After years, possibly going back to 2002 or 2003, I haven’t made any big changes to this site’s look and feel. Since the blog is coming up on its 20th anniversary in two days and because I have my screen on my laptop set to most stuff I can fit in I made a change.
Well, I made a tiny change, well maybe a bigger change. This site was stuck at 640 pixel width because of some device I owned and my mom owned that 640 pixel width didn’t scroll on the old web viewport. My mom passed away in 2011. I have no recollection what the screen was of mine (likely if it was mobile I have a mobile version for it (and my old very dead Treo).
This site is still fixed width. Now this site 980 pixels. This will change when the underlying code gets a bigger update in coming months. The typeface is no loner 12 pixels and is no 14 pixels. Everything got a little more breathing room and space. The blog sidebar with things I have squirreled away in Pinboard and surface if they are tagged with “linkfodder” got some tweaking as well.
On the blog pages I’m not fully liking the reading line length as it is a bit wide and I really like a 70 character to 80 character line length. Back when a lot of academics were reading the site it was a common preference for many of them as well. The blog is roughly sitting at around 90 characters I may mess with this a little bit more this week.
I personally spend much of my time on my links page and it is now a much longer scroll and not as scan friendly. But, years back I may the sub-headings collapsable, but they don’t have any indication it is possible so it is a bit of an easter egg. But, that is getting used much more as of today.
Marked as :: CSS :: Web design :: v/d Wal Net Site Development :: in Weblog [perma link]
Ahhh! Year end holiday break. This is deeply needed. Ten days of long walks, reading, writing, and perhaps some planning ahead this stretch.
The past week turned out rather well after hitting a wall, but no resolution, but others also seeing the pain and how backwards things are and working to resolve them and bring them closer too modern without repeating known problems and pains of past years so to improve work and productivity (basically what I’ve been doing the last 20+ years).
A successful Christmas was had with a good dinner, with a variation of duck leg (drumstick and thigh) rather than duck breast as I couldn’t find them easily. The Thanksgiving and Christmas meal is getting to be a five pan on four burner production that is getting really honed.
Watched & Listened
I stumbled onto the full Snarky Puppy We Like it Here in studio concert recording, which started a good deep dive into all things Snarky Puppy and related musicians for a few nights and playing albums as background for repetitive task times during work.
I found Snarky Puppy around 2015 or so when a few musician friends were sharing it and it reminded them (then me) of college and after jam sessions with really good musicians and having something that wasn’t much turn into something rather good. Snarky Puppy takes that and turns it up to 11. Their approach to music and draw for amazing musicians to play in with them is very much like Steely Dan. Their music isn’t quite fitting to any existing genre (also much like Steely Dan), but they also drift across many different musical types and backgrounds and global foci that drifts and morphs.
Having extra blueberry leek and thyme reduction has been really nice with some smoked duck and extra strong German mustard.
But, extra Italian bulk sausage and an abundance of left over gluten-free stuffing with leek and Italian sausage cooked and reheated so a little crispy with a runny yolk egg on top is my favorite breakfast. A bit sad that it is now finished.
I had a bit of time to move Ghost of Tsushima along a little farther. I’m getting within range of finishing, which I may do over break.
Saturday night I noticed 2K basketball was on half-off sale (or more so nabbed it and started the download. 2K often offers enjoyment and a lot of frustration (glitches galore).
Marked as :: Food :: Games :: Music :: Personal :: Weeknote :: in Weblog [perma link]
An odd week of deep frustrations, walks, and settling into holiday season of reflection and calm (the calm part has been taking work, particularly since my normal calming music wasn’t cutting it).
A week ago I wandered to my favorite local bookstore for a look around and picked up a few things. Some of these were finds that were really well outside the potentially planned, which is where many of my favorite and insightful books come from. I’ve spent time this week reading some of the front matter and going a little deeper into some.
One of those that really intrigued me is The Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age, which caused an audible “what?!” when I stumbled upon it. It seems like it will be a good pairing to The Map of Knowledge that I’ve been meditating through this year. The Bookshop of the World seems like it also will be pulling together a lot of different interests with the breadth of ground it covers.
Also picked up was Gary Kamiya and Paul Madonna’s Spirits of San Francisco: Voyages through The Unknown City, as I really enjoyed Gary’s prior book and writings on San Francisco (he writes on a San Francisco I deeply miss, but is being covered over with banality that dulls the intelligence and creativity that had made it really special for decades). Somewhat related, I picked up Dominique Crenn’s Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters as I’ve read and heard some of interviews with her about the book and her pursuit of a dream so left France to become top chef and found a home in San Francisco, where as a woman could be taught the craft at a high level and explore her own path to create something new. This finding one’s path and wanting to go deep to understand everything then put it in practice has been a long journey of my own, but also I’ve long been fascinated with chef’s craft and kitchens as well. The last of these that is somewhat related is John Birdsall’s The Man Who Ate Too Much: The life of James Beard, where my parents light (perhaps more) obsession with James Beard has been passed down a bit and a new book on Beard is always welcome.
Another book picked up in the jaunt was Amy E. Herman’s Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life as it echoes a lot of what I’ve learned over a few decades as one of my foundations, but have a difficult time framing it for others. I have many books, which I read and use a suggestions for others so to get a foundation for understanding, when asked “how do you see / know / understand these things” (normally this is across broad and deep subjects where the answer is deep curiosity and deeply build breadth and depth in that breadth across domains, but each of these needs jumping off points for others) and slices of these I really like having a good reference (but also look for understandings to add or check what I know and hone it or replace it and then work it through experience).
I hit the used stacks to pick-up a copy of McChrystal’s Team of Teams, which isn’t new fodder and large parts echo experiences and learned lessons from the last two or three decades. But, I’ve also worked with people in McChrystal’s environments and found them to be highly counter productive and problematic (for similar reasons some of the things prescribed in the book haven’t been used as practices for follow for quite a while). But, since the book is continually used as a reference for conversation and seen all new it would be good to know where to point where things are off and a path to know others are on to augment the good things (where there is also much in it) to help improve what they have going.
I had a gift card for my bookstore so I took my son on a trip and see if he would have interest in a cookbook that would help him learn some things and have some decent recipes to riff off of. He likes cookbooks with pictures and the new Jacques Pepin’s Quick and Simple did the trick. He seems to have a good appreciation for it, but not made anything out of it yet.
My son and I watched the last two episodes of Mandalorian and really enjoyed it. Now we are really looking forward to next December and the next installments. Prior to the last two episodes I was really wondering where this season was going and not all that confident it was going to get to a decent place in a “believable” way.
Saturday was Tenet night and I’ve been waiting for this for months. Sadly, we couldn’t see it in a big theater in IMAX, but we still got to see it. As it is with most Christopher Nolan films the long discussions after started following and through the next day. Sunday night I did a rewatch with headphones on to better hear dialog (there is so much going on visually and audibly things were getting a bit lost. Headphones helped a lot. I liked this more than I thought I was going to and I was expecting a lot.
Marked as :: Books :: Movies :: Television :: Weeknote :: in Weblog [perma link]
This is a triple weeknote, largely because after posting the last weeknote I started in on moving this blog and its CMS, the whole site, another site or two on the same host, and some other apps running on the same host and a stack of email addresses. It was simple and complicated at the same time, but I wrote about the site move prior when the DNS propagation finished. That post was the 2,100 post to the blog here (in its various forms) that started 20 years ago at the end of this month. That move and some other things ate time that attributes to content for here.
Thanksgiving week, that included the annual photo walk through Georgetown and making dinner with the usual duck breast and its accompanying blueberry leek thyme reduction. A lot to be thankful for with work consistency and health. Thursday morning came with a doctor’s call with all clear for tests, following quarantine after not feeling well the prior weekend. In these times it is really good to be overly cautious, but still a relief.
This weekend could have been longer by Saturday I was wiped out and started on the action part of moving this site and all the digital accretion around it to its new home. The evenings this week will hopefully be wrapping that up. This weeknote is the last change to anything on the current host before the move.
The middle week was mostly site move and related matters when not working or running a shuttle service for one or waiting for a set of negative test to come back for the shuttlee and who was quarantining with me.
This week allows for catching up on some listening and watching favorite teams, some movies, and shows.
This week’s episode of The Mandalorian (Season 2, Episode 5) was one of the best yet in my opinion. Not having watched any Akira Kurosawa, but reading a lot of reviews of The Ghost of Tsushima game that I have been really enjoying for a few months and enjoying the visual tapestry and story telling and reviews point to much of that as Kurosawa style. Mandalorian had a lot of the storylines and visual fingerprints that would also point to Kurosawa.
I also got back to watching movies and shows a bit. I think I’m in the midst of three series have partly intrigued me.
I watched Crazy Rich Asians, which I enjoyed, but it echoes a lot of other movies and story lines I spent much of the time trying to remember what it is that it was harkening back to.
A long awaited delivery of an a tweak to headphone listening arrived and I’ve been going back through some of my favorite songs to listen to so to hear different dimensions. Yosi Hoyakawa’s Bubble and Fluid are two of them. Both can be utterly stunning for sound quality, but also spacial representation.
I also went through some of the Edition Records offerings I have, particularly Daniel Herskedal and his Slow Eastbound Train album and The Roc. I listened to Alexis Ffrench Evolution album, which has some of the most breath takingly calming music I know of. I took a spin through some really dense Prince music, Peter Gabriel, and wonderful Stevie Wonder. Listening to Snarky Puppy really helped see the clarity and opening up of the space in the music. This band that is ever changing can be dense and swims in complicated patterns and being able to hear into the music more with more separation and clarity was fantastic. The last listen that really opened up and became more wonderful to me was Construction that really becomes more moving, as in a sense of drifting.
In listening to Snarky Puppy I also stumbled upon a YouTube video of drummer Larnell Lewis of Snarky Puppy and other bands listening to people play some of his complicated Snarky Puppy pieces. This was wonderful, he was so overjoyed, but also his ability to give constructive positive criticism was amazing to watch. I’ve been a fan of his playing for some time, but never seen any of his own social media contributions. I’m hooked.
Last week the local market had petrale sole, which is not all that common here and I did a quick picata with corn starch and rice crumb crust cooked in olive oil and brown butter with capers and lemon. This is one of my favorite dishes. One my dad used to whip up for sand dabs or petrale sole on a Saturday night. I’m not going by a recipe, but going off what I can eat and a slightly more healthy version than just full on browned butter. It is such a quick happy meal with a little broccoli that has been thrown in the pan after the fish if flipped.
Getting my site moved was a relatively large chore. Using a mind map and Omni Outliner to set the steps and order of the move and what was completed really helped (there are still a few things that need wrapping up, but that will come in time). One thing I thought I was going to be getting is a server in my timezone, but it is set to GMT / UMT, so my blog posts would have a local timestamp. Just adding that to my to do list.
One of the things I’m trying to do is get back in a better habit of tracking things in Obsidian. Having it be my own has been a great help and I am deeply thankful I didn’t go down the route of Roam (mostly because I own it and can shape it how I want to and need to use it). The mobile capture is still one extra step from tossing something in Drafts and that text step to dropping it in the directory where Roam sits. I have quite a few things in Drafts I need to comb back through, do the push and the clean up.
In the past week I’ve been able to pull back and recall information easily from Obsidian, which has related context. I’ve done this from mobile devices and laptop. The mobile access has been a real treat. I really need to find a good port for Delicious Library into structured Markdown for my books, particularly series like those Charles Stross has as keep track of what I’ve read, what I have, and what is coming up.
Marked as :: Food :: Movies :: Music :: Television :: Weeknote :: v/d Wal Net Site Development :: in Weblog [perma link]
Ahhhh! The transition to the new host finished tonight. The DNS propagated by mid-day and the memorial page for my dad that is in WordPress kicked on this evening. Mail started showing up properly this morning.
Moving a site and all the different pieces I’ve got going as experiments and nearly 20 years of blogging and nearly that much in my homebuild blogging CMS has a new home, which I hope stays for a while. Moving all of this takes more work and planning, as well as understanding a new host (I really don’t want to run my own servers and maintain them any more, other than a handful of small microservices I’ve been running for 4 or 5 years and long running small side projects. It was about 2 weeks of my after work time really focused on getting this transition made. My old host shuts off my old site tomorrow as it begins its last three months of existence. I so have a few small subdomains to wire-up, but those are mostly things for me or projects in progress.
This will be the first time since 2001 that my site is hosted in the same time zone and blog posts should have the correct time stamp on them (prior it was in the UK, prior to that it was near Sydney, Australia, prior was France and somewhere on the East Coast of the US). Most of the hosting and support is out of the UK, and many of us who were late leaving our old host and transitioning to a hosting service started by people who worked and and started the last one. They have been getting a lot of people last minute.
I have a weeknote from a week or two back, which I may post this week with an update from this past week. I’m needing to so a few other things other than moving a site, dealing with databases, and DNS for a few days.