New tumbledry

I’ve been working on this version of tumbledry since January of this year — there were times I never thought it would be finished — and yet, we’re almost there now. During the next few days, there will be a short beta period in which I will add a few features and iron out any remaining kinks; leave comments here with your thoughts.

There’s an adage in the web development industry — don’t overhaul different parts of a website simultaneously. I only found out about this little piece of wisdom mid-way through trying to overhaul every single goll-darn last component of this website. Ultimately, my approach was a bad, but quite fruitful, method.

I’d like to reserve this paragraph for Mr. Justin Gehring. First, Justin and Amber got married this past weekend — congrats, you guys! Second, Justin has been kind enough to host tumbledry since before it was even called tumbledry. Yes, my writing space used to be at alex.jrcorps.com — five years have passed since then. In addition to hosting me, Justin has helped me with web-design for, well, about a decade now. Nothing you see here would exist were it not for Justin’s boundless patience and generosity.

I now politely say “farewell” to hosting with Justin, as he is cycling himself out of the hosting and into the web design and management business. So, tumbledry no longer lives in Minnesota. We reside at Joyent, in Sausalito, California.

Thanks for visiting, and allow me to raise a virtual glass to the entertaining years of tumbledry ahead. I’m excited.

6 comments left



Congrats on the new site! It looks great! You are sitting next to me as I am typing this and it’s kind of weird!

Love you!


Congrats indeed. The paper grain does convey a sense of maturity. And your mention of hosting reminds me of something I had often thought to ask but never did. Have you ever thought about expanding your corner of the web, perhaps hosting or developing other sites or increasing the scope of tumbledry? I understand it’s been a highly personal endeavor and can’t demand full attention due to circumstances of life, but I’d guess expansion must be something you’ve considered?


I did used to like the exanding/contracting welcome bar at the top, but it always seemed that the question of setting cookies, etc. (ie what to put in that little space) made it finicky.

Also, aside from being better, faster, but also more expensive, was the Joyent switch really necessary?

Enjoying the new site quite a bit.


Tumbledry is residing in Sausalito? Holy crap! Have you ever been there? It is pretty much one of my favorite places in the entire world. It is this small town across from San Francisco that sits at the end of the Golden Gate Bridge like a pot of gold, only instead of gold there are brightly painted houses and perfect little sidwalks. There are cafes and bicycling shops, seals on rocks and delicious shrimp cocktails. Sound too good to be true? If you haven’t been there then you should visit and see for yourself. Oh and bring me with you, please. Moving on…congrats on the new look! Crisp, clean and still has that good ole tumbledry feel. Job well done, Alex.

Alexander Micek

Thanks, everybody! It makes all the work worth it to hear that this complete overhaul wasn’t too jarring.

To address the comments: I haven’t had much time to think of building out tumbledry beyond <tumbledry.org>. BUT, what I can tell you is that the software I wrote to power tumbledry is actually quite adaptable. It’s named “Pax,” and it’s approaching a 1.0 milestone. What is Pax? I’d describe it as a blogging tool; it is especially well-suited for advanced processing of text, though its powerful template system makes it extensible and markup agnostic. I hope to run Mykala’s website off of Pax once it does hit that 1.0. So, there is room and provisions made at the code level to grow, but no time. In the future, I do plan to write a Pax extension for podcast-type spoken-word blogging. That would be integrated into the main content stream, right alongside the text posts and pictures. That is years away due not to technical limitations, but (again) time constraints.

Peter, you read my mind about that green area. There is still a visual indicator of new content in that space, but it is much more expandable, versatile, and far less finicky. The code powering that little green box was, shamefully, spaghetti code. Now, while the new code isn’t quite beautiful, it is at least clean. Furthermore, a server switch was absolutely necessary, due to (as I mentioned) my good friend Justin transitioning out of hosting. Was the switch to Joyent necessary? Again, the answer is ‘yes.’ I shopped for hosts for 2 years before settling on Joyent — their Accelerators provide power, bandwidth, and software freedom that is almost unrivaled at their price point. Justin offered so much (for free!) that it was a challenge to find his versatility and feature-set, but here we are! Now, let’s hope Joyent stays in business for a long time… that’ll save me some headaches.

I had no idea Sausalito was such a lovely little town — I don’t know if the actual servers are in Sausalito, but I do know that Joyent is head-quartered there. Good to know the folks taking care of the servers have such beautiful surroundings!

I’m looking forward to hearing other thoughts, etc.


I’ve been away from TumbleDry for almost 2 weeks at a friend’s cabin, working in northern Wisconsin, visiting friends in Chicago, and finally moving, so I have a lot of catching up to do. First off, the redesign looks great Alex. As someone else mentioned, it does seem to lend an air of greater maturity and sophistication to the site. Also, the inclusion of more pictures within your posts adds a refreshing newness to the TD (TumbleDry abbreviated). I’m looking forward to reading the updates I’ve missed and all the rest to come from the mind of Micek.

Brief Notes Nearby