THIA Project

While I’ve been out of work, I haven’t been sitting idle. I’ve been balancing my time between applying for new opportunities, helping 1 Million Teachers where I can, and developing an idea of my own.

THIA Project is a concept that I had more than half a year ago, and I’ve been spending more and more time on developing it. The goal is to create a youth focused, gamified educational and community platform specifically focused on mental health and mental health triggers.

I have started to put everything together for an alpha product that I can have people try. I’ve been working hard on a website, YouTube videos, and extensive business planning. Business planning is not really my forte, so I’m definitely working through that large learning curve. I do feel that I’m finally getting to the point though where bringing on outside help makes sense. I’ve let my friends and family know on Facebook that I’m looking for help and I have been ramping up my attendance at local business events in Kingston.

What will happen with the THIA Project is unknown, but I definitely enjoy spending time on this endeavour and believe it to be a worthwhile cause. If you would like to learn more about what I am doing and why, please check out my three slide presentation below.

If you are interested in helping or know someone that might be, please have them contact me by commenting on this post, or via my contact form.

Being Jobless is Stressful

I have been spending multiple hours per day applying to companies, both to positions that I find online as well as unsolicited emails of my resume in hopes of finding an unlisted position somewhere. I am looking in Kingston as well as remote jobs online with companies that are willing to hire a Canadian.

Summertime is the worst time to be looking for a position, as businesses slow in the summer, but I’m hopeful that someone will see my value and get me all trained up for the autumn spike that often comes as businesses want to gear up for the late fall holidays and the winter.

I have primarily been looking at Project or Product Management positions, though I’m also willing and able to take on technology generalist positions where I’m responsible for a little bit of everything.

During my time at Innovate Kingston, I did everything from printer and laptop support to working with third party vendors to get a fiber optic network set-up at a historical site. I was responsible for the marketing website server set-up and managing a development team for the platform creation. I’m really fairly comfortable doing nearly anything with technology.

As hopeful as I am that I’ll find that opportunity that will suit me for the long term because I’m tired of moving from company to company every year or so, I am also realistic that I need to find something shortly as we didn’t really plan for this jobless period and Annie is going back to school this fall to pursue her dreams.

So as long as I can find something that can keep that dream alive by keeping us financially afloat, that’s what matters most to me right now.

WordPress Weekly Co-Host Spot

Update: Here’s the link to the episode, if you want to check it out:
WPWeekly Episode 284 – Catching Up with David Peralty

So on August 9th at 3:00 PM Eastern, I’ll be a guest on the WordPress Weekly podcast with Jeff Chandler. You can watch a live stream of it on YouTube if you are interested. Check the podcast page, on the WordPress Tavern website, before it goes live to see a link to the live stream.

What will we be talking about? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

This is extra special for me because I used to be a regular on the podcast, way back in the day, so I hope you’ll check it out.

Want to listen to my last episode? Check out Episode 75. It is from 2009!

Anyways, I recommend listening to all 282 current episodes if you are looking to fill some time and want to basically listen to the history of WordPress recorded a week at a time over the last several years.

And of course, please don’t forget to listen to WordPress Weekly live on August 9th, but if you miss it, check on the WordPress Tavern website for the latest WordPress Weekly podcast after it records!

Mistakes Were Made: Upgrading Database Edition

So today, on a personal project, a plugin I’m using pointed out that I’m not using the most up to date database software on my server, so I went to backup my database and upgrade the database software, unfortunately, the upgrade went wrong and the backup was empty.

All of the work, approximately twenty hours or so, was gone.

But, I had a copy of the IBD and FRM files for the database. This meant that I had the essence of the database, but there was no easy way to make it go live again.

I was so frustrated. I had dozens of tabs open, asked some people that I knew were smarter than me at server management and database administration and the consensus was that there was no easy way to get my data back. I was going to have to start over…

I spent the afternoon trying everything I could find in hopes of getting back up and running without starting over, and by the end of the day, I was successful. I was able to restore about 90% of my work and the last 10% isn’t super important and would take less time to redo than restore.

It all worked out because of the IBD files and discarding and importing the tablespace as seen at this StackExchange Discussion – How to Recover an InnoDB table whose files were moved around.

I’ve activated additional backup tools so that this doesn’t happen again and I’ll definitely check backup file sizes before doing something so risky in the future.

Please learn from my mistake, and don’t just backup, but check that you have good backups!

Why I’m on the Hunt for a New Job

I was let go from my position at Innovate Kingston today, as the organization needs to go extra lean to keep things rolling for its next big event.

I was really hopeful that the position would continue on for some time as I enjoyed not only the people I worked with but also the focuses of the organization.

I still feel connected to the brand and want to see it succeed. I want Innovate Kingston to find all the funding it needs going forward to be as successful as possible. Kingston needs more innovative companies.

I’m a bit stressed about my employment situation, as I’m not only the sole earner in the household, but also Annie is planning on going back to school this fall to pursue her dream of being a grief and loss counsellor.

So, begrudgingly, I am back on the hunt for a new opportunity. I am an experienced Project Manager. I was the Technical Project Manager for The Breakout Project, as well as running many projects for 10up, a WordPress focused digital agency.

Hopefully, it won’t take long to find something to fill the gap so our overarching plans don’t have to change.

A huge thank you to everyone that has shown support and compassion already today and those that continue to do so!

Going to Visit Gael This Weekend

Annie’s mom hasn’t been well. She suffered another noticeable decline and has been in the hospital for over a month now. Annie and I are looking forward to seeing her, though reading reports from other people’s visits, while slightly humorous, they are quite sad. She has been having difficulty differentiating between what is real and what isn’t, and often spends more time focused on hallucinations than the real people in her room.

We got word today that she likely won’t be going back home with Mary and Bill unless she makes a rapid improvement (which she has done before with previous medical events). I am still processing that information, hence why I’m writing this post.

I really don’t like the idea of a slow decline like Gael is going through. While every positive interaction is a blessing, the logical side of my brain weighs it against the strain and stress that her current state puts on everyone, including her.

When I first met Gael, she was ready to marry me off to her daughter. I don’t know if that was a commentary on how nice she thought I was, or how much of a hurry she was in to see her youngest child married off. She was kind, inviting, friendly, and witty. As my relationship with Annie grew, so did my relationship with Gael. There was a ton of sarcasm tossed around, as well as some light jokes at the expense of her limited hearing. She patiently dealt with all of the technical hoops I made her jump through to watch her favourite shows while staying with us. It has been hard seeing her slowly step down these stairs of health.

I hope we have a good visit with Gael and that this weekend goes well. Hopefully, we will also get to visit more often in the next few months, as we haven’t been so great about it lately.

If you pray, please do so for Gael, Annie, and her family. They need every positive intention they can get for strength, love, and healing. I hope the universe is listening…

Learning to Make Video Games

I really want to learn to make simple video games. I watched Quill18 create his latest Ludum Dare competition game, and was super inspired. When the theme was announced, I immediately thought of an idea. I went to try to make it in Unity and Game Maker Studio 2 and quickly realized how over my head I was. I watched some tutorial videos and tried again, only to remain frustrated.

Since then, I have had my nephew come and show me how to do some things in Game Maker. I was super impressed, but soon after he left to go home, I started struggling trying to replicate the things that seemed to come so simply to him.

Thankfully, I was born stubborn. I have been watching many tutorial videos, reading documents, and even following along with some demonstration videos to get results. I am slowly building an understanding of how to use Unity, but I like to say that I am currently on the “how” stage, but I lack any of the “why”.

I said to Annie that “you don’t learn English by reading a dictionary”, so I’m hopeful by continuing to try to do what these Unity tutorials and demo videos show me, I’ll build up enough knowledge to produce results, and can get to a point where I’m comfortable enough with the “how” that the “why” starts to come naturally, and I will only need to fill small gaps.

My goal is to be able to complete my Ludum Dare idea before the next one this August, in hopes that I’ll be knowledgeable enough to take part this fall.

So far, all I’ve learned is how to move the camera around using my mouse, move a small sprite character around with my keyboard, and how to load in images. I have a long way to go, but I’m enjoying working on it when I can find the time.