Monterey Bay Getaway

Got out of town for three nights this past weekend, spent them down in Monterey County. Poked around Carmel, Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, and Seaside. Saw some of the most breathtakingly beautiful stretches of Golden State coastline I’ve ever seen. Discovered that “calamari steak and eggs” is a common item on brunch menus down there. Spent one glorious sunny afternoon learning to play bocce, courtesy of awesome friends we had not seen in years. All this and more, and yet, no pics of us doing any of this, because the few shots we took were of the gorgeous scenery. After all these years of carrying smartphones, my wife and I have yet to cultivate an impulse to pull one out and snap a pic when we are having fun.

If you ever hang out with me, and it looks like I am having fun, please take a picture!

photo of Asilomar State Beach

Asilomar State Beach

Finally Got This Place Set Up the Way I Like It

When I launched this site in early 2021, I knew that I would consider it “under construction” until I had implemented proper/modern photo galleries. I finally got that work done this past week, so the museyroom has finally reopened, with an exhibition of galleries from the old site. This site is now capable of sharing just about anything I might want to share online, so I’ve cleaned up the home page and taken the construction sign down. It feels great to finally have the whole place built out.

A Long, Strange Trip

screenshot of tracking details for a package that took too long to arrive

I ordered a used book. It was only a few miles away, in San Francisco, so I figured it would get here soon.

But no: It took more than a week, because first, the USPS sent my book to Las Vegas.

Then to Reno.

Then back to San Francisco, where the journey began. Then to Oakland—where I live! (Getting close, right?)

But then the book went back to San Francisco once more. And then back to Oakland again.

And then, finally, today, the book arrived.

It must be exhausted.

Thirteen years ago this evening, I met a fascinating woman named Makenna, and nothing has been the same since, in all the important and best ways.

Yours Truly on Django Chat

Last year, my colleague Mohammed Shamma tweeted about a project I'd completed using Django, Wagtail, and HTMX. One thing led to another, and now there's an episode of the Django Chat podcast out there in the world that features Mohammed and me as guests. We talk briefly about how we came to be web developers before moving on to how and why our team embraced this excellent trio of technologies, and how we use them to get our jobs done at UC Berkeley.

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Today’s rainy afternoon project: kicking Google Analytics to the curb, and replacing it with GoatCounter for privacy-friendly analytics on this site. The service is free for non-commercial use and its author says he wants to “de-Google-fi the internet a bit, and make pervasive tracking less common.” I am extremely impressed with his creation so far!

I Made This: Introducing Seevooplay

screenshot of Seevooplay in action

screenshot of Seevooplay in action (unthemed)

Today I'm officially introducing a bit of software I crafted earlier this year. Seevooplay is a web app for online invitations and RSVPs, geared toward self-hosters. Throwing a party? Don't give all your friends' email addresses to Evite. Don't expect your friends to be on Facebook. Embrace the indieweb, kick the corporate middleman to the curb, and let your copy of Seevooplay (running on your own website) send email invitations and collect responses for you! That's the pitch, anyway.

Seevooplay is written in Python on the Django framework. It can be easily integrated into any existing Django site or project, but can also run as a standalone app.

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How to Enable Remote Desktop Logins on Ubuntu 20.04 When You Can Only Reach the Host Via SSH

Problem: You want to log in to a Gnome desktop on a remote Ubuntu 20.04 host.

Complication: You can only reach the host via SSH.

Further complication: A bug in Gnome currently makes it impossible to enable Gnome's built-in screen sharing if you connect via SSH. ☹

Solution: Use TigerVNC and an SSH tunnel, and log into that desktop! Here's how, minus the 2+ hours of head-scratching and swearing that accompanied my long trip down this short path today.

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Here I am visiting my favorite piece of art in the whole world: PH-247 by Clyfford Still. It’s nearly always on view at Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum, and no photo ever does it justice. As far as I know, these particular shades of blue don’t exist anywhere else — and they absolutely transfix me.

So I’ve been a lot quieter here than I expected to be this year, but a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes lately. Here’s the first new thing new to share: You can now sign up to be notified by email when there’s a new post here. This option is also available in the blog’s sidebar (or at the bottom of the page if you’re reading on a mobile device). More soon, people! More soon.

Belated thanks to everyone who left a comment during the site’s early days in January. It turns out that I wasn’t being notified of those, so I never knew about them, and therefore never allowed them to go live — until now. Everything’s fixed. Thanks again, friends.

Feeling pretty thrilled to have joined the ranks of the fully vaccinated today. Like others, I note one immediate side effect: more than a glimmer of hope inside that this will all be over soon.

A Dose of Chill

I discovered the EXPLORE.org Sheep Barn Cam before the pandemic began, but have been relying on it more lately for needed doses of chill. I find it extremely calming to watch the stream after the sun goes down, when it is quiet in the barn, half its occupants asleep, the other half awake and chewing cud. I am particularly fond of a mottled sheep with curly horns whom I’ve nicknamed “the Colonel.” Any night that I dial up the Sheep Barn and see the Colonel resting comfortably, perhaps enjoying a good long chew, I feel a little better.

One form of happiness is ordering a fifteen-year-old out-of-print used hardcover sight unseen, and having it arrive looking more or less like it is hot off the press.

The lemon tree in our backyard — which was a stump in the ground when we moved here in 2015 — just won’t quit this season.

May Joe Biden turn out to be exactly the sort of leader our country needs in this frightful historical moment.