Dino’s Journal 📖

Blogging

I've decided to start publishing software development specific posts on this journal. Previously, they would go into my dev blog. But nowadays, I feel like that's too much work — maintaining multiple websites that is. So, in the interest of simplifying things, for 2021 at least, software development posts will start showing up here.

While I've already had this idea in my head for the past few months, I was also inspired by this post from Angelo.


When working with a Windows Forms TextBox, and you want to display updates periodically while a long task is running, you can make use of the Application.DoEvents() method.

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TWSBI Eco-T Fountain Pen TWSBI Eco-T Fountain Pen – an affordable fountain pen for beginners.

Got a TWSBI Eco-T fountain pen as a Christmas gift. I've been using it last week and I'm still not a big fan of it. But I also can't seem to stop myself from using it. There's something fascinating about a fountain pen that makes me want to write with one.

I think my Zebra Sarasa Grand Gel Pen writes better. But I need more time with the TWSBI Eco-T fountain pen before I make a final judgement.


For my Zettelkasten in Obsidian, I decided to no longer keep links between my Daily Notes and my Permanent Notes. This is based off what I read in Ahrens' book saying to discard or archive Fleeting Notes. And that's pretty much what my Daily Notes are, a collection of Fleeting Notes.

I'm removing the links, but I'm still archiving them though. And that's because I use the Daily Notes to create my Weeknotes post. It also makes those notes searchable via Obsidian.

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Have recently become addicted to Skyrim. Yeah, I know I'm late to the party. I've had the PC version of the game for a long time, but I never really got into it. Then last week, I found that it was available on Xbox Gamepass, so I decided to give it another try.

Gameplay for me, seems to be much more enjoyable on the Xbox than on the PC. I'm not quite sure why that is. Maybe because of the Xbox controller? Melee fighting seems to be much better suited to a controller, than to a keyboard. In any case, I was drawn into the game much more deeply than when I was playing the PC version.

I unintentionally ended up with a Shield Mage play-style. This is something that I've never thought of doing while playing the PC version. I usually go for Shield and Sword. But man, a Shield on the left hand and a Flames spell on the right hand, makes for another fun way to fight.


A hilarious exchange between my wife and son.

Coney: Davin, why are you not wearing your slippers? Davin: Because I'm waiting for my slippers to rest.

***

And another one, this time between my dad and my son.

Grandpa: Where did you go? Davin: I dunno. I forgot to check the map.

Meta comment: I'm not really sure where to put this kind of content. They're too short for a single blog post. And it also seems out of place in a weeknotes post. In the past, this would go into my microblog. But that doesn't exist anymore, so I decided to include them in a weeknotes post. It was either social media or this site, so I decided to publish them here for now.

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I purchased a new domain, nowlisteningto.com for my Now Listening to... music blog. Prior to buying the new domain name, I didn't realize how big of a pain it was going to be to set up redirection. Turns out, you can't setup a 301 redirect using just DNS records. It has to be done on a web server level, or via your domain registrar. My issue is that I can't use my domain registrar for redirects, because I use Netlify to manage the DNS records for my domains. And from what I can see, Netlify doesn't have a menu option for redirecting from one domain to another.

So, I ended up doing a redirect via HTML and JavaScript, by hosting a static site on Netlify. This static site's purpose is to simply redirect from nowlisteningto.dinobansigan.com to nowlisteningto.com. It is not ideal, but this will do for now until I figure out a better solution. Thanks to this answer on StackOverflow for the idea.


There's a new Head First C# book that just came out this month! I still have the first one that came out back in 2010. This was the book that started me on the C# path. If you want to learn C#, I definitely recommend picking up the new version. In fact, I'm going to buy a copy for myself as well.


I wish I had more time to write blog posts that are focused on just one topic. One issue I see with my Weeknotes post is that a single post covers a bunch of different topics. In my mind, those topics should have their own blog posts. But the fact of the matter is, I already have a day job. And it involves writing code, not writing prose. And so unfortunately, I've resorted to bundling everything up into a single Weeknotes post, just so I can get something out. It's not exactly the setup I want, but it's what works for me now.

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This week I found myself asking the question, “Why did I start blogging?”

  • One reason was that after I took a hiatus from social media, I didn't know what to do with all my free time. So, I kept myself busy by blogging.
  • The other reason was that I wanted to create a way for my friends to stay updated on what's been going on with my life, without using social media. Basically, I wanted to see if I could replace social media with blogs and personal websites.

On my previous weeknotes I said that there's no feedback loop for my photo-blog. That was part of the reason I created an Instagram account for it. Well, I was wrong. At the very least, there are stats for it. So, I guess that's something.


Turns out, I was serious about no longer wanting to publish overly personal posts on this journal. I created a new blog on Write.as and set it to Private. Then I moved over all my journal entries into it, plus a couple more posts with personal content.


... you’ll answer for it because when you claim Christ you choose exile, and therefore will be held to a different standard, entirely, than the world’s.

~ Throwing Away Our Holy Things by Elizabeth Scalia

Choosing to follow Christ means going against what is expected of people in this world. Sometimes I forget that it is a totally different way of life. And if you follow that way of life, chances are, you will be ridiculed for doing so. It is as Elizabeth says, to choose exile.

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I would like to apologize in advance. I tried to edit this post to make it as coherent as possible, but it still feels like a mess. Welcome to what my brain and life was like last week.

I ran into an issue while working on the previous weeknotes post. My weeknotes post show up on this journal, but it has software dev related posts. That makes me think that those should be on my dev blog. And now I wonder, maybe I should have just one website in the first place.

Now the problem with having one website that houses all kinds of content, is that my personal posts would start showing up alongside my dev related posts. I remember Scott Hanselman said that you should keep overtly personal information out of your tech blog. That's pretty much why I have a dev blog and a separate personal blog/journal. I also think that the advice on separating them still makes sense. But I also feel, based on experience, that having to maintain multiple websites can be exhausting.


After pouring out my heart and soul, my personal life into this online journal, I now have this urge to move on and leave it all behind. I no longer want to post something overly personal.

Had I decided to remain with an anonymous journal like Inquiry suggested in the past, I probably wouldn't have a problem with all the personal posts I wrote. But I really wanted to “own my words”, so this is what I get for doing so LOL.

On a related note... I wish I could start over with my domain and websites. Or, just leave everything behind and start fresh on a new blog/site.

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2) Writing wasn't fun anymore

When I would write a blog post, I would always start with a blank page and a massive backlog of ideas. The act of writing a well-formatted blog post is intimidating. That is the part I don't enjoy.

I realized I was overthinking it. The things I write about are straightforward and often very technical. They're more for me than anyone else. Writing helps me think and understand so I decided to embrace this and change the way I write.

Instead of writing long, formal blog posts for others, I now write smaller (usually) brief notes about a specific topic to build up my own personal knowledge.

This collection of notes can then be used to Learn in public, sometimes referred to as a Digital Garden.

Link: How and why this site exists – Eric Gregorich

Sad to say, but I'm at this point right now. Just the thought of writing a decent blog post somehow renders me exhausted. Not to mention, my mind has been stuck on the idea of, not everything has to be shared online. It's perfectly okay to go through life, to let things happen to you and not have to share it online.

Writing this post took a good bit of effort on my part. I had to make sure to finish it in one sitting, otherwise it would have gone unpublished for sure. Needless to say, I've all but given up on the 100DaysToOffload challenge. I got to 76 posts. That's as far as I could go.

Lately, I've been spending time writing code, instead of writing entries on here. At this point in time, I find more satisfaction in producing a working application, as opposed to a new blog post or journal entry. It's not that I don't have anything to write about — my bullet journal is filled with topics to write about. But lately, I just don't feel like I'm publishing something of value on here. I guess I also finally got tired of writing journal entries.

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During my second digital declutter, I found that I had a lot more time to tinker with my websites. And so I did. Here are some of the updates I've made to this site during that time.

Blazor WASM Search App

I've got a new Search app for this journal. It is a Blazor Web Assembly app. So, basically a .NET app written in C# that runs as a client-side web application. And it loads much faster than my previous Search app hosted on Glitch. That's because it is a static site hosted on Netlify. Which means it's always up and running. There is an initial load where your browser downloads the .NET DLLs. But after that, it should load pretty quickly next time you use it.

You can find the source code for it here.


Removed Random Post Link

I took away the link to get a Random post from this journal. I did so because it had a slot machine feel to it. Watching The Social Dilemma reminded me of the slot machine nature of it. But my main reason for removing it, was because it took so long to load at times. This stood in stark contrast to how fast this Write.as powered site loads. I can redo it as a Blazor Web Assembly app, but that's not a priority right now. Maybe something to tinker with in the future.

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My second digital declutter officially ends tomorrow. There's a lot to unpack from this latest declutter, but that will come in time. This post is to address some changes I'm making going forward.

First — I'm tentatively setting this journal back to Public. This means my posts will once again show up on the read.write.as feed. But...

Second — I'm no longer going to check the read.write.as feed. So, if you respond to a post of mine with a post that shows up on the feed, I have no way of knowing about it. For any questions, comments or concerns, I highly suggest leaving me a message or sending me an email. There's also some more ways of reaching me listed in my Contact page.

It is unfortunate, since I was one of those who happily participated in conversations over the read.write.as feed. But for now, I'm choosing to prioritize my mental health over it. I'm doing this for my own sanity.

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Lately, I've been getting tired of all the activity I've been doing online. I've been writing posts for this journal, writing posts on my micro journal, curating bookmarks, posting game screenshots, posting sky photos, posting about music I'm listening to, etc...

Meanwhile, my email inboxes have been getting unwieldy. The number of unread posts on my Feedly account keeps on growing. I have not been reading books as much as I used to. I have not been learning new skills. I'm starting to get exhausted because I feel like I'm in a race to do lots of stuff, even if nobody is asking me to do them.

Recent posts I've read have made me question whether this is the best use of my time and my reader's time. I've started to wonder whether I've been producing something of value for myself and my readers. I wonder if maybe I'm just going through the motions. Like trying to look productive, even though I'm not. If that's the case, then I'm just wasting everyone's time, mine included.

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