personal website: joe crawford. code. occasional comics. toy robots. bodysurfing. san diego. california. say hi.
since 1998

November, 2021: 49 posts.

a little bodysurfing at Pacific Beach (from this summer)

a little bodysurfing at Pacific Beach

Dolphins at the Jetty (compiled)

I’ve learned a bit of editing with iMovie which is sort of fun.

Literary Journal: Chiricú Journal

In 2020, during the pandemic I submitted a comic to a journal, at the urging of my late friend Jennifer Simpson.

And in 2021, I got a copy of it. I even have an academic citation. The reach of a small literary journal may be small, but as a kid whose academic achievement maxed out at an Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy, it meant a lot to me. Here’s the citation!

Crawford, J. (2020). Californio. Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, 5(1), 118-119. doi:10.2979/chiricu.5.1.10

And here’s the comic.

More Video of Ocean For Precious Few Viewers

We all are pretty much aware that YouTube is a special sort of land of trouble. It has radicalized people. It thrives on the most outlandish and incendiary videos because those are what keep us watching.

All that said, I’ve made another video (the last one was of dolphins) and put it on YouTube, it’s of some time out in the surf the other day. I’m also getting comfortable using iMovie on my iPad and seeing the nuances of that.

When I worked for Jamison/Gold I sometimes did video encoding, but it was all so primitive then. 22 years later the resolution is much higher. Heck, I remember putting up wav files to share audio on an old version of the Disneyland website.

Nuclear Exclusion Clause

I worked in a bank “note department” in my first job in a bank. I was tasked with documenting and making sure each “note” aka “mortgage” has proper insurance. I was 15 years old. In looking at reams of paperwork I remember seeing “NUCLEAR EXCLUSION CLAUSE” and as a kid in the 1980s that certainly got my attention. Basically, if you get nuked, don’t expect to collect.

The nuclear exclusion clause is a clause which excludes damage caused by nuclear and radiation accidents from regular insurance policies of, for example, home owners.

Example: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, it is hereby understood and agreed that this policy shall not apply to any loss, damage or expense due to or arising out of, directly or indirectly, nuclear reaction, radiation or radioactive contamination regardless of how it was caused.

Source: Wikipedia

Migrating my old static pages into my WordPress theme

For one, I updated the Colophon.

For another, I updated a jillion pages under the “Words” section. These had been static pages for, uh, 20 years. And finally I’ve imported those pages into the blog. It was relatively painless to do the import, but the old static pages were pretty quixotic, so customizing their unique look to 2021 development tools took a certain amount of time. For all the Words pages that I imported are using a new WordPress template, which is straightforward to add to my custom theme.

I don’t think anyone necessarily cares that I’ve modernized my ancient poetry and out-of-date technical articles, but it was fun for me. I quite like that these pages will now come up when people search the search box of the site. It’s also useful to “practice” my WordPress development and CSS development. I’m a bit late to the party but being able to use both Flexbox and Grid was pretty fun! I use SCSS to manage my CSS which is is easier to maintain than the prior hodge-podge of ad hoc multiple sheets.

There’s so much tooling for web development–it’s great! But I also see that there’s so much that it can be very daunting. Also, things change at a steady pace in web development. On the positive side, there are just as many learning resources: The MDN Docs are tremendous and reliable.

I also want to give a shoutout to phpStorm, which provides an incredible value for a relatively inexpensive price.

Music Friday Roundup

Yesterday I was talking to gRegor. gRegor is a chap I met at the end of 2019 when he was trying to get an in-person “Homebrew Website Club” meetup going for San Diego. We had just a few before a global Pandemic.

But meeting a kindred spirit is always wonderful.

Two years have passed since then!

Two years!

And what has happened? Besides public health catastrophe, incipient authoritarianism and such.

“Music Monday Roundup” is a great blog post about music and meta-musical video that floated his boat. I quite like the song “Loveless” by Lo Moon. I also intend to check out the series he recommended The Session.

As for me, I listen to a whole lot of music. Every year I create a new playlist and as the year goes on. My 2021 playlist is called “2021 faux pho foe” (I don’t remember why I’ve been including the word “pho” in these annual playlist names but it’s quite a weird habit now: 2020 me-pho-me, 2019 phø phø fo no fanana bana bo no, 2018 phō kay peoples).

It’s November. Soon enough I’ll be starting the 2022 playlist.

Thinking about how I find music, one of my favorite things during the pandemic was Questlove‘s Friday night live DJ sets on Twitch/YouTube where he’d spin records and talk about music. I think he switched platforms because I don’t get notifications about those sets now. But anywhere is a good place to learn about new music. As I find new ones with something good about them, I edit the list. I might hear something good in an elevator, as an incidental song in a movie, casually mentioned by a friend. And I try to branch out to adjacent artists, or songs from the same era, or their children, or protégés or labelmates.

As Frank Zappa says, “music is the best.”

Thanks for sharing gRegor!


In July 1999–or rather 01999 as Long Now would write it out–I designed an entry for the Viridian Couture Contest. The design brief can be read here, here are some excerpts:

(((The natural question then arises: what should really wealthy, technically proficient, middle-aged people dress like? What kind of clothes will garner them the rewards incumbent on their age and station: the best seats in restaurants, obliging hotel staff, admiring glances from demimondaines half their age, and so forth? They certainly don’t want to dress like bankers. They don’t *look* like bankers. These are tubby, Dilbert-shaped characters, their eyes shrouded in cokebottle lenses from years before the monitor, guys with fuzzy programmer’s beards, carpal-tunnel and unfocussed stares, who laugh aloud at injokes about the structure of UNIX.)))

(((Therefore, to meet this obvious social need, I propose the new Viridian Couture Contest. We’re going to specialize first in male fashion, a distinctive suit of “Computer Formal” clothes for “Mr. Computer Casual.” It’s a heartening sign that Mr. Potter vaguely realizes how badly dressed he is, but he can’t resolve this problem alone. Only a true-blue nerd would think to name his clothes after chunks of hardware (‘motherboard’ indeed).

And because I’m on a run of importing more of the static page of my site into WordPress, here’s an updated link:

It’s good to have friends with a long memory. My pal Chris sent me an email back in January:

Subject: The CitySuit v.1.0 is Here! Just for Tech Oafs? Or Sensible Trendsetters Too?

The Ungainly Techie PPE of Tomorrow–Today! (?)

You really nailed this one; good show, sir!

(Me being who I am though… part of me actually thinks some of these are kinda cool. At least on aircraft. Things can happen on planes, y’know. It’s an added excuse to wear a helmet.)

Does this have to be nothing more than a priveledged-class doofus fashion statement? Or could they perhaps just be good smart sound scientifically-backed personal protection? For both oneself and those around you? (People actually really are still dying, Seth…as never before. Isn’t $299 but a small price to pay if it can really save someone’s Nana’s life? Or your own? And who the f*ck cares how it looks, or what “message” it sends, as long as it actually works?)

Personally, I’d like to see some more testing data on these. Surely though, I’d think they offer a much more comprehensive solution than a thin permeable cotton fabric mask, no?



Here was my reply at the time:

Well, ain’t that something. Looks like the press was last year. Not an exact match but pretty close, form following function.

I’d like to point out that the exhaust for a device like this needs to be very carefully handled. There was a person who wore a positive pressure novelty Christmas suit (I think snowman?) to a hospital making the rounds? Turns out he had Covid and the device acted as a superspreading propellor of virus. Oops.

Air! How does it work!


The inflatable suit was a Christmas tree and it was in San Jose in December 2020. An outbreak has killed one, infected 43 at California hospital. An inflatable holiday costume is likely to blame, officials say.

Depressing as that is, carrying around our own private air in a stylish hollow bean does seem like a solid idea. I kind of love that I put a smiling Al Gore inside the suit.

My description at the time was:

The executive of the future requires protection of all kinds: from the elements, from those who would wish her or him ill, and from netattack. Continuous conferencing and communications are available via heads up display and hand gesture macro language.

The CITYSUIT provides continuous net access, bioactive climate control, and terror countermeasures. Utilizing new biologically active technologies, what once required a hundred point NASA EVA suit can now be replicated in a suit with the mass of a typical 20th century three-piece suit.

You’ll look chic, be protected from the devolving atmosphere, and be safe from the teeming mobs, all while never being far from your e-mail, sysadmin, press corps. staff and of course your loved ones!

Cabbage Salad (the Crawford family recipe)


  • 2 heads green cabbage
  • salt
  • 2 thin green onions
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • mayonnaise


  1. chop cabbage finely, layer in Tupperware with salt
  2. chop green onions finely
  3. mix green onions, lemon juice and mustard seed thoroughly with cabbage
  4. let rest overnight
  5. add mayonnaise to mixture an hour before serving

Wayne White

I surely wish I’d seen Wayne White’s exhibit “Big Lectric Fan to Keep Me Cool While I Sleep” — it is goofy and wonderfully made.

I’m ragged but I’m right, you know.

I think I’ll watch Beauty is Embarrassing a few more times before the year 2021 ends.

Clay Shirky is blogging again

at It looks like the first time I referenced Mr. Shirky’s work was in July 2001 back when I was still using Blogger. Irritatingly, the article I mentioned “Java is Essential to the Software Ecosystem” has suffered terminal link rot on both shirky dot com and oreilly dot com. Kudos to for preserving their own writing about his open letter.

He writes about higher education in this new space. He’s clear-minded and smart. I’m delighted to see he mentions being on a podcast with Paul Ford, another web stalwart I’ve been reading for a long time. I’ll queue up the Postlight podcast for myself.

Today’s List of Bodysurfing Yoga Poses

  2. UP DOG
  3. PLANK

via seven yoga poses all bodysurfers need to know

Chonk Chart (2019)

Back in 2019, “chonk” was very important at my workplace.

I added Becky the Racoon, of course.

originally on twitter

Ron Cobb!

RON COBB: 1937-2020

Everyone ought to know who Ron Cobb is.

Quote of the day: on personal websites

Personal sites evolve in different ways, and they’re all valuable. There’s design and expression that makes whatever statements you might have at your own domain interesting; the visual sandbox. And there’s the predominantly written or photographic documentation of a life and career; the blog. And sometimes, both of those kinds of site intertwine into a genuinely engaging experience: a partnership of good design and good writing, sometimes made exceptional with beautiful detailing or a sense for editorial design.

(I originally read this a full year ago, and it’s the goal I’ve had for my own website since 1999)

Quote of the Day: from jwz:

Everything about the modern tech ecosystem is just… so… exhausting.



Last week I did some work importing the Words section of my site into WordPress.

I pulled all that ephemera in as pages.

It was fun.

I like working with WordPress.

I also found a stub of an essay I never finished.

The preamble on the page said:

People keep asking me about my evolving spirituality. This page is for that. Expect it to be unfinished for a long time.

I didn’t do anything with it for 18 years. I forgot it was there. I didn’t link to it from anywhere. A little truffle buried in the dirt.

I may have shared it with people in email. But I can’t remember.

It’s startling to read my own writing about my mother in the present tense. She is now in the past.

grandmother (father’s side) converted to catholicism, 1950/60s.
grandparents on mother’s side relatively religious.

born 1970.

mother very strong catholic. many stages to her life. often refers to prayer
in conversation, but manages to not be a jerk about it. caring, giving person.

father very strong vietnam veteran. cynical about human motives and thinking.
most people are sheep, going along for the ride.
he simply sees himself as realistic. nevertheless, he is convinced of a grand
design of universe. is not an athiest.

baptized 1970. san diego.

catholic school 1976-1987 (minus 1982 approx).
devoted catholic kid.

confirmed 1982. san diego. catholic.

st. benedict, patron saint of artisans. he was a monk
who lived in a cave. i liked that idea.

1983-1987. embraces catholic mysticism, cloud of unknowing, meditation.
zen buddhism.

1980s. learn about Deists from my father.

1980s. arguments with grandmother about evolution and social justice.
strongly believe that the role of the church is to promote change.

1980s. father points out to me something along the lines of “well the catholic
church is not perfect, but when there’s a fight for justice, as in the civil
rights movement, you see priests out there. they must be getting at least some
of it right.”

1990s. worked in healthcare. waited for the miraculous.
human beings are mortal.
no infinite promise.
the body dies and there is no magic.

1991. instructor calls me his “zen brother” – unexpectedly.

1993. learn of “jefferson bible” – the new testament, stripped of all
trappings of religious life.

1995. learn more about the many mistakes, rewrites, apocrypha in the bible.
alarmed by it all.

1993-5. basically give up on organized religion. along with it, faith.

mid-late 1990s. more reading makes more skepticism. embracing atheism.
atheism does not explain it all. worse, athiests i meet are as evangelical
as the christian evangelicals i meet.

conviced otherwise that athiests are slightly braver, for embracing the
inherent injustice and uncertainty of life. human beings can rely on themselves
and themselves alone. this is our great power, this is our great curse.

late 1990s. embrace agnosticism.

1999. married. non-traditional, and non catholic marriage.

2002-2003. appreciating the things that are not reproducible and measurable.
love. friendship. trust. these are not scientific. but i believe in these.

2002. aunt says to me “despite your beliefs, i can see very well the light
coming through you.”

2003. divorce.

2003. begin seeing counselor. 4 areas to watch for happy life:
(note: spiritual)

2003. wrestle with possibility of being a godfather. understand that i do not
meet the criteria.

2003. godfather to zachary.

2003. onward.

These years later I appreciate the role of religion when it is positive in people’s lives, and also that we choose all sorts of things to serve in a religious ways. I know for me going to the beach is not unlike going to Church. I’d also say that being in 12-step groups over the years the utility of the notion of a higher power is a good exercise. And a higher power can be nearly anything.

I’m not sure this is much of a post, but I’ll leave it there.

Obituary: Jennifer Simpson

I don’t think I saw this obituary for Jennifer back in December 2020. It’s a lovely tribute to a person I miss a great deal. A person who encouraged me to write and gave positive feedback at every turn. A good friend to me.

Talk Story Publishing founder, Jennifer Simpson, passed away unexpectedly—December 2020

Jennifer Simpson, MFA, August 1964 – December 2020

Jennifer was a talented artist, writer, content strategist, and marketing consultant. From creative non-fiction to poetry, she believed in the power of stories to change the world. COO & Online Marketing Director of Plume, a Writer’s Companion, Executive Director of Dime Stories International, and an active community builder in Albuquerque, she connected people with stories that are shaping our world in a multitude of ways. She is survived by her sister, Debby Simpson, of San Diego.

Donations to honor Jennifer’s legacy can be made to the Children’s Grief Center in Albuquerque where she was a volunteer; Stand Up to Cancer in honor of her sister’s twenty-year battle with cancer; Plume: a Writer’s Companion by becoming a Patron; or the University of New Mexico Fund for Indigenous Education Research to support opportunities for people of indigenous ancestry and their cultures, which she honored and advocated for in ways large and small.

A Zoom Celebration of Life will be held in January. Details to be announced in early January. Please check this site frequently as it will be updated with additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions (2011 or earlier)

More old stuff! Deleting the former page, turning it into a blog post. Things got to change if they’re to improve!


What do you have to do with the Web Standards Project? Are you active in that group now?

I wrote the first version of the Baseline Proposal / Manifesto when the WSP was being formed. I am no longer a part of the leadership of that group. I support their work enthusiastically though!
What is WebSanDiego?
WebSanDiego was a mailing list and community for San Diego web developers. I founded it in 1999. I no longer participate in it.


Can I hire you to do my web site?
Yes. Drop me a line.
How can I make a WordPress theme?
A wordpress theme must have 2 files. style.css and index.php. That’s all you need. If you can put all your html into index.php and all your css into style.css you’re, I swear, 50% there in developing your theme. Once there, implement the loop, and you’re on your way. As you go on, and have to implement other things, you will encounter other portions of theme development. The details on what different other files in a theme can do are well documented here: Theme Development.

Don’t hack on an existing theme if you are getting clean html. Hacking an existing theme is a road to extreme frustration. For years that’s how I worked on sites, and when I finally started doing it from scratch I had much better luck.

This is excellent: Theme Development Checklist. While you only really need 2 files to make a valid theme, this will force you to do all the extras that make sure things work and function flexibly and correctly.

I’ve done this several times successfully. For a larger and more robust Q&A site for WordPress the WordPress Stack Exchange is excellent.

About Words

Why “ArtLung?”
Artist + Respiratory Therapist = ArtLung
But you do web stuff? Why leave in the word “lung” – you don’t practice that!
Yes, I am a web designer, web programmer, web developer. I do all these, none of them is complete. I do a lot of different things.
Shouldn’t you remove the “lung” from your nickname?

Fan Stuff

Where can I buy Voltes V Merchandise such as toys and videos?
Unfortunately there’s no reliable source other than eBay. If you hear of one, please let me know.

Joe’s Many Errors

Your site is broken, loser! I found a problem with your site! To whom do I complain?
Smorgasborg is misspelled! You messed up!
It’s on purpose and I prefer it. The correct spelling is Smörgåsbord. Nyeah.
Who does your hosting?
pair Networks, they’re located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. They’re great.

Why are so many folks compelled by web3?

I think this describes it well, by Robin Rendle:

The future feels like it’s already owned by Google or Facebook or some other enormous corporate interest, so I can understand that impulse to create something new like web3 because of that.

Read the whole thing.

I suspect people–particularly younger people–see “just websites” created by individuals and can’t see a way for them to usurp the apps and huge social media silos that command the attention of people, media and Presidents. But ultimately those giant social media sites are “just websites.”

Usenet was supplanted, Friendster and MySpace and Google+ too. There’s nothing permanent about social media. They are made of people and people come and go.

And to be sure, even if all the dreams of “web3” come to pass, there’s nothing to make web3 permanent either.

Linkrot comes to us all, eventually.

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