Apr 13

Five by Five by Five

The leaders of our church did a prayer challenge a couple of months ago, where they prayed at 5am (for one hour) five days a week, for five weeks. They challenged us to join then for one day in a couple weeks at the end of the current message series… Which is great, but I figured why wait? And why not go all in? So I started the 5am Bible reading time this norming. I’m feeling pretty good about this challenge, I haven’t been great about my prayer life, and that’s lead to a severe lack of work being done on Agape Beacon. I think this 5am challenge is just the disruption to my apathy that I have needed.

Once work on Agape Beacon was done, well, not done, but to a point to where it is more useful. At the very least getting the Bible Meme Generator working… Anyways, once I had that running I wanted to fast for at least 7 days, while I worked on the parts I have never been good at (promotions). I feel like this 5am challenge is a great beginning path to get closer to that goal… perhaps they can run right into each other. Hopefully the 5am challenge will get my mind in the right place every day to get the work done that I need to in order to move forward with Agape Beacon.

Mar 9

Portal Test Chamber 16 Sign

For my sons birthday we’ll be doing a Portal theme… because he loves the game. One of the things I have created for him is a miniature test chamber sign, of his favorite test chamber 16.

It also sort of doubles as a night light, but it’s just a little too bright to actually use for a night light. I’ve got the materials to do a few more, I think I’m going to make a child size table for him that has a light up companion cube top. I also want to make a light box with the lambda symble, and maybe another small box with the aperture symbol (that one might be a better night light since it won’t be as bright.

Mar 6

Reloaded the server

So the other night after getting Google Fiber I reinstalled everything on the server here. Mostly to make sure the fix for the GHOST Glibc vulnerability was not just patched but fixed at the OS level. It’s caused a little bit of havoc with MySQL and PHP wasn’t turned on when I first installed everything so it took me a while longer than I wanted to get the server fully operational. But here we are, and things feel a lot more stable. The RAM doesn’t seem to get as backed up with useless cache information among other junk that just in general seems to be a very good change.

I really feel like I can finally get back to work on Agape Beacon now that everything is operational, all known security problems are patched… I even upgraded all of my WordPress blogs while I had the opportunity! I know, it’s crazy right? So for the first time in a while things are all running smoothly and on track. There are a lot of things I could optimize on my other sites for making money, but for now they’re just getting left in their secure and stable position. That way I can tinker with Agape Beacon and not worry about any issues I may incidentally cause by optimizing things for monetary gain… of course soon enough I will need to do some monetary optimizations, just not yet (not sure the traffic is up there enough to quantify it anyways).

Mar 2

Three is a crowd?

Well I hope that saying isn’t too serious… since we’re getting a third cat. Also, Connor has gotten a little bored with the Portal games, and has started watching Portal music videos and just random portal fan-made stuff… So that has been fun. More importantly it has allowed me to get some work done during the day! Since the computer isn’t being taken up playing games, I can actually get stuff done. And I have been getting quite a bit done. Well, not much today because I have to clean the house for the arrival of the Google Fiber technicians to get us hooked up to the Fibers! Then who knows what I will do… I may even cancel my server and just host from here… or who knows.

Feb 28

Back on its feet!

Okay, so I finally (after nearly two years) got around to fixing up KC LAN Party. The site was using some very old PHP scripts that had been depricated and other than the home page and a few other pages the whole site was NOT working. This happened when I moved servers a couple years ago and updated the version of PHP. Anyways, the site hasn’t been very important to me, so I haven’t done anything with it. Then I started cutting sites that truly were not important at all, and sort of had to hold onto KC LAN because my email address that I have had for years has been attached to it. So I figured if I am holding onto the site it may as well worked and spent a couple weeks bringing it up to code… so to speak. Now that KC LAN is functioning again, it is back to the grindstone with Agape Beacon… I’ve already begun work on my script for the Bible Verse Meme Generator. That is where my efforts will go for a little while, and then my attention will be turned to social media for Agape Beacon again… because I am so bad with social media shterf… I may have to quit logging in as myself and just focus on Agape Beacon. Disappear for a little while and take on the identity of Agape Beacon or else nothing much will be accomplished :-P

Feb 17

The Stone Table

In order to write a great piece of literature you must first write. You must write every day, and it must be done despite your feelings. This step is like pulling a stone or marble tablet from the quarry to make a statue from. When the story has been laid out it will look beautiful to you, that stone block will shine in your mind. You see the statue within the stone and it was beautiful when you first laid eyes upon it. However, before anyone else will see the beauty in your story you must first chip away all the rough edges and bring the refined sculpture to the surface.

I used to write, and in my blog often still do, in a way that just laid out the stone… but never refined it to anything coherent to anyone else. This is how I feel about Tolkien’s books. Oh sure, there’s a beautiful sculpture somewhere in those words… getting there is painful for most of us though. If Lord of the Rings had been released today the editors would have demanded that the series be cut down to just the story and none of the explanations for the languages etcetera. A guide to Middle Earth would of been released later with all the junk that weighs the story down in its current form.

I also feel this way about writing code. I look at some of my older code, and I didn’t even bother to drag the stone from the quarry… I saw beautiful potential in the code, and I asked everyone to come to the quarry, trudge through mud, and marvel at the beautiful statue I had discovered… needless to say most never appreciated the experience. I have cut away many of the sites that I just don’t have time for, and have begun the process of trimming the fat from those left.

Jan 21

A big update for AgapeBeacon is planned

Okay, I have a big update to make to AgapeBeacon. The idea is sort of like a Meme Generator… just for Bible Verses. This will help with my lacking in the area of Social Media Guru. The undertaking is huge though, first and foremost is making a database of Bible Verses, now part of that work has been done for me by BibleHub.com but the connections aren’t there the way I would like in order to make a coherent CakePHP app. So the first step is to create that database. Then I will need 20 or so free images that I can use as backgrounds that people can choose from, and we’ll see what I run into from there. I know I will have to update the challenges database as well… since I want the main idea behind the generator to be to create preview images for challenges. I’m also going to have to get into the dreaded AJAX zone, since the verses will be from a database only (not allowing people to put in their own text just yet, even though that would be easier) the user will have to select the version of the Bible, then the Book, and starting/ending verses respectively. I also want a preview to come up and the images will be drawn with PHP just like the other generators around so yeah… uncharted territories.

Jan 8

Where’s the warms?

Got my bike together with a BIG change… I’ve been running mostly stock everything on my bike for 11 years, and aside from several chain replacements even replacing the cassette at one time its been my little work horse for years. It never really complained (except when a chain needed replaced, or if it had gone so far that I had worn out the cassette), and neither did I. I had dreamed about some upgrades, but never really saw the merits of doing so. Riding Connor around on the trailer wore out my rear cassette again, and I was just going to replace that, but my mech’s were sloppy and really should of been replaced as well. After searching around I found it would cost about the same to change over to a more modern drivetrain setup (previously had 3×8 now running 2×10) I thought about 1×11 but I’ve got to keep things a bit realistic since it’s my only bike I need a wider range of gears. After a long day everything is installed and tuned up though!

Now I just need a day over 30°F to get out and test ride this beast! It was costly, but it’s really going to be a new beast, I even managed to change out my rotors! No more 160mm all stainless rotors! Front is 180mm, rear stayed 160 but both are floating now so more braking power and they will stay cooler so hopefully no more rotor scars on the calves :-P (never needed more out of my brakes before I started carrying around a kid in a trailer). Later this year I would like to get some new wheels, and I broke something in the front fork trying to get it apart to clean it… it was junk to begin with (very stiff) but I was unsuccessful at getting it apart, and now it’s leaking. Then it really will be all new!

Jan 3

Slimming down for the new year

To help me focus and save a bit of money, I’m going to trim down the number of sites that I keep around even further. Last year I got rid of every website of mine that had lost its potential to make money, now this year I’m going to let go of a couple more that I just don’t do anything with… I’ve focused pretty hard on getting AgapeBeacon up and running, and if I don’t say so myself it looks pretty good (on the code side). Because of the paid posts I did in the past, most of my sites have, or are in the process of being marked as spam by Google… and I definitely don’t want that. So cutting some of those old sites, then focusing this year on cleaning up the sites that I am keeping… I believe I can reverse that trend. I also need to spend a little bit of time prepping AgapeBeacon’s Facebook page for brilliance! Or whatever, actually my mind is a bit fried… and this is the part of getting sites going that I am bad at. I’ve got a FB page set up, and a few challenges on AgapeBeacon, I just need to continue putting challenges on, then put them on the FB page, and promote those. Hopefully after $100 or so spent promoting the page through FB, and some good challenges being put up we can get a couple hundred followers, maybe another admin (who is less absent minded than me, or at least better at the whole social media sphere).

Other than the “hard” part, more or less the part that I do not really understand, what I have to do is prioritize my sites and get them rolling. I’ve got YourVacuumGuy which does make money (barely) but needs a touch of cleaning up and then to be surrounded by less junk. I’ve got KCLanParty which needs so much work it’s not even funny, it has been broken and useless for years (it still has the old Yahoo ad code on it). I’m keeping kc lan because my main email that I’ve had since high school and have so much stuff connected to it I don’t think I could ever get rid of it. This site doesn’t need much, just some upgrading of wordpress… and maybe the occasional visit to say what is going on, practice for running AgapeBeacon in the future ;-) I’m tempted to drop PetitionsForChange, but the domain name is so good it’s kinda hard… then it has also been my biggest learning zone where I got to practice running a community driven site that has had to deal with spam, lots of incoming traffic (long ago) etc. so I am keeping it around for now as a test platform and place where I get to learn before I go live with features on AgapeBeacon. AnimationCoalition is being kept for future… hopefully I can learn, and build a community with AgapeBeacon that will be a launching platform to get AnimationCoalition up and running. I don’t expect, nor do I want to make any money from AgapeBeacon, I want to use the community to inspire love guided action in Christians around the world, AnimationCoalition will be there to make some money… much, much later. Archmaille is being kept for those rare sentimental moments I have… but I think I’m going to take both of the sites and get them cleared and set up as one more of a place to give away code, and sell myself as a coder? Maybe, or I may resurrect the jewelry shop, using the Amazon Marketplace I think I can just make batches of jewelry I want to sell, and have Amazon do the shipping and logistics? There may be a qualification to get them to handle the shipping so if that doesn’t work coding it is :-P

Jun 21

Your Vacuum Guy Update

I have brought Your Vacuum Guy into the 22nd century, sort of. Anyways, the site has been mostly cleaned up, and secured and everything… I haven’t got everything all perfect yet (I still need to organize the products information). So there is still quite a bit of work that can be done on the site, I could improve the script and what not. I think I will reopen one of the older sites in the vacuum cleaner network and improve the script on that one. Who knows if that will even help the way we need… but we shall see. That’s about all that I have to say for now, I would like to get a workable income coming in again so I can fund some of the projects I’ve got floating around in my head. I believe I should get back onto AgapeBeacon for a while before I start worrying about any of that silliness yet though. So after I got a little bit done on AgapeBeacon I can get back to the other sites getting them some things income coming in and pay for some advertising, and funding some giveaways for AgapeBeacon.