Everything I said last night turned out to be a lie. I could have continued on the manual route, but it was so ugly and repetitive that I couldn’t take it. I got the database up and running today and carved out all of the bits of data except for the tags since I’m not totally sure what I want to do about the taxonomy yet. The page looks exactly the same, except now it’s dynamically populated. Progress!

I also had a massive case of A.D.D. because we had clear blue skies today and even though it was kind of chilly (in the 40’s), I had to take advantage of it and take the drone out for some proper flying. SO MUCH FUN. I went to max altitude, which is just about 400ft, and spun it around for a 360º view of the area. I could see the Manasquan River really easily, but what I didn’t except was to be able to see the ocean from here! Pretty cool. Next nice day, I think I’m ready for some flying outside of the neighborhood. Oh, and yes, I did have a few minor incidents today. A run-in with a tree branch, a run-in with my car’s antenna (don’t ask), and I flipped the drone over on the roof of the house trying to take off on a not-perfectly-horizontal surface. No damage though beyond some leaves and petals splattered on the body of the drone. I’ve named him Bumble by the way. Like a bee. But also like the abominable snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Here’s my first little video:

Anyway, back to the website. Now that it’s dynamically populating, I’m waiting for an old .sql file to restore from Amazon Glacier. I’d written a few location guides a few years back and I didn’t want to start completely from scratch. Besides actually filling in the content, there isn’t much to do at the moment. I’m not ready to touch the home page and I haven’t done a thing about the logo or anything on the branding front. I still feel like I need at least 3-4 places loaded in so I can fully understand where they need to be linked together and what sort of data I have to work with and to surface elsewhere. A big part of it is figuring out what data I have reliably across all places vs. just a few.

There are some interesting integrations I’ve been considering with things like weather and currency rates, but I think for now I’m just going to link off to those things and once the skeleton site is up and running I can consider it as an improvement.

Hopefully the Glacier restore will be done in the next few hours and I can populate the content tonight. Then tomorrow I can link it all together somehow and that will be the basics!

Things I’ve learned thus far:

  • I really need to get up to speed on something like React or Ember. Or maybe a templating language. I know my code isn’t up to modern standards.
  • I prefer the “whatever tool you need to get the job done” approach. Yes, PHP is a tired old workhorse and it’s not as snazzy as Node or anything else the “kids” are using these days, but it’s the one I know and can work most quickly in, so it’s the one I go to. There’s a time to learn new things and a time to build.
  • I get a lot of enjoyment out of writing CSS. I think I find it like coloring. It’s soothing.
  • I’m going to have to take more care in my future travels to make sure I get certain types of photos that will suit the site better.

Next check in will probably be later tonight or tomorrow morning. Enjoy the drone video until then :)