Hello! I'm Ben Terry.
Welcome to My Home Page!



I'm just a Gen X guy from mid-Michigan who works in IT, likes to play some guitar and music, and digs role-playing games. I believe everybody should have their own little piece of the internet. In that spirit, this is my personal Home Page. In the sidebar to the left I list some other places on the web you can find me.

What's Happening With Me?

February 14, 2024: I make too many web sites that I don't really update. It's Valentine's Day. I don't know how I feel about that. This month I am participating in the RPM Challenge, a challenge to produce an album's worth of music in the month of February. You can check out my project site at This Vivid Circle, another site that isn't as updated as I would like! I really hope I can get some work done on this challenge though, because I'm feeling... not as great as I could. I love playing music and immersing in it. I even used to play out a bit with my friend Chris, but that was over a decade ago now. I'm feeling that thing where you dream about doing something or other, but so long as you don't do it you feel like a fraud, or like you need to do something with your life that makes you worth other peoples' time.

November 23, 2022: I like understanding how my home page works, which is why it is currently just HTML and CSS that I've manually entered. I'm a little wary of sites that rely on PHP and a database backend because if they break or act in confusing way, I don't feel I understand them enough to feel good about fixing them. There are things I'd like to be able to do with my home page I can't currently, but I'd like to do those things by implementing the features myself so that I understand all of what is going on. For example, I could see making some kind of script that can take files I write, and use it to update my site and also an RSS feed (I guess I'm basically imagining a hand coded Static Site Generator here). It seems totally achievable to make something along these lines. I should really work on that...

November 17, 2022: In my last post I kinda went off about people and thier relationships with social media companies. It had an edge of... aggressiveness to it that I'm not super fond of. The whole thing makes me consider why we post anything on the internet at all. I consider how my own habits have changed, and if it reflects any kind of learning, or is just floating along, letting the forms of various sites and apps shape what I do online without much conscious thought. I remember I used to e-mail people back and forth, and it really felt like a digital analog to letter writing. I don't do this anymore. Why? I think probably phone texting is the largest reason, followed with some contribution by social media. Then you had Facebook, which a lot of families use to keep in touch. On my Dad's side of the family they schedule gatherings and talk over logistics, maybe mention family relevent news in a Facebook group. Personally, a lot of my "Mt. Pleasant friends" were on Twitter, so it kinda served a little bit as a social something with those friends. Kinda. It's not a great place to chat with your friends, being public, being as some people use it more as an RSS reader substitute than a way to communicate, and all of these kinds of things. I'm somewhat aware of some friends that use Discord. I can see the possibility of a more private group chat being good, though Discord being just another private company with a proprietary system isn't lighting me up. For me, my internet life started back in 1994 into 1995, like 28 years ago. Everything is still in flux, and we're all still working it out.

November 11, 2022: Recently on the web there has been a bit of drama over Twitter and a boost in the use of Mastodon now that Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter went through. For the most part I think people are melodramatic about it, but I still do like that it has vaulted Mastodon activity up to where I have as much reason to blow time on Mastodon as on Twitter. Previously, I mostly was reading indie-web, Linux and general tech tips-type tooting on Mastodon, but since the most recent drama a ton of the table-top RPG community have come over, as well as some video game folks and random people like Elvira. This may all die down in a few weeks, but I think maybe the RPG side grew enough to be self-sustaining. One kinda baffling response I see to all of this are people who don't seem to realize that social media companies make their money largely by serving their users up as targets to be advertised to, and that this inevitably shapes the experience in a way that isn't about making things good for you. Also, there are people who have invested a lot into how Twitter is their means of professional networking, or how they promote their services or products. There is an extent to which this was a sad necessity for certain people, but I've seen some of those same people then say that Mastodon "is never gonna happen", then they kind of wish for some other company to come along and provide a similar usefulness, minus the presence of Elon Musk. This all seems like some "Won't Get Fooled Again" nonsense. I remember bands used to set up shows using Myspace, and the indie-RPG scene was big on Google+, and there are a million other examples along these lines. A company creates a site that acts as your playground, but you're just playing there for free and don't own it, and are useful to them only in so much as you spend time there giving them information and time to be advertised at. People wanting some other company with some other site to come along with the same business model... you end up with the same thing. In the end, you should prefer to be in control of your own thing as much as is possible. That's my opinion anyways. This thing where people complain or beg companies to be a certain way, but then also complain about alternatives that let you say "Fuck Off" to those companies... it strikes me as a kind of spoiled child weakness. I know that's a harsh way to put it. It's just how it strikes me.

September 27, 2022: This site is maybe more for me than for anyone else. I do continue to update the site over time, but don't bother making mention of each time I do so on the main page here. Yesterday and today I've been thinking about bookmarks or favorites. You know, the way of saving sites in your web browser? I had almost 380 bookmarks, and they are a real grab-bag of things that have piled up over the years. I've now come to think that browser bookmarks are not very good. They lack context and are just a list, possibly categorized into folders. If you have your own web-accessible space, isn't a well formed page full of your bookmarks much better? The main advantage I see to a web page of bookmarks over using the browser is that you can still search the bookmarks, but you can also add text describing the sites linked to. You can go as far as you want with this, even typing some paragraphs to remind yourself of your path of thought, or craft a narrative and so on. I'm currently trawling through my old bookmarks, commenting on them and cleaning them up, but think I may then post them to my site here. Bookmarks can feel a bit private, so I dunno if I'll abandon private Bookmarks completely, but I'll give it a try. As for other plans for this site? Not sure that I have any aside from adding more junk about my interests. The site is currently a very manual HTML affair, and I sometimes consider making it more dynamic in some way, or integrating it with my social media presence, or improving my RSS implementation and all. I'll get to it as interests dictate.

May 12, 2022: On May 1st this year I started in on some exercise. My friend Rich pitched the idea of putting up a Google Spreadsheet with some benchmark activities and a tab where each of us in our Street Fighter role playing group can log what we are doing. I've historically been pretty bad with exercise and keeping up any kind of physical activity, but for some reason decided I'd give it a shot. I'm not getting any younger! Anyways, here I am just 1 exercise session away from hitting 2 weeks and things are going well so far. A lot of what I'm liking about the idea is that we have these benchmark activities, and ultimately, ideally, you could hit the benchmarks in every category, but the goal is really just to exercise and hopefully progress. I personally started in doing every other day. A day of squats and push-ups (incline right now, as I work up to regular push ups), then the next exercise day has been 30 minutes on the rowing machine. I'm thinking next week I want to step things up a little, try to do 5 days a week on the rowing machine, but 4 of them are just putting in 30 minutes at whatever pace while one of them is trying to get my best 5K time. Then I'll be able to add in at least one more strength focused exercise, like another day of squats and push-ups, or trying to get the beginnings up pull-ups happening, or whatever. I should be working the difficult muscle stuff about every other day rather than what works out to once every 4 days, as it works out for the 1st 2 weeks here. Also, while usually I have been doing more than 1 set, I think I should always do more than 1 set of a strength exercise. While there has been progress in these 2 weeks, and that's awesome, the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, and 2 days of muscle strengthening exercise. The rowing can cover that 150 minutes, then the extra muscle day gets me into at least 2-3 days of that a week. No rules here. Just things for me to try.


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