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Camper & Website Update 

My website’s relaunch happened a year ago on May 26th and I didn’t even realize it. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve, for the most part, kept with this thing. I’d love to start experimenting with Indie Web stuff and even get involved in the community there but I’m still wrapping my head around how a static website (mine is build with the fantastic Middleman) can participate.

The camper is coming together. I mean it this time, walls are going up and being painted. The flooring is here. I still need to build the furniture but it feels like I am so close to being able to work in there.

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Separating Concerns On a Website 

Echoing the post that I wrote last week, I’ve been toying around with the idea of breaking my technical posts out to another website. My studio has never had much of a web presence at all and I’ve had an itch to fix that lately. I’ve also been wanting to write some more technical how-to style entries but they often seem inappropriate to post along side of entries about making beer and working in the garden. So the idea is this: keep this blog as more of a personal journal and start a new blog for Central Standard with posts about programming, business, and tech.

I’m still leary of making this change just because of how much overlap there is between my hobbies, my home life, and work. I fear that having to make distinctions about where to post something that I have to say will paralyze me at times. Not to mention the chore of keeping up with two blogs instead of one. I already don’t have much of an audience so I worry that fragmenting my readers (you guys!) won’t help things. But I also wonder if the reason I have no audience is because I don’t have much direction to my writing. I, for instance, follow very few personal blogs on the internet anymore and mostly subscribe to people that post about certain topics.

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Added a /now Page 

Like many, I found Derek Siver’s /now page to be an interesting idea so I decided to add one to my own website. Much like when I sat down to define my goals earlier this year, it was nice to get my current priorities written down somewhere. It will also be handy to have a place to send people when I need to point out that I’m busy and can’t help them with a project.

If you’re interested in seeing other people’s /now page check out nownownow.com, a directory Derek set up of all of the different personal websites that have one. Take fifteen minutes and look at all of the interesting things that people are doing.

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November Update 

The frequency of publication here on my website has certainly been in decline as the always-busy holiday season approaches and cold season comes around again. The fact that this is the third, in sequence, entry here whose title ends with the word update is indicative of the fact that I have not been proactively thinking about what should be posted here and that my website has, once again, become a bit of an afterthought. I hope get my groove back after the beginning of the year.

I’ve been mainly keeping myself busy with a new client and a bit of travel. The new client isn’t something that I can write about in detail quite yet but it has given me a chance to get familiar with and develop opinions about all of things going on in the front-end Javascript world lately, mostly with Meteor and React. As a family, we’ve been spending some time away from our day-to-day work at home to relax in in the Northwestern Irish community of Donegal Town. It’s been wonderful being around such friendly people and a casual atmosphere as we unwind a bit from the year.

For the last couple of months I have been giving lots of thought toward building a product that can sustain our business, as I alluded to in my post about setting goals. I’ve been chewing through a lot of folk’s opinions on the matter and, while I have had a couple of epiphanies on how did things incorrectly in the past, I don’t feel like I have much direction yet. There is a ton of noise surrounding this subject and it seems like anyone who is making money on their own is doing so by selling a product for people who want to build products. And I don’t really want to be a part of that cycle.

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Autumn Update 

October started off with a bang and I’ve been unable to keep up with posting things to my website. I had hoped to fill these times when I didn’t have the mental space to write longer pieces with quick links and snarky remarks about things I find online but the truth is that I haven’t had much time for consuming either. October has been a time for creating and making—it feels good. I think I am like most people and am happiest when I’m able to create things. This has been a great autumn so far.

Perhaps I owe some of this new-found productivity to the goal setting I did last month. Although I don’t focus on these goals everyday I think getting them written down made them take root in my brain and now they are constantly just beneath all of the other ideas I have floating around in my head.

I also wonder if I can attribute my productivity boost to the recent updates to the machines I rely on to get to work done. While my iPhone 6 Plus does seem to run slower than it did before iOS 9, it is crashing less. And, aside from a few annoyances, my Macbook Pro has been humming along better than it has in years. Its alarming that these things would impact my productivity so much because its largely out of my control. I hate the idea of waning personal productity just because Apple had too aggressive of a deadline and pushed out unpolish software.

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Now Served Over SSL/TLS 

This morning I added a SSL/TLS certificate to this website and started redirecting all unencrypted traffic to HTTPS addresses. I am hoping that everything is seemless for you, gentle reader. If you do notice some oddities, please let me know.

As of this morning, the site gets an A on Qualys SSL Labs. I’ll need to figure out why Ngninx isn’t adding the Strict Transport Security headers I configured it to send in order to get that A+. But that will need to wait for another early morning.

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Moving My Office 

For the past year and half I have had my office in a tiny room in the corner of the basement of our little house. But there are some changes afoot at home and with our three year old getting more energy by the day its become nessessary to look for office space outside of the walls of our house.

When we were in college, my wife and I would frequently walk around downtown Springfield and I would fantasize about having office there. When our daughter was born I was able to do just that. I enjoyed being able to walk to my favorite coffee shop when a need for caffeine hit but after a year and a half with my downtown office, I started looking at the money that wasn’t going towards anything, the money I was spending on lunches and coffee, and I realized that I wasn’t talking advantage of my flexible work situation in a way that let me see my family more during the day. So I moved my office back home.

Now I’m going to try something different. I purchased vintage trailer—no, not an Airstream—and we’re going to find a spot in our backyard for my office. We’ve done plenty of home renovations since moving into our house but this will be new territory for me. I don’t need much in a space but I need a place that can be quiet so I can work efficiently and I think there is a spot in our backyard that, with a little work, will be a great place to use the trailer for just that purpose.

I’m toying with the idea of documenting the process converting the trailer with some sort of video journal. Not sure if that will interesting to any one other than me.

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100 Words 022 

This will be the last of my 100 Words posts, I have decided. I never had any intention of reaching 100 of this sort of entires, like Jeremy Keith did, so I’m going to quit here at a nonsensical number. I feel like I’ve accomplished the goals that I had when I started the project, namely getting into a rhythm of writing again but I was starting to feel like my entries weren’t containing much substance. There is already a lot of noise on the Internet and I don’t contribute to it just because I feel obligated to write. I want to use this momentum I have to start writing some more meaningful stuff.

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Removing Analytics, At Least for Now 

In a rash decision I decided to remove analytics from my website. The biggest reason that I’m doing so is that I simply do not care who visits my website. And if I don’t care, why am I force you download some tracking code everytime you visit my site? Why am I collecting and retaining data that I really have no intention of using? Seems like the respectful thing to do is to switch it off. I can’t promise that I won’t ever turn it on again but, for now, I’m enjoying the lack of any numbers being displayed from uBlock on my website.

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Writing Regularly 

Its a funny that most humans have the same flaw in that we consider our future selves to be more trustworthy than our current selves. Sometimes this manifests itself as procrastination but most of the time, for me, its expecting myself to get more done than I do. And that has been the case with keeping up with journal on here already. Writing is something I always wish I did more of. I enjoy it and when I spend the time to get something together I am always proud of the results. I’m just out of practice and out of the habbit at the moment.

So I’m going to take Jeremy Keith’s lead and commit myself to writing 100 words a day to these fingers in the habit of banging on keys and making prose. Typing one hundred words a day doesn’t seem so bad. Come on future self, don’t let your present-day self down.

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A Redesign Already 

It didn’t take long but I’ve already redesigned the website. Designing a new blog is tricky because there isn’t any content to design around. While I still dig the previous aesthetic it really didn’t do well for shorter style blog posts. It also didn’t reflect my personality very well, I don’t think.

So this new design is designed around writing smaller posts. I have a design ready for a larger article, if I feel the urge to write something lengthy. However I’m hoping to minimize the pressure I feel to writing longer posts and just development a habit of writing with more frequency.

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Welcome Back 

So, I’ve decided to take another stab at blogging. I maintained a blog at this very domain back when I first started my career but for one reason or another the frequency in which I posted to it waned and I eventually scrapped the blog format and turned my personal domain into an about page, pointing to my profiles scattered around the internet.

I don’t have anything in particular to say at the moment, which is making this first entry a little daunting. I have, however, had an itch to write more. And to share more. Doing so on social media has felt icky—for lack of a better word—lately and I’m not sure why that is. But I’m using that feeling as motivation to get my website in order again and make it a place for me to share again.

I have an urge, for whatever reason, to speculate about what I’ll be posting here (i.e. this is will be a place for me to post pictures of my life and my thoughts on technology and that sort of rubbish) but I think, I’ll leave that part out and just let this blog take shape all on its own.

If you’re out there and you’re listening, please which me luck.