About these chronicles

There are many versions of the Zuiker Chronicles.

For many decades, my grandfather, Francis C. Zuiker, wrote and mailed a newsletter titled Zuiker Chronicles. His letters shared stories about beachcombing travels and camping trips, banjo playing and bird watching, and his joy in gathering with my uncles and aunts and cousins and friends for the Zuiker jamboree at Ravens Roost, the family campground in northern Wisconsin.

My name is Anton Zuiker. I first created a website at zuiker.com in July 2000 as a tribute to Frank the Beachcomber, and to serve as a website community for the extended Zuiker family, many of whom have their own versions of the Chronicles.

Why I write

My other grandfather, Louis Sisco, also sent a newsletter. His was a typewritten diary about the weather, his morning walks, meals and family errands in DeKalb, Illinois.

I am a writer because my grandfathers wrote to me.

I am a community organizer because my father told me about his Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic. His stories inspired me, too, to join the Peace Corps, along with my wife, Erin. We served in the Republic of Vanuatu, from 1997 to 1999.

Since then, I have traveled the world, studied medical journalism, encouraged new bloggers, and convened science communicators. I blogged about much of that from 2000 until 2013, then paused in 2014 and 2015 to take a blogging and social media sabbatical. That break helped me slow down, simplify, get outside, enjoy small moments, and focus on my priorities—staying healthy, loving my family, excelling at my job.

On the Zuiker Chronicles, I post occasional essays that arise from asking the eternal questions: Who am I? and What am I doing here?

Find a longer description of my previous online and offline activities, with many links to past posts and essays, at antonzuiker.com.

Nuts and bolts

Zuiker Chronicles has used the Textpattern content management system since its beta days in 2004. For the 2015 redesign, I considered Foundation and UIKit and other frameworks, then settled on the Skeleton CSS boilerplate. Leo Babauta’s minimal web ethos inspired my approach to an updated site. Fonts are Concourse and Equity, and the tutorials Butterick’s Practical Typography and Interactive Guide to Blog Typography were instructive.

I am grateful to Dave Winer for his pioneering work in blogging, podcasting, outlines and other online media. I’ve learned much from him through the years, including how to organize an unconference, what it means to be a natural born blogger, and the importance of narrating your work. Elsewhere, I use Fargo and some of Dave’s newer tools (see No.4). You should try one or two yourself.

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