Paying the Piper

As I settle into retirement, I keep learning new wrinkles about how to juggle my existing universe of web sites, blogs and social media. It was all so much simpler when I was employed and could absorb a few bucks here and there to tweak a site.

SandboxWebSiteRetires

Over the past few days I have been shutting down my old sandbox site (used primarily to try out things while I was learning HTML, JavaScript and CSS). I wanted to keep my domain name, though, so I worked with my domain name provider and the former hosting company to transfer the pointers so you could read this post.

WHOIS_Lookup

It turned out to be a Rube Goldberg situation, to say the least. I register the domain (and pay for it every year) to one company, who uses another company to do the actual registration, which points to the name servers of the host provider [where all the actual data that is being shared lives]. The domain name server [DNS] comes into it somehow; which is owned by someone else. Apparently over the years bits and pieces of the puzzle are bought and sold behind the scenes. So, unbeknownst to me, apparently I was doing business indirectly with GoDaddy for some time.

I put myself through all this in order to save some money [because I am now on a retired fixed income]. The catch is: I had to pay to accomplish the switch anyway, even though I am already paying! The internet is a wonderful thing (and some of it is sort of free), but what I learned this week is that there really is no free lunch.

It does feel good to have my internet footprint cleaned up a bit, though, so I’m glad it has all worked out. I wonder what else I can cut instead to pay for the rearrangement?

Dabbling with WordPress Again

I suppose you’re wondering where I have been all this time? Maybe not. I have been working on honing my HTML, JavaScript, jQuery and CSS skills elsewhere (on my own site, on learning curve sites for various courses and at work, of course).

DonPrattSnowBlower2015_IMG_0453_wp

Winter hit us pretty hard this year, so I am just beginning to recover from all the snow and it may be a while before I have time for myself and my activities. I am still working on cleaning up the Mac Mini to donate to a local person; that exercise has been very slow in the making. And let us not forget that it is time to file the tax return. First a few notes to catch up.

Here is a book I have been reading to help out a local non-profit (and to help my wife learn how to blog). The author is very good and I am really enjoying some advice that I hadn’t bumped into before [not that I have had time to incorporate it yet].

WordPress Absolute Beginner's Guide_wpI am currently taking a Complete Web Developer course from Udemy. Most of my energy and attention has gone into learning general web development skills (including jQuery, Bootstrap, PHP and MySQL), but one of the chapters in the course focused on WordPress and it just happened to coincide with an offer to update an existing site.

In the course of my research, I reviewed the links to this site and either fixed them up or added comments to earlier posts to explain why they were broken.

I also ran across several very interesting themes that I may use in future. Notably the X-theme and Willow themes. I don’t have any real need for them at the moment (and I want to revise my own site with the new skills I am acquiring from the Udemy course first), but they seem to offer a much faster path to publishing content than my manual efforts. I very briefly began to look into Drupal for another possible avenue to explore in retirement, but so far I have done very little to follow that thread. I do prefer the control of writing my own code (and I prefer Java to JavaScript and PHP), but it definitely takes longer.

Winter Has Arrived!

Author at Inland Trail
Author at Inland Trail

We started off the weekend with a walk in the woods on the Inland Trail in Waterville. We had a good day for it and didn’t even really need snowshoes. The temperature was also just about right.

We were having such a good time, we decided to go again on Sunday (and managed to get the car stuck on a hill in Oakland). Arbo’s towed us back up onto the road (thanks to Randy, AAA and the gracious gentleman who offered me the use of his cellphone). We returned to Inland Trail instead (with excellent parking lot) and got in another walk before dark.

Happy Boxing Day!

The day after Christmas in our house when I was growing up was always very special. Not many people in the U.S. are that familiar with Boxing Day, but I learned about it because we always treated the 26th as a special day. There is at least one person out there who knows why it is so special, and I hope he is enjoying this Joker’s Wild day.

Joker's Wild More of the Different
Joker's Wild More of the Different Barbershop Music

Merry Christmas

I had originally planned to wish everyone a Merry Christmas earlier today, but the day got away from me, somehow. We managed to get in a few walks and I got lost in a book. A fitting present this year. And I got to talk on the phone with some real live friends and relatives (which is always nice). Ran out of time again, as usual, so now it’s off to sleep. I hope you had a good day, too!

Boulder at Shore Path
Boulder at Shore Path in a Fierce Wind