Skip to main content


My new end-fed half-wave antenna!


Based loosely on this video by KK6USY, I decided to have a go at building an end-fed half-wave antenna to get back on HF. Haven't had a chance to analyze or try it out yet, but the build itself was fun!

https://imgur.com/a/iFNwbNG


This week in my garden


This week in my garden:
- My spinach plants are mostly dead
- One of my basil plants is mostly dead
- My oak tree had a giant split in one of its branches and I had to cut it off

Pretty depressing.

https://imgur.com/a/Fwjmt19


This week in my garden...


This week in my garden...

- Cold temperatures kill bugs yay!
- Spinach is doing okay! Dropped a few more seeds in there.
- Strawberries are at a crossroads. I hope they can turn things around but it doesn't look promising.
- Tiny little sproutlings.
- Some delicious herbs.
- Draining seems to be helping, maybe?

My thumb remains pretty brown, but some of these plants are carrying on regardless, and I appreciate their efforts.


Autism Awareness Month


So, it's Autism Awareness Month. I typically dread this month of the year, for reasons covered pretty well here. I did want to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts though. To wit:

Identity first language. I am not a person with tallness, I am a tall person. I am not a cancerous person, I am a person with cancer. Autism is not separate from me, something I suffer from or carry around in my backpack that I could leave at home if I chose to. It's not something broken, it doesn't need fixing, it doesn't need a cure. There is nothing inherently lesser about me. My brain is just wired differently, and that difference is core to my experience of the world. "Don't let your autism define you" is abilist sentiment. My autism is me, it's not with me. I am not a person with autism. I am an autistic person. Autistics strongly prefer identity-first language, including among those with learning disabilities and who are non-speaking. So-called person first language originated in clinicians who pathologize our existence, and was latched on to by parents of autistics. Using person-first language instead of identity-first language is speaking over autistic voices.

Puzzle pieces. Like I said above, my neurodivergence is not a mistake. I am not missing a piece, nor is my autism a puzzle to be solved. My neurotype does not cause me to suffer. Puzzle pieces result in stigmatization. The systemic stigmatization and discrimination I experience is the cause of autistic suffering, not being autistic. The puzzle is why this is still considered acceptable.

High/low functioning labels are harmful. Autism is not a linear spectrum of high functioning to low functioning. Autism has many different facets, including social differences, sensory processing differences, differences in executive function and more. An individual may be highly functional socially, but have significant sensory difficulties. Or may have difficulties with executive function that are more or less significant on different days and in different circumstances. I am situationally mute, meaning that depending on the circumstances I find myself in, I may not be physically capable of producing speech with my mouth, whether I want to or not. Functioning labels attempt to boil all of that complexity down to a single binary option, but no autistic's experience can be adequately described that way. On my good days, I've had schools and employers tell me that I don't need accommodations because I'm "high functioning" when I make eye contact and present my requests orally, not seeing that the shirt I'm wearing has a tag on the back of my neck that is literally about to cause me to weep. I've had doctors proceed with medical treatments that I did not want, and told them I did not want, because I'm "low functioning" and wasn't making enough eye contact to meet their expectations, and thus not capable of making decisions about my own care, even though my cognition was not impaired and I was able to communicate. My experience cannot be reduced to a linear gradient.

If you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person. Our experiences are vastly different, even in the same individual on a different day. So what can you do to show you support autistic people? Center our voices in the conversation, amplify the words (including non-spoken words) of actually autistic people, and don't support hate groups and eugenics organizations like Autism $peaks. Ditch the puzzle pieces, don't "light it up blue," and stop using harmful language like functioning and person-first labels. Thanks for coming to my ted talks.
We're also 3-6x more likely to identify as gender diverse than our allistic counterparts, according to a survey over over 500k people.


This week in my garden...


This week in my garden...

- Repurposing some old glass jars to plant things in
- Raising my planters and drilling holes in the bottom to provide drainage
- Not so great on the strawberries but they're not dead yet
- Plants blooming!

I am really looking forward to trying some of the spinach soon. Just a few more weeks.

Also, not pictured, my fruit trees are mostly leafing out which I'm super excited about. I know that it'll still be a few years before they bear fruit, but it's cool to see them settling in to their new homes. What have you been up to this week?


Turning some pens - new blog post


Published a new blog post about turning some pens. A friend had a tree fall on their house, and I've been working on projects utilizing some of the wood salvaged from that tree. I can't undo the damage, but I can at least help them get revenge by turning the wood into something useful. In this case, I turned a few pens, and I think they turned out alright. I still have some wood left from that tree, so stay tuned for future revenge projects.



This week in my garden


This week in my garden:

- Harvested and attempted to dry some herbs! Unsuccessful with the oregano. Basil may be salvaged. Will not try the oven again.
- Ate a strawberry! Tiny and kinda mushy, but tasted right.
- Checked for rooting on my tree cuttings. No dice on any of the ones I checked. I'm afraid I may have knocked off too much rooting hormone while planting the cuttings. Now things are leafing out so probably not the best time to try again.
- All but one of my apple trees has started leafing out! I know they probably won't bear fruit for a few years, but I'm excited that they don't seem to be dead yet.


This week in my garden


This week in my garden...

- Lost a strawberry plant. Not sure what's going on with them. The stems seem to rot.
- Spinach is growing! But fewer than half of my seeds have germinated. Given how well the others are doing, I don't think this one is my fault.
- Trees are sprouting more leaves. I'm excited about this.
- I checked one of my branch cuttings this morning and it has not rooted at all. That may not be a successful experiment. I'll leave them for now, but will probably try something a bit different in the spring with the scion is better suited.
- I think my efforts to cut back the English ivy on my magnolia tree were effective. Even the stuff that's still high up in the tree is starting to turn brown and fall off. Stoked about that.
- Did not get a chance to attack the ivy that's still on the ground. There's a lot of that to do.
- Did not get the new mower blade installed. There's always next week.

I have not made any progress on lobbying for better sidewalks and bike lanes this week, but I did send letters to my state representatives telling them to knock it off with the anti-trans laws they keep trying to pass.

I am thinking about getting some jars and filling them with dirt and taking them to my friend's house along with some seeds, and letting his kids plant them. Then they can each have a jar and water it once a week or whatever and watch them grow. Start them young, etc.

Still reading The Dispossessed, and it's starting to get a little solarpunk. It's an interesting read regardless. And I've done a little brainstorming for my solarpunk story idea.


This week in my garden


This week in my garden:

- Planted more spinach, this time in a repurposed spinach container for the lols
- Celebrated 4 spinach sprouts so far!
- Planted lavender in a jar
- Planted lavender, thyme and rosemary in hydroponics
- Cleaned and re-treated strawberries
- Transplanted the last basil and a poppy flower
- Moved plants inside because it's very cold
- Sprouts on my tree cuttings

My thumb is pretty brown. I'm glad that half of the plants this season haven't died yet.