I know - it doesn't look like much, does it? One single page, no graphics, aesthetic design, functionality, content .. or users for that matter, other than me. But that actually means that site has an incredible amount of two very important things, in fact it may have more of these things than it will ever have, certainly as much or more than any other website in the world has. Those things are emptiness, and potential, and that makes me feel very good about starting from such a simple design as the template you see before you now, which you could think of as a giant empty lot ready for construction. Yes, all the past buildings and storefronts and services and docks and utilities and media that were once here, and the hustling bustling crowds who used it all, they're all gone, to make way for a brand new, modern development. So instead of thinking this site's not much because it's empty, look at it like a real estate developer looks at empty lots as he visualizes the wonderful buildings and environment he's about to create there. He doesn't see just empty space and dirt, he sees potential. Or as a sculptor looks at a huge block of the finest fracture free marble as he imagines the work of art he is about to create. He doesn't see just a big hunk of worthless rock, he sees potential. That's how I see this new version of cst.net as well.
It's a good time to create this rich and valuable emptiness and potential here at this ancient (in web terms) web address. My life is undergoing major changes. My father passed away 6 months ago, he was the steady, sturdy rock our family was built upon, and my wisest teacher and counselor. He was also the last of that entire generation in our family, leaving me with no family elders to turn to and depend on when I didn't know what to do, and actually no family at all left but my sister. For that matter both of us are adopted and we aren't related to each other, or anyone else alive or dead either, technically hahahha :-) Back to the point, I am going to have to get a driver license and a car and start driving again, which I really hate. Over my lifetime, I'm ashamed to say I've have had a few DUI's, or DWI's they're called in Texas. Last time I swore I'd never screw up like that again, plus I couldn't stand the thought of again sitting through the brainwashing sessions (governments always call brainwashing "education") necessary to regain driving privileges, so I quit driving and I've come to really prefer it, never wanted to drive again. But since Dad died I'm responsible for a cattle ranch and oil leases that are so rural you HAVE to drive just to function. And that means I am not going to be able to drink AT ALL if there is any chance I might drive within 24hrs. So I'm going to have to fix that issue once and for all. Major life changes!
Major life changes, as I said. This web address, http://cst.net was the primary one I used at Cyberstation, Inc., the internet services/web hosting/web design/network engineering/consulting company I started in 1994-1995, that reached to great heights by 2003, then suffered a huge blow when our biggest business partner, supplier, and my personal biggest consulting client, filed for bankruptcy in the "Dot-Com Crash" of the early 2000's. They imploded in 2003 and we instantly lost over ten thousand customers who were paying us recurring monthly revenue for connectivity, web hosting, etc. One day they were still our loyal and happy customers, then without warning IP Communications just turned off the lights and filed bankruptcy, and the next day they weren't our customers anymore. And there was nothing I could do about it, at all. I had to let a ton of good employees go a day or two after that, again nothing I could do about it. I tried my best to come up with new business models in the internet space that would get us back to the glory days, and one after the other, they would work great for a little while, then Google or some other giganto-corp would do something that changed the market or the search results we got and we'd be back to think of another new strategy. We were out of capital for any rebuilding the business, or redeveloping it into an IT consulting shop, or software engineering, or anything that would get us fully recovered and investors were scared as hell of anything tech after what happened from 2001-2003 when all internet stocks crashed. We had come to the point where only gigantic mega-corps with billions in funding or stock market capitalization could be in the business that we and other small guys had developed and proven as a viable business. That excluded me from the internet game, because I just don't have the personality to work in a megacorp and succeed. I wish I did, I'd be in Silicon Valley right now! But I just don't, and after struggling along until 2011 I finally gave up on my tech company, the biggest achievement of my life was over. But it was 16 great years, half of which were wild success and glamor and high accomplishment and recognition like out of a movie, the other half either building the business up from nothing, or riding it back down the other side to nothing again.
So, yes... I'm glad you asked, this does, indeed all have something to do with this empty website. I've had a little trouble, now and then, of letting go of being a tech entrepreneur and accepting that I've moved on, life has moved on, and the industry that I helped create has moved on. It took me several years just to stop thinking and talking like a tech entrepreneur, always thinking of business models to try and opportunities to get back in the game. But I lived in Vail, Colorado by then with a wife and child who loved it and absolutely refused to follow me anywhere for any reason. Plus things I had done in my 20s as a geologist were now paying us comfortably without me working. So I never tried any of those ideas, and gradually the tech business mindset in me faded back to less "hyper-freak talking a mile a minute" levels. It didn't disappear, it just mellowed, which is good. I think this difficulty letting go of my view of myself as that top flight computer scientist, network engineer and tech entrepreneur/executive is why I never did anything with this domain all this time. My enthusiasm for working on servers and software and websites just wasn't there.
But now, with this new website I just put up, with a fresh clean install of all the server software and dependencies, and a fresh, super simple layout that I can add new content to daily with ease, this is like getting a totally fresh start for me. I'm leaving the past, all of the past, behind and starting just like this website - full of beautiful emptiness and potential.
You can see the different ways this website has looked in the past on the Internet Wayback Machine