• Yesterday, Sarah and I went back to the California Botanic Garden. Since our first visit, the garden is now completely open, so naturally I took more photos.

    I’m absolutely in love with this place, and while I expect more photos to come in the future, it felt wrong to let the previous post stand alone with only photos from half the garden. Please enjoy, and I hope you can visit the California Botanic Garden in person some day!

  • California Botanic Garden

    Last weekend, Sarah and I visited the California Botanic Garden, “the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants.” Sadly, they took a beating during the last wind storm, and half the garden was blocked off. The garden is members-only right now, but we are very local, and it’s just a bit more than the price of 4 visits a year for the 2 of us, so we went for it.

    It’s a pleasant and beautiful walk, with nature and artwork all around, so naturally I took some photos, enjoy!

    Update: Now that the rest of the garden is open, please see part 2 for more photos.

  • Must-Have Safari Extensions

    With iOS/iPadOS 15, you’re finally able to install browser extensions in Safari. There are a lot of great ones out there, but now that it’s been possible for a few months, I thought I’d briefly share my favorites.

    One quick disclaimer: My favorites may change over time, but I’m not going to keep this list up to date. Consider this list accurate as of today, and less accurate as time goes on. 🙂

    • Firefox Focus: This private browser extends its tracker blocker capabilities to Safari. It’s not as extensible as other ad/tracker blockers, but consequently, it gets the job done without any bloat.
    • Noir: Dark modes are finally coming to sites across the net, but not soon enough. This extension applies a decently improvised dark mode to any site that doesn’t have one after your device switches itself over to dark mode. No more blown-at eyes at night!
    • Vinegar: YouTube’s player has been becoming messy/noisy lately. This handy extensions replaces all of that with a simple video player.
    • Amplosion: Ever open a link that takes you to a badly formatted mobile page that looks nothing like the original site with “amp” in the URL? That’s Google’s attempt at automatically generating mobile-friendly content, and it’s usually not great (and packed full of trackers). Amplosion says a resounding “No!” to those links and redirects you back to the original content.
    • Mapper: Kind of like Amplosion, have you ever clicked an address or a map on a page only to be sent to Google Maps (which you probably don’t have installed)? This handy app opens those links in Apple’s Maps app instead.
    • Achoo: From the developer of Amplosion, Achoo allows you to easily and cleanly view the HTML source of any site you’re visiting. No more tethering your phone to your Mac just to inspect a mobile page.

    And, for even more good news, all of these extensions (except predictably Amplosion and Mapper) are available for Safari on your Mac too under macOS 12.

    I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

  • WordPress 5.9 Released

    WordPress 5.9 has been released! Among a few smaller changes, WordPress 5.9 introduces full site editing, which is bound to turn some heads. For specifics, check out the changelog.

    624 volunteers contributed to this release, and at the time of writing this, WordPress 5.9 has been out for just a bit over a day, and has already been downloaded 2,520,582 times!

    All users can safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using Jetpack Backup, which you really should be.

    One quick personal recommendation, if you’re having trouble with the new full site editor, you may simply be using the wrong theme, trying to make it fit a purpose it wasn’t designed for. Try a different theme instead to find out.

    If you run into any problems, stop by the known issues first, and if it’s not covered there, please let us know in the support forums!

  • Hawaii in 2022

    I haven’t seen Mom since 2 years ago, so even with the pandemic sadly not over (and sometimes I feel like no end in sight), Sarah and I decided it was time to go back to where Mom lived, Hawaii. We’re vaccinated, boosted, and we packed KN95 masks from Project N95 exclusively. We wouldn’t have gone otherwise. We’re also isolating until our test results come back, and 3 days later, we have no symptoms. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, and we can beat this thing if we all just try.

    Overall, we had a great time all things considered. The beaches were a bit rough for swimming this time, as you’ll see, but they were great for simply reading.

    Oh, and if you followed me on Tumblr, you would have seen these photos as close to realtime as Hawaiian cell coverage allowed. 😉

    Update: COVID test finished, we’re negative! Two 6-hour flights, 1 week in Hawaii, 0 COVID. Folks, you can do it too! Get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear a non-counterfeit KN95 or better mask around people unless you’re outdoors.