Author - Web Developer - Educator
Found 11 results for tag "ab"
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How many drafts does it take?

As I browse through my online profiles, I realize that I haven't updated my blog. IN 5 MONTHS! Geez, my online life really has fallen behind. I'm not proud of that.

My many drafts
My many drafts for Omega Noir
So, what has been keeping me busy? I'm glad you asked:

Working on 3rd draft of Omega Noir 1 manuscript


During NanoWrimo 2015, I wrote the majority of "Omega Noir: Ascension", which was the first of my magical fantasy series. During 2016, I finished the manuscript and began editing it, and really liked where it was going. However, while writing "Omega Noir: Chaos Cast" (#2), and editing what I had of that, I realized two things:
  1. Vol 1(1) had lots of plot holes
  2. Vol 2(1) had a sucky villian


So I started a 2nd draft of Omega Noir (#1), and got about 70 pages in, but I realized I was doing the same thing: making sucky villians and building up plot holes. Additionally, the story didn't flow the same way, and lost even MY interest.

Hence, I began Draft #3. This one has a better hook, explains as it goes, and keeps on moving. I'm already 56 pages in, and so much has already happened, with a lot more to go!

Teaching Japanese Elementary and Middle School


My job in Japan has me teaching at 4 different schools: 2 elementary schools (1-6 grade) and 2 middle schools (7-9 grade). My job: Teaching (or assisting in teaching) the English Language.

Luckily, the programs have already been planned out, so all I have to do is show up, maybe bring an activity, and be active. It's not the hardest job in the world, but it is technically the first 8-5 job I've had.

Teaching AB Tech


While teaching English during the day, I'm also teaching HTML by night (well, late evening). I still have my job with AB Tech, and I'm so happy that AB Tech was willing to let me keep my job while across the world. I've had to do a lot of video recording (and editing) as my course is completely online, so I can't just show up and talk for two hours like I did before.

Managing Japanoblog


Japanoblog has become a big part of our lives. While in Japan, we have traveled around the area, including Tokyo and Kyoto, documenting different adventures, sights, foods, and more. Although we still have to work on the weekdays, it's nice to get out and share our adventures with our fans.

Managing the cats


Getting the cats to Japan (after the paperwork) was easy. However, shortly after we arrived, the cats got fleas. We're still not quite sure how, because they never had fleas in America, and we didn't bring them. But somehow, they got fleas, and we've been fighting them ever since. The two of them fight like siblings and we keep them fed and watered, and they like the treats that Japan has to offer.

During some nights, Maru will come into the bedroom and sleep on our heads (or lick our faces) while Chi traps us under the blankets. Other nights (or days), neither of them will enter the bedroom, and when we drag them in, they immediately dash out. No idea why.

Figuring out Japan lifestyle


Comapring Japan to America is like night and day (which, since we're 14 hours ahead, can be a literal definition). There are many things in Japan that are different from America, such as traveling, paying bills, bank accounts, phones, and more. We'll do an article/video on Japanoblog and talk about that in detail.

So until the next post, I'm still busy.


Tags:#tokyo #kyoto #japanoblog #cats #abtech #english #omeganoir

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The Move, the Jobs, and the Editing

Me in Japan!I'm on my bike, in Japan!
So, you may be wondering "Where has Kyle been?" I have a very good answer: busy. Okay, that's not a very good answer. How about this one: In the past month, I have done the following:

  • Packed up the Waynesville house for selling and moving
  • Had the cats examined and ready to move
  • Moved to Japan!
  • Attended training for my "new" job - teaching english
  • Maintaining the Japanese apartment
  • Planned out the new semester for a WEB 115 online course that I am teaching with AB Tech, all the way across the world
  • Recorded videos for WEB 115, edited, and published them (per section - I'm up to Chapter 3 out of 9)
  • Organized Moodle for WEB 115, which was a mess, since I merged my seated class with my "attempt" at my previous online WEB 115 class, so I had to sort that out)
  • Traveled to Tokyo multiple times to take care of some visa documentation
  • Attended more training for my English teaching job
  • Traveled to some of the schools that I will be teaching at
  • Prepped for a presentation at the Board of Education, who ultimately decides my fate with my new job
  • Edited the physical copy of Omega Noir (I'm editing the digital manuscript now)
  • Updating all profile information to either Raleigh or Japan
  • Communicating with in-laws about stuff we left in Waynesville, in Raleigh, and/or selling items
  • ....and I'm sure I left something off of this list

So I've been busy. Since I'm now (and hopefully) a full-time Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) with this company (instead of a substitute, which I was originally hired as), I will be working 40 hours a week between 2 elementary schools and 2 junior high schools; I'm also teaching/managing an online session of WEB 115 with AB Tech; and I'm editing/rewriting Omega Noir, so it can hopefully be released by the end of the year.

Why? I want "Omega Noir 2" to start in November, so I can participate in NaNoWriMo again.

Japanoblog!Japanoblog
Oh, did I mention that I'm also working on Keat and my side project, Japanoblog? Yeah, we're also doing that when we have some free time.
I know I've been slack on my personal site's postings - I've dedicated more time to Japanoblog while I've been at the apartment (shooting video, editing video, creating the blog post, managing social media presence, etc) along with making sure that my WEB 115 course is up-to-date (wash, rinse, repeat - minus the social media), and prepping for my new ALT job.

Overall, I have a lot on my plate - and that's how I like it. While working full time, having a part time online teaching job, writing/editing books, and managing/shooting/editing video and posts for a side job, I've got a lot to do. Am I making excuses? No, I just don't have a lot of free time. Does that mean I will stop writing? Of course not, but I won't have as much dedicated time to get my books done as fast as I originally hoped (which also means my parody book, The Story: Epic Conquest of Tag may have to wait until probably 2019 or so


Tags:#japan, #omega #noir, #the #story, #web #115, #ab #tech, #alt

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Night Blade: Dusk of Demise Writing Results

Night Blade 3 Cover Okay, enough with the moping of my terrifying day last week. I thought it would be better to write a post about my latest book, Night Blade: Dusk of Demise and its progress (see Volume 1 Review and Volume 2 Results).

So, without further ado, here's the report for Volume 3!

As of September 17th, I finished the manuscript for Night Blade: Dusk of Demise! 80,000 words and roughly 300 pages in, and I'm beginning the (less interesting) editing process.

The good news is that I wrote Book 3 in a total of 50 days (well, 50 consecutive days over the course of roughly 6 months (April 24 - Sept 17). 80,000 words in 50 days - it's 20k more than Book 1, and just about twice as long. But keep in mind that the latter half of the book was written while I currently hold down 2 part time jobs: teaching computer courses at AB Tech and Table Games Dealer at Harrah's Cherokee. The Dealing job has been good for the pay, and the teaching job has been satisfactory for my own expansion of knowledge.

Regardless, while writing Book 3 in my spare time around a 24-32 hour (per week) job at night, then a 4-8 hour (per week) job during the day, I've been spending a lot of my free time sleeping, because I can't fit it in otherwise.

Word Count

Some of those writing days only got about a few hundred words in, while other days unloaded a few thousand words. It was certainly challenging trying to finish the book, as the original script was only through about 2/3 of the content. Trying to find out where the other 1/3 of the content would come from was interesting, since I really didn't know, which makes writing all of Book 4 a large challenge, especially as I've already set up the high word goal of 80k+. I've been told that I'm taking the "J. K. Rowling approach" in making every subsequential book longer. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not.
Word Total
Book Word GoalWord TotalDifference
Dawn of Discovery50,00059,993+19.98%
Day of Reckoning60,00082,220+37%
Dusk of Demise70,00086,844+24.1%
Dark of the Night80,000100,000+20%

I'm hoping that Book 4 does work out well, since I have an idea about how to take the story, but don't have the pre-written script as before. My expectation is that it will take roughly 90 consecutive days of writing, probably over the span of 6 months, which should make it roughly April 2015 for its release. I wish I could get it done by November, so I could complete the series in a year and have the book signing during the celebration, but I don't think that's going to happen. Well, we'll see what happens.


Tags:#nightblade #harrahs #abtech #wordcount

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Summer Review

This has certainly been a crazy summer. Since my last post in May, I'll sum up what has happened, but first, this:
Dilbert

Business:

  • We have decided to evolve the business: after 7 years of creating client websites, we are taking a different direction focus to the business. The plan is as follows: we will be offering "quick to create" CMS websites at a low-end price for the businesses and organizations that don't have $1000 to spend for a website, and require the ability to update their own website (although we have been pushing and emphasizing our "Website Management" service), and focusing more on developing "Software as a Service" (SaaS) applications. These applications include the following:

    • CityFix

    • OmniCard

    • WNC Local (which is actually coming along quite nicely since I am developing a primary framework for it to work off of, which I can use for other projects to help reduce the amount of coding required)

    • ScrumIt

    • ...and a few others


    Let's just say that based on what our developers want, they would like the ability to code, develop, design, test, and innovate in-house applications instead of having to conform to deadlines or produce less-than-quality websites.

  • Based on the next upcoming months, we should be moving out of our current office space. All details aside, things just aren't working in our favor to keep it. The move out should happen within the next 60 days.

  • We did receive 2 new clients during the away-time, but we also lost about 5 clients. One client we gained wanted a full-fledge basic website, while the other wanted some custom work done to their current site. Either way, it's good money. However, we did lose about 5 clients, and (to say what I've told others) I have no specific idea why. So there was some bad to go with the good, but I do believe that this was a sign telling us to get out of the "design client websites" business. Therefore, "message received."

  • (This can be classified as either business or personal, but either way) I signed up for CoFoundersLab.com, which is basically a Match.com for Entrepreneurs. Overall, I like the concept, and within the first few days of signing up, I already had a meeting with a potential business partner in Asheville. (I put on there that "[I am] looking for someone to join [me]" to help bring all of these SaaS services up to speed. We can produce the code if they can manage the business) After the meeting, things went well, but not as well as expected. I was later contacted by many people who were looking for me to join them. When I explained that I already had prototypes of my services and were looking for someone to join me, they backed off. However, I did receive one good contact from Atlanta who (after a lengthy phone conversation) will send me investor connections he has. So, things look good so far.



Personal:

  • I beat Tales of the Abyss (finally). When I last played it, it took me over 70 hours to play fully, and when I reached the final boss, I could never beat him. Using a walkthrough I found (supercheats.com/playstation/walkthroughs/talesoftheabyss-walkthrough01.txt), I was able to level up appropriately and beat the final boss on the first try. I got to see the end of the game, and I'm playing through again with 2x the experience, which should allow me to beat the stronger optional boss at a later time. Yay!

  • Keat and I have started (seriously) began planning for the wedding. I'm saying "seriously" because her parents are finally getting serious. We have pretty much everything planned out, including: the locations, the downpayment schedules, the overall budget, the payment logs, the tuxes, the reception menu, the program design, invitation design, Save the Date designs, groomsmen, bridesmaids, preacher plans, limo scheduled, flowers, etc, etc etc. The only things that we have left are to finalize everything, test/decide on the cake, and order the printing material. Just over a year to go.

  • I was interviewed for the Magnet Program for Wake County Public Schools. I wasn't quite sure what to expect (since I had been through the magnet program since 1st grade and didn't have anything to compare it to), but I went down last Tuesday, went through the interview on Wednesday, and got it over.

  • I finished my Python program through Coursera and received a 90.6% with distinction (I didn't do the first week's quizzes). Not bad for my first online course. I tried to enroll in a "Programming with Design" course, but that seemed to be more of a "how to emphasize design in programming" geared more towards designers with little to no coding, so not really my kind of course. I also tried enrolling in an Algorithm course from Stanford, but I did not have the time during my week to watch 20 hours of videos each week, so I had to unenroll myself out of that course.

  • I've tried to install Ubuntu on my home server and failed miserably. After multiple, multiple attempts at trying to install it, I believe the issue was that my hard drive had officially died. I don't mean "dead as a doornail" kind of dead, but it could not have anything else written to it, so I cannabilized the spare office computer and inserted the hard drive from it into my machine, and I'm using that version of Ubuntu on the old mainframe. Not pretty, but it works.

  • Keat and I have picked walking back up. Based on the past few weeks, we are doing an average of 2.5 miles a night, at a pace of 2.2 mph, which isn't bad. I'm sure I can go a lot faster, but I'm going Keat's speed, which is fine with me. I'll get up to running around the block again....one of these days.

  • I finally saw "Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead". This is the one Tennant movie that I could not get via Netflix or any other online streaming source (aside from BitTorrent), and while I was in Raleigh for my WCPSS interview, it was on BBC America! So I got to watch it! YAY!

  • One of my favorite animes, Sword Art Online, got an American adaptation with dubbing. Now, I know that I'm probably being prejudicial by saying "The American version won't be as good as the Japanese version", but in this case, I can freely admit that. Based on my previous blog posting, I said that I had a fan-crush on Asuna, and I meant that. However, when I heard that Toonami was picking up SAO when ThunderCats ended, I was excited....and scared. When I heard Episode 2 (that's the first one that we get to hear Asuna speak), I will admit that they didn't do anything to capture Asuna's spirit or personality. In addition, the same actress that played the daugter (Natsumi) in Sgt. Frog voices Asuna. I was semi-okay with the voice-over work, until the tail end of Episode 2 when Asuna said "I'm so stupid". At that point, I didn't see Asuna anymore, but the pink haired main female character from Sgt. Frog: Natsumi Hinata (don't get me wrong: Sgt Frog is a great, yet stupid, series). And...that ruined it for me. I still prefer the original Japanese version any day of the week.

  • I got a haircut. Yes, I know. "What a shocker!". I thought "It was time for me to get rid of the ponytail and get with a more realistic haircut....how about a 'David Tennant' inspired style?", and that's pretty much what I was aiming for. Not perfect, but I have a year to get it right before the wedding.
    My haircut

  • Wow, has it really been over 2 months since ConCarolinas? Keat and I attended Con during the first weekend in June and it was really fun. We saw the Team Tardis Cosplayers which did an amazing job cosplaying Doctors #9, #10, and #11, with an awesome real life Dalek, Keat entered into a Costume Contest as Katniss and she should have won (personal arguments against the actual winner aside, and the judges for making the contestants and audience wait 4 hours for a result), we met up with a lot of friends, attended a few parties, got a bunch of stuff, then drove back. I didn't have much of a costume, so I threw together some khaki's and a button up white shirt, trying to be Jamie Hyneman (I can't be Adam Savage), but it turned out more "Han Solo" than "Mythbuster" (see below image). Oh well, better luck next time.
    Wannabe Mythbuster turned Star Wars

That's it for now. I'll try to get back in to posting soon, as soon as I can get back into it.


Tags:#talesoftheabyss #saas #coursera #ps2 #wedding #ubuntu #debian #concarolinas #mythbuster

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Simple but effective: <label for=''>

It's amazing how something so simple can go a long ways, especially when most people don't know about it.

I'm talking about labels. Specifically, the <label for=''> attribute.

Common sense says "If you have a radio button or a checkbox on an HTML form, give it a label so people know what it is for."

Experience says "Make sure that each item has an id and name so it's universally accepted."

Better experience says "Add the for attribute to the label so your visitors don't require a microscope to click in the teeny-tiny little circle/box."

I will admit that Matt Inman (The Oatmeal) said it best:
The Oatmeal describes what [for] is for


If you don't code, here's what it looks like (click the label - doesn't do anything):

<label>Check Me</label> 
 
<input type='checkbox' name='ckbx'/>


Here's what the difference is (click the label, see the difference?):

<label for='ck_box'>Check Me</label> 
 
<input type='checkbox' name='ckbx' id='ck_box'/>


I just wanted to get that out in the open.

In summary, if you hand-code forms (like me), use the for attribute in your labels. It makes everybody's lives easier.


Tags:#label #for #labelfor #html #oatmeal #rant #tutorials

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(A Small) Time to Breathe

First, here's a good comic to celebrate 4/20:
4/20 with Cats

I don't think the term "crazy" defines the past few weeks around here. It would be more like....chaotic, crammed, catch-up, compiling, compunding....any other "C" words go here?

Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what I've done, and what is yet to come:
Shadow Dev:

  • Fairview's site is coming along, and should be ready by May 1. I spent a little too much time on their scraper, but when it ran, it was a beauty!

    Here's what it was supposed to do: scan the site for links, find product pages, and archive their current product listing.

    Here's what it did: scan the site for links, create a database of the links that every page goes to, scan each of the pages for a common phrase that is on the product pages (since the product pages didn't have a commonality among url's), scrape the code and find the product name, default ID, and default photo, scan for further images (both small and large photos), find the area that lists prices, grab and store the different types of prices and "packages", optimize the database for remote links and make them local, download all images that are listed in the database, scan through the database and delete duplicate product entries, scan the stored images and delete duplicates, and set up a test page to choose a random product and show the different images, prices, and listings based on the information presented. Yeah - that's a mouthful!

    With our other basic developer out of the area for a while, I have to finish the rest of Fairview's site in order to be ready by May 1. Here's the todo list for the next 10 days: finalize the design tweaks, create additional pages, integrate the information into the new pages, create a formalized version of the product pages, order/integrate an SSL certificate, and integrate a Merchant account into the system ready for a May 1 launch. Yay....

  • We've hired another Developer, Cheryl Mason, and she is a real gift! She knows more SEO stuff that I could have ever guessed. She's also well prepped for Developmental work. Put it this way: I had to spend about 3 months training our other developers from basic HTML 4.01 to HTML5, CSS3, basic PHP, MySQL, and basic Javascript/AJAX/jQuery. My overall experience with Cheryl took about 2 weeks. It looks like I may have found my replacement in the Development area! YAY!

  • We've finally finalized the transfer for one of our "potential" clients. I won't go into details, but I'll say this: Potential client "Pete" owns a business. He's had this business for X years. His primary source of new business comes from people calling in (our reasoning: his site didn't work well, so people had to call). Pete knows that his site wasn't doing too hot, and wanted to discuss details about getting a new site. Bad news, his wife owns the domain. More bad news: it's his ex-wife, and they are not on good terms. So.....after about 4 months or so, Pete's domain expired and was available to the world. Pete told us to get it for him. Well, by the time it was available for us to get it, his ex-wife renewed the domain (we believe it was auto-renewed, and she didn't know/care). So....Pete finally talked to his ex-wife and his hosting company, got the domain released, and gave us the EPP. From there, we exchanged a number of emails confirming the transfer (which is another reason we recommend updating the nameservers instead of a transfer, as a transfer can be really confusing and frustrating depending on the technical experience of the transferee). After about a week, the transfer finalized and we got it updated to our servers. He should be signing within the next few days.

  • We are developing some new services to produce some additional income. These services include a: Site Usability Report, Competitor Comparison Report, and In-Depth Analysis (which we used to offer for free, but the time spent on generating these reports didn't produce the ROI we expected). More details to come soon.

  • We are also developing a Rewards Program for our clients. Can't say much, but it should be coming out soon

  • The role of "Presenter" may also be taken off of my plate. I've talked to Cheryl about it, and she's really excited to have control of an SEO Seminar that we put on a while back. If things go well, we should be able to schedule that during the summer or fall. Can't wait to see what she produces!

  • Been talking with AboutUs, seeing what they can do as far as a site comparision and competitor comparision, and we are in talks about a Partnership! Cool!

  • We've released the PR for our site contest. The "fishbowls" have been out since the beginning of February, and we now have all 10 placed, and the PR is out. I honestly didn't even know that we were published until Cheryl (the SMDC Secretary) came over and said that she saw our article. My original response was "We're in the paper?"



Personal:

  • I watched all of Heroes, again. Still a good series.

  • Finally get to watch all of Season 4 of Eureka! now I can see how they got to 1947 and the stories before and after that. I was really excited on Monday (wow, is it really Saturday already?) to see Eureka Season 5! That first episode was....a repeat of Season 4 (with the changing time frame), but still looks good. It really sucks that this is the last season. It seems like all of the good shows are cancelled before their time.

  • Mythbusters new Season! Yay! In addition, Jamie and Adam have a new series: Unchained Reaction, which is really awesome.

  • Psych had their season finale. Boo! I wish their seasons ran longer

  • We went to "Drums of War" earlier this month in Elkin. Didn't win anything, but had a great time shooting some targets and getting to see everyone again since October.



I think I'll call it a night with that. Between now and May 1, I may not be able to post again. I see a lot of sleepless nights in my soon-to-be future.


Tags:#lolcats #heroes #erueka #mythbusters #sca #paper #pr #aboutus #seo #services #epp #html5 #css3 #

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Dexter's Lab = Big Bang

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Happy Post-Valentines Day!

It's been a joyous Valentine's Day 2012. Especially since I've been sick over the past few years on this date. Really. Over the past few years on Feb 14, I have come down with an extremely bad virus that kept me in bed all day. And when I go down, I really go down for the count. The good news: I wasn't sick this year! Yay!

However, I did stay home and work since I had a lot of work to get done (and another reason, but I'll get to that later). Really, it's not a bad thing. I spent most of the day in front of my desktop at home, played Pandora in the background, and worked on some tasks that have been living on my ToDo list for a while.

The other good news is: Keat got me chocolate for today! Here's a snippet:
CHOCOLATE!


Now, you may be thinking: "What did you get for her this year?" Well, the short answer is: nothing. WAIT! Before you start flipping out on me, hear me out. We observe/celebrate "Valentine's Day and White Day". I'm sure the latter sounds like a racist celebration. I assure you it is not.

White Day is actually a holiday in Japan that the younger generation celebrates. Instead of me trying to rant on about what it is, here's a quick overview:

In Japan, Valentine's Day is observed by females who present chocolate gifts (either store-bought or handmade), usually to a male, as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. A handmade chocolate is usually preferred by the receiver, because it is a sign that the receiving male is the girl's "only one". On White Day, the converse happens: males who received a honmei-choco (本命チョコ, "chocolate of love") or giri-choco (義理チョコ, "courtesy chocolate") on Valentine's Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts, usually more expensive. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows. Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し, literally, "triple the return") is used to describe the generally recited rule that the return gift should be two to three times the cost of the Valentine's gift. [source] [another source]


You may be thinking this is a quick cop-out for me forgetting Valentine's Day. I can guarantee that I didn't forget it, but just didn't have the necessary means to get something yet. However, she is going to get something 2-3x nicer next month (and I'll be 25!).

Anyway, here's the comic for today:
The System

I thought this comic would be relevant to this past week, since I do have a few projects going on that could fall anywhere on this chart.

However, on Sunday, I had a revelation. After thinking over the events from last week (revamping the contract, the preliminary fish bowl launch, Drinks with Geeks planning, getting the new computer up and running, finalizing the new prices, straightening out the accounting records, meeting with AdvantageWest about funding, fixing a co-worker's computer problems, getting a new contract signed, planning some new "ease of use" projects to help new sales people, and more), I realized that everything that we were doing seemed to be working in countless different directions, causing our workforce to become thin and not be able to take on much work. I realized that if things were going to improve, we have to mainstream: make the whole "first contact to project launch" process a whole lot faster, easier, and more flexible.

After thinking about the process we had in place for the past 6 years, it occurred to me that we are basically reinventing the wheel each and every time. Overall, this wasn't getting us anywhere. We need to have a tried-and-true process for going from Step 1 to Step 2 to Step 3 without any hassle. Right now, in order to get one task passed along the production line, a person either has to be trained in that area to take care of it, or it needs to be taken over by someone who can get it done quicker, and some communication between the lines gets lost.

We need a company-level Sales tracker, Project tracker, Site Manager (not just a CMS, but a Company-wide version), Customer notifier, integrated payment system, team calendar, and EVERYTHING else that we have been working on. Instead of working on so many different projects, the solution is simple: make this 1 massive project for the company. This way, Sales people can track leads, Designers/Developers can work on any site, Customers can keep track of their projects, Customer payments can be processed/managed, teams can collaborate on projects and tasks, and more. By integrating the Scrum methodology to this process, we can shrink 3 months down to 1 month or less! Just imagine the work load we can take on!

To be honest, I feel stupid for not seeing this earlier. The solution is so simple. I was trying to create 20 different things to do 20 different tasks. What I should have been doing is developing 1 project to do these 20 things and integrate it into the company so it would be easier to manage.

Why am I confessing all of this here? Two primary reasons: 1) So I have an official record of what I am thinking about so I can look back on it at a later date, and 2) So I can be held accountable for this. Looking back on a few projects that I've worked on, they were started anywhere from a week to 2 years ago, and they all seem to be in the same state: hiatus. To be honest: that sucks. How can I work 5 days a week from 10-5pm and 10-5am and get so little done? This will change.

On a related matter, one reason why it will change is because of the following:
TNG, DS9, and Voyager. Done


Yes, I have finished watching Star Trek: TNG, DS9, and Voyager in their completion. I will admit that I spent a few nights in the past months up till wee hours in the morning watching Star Trek, but now that I've gotten through TNG, DS9, and Voyager, I can dedicate more time to getting stuff done.

I find that I get a lot done with background music. Time seems to work with me when I'm in that "state of mind." However, when I find a series I want to watch (or I'm curious about) on Netflix, that seems to occupy my time instead of getting things done. For example: I didn't think I'd really get into Heroes. I thought "I'll watch the first episode and be done with it." Yeah right. Before I knew it, I watched all 4 seasons and lost valuable programming time during those 16 days it took me to watch it. I have lots of other items on my Netflix instant queue to watch, but I have a ToDo list that is breathing down my neck. I have to get that done.

Enough procrastinating on this blog. I have work to do.


Tags:#thesystem #chocolate #keat #valentinesday #whiteday #startrek #tng #ds9 #voyager #japan #netflix #heroes #accountable #streamline

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Xmas is almost here

I know I haven't posted in a month, but I have a good reason. First, the comic:
Insane?


Here's what happened in the past month (in no particular order):

  • We now have Cable and Internet at the house! Yay! It's only a matter of time before I have more all-nighters working on projects.....

  • I finished TNG on Netflix. I've now started DS9. I know Pilots aren't always great, but I know DS9 gets better as the seasons go on.

  • I've moved my desk to face the door at the office. According to Janet, it balances the Feng Shui, and I think I have more confidence because of that.

  • Keat and I went to my parents for Thanksgiving. My sisters weren't there, so it was fairly quiet and not much happened. We also visited Keat's parents and went to a basketball game at State, then visited downtown Raleigh some.

  • Tom landed us a contract with a new client

  • We also had a great monthly meeting at the end of November. Everybody was there, and we were able to Skype in Hannah from Oregon. It was definitely a.....n interesting meeting

  • Obtained a new lead with a potential client in the incubator. So far, things look good

  • Cleaned the home office out a bit and am now using it. Combined with the internet, I'm looking at some good progress coming soon

  • We have a neighbor across the street that we've never met. Her mother died on the 16th. It was a chaotic situation trying to get everyone to calm down and the EMS's there. I do wish we met them on better terms instead of that.

  • Working on a new marketing "packet" for clients. This may be a great incentive for new clients, and may give us a new stream of revenue....?

  • Keat started work with the Sushi restaurant, and it's been great work for her. Chaotic here and there, but still a good job. I've been helping her out as well, and I can tell from first hand experience: it's harder than expected

  • I've played "Takes of the Abyss" for the PS2 for a bit. I started playing it because Keat wasn't. At first, I didn't know what to make of it, but 80 playing hours later, I'm through the majority of it and right before the big battle at the end. I'm waiting to level up my characters before I beat the super-hard boss, then go to the main boss. Should prove interesting...


I'll stop at that. We are heading to my parents and Keat's parents over Xmas break. Depending on how things go, I may be able to post. I will if I can.


Tags:#sushi #insane #cable #interest #skype #ps2 #talesoftheabyss #xmas

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I get a response

It only took half a month, but I finally received a "response" from E-Consulting. There is a certain phrase I want to use to show my fed-up attitude with them, but I'll take the Zen approach.....and post their response on the internet.
Final Response - 11/9/11

This seems more like a personal attack than anything else. Oh, and by the way: E-Consulting has C+ with the BBB. Don't just blame me for your bad reputation - you did this to yourself.


Tags:#bbb #econsulting #final #baby #WHAAAAAA!

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SSL Relief

After spending 1 week with email support from Website Source, Comodo, and enom, I finally have the SSL Certificate for a client that was assumed "lost". It turned out that after getting super-frustrated at being sent in circles, Comodo sent me an email saying "Please call support". So I called support and (finally) had my SSL Certificate within 10 minutes. 5 minutes later, I installed it on the client site and everything was at peace.

Here's an overview of what happened:
  1. Ordered a "Comodo Essential SSL Certificate" via our Control Panel (powered by Parallel's Plesk) which is through Website Source (aka: "WSS"), our reseller on May 6

  2. Comodo sent me a "Domain Verification Email". I clicked on the link, provided the code, and verified the domain.

  3. 24 hours later, I did not receive an email from Comodo with a "Here's your Certificate", so I contacted Comodo about it

  4. They said to contact my reseller (they said "enom", which isn't true)

  5. I contacted WSS about the issue, and they weren't sure about the WSS/Comodo relationship. They also said that I can contact Comodo and cc them on all correspondences in the future with Comodo

  6. I sent back an email with the instructions that I used to obtain the Certificate purchase procedure.

  7. It turns out WSS didn't even know that purchasing SSL Certificates through Plesk was possible (even though I did it a few months ago). This was their response:
    Well, that clears up our first source of confusion - buying SSL certs through the Plesk panel might be a new thing, we didn't know it was possible.
     
    SO- unfortunately it doesn't seem to do anything to clear up what happened after you ordered it.
     
    Perhaps you could write to Comodo again and say, basically- your last message didn't make a lot of sense, Enom shouldn't have anything to do with this transaction, could you please either tell me exactly where the certificate was sent, or just resend it to the proper address?
     
    As I said, feel free to cc us on this stuff. I hope that you can clear it up with Comodo. If not, then I imagine that we'll have to open a ticket with Parallels.

  8. I contacted Comodo again, and they sent over the same response ("The certificate has already been issued. Please contact your webhost reseller")

  9. I sent them a response saying "I know - I've contacted them and they said enom shouldn't even be part of this"). I also asked "Where did it go?"

  10. They responded with "Please be informed that i have sent the certificate once again to your account email id. Kindly contact your web host. Also for your information you can directly download your certificate from your account login."

  11. I tried to login to their "Account manager", but none of my login combinations worked. I tried their "Forgot your password" feature, but it said that all of my login information was wrong. SO...I contacted them about it

  12. They responded with:
    If you want to get the login detail, you will have to reset the password and get the login detail through the account admin email ids.
     
    You can reset the password by the given below link by entering the order number and account admin mail id and get the login detail through your account admin email id: [password reset link]

  13. I responded saying "THAT DIDN'T WORK! This is why I'm writing to Comodo - to say it didn't work!"

  14. They responded with "The certificate has already been issued. Please contact your webhost reseller (enom)" (sound familiar?)

  15. So, I set up a support ticket with enom and awaited a response.

  16. In regards to my "Account Manager" issue, I received
    an email saying the following:
    For this reasons you need to contact your webhost [Secure Business Services],they will assist you in better way.
    meaning I need to talk to enom
  17. I appended the ticket I sent to enom saying this
  18. I finally received a response from enom late last night saying
    Thank you for contacting eNom technical support. I will be glad to look into this for you, but I will need some additional information to better assist you. Unfortunately I was not able to locate the domain: #### or any account associated with it on our system. Do you have an account with eNom? And if so, what is your login ID? In order to 
     
    purchase this certificate, you would need to have had an account with eNom or eNom Central. Unfortunately without additional information I won't be able to find any additional information, and it is likely you did not purchase this directly through us.
     
    It is possible that you may have ordered this through a reseller that uses eNom as their backend service provider. In which case, you would want to contact them to find out more information, and for further assistance.

  19. I tried to respond to the ticket, but enom's ticket management system kept logging me out for some odd reason. I even tried a different computer and different browser, but it kept logging me out even when I wasn't logged in. I couldn't go anywhere or do anything, so I emailed them about it.

  20. I received an email from Comodo again (with the title "Password Reminder") saying that enom had the certificate and I had to go through enom to get it. I also received an email from WSS asking what the issues were with my password. I responded saying "I only cc'ed you on this. There aren't any troubles with my login"

  21. I responded to Comodo saying "I can't login to the account manager, I can't get access to the certificate, I can't get a straight answer!" (paraphrasing)

  22. Comodo responded saying "The instructions enom provided you were wrong" and some other @^(*&$! about how I have to go through enom to get it

  23. I said that the instructions were NOT provided by enom, they were provided by Comodo! I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I said "If I can't get a straight answer, I will demand a refund and go somewhere else" (at this point, I was ready to punch through my laptop - my mediation training from Martial Arts couldn't save me now!)

  24. Comodo sent me an email saying "Thank you for your reply, please call into our support staff for further assistance at US"

  25. I called Comodo support, and got the certificate emailed to me within 10 minutes

  26. I told WSS what had happened and cleared things up with them saying it wasn't their fault. I am still awaiting some type of answer from enom if I ever get it.

...and that was the past few days. May 6 to today to be exact. It feels good to get that off my chest and release some steam. I was driving like crazy today and about to rip something if I got my hands on it since nobody was paying attention and didn't understand what was going on.

ANYWAY, here's today's comic (which I think is very relevant):
SMBC
Is this the first time I've posted a SMBC comic?

That pretty much sums up my past few days. Keat and I went house hunting on Sunday and found a few houses that we liked. We sent the list off to her parents and are awaiting "the talk."

I also called my mother on Mother's day and wished her "Happy Mothers Day". Yay for mothers!

Also got Half-Life re-downloaded from my old Steam account and started that back up. By using a wireless mouse I have from ??? ago, I'm doing pretty well for not having played the game in about.....4 years? The CD didn't want to install on Vista 64, but luckily Steam had my account active and I was able to re-download the install files. Yay! Now to deal with all of the stuff that piled up over the past few days while I was dealing with the SSL stuff.

PS: Keat finished up her final semester at HCC today and graduates on Thursday! Hooray for her! Now on to Western to finish up her Bachelors.

PPS: I (and Keat) am on the Squishable Gallery! (2nd page) YAY!


Tags:#squishable #ssl #comodo #websitesource #enom #halflife #certificate #plesk #parallels #smbc