print(“Hello World!”);

First post! So enthuse! Welcome to my blog and my new domain. I wanted to say something more than hello so here is a meta post about the blog itself.

I’ve set this blog up as an outlet for recording my thoughts on a few topics which are interesting to me and take up enough of my time to warrant writing on. If you couldn’t guess, they are:

  • Data science – mostly statistical inference, probability, and predictive modeling…but I expect also to write on topics such as R, scripting, DevOps, linux, and application development;
  • Insurance – specifically on industry current topics as they intersect with politics and society;
  • Bikes – two wheels and two pedals (or four, if we include tandems). I like to ride them, wrench on them, “collect” (aka hoard) them, and sometimes take an extended bikepacking trip with one;
  • The Meaning of Life – the big one, but I felt it was time for someone to take it on. Anything that might somehow relate either directly or indirectly to the meaning of life is fair game here.

I enjoy learning new (and old but new to me) technologies and applying them at work and at home. Here are the technologies I’m using so far for this blog itself:

  • Virtual Hardware: I spun up an Ubuntu 18.04 VM hosted in Azure to host the blog/database. I wanted a server instead of a WordPress service so that I can have more control of the backend and build+deploy small applications to incorporate into blog posts for demonstrations. It’s super easy to provision resources in the cloud – knowing what resources to provision and how to make them work together is the hard part (and why ‘Cloud Architect’ is a well-paid profession). I chose the two-core D2s for $70 per month for this first month but I’ll be scaling down to maybe the single-core B1ms for ~$30 per month.
  • LAMP stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and php. From a little browsing I’ve gathered that this is the go-to open source stack for dynamic websites. I didn’t need to be told to use Linux because I’ve been promoting it at work for the past 5 years, though RHEL is the preferred distro there and I’m running Ubuntu here. Software setup was simple following this guide.
  • WordPress: self-evident, installed with 2 commands from the shell and configured in under 15 minutes. Here’s another guide – I cheat as much as I can.
  • Writee: a free theme for WP. I’m not sure that I will stick with this one but it seemed good to get started and geared towards blogs.

That’s it for now, will catch up soon with some recent content I’ve been saving up for once I got this going.

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