When I get overwhelmed or start wondering where the last year went, I remind myself that since March I have:
- Co-authored a book that should be published later this year
- Migrated one of the largest library digital collections in the state to a new content management platform (link later)
- Participated in the salvation of American democracy
- Added a bunch of new cities to Groceteria
- Eighty-sixed Facebook
- Rebuilt a friendship that had been dormant for almost thirty years
- Watched at least a hundred vintage episodes of “What’s My Line?”
- Become disturbingly conversant in the MODS metadata schema as well as several new XML tools
- Supervised three student capstones and independent studies
- Managed to avoid getting a COVID-related illness
- Done a few pretty good media interviews (radio, national magazine, well-trafficked blog)
- Read many good books (and bought way too many more)
- Never hoarded toilet paper and also never run out of same
- Managed three big grant projects simultaneously and remotely
- Only gained about five pounds and actually ended up with better labs than last year
- Stayed reasonably sane
Try it yourself. It helps!
Things insomnia made me count. In my life I have:
- Owned 3 houses and rented 5 apartments.
- Lived in 3 states (4 if you count a vacation home).
- Had 2 roommates (not counting a few temporary situations of less than a month).
- Had 1 (common law) husband.
- Owned 9 cars.
- Had 6 traffic accidents, 2 of which were ruled my fault.
- Spent time in 3 countries, including 45 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces.
- Had sex in at least 24 states.
- Had phone numbers with 5 area codes.
- No brothers or sisters, but 14 first cousins (approximately 12 of whom are still alive).
- Spent 2 nights in a hospital (not counting when I was born).
- Been to 0 high school class reunions (with plans to attend 0 more).
- Had 5 primary home computers (all Macs, which is why I had each one for so long).
- Had 3 full-time employers (though I had multiple positions in multiple locations for the first two, plus a ton of part-time and freelance employers).
- Had 4 medical procedures for which I was put completely under.
Why do I start doing things that will make me crazy at 9:00 on a Friday night? In preparation for getting this site SSL compliant (which actually was easier than I expected, despite some weirdness stemming from two very old WordPress plugins I should have gotten rid of a long time ago) I ended up doing a global find and replace. There were problems, and to oversimplify, when I finished the process, my site reverted to a state from sometime in 2009. I’m not entirely sure how that happened; it seems a bit random.
And then I tried to restore from my nice, fresh backup…which was apparently corrupted.
Anyway, after lots of SQL and FTP and SSH and all those other acronyms I’m glad I still remember how to use, I’m back up now for the enjoyment of all three of my fans! And everything should be pretty SSL compliant by later tonight, so you will stop seeing those “not secure” warnings that really don’t matter because you’re not submitting data anyway.
And I have a good, clean backup again. I know because I just restored from it.
Yes, I could leave the server stuff to someone else, but I don’t want to.
Anyway, I’m glad I did this site before the other one, at least.
…do weird and heart-stopping (and temporary, thank the Great Pumpkin) database outages at your web host only happen at the precise moment when you just log in to check something right before bed?
Oh well. it inspired me to do overdue backups of all my site databases. And it’s not really all that late.
Yesterday had more texture. Today is a bright, sunny spring day in North Carolina, which means, of course, that I do not particularly wish to leave the house because of the bright (and the pollen). So I’m taking care of things at home. And creating bullet points:
- A month or so in, I ask again why I never used Plex before. It’s pretty wonderful, especially with my new router. Having everything I own from porn to film noir to home video on every device in the house rocks.
- Credit Karma Tax. Love it. It was quick and painless, helped along by the fact that I no longer have itemized deductions since I no longer have a mortgage. If I hadn’t had a few thousand dollars in one-time freelance income for a consulting project I did, my taxes would have taken all of five minutes. And no fucking TurboTax fees and add-ons.
- Anyone have a good commercial VPN provider recommendation? I’d been thinking of going with one for quite a while and in light of recent events I’m pretty sure I will.
- For the record, it’s kind of discouraging realizing that your home state is more concerned with college basketball than with your basic civil rights.
- Lovely. North by Northwest is having one of those TCM limited screening things, and i’ll be crammed into an airplane for both dates.
- Best April Fool gag this year from NPR.
- I’ll be in Albuquerque next week. That’s just not something one gets to say all that often.
It was a very productive weekend. I got a lot done around the house, took care of a lot of nagging paperwork related to my mom, took bundles and bundled to Goodwill, and still managed to have dinner with a friend on Saturday and to make a quite lovely pot of soup today.
I’ve given Facebook the heave-ho except for the work-related posts that are sort of part of my job. I’m sure this did not cause the flurry of activity this weekend, but it was certainly a contributing factor. I’ve been eliminating a lot of time-sucks lately, starting with the cable TV about six months ago. More recently, I have pruned my social media feeds to largely eliminate posts from people whose only contributions are memes and links to clickbait “news” sites. It helped a lot, but I’ve still been finding the signal-to-noise ration a little bit low. And I’m really growing weary of reading other people’s arguments.
As it happens, Twitter makes it a lot easier to control what you see. I use Twitter mainly the same way I used to use RSS feeds (I actually still subscribe to a few) and that’s to keep me up to date on news and interests. I follow a couple of news-related feeds and many urban- and history-based ones. And I follow friends too, but I find I’m spared most of the arguments and flame wars (or that I at least have to seek them out more actively rather than constantly being spoon-fed comments and likes). The environment is a lot nicer.
It’s exhausting being in a constant state of outrage, which seems to be the goal of much social media today. Mind you, I’m already plenty outraged about plenty of things, but I really no longer see the benefit of walking around looking at my phone every five minutes and seeing just how much more clinched my teeth can get.
Maybe it will get better after the election. Or maybe I’ll no longer care by then…
Yeah, that title was pretty bad. Sorry.
I have terminated the great Sling TV experiment, for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, I realized that even though the cost was much lower, I was still paying more money than I wanted every month for maybe two channels that I ever really watched. And I also realized that I wasn’t even watching those two channels all that often.
Second, the on-demand functionality is really a mess. The big issue (and it’s very much a known issue) is that on-demand streams have a tendency to freeze. When they do, the Sling TV app does not remember when the break occurred. That would be a little annoying, but it’s made even more annoying by the fact that the fast-foward function does not really work. At all. Or at least not on Roku, OS X, or iOS. That means you have to basically start over every time it happens. And it happens a lot.
So I’m sticking with my over-the-air channels (getTV kinda rocks) and my Netflix. I may invest in a Hulu subscription. I have a shelf full of DVDs and a hard drive full of downloads and home-recorded material as well.
And if all else fails, I could read the occasional book…
It’s kind of hard to curate posts that are less than a year old, but I tried. This is the final year to be covered in my “twenty years” retrospective. I may talk about the actual anniversary tomorrow and try to draw some broad conclusions. Or I may not. You’ll have to check back by to see which it is.
There was better reading in 2008 than in 2007, maybe because I was tying (at least for a little while) to generate content for four different websites, all of which eventually landed here. I’d call this year “reflective” and “hectic” with grad school and all. I also worked a very odd part-time job, continued with my freelancing, and migrated the site from static HTML to WordPress. I’d sort of forgotten what a busy year it was.