Record Sales + 22″ Snow = (Some) Chaos

Typically, Cyber Monday falls a week earlier than this year, in late November instead of on December 2nd. Typically, the big snowstorms in upstate New York are in January, February, and early March. And typically, we’re never allowed to discount the very popular Rupes Polishers. This year was not typical. All three of those things happened, and it created a level of chaos that we haven’t seen in a while. First, the good: by Rupes allowing their popular-but-pricey polishers to be discounted on Black Friday… Continue reading

12/6/19

Improved Site Search

After completing my site improvements recently, there was one thing that I realized I still wanted to fix. If you searched the site – currently only available on the Archives page – you’d be brought to a Google site search. The reason for this is that in addition to the 816 WordPress posts that I’ve published, I have an additional 296 that were published via Blogger and were migrated from SportsLizard.com over to this site in 2007. It seemed as though the easiest way to… Continue reading

12/2/19

Why I Replaced My Chromebook with the New Entry-Level Surface Pro 7

A few months ago I read an article about how Chromebooks are only guaranteed to receive updates for five years from the release date (not the date of purchase), a fact that I don’t think I was previously aware of. Since Chromebooks are cloud machines that require those updates to be effective and secure, the device is more or less useless (although there are options). I looked up my Toshiba Chromebook 2 and sure enough the updates will cease in June of 2021. My first… Continue reading

11/26/19

Vacation Should Be a Vacation from Work Too

It seems as though most companies expect – either explicitly in their policies or implicitly through the culture – that employees check in while they’re on vacation. At least to check their email to “keep up with what’s going on”, but sometimes also hop on conference calls or do some actual work. And the ones that don’t tend to put the onus on the employee to take care of their work before they leave. The work then piles up while they’re gone, which means they… Continue reading

11/12/19

The End of SportsLizard

During my senior year of college, I became obsessed with starting my own business. After a few failed business plan contest entrants, I turned my focus to the web. Having done an internship that spanned a summer and a semester, I needed an extra semester of classes to graduate in December, and thus had an extra summer as a college student before my final semester. I decided to teach myself how to program, having taken all of one college class on the topic. During the… Continue reading

10/25/19

Site Updates – HTTPS, Matomo Analytics, & More

I finally got around to making a few site improvements that I’ve been planning for a while: HTTPS Only The biggest improvement is upgrading the blog to HTTPS. I wrote about this in detail in The Great Detailed Image HTTPS Migration so I won’t go into “why and how” too much here other than to say it’s a basic necessity on today’s web. A step zero for any new project for sure. It went super smooth – I used cPanel’s built-in AutoSSL feature and followed… Continue reading

10/22/19

The Cost of Cash

Cash is great. I think all stores should accept it. In fact, there’s been plenty of backlash when stores don’t accept it because it limits consumer choice and can be seen as a form of discrimination against those who don’t have a bank or credit card. But accepting cash isn’t free. For stores that accept cash-only, or those who pass the 3% charge on to the customer, I think they’re missing something critical: there is absolutely an associated cost with each transaction, and in some… Continue reading

9/27/19

Liquid Web Case Study – the Importance of Finding the Right Vendor

Earlier this year I was interviewed by Liquid Web, our hosting company, about our experiences with them for a case study that was released this week. We’ve been with Liquid Web since our big server disaster in 2008. We’ve stayed with them from that initial dedicated server, to another dedicated server, and most recently last year’s move to a server cluster. We also have used their cloud servers for LockerPulse and for our other miscellaneous sites like this blog. There are a ton of options… Continue reading

8/23/19

We’re Back on the Inc. 5000 for the 5th Straight Year!

The Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the US came out this morning, and we made the list for the 5th straight year! This year we moved up to #3368, the highest we’ve been on the list. There are a lot of faster growing companies out there, but I think what’s most impressive about what we’ve done is that we’ve done it for five straight years. According to the letter we received from Inc., this is quite rare: Of the tens of thousands… Continue reading

8/14/19

Responding to Raw Ideas

Ryan Singer, designer and developer at Basecamp, recently released a web-only book entitled Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters. I’ve been working my way through it, and one passage about responding to new product improvements stood out: Responding to raw ideas Our default response to any idea that comes up should be: “Interesting. Maybe some day.” In other words, a very soft “no” that leaves all our options open. We don’t put it in a backlog. We give it space… Continue reading

8/12/19