Freelance Friday 065 - August 9

Early this week I launched my new Statamic site. I didn’t bother with all the content so if you’re looking for a book you purchased you’ll find that stuff at store.curtismchale.ca for now. I may move everything over to Statamic and Stripe long term, but for now I wanted to get future content on Markdown files and Statamic.

I still have a few things to fix but the site speed went way up with Statamic over WordPress. I’m running on a less expensive server now and you’re getting content faster. I’ll still build a custom Statamic theme for myself in the next few months, but I have a few other personal Statamic projects to get going first.

If you’ve found my content helpful I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I did a screencast on some WordPress code stuff with WooCommerce and Teams for WooCommerce Memberships. Because the metaboxes on WordPress are often so crazy, they do some whitelisting of metaboxes that are allowed. Luckily they also provide a filter so you can whitelist your metabox. Watch the video to see how it all works.

Friday Five

1. Were Cars a Mistake?

From Nathan Heller in The New Yorker:

In America today, there are more cars than drivers. Yet our investment in these vehicles has yielded dubious returns. Since 1899, more than 3.6 million people have died in traffic accidents in the United States, and more than eighty million have been injured; pedestrian fatalities have risen in the past few years. The road has emerged as the setting for our most violent illustrations of systemic racism, combustion engines have helped create a climate crisis, and the quest for oil has led our soldiers into war.

I quite happily walk many places in town, and I’m going to start introducing my kids to public transit. We’re also happily a single car family, which I often choose to leave at home to run my errands.

My next big personal purchase is going to be a new bicycle that can handle the gravel roads around here so I don’t have to drive to my favourite hikes. Personal power all the way.

The rest of the article has some interesting thoughts about how cars have brought about the search and seizure laws we see today.

2. The best solution is the simplest and oldest sometimes

From Mark

We live in a world of nearly endless options for productivity and writing software. Personally, I’ve tried many. But sometimes the best solution is one of the simplest and oldest. For me, that solution was “downgrading” to plain text files as my primary means for note-taking, writing, knowledge management and life organization.

I’ve recently left Ulysses even because while it was “plain” markdown, it still had its own database for it’s fancy features. This meant that I couldn’t easily edit the files in anything but Ulysses and I want open workflows.

Now I’m writing in 1Writer, but I could easily use Byword or iA Writer without skipping a beat. My work is now more portable, which is what I want.

The rest of Mark’s post walks you through his plain text workflow.

3. More Stuff is Being Produced so FOMO

From Doug Belshaw:

Here’s an obvious point: there’s more people online now than there were ten years ago. As a result, there’s more stuff being produced and shared and, because of that, there’s more to miss out on. This is known as the Fear Of Missing Out (or FOMO).

He lists a number of great points from an older Kathy Sierra article, about how to stop worrying about keeping up. I specifically use already:

There is more to the list that you should take a look at, because you’re never going to catch up anyway.

4. I too am an introvert

This point from Lisa really resonates with me:

Or (this is a biggie) I get overwhelmed when I have hours left to socialize when I really just want to leave NOW, go home, and read my book alone.

I’m the guy at many parties sitting by himself in an obscure corner of the place quietly enjoying the lack of noise and socializing.

Lisa goes on to give us some reasons to love being an introvert. Here are a few I liked:

2. Ability to be alone which as she says comes in handy working for myself, almost always by myself.

7. Self-contained I’ve noticed this about myself as well. Others need a bunch of stuff to happen, but I’m happy to sit and watch...nothing.

I recently read Quiet, which is all about introverts. Here are my thoughts on it

5. How Many Apps Can Interrupt You?

From Mike at The Sweet Setup:

When you launch a new app on your iPhone, 90% of the time the first thing you see is a request to allow notifications. More often than not, the default is “yes.”

Don’t believe me? Go into your Settings right now, tap Notifications, and count how many apps have the permission to interrupt you at any moment (when I did this, I had 74).

Listen I know I’m weird, but my count was 8 apps that could interrupt me. Phone, Messages, and FaceTime were in there. I think those three get a pass to notify for me, because I get almost no communication from people via those apps that aren’t direct family members. The list is even shorter on my iPad with 6 being the number of apps that can use the iOS notification system in some form.

Add to that, my phone is almost always in Do Not Disturb. It’s in my office unless my wife is out of the house and may want to get in touch with me, or I’m expecting someone to maybe message me1.

While I have a “smart” watch, it’s mostly for running. I turn on notifications when my wife is out and I don’t want to carry my phone but she is going to tell me when she’s on the way so I can start dinner.

I think that this is how you should be treating your devices.

This line is also stellar.

With great power comes great interruptability


  1. Like tonight when my friend is dropping off their dog for the weekend and is likely to text to say they’re on the way. ↩︎