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#notes

This is an area for the shortest of posts on Finley, I am. Usually these are quick updates to features of the site, small notes about things my adorable children did, or things I felt like writing down.

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Charles De Gaulle

Just finished Ploductivity from Douglas Wilson. Good, short book on work.

I noted earlier this year that “[s]ome may assume that I consume a lot of political content,” and “[t]his is only really only true in the sense that everything is political these days.” This year so far, two of the seven books I have read have been directly political: Mere Christendom and Slaying Leviathan. Both, though, are largely philosophy books, with Mere Christendom looking at Christendom and what it would look like to reestablish Christendom today and what steps we need to take to do just that and Slaying Leviathan looking at the history of goverment and it’s relationship with Christianity since the early church fathers to the founding of America. Both of these books are solid and full of good information, thought provoking, and important reads for Christians today.

And hey, I just finished Slaying Leviathan this evening and have updated the Shelf!

I just finished my 6th book of the year, The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler. Personally I don’t like consuming “self-help” style books and this one is certainly getting too close to the border of that category, but I was encouraged to read a book on leadership for a goal at work.

Albert Mohler is an author, preacher, and podcaster that I greatly respect and quote regularly. I’ll say that one of my key takeaways from this one was that I need to read more biographies of leaders, so I’m fairly sure I’ll be doing that.

When the leader writes, he writes to inform, to motivate, to explain, and to inspire. Sometimes the leader has to clarify, correct, or even sound an alarm. Whatever the context, words matter and the effective leader works hard to develop the ability to write clearly, cogently, and powerfully.

The Conviction to Lead, Chapter 20

Note that I’ve also updated my Shelf to include the remaining 2023 books.

Finished reading Mere Fundamentalism yesterday by Douglas Wilson, marking five books down for the month. Not a bad start to the year. And with reading becoming a larger part of my life— big finally there— I have added a Shelf section to Finley, I am. This was part of the original plan for the site, but I didn’t read enough to justify it. Currently it just has this year’s reading, but I’ll be adding last year too.

I plan to expand on this with possible reviews and ratings as well, but kept it simple to start. Just like the start of last year, this site is a “worry stone”. I can fidget here, make small changes, add stuff, remove stuff, learn things. Feels great.

The other day I added the ability to add Scripture metadata to Finley, I am. Then I went through all my articles from almost a decade and added the metadata. But I am a developer, so I didn’t just look through 500+ articles for references and add them, I made a quick regular expression to find them.

([1-3] )?[a-zA-Z]+ [0-9]+:[0-9]+(-[0-9]+)?

Like following new people on social media, I update my RSS subscriptions every once in a while. I subscribe to a few folks that share links regularly, exposing me to people outside my list. When I find a good one, I subscribe to their blog too. The following have made their way into my regular reading list.

Lara d’Entremont: linked by Tim Challies regularly, I have linked her here a couple times and after the last time I linked her I found out that I’ve been talking with her husband who builds guitars. Small worlds are small.

Justin Huffman: linked by Tim Challies a number of times and I found his perspective welcome.

localghost: beautiful frontend development blog.

Piccalilli: Run by Andy Bell of Set Studio, returning with great frontend development content in 2024.

Yesterday I added another point of metadata to articles: Scripture. I’ll say upfront that I stole the idea from Tim Challies. I noticed recently that I’ve been trying to use tags to bring together articles that mention the same book— especially Psalms and Proverbs. Seeing how Tim was handling it separate from tags made a ton of since. I modified the definition of a post in Astro, adding books and verses as data points. Now if you look at a post with Scripture references, you will see the info in the footer and be able to tap to see more articles with those verses and books.

Next I’ll add landing pages to list all books and verses used on the site and a recommendation block on posts.

Stole another great interface from Lea Verou with a new bar chart on the Archive page and added year archives. I can really see when I took some time off writing over the last few years now. Forward!

As I come into the end of the year, I am adding some nice to haves to the site.

I recently read an article from Lea Verou on tags in her blogging setting and one of the things she mentioned was orphan tags. I took note and it’s been itching me for a few weeks. I implemented a first pass this morning. You can see this on CSS Custom Properties Like This Is a Waste, where the #custom-properties tag is no longer a link. Hover over it and you’ll get a note that there is only one post with that tag. It makes no sense to have a list page with just one post on it, so these are no longer generated.

As Lea noted in her article, this cuts down on number of pages being generated and can lead to performance benefits. I’m working through the later, but the number of pages being generated as of this morning is now 1500 vs 1700 before the change. Over 100 tags were orphans.

This morning I was looking through my Archives— making some code changes and such— and noted how much I like seeing trends for months, usually being able to remember why. Why is Brian Sauvé trending this month? Right, new album. Oh, he was trending in April too. New album. Yeah.

Remember one of my goals with this newly updated site— updated back in February— was to diversify the content. These things help me see what I’m posting about and easily identify trends. It also helps when folks try to gaslight me into thinking that I post a lot about fill in the blank, I can easily look back and see whether that is true.

Like metrics that come from fitness devices and smart watches, once you have the numbers you can form plans to change those numbers in meaningful ways.