TheodoreSLaBarbera.com

Since 2003, the off-ramp on the Information Superhighway.

Tag: wayback machine

State of the Website 2017

2017Friends, family, colleagues, and total strangers one and all, what a crazy second half of 2016 it was.

A healthy, handsome, happy, smart, funny, and wonderful grandson was born, filling our hearts with joy and love. This amazing blessing allowed our family to persevere through otherwise what were troubled times, filled with wrecked automobiles, hurricanes, surgeries, eldercare issues, and financial woes. Truly, it was never a dull moment.

Making matters worse, my employer of the past five years saw fit to let me and 1,000 of my coworkers go right before the holidays. I honestly cannot say it was a surprise on any level–the Powers That Be had sought to marginalize my contributions for nearly a year, and the company over all has struggled mightily as management reshaped and reorganized operations and mission time and again while trying to desperately find a strategy that worked. So be it, that’s the way the world turns, it just sucks that we find ourselves in a new year fraught with great uncertainty.

So, with all of that going on, you will forgive your humble website owner if I failed to notice that the damn site was down for the better part of a month. Blame a wayward WordPress widget for its failure to render XML and do its WordPress-thing correctly. Blame GoDaddy for having no mechanism for alerting me to site issues and extended downtime. Or, just blame me for not even bothering to check out the site from time to time to see what’s up. Anyway, all issues have since been rectified, albeit at the cost of losing the content that was originally there. Which just means 2017 provides yet another opportunity for a fresh start, and new posts! Besides, I still have all/most of my archives, downloaded from the famed Internet Wayback Machine, so as I find time in my unemployment perhaps I’ll just slowly repost and republish my so-called Greatest Hits.

As to 2017, I’m filled with an amazing sense of optimism and hope despite my inner dread and anxiety. The economy has proven robust, and hopefully will continue to provide prosperity as our new president makes america great again. So, opportunities will be there to find a place where I can contribute to a team that leads digital transformation and strategy to disrupt a major industry, be it financial services or wherever. If that doesn’t work, I can always follow my heart and take those classes to be the Certified Financial Planner I’ve always wanted to be. Will we stay here in beautiful, warm, sunny Charleston, or will a new location bring new chances for a clean slate? Fate will serve as the ultimate arbiter.

But, most importantly, will the New York Mets win the 2017 World Series? If healthy, the pitching and lineup are there to make an historic run deep into the playoffs for the third-straight season.

It should all make for a fascinating journey. As to you, loyal reader, make sure you take the time to enjoy every step along the way, and cherish each memory for the values they hold near and dear to your heart.

Peace out, and talk again soon! Love you, whoever is reading this!

Hooray for the Wayback Machine!

Geek Soap BoxI’ve been writing and publishing stuff on the Internet since, by my count, 2003.

It started with a humble, hand-coded HTML and Cold Fusion-powered site located at this very domain, followed by blogs on an array of platforms from LiveJournal to BlogSpot to WordPress to SquareSpace to Tumblr. One “Instalanche” aside, it was never about attracting an audience or making big bucks; I wrote for me, as a catharsis for my soul and to entertain the small handful of close friends from the real world that stopped by to read and comment.

I did also wind up with one major, life-changing thing happening as a result of my writing, of course. I can remember it as clearly as if happened yesterday, when a random, unknown girl (then residing in Pennsylvania) who went by the handle “Miss Understood” started frequenting the blog and leaving her thoughts in the comments. Over time we became e-mail friends, then moved to the telephone, and then finally met one fateful weekend in Savannah, GA. Today, you know that lovely lady as my wife, teejcee. The Internet owed me for a Catfishing-like fiasco (before that was even a word) back in college, and boy did it pay me back in spades.

Sadly, though, nearly all of my writings have since been lost to history. I used to be rather masochistic and self-destructive, and would occasionally delete my entire site and archives entirely purely to spite myself over some bout of depression or anxiety or whatnot. Believe you me, that is a terrible way to live, and I’m glad those incidents are at a minimum these days, as I’ve learned to better love and accept myself and be comfortable in my own skin.

But looking back, man I miss those posts. It ain’t Shakespeare, but a lot of fun was had each night trying to come up with new, interesting content, and in engaging with my buddies in political discourse and the occasional smack-talk. I’ve forever regretted my rash moves to wipe all traces of myself off of the grid, and wish I could have it all back.

Well, maybe I can, at least a little. As fate would have it, the famed Wayback Machine managed to crawl and index some of my sites over the years, and those posts are still up at archive.org in a limited capacity. So far, I’ve managed to find and save maybe 50 or more posts dating from 2006 and 2011, covering topics from the War on Terror to Transformers to Anthony Weiner (who, amazingly, is still in the fucking news for doing the same shit this many years later!).

(As an aside, how ginormous does the Wayback Machine’s servers have to be? It’s a comprehensive archive of whole swaths of the Web over the course of decades now, not to mention all sorts of public domain media such as books, music, videos, and more. The pure size and power of all that data and accumulated knowledge and history proves mind-boggling.)

So, what does this mean for today’s iteration of this site? Well, I think I am going to (very slowly) cut and paste and publish these old posts as I find them, tagging them with the correct dates and content. For some, history has taught us many lessons and the world is a vastly different place, so I might have a quick “TSL Update” at either the beginning or end to remark on what was and what has since come to pass. It will be a fascinating look back into my own personal history, as well of that of America, technology, and so much more. If you want to come along for the ride, you are always more than welcome, dear reader. If not, I’ll keep the new and fresh content up top like any good blog, so you won’t even notice.

What a ride it’s been! Let’s hope the journey in front of us proves just as fascinating and rewarding, if not moreso!