Burningbird Just Shelley

Weblog Penance

How many times have I written about this change or that to my site? Not enough, it seems.

I’m in the process of using that wonderful, magnificent site The Wayback Machine to recover posts from all my various incarnations of weblogs and whatnot sites. Yes, I do have backups from recent sites, but not the ones from 1998, or 2003, or 2015, and so on. And certainly not all the posts for all variations of weblogs I’ve had.

I estimate now that I’ve had a weblog, split or singular, on 83 domains and subdomains. Does anyone remember Thank the NRA? Bad Kitty? Missouri Green? Practical RDF? BB Gun? Script Teaser?

I split my weblog and combined it dozens of times, utilizing 23 different domains, and probably twice that many subdomains.

Even my main site, my weblog, this thing here…it’s been accessed as,, and, in addition to the location.

To make things even more interesting, sometimes the article URIs would be listed as ‘fires’, other times as ‘nodes’, sometimes as the full date, and finally, just the post title.

I was on Blogger, and on Graymatter, on Movable Type and Drupal, on Radio, and now on WordPress. I began with manually coded static web pages, back before weblogs and weblogging software were things. I even tried my hand at creating my own weblogging software: Wordform, a  fork of the early WordPress software.

And not since the very earliest days have I had all of my writings in one single site.

So, I’m recovering each writing/post/article, one at a time, either from my own backups, or mostly from the Wayback Machine. I’ve already recovered over 1300 posts, but I estimate I have about 4000 or so to go.

I think it was Tim Bray who spoke out, decades ago, about the wrongness of missing webpages—the 404s we have come to know and dislike. That’s the beauty of The Wayback Machine: web pages aren’t gone for good, they’re just finding a comfortable niche to settle into for a good sleep.

Thanks to Internet Archive for providing The Wayback Machine, I’ll be able to restore most of my writing. However, I shouldn’t use the word ‘restore’ to describe what I’m doing. After all, ‘restoring’ sounds somewhat noble—as if I’m taking a fine old web site and returning it to its glory.

I’m really not restoring my web sites: I’m doing penance for not being able to sit still for 26 years.

Just Shelley

Me and dolls

Scanning and uploading old family photos.

My parents used to give cool gifts to my brother. Train sets, car sets, interesting toys that could do things.

Me? Dolls.

Want to know my opinion of dolls?

me, holding a doll, not looking very impressed

Art Just Shelley

My mother’s pen and ink

The first image is “One of the Family”, by Frederick Cotman, painted in 1880.

The second image shows the same painting, but this time in black and white from a magazine page. This second image is coated with ink marks, stains, and other signs of wear. The reason why is my mother used this painting as inspiration for the only pen and ink drawings she’s ever done.

I happen to have the first, and the best of her pen and inks, in image three. Mom gave it to Dad, who passed it on to me when he went into assisted living.

Mom took some liberties with interpreting the original artwork. For one, the father figure was dropped from her work. I’m not sure if it’s because Mom thought the he was extraneous for the work, or she was making a symbolic choice reflecting her ambivalence about the men in her life.

The rest of the images are of Mom’s pen and ink. I thought I would provide some detail. It took quite a bit of time to scratch this piece out.