Archive for July, 2009

Great customer communication, Green Geeks

July 31st, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been hosting this site with Green Geeks ever since I started this site a few months back. I chose them because they are inexpensive, run Linux servers with SSH access (and not annoying bare bones shells) and they are an established green company. Now, any of us who know about hosting know that you generally get what you pay for. I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular or anything with this hosting, I just wanted good uptimes and shell access, nothing special. The fact that they pay for my domain renewal for as long as I’m a customer is a nice perk.

The reason I’m writing about my hosting provider is because they recently had a server go down for over two days. It was a rough time for them and I was frequently given solid status updates, above and beyond the usual “we’re working on it” messages, but actual substantial emails that informed us, as customers, what was wrong, what they were doing and whether or not they had a time frame of when it would be fixed. Not only that, the CEO of the company sent out an email, once the issue was resolved, which outlined what they’ve learned from the experience, how they fixed it, and how they are working to prevent this sort of thing from happening. And they are offering a substantial compensation for the downtime!

Now, I’ve worked in the web hosting world since 2001 and have dealt with all manner of server issues. I was on call for nearly 3 years of my life, 24/7, so I know what it’s like to spend my entire weekend working, barely sleeping, and generally being frustrated. See, a lot of server work involves hustling to get to work on the issue and then waiting while the limitation of the hardware kick in. Generally this is filesystem checks as running fsck on a 500+GB drive takes a long time! I also know what it’s like to work for awesome employers who take their customers’ needs to heart (thanks HCST) and what it’s like to work for companies that don’t bother notifying their customers of major changes, such as moving their servers 10 hours away. Regardless, I have to say that Green Geeks did everything from a customer standpoint perfectly. You’ve earned a loyal customer by taking a terrible situation, owning up to it, and keeping us informed.

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homemade pickles, adventures in canning, and Buddha’s

July 15th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

My ladyfriend decided that since cucumbers were super cheap, that it was high time to learn how to do some pickling and canning. We had a slight hiccup in that we couldn’t find dill yesterday, but that was resolved today, so she spent tonight making pickles. I helped out at the very end with pouring boiling water & vinegar into the jars and making sure the lids were on tight, but she did all of the real work. We are both immensely excited about them and are bummed to know that we have 4+ weeks to wait before eating them.

homemade garlic and dill pickles

We tossed around the idea of making and canning some vegan pesto, so we need to find a good recipe and see about making that happen.  It’s been ages since I’ve had pesto, since most of the store bought stuff tends to have cheese in it, so even if we don’t can any, I’m totally into making some.

Speaking of canning, I was back in Ohio a few weeks back for my sister’s wedding, and while there, our friend Jacob gave us a jar of homemade blueberry jelly, and then the wedding favors were cans of homemade strawberry jelly, so we are stocked on homemade jellies for a while and that’s awesome.  Now I just need to bake some good bread to eat them on, or possibly make some crepes and eat them with jelly and vegan cream cheese.

To make tonight even more awesome, we had takeout from Buddha’s Vegetarian once our housemate made it home from class.  She loves their hot and sour soup and e-fu noodles , which are delicious, whereas I swear by their vermicelli noodles cooked Singapore curry style along with the gluten platter and some spring rolls just to round out the meal.  The three of us ate our fill and still have 2 containers of soup, 1/3 of the platter, and more than 2/3s of the main dishes, and the entire take out order cost us $33. Seriously, I don’t understand how this place stays open, but I’m happy it does because it’s 100% vegan, dirt cheap, filling, and all around a great place for some greasy Chinese food.


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