Security Get! (and some possible problems)

This probably isn’t worth mentioning, but sometimes when I make changes to the code that runs this website, things can mess up. Yes, I use WordPress but I don’t use it “as-is”. I need to make some tweaks so that some things work and keep working.

Security Improvement

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The biggest change I’ve made is that the whole site has been moved to secure hosting meaning that the data sent from you to the server is now encrypted. That means that the data you enter in here such as passwords will be encrypted and only my server has the key to read it. This doesn’t mean that much to anybody right now.

Why Is This Worth Mentioning?

These changes sometimes don’t come without problems. Some links and images may be broken (but they shouldn’t be). I’m not sure if the feeds are broken but if they are, someone please let me know.

Keep your eyes open for me, and I would really appreciate it. Report them if you see them. 🙂

RIP, magicJack

Simply not worth it anymore.

Simply not worth it anymore.

If you didn’t know, I used to use a magicJack. (It allowed me to plug in a regular phone after I connected the device to my PC or by Ethernet cable, then make calls like I was in the USA.) One of the biggest reasons I got it was so that family and friends back in the USA could contact me with a local phone number. Thinking that was a great idea, I kept renewing my service, the last time for five years. The sad thing is that I didn’t get many calls from people back home and when I did receive calls they were from telemarketers, the time here was between 1 and 4 am. I put the number on the USA’s Do Not Call Registry, yet I would get called several times per week to chat about home insurance and “free” home alarms. I finally realized that there wasn’t a reason for me to use one, so I uninstalled the app from my phones and just unplugged the device completely. It was up for renewal in early August but I didn’t renew it.

With all the free options like LINE, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and others, I just don’t see a point. I figure that if my family want to chat with me, they’ll do it from there. And even if I do need to call someone, I have about $100 of Skype credit sitting in my account.

Right now, I am torn between getting a Skype number with my credit for a year or getting unlimited calls to the USA. I am not really sure if either one of those will actually do any good.

If you’re looking at getting a magicJack, I guess it’s totally up to you. Personally, I hated the software on my PC and hated it more on my Mac. It was always really slow and clunky. Sometimes, it wouldn’t even work. Sometimes, it wouldn’t even recognize that I had service and had to contact customer support a few times to fix it. The customer service was okay for me, but I have read some horror stories online.

The magicJack app on my phones had a mind of its own. I constantly had to fight with it to stop reconnecting when I logged off or when I thought I closed the software completely, it would restart in the background and it would ring at 2 am. (Calls at 2 am wouldn’t be so annoying if they weren’t telemarketers or if I was in a time zone in or nearby the caller.)

I just didn’t use it because I wasn’t getting enough important calls. They have some serious competition with all the messengers that exist today and if those are free, why would I keep giving them $35 a year for something I don’t use?

Bird is the Word

Hi, it’s Monday and you know what that means, don’t you? OK, it doesn’t really mean that much as a Monday but it’s also Indian Independence Day! OK, I didn’t really know that until J brought it up this morning.

I’ve had quite a few things on my mind over the past week or so, but some of them have been just little minor things. Not that much has happened and I haven’t had much time between work and projects to collect ideas for a post but I guess I can try.

Cinnamon-Cockatiel-Male-and-FemaleI have been thinking about a new pet to get and as much as I would love to get another dachshund, it’s not really that certain where I will be a year or two from now, so I think I am going to have to wait. I am not really a cat kind of person mostly because I am slightly allergic to them, but I do like them. Something else that came to my mind is that when I was a kid, my family had a cockatiel. That’s what the picture is of. We had a female bird. How did I know this? She would lay eggs for some reason. They were unfertilized, but she laid quite a lot of them and we kind of collected them in a basket because they were cute small eggs. Sometimes, I would take her out of her cage and put her on my shoulder and sometimes, she’d fly around the house. Our house had a really tall ceiling so it was okay. It wasn’t okay fully because she’d poop everywhere. Eventually, my mom ended up giving her to a woman at work. I never really understood why she did that, but maybe it was for a noble cause, I don’t know.

A good thing is that these birds are native to Australia, so they don’t really cost a lot, especially if they’re not trained. I want a trained one that’s a bit sweet so if I get one, I will get a younger one that will be my best friend. BUT a huge problem is that these guys live to be over 20 years old and I would kind of hate to have to make him (or her) travel from here to the USA or something like that if I ever move. It’s a very tough thing.

I’ve noticed that my life is a little nicer when I have a pet. Up until I moved to this country, I always had a dog and when I got here, I was alone a lot. Then I got a dachshund and I was really happy for the most part. I was traveling a lot at the time, so I started to realize that maybe it wasn’t the best solution for me to have one so I let a family have him. I still think about it and I am still really sad that I did it. I don’t think something like that will ever leave me because I did it very unwillingly.

I haven’t made a decision whether I am going to get one or not, but I am thinking about it. I guess I just need to figure out where I’ll be and when I will be there, and plan around that. Just in case, I am trying to learn as much as I can before I make the decision to own one myself. It’s a lot different having a pet when you’re an adult and not a kid anymore. 🙂

Updates Galore: Busy Writing Stuff That I Don’t Post

Do you guys know that I have written around 3 or 4 weblog posts last week but not a single one of them has been published? I don’t know whether they will ever be published or published soon. A few of them had to deal with the whole “racism vs preference” thing. I’d end up moving on to a topic about who I date and why (though I don’t have to worry about the whole dating thing anymore), and it was just a little bit strange, so I decided against it. There was one about men and body hair too so I might save that one for later because body hair is a really important topic.

blogging-miniSo the Olympics have started. I know this because it was all over Facebook, not that I actually cared. I don’t really care about sports in general and I can’t think of a single time I watched the Olympics without being forced. I just find it really, really boring for some reason. I guess you have to care about sports or sexy swimmers to do that kind of thing. So needless to say, you probably won’t find much about the Olympics here unless something really crazy happens–then I might post something. You guys and girls know how it goes… this place kinda is a collection of the most random things.

As far as my life goes, I’ve been quite busy with my coding stuff and I’m back to studying. It’s a bit difficult to balance everything, but hopefully I’ve got it. Being in another city from the university is kind of exhausting, I’ve discovered. It lowers the chances of me actually showing up to class which I had a feeling that it might do that. Everything that I need to do is keeping me away from being social and I hate it. I really want to try to get my work life so that it’s manageable but it’s really hard when I am worrying about the other things. I guess I can’t complain too much. I’m in my mid-30s. I think I’m supposed to be able to handle this kind of stuff.

I know this isn’t that interesting and don’t intend for this little update to be on anybody’s top reading list this month, but I’ll be back with some better posts about what I put in the first paragraph plus a few personal views on what’s happening in my life. I’m still a bit hesitant to share more than what I’m sharing though so baby steps, I guess, right?

Coming Out on Facebook Anniversary

Before I start, my partner is doing the birthday thing around this time. He’s a little younger than me (not by much), so a big happy birthday to him!

prideflagI just had a look at my Facebook memories and saw that a lot of things had happened today. One thing in particular happened though that was quite life-changing, I guess you could say. Today, back in 2012 is when I officially came out as gay to my family. The reason I did this was that I had a few family members spouting things out about how awful gay people are and Jesus and God came to them and said “It ain’t right.” One person who was more vocal than the rest passed away a year or two ago.

It’s a little weird for my mom to know that I like men and I still don’t talk to her much about my love life. I am very uncomfortable talking about that subject though when I did come out (and I did it by Facebook), I admitted the reason why I moved around so much and even came to Australia (Quick note: it was for someone I was with for about 13 years).

A bit has changed but I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been here for so long, or if everybody is getting older, or if people just don’t want to talk to me. My dad’s side of the family has chosen not to talk to me anymore because they’ll catch the gay and I’m a really big sinner and all that religious garbage. I think some people on my mom’s side of the family don’t like it, but at least they’re polite about it and I still feel like they love me.

Speaking of being gay, and last night, I had a dream that I was in bed with some girl and my partner at the same time and didn’t want both of them to know that there was someone else on the other side. It was a little weird, but at the same time, it was a little sexy too. I mean, it’s not really something that I am going to sit around and think about too much. I think a lot of gay men have that dream every so often. I wasn’t disgusted or upset about it or anything, but it’s strange that it happened. I also don’t see myself as 100% gay either. Maybe more like 80%. I think that’s totally possible. It’s not because I am ashamed to be called gay though, I’ve gotten over the whole “gay is a terrible word” thing a long time ago. It took getting out of my small hometown to realize that it’s not a bad thing at all.

You know something else, I did this right before I became an Australian citizen so my anniversary for that is coming in a few days as well.

Anyway, some of you may have not read my coming out story so you can see more in-depth stuff of what I went through to get where I am today. (It’s not full of drama or anything, I had it a whole lot easier than a lot of people do out there.)

Now, here in Australia, I am just waiting for the government to make a move on same-sex marriage. Of course, they’re going to take their sweet time doing it because the government in power thinks that two people of the same sex being together is ‘icky’ and is happy being the last developed country not allowing it.

A Few Good Childhood Memories

Today I thought I would do something a little different and share a few happy memories with you from when I was a kid. There will probably be more because I think it’s really important to remember these kinds of things. I don’t know how long my weblog will be around, but at least they’re here being archived somewhere.

Story 1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Click the picture above for the source and for some really interesting information! :)

Click the picture above for the source and for some really interesting information! 🙂

I can distinctly remember when my mom went back to work when I was around 6 years old. In fact, she’s still working for the same company which is absolutely incredible! Every so often, though she wasn’t get paid very much, she would bring me a TMNT figure. For a while, I had every single one of them and I’d probably say about 90% of the time, it was because she would buy one for me every week or two. I loved those things and I may still have them stored somewhere but I’m pretty sure I gave them to my nephew.

I remember how much I loved playing with those things and how I could never pick just one or two to be a favorite since I loved every single one of them. What’s strange though is that I wouldn’t have them battling each other, but it was like one really screwed up soap opera. So essentially, I would be playing “dolls” with my action figures. I remember the hours and hours of fun I’d have with these little guys and just like an old man, I’d have to say that they were a lot better when I was a kid!

I also loved the cartoons and would watch them all the time. I tried to do this recently, but… yeah, let’s say nothing holds my interest for very long.

 

Story 2: ‘Debut’ and ‘Post’, The Gift of Music, and a Bjorkish Obsession

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When I was a kid, I learned real fast not to ask for lots of stuff at the store because I knew I probably wouldn’t get it (they were always surprises like the TMNT stuff). One day, my mom brought me around and I started looking at CDs. I came across some CDs by Bjork: Debut and Post. I think by that time, I had Homogenic (which I still love today). My mom told me that I could have them so I grabbed both of them and played them like crazy. For some reason, I remember getting these things because it was one of the times that my mom pretended to be interested in what I was listening to. She’s a classics kind of woman so I think deep inside she just didn’t really care but I think it was just special and you know something? I still have both of those CDs today somewhere in Texas. 🙂 I’ve attached good memories to those things.

I totally loved Bjork. I mean, it probably was borderline creepy. I would pretend to be from Iceland so people thought I was her neighbor. I wanted her tattoo. I think I secretly wanted to be her. I can’t say that her latest music is something I would listen to as much, but what she’s done in the 90s and early 00s is the stuff I like.

My mom and dad got me a Casio keyboard when I was younger then got a “grown up” one later. I also remember one of my aunts that I liked getting me a guitar for Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t ever remember using it. In fact, I don’t think I ever brought it outside that house. It just kinda disappeared I think! The Casio keyboard in question was this one (thank Jesus for YouTube):

Story 3: Hunting and Fishing, Like a Good Southern Kid

I’m not really sure why exactly I did these things because I am not a big meat eater and I don’t like seafood. Needless to say, I never really got much and that was okay for me. I remember my dad bringing me fishing with him and I would be interested for about 10-15 minutes, then start playing with the stuff in his fishing box. I would have so much fun playing with the lures and stuff and you know something? I never impaled myself on anything in there. I would ask him why some of them looked the way they did and stuff. He took me lots and lots of times and yes, he complained that I would spend more time playing with the stuff inside his tackle box than I would fishing. But he still brought me along. It was some of the few times that we got to bond a bit.

Sometimes, he’d bring me crabbing. If some of you don’t really get it, it’s basically where you tie a piece of raw chicken to a string, throw it out into the water and wait for something to tug on it. Then, you’d slowly pull it in and whatever was eating it would follow and you’d scoop it up with the net. It was really fun for me and I’d still do it today if I could. My problem is that I would get the crab up to the shore, then either let the crab keep eating, or I would make it run back. My dad would say “We’re not here to feed the crabs!” I think out of the things that I miss from my childhood, this is one of the big ones.

When I was an early teenager, I used to practically live with my aunt and uncle during the summer. Sometimes, my uncle, my other uncle, and my cousin would go out hunting. I never really hunted. I just went along for the adventure. It was some of the most fun I have had with all of them together. I just liked being out past dark I think (though my eyesight wasn’t that great). I remember one time in particular that we were driving down a road in my hometown that is supposedly full of cultists and it’s haunted. There was a dead rabbit in the road and my uncle got it. He said it was still warm but he couldn’t tell what had happened to it. It was really creepy and I think the whole time we were traveling down that road, I was really, really scared. That was some of the fun of that!

The End (for now)

I can’t say that those are the ONLY times I was happy when I was a kid. I mean, I had Legos. I had a freakin’ bar in my bedroom with a retro computer, Nintendo(s), TV and stuff on it! It was pretty good so this isn’t the end of my stories for now. I just thought I’d share some of the smaller ones with you for the moment. I was a pretty lonely (by choice) kid growing up and I still don’t like to go to parties or anywhere that has a ton of people.

Time to Get Busy

Why is it that when I am starting another busy few months, I am always sick? Again, for the billionth time, I am suffering through the sore throat and cough thing that seems to thrive in Melbourne (or on planes for that matter).

Busy-ScheduleUntil the end of the year, my schedule is full. Normally that’s not a huge thing but when I live about 2 hours from the place where I need to go almost every day of the week, it makes it a little hard. Yes, I did think about this before I left but J does it quite often, so why shouldn’t I be able to? He manages to work really hard at what he does but I have a bit of a fear that he’s going to overdo it. It’s going to mean making some changes around the house, I guess. I need my time with him and he needs his time with me, but we’re going to be working on conflicting schedules for a while.

When I was younger, my best friend and I always made fun of a girl who never wanted to hang out because she and her boyfriend set aside date nights. I think ten years later, I finally get why that is important and necessary. It’s necessary for times like this when we just won’t have time. I think that will happen, but I just don’t know when that will happen.

Luckily, we live together so at least sometimes we’ll be in the same house. I won’t be home a few nights per week because I have classes to go to, then work, then in the morning, I have more class to go to. That means that I really need to stay closer to the university I attend. Thankfully, I am almost done with my studies. (I don’t want to study anymore. My brain and body can’t keep up with it.)

So there are some solutions at least. It won’t be easy and it will really affect when I will be able to take my little trips. But it’s only until November or December. I can manage that until then, right? I’ll be here for the holidays so hopefully we’ll get some time together then.

That’s all from me. That’s what I am thinking at the moment. I’m going to miss having a lot of time with and for my partner but that is the way things have to be for now.

Trust and Forgiveness

This chart represents my irritability and bitchiness over the past few weeks.

This chart represents my irritability and bitchiness over the past few weeks.

It’s been a while, but here I am! I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail of what’s happening but let’s just say that my bitchiness and irritability has been off the chart. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while. My anxiety has been super high so I thought it’s not a great time to post.

A lot of times, my silence usually means that shit got really bad. It didn’t, so just to let people know, I am okay. Not perfect, but I am fine. I have been sitting around worrying about things that haven’t happened which usually makes me more anxious about when they do happen.

I guess I could continue on from my last post about why I hate Facebook but I’m going to take it a bit further. One of the things that really irritates me is how a person can automatically assume the very worst in me when I have been almost perfectly gentlemanly and friendly. My past isn’t without flaws and I’d probably be lying if I said my life now wasn’t flawless. I confide in people who I think or thought were my friends and it gets thrown in my face. I’ve been a lot more selective of who I tell things to because I’ve discovered through the use of drama and spreading of false rumors that I need to keep my mouth shut.

I find it interesting that I have had to go into some kind of damage control for myself (and other people involved in my life) time and time again after hearing a few times that it won’t happen again. I believe in second chances but I don’t believe in third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh chances. A simple apology doesn’t make everything good again. Nothing repairs that betrayal after the first time. Apologies are only good so many times until you get jaded. When you keep accepting a person’s apologies after they wrong you over and over, you’re saying “That’s okay. Do it again and I am sure to forgive you.” It’s like someone coming up to you and punching you in the face. Once, okay, it might have been an accident but if it happens every time you see that person, it’s no longer an accident. It’s done deliberately.

I’m understandably irritated and understandably cautious about repairing a friendly relationship with someone when they’re continuously causing issues for me and there’s no way to repair it. It is just really sad that it has come to that. Disappointing, really.

I think I over-trust. No sorry, I know I do. I see the good in people first and keep giving them chances when I really should have stopped. I think that’s okay. I have done my part to be a good friend.

I Really Hate Facebook

Don’t you have those days where you just want to claw everybody’s face off? Well, mine started yesterday and I have a feeling that it’s going to spill into today as well. A few things are happening that are a little peculiar. I’m not quite sure whether there’s a full moon or something because it’s been raining for about a week now and I’ve seen no sun. That’s probably why people have chosen to get on my nerves.

facebook-annoyingYou know what the source of a lot of my frustrations has been? Facebook. As much as I would love to delete my account and forget about it, I can’t because my family congregates there. Sometimes that’s the only way for me to find out what tattoos my sister is going to get or what my cousins had for breakfast and lunch. You know, those are the things that matter. Every so often, I get messages from people in my past that are either really nasty or really inappropriate. Sometimes, my partner is around for them and most of the time, I try to shield his eyes from them because I have my own way of correcting these issues. They sometimes aren’t the greatest solutions, but they get corrected. I don’t like someone else intervening and thinking they can fix these things.

I find it really interesting how some people think I am the source of all their problems too. I mean, someone actually blamed ME for all their life’s problems! I can totally understand how that reaction would have been appropriate about a year ago, but it just came out of left field with no warning. It’s just irritating. I’m a big advocate for telling people how you feel instead of putting it on the back burner, but over a year has passed and there’s so much bitterness there after I overlooked certain things that were totally inappropriate at the time and well, downright mean!

Hopefully, things will sort themselves out because I’m seeing that my patience is running very thin. I’m not going to blame it on stress, but when these things happen I start thinking about how much crap I let into my life and why I allow it to continue.

I guess this is a continuance of why I really hate being connected to the world all the time and being reachable most of the time. It wears a guy down. It makes me want to throw my phone in the ocean, land on an island, and chase the animals so I can eat them.

Anyway, after I post this, I’m going to keep my Facebook account for the reason stated. I can’t tell it to “fuck off” so I guess I’ll deal with the constant messaging from people who think it’s appropriate to ask me to have sex with them and people who think that blaming others for their own misfortunes is a wise use of time.