Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Too Much 21st Century

Yes, too much. I am feeling overwhelmed with life issues, internet issues, hardware issues, etc. There is a lot going on right now. Yesterday, I was busy here and there and even ran out of time to post my Photo of the Day.

So, what all is going on?

Well, first of all, a whole lot of life with the boys.  The little one is doing great.  He is down to one real issue at school (and at home), and it is one he has progressed tremendously on since April, though it was the one he had the most distance to travel on. Overall, he is happier and healthier than I have ever seen him.  No exaggeration.

The big one, not so much.  At home he is happy and healthy, but this school year has been a real challenge for him so far.  It's required a lot of work with his case manager and teachers down at the middle school.  I think we have a good system and routine put in place for him now, but it will still take a lot of work to get him up to speed with middle school and the seventh grade.  In some ways, I fear we may have done him a dis-service in letting him continue on to seventh grade after, essentially, skipping the sixth, but it is too late, for now, for that.  We do have a meeting coming up later this week to review where he is and where he is going at school...

And that is the main thing right now, and it is a lot of work.  But of course, I can't stop and I still have a couple hours here and there everyday to work on some personal stuff.

So, what else?

There have been the computer and home network issues.  I've got that mostly taken care of, though it was real fun (sarcasm) having to rebuild my frankenPC twice in a month.  But it is worth it and it is humming along very well right now, as is the home network.  Unfortunately I still have to spend a lot of time this week copying files from the laptop to the frankenPC, which is repeated work, which I hate.  I just finished that project when one hard drive died and I accidentally formatted one of the other, good drives, erasing all the files that I'd just finished spending hours moving.  No permanent data losses, fortunately, just a lot of wasted work

Of course, in the process of setting up a "new" computer (twice in a month) and network, there was an opportunity to take a fresh look at a lot of my software solutions...  primarily my email and my calendar.

So I've bounced from my stupid, evil crash happy Microsoft Calendar program to Yahoo.  Since I am back and forth between two computers (and hopefully getting back to work in the next couple months, as soon as the issues with the boys get a little more stable), an on-line solution seemed to be the best replacement.  So I spent some time getting everything transferred and updated and set up as I like it.

The only real downside I have right now is that I have to be online to access my calendar.  Not a problem with the network issues sorted out, but it can be a problem later, and if I start wandering out and about with my laptop more...  Plus there are the longer term goals of having a calendar that both Jenna and I can access to keep each other up to date on boy appointments, especially when she moves...

But then, of course, while updating everything on the frankenPC, I found that the best solution for me might be using Microsoft Live...  and then I need to move back, essentially, to where I started while keeping all of the flexibility I have now while still being able to access everything while off-line.  Or I could move to Google, which Jenna just started using and also seems to offer an off-line solution.

And then email.  Found a new email program that really works well for my computing needs right now, but that, also, is making me look at moving the calender to integrate it with my email program.  Blah.  Also, I decided that after using the same email address for over a decade that it is time to start with a fresh one.  That old address has been around for so long and used as a mask on so many spam emails over the years that it triggers way too many spam filters.  It is time to start over.  Nothing dramatic.

I will still receive email at the old address, but from now on I'll be sending from a new one and, when I give it out, I'll be giving out the new one.  Not too worried about having people update their existing contact information for me, though.  I plan a slow transition here.  If you want to know the new one, it is the same as the old one, just at Hotmail instead of at Yahoo.

So there is all of that.  No brain surgery, but a lot of little nit picking stuff.

Moving on...  Still buried in pictures I need to edit, still trying to populate my Panoramio account and to get a big presence on Google Earth and Google Maps...  Still trying to find some time to get the tags set up on my current blogs and to repopulate this blog with old entries taken from Rubble when it was re-purposed. Now, having moved, I'd also like to move the old entries from Live Journal, but that will take some time and it is not a huge priority for me right now.

My main project, in general at this time,  is to be setting up my web presence for the upcoming job hunt.  To get everything well streamlined and portfolio ready.  Eventually, this means creating a portal style home page for all these little blogs and photo collections and everything else everywhere.  A portal site, yes, but also a home for an actual portfolio, housing photos, clips, work samples, etc.  This is something that I feel I really need to get done before I seriously start job hunting.

However, before I start building that site, I want to make sure all these little corners of the internet are stable, well put together, look nice, are well copyeditied (yeah, right) and so forth.  So that means making a couple changes, and is why this is being posted on a new blogger blog instead of my old LiveJournal.

I hated the way LJ looked.  Plus, I want to make this site consistent visually with my other ones.  While I could have tweaked and prodded and poked LJ into looking better, it just seemed easier to re-start it here where I can knock everything but the header/logo design out in under an hour.  Since I also, right now, have several years worth of old entries sitting on my laptop, in limbo between Rubble and SE2, this seemed like a good time to make this move, before I started moving them onto LiveJournal, only to have to move them again later.

When I start that project, I will start from the oldest to the newest, going all the way back to some pre-Blogger material I have from 1999 and grokSoup.

Beyond that, I decided to make a new blog to support my music.  Sure, it will sit there empty for quite some time until I have the time, energy, funds, space, and other resources to start working on my music again, but since I am in the process of setting up my interweb network of sites and blogs right now, I wanted to put that part of the puzzle into place now.

But of course, that means more work on formatting a blog site, header/logo design and all of that fun stuff.  Not to mention some further time spent trying to hack back into some old web pages with forgotten passwords and tied to dead email accounts, and then getting around to posting up some old songs...

All of this design work also means more work transferring more files from the laptop to the frankenPC, where I have better design applications to work with.

Finally, I have a lot of repair work to do on everyone else's hardware.  Once I've got my two computers' issues resolved, then I need to get the big one's netbook back up and running for him (it recently went nipples up), and Jenna just bought two, cheap ancient laptops for the boys that she'll need me to spend time on, discovering if they are functional and then, of course, getting them functional and set up for the kids.

Of course, I still want to be throwing new content up online through all of this so I can keep driving my hit counts higher, which is important to my short and long term career goals.

Blah.  It is a lot.  It is hard to remember to take care of my own health and sanity through all of this.  It feels like a lot of pressure, because this is all stuff I feel like I need to get through ASAP so I am ready to hit the job market as soon as the boys are ready for me to be away a bit more.  It is hard remembering to take care of my own needs right now.  However, I just have to take things one step at a time, keep is all broken down into bite sized chunks, and to not sweat the small stuff or to smell the sweaty stuff.

Yes, I have been struggling with feeling overwhelmed right now.  But I also look at everything going on, and everything accomplished since April on all fronts, and it all seems very worth it.  Life is good right now, and it is only getting better.

Especially after I post this and take a nap.  Then it will be freakin' awesome!

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