PS:316 – What next?

While I love the world of hosting, some changes since my last post, some news which may mean a considerable amount LESS work from one source, and with the silence of another addition to the monthly incoming gone silent, I’m not banking on it being around.

So what’s next? I’ve got a lot on the plate this last week of April, a lot indeed. While I wish there were some real downtime, sadly that’s just not in the plan for me, Kiddo has stuff Monday, Wife has a busy week, and that leaves me somewhere in the “Uhm….” area of “when do I have time” and “what do I have the drive to do?” honestly? I’m frazzled. I’m fried. I really just want to rest/do nothing.

Sadly the real world doesn’t always allow for that when you run your own business. So, What’s next?

I’ve really considered making a side business (cash business) out of 3D Printing for starters, really just printing for folks I know doing Con’s and such when they need that blaster/sword/gear that isn’t easily just made, but can be printed/finished and give their look a lot of polish.

A tech-ish website, TFH is still in the wings, and if I can find a regular schedule for writing weekly I think I could make a good run of it, really just build it out, maybe doing video guides, video articles, etc. really just get out there and build a brand around it and help folks.

Photography, I have the drone (which needs a good flight soon!) but maybe get my commercial Drone license and add something to side photography biz in which deck out a nice camera, suit up the drone, etc. just get those cool shots and use the drone to add some nice shots from the air, honestly I think it’d be fun.

Really dig into the world of Web Design & Coding full time, and have hosting on the side to handle clients. So far some performance gains on sites operating things not as shared hosting in a traditional sense but a targeted WaaS (WordPress As A Service) would be nice, really build a streamlined WordPress configuration and sell out some sites that are speedy, easily kept up, secure, and get folks boom’n in town and around.

Get hired. No more work for me, really just branch the hosting into a side-gig, find someone who’d hire me as tech support/admin/etc. and give me a W2 maybe even long-term slowly move my customers to their hosting platforms and still take care of my customers, but really allow someone else to foot the bill and pay me handsomely to maintain it 🙂

Find a church, do music, youth, whatever, maybe get hired on as staff to have a more active staff-like role and serve God and make it a living to boot.

Lastly – Denny’s or someplace I can enjoy cooking – I mean Lilly likes it so who would complain? 😀

A lot on my mind, hopefully I can figure something out and really find something that works – the wife says I should become a nurse… Never was on my radar, but I don’t mind medical stuff that much, but I do hate school lol so not sure how that’d play out – time will tell.

For now it’s 1:30AM, still trying to wind-down, and wrap up the late night work goodies that came in, but in the AM a few emails to reply to, for now just typing and winding down, hopefully sleep soon.

PS:315 – Taxes Suck

So this year taxes came together in record time. Why? I’ve really been trying to keep a better grasp on numbers, but to the reports/tools of the billing system, vendors I use who have reporting on what I spent, etc. it’s still not 100% easy/perfect, but compared to years past it has been a lot easier to put together, a lot lower stress.

Let’s be honest though it’s taxes. Taxes suck. I really wish it was a matter of “You made X, you owe Y.” in my mind at least that would be so much easier because I know how much I made all things said and done, just take a day and get back to the business part.

To that end reaching out to my aunt who did/does the CPA thing, seeing if they can suggest maybe either an online service, firm, etc. maybe even just get some suggestions from them on better structuring things because I’m needing it to be easier and easier, not harder and harder – and if I can manage somehow to keep healthy growth, then too may need to change some business funds up.

16+ years doing this stuff, I’ve put my app in places in those 16+ years, worked various things, just I’m at that point where I am trying to eliminate as much stress as possible in everything as I can because there is enough stress in life to have to worry about finances? No thanks. Need to change it up.

For this tax season? I’m done. Filed, back to the grind of it all – okay that’s a lie. I am overly exhausted, thus I’m letting the kiddo sleep in till at least 10 am and then I’m going to work to chill-out a little bit. Been a low week for hours, been a slow day thus far already (praying that doesn’t change) just need a break, maybe once the Mrs. comes home I may venture out and catch a movie? Fly the drone? Dance like no one is watching? Something just not in front of this terminal.

Happy Post-Tax Day

PS:314 – 51

When I started the Post Something (PS) idea , it was for 365 days. Straight. Well life has happened, and while best intentions of getting in a post a day, I’ve fallen short. If all had gone well, I’d of been done on 01/18/2017, however here we are 04/17/2017 (A few days late… right.)

I wish I could say there were valid reasons, and I’m sure there were – marriage, kiddo, family, work, sure sure, lots of options of why – but if it’s a must, then it should of been a must. I failed. Plain and simple. But like the Jamaican Bobsled Team in Cool Runnings (Thanks Netflix!) , I’m going to carry myself across the finish line and that’s 51 more posts. That’s it. Now from beyond that? Not sure how it’ll continue, likely just back to posting occasionally.

Been working on taxes (yes last minute) fighting fatigue and stress at the moment, just seems like I’m going upstream without a paddle, but ran very rough numbers, and I think I’m going to be okay. I have my $800 check set aside for the LLC minimum tax, just have to organize my numbers, which is pretty much some of my night while I wait on a few reboots/tweaks on servers, and hopefully not the entire day tomorrow. I’d love to get things setup with an accountant, I’d love to hand it off, but part of me is thinking of too maybe re-branding. Thrust Networks has always gotten me a lot of strange looks. Maybe time to shutter it, start a new name, and start the books off fresh with someone who can help me get it setup, help me streamline and make it all easier to manage year-to-year – two birds, one stone.

A lot of options on the horizon, taxes off that horizon helps a lot, a lot of changes, a lot of things in motion, I’d love to see more business growth, I’d love to have a simple tax system in the US of “You made $3 million dollars? You owe $1000.” lol something simple, I hate this overly complex system, and while companies like Turbo Tax do help cut through some of it, I’d just as soon not deal with it – so re-working the entire system sounds like a good plan on my side, just finding the way to do it, thats the big “How do I?” question.

Going to bed soon I hope, for now, back to work.

PS:313 – Improving Performance

I have been working on plans to really improve options for projects – in a growing world of site builders and outages in hosting, it’s harder and harder to keep customers, and keep them happy.

This week I had a lot more planned, sadly this week has not gone as I had planned at all. I mean I thought it was Tuesday yesterday, and here we are on Wednesday. Doh.

But I’ve got some work done, some improvements in performance my usual test subject (aka this blog) is already showing an improvement from a C- to an A (working on the +) 😀 So quite the improvement.

Also working on a BIG eComm upgrade for a customer, been testing a server setup to bring their database into a huge HA cluster, and I’m excited about it! While the customer may not be a long-term customer, if I can off-load MySQL – might be able to keep him longer with improved performance, really handle things like high-traffic really well, so excited about the idea, right now in testing I’ve grabbed a copy of the site for a dev server that goes live tomorrow, I’m going to map all my DNS and give it a stress test or three. I think it’s going to work amazingly! If I’m right, time to schedule a change or three 🙂

I need to get to sleep, car maintenance today, then maybe a quick run downtown for talk about another project (that can greatly benefit from these wacky improvements I’m thinking about) so much to do, taxes, work, fun, sleep, etc. lots to do, little time. Here we go.

PS:312 – Sick = Rest

Not sure what it was that I ate, but it did not like me. Oi. Sad though that the only way to get myself to rest a real amount of rest is to knock me flat on my back for nearly a full day, then, of course, it’s good at some level it did, as I’m faced with a 5+ hour outage at the moment.

Things are changing in my world. Customers are changing, some have left, some have joined, I have a commitment to service to folks, yet lately that seems harder and harder to keep when things outside of my direct control (Datacenters!) keep having issues – mainly one lately, which while I hate all my eggs in one basket, the other basket has been a lot more stable.

The world of the web be it hosting/design is great, but sometimes I think of options for a change of pace – sadly where I am at is not growing fast enough, and its slowing slow enough that it is at least workable for now, but I really want to change things up.

I lost a customer recently because they wanted to go with another provider, sure their site explained how they were not about the money, but strangely the email I got was “about the money” 🙂 why is it too that Christians try to spare other Christian’s feelings? Honestly just say “They are cheaper, I want to make money, you understand right?” and I do.

Just seems lately that other companies are running things super low-cost, and while my prices are reasonable, when they are getting lower than $3/m (over 6 years) that spreads margins thin, and for me not super competitive, especially when you have a 5-hour outage.

I’ve thought about building my own hardware and getting a deal on rack space with a company I do admin work for, but then if something goes wrong it’s my deal, 2-hour drive to a DC not really ideal – but it’s an idea.

For now I’m really pondering what I want to do. I need to wrap up a lot of projects and then I think I want to sit down and really dig in on what I can do/what I want to do/what I should do – passive income would be nice,

PS:311 – MacOS Sierra

So tonight during my week clean-up (reviewing time I put in on contracts, making invoices, email catch-up, and order queue review) I started on a process to really get my Computing setup working smoother.

If you recall I built a hackintosh last year and it’s served me fairly well, it’s not likely everyone’s cup of tea as the setup isn’t always forgiving for a production machine. I tried once to upgrade to MacOS Sierra and let’s just say it did not go well. I ended up restoring a disk image I made of the system before the upgrade but was in the clear. Figured it was time to try again as summer comes I will be traveling and syncing desktop & docs to iCloud would make for a more portable work experiencing.

I will note if you have a GA-Z170N-GAMING 5 motherboard like I do suggestions for upgrading if you have issues?

  • Upgrade to latest clover.
  • Fresh versions of KEXTS
  • AppleACL
  • Delete MacOS Sierra Installer + Re-Download it.

All in all? Some minor hiccups but now I’ve got everything sync’d up between devices and my 2015 MBP will travel a little smoother, content writing is more unified with Bear, and in this process I’ve even cleaned my desk a little. Nothing to brag about, but better.

I do have more journey in making this office a tad more “work like” here after taxes and business level out, saving up for a new desk to replace my folding table, and on the back wall behind me want to put a small couch for relaxing/coding when I need a change of location.

Also VPN’d up outside of my own VPN setup, I am going to cut down from a Bi-Costal VPN node setup to just a single private one of my own for business security, and then keep this new one for devices like my Phones, Laptops and Tablets, too once the wife gets moved off Verizon to Cricket full time this month, lock her down because while Cricket may not be as fast as Verizon, at least they won’t sell off everything she does on her phone – glad I get covered on 6 devices! Woot!

More work to do tonight aside from just getting work all streamlined, going to put in a bit of dev time on a BIG project, but been working on FlockHosting, got it loading SMOOTHLY! Already brainstorming what Thrust Networks will be like, but really pushing this year for some hefty growth if at all possible as all sides are a bit wobbly with some clients and I can’t get too comfortable just coasting hoping more business will just appear! Hitting the pavement running, saving more, growing more, now if I could just get sleeping more in there somewhere 🙂

Be well! Posted this on FB, but figure this might encourage anyone who stumbles across this too:

PS:310 – Surprise, I’m tired!

I know it’s rare for me to mention this, but I’m tired. I just wrapped up some code that I’d hoped to get done earlier, but you try juggling a needy 2.67-year-old (yes I’m going up from sticking at 2.5! She’s older!), mail, bank, Costco, etc. only so many hours in the day.

The code actually turned out quite nice, executes some 14k operations in about 6 minutes, too bad overall, generates 20 CSV files to map the files it downloaded and then saves them all nice a purdy. Works amazingly well – now if there is ever another hiccup like previously, simply re-import these CSV files for the person having an issue, and ta-da image assets all re-added.

I would love to re-code this beast from the ground up, take out the oddities of a framework. Honestly not because I’m somehow anti-frameworks, but sadly this one was not kept up, and the app was developed very different and not much foresight into the idea the site would grow larger. It doesn’t scale.

I’ve talked about it before, it’s image system for managing sucks. – And due to either someone’s lack of a stock # or something else odd, images are being cleared when they are supposed to stick around – in my script I do fix the issue one one side of file names, use the unique id + company id to create a new image in a single folder. It’s lovely.

Fell asleep after writing this and it got buried underneath a pile of browser windows! Heading into the day once the kiddo wakes up, but too many late nights. Need to get piles done, back on track and caught up where I NEED to be. Happy Thursday Folks.

PS:309 – Coding Morning?

Sadly yesterday… Didn’t go quite as planned. I’m still up, yes it’s 4 am, am I tired? Maybe. Too soon to tell (please note attempt at humor… of course I’m tired!)

A lot of things sorting out this early AM, sadly this week has not been gentle. It has not gone smoothly. It’s quite frankly… Very rough.

Coding project is about 30% done, had to re-tool the image gathering routine to cut time, shaved off nearly 1.2 seconds per image, and reduced the CPU time in half, granted this doesn’t do the image manipulation part of things, thankfully, it doesn’t have to because this app is generating a set of assets the primary app can import should something go horribly wrong.

My hope is we’ll never “NEED” to use this app (I know I’m writing it, and it has a purpose) the purpose is one of those to have it and not need it, then to not have it and need it.

I figure at this rate maybe 4 hours of sleep if I went to bed now, however the “quick” migration to a 3rd party host for a designed site, snag, after snag, on my 3rd attempt to upload… progress, yet still not complete.

Server tuning of the 2 of the three planned new servers is underway, I’m holding off on the WordPress one until I have a package, and a link to buy it, no need to spin something up if I’m not ready to use it, save some CPU!

Did some minor shuffling of papers today, going to try and have all numbers calculated this weekend and ready to go for next week – I think I’m going to be fine, but need to find myself a business finances advisor to really clean it up, get it to someone to help manage, and if I can wing it maybe increase some of the money that comes in 🙂

Anywhoo, I have [========% ] left on the FTP progress bar, so close, yet this server is slow as slow can be in transfer speed, going to try and crash out soon I hope and pick up again in the morning, other projects to wrap up tomorrow too, deadlines and more deadlines.

PS:308 – Coding Day

So today is a coding day, trying to clear my head and dig in, I’ve mapped out 99% of this, working on streamlining functions for this and basically re-inventing how an existing app works to help keep the lights running. Oi.

I’ve got myself notes on the current database, file structure, and going to tie that all into a magical little script which works to build a backup of data which the current system has no backup option at all, going to make it on-demand too for the customer + tune up some old code aside from this new number.

Low on sleep, but writing strangely helps clear my brain, even if I’m not skilled at making sure the correct form of “your” is in there 😉 I do what helps and this helps focus and clear my head, so now, onto the fresh dev box I just built out to get coding. Happy Tuesday All!

PS:307 – The PS Project

While the idea was to PS (Post Something) for 365 days in a row, I obviously failed. Some might be able to balance all of life, six companies, 2.5yr old, bills, cooking, driving, trips, etc. – Sadly in that wild-life timeline, Posting to a blog didn’t fit in the top priority listing. Which has given me pause to writing as a side job, maybe it isn’t the right time.

I need a lot more scheduling and planning if I hope to launch a site in which the primary content is my writing. Long ago with HappyPalm and others, it was easy, I was passionate about what came on my phone, what news was a trend, it was in my face, and my responsibilities were fewer.

I want to get to the point where I can write, where I can do what I’m doing right now – typing, getting my thoughts out there, or the steady improvement of recording a vLog style video to produce and handle monthly for customers, but maybe find a way to do it nightly. I need a stronger schedule. Soon.

Taxes are coming. I am dreading them on the one hand, however this next week I’m going to sit down, crunch the numbers, get it all lined up so all I need to do? Plugin numbers, add all of it into Turbo Tax, see the good or the bad, get it sorted out and got it done. I don’t want to dread till the 18th; I need to find an accountant, likely need to re-structure how I do business – anyone knows anyone trustworthy and reliable?

Work has been a tad nuts, really working to get things ironed out smoother and smoother, just been one of those things where just when you think it’s going to get easier? Monkeywrench. Last week got one of those, and this week still sadly sitting waiting on one contract I have to pay out 3, going on four invoices – all of which I had hoped would be in the bank already, one is 60 days overdue today. Oi. Not the first time a customer’s done that – again I need to find a better way to handle these sorts of things.

I want to get back into the swing of the PS project; I want to get back into the swing of trying to write something every-day. I have pondered the start of the day and the end of the day, at the moment? Leaning towards the start, but imagining it’ll stick to the end. For now? Wrapping it up.