Weekly Head Voices #232: Side-project Smorgasbord

Figure 1: View from a park not too far from my house.

Figure 1: View from a park not too far from my house.

Welcome back friends to WHV #232, looking back at the two weeks from Monday August 30 to Sunday September 13, both fortunately in the year 2021.

Give me some more of that mRNA

I’m happy to report that I got my second Pfizer shot at the start of this month, at the Somerset West Town Hall.

The whole procedure took 30 minutes, from when I entered the front door, until I exited after the 15 minute wait in the side-effect area with friend LM, at which point I unfortunately jammed my shoulder on an inconveniently positioned aloe branch, an event that under normal circumstances would not even have been worth a mention, were it not for the fact that I was wearing my fortunately entry-level puffer jacket, which now sports a gash with stuffing peeking out.

I believe that I digressed ever so slightly there.


I’m super happy that all of the adults in my close family unit have now been vaccinated, and grateful for the superbly efficient way in which this could come to pass.

This blog hopefully immortalised on github

(aka you can never escape)

At a recent meetup, I brought up the cheerful topic of what happens to one’s website(s) when one invariably gets to kick the proverbial bucket.

This is probably a pretty abstract concept to many folks, but as I’m now getting within spitting distance of my half century, it is something that I do think about now and then.

The thing is, when my credit card finally decides to stop paying the monthly Hetzner bill (at this moment, these pages are served by a Hetzner VPS in Nuremburg), they will pull the plug.

Even if they don’t do so immediately, cpbotha.net’s domain registrar will for related reasons unplug the domain as it were, rendering this site unreachable.

Now that I think about this some more, the shadowy company paying for all of this has been setup in a pretty robust fashion. It’s not quite Accelerando levels of indirection, but it could remain standing and paying for hosting and domains somewhat longer than expected.

In spite of that, for the one or two people who might want to read some of this content after I’m gone (close family members, I’m looking right at you!), I really wanted to have some sort of more long-term backup plan in place, in addition to what the wonderful Wayback Machine is already doing.

The solution I decided upon was to spend a great many hours going through 20 years of cpbotha.net posts, mostly to fix all of the badly linked legacy wordpress figure sections, so that the whole thing could be pushed to… github!

Yep, you heard me right…

I’ve taken care of the bulk of rewriting, mostly through putting together this horrible script, and manually reviewing the diffs, sometimes applying fixes, to over 600 files.

Beautifulsoup 4 is amazing by the way. Wordpress on the other hand, or rather wordpress plugins, just made so many random changes to figure markup over the years that I’m not really sure what to think anymore.

Anyways, most of the markdown content, which has been thankfully simplified, is now on the github and should remain available for significantly longer in the hopefully far future event of my demise.

I’m planning to spend some more hours to get the whole thing also buildable on github so that there’s a browseable version in addition to just the markdown sources. (Update on 2021-10-04: There is now a browseable version at https://cpbotha.github.io/.)

Whatever the case may be, I hope that I can keep this site alive, and maybe even kicking, for at least twenty more years!

On always maintaining a menu of tasty side-projects

Oh side-projects

As I’ve mentioned before, we side-project for learning and for relaxation.

In addition to that, we also often lament the apparent cost of these side-projects, with some of us even having whole side-project graveyards to show for our sins.

On the basis of what I just said, one might think it prudent to try and avoid these clearly nefarious side-projects, or maybe just to try and reduce their impact as much as possible, but of course we’ll do nothing of the sort.

Instead, we’re going to double down.

You see, the other day I figured out that my problem with side-projects was clearly that I didn’t have enough of them.

Ideally, one has a whole menu of tasty side-projects lined up, each one a different mix of activity types and learnings.

Whenever you have a bit of free time (not too much though!), you can quite simply select the most suitable side-project from your list and hammer away for a bit.

Of course you will need a substantial amount of willpower, as well as the presence of mind to actually initiate this selection action…

Somewhat more seriously though, always having a creative and fitting project closely at hand that you can compound upon sounds like a solid strategy.

(err, a solid strategy for what exactly? well that’s a topic for a future post…)

In the meantime: