Weekly Whaaa…?

Flock of the Week

A family of wild turkeys has apparently taken up residence in our neighborhood. I’ve seen them strolling, scratching, and insect-buffeting their way through our yard twice, and also seen them a few streets away on an evening walk. Two adults, plus about seven offspring.

I’m used to our many geese neighbors, but the turkeys were quite a surprise the first time I saw them! The cat has seemed even more surprised both times he’s seen them.


Ugly Betty

We somehow tore through all of Ugly Betty in the last few months. I never caught it during its initial airing, but at least to me, it certainly doesn’t seem as outdated as its age might suggest.

Star Trek: Discovery

We also made it through the first couple seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, the first of which was much more of a slog. Although I can definitely get why it’s a compelling idea to put a jumble of redemption narratives at the center of interlocking stories set in the Star Trek world, I honestly don’t comprehend what audience they had in mind for the repeated torture sequences involved in one of these storylines.

We almost gave up on watching it—multiple times!

Thankfully, the second season rediscovers excitement at the prospect of strange new worlds, and decides to be far less hostile to the viewer.

Star Trek: Picard and Lower Decks

As part of our Viewing Alpha, we’re watching all the series and movies in release order. At this point we’ve also watched the entire—and quite fun—first season of Picard and are partially through Lower Decks. They’re both much more pleasant than Discovery’s first season, and Lower Decks in particular is very rewarding considering the way we’re doing such an extended speed-run of everything.


Seeing Kathleen Fitzpatrick mention BookWyrm on her blog provided just enough of a nudge for me to start trying it again. I went ahead and made lists from the books in my exam reading lists, and I’m hoping that the extra potential for interaction on BookWyrm will give me more inertia on both the lists and using that site in general.

Of course, I’m still going to keep tracking my reading here, especially since I’ll be able to annotate articles and add my own extended notes and posts.

If you’re on BookWyrm and want to connect, please do. If you’re not, why not give it a try? It’s a nice, gentle introduction to some of the core ideas of the “Fediverse” (the collectively-owned network of platforms like Mastodon).

Site Refinements of the Week

Did you know that, by default, Jekyll’s “related posts” are actually just the most recent posts, not posts more meaningfully related to the content of a post? Yeah, that’s bugged me for years. And I’ve finally done something about it.

After a bit of searching, I found this post from Webjeda, which is written to work either by tag or by category. I use both here, so I’ve been slowly weaving the two together. Currently I prioritize tags as more meaningful than categories, so if a post has both tags and a category, its tags will determine what goes in the “related” section. (I do still want to work out what to display when a post has neither tags nor categories. Probably I’ll extend my current set of if statements into a larger set of if/elsif/else statements.)

I also improved on the Webjeda code by using actual semantic elements. Why use a bunch of <div> elements when you’re really making an unsorted list? Accept<ul> and <li> as your friends already, developers!

Finally, I made the tags and categories functional links. And, since the list of tags could quickly become unruly, I hid those within a <details> disclosure widget. I’ve thus far only ever used a single category at a time (and plan to continue that), so those always remain visible at the bottom of each related post’s excerpt rather than requiring extra interaction.

As far as I can tell, this is all done accessibly. To reduce repeated content for screen readers—and to lower cognitive load for everyone—I also removed the author sidebar from most posts and pages.

If you have any feedback on any of this, I’d appreciate hearing from you!

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