Wed Jan 01 2020

Day 1

It's actually still 12/28/19, but I'm setting up the yr/mo/day folder structure I think I'm stuck with, if I want the new blog to sit side-by-side with the old one. It doesn't actually matter too much, I don't think. (The posts will all still appear, whether they're in hundreds of nested folders, or all in one giant pile. But the URL format matches, this way, which I think will be helpful in the next couple of days. Or maybe not!)

UPDATE: Okay, it's 1-1-2020. Let's push this repo and see what breaks.

Particular apologies if I break-slash-spam your RSS reader. Really not sure what it's going to do when I cut over an entirely new backend.

Sat Dec 28 2019

For example

What would I otherwise do with this?!

slack and twitch logos jokingly re-done in terrible mom-font

...or the fact that I have this stuck in my head?

🎶Now it's a whole/thing with Jean 🎶

...or this interesting new essay from the Long Now?

Sat Dec 28 2019


Couple of things I want to do differently, this year... run title-less short posts (a/k/a "twitter-style" entries) entirely separate from blog posts. After a couple of years of one steady feed°, I've come to dislike that mode.

Separately, I've been thinking about a straight "links" feed; no commentary, just links to things I stumble across and might want to share. These are things I might currently drop on Tumblr or, less often, Twitter. The more I think about that, in light of the paragraph above... maybe these are the same thing. Hm.

° Notwithstanding my complicated separate short/full/pic feeds system, that I belated realized was part of the problem, Gatsby/Netlify-wise -- I was generating 3000 HTML pages to display 1000 things 3 different ways.

Sat Dec 28 2019

Sat Dec 28 2019

TIL some basic stuff about git that I wish I'd known 2 years ago.

Fri Dec 27 2019

Post Navigation - next and previous

One thing I didn't get at all, looking at the eleventy starter projects, was how to recreate the "next post" and "previous post" links similar to the ones on my Gatsby blog. Following their twitter account was a good idea, because about a week ago they promoted a post Bryce Wray wrote this post, inspired by Pascal W..

Once you look at their solution -- adding a prevPost and nextPost to each item in a collection array -- it seems perfectly obvious. But it wasn't obvious until they came up with it. It's as simple as taking the array of posts (or whatever collection you want to work on), step through that array, and add a "next" and/or "previous" key to each item, with the index of the next/previous item.

After a few minutes of pondering, I realized it wasn't any different from my Gatsby blog. The same idea, applied in the same way, just slightly different syntax.

  eleventyConfig.addCollection("posts", function(collection) {
    const coll = collection.getFilteredByTag("posts");

    for (let i = 0; i < coll.length; i++) {
      const prevPost = coll[i - 1];
      const nextPost = coll[i + 1];

      coll[i].data["prevPost"] = prevPost;
      coll[i].data["nextPost"] = nextPost;

    return coll;


and then the next day I realized I was going to want to do this to multiple collections, so I wrapped the whole thing above inside a function called makeNavsOnPosts. Feed it your collection's string-name, and it does it all for you.

So far I've got makeNavsOnPosts("posts"); and makeNavsOnPosts("seattle-2019"); I'm sure I'll need at least 2 or 3 more by the time I convert all the old stuff over.

Fri Dec 27 2019

It's easy, eventually

I've been looking at Eleventy for a while now, git cloned and fiddled with a few different beginner repos. It's only just starting to make sense, now that I've committed to using it for the 2020 blog.

(A big weird thing I'm looking forward to figuring out: how to keep the '18-'19 blog up, alongside 2020, which I intend to keep in a new way-less-asset-heavy repo.)

Fri Dec 27 2019

New Blog for 2020

Learning my way around Gatsby and Netlify (if only the basics/intermediates) was a pretty big part of my 2019. An important thing I learned way way too late was: keep your images and videos out of your repo. Hosting a blog via GitHub and Netlify is clever/convenient/neat-o, but when you've got a gig's worth of photos and videos not being compressed and resized and all that jazz... you'll end up overwhelming the (amazing free) tools.

The other major thing I did in 2019 was digging in to ApolloGraphQL. In particular, building was a big lift. I'm sure I over-engineered it in some places and made naïve[1], beginner-error mistakes in others.

Anyway, it's time for a much-simpler blog, so I'm going to try to archive the '18-'19 one in place, and level this new one in, next to it, without destroying the old URLs. We'll see how that goes.

So, here's 2020 and here's a super-simple 11ty blog.

  1. "Most of the English-speaking world finds the diaeresis inessential." - Merriam-Webster ↩︎

Thu Dec 26 2019

Thu Dec 26 2019

This is how you hate on a catalog. In this case, the Williams-Sonoma holiday one...

Saying this shit is expertly curated is like saying your local Bed Bath & Beyond is a branch of the Smithsonian.


You should have just gotten your old lady a gift card to TJ Maxx instead. This is the same kind of shit they sell in the back of that store anyway.

Tue Dec 24 2019

Tue Dec 24 2019

"[T]he house... [d]reamed up by an interior designer. Austere, lonely, too perfect, in need of being roughed up. No books beyond the untouched giant art editions stacked on low tables. No meal was ever cooked in that kitchen. Only gin and chocolate in the fridge."

-- Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me

I don't love this book (at all) but that's excellent.

Mon Dec 23 2019

Mon Dec 23 2019


three month trial screenshot

click through to:

one month trial screenshot

how long is the trial?

  • YouTube
  • tedious