Responsive Redesign

I have finally abandoned the 380px-wide column that I chose arbitrarily for my first attempt at a blog design in 2002. That relatively narrow column became fixed when I began embedding photos in my posts, all scaled down to 380px-wide, shortly thereafter. To overcome this limitation, in 2009 I added the ability to enlarge photos using a Lightbox plugin. This meant that I had to manually generate a 380px-wide version and an 800px-wide version of every photo in a post, linking the former to the latter. I attempted a responsive redesign at the end of 2012, but it was really just a hack job. I got things into a place where they sort of worked, but stopped short because I had a new job to focus on. Finally in 2013, I abandoned the 380px-wide “thumbnails” altogether, and just started posting the 800px-wide versions—bandwidth be damned!—allowing the browser to scale the image down to my then-still, 380px-wide column. The benefit being that the newer high pixel density screens in smartphones and tablets showed much crisper images than they had previously.

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Bike to Work Day Poster Boy

One of my coworkers pointed out that I’m currently the poster boy for Bike to Work Day on the SF Bicycle Coalition website. The photo confused us both because yesterday, on Bike to Work Day, a group of coworkers organized a group ride to work, but none of them were visible in the shot. Then I realized that the jacket I had on in the photo was not the one I was wearing yesterday—so the photo must have been taken on a prior year, I’m guessing 2013, about a month after getting my new bike. In related news, I’m pretty close to being fully recovered from my broken elbow, and I’ve been biking to work every day since early April.

Justin on the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition website
Justin on the SF Bicycle Coalition website

Feeling Helpless about Homelessness

[After discovering a homeless person sleeping in our front yard this morning (the 3rd time this week), and having to call the police while rousing him, and having to clean up the mess he left behind, I decided to write an impassioned letter to San Francisco’s Mayor, Ed Lee, my district’s supervisor, Scott Weiner, and the Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE), Bevan Dufty, expressing my frustrations and feelings of helplessness. Posting it here (with minor typographic corrections) for posterity.]

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Thanksgiving in Death Valley

Our annual pilgrimage to the desert last Thanksgiving felt like a return to our road trips of yore. We had a few goals in mind, but no explicit itinerary. We felt this acutely on our first night, fighting exhaustion in order to find a place somewhere around Lake Tahoe to park our Escape Campervan. Turns out most of the places we’d researched in advance were closed for the season, so we had to head all the way up to Sugar Pines Point State Park for the night.

Thanksgiving Road Trip through the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley
Descending from the Sierras

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This is neat: Computing the optimal road trip across the U.S. (but taking the road trip would be even neater)