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A few more grays

An abrupt, hilariously stereotypical physical change over the past six months or so: the major uptick in gray hairs since B was born. I’ve been plucking them. Honestly, I’m not that bothered by them, at least not yet. I’m not removing them because I’m worried about going gray, it will be a while before that happens in all likelihood. (The lady doth protest too much?)

It’s just… satisfying, I think. My hair is dark, identifying and removing this silvery thread to restore the even brown gives a tiny bit of pleasure. But now I’ve got these random, short gray hairs poking out here and there. Probably time to stop.

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Fluid type sizes and spacing

I’ve been using a fluid type and spacing system on the most recent builds I’ve completed. Here’s why I use it, and how I approach it. I mainly use SCSS (a Sass syntax), but it’s also very do-able with plain CSS.

Screencast of Gort Scott’s homepage, resizing it in Chrome’s inspector

The example above demonstrates the result on gortscott.com, resizing the window from about 2300px down to about 640px and back again. The type and spacing across the page begins scaling down when the window is 2095px wide and stops shrinking at 1047px wide. At that point the text begins to reflow as the CSS Grid layout continues to shrink. Eventually at 703px wide the layout shifts, and again at 543px wide.

Read more

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“I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext”

I generally have four or five books open around the house — I live alone; I can do this — and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I’ll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

So, I guess, in that way, I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext.

Octavia E. Butler

Quote introduced to me in a convo with LS. Also shared by Édouard U. in his essay “On building knowledge networks” as published in the book How do you use the internet mindfully?.

It’s originally from a discussion between Octavia E. Butler and others at MIT on 19 February 1998. Topics included: The Value of Literacy; The Future of Literacy; Reading Hypertext; The Age of Misinformation; Who Controls the Web; Race, Cyberspace and Equality; Science Fiction and the Black Community; and The Ghetoization of Science Fiction. See also Butler’s introduction to this discussion, “‘Devil Girl From Mars’: Why I Write Science Fiction”.

I finally started reading Lilith’s Brood about a month ago, got started on the second book recently.

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First snow

Black and white illustration of people dancing

Last Friday, it snowed properly for the first time. At least the first time this year, the first time since we moved to Brooklyn, and the first time ever for B. He’s still too little to make much of it, but it was fun taking him in to Prospect Park to stomp around a little, and to see the sledding and cross country skiers.

By the next day, the snow piled up on our neighbor’s wooden arbor had melted in to these swirling shapes, it looked like people dancing.

The snow’s gone for the most part, now it’s just frozen mud and slush puddles.

The holidays were more lonely than we had planned, but we got to have Christmas dinner with a new neighbor/friend. That was unexpected, and special, especially considering the circumstances.

B’s still out of daycare because of Omicron. It’s wonderful to spend all this time with him, but in terms of the personal and work plans I had for 2022, it’s pretty stressful.

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More plans cancelled

We were supposed to go to the UK for Christmas so that B could meet his Nana and Grandad, his Great-grandma, his auntie and uncle and cousins. So that he could meet Billy and Rae, and our friends. So that we could go for walks on the moor and sit by the fire and visit the Stanza Stones and cook with family.

We’ve had to cancel it, with the new variant.

When will this end? I’m so tired.

At least B has no idea what’s going on.

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Cutting out the noise

in general I look at things now like “is this something I like or enjoy” “does this affect me in any way” “can I do something about this.” if 1 is false, and either 2 or 3 is false, I literally do not care. this excludes almost everything most people on here talk about

A private account I follow on Twitter put this out in the world, it is such a simple and useful framework for cutting down the noise. Not just on Twitter, anywhere. It’s so easy to get stressed / outraged / cynical / tired etc when there is so much to keep up with. Ignore it, keep the good vibes.

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Keeping up with fuzz head

One of the main reasons I’ve kept writing here pretty consistently since 2014 is because it is an incredible memory aid. Being able to refer back easily anywhere, whether it’s to show something to someone else or to myself, is invaluable.

More recently though, I’ve been finding it hard to write things down. Extra frustrating because I want to refer back to this time possibly more than anything.

I think part of it is just the lack of time. It is incredible how much time it takes to care for a little person, even when you have help (daycare three days a week right now in our case, and I’m working those three days).

And the sleep deprivation… it’s interesting, we’re pretty fortunate, I’d say. He’s a very decent sleeper, but it’s still so hard.

B is about 4.5 months old. He goes down between 7 and 8pm and is waking up 1–2 times a night, sometimes once as a bit of a yelp and resettling on his own, and almost always once properly where he needs to be changed and fed. Once his needs are met, he tends to go right back down without rocking/bouncing, which is amazing.

Sam’s job is more demanding right now in terms of a strict schedule (I’m working part time, though that will change soon), so I’m handling nighttime wakeups. For me, that usually means 1–5 hrs of sleep, a brief wakeup when B yelps since I hear it on the monitor, then another 1–3 hrs of sleep. Cumulatively, I generally get 4–7 hours, usually around 6 or 7 I’d say. That sounds alright for a parent of a baby, and it is! But when it happens to be multiple 5 hour nights with a random 4 hour night thrown in… it gets rough.

You can feel the shift. You’re a very different person on not enough sleep than you are on 7–8 hours a night. I get short, blank, forgetful.

Forgetful is the thing I hate the most, I think. I’m relying on apps like Reminders more than ever, not that it totally works. The forgetfulness and lack of patience are the worst. When I lose patience, I have to try to remember that my frustration often isn’t logical, it’s purely lack of sleep. But it’s hard to make that small mental leap in the moment.

All of this is an important reminder of how much even tiny changes in an environment can shape one’s identity, behavior.

Anyways, back to the original point.

I’m learning so much right now. I never grew up around babies, so this is a whole new world for me and it has been fascinating. But it is so hard to keep up. The moment I “learn” something, that thing changes and before I have a moment to jot it down, that knowledge has exited my head and I’m off to learning about the next thing B has thrown at us.

It’s a trip. Keeping up with our little fuzz head, and everything else.

Edit: I had to go back and fix more typos on this post than any other I’ve ever written 💀

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TIL about the U.S.’s 22-year HIV travel ban

TIL that the U.S. had a 22-year travel ban preventing HIV-positive immigrants, residency/work permit applicants, and visitors from entering the country.

I’m incredibly embarrassed that I didn’t know about this before. The travel ban was enacted in 1987. President George W. Bush started the repeal process in 2008, and President Obama finalized the end of the ban in 2010. It is WILD that it took so long for it to be repealed.

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Parental half-life

If you’re lucky to have them around for long enough, you will eventually reach an age where you have existed for more than half of your parents’ lives. You suddenly go from being around for less of their experiences to being around for most of their experiences.

There’s something significant in that, but I’m not quite sure what… Ask me next summer.