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    Cross posting from a next.js blog to

    [Nov 13, 2020]

    I like the idea of, and I’ve lazily cross-posted my blog to the site via RSS for a while, but the feed always ended up in the format of [post title] - [link to post], which doesn’t capture the spirt of microblogging.

    I reworked the RSS feed in general when updating this site to next.js, but I thought I'd take a stab at getting crossposting working too.

    Since I couldn’t find much in their documentation on what parameters were used to construct the feed from an RSS feed, I found users who were cross posting, looked at their feeds, and then tested out a couple posts to see how they showed up on the timeline.


    1. It's much easier to use a JSON feed. This is perhaps not surprising since Manton Reece drafted the spec and created
    2. Microblogging is strongly against using titles for posts.

    I ended up taking the same loop my index page uses (gets every single markdown post, but then returns the latest ten) and running it through this function:

    import siteConfig from "../data/config.json";
    var md = require("markdown-it")();
    const makeJsonFeed = (posts) => {
     const feed = {
       feed_url: siteConfig.jsonURL,
       title: siteConfig.description,
       home_page_url: siteConfig.siteUrl,
       author: {
         url: siteConfig.siteUrl,
     const items = => {
       return {
         author: {
           url: siteConfig.siteUrl,
         id: `${siteConfig.siteURL}${post.slug}`,
         url: `${siteConfig.siteURL}${post.slug}`,
         content_html: md.render(post.markdownBody),
     feed.items = items;
     return JSON.stringify(feed);
    export default makeJsonFeed;

    And on the index route, I use it like this:

    const jsonFeedObj = makeJsonFeed(postsToUse);
    fs.writeFileSync("./public/rss/feed.json", jsonFeedObj);

    While I do have titles on most of my posts, they are optional, and I chose to leave them off the JSON feed. If they are added, goes back to the [post title] - [link to post] I was trying to get away from!

    You can see the result at my timeline or in the JSON feed.


    [Nov 13, 2020]

    Trying two things: updating my old Macbook Pro to Big Sur.

    And testing titleless posts for RSS integration. Big Sur definitely didn’t work, let’s not go 0 for 2.



    [Nov 11, 2020]

    We were cleaning out toys this weekend and found a gear drawing set for making spirographs. A family member bought it for my daughter to take on a flight when she was younger, but she was too young to enjoy it at the time. We had more fun with it this week, and finally got around to using these Zebra pens I had.


    But, the programmer in me said, “hey, sometimes the gear skips, what if we did it in code”, and made this.

    The colors are random, have fun reloading / changing the variables.

    Obligatory Simpsons gif:



    [Nov 10, 2020]

    Attempts at recording the RC car in slow motion. They’d be better if my kid didn’t get such a kick out of running off with the tripod.

    When the all wheel drive kicks in.

    I’m gonna send it.

    I just like the sound on this one.


    Pumpkin Leftovers

    [Nov 1, 2020]

    Turning a jack-o-lantern into a bird feeder


    Day One (two, three, seven-hundred and thirty...)

    [Oct 28, 2020]

    I've gone back and forth on where to journal things for a while, but I've been using the MacOS/iOS/iPadOS/WatchOS app Day One for two years now. And I know it's been two years, because Day One has a feature where it shows you what happened “on this day” in previous years, and yesterday was the first day it had an entry from two years ago. And no, the entry wasn't “the end of 2020 is going to be terrible!”, it was about a job interview, which became theme in 2019.

    I'm not going to say Day One is the perfect app, and I generally don't like apps with recurring fees, but it does a few things really well:

    • You can see your posts on a map. If you usually write on your phone, or take pictures on your phone, it will infer the coordinates from that. You can then search for posts by location, or just zoom around all the places you've been.

    • You can record sound from your Apple Watch. Sometimes if I'm just out in the woods/by the beach/listening to my kid sing a made up song, I'll turn it on.
    • The aforementioned “on this day”, which has been wild in 2020, looking back at times when we did exotic things like “travel” and “see family members”.
    • You can split the journals up by theme, but also view them all in aggregate, so I have one that’s just for food, one for rides/hikes.
    • You can turn on end to end encryption on everything.

    It has some silly features, like prompts. Some are interesting, others are like this:

    I’ve never considered printing it, a service they offer. I back it up, you can export the whole thing to HTML. Should I print it? Maybe. I’ll make a note today and see how I feel in two years.


    Adventure Princesses

    [Oct 22, 2020]


    CDs were better than this

    [Oct 16, 2020]

    Me: “Hey Siri, play Disney Radio”

    Siri: “Now playing Radio Disney, presented by iHeartRadio”

    🎵 weird tween pop starts playing 🎵

    Me: “Hey Siri, play Disney songs…”

    Siri: “Now playing Disney Radio”

    🎵 mix of Disney soundtracks with extreme bias towards Mulan starts playing 🎵


    Reading List Oct 4th - 11th

    [Oct 11, 2020]

    I was trying to keep up with what I read in the last week on Friday mornings, but it turns out Friday mornings are crazy. Sunday mornings, not so much.

    First up, some light reading about the Pandemic.

    Will the Pandemic Socially Stunt My Kid?

    The short answer is: The majority of neurotypical kids will be able to socialize just fine, even if we’re still wearing masks in a year.

    This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic

    Even in an overdispersed pandemic, it’s not pointless to do forward tracing to be able to warn and test people, if there are extra resources and testing capacity. But it doesn’t make sense to do forward tracing while not devoting enough resources to backward tracing and finding clusters, which cause so much damage.

    Related: ‘What are we so afraid of?’

    I read a lot of stories about Eddie Van Halen, who passed away this week. As a guitarist, I think the appeal of Van Halen was that he was one of a very, very small number of guitarists who could make a rhythm part as interesting as a lead. Hendrix was the other guitarist who could do that.

    Eddie Van Halen’s Otherworldly Sounds

    But by the late nineties, bands like Van Halen—who mostly eschewed profundity in favor of uncomplicated pleasure —were being supplanted by the more brooding and introspective rock music emerging from Seattle. Grunge was a pointed rebuttal to hedonism and excess. The eradication of joy was collateral damage.

    Where Did My Ambition Go?

    After the economy collapsed in 2008, we were told to get off the path entirely, to think outside the box but still inside the system. Ambition was no longer limited by traditional power structures. Don’t let yourself be defined by the role you have in someone else’s company—create a new role at your own company. Social media allowed us to carve out our own identities online, and quickly we all became managers of our own “brand.” We had to monetize our brands. We started to hear the adjective “entrepreneurial” all the time to describe what our aims should be, even those of us who just wanted to create, who cared very little about managing the business side of creating.

    Welcome to Your Bland New World

    Of these values, the environment is the hardest circle to square, since even the greenest blands are hell-bent on growth. If the best thing an individual can do for the planet is have fewer children, then surely the genuinely eco-entrepreneur might wonder whether the world really needs a Wi-Fi controlled smart oven ( June ), or a Bluetooth-enabled coffee mug ( Ember ).


    Statamic on Digital Ocean App Platform

    [Oct 7, 2020]

    Digital Ocean released their App Platform the other day. It's similar to Heroku, which has been around for forever, but I never really got along with how Heroku works and have always really liked Digital Ocean's guides/documentation/shark loading animations, so thought I'd see what it's about.

    I decided to try this site but as a full-fledged Statamic site, not the statically generated version you're looking at currently, hosted on Netlify. It was pretty easy, Digital Ocean has a sample repo for Laravel, but if you point it at a Statamic repo in Github you get all of the same settings. After that it was just adding some environmental variables, and letting it deploy.

    Am I going to use it? Probably not. It was a neat test case, but the leap from this to what Netlify provides, where all of the content for the site is cached neatly on CDNs somewhere, is more than I feel like figuring out right now. A more likely step would be to deploy just the control panel to a Digital Ocean box, then let Statamic’s Git integration kick off a Netlify build and deploy.

    Here’s the important parts of the App Spec file I ended up with, if anyone else ended up here trying to figure out how to get this working, with secrets obviously obscured:

    name: bwc-statamic
    region: nyc
    - build_command: “php please stache:clear \nphp please static:clear”
      environment_slug: php
        scope: RUN_AND_BUILD_TIME
        value: 1234
      - key: APP_URL
        scope: RUN_AND_BUILD_TIME
        value: your-app-address-here
      - key: APP_KEY
        scope: RUN_AND_BUILD_TIME
        value: 1234
      http_port: 8080
      - path: /
      run_command: heroku-php-apache2 public/