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The past 20 posts to MeFi Projects


At the Zoo: the Complete Comic Strip

Thu, 25 May 2017 18:24:32 GMT

I posted my comic strip here a couple years ago when I began it—now that it's finished, I've compiled the strips into a book anthology.

The book is landscape format, 11x8.5, with good quality printing on the interior and nice color pages for the Sunday strips. It also has some concept art and studies in the back as bonus material. The content is all-ages friendly.

MeFites, use the discount code "taters" for 10% off.


High Post Software

Tue, 23 May 2017 01:02:52 GMT

In early 2017 I launched a new web and mobile development consultancy, focused on small and medium sized organizations, especially those with a social mission.

I incorporated my own web and mobile consultancy in January, and have been lucky to quickly acquire lots of word of mouth work. I finally have had the time to finish and polish my website and social media presence this week, and launched all of that today.

We're focused on the web and mobile needs of small and medium sized businesses. We also donate time every month to serving the tech needs of organizations serving a social mission, and we work on iOS apps for fun and profit in our spare time.

If you represent or know an organization in need of web and/or mobile development, check us out!


Documenting a local tradition's full menu

Mon, 22 May 2017 16:08:15 GMT

I'm trying to eat the entire menu at my local beachfront Chinese restaurant.

This is a Chinese restaurant that is the home of the Chop Suey Sandwich, only available in Salem, Massachusetts. It's famous for it's Tender Steak With Cheese sandwich. And it makes a pretty decent hamburger. So this isn't your typical Chinese takeout (although it also kind of is, which is even better!)

I'm documenting this local institution (it's at least 60 years old, and probably a lot more than that), and bringing a little attention to them on Instagram, as well.


#knitgrrl52 knit-pattern-a-week Patreon

Sun, 21 May 2017 16:54:12 GMT

I'm releasing a knitting pattern every single week of the year and documenting the money side of things from every possible angle for analysis.

So for example: how much the patterns REALLY cost to produce (photography, tech editing, sample knitters), how much was earned from pattern sales, who got paid and why. I'm also testing advertising methods and plan to write a follow up to my book The Knitgrrl Guide To Professional Knitwear Design with some of the data. I'm 18 patterns in so far and going strong!


Linux Rig

Thu, 18 May 2017 21:09:30 GMT

I relaunched my Linux blog, Linux Rig, with a (slightly) shorter name, a new platform, and a new look. All of the interviews with people about their Linux setups seem to have survived the move.


Eat Everywhere (smartphone app)

Wed, 17 May 2017 15:54:44 GMT

I'm part of a team that just released a unique, pretty amazing food app (iOS and Android). It's called Eat Everywhere, created by Chowhound founder Jim Leff (though tons of us worked on it). It covers virtually every cuisine, offering pragmatic, quick, witty advice on how and what to order, and experience things like an insider. Great while traveling, as well as for eating in ethnic restaurants near home. Great for newbies who've always hesitated about strolling into the local Jamaican take-out, but also great for filling gaps for experts (also: calligraphs to show waiters in Chinese regional restaurants, etc. etc.). Here's Leff's launching statement, and the app's web page is linked above.

BTW, you may have noticed this MeFi job posting, which got some attention at the time (thanks, Jessamyn). That humungous endeavor was only one part of this ambitious project. And I think we wound up nailing that part. The web sites in the app's "More Info" section for each cuisine were smartly, lovingly selected and described. Along with the app's thumbnail cuisine sketches, these links make this one app pretty much all you need to completely own the world of cuisine (I've re-examined that last statement because it tripped my own hype meter, but I do believe it's true).


Just Like Grape

Wed, 17 May 2017 02:08:56 GMT

Starting a weekly newsletter about arts, design and entrepreneurship. The first two posts are already up!


Color Crosshatching the Ralston Way

Tue, 16 May 2017 21:01:27 GMT

This is a printable, foldable mini instruction booklet that will teach you my easy method for crosshatching in color.

Please let me know if it prints correctly! I welcome any feedback whatsoever and I can change the layout. Most of all, though, have fun with the technique! It looks harder than it is, and it's quite rewarding. I'm releasing this as a Creative Commons/"Copyleft" document, so if you like it, show your friends---especially if they're art teachers.

(Please print at 100% rather than fitting it to the page, it's intended to print out as far as the bleed will go on any printer.)


Daycare & preschool search (San Francisco only)

Tue, 16 May 2017 15:43:03 GMT

I have a 2 and 4 year old and am tired of it being so hard to figure out my child care options. So my partner & I researched and indexed 800+ child care providers in SF, including the impossible-to-find in-home daycares. (Other cities are coming, but I started here because I live here.)

You can search and filter by lots of stuff like schedule, language, location etc, as well as find places that have immediate spaces. Send any feedback to me at Hope it's helpful!


'The Invasion' as Anti-Fascist film

Mon, 15 May 2017 17:51:18 GMT

I wrote about the 2007 flop 'The Invasion' for Vice's Does It Actually Suck? And read it as a newly relevant parable about fascism from outer space.


Butter & Syrup: an occasional food newsletter

Wed, 10 May 2017 16:27:21 GMT

I've created a food newsletter designed to distract and inform. Subscribers receive concise emails with links, recommendations and recipes. If you like it, sign up.

(Despite the newsletter's name, it has nothing to do with waffles. Well. Mostly nothing.)


Live On

Mon, 08 May 2017 19:00:59 GMT

Some people do not think they can get through the challenges they face, and some people may think there's no way to live a happy, fulfilling life with a disability, but we know that's not true. The Live On Movement was created to show people with disabilities the incredible lives they can lead, and all they need to do right now is choose to Live On. The mission of the Live On Movement is to show disabled people everywhere that life is worth living and to connect people with the resources they need to Live On.

Suicide is a problem in the disability community. It's especially a problem for people who have recently become disabled, whether through an accident or illness, or by aging into a disability.

Live On is a series of videos by disabled people talking candidly about how disabled lives are worth living.


This Land, This Year

Mon, 08 May 2017 17:55:01 GMT

I'm traveling to every state in the USA in 2017 and writing about it. For several reasons. I've been to eight states so far. There's an Instagram to go along with the blog.


Old Blue Witch

Sun, 07 May 2017 00:45:16 GMT

I have been working on the new Fit and the Conniptions album for a loooooong time.

This is far and away the strongest album I have put out to date. I've switched from guitar to bass; there are no guitars on this album. Or, indeed, any non-acoustic instruments apart from electric bass.

There are also more overtly political songs on this album than ever before, including a song about the late union leader Bob Crow and the title track, Old Blue Witch. It so happens that at least one of the songs on this album is older than the other two band members. Others are more recent.

Speaking of the other band members, they are truly awesome: I was fortunate enough to be playing with Duncan Menzies on fiddle, viola and tin whistle, and Holly Mallett on drums, with guest appearances from Dana Immanuel, Whiskey Mick Rowan and Saskia Doornbos.

The production values are a significant step up from previous efforts; this time around I had a non-zero budget to work with, and I used it on things like a proper studio, a proper engineer, artwork-not-by-me, etc.

The artwork, btw, is by the ridiculously talented Molly Crabapple.

Have a listen?


One Light Portrait Project

Fri, 05 May 2017 18:03:03 GMT

I've been photographing everyone at my workplace. I have one light, a grey wall, and about 5 minutes per person.


Fell, a story reading with music

Thu, 04 May 2017 13:18:07 GMT

Story by something awful forums poster ironic twist, reading and music by me



Wed, 03 May 2017 21:35:38 GMT

I joined the Apple Developer Program and went through the whole process just so I could make iMessage stickers of my cat, the frequently-posted-in-comments-here Zzyzx the Bengal!

I was wasting time online one evening when I suddenly thought "I should take all this time I spend doing nothing and learn a new skill instead." These stickers are the outcome. I've been working on a few different packs based on artwork I've licensed or collaborated on, and plan on learning how to make other apps, too. This is really exciting for me, because I kept making mistakes but I stuck to it and actually generated something cool out of it!


Qal'bu Maryam Women's Mosque

Mon, 01 May 2017 21:08:40 GMT

As a pro bono project, I worked on the PR for a new, radically inclusive, women-led mosque in Berkeley, California. It's only the second women's-led mosque in the US and the first that allows genders to pray together. The dedication ceremony and prayer service was held April 14, 2017, and got a lot of press, including TV reports and other coverage.

One week later, when there were no cameras, 20 people of mixed genders, races, ages, and nationalities prayed together in peace, according to the founder, Rabi'a Keeble. One Arab man told her he was there because he didn't want his young daughter to have to go through the back door of a mosque to worship. The best thing about this project for me was fighting Trump by saying YES to something after months of fighting Trump by saying NO. My advice in this depressing era is to find something you value that you can say yes to. Even as a militant agnostic feminist progressive!


The Weekly Weird

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 14:15:28 GMT

A curated weekly newsletter/blog of mostly-tech links that are interesting, strange, surprising or funny. From the BGP Bitcoin theft in 2014 that started it to Kugelblitzes, hashmaps in Rust and licking Nintendo cartridges, the Weekly Weird is me dumping my browser tabs into an email just in time for lunchtime on Friday (EST). No politics unless the underlying story is really compelling. Subscribe here.


Hyrule map projections

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 04:20:25 GMT

Assuming the NES view of Hyrule is plate carrée, how might it look under other projections? Fortunately, I just saw a talk by Rob Simmon (which has corresponding detailed articles) about how to use these gdalwarp (one of a set of powerful geospatial tools provided by GDAL) to find out!