I’ve been thinking about how I put out a lot of content online, but most of it is far from personal. I don’t often talk about the struggles of life or the things that are bothering me.
Yet I’m the first to tell someone if they want to reach and help others. They should share about the personal struggles and hardships they face.
… Here we are and I haven’t really done that.
Today is different However
As I sit here I look down at my leg I notice the hole in my shin. Maybe I should have gotten stitches or went to the doctor or the hospital. But I thought it was cool.
Even though the scar was gained in training for football and not during an actual game I thought it was just cool. And there is something to say about that. It’s proof!
Proof I was there. Proof I had taken things to the max. It felt manly. However, what I will tell you about today felt anything but manly.
Stars and Scars
This attitude might make more sense if you knew a story from long ago. It might also help you understand why, in my mind, it’s manly to have a scar, but only those that you earn.
Some 15 or so years earlier when I was very young life 4 younger. I remember looking at my dad’s face and seeing something that seemed out-of-place. “What’s that I asked?” I asked.
“A star,” I thought he replied.
He corrected me, but my mind had been set. I decided scars were like stars and they were cool! Now fast forward several years to my first watching of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
When young Indie is in the train facing the lion he cracks the whip and cuts just below his lip above his chin. They used that wound to tie the young Indie to the older Harrison Ford who has a scar there. I wouldn’t say it was me that had decided. More like a universal truth. Men had scars from doing manly things.
Something You Didn’t Know: My Dad is just like Indiana Jones!
No joke! He had a scar. He was at the University of Arkansas at this time. So I got to go to the University and see the little dead animals in jars and old musky looking books. And there was my dad in the middle of it all just like Indiana Jones.
Then he would take me hunting and fishing. One time I remember night fishing and catching some kind of mudfish or sucker fish. We fished all night long. Another time he got me out of school early in the day. I was shocked we could do that. We went down below the dam at Tenkiller and fished.
I remember going on water testing missions and he would mix things and then the water would turn different colors. One time he gave me one of the test vials and it was a purple color. I immediately used it to plug up an ant hole because that is the kind of thing little boys do.
Things Change and We Get Older
I have so many good memories with my dad. From a pretty young age, I knew, that when I grew up I wanted to be a dad. If I had a son and then my dad, his grandson, and son would get to hunting and fishing together.
It makes me think of all the cool things I would teach a son. The cool and interesting things, the manly things.
For most of my friends and family, things seem “normal” they all seem to get pregnant and have kids right away. However, when my wife and I got started on “trying” nothing happened. months went by with no change. Doctors visited, tests run, and yet nothing.
And I just trusted what we kept hearing from the doctors. Keep trying and wait. They would test Sherece and repeat the sentiment. Then we would wait…
Sometimes we would wait longer so we could afford the next visit or test, other times the waiting was just part of what we were told to do. Then we arrived at the point where it was time to test me.
I went in and they ran the test and when we got it back we were both shocked but at the same time relieved. The first test revealed only 5 sperm but they were dead and nothing else. So the doctor came in and delivered the news and checked that things looked “in place” and then suggested I take Clomiphene (better known as Clomid) and wait 3 months for things to take effect as the male sperm cycle is 72 days.
Multiple sources had told us, including doctors, “it is easier if it’s male infertility.” This seemed like the answer the fixes for men seemed easy and straightforward.
I’m thinking this whole time, “easy peasy, 72 days later things will be back to normal and we can move on from this.”
So that’s what we did another 3 months of waiting so we can go in and take a test. I will tell you I did get some benefit from the pills that are essentially estrogen hormone receptor blockers (what a mouth full). I’m still researching this, but the doctor explained it simply enough. I take the clomiphene my body thinks it seems more estrogen and that kicks “the boys” into gear to produce testosterone which also brings about sperm.
A Little History
I didn’t mention this yet but I have had low testosterone since they first tested my blood to treat my Hypothyroidism.
Every doctor has said, “you have low testosterone,” and I’ll ask, “how low?” They always say back, “well its relative you are just under the bottom of the scale.” I waited several months until the treatment for the thyroid had started then tried some topical cream. I was told to, “watch out for mood changes.” After a short amount of time doing the treatment, I decided the mood changes were a cost too high for the little benefit I might get.
We have also learned that these straight testosterone replacements shut down the testis in the same way mine already seems to be.
Trusting the doctors and seeing a few positive changes in other areas I felt ready for the 90-day test. I felt like I knew Sherece and I can be on our way to grow our family.
Confident and ready for good news Sherece and I went to the doctor’s office to hear the results. Not 5 million or more like I hoped for. Not 5 thousand. Not even the 5 dead ones like last time. Just zero… It felt pretty bad. Anti-manly if you will allow.
So here we are again waiting for another 90 days to pass so we can test again. They want us to come in and talk about taking HCG shots, but as it stands right now we need to wait a few weeks. The costs of testing blood and other things add up fast. It is pretty much not covered by insurance.
I can’t complain when I look at what other people we know have had to spend. But when you are waiting then you have to wait extra because you just don’t have the money it hurts that much more. It adds stress.
So now you have a little idea about some personal things going on with Sherece and I. You might understand how my dad’s influence makes me want to be a father. Why we don’t have kids yet.
I will try to add information that I think will be helpful to my blog as I find and understand it. I appreciate you that have read this and ask that you leave a comment.
I’m honestly not sure what button I clicked or how it is that I shared this, but OK!
Bettina Arndt is from Australia and has a very traditional view of marriage and the roles people play in the marriage. I think anyone that wants to stick to a Biblical view of things will enjoy this video. The warnings about where we are headed as a society are very interesting and valid as well.
I have often thought about how things like the Bible guide our society, and what that means. One thing I come back to often is how do these things fit together if you’re an atheist? While I don’t claim to have the answers to that question it seems to me that the knowledge presented from the generations past must have some value. Be it our parents, or even older generations the people who have gone before us have learned something. They have gained some knowledge to pass down to us in one way or another.
These things also force me to consider how this generation and the next might look in 20-30 years. I see everyday more and more rejection of the knowledge from those that have gone before us, and this is not even mentioning the rejection of God both in obvious and subtle ways. I think I could expand on these topics ad infinitum because on one side you have the people who outright claim God is dead or a lie and these people are easy to spot. However, there is a more subtle and, to my mind, more scary trend especially among the young to “rebrand” things and “tweak” them a little. This has to be like the stuff Jim Jones must have been doing.
Anyhow, I am getting further and further away from my intent here… This video was interesting. I hope you enjoy.
Watch on YouTube here: Jordan Peterson’s complete talk with Bettina Arndt
via Channel Name or Channel URL
In looking for an answer on a computer issue the difference between dd and ddrescue I came across an interesting concept that I have been thinking about. The application is practical for most things we do if you understand the why and apply it properly. As Journeyman Geek says ‘Most UNIX graybeard would say “Use the big bashy thing” – it’s the “right” way to do it.’ He may not be agreeing with what he attributes to the graybeard but I think it is genius!
Bashing away at things may seem like the wrong choice when you aren’t trying to break things but in most cases, we have to make a compromise between speed of getting the thing done and accuracy. Both of these are things that we strive for speed … accuracy. It’s the holy grail of productivity to achieve both in any project or endeavor be it work or personal.
In computing specifically you need accuracy or things break very easily, however, there is a little more to it than that. There are known problems with accuracy in computing such as bit flipping. I learned about it from Defcon years ago you can see the talk here: Bitsquatting. You can also read more here.
Basically, due to faulty equipment at some point along the way of you typing in amazon.com you could actually end up at aeazon.com (as an example). This is due to one of the zeros flipping to a one or vice versa.
And that might be a poor demonstration of what I am getting at here, but let me try to just break it down a more simple way. If the Big Bashy Thing succeeds in making things work it likely did it faster and with enough accuracy. So we should try that first then get more fine-grained especially since some operations like ddrescue can take days to complete where dd might only take half a day and output the same quality even if it is a little less accurate.
It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote you guys about how I was working so hard to get things cleaned and organized on my computers…
Here I am again. Not completed from last time…
Anyone who knows what I’m talking about here knows that if you don’t keep things organized as you go then it becomes a daunting task to do it later. Sometimes that is easier said than done. We get busy, things get in the way, or others were forgotten.
Part of getting it right is having the right system. And I have had my share of “wrong” systems. I am certainly still trying to figure it all out. You can read about some of that in my Paper vs Digital posts (at the time of writing I still have 2 more posts to come).
Today I am going to tell you about 2 new tools I have added to the mix that seems to be holding their own weight… My only evidence is that I am sitting here writing this blog post now instead of …
1st up on our list is Getting Things Done. This is more of a methodology than a tool but it is just as much a tool in how you use it. I found the book terribly boring and recommend not getting it – sorry to David Allen for that. However, there is this YouTube video which does a good job of breaking things down in about 8 min. And eventually, I will finish the book. To help with the system there is an app called GSDfaster. I’ve been using this for around a week now and really am enjoying it. I will make a blog post about it when I get through the book and understand the system fully.
2nd on our list we have pCloud! I got this AppSumo deal for 500 GB of space for a lifetime for 1 payment of $49. I loved it so much I upgraded to the 2TB plan for $200 more. You might ask how that helps but as someone that uses several devices, several computers, and in many locations. I have had to leap-frog my cloud storage solutions for years. OneDrive, Dropbox, Google, and iCloud are all full and due to device limitations not all of them are on all of my devices. But pCloud is different… It saves my data in the cloud and gives me a virtual hard drive effectively extending my hard drive to the size I need. I can also set a cache size allowing me to keep all the files offline if needed such as if I were traveling where there was no internet but still needed access to my files.
I hope you found that useful! I will let you know as things develop and I find more useful tools. Additionally, I have made a major change on my Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing essentially I have followed my own advice and made an adjustment to my target audience. This guide is going to be most helpful to anyone running some sort of service based business such as coaching, consulting, and alike. You can find more details on the actual post as it develops by clicking here.
PS I will do a blog post about this in the future but I have used affiliate links when possible. This costs you nothing extra and helps cover the costs of operating the many sites I have. Thank you!
During the research, I am doing for my Online Marketing Guide I came across a common problem, one that I have been facing.
In the past, this blog used to get around 10,000 unique visitors to technical posts. It ranked rather well in google and that is what I can attribute most of the traffic to. However, since I took the blog down for about 1 year my ranking dropped, but I realized so did the landscape. I have found many technical blogs no longer get the traffic they once enjoyed.
This traffic can be motivating in itself to keep going and trying things out. It gives us clues about what people are interested in and helps drive us forward when things seem hard.
So where did it all go?
While I feel like I am pointing a finger of blame here… I am bringing you a solution in just a moment.
But it is the rise of sites like Quora and StackExchange that I would say is directly responsible for this drop in traffic (there are others but I actually like these, I even got a “Famous Question” award recently).
What happens now is partially speculation on my part but it makes sense.
First, I think people are answering questions on these sites because it is easier to have a question posed and answer it. It is much harder to identify a problem and figure out the solution and report on that.
Second, I think people instead of searching Google (or other) to find the answers or information they are looking for now head straight to the question sites to ask their question. Quora actually lets you type your question in and then if a similar enough answer pops up you would just click on it.
Don’t get me wrong I love these sites. While I do think they are changing the landscape of the internet we have grown accustomed to over the last 10 years or so when blogging and podcasting seemed to be “the thing”. This is the natural trend of things. But it doesn’t mean blogs are dead or anything like that.
And I think the solution is rather simple. If you are looking for traffic then you should be answering questions on these sites, blogging about your answers and linking back to your blog where appropriate. Simple as that.
Find things to answer and answer them well. Provide more in-depth tutorials, explanations, or advice on your blog and link back where you are allowed and it will not be seen as spammy. And that means spammy here and now but also in the future.
These sites also offer a unique opportunity to those that are smart, in that they will show you the trend. They do a better job than Google ever did of giving you insight into what people want to know right now. They let you make an instant connection and then if you are able to link back give you the traffic you have been looking for. Win-Win in my book.