Blake Ashley Jr. Headshot, man wearing a suit with a blurred city in the background

I am Blake Ashley Jr.

Welcome to my personal website!

I am a DevOps Engineer that has traditionally specialized in web applications (WebOps), specifically massive, complex, popular WordPress sites that should have been a static webpage (like this one.)

Golang is my one true computing love.

I spend my free time flying (mostly in Microsoft Flight Sim), working on my homelab, or planning my next backpacking trip.

You can contact me at via email.

Vendor Unlocking My Life

In an era where digital dependence is commonplace, I moved towards personal tech independence in 2023. This blog post details my transition away from mainstream tech giants and towards more secure, private, and autonomous alternatives. Breaking Free from the Norm In 2023, I finally broke free from the likes of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants—a commitment I’d long made to myself but never fulfilled. Like many of you, Google and Facebook had been my internet cornerstones for years, offering convenience, cost-effectiveness, and entertainment.
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Elephant: My Plain-Text Work System

In his excellent book, The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt details a metaphor for the relationship between our conscious and unconscious minds: the elephant and the rider. The rider thinks he controls the towering beast because it generally follows his commands, slowly lumbering from side to side at the pull of the reins. Little does the rider know, the elephant could throw the rider to his death or great injury at any moment.
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Whether You Like Him or Not, Tucker’s Message Fiasco Should Be the Wakeup Call You Need to Encrypt and Auto-delete Your Messages

Tucker Carlson Tonight was the most popular primetime news show in the US from April 2020 until the shows sudden cancelation on April 24, 2023. Carlson was suddenly fired due in large part to text messages that were likely to come out if the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit were to go to trial, causing the Fox board to pay nearly $800M to settle the case. They were leaked anyway.
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John Wick’s Bulletproof Suit Makes the Series More Believable, Not Less

John Wick's Bulletproof Suit Makes the Series More Believable, Not Less
John Wick 4 is bigger, better, badder than any other fighting-focused action movie, ever. It improves on the earlier installments with its creativity, scale, and precision. Of course, I am only talking about the fighting. The plot was relatively weak, as it was in the others, but man was the fighting good. The people who said it was too long were wrong. In John Wick 4, nearly every character, no matter how insignificant, wears a bullet-proof suit.
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Why I Didn’t Choose WordPress For My Blog, Despite Being a WordPress Pro

I have made a career out of WordPress. I am personally responsible for the security, stability, and updates of 500+ active WordPress installations (not including the few multi-sites.) Collectively, they receive hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per day. I have grown to love WordPress over the years, wholeheartedly recommending it to friends, family, and clients for all sorts of use-cases, and I don’t regret it. WordPress is the closest thing we have to an open website Swiss army knife.
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