October 18, 2021
Week of October 3-9
Managing Bookmarked Articles
On Sunday, I took time to clean up my Pocket bookmarks. I knew that there were articles buried that I still had an interest in reading. I skimmed a lot of things and just archived some articles in case I need to reference them later. It was nice to trim it down to a manageable amount. I read four or five articles later that afternoon.
It was a very full week both personally and professionally. I had a lot of things that I had to take care of this week including:
- I started a FAFSA application for my son who will be a freshman next Fall
- We finalized the process of buying a used car online for our oldest who will graduate from college this spring.
- The car (a 2014 Camry) was delivered to us on Wednesday
- I updated our insurance to include my daughter, who recently got her license, and set up insurance on the new car
- I talked to a health care advocate as I thought through our benefits enrollment for 2022 and enrolled later in the week
It was a busy week as gave attention to four different projects. The focus of my attention was a digital story for the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation. This is the third time I have worked with this client. The 2021 version will consist of 3 reports. I started working on the landing page and report template last week. The site will launch on October 19.
I gave attention to two separate projects with the government of Canada. We are working with the Canadian Embassy in the U.S. on a digital story that outlines a roadmap of a renewed partnership between the two countries. The second project is a site for the Canadian Embassy in Mexico. This project involved cloning the site we created several years ago for the Canadian Embassy in the U.S. and then applying a unique branding for the Mexican version. We added new content in three different languages (English, Spanish, and French). Both of these projects will be launching in the next few weeks.
Finally, I ended the week by updating a site that I had built back in July. We updated content on the original page we built and then we added a new page to help small business owners who would like to host an intern. I worked on the project on Thursday and then passed it off to a colleague to finish it up while I was out of the office on Friday.
Post about a CSS Trick
I wrote a post about a solution I came up with for the first project I mentioned above. I needed to add a gradient border between two columns of content that have an outer gradient border. I came up with a solution to match the color of the gradient for the border between the two columns using
I took not just one but two road trips at the end of the week. My first trip was up to Nashville to pick up my oldest daughter from Trevecca Nazerene University. She came home for her Fall Break. On the trip up to Nashville, I listened to two episodes of The ShopTalk Show Podcast. I use to listen to podcasts frequently when I commuted to work. Since I started working from home 7 years ago, I very rarely listen. I cannot listen while I am working and it is hard for me to listen while at home without getting distracted by something else. But car trips are a great opportunity for me to listen and I took advantage of this one to reconnect with one of my favorites. I think the last time I listened to the Shop Talk Show was two years ago coming back from Nashville after dropping my daughter off after she spent the weekend with us.
I enjoyed the trip home with my daughter getting to catch up with her. I have not had many opportunities to talk with her since she started the Fall semester. It was nice to have her to myself for the two and half hour trip back to Chattanooga. We also enjoyed a relaxed lunch at Crackerbarrel just outside of Nashville.
On Saturday, I took a shorter road trip to take my youngest daughter to a performing arts workshop at Bryan College. I enjoyed the trip up talking with my daughter about a lot of different things. We usually are in the car on Saturday mornings as I take her to her ballet class. After dropping her off, I listened to another episode of the Shop Talk Show and enjoyed the scenery on the way home.
State of CSS Survey
After returning from Nashville on Friday, I took the State of CSS 2021 survey. This is a unique survey that asked a lot of questions about our awareness or use of new CSS technologies. Last year, there were several that I had not yet read up on and the survey was a great prompt to do some research.
I think I fared much better this year because of several of the talks I heard at the Hover Conference I attended in April. Adam Argyle did a whole talk on what was new. And Miriam Suzanne talked about container queries, cascade layers, and scoped styles.
There was also a section of the survey to give a shout-out to different people you read, follow, or just want to highlight for their work. Here were my answers, though there are many more that I could mention:
- Chris Coyier
- Andy Bell
- Rachel Andrew
- Kevin Powell
- Sara Soueidan
- Michelle Barker
- Cassie Evans
- Stephanie Eckels
- Miriam Suzanne
- Ahmad Shadeed
I missed a lot of weeknotes between April and July so I never did a post about the Hover Conference. To find out more, you can read this post by Ben Buchanan: Hover 21, The Big Stonking Post.
I spent quite a bit of the afternoon on Saturday thinking about my Web history. I think it was a combination of thinking about people in the State of CSS survey, listening to the Shop Talk Show, and reading some articles earlier in the week about Treehouse (see links below). I thought about podcasts I listened to, people whose articles or talks influenced me, and just reflected on where I have come from, especially over the past 11 years. I wish I had documented more of my journey.
I added a couple of entries to my Web history timeline. It also inspired me to read Insites: The Book, which is a collection of interviews with Web professionals that Keir Whitaker and Elliot Jay Stocks put together in 2012.
Note about Treehouse: In September, Treehouse laid off about 90% of its staff without severance pay and it was quite a mess. I had an interest in working with them in the past and I had applied a couple of times. On one of those occasions, I created a design solution for a 1-page dashboard and created an introductory page (a digital cover letter). They had asked for the design solution as part of the application process. I am hoping to write about that experience in the near future.
Because they were based in Orlando, I met several people who worked for them. Many of them I had met at various conferences and networking events in Central Florida. I had also attended a meet-up that Treehouse hosted at their offices. When I read the articles I linked to below, it made me think about the many people I knew that worked there or had worked there in the past.
- Shop Talk Show #481: Frontend Feud – I enjoyed this episode the best of the three I listened to. It was a family feud style game based on answers from JS Party listeners. I enjoyed playing along and guessed several of the answers that that the contestants did not get right including the script tag as “your favorite HTML elements.” I figured a JS crowd would put that in there.
- Shop Talk Show #483: Q&A – I didn’t enjoy this episode as much because many of the questions they addressed were not things that I have a lot of interest in.
- Shop Talk Show #473: Brad and Ian Frost, From Meteorologist to Web Developer – I enjoyed hearing Ian’s story of how he became a Web developer working with his brother, Brad.
Reading: Online Articles
- Into the Personal-Website-Verse – A great article about the value of a personal website.
- My Time at Treehouse – One person shares their journey with the company. He was not working there when the layoffs happened in September of this year.
- What Happened at Treehouse – An insider’s account of what happened at Treehouse.
- Why Flow Matters More Than Passion
- Celebrating Birthdays at Work
- The Start-up of You – I finished this one. I had borrowed it from the library. I preceded to buy my own copy that I can mark up and reference back to in the future.
- Lessons from the Upper Room – I am still enjoying this one. Referring to it as a “devotional” book does not do it justice. Somewhere between a devotional and Bible study. It has been food for my soul.
- Winsome Conviction – I began reading this one early in the week. I bought it a couple of weeks ago for about $3. It is a topic that still has a lot of interest to me as I continue to process the differences in opinions, convictions, and responses to COVID-19 and other disputable matters that are front and center. I had met one of the authors while we both served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. My wife participated in a summer workshop that Tim lead when she was a student.
- The Great British Baking Show (Netflix) – This is one of those shows I love to watch. It is great to see how people can compete and still root for each other. I really enjoy watching this on Friday night with my family.
- Inspector Lewis (Prime Masterpiece Subscription) – It is like visiting with an old friend as we watched these when they originally aired on PBS Masterpiece.
- What If? (Disney+)
- Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. (Disney+) – My wife and I had both watched Doogie Hoswer in the 90’s. This is a fun show to end the day with.
- Marvel 616: Unboxed (Disney+)
- Marvel 616: Spotlight (Disney+)
- FIFA20 – I finished my second season playing with the Rangers in the Scottish League. I won the league title by four points. And I won the Scottish Cup Final over Celtic in extra time by two goals.
- MLB The Show 20 – I played a game with the Rays against the Yankees.