Journal February

24

Termius, iOS SSH app

Conversation with (Cole) a middle schooler (in Coding & Robotics): “Making Snake on micro:bit was so boring.” But you could’ve chosen to code anything you wanted, in any language, on any device — why didn’t you choose something else? “Because I didn’t know what I wanted.” (And this is after generating a list of project ideas, and me suggesting a few coding tools, based on that list — none of which were Snake or micro:bit.)

Stranger at Whole Foods: “You’re a really good salad maker.” Yes I am.

23

This year, I’m rewatching all of my Great™ movies. After watching again, I’m reconsidering two rom-coms (Definitely, Maybe and Sleepless in Seattle). As movies, I still think they’re really Good™, but personally, they don’t resonate with potential like they did when I was in my 20s. #yearofjoe

  • Isla Fisher, forever.

I used this analogy with friends (Jeremy and Ketan), and I think it holds up: “You know how, in Mario Kart, Donkey Kong is super strong, but he drives slowly? And how Mario is pretty good at everything, but not particularly good at anything? Life is full of trade-offs like that. No one has it all.”

r/Shortcuts, Apple Shortcuts tips

PICO-8: 1-Bit Raindrops #tweetcart

PICO-8: #tweetcart Tutorials

Dreamcast VMU + Pi Retro Gaming Handheld + video

Tom Thumb + .ttf, 3×5 pixel typeface

22

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Trailer #2 + Official site

  • Holy shit, this looks amazing — like the ultimate Animal Crossing. The new features (crafting, Nook Phone, terraforming), the old features (custom patterns, collecting, weird animals, seasonal events, letters), the UI (typefaces, icons). This is bringing back so many memories. I nearly cried. I cannot wait.

  • Oh, dang… how about an Animal Crossing Club at school (for visiting each others’ islands)?! Doing it.

Figured out a thing I’ve been wondering for awhile: can I sync this site’s files to the server directly through Dropbox?… Yes!

  • There are a few advantages to this: 1. changes appear instantly (including the new DND icon), 2. it’s simpler (I was using my Mac + Hazel + FTP, so my laptop needed to be on for changes to upload), and 3. it’s more reliable (digital technology is unreliable, so removing layers of technology is always better).

  • This was a big, fun challenge. I learned a ton about Linux and set everything up entirely through the command line. I spent the last three days on this project, and I was hyped to get home from work to keep at it — 15+ hours of hacking the Matrix.

I did it, bro!

Linux: Getting Started with Your Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Whereby, web-based video calls + screen-sharing

21

macOS: Fix “The application can’t be opened” error

19

In MS Coding & Robotics, I mentioned that I played Switch all weekend (NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, Tetris 99, Florence). And the whole room was like, “Wait… what?” (like adults don’t play video games). And instantly the vibe lifted.

  • It’s felt precarious lately. This particular group of students has been especially complainy and less respectful (to me, and of the class itself) than usual. One student (who’s new to CWA) has changed the whole dynamic.

  • But there’s always been so much complaining in these middle school classes. Another teacher (Dylan) suggested recently that, with middle schoolers, maybe the complaining is the point of complaining. They just want to be heard expressing their opinions. Which makes a lot of sense. Because they can be so difficult to please or satisfy.

  • Managing middle schoolers is easier in some ways (they can be less talkative, and they’re less excitable), but more complex in others (countering negativity, dismissiveness, disrespect), and there are clearly additional layers of management skills I need to learn. #management

18

Made iOS Shortcuts that: 1. toggle my phone’s Do Not Disturb mode, 2. update a Status page on this site (helped by Dropbox and Hazel), and then 3. (through Javascript) add an icon to About:  or  .

  • Why? To see if I could — the challenge of figuring it out. Coding… man, it’s so fun!

  • But also because I’m finding myself really appreciating time away from messages lately, again. (I’m at the end of a four day weekend, and I've spent half of it in either DND or Airplane modes.) Texts and emails continue to cause me anxiety, and it’s a relief (like, I actually feel mentally lighter) to know the chime isn’t looming.

  • Is it good for me or helpful for my friendships to disappear for such a long time? Probably not.

  • jQuery: .addClass /.removeClass, change classes dynamically.

  • It’s also a prototype of an idea I’ve had in the back of my mind for awhile: integrating online/away icons into our phone’s contacts app, so we might have a way of knowing if now is a good time to call. Because we’re always connected, and it’s hard to know if this is a good time… and so people almost never call (including me).

Fleabag2 Good™

17

LibrarianShipwreck: Is Technology Democratic?

  • “It is not merely the case that there is a belief that there must be a high-tech solution to every problem, but rather that things that were working just fine without high-tech solutions come to be seen as problems insofar as they are allowed to operate outside the sphere of high-tech control.”

  • “there is something much more democratic about simple tools like pens and paper and telephone calls that can easily be checked and verified.”

Tetris 99 Good™

  • Damn, this is such a clever idea! It’s a prime example of how remixing works, where two existing ideas (Tetris + Fortnite) are intentionally combined to create something that — although its parts aren’t new — the combination absolutely is.

16

Deku Deals, Nintendo Switch price tracking

I’m still really interested in the idea of teaching game design workshops for kids. I’ve done three projects over the last year at CWA (micro:​bits, Bitsy, PICO-8) in different classes, and those were fun.

  • There’s a bigger something here, though. Ideally, it’d be a balance of: 1. my CWA classes (working with younger students, who are just discovering themselves as creative people, who are full of ideas, and on projects that’d be naturally approachable, technically), with 2. my graphic design classes (working with students who are self-motivated, technically-capable, and on projects that are more process-driven — more intentional, more concepting, more feedback, more iterations).

  • Why game design? It’s 1. an incredible combo of logic (coding, problem-solving, system-building) and creativity (illustration, music, story-telling), 2. a rare medium with a low floor and a high ceiling (technically and artistically), 3. kids are drawn to games and naturally invested in game-making, 4. games are super interesting to me, and really fun to teach.

  • This project would also ideally be away from school. It could be the thing that just might, maybe get me connected to a bigger creative community that I miss so much.

More tools for teaching game design and coding:

  • SCRIPT-8, web-based, with immediate feedback

  • Pix64, create games just by drawing images

  • Repl.it, web-based coding/hosting

Spotify: POLLEN playlist, genre-less beats

Florence Good™

15

This Column Will Change Your Life: Are You Living Too Much in the Future at the Expense of Now? #design

  • “The problem with treating every year (or week, or hour) as something you’re supposed to put to use is that you end up living permanently focused on the future.”

  • “The more strenuously you try to get something out of life, the more emotionally invested you become in reaching the point at which you’ve succeeded in doing so — which is, necessarily, never now. In other words: try too hard to make life meaningful, and it becomes impossible to derive any meaning from your present-moment life.” #goodeitherway

  • “The ‘purposive’ person is always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality for their acts by pushing their interest in them forward into time.” — John Maynard Keynes

Miniature Not Great™

2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Aaron Gordon vs. Derrick Jones Jr.

14

Gaming Historian: The Story of Super Mario Bros. 3

  • In 1989 (pretty sure), mom and I took a vacation to Kansas City, and I played SMB3 on a PlayChoice-10 arcade machine at the Holiday Inn where we stayed, before the game was released on the NES.

  • When the game was finally released, I remember thinking the packaging (the thick-line Mario illustration, the chunky typography, and the dramatic yellow background) was so beautiful — probably one of my earliest memories of noticing and appreciating graphic design.

13

Mad Men7 Good™ {yearofjoe}

  • I love the Accutron Pitch scene.

  • “I’m so many people.” — 7×02

  • “Computers don’t think — people do.” — 7×03

  • “Well, I try to treat [advertising] like art, even though it’s just selling something. / All art is selling something. / No… we’re actually selling something.” — 7×09

  • “This is supposed to be about my job, not the meaning of life. / So you think those things are unrelated?” — 7×10

  • Four years ago, I considered writing off the job chunk of my life completely and doing something I (purposefully) wasn’t invested in. But there’s no denying (now) that my job gives me a tremendous amount of purpose and satisfaction. #teaching

  • “Everybody has problems. Some people can deal with them and some people can’t.” — 7×10

  • “you may not want to listen to this, but you are like your mother and me.” — 7×10

  • “I always worried about you because you march to the beat of your own drum. But now I know that’s good.” — 7×13

  • “It’s the real thing. What the world wants today.” — 7×14

  • Great™est show, all time, hands-down. I can’t get enough, I just love it, so much. Every minute.

  • Trudy Campbell, forever.

12

It’s not happiness I’m interested in, exactly. It’s satisfaction — to feel satisfied by where I’m at, what I’ve made, what I’ve decided to do.

  • Had a conversation with a friend (Joanna) about why we feel compelled to make/design things that are impractical. (I used this site as an example, where I can wake up on a Saturday, like I did last weekend, work on coding something or other, and spend hours doing it — just for me). The satisfaction I’m taking about — of creating something from nothing, that matches what’s in my head — is one of the best feelings there is.

  • That satisfaction is the same as when I’ve written something on this page that captures the thoughts and feelings on my mind.

  • That (lack of) satisfaction is why graphic design was such a tough gig for me. I rarely got to feel satisfied with what I’d poured my heart into — which was often either watered down by the client (and not the work I’d envisioned) or rejected (what I’d envisioned, but D.O.A.).

Sketchpad, web-based image editing tool (kid-friendly Photoshop/Illustrator)

“we want [our tombstone] to say ‘actually gave a shit, and it showed.’” — Kemerling

Kesha: High Road Good™

11

Monolink: Amniotic Good™

09

Pan-Pan Not Great™

08

Bought an 8-Bit Deck, pixel art playing cards.

Javascript: How to Build a Countdown Timer

Pain and Glory Not Great™

  • Arthouse/indie movies often feel contrived to me. It’s difficult to describe how, but I tend not to buy how people… are, and they tend to feel goofy and unrealistic. So the pivotal story moments often don’t feel earned, and the emotional moments usually don’t resonate.

  • “I wrote it to forget it”

EverOut, Seattle/Tacoma events calendar

07

In MS Coding & Robotics, I’m trying an independent study format for the first time, where students choose a coding language to learn themselves (via tutorials) and the project they’ll make with it. (Many students are taking this class for the 3rd/4th time, and I was hoping the flexibility would be exciting.)

  • But it’s been, unexpectedly, trying. I don’t think kids actually like choices (despite their complaints around requirements). Several of them: 1. resisted considering more than one project idea, 2. didn’t follow through on the first idea they had anyway, 3. have disturbingly little ambition for the project they did choose (two are just coding Snake as-is), and 4. are still complaining anyway, about so many things. It’s like: what do you want?

Retrospective of Groundbreaking Internet Videos

Vox: Filming Techniques Used to Hide Cuts in ‘One-Shots’

06

Escape: The Curse of the Temple, 10-minute, collaborative, modular board/dice game

  • I love modular board games (and procedural video games), conceptually. Games where the experience changes each time, but the parts are the same. For me, it’s about the design of the system — having engineered a living, breathing, machine that no one, really, controls.

Entered the latest drawing contest hosted by 4th grade (mostly, Patrick) — the theme this time was Underwater Creature.

  • These contests are taking me back. I drew constantly as a kid (usually goofy/ironic cartoons, just like this one). I rarely draw anymore, and I miss this feeling — of having made something by hand, in the real world.

  • I tend to draw in either flat 2D or an unintentional 2D/3D combo because I’ve never fully grasped how to draw dimensionally.

  • Part of the fun of drawing is starting without knowing how things are going to play out — improvising around limitations and opportunities as they happen (including my own limitations as an artist): 1. I added the worm and “NO FISHING” sign because there was space to fill, and 2. I can’t draw hands to save my life, so the scuba diver is holding two things (the soda wasn’t planned, but I like it).

05

“Mr. Sparano, can I give you a hug? I’m just so happy!” — 4th grader (Ayla)

  • This had nothing to do with me. Working with kids: it’s as good as jobs get.

03

macOS: ⌘ + ⌥ + click = Force folders in the Dock to open in Finder

CSS: prefers-color-scheme (dark)

  • Added a responsive dark mode to this site.

AoM: How to Find Your Calling in Life

  • “the great sacrilege in terms of the soul’s integrity is… inadvertence…. Not being alert, not being awake, bumbling along and stumbling along through your life” — Joseph Campbell #design

  • religion: “to reconnect; religare (as in ligaments) means to re-bond… reconnecting you to your… deepest self, your truest self.”

  • “the whole point of [being self-reflective] is essentially to strike up a conversation with [yourself] ongoingly…. In other words, a call is something you hear, so you need to find ways of hearing it.” #journaling

  • “where is there friction in your life? Where does head argue with heart?… in the natural world, friction happens where changes are taking place.… what are the changes that are trying to happen or trying to come through?”

  • “You’d be better off in life if you quit focusing on failure or success. Life is just an experiment — it’s just results.”

02

The Book of Life: Reasons Not to Worry What the Neighbors Think #goodeitherway

  • “the neighbor might simply be – on a range of key questions, and where it really counts – a total idiot.”

  • “we want them to like or even love us. We want them as our friends. We want their respect and concern.… [But] However obedient we might be, the neighbor will be eminently ready to abandon us and turn the other way if ever we ran into difficulties.”

  • “What we don’t require is a whole village to offer us its tepid and wavering good cheer. We need – at most – three fantastic friends of the kind who’d take a bullet and fight hard to get us out of prison.”

Manifest, in-browser, sticky note grid

Google Maps Hacking

01

Mad Men6 Good™ {yearofjoe}

  • I love the colors in this season (1968) — saturated greens, browns, and blues.

  • “Those are three different versions of the same idea. If you can’t tell the difference between which part’s the idea and which part’s the execution of the idea: you’re of no use to me.” — 6×02

  • This show is also about the creative process. That the best ideas emerge from our subconscious. That the difference between O.K. ideas and Great™ ideas is razor thin. That ideas are real things. And that figuring it out can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer.

  • “heaven’s a little morbid. How do you get to heaven? Something terrible has to happen.” — 6×02

  • “It’s all about what it looks like, isn’t it?” — 6×03

  • “Everybody likes to go to the movies when they’re sad.” — 6×05

  • “The future is something you haven’t even thought of yet.” — 6×06

  • “The difference is that he’s interested in the idea, and you’re interested in your idea.” — 6×09

  • “the job of your life is to know yourself.” — 6×10

Old Man’s Journey Good™

This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory: #6 + #7 #design

  • “What happens in [Conway’s] Game of Life is fascinating because it is truly unpredictable… even though the rules are so simple.… the only way to truly know what will happen is to keep playing the game.”

  • Game of Life Simulator, web-based

  • “The Game can also… convey the somewhat counter-intuitive notion that design and organization can spontaneously emerge in the absence of a designer.” — Wikipedia

  • emergence: “the elaborate motions of the [system] aren’t defined by the rules, they emerge from the rules.… new qualities that don’t exist in the parts.”

  • “All this is done without a plan. No one is orchestrating everything. Complex systems are created, not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up.”

  • “Society is a complex system, and we are its parts. And the emergent outcomes are cities, economies, cultures, countries. None of these are planned by its participants, they are emergent.”

  • “As everyone starts driving cars, the cars’ rules create emergence — they create a new world. 1. Cars need fuel, so we get gas stations and oil refineries. 2. Cars need even surfaces to drive on, so we get paved roads, highways, freeways. 3. These roads need order, so we get signs, road markings, traffic lights, traffic cops, traffic courts. 4. Cars need to be parked, so we get driveways, parking lots, parking meters. 5. Cars can be damaged or destroyed, so we get car insurance. 6. Cars allow long-distance travel, so we get motels, and diners, and tourist towns.… 7. Cars allow us to live farther away from work, so we get suburbs and shopping malls. 8. Not everyone can afford a car, so we get busses, and taxis, and car rentals.… All of this is the emergent outcome of a new technology.”

  • This is an example of one of my favorite concepts from grad school: that a design (in this case, the car), unleashed into the world, often necessitates other designs as a response. And the question becomes: is the original designer responsible for those later (necessary) designs?

  • “If you want to understand the deepest malfunctions of systems, pay attention to the rules” — Donella Meadows

  • “You can change. You can stop focusing on villains to blame and instead focus on the system — on the rules and how you respond to them.… We change the rules of the system ourselves, together, from the bottom-up.”

  • “When we look through the lens of complexity, we can cultivate the patience, the calm, and the openness that can help us begin to understand the infinitely multiplying complexity of reality.”

  • From a design perspective, the lessons here are: 1. that conspiracies attribute the design of complex systems to someone — when complex systems can’t be designed, and 2. because the system emerges from its rules, the players have ultimate influence on the system — because the rules are designed by the players (us).

Kirby thanked me in the credits! What a guy.


I’m good, either way. January

31

A Junior Kindergartner (4 year-old) said to me today: “I have a Frozen 1 bike”, which feels painfully corporate to me. Why does a little kid know which of the two movies their bike is branded? It’s too soon to be marketed to.

28

(Carter) 5th grader: “Mr. Sparano, what would you do if you had a minute to live?” I’d eat the biggest cookie or bowl of ice cream I could find.

Paper Mechatronics, paper machine tutorials

27

Dating apps: that’s some depressing shit. It flattens the process of ‘meeting’ someone into nearly nothing of actual value. And digitizes the humanity out of the whole thing. #digitalanxiety #relationships

  • It isn’t real. And it feels absurd. So why am I using these apps? (I’ve been using Coffee Meets Bagel for two weeks. And I had a really similar experience with Bumble in November.) Because… I feel stuck.

  • The apps are a nightmare mirror world where the worst way to interact with people (digitally, through social media) is my best option. Where a process that should be confidence-creating is just draining it away. Where trying to connect feels alienating. Where the thing that I’m here to find just seems further away.

  • This is the darkest timeline. The apps aren’t for me. It’s gonna happen in the real world, or it’s not gonna happen. Delete.

25

Frank Chimero: Gardening vs. Architecture

  • gardener: “good things grow, and an important quality of growth is that the significant moments are often unanticipated.” vs. architect: “puts stock in planning and foresight… divisions and subdivisions, then subdivisions of the subdivisions.”

  • I think about this a lot with teaching, and I really do embrace both styles. I have a learning goal for each lesson, and I lesson-plan pretty seriously beforehand [architect]. But many of my best lesson ideas grow out of things kids say or ask, or do or don’t do, or get or don’t get — in the moment I'm teaching it (things I didn’t plan for). So I make changes, and a better lesson emerges (either right then, or for next time) [gardener]. #teaching

  • I’m always ready to improvise. The learning goal is fixed [architect], but I expect that new ideas about how to reach that goal will occur to me in the midst of the lesson [gardener]. Teaching it is the way to understand how to teach it. And that’s the best way. #iter8ordie

  • One of the cautionary tales with this is Lost. The writers planted elements in the beginning (Smoke Monster, polar bear, numbers) that they expected (I imagine) would grow into meaningful concepts later in the writers room… which didn’t happen. So instead, the resolution to those elements in the story felt unsatisfying and ham-fisted. I love the show, I’m not discounting the whole thing. Just saying that those disappointments grew out of gardening gone awry.

The Gentlemen Good™

24

JetBrains Mono, monospace coding typeface

Minimal browser-based instruments

waneella: Bloom

Bitsy: Dog Life, interactive dog-care tutorial

  • Project idea: students explain a concept or demonstrate something they’ve learned through a simple game (or game-type thing). #project

22

Securing the attention/respect of a kid (and a room full of them) continues to be one of the hardest and most elusive things I’ve ever tried to do. #teaching

  • This week, I had two moments (one with [Matias] a kindergartner and one with [Nile] a 6th grader), where a kid was doing something they shouldn’t have been, I asked them to stop (clearly and more than once), waited, and… they just continued to do what they were doing.

  • It’s easy for me to dwell and take their (non-)reaction to heart. But anymore, I’m mostly interested in the psychological and power dynamics behind these kids’ choices. They’re kids; I don’t hold it against them. But on some level, their choice not to follow-through does have something to do with me. #goodeitherway

Chrome: Disable two-finger swipe gestures

21

New nickname: Mr. Spa-new-new. #classof2028

20

Veronica Mars4 Good™

SUSS: High Line Good™

19

Spent some time on Twitter, checking in on Omaha friends. As much as I like the idea of social media as a way of being connected, it can feel pretty unnatural. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter claim to “build community” and “bring you closer to the people… you love” through “free expression”. But posts on these platforms are rarely things that people talk about in real life. #socialmedia #realness

  • The things I read today were mostly: 1. hard-line opinions/complaints/arguments (that’d probably be too severe to say in person), 2. self-promotion and marketing (that’d probably be too awkward to say in person), or 3. one-liners, photos, and links engineered for likes (digital content and bullshit — things that there’d probably be little context for in person).

  • I don’t think these kinds of posts are wrong — just that they don’t feel real. How is this bringing us closer?

Experimenting with projector wall art.

L.M. Sacasas: Digital Culture Privileges Shamelessness #socialmedia

  • “the content machine is like a blob that eats up more and more of reality.”

  • “In the culture of digital media, the boundaries between home and work blur so that we might be ever more available as a source of labor.… between the home and the commercial sphere… so that we might be ever more available as a source of consumption.… between public and private… so that we might be ever more available as a source of data and content.”

  • “The essence of technology is such that we do not see the forest or the river as it is for-itself, but rather we see each only as potential resources for construction materials or energy production.”

  • “We do not… see other human beings as persons to be respected…. We see them as resources for the content mill.”

  • “suppliers of infinite media must be shameless in… offering up more and more of themselves to the content machine.… [And] we must be shameless in our consumption as well. We must not turn away”

  • “When I tap the heart on some high school kid’s weird video, I feel a flicker of pride, as if I am supporting him in some way. But all I am really doing is demanding more.” — 48 Hours in the Strange and Beautiful World of TikTok

63 Up Good™

  • “Your life is as it is (and not how it could be).” — Simon #goodeitherway

  • “How do you think you’ve changed since you were seven? / One grows so slowly that one never notices.” — John

  • I would give anything to have this kind of record of my life.

  • “What would you like to be doing in seven years? / There are all kinds of things I’d like to be doing. The question is: what am I likely to be doing?” — Neil

  • This series is one of the most interesting and important things ever made.

Earthquake Bird Not Great™

17

Mad Men5 Great™ {yearofjoe}

  • “How old are you gonna be? / Forty. So, when you’re forty, how old will I be? / You’ll be dead.” — 5×01

  • “Only awareness can make reality. / And only what’s real can become a dream. And only from a dream can you wake to the light. / Okey-dokey.” — 5×06

  • “How could you [treat me that way]? / I don’t know. It was a fight. It’s over. / No. Every time we fight, it just diminishes us a little bit.” — 5×06 #relationships

  • “I have an announcement to make: it’s going to be a beautiful day.” — 5×06

  • “at what point should you ever stop trying?” — 5×07

  • “Why do they [women] get to decide what’s going to happen? / They just do.” — 5×08

  • “I feel bad for you. / I don’t think about you at all.” — 5×09

  • “You’ll tell them that it didn’t work out. Because it didn’t. And you’ll tell them the next thing will be better. Because it always is.” — 5×12

  • “I don’t want to be a partner… I’ve seen what’s involved.” — 5×12

  • “The client didn’t like it, and we did. In the end, isn’t that how we know it’s good?” — 5×13

  • I’m so happy I never have to deal with this feeling anymore. As a graphic designer, good work was rejected (or reluctantly approved) so often. As a teacher, if the thing I’ve done is good: it works — every time.

  • “Just knocking out the cobwebs. Someone told me this [going to the movies] works.” — 5×13

  • “That’s what happens when you help someone — they succeed and move on. / Don’t you want them to?” — 5×13

  • “… are you alone?” — 5×13

Re-watched The Social Network. Great™

  • Great™est movie, all-time, hands-down. I love so many dimensions of it: it’s my favorite director (David Fincher), favorite musician (Trent Reznor), and favorite writer (Aaron Sorkin) — together!

  • And I love the pacing: the relentless momentum of this movie and movies like it (Mission: Impossible — Fallout, The Dark Knight)) is absolutely key for me.

  • “How did you know that? / It’s on your blog. / Oh yeah.”

  • “The internet’s not written in pencil, Mark. It’s written in ink.”

  • This line pops into my head all the time.

  • “Take the bitter with the better, eh?”

16

Guess My Word, vocabulary game

15

Making moves. #goodeitherway #relationships

In the middle of a lesson, I said (off the cuff), “Design is anything you do on purpose.” Which is maybe the simplest way I’ve ever tried to define design before… and I think it holds up! #design

14

I teach 4th grade on Fridays, but we’ve missed multiple Friday schooldays. So I’ve arranged with the 4th grade teachers to reschedule my classes when that happens from now on. Today, in one of those (rescheduled) classes, I told the students we switched days because 4th grade is my favorite, and don’t want to miss any more time with them. One of the students responded: “Technology is our favorite.” Which just means the world to me. #classof2028

  • This is my third year teaching elementary schoolers, and it’s the third time that: 1. 3rd grade has been the wackiest to teach, 2. 5th grade has been the too coolest for school, and 3. 4th grade has been the absolute best.

  • This year’s 5th graders have been each of those. #classof2027 #growingup

Jack Daniels: Tennessee Honey Whiskey Great™

13

Bought a Linkstyle Nintendo Switch Simplified Dock

Tom Day: Fables Good™

12

Bought the 2019 Pangram Pangram Font Starter Pack.

  • Been looking for a way to support this foundry. I’m using Neue Montreal on this site (which is free), and I absolutely love it.

PICO-8: Random Medieval Person Generator

Short Play, short video games blog

  • This is very much where I’m at with video games. My favorites of the last year (The Gardens Between, Minit, Pear Quest, plus tons of PICO-8 and Bitsy games) have all been short and chill.

  • I’ve always felt anxious playing long games, games with time-limits, or boss fights — and I rarely finish them. Even when I really love them, theoretically (I’ve never finished Wind Waker, for instance.)

1917 Good™

  • “He travels the fastest who travels alone.”

Vox: Teaching in the US vs. The Rest of the World

11

A theory of the progression of learning: 1. imitation (copying a model), 2. iteration (making variations on a model), 3. innovation/improvisation (making something entirely new that combines multiple models).

10

I think it’s super annoying when people view conversations as competitions (storytelling battles and joke-offs). I’ll lose every time. Ask a mother fucking question, bro.

Lane 8: Brightest Lights Not Great™

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It’s helpful to see teachers who’ve been teaching for 20+ years, who are very very good at their jobs, whom the kids respect… who still get frustrated when kids are doing kid things. #management

08

Me: “I have an idea.” / (Carie) 5th grade teacher: “I love your ideas.”

07

Next Meeting, show next calendar event in the menu bar

Bought a Logitech Wireless Keyboard/Trackpad [K600] for school.

  • This allows quick switching between devices, so I can separate professional files (school laptop) from personal files (phone).

06

How was your break?

  • Holy shit. The day after a school break (every break), everyone asks everyone else this fucking question. All. Day. Long. (I probably answered it 20 times today.) It’s a small talk nightmare.

Living Worlds, day-and-night responsive pixelated, animated environments

Frank Chimero: Redesigning frankchimero.com

05

This might just be the theme of my 40th year: I’m good, either way. (Or, at least, I’m working on that being true.) #goodeitherway

Re-watched Beautiful Girls Great™

  • “You’re a dude in flux. You’ve come back [home] to come to some decision about life. A life decision, if you will.”

  • “Scenes from a brand new day.”

  • “You were beautiful.… but… you were as mean as a snake.” #relationships

Bought an iClever Folding Wireless Keyboard [BK08].

  • This is legit. My goal is to make writing/journaling easier away from home, using just my phone.

Visual Studio Code, code editor

1Writer: Action Directory

jQuery: .before /.after, add text around elements + .get, load data from other pages.

  • Using this to show the latest article/album/game/movie on About only if they load without errors (otherwise, they don’t show at all).

  • Because, as is always true, technology (in this case, my system for syncing files between my computer and the server) works most of the time, but not always. #digitalanxiety

04

Tacoma

  • Airports. They give me hope.

  • Trips to Omaha always fill my head with new thoughts. I gain so much perspective — it’s the place where the past meets the present for me. This time, I’m feeling the weight of the five years since the move.

  • Personally, I want a lot to change: 1. I want to feel more connected — to be part of a community of creative people again (which I haven’t had now, for years), 2. I want a family (I really want to be a dad), but… 3. I also want to be 100% OK with neither of those happening (to appreciate the advantages of my life exactly as it is — of being just a dude). #goodeitherway

  • Professionally, though so much has changed: 1. grad school, 2.teaching at UW, 3. retiring from graphic design, and 4. discovering a job — finally — that’s the ideal one for me (teaching kids about technology). That satisfaction is, I think, one of life’s rarest feelings, it’s replaced a deep unknown in my life, and it happened because I opened up my life up completely to change.

  • I don’t know if I want to go back to Nebraska until I get some shit figured out. It’s getting heavy.

Leif Erikson: 21 Grams of Soul Good™

Mad Men4 Great™ {yearofjoe}

  • “the lack of a conference table was deliberate.… a circle of chairs demands a conversation. / … About why there is no table.” — 4×01

  • “nobody knows what’s wrong with themselves, and everyone else can see it right away.” — 4×03

  • “I know everything about you. And I still love you.” — 4×03

  • “Is that what you want? Or is that what people expect of you?” — 4×03

  • “I can’t believe that guy is married to her.” — 4×04

  • “[Being awarded] doesn’t make the work any better. / Award or no award, you’re still Don Draper.” — 4×06

  • “It’s your job! I give you money, you give me ideas. / And you never say thank you. / That’s what the money is for!” — 4×07

  • This is one of my favorite scenes from this show. For better or worse, a job is an exchange of money for something personal — not just time, but stress, recognition, caring, thought.

  • “Do you ever think about it? / I try not to. But then it comes up out of nowhere.” — 4×07

  • “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” — 4×08

  • “I like sleeping alone, stretching out like a skydiver, cool patches to roll onto. I should appreciate it more.” — 4×08

  • I really should.

  • “You want some respect? Go out there and get it for yourself.” — 4×08

  • “We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.” — 4×08

  • Another theme of this show is confronting middle age. Something I didn’t think about the first time I watched (10 years ago).

  • “All [a kid] knows of the world is what you show them.” — 4×08

  • “How do you get them to do what you want them to do? / Aesop has a fable about the wind and the sun. The wind and sun had this competition to see if they could get a traveler’s coat off. So, the wind blows fiercely on him, but the traveler just pulls his coat tighter- But the sun shines down on him, warmer and warmer, and the traveler just takes it off. / And the moral is? / Kindness, gentleness and persuasion win where force fails.” — 4×08

  • “people can’t stop themselves from buying it. The product that never improves, causes illness, and makes people unhappy. But there was money in it. A lot of money. In fact, our entire business depended on it. €We knew it wasn’t good for us, but we couldn't stop.” — 4×12

  • “There is no fresh start. Lives carry on.” — 4×13

Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Not Great™

01

Diana Gordon: Pure Good™

Twix: Cookies & Creme Good™