Monday, March 26, 2007

Something odd happened today

Well, a couple of somethings. It was like one long, drawn out somethings really. The oddity factor is that the somethings were all what you'd call "bad news" but the end result was anything but.

Finances have been beyond tight for a long time now but it seems that lately every time we get a little ahead something breaks. A couple of months ago it was the dish washer. It was old and on it's last legs anyway so that wasn't a great surprise, really. The trouble began when they tried to put the new one in. Seems this house was built with a non-standard sized dish washer. We'll have to remodel the whole kitchen to get a new washer installed. Then one of the cars broke down and needed fixing. A tree fell in the back yard a while ago but it finally got to the point where it needed to be removed. So a landscaper came in and cleared out a bunch of junk along with the tree. The last thing was a letter from the IRS saying I owed taxes on income I didn't report. What income you might ask? Seems that in '05 the bank wrote off a $6600 debt I had with them. There's no way I could pay on it anyway so they just ate the cost. However the IRS sees this $6600 as income so I have to pay tax on it. Get it? I have to pay tax on money I owed. Insane. And there's a bunch more crap on top of that, not the least of which is my ex.

Another part of the somethings is that my buddy who's been letting me CoLo my server for free these last 10 or so years is kicking me out. It was coming for a while now; I'm surprised it lasted this long. This means I need to find some other hosting arrangements. Like everyone else I need as much as possible for as little as possible. But I have some good options already. Ideally getting a circuit into the house would be best but the only circuit everyone says they can install is a T-1. A minimum of $300/mo. I'll be lucky if I can afford a tenth of that.

My mother found out about the, a-hem, "scratches" on my wrist. First she was in shock, then panic, then 3 inches shy of a stroke before finally beating me soundly 'round the back, shoulders and head. OC, it wasn't like getting hit by anything harder than a stuffed bunny so it was nothing. When she finally calmed down we were able to eat dinner. Pizza Hut is having this 5 medium pizzas for $5 each. The fuckers charged us $10/ea instead, but that's another story.

But here's where it gets odd. Today was the first day I didn't feel utter and total despair. I felt a little blah but nothing like the last few weeks. Maybe it's the Prozac kicking in. But I think it might have to do with something that's got be thinking again. I recently ran across the development web application framework called CodeIgniter. It's PHP based and seems to be in the family of things like Ruby on Rails. While I'd love to learn Ruby, I already know some PHP and the documentation for the thing is incredible. Better than most commercial products.

So I hatched a plan. I'll learn CodeIgniter and get better with PHP. I'll pick a good AJAX library (right now I'm looking at dojo, myAJAX, xajax, yui & prototype). I'll build one or more sites that will have interesting things on them along with Google AdSense and/or whatever Yahoo has that's similar. Maybe I can make enough to keep the server online. My afore mentioned buddy is getting about a grand a month with his setup. And it's all residual income.

You see, I'm good at a few things. If I were healthy I'd be running a data center by now. I know this because I've already had to turn down offers to do so. I can do SysAdmin stuff, some Network and even some Security. But my first love is programming. I am not what you'd call a brilliant programmer. Hell, I'm not what you'd call a half-assed programmer anymore. It's been forever (12 or 13 years at least) since I really did any coding. But I love to do it. It's fun and it makes me happy.

And therein lies the key to why today was odd yet also a potential turning point. My life is still shit; the pain is still the single most dominant thing in my world. There is absolutely no way out of this "pit of despair." I will never again have my own place to live, my own car, my own job, my own girlfriend. But... Just maybe... I could do a little hacking.

"Hackito Ergo Sum"

I hack, therefore I am.

1 comment:

  1. Something AWESOME happened today (okay, a few days ago). Congrats on finding something to do!

    You're going to have a ball with AJAX. Folks make it out to be so complex, but it's actually about 10 or so lines of Javascript. The rest is just bells and whistles.

    If you get really good at this stuff, you may want to learn about CSS and XHTML. Not the simple crap like "make my font purple" but the really juicy, powerful stuff. It's not that hard. Folks who can do the back-end programming and know how to "slice" Photoshop files and plug them into CSS can write their own ticket work-wise (web designers are great at visuals but most suck on the coding side. They pay big bucks to not have to deal with it Seriously, there are companies that do nothing more than take imagery from designers and make functional web sites out of them. AgencyFusion in SLC ( is one example.

    This kind of thing could be a lucrative future for you if you decide to pursue it. The web is only getting more popular...