At this rate, I should get an award for time wasted recreating this site in various failed attempts at finding a setup that sits well with me. At one point in time, it was a static site hosted on some random but free service and built with WYSIWYG tools like KompoZer, NVU, and Bluefish and making liberal use of image maps and amazing Web 2.0 graphics. Then it was a WordPress site. Then a static site, then another WordPress site, somewhere there was a Tumblr version … You get the picture. Many of these evolutions came stemmed from being unhappy or incapable of maintaining the site’s state due to time, neglect, or merely a lack of knowledge. It should also be noted that this all happened in the timespan of not months but years, nearly 15. However, during all of the iterations, I’ve grown both in working knowledge around running servers and hosting websites and personal experience around what works for me and what I want out of a personal site. And thus we arrive at today and yet another incarnation of this site.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had a lot of time to think, dangerous amounts sometimes, and I’ve decided to explore more technically focused writing in some capacity. Now, whether that’s through breakdowns of something I wrote or doing dives into some project internals to explain some of the moving parts, who knows (I certainly don’t yet). So, this iterations theme is “throw some mud and see what sticks.” Hopefully, I can find a region that I fit into and have enough self-accountability to do a post once a month. This approach ties in nicely with my natural desire to explore and learn: I often go on deep dives into projects and try out different languages and programming paradigms. There isn’t anything blocking me from just writing down those learnings and sharing them with the world through another set of eyes. To kick this off, I’m working on a few new posts that I’m going to hold myself accountable to get done by the end of this year:

  • A walkthrough of the setup for this site and how I’m using Jekyll, Github Actions, and Github Pages to build and host it in a no-frills way
  • A walkthrough of how I set up a personal server with Traefik and Docker for painless but flexible deploys of modest personal tools
  • A dive into building out some new frontend UI for my personal bookmarking site transientBug

Additionally, I’ve always felt uneasy about feeding into the walled gardens of platforms for creative outlets such as photography. Historically, I haven’t had a good place to publish and no workflow that has felt right, so I spent time thinking about that process and reading up on how others have set up theirs. I think I’ve got a starting point that should enable me to share some more of my work with the world. We’ll see.

I haven’t fully explored what I want out of this site, so the ride might be bumpy. It’s sure to be slow, probably half-baked at first, and feel a little forced as well. Still, I’m hopeful I can evolve it to match my desire to share my adventures in expanding my knowledge.