Welcome!

I'm so glad you're here!

I am your host, Jill Menning, serial hobbyist, notorious plotter and schemer.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

  • I wrote a page about why, even in 2022 when we have React and Svelte and all these other front-end frameworks, I keep defending (and using) PHP. PHP is Good, Actually
  • I spent some time fooling around with htmx. I'm really impressed with how simple it is to use, to add just a little AJAX without a heavy framework. I built a quick-and-dirty Superbowl Squares Generator to test the concept.
  • After nine months, a project I've been working on (HCSS Drive) is leaving the nest. It'll be assigned to a new team for maintenance and future updates, and I'll be off onto new challenges. Integrations! Custom reporting! Exciting times ahead.
  • It's looking to be a long, hot, dry summer. I spent the weekend setting up an automated foundation watering system. Slab foundations and expanding soils are not a good combination, but $150 in soaker hoses, timers, and accessories, and a little work with a shovel, is a good investment to keep the foundation stable.
  • I just got a new book-style charkha! In the US, 'charkha' refers to accelerated, driven-spindle spinning wheels, usually designed to fold up for easy transport. This one spins decently 'out of the box', but I needed to do some tweaking and make a couple of small modifications to get it to spin the way I like it.
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  • I learned to use Bicep files to deploy resources on Azure, including setting things like access policies and scaling rules. There were a few false steps (I took production down for about 20 minutes - oops) but fortunately, the app I was working on has very low traffic at the moment, so I didn't inconvenience many people. It's about to go big, though!
  • I've been refurbishing a vintage treadle sewing machine. Lots to learn about leather drive belts, bobbin shuttles, and cleaning old grunge off fancy paint.
  • Inspired by SvelteKit, I rewrote my router and reorganized the files on my site. I updated this article based on my changes. I also gave the site a big facelift and spent some time writing some new photo gallery components - so much fun!
  • I decided I didn't like my new web site after all, and started a new-new site built with SvelteKit! I'm learning some new stuff along the way, and having a great time. Of course, I inevitably ran into deployment issues (it's new, it's Node, it can get nasty), so I don't think it's quite right for me ... yet?
  • I binged all 24 episodes of 'The Boghouse', a podcast by and about a couple who wanted to buy a theater and got a lot more than they bargained for. Finance! Archaeology! True crime! Shenanigans!
  • I visited my mother in Arizona over Christmas. I dragged her up to the Grand Canyon, which was beyond amazing, and we took up a new hobby: watercolors!
  • My local weaving guild, Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, started up a new spinning group, and we had our first meeting. I'm super excited! It's a great mix of experience levels and interests, and we should all have a fabulous time learning from each other.