Just two weeks after changing web hosts, I changed hosts yet again. Though this time it wasn’t because I was unhappy per se. It was because of a couple of reasons both relating to security. Not only for myself, but everyone who breezes by here. The gator offered me full functionality of my security software, but wanted to charge me serious cash for a SSL certificate. Even if I had my own, they wanted a fee to allow me to install it. I wasn’t having that.
You see, recently Google Chrome started… I’m not going to say “shaming” but alerting visitors to sites like mine that they were unsecured simply because they don’t have a SSL certificate and use https to encrypt any data the visitor may share. Still that’s like going to the neighbors house and seeing a red light on outside their door because they don’t have a video surveillance system installed. You know the neighbors and you trust them. But somehow now you have an uneasy feeling going over there just because someone else says boo. However, I get it. Plus, it’s only a matter of time that all other top browsers follow that example.
However, when I read this, I was shocked at the insane prices of a SSL cert. A decent one was between $30 and $100 per year. Anything free was only good for 1 – 3 months as a trial version. As I mentioned before, this site makes me no money. Sure I have donate buttons. I think they last donation I got was 5 years ago to put towards a Ventrilo server I was renting for voice chat. That’s fine, I don’t expect anyone to donate unless I do something for them first. Lately I haven’t felt like fixing anyone’s computer. Frankly I work too much and am spread too thin. I try to enjoy my life outside of work. Not work more.
Anyway, Bob alerted me to an organization who was out to help secure the web by offering free (and donation backed) SSL certificates. However, you really need a web host that supports the system automatically as they renew every 60-90 days. They’re called Let’s Encrypt. So two nights of research and review scouring. I settled on a web host here in Michigan. Spent the weekend moving files and fixing non-secure links. I have most of my websites they way I want them.
However, I’ve had CastleRain since 1999. This iteration of CastleRain has been around since 2006 and contains over 500 posts. That’s a lot of my life documented 🤔 It’s going to take me a few weeks to tweak each post and page to make sure they all get that nifty lock. So if you see anything I miss, copy the URL link and send it to me please 🙂
So now if you use my contact forms, or click my donate links. You can feel secure that the things you do here are encrypted so only I get what you share with me.
Sadly it kills all my social media share counters. Nothing I can do about that but suck it up 😕
So it turns out my websites were hit with some Website SEO Spam a few weeks back. Taking various steps to handle it included installing better security software for my websites. This led to realizing that the web host I was using, while good tempered folks, had features disabled that most web hosts have enabled. Thus breaking my security software. Not enough to stop it working but to hinder it working at full strength. After asking politely to have the feature enabled, they suggested that my $7 shared hosting should be upgraded to a low end VPS for $13 plus cPanel expenses on top of it. Which would put me at about just under $30 a month to run my websites that don’t make any money. I pay out of pocket to have my individual space carved into the internet. I decorate it exactly how I want, and I can be who I want to be here. I don’t have to worry about Facebook removing my content if someone gets butt-hurt by it. That being said, I spent the majority of my time off this weekend moving my sites to a new host that provides what I need technically. They cost me $12 a month. It will be a month or so to see if I stay. So if things feel sluggish or broken, let me know.
A few days ago, I ordered a 3 zone cymbal pad for my drum kit. A Roland CY-13. I found it on Walmart.com for $199 from a partner seller called GigaSonic. That’s $40 less than anyone else and I happen to have a Walmart Card. So I jumped on it. The lesson here kids, is do your research of the partner company before ordering. Don’t just assume Walmart has your back. As you see, last Friday a large box ended up on my doorstep. It was from Amazon. I didn’t order anything from Amazon. It was addressed to me from Everything Music. Of course I became confused. Especially when I opened the box and found a Roland KD-9 Kickpad. I didn’t order that. It’s sort of the ballpark. They are both Roland and both go to my drum kit. So I wasn’t sure if someone else sent it to me. Naturally I emailed the company via Amazon and as well emailed the other via Walmart.com.
It turns out they are the same company, doing business under different names on different online retailers. Both sadly have some bad reviews from some very angry customers.
By 4pm Friday I had a UPS return label and had the item on it’s way back to the seller. This is about the time I found the reviews. As of today it’s in Illinois. While I was hoping the company would simply ship out my cymbal pad. They did not. In fact it dropped off of Walmart.com and it’s now listed at the normal retail price of $239 that everyone else is selling it for. Under a different company called Music123. Which, guess what, also has some bad reviews. Same company? I’m beginning to think so. Now I’m hoping I actually get the refund they owe me. Granted, I have to wait for them to get the part back.
To top it all off, my left shoulder has been hurting for weeks with added numbness to my whole arm and hand. This weekend was hard to do anything. Especially sleep decently. I fear I may have a pinched artery in my shoulder [Thoracic Outlet Syndrome] (according to initial thoughts of my Chiropractor today). I will have something confirmed as soon as I can with my regular doctor.
It seems no matter where I live, I can’t find a radio station that plays new upbeat rock music. I had pretty much the same problem in Virginia. Anything that resembled what I was remotely interested in, only happens once or twice a day on select stations. The rest of the time it’s incoherent pop music with repetitive hooks and annoying noises. Or it’s the same acid rock from the 70’s that has been playing for over 40 years.
This is where I differ from the “you darn kids” kind of older man. I’m not stuck in one generation for music. I like new music, I just prefer it to be rock and roll. Not rap, R&B, hip-hop, pop or similar. Hardly any of the bands I enjoy get played anywhere I’ve lived or traveled through. If it weren’t for the internet, I pretty much wouldn’t hear the music I like at all. If anything I will hear something from Panic! At The Disco and maybe a Paramore song. But no All Time Low, Flyleaf or any of my other favorite bands. Although it’s not Pandora that helped me find the music I love. They did just what every radio station has done. Starts out decent. Then suddenly I’m listening to Steppenwolf. Turns out iHeartRadio knows what I like. Spotify isn’t bad either, but I’m not about to pay $10 a month for it.
Up until recently, I didn’t really notice what the stations around here played as I didn’t have a car. I just streamed my music on my desktop, laptop and phone. Now that I do, I have to suffer through commercials, lousy DJ’s and industry standard crap. It’s an older car with a cassette player. Yikes. I tried a cassette adapter for my phone to play my MP3’s or stream iHeartRadio, but it was mostly static background. I tried a bluetooth adapter, sounds much better. However, this is when I found out that any bump in the road causes whatever cassette that is in the deck to eject. 🙄
Thus, I’m stuck listening to the crappy local radio stations until I get a different car. Can’t really see putting a nice stereo deck in a car that isn’t worth much more than the deck itself. Although the way it runs and drives, that may be a few years from now.
Things come and go in weird phases. With movies it seems there’s the year of the dinosaur, year of the aliens, year of the zombies and then half a decade of awful reboots. Fashion seems to do the same things every few years only with small twists here and there. I’ve seen 80’s style clothing come and go a few times in the past 15 years. Pastels seem to make a round every 2 – 4 years.
Food on the other hand seems to have periods of fear. They also don’t seem to repeat. Looking back we’ve had the fear of fast food, fear of pink slime, fear of carbs, fear of everything non-organic (this one seems to have a good hang time) and many more of the past years. This of course has spawned a million and one diet plans that sometimes you can’t escape from. Thankfully Fatkins er Atkins is finally off all menus of restaurants I go too. I was so fringing sick of it.
Although currently it seems the big thing is fear of gluten. According to WebMD, gluten only seems to affect those allergic to it. Which is 1% of the population. Yet you can’t turn your head without seeing or hearing about gluten-free products. It has of course spawned it’s own gluten-free diet plan. Fine whatever. Which is even more stupefying considering I don’t subscribe to a TV service of any kind and only watch shows on the internet. Netflix thankfully remains ad-free, but YouTube and Crackle are ad filled. Fine with me, YouTube and Crackle are free content, so being ad-supported I’m good with. But it’s the same ads over and over and over. So when it’s a gluten ad, it’s insane to watch it 10 times back to back.
Over time, the gluten craze will fade and some new thing will arise. I think it’s going to be bread if the whispers in the wind are true. Whatever. We’re all going to die, may as well die happy. I’m not giving up my bread. Maybe someday I’ll start baking my own. Perhaps buying store bought bread is to blame. Who knows. Sure due to my CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) I can’t eat fatty foods or sodium. I don’t need special diets or menus or ads. I can consciously cook and order my food just the way I need it and not have it everyone’s face day in and day out. I think that’s what drives me the most crazy. The in your face and make you feel guilty if you don’t jump on board campaigns.
Also makes me wonder when people became so allergic to every little thing. If I had to guess, it would be pesticides and additives. We keep thinking we can improve mother nature. Yet many farmers from 50-80 years ago are still alive today and they don’t have these issues. They are simply dying of old age. Yet they drank milk from Bessy, made their own butter and many other things. Honestly, the only advice I see fit to agree with is eating sensible non-fast food or easy to make crap and exercise regularly. Seems to be working for me. I’ve actually been given compliments on I’m looking thinner. I wouldn’t know, I look the same in the mirror.
Still we’re all gonna die anyway. Try not to let your last years be too boring.
If you really wanted to expand, you could also go with the fear of diseases. Remember AIDS? It was going to kill everyone. So we thought in the 80’s. Yet we’re breeding more than ever. Fear of Bird Flu. Fear of Ebola… Sigh…
With Ventrilo not having updated since August 2008 (something I’ve been complaining about for a while now) and the fact that some folks believe that it’s easier to setup folks on TeamSpeak 3 than it is to setup Ventrilo. Honestly the info is basically the same, but it’s the tweaking and friendliness to the user. TeamSpeak has a Wizard. And who doesn’t like a good Wizard right?
In any case, the change is set to take place this Friday in the morning. So get yourself a copy to the TeamSpeak 3 client from the icon below. Installing Overwolf is optional and might make your life easier or more frustrating, depending on your point of view.
I will post the port number when I get it on Friday, but the hostname will be:
In theory, all channel, admins, MOTD’s and passwords will be preserved. Though as with any change, there are bound to be things needing fixing. Please be sure to contact me or Tyler if you find an issue.
I know a lot of folks in this great big world will do an awful lot of crazy things to make a dollar stretch. It’s been that way since I can remember in my lifetime. However, it seems people lose sense of reality sometimes and go from saving pennies to complete idiocy. I mean, why on earth would anyone want to pull a big old bus with a tiny car? Maybe it can be done, maybe it can’t. But why risk the destroying your investment to accomplish a small amount of savings. Especially when you’re decision could wind up costing you way more than it would’ve to spend a couple more dollars to do it the right way. Don’t believe me folks won’t pull a bus with a car? Why not, unlike the made-up picture shown, the morons pictured below did things equally as bad for real.
I chose the car / bus comparison as most folks can relate to that. Though this goes in the internet world as well. I see it all the time and it drives me nuts. I’ve mentioned a bit of it some time ago. Talking about how a business would complain they are losing money when their simple, low cost internet connection would go down. When they should’ve been running dual connections. Sadly, this still happens. Despite my explaining this time and again, they are under some goofy belief that internet is never supposed to go down. Not even in a hurricane, damaged lines or power outage. But there’s a reason I sell the shirts. Some folks just can’t be taught.
Don’t even get me started on, “I lost my files or emails.”… /facepalm All I got to say is BACKUPS!!! BACKUPS!!! BACKUPS!!!
When it comes to a business website, if you plan to have a lot of traffic and are going to rely heavily on emails always working without a hitch, you might not want to put it on a Shared Hosting solution. At our small ISP, we’ve for some silly reason, decided to get into the web hosting game. We have one server. That handles all of our web hosting customers. So if any one of them get hacked or get attacked with a virus on their computer and starts spewing out spam. It can get everyone on that lonely server into trouble. If the machine (which only has one IP address) blacklisted, then everyone starts having email problems. Depending on the severity of the attack, that could take up to 48 hours to clear up. If someone’s shoddy website code gets compromised, it could bring a denial of service attack on it and interrupt service. Honestly shared hosting is for low cost websites doing meager business or are simply personal and blog websites. I don’t even have my websites on our servers. As I know what can happen. I actually pay for a Virtual Private Server from a different company. I get my own dedicated IP and my activity doesn’t interfere with any other people’s business. Plus it’s incredibly affordable even for my several websites. It’s only like $5 more a month than Shared Hosting. Now if I were pulling in thousands of dollars, it would be well worth my investment to move to a Dedicated Server. Because then my business would be dependent on internet visibility. Yet our local Airport and Real Estate company insist to lose money on interruptions in their low cost service rather than making an investment in a solution that would save them the money in the long run.
Then you got Ma and Pa who want to get the cheapest internet connection we have, then call and complain when their Netflix won’t work over it without a lot of frustration. Unfortunately our low cost service barely even comes close to supporting movie streaming. Even when they get informed about it, they still insist on trying. However, as I frequently say, “Reading is Fundamental.”.
Below are the Internet download speed recommendations per stream for playing movies and TV shows through Netflix.
- 0.5 Megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed
- 1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended broadband connection speed
- 3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
- 5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
- 25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD 4K quality
Unfortunately, our little ISP can only get you 3Mbps on average. In some cases up to 7Mbps. If you’re incredibly lucky.
Short of the story is; if you want it to do what you want it to do. Then you must spend the appropriate amount of money to do it. Don’t complain when you are simply a cheapskate and it doesn’t work for you just because you expect it too.
Technology only does what you tell it to do. Not what you want it to do.
Being an Evil Genius can be taxing on the brain sometimes. It’s one thing to figure stuff out, make it work and be proud of it. It’s another thing to get something that shouldn’t be very complicated to work, but spend endless hours tweaking it because you just don’t feel it’s “just right”. I’m not sure if it’s a sense of perfection or obsession. But when you realize you’re doing nothing more than wasting hours of your life or determining the only way to improve upon it is to sink money into it, the project or item just becomes unworthy.
While I only just mentioned the “Red Button” only a few days ago. I’ve been actually working on the project for months. I had hoped to produce a moderately entertaining live stream of my rekindling life long dream. As of today I’ve stopped working on that project completely. Thusly, I will only be focusing on the life long dream and not producing more crap TV. I won’t be the next Ray William Johnson, and I’m OK with that.
If I had given it more time, I wouldn’t have said a word about it and just dumped the project quietly. Hence I feel the need to explain the previous cryptic post. I’m not a think as you crazy I am. .ton m’I yllaeR
The Continuum Transfunctioner is an artifact of great power and great mystery. Its power is exceeded only by its mystery, and strangely, its mystery is exceeded only by its power.
Beware the Red Button. It may randomly appear on this website. Unscheduled. If you see it, you might click it. If you click it, I will not be held responsible for what you might see. You might see something creative. You might see the stuff of nightmares. You could be scarring yourself for life. You could be shown beauty beyond compare. It’s so very very hard to say what exactly you’ll see. And what you see, may not be what others may see. Perhaps you’ll see nothing at all. Or be left with the feeling of nothingness. You might laugh. You might cry. You might go insane. You may loose bladder control. You may suffer hair loss. You may go blind. You may feel all your hopes and dreams have been answered. Or forsaken. You might involuntarily sign up for Obamacare. Well, not that one. No human should be cursed with that.
A big red button (BRB), sometimes called a big red switch (BRS), is a real or fictional button with various functions. The purpose of being big and red is for its quick identification and actuation. In its more ominous forms, the phrases are often capitalized as the Big Red Button or the Big Red Switch.
- A shut-down switch for catastrophic circumstances to avert further damage or to cause it, e.g., an “emergency power-off” button.
- Help call in emergencies or for disabled persons.
- Firing or detonating a weapon, typically a nuclear device.
- In hacker jargon, the shutdown button or power switch on a computer, especially the red “emergency pull” switch on IBM mainframe operator consoles. The term has also sometimes been used for the power switch on IBM PCs.
On some mainframe designs, the emergency power-off switch would immediately physically disable the machine’s power supply. Because the use of a Big Red Switch would bring down a computer in an uncontrolled fashion, getting the machine up and running again could be a nontrivial and time-consuming task. Therefore, particularly in the early mainframe computer era, people risked disciplinary action for activating the BRS of a production batch processing mainframe in a non-emergency situation.
Or something different entirely…
This is not the red button you are looking for…
Even though I’ll be a die hard desktop computer user for many more years to come. The world is moving toward mobile. Having a website that displays on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices has become absolutely crucial. More and more customers are retiring their desktop computers in favor of their mobile devices. They can take them everywhere and they are far more comfortable with using these devices than they ever were with complicated software found PC’s, Macs and even those who dabbled with Linux desktops.
Since this is not only the case, but the firm growth on the future of the internet. Everyone who has a website should get on board with this way of thinking. Websites that are not mobile friendly, lose customers within minutes because they cannot find what they need quickly and have a hard time reading and interacting with the content provided.
Did you know 6 out of 10 mobile users will leave a non-mobile friendly website? How many potential customers have you lost because of this? If so, ask yourself these five questions about your website:
Just as food for thought, Google is predicting that mobile searches will become more popular than desktop searches by 2014. Which means it may already be the case. Your website should be mobile friendly by now. Even big name companies who have mobile apps have websites that are mobile friendly for those who choose not to install the apps. Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and thousands more can be used merely by the web browser on your mobile device. They load quickly and have no need for zooming in or out.
I can help make you a mobile friendly, responsive website. I’m not a big time web designer, but I have tools excellent for small businesses, organizations and more! I can make you elegant, responsive websites and WordPress themes. I’m low cost and local as well. Check me out at CastleRain Web Design.
The unfortunate thing about my current situation, is that I don’t get to mingle with the locals around here much. I telecommute, so there are no customers to come and go from my place of work. Plus that means there are no co-workers. This makes it hard to start up new relationships. Friendship, romantic or otherwise. Thus I’m making use of online dating sites. Though the results have been frustrating at best. Either this town has an enormous social hotspot I’m unaware of, or the singles around here don’t frequent the same websites as I’ve found. Of course there’s always the bars, but here we have real bars. Not clubs. The purpose of ours is to get drunk and enjoy good food. (and earn your DUI) Hey, it’s what we’re known for. Well that, Skiing and Golf.
So on top of my Name, Age, Sexual Preference, Do I have or want children, and whether or not I have a car… Which I clearly state I do not have a car. My current online ad reads thusly:
I’m a geek. I’m finally home in my home town after 20 years away in Virginia. I’m starting over for the last time. I have many small goals from getting back into playing drums to finishing a few small projects. Because I’m starting over, I had to start from scratch. I don’t have a lot right now as I’m rebuilding. But I would like someone to spend time with, perhaps even fall in love with. However if all you are concerned with is how much I have, please move on. I have a full time job and my own place in town.
I am a fan of modern rock, and I’m still a fan of the 80’s and 90’s rock. I love movies, I love hanging out by the lake during sunset or sneaking off by the water after the “access” has been closed. I don’t drink or smoke, but I don’t mind going out for a non-alcoholic drink. Besides, most of the places here have good food.
I’m a sucker for long pretty hair, beautiful eyes and a playful, yet honest smile.
I’m over weight but working daily to lose it.
I’m simple and yet I can be complicated. I try to view everything from many different angles. I also am a huge fan of common sense. I’m also very happy to be back home with family and friends. Those are things I once took for granted. I won’t be making that mistake again.
As I said, I’m a geek. Love my technology, video games, medieval fantasy and science fiction. As well as a bit of a freak.
As you can see, I’m upfront and incredibly honest about myself and what I’m looking for. Yet… There’s still confusion from those that reply. Two issues in particular.
I really wish I could shorten the distance to just my local area. It seems most sites want to go somewhere between 50 – 75 miles for your search range. If I have no car, that seems to be redundant. So of course, someone reads my ad, and responds. Then it quickly goes south when I re-inform them I do not have a car. Some have even gotten mad at me for not having a car. I’ve successfully dated someone without a car. Hell, they didn’t have a car either. We did just fine. So it’s not impossible.
Plus, I’m only willing to relocate to the areas of East Jordan, Boyne Falls, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Petoskey or places in between those areas and where I am now. That should really be an option on the profile page. Or perhaps I should put it in myself I guess.
Though here’s the thing I really don’t get. If I had a car, it would be fine for me to drive 30, 50 or more miles to go meet this person. Yet they obviously aren’t going to drive the distance to meet me. What happened to “equality”. Though it seems we’ll never have complete equality. It’s all equal until there’s something the opposing party doesn’t like. Such as, driving in this case. Though it seems men still do most of the noise checking, spider killing and at least in my case, yard work. At least when I had a yard. It goes the other way too, no doubt. But what does that say about a possible relationship. I’m out of the running because I don’t have a car. I have a full time job, I have a home of my own and don’t ask anyone for help. I save money and force myself to exercise by not having a car. I call it responsible thinking. It certainly beats working two jobs just to go home and sleep between shifts just to pay for it. Once I have a solid relationship, and have a shared living situation, I will likely get a car again. Right now, it’s just not an option. As it turns out, I now know that many folks in this town have roommates just because of that very thing. They can’t afford a car and a place to live either. Hell some don’t have cars and they have two jobs and a roommate. So, honestly I feel rather lucky. I don’t deal with roommates well. Too many times it goes badly.
Why do women seem to reach a certain age and then lop off all their hair? So many end up looking like a Justin Bieber clone. I can’t help it, I don’t find it attractive at all. Never have, likely never will. I guess it’s just my way of thinking, but I find hair on a woman should flow at least a little. It’s what makes them feminine in my eyes. Then again, I’m a very honest person. I never did that whole, “Oh you cut your hair. It’s so cute.” lying bullshit while inside I’m thinking, “Oh my god my girl is now a man with boobs!”. Nothing is more sexy to me than pretty eyes, pretty hair and a nice smile. Especially when you want to just snuggle up to a girl and feel her hair on your cheek. To me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. If she has those three things, the rest of her could be ugly as sin, I’d still think she’s pretty.
More than once I’ve explained this and I’m sorry. There is and always will be a level of physical attraction. Those three items are mine. I wish I could still have a decent haircut, but mother nature has cursed me with baldness. Sure if there were no choice fine. But honestly, the most pleasant of personality will hardly get noticed if at first a person doesn’t get the opportunity to say to themselves, “He or she is attractive on some level, they have a (nice smile, beautiful eyes, soft lips, cute belly, nice ass, warming voice (and the list goes on and on)). I should go say hi.”. Sure there are a million combinations of that.
Though it kills me how upset or angry they get when I say, “I’m sorry, I’m just not into short hair on women.”. They go off on some tangent about how I’m missing out on a wonderful person with a great personality. Gee, I don’t do that when someone tells me they aren’t attracted to bald, fat men. If they aren’t attracted to me, I understand and wish them well. I still think I have gorgeous eyes and a wonderful wit. However, I’m not about to go all bat-shit crazy on them and send them a long diatribe about how I’m a wonderful person who likes to give foot rubs. It is what it is. It goes both ways. If there isn’t a level of physical attraction, then it’s hard to say it’s going to go further than that. Not unless we are both put in a situation to learn each others personalities. Even then, it may or may not overcome that physical limitation. Sometimes it does, sometimes a snowball has a better chance in surviving a trip to hell.
Many of my past relationships having been what they were, I sometimes find that I start to I lose hope in finding a true love. In so much as I’ve sent this out as a joke text to a few friends. However some days I wonder though if it would actually work.
Thinking on changing my personal ad. Decided to add a little more “Truth in Advertising”. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
Gave up on finding true love. Looking for girl who is fat and ugly enough to be incapable of being the town whore. But not so ugly I get ill looking at her. Must be willing to have sex with me more than twice a week and allow me to be kinky at least 50% of the time. This includes, bondage, cum play and anal. Must have good personal hygiene as I like to give and receive oral sex too. Must enjoy back rubs and foot rubs if her feet aren’t too scary to touch. Must not be a complete slob!
Also, must have Washer, Dryer, Car and a job that pays at least higher than minimum wage.
So… Do you think that would work?
I think all in all, this just tells me I need to start going out more. It’s just a shame I have to go out alone…