Get some /now.
I hit 900 miles running last year, missing my goal of 1000 for the second year in a row. So far in 2017, I’m on target to hit 1000 with some wiggle room.
The first four months of this year have brought some amazing new genealogical discoveries on several branches of the tree thanks to DNA as well as good old fashioned research. The two biggies: finding roots going back to early 1600s Colonial Virginia on my dad’s side and solving a couple of mysteries in my mom’s paternal grandmother’s family.
Work is fine.
In the past few years, two things have become major passions for me: digital preservation and genealogy and most of my projects relate to one of those two things.
In addition to the ongoing process of researching my own family tree, I’ve built out a custom, private family site that adds a photo album, stories not shared on the public version of the family tree, and research notes. In addition, I’m writing a custom document management system for saved documents of genealogical interest (death certificates, censuses, military documents, etc.) that allows for viewing, searching, and sorting. The ultimate goal on the private site will be to have individual pages for each person that include detail from the family tree with links to related photos, stories, and documents. This will theoretically make compiling print photo books and such easier, too.
As far as digital preservation, I’ve been continually working on adding new content to Normal Bias, Raw Deal Radio, and my Internet Archive account. It’s tough sometimes because I realize the importance of saving these tiny bits and pieces of various subcultures, but it’s likely not something that will pay dividends until well after I’m gone. That’s OK.
My studio PC’s hard drive may have given up the ghost, which is slowing down my digitization efforts a bit. In the meantime, I’ve set up a makeshift studio in my upstairs office.
I’ve stalled on a presentation on preservation that I may try to shop around to some local genealogical societies.
I’ve got a new preservation-themed project in the works that I hope to launch before summer.
In April, I started a long-considered project where I’m recording commentary about (almost) every track I ever recorded, going all the way back to fifth grade. This definitely falls into that “no one cares… yet” preservation category.
I still occasionally launch the random domain. This year it was 1980scommercials.com, which is a simple full-screen randomized jukebox-style playing of commercials from 1980s, pulled from a collection at the Internet Archive.
In April I launched a private e-mail newsletter. If you’re reading this, you may be the type of person that should subscribe. Drop me a note if you’re interested.
What I’m Digging
I’ve been revisiting the movies of my favorite director, Jacques Tati. When I’m feeling bummed out or need some grounding, his movies always do the trick. Playtime remains my favorite movie (of his and ever) but my appreciation for his other work continues to grow with repeated viewings. I’m also watching all the extras on the awesome Blu-Ray set. (In terms of other movies: Get Out was pretty much the best, right?)
Books! Reading a lot more fiction this year. Kōbō Abe’s The Box Man and The Ruined Map were both good (though not his best) and I’m currently reading the weirdo Triangle by Hisaki Matsuura. It’s the type of book Abe would write now if he were still alive.
Here’s my playlist with some music I was digging in March 2017:
What I’m Available For
Over the past few years, I’ve been pulling way back on freelance work or outside web work. I’m definitely suffering from burnout and a need to focus on some of my own projects. I’ve still got a few pieces of freelance work I’m trying to transition to others.
So, really, I’m not available for much. But I’m always willing to talk or answer questions, particularly about my areas of focus. Like, if you want to get started doing genealogy or preserving things, talk to me. If you need advice on how to get started with podcasting or a website, give a shout. Or if you want to go vegan and don’t know how to do it, I’m your man.