Luke Updates: April 2022

May 2, 2022

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Table of Contents

Updates

Busy month! I (re)joined Mastodon, pumped out some relatively large blog posts, completed and launched two client sites, and have been juggling some challenging coursework on top of that.

🐱 Cats

My cat Serena in her onesie

Serena, pictured above in the middle, has a ringworm outbreak going on. It’s the third one we’ve noticed in the last 5 weeks, and strangely, none of the other 5 cats show any signs of ringworm.

The vet gave us a skin treatment containing miconazole nitrate that has been very effective, the first outbreak in mid-February was cleared in less than a week and the fur regrew over the area. This new spot though is 2.5" in diameter and the skin treatment is not going as quickly as before, but the vet says it’s working, so we’ll see.

The vet also recommended separating Serena from the other cats, but also understood that we’re limited on options there. It’s either lock her in the bathroom and lose sleep at night, or let her roam free about the house and risk the other cats getting it.

Going to try and vacuum more often, twice a week, and give her a bath once a week with some special shampoo the vet gave us.

We also switched from a Cone of Shame™ to a onesie to keep her from scratching/licking the area and spreading it. She was still able to scratch the area between her shoulder blades with the cone on, so the onesie works better while allowing her to scratch neck itches and groom to relieve stress. She absolutely hates wearing it but 🤷‍♂️. I think she’s getting more used to it.

I bought a small cheap UV light to test for ringworm in the future and save on diagnostic vet visits. Common strains of the ringworm fungus flouresces (glows) green in UV light.

I had no idea there were 3 grades of wavelengths, and UVA, ideally around 350nm, is the wavelength I went with, with a low intensity. Apparently lower values of UVA at high intensities can be dangerous, and then UVB/UVC are exceptionally dangerous.

📝 Blogging

I made 11 posts in April, absolutely outrageous. My setup with Typora has made writing and publishing a lot easier.

Selected April Posts

📖 Reading

I skimmed through Form Design Patterns by Adam Silver, the book was mentioned as part of the UX patterns course I’m taking and I had a form project for an assignment to complete. Really insightful book into one of the most banal areas of web design, I learned quite a lot. Now I’m judging every form I come across.

Articles I liked this month

📚 Learning

As mentioned last month, I’ve been learning vanilla JavaScript and UX patterns. Both have been very challenging, but I’m making progress and learning things, which feels great.

The JavaScript stuff has been neat, most things have clicked for me after working with 11ty, though I recently could not figure out .find(). Template literals are super cool and clicked immediately for me, and I think I’m getting the hang of async/await, I find writing async functions easier than functions with .then() and .catch().

The UX course is very challenging for me, I tend to overthink the assignments. We had a navigation assignment and I think I spent close to 25 hours on the mockup, though that’s my own fault for trying to make it perfect. We were told to not spend more than 10hrs on the assignments.

I learned a ton about navigation UX though and promptly made some quick wins on my sites as a result. One win was switching from hover menus to click menus. Hover menus have a lot of accessibility issues, along with annoyances.

I also learned that Affinity Designer is not the right tool for interface design. I initially tried to use Figma for the first time ever, and immediately got annoyed at the constant popups, mini-walkthrough videos, and ads for their FigJam fruit spread product no one cares about. So I decided to use Affinity Designer instead, and it was exceptionally tedious. I then exported my artboards (frames for you Figma people) into a PDF and wow, I saw a 15 second progress bar. I’ve ever seen a progress bar when exporting from Designer before.

For this past week’s assignment, I battled the popups until they were all defeated and used Figma. It went a lot faster and I see why people like Figma now. I really don’t like that it’s a web app, and it makes my MacBook Pro’s fans turn on, which is otherwise an exceedingly rare occurrence. I looked at switching to Sketch which is a native Mac app, but don’t want to pay $9/m, so it’s Figma on the free plan for now. Figma does have a huge plugin selection, I like that, but it does look like a lot of them have hidden costs.

This past week’s assignment was a form project, where I converted a paper/PDF form to a web form. It was a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be, and my mockup has routing, a for-each loop, and what I think is a good balance between items on each page and number of pages.

Vitaly Friedman’s slidedeck he showed us during training this week has 899 slides, just for forms. I’m honestly in awe of all the examples and patterns he’s collected.

The course is a lot of info but I am really enjoying it and feel like I’m making progress, and Vitaly is great at teaching. Really nice guy, it’s been great to speak with him after reading Smashing Magazine for 12 years now.

💪 Fitness

Absolutely no progress here. Leaving this section in to shame me every month, and I turned this series into a template so it’s always going to be there.

🎮 Gaming

I think I played a couple (reluctant) rounds of Call of Duty: Vanguard with my friend, but that’s about it. Still not feeling the urge to play games, and it’s the longest I’ve ever gone in the last 15 years without playing games. Maybe I’m growing out of playing games? I hope not.

🎵 Music

📺 Movies and TV shows

Brand new section because I’ve been watching TV again.

Shows I’ve been watching

  • Severance - we binge-watched this show. It put my wife to sleep the first few episodes, but then things really picked up and we ended up staying up until 2am one night to finish it. Absolutely incredible show, and I love the opening sequence. There’s also a version of the opening styled after The Office, which is hilarious.
  • Our Flag Means Death - hilarious show about gay pirates. Fred Armisen is in it, although I think this was one of his weaker roles due to writing.
  • Demon Slayer - Entertainment District Arc - awesome show. We saw the first episode of this season as a full-length movie in the theater, it was really good. The rest of the new season lives up the first episode and has an absolutely incredible fight spread across several episodes.
  • Spy × Family - we binged this one. It’s a very funny show about a spy, an assassin, and their adopted telepathic daughter. It has yet to set any real suspense though, so far it’s all comedy, which is totally fine! But I get the feeling things are about to get intense.

Movies I’ve seen

  • The Batman - I didn’t want to like this movie, but then I saw it, and somehow it beat the Nolan films for me.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen 0 - wasn’t a fan of this one, too long of a ramp up. The show is excellent though.

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