finding work … finding frustration … finding worth … finding purpose …

so i got that job years ago … the.most.toxic.place.ever.

there was good. got back to working. resparked skills. but such toxicity. it was destroying me. my mind.

heard of a few coworkers that got jobs at a place that was WICKED close to home! so i applied, and i got it.

it’s really fun. learning. coding. FINALLY. since i graduated, i’ve never officially been in more of a development role. sql, ssis packages, ssrs reports, and then .. i got visual studio 2013 and have been writing internal web stuff in asp.net and c# — serious fun. helps for my sanity. i leave work happy. thankful.

demons still stalk my mind … but at least, at work, there’s happy, there’s purpose, there’s fulfillment, there’s someone else.

I miss people

Job interview today …. In about 12 hours ….

i miss people.

too holed up.

i think i especially miss the teens and being involved with youth group. they’re an amazing group of kids.

does anyone miss me?

The IRS really REALLY sucks

irs1

Several years ago (March 30, 2010) I was laid off from IBM after 13 years. We were strapped hard in credit card debt (our own fault) & student loans. The separation package from IBM was very good. Very very good.

We had a plan, we talked with a *supposed* financial expert at our church (mistake #1) and decided we would use the severance package, my (slim) 401k, and my pension (mistakes #2, & #3) to negotiate with and pay off the credit card debit so that we could afford to live on one income.

We paid the extra taxes *they said* on the 401k and pension (THEY LIE .. they wanted SO much more at tax filing time!) and started calling the credit card companies. This was where we really (thought) we made out great. We called them, told them I lost my job, and would like to settle our debt. All banks (except for evil Bank of America) made a deal with us; some chopping our debt by like 70%! As long as we paid it immediately. So we did, closed out the accounts, and felt pretty damn great. And life went on. (and we stopped paying BOA, mutha-frickas)

So yeah, tax time came around, and we paid out the rear — still paying .. 2 years later, we’re still paying them … 400 bucks a month. It’s crippling.

BUT THEN …. just the other day … we get this letter from the IRS. They are informing us that we owe 2,100 MORE from our 2010 return. WHAT?? We went to a CPA! Long story short, the CPA says we paid what they said we didn’t, and he’d take care of it (I hope!)

But … what was it?? Are you ready for this?!?!?

If a credit card company FORGIVES YOU DEBT — you OWE TAXES on that NON-EXISTENT MONEY!

Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?! What? Do they view it as a ‘gift’?

In what world (well, besides OURS) does it make sense that you owe taxes on money that you neither earned nor were given? It’s fantasy money! But HEY, good ole Uncle Sam has to step in and decide that if I somehow benefit from any type of financial transaction … they must benefit MORE. Bastards. MUTHA-FRICKAHS!

I think if our president really wanted to help people that were laid off in this ‘great recession’ — they would’ve instituted emergency measures to remove the tax penalties on closing out retirement accounts when people lost their job.

We did this so we could SAVE OUR HOUSE.

So, in hindsight .. we should’ve

  1. talked to a real financial person – my church failed me hard on that one
  2. not cashed out retirement
  3. FILED BANKRUPTCY! OH my GOD! We would be no worse off had we done that, we would’ve been BETTER off — as my severance could’ve gone to student loans
  4. Oh, and going back MORE in hindsight, we should not have taken the ‘gradual increase’ in student loan payments after we graduated. 10 years later, I STILL owe the SAME PRINCIPLE! I had NO IDEA.

I should’ve been smashing my head into a wall long ago.

LLOTN – web hosting #2 – “free domain name” with hosting

free

Lots and lots of hosting providers offer a ‘free domain name’ when you host with them — and while initially that seems cool — hey, save yourself 5-25 bucks a year (p.s. DO NOT pay 25 bucks a year for ANY domain name! that’s just CRAZY TALK)

So why not, right? what’s the big deal? Every penny counts right?

Here’s a few things that have actually happened to me:

  1. after the first year of hosting, the host provider somehow did not renew domain name
    ::result:: by the time we realized it, not only had the domain name not been renewed, but it had been stolen and parked
  2. at some time the host provider was not working out, and we needed to move a domain to another provider (this was for someone I set up a site for) – the client didn’t realize there was a tie. Domain renewal came up, and he was notified, but he didn’t want hosting — this specific host did not offer domain only!
    ::result:: while waiting for either a) the provider to respond to repeaded requests for domain renewal or b) the domain to be released for re-purchase, it it had been stolen and parked

So, my “Lesson Learned” here — sometimes it’s worth a few extra bucks for peace of mind. Keep your bread in the bread box, and your meat in the fridge. And don’t forget to check your apple barrel for bad apples — cuz one bad one can ruin the whole bunch.

okay, yeah, that sounded hokey … but I really do have peace of mind having all my domains in one spot. No more “wow, this one gives you the domain for 5 bucks for the first year – then charges 15 or more later — no, sorry … 123ehost.com straight up fees, easy management, I love it (and NO, I get no kickback, don’t work for them, I just love how easy they are to work with) — OH, and .. I haven’t even used their hosting services, just domain name management.

coming up next — “Renewal by mail” SCAM!

LLOTN – web hosting #1 – my domain was stolen!

frustrated

OH NO! My domain name … it’s gone!

No, not only is it gone, but it’s been STOLEN!!

How can this happen?

Welcome to the first installment of LLOTNLessons Learned On The ‘Net

Creating and managing sites over the years has lead me to having domain names registered all over the place. Imagine my shock and horror when I went to one of MY OWN sites, to find it was gone. Listed as available for sale. WHAT? huh? How on earth ….????

I logged into the domain manager only to find that my domain name had JUST expired (like a day or two before) — and much to MY OWN FAULT, realized that the email address I had on file was one I had stopped using (and had deactivated). So, I never got the email notification that my domain was expiring. Of course, why couldn’t the provider have sent something in the mail? I mean … c’mon, they KNOW when email addresses are bouncing. They HAVE my cell number. They HAVE my address.

Oh! But WAIT! They have a ‘domain recovery’ option — yay! I’ll save it, it’s still in the ‘recovery period’ — click – click – click — keeping in mind that domain names (not hosting) generally costs anywhere from 7-20 bucks, I’m expecting nothing out of the ordinary — but then, I find .. WHAT? They want a 150 dollar ‘save fee’ … PLUS the 15 dollar domain renewal fee? Why? Is there something ‘special’ they have to do to ‘recover’ my domain? NO! I know, from experience, with other domain registrars, that there is nothing extra. I’ve had other domains expire, with other companies (123ehost.com) that domains have expired (accidentally or on purpose) and I’ve gone back (sometimes MONTHS later) and renewed for no extra fee.

So why? Why does GoDaddy charge this ‘recovery’ fee? Why? Well, because they can!

But you see — it GET’S BETTER.

I figure, FINE GoDaddy, FINE. I’ll let it get past the point of their ‘hold’ period, and re-buy my domain elsewhere. When it’s free to be available. Imagine my horror when on the VERY day it was ‘free’ — GoDaddy sold it in an auction. The buyer’s info was, of course, hidden. So I couldn’t even contact them. I honestly wondered if it wasn’t the guy I talked to to find out how to get my domain back w/o paying the fee. So, how much to buy my domain back? I can’t remember, it was so long ago, and I was so furious. I remember that I tried to contact the owner, but they never responded. GoDaddy called my domain name ‘premium’ and I *think* it was listed on their site for $1,300. It was seriously SO incredibly ridiculous, I ’bout lost my mind! My domain was TINY, nothing big, no big hits, just a small site for my soon-to-be breeding kennel.

So you know, FINE, I bought a different name — cuz there was NO NO FREAKIN way I could even consider trying to afford it. I had been out of work for over a year by then.

Fast forward a year later — I went to go visit a food blog I like to visit only to find it was ‘parked’ — after a minute or two of searching I found her new site, new name, and her fb page. Later found out the SAME THING happened to her. It made me wonder, where is my domain name now? So I went – and saw that GoDaddy had it on their ‘expired available for auction’ parked page. Oh sure, yeahhhh …. I clicked buy, and much to my ABSOLUTE AMAZEMENT — it was available for auction for the meager ELEVEN BUCKS! What? Be still my beating heart … REALLY? Turns out not ‘exactly’ 11 bucks … 11 bucks to snatch it from ‘auction’, but still 14,95 for the domain registration fee. FINE. FINE. Supposedly they say it takes up to 14 days for it to come to me from auction (ummmm … why???) — makes no sense at all.

So yeah, I see it as a tiny win … MAYBE .. I’ll really only admit win once the name is back in my greedy paws (oh, and I move it from GoDaddy back to 123ehost) — funny, I found a post back in October when I *thought* I had transferred my domain away from them, and it somehow didn’t actually go. Hmmmm

So, lesson learned?

Keep all your domain names together, same place, same registrar. And NOT GoDaddy. I think they’re thieves.

And when you transfer a domain — keep on that transfer until it’s COMPLETE. All the way. And, do it with plenty of time before it expires.

Did you Know??

Did you know that you won’t lose a dime or a minute if you transfer your domain before it expires? In the case of my soon-to-be-restored domain name — with GoDaddy I will get 1 year of registration — and when I move it (in about a month) YES, I will have to pay for another year with 123ehost — but my registration duration is CUMULATIVE. So, instead of it expiring on 9/20/2013 (or whatever day they give it to me) — it’ll expire in 2014 with my new registrar! yay!

GoDaddy.com is in the business of making money, and I believe this is their biggest way to make money. They prey on people not updating their email address, and make no other effort to contact you when they KNOW they can’t via email. Search out extra fees when you buy a domain name.

Oh, and it’s NOT WORTH IT to buy into hosting providers that give you a ‘free domain name’ — I’ll post on that later (Tip #2)

Now … I sit back .. and wait .. and hope … that my domain name really does come back to me …

 

Resurrection weekend

TimesLeader front page

funny how so many things seem to have happened around this weekend in the last several years.

3 years ago … (i think?) our church got a new pastor
2 years ago … i became unemployed and was able to throw myself into supportive ministry roles
1 year ago … our new pastor bailed on us, and ran away (in a pretty ackward way)

and here i am today …  what’s next on the horizon? probably a job. i still love knitting. i’d rather not have to get a job job, but would really rather be a foster parent or something. i have a few job opportunities in the fire, so maybe something. praying God makes clear the door/path that He’s opening for me.

love love knitting!

knitting12

 

yesterday night i finished my first ‘big’ project — i wanted to make a hoodie, and my guru-mentor-awesome-friend-knitting-genius suggested that i make a baby sized one first, to get my feet wet. boy was she ever right!

had to frog it a buncha times .. but, it has truly been the most exciting project i’ve worked on. it had lots of great exciting increases , and provisional cast ons, and picking up stitches … it really came out AMAZINGLY

Nicole .. if you happen to venture to my site … STOP LOOKING!!! this is NOT for you … close this window, and go away …. 🙂

 

i’m serious … don’t look .. don’t go any further ..

 

please … don’t … please

 

please ….

and … p.s. i didn’t “technically” lie … this hoodie isn’t for Nicole .. it’s for her baby 😀

wow! knitting!

i never woulda thunk that i could have so much fun being “domestic” … first cooking, and now .. knitting … i LOVE knitting!! after I completed my first ‘knit knit knit’ square project, I went on to playing with what different stitches did, then  on to a ‘real’ project — DISCHLOTHS! wooooo

I really found some pretty patterns and wonderful soft cotton yarn, and voilia! My new favorite dishcloth! The biggest problem I have with these suckers — they’re just too pretty and soft to USE!!! I love them so much .. I think I’ll name them … ummmmmm …. felecia and petunia .. yeah, that’s it. They should meet steve (the first knitting experiment)

Then I tried ‘grandmas favorite dishcloth’, which – consequently – is not my favorite. Then I tried out this ballband dishcloth , it came out cool —- well, on one side. 😉

and now … i’m on to a super slightly secret project … shhhh! what i can say, is that it involves knitting in “the round”!!!

 

 

day 1 kitting!

figuring out the first cast on seemed to be a mighty big challenge to overcome .. until i was ready to actually start knitting … i musta watched that video like 20-hundred times … but i finally got it!

my little dish cloth looks sorta raggedy, and somehow i’ve added stitches wehre they weren’t .. so it’s growing a little … it might be slightly homely .. but it’s soft, and pretty, and mine 🙂

and now .. my needle pushing thru finger is sore, and it’s late .. and i’m goin to bed .. nite nite steve! stay warm (oh, right, you’re 100% cotton, you’ll be fine)

introducing: steve – the magic growing dish cloth knitted thang …

learning to knit!

okay, i have my first needles (29″ bamboo no 7 circular), my first yarns (cotton, lily, sugar n’ cream) and other trinkets (THANKS FOR HELPING ME TANYA!!)

and i’m on (again, thanks to Tanya) knittinghelp.com watching how to cast on … http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/long-tail-cast-on

it took me a few minutes to figure out what she was doing .. but i think i got it! 🙂