Doors and Windows

I know some of you have heard people say, “God doesn’t close a door without opening a window.”

On yesterday, I submitted my letter of resignation from my day job. There’s just a lot of things going on there that cause a very high-stress working environment, and I’ve decided that I just need to move on.

Since becoming debt-free, and having a “cash and carry” lifestyle for the past four years, I’m in a position where I don’t have to deal with some of the things I dealt with before because debt was hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles.

A few people were concerned about my decision asking me, “You quit your job in this economy without having another job lined up?!?!” When I explained to them that I am going back to being my own boss, they looked at me with reservation even while congratulating me.

They wanted to know what I plan to do. I told them I plan to continue to train, but I’m going to do it through my own training company that I put to the side when I started training fulltime for my current company. I’m also going to focus more on my writing and social networking ventures, along with being able to do more web work without having to turn potential clients away. I also want to get my book business re-established, as I’ve got about 8,000 books sitting in my basement that need to be relisted on my site for sale. I’ve got plenty to do, all with the potential to create the income I need to meet my daily expenses.

I had all these conversations yesterday, and then today I get to work and there’s an email waiting for me in my work Inbox.

Another instructor I work with passed my name along to her contact at the local community college, and they are going to allow me to teach some evening computer classes where I get to set my own schedule and teach the subjects I want to teach.

So for those folks who don’t share my vision of self-employment, please know that “God doesn’t close a door without opening a window,” and I’ll be getting a steady paycheck from the community college while setting my own schedule and doing what I love; teaching. I’ll also have time to do all the other things I planned to do, too.

God’s got me. No worries.

Hosting and a domain for $9.24 for ONE YEAR! No, you’re not “dreaming.”

About a month ago, I decided to move the My Question of the Day (MyQOTD) blog to better hosting.

I was having way too many issues with down time on IX Webhosting, plus they were stifling me with their 2MB upload limit. I searched around trying to find the best alternative, because I also wanted to get my own virtual private server (VPS) for MyQOTD.

I have several sites hosted on FatCow, and this is where I set up all my clients who don’t already have hosting when they come to me for web design/development, but as much as I dig Fatcow, they don’t have the VPS option, and that was very important to me when I embarked on moving my most popular blog to new hosting. The MyQOTD blog is averaging about 500,000 hits a month now, and I need my own server to deal with the traffic.

Anyway, I was on the WebAssist site getting the activation code for one of my Dreamweaver extensions, and I noticed they were recommending Dreamhost as an excellent hosting choice.

I decided to check them out.

Right off the top, I saw that DreamHost offers VPS, so that was a good start.

They also offer a two-week trial, where they delay charging your debit/credit card so you have time to decide whether you want to stay with them or not. That was good, too.

Included, also, is the cost of one domain registration. Since I already had a domain that I wanted to host, I didn’t use that, but they did let me know that I have a “domain credit,” so that I can still get my included domain later when I decide what it will be. That was cool.

So I signed up, got my VPS, which costs me an extra $15 a month, but I want it and need it so I’m willing to pay for it, and took a look around.

Hosting heaven! (for me, anyway 😀 )

There’s no real “control panel,” like I have with IX Webhosting and FatCow, but there’s so much control over my domains, databases and files that I don’t even miss it!

The best part is that DreamHost allows 7MB uploads! That’s a big deal for me, since I sometimes upload large images and audio files to my WordPress blogs.

Why am I sharing all this with you?

For a very limited time, DreamHost is offering a year of hosting and the registration of one domain for $9.24!

That’s a 92% discount for new customers!

Happy MLK Day from DreamHost!
click to see larger view

They’re having this amazing sale in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I’m not mad at them for it! I just wish I could have gotten my first year of hosting for less than $10.

Anyway, if you’re looking for new hosting, or even your first host, I’d say DreamHost is the way to go right now with this 1-year deal.

After the one year, you’ll pay a little over $100 to renew, but you don’t have to renew. Based on my experiences with them, though, I definitely plan to renew!

You need to enter code 777 to get the discount! Don’t forget that. It’s uber important.

Once you’re set up, let me know if you need any help navigating around in the back end. I’m still learning, but I’m pretty familiar with it already.

By clicking the DreamHost link in my post, DreamHost will know that I sent you to them. They’ll even give me a few pennies from that $9.24 they collect from you, so thanks for putting a little change in my pocket.

I’m not feeling the new Twitter

When I set up Microsoft Outlook for the first time on a new computer, or I set up a new folder in an old version of Microsoft Outlook, the first thing I do is turn off that darn preview pane! I abhor that thing. I have three reasons for my dislike of the Outlook preview pane:

1. I don’t want emails opening up automatically without my say-so. If that email is not from a source I trust, they could embed malicious code into the email that activates because the preview pane is opening my message.

2. If a person requests a read receipt be sent to them upon my opening their email, even if I don’t read the email, but it opens in the preview pane, they’ll get a message back saying that I read their email. If I haven’t, and there’s information in it for which I’m going to be held responsible, I can’t explain to them that it was the preview pane and not me. They have the “proof” in their Tracking that I “read” their message.

3. There are just some emails I have no desire to see whatsoever; usually that’s some “Forward” someone has sent claiming that I have to send the email to 10 other people and back to the sender to prove I love Jesus or some nonsense like that. Really? As much as I do love Jesus, I don’t feel like I have to participate in a chain email to prove that. Go somewhere and sit down! I abhor chain emails more than “Forwards.” If I don’t want that crap in my mental Rolodex, having the preview pane display it to me when I click on the email subject defeats the purpose of allowing me to select the emails I want to read and the emails I want to “Trash” right off the bat.

Why this rant about Microsoft Outlook’s preview pane feature if this post is about the new Twitter?

Because that’s what the new Twitter reminds me of. The widened layout seems to me to have created this “preview-pane-look” that doesn’t really serve any purpose for my needs. Actually none of the features in the new Twitter move me all that much.

I was a guest on a radio show a few months ago, and I was asked if I thought this new Twitter would replace third-party applications like TweetDeck, Seesmic and HootSuite.

My answer was an emphatic, “NO!”

The folks at Twitter got it all wrong with the new features. What many of us want is the ability to see all the columns of our Twitter account at the same time. With the new Twitter, you still have to click from link to link to link to see all updates, your @mentions and your Direct Messages. And the new handling of Direct Messages just annoys the heck out of me. I mean, there are only so many you can see at all, unless I’m missing the “more” button that lets be go further and further back in that part of my Twitter stream. Someone help me out if I’m wrong on that one. Oh, yes. That part of the timeline is no longer called Direct Messages. It’s now just Messages. Why not just call it “Inbox?” OK. Maybe I’m being too picky. Forgive me.

Did you notice that we lost the “more” feature at the bottom of our @mentions of our timelines, too? There’s no “more” going back hours and hours to previous tweets. You better “Favorite” everything you think you might want to see later. When you get to the bottom of the timeline,  your only choice is “Back to top.” Uh… Thanks.

Oh, gosh! Another thing I dislike about the new Twitter is having those darn “trending topics” right in my line of sight. I detest most of the nonsense that ends up trending; just made-up tackiness that shows the silliness of so many people. Ugh. Deliver me. I ended up switching my country to Brazil, so I at least don’t have to see any of the U.S. trending topics that make me itch from annoyance.

As for Following/Followers, we gain a huge “Unfollow” button on the Followers page, but we now have to click the person’s bio or username to get the “preview pane” to show up to see if they’re following us, to send them a Direct Message, to send them an @mention, to block them or to report them. That used to be all integrated in a compact place that is way more convenient than having to click to activate another pane.

Sigh.

I’d really like to keep the old and simple Twitter, if I’m not going to gain the ability to see all my pages in column form. To me, that was what made Twitter web unique; it’s simplicity. When I didn’t want all the columns of TweetDeck, I would go to Twitter web just to be in my Direct Messages or just to be in my @mentions.

I mean, if I’ve got to change my Twitter background, please give me some features that make it worth my while.

What do you think?

Am I totally off-base with this post?

Have you found things you like about the new Twitter? If so, tell me. I want to know.

Since the older version of Twitter is going away soon, as the message says, I need to get a warm-fuzzy about the new Twitter.

You got anything for me, good people?


Yes. It could be worse, but my pain is real, too.

A statement that I dislike, more times than not, is “it could be worse.”

You know what? On its face, that’s true, but it’s bad for me right now. It may not be as bad as someone else’s situation, but it’s my situation and I’m in pain over it right now.

Don’t abridge what’s going on in my body/mind/spirit to tell me “it could be worse.” You’ve just totally negated whatever it is I’m trying to deal with/work through.

Let me get through this process of dealing with what I’m dealing with, and eventually I’ll get to “it could be worse.”

Shoot. Maybe I’ll never get to “it could be worse,” but that’s my privilege. Don’t try to control how I feel.

We don’t always make it better for others by instructing them to look on the bright side. Sometimes there is no bright side. Some things are just bad, vicious, evil. Let me face it as it is, and let me decide how to feel about it in the end.

“Always trying to see the bright side in every situation may cause you to miss an eclipse.” -Faydra D. Fields (yes, you’ll see that in a volume of “30 Quotes 30 Days” 😀 )

2010 has been washed away

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a home-body.

It’s not unusual to find me relaxing at home on New Year’s Eve, and that’s where I was this 31 December.

I decided, however, that I wanted to do something different to ring in the New Year besides just watching a movie or surfing the web.

So at about 11:50pm on 31 December, I started the shower.

While the water was getting hot, I opened the package with the new pajamas my mother sent me for Christmas, and I opened the new pack of underwear that I’d purchased about a week before New Year’s Eve.

When the water was just the right temperature, I got in and washed from the crown of my head to the heels of my feet.

When I was done with my shower, it was 01 January 2011.

A newly cleaned me started a new year in new pajamas and new underwear.

I said my first prayer for 2011 and took my first rest of the new year.

I’m thankful for a new and clean beginning.