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It seems Tusky and our Mastodon server are collaborating to get me to post more. I apologize for the duplicate posts yesterday. I deleted them, but since we did not find a solution and the problem doesn't seem big enough to explain this symptom, I don't know whether it will happen again. :(

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I'm gradually going , with some expected pauses here in .

I haven't talked about it much, publicly anyway. Like most of anyone's life, it's nobody's business but mine. But, today I spent a few hours searching for information on what to expect during this process, and didn't find much. So, I thought I'd write my experience up as it happens, for the next person who needs it.

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I will not post or boost images without image descriptions.

Most Mastodon clients have an interface to describe an image when you toot. For example, in Tusky: attach the image, press the button in the lower right of the image, and choose Set caption. Repeat for each image.

Blind, low vision, and bandwidth-limited people rely on image descriptions. Thanks for including them!

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I’m Bren. I like to hack , , cloth, and wood. I’m interested in hacking , mobile apps, , and . I read a lot of .

I live in Urbana, IL with two housemates, three , three , some servers, some radio gear, and a few chronic problems. If you want to meet me in person, stop by sometime.

what would actually help a Black political candidate? 

Left to my own devices, I'd probably ask some acquaintances from the staff of another Black politician for camera recommendations, then send my candidate an article about the issue, a couple of model recommendations, and a donation big enough to cover such a camera. Assuming it is possible to find one in a normal webcam price range, anyway. Then he can pick what would actually help him, and hopefully I won't be too annoying to anyone?

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what would actually help a Black political candidate? 

I'd like to help "my" candidate win. But, I am White and not that into politics, and I don't know things like:
- Are there any webcams on the market that portray Black skin well?
- Which webcams? Or, how would one find such a webcam?
- Is it respectful and helpful of me to even mention this issue to any Black candidate's campaign?

If you know any of these answers and are willing to share, it would be very kind of you to educate me.

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anti-Black racist webcam 

I attended a virtual Q&A session with candidates for a local public office. One of the candidates won my vote.

But, his webcam had the usual trouble cameras have portraying dark skin. For example, it kept making his face look all the same shade so it was hard to see his expression, refocusing on glare from his forehead, and drastically changing the light levels on both his face and the background. That webcam did its best to prevent him from looking "professional".

We might get some fruit from one of our paw paws, which is blooming for the first time this year. There are a few others in the neighborhood, but I don't know whether they are close enough, so we might be waiting for our other trees to catch up.

I've never grown them before, or seen them up close in the spring, so I don't know whether this is a flower or just a bud. I'll see if it looks the same in a few days!

Whoo hoo, game dev says Be Like A Crow is going to shoot for some accessibility fixes in the next release! I am excited.

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I got my digital copy of Be Like a Crow! So far, it seems neat, but the rule book and character sheet are definitely not ready for screenreader-only just yet; lots of sections read out of order, and it's quite confusing. I'm going to try again at a good vision time. I sent the first few issues I noticed to the game developer. From the updates, it seems like he Cares about the game and quality in general, so I'm feeling hopeful!

uspol, trans healthcare, actionable for employers 

A small company in the US had their lawyers draft a plan to continue to provide healthcare for their employees, even if said healthcare has been banned from insurance coverage in the employee's home state. They have published it for use by other employers.

The blurb:

The actual verbiage:

low vision public transit, advice wanted 

I'd like to avoid missing buses due to misreading their route numbers. How do others handle this?

So far, my best idea is to print the numbers of bus routes I ride regularly, one per piece of paper, and keep them all in a plastic sheet protector in my bag. When I get to my stop, shuffle the sheets so the bus I want is showing, and hold it out so bus drivers can see it starting a couple of minutes before the bus is supposed to show.

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Just when I think I have come to terms with the progression of my , I discover another disappointing practical consequence.

Yesterday, I missed a bus. I am pretty sure it stopped at the transit hub, at the stop where I was waiting, and I looked right at the huge bus number and route color on the front, and thought it said something else so I didn't get on.

After the clot of buses passed, I was the only one left at the stop, which is why I am pretty sure my bus stopped there.

It is very encouraging to see a well-respected hacker like bunnie prioritizing and consulting members of their target audience for cool . The in this particular demo sounded *terrible* to me, but as long as it gets to bootstrappable by blind devs, I'd still count it a win.

Spotted my first _Viola sororia_ (common blue violet) bloom of the season. This is the less common white variant; its taxonomy has been debated and I'm not sure of the final verdict. In a bit, our entire lawn will turn purple!

Too tired to post yesterday after cutting the floor joists for the wood rack, watering the as-yet-unsprouted seeds from the bottom, and researching the heck out of lowbush blueberries.

The blueberries are native to my state, but not my county, but I'm going to plant them anyway! Assuming I can get hold of some; the closest nursery I found them at is 100 miles away, about 35 away from each of the closest rail stops.

Set up my seed sprouting lab, using an actual grow light even. The light is very pink and a little blue, which surprised me but makes sense because that is exactly what the color spectrum on the side of the box said.

I left the tray of soil soaking in the bathtub, where I hope it will eventually give up being hydrophobic so I can plant my first batch of seeds of the year!

spending money, new construction 

We finally got materials for the wood drying rack we have wanted to build for about 5 years now.

Perhaps building a not-quite-shed and finishing turning a couple thousand square feet of lawn into a mulch bed *at the same time* is a bit much, but I can't start digging until Monday afternoon anyway, so we have all weekend to build this thing, right?

The city has acidifier mulch available this time of year. So, I sent in my first call-before-you-dig request of the year! I still have some sod to strip underneath our enormous pin oak, and now I'll be able to do it. Legally, anyway; physically, I have a few days before I can start, and I'm hoping!

I haven't been up to much, physically or mentally, but with some haphazard pre-planting organizing. Looks like I'm going to start some basil, parsley & kale on Friday! I'll probably start a flat of elfin thyme as well - we're going to try it as a ground cover in our permeable pavers and I need to sprout thousands of plants to install.

We'll probably be a week late with some of the vegetables, but that's better than last year's 6 weeks!

Thanks again for coming up with , @funaday! I didn't get it together every day, but it was fun and I liked the slight pressure to be more consistent about my gardening pursuits.

It seems Tusky and our Mastodon server are collaborating to get me to post more. I apologize for the duplicate posts yesterday. I deleted them, but since we did not find a solution and the problem doesn't seem big enough to explain this symptom, I don't know whether it will happen again. :(


I hate that I could easily find out the authors of the scientific papers on this topic, but even after looking, I cannot tell you even which tribes of indigenous people passed these uses to white settlers and thus eventually to me. Much less which individuals had the ideas for these uses in the first place.

For people who are so keen on valuing the written word and correct attribution, we sure suck at giving credit where it is due.

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As I understand it, all these uses of redroot (and many more) are traditional to various indigenous peoples, and the mouthwash and blood coagulation uses have scientific research backing them up as well.

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Mostly hackers, mostly in Urbana, IL, talking to each other & our friends on like-minded servers without giving our personal data to the marketing machine.