April 17+1 (New Tax Day)

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So it appears that Monopoly wasn’t far off. Bank error in my favor? Kind of lol. The IRS had some issues with their site and in turn, the 17th is now the 18th for taxes due.

I keep trying to get ahead, but this year I don’t think I’m going to wait, literally next week I’m going to find some sort of accounting software that’s a tad more robust than spreadsheets, something that can track things and it will mean a bit more leg work, but I’d much rather get more put away in savings this next year + bank more towards taxes, this year I actually didn’t come down to the wire, I had my funds already set aside, but I’d like more breathing room.

Too I’m trying to figure out how I can work Church Hosting better, I’ve considered Non-Profit, but at this point with tax law changing for 2018 taxes, non-profit giving may not be a benefit anymore, so those tithes and various causes a friend asks you to support on Facebook, will be a thing of the past, so the idea of making Church Hosting a non-profit, won’t have many benefits to getting businesses to jump on board I’d imagine. No perk for them.

But I’m praying on it, working on it. Tomorrow I’ll submit, I figured since I had a rough day (been feeling off lately) I didn’t want to push it too much, sure I have 13 minutes left before midnight, but better to wrap this tomorrow with a fresh head and just call it good. Profits growing, pretty much every year, however, I’d love to see them grow enough to add an employee, or at least employ myself as a W2’d employee.

For now, time to wrap things up, after I hit submit in the AM and e-File it all away, I’m off to coding, doc writing, and working on wrapping up some projects that have been waiting for me to wrap this, then if I can get it done before swim class, I may find something completely mindless to do – do they still have those movie theatre places? 😀 Night all.

Diabetic Road: New Meds

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This week was a tough one. Sugars have sucked since we’ve fooled around with meds a bit, the PA I was seeing and working with on meds took me off the BCise and went solely on Toujeo + Jardiance – but my system seemed to really kick back a bit since that change, but as it started leveling out after some rough weeks including this past Friday with the passing of my Uncle Greg 🙁 things started doing better, actually having a 136 on the day of my doctor’s appointment.

I moved up from the PA to the primary Endocronlogist. My wife had seen him before and warned me he is a big “numbers guy” and kind of built him up in my head to be doctor type “blah” as I don’t like hardcore clinical “You’re dumb” docs who just explain and don’t listen. Pleasantly, this was not the case.

The doc was running a little late, the office actually gets me in fairly quickly and out too! But we talked about what my meter had down, he liked the lower numbers and trust me when I say lower numbers are good, still some sucky ones in which he asked about my exercise & stress, explained some spikes which worked alongside lack of sleep + sad + stressed (this week had a HUGE fire with a BIG customer) but he encouraged me to find time to pray/rest/meditate and let my body chill out without work + keep up the exercise.

We also worked out a new med to take called Soliqua which is as the doc described as a mix of Toujeo + BCise as we did see better results with BCise, so instead of two injections just one, and increasing the dose of Metformin to 1000 x 2 a day. So we are giving it a shot. I’ve had 2 doses now, actually just took one after fixing a flat tire (thanks to people for leaving dark color sharp trash on the road!) I’m having some discomfort but not sure if its the med -or- the new exercise plan I’ve picked up Seven.

Seven has been great. I have it on my iPad and in the morning I start off with 7 minutes. You’d probably think that 7 minutes wasn’t going to give you a workout, but it does! I still want to do more workout and exercise in the day and haven’t added another 7-minute window yet, but a great app on both Android and iOS (Free with Paid Options) all in all though, works great on both! Has helped my sugars I think for sure!

Lastly, I did get a call today about the blood work they ran, my A1C was 8.1. Before you say “OMG!” please bear in mind at one point it was completely out of control, 12-ish area, not good at all, so coming down from that to 10.1 on my bloodwork previously now to 8.1? Progress. Definitely want it lower, but finding a good balance of it all is key! Can’t have meds making me unable to function! So hopefully in another 3 months, we’ll see it below 7! That’d be awesome! 

For now, rest soon as tomorrow is going to be a busy one! 

Brandless. “We like to say we’re unapologetically a brand. 😇”

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Occasionally the ads on Instagram are things I actually look at. Granted I’d love it Instagram would just give me ALL photos in date order vs. whatever it is it sends me lol (but that’s another post altogether) I find something I end up liking. A lot. Enter Brandless.

First and foremost pricing. Dear God. So simple. $3. Yes. $3. And it’s not some travel size nonsense, its the real deal. I got tub & tile cleaner which smells great, and again a 30FLoz bottle… $3. Now I did a search on my whole “Is it worth it?” mindset and even searching for one on the almighty Amazon the pricing is insanely better:

While you may look at that and say “Hold on there, it is only $0.80 more” no it’s not, that’s the ITEM’s price, check the shipping, and it’s a smaller bottle. Oi. And that’s the ONLY item that was EPA Safer Choice Certified, so think of them at some level as the Online Trader Joes of healthier & safer products. (TJ I still love you. This isn’t a break-up letter!)

Now if you are organic and GMO conscious this is a great site, great products to eat, clean, work, etc. but they are awesome in that they offer free meals via Feeding America (Info Here) – basically you order? They give a meal. However, if you are like me who signed up for their B.More membership (Free shipping!) they give two meals! And today for ALL orders, (March 3rd Only!) they are making it 3 meals for every order done. Amazing!

Final note I’ll say is – this is good stuff, cleaning products I’ve got work great, the cleaner I mentioned above? It really does smell GOOD! I spray it every time I get out of the tub to help keep cleaning easier, but too smells great! Snacks are amazing the Jerky (all flavors) is amazing, but the organic peppered jerky is awesome and it’s even grain fed beef! So for $3 hard to beat!

So to recap:

  • Quality Products for Kitchen, Stomach, Office, Bathroom, did I mention Stomach?
  • Gives back to others in need!
  • Simple Pricing – It’s all $3. You spend more than that @ Starbucks!
  • Real Products not TINY sized samples.
  • Delicious Snacks. (Brandless if you read this, please send more Jerky)

I wish I could use this brief review to give you some sort of deal, savings, but honestly? It’s $3 an item, shipping so far has been quick so why not give it a shot. Not sure it’ll work but on your first order try the promo code “hello” and it should make your first order’s shipping $1 (at least the recent email I got suggests that it will) again very worth it to the point my birthday present to myself was the B.More membership.

Go forth! Enjoy Brandless.

Once you go Chrome….

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So I have been pondering things for a while related to switching away from the world of Mac. I actually just sold my Samsung 503 Chromebook to an old friend, it goes to live with her on Wednesday, and I have the C200M on the block to be sold as well.

I have been looking at the Chromebook 15 from Acer, it’s a 15-inch touch-display, Android Apps without any dev channels, beta channels or nasty hacks to get them work. I checked a box and it’s done.

I love the screen, the speed, the specific nature of what I can do, honestly its a good fit with a 12-hour battery life, and USB-C for charging its a nice fit. Different. What Mac always was about – but lately I just feel like Mac is becoming more about what they can put into a product to make a few more dollars. Everyone’s got to eat.

But we shall see how it goes, I’d love to have it all pan out and become my daily driver – and over the next few days. Chome is now my home? Time will tell.

Time for a Tech Yard Sale?

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I think it might be.

I’ve managed to get myself a small pile of tech, some of it was given to me, some was purchased, but with all of it nowadays, it has no direct use.

I have some tablets and laptops which need new homes. I’m trying to decide how to go about selling these things. I’ve considered eBay for a few items, but most are still working hardware just not actively in my workflow anymore, and while some day some of it could be? I’m looking to offload it.

I’ve considered too Facebook’s selling area, or even OfferUp – so there are some options but stay tuned, likely in the next few weeks going to be some items up for grabs.

Shutting Down Vonage

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14 years. Yowza. I hadn’t realized how long I have been with Vonage. But that all ended today.

I signed up 14 years ago while I was still living with my parents, the reason? I was doing business in Tennessee and I wanted to make it easier for locals to call, so I picked up my old 615 number and used it to talk to customers in that area.

Well fast forward 14 years and it’s been ages since I’ve actually seen the Vonage hardware. I’m not even joking, I’ve been paying monthly to keep the number safe and it was set up if the hardware wasn’t found or “offline” it’d simply route to my business line. Worked just fine. Till my business debit card changed.

It’s scary that I’m still just barely finding out months later things that were using the old card which didn’t get updated, and Vonage was one of them, so I paid my bills, called in and canceled. Now the lady told me something interesting:

You can port your number for the next 30 days.

Normally you port -> cancel, but at first, I was going to let it go, but then with the whole debit card issue, figure there might be a call or two still tied to this account, so I looked around and found NumberBarn.

Now, this ended up actually giving me more to work with overall, and for half the cost a month I actually picked up a toll-free number for the business + ported the old 615 to a parked message! Score! So for the cost of less than one month with Vonage, I got a year of the number parked, and unlimited forwarding on a toll-free number for over half the cost I was paying for the 615!

So a big win, something positive, something good. Been needing more of those lately, so a day where I don’t feel great I actually feel like I’m getting a lot accomplished. Thanks NumberBarn!

The Fight for Positivity. #struggleisreal

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Today is one of those days I guess, not a fan of what I see in the bank account, a small mountain of work in front of me, and I don’t even want to sluff it off, I honestly just want to not really even stare at a wall right now. The sun is out and I’ve considered just going for a LONG walk, but sadly some of these items on the todo are time sensitive.

The loop of music I’ve got today is:

A great song, really been one of those things I’ve found myself continually reminding myself that I have something positive to hang on to, but its been a rough couple of months, even today had to just call the doctor asking about the continuation of an injectable med (BCise) as its having some mixed issues, one of which my blood sugars are higher with it, and it’s leaving knots in my gut + a lingering pain from my ribcage to my back.  Not fun.

So a mountain of stress/bad – and I’m going to keep fighting for positive, and to make this post have something actually positive, I made a sugar free bowl.

The sugar free bowl #diabetes #sugarfree #snacks #3dprinting

A post shared by Chuck Brown (@mrcbrown) on

Creating Something

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Lately that itch is back. That desire to create. That desire to make something. My garage isn’t setup just yet after the move last year, it’s more of a storage room at the moment (not even for a car!) but I find myself wanting to create and I was really digging creating the latest FlockHosting website:

I did that! Been a while since I really felt a good design groove and really came together nicely I felt! Now I just wish I had other areas to really build and make things right now but just feel like even with the next site I’m stuck:

The top slider is a demo slider as I have no content beyond building out a header area which has some issues with the responsive side as it makes two hamburger buttons on either side of the logo – but that’s not impossible to fix + put in a mobile all in one nav.

All in all, I just want to create! I have this itch now and again but lately seem to be in a slump of actually moving into something to get it done.

For now, I get to go gas up the truck, get meds, and needles. Also hoping the postal service somehow amazingly processed mail from another city and got it here in one day… a dream – but hey I can hope!

Health, Life, Business

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13 days till the big upgrade, not really looking forward to it, nor dreading it – it’s gonna happen whether I like it or not 🙂

I have had a rough week. My sugars aren’t leveling out and doc officially added insulin to the mix. Not something I had desired honestly. Tonight is the first night that I’ve increased my dosage from 10units -> 12 units as 10 units wasnt’t cutting it, so slowly on-boarding to find a dose that works – I am honestly thinking it’ll end up being 11, but time will tell, as 3 days with 10 no luck, now onto 12 for 3 days. Here goes nothing.

Life is crazy, made it though V-Day, both gals in my life were very happy with my flowers, I will admit while the wife enjoyed the flowers, the daughter went maybe a tad crazier over a giant red tulip 🙂 She’s three and excited 🙂

Business is blah. Just a lot of stress lately with cash-flow, I hate it when customers seem to have more power than I do. I have one who is 3 weeks of payments behind, I do contract administration for them and in some cases its 4 payments before I get the payments that as they were set up were meant to be delivered weekly – that’s only happened a few times.

Too business in general just in a slump, trying to stay positive, but when you throw in crappy blood sugar, negative nancy’s who aren’t pro no need for insulin, it’s not been a good balance of good/bad in life lately, seems like a lot of bad.

For now, I am going to try and take it easy the remainder of this evening, I do have a server reboot for a customer in about an hour, but I’ve taken my insulin, still need to take my other nightly meds before I crash out, but after 11, I think its going to be a quick translation from Chair -> bed.

Firming up Brands

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One thing I’ve had over the years is a hodgepodge of interfaces to interact with customers. Dropbox to share a file, CloudApp to share a screenshot/video/etc – and the list could go on of 3rd Party Tools I’ve used to share a link which doesn’t bare my brand(s).

Now Thrust Networks I had previously done some work and CloudApp has a paid tier in which I got a custom URL, which was awesome. Having my logo at the top was great, but two things:

  1. Cost
  2. Can’t Have Two URL’s

And while FlockHosting tends to be more active to re-brand all Thrust Networks stuff over, just didn’t really work – so enter some great tools which have allowed me to really work on having some resources to bring things together!

Dropbox Replacement: NextCloud

It’s free. A great first start, but the sync clients for desktop/tablet/phone are a great addition! It’s awesome to share a file from my own URL, my own branding – the install is simple and on my servers, it runs smoothly, did two customer screencasts today to help with customer issues, and honestly, it was as simple as saving to a folder on my computer and tada. Online.

CloudApp Replacement: Dropshare

This one is great it came with Setapp and does a great job even more so than the replacement idea of Nextcloud for Dropbox, because there I have 2 installs for customer files on TN & FH – so two copies to keep up (but the app syncs both!) this is no server software, its all app.

I have 3 profiles set up one for Generic, FH, and TN – And I can easily switch between accounts to upload screenshots, short clips, etc. very very very handy.

Overall I’m really hoping to build out more tools, and yes while sometimes others have built it and its easier to just sign-up, these tools have added value & saved me money.