Adding a Today I Learned Section to the Site

In the interest of sharing more things here, I’ve added a section to the site called “Today I Learned (TIL)” These are short write-ups of things I learned that don’t need a full blog post but I share them here because they might be useful to someone else (or just as likely: useful to me in the future). They are mostly going to be technical in nature (at least they all are so far), but it’s possible something non-technical will be included in the future.

I first learned of this from Simon Willison but he was inspired by Josh Branchaud.

In addition to the two mentioned above, here are a few others who maintain collections of TIL posts:

Best of 2022

Best of 2022

2022 was the first year in a few where I felt like I took a lot of pictures. After a few years of not taking hardly any it felt good to get back to it.

The highlights of this year are:

  • Senior portraits that I took of my oldest.
  • Homecoming pictures of my daughter and her friends (from two separate homecomings no less) as well as my son and his date.
  • One of the three finalists for American Idol’s 2022 season was Leah Marlene, who happens to be from my town. As part of the finale she returned home to do a parade and hometown concert. I was able to get close enough to get some decent pictures of that.
  • Senior portraits for a friend’s son.

Without further ado, the best of 2022:

Some Useful COVID-19 Resources

Like a lot of people, I’ve been closely tracking the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a lot of useful resources for keeping track of what’s happening with COVID-19, but there’s also a lot of misinformation. I wanted to put together a collection of the things that I’ve found to be useful, and more importantly accurate.

The Week In Links - Feb 8, 2019

» Cal Newport on Why We’ll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes

It’s a fair analogy, I think. I’m not ready to trade my iPhone in for a flip hone, but I’m rethinking my relationship with my phone and with social media in particular.

» Watch a Homemade Robot Crack a SentrySafe Combination Safe in 15 Minutes

Last Christmas, Nathan Seidle’s wife gave him a second-hand safe she’d found on Craigslist. It was, at first glance, a strange gift. The couple already owned the same model, a $120 SentrySafe combination fire safe they’d bought from Home Depot. But this one, his wife explained, had a particular feature: The original owner had locked it and forgotten the combination. Her challenge to Seidle: Open it.


» Random Travel Hacks

There are some great tips in here, and he uses the same backpack I do. I should probably write a similar post at some point, I’ve accumulated a number of tips and tricks myself.

» My Travel Packing List Shortcut

Another travel related tip, this one for using Shortcuts. I’ve done something similar, and it’s a life saver. I’m generally a bit anxious when traveling anyway, and I find that having a detailed checklist for packing (almost 100 items on mine), as well as other things that have to be done, makes a huge difference in my level of anxiety.

» Microsoft’s fonts catch out another fraudster—this time in Canada

Lesson: when forging documents allegedly from many years ago, make sure you choose fonts that were around then.

» How will Apple redesign the iPad home screen?

As a heavy user of the 2018 12.9" iPad Pro, I’m keenly interested in what iOS 13 will bring. Redesigning the home screen to be more functional is high on my wish list. Jason Snell has a great take on this at Macworld.

I don’t know how radical a makeover Apple’s planning for the iPad home screen, but I hope it will provide us with more than a new view into the same old collection of apps. I like my iPhone home screen to be simple, but it’s small. My iPad screen is bigger than the one on my MacBook—it deserves to host a home screen that’s got more functionality and density than the one the iPad has suffered with for its entire existence.

» The Big List of Naughty Strings is a list of strings which have a high probability of causing issues when used as user-input data.

The Big List of Naughty Strings is an evolving list of strings which have a high probability of causing issues when used as user-input data. This is intended for use in helping both automated and manual QA testing


» Thinking Different: Keys to Adopting an iPad-First Workflow

I’m not iPad-first, but I’m definitely using it for more tasks that I would have used a Mac for a few years ago. Writing this, for instance.

Before the iPad Pro debuted in late 2015, transitions from Mac to iPad were extremely scarce. The iPad’s hardware and software were both far too limited to compel many switchers. The software has advanced since that time – thanks to Split View, drag and drop, and Files, it’s far easier to work on an iPad than before – but there’s plenty more progress still to be made. The hardware, however, is where the iPad has shined most, especially with the newest iPad Pros.

A Collection of Links About Github Actions

Github Actions is really intriguing, and I’m excited to get my hands on it. It’s not enabled for my account yet, but once it is I’m going to dive in and automate a bunch of things, starting with the publishing of this blog (which I currently do with AWS CodeBuild).

While I wait paitently-ish, I’ve collected some links to things I’ve read about it.

» GitHub Actions: built by you, run by us

The blog post where Github announced Actions. Good place to start if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

» Features • GitHub Actions

A high level overview of the features Github Actions has.

» The Changelog #331: GitHub Actions is the next big thing with Kyle Daigle, Director of Ecosystem Engineering at GitHub

The Changelog podcast interviews Kyle Daigle of Github to talk about Actions.

» A redone blog, again -

A fairly common task, I suspect: automating the publishing of content when it’s pushed to Github. I’ll be doing this soon myself. Even if it’s not something you need, this is a good intro to what you can use Actions for.

» Introducing Github Actions

An introduction to Github Actions, from Sarah Drasner. This is a great overview.

» Getting started with Github Actions

Nice guide to getting started.

» Jessie Frazelle’s Blog: The Life of a GitHub Action

An in-depth look at what happens when an action runs, from @jessfraz. As an aside, if you’re not following her on Twitter, you should. She’s smart and works on some very cool things.

» nektos/act: Run your GitHub Actions locally

This is really exciting - run actions locally for testing. I haven’t played with this just yet, but I will soon.

» Github Actions

An open source list of Github Actions (via David Boyne). There are a lot here already, and they look useful. Adding a new one is as simple as submitting a pull request on Github.

» Awesome Actions

This is a great collection of resources, also from Sarah Drasner. Links to cool actions, as well as lots of links to documentation and other resources.