While volunteering at a homeless shelter in Vancouver many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet a man who shared his name with an Apostle. Unlike many of the other people who found their way to the depressing brick building for some food, fresh coffee, and fellowship, Paul didn’t look to be in as near dire straights as the others. His hair was unkempt but, aside from this, one might mistake him for someone training for an Ironman Triathlon. He did qualify as homeless, though, as he had no fixed address, no job, and no desire to re-enter the workforce. I would see him come in every Saturday night wearing well-worth athletic clothes and we would often chat over coffee where he would answer some of my questions about living off the land.

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Re-Thinking Search

Search on this website is broken. Very broken. This is something I’ve known for quite some time but, as nobody was sending their complaints my way, it is something that I never really prioritised. Search on 10Centuries sites, after all, had a full month’s worth of optimisations just a little over a year ago. My ostrich move was brought to an abrupt end yesterday when Jeremy Cherfas remarked how difficult it was to find blog posts about food on this site. I went ahead and found the information he was looking for using some of my more advanced search tools but this isn’t something that I should have to do to help people find what they’re looking for. Search needs to be made much better in a very short period of time.

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SSL By Default

Qualys SSL Labs Results

Google made a lot of SSL vendors happy earlier this week when they announced a change to their ranking algorithm that would place websites that use HTTPS above those that don’t. I fully expect SEO gurus around the web to be hard at work convincing their clients to spend a few hundred dollars a year to upgrade their sites in order to be fully compliant with the mighty search engine’s desire to have HTTPS in place everywhere. Truth be told, I like the idea of every site using SSL certificates and sending traffic to visitors over encrypted communications lines. Not only does this make it more difficult for man-in-the-middle information slurping to take place, but it sends a message to the visitors that the person running the website is serious about privacy … even if there is never any transmission of personal data from the visitor. I decided to put my money where my mouth is today and buy not one, but two certificates. One for this site, and one for 10Centuries.

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My Value at the Day Job

Pocket Change

Earlier today my boss pulled me aside to talk about some numbers; very important numbers. Last week I let him know that I was on my way out the door to work elsewhere if our mutual employer was not going to provide me with the things I ultimately want from a professional career. I let him know in a respectful and somewhat ramble-filled way that, in order for me to be happy, I need to be taken out of the classroom, be given creative license to work on the software projects I have been developing for the company in my own free time for years, and get paid a fair amount for this work. I was essentially looking for a transfer from a role of teacher to one of program manger and software engineer. This is what I feel I need in order to remain interested in any sort of career in Japan. Unfortunately, after revealing the special numbers I was waiting for, I felt as though the company had taken a pristine, white glove off their left hand and summarily slapped me with it using their right. I asked to be paid fair market value or, best case scenario, close to it. They offered pocket change.

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Earth Lights

Over the last century people have become incredibly mobile, able to go from one side of the planet to another in a matter of hours. With the advent of faster, safer transportation we’re also seeing a lot of people moving from one continent to another. Only centuries ago this would have been a one-way trip with people never again returning to “the Old Country” due to the difficulty and costs involved. Now, though, it’s not uncommon to meet people who move across countries with such regularity that their passports are replaced every two or three years due to a lack of space for new entry permits. This level of freedom is nothing short of amazing.

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