The online journal of Ashur Cabrera.


Hector is a cumulonimbus thundercloud cluster that forms regularly nearly every afternoon on the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory of Australia, from approximately September to March each year.

What's not to love about a dependable cloud named Hector 🥰

Closeup of white barnacles on a dark green-gray rock
Photo by Djambalawa

Barnacles of data

I was poking around Dave Rupert’s site a few weeks ago (like you do 💁) and ran across his /likes page:

My favorite RSS reader, FeedBin, graciously spits out a reverse chronological list of articles I’ve faved. Come back and visit anytime or… better yet… subscribe in your feed reader!

As an old-school RSS aficionado and fellow Feedbin fan, I love the idea of people making feeds of their favorite links available to everyone. It reminds me of the sharing feature from the late-great Google Reader, but in a way that doesn’t rely on everyone using the same app or service.

Closeup of white barnacles on a dark green-gray rock
Photo by May Gauthier

The slug itself brings to mind other pages people in our little corner of the internet have added to their sites over the years to publish somewhat-structured data at well-known addresses:

  • /uses — favorite software, hardware, etc. (a bit like a self-hosted Uses This)
  • /now — what's going on in a person's life? (See
  • /links — link-in-bio style pages that seem to have proliferated since Twitter changed hands

The more I encounter these single-serving pages with bits and bobs of information, dangling (but also thriving!) from a domain like barnacles on a ship, the more I appreciate the near-infinite possibility afforded by a personal site, and the rich, hospitable environment it provides for ideas to grow and spread.

(I borrowed a page from Dave’s book site and added a little Likes feed of my own 🌟)

As I wrote last year, neighborhood walks during the pandemic kicked off my fascination with stamps and plaques found in sidewalks.

Stopping suddenly on a walk and straddling awkwardly to grab a squared-up photo of some concrete probably looks pretty strange, and makes for a bizarre hobby, but look at these!

A bright brass seal reads 'The Hinchman-Renton Co., Denver' is set in an aging, pebbled sidewalk “Laid by F.H. Heimbecher, Denver, ‘56” is set in an all-caps serif, enclosed by a diamond

I’d been collecting photos and throwing them up on Instagram, but over the end-of-year break I decided to build a whole dang website — Written in Stone, the sidewalk website nobody asked for!

Written in Stone, a website, showing an array of photos of sidewalk stamps and plaques

Side projects are always a fun way to learn something new, but I've been wanting to add more context to my growing photo collection than Instagram will allow by connecting dots between people and places:

An individual post page on Written in Stone, showing a Rogers Concrete seal with links to nearby stamps and other stamps by Rogers

I thought building Written in Stone would just be a fun way to take my hobby way too seriously to try some new front-end development tricks. But, between us, I am sincerely touched and amazed by the response I've gotten from people since launching ☺️

P.S. If you're a sidewalk stamp enthusiast — and I've been surprised to learn there are many of us — please let me know if adding your photos to Written in Stone is something you'd be interested in...

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