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this is the website of joe crawford. code. occasional comics. toy robots. san diego.

Get My Comics on Gumroad2020Jul31

Rebecca Sugar: Steven Universe2020Aug14

I had to thank my friend Brianna for introducing me to Steven Universe several years ago. And here’s a great interview/conversation with Rebecca Sugar about the difficulty of producing shows which strive to tell stories we’ve not heard in new ways. Steven Universe is an amazing show that manages to produce a unique science-fictional fantasy for kids that can also be read in much deeper ways about family, forgiveness, relationships, redemption, change, sacrifice and a pile of other things. I’ve not seen the She-Ra reboot but Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is brilliant and thoughtful — fun to have her in conversation with Sugar.

I love this quote by Rebecca Sugar:

Back when I was working on comics, I started thinking of making art as a conversation. I had this blind date theory of storytelling: you don’t necessarily know who your audience is, but you’d want to speak to them like you’d speak to someone in real life, across the table from you. You don’t want to just say what you think they want to hear, you don’t want to just say something only you care about, you want to speak to someone.

From In Conversation: Rebecca Sugar and Noelle Stevenson.

“Archival Magic” seminar.2020Aug12

This morning I attended a presentation Dustin Renwick about “Archival Magic” via the FieldTrips effort by Creative Mornings.

I like the idea of using archival public domain resources as part of creative endeavors. I appreciate that he’s turned a good deal of research into a handy list to find treasures of the past that can be remixed in new ways. As Dustin says in his Medium article: “there’s magic in the archives!”

San Diego Weather2020Aug11

I originally drafted this on June 10, 2019.

My earliest memories of San Diego weather are this weather. Driving from Los Angeles in the back of my parents VW late at night. CBS Mystery Theater on the radio. I wake up on the couch at my grandparents THIS is that weather. Dew on the lawn in the morning. Sunny. Not warm, not cool. The promise of time at the beach. Sometimes it gets hotter, sometimes a bit cloudier. But it’s perfect.

I like where I live a lot. I am extraordinarily lucky.

“The Problem”2020Aug10

I used to be a party to walking through software engineering candidates through answering this question.

I answered it myself, as part of my own hiring process, with several other programmers there. Part of the prompt from them was to “think of us as your team, feel free to ask questions or get clarifications.”

That aspect is why I felt this particular “exercise” was legitimate. It was a good measure of how a person would work with the team.

Interviewing for software is a gigantic topic, and this only glances at the surface of it. But I’ve been fortunate to be part of workplaces that have valued me.

Open Graph Protocol Tools updated to version 1.912020Aug09

It’s been 10 years since I first wrote the Open Graph Protocol Tools WordPress plugin. It was first published to the WordPress Plugin repository on April 28, 2010.

It’s a tool that embeds metadata into your WordPress blog so posts and pages that can be parsed by social media. It’s not a particular popular plugin, but it works, and I’m proud to keep it going.

I have seen a number of useful plugins get abandoned, which is a pity. I have mused on doing the labor to “adopt” some of these but never taken any concrete steps to do so. It’s a big commitment to do that kind of work.

Looking back, I was working on it when I was living in Roanoke with my parents. That was also the last year of my mother’s life. It was nice to have meaningful work to do.

I also now maintain the same code in GitHub (which uses git, obviously), though being an “official” WordPress plugin allows it to be automatically updated for people when I make changes, which I did today. WordPress 5.5 will be released this week and I tested the compatibility of the plugin with the beta.

Software is still kind of fun.

On misgendering2020Aug08

I was wearing my red sweater and was misgendered this morning (November 4, 2019) at the drive-through. Writing here in 2020, I can’t remember whether it was “ma’am” instead of “sir” or whether I merely overheard someone refer to me as “she” rather than “he.” But it’s immaterial.

I am fascinated by the change in me. I understand sex and gender far better now. I had thought that by growing up in the “modern” age of the 80s and 90s, where homosexuality came to be better understood, that I was enlightened. The future is now!

Looking back at how media and journalism has treated gay, trans, and queer people of all kinds–no. It seems it’s always been regressive. It’s always treated gay or queer people with disgust. I remember the “It’s Pat” skits of Saturday Night Live and I thought how terrible it would be to be misidentified, or possibly worse, to be thought of in that same ambiguous light.

Decades later, I understand better my own identity. I’m a man, and my pronouns are “he/him.” When I went to XOXO in Portland last year I wore a pin with those words. Others wore different pins. People who are genderfluid might accept far more pronouns than me. One example is my ex-spouse Leah (by all means read more about Leah!), whose process of self-discovery went through many twists and turns and whose pronouns have likewise evolved.

So back to that drive-through. The culture told me that men are not a combination of overweight, wearing bright red sweaters, and clean shaven. The woman who did the misgendering was super-apologetic “oh sorry, sir.” then, later — “it’s Monday.” I smiled in reply. “It’s all good,” I told her.

That’s a change from 1999. I was 29. My first ex-wife Jenny and I were sitting together in a diner booth. She with her long hair. Me with my to-my-mid-back long hair. From behind comes a booming waitress’ voice: “What can I get for you ladies?” Once our faces were visible to her she apologized profusely. I remember how embarrassed I was. I can feel a bit of the sting of that, even now, even though it feels like I was an entirely different person than I am now. If it happened now–presuming I would have the patience to grow my hair long again–I’d laugh it off. “It’s all good.”

Graph of the Day.2020Aug08

From Professor Galloway‘s newsletter: No Mercy / No Malice.