Rambling On…

Baltimore — 09/25/2008


LB and K at the party

LB and K at the party

Mon 9/22/08 10:46am

On the plane from Baltimore to Oakland, stop in Denver. Had lots of fun in Baltimore. We went to an overnight birthday party for a couple of K’s friends that were turning 40 and had a great time. I really like K’s Maryland people. I am strangely comfortable around them. They remind me of people from Buffalo. The party went all night. At some point, I got tired of people and went to read in the living room. Most of the people were outside. I was happy that I had a book I could read. Got a Robert Ludlum book at the airport. The Ambler Warning. It’s a fast reader that does not require a full attention span. Other people started coming in and reading too after a while. I thought that was pretty funny. There were some books on the coffee table. K kept bringing people over to say hi and hang out for little bits of time. That was fun too. Little spurts of party.

The next day was fun too. Lots of people had slept over and others came back in the morning. After the party, we went to Kim’s place and then out for a drink. On the way home, she gave us a great tour of her neighborhood. I love tours with stories and she know a lot about her neighborhood. It was great to get to see her again after such a short time.

The first night we went to a restaurant/bar that a couple of K’s friends are opening soon. The place was amazing! Huge. They were building most things themselves, including booths and other assorted furniture from old church pews. It was fun to hang out there. Can’t wait to go back when it is open. We also helped K’s folks with their new fiber optic tv system. It was nice to be able to do that. Some stuff that is very hard for them is very easy for us. K will help them some more tomorrow. She is not coming home until Thursday.

I am looking forward to being home. Have work to do. Server was down for a while yesterday. Of course it has to happen when I am out of town. Got stuck in a loop and was overloading the CPU. A reboot fixed it, but today I got an email that the main hard drive partition might be dying and needs to be repaired or replaced. The server will need to be down for 1-4 hours. Crap. I told the techs to monitor it and reboot if it goes down again, but to wait until 3am US eastern time to take it down. I think it will affect the least amount of people at that time. Update: It did not go down again and is repaired now.

I met with the business consultant again before I left. New plan is to meet twice a month for 2 months, 2 hours each time. We covered a lot of ground in 2 hours. Got the basics of a contract written for my next project. Should be able to easily adapt it for other projects. We spoke some about pricing and how I need to raise mine and also about some other ideas I have that will bring in some steady income.

I am trying a new system of tracking hours. Only got to try it once before I left, but it actually worked. I was reading an article by David Seah that described a system where you set a timer to go off every 15 minutes and then fill in ovals on a piece of paper to track what you are doing when the timer goes off. I don’t do well with paper systems and the online version was alpha and not quite my style, so I combined some programs that I already had to do a similar thing. I set up a spreadsheet in Numbers with a sheet for each project, then set a calendar alarm to open up a 15 minute repeating timer in Alarm Clock Pro every weekday morning at 8am. The timer is set to make the spreadsheet pop up every 15 minutes. When it pops up, I just check a box for the project I am working on. The spreadsheet keeps track of how many hours I have worked on each project for each month by counting the checkboxes and dividing by 4 to get time in hours.

Turbulence. Hate it. The lady who was sitting next to me at the beginning of the flight kindly gave up her seat to another lady with a baby. She got free drinks for doing it. I usually don’t like being near kids on planes because they are loud, but I don’t mind it so much at the moment. Cute kid. Nice mom. Some screaming when they first got settled, but quiet now. My ears are clogged anyway. Enough writing for now.

Thu 9/25/08 3:54am

I never did get around to posting that. It is nice to be home. K is coming home tomorrow. I can’t wait to see her 🙂 We both have a little time off before going back to work. I am hoping to use the time to do some business stuff that I hardly ever have time to do. Today I set up an online project management system to make it easier to communicate and share files with clients. It is very similar to Basecamp, only open source, free, prettier, and hosted on my own server. Currently, I am using it to manage my hosting affililate program project. The affiliate system is ready to go, but still needs a couple of web pages, graphics for banner ads, and text ad copy. I am also thinking of starting a newsletter to send to clients and other interested people every few months. I would like to announce the launch of the affiliate program in the first one. Hopefully I can get that done this week because I have a big project starting soon.

It is 4:06am. I think I should go to sleep. Jetlag.

Useless — 04/20/2007


I have not been able to do anything today. No work. No play. Couldn’t go out. I worked a bunch of long days and nights on the server move and the site upgrade for my client and now I am totally useless. I am pretty sure I have a bunch of work to do, but I can’t figure out what it is. I tried to make a list, but it just confused me more. K is going to help me figure it out this weekend.

My mom helped me brainstorm about ways to make money to pay for the new server and I realized (after doing tons of math yesterday) that I can actually offer people more disk space and bandwidth than I could before. I need to find at least 13 more people paying $100/year to be breaking even. Not sure how I will do that. I am considering doing a promotion of including a free blog with new hosting accounts. If I ever have time again, I will figure it all out. I also need to update my business site because it is 3 years old and WAY out of date. My demos are especially out of date and the content does not accurately describe my services anymore.

I am booked up until June, so can not take on any more website clients until then. I have 5 projects in the works, but am waiting on content for three of them. It is very frustrating to have so much to do and not be able to do anything! I wish I could at least go outside or play a video game. I can play with the kitten. That is a good thing.

I wish I could hire someone to run my brain. They would keep it organized and running smoothly, and I would do all the things that would be able to get done once it was working right. I suppose that is what a business manager does.

I am glad it is Friday. This morning I was convinced that it was Thursday and argued with K about it. I even made her check the calendar. Somehow, I missed a day this week. Not sure which one, only that it wasn’t Tuesday or Thursday.

Yesterday, me and K went to the dentist. It is hard to get me to the dentist even though we have a great dentist. He is right around the corner from my old house in Berkeley. Ever since the first time I went there, over 10 years ago, I have been asking him to pull out my top left wisdom tooth. Every time, he has some reason why it doesn’t need to come out.

After having my teeth painfully cleaned and being reprimanded for not flossing every day, the lady who looked at my x-rays said that I needed to come back and have both top wisdom teeth pulled. There is no room in my mouth for them and one of them (the one I have been trying to get pulled) is pointing sideways and doesn’t do anything except hurt when I eat carrots. I made an appointment for sometime in May. I am not looking forward to it at all, but am glad to finally get my tooth pulled. K will come with me because she rules 🙂

How come I can write this, but can’t do anything else? Except twitch. I am very twitchy today. I don’t understand how thinking works. Is it really as easy for other people as it seems? Why aren’t other people stuck in their house not even able to watch tv? I am not stupid, but somehow end up being totally useless sometimes. I did help my brother get some info about an imac earlier. I guess I’m not totally useless. I wonder why I can talk about computer stuff almost any time, even when my brain won’t do anything else. It is all very strange. Oh well, what can you do? Back to doing nothing now…

Dedicated $erver — 04/09/2007

Dedicated $erver

My new meds are still working much better than the last ones. It is still hard to concentrate, work, play, and read, but for the most part, I am feeling about a million times better than I was just a short time ago 🙂

It is easier to be with people. I had a really good weekend that turned out to be very social and I didn’t even hate it at all. On Friday, I met D at the White Horse for a little while. It was very nice to see her. She is one of the very few people that I can ‘talk geek’ with. It is a rare and beautiful thing. We have other things in common too that make it easier for me to hang with her than it sometimes is to hang other people. She came over and had dinner with me and K.

After dinner, we all went to Velvet to meet Lorena and Tess. It was a good night. We played pool even though we were all sucking pretty bad, even D who is actually good at pool. There were a few obstacles like a giant pole and huge speaker in the way of making certain shots. Still it was fun, even though my knuckle is still a little swollen from smacking it into the giant pole while trying to shoot around it. Eventually, I completely lost all focus of what was going on around me and went into my own special world where it is quiet and stimuli is almost non-existent. I think D ended up in some other world too. I am lucky to be able to do that. Otherwise I would have needed very badly to get out of the bar immediately.

Yesterday, me and K went to Spin’s birthday party. That was lots of fun too. Happy birthday Spins! Nice people and a custom ‘Pin the Tail on the Tigger’ game with Spin’s features imposed on Tigger and magnetic tails for pinning that was made with obvious love for her by her guy. He even had a special ‘tail’ for himself which was actually a heart that matched the heart on the card that he gave her (at least I assumed that card was from him. Only saw the outside, but it had an identical heart). Very sweet 🙂 Other than that, me and K did some errands and even had a little bit of quiet time to watch Prehistoric Planet and for K to start a puzzle that she has wanted to do for a while, but hasn’t had the time.

And then, tragedy struck… (not really. just having a sudden flair for the dramatic)
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Server Load, Share-This, and No Trip — 03/26/2007

Server Load, Share-This, and No Trip

Earlier today my site started loading crazily slow. I checked other sites on the server, and they were all like that. I called LiquidWeb and they told me that it was because of having a really high server load and using more memory than I am allocated. Hard to pinpoint the exact cause because it depends on everything that is happening on all of my sites. The guy said that if it keeps happening, I will have to move to a dedicated server (on a VPS now). I really hope that doesn’t happen! It will cost at least twice as much per month as the VPS. Not sure what to do, especially since my next client site will be using tons of bandwidth for playing huge mp3 files and I already agreed on a hosting price of $100/year because I had no idea about the server resource problem. I also didn’t know how gigantic their mp3 files were at the time. Dang.

I finally got the Share-This plugin to work nearly right. Problems in IE. Surprise. Sending email returns people to a blank page. I give up!

Sometimes, I really hate being me. Usually, I like it okay. I am very lucky in a lot of ways. Most ways. But once in a while, I get very down on myself and very jealous of other people. I get tired of having a hard time doing basic things like reading, traveling, talking, leaving the house, working, even playing video games! It makes me feel like an idiot. I know that there are lots of things I am good at, and that sometimes those basic things are not hard at all, but when they are, it is very annoying. How can it be hard to play video games? That is completely ridiculous!
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Hacked :( — 10/03/2005

Hacked :(

I woke up this morning to an email that my business site was hacked with a malicious javascript that affects (what else?) internet explorer. I removed the code and alerted the hosting company so that they can make sure the entire server is clean. As far as I can tell, everything is ok now, but it totally freaked me out. This is the first time I’ve been hacked in 10 years of using shared servers. Someday when I have money, I will get a dedicated server, or maybe even a server of my own if I can learn linux sysadmin way better than I know it now.

Besides from that big adventure, things are looking up. Me and K got to have a mellow day yesterday for the first time in a very long while. It was SO nice! I have been feeling much better the past few days. The iron and gatorade are definitely doing their job. It is easier to do things now. I appreciate it so much after feeling bad for a while. It is a whole other world. The land of the living. I suppose that if I was to be hacked, it was much better that it happened today rather than last week.

Update: the server is clean and protected. i am happy 🙂