My Indirect (and Disastrous) Encounter(s) with Endurance International Group

Endurance International Group, Inc. (EIG)This is a “for the record” kind of post. Perhaps you’ll find it as appalling interesting as I have while following all of the connected trails in my research.

A good while back now, in what was the early childhood of the “internets“, I began what is my current career of website hosting management and development. It began innocently enough as a desire to share our music online. (Did you know that there is a website that preserves previous versions of the web—like, the entire web?? Have a look at one of the earliest versions of our music site.)1

It Started Off So Well…

When I first moved into the world of web hosting, somewhere around 2004, I found a company named iPower (or iPowerweb) which offered very inexpensive packages with more features than I had seen elsewhere. What really convinced me was their reseller package, with a small team of tech support people who were available 24/7, knew me and my websites, and were very knowledgeable/helpful/professional. I was sold. This company was a relatively small “start-up” out of Phoenix who offered technical service and expertise, and excellent customer support.

(In the meantime, I found another small company who had a slightly better reseller package which allowed me to purchase a large server space and apportion it as needed, in my own packages, to clients as they needed. I signed on with them around the same time, too. Their biggest sell was the company’s owner/operator—a one-man-show—who was great at customer support. There’s a theme here!)

Meanwhile…

While I was merrily, blissfully plugging along in my burgeoning little web business, giant shark-like companies were smelling blood (or, money?) and swarming around these small-to-medium sized hosting companies, gobbling them up in large chunks.

Unbeknownst to me at this time, a company named Endurance International Group was acquiring small hosting companies left and right, and becoming this large conglomerate of very cheap web hosting solutions under various brands. You can see a rather comprehensive list (with sources) at the Wikipedia page for EIG.

But again, this was actually still unbeknownst to me.

Troublesome Signs

Somewhere around 2007, after a few years of great service from iPower, I noticed a sharp, nearly instantaneous decline in their service. I began to have all sorts of issues (email issues, server slowness/downtime) and on top of that, I would sometimes be on hold, waiting to chat with that stellar support team for 30-45 minutes! What?! When I was finally able to speak with one of the tech guys with whom I had built a working relationship over the three years or so, I was informed that they were making changes, and greatly reduced the size of the support team—which greatly reduced their support to their customers!

I was definitely saddened, but pressed on because I believed in this small company that had provided such great service to me and my clients for so long. What I didn’t know was that these changes were due to iPower being acquired by EIG.2

(Sadly, at roughly the same time, that other hosting company I was hosting the majority of my sites through was expieriencing their own failures—one after another! I endured this for longer than the trouble with iPower as I understood the difficulties of running your own business. That company was essentially a one-man operation, so I stuck it out as long as I could. But eventually, it was such a melt-down I had to exit that situation, too.)

The First Big Change

With the frustrating circumstances of this time period sufficiently endured, I endeavored to make another change, hoping for something similar to what I had found in 2004. I wanted a small company who had excellent customer/tech support as their primary characteristic.

I think it was somewhere around 2010 when I learned of HostGator through a web-development friend (and colleague). He vouched for their excellent service, including their customer support knowledge and availability, so I investigated and found them to be just what I was looking for. Within a short time (well, OK… about a month) I had moved over all of my large list of clients’ sites and domains to their service.

And I was pleased. Their servers were faster, tech team was available within minutes of calling, and generally very knowledgeable/helpful. I would get quick replies to any tickets submitted through their ticket system, and all around I was very much satisfied. (Even to the point of promoting them to anyone who was seeking hosting, or asked.)

And then…

Not Again!!!

Last summer there were bumps. Server down time, slower response to tickets, long hold times to get through to tech support, many “blunders” in server configuration causing trouble for my clients sites (as well as my own) … all VERY worrisome signs. They were just like what I had experienced with iPower.

I was growing frustrated again. How can this be happening? It’s only been two or three years that I’ve been with this company and the same thing is happening???

In the infamous words of Gru, “Light…bullllllb!”

Connection Established

Was it possible that these events were connected? I began digging. One clue after another led me to the company mentioned above: Endurance Group International, Inc. (EIG).3

Ah ha! I’m not crazy! thought I, somewhat relieved. Though, I was equally peeved that the companies with whom I chose to do business were “selling out” to this crazy web-hosting company eater, EIG. First iPower, now HostGator.

My experience is not unique. Another poor soul chronicled his experience with EIG, when his hosting company, WebHost4Life, was acquired by EIG. Oh, and look at their Better Business Bureau page… over 400 complaints! Ugh…

“The Blackout of 2013″—August 2, 2013

pulling-hair-out2Fast-forward to this past weekend. August 2nd, 2013. It has actually made it to the EIG Wikipedia page as part of their company’s entry! After months of trouble, I awake to find all of my sites are offline. Email, websites, everything. Here we go again! I dial up the tech support line and… busy signal! Ha! As I am discovering this, I am chatting online with my aforementioned colleague, who is equally affected by this August 2nd Blackout, since his sites are all still hosted by HostGator. We both decide right then, that morning, that we are jumping ship, NOW!.

A couple months prior, the HostGator changes had become unbearable for my biggest client and his websites that we develop/host/manage, so I spent a week investigating hosting options. I found a few that I liked, and settled on one that, again, seems to be a small company, committed to excellent service and customer support. I have had good success with them so far. (My praise for them is justifiably guarded (jaded?) by my prior experiences, as you can well imagine!)

I called up the fellow with whom I had spoken those months before and asked him very directly, “Will your company sell to Endurance International Group? I need to know, because that has happened to me twice, and causes so much trouble, wastes so much time!” His response was that the two owners of his company were actually on-site that day, and had been discussing specifically that potential scenario. He assured me that they had already rejected such an offer, and would steadfastly continue to do so.

SOLD!

Within hours I had set up the account, moved ALL of my sites over to the new Virtual Private Server (VPS) account, and began working on all that is involved with migrating hosting accounts.

This is never fun. Never.4

I emailed all my clients and told them of the emergency change. There have been a few bumps, but mostly we’ve made it through unscathed. I will be shutting down my HostGator accounts by week’s end, and ending any business relationship I have with EIG… until the next time?

Moral: BIGGER ≠ better

The moral of this not-so-short-story is that BIGGER IS NEVER BETTER!

(Unless you’re trying to make a point, with big letters?)

Somehow we have this idea that the “mass model” is best. Giant factories, mega stores… it never leads to good. It usually leads to bad service and meltdowns like I have experienced each time this has happened!

Stay small, folks. Focus on service, support, and relationship … even in business.

Because business still involves people. Doesn’t it?

My experiences with EIG (though I didn’t realize it was them until this year) have reminded me of that.

Stay small, local (when possible), and personal.

And don’t sell out to EIG!

  1. Note: this was actually probably a third or even fourth iteration of our website! Earlier versions were hosted on the free hosting service Tripod.com. Which amazingly still exists! Archive.org used to have the 20th century version of our website! Wow! Now the earliest version is August 2000, very similar to the 2001 link above.
  2. Read the article from May 2007. It calls the move a “merger”, but my experience in 2012 with a different “merger” with EIG would suggest that it was more of an acquisition. (Especially when contrasted with my initial experience with iPower, before “merging” with EIG.)
  3. One more connection, in 2011, EIG was “bought” (or funded?) by Warburg Pincus and GS (Goldman Sachs) Capital Partners. There are big piles of money changing hands here.
  4. I found a couple pages detailing what is involved. Besides all of these steps, (1) something inevitably does not go as planned, and (2) it just takes time. Lots of time. Up to 72 hours of time. Most of that is the DNS propagation, meaning, the change of address for your domain name. Once that filters through all the checkpoints, you’re OK, but a lot of grief happens during that time!

Working

Basic Web Design & GraphicsTime to write has been lessened a bit these days as work demands have increased for a variety of reasons. Definitely something to be thankful for when stories of unemployment rates frequent the pages of news sources.

And I am grateful.

I’m grateful that I have this job that allows me to work from home. This is definitely a blessing and a curse, as they say, but I can’t imagine any better option for our family. We’ve had a rough go of it for at least a year, maybe more like a year and a half. One thing after another it seems, piling on. That does seem to be the way things go… So in the midst of that, it’s really a blessing that I am able to both get work done—which helps keep food on our table—and can also be available for my wife and my children when I am needed even more there.

I’m grateful that God has connected me with a few other guys who do what I do (but also do things I don’t do) that make work even more enjoyable. First, we can get more done together than separately, which is mutually beneficial. Second, I thoroughly enjoy working together with these guys and the friendship we have beyond the work we do together. That, too has been a blessing in my work world.

I’m also grateful for the people I get to work for. Yes, I own my own business, so I don’t work for anyone. And truthfully, even though in a sense I do work for my clients, I really feel as though I am working with each of them to accomplish the goals they have for their business, or school, or ministry, or other organization. It’s a piece of what I do that I also really enjoy: getting to know the people involved, and seeing where they are adding their talents and daily effort to the public good. I enjoy that I get to be part of that.

That said, there are definitely down sides lately.

More working means less time for writing, which I love, and even feel that it’s something I’m made to do. Also means less time for reading, less time for fun in the kitchen (cooking and baking projects) and even less time with my family (though I do think that suffers least of any other way I can spend my time).

Also, I’ve noticed that I get to create less.

I was planning to make this a complete post of its own, but one thing I’ve been thinking is that with an extra workload (and because of many circumstances, less time to accomplish it!) I’ve found that I have drifted away from the creative side of my work. Somehow I spend most days administrating the various projects for various clients, communicating between clients and other developers working with me, and then supporting existing work.

It’s not that I don’t work in a creative environment. That’s still true, and I’d guess always will be. But I really do feel I am creating much less than I used to. Which, is probably not a good thing, except that it’s probably a “season” that I am in for now.

But again, as I said above, I will say again here: I am grateful.

I am also tired. 🙂

So, the reason for this shorter post being sufficiently explained… I’m heading to bed.

But if you need a website—big or small, short or tall, we really can do it all—or any graphic design work, or video/audio conversion, and even Mac hardware upgrades (and limited other tech support), I’d love to work with you. (You will have to wait in line right now, but … I would still love to chat with you.) Please visit my sadly neglected business website (the cobbler’s family’s shoes…) and contact me to see how we might be able to help.

OK, now, back to work!


Want to see some of the latest projects? Try this, and this, and this, and this. This one is coming soon, very soon! Oh, and here’s another that I was just working on this weekend. Unfortunately, we can’t really show you the one we spend MOST of our time working on (it’s an internal dealers site, not open to the public… and now there are two! But trust me… it’s enormous and amazing! Largely thanks to the coding prowess of this guy.)

Who Me? A VCR Repairman?

Perhaps one of the strangest things I’ve done of late is a bit of repair man work on my office VCR! Who knew I could fix those? 🙂

One of the services I offer as part of my web/graphic design business* is analog-to-digital conversion. So, you bring me your old audio cassette tapes and I’ll convert them to CD, or just any digital audio format you’d like and deliver them back to you electronically. Or, you bring me your analog video in any format and I’ll convert it to a digital format of your choosing (DVD or otherwise). It’s pretty fun, and the projects range from a simple dump of the old-version content (no editing) onto the new-version media, to a full-on, shiny, professional end product.

While in the midst of one such project the past couple weeks, I found multiple issues with this antiquated technology. Fun!

I was converting old VHS-C tapes. That’s where the fun began. First, neither of the two VCRs we use would accept the adapter that the customer provided. My main VCR even refused to eject the cassette for many minutes. (I’m not even sure what made it change its mind… but the cassette finally popped out.)

So, attempting to be resourceful, I called up the owner of the cassettes to be converted and asked for their camera, thinking I could likely dump the data from there. All seemed good when I got the camera. Battery, check. Charger, check. Video out, check. We’re set!

However, working with old technology almost never goes as you’d expect. 🙂

The battery charged overnight, but didn’t hold a charge. At all. No power to the camera at all. So, I tried again. Still a “no go”. Then I noticed a tiny round battery slot on the underside of the camera. It wasn’t clear what this was for, but I figured it couldn’t hurt trying to replace it.

Off to Radio Shack I went!

Thankfully the folks at “The Shack” were quite helpful and I left the store with a new tiny round battery, as well as a new VHS-C cassette adapter as a backup plan. (I was quite glad I remembered to have a backup plan!)

The battery replacement did not work. Still no sign of life from the camera. Time to implement the backup plan!

I popped one of the small VHS-C cassettes in the new adapter, loaded in a fresh battery and slid the whole device into the VCR. I was quite relieved when the VCR accepted it, and loaded the video, ready to play it.

All went smoothly until I rewound the tape.

After successfully loading the video into the computer, and then the tape automatically rewinding once it reached the end, I hit eject, thinking all the techno-trouble was behind me.

Unfortunately, I was very wrong.

At this point, the VCR got even more stubborn than before! It would not only not relinquish the cassette, it kept powering down with every attempt to remove it. (And I was not liking the sounds that were coming from its attempts to dislodge the adapter cassette!)

Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed my screwdriver. (I’ve taken stuff apart before… this couldn’t be that much different, right?)

Thankfully… it actually was a tad easier than working with the insides of the various computers I’ve disassembled, modified, and reassembled.

After removing several parts, and fiddling with many do-hickeys … the cassette came free! I reassembled the VCR—crossed my fingers—and tried to load the next cassette.

I was somewhat surprised to discover that … it worked! And, even more surprisingly, I think it worked better than before!

Who knew I could repair VCRs?

So, it would seem I have found a new calling in life: VCR Repairman. I can’t imagine how much business must be out there just waiting for someone like me to grab it by the horns! There must be so many opportunities to fix these very current, super modern, ubiquitous video devices. Right?

Maybe not. But, if you do need your ancient technology repaired… now you know where to go!


* – Speaking of ancient technology, sorry in advance for the never-updated appearance and condition of my web design website! The saying is true, the cobbler’s family never has shoes! At least I have a website, but, again… sorry. 🙂

Apple Posts HTML5 Showcase

I just saw a link to a new section of Apple’s website, showcasing the power of HTML5, the next coding language for the web. It of course was named in Steve Job’s open letter to Adobe as one of the main reasons Apple is not using Adobe’s Flash on their portable devices. (Almost) All of that can be done via the features of HTML5.

It’s a pretty neat little overview/demo, even if you’re not in the business of making websites as I am. But, if you are, there’s a link there for more info for developers.

(Over) Ambitious Reading List

Many Books to ReadI seem to read books in spurts. I’ll go a long time without making time to read anything more than email and the daily news. But then, I’ll hear of or see a book or two… and get inspired to make the time to read them.

Now is such a time!

Between books I want to read for my web business and a few personal interests, I have been busy searching our library catalog and, well, check out this stack of books currently next to my reading chair…

Guess I better get reading! 🙂

Ain’t That The Way It Goes?

I do web design. All facets of web design. From the graphic design of a site, to the writing of code (in several different programming languages), to the configuring of servers and software, to the maintenance of said websites.

Today as I was going about my business, and after some positive interaction with my main hosting company, I decided to give them a bit of free advertising on my facebook business page. After all, from recent experiences with other hosting companies, this one deserved some free publicity. They’re top notch!

Well, as luck would have it…

Not a few hours after proclaiming their greatness, there was a glitch when fetching email. I submitted a support ticket, thinking nothing of it. But it got worse. And no reply from support. So, I checked again, and finally… my site was down. ALL of my sites were down. All of my clients’ sites were down.

Uh oh.

After a few quick back-and-forths with tech support, it became apparent that this was sadly a much bigger issue than I first imagined.

When there were some issues noticed by the tech support guy, who could not access the server, he initiated a system reboot. Unbeknownst to him, the (remote) servers were being rebooted already … somehow this all created the perfect storm and the entire system crashed and all data was lost … for everyone. Not just me, not just my clients, but everyone this company hosts.

Holy moly.

Well, that’s just never a good thing. But I found it quite ironic that on the day I chose to praise this company, their entire service goes kerplunk. 🙂 Ain’t that the way it goes?

However, true to my praise, they are now back up and running (this blog is evidence of that statement) and I and my clients are all much happier. (As is tech support, I’m certain.) All data was recovered, and all within about 5 or 6 hours of a total system crash.

Not bad. Not bad at all!

So, I’ll say it again. If you have a website, or hosting for a website (or just email) I would like to recommend a great web hosting company. eVerity Web Hosting & Domains has been trusted by Basic Web Design & Graphics for over 6 years now, and even with a minor (or major?) catastrophe … they came through with flying colors. You can click their link and manage your own hosting, or contact me, and I’ll do it for you.

*Sigh* … Next time, I may think twice before endorsing some service I really enjoy. It apparently can lead to complete chaos!

Twitter Craze

I mentioned Twitter here a few posts ago. I think I also mentioned that it’s not a technology I’ve found much of a use for. There is definitely a place for it. It’s a pretty good way for a business to handle things like press releases. By creating a Twitter account, and then advertising that on your website, email, and other avenues, people can subscribe to any updates you send out over the service (updates which are often viewed by the receiver on their mobile phone, so you can catch them anywhere) and if there is a related link, you can even include that.

The concept is decent, but the implementation has been … well, almost to the point of annoying.

It started in 2006, and I, being a fan of tech podcasts have followed it from its infancy. The tech show hosts were (almost) all infatuated with it at first. All they talked about was Twitter! It was crazy! But then it died down, and they referenced it on a more normal scale… probably using it for what it is best used for – short, to the point, news bulletins. (Some even use it as a resource. For example, they are traveling, in a city they don’t know, and they ask a question on Twitter, and then anyone “following” them who has an answer replies back. The downside is, people who check their Twitter feed less frequently reply many days later.) 🙂

I signed up for an account sometime in 2007, just to see what all the tech buzz was about. I had also created a Facebook account that year, as that was another thing the tech shows could not stop talking about! I took a look around both and found that, basically, Twitter was a one-function service that was nearly identical to one of many that Facebook provided. Facebook allows you to “broadcast” a status message – much like Twitter’s “tweets” – that anyone who is on your list of friends can see and interact with. But as I mentioned, Facebook has much more to offer. Much easier to share information, photos, videos… you can even play virtual games with friends. (I like to play Scrabble…) 🙂

So, with much more “real” interaction with people on Facebook, and no need to duplicate that using Twitter, I chose to use Facebook. (I need to also say that I do not have a cell phone. Twitter might have more draw to someone sharing info over a mobile device.)

Now, sometime last year, Twitter “hit the mainstream”. Not only are more people using it, but it’s becoming popular, and even a “credible” source of information. (See more about Twitter here.) It’s even gotten so popular late last year that Hollywood celebrities are now “Tweeting” their every move.

Fascinating.

I’ve definitely never caught on, as you have probably guessed. But, a client of mine joined the Twitter community last year and has really had some interesting adventures using their service. (You can find his Twitter info and “follow” him at his website: acemarketingagency.com.) I added his Twitter feed to my RSS folder and follow along. There are some extraneous comments directed to other people, but his general posts are often links to articles or other web content worth viewing. Today he posted a link to the following video that I thought did a pretty good job of summarizing the Twitter experience. 🙂

Enjoy…

Definition of a Blog

I often find myself recommending to people that they could start a blog. Whether it is one of my web clients, or a One To One member at the Apple store, there are many reasons to have and use a blog.

The funny thing is, when I say that, folks are often at least confused, and usually overwhelmed. Why is that? I haven’t completely figured it out, but I think it’s due to a misunderstanding of what a blog is.

Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

The thing is, most people use the term blog in many other ways. First, blog is often used as a verb (which, although Wikipedia’s definition does allow for it, it’s not really how the word should be used) and second, it’s often used to refer to an individual post to a blog site. Also, there is another common misconception that a blog must be replete with verbose and eloquent entries, waxing philosophical on the many complexities of life.

While all of those may at times be true of various blogs… they do not need to be. Your blog can be whatever you want it to be. The three main things that make a blog a blog are:

  1. Regularly published content, listed on the site in reverse chronological order, and often archived monthly or weekly.
  2. Usually, due to the frequent publications, the site also notifies and distributes content via RSS or some other feed technology. (That’s for another day!)
  3. Almost always, there is some mechanism for feedback (comments) which creates a feel of “community” at the website as readers are invited to participate along with the author of the content.

Just wanted to clear that up, and perhaps a few hundred more people can understand and use the word “blog” in a less scary way. 🙂

I have a few blogs. This one (GregsHead.net), and Buffalo Bills Review (articles page), and then a few I don’t keep up very well anymore.

And, there are many services you can use to create and manage your own blog. I mostly use Blogger (the engine behind this blog), but another hugely popular blogging tool is WordPress. Those are probably the top two, but check out this list… there are a LOT to choose from.

So, if you have something to say, or even if you have nothing to say and just need to say it… a blog is a fun way to get that out and even enjoy discussions with your readers about whatever it is that’s on your mind.

Now get out there and start blogging blogs to your blog.

🙂

Update from Greg’s Head

I must say this poor blog has been quite neglected for the past couple weeks. It seems that my writing certainly goes in cycles. Sometimes I have lots to say and just can’t help myself, so this blog is full of things to read. Sometimes I am so full of things to do that even though I do have things to say, I am not able to sit down and write them out. Other times, it’s simply time for intake rather than output. I’d say we’re definitely in a cycle involving a little of both of the last two.

So, instead of writing lots of detailed blogs (which I could certainly do, but must tend to other things) I will try and cover a lot of the stuff I’d like to chronicle here in bullet-point fashion.

  • Work
    I have been very busy with web and graphic design, so much so that I am considering expanding. It feels as though the work load has grown too much for one person to handle. (At least, and still have family/free time.) I’m not certain how to work that out just yet, but the influx of clients continues, as well as a regular stream of work orders from satisfied current customers. A week or so ago I felt as though I was cresting the seemingly insurmountable hill of open projects, but then the hill just got a bit taller. So, I press on… Have made a few cool additions to my site (linked above) in the middle of the various projects I have been working on. I seriously need to update my “samples” page though as several of those clients have closed up shop and are no longer on the internet! 🙂
  • Music
    Oh, I finally did take our “Christmas decorations” down at our basicmm.com website, too. 🙂 I forget what motivated me to do it, since it was already late April or May when I did, but … anyway, it’s done. Also on the music front, our trip to Virginia in June may be in jeopardy because our family is too large to house! 🙂 We’ll see what happens there…
  • Fun
    Jen & I both have been enjoying Facebook and the many fun things therein. They added a live chat feature recently which has been extra cool. Realtime re-connecting with people you haven’t spoken with in many years, or perhaps barely even know. Fun! (At least, for me that’s fun!) Also, definitely loving playing the various word games there. I do love word games…
  • Brennan Manning
    Jen cleaned out the attic recently and found a bunch of old cassette tapes. In one of the boxes was a set of teaching tapes we had purchased. It was “Healing Our Image of God… and Ourselves” by Brennan Manning. Manning’s background as a catholic priest (and a monk, I believe) gives him an interesting perspective on the Gospel. But the heart of what he says is so great. It’s the simple truth of the incredible love that our Father – Abba – has for us. We heard Brennan at a retreat over 10 years ago, and got his tapes there. He’s been saying the same thing for decades – and I believe God has been re-emphasizing this basic point to me and Jen in recent years again – because it’s the core of the Gospel/Good News. God loves us more than we can ask or imagine, and invites us to live life side by side with him, as his kids. Great stuff… on tape 4 of 5 right now. More on this to be sure…
  • Friends
    Our closest friends – who are more like family – are moving. Their last day in town is next Wednesday. We have lived in the same town as them since we met in our college years. I moved up here to Rochester area with them right after college. Our kids have grown up together, sharing most of the fun/special days together. We’ve known of the move for a couple months now. That’s kinda nice. Been a nice long goodbye. But it’s still a goodbye, and life will definitely change. Very exciting for them, and I’m sure God will blow us away with the way(s) he fills what we can only see now as a void. But it’s pretty sad at the same time. We’re sure there will be tears next week. In the mean time, been helping with packing and moving as much as we can, and also just visiting as much as we can, while they’re still here. We’ll certainly see them again, but 15 minutes is a lot closer than 6 hours driving time. 🙂
  • Family
    We’ve also been visiting family a lot this month. We got to see my sister’s new house in the Buffalo area. Then went over the next weekend for a big garage sale, and I made a nice mother’s day lunch for my mother-in-law. 🙂 We’re going over again this weekend, and then the next for various family events, too! It’s nice that they are close, but it’s also certainly an expense with gas being near $4.00/gallon!! Yikes!
  • New Friends
    Jen has been going to the community center on Thursday mornings to join (mostly) moms with their pre-schoolers for a couple hours of playtime/funtime. This has been a cool way to meet people we have seen around town (at other similar events) and get to know them better. We obviously have the common link of having tiny kids 🙂 Looking forward to getting to know all of these new friends – who mostly live right around the corner(s) from us – over the summer.
  • Lilacs!
    Whether you pronounce it “lie-lock” or, the proper, phonetic way (li-lac)… 🙂 I am just loving these flowers again this year. Been a neat spring in general. The flowering trees have been beautiful. Our neighbor has several lilac bushes and has generously allowed me to snap of some blooms whenever I’d like. And so, I’ve had beautiful, fragrant lilacs on my desk for the past week or two! Love it!
  • Entertainment
    Almost forgot… been watching the NHL playoffs mostly these days. TiVo has been very helpful as we are usually out for evenings, but then watch the game in fast-forward once we are home! As close as the season was, it was surprising to see Pittsburgh and Detroit each take 3-0 series leads. The other teams both won their game fours, but should be a fantastic Stanley Cup Final between Pittsburgh and Detroit! They’re both amazing.

    And, we’ve rediscovered our fondness for the 80s TV show, The Knight Rider. Our friends, the Vs, enjoy it as well (we loaned them our iPod to watch Season One in its entirety) and Season Two is now coming to our mailbox via Netflix. 🙂 Pretty corny at times, but also pretty fun. Ah, the good ol’ days…

There have been lots of other fun events the past several days/weeks. Really can’t share them all here. As I said, it’s been a time of doing and intake more than a time of output 🙂 Suffice it to say, all of these social events have reminded me again that I am (or have become) a people person. I am not sure why I am doing an office-related job, then… 🙂 But am still super thankful for the provision we see from God in that.

More to come on the stuff I have been thinking through from the Brennan Manning tapes, as well as some good conversations with the church (friends who are fellow followers of Jesus), and just the stuff God has been placing on my heart and mind. So fun to share every bit of life with someone who loves me so much. Hope you know that, and you’re experiencing that, too.