John Scholvin

John Scholvin

still can’t fit a half-stack in the trunk

29 Jan 2022

state of the blog(ger)

don't ask

I don’t really make new year’s resolutions. Not anymore. Most years, they ended up slipping completely out of mind, only to creep back during those quiet overnight staring-at-the-ceiling sessions. “Oh, yeah, there’s a whole ’nother bunch of shit you failed at more recently.” Who needs that at 3:17 in the morning? Better to just stew over ancient regrets and bad decisions, and keep the more recent failures in a holding pattern until they run out of fuel, I think.

All that said, I did decide in the final week of the year—far short of a resolution, maybe you could call it an intention—to write something here at least once a week. And that…hasn’t happened. I do have an excuse, which is that I’ve been slammed so hard by work that when I finally do stop for the day, the last thing I want to do is remain planted in this seat any longer than absolutely necessary. And that’s to say nothing of the lack of mental wherewithal to string more than two or three monosyllabic words together in that state. So I’m trying to practice self-kindness here. I can’t just will gas back into the tank. Maybe once a month is feasible, at least until late spring when things should lighten up. Or when I rage quit. Whichever comes first.

One other intention I have for this year, and for all the years I have left, is to reduce my use of Amazon to as close to zero as possible. On this front, I’m doing much better. I don’t think I’ve given a dollar to that bald bastard for several months, at least not for merchandise. Unfortunately, he’s still getting a good chunk of my money every month for the infrastructure that I use to manage this blog, which is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s not the amount of money that bothers me, though I could certainly do better there, too. It’s giving it to the world’s worst person in furtherance of his various planet-, labor-, and soul-killing missions. Kapital über Alles.

So in my spare time (lulz) I’m looking at other cloud platforms. Can’t imagine giving any money to Google, who’s just as bad as Amazon. Microsoft grosses me out for different reasons. I’ve heard good things about Digital Ocean and will give them a shot. With the amount of traffic I see here, I could probably host the thing on the Raspberry Pi up in the attic, but I’m not sure I trust my internet providers to reliably deliver a static IP, and all the dynamic DNS solutions I’ve seen are pooptastic. Sorry I got a bit nerdy there; had to bring it back. Oh, and if you have any other good cloud providers I should be aware of, please let me know.

You may wonder why I’m looking at the hassle and expense of a cloud provider to stand this thing up in a fairly old fashioned way, with an always-on Linux VM running a web server, managing outbound email the hard way, and all the rest. I could just move the whole thing to Substack or Wordpress, right? Well, yeah, I could. But it gets back to one of the founding precepts here, which is that I want to write for the sake of it, and do so without commoditizing you, dear readers. At any one of those more refined hosting platforms, they’re harvesting your data every time you read. You didn’t sign up for that. I’m trying to be all IndieWeb here.

It’ll be a medium-sized pain in the ass to set up shop elsewhere, but it feels like the right thing to do for a lot of reasons. And if I do happen to rage quit, I’ll have all kinds of time for it.

p.s. don’t try to make sense of the picture. \m/