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!

Stealth Mode

I am attempting to get back to my normal routine today, following about two weeks of semi-vaction. I’ve never done such a thing before (that I can recall) so I am still trying to figure out if it was good or bad. 🙂

It was good in that for two weeks I got to be with my family a lot more than I usually do. We played lots of games, read books, watched movies (especially the movie Up, which we bought from iTunes for a family Christmas present!) and just enjoyed each other’s company.

It was not as good in that I don’t quite feel like I had a vacation.

There were only a few days where I worked blocks of hours. Mostly I would just fit in answering emails or phone calls, and perhaps work a few hours after all were in bed. And, there were also a couple days completely free of any work (like Christmas and New Year’s Day … it’s a fun time of year!)

So instead of vacation, I dubbed the past two weeks “stealth mode.” Was I on vacation, or wasn’t I? Was I available to my clients, or wasn’t I?

Overall, it worked. I do feel more ready for to tackle the large workload ahead. Of course, that will also be much easier once I have all my files back on a working computer.

Ahhh, the joys of life with computers. 🙂

On a totally unrelated note, I wrote this post using a fun application called OMMWriter (Mac only). It’s pretty neat. Creates a full-screen writing environment, completel with ambient sounds (of your choosing) and tools that only appear when needed. Pretty neat.

Alright. Time to decloak. No more stealth mode. Game on.

Time Flies When You’re Not Driving a Bus

I realized today just how long it’s been since I drove a school bus.

Jen & I spent a decent chunk of this day driving through the streets of Fairport, NY. It was their annual Canal Days festival, and we were privileged to have a babysitter caring for our kids, so we decided to check it out.

First, we drove through the various side streets of the village looking for a street-side parking spot. This was an adventure! Canal Days are quite well attended on sunny, 75º days! We managed to find a spot, and eventually made our way to the festival.

We enjoyed the fact that we had no kids in tow (AND the fact that I got some Perry’s White Lightning ice cream at a little ice cream shop there!!) – and we enjoyed a nice leisurely browsing of the library book sale. But, overall, not really our thing. (Lots of people, a little too hot…) So, we moved on.

Due to modified traffic patterns caused by all the people, vendors, and other fun stuff from the event, we took a few side streets that I knew of from my bus driving days. As we traveled the “back” roads, I recounted a story or two of my time as a Fairport schools bus driver (bus #190!). I told Jen about the places I stopped, the kids I remembered picking up, and even the long break I had at one of the schools we passed today.

Then all of a sudden it hit me.

None – not one – of the kids I drove on those school bus routes … are still in school!!!

Holy cow. How can that be?? But it’s true. I drove their busses the 1996-1997 school year. That is 13 school years ago. Thirteen! So, even the kindergartners I drove… they have graduated. (Or maybe are this year, I suppose.)

It doesn’t seem that long. It really doesn’t.

The older I get the more I realize that the old people before me were right. Time just keeps going faster, and faster. It really does. Before you know it, it’s been 13 years, and all the kids you drove to and from school are too old to be in school.


A Good Cup of Tea

Constant Comment teaJust enjoying some of my favorite tea this afternoon and thought it would be a good idea to post it as a little recommendation here at (Click the tea bag to the right to see a listing of Constant Comment varieties at!)

I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, and would love to flesh them out here … but it’s been a very busy couple of weeks in web work (and even a Buffalo Bills show). Some of it is coming to a close this week, so perhaps I’ll have a bit more time to elaborate next week… we’ll see.

Either way, glad I have some of this tea on hand… 🙂

Not How I Planned It

Well, I just got back – AGAIN – from Buffalo. We spent the extra long weekend there visiting with Jen’s family, and came home pretty late tonight (got the kids in bed around 11pm) to find that I had forgotten my laptop there. An hour and a half away there. And, not only do I have a lot of work to do tomorrow (for which I need my laptop) it is also the only day this week that does not have something else going on.

This was not good.

So, I was contemplating when to fit in the extra three hour round trip I was needing to do, and decided to call my in-laws to let them know what happened, and that I would need to come get it. I talked to my father-in-law about it and said I’d need to either just come right then, or maybe get up super early in the morning, to get started on my work at a decent hour. I was leaning toward the morning, and told him so.

To my surprise, he called back about five minutes after we hung up and said they would meet me about half an hour closer to me as soon as I could make it there! That saved me an hour, so I jumped right in the van and headed out.

When I got to our meeting place (in about 55 minutes! Gotta love traffic at midnight on a Monday night!) there was my father-in-law, waiting for me in his car. I offered to buy him some of his favorite coffee to say thanks, but he declined. Instead, after saving me time and money by meeting me, he also gave me twenty bucks for gas! That paid for my unexpected, unwanted trip! Wow!

So, a bad situation was made nicer by the generosity of my second dad. That definitely made the late-night trip much nicer, and the end of this long day much nicer!


I got back just a while ago from my first shift at the Apple store. I was really looking forward to it, wondering just how it would actually play out. I know Macs, for sure, but I didn’t really know how thing go at the store. I knew I was going to tag along with a more experienced Apple Specialist (that’s what I am doing also) so I figured it would just be fun.

What happened was great, but very unexpected.

When I got there, it was obvious that it had been pretty busy. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but found the manager on duty and they tried to pair me up with someone… but there was no one to be found. They finally decided on someone, but he was on break. After lots of indecision, I offered (if they were OK with it) to just jump in, with no training. 🙂 The person who was assigning me my duties confirmed that with me, and then, in a bit of desperation perhaps, said, “OK! Get out there!”

I headed into the sea of people and found a mom and daughter standing by the laptops whose body language suggested they were not certain what to do next. I approached them and introduced myself, and explained that even though this was my very first shift, I would try to help them best I could. And help I did. After fifteen minutes or so, and explaining all the great stuff Apple has to offer (that applied to them) they were ready to make their purchase! I really couldn’t believe how fun (and easy?) it was!

From then on, it never stopped. Ever. It was 9:01 when I actually did not see anyone who looked like they would like assistance. 5:30-9:00 … straight. Every minute was spent talking to someone about Macs, and selling lots of stuff! It was fun and crazy! (They assured me that it’s not usually that busy!) 🙂

And do you know what I did when there was no customer to assist? I found some fellow employees to talk to. I asked one of the other “new hires” how she liked her second shift. I spoke with a few of the other Specialists. I met one of the Creatives (the guys who train people in using their Macs) and talked with him at length about Macs and their software.

By the time all was done, it was just after 11pm that I was getting in the van and heading home.

I called Jen. I couldn’t wait to. I had wanted to. We have a cell phone that is pay as you go, and the minutes are super low right now, so I only told her a few quick things, and then said we’d get to chat more when I got home. And I couldn’t wait to do that. But then, as I was going home a different way, I thought of our very good friends (one of whom is in Mexico right now!) and I decided to call the one who is not in Mexico to see how all of that was going. (I had forgotten that normal people don’t feel like it’s 5pm at 11pm….) Again, with limited cell minutes, we only spoke for 2-3 minutes, but here’s my point.

I am energized by being with people. I literally can not get enough.

When I got home, I told Jen some stories from my first shift, and I listened to her stories of what she and the kids did. We chatted about various things, and she finally asked, “Aren’t you hungry?”

I thought about it and then said, “No. I’m really not.” And kinda chuckled about it. I hadn’t eaten since lunch (12:30) so… I should have been hungry…. but… I really wasn’t.

The only thing I could figure was that being with people – and helping them learn about Macs – energized me. To the point that I didn’t even notice or feel hunger? I didn’t even need food!

And even though I needed to take a shower from the day, I really didn’t want to. The only thing I could tell Jen was that it seemed, “boring” … that’s not a word I use, so that was weird. But I think I figured out that all I wanted to do was stay with Jen, and keep enjoying the interaction. I really love interaction with other people. A lot. Like, I never really want a time where there isn’t interaction. Maybe I do, but it’s very rare. (You could argue that me writing this blog is a form of “interaction” as well…)

So, it’s most definitely settled. I am a people person to my core, and that is most certainly what I need to be doing with my time. I need to be with people. We have seven living in this house, so I have that covered, but it really puzzles me why God has given me office work to do. Granted I do get to work with people on some level, but mainly I am working by myself at my desk most of my days.

After tonight, I am just reminded that it is nice that God gives me relatively short chapters. Hopefully the next one more directly involves interaction with people. 🙂

Apple Retail = Me!

Apple, Inc.As you are well aware, if you have spent any time at all here at, I am a big fan of all things Apple. I have informally been a “representative” for Apple for many years (often the number one resource for Apple info and assistance amongst people who know me) and was even officially a representative for a year and a half from 2006-2007 as an Apple Authorized Business Agent. Most recently, I signed on as an Apple Business Store Affiliate, which allowed me to place banners on my websites that paid me a commission when a click turned into a sale.

All very nice. But now, as of Saturday July 26th, 2008, I am actually employed by Apple, Inc. 🙂

OK, I’m just working as a specialist at the Apple Retail Store, but hey, it’s true: I’m an Apple employee. Most are convinced it’s just where I need to be, and I’ll admit, I’m looking forward to being around all the other Apple fans (my coworkers) and helping people solve their computing questions and even dreams by listening to them and recommending solutions from my 13 years of experience on the Mac platform. (And a few years as an Apple-trained agent as well.) Really, should be a blast.

This week I will be working a couple shifts, and actually get to get “on the floor” and do that. So, we’ll see how it goes, and if you’re in the Rochester area, make sure to stop by and visit. I’ll hook you up with the perfect Apple solution for you! It’s what I do. 🙂

[editor’s note: As an official employee of Apple now, I may not be as free to discuss Apple products, definitely not rumors, and other such things. That saddens me greatly, and I’ll definitely still be a huge promoter of all things Apple, but will also try to not overstep any boundaries. Apple is very good at boundaries…] 🙂

What I Know Right Now

Recently I have been trying to figure out what it is that I like to do. I have plenty to do, but in trying to simplify I have been taking inventory of what I both like to do, and do well.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • I love people. I am a people person through and through.
  • Hosting. Probably goes along with the above, but I love having people at my house, and I love serving them.
  • Food. I love to cook/bake, and from every response I’ve ever gotten from others, it would seem I’m quite good at it.
  • Writing. Really, I love to write. I think and communicate best through writing. In general, I just love words.

I’m pretty good at the design work that I do. And I’m pretty helpful to people re: computer stuff. I can also sing and play the guitar/piano pretty well. There’s some more, but that list seems to be pretty accurate.

So… a restaurant? Coffee house? Bed & Breakfast? Maybe just somehow become independently wealthy so that I can do all those things above just for fun?

… that would be cool…

This post is mostly for me, just to look back on and see what I was thinking in June of 2008. But, if you have any thoughts… you know what to do.

Hammer & Nails

This weekend has been a “work” weekend for me. No, not more hours in the office (although, I have been working on a project for a client in the background the whole time as well). I was invited to help my sister and her husband finish their basement. My Dad made plans to come up for Memorial Day weekend and get it done, and I was invited to join them.

Well, let’s just say that craftsmanship and working with tools and building stuff – that’s not my number one gift. 🙂

But it is my Dad’s. Or at least right up near the top. He is doing a great job, and it’s fun to see him put stuff together from what to me is just a pile of boards.

It’s not just that I just don’t even know where to begin with all this stuff. Certainly after so many years of working on home improvement projects with my Dad, I basically know how to do stuff. (Well, when I am told exactly what to do…) 🙂 But, maybe partially because of that, I really just don’t enjoy it. I do it to help out, or because it needs to be done… but it’s not fun for me.

Well, after two days of working hard on several different projects, we were getting nearer to the end. My dad and my brother-in-law were working on a project and I decided to see if I could start another one. They had to box in the stairs (they were open) and so, it seemed that just meant cutting boards and putting them in. I confirmed that, and so got to it – with a little help from my son, Ian!

I forget if this was my choice, or recommended, but on this project, I attached these boards to the existing stairs just using a hammer and nails. Yes, manually pounding them in. And do you know what? After doing a few of them, I thought, “I’m actually enjoying this!” And I was. I didn’t really understand why, but I loved pounding the nails in and seeing the project come together.

And then I noticed how consistent that was with the way I do lots of things.

When I build my websites, I actually write the code for each page. (Usually at the consternation of my fellow web developers.) When I cook, I like to make everything I can “from scratch”. There are tools you can use to automate processes on your computer, and other technologies – I don’t trust any of them. To me it just seems like every situation is slightly different, and can’t be automated.

It seems that I like to be closer to the process. I prefer to not automate. I guess maybe I don’t like power tools, either? 🙂

Well, time to get back to work this morning. I’ll see if I can find some jobs that let me do more manually. 🙂