Thurgood Marshall Academy Gala 2021

This is the second year (sigh!) that Thurgood Marshall Academy could not have their Gala Celebration and fundraising event in person. So once again we built a web site to showcase the achievements of the students. The design work was completed by Daphna Kalman. We used the same web site structure as last year, but changed the color scheme, graphics and content, of course. – Simone Weil Site

New work published live this week, This was kind of a fun site to build, while it is in many ways a ideal site for WordPress, I did have to set up a good number of customizations in function and form. This project had a soft deadline, but we started early enough that I was not rushed and had time to really think thru the details and build the site in an organized way. Kinetik designed the site.

The site is a compendium(?) of content and references about Simone Weil, the sister of Andre Weil, the famous mathematician. She was a philosopher, and her work and writings became noticed and respected after she died. There are three different types of content, normal posts that have content on this site, posts that are essentially just a reference to content elsewhere, such as a video, and lastly items that don’t really have content or can point to content, just a title for example, and maybe a bibliographic reference. Since the item might be a book that is out of print, there is no way to reference it.

The sections of the site are color branded, and there are issues, like a magazine. So periodically, the owner will publish new content and create an issue, this group of items is what is shown on home page. There is also an archive so that previous issues can be browsed and viewed as if they were the home page.

The project also involved importing hundreds of entries that make up the content of the site. Kinetik copy/pasted items into a spreadsheet format that I set. I then had to automagically and manually clean up the content, make sure quote marks and italic content carried thru properly, and format the spreadsheet content into an xml file that can I could import into WordPress and populate all the necessary fields for each post. So, once imported the content does not need to be adjusted or edited. It is cool to import a file and immediately have a bunch of content, but it can be a real pain to get it set up. Lots of details to work out and each and every one must be right.


Took my first walk where I could hear cicadas today. I walked west on Gallatin St, and while I saw a number of dead cicadas under trees, I did not hear them until I crossed Georgia Ave. As soon as I got across, I could clearly hear that background buzz. Not so loud, I will need to search out denser population areas. But this is another case where Georgia Ave seems to be some sort of dividing line in DC.

One of the first things that occurred to me when I realized I was hearing cicadas was that sound engineers from Japanese monster movies definitely used cicada or similar species sounds for things like monster death rays from the eyes or mouth. I kept looking for Mothra.

I walked to the end of Colorado Ave, which dead ends at Rock Creek Park. What is interesting is that there really aren’t cicadas in Rock Creek Park, I could hear them clearly south Colorado Ave in the residential neighborhood, but not really in the park. I think this must be the result of the Civil War. Cicadas need trees, and Rock Creek Park was completely denuded of trees during the Civil War. Otherwise it would have provided a well covered passage to downtown DC for the rebel scum. The cicada years were 1851 and 1868. I don’t know how long the park remained treeless, but the 1868 emergence certainly must have ruined cicadas in the park if there were any there. Here we are 150 years later and still few cicadas. I wonder how long it will take for them to repopulate.

Crow’s Nest Research Center

Finished a new site a couple of weeks ago for the Crow’s Nest Research Center. I completed the design myself, which is somewhat unusual. I am pleased with it. The green of the top banner, with a slight gradient represents the grasses, trees of the land areas, while the blue in the footer represents the water / marshy areas of the site. I chose to make the content column fairly skinny. I think that is a nice width for reading. The in content images I set up to be a bit wider than the written content. My design and the site was greatly helped by the photographs of Paul Fetters.

Colorado Trail 2018

As I was training for my New Zealand trip, I thought I needed to go somewhere and get in a training hike. All my hikes/walks started out my front door and turned left to head into Rock Creek Park, so I could get off the city streets at the very least. Since I have family in CO, and I have previously hiked a section of the Colorado Trail, I thought that starting where my last trip ended and hiking ~100 miles over 5 days would be a good training hike. This covers the trail from Kenosha Pass to the Mt. Massive trailhead. Lots of elevation change, all above 10,000 feet. See the pics, read my tale.