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search about a garden a tree a stream an entrance now

Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

a stream

All posts and notes on this site, sorted by when published.


The 15% rule for Reading Updates

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.20]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

I had in mind a new reading update rule for 2022 - I wasn’t going to post a reading update about any book (neither here nor on Goodreads) until I was at least 10-15% of the way into the book.

But I forgot my rule, and now the books I barely started and haven’t continued to read are hanging over my head, and I hate all you big invisible jerks for holding me silently accountable for every random thing I post here.

I had in mind a new reading update rule for 2022 - I wasn’t going to post a reading update about any book (neither here nor on Goodreads) until I was at least 10-15% of the way into the book.

But I forgot my rule, and now the books I barely started and haven’t continued to read are hanging over my head, and I hate all you big invisible jerks for holding me silently accountable for every random thing I post here.

Just kidding. I do have a lot of false starts, and I do hate the weird pressure and embarrassment that comes from posting about a book and then not following through, even though people probably aren’t actually paying any attention.

Maybe I should set the line at 20 percent…

Ditto to posting about “favorite” music prematurely. I want to deliberately wait until I have truly listened to something 3-4 times, or purchased a physical copy, because I’m impressionable. I’m doing a bit better on the music front this year, though.

Standalone post link: The 15% rule for Reading Updates
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Now (March 19, 2022)

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.19]

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

  • Concocting and rolling out changes to this website.

  • Proceeding on my work goal of getting back to creating and curating more resources, as well as being better about sharing and promoting the resources that already exist.

  • Listening to Nilüfer Yanya’s album PAINLESS pretty obsessively, as well as the new Big Thief double-album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You.

  • I read Moon Witch Spider King and had big plans for more reading, but I’ve kind of fallen off.

  • Playing Pokémon Legends: Arceus

  • Our backyard is a a muddy hellscape that will dry to a dustbowl in summer, and I should be doing something about it, but I just can’t.

This page was last updated on March 19, 2022. See my prior ‘now’ updates here.


Credit for the ‘now’ page concept goes to Derek Sivers.

Standalone post link: Now (March 19, 2022)
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A Thing I Made At Work - Granite Top Titles of 2021

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.09]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.21]

I recently built and shared this ‘Top Titles of 2021’ thing at work.

Granite Top Titles of 2021 header image

I recently built and shared this ‘Top Titles of 2021’ thing at work.

Granite Top Titles of 2021 header image

I crunched data, built these interactive charts, and cranked out a series of posters and presentation graphics showing the most-circulated books in my district’s school libraries in the last calendar year.

This is the first remotely ‘creative’ product I can remember making at work in forever, unless you count bespoke MARC records for self-published Amazon titles, or XML files custom-mapped from inventory spreadsheets of thousands of Chromebook serial numbers for import into our resource management system. Oh, and of course, my never-ending quest to write The Great American Email. Actually, one of the Great American Emails was written to describe this very ‘Top Titles’ project, so now I’ve come full circle. Self actualization?

Standalone post link: A Thing I Made At Work - Granite Top Titles of 2021
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Listening Repeatedly to PAINLESS by Nilüfer Yanya

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.08]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.21]

‘Album Released’ notifications might be my very favorite phone notifications.

‘Album Released’ notifications might be my favorite phone notifications.

‘Album Released’ notifications might be my very favorite phone notifications.

‘Album Released’ notifications might be my favorite phone notifications.

I woke up last Friday morning to see these notifications pop in that several anticipated albums had been released, and had thus automatically added themselves to my music library/streaming service of choice.

I was excited to get listening, but work turned out to be way too hectic for headphones that day, and so I only got partway through one album on my commute to and from work. And as it turns out I have basically just listened to that one album, PAINLESS, over and over again since then, intermixed with older tracks from the same artist, Nilüfer Yanya. I’m listening to it again right now.

PAINLESS Album Cover

Not sure what to say about this album, but I’ve added it to my Favorite Music of 2022 collection. Might have to get a physical copy. Might have to get tickets for her show in Salt Lake later this year, if I decide I am going to do things like go out to events again.

Standalone post link: Listening Repeatedly to PAINLESS by Nilüfer Yanya
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blackleopardredwolfagain

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.07]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.21]

Turns out I can’t resist the re-read.

Dust jacket of Black Leopard Red Wolf on my desk

Turns out I can’t resist the re-read.

Dust jacket of Black Leopard Red Wolf on my desk

I am going to finish Little Devil in America first, though. And read other things in-between. A slow re-read, because I already pretty much know what happens?

Standalone post link: blackleopardredwolfagain
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My Revisionist History

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.07]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.21]

I often find myself tinkering with already-published notes on this site. I initially thought of this as a confession, because at times I’ve felt that editing old posts (beyond fixing minor typos or bugs) is somehow cheating. But, no, revision is not cheating. There is no rule of any sort that I cannot change, improve, or remove old posts as I see fit. It turns out that this is my own website and I make the rules around here.

I often find myself tinkering with already-published notes on this site. I initially thought of this as a confession, because at times I’ve felt that editing old posts (beyond fixing minor typos or bugs) is somehow cheating. But, no, revision is not cheating. There is no rule of any sort that I cannot change, improve, or remove old posts as I see fit. It turns out that this is my own website and I make the rules around here. I had forgotten I get to do whatever I want with my website, though that was kind of the point in not interacting with some corporation’s platform anymore.

Now, having jettisoned my guilt and cast aside my faith in conventional weblog practice, I am contemplating yet more aggressive revisionist practices. These measures shall serve to further consolidate my narrative and solidify my power and absolute domination over this web domain.


<mwahaahaha>
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.  
</mwahaahaha>
<!--mwahaahahaha-->  
<!--mwahaahahaha-->

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!1

One of my failures on this site, and really any site or platform on which I have ever shared content, is that I don’t always get around to posting things right when they are relevant.2 I still want to share my thoughts and have a record of them, but too often, posting such things later becomes incompatible with the idea of the chronological or current “feed” — the conventional organizational concept of a weblog or a social media account. And so, overwhelmed with ideas left unfinished and unshared, and feeling unable to move forward, I go quiet again.

Long story short, I might start adding new-but-back-dated updates and posts — not just republishing old content from my defunct websites and social media accounts, but also interleaving previously unpublished notes and photographs recorded in previous times but never shared.

My goal is to have a single life journal or archive of sorts that pulls from all my different sources. I do need to do more learning in “digital gardens” and related concepts, but in the meantime I feel a need to get moving and publishing. This is something I just really want for myself - I don’t entirely know if it should be public, actually? Yes, it needs to be public, because even if not tied to any other platforms or networks I do have some sort of amorphous internet audience in mind for these things I share here, for better or worse. I want to be able to share this site with people I know on occasion, asynchronously. I want to link to it. I want items on my site to become serendipitous search results. I might want to make it into a newsletter. I want it to be my interface with the world.

The Internet has changed a lot and is rumored to have been ruined by corporations, but my past experience tells me that good things can come from a little old personal website. My old blog in the late 2000s was once found as a serendipitous search result by a certain person. That person and I have since collaborated in creating two entirely new humans together, and we are coming up on our fourteenth marriage anniversary next month. I wasn’t really looking for love through my website, but I put some of myself out there into the world and it happened. I think it still exists, the promise and possibility of connecting with other people and spreading ideas through a genuine personal website, rather than playing a toxic algorithm. I hope so, for my kids and other young people.

To make my revisionism more transparent I’ve added “Last Updated” fields to the bottom of each post. I’m trying to decide if I should take the time to also build a “Recently Updated” page/feed that lists the sometimes-backdated notes and posts based on when they were last updated, rather than their original post date. (I admit, I tried one way to build such a page today and failed miserably.)

As always, if you have thoughts to share you can email me by clicking “Contact me” in the footer of every page.



  1. from “Ozymandias”, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and scene of Discord being turned to stone through the magic of the Elements of Harmony, from Season 2, Episode 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, entitled “The Return of Harmony, Part 2.” ↩︎

  2. I don’t get out much, but even so, sometimes I am actually living through my life and don’t have time or desire to broadcast in real-time. And it turns out I have a job and a family, and this site is just a hobby. So there. ↩︎

Standalone post link: My Revisionist History
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Finished Moon Witch Spider King

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.06]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.06]

I finished reading Moon Witch Spider King yesterday evening.

I finished reading Moon Witch Spider King yesterday evening.

There is a strong pull to re-read Black Leopard Red Wolf, but I have so many other books to read that I’m reluctant to give over another potential month or so of reading for this series right now.

But I don’t know if I can let this world go quite yet, and it’s going to be another couple of years, probably…

Screenshot of Marlon James interview question in Time - Question: What does the “Dark Star” in the Dark Star trilogy refer to? Answer: You’re gonna have to read the third book to find out. The third one is called White Wing, Dark Star.

Standalone post link: Finished Moon Witch Spider King
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Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You - Achievement Unlocked!

[Originally Posted: 2022.03.01]
[Last Updated: 2022.03.21]

☑ I have obtained a copy of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, the latest album by Big Thief.

Dragon New Warm Mountain Vinyl and Front Cover on my Record Player

☑ I have obtained a copy of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, the latest album by Big Thief.

Dragon New Warm Mountain Vinyl and Front Cover on my Record Player

☑ My copy of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You features two 180 gram recycled vinyl LPs, one marbled red-orange and the other marbled turquoise-grey, housed in a heavy gatefold sleeve with an accompanying lyric booklet. The sound of this vinyl is amazing and is one of the best and only vinyl sets I have picked up in a while.

☑ I have played three-and-a-half of the four sides of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You on my living room stereo, in the presence of my children and our dog. (It was bedtime before we’d quite finished, and unfortunately, due to deteriorating behavioral fidelity, the sounds of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You needed to be terminated prematurely before the final tracks played.)

☑ Prior to this inaugural listening of the Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You vinyl in my house, I did force a premature mid-episode termination of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, all the while recognizing that the phrase “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You” sounds more than anything like it could have been lifted from dialogue or song in an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

☑ I have created a ‘Collections’ section on this website, and In that section I have created a ‘My Favorite Music of 2022’ collection page, and on that page I have added Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You as the first album in that collection.

☑ I have declared (here, right now) that Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is my frontrunner and album to beat for the prestigious honor of being my ‘AOTY’ (album of the year) in 2022.

☑ I have now included the title and phrase Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You at least eight times in this post, and, in addition, have included the title and phrase My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic at least three times.

Dragon New Warm Mountain Vinyl and Gatefold on my Record Player

Dragon New Warm Mountain Vinyl and Back Cover on my Record Player

Standalone post link: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You - Achievement Unlocked!
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Hide Show Excitement

[Originally Posted: 2022.02.27]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

Maybe a little too excited that I managed to create a hugo shortcode to do this hide/show toggle function in any post now:

Maybe a little too excited that I managed to create a hugo shortcode to do this hide/show toggle function in any post now:

Maybe I should generalize it and share the actual template code here and on GitHub? Never actually done that sort of thing, and yet I’m constantly stealing from others who have…

Standalone post link: Hide Show Excitement
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Now (February 27, 2022)

[Originally Posted: 2022.02.27]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.27]

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

  • Just finishing up a ‘February Break’ with my kids, who had the week off from school.

  • In my work, I’m hoping to renew a focus on creating, curating, and sharing resources with colleagues, and ultimately teachers, students, and parents.

  • Reading Moon Witch Spider King by Marlon James.

  • Not on a big listening project or obsession at the moment, but may take on a full artist discography soon.

  • Playing Gris and Pokemon Legends: Arceus from time to time these days.

  • Looking to buy a car soon.

This page was last updated on February 27, 2022. See my prior ‘now’ updates here.


Credit for the ‘now’ page concept goes to Derek Sivers. I had envisioned a page of this sort for my new website, but my concept was vague and I didn’t have a clear way forward until I happened upon someone with a ‘now’ page and followed the trail back to the source. I think you should make one too.

Standalone post link: Now (February 27, 2022)
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Copyright 2022 Joshua David Whiting. Made in Millcreek, Utah, USA. Contact me. Built with Hugo and my own WP51 theme, still a work in progress. Hosted via Github and Netlify.