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Geek Love is Love Too


It’s wholly appropriate that I make my glorious return to blogging about the positive and the neato in the geek media world on Valentine’s Day. It’s a day when couples celebrate their love affair with each other, and single people celebrate their love affair with Haagen Dazs. Either way, potentially good times and good eating (that’s what she said).

Anyway, among my geekery friends, the traditional norms of roses, candy, and jewelry persist, but in the years since I’ve admitted to being a student of the geek arts, I’ve seen some pretty interesting gifts for V-Day. The wi-fi shirt that’s pictured here and available over at ThinkGeek is just one such present I’ve seen bestowed on a lucky guy or gal. Gamers have given in-game rare items to their sweethearts. E-carding has given way to collages made in Picasa and mailed videos have given way to surprise calls on Skype.  And the traditional gifts I’ve mentioned have all taken on an ability to be ordered, picked up, tracked, and delivered from the comfort of your own home.

There’s also the fact that geekery tools have allowed people to share what they’ve got or send messages to loved ones instantly. Today’s Facebook feed has a ton of stuff related to all the things people are doing (or not doing) on today’s holiday of love, Twitter is filled with, well, twitterpated people, and generally, people are using the Internet more to express love (or love to hate). I can’t say this is a bad thing, because even though Valentine’s Day is sometimes a private holiday for those who celebrate it, it’s nice to see how your friends are faring. And if you’re single? Well, the tools are out there to change that, with the Internet being an increasingly viable method of meeting people – even if it’s to collectively grouse at all the lovey-dovey going on.

Either way, geek chic and tech is here to stay and holidays like Valentine’s Day provide a reminder that things, they are a-changing when it comes to how to best go about it. I hope that regardless of where you are in relationship status, that everyone reading has someone special that they can express a bit of affection to, whether that’s a lover, spouse, friend, or family member. If anything else, you can count on the fact that I love everyone who’s reading, and who’ll continue to reading now that I’m back in force.


A Positive AFK


There are definitely times when it comes to writing a blog that you need to take a bit of a break. Writing every day is nice, and in some cases cathartic, but everyone has to recharge their batteries once in a while. This is one of those times.

2010 brings with it a lot of changes to me, personally. These are changes that are both positive and interesting. That being said, it’s getting a bit hectic right now, making it more and more difficult to update people with sunshine and rainbows.

So as much as my humble readership might miss it, I’ll be taking a brief little break – maybe a week or two – just to recharge my batteries and get re-focused. I plan on coming back as optimistic as ever, so be sure to stay tuned!

Christmas Cheer


To be perfectly honest, Christmas is a signature holiday when it comes to Overly Positive and a blog that radiates sunshine all the time. Why? Because despite all the cynicism surrounding it, it’s still, at its core, a celebration of loved ones, caring, and closeness. Whether that’s expressed through gift-giving, a simple family gathering, or foodstuffs that put you into a coma-like nap state, the core function remains the same.

Here at Overly Positive, I hope everyone reading has a wonderful holiday. Some may have it rougher than others, but I think that no matter where you are, this is a day to really take a step back and appreciate the good that you might have in your life, whatever it is. I’d like to think there are those reading who have something like that and can cling to it, and I’m no different. I’m fortunate to have family, friends, and success – and I couldn’t have done it on my own.

So Merry Christmas to everyone – and to increase the fuzzy count a bit more, perhaps you should check out this trailer for upcoming movie Kick-Ass, which features among other things, a rather unique father-daughter relationship. Sure, it’s not exactly traditional, but it does the job, right?

Have a good holiday!

Burning The Midnight Tech Oil


howard-sokol-flame-in-jewish-oil-lampWell – the last couple of days have been interesting at least. Typically I don’t really talk about what I do for a living as work posts tend to get drudged up at rather random times. But I will say that as an IT professional, there’s nothing that makes things more interesting than a late night work week.

For the uninitiated, major implementations in IT are either smooth as silk or an extended stay in your office or cubicle with a sleeping bag. When you’re installing new tech or doing upgrades, the potential for problems is huge, and the need to get things going before the opening of business next day is immense pressure. This is pretty much what I’ve been going through, and the temporary zombie-fication has prevented updates.

Still, though, there’s nothing that breaks up the monotony of tech support and administration much like trying to grind away at a problem. The kinds of trials and tribulations you go through as you work on a crucial server issue or a network failure at 2am are the kinds of things that sadly, teach you some of your best lessons. If you’ve ever gone through the hardship of trying to find a solution to what seems to be a simple problem, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a sort of high associated with climbing a mountain of an issue and ultimately solving it, despite going through a ton of pain.

Geeks in particular, due to being on the cutting edge of tech, have a bit of an addiction to this kind of thing. Because the stakes are sometimes high (hundreds to thousands of users) and the technology massive, the satisfaction of identifying a problem with an installation, troubleshooting it, and fixing it is that much greater. Sure, it ultimately sucks when you can’t fix something or if you end up having to call in reinforcements, but the solution to any tech problem tends to benefit others and save them a ton of time – part of why I work in the field that I do.

Still, despite the satisfaction, the tired look that I have on my face as I post this is one I would definitely rather not have. Even geeks, who are notorious night owls, have their limits and become the walking dead after a hard night’s work of tech issues and solutions. I’m just frankly glad I learned a lot from the experience – and most people do.


The Webhost Wagon Trade-In


33676-model-covered-wagonSometimes when you’ve been on the bandwagon for just a little too long, it’s time to trade in for an updated model, that’s what I say. Of course, saying that almost always gets me into trouble financially when it comes to new tech, but hey – this isn’t about my spending habits, right?

I like to equate using webhosts in the same way. You may start out on a site that is hosted off on another domain, just so that you don’t have to worry about things like design, management, and those three little words – File Transfer Protocol. This eventually morphs into your own domain, and sometimes, if you’re popular enough, your very own server.

Through it all, the webhost wagon is with you, whether it is a dinky little wooden ride or the best that the Wild West of the Web has to offer you. While saturation in the market is sometimes viewed as a bad thing, when it comes to webhosting wagons the multitude of choices is great. This is because it forces webhosts to try to compete to keep your business, whether it’s a site about the best and brightest of monkeys and primates or a political pundit’s pulpit (ooh, alliteration kids, learn it, love it).

Overly Positive has been on Lunarpages since its inception. Lunarpages is a great little company because they’re good for when you’re just starting out. The plans are cheap, the space and resources are seemingly unlimited, and the sites just stay up, running, and working. I can’t really complain about getting what you pay for, because you do, and then some. I’ve been on the Lunarpages wagon, along with a few other people I know, and it’s served us well.

But the time came when the old, beat up wagon had to be traded in. It may not look it from the humble little 84 subscribers I possess, but the site has become increasingly more popular in the last year or so. Generous linkbacks from blogging powerhouses like Syp’s Bio Break as well as a couple lucky pings from major sites like Slashdot, Massively, Game Politics, and Mythic’s Warhammer Online have been awesome for the site. They’ve proved that yes, despite presenting only a bright, happy, and sunny picture of geek media, there’s a place for positive vibe on the ‘Net. They’ve also creaked the little Lunarpages wagon to its foundations, too – on two separate occasions the linkbacks from major websites have broken the shared server that OP was on, causing downtime for not only myself but others as well.

A few weeks back I was told by the good ol’ monkeys at Lunarpages that I was outgrowing my little shared webhosting wagon. And so with the threat of suddenly breaking down (again) in the middle of nowhere in the World Wide Web, I began searching around. Shared hosting plans are great little wagons, but tiny limits on resources that you find out about later make them hard to use for a long term site that gets a bit of traffic. The next step up is something called a Virtual Private Server, which for all you non-computery people out there is basically a slice of resources carved up from a really powerful set of hardware. This slice, unlike a shared plan, is exclusively yours, and while it isn’t as good as having a dedicated physical machine, it works for the mid-range folks like me who need an updated wagon and not a Ferrari. The new wagon was made by the helpful engineers at Knownhost, and test driving so far has been a breeze.

So while I’m sad that I had to let go of a tried and true model, I’m glad I made an upgrade for the long term future. This, of course, is where I get all sappy and thank you, the readers, for making this possible. Way back when I thought of creating a positive slab out of my portion of the Internet, I never really thought I’d amount to more than a few friends for readers with the occasional outsider. While I’m still small potatoes, the blog has certainly grown in readership since I started it, and I hope to keep growing it for people who want to read optimism and idealism, and feel better about things. Thanks for supporting Overly Positive, and be sure to recommend (with a big ol’ grin of course) me to those who want a break from the rantish anger of the ‘Net for some feelgood postings about geekery. I’ll be sitting here on my new wagon, ready to greet ‘em.

Intermittent Positivity


Hey all!

With some possible webhost juggling to be done, I wanted to let my readers know that it’ll be a bit sporadic as things get set up. But not to worry – sunshine always comes out after the rain, eventually.

I’ll be sure to share the details when everything is said and done!

Milestones and New Reading

Abandoned grindstones
Image by Earthwatcher via Flickr

You know, I realized way too late that these were grindstones pictured, and not milestones. D’oh! Oh well – Zemanta can’t deliver all the time, right?

A couple of statistical things of note, just to pump up my little, fragile, optimistic ego:

-I passed the 50 reader subscription mark yesterday, which was quite a sudden jump. Welcome to all the new subscribers! You’ll find nothing but bright, sunny optimism and happy-go-lucky posting here, and the way I write, if I don’t give you tooth decay with how sweet I am, then I haven’t done my job. Be sure to comment and leave some thoughts so I can be disarmingly friendly and annoyingly exuberent at being told I suck!

-I went past the 500 comment mark just this morning. You guys and gals have gotten pretty chatty these past few months since I’ve started to write actively again, and the support is well and rightly appreciated. It’s nice to know that there is a place for optimism on the Internet and that so many people enjoy it enough to comment on it. Keep it comin.

Aside from that, now that I sort of have, er, readers or something, I’d like to see about finding some new material to check out. My Reader is feeling a bit empty lately and I could use some good blogs to check out. They don’t have to be sunny paragons of happy fluffy, they just have to be decent and updated regularly. So leave a comment with some suggestions, or if you run a blog and you want to trade links, let me know!

Thanks again to my small and faithful readership that appreciates what I write day in and day out.

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And Now, An OP Endorsement from Kanye West


See that? Even Kanye likes this website. You can thank my friend Andy for this, by the way.

Seriously, I passed 40 readers today. Thanks for the support for 100% optimism guys. Expect more sun in the very near future.

Overly Positive Re-Tooling

A metal toolbox.
Image via Wikipedia

So I figured that with the fact that I now command a small yet faithful audience of 30+ readers or so, that I should try to peek under the hood of the site and do a little re-design. Those of you who visit the main site (and you should, even though Google Reader does the lifting for you) will see that I did a slight re-design, using a brand new WordPress theme framework created by the same author who did my previous theme. Justin Tadlock, by the way, is a brilliant and smart guy when it comes to WordPress and I highly encourage you to check out his theme framework.

Today I’m heading out with the goal of entering a BBQ coma by the time I come home, so I’m still doing a little work under the hood. But what small benefits you can expect include:

  • Threaded comments, so that we can have long exchanges wherein I whittle your cynicism down with annoyingly bright replies to your thoughts.
  • Gravatar support – if you use the Gravatar service you can set an avatar for use in your regular comments for the blog. Gravatar is magic, people – go use it today.
  • Proper excerpting – Longer posts will probably get an excerpt with a read more link, as soon as I figure out why Feedburner is eating my excerpts for lunch and spitting them out to feed its young.
  • Other backend nonsense that only benefits me, but which will basically keep the site clean and not broken.

I’ve also stolen a new smiley off of the Internet. You know, with all the graphics people I know, you’d think I could call in a favor for someone to create one. Ah well – perhaps when I have more motivation. For now, enjoy the new WordPress 2.8-compliant site!

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The Blogger’s Blogger – Grinding to Valhalla


On Broken Toys I managed to find out that there’s someone out there who is looking to achieve a very ambitious goal – interview bloggers as a project to include into a compiled set of thoughts and ideas. With the ease by which anyone can blog these days, that’s basically like saying you want to interview the Internet. Now that’s a grind if I’ve ever seen one, which may explain why his blog is called Grinding to Valhalla.

But Randolph Carter is a very determined person – and I was more than happy to oblige him in getting just one step closer to his goal. If you’ve ever sort of wondered why I write Overly Positive, or what I must be on to remain so sunny, or what kind of history I’ve had, you can feel free to check out his interview with me. Here’s an excerpt:

Please take a minute and describe what your blog is about.

If I was writing in the “voice” of Overly Positive, I’d say that people are just SO jaded and cynical these days. Genuine excitement and praise has long since been ridiculed as being as blind as a kid playing pin the tail on the jackass. At Overly Positive, we bring back the idea that being happy isn’t just a good thing, it’s a great and less stressful thing, too. Let the rest of the Internet have their “rants” and their “nerd rage” – at this blog, even the equivalent of nuclear fallout is actually a good thing from a certain perspective (hey look – real estate opportunities!).”

Here’s the link to the full interview. And hey – if you’re a blogger, see if you can help RC out. I’m sure he’d love more thoughts from others.

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