The Wise Dollars Keyboard Musings – First Edition

The Wise Dollar Keyboard MusingsI decided that I need to post some random musings on a periodic basis. Updates, mini rants, interesting blog notes. These are all things I want to write about but don’t necessarily want to do an entire post on. I won’t be putting these out on a set schedule, so don’t look for them?regularly. Once in a while, when you least expect it, and when I’ve got a bunch of stuff to say, a WiseDollar musing will be spawned!

?Blog Musings

Last?Monday?I spent a solid four hours going through every single page on my blog, tweaking and getting the page load speed up to a minimum of 90. According to Google Webmaster tools, my page load speeds averaged 389 ms! That paid off, my?Google?crawls went up 641% and better yet, my?Google?search impressions went up?around?400%, with a corresponding rise in traffic from Google as well. I know that page load speed plays a significant part in?Google?rankings, but I had no idea that such small incremental?improvements?could make such a huge difference in such a short time!

Of course, now that I’ve optimized all of my pages my Hosting service (which shall remain unnamed, for now) is having what appear to be server load issues.?Google?insights is complaining about server response times and all of my page load speeds are in the mid to low 80’s. I had really wanted to post some of the?Google?Webmaster tools graph’s here to show you just how much?Google?love increased with page load speeds. I’ll have to put that off since my hosting service decided that it was time to throw an anchor over the side of the website and drag down the page load times a bit. I’ve opened up a ticket with them and hopefully will have it resolved soon. If not, I’ll be looking for another hosting provider. I’ve about had it with this one. There have been unexplained outages lasting up to 12 hours; I have seen SQL mysteriously die for hours at a time with no notification or admission of guilt from them. We’ll see, this may be the straw that breaks the camel?s back.

Hopefully, if my hosting service gets their crap together, I’ll have some good charts to share with you showing the correlation between Page Load speeds, crawl rate and search?impressions.

?Garden Musings

The garden is doing well. I’ve planted lettuce, spinach, brussel sprouts and broccoli in the raised beds. I think I can get five to six weeks out of them before the heat causes them to bolt. My plan is to pull them once they bolt and plant tomatoes and peppers in these beds. I think that in the mid to late fall I can replace the?tomatoes?and peppers with lettuce and some other cold weather veggies in the beds and get a pretty long season out of the two raised beds. I’ll post results?periodically?in my ramblings and let everyone know how that works out.

garden1 musingsgarden 2 musings

Job Musings

Guess what! I have a new job! I went through an extensive interview process last week and met with five different people in the interview process. They crushed the entire interview?time frame?down significantly, the goal being that if I was the right hire, I would be able to join them in their kick off meeting and follow up boot camp training in Las Vegas starting April 6th. So guess where I’m posting this from? LAS VEGAS!?I’m extremely pumped up about this new job, the salesman I am teamed up with is the Babe Ruth of sales, we’ve already discussed tactics and?strategies?a few times before my actual start date and we’re going to be a really good team!

There are at least four other folks in?similar?positions?to mine that I have worked with in the past. Every single one of them have said that this is the best job they have ever had in their lives, interestingly enough in 28 years of?existence, this company has NEVER had a lay off. One fascinating fact that was I was told several times during the interview process was that they look for the right skills AND for someone that will fit into their family. I like that, I really do like that!

To add some?icing?to the cake, I asked for a bump in my overall compensation. They?didn’t?give me what I asked for but I still got a not insignificant bump in pay! Although I was bitter at my last company when I got laid off, I have to express some gratitude that they gave me the boot. That was the?necessary?kick in the ass that I needed to get out of a job I no longer enjoyed and on to something more exciting and?personally?rewarding. Here’s One last note on the job search. It was the NETWORK that found me the job. Recruiters were good for some encouragement, Linkedin gave me a lot of good leads and way’s to contact the NETWORK. But in the two times I’ve been laid off, it was the NETWORK that found me a job. Here?s some advice for you, take it for what it?s worth. Don’t burn any bridges and keep in touch with old co-workers! You’ll never know when they will pull you out of the fire (or vice-versa)!

?laughing buddha musingsTo all of you that sent me well wishes and prayers, a heartfelt thank you! I really appreciate it, I?believe?in Karma and I really?believe?your?positive?vibes helped! Here?s a laughing Buddha to make you smile! (I?m not a Buddhist but the laughing Buddha always brings a smile to my face).

Personal Musings

?Wisedollar – The Smoker

I wish I were talking about something you put a large chunk of meat in, set a slow smoky?fire?underneath, and pull out some delicious eats a few hours later.?Unfortunately?I’m not. I’ve been a smoker since I was knee high (not really, but it seems that long). I decided to give it up a few weeks ago and finally took the plunge on Thursday. At 6:04 PM to be exact. That was when I?smoked?my last cigarette. By the time I put this post “on the wire” it will be going on three days smoke free. I?m not entirely free of nicotine. I’m using an “e-cig” with pretty potent juice (26mg). But it’s working!

ecig musings

My New E-Cig

The only cravings I’ve had are of the habitual type. The ones you get when you’re doing something you?re used to smoking a cigarette with. I’m pretty happy with this so far. I know that’s there are health concerns with these e-cigs, but I view it as a lesser eveil than the burning stick cig. Besides, my plan is to gradually reduce the strength of the juice I’m using to zero mg. At that point, I should have effectively kicked the habit! Wish me luck and expect to see updates on future “musings”.

?Do you have have any musings you want to share with us?

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  1. Wow! Quite a week you’ve had, Jose!! SO, SO happy for you, both about the job and about kicking the habit – yea!!!! And the garden beds look wonderful!!! We have teeny weeny little broccoli plants popping up in the garden house, and a few random others. The tomato plants are a good 3 inches high now. Still snow on the ground, so we won’t be putting them in ground for awhile, but we’ll get there. Have a wonderful time in Las Vegas! 🙂

    • John says:

      Thanks Laurie! It was a heck of a week! Thanks for your support! Getting the offer letter was the highlight of my week and quitting a close second. Our maters are tiny, I hope they get enough legs on them to get planted in 5 weeks or so. I started the seeds rather late but think they’ll be OK.

  2. Jose, really happy for you this week! Congrats on that new job and the blogging success! Your’re killing it!

  3. Congratulations on the new Job Jose but more importantly congrats on starting your journey to quitting smoking! As far as web hosting dump Blue Host and go with Hostgator as soon as possible! I had the same issues you are having and Hostgator is tops in the industry.

    • John says:

      Thanks Paul, last week was good to me in a lot of ways! I’ll probably have to get rid of blue host. There are. simply too many things going so south with no explanation or apologies

  4. Congrats on the new job jose. That is great, especially when you get teamed up with the best. Hopefully you will learn a lot from him. Thanks for sharing your tips on google page load. I will have to try the same thing. You may also want to get some chicken wire around those gardens before the rabbits leave you little thank you notes. 🙂

    • John says:

      Thanks Alan, we’re lucky and have never had a problem with rabbits. Probably because we have five outdoor cats! Its the chickens we have to worry about, they love broccoli!

  5. 101 Centavos says:

    Garden beds look good, Jose.
    I believe an evil squirrel has taken three-quarters of my new seedlings. There will be blood.
    Best wishes on your new gig. Sounds like it was what you needed.

  6. Congrats on the new job brother, that’s awesome. I couldn’t agree more than creating, building, and maintaining your network is vital this day and age!

  7. You have been a very busy man Jose. Congrats on the new job along with figuring out the speed issue. It is a constant game with Google and web hosting. That could be a full time job in itself.

    • John says:

      Thanks Grayson, it is a tough game with Google. I’ve always been careful with key word research and other more common SEO practices, page load speed caught me by surprise.

  8. Jim says:

    Jose, I am happy to hear you got the job, congrats that is wonderful. Did you make sure that they were alright with your continued blog writing? Got my raised bed built today, did mine in cedar, cant wait to get the veggies going!! Congrats again!

    • John says:

      Jim, Thanks! Actually they don’t know about the blog, and I’ll probably be a bit more anonymous (if that’s possible) going forward. I’m going to have to dial back on it a bit, I’ll need to focus on learning the new job. I’ll still be blogging, but probably a lot less than I have been.

  9. AverageJoe says:

    Congrats on all the great news. I really love the beds and the company sounds awesome. How’s the benefits package?

    Isn’t it funny how what seems like a kick in the ass (bad) can become a kick in the ass (good)? Pat Flynn is on our podcast today talking about that….he lost a job in architecture and was sure it was the end of the world…and it really was just the beginning.

    Here’s to the same for you!

    • John says:

      Thanks Joe! YOur right, I looked at it as a kick in the ass to get me out of a job I was no longer happy in and on to a new one that promises to be rewarding and satisfying! I haven’t gotten to the benefits yet, I’ve been drinking from a firehose the last couple of days but from what I hear they are good.

  10. When you turn bad situations into opportunities, that’s a positive person. Congrats on your new job. I hope it turns out as well as it sounds. Good luck on quitting smoking. I’ve never smoked, but come from a family of smokers, so I know how hard it is. Just think of every day smoke free as adding minutes to your life.

    • John says:

      Thanks Kim! So far so good, three solid days and everything is as positive as I thought coming into it. I’m using an ecig and it makes it a lot easier than I expected. I’m grateful for it! 🙂

  11. justin says:

    Jose that is awesome news, both about the job and smoking. I really need to give my provider the boot. I’ve had speed issues as well.
    Good luck with everything.

  12. Congrats on the new job! For speeding up your page did you have to write a piece of code and insert into your site to test the speed? I am having trouble finding the correct tab in my webmasters tool

  13. First, congrats on the new job mate, I knew you would find one and you are right to keep in contact with people and never burn bridges. Networks are what keep the lines open. In terms of your blog speed, good for you. When I get moved to self-hosted which I somewhat fear because it seems there is so much for me to learn. I know I have some problems with my site now but being with free wordpress I can’t really fix them as I am limited with what I can do. I’m also looking for a good hosting company. If you read my blog you may know I quit smoking Jan 29,2012… and haven’t looked back. If you want inspiration mate, read the few posts I wrote on the blog under the quit smoking category. It was the motivation that kept me going. You can do it. I feel like a million bucks!!

    • John says:

      Thank you friend! I appreciate the kind words! I will definitely look back on your blog for the quit smoking posts. The ecig is working out really well for me right now.My plan is to keep going with it and gradually switch to the lower strength liquids. I’ll read you posts for inspiration!

  14. I’m jealous of your garden….I’m way behind you on that =/

  15. Pauline says:

    What a week! That is amazing, congrats on the new job, the pay rise, the severance package you can now have fun with since you’ll never be laid off again, and the smoke! My BF just bought an e-cig too but he forgets to charge it often and is still on the normal cig too, I don’t really think it will make a difference..

    • John says:

      Thanks Pauline! Yes, it was quite the week! Full of good fortune. This week has been hectic, I’ve had little time to tend to the blog or visit other blogs (although I’ve been trying here and there). The e-cig is working great for me. Yesterday was one full week without smoking (real) cigarettes!

  16. Chris says:

    That’s hilarious that people are talking about rechargable cigarettes! LOL

    Glad to hear you’re kind of kicking the habit Jose! 🙂

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