Migrated to Hugo

When I set up this blog in 2012, WordPress was a natural choice for content management system. However, I recently decided to investigate using Hugo to generate this blog, and after some playing around, I made the leap. The biggest reason: I wanted the benefits of a statically-generated site. (Hugo is also more compatible with version control systems.) For the actual migration, I used Cyrill Schumacher’s WordPress to Hugo Exporter plug-in.

It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time (over a year) since I’ve posted on this blog, because I have (to put it mildly) been very busy with other responsibilities and passions that have taken me away from blogging. Also, I serve as a (low-level, volunteer-basis) officer in a political party, and as a result, I am sometimes reluctant to post my opinions in public, for fear that they might be taken (or portrayed) as official statements, despite my disclaimer (which, to be clear, says that everything written here is my personal opinion and does not reflect the position of my employer or any organization of which I am a member).

Rejoining the tweet-o-sphere

After a few years away, I am back on Twitter. I'm back on Twitter! — Chris Phan (@functoruser) April 7, 2014

PGP key

In reaction to recent events, I have created a PGP key, and have posted the public key on my web site. The fingerprint to this key is: 15A1 D221 79D1 2FEB 8BA4 4F47 33AB 9AD2 C4A9 A097 Personally, I have found GPG tools, a Mac implementation of GNU Privacy Guard, pretty easy to use.

Making a “Places I have been” map

For a while, I have maintained a list of places I’ve lived or visited as a note on Facebook. Recently, I decided to repatriate that content to this blog as a page. I also decided it would be nice to have a color-coded map of the states with the same information. Here’s how I made the map: I started with a blank SVG map of the states from the Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons license.

Deluge of comment spam

This blog has received a deluge of attempted comment spam recently. Spammers attempted to post over 150 comments since the beginning of June. I say “attempted” because every comment made to this blog by a new user is sent to moderation; I have had to manually delete every spam comment made so far. I don’t know what the spammers are hoping to achieve, given I am not interested in illegally acquiring prescription pain medication, and nobody else has seen their missives on this topic they have tried to post here.

How can this be for real?

Someone tried to leave this comment on my blog: Aug 21st 2012 – Interior decoration is a matter of pleasure or stress, depending on how you look at it. This technology is brand new and has only been around for the past 6 months. The flight is scheduled according to the needs of the passenger at his or her own pace complete with any stops or side-trips that may be requested.

blog name change

Administrative note: I’ve changed the name of this blog, reusing the name of my (now defunct and largely deleted) LiveJournal. I’m not sure I’m going to keep this name, either. Update: Okay, I changed it again. I might tinker more later. (I’m sure this is the most interesting post ever.)

System Administrator Appreciation Day

I have learned (from BoingBoing, TeXblog, and a few other places) that today is System Administrator Appreciation Day. I don’t know who the system administrators are for this site. I pay a company, NearlyFreeSpeech, to host this site,, and I have not had any communication with NearlyFreeSpeech, save a few automated emails reminding me to renew domains, et cetra, so I haven’t had an opportunity to get to know my sysadmins.

PhanBlog: now with blogroll!

I’ve added a blogroll, which you should see on the left of the main page of this blog. (Of course, some of these blogs regularly express opinions with which I disagree, so you shouldn’t construe inclusion on my blogroll as an endorsement of that author’s political views.)