Friday Morning?

The life of a server guy is a quiet one sometimes. If all is right, your night is quiet, simple, may even include sleep. Now if you are me you’re doing something for a client because in daylight hours, if you make a mistake you get the following text, call, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, you name it… but no matter what always in ALL CAPS which reports to your various communications as such:

WHAT DID YOU DO?!

Well like everything in life, as an admin you have the best plans to do everything without issue, quick CSS edit on a site, regenerate, ancient code goes sideways and the entire site looks horrible, followed by the fore-mentioned barrage of texts and such.

Now do it the other way it’s so much more pleasant, it is like this:

Hey! How’d things go last night? We get upgraded?

So much smaller. Happier. Friendly… did I mention smaller? Yes you have time to get any unexpected bugs out-of-the-way, a little spit and polish, and you’re the good guy, the goto guy, the fix it man. 4 letters: H E R O.

Well lately I’ve had a number of hats, from Newsletter Designer to Server Admin – and it can be a lot to shoulder sometimes! Lilly tries to sleep and let me work, but sometimes she just wants to slam the keyboard and say:

Da Da Da (Oh who’m I kidding!) Ma Ma Ma Ma!

Well things are going good with Work, might lose the Newsletter Designer, but either way still plenty of work, now my to-do list contains Website Updates, Trouble Tickets, Server Migration and Website Designer, a lot to do, and this is my only break scheduling this for a few hours from now vs. my 8pm time – but just a quick break to write, to put down what’s up – and now it’s me, working the night away… and I’m exhausted. Insanely so.

I could do this before without blinking an eye, evening would burn through and then suddenly I’d wonder “Why is it bright outside?” then I’d put two and twelve together and realize “Oh its morning…. Goodnight!” without fail most nights like this I wake up to the followup call, person checking on my progress from the late night dig-in, not realizing that their project finished about 15 minutes ago, and I just got to sleep, but the joys of this industry, even if it was a 9-to-5, late night work like this must be rare or exhaustion never let’s go.

So I’m going to dig in, get this finished up and get to bed hopefully before 8am, so have a great weekend, stay tuned for next week, going to give some updates on my impressions of Google Fi, Random Movie Reviews, talking more about servers, and maybe a picture or two of a little girl who’s now 1, walking, and with this last set of shots, cleared for Disneyland… Time for a 5th job. 😀

Be blessed all! Happy Friday!

5 Days without Writing?

It’s been a while! What have I been up to? Oh a pile of projects + partying with a little girl in Sacramento! Crazy stuff for sure! But tomorrow is the big day. The big 1! Hard to believe that about this time last year I was going into a hospital for “dehydration and braxton hicks” and in the early AM met a little girl named Lilly 🙂

Projects should be calming down, hopefully even more posts coming soon! Few songs I want to share, some more thoughts rolling around in my head, but stay tuned!

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Lilly Goes to Sacramento on the Amtrak!

Project Fi so far….

fi_logo_sq_1200So in getting started with Project Fi, I got 2 boxes, my new Nexus 6, and the “welcome kit” which included a case, headphones, and a battery pack for giving me some on the go recharging ability so all in all not too shabby.

Now one thing I can safely say so far (I pray it doesn’t change!) is the ease of customer support! Live chat twice now has me taken care of without a hiccup, all easy fixes, even the # porting was confusing, I have a Google Voice # which I’ve had since Google Voice was Grand Central, even had a $1 promo credit, all that said it could take 5 days to migrate, was done in about an hour – and then a hangup with texts routing only through Hangouts was a quick Hangouts App upgrade, then un-checking a box. Easy.

So how do I like it thus far? An under 24 hours review? Pretty awesome:

I am paying $50/m which breaks down to $20 unlimited talk/text + $30 for 3GB of data, which is pay for what you use, even if I go over I like that it’s simply billed by what you use, so if I use 3.1GB of data, I get billed $1 extra. Simple. Easy.

I’ve used the phone around town a little, again under 24 hours and even now I need to work on a project to fix fonts, but I’m exhausted and its nearly 1AM – but I love the service thus far, it’s kicking butt where Verizon is lacking, even tonight according to a handy little app I found in the ever amazing Project Fi Google+ Community, I’ve been on Sprint’s Spark network – I made a call without issues, no lag, no delays or as I like to call those things now “Acceptable Failure Rates” according to Verizon Wireless.

So far in Bakersfield at least where Mighty Magenta and Big Red have made claims of “EVERYWHERE NETWORK” and where maps bleed magenta all over this town, there are serious dead spots, now big score to Magenta is that they have WiFi calling, solves a lot of issues, now Big Red offered me the honor of buying a booster which uses the internet, but costs me $250, a manager offered $35 off, and a phone support rep claims their manager offered $75 off, but to buy MORE to simply be able to use my service with Big Red? No thanks.

What does this mean? Jump ship go all in Google? Not just yet, again this is day 1, by Monday I may be cursing its name, but even so the Nexus 6 works with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and rumored well with Verizon, so I have options if it simply doesn’t play well moving forward, but so far I’m hopeful, and just like the G1, I enjoy trying Google’s koolaid 🙂 (It’s grape!)

Got any questions? Want to try to get an invite to join in? Visit http://fi.google.com/ and sign-up with your Gmail account today, or if you want to take a peek at the hardware and setup, hit me up on hangouts, invite me for Starbucks, I’ll get you a look 🙂

IFTTT

ifttt_wordmark_screen-1384a63ace5c07673017351df41a74fcEver wanted a personal assistant? Come on. You know you do, well let me introduce you to one of my handy-dandy-must have websites IFTTT (If this then that) it is a rather nifty & handy little website which can do some amazing things with your favorite websites & your smart phone.

So let’s say when ever someone tags you on Facebook in a photo and you say:

Oh that photo is awesome! I should download it!

Of course then the 3 Ads pop up for Candy Crush, and then you see the post from your cousin about your favorite TV show about puppies, well that photo can fall through the cracks you may or may not get it back – that’s where your handy-dandy assistant IFTTT comes in to place!

You can build rules for a number of websites not just Facebook, I use an app on my smart phone called DASH which can track my truck’s stats, I don’t use it always, but I’ve got a little bluetooth adapter that plugs into the computer port in the car and it gives all sorts of information like speed, rpm’s etc. and after I’ve parked it tells me my fuel efficiency and such – quite nice! Now with IFTTT you can build out warnings, I built a few which warn me about things like check engine, low fuel, etc. Super handy!

Another simple one I do is since it has an Android App (iPhone too!) it can do notifications on my phone, so every morning @ 7:30am it sends me the High/Low temp + Sunset Time! Super handy, and another example with my Fitbit, every day’s steps inserted into a Spreadsheet on Google Docs! All automatically!

Give it a shot! You can build some fun automatons! I’ll share a few more of mine soon but here’s a few I already do share.

Going to try Fi

fi_logo_sq_1200Cellphone companies have failed me many a time – let’s just say, I’ve tried them all, start with Tracphone AGES ago with a Noika, moving my way up to now with Verizon, but as all do something has hangups:

  • Tracphone: Expensive (mind you this was AGES ago, know folks who love them now)
  • Cingular (AT&T): Billing Issues (again AGES ago)
  • T-Mobile: Un-Carrier left me with barely a workable cell signal (about 2 years ago)
  • Verizon: Who too has signal issues they now claim is with in their “acceptable failure” range.

And thus enters Google’s Project Fi – a new attempt at a carrier which uses 3 Networks (sprint, t-mobile, and wifi) to keep your calls alive – so for $20/month Unlimited Text and Talk + $10/per GB of Data – why not give it a try right?

Well I’m officially ordered and hoping to have good results that will give me a better overall set of access, Sprint & T-Mo are both “decent” enough providers in Bakersfield, hopefully where one fails the other will pickup + Wifi hot spots and home Wifi/Office Wifi will pickup the slack, for the price how could I say no?

I’ll post an update in a week or two after the Nexus 6 and SIM Card get here, it’s the only phone that works, nice thing is if Google’s offering isn’t workable its a compatible phone with T-Mobile/Verizon/AT&T and Cricket – So still will have choices if I want to stay with Verizon or make the move to another provider, stay tuned! Reviews to follow!

My next Netflix binge…

I’m a big watcher of movies/tv – well at one time I was, lately its Sesame Street / Martha Speaks / Daniel Tiger… I know – I’m complex.

I’m looking to start my next Netflix binge, I previously watched The Office start to finish, awesome ending, if you were a fan but missed it, definitely worth a watch – it was great to see many familiar faces which showed up to send the show off with an amazing send-off.

So the next show should  be…. what? I need something mellow and funny – any ideas? I started some on White Collar which I think they have the full series now for streaming – but still, suggestions?

I want to build a website…

So I work in the world of websites, and I buzz around and see some great content out there and think to myself it’d be great not to really compete but more add to the world of content out there in the tech realm.

Some great content like MKBHD (YouTube/Twitter) which does amazing tech reviews, this kid is awesome! Giving a fair review of hardware, giving even big companies his wish list on what he’s not really a fan of, he put together a video about building a dream phone!

Now in comparison I hit a video which I’ll leave un-named/un-linked which in their review of the Nexus 6 the reviewer off-camera begin to rant and swear a bit about the camera and a few other features. Now granted everyone can have their opinion, but there are so many more words in the english language which could have to really deliver his frustrations for the lacking of the phone.

Lastly I’m a big DIY guy, this sometimes frustrates Daisy to no end sometimes I think, because where she sees a time to “Call the repairman” I see the “well let’s take this apart” or “I can buy the supplies we need to do this ourselves!” I’m no different when it comes to tech, to the point that I’ve had massive Emails & Facebook Chats with folks about doing some self repairs. Sure sometimes they end up saying “Too much!” and come drop off a desktop/laptop – but I’m a solutions guy, if I can teach I’ll teach – same way I am with my customers.

So what would be a good fit? I’ve looked at doing a Q&A website, just let folks tweet/email/im whatever their questions, and then pick a handful to answer and give my spin? Sure I could do advertising and maybe like the ol HappyPalm days with Roger, Jon and Jason we could pick up some freebies here and there, but I’d love to make my side job less odds and ends and more knee-deep in reviews and helping folks vs. helping a single company with computer repair.

Got an idea? Help me brainstorm this a bit! Maybe it’s time to bring HappyPalm back? Jon? Jason? Roger? Feel like getting geeky?

RCB 1.0 – Happy Birthday!

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In our family there are 3 versions of RCB or Ron Brown – My Dad, My Brother, and My Nephew – well Today celebrates my dad’s birthday! He’s now off partying at the beach, and while I wish I could have been there, growth of work/jobs has kept me tied up – but Happy Birthday Dad!

Here we are from the olden days, back when we both had more red hair 🙂 I was trying to find a old old old old newspaper picture of us, but I’ll have to have my mom help me find it, but none the less, happy birthday dad! Love you!

How Can It Be?

Me and Lilly have been rocking out to this song since it came out, it’s been on the playlist and it’s just has a great message:

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
You break my chains, you overcome
You gave your life to give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be, how can it be?

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That you still love me
But in your eyes there’s only grace now

You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
You break my chains, you overcome
You gave your life to give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be, how can it be?

Though I fall, you can make me new
From this death I will rise with you
Oh, the grace reaching out for me
How can it be, how can it be?

You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
You break my chains, you overcome
You gave your life to give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be, how can it be?

How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle (Lyrics from AZLyrics)

Sometimes I think for many (myself included) we get lost in the beat, or the sound of music and we forget to listen to the words, what the artist wasn’t just trying to convey with a catchy tune but rather the message linked with it – how powerful a reminder of this alone:

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That you still love me
But in your eyes there’s only grace now

I do this so much, I think that time and time again if I hit a failure that I’ve just failed God so horribly, but in honesty even as the verse that pop’d up from the bible app (1 John 1:9) God’s love doesn’t just stop because of one failure, or one shortcoming, or even a HUGE failure, that’s what God’s grace is all about, something with honestly don’t deserve but He provides freely!

Remember today to don’t just hum the tune, let the words of positive songs be written on your heart as you hum them out 🙂

Webhosting is a Blessing!

13 years and counting. Hard to believe that its only been 13 years! Feel like the spirit of what FlockHosting does has been around a lot longer! I started helping Christian bands ages ago my old friend Pete Prevost before he was in Sanctus Real was in a band called “Johnny Come Lately”, I remember all those years ago building a page for the payment of … Taco Bell.

Well in some ways not much has changed, FlockHosting is an act of love, hosting over 100+ churches (looking forward to doing more!), I have customers all over the world and others here at home!

I’ve been insanely blessed, sure I’d love to see it produce a bit more income, but when you hear things like this:

Thanks so much for providing this service, we’re seeing new people come to our church just because they could find us on the internet when they move to the area and see what we do. I hope God is blessing you in all the work you do. – Andy C.

Wow. Plain wow. This is what I’ve always wanted to see folks do with FlockHosting, sure I have Thrust Networks which is the real core company, it’s the LLC everything is under, and operates, but honestly I love doing this ministry to churches.

I want to grow FlockHosting even more, I’d love to see it really just spring into action but the world of Shared Hosting slows down, as more and more companies offer the design, hosting, etc. all in one price, and I don’t have 3,000 employees – but who knows maybe I can find a way like I mention in the recent FlockUpdate doing some design at affordable rates (not the $10,000+ you see some places) but keeping it affordable and looking good! So some challenges ahead!

God is Good, and just give Him the entire business to do with as He sees fit!