Gitlab pages for static sites

I recently discovered gitlab pages when looking to host a static website. Rather than mucking about with hosting, nginx, let’s encrypt, etc. for static content why not try something new? I wanted to create a static page with a background video so I used some footage I captured at sunset with my Mavic Mini drone a couple of years ago. I’ve been sitting on this domain ( for ages, so why not? Some really quick (and dirty) angular, git, and some domain TXT entries and it works without issue. The video is hosted on Backblaze B2 rather cheaply too. Although I probably need to revisit encoding so it loads quicker.

Project Source:


Kenmore fridge defrost

I came back from vacation to a fridge that wouldn’t get cold and a freezer that was iced over in the back. I have a bottom-freeze model so I knew the issue – ice was clogging the duct that allows cold air up to the fridge. I’m guessing the defrost cycle didn’t kick in enough to defrost the back so I used some hot air to try and clear the path. That worked but there’s no easy way to trigger a manual defrost from the manual. Until I found this video which worked!

After a couple of cycles everything seems to be working better. I still have a Raspberry Pi monitoring the temperatures so I can keep an eye on it before I do some actual fixing. But so far, so good. See this post for that project:

A little warm after the defrost cycle but more in line…

Another host bites the dust

This site used to be hosted on for the longest time – it was a decent service for the longest time, and cheap, which made it ideal for a random blog. After a couple of years I had one issue trying to reboot a server that was stuck rebooting since November 2022 and I decided to reach out to support — which was non-existent. I tried to reach out to some folks on twitter and the same issue — then I get an e-mail that they’re finally shutting down after all this time. Well that sucks.

Around a couple of months ago I had moved a couple blogs and an old forum ( off that host and onto another, cheap, dedicated server at That was going well until August 31st I get an e-mail they’re shutting down immediately and to move stuff off. Welp, there goes another couple of hours trying to move websites and find a new host. I haven’t done it yet — I did grab backups — that’ll be done shortly as I get one set up.

So here we are, another host bites the dust. This post might go to the ether if I forget to grab the backups or transition to a new host in time. Time will tell, stick around if you randomly stumble here. It’ll be not that interesting 🙂

Ideally I could host from home like I did in the late 90s, but I haven’t looked into doing that with port forwarding, dynamic ips and the like. But worth exploring.

Fixing upload limit w/HTTPS-Portal and WordPress docker images

I was trying to upload this photo of my dog to test out some things and hit an issue with https-portal and the wordpress docker images. I thought I’d share my fixes since it wouldn’t let me upload anything over 1MB.

The https-portal has a limit of 1M, so you need to add the CLIENT_MAX_BODY_SIZE environment variable to whatever size you want, I went with 500M so I added that to my docker-compose file.

The wordpress container has a php.ini limit of about 2M as well, so you need to modify the uploads.ini file to be:

file_uploads = On
memory_limit = 500M
upload_max_filesize = 500M
post_max_size = 500M
max_execution_time = 600

That should do it. Finally to tie it all together if you’re using docker-compose you’ll need to add a volume section to copy that file into docker:

 - ./uploads.ini:/usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/uploads.ini

Hope this helps someone!

Fridge and Freezer Temperature Monitoring

A couple of weeks ago I had the unfortunate problem of my freezer’s auto-defrost not kicking on an the coils freezing completely. This led to my fridge not cooling down past 60. I had to take apart my freezer for the first time to de-ice the coils to get it working again. Then I got the bright idea of using some of the spare temperature probes I have and a spare Pi to monitor temperature. So I wired up a Pi and created a dashboard for monitoring temperatures in Grafana out of a postgres database.

Wiring was really simple, I just followed this guide to wire multiple probes up:

Code looks like this:

A couple of minutes in grafana and I get some cool graphs like this:

Continue reading “Fridge and Freezer Temperature Monitoring”

The Avenue Burger at Barrelhouse 101

Location: Ventura, CA.

I found this burger ( on Imgur and wanted to try it out since I’m nearby. It was really tasty with a lot of flavors going on. The spiciness was great at first too. Lots of chorizo flavor but not a lot of burger flavor after a while. The ingredients were all fresh and tasty. It made quite a mess but was delicious! I’d probably try a different burger there next time.

Gitlab Pages + Namecheap

I came across a small issue when trying to use some namecheap domains with Gitlab pages, namely two stupid joke pages: and I couldn’t get the verification to happen after adding the TXT entries. One simple support issue led me to find the reason, which is namecheap appends the domain automatically to the field.

So instead of entering like gitlab suggests for the host, just enter _gitlab-pages-verification-code.www for example, which will fill in the rest. That did the trick.

Hope it helps some other folks.

Road Trippin’ with a Tesla

I purchased a 2018 Model 3 LR RWD back in June 2018 and have absolutely enjoyed owning an electric car. I appreciate the very minimal maintenance and being able to just charge it up when I need to at home without planning on visiting a gas station ever again. I’ve also enjoyed road tripping with the Tesla as supercharging is very accessible, quick, and easily let’s you take some time from the road to stretch and explore new places. I just completed a nearly 1400 mile road trip through Vegas, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon and again it was quite a thrill to explore new places. I drove over 3700 miles last year through Yosemite, Yellowstone, Denver, and Roswell.

The vast majority of what makes a road trip with a Tesla enjoyable is that its a very great car to drive. Its quiet, has quite a lot of pep for passing, and autopilot (adaptive cruise control and lanekeeping) is absolutely the most amazing thing in the world. If you have the opportunity to consider getting a Tesla, take a test drive, you won’t regret it. Don’t worry about range anxiety, this car can handle it. Using the nav you’ll get updates if you need to slow down or need to charge to reach your destination. If you’re road tripping and can stay at a destination charger — do it, waking up with a full charge is amazing. Great job Tesla!

FYI: I own shares in Tesla.