Archives for the month of: November, 2017

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. The holidays are here already and the year is nearly over. How time flies!

A few weeks ago my Sunday started off on a bad note. A friend notified me that my long running website had been hacked. It was redirecting visitors to a page filled with malware. Since I was attending church that morning, I had to wait an agonizing four hours until I could actually address the issue. Once I returned home, I did a scan of the site and found all of the areas infected by malware. (Thankfully, Damage Control was not part of the hack.) I had backups of the site and could just purge the malware and put the site back up, but that wouldn’t address the issue of how it was hacked. So I decided to pull the site down and leave it down for several months with a note of apology to visitors.

The hack came at the start of the busy season at UPS, which meant I wouldn’t be able to take off from work to fix the site properly until January. I decided to turn the hack into a positive event. I had long wanted a chance to modernize the site and move it away from the old HTML 1.0 website that I had coded by hand almost 20 years ago. Taking everything down and having to fully recode would give my website the update it needed. The process of building websites is a difficult one, but immensely enjoyable. Earlier this year I attempted to help Karen update the layout for Epic Careering. While the project wasn’t completed, I had fun with the attempt.

When I put up the notice about the website being taken down, I was touched by the outpouring of support I received from friends on social media. The offers to build something new, joint projects, and even a Spanish language version of the site were amazing. Once I start work on the site, I know it will be a great project, especially with friends willing to help me.

Sometimes an event can look awful on the surface, but a new opportunity can arise. Have you ever found opportunity in a seemly difficult situation?

My Powerbook 5300 by Lance Nishihira of Flickr

My Powerbook 5300 by Lance Nishihira of Flickr. Also, the web looked like this when I first built my site.

 

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I cannot believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I’ve been saying that over and over to myself since I woke up this morning. Time has been flying recently, to use an old, worn out cliche. I’ve been busy with work so that every day seems to go by quickly. In some ways, I like that but in others I don’t. I don’t want to feel like my world is passing me by while I work and look forward to something coming up in the future.

I thought I would use this post to stop for a moment amid all of this craziness and think about what makes me happy and what I feel grateful for in my life right now:

  1. My family-my sisters, nephews, parents, grandmother, and my extended family. Where would I be without them? I’m especially mindful of that this time of year because so many people don’t have family or they prefer not to spend their holiday with their family. I’m so lucky to have the family that I do.
  2. My friends. What would I do without them? When I need to laugh, cry, vent, celebrate, whatever–they’re there for me. I’m going out with a friend after work today and I’m so thankful that we are both able to do that together.
  3. My job. I’m so happy to have a job that keeps me busy doing work that I enjoy every day. I am able to challenge myself in this line of work and I’m able to live because I get paid to do it.

I am thankful for so much more in my life, but that list contains what is most important to me right now in my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am without that list so, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

What you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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Recently, I got back into reading novels in paperback form. To be honest, I haven’t read a novel in several years. The last book I read was on a tablet (H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine). While I have quite a few eBooks, I’ve made very little time to read them. Out of curiosity, I checked on the status of The Sholan Alliance, a book series penned by Lisanne Norman, which I have been reading since 2003. The penultimate book in the series was released in 2010, and I wondered if I had missed picking up the last book since it had been seven years. Amazingly, I had chosen the right moment to look. The final book, Circle’s End, finally came out in September of this year and I purchased it without a second thought. I read the book on my lunch breaks at work and it felt good to read fiction on paper. As informative as reading the news via phone is, sometimes it’s nice to escape somewhere else even if only for a half hour per day.

Letting my imagination soar was a fantastic experience. It was more enjoyable than watching videos, going on social media, or playing video games. While other entertainment is fun, there’s just something special about paper books. There’s no buffer time while waiting for a video to load, no frustration from the latest events on social media, and I don’t have to find a save point like in a video game when it is time return to work. In short, reading fiction may have kicked started something I haven’t done in a long while and I realized how much I missed reading fiction.

Now that I’m finished with the nearly 500 page book, I may have to find something else to read while on my lunch break. Momentum and interest are on my side, and it seems like a good time to pick up the novels I told myself I would return to someday.

 

Do you enjoy reading fiction? If so, what catches your attention?

Summer Read by LWYang of Flickr

Summer Read by LWYang of Flickr

Recently, I participated in a group project at work where we looked at a problem, found root causes, and came up with a solution to fix it (in our case, this meant creating an internal document to help with a particular task). I really like working for a company that encourages employees to get involved with identifying and solving problems to help make our work quicker and more efficient. I also received a request to speak (very briefly) about our group’s work–what we did, how we collected data, and the document we came up with. This portion is a bit more of a struggle for me.

hate public speaking. I’m sure I’ve written about this before on the blog because it’s something that I’ve experienced almost my whole life. The idea of speaking in front of a room full of people is terrifying to me (worse than spiders, even!). This particular “speech” I’m going to make is literally going to be only a few sentences but it’s going to be in front of my entire department. I know I’m going to turn red (I’m already kind pinkish-pale on normal days, so when I blush I blush), maybe forget what I want to say, etc. So why am I doing it? Because as much as I hate it and as uncomfortable as it makes me, it’s necessary in my job and I want to do well.

I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and I want to do things that make me uncomfortable so that I become more confident in myself. There are very few feelings that compare to the one I get when I finish doing a presentation and I know that I did well. Actually, this is part of my personal “goal” for 2017 that I set when I met with my manager for my year end review (almost a year ago now–I can’t believe it!)–participate in and present in at least 2 presentations to the department in order to strengthen my public speaking skills. This upcoming “presentation” will be my third for the year. I think that’s cause enough for celebration, don’t you?

How about you? Do you get nervous before speaking in public and, if so, how do you deal with that?

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