Breathing Easier

Running your own business is a funny thing.

I’m trying to remember how long I’ve been in business but at the time that I write this, (like every other time I can recount for the last couple months), my mind is so… BUSY, that it’s hard to recall the small stuff.

But i will say that at least on the financial front, I’m finally breathing a bit easier. There have been so many highs and lows since I left my job… So many times where I’m just trying to move enough money around that I can make the minimum payment on my business credit card that it feels like a great accomplishment to FINALLY have a small amount of funds in the account.

And don’t read it any different – It’s a small amount of funds. But it’s enough to keep the family afloat for a month should a check not go through (or come) and we have not had that small amount of security for a long time.

Assessing My Current Situation
So today when I finally took a breath and found myself in a “good place” – My mind immediately began to race towards all the things I could buy now that I couldn’t before. In my younger days before I had these kids and a wife, I would probably have gone out and bought an LCD, new computer or SOMETHING! Presently however, I’m very content to just not have to worry for a little while and to have the chance to future proof my business!

*whew!* Everything is coming up Millhouse.

Work is Good and Busy

I know you probably thought you’d never see me on here again (and sorry to disappoint) but here I am!

Apologies ONCE AGAIN for the lack of posts, but I’ve just been so busy with a million and one projects relating to my web design business. In fact, I had thought that at this point I would’ve been done with my HUGE client project but because of multiple ppl letting me down, that’s not the case. Thankfully my client is fine with it, but having such a big project hanging over your head is NOT a good feeling, believe me.

I even went to LA to attend their conference and try and get some more business (which turned out to be a success) but working so hard and not sleeping caught up to me and I wound up with a wicked sinus and ear infection. Happily, my wife nursed me back to health and even though I’m still a bit rundown, I do feel like I’m getting back into the normal swing of things here.

And since I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel (of this work madness), I went out and picked up Super Street Fighter IV yesterday. Now early impressions are positive but the 360 controller still sucks. I’m hoping that at $39.99 I won’t regret the purchase (like I did the original) so we’ll see. Yeah, I really haven’t played anything new lately (because I don’t want to get sucked into a game right now) but instead when I have a minute I just go back to old games that I’m trying to “finish” like Ace Combat 5 and such.

Ok – Time to get back to the grind!

Too Busy to be Bothered With Posting!

There are a number of posts in the queue that I’m really ready to crank out, but I’ve been far too busy to polish them up for your reading pleasure.

Currently, my time has really been split between a certain client site that I had hoped to have done in December, the fantastic goodness that is Borderlands and of course – My kids. It looks like the client site in question is nearing an end which I couldn’t be happier about. It really is a project that has dragged on beyond dragging on. Part of that has been my fault admittedly, but in fairness I know that I’m dealing with one of those clients where you have to gently nudge them at certain times. But I love’em so it’s all good. (#):) (All this time with the site not being done however is hosting money lost so it WOULD be in my best interest to wrap this one up before March).

Kids are doing well and I think I’ve been doing a better job of getting away from the keyboard during the day and giving them some quality dad time. Of course you always worry that it’s not enough but I’m doing what I can and I think it IS an improvement relative to what they were used to. I’ll say though that I think all of us are ready for this cruel Maryland winter to be over so we can go outside and play again. Going on walks and stuff is as good for me as it is for them no doubt.



And finally there is the GEM that is Borderlands. I really didn’t think I’d enjoy the game as much as I have but even on my second playthrough I can’t get enough of the game. I think it’s very possible too that I’ll be downloading all the DLC too! …Which on that note may mean that I won’t be posting again for a long time ha ha!

12 of 12 – February 2010

I erroneously reported before that I had forgotten to take 12 of 12 pictures but it would seem (after going through my camera) that I did happen to take some afterall! And even though the pictures are very similar, that was my life last week – Filled with nothing but snow. Oh, and I’m currently stricken with the flu so don’t expect the pictures to have any captions but maybe I’ll add some later when I feel better.

Yay for me!

MD SnOMG/Snowpocalypse Has Buried Me

Yesterday I had to apologize to everyone through my Twitter feed because I haven’t written any posts in a while and haven’t been going anywhere in the blogosphere.

Well blame it on this snow!

If you haven’t heard, we in MD have been getting hit with a LOT more snow than we’re used to. I think last week we had somewhere around 2 feet of snow and today they’re forecasting another foot or something.

Recently, most of my days lately have consisted of me waking up, shoveling, recovering, shoveling, recovering, shoveling and then going to bed only to do it all again the next day. And let me tell you, trying to find places to put this much snow is very difficult. Around my house I have inadventently built a giant wall of snow, towering higher than the cars in our parking lot. And trying to throw more snow OVER that wall well… My back loves it.


View outside my house.

And really, I do LIKE snow. But this is just too much and it keeps coming!

I’ll Tell You What I Want What I Really Really Want (Part 2)

When you’re a budding entrepreneur, (even though at this point, I think I’m full-fledged), you often look ahead to nicer times…

Times when you’re not worrying about keeping your server dues paid, times when you’re not stressed about paying your designers, times when you’re not worried about getting new work…

It’s also these times when you look ahead to when you’ll have some disposable income to blow on the good stuff! Week before last I shared some of the things I’m most excited on incorporating back into my life from insurance to my gym membership, but today I’ll share with you some of the good stuff!

A PS3
If you’ve followed me for any period of time, you may be surprised to hear this but yeah – I’d like to get a PS3 (when I have disposable income that is). I really haven’t come around in my thinking on the system, (being as how there are still only a handful of PS3 exclusives I want to play), but the video game hoarder/enthusiast in me is willing to look past that. Plus, in addition to God of War III coming out soon, I’m hearing that PSN Home is looking a lot better than when I last saw it.

Kratos Could Winterize My House
I bet Kratos could Winterize my house. Or burn it the ground. Either way I’d probably be warmer.

Winterizing My House
As I type this, I’m sitting in my basement looking at the news on my Windows 7 box hoping that getting the latest NVidea drivers will stop Windows Media Center from crashing. And let me tell you, as much as I love my basement, my fingers are freezing. The only reason the rest of me isn’t is because I’m wearing several layers, a hoodie and shoes. It sucks. Last year I tried to do something about this problem myself but it’s way beyond even MY industrious skills.

Amplifier for My Car
I’m not sure if it was around Christmas or my birthday this past year, but around that time I got my some Best Buy gift cards. (SIDE NOTE: If you ever want to make me happy, buy me some Best Buy gift cards). And interestingly enough, “right now” there isn’t too much at Best Buy that I want – Which is to say that I’m at a weird point with my electronics (home theater, computer, etc) where everything is pretty up to date, so the next step up would mean major dollars.

So I was thinking about what I would use my gift cards on, and then I thought that I always wanted to upgrade my car audio. Well after I got a new deck, I had to get new speakers and despite getting rave reviews, I was really underwhelmed with them. So I went onto Crutchfield and asked one of their fantastic advisors what the deal was and they said it’s probably because my speakers are underpowered and that I desperately needed an amp.

Alpine MRP-F300
Alpine MRP-F300

I even picked one out at the time, but because I left my cushy 9-5 shortly thereafter, I had to put this little baby on the backburner where she sits to this very day. Truth be told, I COULD buy it using reward points from my credit card but we’ve had a pretty harsh winter so I don’t think I’d be in a rush to install it – Yes, that’s how I roll.

And if you think that’s a lot, think again! I still have more to write but I will not subject my fingers to the frozen tundra that is my basement any longer! Maybe another iteration next Friday?

Steve Jobs Hates Flash and I Don't Blame Him

Not sure what circles you travel in, but those I find MYself in are all abuzz about Steve Jobs’ alleged comments about Flash.

You might be able to say that it all started at the grand reveal of Apple’s long awaited iPad a week or two ago when during his live demo, Steve Jobs went to a website that had Flash content and everyone saw a “plugin needed” icon where the Flash was supposed to be.

I don’t believe Jobs really said anything about it then (you can double check by watching the conference here), but it looks like he didn’t have to ’cause he had already said plenty on the subject before hand.

Steve Jobs Hates Flash
Now I had NO idea that Adobe and Mac were so standoffish, but if you believe this Engadget article (and who doesn’t like Engadget), according to a report in Wired, Jobs was quoted as saying “Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5.”


DAMN GINA!

I’ve read a smattering of things about HTML5, but a quick search on the topic seems that it isn’t fully integrated in popular current browsers and I’m just not sure that its APIs are going to give developers everything you can get from Flash which I think (as of this writing) is at version 10. But be that as it may…

Flash is FAR From Perfect
You may not know this about me Joe Rogan, but I have a LOT of experience in Flash and AIR. And I’m not talking about just cheesy animations either. So let me tell you, one of the more frustrating professional experiences of my life (outside of installing Bugzilla) has been trying to get rid of Flash memory leaks due to its a$$ backwards way of trash collection. So when my friend brought this whole conversation to my doorstep today in a gChat conversation, I think he was FLOORED to hear that I don’t blame Steve Jobs for not wanting to include Flash in his shiznazz!

Apple’s Image WORKS
First things first, I’m not the biggest fan of Apple. I had somebody at my last employ who was THE Apple fanboy. His day started, ended and was filled with Apple.com. He had the iPhone, his trusted MacBook, and day after day tried to get everyone on board with his beloved brand. As I see it, he is Apple’s favourite kind of customer – Likes technology, loves to “look cool”, and doesn’t want to take the time to learn anything computer related. NOT THAT I’M FAULTING HIM. It’s kind of like the 360 debate vs the PS3. PS3 is slick, great at displaying media, overpriced (imo) while the 360 doesn’t look AS cool, has a TON of great games, but doesn’t always work as expected. I mean, how DARE customers expect their computers to work!


I’ve been able to buy a large monitor and hard drive for a long time Apple.
Don’t insult my intelligence!

Look – I build PCs for fun. The idea of Apple framing new monitors and HD as new amazing enhancements for their iMac makes me laugh. I’m saying to myself, “Um… I’ve been able to go on NewEgg and TigerDirect for eons and pick out EXACTLY what size stuff I want. BUT the fact remains that PCs seem to be much more unstable/unreliable than Macs. It’s the tradeoff for being allowed to do whatever the hell we want to them and one that I (being a computer nerd) happily embrace but one that a lot of people would be willing to give up for something that they “don’t have to worry about”.

I Don’t Blame Steve Jobs
And here’s the thing – The whole “don’t have to worry” thing is a LARGE part of Apple’s image. If you think it’s not – You’re an L7 WEENIE. So if Steve Jobs doesn’t want to introduce Flash into his carefully crafted technology which emphasizes reliability and stability – I DON’T BLAME HIM. Furthermore, I kinda agree with him on Adobe. I was learning about trash collection in my HIGH SCHOOL Computer Science classes so if Flash is still struggling dealing with those kinds of issues after 10 major revisions of their product… I don’t even know…

…Though I’m still not paying $1000 for a Macbook, Macbook Pro or Macbook Air.
…Nor am I paying $150 for an MP3 player.

iPad – Only Apple Could Do This

Like most things coming out of Apple, it doesn’t LOOK like the iPad is for me.

At first glance to me it looks like a touch monitor. At second glance it looks like a laptop where they took half of it away. At third glance, I’m just not sure why I would get one instead of a laptop.

But in any event, I do have to give it up to Apple. I swear – No one can get the hype machine going like they can and really take a mundane product and dress it up to the point where it looks so fresh and so clean clean.

What Is Supposed To Impress Me
To be honest – I’m not sure. Um, you can tilt it sideways and see more of a website at a time I guess. And you do have the gesture stuff built into it too… Hm. I’m really struggling to find more stuff and that’s not because I’m an Apple hater and trying to besmirch the device, quite the contrary. I love technology, and I don’t mind paying for it. But even though I LOVE throwing money away on my toys, I have to have SOME reason to initially purchase it. It’s the same reason I didn’t keep my PS3. The reasons I would buy one (at this point) are Uncharted, God of War III, and MGS4 I guess. I already have a Blu-Ray player, I already have a media extender thanks to my 360, and I don’t know what’s so unique to the system that would warrant me shelling out the cash for it (besides the fact that PS3 don’t red ring).


Look how shiny and modern it looks.

Here’s Where I’m Coming From
First off – I think Apple’s price point of $500 is right on the money for this thing. If it were any more, I’d really be focusing on it not being able to run multiple apps, no physical keyboard and on a Mac OS and wonder why I shouldn’t just get a PC laptop. But at that price with that screen – It seems like it might be the perfect high end impulse buy. Furthermore, I’m tempted to get it just to show off our websites to potential clients and here them say “Oo! Is that one of those iPads?” Then I can reply with, “All the guys at the office really love’em!” (implying that I have an office and that I have employees ha ha).

But the part I just can’t get past is if I’m going to be spending $500 on a mobile device of that sort, a PC just affords me with so many more opportunities to be productive with the device. I can put a FTP client on there, open up some TextPad and Photoshop and I’ll be off to the races. Plus, you know you can always find PC software to download for any situation (including games). But you know what WOULD change my mind? If I could develop for the Mac or iPad USING an iPad. Lord knows I’ve wanted to tinker with iPhone apps for a while now – But not at a $1000 entry price on a new computer. So I dunno. Maybe I’m way off on this one.

What Say You?

Busy End to January

Sorry for the lack of posts and tweets this week but as a certain one of my client sites moved closer and closer to release (which we still haven’t hit yet) my time was devoted squarely to finishing it. And as much as I love these clients (and I mean that seriously) I’ll be really happy once we’re finished because it has started to drag a little bit at the end here. Plus – Finishing this site has been on my to do list for literally the past month. No bueno.

See all of you next week!

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam

I was told recently that my Math Comment SPAM WP Plugin was actin’ all buggy so I took a second to look at it the other day. Turns out that it WAS in fact actin’ all buggy, and when I went to go look for help I saw that it hadn’t been updated since 2007 or something. Bleh.

But I said to myself that no one really reads this site anyway, so I probably didn’t need to worry about replacing it. Well turns out that even if you don’t have any readers, you can always count on SPAMbots to give you some love. After a day of being eaten live by gruesome comments, I decided to do something about it and I found the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam plugin I’m using now.

I’m really liking it so far because unlike other plugins:

  • It works
  • It’s customizable
  • It seems to be updated regularly

So FYI, if you’re looking for something – Might want to give SI CAPTCHA a look.