Jan 22

The Turning Point Approaches

In just a few days I will have officially moved to California and my place in Arizona will only be a place I visit until I can sell it.  This has been a dream of the family that has been over 6 years in the making when we first started talking about moving to Southern California in 2009 as a long term goal and finally has come to fruition in 2015.

Though there will still be a lot of loose ends to tie up and deal with, the kids will be enrolled in their new schools early next week and the deal will be sealed.  I don’t find myself missing much about Arizona but I will miss some things like my best friend here as well as my son’s Kenpo instructor who has done such a positive thing influencing and inspiring Oliver to work hard in Kenpo toward his goals.

Other than that, there is a vibe in SoCal that just fits our family so well and every time we visit it is like there is a calling to be there permanently, part of this comes from the love of the beach and the rest has to do with the eclectic and laid back lifestyle of SoCal which is very different from the Northern California scene from my experience visiting San Francisco a few times.

So here is to the beginning of our relocation in 2015, and the start of a new life in a new state.  I have only jumped and relocated to a new state one time previously when I was 18 and jumped from NY to Arizona, this is my 2nd time moving to a new state and my wife’s first.  The desert shall not be home to the family any longer.

Dec 31

Reflections of a Year

Why not try to do the hindsight is 20/20 thing and look at 2014 and all that it held, the good, the bad and the things I could have and should have done better.  This is a good time as any to pick what was good, and discard the mistakes as lessons to be learned.

2015 is going to be a year of new beginnings as my family is preparing to relocate to California from Arizona where I have lived the past 19 years and my wife has lived the past 33 years.  It comes with us having to make an adjustment and live in a place that is 1/2 the size of our AZ home since we chose to have a paradise of a location instead of size of residence.  Location and being close to the beach has always been something that I have missed, and my wife has always wanted since she was little.

2015 also comes with a new focus on adapting to this new life as well as adjusting to the financial differences of living in a state and region that is far more expensive than Arizona, but this is somewhat softened a bit by other factors.  It also comes as a change for my kids who have to change schools and go to a completely new and foreign scenario, most of their friends only interact with them on Skype and over the Internet so the change in location doesn’t cause a loss of friends in this day and age the same way as it does when I was young.

I leave a year behind of pain and suffering, with my wife having some devastating health problems and multiple hospitalizations as well as the loss of her father who died just before Christmas but not before she had to accommodate finding him a nursing facility and moving her mother in with us.  This was a year of tolerance and patience as we adapted to various events around us.  Ironically this tested me on multiple fronts, as a provider and as a husband and as a father and left me realizing that in times of great stress I can lose patience too quickly, become frustrated when I am the last thread the family has to hang onto sometimes.

Farewell 2014, and welcome 2015 and for certain this family could use some better times ahead.


Dec 24

First Site Guide is a Wealth of Information for Bloggers

Recently I contributed some information for First Site Guide when I was asked my main 3 recommended WordPress plugins and I was invited to see the results and take a look at the site as a whole and was very impressed with the amount of material and depth to the site.

First Site Guide is all about how to start a blog and has many chapters all of which are online and immediately available to read and access without having to buy or pay for anything you simply click on the Show Me How and you get to their How to Start a Blog introduction.

Honestly the site is not overly pushy and isn’t trying to sell you an affiliate e-Book or some make money online scam, it does have some affiliate links to hosting providers but that is perfectly acceptable for the wealth of information that is being provided and they list several hosting providers not specifically pushing any single product or service leaving the reader with plenty of pick and choose options.

The How to Promote Your Content is invaluable to new bloggers who many not have done research yet into the various social media networks or content syndication services and I am surprised they left out Blog Engage which is a fantastic way to syndicate content and video.

Honestly, this site is an inspiration and I wish I had the time and patience to put together such a comprehensive step by step guide to starting up a blog, if you want to start a blog or even have a block I still suggest you check out First Site Guide as you can get ideas, particularly around research and the various tools in the appendices that may help further expand, improve or enhance what you already have setup.

Of course they list Bluehost which I can second as a recommended web hosting provider as all of my smaller sites run on Bluehost.


Dec 23

Two Excellent Bluetooth Headphones

So recently for DragonBlogger I have reviewed two excellent Bluetooth headphones, and while my full review is done for the Arctic P614 I am just about to finish up my review of the Creative Soundblaster EVO ZxR.  These headphones cover two price spectrums, the Arctic P614BT being much more in the medium to low end price range (when on sale) and the Soundblaster EVO ZxR being on the high end of the price spectrum easily competing with the most premium noise cancellation headphones you see by other competitors.

Arctic P614 BT

First, the Arctic P614 BT is an excellent headphone choice and is the best Bluetooth headphone pair I have reviewed that is under $60.

What I like about the Arctic P614 BT is the way they fit and the comfort of the ear cups, they rest on your ears not completely enclose your ears and just sound excellent.  They pair perfectly with anything and I have tested them on a Kindle Fire HDX, iPhone 5S and paired them with my Windows 8.1 PC but the mic quality of these headphones is much better on mobile devices than with Windows for some reason.

Creative Soundblaster EVO ZxR

The Creative SoundBlaster EVO ZxR are however the best headphones I have ever reviewed, they have an incredible comfort with the ear cups that completely surround your ear. The sound quality is beyond amazing and the active noise cancellation works very well completely dampening out background sounds and works better if the sounds are a deep and low rumbling such as plane noise or driving noise.

Of course the Soundblaster EVO ZxR are not budget friendly but if you need a premium pair of headphones that you can wear for hours (seriously I wore this over 5+ hours straight listening to an audiobook, or music) and they never cause discomfort on the ears.

Dec 22

The Holiday Week

Christmas week finally has come and it is a busy week, with me having to get a lot done in the first 3 days of the week as I took the day after Christmas off.  I am excited as my wife decided to treat the family to doing Christmas at Disneyland this week after having such a tough year and especially with the last few months with my father in law passing away last week she wanted to do something the kids would enjoy and help offset the terrible loss in the family this year.

I have to finish a ton of work at my day job in just 3 days, but I am usually good for it when the time crunch comes and have to work extra hours each day to get what I need finished to close out the year.  Meanwhile on my spare time I have been alternating between watching movies, playing with the kids and prepping for the holidays.

Hope everyone has a happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

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