Rethinking Everything

Is anybody out there?
Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash.

As I sit here listening to the somewhat repetitive jazz station on Spotify, drinking coffee, procrastinating work, it occurs to me this is the fourth time I've redesigned and rebuilt this website in the last year. That's crazy.

First, it was just a GitHub repo with a "coming soon" message. It sat that way for a while. Then I decided to learn Laravel, which I did. So I rebuilt the site in that. It was fine.

Then I started thinking about how the future is Javascript. Is the future Javascript? And then I rebuilt is as a single page Javascript app using no framework and a backend in Firebase. And it was fine.

Finally, I realized that even though I know how to manage backend services. I know how to design and deploy a database/data layer. I know how to code up an API in PHP and Javascript. I don't want to be that kind of developer. I like the front. I like HTML and CSS and sprinkling my Javascript instead of bathing in it.

So here we are. Again. This time it's a static site, built with Eleventy, and it has been a joy. I think I'll stick with it for a while. Just writing and managing files. What a great idea.

And deploying static sites in 2018 is a joy, too. I'm using Zeit's now platform, but you could just as easily use Netlify or any number of other options. It's a wide world of webs.

I am inspired by Dave Rupert, Zach Leatherman, Alex Carpenter, and their seemingly simple, but probably way more complex personal websites.

So as I've been rethinking my web stack, I've also been rethinking other things, too.


Mac or Windows? I've worked on a Mac for the last many years, but the design decisions they've been making with their hardware recently has left me less than thrilled (touch bar, low-travel keyboard, minimal ports). And if you want to work in MacOS, their hardware is the only game in town.

So a few months ago, I picked up an old (2014?) beater ThinkPad for cheap on Woot, and I beefed it up with an SSD and more RAM. And I've been using it as my daily-driver ever since.

It's not too shabby! The Windows Subsystem for Linux is a godsend for working with -nix native technologies (even though it's a bit slow). And 95% of the apps are here. I've switched from Sketch to Figma. That's the only real disruptive change in terms of apps.

Do I wish fonts looked better on Windows? Or dark mode was more consistent? Or Microsoft's app store was better? Sure. But I think those are minor inconveniences when I can choose my hardware and save a ton of money in the process.


Over the last few years, the volume of decent television shows has increased to the point of saturation. Following all the shows I'm interested in became akin to a part-time job (I'm looking at you, The CW). It was exhausting. So I just... stopped watching them, and I don't really miss it.

My wife and I still follow shows, but now it's one or two a week instead of a dozen. It feels much healthier.


For many years, I used to follow new music releases religiously. I'd talk to my buddies about all the albums coming out each week. Listen to them and dissect. And in the last couple of years, I've slacked on all that. Not really sure why. I attributed it to getting older, which I definitely am.

But I've gotten back into it in the past couple of months, and I've been enjoying it again. There have been a ton of good albums to come out this year: Lucy Dacus, Haley Hendrickx, Saba, Kali Uchis, Parquet Courts, and a bunch more. Here's my Spotify collection of my favorite songs from 2018. Some are NSFW, so y'know, use headphones, bud!

2018 Has been a year of rethinking everything. A lot of my previous conclusions hold still, but some are changing. Always changing. That's life.