Weeknotes for watching cloudy skies

  • Moved (nearly) all of my web presence back to DigitalOcean after bouncing around Netlify and AWS for a few months. Netlify was not bad, but something about its process never clicked for me, and AWS was, well, AWS. My humble site doesn't get much traffic, but the main thing that turned me off of AWS was the constant fear that if I didn't account for some variable, I could be on the hook for hundreds of dollars out of the blue. I took stock of what I had to build to resettle into DO and couldn't help but laugh. I thought it would be as easy as setting up a static site app in DO's App Platform, but everyone's friend, DNS, made that an issue. Sparing the details that I'll eventually put in their own post, my simple static site app with a storage Space also has a load balancer and a small droplet in the equation. Feels like a bit of complexity, but hey, it makes sense to me and it works.
  • I installed a weather monitor in my backyard. This started as a joke because I wanted to know how much rain we'd received in the middle of a gnarly storm. That joke turned into building a tool to scrape data from APIs from the National Weather Service and NOAA (coming soon to a blog post near you), which served as both a proof-of-concept and an official context for any measurements I might make on my own. The monitor's been up all weekend, and like a gift from the universe, we got a thunderstorm last night that let me see the lightning strike detection in action. I plan on using this for gardening, as if I need a practical excuse to do anything, but more importantly, this has been a satisfying learning process. Next up on the agenda? Wrangling the station's UDP broadcast, a protocol I've never worked with before.
  • I decided not to do an end-of-year post, but I did take a look at what I've done this last year. I wrote more on this site than I ever have, with half of those posts happening after deciding to exit Twitter. I didn't watch more movies than ever before, but I did finish more books. That feels great. It's hard to compare any of the books I finished because they're all so different, but I'd be lying if I said that my favorite wasn't Kiese Laymon's "Heavy," half because it is fantastic on its own and half because Laymon is from Jackson. Finished my first book of the new year today, Nikole Hannah-Jones' "The 1619 Project." What a powerful work.
  • To celebrate the end of the most recent city-wide boil water notice, I had breakfast at one of my favorite local spots with a friend yesterday. I've been outside plenty over the last few years, but leaning back into my chair on that patio, it felt like the first time I've been able to actually see a blue sky in a long time. There were a few clouds, but that blue was undeniable. Here's to hoping more of that happens this year.