Posted on June 13, 2017 by

Updates, updates, and even some Updates

Hello there! Hai! Salutations!

Things have been keeping me really busy in so many ways. I always tell myself that I am going to blog and write on here so much more and then I never do it. I mean, it’s only been a few months (OK – 6 technically), since my last post, but I just haven’t had the drive, until now. The funny thing here is that I’m excited to do a post again and I’m excited to get some of my online life back together.

As many of you may or may not know, I stepped back from just about everything that I did online. This includes all 3rd Party Tools that I developed for system admins, helping communities with some of their server issues and ARMA coding, some smaller online consulting gigs, actively being involved in gaming communities, and being on my PC at all. Since this was a large part of me, it was very difficult to do, but it was necessary while I could focus on me, my illnesses, and my family. The great news there is that we have FINALLY made SIGNIFICANT progress on that front. No thanks to any doctors, or any medicines, I might add.

The details there are that Lynn came across a blog that talked about some of the more adverse side effects of certain overgrowths, allergies, or side effects of eating things you have a sensitivity to and these symptoms were/are quite severe. These things include, but are not limited to nausea, vomiting, bloating, weakness, exhaustion, lethargy, migraines, weight gain, and so much more. Man, that list sounds a lot like depression….. Of course, there is no simple scientific test to check for these things (every test that I ever get done is perfect and I never have anything “wrong”). The only way to test is to go on a diet that targets the removal of this stuff from your system. The short version of this is that I have to eat all natural, organic and sugar-free products. No sugar (and no artificial sweeteners of any kind, even).  This has HEAVILY limited what I am allowed to consume and has made my diet a pain to deal with, but the results have been absolutely astounding. I’m really at a loss for words for how well it has worked. The positives of this strict diet so far:

  • I have more energy than I have had in years on a daily basis. I don’t have this NEED to take a nap every day. In fact, I couldn’t if I wanted to.
  • I am much more motivated to get things done and get things accomplished. This is something that always drove me crazy. I LOVED working on stuff and getting things done before.
  • I enjoy time with my kids and family more than I have in the last 5+ years.
  • I have my sense of humor back. Lynn says that I am the “old me”. I joke around. I have fun. The simple things.
  • I want to have fun again. Playing games, hanging with friends (virtually for the most part), and just general enjoyment of activities.
  • I went from 9 regular prescriptions to 0. That’s right. ZERO prescriptions. This includes medicines for stomach issues, anxiety, and depression. Cut them all.
  • I no longer lean on vitamins just to make it through the day to day.
  • I have lost 40 pounds and counting.

Now, how much of this is the diet, the subtraction of the medicines, the loss of weight, or any other life change that I made? Who knows? All I know is that things are trending overwhelmingly positive in so many ways right now and I feel truly blessed for that. That’s not to say that we still aren’t fighting issues. For example, my PTSD is still preventing me from traveling (and thus, getting a good long term job that isn’t local), and it seems like that it’s actually getting worse with time, but I’ll take that over the rest any day. We are working with some therapy and will possibly dabble with some medicines for the anxiety only, but I will not find myself in a position again that I was before. It’s a good feeling. I have even begun to work on my projects that I was doing in my spare time (Paronicon and ARMACon for those on that side of my life).

I’ve been looking for some stable remote work but haven’t had too much luck. I still have my part-time job to keep me out of my house (which I still think has been a great help to my mental state). I have some good online contacts that have been trying to help me the best they can by sending some work my way, which I truly appreciate. Consulting is still something that I’m doing, but the jobs are few and far between right now. Just need to find the right match for me. I have faith that it will happen, just not there yet.

I feel like the Lord has finally been able to put me down for the first time in a while. For context, you should read “Footprints”:

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

This poem was one of my Grandmothers favorite things. She had many trinkets and plaques that recited it in several rooms in her house. I think it’s important to realize that you aren’t alone when things are rough. Whether you want that trust to be in religion, friends, family, or just random strangers, it is there and at your disposal. I’ll tell you what, If you need help getting through, let me know. 🙂

I think that about does it for now. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to chat. I’ll be around. Look forward to continuing this road of success.

Posted on January 2, 2017 by

Welcome to 2017 – Updates on me, Family, and Moving Forward.

So, another year gone, just like that. My post made exactly one year ago stated I was going to write more on my blog. 4 posts for the year….. That didn’t work out so much, did it? I really didn’t live up to that expectation at all. It wasn’t really a “resolution”, but I wanted to do that. I knew it would help me more, therapeutically.  I also regret this quote from that post as well:

@2016: Give me your best shot. Give me your worst. I have the strength, beliefs, and support I need to withstand anything. Have at it. 🙂

Boy did it ever. I don’t really mean on a personal level here. Sure, I definitely had my ups and downs and had issues living with some of them, but this year seemed to have it out for many of my personal friends and family, as well as our society in general. I don’t believe that 2016 is “the worst year we’ve ever had” or anything like that, but it surely wasn’t the easiest for a lot of people. Everyone knows the major ones so I have no intention on droning on about them and how tragic they were. That’s not what I’m here for today. You can have your own thoughts and opinions on that, for now. 🙂

Since my last post, the largest thing that I think we have had change is that we lost my old boy, Duke. Duke was a full bred yellow lab. We rescued Duke when he was 3-ish (or so we were told) and he grew to be a humongous part of our lives. I’ve had a lot of dogs and they have all been a blessing to my life, but none were like Duke. Duke was as loyal as they come. He was also quirky which gave him charm that could not be accurately captured with a camera or video. He not only tolerated the kids but loved them. He played with them and put up with a ton of their crap. He would protect them and keep them out of harm’s way. Lastly, he would give his life for any one of us. “The Giving Tree” comes to mind when remembering his legacy. The silver lining here is that he passed suddenly of a stroke and we were with him, petting him when he stopped breathing and his heart stopped. It was bittersweet, but no suffering and no hard decisions needed to be made. In honor of Duke, Here is the first picture I have of him, and his last.

We have been and will continue to miss him. It will not be an easy task for the next dog we have to fill his shoes. We are not in any rush, though. We want to remember Duke and mourn his passing fully. Additionally, we have “fallen” into or rescued every animal we have. That is likely when we will see a dog again.

This Christmas was a little hectic than normal. We didn’t even get all of our typical decorations up because of a mold situation on some of my platform pieces. With so much work on my plate, I didn’t have enough time to rebuild them and rewire them. Definitely tasks for next year, though.  It’s still a little difficult to have things without Aunt Georgia, for that side of the family. She was the glue holding it together, but we are getting there.

Next, let’s talk about me. Ranting a bit here and there (there being Facebook, mostly) has been a big help. Not only does writing this stuff out help in of itself, but it also has connected me with even more people that I can connect with on a personal level like I used to. Many of which are from high school and am glad that I have been able to rekindle those relationships.  I have told these people that as well and I look forward to rebuilding those relationships.  On top of that, we ended the year in the green (which is surprising given Christmas), but the finances have been starting to turn around thanks to working 3 jobs. (One part time, and two consulting gigs). These have made that part of life a little less worrisome. That’s not to say that they don’t have speed bumps because they do. Some of them are rather annoying to deal with, but I’m hopeful that things will become easier as time goes on.

On top of that, I think I realized why I like to pay-it-forward so much.A little bit of an explanation of why I feel that people should do it so strongly and why I do. I’m going to quote the text from the site rather than typing it all up again. I did a giveaway to a gaming community that I belong to and I planned on giving a game to any one person whose name was randomly chosen. I had been saving a bit of money here and there to pay for 200+ dollars in games for myself for Christmas. Instead of doing that, I gave it all away to people that opted into the giveaway. It was a spur of the moment decision. Here is the text about why I did it:

I just love helping people. I don’t care if they know I did it or not. I don’t care if I get recognized (in fact, as a child I HATED adulation and would avoid it at all cost – I didn’t know how to handle it). This is going to sound cheezy, but the response, expression, story, reaction, or outcome of my actions are payment in of itself. When I can make someone smile – victory. When I can make someone’s terrible day “just bad” – victory. When I can be a set of ears for someone to vent to – victory. When I can give someone advice based on my trials and tribulations – victory. As I have been walking this path with anxiety and depression I have found myself wanting to help others even more than I did before. I <think> (I’m not a therapist or a psychiatrist) this is because I just enjoy seeing people happy. Literally, if I do something that makes a kid or adult alike smile, it warms my heart and makes me well up. I just love it so much. This coming from a person that used to show no emotions due to my Alexithymia. I can’t explain it. I wish I could. The joy I get from doing it is greater than anything that could be done for me directly.

Next, we have my office which has been a health concern for us for quite some time. The issue is that my office is in my basement. Before we fixed the drainage outside when we got heavy rain, it would flood the basement. I almost lost a lot of money in electronics the first time this happened. At any rate, now that it has been fixed, the next (and worse) concern is the black mold that we are about 95% sure the walls are covered with on the inside. We haven’t had the money to finish my new office upstairs so that we can rebuild that room from scratch and clean the mold the correct way. Once I get that done, I can spend a little bit more time on my gaming PC and get back into the swing of things. I miss having a little bit of gaming time each week. 🙂

I said that 2015 was the worst year that I ever had. Then I made posts that said that 2016 hated me more. I don’t think that any of these are true when I sit back and reflect on the years overall. The difference in them is how I looked at the year. How I looked at the positives and negatives. In other words, the mental state I had when posting is what controlled that. When in an optimistic mood and a positive headspace, I can make each year a positive and successful year. I will continue to live my life this way, and might even ramp up the pay-it-forward stuff if my finances stay positive.

I hope that everyone can find courage, prosperity, and success in the new year. No matter how bleak things may seem, focus on the positives. Think of the things that could be worse. Think of the things that you have which others would LOVE to have. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here. 🙂 If you want to comment, click on the comment button in the upper right-hand corner (you have to be on the actual post, not the homepage), or just post on facebook.

God bless and Happy New Year!

Posted on October 28, 2016 by

Breaking All the Rules: Politics, Religion and Common Core – All on the Table

So, people always say that there are two topics that you should stay away from in professional environments, as well as public spaces that you might not want certain people to see that could be looking at you (and your online information) for a job, referral, or even just a personal connection, but I’m throwing all the rules out the window and doing it anyway. What’s more, I’m doing them both in one post. To top that off, I’m going to talk about our “education” system. (Yes, the education deserves to be in quotes). Let’s begin.

Politics…. Oh my god, politics. I could rant for paragraphs and paragraphs, but it’s not worth it. Full disclosure though, to begin with – I don’t have any party affiliation because none of the parties involved are “correct” about everything and I refuse to pledge my loyalty to any of them. This prevents me from voting in the primaries, but that’s a penalty I’m willing to take. My sway of “left or right” changes from candidate to candidate, from year to year, and from topic to topic. I take my time to learn what I can from as many (theoretically) unbiased sources and I learn the facts from researching each candidate for each election from videos, speeches, and public statements about the topics at hand for the current election. This year, I have not, because the “candidates” we have are a joke and they are both morons. Period. I don’t push people to vote because “every vote counts”. Pushing that type of mentality is why we are in the situation we are in. I think the best explanation of what I mean here, was posted by Mike Rowe after one of the debates. This man is extremely intelligent (In My Opinion) and looks at the world and its issues, choices, and decisions from the outside in order to see the whole picture. His response to a fan that asked him to encourage everyone to vote may very well have been the best worded response imaginable. He nailed it. He also nailed why we are the state we are in. The morons that we have are there because we (the people of this country) put them there. It’s really that simple. I don’t consider myself to be a “politics buff”, but sadly I am probably considered high on the totem pole when it comes to knowing the candidates and their thoughts on topics, and that in of itself is the main issue. People blindly follow the masses, media, or parents/union because they feel they have to. The thing is YOU DON’T. YOU are capable of learning and making your own decisions. Every citizen of this country has free will to learn and make their own decisions. For example, while we are raising our kids, I WILL NOT tell them which way they need to vote or why. I WILL give them the information that they ask for or want to research so that they can make their own INFORMED decision. It’s not up to me to “teach” them why they should vote for one or the other. That is what they have their own brain for. I have no issues explaining to them what I believe what I do or why I believe it, but I’m not going to tell them that they need to “follow in my footsteps” or think as I think. The people in this country are lacking information. Information is key to making decisions, yet we have people checking boxes that have absolutely no idea why they are voting the person they are voting for. I would like to leave this topic with a video that is on my point. Who can fix this? Media? Nope. A single president? Nope. Only one thing….

Next up, we have religion. This one is a VERY tricky one for me being in the sciences and engineering side of things in my career. My brain is “wired” to work on facts. To work on the proven, the logical, and the tangible. I often debate with my inner self over why I believe what I do, or if I’m making the right decisions in my walk with religion. Are my thoughts ones of wisdom, or created from being mislead? At the end of the day, I believe there is a force out there greater than us. I believe that someone, or something, crafted, molded, and sculpted us into who and what we are today. I believe that many religions are teaching us to believe in that single entity. In my religion, it’s God. Now, here we are again in a situation where we have to believe something and do research about it and understand it so that we can intelligently make a decision of what to believe. Again, it’s hard for me to make this decision. This whole belief thing…… The definition of faith includes that ability to believe in something that isn’t proven or that hasn’t yet happened. This goes against every piece of official career training and education. This goes against the internal mechanism that makes my brain work. Yet, I find myself leaning closer and closer to him every day now. Why? That’s a good question. As I have mentioned SEVERAL times on here (and to many of you in person), life has been someone what of a bitter sweet thing over the last couple years. Having to fight with OCD, ADHD, Alexithymia, Agoraphobia, anxiety and possibly more un-diagnosed disorders has led me to try a lot of things out. Some have seemed to help and some have seemed to be leading me in the right direction, but in the end, I find myself going back to religion for the stabilizer. Religion is the one that has never let me down. Religion is the one that can seem to make the most dreadful of days hopeful again. The issue is that I often shut it out and forget to use it. These disorders and diseases are no joke and they are detrimental in determining my day to day living and attitude. They are not easily controllable and control my life. They are crippling, debilitating and damn near impossible to fight by yourself. I’d like to take a moment to show you what these look like. There is a post from a guy named Shawn Coss who illustrated these disorders better than I think I have ever seen or heard anyone do with words and/or imagery. It’s is utterly amazing how spot on these are. After seeing them, it’s easy to see how difficult of a hurdle they can be. Therein lies the amazing thing. God has given us the power that is in him and allowed us to use it to be able to fight our battles and we need to harness that power and use it to make our lives (and the world) better for everyone. I need to remember to harness that as often and as frequently as I need it. As many of you recall, I lost my Aunt Georgia on Christmas two years ago. She was a woman with a beautiful heart. She walked alone with God her entire life and dedicated it to him. She was, and even continues to be, my tether to God. The rope isn’t as easy to find now as it was when she was alive, but it’s still there. I have been using it more and more recently, and I have been feeling better day to day because of it. Thanks Aunt Georiga 🙂

To close up this topic, I’d like to say that whether you think I’m wrong or an idiot for being a Christian (or any religion for that matter), everyone can take away SOMETHING from the idea of religion. One thing that most ACTUAL religions attempt to do is teach morals, ethics, the ability to come together in times of need and the ability to fight for ourselves. What human among us doesn’t need that? I don’t know anyone…..

Last, but not least, lets take a couple of sentences and share a video that explains what is wrong with our current education system and why we feel that there is a lost generation for every generation “behind” us. The common core system is intended to make sure that every student has a strong foundation of education on which to build their lives, and continue into college on. The system does not work and this has been proven time and time again, yet we continue to use and relay on it. The system hasn’t changed with the times, and it needs to. The system is broken (like many in our country), and we need to start making changes to fix it. There are two videos that I’m going to go with here. One of which is from John Oliver, but that doesn’t make the facts that he puts on the screen any less untrue. Simply because he is on a comedy channel, doesn’t mean that he can’t make FANTASTIC opinions and show facts about them. The other is from the same gentleman that I used up above for the voting. He “sues” the school system and does a fairly decent job at it. They deserve to be sued.

Well, I think that about does it. This post will probably get a lot of flack sent my direction, but ya know what? I don’t care. Remember, these are just my opinions and the ramblings of an engineer. 😉

Posted on September 6, 2016 by

Do We, in Society, Have a “Lost Generation”?

First, a very brief update from the last post about me personally. I will just simply leave it at that things might finally be coming around and I am currently in a positive head-space, hence why you are getting an actual topic/thought rather than just me being frustrated with life. There will be more details on that later. 🙂

First, let me set up some opinions that you will need to know to give this some thought. As I browse around the internet, social media, and other outlets of news, I constantly see, hear, and read things about how bad things are now compared to “the old days”. Now, depending on your age, the “current generation” could be you, one generation behind you, or in front of you. I think you get the picture. At any rate, people are always downing the current generation. I, as a 30 year old, consider myself the 3rd generation alive (I’m giving a generation about a 10 year gap). I see a lot of things listing the current generation as a “lost generation”. What makes a generation lost? Who decides if they are? Why are they lost? Where were they trying to go?

This is where we will start to rely on perspective and perception again. (That keeps coming up, doesn’t it?) I think that we, as humans, want to think that “our generation” was better than than the ones after us. We look down at the music they listen to, thoughts they have, opinions they give as well as things they do. Perhaps it’s justified, perhaps it’s not. I’m not here to tell you which way is right or wrong, because I don’t have the answer. I just simply want to provoke you to think.

Segway for just a second ( 🙂 ), I think it’s worth noting that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. I don’t believe in perfection. Calling something perfect is just a means to justify not working on it any longer. I will never call anything perfect and that is just something that I will always live and believe. That being said, no matter what generation you are in, I encourage you to do something to positively influence someone. No matter how big or how small, do something. (This is the pay-it-forward mentality from the aforementioned post as well) If you need a video with music to help, try this one:


At any rate, in my opinion, we (every generation) control our own destiny, thus making any one of them vulnerable to being “lost”. The biggest reason for me wanting to make this post was to show you that your perception of EVERYTHING is important. Not only important, but imperative. A perfect example of this is a poem that my wife actually ran across in her Reddit-ing. The unique thing about this poem is that you can read it from top to bottom as well as from bottom to top. Give that a try now:

I am part of a lost generation.
And I refuse to believe that
I can change the world.
I realize this may be a shock, but
“Happiness comes from within”
Is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in thirty years, I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
Is more important than
I tell you this:
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
But this will not be true in my era.
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
Thirty years from now, I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making.
In the future,
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this Earth.
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

There is hope.
It is foolish to presume that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It will be evident that
My peers and I care about this Earth.
No longer can it be said that
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
In the future,
I will live in a country of my own making.
I do not concede that
Thirty years from now, I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.
Experts tell me
This is a quick fix society
But this will not be true in my era.
Families stayed together
Once upon a time
I’ll tell you this:
Is more important than
I have my priorities straight because
My employer will know that
They are not the most important thing in my life.
So in thirty years, I will tell my children
“Money will make me happy”
Is a lie, and
“True Happiness comes from within”
I realize this may be a shock, but
I can change the world.
And I refuse to believe that
I am part of a lost generation.

Neat, huh? So, my question is simple. In the way that you live your daily life, which way are you reading the poem? If you feel that you are a part of a “lost generation”, do something……

Poem Credit:  Johnathan Reed

Posted on August 8, 2016 by

Is 2016 Trying to Beat 2015 in Hating Me Now?

Well, my last post will be a big difference from this post because I have not been able to live up to those expectations and thought processes that I laid out in that post. (Perception, Perspective, and Paying it Forward). I always have and still have been paying it forward (that’s wired into me – it’s just who I am), but it has been quite difficult to live up to the perspective and perception. Things have just been really crappy and not going at all in way that is helpful and I’m starting to get discouraged. Very discouraged. I feel like I’m lost and I’m running out of breadcrumbs to follow back home. I want you to know a bit more about what is going on and why I’m having it so difficult right now. To start, I made a chart (yes, a chart). Let’s put that in here:

So, let’s take a look here. We start off as a “normal” ratio of stress to happiness. Then my life went wildly positive. I married the love of my life and get to spend the rest of my days with her. Additionally, in that time we lump in the adoption of my 4 kids, while stressful, a blessing to my life and I wouldn’t have made a different decision if I could do it all over again. Move forward time a little bit and then I suddenly start to degrade. This is when I started having severe stomach issues, as well as when my anxiety/depression started to kick in. The root cause of this is still unknown and we are working on it daily.

I recently started to see a psychologist and going to a therapist as well to try to get to the genesis of the issue. They have been helpful and we started to see an incline and improvement all around in every aspect of my life. Things were looking great and we were on the track to figuring it out and recovering, then all of a sudden, the therapy and medicine stopped working entirely. I’m not sure whether my body got used to the medicine or if my anxiety/depression is just worsened, but I plummeted and I plummeted hard. The last two months have been some of the most difficult in my life. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, because I’m fairly sheltered and I don’t show many emotions due to something called Alexithymia. It pretty much means that I don’t feel or show some/any emotions like a “normal” person would. In other words, you get a facade and you don’t get the true me. That is reserved for only a few people and those people are a huge asset to me and I will be forever grateful to have them. Unfortunately, things have gotten to the point that those people’s “therapy” of me talking to them has no longer helped to alleviate any of it either. I’ve made a couple of new people that I feel that I can do this with and I’m trying to force myself to talk to more people about it (hence the post you are getting today). I think that if I talk about it and talk with people that exhibit similar behaviors or issues, that it can help me find my next step.

The issue is that I just don’t know where to begin anymore. As you can see by the chart above, things are incredibly difficult for me right now and I feel that I could crumble at any minute. The reason that I don’t know where to begin is that I am now almost Agoraphobic. This HEAVILY limits what I can do. It prevents me from traveling ANYWHERE really. Even 10-15 minutes away from my house is too much at times. This is problematic because the things that need “corrected” are: my physical health, my mental health, my stomach issues, my finances, Lynn’s stress, the kids’ mental health, and my house (repairs and renovations). So I’ve been doing consulting work to bring in money and that’s great when I find the jobs to do, but I need a steady and stable income to be able to provide for my family and get my house fixed up. This is an issue because for that, I would need a good job and I can’t travel. Let’s skip that one and address my stomach, physical, and mental health. I am such a cornucopia of issues that I need to see a GOOD doctor which again, requires travel. I guess we can’t fix that one right now either. Finances would be solved by a job but I’m limited to remote jobs which are highly sought after and hard to get. Lynn’s stress would be greatly diminished if we could figure me out because then I would be able to take some of what she has on her shoulders. She doesn’t need or deserve to have that, but since I can’t travel; she is left taking the kids to most places.  Thus, I really don’t know where to begin because it’s all catch 22’s.

There are nights where I feel that I’m going to have a mental breakdown. Tonight is a good example. Here we are, at 2:45 AM and I’m still awake because everything is in shambles. I had a bad day all around. Kids were rough all day, bad day at work as well, then I come home and take the anxiety out on Lynn and we end up fighting. (Lynn and I NEVER fight). I’ve spent the last 3 hours in my computer room trying to get my spirits back about me so that I can get past this “episode”, but this has been a rough one. I’ve even spent some time of it crying, just due to the overwhelming pressure that I’m under and the amount of spiraling my life seems to be doing at this point in time. It helps to just type this stuff up and get it out there. Most people don’t read it anyway. 😛

I’ve been using this song to attempt to lift my spirits, because it is talking EXACTLY about what I’m going through. Whether you are a christian or not, this music is well done, and the lyrics are great. You can use it to mean anyone in your life that you can go to with your issues and they will fix them. Those people will know who they are for me.

Sorry for the long rant, but this really does help. If anyone EVER wants to vent to or chat with me, I welcome it. You can comment here, hit me up on Facebook, or any other communication mechanism we have at our disposal. I tend to be better at helping others than helping myself. If I could just take my own advice and use the knowledge that I have and DO IT, we wouldn’t have this issue. Even with this all going on, I’m putting on my happy face and trying to push through the best I can. It will take some effort, but I think I can do it. I just have to find the first step that will lead me back up the hill to the top. I look forward to that day.

Edit: I do want to point out (and the reason this is the most frustrating thing on the planet), is that I see the positives that I have. I see the blessings in my life. I see how many wonderful things I have and I still am aware of them. I just can’t seem to focus on them. I know they are there. I know I should be happy go luck every day because I have so many wonderful things, but I just can’t and I don’t know why.

Posted on March 11, 2016 by

Perception, Perspective, and Paying-it-Forward

As I sit here, reviewing the past posts of my blog (although, they may be few, most of them are long), I notice that I do an awful lot of time telling you guys why things are bad, and not why they are good or how they are good. This is a blog post that I have been meaning to do for quite a while, but have been sleeping just about every day for the last two weeks due to a severe sinus infection that I just couldn’t shake. As I write this post, I’m going to put something in parenthesis after each sentence that has or requires something that I take for granted daily that has allowed me to do whatever was mentioned in the aforementioned sentence. The first one is going to be the ability to write on my blog to let out my frustrations. (I have a fairly beastly computer that allows me to do whatever I want on it without giving it much thought, as well as the ability to understand the web to be able to set up and configure my blog without paying someone to do it for me).

I left work (a part-time job that both brings in some steady income, as well as being a part of my therapeutic recovery, which is a HUGE help to my daily life) about a month ago I had just left work after working a 9 hour shift to cover gaps from our staff being unreliable. It was a late weekday and I needed to craft Valentine’s card boxes for both of my sons’ which were needed the next day. It was late and stores were closing up. Where I work, we don’t carry duct tape, which is what I needed. I travelled a mere few blocks with relative ease. (Thanks to my 2012 Cruze and 2007 Commander). I go through the store and gather what I need. (Thanks to being in decent health, despite stomach problems and depression. My physical movements are alive and well). They ended up having multiple colors of tape so I grabbed some black, and pink and went to the cashier. As I stand in line at the cashier, there is one woman in front of me. Approximately my age, carrying a toddler in one arm and clinging on to a slightly older boy with the other. Both of whom, you could tell, were sick and very congested. She is discussing with the clerk about how she is going to pay for the medicines that she has on the counter because she doesn’t have enough on her. The total is a mere eight dollars, and some change. She then goes out to her car to scavenge the seats for change to acquire enough to be able to purchase the items. I buy my items, and as I gather them up to walk out, I slide the cashier a ten dollar bill and tell him to give her what she needs and not to mention anything about me. I didn’t do it for the recognition, I did it to pay-it-forward. The cashier thanked me on her behalf and I went home to my family. (A house that I am able to work on and add an addition to with very little help thanks to the knowledge I gleaned from working with my father – additionally, I house that I own and can afford to pay for thanks to my knowledge to work for myself, as well as my part-time job).

Why tell you this? Why is this important? You see, in that moment, I realized, as low as I EVER got in life, and as poor as I ever considered myself, not ONCE have I EVER had to scavenge for change to buy medicine for my sick family or myself. Not ONCE have I had to worry about not being able to buy clothes, shoes, or food. Not once have I had to worry about utility bills being shut off from lack of payment (except when I forget to pay a bill 😛 ). Not once has one of my animals needed to suffer because I couldn’t buy food or give them the “maintenance” in which they need. This moment was the time where I realized the small victories that I have been focusing on (which is still helping with my anxiety/depression) are just a tiny piece of what my life is blessed with. My perception of my own life was, and probably continues to be, jaded. I wasn’t looking at all the things in parenthesis as victories. I was considering them necessities, which they aren’t. It’s surprising how much this single incident has changed my perspective on my day to day thought process. I’m more optimistic and thankful for the things I have.

Now, why tell you about paying-it-forward? Simply because that is, and always has been, how I try to lead my life. When I can positively affect someone’s life, why shouldn’t I? When I can help someone when they are down, why shouldn’t I? There will be a time when I need someone to blindly help me out, and I know that when that time comes, that person or those people will be there for me. Whether you call it paying it forward, what goes around – comes around, or just plain karma, think about how someone has it worse than you. Going through the fast-food restaurant? Pay for the car behind you. Guy in front of you a couple dollars short? Hand him some to cover it. Random acts of kindness are something that everyone in this world should embrace. It would build a foundational system that allows us to rely on each other, rather than fear each other. It would build a foundation that would improve the quality of living for many people in the world. It would improve the humanity morale worldwide.

Having said all that, I’m not your boss, or your parent, so obviously you don’t have to do what I say. There is nothing binding you to my train of thought, and to those of you that disagree, you are welcome to it. I just ask that you consider not letting “The Chain of Love” end with you. (For the country music haters – deal with it 😛 )

Posted on January 1, 2016 by

2016, A Chapter Untold.

Well, there we have it. A whole year that set out to hate me, tear me down limb from limb, tear my family apart, as well as distance myself from anyone that cared or could help me, has been defeated. It wails in despair and is in my rear-view mirror as I drive along the road ahead. I look into 2016 to bring great happiness and prosperity in my life, and I will have it no other way. 🙂

So, maybe wording it like that is a bit……melodramatic, but I want the point to be clear that 2015 was incredibly difficult to me and those around me. I was tested, prodded, poked, and even forced into situations that tested me physically, socially, mentally, spiritually, and even digitally (an area that usually doesn’t attack me, so to speak) and it was exhausting. I am glad that it’s over and 2016 can bring in a new era of nothing but positive things. I won’t have it any other way. This is not going to be a post about how terrible things are, because THEY AREN’T. The last month, while stressful, was amazing and I am ready for what 2016 will bring to me and I say “bring it on!”.

My mental state is the best it’s been in YEARS. I am seeing things so much more clearly than I ever have before. I am remembering things from my childhood that I have long repressed to protect myself from it. I am staring my past in the eye, facing it face to face, and I’m not blinking. It can back down. It can be the bottom of the totem pole this year. I’m not budging.

It’s crazy to think that just months ago, I was an absolute mess. I couldn’t hold anything together, and now, here I am as about as positive as I have been in years, if not my entire life. The psychiatric help and therapy that I have been receiving has been amazing, and has really shown me a lot. It has guided me down the right path. As I sit here and reflect on the past year, and all the trauma it brought forward to me and my family, I can honestly say, “meh”. I came out on top. I came out a better and more resilient individual. I am ready for WHATEVER lies in store for me ahead.

To those that I have shared my stories of trials and tribulations with, in further detail than I have on here, due to discussing your life, or your anxieties or whatever the case may have been. I am here to tell you that it can be done. It WILL be done. Do what we have talked about. Focus on the positives. Focus on the “victories”. Focus on YOU. If you need to talk, I’m here for you. I will advocate for you and I will help you push through the darkness.

A more Paronity-esque (long and detailed 😛 ) post will come shortly with details since my last post, but I just wanted to get this out there first thing in the year so that you guys know that I AM READY.

@2016: Give me your best shot. Give me your worst. I have the strength, beliefs, and support I need to withstand anything. Have at it. 🙂

PS: Happy New Year to everyone. God bless.

Posted on November 1, 2015 by

#2015StillSucks – I Think we are Now Trending Upward Though

Phew. Where to begin…….

Been a crazy couple of months, to say the least. This could be another long one. Hang onto your hats. We have made some fantastic progress in getting our children the assistance they need, my mental health is getting tremendously better, I have a menial part time job to get me out of the house, I’m still working for myself as a means of income, GSN shut down our Altis Life server, and a new community picked it up, GSN also removed our TeamSpeak in favor of Discord which we are still vetting, ARMACon is going to start getting some development time to finally get that project usable for communities, and lastly, I’m going to go back to school to finally get my last couple of credits to get my bachelors. Are you ready for all of that. I’m not sure that I am…….

As many of you know, my children are a large (HUGE) part of my life and they are an adopted sibling group that we fostered for before we adopted them. They have been with us between 5-6 years now and they have a lot of behavior and developmental issues. We have been from therapist to therapist and none have been able to identify the root cause, or provide a plan that would help get their brains “straight”. Well, we have two HUGE steps of progress here. The first is the my oldest is seeing a new therapist. This new guy got more done in a single session, than his last therapist got done in 5 years. I’m not even exaggerating. My wife and I met him first without our son to see if we felt that he and my son would be a good fit, and if he could help my son. During our 45 minute screening, it was like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders. This therapist understood. Finally! Someone that sees what we see and knows what we are dealing with! My son, of course, hates the therapy because they talk about deep stuff and the trauma (keep that word in your mind, it will get used again later) that he endured before he came to our house, but he is a different child when he sees him consistently. Part two, is that over the last couple weeks, we have seen a major uphill climb in abusive behavior and utter rage out of the other 3 (youngest). My wife has been doing research for hours on end and we keep coming up with dead ends. We kept getting excited, then it would prove to not be the case for our children. We have been through them all: Anger Overload, Opposition Defiant Disorder, ADHD/ADD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bi-Polar, and one that told us that it was the way we we’re raising them (IE: Blamed Us <.<). Well, after seeing the children’s pediatrician (who is a brilliant doctor and really is digging deep to help with this case), she said the root cause is simple one word. (I hinted above, do you know what it is? :D) Trauma……    That’s it. The trigger to all their anger, all their rage, all their physical attacks on one another is because they suffered trauma when their brains were developing. This has made their Amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for emotion), 2,3 or even 4 times larger (or at least, more active) than it should be. This is why the littlest thing blows them into such rage. Their brains are producing more chemicals than they should be, and they literally have ZERO control over it.

Great, we know what the issue is, how do we fix it? That’s a tricky question and the answer (as you might have guessed) is a tricky, complicated, and long process, BUT THERE IS A PROCESS. We have been referred to a therapist that does family meetings so that the children are surrounded by their siblings and their family and are in a familiar environment. My wife has met with him and explained our children and their behaviors and he was intrigued by the case and thinks that he can help us get on a path to success. This therapist is one of the only ones in my area that can do this work, so if this doesn’t help us, we are going to have to travel quite some distance to get the help we need. We are in a holding pattern now to see when we will see him and get the process started, but we are highly optimistic. We have been given TONS of literature and books to read about this field and we are educating ourselves, so that we can too understand the process.

I have been seeing a new therapist and Psychiatrist for several months now, and I can honestly say this is the best I have (mentally) felt in months, if not years. I mean, I have finger nails. I have bitten and gnawed at my finger nails due to nervousness/anxiety for as long as I can remember. I think the last time I had finger nails was 15 years ago. They think my issues all stem from PTSD from a car accident I had several years ago (coupled with the fact that I’m naturally anxious). Things have been going awesome in the regard. I’m not lethargic all day long. I like spending time with my kids. I have a normal sleep pattern again, and most importantly, I can be there for my family when they need me. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but I can see the tree-line. 🙂

Part of the success from up above is due to my therapist recommending I get out of my house more. My office is in the basement of my house and has no natural sunlight coming in and they say that is very bad for you, emotionally/mentally. I figured the best way to ensure that I do it, was to get a part time job, so I applied at the local grocery store and was hired within a week or so. They have trained me in every part of the store (due to me understanding their software, scanners, and shipment processes due to past careers), and I am already making a name for myself there. They like me, they are nice people to work with, and it’s not a terribly difficult job to do. It’s mildly annoying because it’s boring, and my brain wants to think, but it’s helping my health, and that is more important, any day.

Moving onto GSN. We decided to drop our Altis Life server and our TeamSpeak server. The dropping of Altis was not something we took lightly, but was something that had to happen to keep the home feel that GSN has brought to its members, as well as the close knit community to go with it. Altis was the poison in the water supply for GSN and we had to cut it off. With it, went several admins, staff, and community members, but we are still kicking and now are back to about the size and staff we want to be at. You can read the long drawn out posts about “Shutting Down of Altis“, as well as “What we did with our Altis files” if you want the full details and reasoning behind everything we do. We try to be as transparent as possible. We chose to use Discord over TeamSpeak due to it having a plethora of features that TeamSpeak lacks, and lets face it, TeamSpeak hasn’t really changed in like 15 years. It’s about time we get a new solution that can come in and modernize this space. Discord has the ability to do that and I am excited to see where it goes from here. Their dev team is really responsive and they have been hard at work cranking out bug fixes and features fairly quickly.

Oh, ARMACon, how I have let thee get put on the back burner for so long (thanks Altis Life)…..  No longer! ARMACon will become my new focus in my spare time now and will finally get that train rolling in the right direction. There is a TON of work that needs done to it before it’s ready for the public to use, but I hope to change that in the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for that. I will also be working on merging Esseker and A3Wasteland to make a custom map for GSN to host as well, but that shouldn’t take me too long, but I have sworn off ANY ARMA 3 coding for at least two weeks to give myself a break.

Last but not least, I am finally going to re-enroll in my online classes to get my bachelors degree again. I am only a few credits away from getting it, but life got in the way before and I had to put it on hold. Now that I am working for myself, I should be able to find time to get the classes completed and get my bachelors finally. I am excited for that to start so that I can get one more check-box off my list.

As I did last time, on minor victory as well, I officially own my Jeep. As of last month it is paid in full and I have the title. Woohoo!

I think that about does it for now. Thanks for reading.

If you are down, just think of your life and why you put one foot in front of the next. Do not let the actions of your past dictate the decisions of your future. Keep your head held high and keep on chugging on. There will be an end to that tunnel, and you will make it there. You just have to believe. 🙂


Posted on July 13, 2015 by

#2015StillSucks – Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Something?

Oh, where to begin. Since last personal post (skipping the hating on ViLayer), things really haven’t gotten much better in many aspects. Let’s just dive right in, shall we? I think we will start small and go from there. Then we will throw in some minor victories as well.

As many (or some) of you know, I purchased a new keyboard and mouse because I had a run-in of the liquid type with my old ones. I purchased a Ryos MK Pro keyboard and a Kone XTD Laser mouse. I was super pumped because I had my eyes on the MK Pro for quite some time and the mouse I was trying just to give it a whirl. When I first got the products, I was in LOVE. They are rock solid, well built, and the software that comes to manage, manipulate, and program them is actually really well done. I was very excited that this purchase had worked out so well. Well, 3 months in and they have both shown a defect in some way and I am in the process of fighting with their support to replace them. I opened a support ticket to them for the mouse and they got back to me in 2 days. I find that to be a little too long, but I can let it go. They e-mailed a few times to make sure I wasn’t being stupid and there was an issue (the issue is that a button just flat out stopped working). They offered to RMA the product and replace it (with no option for advanced replacement, I might add – which I was mildly upset at, but oh well). The VERY NEXT DAY my keyboard starts to have an LED not light up (it’s a per key illumination keyboard). While not a big deal, I paid a lot of money for these things and they should work as intended. I opened a support ticket and waited 5 days with no reply. I decided to tweet at them, and after one more day they replied asking for my e-mail address so they could find it. After that, they admitted that they couldn’t find my support request and that I needed to submit another one. At this point, I’m starting to get a little frustrated, but I want to LOVE these products so bad that I’m going to let it go. I open another support ticket to them and tweet at them with a screenshot confirming I did. I got a reply back 2 days later again and they asked for my info so they can open the RMA process. I gave them that info 5 days ago and I still don’t have an RMA slip or any type of reply, AGAIN. I’m running out of patience here.

Next, a couple of the long term opportunities fell through and I didn’t get them (I’m thinking because of my last manager whispering in their ear a little too heavy), but things are still moving along on the consulting and side job front. I’m bringing in money to pay the bills and feed the family and things are great for that. The issue is that I’m not fantastic with time management all the time, so it’s something that I have to really work at, but things are going well and I’m learning and growing as I go. There are a couple of new opportunities on the radar as well that I just started the interviewing process for, so we will see where they take us. Here’s hoping!

Next, my oldest son plays minecraft a lot and enjoys doing so. He plays the Pokemon mod that is fairly popular on it. He earned 20 dollars for his birthday or something (I don’t really remember what for) and he wanted me to purchase him some in-game items. I agreed and logged him in and all that so that he could purchase the items. After he was done, I was sure to log him out and make sure it didn’t keep me logged in so that he couldn’t bill me more without my permission (which he has done in the past). Well, I neglected to think about the password manager. He figured out how to use it and by the time I caught him (by seeing the paypal e-mails), he had amassed $416 dollars in virtual Pokemon items on a server. I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my child so bad in my life. We are making him “work” around the house at a rate of minimum wage to pay it off (even though I called Paypal and disputed the charges saying they weren’t authorized and got my money back). I think it’s important that he learns that money comes from work, not from the heavens magically.

Next, let’s move onto some of the GSN related stuff that has been causing me some stress as well. Usually working on GSN material and admining the stuff over there is a stress relief and helps me calm down. It’s still work to most people, but for me it helps and I enjoy doing it. That is until Bohemia Interactive decided that they didn’t like the way that we were running our server and told us that if we didn’t change it immediately, they would pursue legal actions. I went back and forth about what they were fighting for was none of their concern and they needed to mind their own business and that we would oblige by their rules, but anything else was our decision and not theirs. I eventually decided that it was better for our community to knuckle under and let them “win”. My logic behind this was that I wanted to respect the ARMA community and not shit on anyone. I have ZERO respect for BI now (not that I had much before), but I still want GSN to have a positive note in the ARMA community since that is where we primarily reside right now. We reached and agreement with them and are working on other means of funding our operations and opening our donator ranks to GSN wide perks, and not just tied to a particular game. This will most likely be better for us anyway.

Next, my two youngest boys decided that it would be hilarious to throw things at their walls until there was hold all through them (and these were exterior walls). After they had the holds there, they thought it would be even more fun to fill up water balloons and throw them in said holes. My oldest son comes down to my office and says “There is water leaking from the roof on the front porch, come quick”. Now, you wouldn’t know this, but there is absolutely ZERO plumbing in the front of my house, so what the hell was causing this water was unbeknownst to me at the time and was I in for a surprise when I found it. So of course, I had to tear out all the drywall and insulation and replace it so that it didn’t mold, so my boys room has <some> walls right now…..

Next, I’m seeing a new doctor to try to figure out why my brain is so difficult to work with. 🙂 Seriously though, I’m still having a ton of anxiety and panic issues that are also causing turmoil in my stomach as well. He is optimistic that we will be able to find a solution that works for me, and didn’t want my past history from my doctors because he believes in starting from scratch, which I think I am in agreement with. The largest issue is the medicine he wants to try is $390 for 30 pills….. Who can afford that? I know I can’t. Especially right now. We are working on a way to get the funding for it, and they are willing to provide me samples for a month or two (while we make sure the medicine even works), so we will see where that takes us.

This last week has been a fun one because my dryer decided that it didn’t want to dry anymore. It still tumbles and turns on, but never warms up. The high heat fuse is shot, or the element is gone. I have a guy coming to look at it to see if we can figure out what the issue is without having to spend too much money on getting it fixed. A house of 6 without a dryer is quite the task to complete. I have taken rope that I have and run clothes lines all over the house and we just have clothes drying freely everywhere. Makes for a fun trip from room to room.

Next, let’s move to last week. My wife is driving my car (yes – the same car that had $7K damage done to it by a pizza driver) was hit by lightening (and yes, while she was moving). The HUD lit up like a Christmas tree, but the car did keep moving. She called me frantic, asking what to do and I calmed her down and assured here that there was likely no immediate damage (I figured it took out the battery, alternator, or both), but that she would make it home just fine. Sure enough, I was right. Two days later, as I’m driving it down the road, I notice that it goes into “low power mode”, which <apparently> was someones intelligent idea to make the car run as long as possible by turning off features of the car. Even safety features. So, here I am driving down a windy road and I lose traction control, power steering, radio, window controls, anti-lock brakes, and air bags (or so it told me). I did manage to make it off the hill and to the mechanic and by the time I got it there, the battery was down to 7.1 volts…..  They have looked at it and as I suspected it DID take out the alternator, which is a whopping $670.60 for the part and labor. Additionally, they had for the part to come in before they can test anything else since they need it to test the ECM, and other components since cars actually “talk” now rather than just sending an on or off signal to various parts. If the ECM is shot, we are looking at closer to $2k in damage. My insurance WILL cover it, but only under my comprehensive, which currently has a $1K deductible. I guess we will see on Tuesday, which way we go, but the crap just keeps on getting piled…..

I’ve been leaning pretty heavily on music to help me through these times (as most do). I found myself listening to this song the other day and I think it describe my feelings perfectly.

The lyrics are spot on and I love the way the video is done. The color is coming back as he moves through it. Right now, my world is very black and white, and I’m just waiting for the day that it starts to be seen in color again.

Now, to the small victories. Due to my current situation, I was able to get some medical assistance that has GREATLY reduced the cost of me seeing the doctors (of which I was paying out of pocket for), and is helping with prescriptions (but not the one I need, unfortunately). Additionally, my oldest has started seeing a new therapist since his last one went crazy, and I think we found a GREAT one here. I feel that we got more accomplished in a single session with him, than we did in 5 years of the old one. He recognized that my wife and I have a lot of experience in dealing with these types of children and gave us a lot of tips and ideas to use. He also gave us some names and books to read to which my wife has been reading and they have been truly eye opening. They are spot on when it comes to my kids behaviors and EVERYONE the kids have been to see before this was wrong and not even close. We are very excited to have made this transition and look forward to seeing this grow.

I think that about takes care of the last couple of months. Being a religious individual, I truly believe that I will come out on top of this battle and that I am being put through this to make me a stronger human being. “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger”. I WILL be victorious over all of these negative aspects in my life and I will come out on the other side and be able to look back and laugh. That day will come. I KNOW it will. It’s just hard to see it that way all the time, but I’m trying.

Posted on April 6, 2015 by

Why you shouldn’t use ViLayer as your hosting provider

To those that generally read my blog posts over the last couple years (which isn’t a ton of posts since I don’t post much, but hope to start doing more regularly) You would be familiar with my opinions and feelings towards Hypernia Gamerservers as well as HostDime/Surpass web servers. Both of these companies have shown time and time again that they can’t handle the customers they have and don’t usually know what they are doing.

Today, we have another company to add to that list. ViLayer. While I think I still hold them to a higher level of respect than Hypernia (which isn’t hard to do), this company clearly has SEVERAL issues in how it operates its servers and its support infrastructure. As I have mentioned in my other posts, when you have a product or service to sell, you need to be able to support it. 9 times out of 10, the support you provide will make or break your relationship with a customer. You can have a mediocre product, but as long as your support kicks ass, the customer will continue to come back for it and continue to use your services, because you have shown that they matter and that you care. The issue with ViLayer is that they have less than mediocre services, as well as absolutely garbage customer support. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1.) Let’s take a look at their control panels which are hosted on different “layers” than their game server so that when ones goes down, the whole system isn’t effected. More often then not, we log into a system that simply says “Status: Uknown”. This is as much information as we can get. There is absolutely no where in the control panel that we can go to help determine if anything has happened or has caused an issue. Additionally, there is nothing we can do to fix it. Since we at GSN Gaming have AMPLE admin experience and typically manage our own servers, this is frustrating to us and makes it so that we are helpless. This issue was last seen yesterday AND today again…. Yea – two days in a row. We are at OVER 15 hours of downtime in two days, and are still fighting to get adequate support.

2.) When we see the issue above we open a “high priority” help ticket to the support staff. It always takes a MINIMUM of 5 hours to get a response from these guys and that is on a good day. We have gone 12+ and even up to 24 hours without an initial reply and when we do get a reply, it’s a trivial, broad, and unacceptable reply such as:

Very sorry about this the server is down due to a large DDOS we could offer to move you to a more protected location if you wanted? If you have any other queries or issues don’t hesitate to get in touch.

So, it took you 5 hours to realize the box was under attack and let us know about it? Your solution is to move the box somewhere else rather than to mitigate the attacks or implement null routing of large DDoS attacks? Hysterical…. That was today’s reply, let’s take a look at yesterdays:

I’m sorry that you are having problems with your Server, I have informed our server staff who will be checking the node and hope to have it resolved shortly. The server may have to be restarted to get this working and online.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope to have this resolved as soon as possible, if you have any further problems or find the Server is not up in 24 hours time please reply back on this ticket so we can can investigate further.

As for the delays,
When you create a support ticket, this ticket is added to our support ticket queue.
Each ticket has a time stamp and we go off of these timestamps to work with the oldest ticket first.
Thus allowing us to work with tickets in the order we receive them.

When a client submits a ticket and then creates a multiple tickets, multiple responses, or “bumps” the ticket before staff has a chance to respond, this actually pushes the ticket the end of our ticket queue.
This causes delays in us responding to tickets and can cause clients to wait over 24 hours for a response.

We ask that you please allow support to respond to your ticket before creating a new ticket or making a response. This will prevent any delays and will allow us to respond in a timely manner.

If you have any other queries or issues don’t hesitate to get in touch.

So, it took you 10.5 hours to give us a reply about our server which is completely offline for unknown reasons, and your excuse is that IT IS OUR FAULT that we bumped the ticket? Come on….  At least try to come up with something a little more intelligent. Now, don’t get me wrong, being in support management and a senior level support engineer for the largest software companies in the world, I understand the concept of bumping tickets, but 5 hours is MORE than ample time to respond to a help ticket, especially high priority ones. If it’s not, you need to hire more staff…..

4.)The support staff has absolutely no idea what they are doing and what the end issue is. They are merely a liaison between the customer and the people that “know what they are doing”. (I put that in quotes, because I can’t be confident that they know anything either). The replies we get from them, when they finally come, offer little to know explanation as well as no remorse, sympathy, or guidance on how the issue can be addressed next time. Most times, it just comes back on and they don’t offer the explanation. In the case of the ticket yesterday, I specifically asked for the reason for the down time, and their response was to close the ticket out. That’s right, without saying a damn word or replying to my question, the closed the ticket. I mean wow…..  How do these companies stay in business?

5.) Their SLA is laughably tight enough to ensure that you can’t hold them accountable for anything and is worded in a way that makes NOTHING their fault. They are not obligated to assist or support you in any way for just about anything. Additionally, unlike most SLA’s, there are no ETA’s on support replies and how long support replies should take. I can only assume this is because they are understaffed and can’t guarantee a time, which is asinine.

6.) They don’t know when they are having a DDoS attack or not. If the down time is due to a DDoS attack, you should be able to determine that instantly and handle it effectively (in most cases). There is no science to prevent and mitigate DDoS attacks that is 100% effective and I get that (having a BS in Computer Systems and Network Security), but you CAN make it so that other customers aren’t effected quite easily by null-routing the IP That is under attack, and by not putting so many games servers on the same IP’s. Most hosts worth a grain of salt will actually PRE-EMPTIVELY report DDoS attacks to you to let you know that you will see down time. In fact, NFO usually knows, has an update about it, and a plan in place by the time I can even open a ticket. If I still do open a ticket, I get a reply within 5-10 minutes tops. Additionally, they make sure we are good and follow up after the attack is completed and subsided.

That all being said, at the end of the day we use ViLayer because they are one of the “approved” hosts to host the KOTH mission for ARMA 3. It was the first one we tried and our server has a great deal of popularity because we have a huge team of diligent admins, so we don’t want to switch to another host.

In summation, if you want a server that might work some of the time and you can’t get any support, than ViLayer is the host for you. If you want server that will work and when they don’t work you get the best support in the industry, go with NFO Servers. It won’t be a decision you regret.


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