Kauai Vacation

DreamHost – New Job, Big Changes

This week starts my second week as a systems admin at DreamHost and it’s meant several big changes which, so far, have all been good.

I’m now working out of our Los Angles office 50 floors up in the AON Center with a window looking out towards the Hollywood sign.

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This location has me now riding mass transit on the Metrolink and subway. Almost everyone I mention that to sees it as a negative thing, but that has dropped my drive time down to ~15min a day. A train commute means 1 hour of sitting and doing something in your downtime instead of driving in stressful traffic while cursing other drivers out there.

It also makes me walk at least a mile a day and, which I don’t think is done enough in the IT field, and probably in general.

I also moved off of the early morning shift of 6am and am now on our swing shift, so each day I’ve been able to wake up with the sun at 8am and just relax into the day. I can sleep in, rest in bed, play with the cats, do things around the house, or I can go out and get breakfast and explore other cities surrounding my train route.

With the previous shift, every morning since I moved further from Brea had become a rush of getting up and ready, and getting out the door and over to work all within an hour or two. Even though I had evening time to myself, it never felt relaxing; I knew I had to get to bed and wake up early again: rinse and repeat.

Working afternoon to evening hours means waking up to do things I enjoy while relaxing and enjoying them, like writing this post at Starbucks right now. I can then burn down my energy at work doing a mentally-intensive job to be tired enough for bed by the time I’m back home at midnight. Sure there’s still a daily repeating cycle, but having my routine organized differently makes a huge difference.

The job itself is exactly what I wanted to do from the start since I was hired at DreamHost: working directly on our server infrastructure fixing problems before they happen, or as the come up, instead of after a problem has already occurred. It is also the first time I feel like my abilities have been recognized and I actually was promoted for it. I’ve moved up before in my job at Mt.SAC, but that only happened through applying and interviewing at the same level as anyone from outside. How can anyone justify degrading their long-term employees by viewing them the same as someone completely new?

One of the biggest changes just these past two weeks has that ben that the sharp pain I’ve been having towards my back and around my abdomen, has gradually gone away and has been gone this past week. I have plenty of issues related to my medical condition, so it was easy to associate the pain with what I already deal with. All medical tests that I’ve had done have turned out negative and for the pain to stop right around the time I switch jobs makes me think the pain was related to stress.

While I think this is the job I want to be doing, and am gaining multiple benefits from the change, part of me is skeptical whether it will stay good. But, my run in tech support did last 10+ years with 8 of those being at Mt.SAC. So long as I’m doing something I enjoy, I can stay with a job for a good long time and I hope DreamHost is a place where I can do exactly that.

Transplant Update – Infusions

Back in September I wrote http://danarchy.me/transplant-update/ on how my body has been creating donor-specific antibodies to fight off my transplanted organs.

I’ve finally begun the process of getting rid of these through infusions at UCLA, and had my first infusion Wednesday. It was around 4 hours of sitting in a chair waiting for the IV to finish, but overall it went very smoothly. I only felt a bit hot and nauseated at the start, though the nurse said the infusion itself shouldn’t cause that; maybe it was due the mix of meds they gave me first to counteract the infusion. Continue reading

The Gift of Sight

Two years ago when dad told us he had been diagnosed with melanoma, he gave us each a gift of money that he said he wanted to see us spend it on whatever we wanted.

I took the “see” part literally, and decided to spend it on LASIK surgery; something that he could see me enjoy and would help me see better for the rest of my life. Continue reading

Transplant Update

So I received some not so great news from the doctor. While they still have no clear answers to why I keep getting intestinal blockages, he’s leaning towards acute rejection in some area of my intestines, but this is only a guess due to there being no evidence proving it. Continue reading

Lifetime Goals and Becoming Something Bigger

Today I listened to two podcasts that had very profound things to say about life’s focus and leaving a long-lasting impression on the world.

Freedomain Radio : Jobs after School

The Thinking Atheist: Getting Older

Stef’s bit on finding a path after school, and particularly the phrase “don’t be a cog in a machine”, spoke very strongly to me. Currently I have stable job which I appreciate and enjoy quite a bit, but at the same time it’s beginning to feel a bit repetitive. Every day is effectively a clone of the previous day: wake up early and get ready, drive 30+ minutes to work (which I actually enjoy), work 8hrs pushing for a rather arbitrary quota requirement by day’s end, then head back home where I unwind listening to podcasts while playing games or watch predictable TV shows. Continue reading

DreamHost DreamCon

 

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This year marked our first ever DreamHost user conference, DreamCon, where we had a successful turnout of nearly 100 customers, conference sponsors, and employees. It was an exciting chance to get out an meet some of our users in person and find out about their background and exactly how their benefitting from our hosting.

The conference split off into two training sessions for two days with topics ranging from WordPress, DreamPress, site and database optimization, DreamObjects, business and marketing, and our upcoming DreamCompute service.

I look forward to us doing this event again and hopefully having bigger turnouts each year.