Known Johnson

February 23, 2009

On the move

Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 6:40 am

Hang on – adjust your links – we’re moving the island!


(Yes, this is the last post here. Stop looking. It’s over. Let’s move on.)

September 25, 2008

I’ve been Metafiltered

Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 4:25 pm

This is going to kill my site – it already has a couple times today. Please go easy on me, Metafilter visitors. I don’t have that much bandwidth to play with. If you come back and find the site down, you know why.

Update: For those who like numbers, I typically get about 75 hits a day. Due to being linked on Metafilter, I received (drumroll please) . . . 8000 hits.

Updated Update: It’s a good thing I don’t pay for bandwidth:

September 8, 2008

Swinging wide

Filed under: Boring site stuff,General — Tom @ 12:07 am

I seem to go through periods like this every once in a while. I’m tired, I don’t have much to say, not much is going on. That last part isn’t necessarily true. Lots of stuff is going on. “Tired” trumps the desire to write. Or it may not be particularly interesting stuff to write about. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’ve withdrawn into my shell for a bit. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense – the more stuff I have going on, the less inclined I am to write about it. It’s not for a lack of time to write about it – I’m a fast typist, actually – it’s more that when I have a lot going on, I need a lot of space because things just get a little too hectic for me to make sense of everything going on. Trying to keep track of my life via this site seems like it would help sort all that out, but it really doesn’t. It just makes it more complicated. So I retreat and let it all sort itself out before I say much. I guess that doesn’t make for very interesting reading for you, the reader, but I can’t do much about that. Sorry.

I can say this – in just about three months, our lives will be turned upside down again with the arrival of the Next Unknown Johnson. I mention how busy I feel above, and part of that busy-ness is simply trying to figure out how we become “new parents” again. It’s seemingly more stressful the second time, when you think you should know everything already, but find that all of that “on the job” training has somehow vaporized over the past three years. Instead of the confident, ready to tackle it all attitude I feel like I had before Amanda arrived, I fret now about how we got Amanda to sleep on those nights when she just wouldn’t stop crying, or how we maneuvered around the world with the giant infant carrier in one arm and everything else in the other . . . and, of course, now we have Amanda to manage on top of that.

And, you know, with the new baby comes all kinds of doctors appointments, on top of various appointments adults have – if you’ve been keeping up here, I go bi-weekly for my allergy shots, and that may not seem like much, but when you combine it with all the other little things that pop up here and there, like needing to find time to fit in time to get new brakes for BOTH of our vehicles, etc., you start to feel like any semblance of “routine” has just been destroyed. I am a creature of habit insofar as I use a routine by which to improvise my life. I use my routine so that I can “swing a little wide’ on the side to do this or that before or after work, or during work – but “here and there.” Lately, it’s become a weekly thing that something pops up that demands an late arrival or early end of my day. Sounds fun, yes, because it’s always nice to have a shorter day, but after a little while, I begin to crave the normalcy of routine so I can call the shots on when and where I feel like “swinging wide.” I need routine so I know where my freedom is.

Yesterday, after dropping Alissa off for an ASU football game she was going to with her dad and brother, Amanda and I took in a quick dinner at Chez Wendy. We were one of few groups in there, but just before we left, one young woman came in, looking quite stressed. She was speaking rapidly into her cellphone to someone about being late, about an upset boss, other things of that nature. She came to the wrong Wendy’s. Amanda and I waited behind her to get a refill on my drink and she sighed her exasperation at the extreme slowness of the guy at the register, who seemed entirely unable to handle more than one order at a time. At one point, she quickly dialed her phone and called someone, saying in a shaky voice, “No. I really do love my job. Yes. I’m really sorry. I love my job. I have to get something to eat. I’m sorry.” A few moments after that, she looked at me holding the drink, lid offered to indicate I just wanted a refill, and suggested I go ahead of her. I said to her, “We’re in no rush, you go right ahead.” There was no telling how long a simple drink refill could take, after all. Looking back on it, I’m not even sure why I waited so long for a refill. My simple stubborn nature, perhaps. I was thirsty, that I know, but even thirst can be overcome by a ridiculously long wait.

I’m never quite sure if anything’s worth struggling for anymore. At least not when it comes to stuff like this. Is that job worth her stressing herself about? I doubt it. I just have a hard time getting the point of why we’re doing all this when we seem to get so little out of it. When we were in school, was sitting in a little 6′ x 8′ grey box staring at a computer screen all day really what we imagined the next 40 to 50 years of our lives were going to be like? It sure wasn’t in my dreams. I imagined I’d be doing stuff, making things happen, making things that seemed important not only to me but to many other people. And never once did a little grey cell figure into it. I see college kids and I wonder if any of this ever crosses their idealistic minds. I guess we all eventually make what we have to out of it – “do what we have to to pay for our ‘real lives’ outside of here” is something I hear frequently. It just seems like our “real lives” take up an inordinately small percentage of our time in comparison, doesn’t it?

July 17, 2008

Can’t get there from here

Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 8:14 am

. . . or from anywhere. If you’re blessed with a really keen eye, you’ll note three links missing from my blogroll at right. Gone are links to unproductivity, the beautiful lull, and lookout for hope, all former homes for my missives. I’ve managed to follow through on what I’d mentioned a while back about moving the site over to for hosting so they could take care of keeping WordPress updated and secure and all that boring crap. My one stumbling block was updating unproductivity and the beautiful lull, two sites that hadn’t seen a WordPress update in years. They’ve finally been updated as of this morning and moved to the new location, so all that remains is for me to export the database for this site and move it over, point the DNS in the right direction, and give it a day or two for it to filter out to all the servers on the internet. So don’t be surprised if you find this site MIA for a couple of days sometime very soon. Fret not, it will be back shortly. Progress!

And the old sites? They’re gone.

May 22, 2008

Master of my domain

Filed under: Annoyances,Boring site stuff — Tom @ 12:10 pm

And . . . we’re back. Oh, those pesky phishers. Apparently someone hacked into the beautiful lull via a very outdated WordPress install (note to self: update WordPress installs on old sites) and installed a phishing site within its realm. A couple of days later, my host (Bluehost) slammed the cuffs on my site, locking it down until it could be made safe again for the more innocent users of the internet. Imagine that, one of my sites was so dangerous that the world at large was at risk.

Well, it took two days of going back and forth with long-distance tech- and abuse-support (but within the US, one of Bluehost’s pluses) but I got the offending files obliterated with ease, and this morning finds my sites happily humming along as if nothing happened. Now I have to update the beautiful lull and unproductivity to the latest WordPress installs which will have the safety that should keep phishing scams from being launched from at least my domain. If I were more up on this back-end crap, I’d figure out how to wrap those databases into this site and do away with those sites all together, but I’m a visual designer, not a web developer, and I’d like to keep it that way. So . . . not completely master of my domain.

June 18, 2007


Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 9:04 am

It’s pretty rare that I find anything actually personally useful in a news article, but today Yahoo delivered with BlogBackupOnline in this piece. The name implies its purpose: it backs up your blog, online. If you’re like me, and you worry about losing all of your writing and yet do absolutely nothing to protect it by backing up your site like you should, this is just what you need. You sign up, log in, put in the address of your site, and it finds what it needs to back up your writing. Then it does so everyday so that if your web host somehow manages to delete everything you at least have the content of your site, if not the visual element (and BBO will back up images on request, too.) the only catch is that you just need to be using one of the more popular blog engines: Blogger, Friendster, LiveJournal, Movable Type, Multiply, Serendipity, Terapad, TypePad, Vox, Windows Live Space, or WordPress (I haven’t even heard of most of these). Pretty cool and handy if you ever want to move your site. I feel safer already.

October 30, 2006

Another week, another week

Filed under: Boring site stuff,General — Tom @ 11:36 pm

Well, I had good intentions. Unfortunately, I forgot that this weekend was going to be another really busy one with not one but TWO separate birthday celebrations, not to mention tracking down a decent pumpkin in what amounts to the worst pumpkin season I’ve ever seen, and, of course, fitting in the usual weekend house duties, many of which seemed to go ignored due to exhaustion. In other words, yes, you guessed it, the unveiling of my new site is off by one more week – but that’s it! This upcoming weekend is as free as it gets and I’m going to get everything in order. It’s not like it’s that big of a deal, but I just can’t have it going up and down as I put things in place or test things while people are trying to access it. It’s mostly in place right now, but it’s merely a shell of a site right now and simply utilizes a thrown-together theme stolen from this site.

I had meant to get it all together tonight and have it up for tomorrow’s Overlooked Alternatives, but tonight became Pumpkin Carving Night as I took on the one we settled on this weekend and a tiny one that my parents bought for Amanda. Wouldn’t you know it, but the little one turned out to be the most difficult of the two! I’ll have pics up tomorrow when we get them lit. My hand is still sore from carving that little sucker . . .

As tomorrow is Halloween, I’m going to make my yearly prediction that the majority of costumes in the workplace will be worn by women, consisting mostly of pajamas, followed by cats or other feline-type creatures.

October 5, 2006

A new home

Filed under: Boring site stuff,General — Tom @ 11:37 pm

Well, I’m at it again – I’ve just purchased a brand new domain and I’ll be relocating all non-personal stuff over to that site once it’s up and running. I know, I know, we’ve been through this before, but after looking at the content of this site, it clearly clashes with my original intent for it – to be about our life with Amanda. My musings on music, TV, and other such crap just doesn’t fit and really deserves its own home. While I considered taking it back to The Beautiful Lull, frankly I just didn’t want to deal with that domain name anymore – I don’t really like it. So I thought long and hard – you have no idea how long – and something finally struck me a few days ago that really made sense.

Don’t get too excited yet. I’m not revealing anything yet because nothing actually exists there yet and won’t for a few days – not only does the DNS have to propagate, which will take a couple days, I have a rather intense project for this weekend: building myself a new computer. I bought a few hundred dollars worth of parts from Newegg over the weekend after just about completely freaking out while my computer slowed to an absolute crawl while I dared have Itunes and Firefox running tasks at the same time – I should have known better from months of experience, but that new Itunes is a hog and just about brought my computer completely to its non-existent knees. I fully expect to be stressed out much of this weekend as I piece my computer together and embark upon installing Windows – never a fun prospect, but always an adventure when you throw brand new equipment into the mix. I just hope I make it out of the weekend with some semblance of my sanity remaining.

August 9, 2006

In code

Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 2:45 pm

I’ve just had to go through my posts and remove reference to a certain drug that I take for migraines because I’m now getting comment spammed for all kinds of prescription drugs (but what fantastic deals on them!) So whenever I mention that particular drug, you will now see that it says something like this: (the drug I take for my migraines which begins in “Top” and ends in “amax,” written this way because of damn bots spamming my comments). This is annoying because I specifically wrote the name of the drug in there because others might be searching for people who are using the drug for migraines (just one of its many uses) and now I’ve just removed myself from those searches. But I can’t baby my comments like I have been, everyday removing dozens of spam-comments for various unrelated, but sometimes entertaining, offers of pharmeceutical delights.

It’s always the same story: you try to do something good, but then robots come along and destroy everything.

November 2, 2005


Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 6:13 pm

In case anyone is wondering, you may not see your comment right away. I came home to find a couple of comments awaiting moderation, something I did not set up and I don’t see any WordPress settings that explicitly allow comments automatically (perhaps this is an anti-spam measure, in which case I’m all for it.)

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