Category: Administrivia

Have you had a break today?

About two weeks ago I went back into the hospital. This time it was not a life-threatening issue, the shunt in my liver had become occluded which caused a minor upper gastrointestinal bleed. Luckily I had been warned the symptoms and signs 2 years ago when I was really sick and they installed it so it was caught immediately. I wasn’t even admitted into the ICU, they performed a quick minor surgery to clear the occlusion, observed me for 48 hours to make sure it worked, then sent me on my way.

Hospital stays suck, even when you are in MCU not ICU. The last time I was there was for three weeks and for 90% of it I was under a strict “no Internet” policy.

So for this stay I decided to do the same thing even though it wasn’t mandatory.

Our bodies are capable of an infinite amount of energy along a timeline that ends when we die. However, we cannot just create infinite amounts of energy at once or on demand. During my last stay, it was explained to me that despite my protests that being on the Internet and being able to interact would help me mentally, physically that would divert energy my body needed to heal.

After I left the hospital (I’m fine by the way, everything got fixed up and I feel pretty good!) I felt so good mentally I decided to continue restricting my Internet both for my mental health as well as I ended up getting busy with work.

I am happy to report it was great.

I love the ability to interact with anyone at any time of day online. I love Twitter’s capabilities and Facebook and reading the web and basically just sucking up communication like a vacuum. But at the same time, it comes at an energy cost and a mental health one. There’s only so many new terrible Trump stories you can read each day and stay happy.

I turned off my phone this past weekend and took Basil to the beach. It was marvelous. I’m slowly learning you don’t have to respond to every text, read every headline, respond to every Facebook post, or feel bad about just unplugging for a bit.

I would not say I’m shutting down on Internet usage or that it is bad. But except for short bursts like live snarking something on Twitter or engaging in conversations on Facebook I do plan to spend less time reading the Internet and more time watching a TV show (American Gods is astoundingly good) and writing than feeling like I have to be up to speed on all things at all times.

I’m just closing the aperture a little bit more and trying to be more focused on being online.

I did not mean to worry anyone, rest assured that I have some protocols in place since I live alone that if anything happens certain people get “activated” for help if I need it.

In the meantime, I highly recommend the occasional Internet break. Try to go a couple of days of it. I found that I stressed less, was more relaxed and had a lot more creative thoughts than just sitting down and making hashtag jokes on Twitter. :>

Administrivia: Site Redesign

I took some time over the past few weeks to update and fiddle with the site design to modernize it somewhat. While I’m still tweaking to remove redundancy etc. pretty much everything about the site should be working. If you find a dead link for things hosted here or pointed to my other properties (Bandcamp page, etc) drop me an email.

I hate hacking PHP. Meh. Smile

(edit: just noticed the word “Comments” getting clipped off. Sigh. Back to PHP.)

PAX 2015

Lot’s to catch up on, and I will over the next two weeks. But for now I WILL be at PAX Dev and PAX Prime this year, if you see me be sure to gimme a hug! I’m sure I will be poking my head into any number of surprise panels and talks.

If you want to make sure you see me, I would try your bestest to be at the closing talk of PAX Dev. But I’ve already said too much…

Doing some testing, and sharing an important video

Still messing about with the new capabilities of the blog.  One of the things I was always stymied about with Sharepoint is that it would never let me embed script or videos, so I always had to do things statically. No more! 

So I’m testing an embed of a video that is from an A&E special that is very important to me from the early 80’s.  It’s called “Moses Pendleton Presents Moses Pendleton” and it is about the world renowned founder of the Momix and Pilobolus dance groups. 


I love this special so much.  Not just because of the way it is filmed, or the subject (who is one of the most influential Choreographers in my lifetime), but because it taught me to appreciate an art I didn’t before.  And anything that does that, has to be special.

I could give you a lot of further preamble about why the video is important to me, but I think anyone who creates or wants to create or enjoys what others create will get it without me having to explain it.  Please enjoy.


from J. Mitchell Johnson on Vimeo.

Exciting Blog Adventure Time

So I’ve spent the last 48 hours configuring the blog and importing some content and I’ve rediscovered that I absolutely LOVE tinkering with shit I do not know or understand. You see, when you are silly like me and run with your own solution instead of just paying a service in the cloud or a designer, stuff breaks and doesn’t work right and you gnash your teeth.

I don’t build PC’s anymore.  I kind of miss it, because every PC I ever built from scratch invariably took a day to get to just boot up as I had to mess with BIOS settings and clock speeds and RAM configuration. 

Over the past 2 days I’ve configured this new software to withstand the level of hits that the hardware might experience, so I have tweaked and configured for that special case.  And in the process I broke and fixed a dozen things.  I also implemented a third party comment system, which also broke things I had to fix by hand.  Did I mention my platform is mostly meant to be run on Linux so most of the troubleshooting steps involve “grep the tarball” and “sudo the bin directory”? 

And yet it’s been a blast. Twitter helped me understand what setting in my Cascading Style Sheet was making the twitter badge on my site display a tiny font.  I got off the phone tonight with my friend Joel from Hijinks Ensue and was chomping at the bit to schedule backing up my new MySQL database, then schedule optimizing it!

I am a geek.  It’s at times like these that I am at my most comforted.  The twiddling.  The tweaking.  Running a test that shows some tiny change you made made a huge difference in [INSERT WHATEVER GEEK THING YOU NEEDED]. To my followers on twitter who are less than grease monkey when it comes to debugging PHP, I’m sorry.

To the rest however, REVEL IN OUR TIME.