August 29, 2019

I am tired

The last week or so has been exhausting. I haven’t been busy or stressed or anything. I’m just tired. Tired of the news. Tired of having to decide things. Tired of changing my mind. Tired of changing my systems/software/processes.

I’m tired, and yet here I am still doing all the things that got me feeling this way in the first place.

July 5, 2019

See also:

I’ve resurrected, so what happens to this blog? Nothing. It’s not going anywhere, but I’m looking at other was to make use of it. Blot is great at doing stuff with images, html files, etc. Maybe I’ll make it a photo blog. Or maybe it’ll become about a specific topic.

While I think through this, you’ll probably notice more new posts at

July 4, 2019 karl and steph making snackskarl and steph making snacks
July 2, 2019

Org-download and ox-hugo

One drawback of using a static blogging tool is the relative difficulty of dealing with images. Images must be copied to the proper folder and then links need to be added manually. I’ve created a few ways to make this easier this using TextExpander, but today I discovered org-download.

This extension facilitates moving images from point A to point B.

I’m using this with ox-hugo and it works very well. I first added the following to my Emacs config…

(use-package org-download
  :ensure t
  (setq org-download-timestamp "-%Y-%m-%d"))

Then, at the top of my blog file (, I set the following buffer-specific variable…

-*- mode: Org; org-download-image-dir: "~/microblog/static/img"; -*-

Now, to add an image to a post, I just drag it from the finder into Emacs and the image is copied to my images folder (microblog/static/image) and a link is inserted into the buffer with the proper path, etc. The image is even shown inline by default so I can see what I’m dealing with. What a treat!

The post looks like this after dragging an image from the Finder…

* Posts
** 2019
*** My New Post with an image

#+DOWNLOADED: file:/Users/jbaty/Desktop/test.png @ 2019-07-02 16:44:58

The date stamp can be appended during the copy and is configured with org-download-timestamp.

It’s pretty slick, and takes most of the hassle out of adding images to blog posts when using Hugo/ox-hugo.

June 30, 2019

Hosting infrastructure changes this weekend

I’ve made a number of fun changes to how things are run around here, server-wise. The goal was to move as much as possible back to my self-hosted EC2 instance and remove some 3rd-party services while I was at it.

Here’s what happened.

I’ve moved the archive from Github/Netlify to a static site on my server. Netlify is awesome but I’m capable of managing my own server, SSL, etc. I lose the CI and CDN portions, but those right now are less important to me than keeping things together and minimizing moving parts. Plus, I get access to the web server logs this way.

I’ve replaced 3rd-party analytics with GoAccess. It’s not as easy to spot normal visitor traffic, but I do get stats on just about everything else, without dealing with a tracking script. As long as I have access to the web server logs, GoAccess should be fine.

I’ve moved my microblog ( to a Hugo-based static site, also hosted on my EC2 instance. To make posting easier, I’ve set up ox-hugo so every post is just a single headline in one big org-mode file. To publish updates, I’ve created a small Makefile and simply run make deploy, which rsyncs everything up to the server.

I’ve started moving my private Git repos to my own gitea instance. Super lightweight and private. To upgrade, I just replace a single binary and restart the service.

All of the above are served using the Caddy web server instead of nginx. Caddy does all sorts of nice stuff right out of the box (e.g. SSL and pretty directory listings) and configuration couldn’t be simpler.

I have a few cleanup tasks left and some automation to build but it’s quite fun having everything under my own roof and tinkering in whatever ways I see fit.

hosting gitea goaccess
June 30, 2019

Pinning Butterflies

Eli Mellen:

Question: what is to be done with the stuff after it has been cataloged and stored? Are we pinning butterflies for the sake of pinning them, or is there a moment of beholding, and re-use/re-mix down the line?

Save and make? Transform?

This raises a great question: Which butterflies to pin1?

I’m not one to think that we need to carefully archive everything, but there are many seemingly useless things that should be saved but aren’t. One never knows what will prove valuable over time. Or what might be re-mixed in the future. I fall into the better-safe-than-sorry camp, but determining what to archive and what to just let go can be a crazy-making problem.

  1. I’ve never heard it expressed as pinning butterflies” before. I love that. Thanks Eli!

June 27, 2019


I don’t even resemble an expert in cryptocurrency, but my gut says the whole thing is some sort of mass delusion. I mean, read Twitter after any price fluctuation (up or down), and it’s wall-to-wall rationalization.

These people are just so deeply enamoured with the idea of crypto that they seem to have lost all sense of reason. I don’t want to call them crazy, but I kind of do.

Anyway, I own a little Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, and one other that I don’t remember. I don’t spend more on it than I can afford to lose, but I admit to hedging my bets with the upside potential.

It’s sort of a Pascal’s wager in that if I’m wrong, I still win.

It’s just that my timing is, as always, terrible.

Bitcoin graphBitcoin graph

June 25, 2019

Facebook, Libra, and the Long Game (Ben Thompson)

Ben Thompson, Stratechery:

Here is the important thing to understand about the Libra Association: while its members — who again, are the validators — do control the Libra protocol, Facebook does not control the validators. Which, by extension, means that Facebook will not control Libra.

It’s always good to control ones biases, but it doesn’t come easy for me when dealing with Facebook. Ben makes the case that since Libra is not a Facebook Coin”, but rather a Facebook initiative, the tradeoffs between trust and efficiency just may enable it to succeed.

Certainly Facebook’s audacity and ambition should not be underestimated, and the company’s network is the biggest reason to believe Libra will work; Facebook’s brand is the biggest reason to believe it will not.

But there’s that.

crypto Facebook
June 17, 2019

Meta: No longer automatically cross-posting

I’ve disabled cross-posting from to I like not worrying about force-feeding every single thing I publish to other feeds. If I post something I want to share more widely, I’ll post links directly.

This feeling started with my wiki. I just write stuff there without worrying about where it’s going to go”.

For those few who truly want to read everything, there’s RSS

blogging social
June 16, 2019

My Dad and I

My dad and IMy dad and I

Happy Father’s Day, dad!