The stuff of nightmares…

This is why I have many redundant backups plans. From The Independent:

Man accidentally ‘deletes his entire company’ with one line of bad code

I feel badly for any clients who relied on this hosting service and didn’t have their own backups. There’s sadly so little chance of the company recovering any data given what’s described in the original ServerFault thread.

I’m terrified of some catastrophe befalling my servers or hosting providers, so I’ve gone to extremes: “Assuaging my paranoia with redundancy and many, many backups.”

Surviving Southern California without a car

Americans are notoriously car-obsessed, and Southern California may be the nation’s best demonstration of this. Public transit is woefully lacking, freeways dominate the landscape, and we really do spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how–or how not–to get from one place to another. SNL was pretty accurate. 😉

Continue reading Surviving Southern California without a car

Buying auto insurance when you don’t own a car

We recently donated our car in anticipation of replacing it. While we decide what our next vehicle should be (we have a good idea) and where we’ll lease it from (we have no clue), we need to maintain some form of auto insurance–for occasions when we rent or otherwise have access to a vehicle1. Without owning a car, however, buying insurance can be a bit tricky.

While there is a type of insurance specifically for this situation, relatively few companies offer it; it’s either called named non-owner coverage or a non-owner liability policy. Our existing insurer doesn’t offer this, nor do several other companies I contacted, but fortunately our AAA affiliate does.

Once we found the agent that offered such coverage in California, the application process was nearly identical to that for standard auto insurance. Though there’s no automobile to list, the same types of coverages are available for whatever vehicle either of us happens to be driving. Even the insurance cards are the same, just with “NNO” printed where the make and model would otherwise appear.

  1. We rent frequently enough to make the coverage offered by rental agencies cost-prohibitive.

Theoretical husband

In theory, I’m married. I even have a piece of paper stating this. Nonetheless, my marriage is conceptual more than it is realistic. 

Right after we wed–in September 2015–several company obligations forced us apart. Not long thereafter, Chris became involved with Pressable, ultimately being named interim CEO.

As a result, in six months of marriage, my husband and I have been in the same physical space for no more than 25 says, and that’s probably an exaggeration. It’s a miracle I still recognize him.

Yes–I was, effectively, separated before my marriage even began.

The cognitive burden of a minor annoyance

I’m amazed sometimes at how much a seemingly-small disruption in my day can completely distract me, ending almost all chance that I’ll accomplish anything I’d intended to.

This happened recently with an event that forced me to do something I was planning to do anyway, but just hadn’t gotten around to. It shouldn’t have been that big a deal, because it was something I needed to do anyway. Still, an entire afternoon was lost to thinking about and dealing with this one issue.

That I’m a rampant procrastinator certainly didn’t start me off in a good position. I enjoy doing things on my schedule–in, say four to six weeks, or years. 😉

I’ve no doubt that my reaction is also, in some small part, an effect of my career and employment choices. I’ve worked remotely and set my own schedule, in whole or in part, since 2010, allowing me to plan work around life more than I’d otherwise need to plan life around work. I’m grateful that I could, effectively, waste an afternoon addressing this situation, without also risking my job.

So, reluctantly and at long last, I spent fifteen minutes on the phone dealing with something I’ve talked about for nearly a year.

Were it not for Nick Bradbury’s HomeSite, I probably couldn’t have written this

Perhaps like many starting out with HTML, myriad aspects of the syntax were confusing, or downright overwhelming. For me, tables were one example of the latter. Despite their prevalence at the time (1995), their structure was something I struggled to understand.

Fortunately, one of the many amazing features of HomeSite was its table editor. The visual interface made it easy to create tables and set various attributes. Toying with that GUI helped me correlate what I saw there with the markup it produced.

That ability to experiment and connect changes to their output was essential for me to become familiar with HTML. With no formal training, meager search engines (Google didn’t yet exist), and documentation beyond my understanding, I had no way to learn but to change things and test those effects.

Thanks to the experimentation that HomeSite afforded me, I learned HTML, began hosting my own sites, and in 1999, encountered PHP. Had I abandoned web development out of frustration with learning the early syntax, there’s no chance I could’ve returned to programming as a career when the recession hit in 2009.

Who knows, maybe I’d still be an accountant?

Strebel’s interview with Alex King, from PressNomics 4

Today at PressNomics 4, Josh Strebel shared an interview he did with Alex King back in September, just ten days before Alex passed following a long fight with cancer.

It’s both incredible to me, and simultaneously unsurprising, that Alex took the time to record this interview given how sick he was at the time–one final contribution to a community he was so important to and engaged with.