Personal Technology Website

2021 One

Hi, hello.

Welcome to a blog post.

We are all doing blog posts again in 2021.

More and more people are saying this.

Firstly, and foremostly, I’ve wanted to write on this thing in forever. I’ve been putting it off for a while because, truthfully the web stuff I manage was getting too out of date and I didn’t have the time or energy to update it. Writing on the site just reminded me of all the potential security holes it had.

Honestly, it probably wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. It was only about a year out of date, but the way I set it up didn’t lend itself to change easily, even if this was originally the goal of the whole thing.


This site you are now on is now properly containerized. I spent a bunch of time banging my head against the wall to get all my configuration files correct and now I can spin up a WordPress site with proper certs in a single script. All my other sites that I manage I’ve moved back to a more managed host. They will load slower, will run on older versions of software, my total control over all the aspects of the back end is gone, but with that, I don’t have to worry about them. They will just hum along without much of my input. It’s a huge mental relief because some of those sites were just completely offline for too long.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Sorry, first thing, that popped into my head when I tried to type “So we…”

I plan on trying to split up some post ideas I have into many smaller posts because I tend to blow these things way too far out of proportion and they never end up posted.

In that, let’s do some quick re-caps and get the hell out of here 15 minutes early.

Like, many, I’m sure, I’ve been on more Zoom calls than I can count this past year, but I did manage to do some good things within them and in spite of them.

Dimescon happened again, albeit online this time. This has been a yearly tradition where we do small presentations on just about anything. The numbering of events has skipped a year as Dimescon 2020 never happened because 2020 doesn’t deserve a moniker. This year mine was about one of my favorite things, posting. It has been lovingly edited and posted below. I’m all blurry because the source media file is taken from a Zoom recording and my picture was all teeny tiny in the corner.

TECH SIDEBAR: I recently have been trying to figure out ways to augment my main computer as I have many that could provide use. In that I figured out a way to get remote rendering with Adobe Premiere. That means I can have my little server box work away at a final render of a video and not be locked out of my main computer while it cranks through all my insane effects in three and four dimensions. I did this by installing Adobe Media Encoder on the server box and setting a watch folder. This watch folder is network shared. That way when I transfer the Adobe Premiere project file over in the folder, it sees it and starts rendering sequences in the root folder in Premiere (not in a bin). The one hiccup is I have to make sure I transfer my media files over BEFORE the project file, otherwise Adobe Media Encoder tried to start rendering without the source files and messes up. Otherwise, it is very cool. More on the shared computing stuff later.

Remote rendering on my server box viewed from my main PC

My improv group did a holiday show, that I quite liked, we did a riff on a Hallmark movie that I thought went very well. Here is that show:

OK, this has been a solid first post of 2021. I’m going to call it here and continue on later. In conclusion, 2021 is a land of contrasts.

Technology Website

A new era is upon us!

Alright, this is probably a tad hyperbolic. Fine. Very hyperbolic.

I’m just saying the site has been upgraded. It was running on a bespoke (as close that as possible) server VM that I hand-crafted and artisanally put into service with love. That’s all been chucked out with yesterdays hummus. It’s the 90s, nobody has time for that anymore!

Now it’s running all in containers. Containers are all the rage these days (2014). The advantage of this is that it runs independent of the operating system, in it’s own mini-OS (over simplifying, but that’s the gist). That means I can tear this hunk-a-junk down and rebuild it super easily with minimal configuration. It also means when a new version of any of the things that run this thing get upgraded, I can easily just upgrade the container, and BA-ZAM the site is using the latest and greatest.

Now migrating everything took a while, and I wrote some helpful bash scripts to help me along, but I am pleased with how this all turned out. This also should allow me to upload test code projects in their own container without having to worry about too much cross talk and breaking stuff. I’m excited about it.

Now that I feel comfortable writing in this again, maybe I’ll actually update more frequently. (HAHAHAHAHAH)

Sincerely yours,


Activism Politics Technology Video

Virtual Town Hall

In news of things I’ve been up to. I organized the Virtual Town Hall GLI put on for the IN-4 candidates.

This was me trying to further extend my video and live streaming skills to produce something I thought looked professional for no additional dollars.

This was my first foray into using After Effects to create motion graphics, and I did like how those turned out. I used Zoom as the video call platform and captured the display to put into OBS. I routed the audio all internally using software, and had volunteers timekeeping and gathering questions from Facebook to put into a live Google Doc. I also had fun with my green screen, though I am patiently waiting for my new lights to come in so I can get better contrast between me and the background so I can get the chroma key to work better.

I think it went pretty smoothly! There is of course things I’d like to improve upon. One, the creating of everything was extremely time intensive. All the OBS layouts and motion graphics take a lot of time to render out and assemble. I’d like to automate some of this if possible so I’m looking into setting up with NodeCG. It is going to be a lot of work up front, but should allow for much greater flexibility and automation in the long run. Long term goals here.