Week of Feb 28

I’m beginning my thirty-third year. You can read some reflections on my thirty-second year and the directions I’d like my thirty-third year to take.

Regular reminder for myself: Remember the days when you wished for what you have now. It helps reframe your current feelings and helps you take a longer view.

I met up for coffee this week with an acquaintance I first met 10 years ago when I first moved to New York. I usually ran into him once or twice a year and chatted for a moment, but that was the extent of it. We always knew we had some overlapping interests, but now it seems like our interests are even more similar than we thought. Ten years later a real friendship is forming and we are planning on working on a project together. I’m glad we loosely stayed in touch. There is a time and season for all things.

Whenever I feel myself getting frustrated with my son being cranky, I sit down and read one of his books to him. He loves it and it never fails to soften my hardened heart.

I edited the RSS feed for my digital garden to show pages instead of posts, so you can now subscribe to new content from my digital garden. I also added a JSON feed if you are into that sort of thing.

I made my first Gutenberg blocks this week! I used George Stephanis’s Your First Block gist as a guide instead of some of the more complex starters out there since it is stripped down and helped me get the hang of how it works. The two blocks I made output a post’s published date and last modified date with an optional editable label in the sidebar. I know the Gutenberg plugin already has a Post Date block with more options, but this simple use case was a good way for me to wrap my head around how to create blocks, query the WordPress database using JavaScript rather than PHP, and manipulate/output data with blocks. Hopefully more blocks to come!

GitHub – cagrimmett/meta-dates-blocks: WordPress blocks to output published and last updated dates
WordPress blocks to output published and last updated dates – GitHub – cagrimmett/meta-dates-blocks: WordPress blocks to output published and last updated dates

Good news: The blocks work in regular pages and posts. Bad news: They don’t work in FSE. They way I’m pulling the date attributes doesn’t seem to work with FSE templates, returning NaN undefined NaN, and I haven’t figured it out yet. As soon as I figure that out, I plan to use these blocks in my digital garden so that it is easy to tell if a particular note is being tended to or not.

I enjoyed this profile of Wendell Berry in the New Yorker, though I’m vexed by the given title. I suppose it is another example of a clickbait headline, as the piece is clearly a profile and not an advice column from Berry.

One idea from the Chuck Klosterman episode of Conversations with Tyler that I’m thinking a lot about this week is now that there is less scarcity in access to music (music is readily available to stream now vs needing to go buy maybe 1-2 cds every two weeks), we build less of an identity around the music we listen to now than we did in the past. If someone can see who we are by glancing at our social feeds, there is less of a need to signal that identity via our music choices, which frees us up to have a wider variety of musical interests on average now.

Wired Magazine had some wise words this week: “politicians aren’t meant to be idolized, even in their finest hours.” It does look like Zelensky is doing a pretty good job in the face of overwhelming adversity, including multiple assassination attempts. I think he even deserves praise for leading his people in this tough time. But he should not be idolized and turned into a meme. Doing so will make it harder to hold him and his government accountable once this war is over. In Zelensky’s own words:

“I do not want my picture in your offices. The president is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.”

Zelensky’s inauguration speech, 2019

I cooked some “outside of our norm” meals this week:

  • Fried tostones from green plantains (double fried them – unsmashed first, then smashed), topped with mojo-marinated pulled pork that I cooked in the Instant Pot, avocado, and curtido.
    • I used some of the mojo pork to make Cubano sandwiches later in the week.
  • A King Cake and made Cajun Gumbo for Fat Tuesday.
    • The King Cake recipe is suitable for almost any cool-weather holiday dessert if you change the icing and decoration. I may make one for Christmas or Easter!
  • Yellow split pea soup, flavored with dill and fennel seeds. I make a lot of lentil soup, but this is the first time I’ve made split pea soup because I had a housemate in college that would simmer split pea soup for three days straight and the smell completely turned me off of the stuff for years.

Speaking of cooking, I have no fewer than four different repositories of saved online recipes that I’d like to make better use of. If it is silo’d in one app (like Paprika) that I might not have on a particular advice, I won’t use it. So I’m thinking through ways to organize this in my digital garden. Ideas welcome (comments, email, etc)!

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