise my eyebrow at you, sir.

Here’s a FAQ about my spawn.

Basic stats?
Due mid-August. Sex unknown. Name TBD. Proto-baby was not planned, per se, but also not a surprise. Anticipated delivery at The Birth Center. Using a doula who has a special interest in this birth, as she also acts as my sister when she’s not applying counterpressure or advising on the latest research on perineal massage.

I’m your friend. Why did you tell the Internet before you told me?
Erm, it’s complicated? I’m really sorry if my failure to disclose is annoying or hurtful.  Parts of the Internet already know and it’s public knowledge … Read the rest

In defense of Solo-working: Because working with certain people sucks

Co-working and shared workspaces are all the rage, but every time I hear a hackerspace advocate talk about that sense of community and how it’s better than working alone in your dark basement, I shudder a little.  It’s wonderful that people are finding ways to team up and have more than any of them could on their own, and I love hearing about the serendipitous moments of genius that arise because the right people were in the same room at the right time.

But to me, “sense of community” often means “lots of people I’m not that attached to but spend unjustifiable amounts of time with, and a social contract that I don’t necessarily agree with”.  I feel like hackerspaces and co-working joints come with an expectation that you’re looking for new buddies, but I already struggle to find time to spend with the most important people in my life, … Read the rest

New word: Make-cation

With compliments to–and on the urging of–new friend and awesome electrical engineer/artist Sophi Kravitz, I give you my new word:

Make-cation – 1.  Time off to make stuff.  2.  The stuff you do when you’re procrastinating to avoid the other stuff you’re doing.

Usage: 1.  “Argh, I’m working so much lately that I don’t have time to do anything creative.  I need a make-cation!”  2.  “I’m taking a quick make-cation from writing my thesis to whip up a batch of milk paint.”

Example: When you take a week off for carpentry, cabinetry, or welding classes at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont, that’s a make-cation.

On make-cation at Yestermorrow
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Chronicle of a Lab Coat Foretold

I’ve really enjoyed other Hiver76s’ stories of how they became makers, but I’m a little shy to share like that. Instead, I’m starting a new meme: How I use my lab coat.

 

Using polishing compound to shine up a piece of titanium that I'd machined on a watchmaker's lathe. Note the fetching eyewear. Damn right I rock the safety gear...usually.

 

Several of us Hive76 fashionistas have special relationships with our lab coats, from dignified appreciation to reckless abandon. I’m one of those people who shows my lab coat undying affection by using the crap out of it. Every grease stain, every paint smear, every nicked buttonhole is an homage to a project that wouldn’t have been the same without proper mad-scientific attire.

By all rights, my lab coat should have a Cult of the Dead Cow logo on it. It was 2006 and I was at HOPE SixRead the rest

Up On The Roof: The Legalese of Green Roofs and Rooftop Farming

On Saturday Feb 12, I gave a talk with Zhenya Fomin of the Energy Coordinating Agency and a former green roofer, on the zoning, permitting, and engineering realities of green roofs and rooftop farms, at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park. The talk was part of the Second Saturday Gardening series, and you can check out the other great offerings here and by clicking around the Extension website here. To register for future events, call the Penn State Philadelphia Extension office at 215- 471-2200 Ext 100 or just show up. The event is $10 and the funds go back to the Philadelphia Master Gardener program.

  • Here’s a copy of the talk including a bunch of resources and links to tax incentives, how-to guides, and rooftop farms around North America.
  • Here’s a copy of Community Design Collaborative’s work for PRooF.
  • Finally, here’s a fantastic article about rooftop farming by Phil Forsyth
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