The Carbon Harbor Continuum is a reboot of an old blog I started in 2005, the year following the creation of the Carbon Harbor album. The site covered a variety of territory, but generally speaking it served as a personal journal on creative exploration. Highlights of that journey included the creation of the album and the story behind it, and the somewhat symbiotic chicken-and-egg effect of how each served in the creation of the other; the album pushed the story along while the story pushed the album along.
Following the completion of the album, I'd wanted to keep refining the story and began working on a screenplay, and at the same time I was exploring what was, then, in 2005, the state-of-the-art of web design, and that's when I discovered the Blogger blog-hosting service. And so I purchased the carbonharbor.com domain and soon after The Carbon Harbor Journal was born. At the outset, in addition to blogging about the album, the story, and screenwriting, I also blogged to some extent about some of the technical challenges of designing, creating and maintaining the blog itself, to the extent I had any control left to my own discretion under the auspices and guidelines of the service itself.
I was just beginning to get into it when Hurricane Katrina happened. No, I didn't personally experience any harm or hardship from the storm itself, but like many others it captivated my attention for weeks, and it caused me some concern regarding an old friend whose last known address to me was in New Orleans. Thankfully, I managed to hunt him down and learned he'd moved away, months prior to the storm. In addition, as we caught up on what we were up to since last seeing each other, he mentioned he was in post-production of an independent film, and that one big obstacle he was facing was he hated the soundtrack! I told him about my Carbon Harbor album, and soon afterwards we met up to see if I could solve his soundtrack problem.
To make a long story short, the next thing I knew I had embarked on an entirely new voyage of discovery that resulted in my next album, I Can't Sleep—titled after the film. When I returned from that voyage I was sapped. I made some efforts to pick up the Carbon Harbor Journal where I'd left off, but my heart just wasn't into it. In addition, though Google had purchased Blogger in 2003, two years before I'd started using it, they'd pretty much left things alone, but by the time I got back to blogging they'd made a number of big architectural changes to Blogger. The long and the short of it, for my uses, was that it was a bigger pain-in-the-ass than ever to use. At some point, I don't remember when exactly, they sent announcements to users about a number of changes we'd have to make as the hosting was by then all taking place on Google servers. Again, I am foggy on the exact details, but what I recall was it all sounded like more work than I was willing to do. What it all meant was that, even if I chose not to do as I was being told, my blog would still be available on the web, however I would be severely limited in being able to update it—to keep blogging, in other words.
There was one alternative option, and that was simply to archive and download the site as it was, to save it for later. So that's what I did. I archived the site as it existed and saved it for another day.
That was in 2010. By that time I was making a living building and managing Drupal-based websites for small businesses on a freelance basis. In 2011 I became an employee of a (now defunct) company that built sites for musicians, current and past—like Brad Paisley and also The Doors—and so I had my hands too full for music making, screenwriting or for blogging about either. It had occurred to me many times that I could use my Drupal skills to revive the online journal, as a Drupal site. But, again, no time.
Now, thirteen years since I started it, my archive of the original Carbon Harbor Journal, all the album tracks, and also the gobs of notes and research I'd done years ago were all lying in wait. All my prior Drupal experience had been primarily with versions D6 and D7, while the current release is D8. In 2017 I decided to learn D8, and I did so the way I usually learn new things, by teaching myself, by giving myself a project to do, then learning how to do it. My first project was to update a Drupal module known as Http:BL, a project I'd taken over in about 2011. Porting it to D8 was an intense project and I learned a lot doing it. But that was 99% code writing. It didn't involve building a website. I only needed a bare bones site for testing purposes. I still hadn't barely scratched the surface of the D8 site-building experience, so in order to rectify that it was time again to give myself a project to do so I could teach myself. I needed a goal, a purpose, an idea and some content for a site.
Voila! Carbon Harbor! Those archives could now be refactored into a Drupal site.
The old Carbon Harbor journal is reborn, and a new one, Carbon Harbor Continuum is born. Whereas blogs typically go backwards in time, from the most recent posts to the first, the old Carbon Harbor Journal is restored in chronological order, so it can be read forward in continuity. Carbon Harbor Continuum will be a blog, again, eventually going backwards in time.
It's still a work and learning process in progress, but it's finally to the point where I have my working blog site available again. Whether or not I will stick to it this time remains to be seen. But this time, neither Google or any other service is going to come along and change all the rules on me. The new site is entirely self-produced and hosted on my own resources. Right here...
...in Carbon Harbor.