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Blogging again and other updates

Blogging again and other updates

My Why: I have been struggling with the purpose of this site, then I realized that the site is for me and not really anyone else.  I use it as a tool to look back and remember what I was doing in the past or as a public tracker to hold me accountable.   It is also a place for me to test new server configs and other web experiments.

The Server:   I am still on Digital Ocean but I have streamlined and optimized my droplets.   I have moved keys sites to their own droplet and moved bunch of smaller sites on to one droplet.    In the mass reconfiguration I moved this site in a mad dash.  I did it quick and dirty and I did not reinstall any plugins or add any ads or other normal WordPress tools.  I am working on bringing some of these features back.

The Business:   I own and run a few part time companies.   I will say that things have been on the slower side for me lately.   I feel that I have spent too much time working in my business rather on it for too long.   This have left them in need of repair so to speak.  I am now in a rebuilding/redefining phase of the different companies.  I am pairing down the functions that I do not enjoy doing or don’t offer me growth (even if they are proven money makers) and investing in things that push me outside my comfort zone or are most important to me.

The Person: Me that is.   I am really working on me and trying to rebuild me in the image I have of me.   I have alot things I want to do  and running out of time to do them in.   I am trying to do the really hard stuff and define where I want to be and how to get there.  I truly believe this is a life long effort.  Next year will not be about me, it will be about the next generation.

NEXT:  Stay tuned



New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

Since I moved to Digital Ocean My servers have been mostly rock solid except when I mess them up.   I have 4 servers currently running.  As I am looking to to focus and consolidate me efforts this year I am also going to consolidate my servers.  Besides consolidating, the other issues is the underlying OS is getting a little old and it is time for a refresh.

Currently I Have my main production server that really just serves 2 websites.

I have 2 testing servers

I have a sever for some random sites that I dabble in.

I am killing the random sites. I just don’t have the time to put into them right now.

My plan is to just run 2 Digital Ocean Servers.

Server 1 : Main Sites.

  • This Blog
  • Company 1
  • Company 2
  • Passion Project Blog

Server 2:

  • Non important landing page sites /feeder sites
  • testing projects
Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Reviewing the last year and pondering what I want to accomplish for 2016.

My Family has a HUGE project we are working on this year called Project Bubble.  This may take a few years, but I will share more when I can.

Personally, I always have a ton of goals and things I want to accomplish during the year. I could list them out, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I think it is better to explain how I hope to have a better year than 2015.

My First Goal is Focus:

I love bright shiny objects, the gotta have gizmo, or the exciting new business venture, but I am just spreading myself to thin. I stated off this year but shutting down a business and I will continue to cut things out this year, to focus on my top priorities.  I have outlined my top priorities and I have 5 of them right now.

  1. Project Bubble
  2. Self development
  3. Expand Business Consulting
  4. Passion Project (Content)
  5. Passion Project (Action)

My 2nd Goal is Gratitude

2015 posed a TON of challenges for my family and I, but when you really look hard it was filled with great success as well. My goal is to realize and appreciate the success as it happens.  I have a pretty great life and I need to realize it, in the moment.

New for 2016, lets start by shutting down a business.

New for 2016, lets start by shutting down a business.

As part of a challenge with a buddy of mine, we both agreed we needed some motivation and we challenged each other build and launch a business in 30 days.

I am happy to say that I found a Niche, built a website and started selling a product in 30 days.

What I learned is that I don’t enjoy retailing a physical product. I was selling a real physical product online.    While retailing one low margin product was just the start of the plan. Adding new products was key to the long term Success.

I really started running the math and the work involved. I needed to add ALOT more products and ALOT more sales to make it worth my time.   When I got right down to it, I didn’t enjoy it and wasn’t excited to expand it.    I have alot of exciting projects to work on that I much more passionate about.

This business was a fun challenge, but the opportunity cost of running it was to expensive and I should be working on something I am more passionate about, like helping other small businesses.

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

I don’t know when I maybe the full jump but 5~7 years ago I switched from Firefox to Chrome.  I am die hard google fan boy if you will, I love chrome and it’s integration with the apps and services that I use the most.  Lately I have been getting quite a few crashes with Chrome, and overall slowness in browsing the web and video.  I thought is was my internet connection or router and went down that path to resolving some of my issues.

I came was watching a recent episode of TekThing   I think it was episode 15 where they talk about making the switch back to Firefox.  Over the past few weeks /months  I have be trying out FF every now and then.

Where I really noticed the difference was with my lower end machines where I want to stream video.  I am a huge fan of Auto Racing and I love Motor Trend OnDemand  channel.  I was constantly getting Frame drops in chrome watching it full screen on my 1080p TV.  so I though what the hell and tried Firefox.  The videos were playing as smooth as butter.

Today on my main PC Chrome crashed again I am now going full speed in to using only FF.

It is simple to import everything over and get started.  So far it feels snappier and I am really liking the change.

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

As I have written about before, I run quite a few websites. Low traffic ones for the most part, but I still run them. I have move around from hosting provider to hosting provider. From Free hosting , to cheap hosting, to really expensive Amazon AWS to now Digital Ocean.

The move to Digital Ocean was easy for me, but it requires some real server setup(VPS).  I put everything on one Droplet and all was good.  but soon I was getting database connection errors .  I added/increased the swap space and this fixed the issues for a little while but it soon came back.

I seemed to find out that running WP Multisite with quite a few plugins is a little too intensive for a small droplet. I also need to build a little more protection for my main business websites so a little restructuring was in order.

I am now running 3 Droplets on DO.  1 droplet is bigger and hosts just 2 sites.  The 2 sites that actually get traffic and get me new business.  The 2nd droplet hosts all my other sites, if it crashed due to overload, it is not a big deal.  the 3rd droplet was what i started on that has the backup of all my sites and is my development server.

Additionally My site with the most traffic ad plugins on my Wp MU, I have taken off and put it in a standalone WP.

This fixed almost any and all errors I was getting.

Then I went a bit furthercdnCapture and moved alot of things to CloudFlare CDN.  WOW the reporting I was getting back was very very interesting.  I was getting strange massive spikes in traffic.  this is what was probably bringing down my sites before.  Google analytics were not showing these spikes.

2014 – Getting more done by doing less.

2014 – Getting more done by doing less.

focusI like hobbies,  I like everything really. I dream that I could hook up to the Matrix and download whatever I needed straight to my brain. I may have a little Attention Deficiency.  I have TONS of ideas that I want to try.  I have no time or extra money to do them.

In my younger days I tried to do all the hobbies that interested me, I got nothing done and I had a ton of unfinished projects (I did became a pretty good skier).  About 6 or 7 years ago my “willing to try new things” got me bit by the Auto Racing bug.  All I knew was that I wanted to go auto racing, but it is expensive and all consuming hobby and I took a really long look at my priorities. I decided that all my other hobbies had to go if I wanted to go racing. Within just a short while (minus a job/finical bump) I had built a race car and got my license. BAM! Racecar driver. (Note I have taken the last year off from racing to buy a 2nd house, but 2014 I am going back to racing)

My business  ideas and hunger is much the same as my hobbies.  I have decided that the only way I am going to make alot of progress on the business is to cut it to the core and focus.  In 2014 I am putting my effort into and  I am going to be making a time and finical investments in these sites to make them successful.

Happy New Year 2014! – Resolutions Part 1

Happy New Year 2014! – Resolutions Part 1

ResolutionsHappy 2014 everybody!.  Holy crap where did 2013 go?  I gotta get moving!

I have set some resolutions for 2014 to move my personal brand and businesses to the next level.

Right now these are the “Outlines” that I am still putting some hard number goals around. I will also be doing expanded blog posts on most of these topics.

  1. Write a blog post for each site every month.
  2. Do a video post every month.
  3. Invest serious money into my business.
  4. Invest in my personal development.
  5. Forget the formality and just do it.
  6. Get to back to my goal weight and stay there.
  7. Become a thought leader in the call center space.


10 Steps to move WordPress off Amazon EC2

10 Steps to move WordPress off Amazon EC2

512px-CERN_Server_03As I wrote in my previous post, I have moved my sites off Amazon EC2 to a Droplet at DigitalOcean.

This is not a detailed step by step, but this is broad strokes that I used to move my EC2 Ubuntu WordPress site to my DigitalOcean Ubuntu LAMP droplet.

I was running 10 plus WordPress sites on one mirco EC2.  several are using WP multisite.  The database was an RDS store.

Step 1.  Download a copy of my  /var/www directory

Step 2. Do a MySql dump of the database

Step 3. Upload the /var/www to the new server

Step 4. Restore the mySql dump file on the new server

Step 5. Setup MySql permissions and edit WP congif files to match.

Step 6. Copy vHost files and run a2ensite

Step 7.Point domain names to new ip address

Step 8. Give www-data the proper write access.

Step 9. TEST TEST TEST the sites on the new server

Step 10. Shutdown EC2 instance and Delete EC2 and RDS.

Bonus Step 11. Pocket the $65 a month I am saving

Welcome 2013 and blogging

Welcome 2013 and blogging

Happy new year all,  a little belated.

Websites and blogging:

Lots going on a very little time to blog.  I have dedicated the rest of tonight to my BLOGS.   I have Coffee, Red bull and dinner with me as my desk.

I updated this site to WP 3.5 and things seems to be going smoothly.  I have about 10 videos recorded but not edited and YouTube keeps giving my a hard time about monetizing  so I haven’t been motivated to finish them.

Tonight I am working on my revenue producing sites or sites that I hope will be revenue producing.  I really just setting test for things I think will work out.  As things work or don’t work I do hope to put the results here.

Real Estate:

I have been shopping for a new house recently and that mean I will soon become a landlord.  In my township that is a little hard and requires the house to be in tip top shape, so that is where all my free time is going.