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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.


Ant on Flower Buds

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

A large ant crawling on the buds of some plant growing through the fence from our neighbors' yard.

Ant crawling on flower buds - still

A large ant crawling on the buds of some plant growing through the fence from our neighbors' yard.

Ant crawling on flower buds - still

Standalone post link: Ant on Flower Buds
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Reading Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.22]

i’m paddling my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, though it is definitely taking me more than a week.

Picture of my Library of America Thoreau volume open to ‘Monday’ from ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

I have this Library of America edition, but I’m actually mainly reading it on my phone - Standard Ebooks edition, added to the iOS Books app. The LoA edition has reference notes, so I look at it when I can, but I actually like reading on my phone.

i’m paddling my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, though it is definitely taking me more than a week.

Picture of my Library of America Thoreau volume open to ‘Monday’ from ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

I have this Library of America edition, but I’m actually mainly reading it on my phone - Standard Ebooks edition, added to the iOS Books app. The LoA edition has reference notes, so I look at it when I can, but I actually like reading on my phone.

Screenshot of Thoreau Standard Ebook editions in the iOS 'Books' app

From my notebook, June 6, 2022

I think I’m more than 20% of the way into A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers now, so I can officially let myself share it.

Again, though, it’s hard not to think about all the other books I could or should be reading as well.

[Thoreau’s] going off right now about how poetry is the best thing to read and really we should just read poetry and not waste time with anything else. But he’s not exactly writing poetry himself [here], at least not in any traditional idea of poetry.

I want to read Leaves of Grass after this, but I also want to read Walden. And Spring and All. And Catalog of Unabashed Joy. And [Ovid’s] Metamorphosis. And a hundred other things. And a bunch of middle grade and YA stuff. And all the banned books. And all the digital gardening indieweb newsletter stuff. A Week, though. I should give it a week, as it says.

Snapshot of a spread from my notebook, written Monday, June 6, 2022 - portions transcribed above

Standalone post link: Reading Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
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Webmentions

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

Update: I’m sort of trying to implement webmentions on this website. I think I’m halfway there but I don’t really have any way to actually know because I don’t have any friends and I don’t share anything anywhere anymore.

Update: I’m sort of trying to implement webmentions on this website. I think I’m halfway there but I don’t really have any way to actually know because I don’t have any friends and I don’t share anything anywhere anymore.

Notes

Webmentions seem to be a key part of participating in the indieweb and interfacing my site with other networks, if I ever decided I wanted to participate more fully in the indieweb or re-engage with twitter or something.

I tried enabling them in my early days of playing with this Hugo iteration of my website, but couldn’t pull it together.

I think I am set up now and know more now that I can probably do it, so here I’m collecting notes/links/processes on how to do it.

Tools

https://webmention.net/implementations/#services

https://webmention.io/dashboard

https://brid.gy/twitter/jdwhiting

https://github.com/PlaidWeb/webmention.js

https://www.miriamsuzanne.com/2022/06/04/indiweb/

https://www.jayeless.net/2021/02/integrating-webmentions-into-hugo.html

https://fundor333.com/post/2022/indieweb-webmention-and-h-entry-in-my-blog/

https://www.synesthesia.co.uk/note/2022/02/21/webmentions-revisited/

https://rowanmanning.com/posts/webmentions-for-your-static-site/

Standalone post link: Webmentions
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Digital Gardening

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

This is the first seed I’m planting in my digital garden: notes, links, and ideas about digital gardening itself.

This is the first seed I’m planting in my digital garden: notes, links, and ideas about digital gardening itself.

My Current Digital Garden Setup

For now I’m taking a cue from Tom Critchlow’s “wiki” (built into his existing Jekyll-to-GitHub Pages website setup.)

I have decided to plant my digital garden in a new folder structure within my existing website (my website runs on Hugo-to-Netlify, analogous to his setup.) So it will all be folders with markdown files, and I’ll eventually build some special templates in my Hugo theme to pull it all together on my site.

I’m trialing the Working Copy iOS app to be able to edit my website files (housed in a GitHub repository) directly on my phone. Being able to work on my digital garden from my phone was a prerequisite, and a main reason that initially I didn’t consider putting my garden straight into Hugo. I’ve used forestry.io a bit to update my website via my phone - it has been helpful in a pinch but always messes up my timestamps and other frontmatter, won’t let me organize the folder structure, etc. It’s not something I wanted to rely on further.

Tools and Technical Options for Digital Gardening

There are a lot of different setups I explored for keeping and publishing a digital garden.

Maggie Appleton curates a bunch of tools and resources for Digital Gardening in this GitHub repository: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

Among these, the tool I went farthest down the line of exploring but didn’t adopt was Stroll, which is a flavor of TiddlyWiki with some bi-directional linking and what are described as other “Roam-like” features. (I haven’t tried Roam - I wanted to avoid building into a silo or paid service for this.)

I kind of lurk around the indieweb without actually involving myself, and I’d been seeing links and ideas around digital gardening popping up for a while, and I was really curious. Started bookmarking them and finally took a deep dive into reading about some of this in May of 2022.

My readings at first consisted mainly in going through Maggie Appleton’s links in her “A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden” https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history

(Also some other old hypertext essay of Bernstein’s…)

Standalone post link: Digital Gardening
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My Backyard Desk

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.21]

Update: my wife referred to this as my “moveable grotto,” which is ridiculous, but probably better. Definitely better.

Original: a view from my backyard “desk” just as I was creating the home page for my new “digital” garden.

At my “desk” in my backyard

Update: my wife referred to this as my “moveable grotto,” which is ridiculous, but probably better. Definitely better.

Original: a view from my backyard “desk” just as I was creating the home page for my new “digital” garden.

At my “desk” in my backyard

It started raining a minute or two after this, so I put away my laptop and waited it out because I didn’t want to go back in. It stopped, and now I’m posting this.

Standalone post link: My Backyard Desk
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mbs

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.15]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

I just corrected an error in my RSS template and site configuration, and now, after months of transmission failure, my notes on this site are propagating to micro.blog. Now that it is working I’m not sure how I actually feel about it.

I just corrected an error in my RSS template and site configuration, and now, after months of transmission failure, my notes on this site are propagating to micro.blog. Now that it is working I’m not sure how I actually feel about it.

Actually, I am sure how I feel about it - super vulnerable and shy, and like I might delete that connection any second now, even obscure as it is. I’m still wanting to hide in the dark forest.

Update: I turned it back off. I was just frustrated that it wasn’t working and wanted to figure it out, didn’t think through the ramifications. I’m not ready to re-engage with even that little tiniest corner of the world quite yet.

Standalone post link: mbs
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Reading The Hobbit with my son

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.14]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.22]

I’m reading The Hobbit with my son at bedtime now.

Picture of me holding my copy of The Hobbit that I am reading with my son

I’m reading The Hobbit with my son at bedtime now.

Picture of me holding my copy of The Hobbit that I am reading with my son

We hit 21% completion tonight, so according to my new reading update ‘best practices’ I can post about it now.

Standalone post link: Reading The Hobbit with my son
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archivefever.eth

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.14]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

I apparently live in a version of the internet where Derrida’s 1995 lecture-turned-book Archive Fever is trending.

I apparently live in a version of the internet where Derrida’s 1995 lecture-turned-book Archive Fever is trending.

Not long ago, in thinking about the various possibilities of nonfiction writing (more exploration on that later on this site if I turn this into a real digital garden and get around to it) I suddenly recalled reading Derrida’s Dessemination back as a college sophomore in Intro to Critical Theory with a weird sort of fondness for the puns and linguistic games he played. That playfulness kind of infuriated me at the time, but now I think I’m ready for it. (Also the stakes are low for me now - I don’t have a grade to get.) I thought I should maybe read it again or try some more Derrida sometime, just for kicks and weird writing ideas. Looks like Archive Fever may be the thing to read.

I found it, or some version of it, on JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/465144

(You can read 100 articles a month for free on JSTOR if you are not associated with an institution of higher learning or library which provides access to JSTOR, and I am not associated with such an institution. Like I said, stakes are low.)

Or you could probably find a PDF by a little Googling and clicking around on stuff. A sketchy link to some artist’s PDF download that was probably for some old class and that they probably don’t even realize is publicly accessible seems like an appropriate way to access something called Archive Fever, anyway.

Standalone post link: archivefever.eth
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Going Forward / Going Back

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.13]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

I’m going forward by going back…

I let this site go dormant again, but that was not for lack of unpublished notes, pictures, ideas, etc. – I have physical and digital notebooks full of stuff.

Basically: I get busy, and I also get shy.

What to do about all that could’ve / would’ve stuff?

I’m going forward by going back…

I let this site go dormant again, but that was not for lack of unpublished notes, pictures, ideas, etc. – I have physical and digital notebooks full of stuff.

Basically: I get busy, and I also get shy.

What to do about all that could’ve / would’ve stuff?

This a perennial quandary for me, and typically an impediment to moving forward with adding new things to the site.

But this time I’m going to try to not let it hold me back. My intentions are to just start posting things if I feel like it, even if they are “outdated.”

So I may be posting some backdated items.

But more than that, I’m gradually going to build and surface more topic-based static pages on this site, and de-emphasize the reverse-chronological-status-update feed tyranny of the “notes.”

I’m starting to think and design in terms of digital gardening, though I still have a lot to read and learn and look at before I implement.

One of my first plots/beds should probably be documenting this learning and exploring I am doing in regards to digital gardening and site design. Need to build the raised bed and add compost before I plant the seeds, though…

Standalone post link: Going Forward / Going Back
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20220613 Changelog - Taxonomy List Pages

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.13]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

This post’s notes about breadcrumbs helped me figure out some things with my taxonomy list pages today.

In other words, I updated my taxonomy list page template, so as to prepare for a move toward building and surfacing more topic-based pages, supplemented by changelogs such as this.

I also added another instance of the Taxonomy Tree (a.k.a. Tree of Life, a.k.a. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, a.k.a. Cast Out from the Digital Garden, a.k.a. Site Taxonomy) to the home page of the website, utilizing my now increasingly ubiquitous [+/-] toggle buttons. Again, a move I’m making as I explore ideas around digital gardening. I’m not actually doing digital gardening yet so I don’t have anything to link to - yet.

This post’s notes about breadcrumbs helped me figure out some things with my taxonomy list pages today.

In other words, I updated my taxonomy list page template, so as to prepare for a move toward building and surfacing more topic-based pages, supplemented by changelogs such as this.

I also added another instance of the Taxonomy Tree (a.k.a. Tree of Life, a.k.a. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, a.k.a. Cast Out from the Digital Garden, a.k.a. Site Taxonomy) to the home page of the website, utilizing my now increasingly ubiquitous [+/-] toggle buttons. Again, a move I’m making as I explore ideas around digital gardening. I’m not actually doing digital gardening yet so I don’t have anything to link to - yet.

This is the first semi-official changelog for joshuaw.xyz, and is also the start of me trying to be better about documenting and crediting people when I learn something or pilfer code and ideas from their blog posts.

Standalone post link: 20220613 Changelog - Taxonomy List Pages
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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.