Monthly Update

August 2021 Update

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Fridge Temperature Sensor

Our main refrigerator has started showing its age by staying slightly ajar when it’s not closed carefully. I’m tired of getting up in the morning and finding it ajar with ice forming on the chiller. With six kids, you can imagine this happens often.

This month, I bought temperature sensors for both our main fridge and our basement freezer. I also bought a Wifi gateway that can talk to the sensors, reporting the data to the cloud so I can see the temps, even when I’m not at home.

I quickly got bogged down in the setup. The gateway couldn’t find my guest internet network. After trying every troubleshooting step, I finally figured out that one of my guest network SSIDs was causing the problem. The network SSID was (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻. Yeah, that’s my idea of humor. I removed the guest network and the gateway quickly found my other guest networks. Setup was a breeze after that.

After watching the temperature for a couple of days, I then set some alarms for when the temperature gets too high. Hopefully we can discover a door left open sooner, now.

First alert!

Could we have put the money towards a new fridge that closes better? Sure. But even a new fridge gets left ajar from time to time.

Why put these on the guest network in the first place? My guest networks only has access to the Internet, denying access to other devices on my network. I don’t trust IoT device security and would rather they not be used to attack my laptops, phones, computers, and printer, thank you very much. 

The guest network that was a problem was on the 2.4GHz band. I have other guest networks on the 5GHz band that remain unscathed: O╣xxx╠░░░░░░░/ and ლ(ಠ益ಠლ).

Transferring Domains to Google Domains

Last month, I wrote about buying a new domain for a side project I’m working on. I did it through Google Domains for only $12/year. My other domains are registered through NameCheap. When I set up[1], the first year was free through DreamHost. Last summer I transferred it to NameCheap where the price to transfer is $8.58. But renewals are $12.98. A couple weeks ago I transferred the domain to Google Domains for $12. The process was painless, and in theory I could now transfer it back to NameCheap for $8.58, extending the expiry another year. By bouncing it back and forth, I could save oodles and oodles of moolah, about $2.20/year. 

Path to riches, I tell you.

If I Write It, Will They Come?

Over the past 18 months, I’ve enjoyed writing for my blog. Writing has brought clarity on financial subjects that have been bouncing around in my head, leaking out from time to time. When I setup the blog, I knew financial blogging was a long tail. Would I love to be as big as GoCurryCracker or MrMoneyMustache? Sure. Who wouldn’t? But I’m totally not willing to put in the money and effort to get there. Financial blogging has a very long tail, so even if I put in the effort, there’s no guarantee. If you write it, they will come. And if they don’t, oh well.

I was willing to pay $93.24 in the first year to start my hobby. And paying $20 to keep it going for two more years was an easy call to make. However, in November 2022, the price for the WordPress Starter jumps to $72/year. We’ll see if things pick up over the next year, but I’ll likely turn it into a static blog using something like Gatsby, Jekyll, or any of the billion static site generators. Then I’ll throw it up on Netlify Free, or maybe Github Pages. 

Will comments survive? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just push them off site to something like Twitter.

Other Odds and Ends

From the Bookshelf

I usually have four books going at a time. If you like what you read on this blog, one way to support my writing is by clicking on one of my book links. It won’t cost you any extra and I’ll get a tiny referral fee. </mendication>

This month I started several technical books that I’m in the process of finishing. Several of them probably won’t make it here, since they’re more technical than my handful of dear readers would care about. I finished the following:

  • The Farthest Shore (#3) and Tehanu (#4) by Ursula K. Le Guin. Both part of The Earthsea Cycle. Enjoyable books. See my review last month of the first two. The last one is in my queue
  • Adopting Elixir: From Concept to Production by Ben Marx, Jose Valim, and Bruce Tate. I’m not in the habit of reading very many technical books. I find it’s better to apply the ideas in real life and technical books tend to focus on toy problems, failing to bridge the gap to reality. However, this book is all about reality, built off of real world case studies. I’ve really been enjoying Elixir and this book gives me hope about adding it somehow to my professional tool belt.
  • Driving Technical Change by Terrence Ryan. This book outlines the types of people that will fight change in an organization and suggests ways to combat it. As I read it, I realized that while they sound good on paper, I suspect they would be hard to apply in reality. Frankly, I’m not sure it’s worth trying to sell an organization on a tech or idea. Most of the time either the DNA of the organization encourages exploration and experimenting, or it doesn’t, and no amount of cajoling will turn the latter into the former. Maybe time to move on?
  • Accounting Made Simple, Investing Made Simple, and Independent Contractor, Sole Proprietor, and LLC Taxes by Mike Piper from the Oblivious Investor. Each of these are part of the “Financial Topics in 100 Pages of Less”. Simple and easy to understand but geared only at getting you started on a topic, not an exhaustive treatment. Sometimes that’s more useful than diving into the deeps, and these are great models in my mind of how to write in a way that appeals to a large audience.


How was your August? Read anything interesting this month? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Hasta luego!

[1] Really?!? Did that need to be a link?

6 thoughts on “August 2021 Update

  1. Great update.

    Glad I’m not the only blogger facing existential crises on a monthly basis….

    I hope you keep it up.

  2. Blogging is definitely a grind. Some days it’s fun and I want to dive further into it, and others I consider scrapping the thing entirely and wiping it from the face of the Earth haha. Keep grinding!

  3. Keep up with the blogging! Like you said, it is a great way to organize your ideas.

    I have thought several times about releasing some of my healthcare stuff to colleagues or even healthcare publications, but this weird mix of personal finance stuff doesn’t seem appropriate. I have toned things down a but for the summer, hope to get back to it this fall. I am pretty clueless on the technical side of things, and I am likely overpaying to I may look at some of the options you mentioned.


    1. Thanks for the comment. The technical stuff around where your domain is registered isn’t too hard to figure out. Not like configuring a CNAME record, or anything.

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