On This Day

I was recently reading John Johnston’s blog, and I noticed he had an “On this day” tab that led to a page that lists all the posts he had written on that day over the life of his blog. He then went on to note:

This page uses Alan’s wp-posted-today: WordPress plugin provides shortcode for displaying posts published on current day. I find it fascinating, it also allows me to do some digital gardening, mending broken images and links as I wander through my past.

So cool, after seeing it on John’s blog I vaguely remember Alan programmed this bit of magic, but in my rush to the next thing I never stopped to install it. What’s more, John’s notion of using this plugin to help weed his blog garden and keep his archive in order seemed like an eminently practical way to keep things from degenerating entirely. One of the things that haunts me about this blog is the thought of all the broken images, defunct links, and Youtube videos long since taken down. The significant toll of not-that-much time on the web is a stark reminder of its fragility. So, I decided to install the plugin and use it not only to be reminded of ideas past (that very well could have been written by someone or something else), as well as to use it as a daily reminder to clean-up the archive. I’m hoping the little-by-little, day-after-day approach over the next year is less intimidating than trying to do it all in a few weeks.

The ‘on this day” page linking to post from the bava archive written on this day, plugin thanks to Alan Levine

So after installing the plugin this morning I went to the “On this day” page and saw the following:

There are 13 posts previously published on September 4th

  • 2021
    • Robot Tour of Reclaim Arcade This morning I streamed and recorded a tour of Reclaim Arcade via the robot. It’s always fun to do this kind of thing, and hopefully this video gives you some sense of the space.
    • A Quick Tour of Owncast I spent some of yesterday and this morning playing with an open source streaming software called Owncast. Mo Pezel told me about it last month, and when I saw Digital Ocean had a marketplace app I decided to try and … Continue reading ?
  • 2017
  • 2014
    • Creating GIFs with Text in GIMP Here is a quick screencast showing you how to add text to GIFs in GIMP. And keep in mind, GIFs don’t necessarily need text for the summary assignment. And here’s a GIF with text ?
    • Wire 106: S01E11 “The Hunt” Meredith Fierro, Jessica Reingold, Paul Bond and I discussed Episode 11 of Season 1 of The Wire: “The Hunt.” This was special for me because it’s the first time we had UMW students enrolled in ds106 join the discussions about the … Continue reading ?
  • 2013
    • What I’m up to…. Think of this as a placeholder post until I can get around blogging each one of the points below in some detail. We’re already midway through week 2 of the semester and I’m desparately trying to keep my head above … Continue reading ?
  • 2011
  • 2010
    • Child Bride (1938) So, I recently got the latest issue of Filmfax (my favorite magazine in the world) and it was a good one. As soon as a I got it I was heading directly for the article on Peter Hyams’s NASA conspiracy … Continue reading ?
    • Rosemary’s Baby: A Retrospective This is a quick and fascinating retrospective on one of the great horror films of the late twentieth-century: Rosemary’s Baby (1967). It’s interesting to hear what Polanski thought of as the best scenes and shots, and even wilder to realize … Continue reading ?
    • Blood Meridian: Some Quotes 224:”…the bull had planted its feet and lifted the animal rider and all clear off the ground…” Image source: “Six versions of Blood Meridian” I’ve been reading and re-reading Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian most of the Summer, and I don’t think … Continue reading ?
  • 2009
  • 2008

Crazy, I wrote 13 posts on September 4th since 2008, and this one will make 14. It’s interesting to see some of the trends of this blog, there’s a fair amount of earlier blogging about movies, such as Bad Boys, Mildred Pierce, Broadway Danny Rose, and Rosemary’s Baby. Most of those early film posts are relatively brief, and some just have links to videos (long gone now).  There is a real sense of the blogosphere before Twitter took over given the short posts that could garner 4 or 5 long, thoughtful comments. Or even folks using one of my  posts as inspiration to write their own, as Antonio Vantaggiato does in response to the Broadway Danny Rose post. And then there’s a post like Child Bride (1938) which was a throw away reflection on an article in Filmfax that has become one of my most regularly commented upon and regularly read posts over the last ten years. It’s a post I cringe about in retrospect given the subject matter, and then the comments have turned into a strange genealogical fishing expedition that’s taken on a life of its own.

Several of those posts housed long-broken links to videos that I’m not entirely certain were from my terminated Youtube account or not. I took the liberty to update them with videos I believe I originally posted, but then again I really can’t remember. Did the original Bad Boys scene I included feature Sean Penn using a pillowcase full of soda cans to defend himself? Or was it the opening robbery scene? I have no idea, and that is one of the strangest things of having a blog for so long that you poured endless hours laboring over, 15 years later you have little to no idea what you were thinking.

After the movie posts, there are some ds106 posts, which is not a huge surprise 🙂 One was an instructional screencast for making GIFs with text, and the other a wire106 video conversation with ds106 students—including Reclaim’s Meredith Fierro!—reflecting on a specific episode of the HBO series The Wire. Unfortunately, both the screencast and the discussion video were uploaded to UMW’s short-lived Mediacore service, which was not renewed and many of those videos seem to have been lost.* Appears linked video is the most fragile piece of my archive, and I’ve been trying to rectify that by preserving as many videos as I can on bava.tv for posterity.

“EdTech transmissions: We Control the Vertical and the Horizontal” at Maricopa College

There is also a reflection post on my presentation at Maricopa Community College in 2011, which brings back amazing memories of Northern Voice 2011 and the legendary Sanctuary jam session, as well as the subsequent trip to Phoenix with Cogdog to not only present on the magic of ds106, but also to head to Strawberry and spend some downtime with the blog king himself.

What I’m up to….

Possibly the most informative snapshot post from this list is the “What I’m Up to…” written in 2013 (ten years ago to the day!) that highlights a series of projects, including the then newly-formed Reclaim Hosting. After that, there’s a couple of Reclaim-related posts, such as this one about accessing multiple hosting accounts in cPanel via the WHMCS API or this one about playing with Owncast on Reclaim Cloud.

Robot Tour of Reclaim Arcade

And to top it all off, there is the robot tour of Reclaim Arcade in 2021 (long before the renovations), how crazy is that?

It’s hard to fully express all the different feelings going through my mind browsing this list of 13 posts. I think there is something to this attempt to document one’s work on a blog, if for nothing else than to remember it 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, John, and thanks for the plugin, Alan, it made my Labor Day! And hopefully it will prove to be the fitness program this blog’s archive has long needed.


*I am currently downloading backups from S3 of my computer from around that time to see if I can salvage anything, but I am not hopeful.

This entry was posted in Archiving, bava.tv, bavatuesdays, blogging, plugins, WordPress. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On This Day

  1. Alan Levine says:

    Thanks for bringing some joy on this day that this old plugin works. I’ve also had use for cases using a precise date, like on the olde blog’s birthday.

    We still love this blogging! Waiting for all those bava xmas toy posts to show up on many days.

  2. John says:

    Hi Jim,
    A pingback! not seem one of those for a while.
    On the weeding, what I like best is that I don’t worry about missing things, they will pop up next year. I find archive.org really good for most of my missing images and redirecting broken links.
    I think this plugin has given more fun that most:-)

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