Cale Byers

Update on Life

December 26, 2017

I need a convenient way to put up thoughts that aren't very long. Like my own version of Twitter on this website, so I don't spam the main blog feed. Everyone is used to posts being elsewhere—a newsfeed, timeline, profile, etc. It appears on some social platform, and it's cluttery, featuring stats and comments and other drivel.

Well this is as much of a post as any other, but this post is better. It's out on the open web, with no walled garden. Anyone can read this without logging in or subscribing or signing up for a website. I think pretty soon more people will post like this, like how they used to before social media destroyed ownership of data. Mastodon is an interesting project, but it's got a terrible name. But being able to host your own social data and have local servers around communities is a neat idea.

Anyhoo, back to the original scope of my post. I'm putting out a quick update on what I'm doing and what I need to do.

I have a ton of film to scan, and I absolutely hate scanning film. I wish I had just paid PhotoVision to dev/print/scan all of my film, but then I'd have spent another 4-500 dollars probably, so maybe it's not so terrible. Anyway, it's going to take hours upon hours of time to scan and sort everything, and then you have to edit also. TBH it's not such a bad deal to have them do it all, and if I was getting paid for my photography, I wouldn't think twice. Or if I was still gainfully employed, I would just do it and eat the costs.

So once I get a lot of film scanned and edit the better ones, I'm putting together a portfolio and trying to get my pictures featured in some galleries around town. There's also a photo group I recently joined on FB. I met one of the members at an antique shop on 3rd Street and was looking at an old Konica Autoreflex TC. It was trashed, and the lens wasn't in good shape either. The light meter on that camera isn't very good, and I already have the TC and T4. I was just browsing. Anyway, he suggested I join, so it'll be a good chance to meet people and get engaged with others.

Also, I've volunteered at the soup kitchen twice now, and I'm doing it to meet people and build trust with others. Since I'm working on this photography project, it's important for people to get to know me, and the food stuff is a nice venue for meeting a lot of people.

Before getting out in the community and spending time downtown, I wasn't aware of the extreme levels of economic hardship or wealth disparity. It's incredible. There are a lot of people struggling to get by, and at the same time, there are huge projects happening. I'd love to know how much that new hotel is going to cost to build. The rent is too damn high in this community.

I wonder what will be done to create affordable housing. That is the primary issue to solve. There's nowhere to live that's affordable with current wages. We need a system that allows someone to pay under $200 per month for basic shelter. Until we have very affordable housing, it's not going to be possible for many people to get ahead or have a shot at succeeeding.

This post is going all over the place and not at all what I originally planned. I'll do some bullet points and see if that helps:

  • Scan film, organize, filter good photos
  • Contact local galleries and meet with photo club
  • Come up with a better homepage for my website
  • Get a portfolio system along with the homepage
  • Apply for work at different places
  • Explore fundraising for photojournalism
  • Take some film shots of food for marketing
  • Learn more web stuff to get freelance jobs
  • Newspaper advertising??
  • Going to rejoin the newspaper on campus
  • Need to improve the newspaper website
  • Lazy/easy option would be to roll a thin/lite version
  • Participate in city/college committees
  • Buy a cheap laptop???

Okay I'm just wasting time at this point... I can accomplish all of this on a piece of paper. I'm not sure what I'm even doing. It's 2:14am now, and I'm actually tired. I might go to a concert on NYE in Eugene, but who knows. I can't believe school is going to start on the 3rd. This break has been so short. I've been slowly purchasing stuff for my apartment, like pans, silverware, etc. I have a few other things to buy, and then I'll mostly be functional with everything.

Oh, I finally remembered what I wanted to blog about. There's a growing trend to use static websites, which is what this website does. It means you have your webpage already created, and you don't do server-side code to generate webpages. People can just click a link, and the page gets sent to them. It's pretty simple and straightforward. It's how I thought the web was supposed to work. I'll admit that it sounds pretty cool to be able to manipulate pages and do all sorts of fancy tricks, but I think it's not worth the complexity. You need to be able to understand what's going on, and the only way I can do that is by typing every bit of html that's coming from my site.

However, it's starting to get to the point where learning a static site generator would be helpful. It would let me focus on higher level stuff instead of having to type all of the paragraph tags or other syntax elements. Anyway, I am going to go to sleep soon. But the main cool thing is that people are tired of bloated sites, and static things are going to be the future, so there's a market demand. Hopefully I can learn some basic stuff and tie this in with my mission to destroy squarespace.