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Time to put Serendipity out to pasture

I have been running this site on Serendipity. It has served me well but it is time to move on. I initially started using it because I wanted something simpler than what I had been using and it seemed to fit the bill. However, it did require an SQL server. This did not initially bother me since that is a common enough requirement. The various systems that I had used previously worked the same basic way. In general, this just makes tghings easier.

However, I am running it on The service there is good and designed around only paying for what you actually use. I am using an SQL server so I am paying extra for that piece on a site that I rarely touch.

I could, of course, edit the html by hand like I have done previously and it would work. I just did not feel like it. The primary reason for having this site is to fiddle with things. This is what lead me to looking at static site generators. The idea is to continue to separate the content from the formatting but to generate all of the html files once instead of each time a page is requested. This means that they do not have to have an SQL database if they have one at all. This is simpler and easier on the web server.

Initially, I looked just using shell scripts that used articles in individual pages and html fragments to build pages. However, I was not happy with the results and I did not want to spend a much of time exporting and reformatting the articles from the old system. This lead to my second requirement of automatic importing of the old articles.

Finally, I wanted to host it on OpenBSD so I was looking for something that would be easy to run on it. After a bit of digging I ended up with Pelican. It is not an ideal system since a few of the pieces do not seem to map perfectly to OpenBSD. However, they are minor and I have worked around them for now.

The next steps are to review the articles and make sure they came over correctly. The import was not perfect and there are some extraneous bits in the content files. I did consider scripting the cleanup since they are just Markdown files but I decided I wanted to verify them myself to be on the safe side. There are well over 500 articles so I am going to just remove them from the Serendipity blog as I verify they are in the new site. This also gives me a chance to clean up the formatting and typographical errors. I am not sure how long it will take but the few I have done so far did not take that long.

Quote of the Day

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
-- Luke 12:48

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese

This is apparently an Alton Brown recipe. My family thought the sharp cheddar was a bit much, might be worth going half and half with a mild cheddar. Either way, it is a good place to start.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded


1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Quote of the Day

Success makes life easier. It doesn't make living easier.
-- Bruce Springsteen

Wii U hooks up to the TV

The kids and I home due to weather related school closings. I know that on days like this that I have to watch them like a hawk. If boredom sets in we could end up with a completely trashed house. It was this situation that led me to investigate a suddenly quiet living room. Instead of problems I found my kids were crowded around the gamepad watching something via Netflix. It looked ridiculously uncomfortable so I suggested they just turn on the TV so they can both watch easier. Now, they had been playing with just the gamepad a lot lately. I operated under the assumption that my kids were trying to be polite or save electricity. It seems they thought the Wii U was the worlds largest Gameboy. My son actually said he forgot that the Wii U works on the TV.