new_beginnings.md
2020-06-06

Kind of a corny title for a first blog post, but it felt apt. I honestly don't know which is cornier, the title of this post, or the style of my titling. I had trouble writing the title template the way I wanted it so I just gave up and went with something idempotent. I think I'm using that word right.

I've been diving deep into tech again, finally starting to apply to companies to get a job in it. As a result I've been doing a lot of organizing of my dotfiles and systems and learning a lot of new Python and React. This is the fourth Gatsby site I've made so far, iirc. I like it well enough. Still not the biggest fan of the whole npm ecosystem, or JS in general. God. Npm is slow as hell, and there's nearly always an impenetrable bug. People think Python's internals are difficult to understand. Lord.

So anyway, this initial post is literally just to provide a single slug to compile the site for launch. I'm doing everything through netlify, which is amazingly convenient, and seemingly a lot easier than ghpages.

I guess I can start writing posts on some of the stuff I've been doing:

  1. Re-ricing my arch was the first task.
  2. Organizing dotfiles using yadm. Boy is that a great piece of software.
  3. Writing more gatsby (this, standingwater.io).
  4. vimwiki
  5. inthe.am, taskwiki
  6. kaggle, numpy, pandas, etc., and some courses on DS/Statistics
  7. Lots of new vim plugins

I guess I want to use this blog a bit more informally than I've tried in the past. I expect I'm going to be writing politics here too, which may bug people (if anyone ever reads this damn blog, which I somehow doubt, it's really just for exhibition and my personal memory). I'd like to write shorter pieces, more informally, about what I'm working on, problems I've solved, thoughts (I want to adapt my original intro post for the previous ghpages blog FOSS as High Culture because I really think it's central to my love of tech).

I also have a really lengthy discursion on the nature of the political mind from my notes on Baudrillard that I'd like to adapt. I used to write daily, il y a longtemps, and I'd like to get back in that habit, and not just in a notebook.

I guess I should say something about my theming. The main page, standingwater.io, is inspired by the place I grew up: West Florida. We often grow up thinking we live in the most mundane place in the world, but little by little we realize how beautiful it really is. I've come to adore the swampiness, the pines and palmettos, the muscadine growing all over like kudzu, the ibises moving across a field of water in herds picking out bugs, aerating golf courses.

Palmettos

I wanted to use this image as the backdrop for the home site, but it was too busy, then I wanted to use it as the backdrop for this site, but it was too gaudy, so I just gave up. There's something about it that is so... hygge to me. I grew up thinking these palmetto strands were a nuisance, but adore them now. I grew up thinking our longleaf pines were boring and common, but I adore them now. This image is from the Wikipedia article on Osceola National Forest, a good deal north of me, but closely resembles the preserve next to my house.

The logo is a heron, not because they are particular to me (in fact, I wanted an Ibis) but because it was the only wading bird on thenounproject.com that didn't look like either a cartoon or a flamingo (which I distinctly did not want). We have plenty of herons, of course, it's just the ibises are so distinctly pervasive to Florida I wanted one of those.

The name of the site, Standingwater, is a throwback to the house I grew up in. The yard would frequently flood, never dangerously so, but enough that it looked like a marsh. The ibises would gather in the yard, and it would be hot and humid for a couple of days while the excess water dried off. I jokingly named it Standingwater in reference to Frank Lloyd Writ's famous Fallingwater. I was going to use the name for a web design service but just went with it for my portfolio site.

So anyway, I guess that's about all I have to say about that.