So my blog has been rather silent for some time. Basically, I was suddenly catapulted to a more prestigious and labor-intensive position at work, and I have been working to a degree that is unprecedented in my life, both professionally and at home.
I do want to report back with the templates and timelines I have followed to earn this success, as the originating and constant impetus for this blog is to share with fellow men of God those ways of success which I have discovered in this world, but that time will have to wait a bit more.
I will say this: it has done me extreme good to avoid the outrages of the day entirely. Historically, I worried that it is my responsibility to tend to the news and affairs of politics lest I reduce myself to idiocy, but I will say to those who are interested: turn your focus to your life exclusively, and you will impress yourself with your achievements. They will, one day, render a base of operations for you whose stability will allow a measured and effective return to societal matters. But I expect that a man in his 30s owes his efforts more exclusively and directly to his work and his family.
This glossed passage from Hesiod has led me well:
“…listen to right and do not foster violence; for violence is bad for a poor man. Even the prosperous cannot easily bear its burden, but is weighed down under it when he has fallen into delusion. The better path is to go by on the other side towards Justice; for Justice beats Outrage when she comes at length to the end of the race. But only when he has suffered does the fool learn this…lay up these things within your heart and listen now to right, ceasing altogether to think of violence.”
“Badness can be got easily and in shoals; the road to her is smooth, and she lives very near us. But between us and Goodness the gods have placed the sweat of our brows; long and steep is the path that leads to her, and it is rough at the first; but when a man has reached the top, then is she easy to reach, though before that she was hard.”
“But do you at any rate, always remembering my charge, work…that Hunger may hate you, and venerable Demeter richly crowned may love you and fill your barn with food; for Hunger is altogether a meet comrade for the sluggard.”
“whatever be your lot, work is best for you, if you turn your misguided mind away from other men’s property to your work and attend to your livelihood as I bid you.”
“So do: and avoid the talk of men. For Talk is mischievous, light, and easily raised, but hard to bear and difficult to be rid of. Talk never wholly dies away when many people voice her: even Talk is in some ways divine.”
I recommend the practice wholeheartedly. After six months of this practice, my home and professional life have never before been so well ordered. For a brief list to provide a general sense of the direction in which my efforts have moved:
- The Home Server
- Off-Site Backup for All Family Documents: The process is working consistently and without need for my intervention. I am using RaspBSD and a Raspberry Pi 3 with a Seagate 4TB Desktop USB disk at a remote site to receive differential snapshots from my OpenZFS zpool every night, as facilitated by a short and easy zsh script which I hope to make public soon.
- A Paperless Home: I purchased an Epson ES-400 scanner and fully digitized all paperwork in the home, storing related documents in single PDF files (e.g. each vehicle, appliance, etc., has its purchase documents, title, and maintenance documents concatenated in chronological order in a single, easily searched file). A nice little inbox is placed in a central location in the home from which documents are processed into our digital storage solution.
- Combined with item 1.1, these documents’ integrity is fully protected by OpenZFS and their availability is assured even in the event of a disaster which consumes my home.
- Home videos and pictures are well organized and tagged on the home server, allowing for engaging reviews of our family time which brings joy and a sense of order and progress to my children and myself. The inspiration to further engage with one’s family which can be had with such documentation and reviews should not be underestimated, in my opinion.
- I have found that these pictures also provide the extreme benefit of allowing one to document and let go of possessions which only have sentimental value insofar as they were the sole documentation of important memories. By documenting them with pictures and videos (say, of the children playing with particular toys or whatnot), it is that much easier to process those items out of the home when the time comes. Not everything must go, of course, but many items are, as I said, without real value aside from that documentation which is better had in video form, anyhow.
- Professional IT Work
- CISSP Certification: In my new position, it became critical to achieve this certification. I intend to finalize and publish a personal reading list to give others an idea of the material which I covered, as I was able to pass this examination with only two weeks of dedicated study (my historical work made this possible, so I believe I could offer a very clear path to certification for others).
- Splunk: I have personally constructed a mid-sized Splunk cluster (seven index nodes, two search heads, about 200 GB of data processed and indexed daily). I have installed and configured proprietary Apps and Apps which I developed for data sources without such offerings as well as custom Data Models, Lookup tables, Dashboards, and Alerts for our organization.
- Other Projects have been undertaken as well, keeping me extremely busy, but it is rewarding work.
- Miscellaneous Home Logistics
- Processed out underutilized valuables in the home: It is truly remarkable what can be accomplished with a persistent digital yard sale (eBay); I was able to sell (often within 24 hours of posting the item!) old IT components for which I have no present use (the Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors which once drove the home server, now using a Core i7 processor) and other items (my middle school trombone!), converting senseless burdens into hundreds of dollars.
- Home storage has been optimized: we have reduced our attic storage from some 30 boxes worth of hastily-packed junk, keepsakes, and valuables into a mere 8 well-labeled and indexed boxes. Everything else was either digitized (lots of papers crammed into boxes…), sold, donated, or thrown away. It is a massive relief to know we do not have all of that stuff awaiting our attention should it become again necessary (but hopefully we won’t move from this house until far, far into the future).
- Clutter has been removed: All of our daily items have been reduced to a near-optimal state through the process above (3.2). There is little lying around which we do not actually use on a regular basis.
Without alleviating the pressures and wasted time incurred by the daily outrage factory that is our society as of late, I could not have done these things, and I would be in a dramatically inferior position when it comes to assisting with any genuine disaster whose occurrence does legitimately seem to be more plausible given our current political situation.
The fruit of this labor is, indeed, a constant sense of peace that has hitherto been irregularly periodic at best.