Farewell Site5

After 9 years, today is my last official day at World Wide Web Hosting / Site5. Over the last 15 months, I’ve reflected often on my time here, and it’s been nothing short of amazing. I’ve experienced two very different acquisitions and worked for five exceptional bosses. Ben, Brendan, Joel, Matt & Rod – I sincerely thank you for everything.

I’ve had the absolute honor to work with some of the most dedicated, smartest, and passionate people in the industry, and I could not be more proud of what we accomplished together.

I have been blessed to go to places I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of going, and I have experienced fantastic journeys with amazing people along the way.

Map

  • Austin, TX
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Edmond, OK
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Miami Beach, FL
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York City, NY
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Toronto, ON, Canada

It’s been a great ride while it lasted! But new adventures await. 🙂

Working in a Virtual World

I work in a virtual office; Site5 has no physical office. The “old” term was telecommuting but has morphed into “working from home” and remote workforces. Virtual offices present many advantages from the company perspective, but what about the employees? In doing this for over 3.5 years, I can say with certainty that working remotely is not for everyone. Why though?

It takes discipline.

Working from home takes a lot (and I mean a lot) of discipline from not just myself but from Monica, Katie Lynn, Karyn as well as my family and friends.

There’s many distractions at home. The trash needs to be taken out. The dishes don’t wash themselves. Someone has to fold the laundry. It’s very easy to let the mind wander throughout the day since the distractions are *right there* staring you in the face. When family members are home during work hours, it is quite easy to be distracted by short conversations here and there or to be interrupted by two daughters that don’t fully understand that daddy’s working. Even though I work from home, I’m still working.. meaning there should be no distinction to other people, but that doesn’t always happen.

Separation of home and work.

This isn’t easy for some people – myself included. The lines are blurred when you work from home. I find myself, quite frequently actually, working after work. After Katie Lynn and Karyn go to bed, if Monica and I are just relaxing on the couch, it’s so easy to just do some work. With some remote jobs, that’s not always possible to do. But since mine has a task/project emphasis, it’s quite easy to *just work* when relaxing. And often times, I’ll find that I get so much done “after hours” to the point where it’s easier to just wait until the night to do things on purpose.

Adult Interaction

Working remotely severely lessons interaction with other adults. During the week, most of the adult interaction I get is with my wife naturally. The only other adult interaction I get regularly are the teachers at my daughter’s school (since I drop them off in the mornings) and other parents of kids there that I know. That’s it. Of course, if we have plans on evening during the week, there’s more.. but that’s not a regular occurrence. There’s no in-person office experience, no water cooler talk, no break room to eat lunch together, etc..  and I really do miss that.

Equipment Responsibilty

Working in a completely virtual office (as opposed to the occasional telecommute setup), I am responsible for having a suitable computer, reliable Internet connection, etc. Granted, some companies may cover some of those costs and some may not, and if not, it’s an added expense if something were to happen to my primary computer. That’s not really an issue though since I’d need a new computer anyways if my primary laptop died. But it’s different from a traditional office setting where a computer breaking is the company’s responsibility to repair/replace.

Conclusions

In my opinion, it takes real commitment to be able to work from home effectively. The distractions can easily overwhelm someone if they’re not completely focused on the work at hand, but there’s obvious benefits from being able to work from home and I love that I’m able to do it.

My Life

No, this isn’t an entry about Billy Joel.. It’s been quite a while since I have actually blogged about something meaningful, so I figured tonight would be a great night to write.

Where to begin..

Monica is now out of the first trimester and into the second. All is going well, and we’re looking forward to the big sonogram in six weeks. Just as we did (or didn’t) with Katie Lynn, we’re not going to find out the baby’s sex. So few things in life are truly a surprise, so we are just going to let the baby’s sex be a surprise. To keep up-to-date with baby news and goings-on, feel free to use subscribe to the RSS feed or just follow our updates over at tomandmonica.com.

Katie Lynn continues to amaze me. She’s growing up so quickly; it’s hard to believe she’s already sixteen months old. She’s enjoying her day care, her friends there, and her teachers. I love the social interaction and skills she is developing at this young age.

Wrigley is doing so much better. For those that don’t know, she had ear surgery a couple years back to resolve a condition affecting her ears. The surgeries went well but, in the end, did not seem to stop the condition. The vet in Lubbock said this was normal, so we took the “professional’s” word. When we moved to McKinney, we naturally had to find a new vet. Our new vet took a look and in five minutes knew there was a problem and how to treat it. The vet also diagnosed Wrigley with hypothyroidism, so she simply has to take one pill with her food.

Work is going great. Site5 was recently bought out by a couple of industry veterans. I had known that was the plan for quite a while, so naturally there was this sense of uncertainty. I’ve got to say though.. I could not be happier how things have turned out. Ben and Joel are exactly what the company needed, and I’m excited to be a part of the “new” Site5. I do miss working with the old owners and CEO, but luckily I still get to chat with them on a frequent basis as they’re all great friends.

I turned thirty last week. My wonderful wife planned a great surprise party for me. I had a great time, and are thankful for my family and friends that attended.

I’m still loving the MacBook that I bought back in October. I recently purchased an Acer LCD monitor to use while working. I used one back when I worked at DC, and I had forgotten how much I loved having one.

I’ve somehow gotten addicted to Twitter.. it’s even linked to Facebook. Who would have thought that I would be so into this whole social networking scene after being anti-MySpace for so long.

Instead of writing some corny summation paragraph (oops, too late), I’ll just end with some great pictures.

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Observations, Ramblings, & Utter Randomness

This will be a hodgepodge post containing a random assortment of topics. So clear your mind, start reading, and try to keep up.

Family & Friends
Monica and I have some of the greatest family and friends. Everyone has been exceedingly generous with baby gifts. To everyone that has been kind enough to send us or give us cards and gifts, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Additionally, a huge thank you to my Mom, my sister Kim, Monica’s sister Amanda, and friends Dru, Stephanie, and Mandy for throwing two wonderful baby showers for Monica.

Fuel Costs
Gas costs significantly less in DFW then it does in Lubbock. By significant I mean $.10 – $.20 cheaper. Ridiculous.

Tollways
I love tollways. Sure you have to pay, but it’s worth the money. Driving from Irving to Frisco took ten minutes. Can’t beat that.

Texas Tech
I hate using this phrase, but once again, it fits. Typical Tech. Come off a great win versus Texas A&M, get cocky, get put in your place by Mizzou. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Mike Leach is not the man to lead Tech to the next level. Until we hire a head coach that realizes a team is only as good as its weakest link, Tech will continue to be the red-headed stepchild of the Big XII South. On a happier note, we received our Red Raider and Lady Raider basketball season tickets in the mail. This is the first year we’ve bought both men’s and women’s season tickets, so we’ll have an abundance of games to attend!

Chicago Cubs
Swept out of the first round. I’m definitely not a fair weather fan, but it’s rather repetitive to have to keep saying “Just wait until next year”. I guess it could be worse..

NFL
The Bears are struggling for consistency. It’s too early to assess whether or not they can rebound and turn the season around. The best news is that Grossman was finally benched; he was given far too many chances and failed almost every time. On a happier note, I’m in a fantasy league for the first time, and through yesterday, in first place! Let’s hope I can sustain that for the rest of the season; I could use the $120 prize.

Work
I’ve been at my new job for over a month now and I’m loving it. Like all jobs, there have been some stressful situations – namely a rather large one that still is on my mind. It’s a different kind of stress than my former job, and I am much happier where I am now. It’s what I was born to do.

2007-2008 TV Shows
Lots of great shows this year – new and returning!

  • Damages – GREAT new show on the FX network. If you haven’t been watching this show, wait until they start over and replay it from the beginning. It’s another “serialized” show in that you can’t just pick it up mid-season. It was a summer show that I would imagine will come back next summer. The season finale airs this coming Tuesday.
  • CSI: Las Vegas. We have too many shows we DVR, so we’re only following CSI: Las Vegas this year. We don’t watch the Miami version as David Caruso is a horrible actor. We’ll put CSI:NY in our Netflix queue.
  • Heroes. After a rather slow start in the first episode, it’s gotten far better. I don’t know how long this show will last after last year’s fantastic rookie season.
  • Back To You – A new show on Fox staring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.
  • Carpoolers – A new show on ABC staring Jerry O’Connell and a bunch of other people I’ve never heard of before.
  • Grey’s Anatomy – This is more Monica’s show than mine, but it’s actually not that bad.
  • Private Practice – As we watch Grey’s Anatomy, of course we’d watch its spin-off..
  • Desperate Housewives – We’ve watched this show since day one, and this season is already far better than last year’s.
  • Jericho – After the widely-covered fan outrage, CBS will be bringing Jericho back as a mid-season show to close up the storylines.
  • Cold Case & Without A Trace – We love these mystery-type shows!
  • The Big Bang Theory – This is definitely Monica’s show.. I’m not really that sold on it.

Hmm.. that list makes it seems like we have no life! Oh well – we enjoy it.

Well, that’s the end of this post.. I’ll be surprised if anyone makes it this far!

New Beginning

As Semisonic said in “Closing Time”:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

As you know through a recent blog post, I resigned from my previous job in order to fulfill a dream opportunity. And that opportunity is..

..working in the web hosting industry at an innovative and progressive company; that company is Site5.

I have joined the management team as the General Manager. Quoting that page, my responsibilities include:

…handling “completely random and important stuff at large”, overseeing Site5’s finances, managing the Site5 Community Forums, assisting in the management of the Site5Wiki and Knowledge Base, and aiding the various Site5 departments through the use of his versatile “jack of all trades” skill set.

There is a great group of people working for Site5 and I am truly honored to be a part of the team. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and helpful to me in my first week of learning the ins and outs of the company.

Be prepared for lots of web hosting related posts in the future! 🙂

The End of an Era

Friday was my final day at Director’s Choice after five and a half years.

It was a bittersweet day. DC was great to me and I acquired an insane amount of knowledge and experience from the job. My coworkers were a great group of people to work with and were like a second family. When asked what I would miss most, my answer was without question the people.

DC as a company has its fair share of problems – just like every other company on the planet. I hope that they realize what the problems are and corrects them.

However, an opportunity presented itself that I simply could not pass up. I will post additional information on my new job in the coming days.

Movin’ On Up

No, I’m not singing The Jeffersons theme song.. If you’re reading this, then you are viewing my site at its new home, Site5.

Why the move you ask? I can’t explain the entire set of reasons yet but I can say that it’s a great move. The old host has had some issues recently – especially with email. Email is far more important for me than my inane ramblings. Spam filtering caused email delivery to be extremely slow and stayed slow even after turning it off.

Combined with the aforementioned reasons-to-be-named-later, the move made complete sense.

Besides – is there anything better to do on during a three-day weekend? Between painting the baby’s room, buying a 750 GB external hard drive, and the Tech football game, I didn’t think I’d have anything else to do. And who wants to sit around for three days and do nothing?

A Nice Surprise

I went to San Antonio on business for a few days. Every summer, my company attends the Texas Bandmasters, Texas Choral Directors, and Texas Orchestra Directors conventions. For the past five years, I’ve simply gone down for our booth setup and flown back on the first day of the convention. It works out fairly well; I don’t mind going to down to do setup. In fact, it’s actually fun to an extent. This year we actually setup our entire exhibit in a record four hours; we were done at 11:30 am!

Monica picked me up at the airport yesterday and had an absolutely wonderful surprise for me at home. I walked by the mantle (where it was sitting) without even seeing it. I went into the bedroom, threw my bags down on the floor and got changed. Monica was laying on the bed, and I start to head out into the living room when I look up and see an orange and white AT&T bag.

And I knew it could only be one thing.. my iPhone!

I’ve been using it for about half a day now, and I’m blown away by it. I’ll be writing up an initial review in about a week.

I have the sweetest wife. 🙂