Tag Archives: life

Messy but worth it. Having recently gone from single to engaged to married, I’m beginning to see that life is going to be work, but awesome and worth every second.

Websites, servers, and blogs, oh my!…

A funny thing happened over the past few months.  When we moved, we had the pleasure of becoming members of an HOA.  I’m not a fan of HOAs in general, but it seems to be how things are done here.  Personally, I think it’s a way for the local city government to get out of installing and maintaining things like street lights.  Nonetheless, it wasn’t like we had a choice.

Well, after we’d been here almost a year, the HOA got turned over from the developer to the members.  At the first meeting we had as a new HOA with the board to discuss things like higher dues, I asked if they had thought of having a website for the HOA.  I thought they would jump at the opportunity to have someone take on this project (for free!).  What’s more, I had already registered the perfect domain name (a .org domain, because I do things right), and I offered to host it free of charge.  So I had offered the HOA free site development, maintenance, and hosting.  But they didn’t take me up on the offer.

So when it came time to renew the domain, I let it expire.  Around that time, we got a new HOA board (and thus, new HOA president).  Well, the secretary sends out and email asking if anyone would be willing to assist them in the creation of a new HOA website (and if anyone had the knowledge and ability).  After banging my head against the table a couple times, I quickly emailed them back saying, “Funny you ask…”

I got in touch with the HOA president, which wasn’t easy for me because I’m very bad at remembering non-work stuff while at work (I guess I enter “work mode” or something.)  The best part is by that time, the domain had passed the grace period and was now in “redemption status”.  Meaning that I either had to pay $200+, or wait a month or so until it again became available to anyone.  That has the risk of jerks like GoDaddy or NetSolutions buying your domain as soon as it’s available and asking a “premium” price.  I was very careful not to visit the site, so that it wouldn’t look attractive, and only checked its availability at my original registrar (which is the best: NameCheap.com).

But fortunately it became available this week, and I snagged it again.  Auto-renew this time (for all my domains–you know that’s right).  Now begins the adventure of training a bunch of retired people and middle-aged housewives how to use WordPress.  I figure WordPress is perfect — they want a couple of static pages with CC&Rs, forms, and stuff like irrigation information, plus the ability to post news or announce upcoming events.  The design, look, and feel is going to fall on me, and that might be a pain, but I think I can make it work.

That’s one of most exciting things happening to me this week, outside of my confidential work stuff.  It’s very hush-hush.  Well, it’s way too late for this idiot to be blogging.  Good night.

Currently listening to “Piano Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 45: Andante sostenuto” by Artur Pizarro (performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra)


Happy Independence Day!

I was watching TV, but then everyone started lighting fireworks.  Lots of aerials.  And you know what?  Fireworks just aren’t as fun when you’re not watching them with someone else.

I’m laying on our bed, watching fireworks out the shadeless, blindless window of our bedroom.  It sounds like the wall beside me has some sort of broken water pump because of all the aerial explosions outside.  The neighbors on another block had a pretty impressive display.  I think they won the competition.  One of our neighbors directly behind our house had an aerial that I’m pretty sure exploded in the road.  That was scary.  I decided that if I didn’t see them light another within a couple minutes, I was going to walk over and make sure they didn’t explode.  Luckily, they kept on lighting them.

So really, I was told to write about something gooey and personal.  So I decided to write a little about my week alone.  And what a change it is.  (That’s a fragment, by the way.)

This is how my days usually go since moving and starting my job: I leave in the morning, usually rushing because I’m not a natural early riser.  (Part of it, I think is our bed because it’s too soft, but that’s just guessing.)  So I rush out and drive to work.  Then for the next 9-10 hours I’m at work.  I eat lunch there, and I maybe exchange a few texts with Sav throughout the day.  Either way, when I leave, I know that when I get home I get to see my family.  It’s become pretty routine.  I come home, say hi, kiss hello, pick up Chip, he touches the buttons on my shirt, I go change, we eat dinner, watch some TV, usually spend the night in, but the baby to bed, watch the rest of whatever we were watching (because usually we’re only halfway through a show because watching TV with a baby isn’t always easy), and then go to bed later than we ought.  Routine, maybe boring to some, but that’s my usual day.

This week, it’s changed.  I get up, get ready, leave (pretty much the same so far, but no one to kiss goodbye), work, come home, find something to eat, play a little video games, watch some TV, go to bed.  Really, it’s a lot the same, except I’m alone.  No little one to pick up and touch my buttons.  No wife to kiss when I get home, go to bed, and all the time in between.  I don’t like it.  Being alone in my house isn’t very fun.  Sure, I’ve got more “me time” than I know what to do with, and I can rewind what I’m watching without bothering anyone, but I would rather have my family here.

Fortunately, they’re having a great time.  And I’m getting along.  Last night I had Cafe Rio, and it was my free meal, so that was awesome.  And today I decided to actually take the day off instead of going into work (which was mostly due to the fact that I learned that the policy is for deadline crunches only, and that the company pays out double time off if you go in on a holiday, which I didn’t deserve for going in, had I gone).  So I got to sleep in on a Wednesday, which is pretty awesome.  And tomorrow is group lunch day, so hopefully we go somewhere tasty.  And most importantly, I get to see my wife and child in just 2.5 days.

So a little more about these fireworks.  I’ve decided that it’s kind of weird when you can hear a ton of fireworks  but not know where they’re coming from.  I hope that the fireworks stop sometime tonight, because I would eventually like to go to sleep.  Eventually.  (Plus, going to sleep means that I only have two more nights alone.)

Oh, and I want a muffin.  A blueberry muffin.  There are a lot of muffins in the episode I’m watching right now, and I really just want a muffin.  I don’t have muffin mix though, so instead I’m going to make chocolate chocolate chip pecan pancakes.  Never made them before.

Currently listening to “Crashing Down” by Mat Kearney

Minor discoveries…

It’s been a while since I last blogged.  A month an a half to be exact.  I’m not good at writing regularly.  I feel like I never have anything interesting to say.  I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say right now.  But if I watch any more TV, I’m going to feel like the biggest loser.

Sav is gone for the week.  Left me all alone to go to work and make bread and bacon.  Actually, we don’t make bread or bacon, because we’re a tech company.  For the sake of security and because Sav has taught me to love pseudonyms, let’s just say that we make widgets.  So I’m home alone this week while she’s off boating, hiking, and other types of vacationing.  It will be the longest we’ve been apart.  It’s the first time she’s left me home alone for more than a day.  It weirded me out yesterday.  It’s lonely in this empty house.

So I’ve watched TV, messed around on my server, and changed my blog theme.  On the subject of the server (skip if you don’t care, it won’t hurt my feelings):  I’m trying a fresh instance and see if things improve.  I’ll probably have to upgrade to a more capable instance, but we’ll try this first.  It’s much cheaper if I can keep it running on a micro instance.  The problem is MySQL 5.5.  It keeps crashing.  I may try a script to check if MySQL is running every 30 minutes and restart it if it has crashed.  It could also send me an email.  That’s the next step if problems persist.

So the idea of my post today was to share a few things I’ve discovered over the last few weeks and months.

  1. Having a lawn is a pain.  You have to cut it every week.  Some parts of ours are dead, and it’s hard to convince them not to be.  We overseeded, but I didn’t cut the  grass as short as I ought, and it only helped in select areas.  I’m probably going to re-overseed this fall.  Then there’s weeds, bugs, watering, and more.  I’m sure that after a while it won’t seem so bad though.
  2. Every IT/IS department is awful.  Especially when outsourced.
  3. Amazon Video On Demand works so much better than Netflix.  If the Prime selection was just a little better, we could drop Netflix completely.  My favorite part?  When I rewind or fast-forward, Amazon VOD is smart enough that it doesn’t have to re-download if it’s cached.  And it keeps a cache to rewind at least a minute without any delay.  It’s awesome.
  4. Solarized.  Probably my coolest discovery of ever.  (This is another super nerdy paragraph.)  I found it more or less by accident when I was trying to get my work terminal looking like the default gnome-terminal in Gnome 3 on Ubuntu. Now my terminal in Ubuntu has been solarized.  My work terminal has been solarized (even Putty on my Windows machine).  Vim and gvim have been solarized.  My directory listings have been solarized.  Even this blog will probably become a little solarized.  Here’s the thing: it only took a few hours on Windows looking at PDFs (black text on white) to give me eye strain and the beginnings of a headache.  But I can work all day at my computer staring at my solarized terminals and not feel a thing.  It’s awesome.  And it makes vim so much nicer to use.  The colors make more sense (especially when using vimdiff) and are just plain pleasant.  It makes everything in a terminal nice.
  5. I still like Grey’s Anatomy.  Sav and I started watching it together.  I wasn’t sure she’d like it, but she does.  I think it’s funny.  Judge me if you want, but it’s entertaining.
  6. I don’t like going to bed early.  I need to, I ought to.  Right now I should be sleeping.  But instead, I’ll probably make some sleepy time herbal tea and drink it while not sleeping.  Ironic?  (That’s actually a question, because Sav often calls me out for not using “ironic” correctly.)

So that’s a few things I felt like sharing today.  Really I could go on and on about Solarized.  But I know that of the 5 friends that read this blog, only ~1 of them is probably going to care about it.  (Try it!)  But now it’s late and I need to go to bed.  6:30 always comes so quickly.

Currently listening to “Cosy In The Rocket” by Psapp

Things have changed for me…

A few things have changed lately.

Today, I updated WordPress and turned off the snow.

Yesterday, I had my first real day at my new job.

Last week, we moved into our first house.

And that’s a short list of things that have happened lately.  I haven’t blogged because I’ve become super busy and I’m still not sure how much I want publicly on the internet.

I do know that I’m loving my new job, and that we love our new house.

Currently listening to: “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)” by Panic At The Disco

The week to top all weeks…

This is the week. A week that might forever change our lives. In two days time, I will be in Boise, put up in a hotel, trying to sleep, knowing that the morning starts hours of interviews that could potentially lead to a job offer that would rock my socks.

I’m nervous. While it technically isn’t the first on site interview I have had for a full-time position, it is the first one that I actually want to receive a job offer from. I find that wanting the job makes you more worried about the interview.

Of course, once the interview is over, I am going to be even more anxious and nervous as I wait to hear back. Luckily I have a thesis to write so I have plenty to take my mind off the fact that a group of people hundreds of miles away are making a decision that will decide where my children grow up. You know, just little things like that.

But right now it is raining, which makes everything feel peaceful. I am glad because I need all the sleep I can get.

Moving on up…

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. Twelve days ago I went to a career fair just to see what was out there and maybe drop off a few resumes. I had heard from a couple different people that the interview process took weeks. I was starting to worry that if I didn’t start looking and applying now that I would end up without a job when I graduated.

I went to that career fair and dropped off eight resumes with different companies. Since then I have had interviews with three of those companies, ranging from a quick follow-up to being flown out and given a rental car. That is happening next week.

Things are moving fast and will surely bring a lot of change. I can’t wait. I’ve had senioritus for three years now. Time to move on out.

We are hoping that this next interview goes well and that it leads to a job offer.

Developments in social networking…

In the past couple days, I have learned two things.

  1. mod_rewrite is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning, and makes me want to have my own web server more each day.
  2. Social networks are pointless if you hate everything you get in your feed.  And they might be pointless anyway.

And so that is why I have both convinced by boss to allow .htaccess files to be used on my latest project and deleted a number of people on Facebook that I had either already hidden or didn’t care to see their updates or didn’t care to have see my updates.  I’m pretty sure that within a month, I’ll have deleted my Facebook completely.

I guess I’m getting tired of checking my Facebook only to tell Sav, “Why does Billie Jean think anyone cares about this?” or “Why does Billie keep commenting on my status?” or even “I didn’t even know my and Ms. Jean were friends…oh, I had hidden her and kept her from commenting on my status…again, why are we ‘friends’?”

Call me crazy.

Currently listening to: “Fireflies” by Owl City

Because Sav told me to…

The other day, Sav told me I hadn’t posted in a month…sorry guys (all 6 of you).  But after my last post, she was more specific about her request.  “You need to post about something not technology.”  So here I am.

Let’s see.  Since my birthday last month, I have successfully aged to 25.1.  I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.  I applied to the Computer Science Master’s program at BYU.  I started a business and became an independent contractor in order to keep working at my job (but that’s kinda on the D.L.).  And I rooted my phone (and since my last post got that black status bar I wanted).  Oh, and I got Castle Crashers for my PS3.

We’ve also been to family reunions, visited both sides of the family, and gone to our new ward another time.

Well, that was the last month in about 100 words.  But it was a lot of fun.  In particular, visiting Sav’s family, we got to play around in her old stomping grounds up in the mountains.  And we went boating some more with my family, and I’m getting pretty good at that wake surfing.

But anyway, I have to go and delete a bunch of files from a sever, create a panic, and then fix it miraculously.  Should be a lot of awesome.

Currently listening to: “Yeah!” by Usher (thanks Pandora)

One quarter century…

Let me just start about by saying that I have the most awesome wife of ever.  She let me go pick out my own birthday present, a Playstation 3 game.  And she even let me get two because they were used and cheaper.  And to top it all off, she let me play them all night long.  Can you say, “Best wife ever!“?  I can.

But now it’s the next day, and I’m just 25.  But maybe I can still play my game…but only after So You Think You Can Dance.  Because Sav needs to have fun too.

For those of you who might be interested (I appologize for the majority who don’t), I got Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and [Prototype].  I’ve only played Prototype, because I know I’ll love R&C (I love the series).  Prototype is definitely fun.

Anyway, it was a good birthday.  I got to do everything I wanted to do: eat good food and cake and relax.

The post with no title…

Isn’t it funny how I can feel guilty about not posting when on a high-traffic day, there might be 8 visitors to my blog?  Anyway…

Today is my favorite cousin-in-law’s birthday.

It’s also the last weekday of the last week before summer term starts.  I’ve never taken summer classes, and I’m not thrilled to be making less money and be in classes for 2 hours each.  But I am glad that the government has decided to give grants to students taking summer classes, so at least it’s cheaper.

Side note: I just learned of  more sad names given to children.  I plea with you parents: Name your children normally! It doesn’t make them unique or cool to have a stupid name.  It makes you stupid, and it’ll probably rub off on them.

Right now, my wife is doing the dishes at home while I’m at work.  I’m taking my ten-minute break (and that’s the story I’m sticking to).

Speaking of work, it’s been interesting.  In the past, I was scared to write about work because a coworker knew about my blog… but he’s left for bigger and better things, so now I’m free to write about the goings-ons of my office.  We hired a new kid (who my wife has heard too much about).  I’ve learned something important.  There is a thick line between self-taught programmers who either hone their skills through school and those who don’t.  I’ve learned that majoring in computer science doesn’t qualify you for a programming position.  I’ve learned that some aren’t cut out for the business world.  The past month and few weeks have been very stressful for me as I deal with a new hire who is eager to work, but doesn’t yet have the skills he thinks he does.  Basic ideas escape him.  And though all of this, my dear wife has listened to me gripe and complain.  She’s a sweetheart.

But work has been frustrating because I have felt like the only one really getting anything done.  I’ve been working on a new site for the department.  I wish I could show it off, but it’s not quite live yet.  Hopefully soon.  I’ve built it from the ground up.  (Minus the design–that was given to me.)  But nearly every line of code was typed by me just for this site.  It’s really cool to do work that produces an end result that I can be proud of.

I’m sorry if I’m rambling.

In other news, I want a TV.  Sav and I have been using a 24″ monitor that I bought when I lived with 3 other guys for my small private room, but now we’re moving into a nicer place, with nice couches (already bought), and I want a TV.  So I’m saving up my pennies.

Anyway, better get back to work.  (That was a lot to write in 10 minutes.)

Currently listening to: “Meet Me on the Equinox” by Death Cab for Cutie