Websites I have known and loved, Or…

…The stupid amount of websites I have

Over the years I have, for no particular reason, managed to accumulate a collection of websites that I manage. And don’t get me started on the number of email addresses I have (at last count it was 7 active ones give or take). My hosting package doesn’t put a limit on how many sites I host, so I have never been reluctant to add another…none of them get much traffic in the big scheme of things anyway so why not.

So I thought I would collect all the websites I currently host/manage here and add a brief raison d’être. Chronologically I think. Why? For no particular reason…

It is hard to remember which came site actually first. But the first post on this Blogger website was November 29, 2002 at 4:21 so I guess it must be the winner.

Welcome to the Blog… 
Hopefully this will house the daily diaries of (B)ruce (L)eslie (A)nd (Z)ak’s (E)lectronic (BLAZE) lives. Come back and visit whenever…

I used it for a few months and then abandoned it. Something about trusting a third party to house all my info didn’t sit right. And given the number of web services that have come and gone I think I was right. Blogspot fortunately was purchased by Google and remains a viable service to this day. Abandoned by me, unused by Z, it quickly became L’s home on the web and she posts to it every few months or so. About once every couple of years I come by and screw with the design or logo. It is one of two sites who’s content isn’t under my direct control.

You are here.

The first post I can find is September 1, 2005.

Geek Post

Trials of being an incompetent geek

As you can see I installed Blojsom on the server and am now hosting my own blog. Currently running a Ruby g3 iMac with OS x Server 10.3.9 and hosting this website, some mysql stuff and now the blog.

Installing the Blojsom was as easy as they say on one had and weird on the other. You are supposed to download the WAR file and install it in the Tomcat director and voila.

Easy you say, and it is if that’s all there was to it. To start with the download kept giving me a .jar file which was new to me. Fix: download on the PC and then move the WAR file over to Ruby…

As you can see from the content it wasn’t actually the first iteration of this blog, but it is all that remains. There are also a number of posts on the blog that have dates in the 90s, but that is because one day I sat down and typed in all my bad poetry from over the years and backdated the posts to when they were actually written. Be that as it may, it has been my online home for 15+ years with on again/off again attention being paid to it. 

I initially ran it on my  own home server and eventually moved on to a variety of hosting services. It has gone through a bunch of redesigns and I try to do all the coding myself to keep my hand in. At last glance it was over 3 gig to backup so it is pretty hefty these days. It will remain my online home for pretty much forever I guess.

Oh, and the name? Well as seen in the first entry,(B)ruce (L)eslie (A)nd (Z)ak’s (E)lectronic… was an early online identity. About that time I also started an email account and couldn’t get blaze as the address so decided to use macblaze instead. And it stuck. So since I was hosting this site on my mac, when I started using a dns forwarder, I snagged as the url. In 2009 I finally shelled out and bought and moved it all to that. And here we are.

Eventually I found myself changing jobs and realized I had no place to showcase my professional stuff. I had been working with a few colleagues who were in the same boat and thought maybe we needed someplace where we could show off our fresh start. So I bought

As these things go, a home for our collaboration didn’t emerge as a necessity and so the domain lay dormant until I picked it up and started adding stuff. I think the first big push was when I applied for a design job and realized that I had no portfolio. I quickly stuffed a bunch of stuff into a wordpress template and went off to my interview.

Over time I have played around with the site, adding first stained glass and then my ebook projects, but it really is the neglected child. A complete revamp is on the to do list, but I will need to get one of those elusive ’round tuits.”

And then we went sailing. And if you have a sailboat, you have to have a blog right? As soon as we settled on a name for our new boat, I bought and  started adding content. Of all my websites, it gets the most traffic (nothing major though) and I probably have spent the most effort there over the last 3 or 4 years.

I have a few committed followers and even get some unsolicited comments once in a while. I mainly set out to make a home for all our learning experiences and hope that the readers I do get learn something about noobs buying a boat, and perhaps make their boat-buying experiences easier.

When we returned from cruising a friend of ours proposed starting up a weekly cocktail tradition and boozily working our way through the wonderful world of high-class hooch. How could we say no? So we started whipping up cocktails every week, taking some pictures and writing up our experiences. As of today there are 102 different cocktails ranging back to the 1890s, with recipes, photographs and our impressions. 

Life has gotten busier so we rarely manage to hit our weekly schedule anymore but we are still experimenting, drinking and posting as our schedules allow. Check it out if you are looking for some booze ideas. We also have an Instagram stream: @theboozephiles

In 2015 L wrote a book. It’s great…you should buy it! 

And when it came out we realized she need a home for her professional maundering an authorial web presence. For some reason—I can’t really remember why…maybe tax reasons?—we decided to host it on It is the second website who’s content is out of my direct control, but I have all the original content so I am less paranoid about it. 

And yes, she does read with a pencil (and a pen).

The site hosts L’s bio, links to the book, some of her writings and a whole passel of YA and children’s book reviews. Looking for a good book for your kids? Check it out… And she’s got another book under contract so eventually that one will be added to the site as well. And it is sadly overdue for a complete redesign as well. You can follow Reading with a Pencil on Facebook too!

Speaking of neglected children

I made this site one day after spending the Xmas holidays with the family. My brother has been making and selling woodwork under the Beakerwood brand for a decade. But he had no web presence. So as a gift, I bought the domain and whipped up a site for him. 

It was a bit more content-rich at one point but has fallen into disrepair. I went through and cleaned it up last year and it remains now as not much more than a splash page and contact info. He has gotten a few sales off it but not much. A project for the future…

This is a friend’s site. Again, we were looking to create a more active business with an online presence but reality (and work) got in the way. Still it remains as a contact page for any freelance work that might come up. Looking for an editor? Art director? I can highly recommend you start here.

This last one is currently not much more than a domain name and a placeholder image. I threw it up after a friend said they had  purchased the domain with a unique idea in mind. It turned out it was an idea who’s time has not yet come—but it will… oh yes, it will!