2023 Year in Review

January 1, 2024 at 1:36 am

This year's review is going to be pretty short. Not much happened which I guess is both good and bad. Good news is no one died. Bad news is I don't have a job either.

First couple months of the year I didn't really look for any jobs and just took a break. Then by March or April I started to look for a job. And continue looking I have. A couple times I've gotten really far in the interview process only to be ghosted. I guess that says something about the company where even when one of only a handful of people left you don't send a basic "we went with someone else" email. Also had a company that I did the initial interview and then they setup the first interview with manager like a week in advance. Then the morning of someone replied that the job required a bachelor's degree and I only had an associate's. Apparently they were more concerned that when I went to college back in 2001 that I stayed an extra two years vs the 22 or so years of experience I've had.

I try and tell this to people whenever I get an opportunity but one of the biggest things that's helped this year is having money saved up. Although I did get unemployment for a while I'm now living completely off my emergency fund and I'm set for probably another year easily before I would access more long term retirement savings. Though that also means not needlessly buying stuff or going out or pretty much anything fun. But having that has made job hunting a lot less stressful since I'm not desperate for a job and can make do for the time being.

Probably related to this I've been looking more at various vacation or trips. Been looking at train trips, both in US and Canada. Also looking at cruises. I really want to take a transatlantic cruise. Currently there's one ocean liner that's purpose built for that, Cunard's Queen Mary 2. It's actually fairly inexpensive on the offseason but the sea is also pretty rough in the winter months, less than $2000 or even $1000 for last minute rooms. During the summer when the water is more calm prices jump up to $3500.

For 2024 goals are to actually get a job again and then maybe start traveling more. It's been one of those things I keep saying I want to do more of and there could come a time where it's a lot more difficult for me to travel. I also may look in to at least doing an exploratory flight for getting a pilot's license. These are short 30-60 minute flights where you go up with an instructor and get a feel for how a smaller plane feels and if it's something I want to do. Also it can get quite expensive so not sure if I'd do that. Exploratory flight is a couple hundred bucks though.

Posted in General. |

2022 Year in Review

January 1, 2023 at 12:47 am

Well, this year has been eventful, and not in the best of ways. Honestly not sure what happened first part of the year because second half kinda overtook it.

I guess will start with the worst news. It was the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend and I get a call from my mom who sounded upset. My father has been in a nursing home for a while now in the final stages of Parkinson's so I thought it was going to be about him. Then she said my uncle (her brother) had a massive stroke. To say this was unexpected is putting it lightly. I was over mother's house on Sunday and he was there and seemed as fine as can be. In fact my mom was talking to him in the morning about running some errands and such and then 2 hours later got a call from paramedics that were on the scene and she was the emergency contact on phone. Doctors pretty much told us even if he did recover he wouldn't be the same person he was. He'd be bedridden, paralyzed on right side, and a host of other things. That night we had life support stopped.

It doesn't end there. Remember this was memorial day weekend. Both my brother and sister had plans and were either already away from home or about to leave. This left just Me, my mom, and a nephew. So every day I would pick up my mom, sometimes sleeping overnight at her place, to see my uncle. To say this was difficult is an understatement. My mom and uncle were really close and it was really hard on her. This is the first time I've ever had to deal with someone in a coma and off life support and someone who was really grieving. It was one of the most difficult few days of my life simply because I had no idea what to do. What do you tell someone who had someone pass away and among other things she was his healthcare power of attorney and thus was the one that made the decision to end life support? "Things are going to get better?" No, they're not going to get better, her brother just died without warning. About the only comfort I was able to provide was that she made the right decision because no one wants to be like he would even if he survived, which was highly unlikely. We did find a Living Will the day after life support was ended so we did do as he wished. While at the hospital nurses said the same thing. Also they said that some people will keep the person on life support for months not be able to let go. Which I fully understand it's not an easy decision to make. But at the same time it's just prolonging the pain for everyone. He passed away 4 or 5 days after life support was stopped. He was a Vietnam veteran and given a proper military funeral.

The next order of bad news came about a month after again I got a call from my mother upset. This time it was my father that passed away. I only say this wasn't as bad because we were more prepared for this. At this point both my brother and sister were back from vacation and so they helped with a lot of the planning for funeral and such as I lived about 45 minutes from all of them. He passed away in his sleep. Cause of death was Pneumonia caused by Covid-19. So anyone who still somehow thinks covid isn't real I have a death certificate to show you. Also a Vietnam veteran he was given a proper military funeral.

Some things I'd like to mention. With all these deaths it makes one want to make sure all their things are in order if they happen to just suddenly die. From my uncle I inherited one of his cars. In Ohio you can setup a TOD (transfer on death) on a car title. If you have one then you don't have to deal with probate, it's immediately the property of whoever is the TOD. Unfortunately this is not well known and while my uncle setup POD (payable on death) for most of his bank accounts he didn't setup anything on cars. This required the cars to go through probate court which took 5 months before the car was actually in my name. That whole time it was sitting in garage and I couldn't drive it as it wasn't in my name, or my mothers. So I urge you to check in your state if you can set up a TOD and to do so as it means one less thing to deal with after your gone.

Speaking of probate court, a Will makes probate court go much faster. Five months is considered "fast." I did not have a will and I wanted to change that. There is a site that is truly free to create a pretty decent will, freewill.com. All it does is asks you a couple times to leave part of your estate as a donation to some charities that make the service possible. It is entirely optional and you don't have to donate anything. The hardest part was getting the thing signed as there's a whole "ceremony" to it because you have to gather up everyone in the same room and sign the will as they witness who then have to sign the will as well. Also as a friendly reminder don't modify the will in any way like removing staples or anything as that makes it look suspicious in the eyes of the court.

Another thing to consider is to create a Living Will. This is just a specific type of advanced directive that says to end life support if you are in a vegetative state and deemed by 2 doctors to remain in such state even if you gain consciousness. Just search the internet for "[your state] living will" to find some form to fill out. This is actually a bit easier as it just has to be notarized which your bank will typically do for free. Even if you don't want to do what the living will lays out I urge you to get some sort of advanced directive as well as a healthcare power of attorney.

So, with all that you may think what else could happen? Well in November I was told the project I was on at work was being "sunset" (they didn't say that but find the term funny) and that includes my position. AKA I became part of a "business action". AKA I was laid off. Though the way they did it was admittedly pretty good. I was told that December 31st (yep, today) would be my last day at my current position. Assuming I didn't find a job there was an additional severance package. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to go in to details about the severance package as a condition of accepting it but it was fair. I was mainly still at the company because of the people I worked with. Any new position I took I wouldn't be working with any of previous team and thus I didn't really find a good match. Thus I will indeed be unemployed as the ball drops. Fortunately I have enough of a buffer with money and with the severance package where I'm still financially sound. I plan on taking a couple weeks to analyze what I want to pursue, if different from what I previously did, and then don't really expect any issue finding a job in current job market.

Oh I guess I usually have a spot in these where I talk about personal relationship stuff. Yeah, I didn't really do anything for reasons above. So that makes this subject nice and short.

So while 2022 had a lot of bad things happen I do have a new job to look forward to which can be exciting in it's own sorta way. So that's the main thing I'm looking forward to next year. Also hopefully next year won't be as much a downer.

Posted in General. |

2020/2021 Year in Review

January 1, 2022 at 5:29 am

A double year review this time around. Of course I planned on doing one for last year but I kept putting it off and by the time I thought of working on it we were already halfway through the year.

Fortunately for my family COVID-19 hasn't been too bad. While a few have gotten it no one was ever in serious condition. It's still been emotionally taxing. For example pretty much all of 2020 I didn't visit parents--something I usually do once a week--out of fear that I may be a carrier and while my mother would be serious because of her age and a couple medical conditions it would likely have been really bad for my father. Of their three kids I lived the furthest away which made me think if anyone would get it I would and then transmit it to rest of family. Thus I setup a county-level quarantine and didn't leave the county for a little over 12 months. Only once vaccines were out and parents got it did I finally come back over. As I write this we're in the midst of another wave that's highly contagious and even vaccinated people are transmitting it. While I'm still going over to parents that's pretty much all I'm going out to do.

Work has been fairly uneventful. We're still working from home with no real date set for when we return to office. With work as my main socializing outlet this has been a pretty rough couple years. Fortunately it sounds like they are now embracing a hybrid work flow where people will work some days from home and others from office. Prior to this I worked from home twice a week and it was really useful. Especially when I always made Tuesday a specific day off. This allowed me to make appointments and such for Tuesday and know I will be working from home.

About the middle of 2019? Wow it's been that long... Anyway around that time I said to myself I'm tired of being a loner. I'm going to start dating again. Keep in mind my last girlfriend was back in 2000 or so and even that was... "complicated." But I've been on a few of the dating apps that whole time usually go on and get discouraged after a couple weeks and stop. Not this time. I went through cleared out all the old pictures, updated profiles, and was ready to go. I spent at least an hour every day almost without fail. Liking profiles, if it's a platform that lets you leave messages then I do. I did this till probably around mid December of 2021. In that whole period, like 2 1/2 years, of spending all this time I never met a single person. A few weeks I've basically come to the conclusion that if I ever do meet someone again it's not going to be on a dating app. What really made me stop is when I do get a match I then assume it's a fake account because I've been on these for over two years, have seen these profiles pop up multiple times, why now did they match and not the other dozen times? Having a bit of skepticism isn't a bad thing but when I'm convinced anyone I match with now is just a fake account trying to get money from me I should call it quits. Where do I go from here? I don't know. Perhaps I should just deal with the fact I'm going to be forever alone.

In 2019 I mentioned starting to get in to woodworking. Well I'm still doing that. Again haven't done too many notable things. One thing I want to do is gather up pictures I have of everything and toss it in the gallery. Also at some point I took up leatherworking as well. Mainly when it was cold out and didn't want be in garage. Haven't gotten to involved with that hobby just yet. Though I already find myself looking at leather goods and knowing if it really was hand sewn or sewed via machine.

Shooting competitions have been on hold partly because of COVID and partly I haven't really been practicing, also because of not wanting to go in a crowded shooting range during COVID. There's an outdoor range nearby but I always went there to shoot shotguns since I can shoot out to 200 yards. Hopefully next year things will have settled enough that I can go to a shooting range. Also I hope to have the sight on my open gun working again (Never again getting C-More... maybe other models are good but the one I used failed twice and then after coming back the battery tab broke off...)

That's all the regular update stuff. If you don't like depressing stories feel free to ignore the rest of this post.

The other big even that happened the past 2 years was the passing of my two cats. Buster was a himalayan (adopted, so not known for certain but he looked like a himalayan) born around March of 2009. Couple years later I got Bandit, another adopted cat that was a mix between a siamese and a maine coon--Imagine a more furry, darker siamese and that's about what he looks like. I'm intentionally not showing a picture as it just feels wrong to show pictures of them somehow, kinda hard to explain. Anyway a few years ago Bandit was diagnosed with lymphoma (aka cancer). He had to take a pill every day which was quite a chore at first but we both got used to this. For 18 months or so, every day without skipping, I gave him this pill. Had to skip out on going on sometimes and others I just had to go home first and make sure he got his pill. Well then in middle of January I went to pick him up and he started to scream, which he never did. I gave it overnight and next day he did the same thing... You ask anyone how you know when it's time to have a pet euthanized and the answer is always "You will know when." Well that doesn't really help any but it is the unfortunate truth of things. That was when I knew it was his time. Then towards the end of that year Buster would barely eat anything. After a couple days of this I knew it was time for him. So I made an appointment for next morning. I checked on him and went to take a shower and when I came back saw him laying on the floor apparently having a stroke perhaps 30 minutes before his appointment.

This is the point where I say it doesn't suck. Well it does suck, a lot. What was worse part was having one cat get sick and then right after the other cat gets sick so it was just a couple years of uncertainty when it's the time for it. Only thing I wish I did more was confide in friends I had but I thought I would just be a hinderance or something. Even though if the same thing happened with a friend and they wanted me to come over or whatever I would without hesitation as it just seems like the right thing to do. This is a common thing with me where I assume it would be a bother for someone else but if the roles reversed I wouldn't be bothered.

Originally I was going to give a step by step of the process as it's something I couldn't find online but I've gone on about this enough. The one thing I will say is pay the extra for having them put asleep before euthanized. It spreads the process out as it takes a few minutes to take effect but I'll never forget those final moments I had. I stayed with them till the end as again it felt like what I should do. Though a couple times they asked if I was going to be present so if you don't think you can handle it then don't feel bad about leaving. From what I found people will leave after they are asleep but again every person is different. The other tip I will give just from what I read online is to not look at their eyes. Some of the descriptions I heard were rather heartbreaking. Reason being when they do administer the drug to stop their heart it takes effect extremely fast, like within 60 seconds. This is why I suggest opting for having them put asleep first. The place I took it to automatically did it but some places you may have to ask for it. One last thing I'll mention is the cost. With everything including having them cremated and ashed returned was about $600 for each. So if your cats are starting to get sick just make sure to have some money saved up because it's not cheap. Though $600 was about average price from what I read online.

It's not all doom and gloom. After about 7 months I felt I could finally start looking at getting another cat. Well about a month later a friend messaged me they caught some strays they were going to put up for adoption and asked if I wanted any. I said sure but I only wanted to get one so not having to possible deal with an extended period of time with two getting sick. Well then they said they wanted to adopt two because the two were always hanging out together. So I ended up getting two cats. Hopefully it won't be the same situation as before.

Posted in General. |

2019 Year in Review

January 1, 2020 at 4:49 am

Another year, another year in review. This is going to be kinda short. Nothing really noteworthy happened this year. Partly this was due to some personal issues which I later realized was likely the cause of me "not feeling motivated" to do shooting competitions and the like. So that's been taken care of for the most part but still didn't do any shooting competitions or even really go to range that much. May start picking that up over the winter and maybe start doing it again because I did enjoy it even if I wasn't all that good.

About the only notable new thing I started is wood working. It's always been an interest but just didn't have the tools. I redid some acoustic panels I have setup in some rooms to reduce echos and such and the way I designed the new frames I needed a table saw. So I bought one of those and that started me down a rabbit hole of buying a few other tools and making some stuff in garage. It's a little annoying because I also want to keep parking in garage so I have to move everything out of the way when I'm done at night to park car. Does help keep garage somewhat clean. Haven't made anything to noteworthy yet just a couple storage cabinets and refinished an old plant stand I made in high school.

Really that's about it as far as important things go. This year I'll hopefully get some more stuff happening. I've been tossing around the idea of moving partly motivated by wanting a dedicated workshop area or at least a large enough garage where I can make one part a dedicated workshop. I'll see how that goes.

Posted in General. |

2018 Year in Review

January 1, 2019 at 4:32 am

Big event this year was going to Miku Expo in Los Angeles. It all started early in the year when I was talking to a coworker at lunch. He mentioned Miku was coming to the US this year and if I wanted to go. Without hesitation I was like hell yeah. I'm not so much a fan of Miku herself but the idea behind it fascinated me as well as the tech that was used to have her appear on stage. So we get back to work and he messaged me an hour or so later he bought the tickets. Being super excited I asked what the date was and where at and said he booked the first concert and it was in LA. My initial joy turned in to panic. I live in Ohio. Los Angeles is about 2,400 miles away. It's about a 5 hour flight. The last time I was on a plane was back in 2006 when I went to Japan. I've never traveled anywhere west of the Mississippi other than in airports. Main concern was dealing with TSA and making sure I have everything packed properly. Well after he said it was in LA we both came to this realization that now we have to work on flights and hotel and such. So we got all the details figured out and a few grand later we were all set.

It's also worth mentioning that while I've been over this persons house before to watch movies and such I haven't spent an extended amount of time. As the trip to Japan taught me two people that seemed to get along fine once you're stuck with them for extended amount of time can get annoying. But at the same time if this did work out maybe I can pick up traveling again and have someone to go with me as stuff like hotel rooms cost the same if it's one or two people so you can individually save half the cost vs going by yourself.

There were several firsts during this trip. Aside from what I mentioned thus far it was also my first time using a ride share service and we were going to use it the entire time we're there. I live fairly close to the airport and didn't want to bother anyone to come out and take me so I even used it to go from house to airport. I used Lyft the entire time. I installed both Lyft and Uber and comparing the two Uber always seemed to be slightly more expensive or not a lot were around me. At any rate I highly recommend using ride sharing if you ever visit LA. Not dealing with traffic was absolutely worth it. Plus it really wasn't that expensive.

I've already been going on about this but all I'll really say about the concert itself is it was far better than I realized. Like I wish we got VIP tickets and be all the way up front. The projection technology looks way better in person. There's several times where I forgot I was seeing a character being projected on to a piece of special glass. Far and away this was the most spontaneous thing I've ever done in my life and I'd absolutely do it all over again. Maybe this will be the kick I need to travel more?

One other interesting thing we didn't realize at the time we booked everything but the following week was Anime Expo which is one of the biggest anime conventions in the US. If we realized it we would have stayed another week but to make the changes while we were already there would have cost way too much. Also if in LA check out Little Tokyo. We were there pretty much every day eating some place different. Anyway maybe I'll expand on this all in a later post but in summary, it was fun.

While I got some pictures and video we were further back on first floor. But someone recorded the entire thing from the VIP area to give an idea of what it was like. Like I said the display technology doesn't translate well to videos, guessing the higher frame rate isn't captured right or something.

Didn't do many shooting competitions this year. No real reason other than wasn't too motivated so just took a break this year. Maybe I'll get back in to it next year.

I just did the final step for coralize.net and killed the hosting service for it. Hopefully anyone that has used it has reverted back to using a direct url.

Notable things I mentioned last year that I said I was going to do. First off I haven't done anything to this website. The captcha form still seems to work I think. Still not sure what I want to do with this site. Don't want to move it to wordpress because I'd have to constantly keep it up to date. May try one of those site generators that generates a static site.

Check back as the end of the year came up really fast it seemed so I'll likely be updating it (and rss reader isn't going to see the updates. Assume I'll have everything said I wanted to by first week of January).

As always I'm on twitter and github.

Posted in General, Website, Geek Talk, Security and Privacy. |

2017 Year in Review

December 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm

I guess this year was fairly uneventful. Made some progress I wanted to in previous year but didn't get to everything.

I wanted to remove the intensedebate stuff since litterally this year I had zero comments, which is fine. Not like I really publicize this much. Removing intensedebate will free up a lot of the rules I have set in CSP that I'll be able to remove. Been interesting to see reports come in about blocked content and it's like google fonts and I saw ads a couple times. Also it seems like the pcname generator is being used in applications, which I'm fine with, but it's not just grabbing the url on it's own but inserting other content which then CSP blocks. Just to make sure I tested the api endpoint I have and running curl https://vrillusions.com/pcname/api works as expected. Also want to enable 100% https on all my subdomains of vrillusions.com. Did that on some but others need work.

Over the past year dreamhost has been having some issues with mail. Seems like they're working on it and have made improvements but it's still having issues. Nowadays with everything using email to confirm your identity on new logins or for certain actions having email working is critical. Also the spam filtering setup isn't as good as I hope. So I'm looking at getting a dedicated server to move mail to. Have one already just need to get it setup. May wait till Ubuntu 18.04 LTS comes out. I have a couple other domains using google's custom mail stuff from when that was still free but like not having all email hosted at google.

Also I got a notice about the recaptcha I'm using on contact page is going away in 2018. That'll be fun to update since I'm using a plugin for kohana which it itself is an older version I haven't updated. May just update that although not sure what will break from it. Also I think there's an easy way to add the new recaptcha code so may not be a big issue. Just something I have to look in to.

As of November 27, 2017 I have all requests on corralize.net returning "410 Gone". Also that site expires January 4th. I'm renewing it in 2018 but that will be the last time. So likely shortly after Jan 4, 2018 it's going to be picked up by a squatter. If for some reason you want it (not just to show ads) let me know from contact page and I'll transfer it to you for free. All I ask is you don't touch nameservers till Jan 1, 2019.

The HTML only archive of rexforum.com is still a think I need to do. Haven't really looked for any software to do it.

Nothing particularly new with work. Which I guess is both good and bad. Things are getting More Gooder...

USPSA matches have been going well. Finally got my Open division gun mostly working. Still ran in to some issues so didn't get to go out and shoot open matches too often. Hopefully will be doing more of that next year.

Still going to gym, still not losing as much weight as I want but I seem to feel in better shape so not a complete waste of time.

You can find me on twitter and still doing stuff on GitHub

Posted in General, Website, Geek Talk, Security and Privacy. |

2016 Year in Review

January 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

Good news is I didn't have many goals set in my 2015 Year in Review so not much that I didn't do. I did still want to post more here, but that's still holding on rewriting the site, which I haven't started yet. Still trying to decide on framework to use. Still weighing differences with django and flask.

In other site news you'll see that now it's https. Dreamhost had one click integration with Let's Encrypt and those are domain validate certs that anyone can get. The whole process is automated so it's completely free. Not like I'm doing anything that requires it but it doesn't cost anything. I've also turned setup HTTP Strict Transport Security and setup Content Security Policy. This is basically as secure as I can make it. Setting up CSP was interesting as it reveals just how many places even a site like this contacts. Most of the permissions in there are because of IntenseDebate which I still haven't removed. It was also the final thing I was waiting for before I could be 100% https. I know the rewrite of site isn't going to have comments so it will definitely be gone then.

As you may or may not know I maintain corralize.net which helped generate urls to cached content. Well that server has been off and on for years so I'm working on deprecating it. Right now if you use it you're just redirected to the original site. Eventually I'm going to have it return the "410 Gone" response which tells web browsers and search engines that the site is no longer here and there's no where to go and so it will get removed from search engines. I know once I drop the registration it's going to get snatched up by a domain squater but hopefully by the time I'm done no one is actually using it.

I'm still trying to get an html only archive of rexforum.com. I'm sure if it wasn't for me basically removing any non essential php scripts it would have probably been hacked by now so I just want it to be HTML.

Work has been going OK. The acquisition I think isn't going off as people hoped from a company culture side and the sysops team I'm in has been rearranged several times. We've lost a lot of people and so far no one has been hired to replace them. Perhaps Linux Sysadmins are just that hard to find in Cleveland. I have no plans on leaving. If you take a step back from the daily drama that comes up we're generally going in a positive direction. Hopefully it will continue that way.

When not working I've now started shooting at USPSA competitions. It's a lot more fun than I originally expected. Not particularly that good at it but I'm also shooting with people that have been doing this for 20-30 years. Also I got me a 3D printer for the heck of it. You can get them fairly inexpensive on eBay, mine is by Geeetech (that points to their eBay store) and bought the "Prusa I3 Pro B". Is it as good as the $3000 ones? I dunno but for $250 (as of publishing it's now $200) it's good enough.

I'm also still going to gym. I haven't lost as much weight as I was hoping for but I am losing it. Also my blood pressure that was always borderline high is now staying slightly below high. Still not full of energy after working out no matter what other people say. No real goals set for the coming year other than keep at it.

As usual you can find me on twitter and still doing stuff on GitHub

Posted in General, Website, Geek Talk, Security and Privacy. |

2015 Year in Review

December 31, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Keeping up with tradition I haven't really done anything I mentioned in 2014 year in review. Notably this year I was let go from the job I've had for 10+ years. It's a little hard to give a real number since it's rather complicated. I was hired back in 2004 as a PHP developer. I was working for a company that was a spinoff the of the main company. Well it then broke off from that company into another one (yes, it's confusing, and made taxes fun a couple years). That company was founded in 2006 or so but I still worked with the same people throughout. At any rate when this company started I was one of 5 people, including the boss. When I left it was over 40 I think. Had a lot of growing pains and put in a lot of hard hours. Anyway this year they did some restructuring (leaving out details as I'm not sure if it's considered confidential info still) and remove my position as well as several others in department. Don't have any hard feelings towards them and I wish that company the best.

The job hunt now was a lot different from back in 2004. Pretty much every resume I sent out I at least got a call back from. Apparently the Cleveland area is starved for Linux Administrators. After only two months being unemployed I accepted a new job. Took like a month and a half to finally get in there (they were recently acquired so they weren't used to the new process things had to go through).

New job operates in the health care industry and has a really interesting part in it. Also this company is a lot bigger at almost 200 people which has been great to not have to do everything all the time, or be on call 24/7/365 since it's spread across like 12 people or something. Have been getting along with coworkers well which was my big worry starting at a new place and doing more stuff that I wanted to do.

Other new things this year is I finally started going to gym. Partly due to pay increase I got from new job and partly not wanting to be a fat slob. I did jogging after work a few years ago but stopped once it got cold out and then when I would get home late from work I didn't want to go out. I compromised and got a membership at a local gym. Not a fan of running in place on a treadmill but I'll be able to do it year round and I've already seen some improvements after only a couple months. Even see a personal trainer for resistance training / weight lifting which was something I always wanted to do but was always too afraid I'd mess up my back or something. Who knows maybe a year from now I'll be saying I lost 50 pounds...

Due to leaving the previous job, which was where I had this server hosted, I had to move things around. Ultimately I went back to using my Dreamhost account. It's definitely improved since I last used it. I'm still looking at getting a hosted server somewhere because they do some stuff with email that I don't like, also can't tweak spam settings like I can with my own server.

I did some updates to permit cookies addon. I'm looking at updating it again because the API it's using is so old Mozilla is planning on deprecating it soon. Shouldn't be too hard to rewrite but still annoying.

I ended up dropping my ".email" TLD. Two years later and still have a lot of sites not accepting it so I'm using toddeddy.com which I've had for a while now. I've even been considering moving this site over to toddeddy.com since it's always been hard to give out my domain name since I have to spell it out and such. Still have to spell out toddeddy.com but at least then someone will know how to spell my name. Not sure if I want to do that though. Also I want to maintain all redirects so even 10 years ago you type in the url of this page and it will redirect you to the appropriate place on new domain. Still haven't done much with site rewrite. Just changes to a local copy of site.

Other things I did this year was go on vacation to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with parents. It's become a really big tourist trap place though. I did end up doing this blacksmith thing where I made a pretty cool knife out of a railroad spike. Also have made an attempt at trying to get house cleaned up, took a bunch of old computers to recycling place this year. Been hoarding them for close to 15 years so I'm glad to be gone with them.

In 2016 I'm looking forward to being in better shape. Don't have any real concrete goals in regards to working out. Just be in better shape. Things like losing weight are going to happen. I have been considering moving. Current place I live is all right but it's kinda old. If I want to bring it up today, open floor plan, etc it's going to cost a lot. Rather just go somewhere that's newer and have all that done already. Also I've seen enough of those home remodeling shows where they find beams missing or pools of water that I don't want to do work on my place. Probably won't go anywhere but I've been looking at least.

I'm still on twitter and github a lot and probably best places to see what I'm up to throughout the year.

Posted in General, Website, Geek Talk. |

2014 Year in Review

January 10, 2015 at 7:06 am

As usual most of what I mentioned in 2013 recap I didn't actually do. While I have been working on moving site over to django it's been slow going. Work has been keeping me busy. I do still plan on hosting images locally and moving the site to https everywhere. Especially since the EFF and several others are working on making basic ssl certificates available for free. I'm fully verified at CACert but I still don't think any browsers actually have their certificate installed by default.

Some things I did actually do though, I moved my home servers to a single HP Microserver N54L running VMWare ESXi. Been working nicely and like that now I just have this single small server instead of just using my old desktops computers. Also I did create a new PGP key, you can get the new one on my contact page.

In 2013 a new TLD, ".email", was available and I thought maybe if I got a lastname.email domain I could setup email on that since I always end up having to spell out "vrillusions" when I give my email anywhere. Now the problem is a lot of websites don't think "user@example.email" is a valid email address. So for the time being I'm using both addresses. I'll never get rid of "vrillusions.com", but was hoping to phase out using it for email though.

Most of my spare time has been spent doing stuff for work. One notable thing is I got very familiar with how Amazon's AWS services work. We deployed a new environment that's entirely hosted in aws and has high availability and auto scalers and all that fun stuff. To say it's been a lot of work is an understatement but it has turned out pretty well.

Haven't really been doing much in the way of photography as of late. For whatever reason I haven't really been too motivated to go out and take pictures. Pretty much only time I took out my camera was for Ohayocon last year.

This year I'm not really planning anything too big. Maybe this year I'll do the website stuff. Also I need to get around to updating the version of Ubuntu the server is running (it's still getting security updates but some of the new fancy stuff for SSL isn't available in it). I'm also debating dropping my dreamhost account. Have a couple sites on it but none of them are high traffic or anything. Also this may be the year I drop my usenet account. Another one of those things I haven't used in years.

As usual I can be found complaining about stuff on twitter and my github account is usually somewhat active. Notably I plan on doing some updates to permit cookies extension that are a little overdue, at some point.

Posted in General, Website, Geek Talk, Security and Privacy. |

Ohayocon 2014

March 2, 2014 at 3:38 am

Ohayocon 2014

First off sorry about taking so long to get these up. I know I gave my card to a couple people I took pictures of so sorry to keep you waiting.

Didn't have any photo shoots this time around and was a nice change. Didn't have to worry about meeting up with anyone, getting stressed over the photoshoots themselves, etc. I always have trouble taking pictures just roaming around. Usually it's so crowded I don't want to block the flow of traffic, even if most people don't seem to care too much.

Anyway, rest of pictures can be found here.

Posted in Anime, Photography. |

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