Obligatory blog refresh post, a twist and a tiny homage

• ~700 words • 3 minute read

In the same way cicadas and other uncomfortably-large bugs have an odd lifecycle that sees them emerge every few years or more, such is my relationship with updating the look and feel for this blog. With every good blog "revamp" there must come the obligatory "Here's what's new!" post.

In that spirit, here's what's new and/or not now (followed by a subtle twist):

  • I'm still using 11ty to power the blog and write the static files which are hosted on Netlify. I still mostly like it.1

  • I've visually tweaked things to adopt the Flexoki color scheme by Steph Ango, author of Obsidian. The color scheme is designed for reading and based on real-world printing colors. To my eye it has a "warmth" I find appealing.

  • On the font front I've dropped the custom typeface (previous Public Sans) and opted for the standard system UI font instead. I've also tweaked the font sizes, weights and overall reading widths. Admittedly I'm borrowing a lot from Steph Ango's blog... but I like it!

  • I've always liked the multi-color rainbow gradients along the nav and footers of my site2. I did however update the gradient to employ more "hard-stops" and give a more segmented look and use the more deliberate & muted color palettes that Flexoki provides. It kind of reminds me of a muted version of the classic Apple logo color scheme circa 1977. Some of my masthead images have the old rainbow color-scheme embedded within the image, but it actually looks okay alongside the new scheme (to me).

Apple logo with rainbow pallette
  • I added some approximate word count and read times metrics to the top of all the blog posts. Also stolen borrowed from Steph's blog, but also intriguing to me since my day-job involves working on a writing tool that puts an emphasis on metrics like these.

I think the design I landed on in 2019 when I wildly revamped this site actually still holds up surprisingly okay. Maybe I'll reconsider the angled sidebar some day. You can see the initial revamp here and compare to what it looked like earlier in that year.

Now for a twist!

I didn't just revamp my website. I found old blog posts between 2009-2011 (!!) and brought them back into the fold! You can find them via my archive:

I have more lurking in the archives and will try to restore them as I'm able.

As I restored them, I cleaned them up a little bit to see how broken they were, fixed an errant 10+ year typo or two and decided if there was anything that looked especially embarrassing. I'm thankful to say that, while past me sometimes seems like a bit of a naive doofus, he never (hopefully!) comes off as a problematic, cancellable naive doofus.

Some choice posts:

A tiny homage to my uncle

I'm reserving a special place at the end here to link to a post I had no recollection of writing:

My slightly more piratical, sledgehammer-wielding uncle in that story passed away somewhat suddenly a couple weeks ago. He was a character bigger than life and a freer spirit than most.

The news was sad to receive and I've been reflecting on his fun, colorful, exuberant presence at our family gatherings over the years. Lots of good memories and laughter. Stumbling across this silly thing I wrote over 10 years ago was a nice reminder of those good times.

Thank you Mike 🏴‍☠️.

December 20th, 2023 addendum: a lovely little tribute written about him by his siblings.

  1. I think, going back to 2008 (!!) this blog has gone WordPress → Jekyll → Some custom monstrosity utilizing bash scripts and AWS services → Jekyll (again) → WordPress (again) → 11ty, but I'm not 100% certain. I may have even flirted with Ghost for a minute there.

  2. Funny fact: That choice was a side-effect of my inability to settle on a more constrained palette. So I settled for all of them.