On the Diet Train

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we visited with my dad, who is increasingly slipping into the maw of Alzheimers. One of the exercises was to sort through his pictures of us as children, in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

My parents divorced in 1970 or so (my memory is hazy), but shared joint custody. So every other weekend, it was off to the father’s house, and since he was a bit of a shutterbug, we were constantly being photographed.

Most of these pictures were from this time. Apart from my awful hair, I was an ordinary adolescent, active, and skinny. Alas, that didn’t last, and I have done battle with my weight throughout my life. Continue reading →

Review: Full Contact

There are a few things in my computing life that have been constantly chaotic. Top of the list: my contacts.

Looking at how my life has bounced around like a pinball, I have 3 active Google mail accounts, I have my Mac Address book, where all my added contacts from my iPhone dribble in to, and an old application and card scanner that wasn’t really compatible.

In short, it was a mess. Then I noticed that one of my twitter contacts is working for this company called “Full Contact” that promises to process all your various sources of contacts, to merge them, de-duplicate them, and then scour the various social media sites to fill in the gaps. Continue reading →

Getting my online properties in shape

Digital Ocean Header

Having started with my web hosting at Media Temple, and their managed offering, their “Grid” platform. Circa 2010, it was state of the art, and worked very well. Apart from some shared MySQL database that had a couple of hogs who affected performance early, it was flawless.

Then in late 2014, I got the notice that Media Temple had been sold to the pirates at GoDaddy. Having dealt with them running the website for Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption, I had little love or respect of them, and their sleazy business practices. So, upon receiving the notification that Media Temple had been sold to GoDaddy, I decided it was time to take the VPS plunge. Continue reading →

2017 Predictions

Ah, the year clicks over from 2016 to 2017, and suddenly everybody weighs in with their predictions for the new year. I guess I should do some similar weighing in.

So, Swami Anderson places his clenched fist upon his turban, and predicts …

Politics

President Elect Trump has selected some truly awful, unqualified, and potentially corrupt cabinet members. From Jeff “The KKK is ok except for their drug usage” Sessions for Attorney General, to Betsy “wouldn’t know a public school from a dumpster fire” DeVos, to Ben “I once lived in public housing, so I know best” Carson for HUD, it is a truly awful set of advisors.  Of course they will all sail through confirmation. Continue reading →

Blogging History/Workflow

tools

Set the wayback machine to August 2009. I was in a pretty bad place work wise, and I created a blog on WordPress.com merely as an outlet. Shortly after that I dove into hosting my own blog, using my domain tralfaz.org, and the rest is history.

In between then and now, I have been through three (four if you count my work for Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption) hosting / VPS providers, worked with WordPress from version 2 to the current 4.7, Drupal, Joomla! and Ghost. I have experimented with writing a custom site on the CakePHP framework. Continue reading →

It was a new day yesterday,

Ian Anderson

but it’s an old day now …

2016 is finally over, and 2017 has crossed the threshold. While we lost many of my Rock and Roll idols during 2016, and we finally had to say goodbye to Tate, our seizure greyhound, it wasn’t all bad.

Dealing with some of my domains, making a transfer in December, I found that my prized possession, the .com for Tralfaz was lying fallow. So, instead of leaving it parked, or using it for some experimentation (the last use I had of it was as a playground for CakePHP, a pretty robust framework), I just spun up a simple WordPress site, picked a pretty clean theme (Hello World from Themehaus) and setting it up.

But, what will I post here?  I already have a site at tralfaz.org with almost 800 posts. Many of those posts are trivial, or product reviews, or fun observations. I have thought about wading through and “cleaning” it up, reducing the noise. But that, in the words of Herr Drumpf, “Yuuuuuge.” Nope, apart from a complete restart, that is going to be a cesspool.

I do have a professional site The Product Bistro that I use for my product management, marketing, product marketing, and other serious topics. So that is covered.

Perhaps I should keep this serious, some posts on politics, on business, on technology or whatever.

Well, hang in there, and let’s see where this goes.

The New Republican Healthcare Plan

The new republican plans for health care sure sounds like “just die quickly, and quietly” Well, as we expected, once the Republicans captured the White House (well, in 29 days now), their first order of business will be to repeal the ACA.

They have been talking about repealing it and replacing it for 6 years now, bloviating at every opportunity, and doing fuck-all in the House with 54 attempts to repeal or defund portions of the ACA (or the pejorative “Obamacare”) so this isn’t a surprise.

However, some of the rhetoric coming out of the Paul Ryan camp is interesting. Suddenly, instead of shutting it down on day 1, they are talking about repealing and delaying for 2 – 3 years until they can devise a “replacement” for it. Yeah, that sounds do-able. Continue reading →

Interesting Project – SSL on Digital Ocean

The advent of Let’s Encrypt means that there is no real excuse to not have SSL/TLS encryption enabled on your website. Now I do on my Ghost properties As someone who has long run his own websites, first with managed hosting, and now with VPS instantiations, I have wanted to take the SSL/TLS plunge. But, as a hobbyist, the cost to go HTTPS has just been a burden that I couldn’t justify. Sure, I can handle a half dozen VPS’s on Digital Ocean, as the bandwidth is modest, and I have yet to make a big splash (hit wise), it is truly a hobby. Registering a certificate with a top tier authority, for a simple website, was $120+ per year. So I lived with the unencrypted http protocol. Continue reading →

Russian Intervention in the 2016 US election

Yep, the Russians interfered with the election. Of course, the US has done this for over a century, so we shouldn’t be upset. Unlike many opinions flying around about how much outrage that the Russians (and Vladimir Putin) have interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, by hacking both the DNC and RNC servers and email. Of course they only released the goods on the Democrats, thereby putting a finger on the scale for the victor, Donald Trump.

However, this outrage is a bit mislaid. Of course, a little googling will identify a long history of the US interfering in the affairs of other countries. From interventions to protect the US Fruit Company in Honduras in 1903, to the overthrow and coup d’état that installed the Shah of Iran in 1953, to repeated and long term intervention in Nicaragua, there is plenty of instances of the US government and CIA having their hand in the cookie jar. Continue reading →

Customer Success – Key Role

The role of Customer Success Manager is a key part of the digital transformation of business, driving both ARR and Lifetime Customer Value up Digital Transformation, it’s all the rage, and doing a simple Google search yields a plethora of hits, from training to consultants, to the big market research companies, all weighing in. This wave of disruption continues to grow, and brings with it myriad opportunities to completely change the business.

In a nutshell, in the late ‘oughts, with the introduction of the Apple iPhone, the convergence of ubiquitous network connectivity, and the rise of the “cloud,” the stage was set for yet another transformation of business. Suddenly, the paradigm of where you work, and what tasks you perform were being disrupted. From the simple: an app on your smartphone to approve purchase requisitions, to the complex: integration of the CRM, the Marketing systems, and the ERP system to provide deep insight into the function and flow of business, and much more were realized every day. Continue reading →