Password managers are the path to (browser) freedom.

Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash

I’m web browser agnostic. Leaning hard toward opensource, privacy-first options, but for the most part, I don’t put much thought into what browser I’m using once I’ve settled into the latest option. I am off to adventure on the internet much the same way my brother and I do when it’s time to test a shiny new vehicle on its first off-road experience. Lots of cheering, screaming, profanities, and a few “whew, that was close.”

I’m the cautious one, in case you’re wondering. My brother disagrees.

Back to browsers here in the safety of our pajama pants at home. While…

Ditch the lunch break and take a health break instead.

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Humans consume everything. We inhale food like its air, often the kind that hurts us, or worse, that we don’t even really like just so long as it fills us. The need to fill a void that runs deeper and deeper in our lives is powerful and eventually consumes us.

To that end, we don’t need a dedicated time for lunch— we’re adept at fitting food in at any moment, for any excuse, and we’re experts at eating while mindlessly consuming equally unfulfilling content, whether by requirement or out of habit.

What we really need for our break in the…

Stretched so thin that a bad relationship feels like the only option.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

You wake up and realize, “I do not love this person. I do not like them, in fact. I resent their very existence, the one I’m bound to simply because I cannot financially stand on my own.” You decide something has to change.

Young and steeped in naivety, you take a breath and step off the cliff, hoping something keeps you from falling into the abyss. Somehow, you manage to hit the tight rope strung across the chasm from the known to the unknown. You claw fist over fist all the way across, your most precious cargo strapped across your…

Society finally recognizes the benefits of autistic people, but we are saddled with responsibility at home and at work to the point of breaking.

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

In October, I attended the five day Stanford Neurodiversity Summit. The online format made the sensory-overloaded conference setting accessible to someone like me. More importantly, in all my years of experience as a parent of autistic children, and a late-diagnosed autistic, this was a refreshing conference that brought me tentatively back into what the science is finding. Finally, instead of a swirling void of hand-wringing and despair, worry and mommy martyrs, we have actually autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, and other neurodiverse representation among the experts and scientists. The mindset is shifting from “problem unknown, broken” to one that embraces neurodiversity.


When desperation and distraction finally get the boot, and I get back to writing.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Restarting is hard. 2020 was supposed to be the year for me, the one where I finally dump the baggage and focus on what I want to do in life. My two kids are now adult and near-adult, and need much less from me. I was ending a crap marriage. The energy-, income-, and life-draining fixer-upper house was about to be sold; I had wasted the last eight years playing handy-person, construction worker, architect, project manager, and interior designer on that mess. All of the pressure was on its way out the door, along with me. …

A mirrored surface containing a group of red-orange game pieces with one solitary brown piece excluded from the group.
A mirrored surface containing a group of red-orange game pieces with one solitary brown piece excluded from the group.
Image source: Markus Spiske via Unsplash @markusspiske

But I’m missing out on career resources because of it’s user-base chokehold

For once I feel a smidgen of hope after listening to the congressional antitrust hearings yesterday, specifically the grilling of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It’s just a smidgen, though. Money talks, and man does Facebook have a lot of it. The whirlwind thrill may have peaked already, however, the conglomerate, threaded throughout every part of the world with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users, will probably walk away with a mere slap on the wrist. Whatever multi-million-dollar settlement that might hint at a mea culpa, quietly folded into obscurity by the rapid pace of the news cycle.

But some…

Baking tip: gluten-free flours do not absorb as much fat as wheat flour

Tis the season for cookies! The delicious buttery, fatty, spirit-boosting goodness that I am obsessed with every year. Everything from classic oatmeal and chocolate chip to window-paned and rollouts. I love cookie season, but I’ve learned a lot through trial-and-error about the unwritten rules one must keep in mind when using gluten-free flour blends, especially when you mix your own.

I have spent so much time fighting with recipe conversions simply because I didn’t know that gluten-free flours don’t absorb as much fat as gluten-containing flours. Really, someone should hand out a baking primer with info like this to newly…

When nut allergies kick-start your parental super sleuthing skills.

Alt Description: knit bag overturned with walnuts spilling out | image source:

Nut allergies are the worst. They’re especially miserable during the holidays where every third food item contains some kind of nut, and half of those are covert additions. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to dash across the room and tackle my kid just before she popped a goodie into her mouth. To this day, she keeps an eye on me, ready to drop the food the second I twitch.

It’s tiresome having to be *that* parent, the one double-checking the fare, drilling the hosts and organizers for more information and asking for the ingredients lists. I dislike…

Self-doubt is a creativity killer. And so is the safe zone.

My apple pie in all its lumpy bumpy flaky-crust glory!

Whew, Thanksgiving was a blast this year. How was yours?

I spent October-November warming up the ol’ pie crust skills until my family was begging me to stop. Who knew there was a limit to the number of pies a person can handle on a month. Personally, I just think I’m surrounded by quitters, or health-conscious, rational people…

Regardless, this year’s lessons after struggling with pie crusts:

Heed your notes

I write notes on my recipes to remind myself of what works/doesn’t work each time I make them. In a lot of cases, they’re recipes I only make once a year so there’s…

Baking is expensive, inconvenient, and time-consuming for gluten-free bakers, but it has little to do with modified recipes or learning new techniques.

photo courtesy: Jordan Mathieu | Unsplash

I made my third trip of the holiday baking season to Bob’s Red Mill this weekend. Shopping in a baker’s paradise, where all sorts of magical baking gadgetry and ingredients exists, is not in itself a terrible experience. Hard to resist? At times, yes. What makes it an issue, though, is that this is the only place in my area where bulk bin pricing for moderate quantities of gluten-free flours are substantially less, and more convenient, than the tiny packages found in grocery stores.

Tara L. Campbell

Speculative Fiction & Nonfiction Science Writer | Science, Technology, and Disability | she/her | @taraWritesSci

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