This prayer seems to be an adaptation of the traditional Yotzer Or, which we recite every morning as part of the blessings preceeding the Shema. On Sabbaths and festivals, the prayer changes to reflect the day. Yotzer Or is also one of the places in the daily prayers where piyutim, (liturgical poetry), are added on special days.
Read Welcome the January 2019 Ultimate Blog Challenge (The Martha Review)
Today I am excited to Welcome the January 2019 Ultimate Blog Challenge! For those who aren’t familiar with the UBC, it’s held January, April, July, and October every year and the challenge comes by writing a blog each day for the challenge months.
I think it’s incredible that someone has managed to sustain not just one blog challenge, but three in one year. I have some rather large shoes to fill, and admittedly this has awakened my competative streak. I think this makes challenges like this a lot more fun, but that’s just me.
We’ve pretty much finished with the holiday season, and lots of us are thinking about both the year ahead, as well as the prospect of going back to work or at least resuming normal life in the next day or two. I’m going to squeeze in one more day of some kind of break, since last week did have some work days in it, and I’m really not mentally ready to go back to full time full speed ahead yet. This month, along with doing the next chapter of my yearly book reading challenge, I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I decided to participate because one of my goals for this year is to spend more time working on content for my sites instead of pouring content into social media platforms I don’t own. I think social media can be valuable, but far too often it provides us an excuse to be toxic toward each other and I want to do my part to decrease that a little less. I haven’t picked my phone up off the nightstand yet but I’m seriously considering removing any Twitter apps from my phone. Facebook is already gone and I really haven’t missed it that much. I can use Twitter on the desktop to find links for later reading, which I’ll start saving to my own websites as bookmarks. this was a goal I had for last year but I never got around to actually implementing it, so I’m keeping it for this year. Of course there’s the obligatory “do better when it comes to health/weight” goal that I think most of us start with, and that’s also part of my list, but for a slightly different reason. I haven’t set a weight-loss goal I think is unattainable, but at least for theh last month I’ve pretty much eaten all manner of good things and now it’s time to buckle down and resume eating more healthily. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts from the Ultimate Blog Challenge and commenting on the one’s I read and have something to say about. It will be fun to build new relationships, rekindle some old ones, and find new things to explore. For now, it’s time for coffee.
Liked December 28th, 2018, 12:26am (
Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. —Groucho Marx
Jeremy Keith reading in a chair with a dog Of course I had to like this, there are dogs and books. I also like the quote Jeremy picked to go with it:

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
—Groucho Marx

Sounds like a good preface for next year’s reading challenge, which I have made preparations to completely document on this blog instead of Goodreads. Goodreads will probably get snippets of the content, just so I can log the challenge, but most thoughts, status updates, and reviews will end up here. I want to do a lot more reviewing and thinking about what I read in 2019, at least for the books that require thinking. I also want to document the enjoyment I get out of the books that don’t require thinking and are just escapes from daily life. I think all of us start out the year with so much hope and excitement for the things to come, and then when we get bogged down with life we forget about all that hope we had. Documenting all those little moments of enjoyment or thanks or any other good thing can serve as reminders of that when things get crazy.

I think we should bring back hat tips,so in the spirit of that, I discovered this thanks to Chris Aldrich, who always manages to find interesting things to pass on and make me think, plus all the site structure help.

Replied to ssawczyn on by ssawczynssawczyn (
@arush Thanks for replying to this ... months ago, I'm just seeing it now. I think I'm going to switch back to WordPress for blogging, still having trouble with the editor here and there's not much support on Android. Also, the emoji tag system is cute, but not practical or flexible for me.
@ssawczyn @a11y4all If I’ve done this correctly this should reach you on and on Twitter. I completely understand about the editor giving you trouble. From what I understand from following some of the development conversation around it, the problems are coming from the javascript used to facilitate markdown composition, and there is talk about making that a toggleable feature until the js can be fixed so that it no longer presents accessibility issues. I could have some of this wrong and @manton may need to correct my recounting of what I’ll call an overheard conversation via interwebz. Regarding the tagmoji, I can see both sides of this. I completely understand how it’s not practical for you. I’m just now starting to play more with emoji, which is weird because I’ve had it on my phone accessibly for years now, but I’m not that familiar with the emoji keyboard and I find it difficult to find the exact emoji I’m looking for, plus I don’t know what most of them mean or even how to figure it out, so I just don’t use them that often. On the other hand, I think hashtags have become a problem, not because they can be used to organize things, but because, (in my opinion), they’ve been horribly abused, and it’s not just marketers or spammers doing it. Hell, most of the time it’s not even marketers doing it, because the good ones tend to keep up with the data on the subject and what’s useful/acceptable on each social network and based on that data will use them accordingly. It’s everyone trying their hand at marketing who manages to abuse them, and I’ve seen this most often in the assistive technology space. That last is based solely on my own experience and is not necessarily meant to be a general statement of badness, although every time I encounter a tweet that uses four or more hashtags I get cranky, and the more hashtags the crankier I get, until we reach ten (yes, that’s a real number, I’ve seen that from at least one blindness organization in the wild) and we’re at go-To-Your-Room-And-think-About-What-You’ve-Done levels of insanity and I start wishing I had the ability to ban hashtag usage altogether. The way tagmoji on seem to be designed is, I think, slightly superior. They cover very broad categories, and there’s just enough social pressure to prevent, (at least for the time being), people from abusing the system. The broad categorization is, (I think) a deturrent against attempted gaming of the system. So it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out, especially now that you can interact with Mastodon users via and I believe vice versa as long as you have things appropriately set up.
So that guy with the Gofundme campaign to build the wall … is now piggybacking another scam off of it, complete with a website that’s practically wholly composed of all kinds of dark patterns to get people to hand over a name and an email address, up to and including making it look as if you have to hand over this information to visit the website. He’s claiming it’s a petition to the White House, but if that were the case, why wouldn’t he use the White House’s own native petition functionality of their website? I mean, for crying out loud, it so easy to find it’s ridiculous, and wonder of wonders, it actually works. This guy just keeps tripping the BS alarm.

Click here for more on dark patterns, complete with examples.

PSA: Do not theme your WordPress login with a plugin that adds literally 100 extra requests to every page of your wp-admin. Do not use a WordPress plugin to configure your WordPress install to communicate over SSL. Jesus Christ some people are bound and determined to prove the case for a necessary license before you can build things on the web, and it’s people like that who make me think this whole democratizing publishing thing is a bad fucking idea and we should just quit right now because there is no possible way for us to prevent people from doing stupid shit like this. Seriously why the hell are you adding your site’s entire navigation menu and search capability to your WordPress login? It’s a login screen and it’s very simplistic for a reason. I’m not opposed to customizing it, or rebranding it, but for the love of all that’s holy please do it correctly because if you fuck this stuff up and I have to come in and fix it for your former client, that’s going to get very expensive very fast, because I’m spending my time unfucking everything just so we can rebuild the site since they can’t take the current one offline due to its being the central location for their customers to find critical shit. Also, don’t hide admin notices in order to hide the fact that you’ve installed a bunch of nulled plugins and didn’t tell your client they weren’t yours to provide, because now I get to explain to the marketing people why downloading paid plugins for free from the Google is always a bad idea. I’m going to be so glad when I get to nuke this installation from orbit and start over. Sometimes, WordPress installs really do need to be put out of their misery.