Mario Villalobos

Earlier this year, I moved my site from Micro.blog to Cloudflare Pages, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made when it came to this site. Sure, I had to learn Hugo, some HTML, and a whole lot of CSS, but when is learning ever a bad thing? I wanted full control of my site without any handholding, and that transition helped me achieve all my goals.

If you want to do the same, I suggest watching this recent video by Coder Coder. She runs through starting your own Github repository, how to connect Cloudflare Pages to it, and how to start pushing your code online. Knowing how to run my own website has been one of the best skills I’ve ever learned, and I hope more and more people learn how, too.

And this can all be done for free. No recurring memberships, no condescending handholding, just pure freedom. The way the web should be.

Ivana Saric, Axios:

The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved a measure Thursday mandating eligible students in the nation’s second-biggest school district to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It’s the first major school district to require vaccines for students — a move that may set a precedent for school districts across the country to follow.

[…]

What they’re saying: “The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly said in the press release. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.” 

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write about the coronavirus since Axios stopped tracking active cases back in June, but that is not to be. We’re three weeks into our current school year and already we’ve had multiple cases of COVID-19 spreading throughout our student body and faculty. Because I live in a Republican-controlled state, all the important choices are being left up to the parents to make. We don’t have any mask mandates, we don’t have any quarantine mandates, we don’t have anything we can do to make our school safe. Masks are optional; quarantines for close-contacts are optional; vaccinations are optional.

In my experience, when we leave choices up to the masses, the masses will choose to protect themselves first. We are selfish. We care more about our rights than yours. This is America in the 21st century and it’s goddamn heartbreaking. In our school, because our leaders aren’t leading, our parents are having to make choices they don’t want to make. They want their children to be safe, but they also don’t want them to be bullied because they’re wearing masks when others aren’t or because they chose to stay home during the football game instead of going out there to play with their team. People would rather play a game and risk infecting so many others than doing the right thing and cancelling these events for the sake of the community.

I’m so glad President Biden has mandated COVID vaccines for all federal workers, and that the Los Angeles school district has done the same for their students. The country needs to follow their leads and control this godforsaken virus.

Moving Fast and Breaking Things

As I’ve been redesigning my school’s website and learning more about web development, design, and Hugo, I’ve been applying what I’ve learned to my site. Unfortunately, in an attempt to clean up some code and simplify some things, I broke some things and inadvertently posted a draft of a post I’ve been procrastinating on for a few weeks. Those subscribed to my RSS feed might’ve seen it in their feed reader. If you did, please know it was just a draft and all it had were notes and some code samples. I’m still working on it! I think it’s going to be a really cool post and a useful one for people. If you didn’t see it, then nothing to see here, please move along!

Jay Peters, The Verge:

Apple’s next big fall event will take place on Tuesday, September 14th at 1PM ET, the company announced. The event, which carries the tagline “California streaming,” will be another virtual event broadcast from Apple Park.

[…]

New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros equipped with the company’s custom-designed chips and an SD card slot are also rumored to be on the way.

The one device I’ve been craving for the past year or so has been a new 16-inch MacBook Pro. I’ve outgrown my 11-inch iPad Pro from 2018, a device I thought would be my primary device for years to come. I’ve edited and managed all the photos I’ve posted to this blog on it and written every entry on it, but I’ve run Hugo and written the code for this site on my Mac mini that’s sitting on my desk at home. I want something powerful and portable to do all my work on, including things I only dabble on at the moment, like filmmaking and web design, and a new MacBook Pro would do it.

If Apple announces this device, then you best believe they’re getting all my money, and I can’t wait to give it to them.

Cleaning Things Up

Over the past week or so, I’ve been redesiging my school’s website from scratch. I’m using Hugo to build it because that’s what I’m most comfortable with (as dense as it can be sometimes), and even though I’m weeks and weeks away from finishing it, I’ve been enjoying the shit out of the whole experience.

I love design. I love building things. I love trying to solve problems and trying to design something that will be critically important for so many people (parents, students, and staff). The whole experience has been incredibly fun, and it inspired me to make some changes to my personal site. So I cleaned some things up:

I want to redesign the whole thing after I’m done with my school’s website, and I want to clean up the content folder in my Hugo project, as well as the code in my layout folder. I haven’t blogged as much as I’ve wanted to because of how I split my posts into two sections (journal and stream). Sometimes I would want to write a journal-type post but I didn’t have a photo to attach to it, and I didn’t feel like it should go in my stream. I don’t think that split works for me anymore, so I want to merge that and not think about it anymore.

I’m also thinking of removing my Typekit fonts and instead going with something more simple. I’ve been using Public Sans on my school redesign, and I’ve been really enjoying the look and feel of it. I don’t know what font or fonts I would use instead, but I find the search for them super exciting.

Finally, I bought Nova yesterday, and holy shit it’s amazing. What a beautiful and well-made app. I had been using BBEdit for the longest time but Nova is definitely my preferred code editor for now. It makes coding so much fun. And coding is so much fun.

The First Day of School Is Over

And I’m exhausted.

Last spring, the school board voted to approve a 4-day school week from the usual 5-day week, and that meant adding an extra 50 minutes or so to each day, and boy did I feel those extra minutes today. My feet are throbbing, and the bags under my eyes feel that much heavier.

But one thing I didn’t realize (but that is super obvious in hindsight) is that I got to spend even more time with the kids, and I think that’s totally worth the longer days. I’m eager to return tomorrow, and I’m ready to do what I can to make this next year a great one.

Also, about two weeks ago, the exchange student from Germany flew into Missoula and met her host family, and today was her first day of school, too. I wrote about this back in April, and let me just say, she is simply awesome. Funny story: she had a nightmare the other night where she was at school but she kept entering the wrong classrooms. She somehow ended up in the elementary school and was with the little kids, and she was just worried that she would get lost on her first day because our little school is bigger than her school in Germany. But after today, it looked like her worries were just that, worries. I haven’t talked to her about her first day yet, but I’m hoping it was okay.

Sometimes my job can be stressful, and I’ve thought about quitting a few times in the past year, but it is moments like these that remind me how cool my job can be. Here’s to a great year for everyone!

1,000 Days!

Today, I completed my Move ring for the one thousandth time in the last one thousand days. The funny thing is that I feel like I’m just getting started. So let’s keep going.

To one thousand more.

This news breaks my heart:

Three members of Chromatics have announced the end of the electro-pop band. Ruth Radelet, Adam Miller, and Nat Walker signed a statement that was shared on Radalet and Miller’s Instagram accounts. “After a long period of reflection, the three of us have made the difficult decision to end Chromatics,” the statement reads. “We would like to thank all of our fans and the friends we have made along the way—we are eternally grateful for your love and support.”

I first heard of Chromatics when After Dark was released back in 2007. I was in college then, and I spent much of my free time downloading and listening to all the music I could get my hands on. Since then, I’ve purchased more of their albums, with Closer to Grey (embedded above) a particular favorite.

Kill for Love is another favorite:

I give all the members of Chromatics my best.

Look Back by Tatsuki Fujimoto

Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man, a manga I read earlier this year and really enjoyed, released a new one-shot called Look Back, a beautiful story about two middle schoolers who aspire to become manga artists.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed it. It has the same beautiful art style that I was fond of in Chainsaw Man, and the story was just beautifully told and tragic. It also has this little scene that I completely related to:

“Just draw, stupid!” is great advice, regardless of your artistic ability. It’s fun, it pulls you out of the world for a bit, and you have something to show once you’re all done. I highly recommend both.

172

That’s the current air quality index in my part of Montana. The air quality here has been unhealthy for weeks, but I’ve never seen the index so high. I can taste the air; it’s gross. There have been a few times in the last week where I felt lightheaded and where my throat hurt, almost like I had a sore throat but didn’t. A new fire flared up near me a few days ago, prompting evacuations. Some homes burned down. A week before, this same city started enforcing water restrictions on their residents. Our water reserves are at record low levels, and so many ponds I used to see around town have now dried up.

What is this world? Is this how’s it going to be from now on? And what gets me is how powerless I feel. I do not know what to do to stop this, or to at least mitigate it, even if just a little bit. I guess all I can do is just hope it gets better, if it will.

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