Personal Rant Update

A ponderance on new hosting digs…

Well… I’m starting to ponder a change of hosting.

In theory, I could move most of my stuff to my recently configured Scaleway Stardust instance, as I’m using it to learn Caddy. Caddy has been extra easy, thus far, though I am not sure how I would handle the equivalent of Apache’s mod_rewrite rules, which I’ve been used to over time and appreciate the clean URLs.

But, there’s also a couple of other things floating around that I would like to flush away.

Namely, I have one .US domain, from back when I loved particularly did not mind registering them. It was the past, where WHOIS privacy was a paid thing that no-one who is a hobbyist could afford, and so any domain basically revealed your real, personal information.

Eventually, registrars started offering WHOIS cloaking, making it much harder for people to just casually throw a command at a terminal or wander off to a search engine to find out someone’s real world address, phone number and so on.

EXCEPT for .US domains. Those are not allowed the protection and privacy that the WHOIS cloaks were providing, so if one were determined enough to go searching, they can get too much information about someone with near zero effort!

I really don’t like that. At all.

So I largely stopped using that domain for major and even minor things. I’m working my way through email, seeing my way through changing anything that used the .US domain for login to use my .blue domain which kindly gives me that layer of privacy. Something that doesn’t casually say “Here’s Xial’s home address in its entirety, along with phone number. Have fun!”

Because I know someone’s going to think it: Be a person that’s part of a marginalized community. You value what modicum of a barrier betwixt you and the world that you can get. If it means adding a step or twelve between a casual WHOIS search and where I live, of course I’m going to do it.

That said, as I start all of this, I’m also considering whether I want to continue with my current webhost, who thinks that instead of properly emailing clients that they have a working relationship, the client should subscribe to their blog that they post these things in…

I’ve seen every damn status issue, as opposed to issues tailored specifically to my shared hosting server. It’s like being asked to clean out a tiny janitor closet, but when you open the door, there’s a 12,000 square foot warehouse on the other side. I don’t need all of that, and seeing everything instead of a custom stream starts to remove the inspiration of confidence that once was held.

Candidly, it makes me miss the days I was on Surpass Hosting. If I could afford them again, I’d go back, believe me. But here’s that hobbyist thing sticking its head up again — my websites are just my blog and little hobby-work I’ve done, and they don’t make me money.

Hell, even when I’ve monetized the occasional Amazon link, like when I told people that discounted Amazon Prime is a thing if you have EBT, and added proper disclosures that I may receive compensation to said links, I am lucky to even get anything. Whether it’s because it’s stripped off by some random bigger thing, or who knows? I just know I don’t make money off my sites. It’s just a hobby, and keeping hobby costs reasonable (especially in the face of my vanity domain habit) is a thing I have to try for.

So, I’m starting my search early, trying to find a host that is reasonably priced for a hobbyist, isn’t going to get it twisted over a drawn image gallery that includes a small amount of adult-oriented art, offers a reasonable amount of storage (~20 GB), absolutely will let me SSH in to work on things because that’s what I’m seriously used to, and lets me point my domains there for email purposes as well.

This will be a journey, but hopefully nowhere near as rough as the shit I went through with Bigfoot Hosting a bit back.

Let’s go. 🌙

Life Personal Update

An interesting year in the rear view mirror.

Hey, folks. Welcome to 2020, and all the insights that come with being in the rear view mirror. As the sun sets on 2019, I’m looking back at things I have learned, and realizations that are taking me full speed into a year with an extra day under its hood.

Last year, I learned how broken the idea of a pharmacy benefit management company has become in the United States. I had my go-around with Express Scripts, in which my glucometer sensors arrived several days late, and it was as if I were pulling teeth to get an urgent fill at my local pharmacy so I could keep an eye on my blood sugar.

I never did replace the electric bicycle that broke in December 2018, but that’s okay. I spent more time on the manual transmission bike, and also started going to the gym. The exercise proved beneficial, even though my commute ability decreased by a range of a few miles. Going to the gym net me a few hundred dollars from my employer through their fitness benefit program, and for half the year, I felt inspired enough to complete the goals. This year, I’ll punch higher.

I relearned that there are terrible folks when it comes to hosting, in the form of paying the folk at Bigfoot Servers for a second year of service, and having them close shop in December. May they date a horny cactus for the rest of their lives. I’m over on Namecheap now; I’d post an affiliate link, but their new affiliate program is a bit of a headache to sign up for.

I finally replaced my ebook reader with a used early generation Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight. If I could reclaim the internal storage space to have more storage for my books, I’d be happier. Been reading a bunch of fan fiction in my evenings after work, and maybe I’ll actually get around to reading some stuff from my public library again. Repositories of free science fiction epubs are always welcome, by the by.

I got my blog to announce its presence via ActivityPub, thanks to a couple of WordPress plugins, making me readable and followable via Mastodon and similar suites as I post (Hi,!), and can still tweet my new posts.

Speaking of tweeting, it seems my post on my ordeal with Express Scripts was definitely my most read and circulated post of 2019, and drew a lot of traction via Twitter, Facebook, and even was shared via LinkedIn. I’m flattered, amused, and slightly spooked at the same time.

But, enough of this for now; I must actually go eat to fix a number that I wouldn’t have been able to see without my replacement glucose sensor. Thanks again to my local FredMeyer Pharmacy for throwing hammers to help. 💙

Personal Update

Re-homed: Lick dot Blue.

This past weekend, the webhost I had been using, Bigfoot Hosting, decided they were going to give a near-zero warning shutdown of their services.

A quick readthrough of LowEndBox shows that several hosts sent out the same form letter, announcing their imminent closure on the 9th of December.

Right… in time… for the holidays.