eloped with dev

black squares

Why is it so uncomfortable to talk publicly about the George Floyd situation? After a brief 1 minute introspection, I suspect it mainly comes down to this huge aversion to being a social justice warrior altogether. So I remain silent with my public face (mainly instagram, hoping to replace that with p4p soon). I'm not ignoring the topic- I've talked about it with friends, family, and even my coworkers. I've seen the developments as they've unfolded, mainly focused on sharing the truly incriminating videos of law enforcement destroying property and attacking non-violent protestors (which is unconscionable in any scenario).

Then, I found it- a friend from Gainesville who had the perfect post. He did not come across as a social justice warrior... he genuinely contributed his thoughts to the subject. He didn't even address any organization or name, it was perfectly implied through context. He relayed a podcast on the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance, and suggested it to anyone who needs a relveant distraction and desires to understand the human condition. That's how engagement on the subject should be done. Genuinely contribute your take on the matter instead of regurgitating the same things everyone in your immediate audience obviously agrees with. He gave me the direct answer to my own dilema, and as a result, am taking direct action to write an article about it on my perfectly unread website.

I talked to my younger brother about this, and he seems to mostly share the same sentiment I do, which is validating (while also cautioning that he's practically a genetically-identical echo chamber).

place4pals dev

After a month of idleness, I finally resumed development on place4pals. I was dejected from continuing development because I'd wasted time building the service on DigitalOcean using Auth0 when I should've been using AWS from the get-go. Ontop of that, I was developing it from a web-first approach using Preact, but decided that I should do mobile-first using React Native. So I scrapped all of that code and worked on a fresh React Native project using Expo. I've finally moved everything to AWS, and now I'm mostly back to where I was ~3 months ago.

It's exciting. I really enjoy building this thing out. Hasura is a godsend for handling API queries, and it's so nice to stop worrying about complex SQL queries/relationships and focus more heavily on frontend development.

This is quickly becoming a "development diary". Which is cool! Oh man. Life is abundant.


After a 4 hour coding binge, I made these updates to the website:

  • Ability to comment on posts
  • Ability to view individual posts
  • Feeds fade-in after loading
  • Increased line-height
  • Working contact form

I started by consolidating my backend stuff to a single Lambda function (api.heythisischris.com). This handles retrieving the GitHub Feed, the News Feed, handling comments, and sending emails from the contact form.

I created a "heythisischris" table in my place4pals database to handle the commenting stuff. I didn't have a database for this site before because I didn't need one- I was retrieving these posts straight from Standard Notes' blogging server, Listed.to (blog.heythisischris.com). All newly posted comments are associated with a "post-guid", which is the identifier for the Listed.to blog post. I'm retrieving the Listed.to rss feed, then querying the database for comments with a matching post-guid, and including them before returning the parsed XML response.

I also wanted to give users the ability to delete their comments. I'm handling this by keeping track of a user's IP address when they comment. If the comment is written in the same IP address that the user is viewing this website, there'll be a "delete" button ready for them to use.

I'm tired. My eyes are heavy. But I'm happy. I had recently written about my struggles with self-motivation, and this spontaneous sprint has given me a bit more hope that I'm capable of cultivating internal resolve.

a few words on motivation

Finding the motivation to work on your own projects is tough. There are so many things I want to do- create a useful VS Code extension, write detailed a Medium article on how to correctly configure some type of AWS stack, finish recording that overworked album of yours.

Most days I spend ~10% of my time contributing towards these projects, and the rest fretting/procrastinating/waiting. Delayed gratification is an unexercised muscle atrophied by perfectionism. And looming behind this, of course, is an exhausting list of open issues from work (which I'm enormously grateful for, don't get me wrong- it's just distracting).

I guess I'm trying to change that with this website. Maybe, just maybe, by creating some facade of a professional appearance, I can trick myself into allocating my time "like a professional". Spend 2 hours on Project X daily. Make sure you commit at least once a week to Project Y. Write about how your development experience with Project Z. But most importantly, have more faith in your own abilities. Don't worry if it's not perfect, just push it!

and it begins...

And so, I publish my first post. Wish I could get a nice feed from Standard Notes to my website. That'd be extremely swell. I could update my posts on the fly... and potentially include hypertext markup? We'll see.

EDIT: Yes you can. Sick.