And Zero at the Bone

Occasional blogging

What I've done

Here is a list of what I have put together or worked on for some significant amount over the last couple of years on the job. Monitoring will get its own post eventually. We migrated from a single service which ran on a single instance in Classic EC2 to a half dozen services running in separate VPCs, each with autoscaling instances behind an elastic load balancer to provide high availability.

The Interior Castle

Twice a year, during Advent and Lent, I try to do some spiritual reading as a discipline, and this Lent I’m reading St. Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle, generally accounted to be a masterpiece of contemplation. The idea is that the human soul is pictured as a transparent castle containing many rooms, sort of a diamond cloister, the most impregnable fortress against the dangers of the outside world. It was natural that this member of a cloistered order would write based upon something she knew, of course, but the interesting thing will be how much I can make of this idea living in the world.

NaHaiWriMo 2017

For a number of years Michael Dylan Welch has been organizing National Haiku Writing Month, more commonly known as NaHaiWriMo during the month of February where anyone can post their minimalistic poetic contributions every day. There would be a prompt for each day the participants could, if they wanted, use as a theme for that day’s installment. I had fun participating this year and would like to present a selection of what I came up with.

Public private

For every post here I write maybe three for my own use over on Penzu as a sort of diary of what’s going on. I’ve learned that it’s too easy to forget a lot sooner than you expect just what you were experiencing and saying and doing if you don’t leave some kind of traces for yourself to get back into your head in times past. What I write are things too personal or professionally sensitive to want to put out on a public blog like this, or more often things that only I figure I would be interested in knowing about.

Death in the Evening

On the way home today, my train was delayed because of a fatality on the tracks happening about forty-five minutes before I got on. It was on the other side of the tracks, someone crossing over the tracks where they should not have been, possibly a suicide. I was already on a later train than the one I usually took, because of a late meeting at work, so the delays took me well past twilight into night.

Google Chrome Twitter MFA Login Fail

Posting this here in case it saves someone else some time troubleshooting. I was having lots of problems with Tweetdeck on Windows 10 in Chrome over the last couple of weeks. I hadn’t enabled any new plugins or anything like that, but I was wondering whether the cookies were messing things up, so I logged out, cleared content, and tried logging back in. Surprise, it said my username and password were not recognized.

The gig around the corner

I’ve been thinking for some time now of what I’d like to do once it’ll be no longer viable to continue working in the tech industry. I’ve dropped out and made my way back in, but do not have high hopes for being able to do that again ten or more years closer to retirement age. I keep coming back to the idea of making a radical change going into creative writing.

One protest, and another

Ever since the Magna Carta, people have had the right to petition their government for redress of their grievances. The Bill of Rights also guarantees the right of peaceable assembly to be heard. The first event I attended was in Redwood City the same day as the main Women’s marches around the country the day after the inauguration. The event was billed as a “non-partisan, multigenerational gathering” to affirm the community values under attack by the new administration.

End times

Apocalypse When? Some people I know are convinced we all have only months to live, certain that the kind of rhetoric being hurled around means that nuclear annihilation or maybe biological catastrophe will take most of us by surprise. The rules of society in the US have changed so completely we can no longer count upon collective good will to get us through tough times and that we’re due for either anarchy or brutal repression.

Hosting a Hugo generated blog on Netlify

It took me a while to get this blog running properly and I think I should record what I had to do in case I need to refresh my memory sometime. I’ve had plenty of before including one which started out as a statically generated one (in a Python script I hacked together). Things have changed now and I wanted to do something that didn’t have so many tiers to it, just a simple virtually unhackable set of static HTML pages that can be hosted somewhere with a content distribution network.