September 27, 2022
Week of September 18–24
Highlights of the week
- I switched back to work on the Energy Efficiency Hub project after spending time on Real World Learning last week. I finished building several pages and refactored the layout for the resources page after trying out a different layout than was originally designed. We decided the original layout was a better fit for the project so I worked on that on Thursday. The build has gone a lot fast than I anticipated so we are going to pass it off to the client at the end of the week for quality assurance (QA).
- My teammates on both of these projects offered to help add content to the sites. I made a video for each of them to show how to add that content to the custom Gutenberg blocks I had created. I need to take advantage of these sorts of opportunities in the future and not feel like I have to do it all myself. It takes a little bit of work to prep someone but it pays off when I can off-load some of the activities that I don’t necessarily need to do and free up time for the things that only I can do.
- I wrote a blog post on Wednesday. I recorded some reflections about model making and prototyping in CodePen after watching a video by an architect sharing a technique of a 30-minute study model. I studied architecture in school so the video brought back a lot of memories.
Murray State Family Weekend
I took the day off on Friday to drive up to Murray, Kentucky to visit my son for Family Weekend. It was my fourth trip to Murray in the past two months. Three weeks ago on my last trip, I was joined by my daughters. This time around it was a solo trip. I had been looking forward to seeing my son and participating in some university events. The campus was very quiet at the beginning of the month, as many students went home for Labor Day. Things were already much busier on Friday afternoon as many families converged on campus.
I slept in a college dorm room for first time in my life last night. Stayed with my son while visiting for family weekend. I lived in fraternity when I was in college.
— Jeff Bridgforth (@webcraftsman) September 24, 2022
One of the highlights of the trip was that I was able to stay in the dorm with my son. He does not have a roommate due to a health exemption. The university has a policy that allows for family members to stay in the dorms so I took advantage of the opportunity.
The weekend was packed with activities.
- We visited an art exhibition in the Art & Design building and I also got to see one of his classrooms
- We attended the women’s volleyball game against Southern Illinois on Friday night and against Missouri State on Saturday. The Racers lost both games that went to a fifth set. It was the first time I have seen volleyball in person and it was very exciting.
- We had breakfast at the honor’s college on Saturday morning
- We attended a Fall on the Farm event where we decorated some mini pumpkins and got a picture in front of a cornfield.
- We ate lunch with other families on campus
- We attended a concert comprised of different band and choral ensembles
- We watched the first half of the Murray State-Eastern Illinois football game. We decided to leave early to grab dinner and go to the volleyball game.
- We spent time together in my son’s dorm room talking and watching the first two episodes of Andor together
It was great to spend time with my son and meet several of his new friends. I am so happy that he has adjusted so quickly and been able to connect with a lot of different people. It is really hard to not have him at home but it puts my mind at ease to see how happy and connected he has become.
I really enjoyed getting to see his studio space and seeing some of his projects up close and in person. Being a visual person, I really enjoy getting to see those spaces. He doesn’t feel so far away when I can visualize him in those environments during the week. He is going to make his first trip home in a couple of weeks for Fall break.
Conversations and Broad Exposure
As we were walking to and from the Fall to Farm event, I had a conversation with the father of one of my son’s friends. Besides working in operations for Lowes.com, he raises goats and dogs on the side. I asked him a lot of questions about it. I also asked him about when the corn harvest was since we were surrounded by fields at the event. I learned a lot about goats and agriculture in the short time we were walking and talking.
During our conversation, I remembered some of the things I had learned about modern farming from a book I read in 2021, Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We Have Left Behind. I also asked him how birthing goats compared to sheep because I had learned about birthing sheep from watching Clarkson’s Farm on Prime last year. It is very similar in that you separate the mothers into different pens to give birth and bond with their young. It was one of the instances when things I have exposed myself to in the past came to mind as I was having a conversation in the present.
This also reminded me of two articles that I read in June and referenced in Weeknote 22:13, The tech tool carousel and Re-evaluating Technology. Many times as a developer, I will read articles or watch videos about new technology or tools but won’t apply that knowledge or use that tool right away. But I expose myself and tuck it away. And many times, I might revisit those things in the future much like I referenced the book and television series in my conversation on Saturday. Things like these weeknotes that I am writing are one way for me to store things on a shelf until I need them or am ready to go deeper.
Articles I read
- Quality Is Systemic – We are in the midst of trying to hire a developer. This article challenged me to consider if we need to take a different approach.
- Official myths – I like that Mandy wrote an article to challenge the idea that office cultures are naturally better at the kind of social and supportive structures junior employees need. The reality is that it takes hard work to build into younger employees. And being in a physical office does not automatically provide that. It is hard work whether you do it in an office or remotely.
- Accessibility is systemic – Jeremy’s article linked to the two above. Jeremy is the one who challenged me to consider our approach to expanding our developer team. We may need to consider hiring more junior staff and investing in them. It might be a better long-term strategy.
- CSS Rules vs. CSS Rulesets – It is always good to understand the correct terminology, especially in technical writing.
- Circles of Sovereignty – I appreciated these words of wisdom from Paul David Tripp. It is helpful in building healthier boundaries in my life.
- 30-Minute Study Model – After reading Dave’s piece, I blogged a separate article related to my experience of building models as an architecture student and prototypes as a Web developer.
- Public Opinion and the Christian Conscience
- Sexual Liberation Has Failed Women – A review of the book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution by Louise Perry. Perry’s critique is rooted in evolutionary biology, feminist passion, and empirical observation, not biblical interpretation or theology.
- ACF 6.0 Release – A Fresh New UI, Block Improvements, Repeater Pagination and More – I am looking forward to playing around with this new version of ACF in the coming weeks.
- The Art of Storytelling for Case Studies – I have wanted to start writing case studies for a long time because they have a much longer shelf life than the projects I would write about. And they can represent the project long after it is no longer online. This article gives some good advice on how to write them.
- How to typeset a date range properly – I updated several of the dates in my recent weeknotes entries after reading this article by Richard Rutter.
- CSS Checkerboard Background… But With Rounded Corners and Hover Styles
- How to Help Your Creator Clients Monetize Their Content with a WordPress Membership Site – I am still on the lookout for a good WordPress membership plugin for clients that want to provide free content but want to limit access to those not willing to put some skin in the game.
Books I am currently reading
What I watched
- Junior Baking Show (Netflix))
- Bernie Mac Show (Peacock)
- Cobra Kai Season 5 (Netflix)
- Andor (Disney+)
Live sporting events
- Murray State volleyball against Southern Illinois
- Murray State football versus Eastern Illinois (only stayed until after the band’s halftime show)
- Murray State volleyball against Missouri State
Podcasts I listened to
- Shop Talk Show #529: What’s new in Safari with Jen Simmons – This is a great episode to learn about new things in the browsers. Safari is leading the way in browser innovation.
- Show Talk Show #530: Keaton Taylor on Product Design, Career Paths, and DadTalk Show