This blog has moved!

Well, I found a great deal on a self-hosting provider for WordPress and I decided to pull the trigger and actually migrate.  The new location is

Life Between 0 and 1

Please make sure you follow me on the new site if you want to continue to get posts.  Now that things are dialing down a little at my full time job, I’ll be writing more because, I need to.  My sanity needs to be reset.

Hope to see you over at the new location.  It’s jetpack enabled allowing for wordpress.com users to follow me easily without having to subscribe via email.  Please leave comments on the new site, they’ve been turned off here.

The new sites first post:  Welcome to my new home

Six month break from audits

I’m finally free of audits for at least the next 6 months at work. Yay! A welcome break from what has been an absolutely hellish 5 months with literal back to back audits. One would end and the next would start the following week, sometimes with some really annoying overlap. Mixed into all of this I’ve managed to keep writing for Eat Pray Vote, the political opinion site where I’m now a partner. Two weeks ago I completed migrating their site from WordPress.com to a self-hosted platform. A bit shaky at first, the site is now humming along and is faster than ever. Take a look at the site for yourself if interested in what I’ve written about, here’s my Author page.

Having a chance to see how a self-hosted platform works and the freedom that comes with it, I’m thinking of relaunching this blog. I’ve found a decently priced self-hosting plan that is just slightly more than a WordPress personal plan. I’ve wanted to change the domain as well to the real name of the blog as it seems to be something I’m sticking with going forward. When that happens, you’ll know. I won’t be deleting any of the old content until I know I can get a pro-rated return as I’ve finished the re-up for domain and hosting already this year.

The family front has been just as crazy and I found out that my daughter needs to have her tonsils taken out. It’s a scramble to get it scheduled so she doesn’t have to fight off another strep infection. We also want to get it done this year as we’ve hit our ridiculous healthcare deductible so we won’t have to cover any costs out-of-pocket. The whole system is fubar right now that doesn’t show any signs of improving anytime soon.

Well, this was just a quick update to let you all know I’m going to be back on a more regular basis now that work stress has reduced significantly. I’m also going to start getting caught up with the people I follow and will be commenting regularly again. I’m looking at you John, I miss our friendly conservative vs. moderate/liberal debates 🙂

Dealing with technology still a PITA

You would think that with all the advances in technology and software that things would have become easier.  Windows 10 and other operating systems have taken a lot of the guesswork out of figuring things out for yourself.  Even with that convenience and efficiency, there are still things that are more complicated than they really need to be.

WordPress

This is an awesome platform and WordPress is the Amazon of the blogging world.  Sites around the world utilize this software and you would think it’s really easy to use.  Well, if you’re on WordPress.com hosting, it is.  They do all the hard work for you.  As soon as you venture out into the world of self-hosting, you are plucked from a comfortable chair and plopped down into an iron maiden of obstacles.  I’ve just spent several hours migrating about 1GB of posts, media, pages, etc. from a WordPress.com hosted site to a self-hosted site.  You can see from the time of this post, it was a rather difficult task and those that know me through my previous writing, a challenge is never something I back down from.  It’s almost done, fingers crossed, the media came through this time.

Mobile Plans

The days are gone where you had to miser your minutes and perform phone calls with lighting precision.  Text messages used to be costly as well and spamming a friend was as costly to you as it was to them.  With unlimited calling and texting, the only thing left is data plans.  Not 10 years ago, an unlimited data plan, that you mortgaged your house to pay for, was truly unlimited.  Sucking up 5GB cost the same amount as 25GB and there was never any throttling to lesser speeds.  Mobile carriers are now offering what they call unlimited plans, but if you read the fine print, they really are xxGB’s at high-speed and then limited speed after you reach that limit.  I guess unlimited data is technically true, but who wants to try to watch a streaming video at 3G speeds.  That’s just crazy talk.  I won’t even get started on the amount of money it now requires to keep your constantly connected life actually connected.

Screen Resolutions

I remember a day when the ONLY resolution you could do was 1024×768.  Readers that remember Windows 95/98 are all too familiar with that rather piddly screen real estate when tying to view your high res porn.  Now you have 2K, 4K, 4KUltra…..  it’s enough to drive anyone insane.  Add to the confusion by making a 4K resolution available on a 13.3″ screen and it’s enough to make any normal person go blind.  I was smart, I opted for 2K on a 13.3″ screen yet still have to run at 150% just to see most things on the screen.  Why not make a maximum resolution fit the screen size because the day is coming when 4KUltra is available on a 10.6″ screen and it will most likely be from Microsoft.

At the end of the day, all we really did was solve a bunch of problems from years past and replaced them with new problems.  And people wonder why I’m rejecting technology in certain parts of my life.  I just don’t have the time anymore.

The 1 in 500 years storm

This is the first major storm that I’ve experienced where I’ve had a direct connection to victims that I know personally.  I don’t have the experience to even start to imagine what they’re going through right now on the ground in Texas, Houston especially.  The videos, pictures, first hand accounts and emotional posts to Twitter don’t even come close to conveying what all those people are now having to endure.  People are saying this is a historic storm that has shattered records since we’ve been keeping detailed weather reports, well that’s not quite right.  We’ve had category 4 storms in the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico before.  We’ve had devastating damage from winds before too.  What truly makes this storm, as opposed to others, is the sheer volume of water that has fallen in such a short period of time.

Yes, I’m going there.  Climate change.  The Gulf of Mexico is unusually warmer than in previous years.  Is that an anomaly or is it getting warmer and we’re on the start of the trend upwards?  The weather pattern that is holding what’s left of Harvey, currently a Tropical Storm, is odd for this time of year.  Is that an anomaly or are weather patterns now starting to slowly change because of increased temperatures and moisture in the air?  This country is on a dangerously slippery slope with our withdraw from the Paris Accord, a climate change denier is now heading the EPA and has already started rolling back regulations.  Fossil fuel companies are getting more subsidies than ever before and have been making record profits despite a glut in crude oil prices.

I don’t think this will be the last storm that will redefine the record books and in fact, I think it is the first of many that will increasingly demonstrate that we’ve been complete idiots in this country for ever believing any of the crap that climate deniers have been shoveling for years.  We’ll get our chance to make a difference soon enough.  Gasoline prices in the United States are going to spike significantly in the aftermath of Harvey.  40% of crude oil refining is based along the Texas coast and those refineries are months away from full capacity.  Oil platforms in the Gulf are largely undamaged, but they have nowhere to send the oil even if they did start extracting again as they’re fitted for pumping crude to shore via pipelines.

Be a human being, do whatever you can to help the victims of Harvey.  My company has pledged to match any donations up to $1,000 and I’m going to scrape together exactly that amount.  My company has an office, or did, in Houston that is now damaged beyond repair.  My co-workers house is gone, he was south of Houston.  Another friends house is sitting in 7 feet of water.  With an unprecedented storm comes unprecedented support in all forms from first responders to aid workers.  Do what you can to help.

Nothing stays the same

I want to start off by apologizing to all that follow me for my lack of activity the last few months.  Life has been rather hectic this summer so far and there isn’t any reprieve for me in the near future based on what I know is coming.  Sticking to a writing schedule has been difficult when there isn’t much time so spare.  The little downtime I manage to scrape together has been dedicated to real life things that have been pushed off due to unplanned events and not staying up to date on family event scheduling.  There is so much in the summer that needs to be done that doesn’t need to be done any other time of the year.  Making sure the lawn is mowed, yard work, making sure someone is watching my daughter (the wife is now working), parties and of course impromptu weekend get-togethers planned on a whim.

The wife is working now after getting a call from a mutual friend from the firehouse where she volunteers and is now the Treasurer.  Her friend runs their own business and after their book-keeper gave notice, they called my wife and offered her the job.  She accepted and it’s been an exercise in futility trying to work out camp, places for the daughter to go afterwards and changing work-from-home days on fly week to week.  I’m home today for instance, but my normal remote work days are Tuesday/Thursday.  For someone that relies on a weekly routine, it’s been stressful keeping up week to week with the ever changing responsibilities.  The extra money is definitely helping, a lot, but it’s slowly eroding my ability to stay somewhat normal and calm.  I’m finding that driving has started becoming a string of curses at other drivers for doing stupid things, which is how it started last time when I lost my crap across the board a few years ago.  It’s worrisome.

I’ve never liked the summer months.  It’s hot, humid and I’m generally not a happy camper unless I’m inside with ample air-conditioning cooling everything down, including me.  There are actually quite a few things that I don’t really like throughout the year, but tolerate for various reasons.  As long as I can get the downtime I need to tolerate the world, it’s all good.  What isn’t good is how I’m feeling now and not seeing a way back until school starts again for my daughter.  That leaves me with just over three weeks before a semi-normal routine returns to the household and, naturally, to me.

This coming weekend is, at this point, open with nothing planned until Sunday afternoon.  I’m hoping it stays that way.