Vaping with Julia continues!
So much as happened this week that I don’t know if I can remember it all, but I’ll try.
I guess the biggest news is that I asked K to marry me, she said yes, and now it’s on to planning a wedding for next April. We took the weekend to hang out in Vermont and it was such a romantic place and moment felt right, so I went for it. The only problem was that we decided to stay in Vermont for a couple more days and I completely blanked on the hearing in Mass about Bill HB 2593. I felt horrible, so I wound up sending a letter instead. See what happens when I move down to a part time position with Spinfuel? On a happier note I sure did get a lot of great summer images of the Green Mountains of Vermont. My stock agency was happy about that.
When I came onboard Spinfuel eMagazine early last year the entire site was being hosted by one of our tiny dedicated servers that we used for “testing”. Since that time we had upgraded twice, once to a larger, faster server, then we divided up the tasks between one server and one MYSQL server. A couple of months ago we made the decision to either go with adding one more server because of the added traffic of new clients for Spinfuel Design Studio, or just go ahead and install a server rack of our own and let Dave move over to a full time webmaster. While I was in Florida we talked about it everyday and my opinion was that the investment was too much money and that we should scale up as needed. Then I moved back to Boston.
Tom and John decided it was a good idea to go ahead and move forward on the server rack because of the upcoming July is eJuice celebration and the expected uptick in traffic. In addition, the design studio has almost doubled in hosting clients, something that was decided by John’s partner up here.
This week they flipped the switch on the rack, and Dave was able to make the transition nearly seamless. The only issue was that he changed the URL to the Spinfuel Forum and didn’t tell anyone. This is how Dave explained it to me last evening via Skype.
“When I set the first forum up, the very first forum, before the launch, I created the subdomain “forum”, so you would access the forum by typing forum.spinfuel.com. Easy. But, because John was against a forum in any fashion we went with a WordPress plugin forum and the URL was just Spinfuel.com/forum. The plugin forum slowed the entire site down, which was the main reason for the first real server upgrade. Then, when it looked like the forum had a real chance, and after you pushed and pushed for it, I upgraded to phpBB, wrong platform again but we’re stuck with it now, and installed it in a subdirectory of forum.spinfuel. That meant that in order to access the forum you would need to type in forum.spinfuel.com/forum/. We had build another WordPress install into that directory and served the forum inside an iFrame. That was horrible in ways you’ll never know. So I got rid of the WordPress install and built a redirect page that would send people to forum.spinfuel.com/forum just by going to forum.spinfuel.com. With me so far? (ah, no.) Finally, with everything growing so quickly, and allowing the forum to have its own dedicated server I decided to move the sub-directory to parent directory, so when you type in forum.spinfuel.com you go straight to the forum, bypassing the need for a redirect. That saves a couple of seconds for the end-user and gives us a more accurate pageview/visitor count.
But, I never even thought that people would bookmark forum.spinfuel.com/forum since the redirect made it easier to type, and bookmark Spinfuel.com/forum. Wrong. All day long people were telling me that they couldn’t access the server. Finally it dawned on me, they had been bookmarking the entire URL. So, Steve, Dave and John have been sending out messages yesterday and into the night to get all the members to update their browsers and their bookmarks. If I get any complaints on Friday I’m going to create a directory and stick a redirect in there so if people use the old bookmark it will push them up one level.”
Dave tells me that over the next couple of weeks his job will be to analyze where our server resources are being used and tweak the GPU allowances and adjust the memory of the various server applications so everybody gets the fastest possible access to the various sections of the Spinfuel Network. I think that’s a good thing.
Choice 7’s Review
The two-part review published this week was actually written about a week earlier and submitted to Tom back then. I was so impressed with their website, especially the product shots, so I really wanted to like the products. I think that had I ordered something like their coconut or mango for the Power Kit I might have enjoyed vaping the cig-a-like more than I did. So I contacted the company and asked if I could do that, they never answered me. I have no idea why, so I had to go with what I had. Their tobacco-flavored juice they use in their prefilled micro cartomizers (there is nothing micro about them) is downright awful. They taste exactly like V2 or Green Smoke or dozens of others. Stale juice with a Chinese tone to them. And that non-standard threading used by NJOY and SmokeEverywhere was/is a bad move. They definitely want to lock you into their products. And the non-refillable cartomizers? Please. What a racket. $6.50 for 2 micro cartomizers is way too much.
I had high hopes for the Hybrid Kit too. It looks nice, it feels nice (love that super soft mouthpiece), but you just can’t get any decent vapor production from it.
The best thing about Choice 7’s is, like I said in the review, their e-Liquids. Expensive, too expensive for my blood, but they are delicious. And American made. In any case Choice 7’s is far from one of those Scam Alerts, it’s a decent company with some poor product choices and inflated prices. But they have potential IF they want to truly compete.
Life in Boston
K and I have been splitting our time between Boston and New Hampshire because the design studio is in NH and my studio and apartment are in Boston. I won’t say where, but if you’re within walking distance of Berklee College of Music you could throw a rock and hit our living room window.
K is a born and raised Floridian and has never been to New England, or New York City for that matter. So all these things that I take for granted are brand new to K and she tells me she loves it. She certainly seems to. We’ve been taking long walks when it’s not raining, and she getting to know her way around. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this but she’s just 4’ 11’ tall so she feels like she gets swallowed up easily when we’re riding the T or walking down a busy street. K has developed a fondness for Berklee and is considering taking some courses in Film Scoring. She plays the piano like no one I’ve ever met, so maybe this could lead to something big.
Getting back into the routine of living here, with K, has been the happiest days of my life. It’s so much fun to show her places she has heard about or seen on TV and in movies, and she’s just drinking it all in. We’re having a ball.
My friend Ronnie (the pilot and the guy that stocked our frig, and a dear friend) says he had a “blast” flying down to Florida to pick us up, and he said that he would love to make the trip down there every couple of weeks to play golf. For some reason he loves the course at Club Med, so he said whenever we want to tag along we can. K is very happy about that, for now, so we plan on coming down for the day every couple of weeks. If Ronnie was serious that is.
Because K and Jason and myself are back here we recruited Cynthia and Janet (you may remember them from our earliest reviews) to form a Team B for e-Liquid reviews. Tom has formed his new Team A, which you’ll get to see on July 1st. We’re going to take turns with the official Spinfuel e-Liquid Reviews. From what I understand all the e-Liquids will be delivered to PSL and they will remove 1ML from all the bottles (not sure why, maybe for backup?) and then ship them up here via FedEx. We’ll meet in NH and divvy up the juice and then when we meet to discuss them it will be through FaceTime unless we happen to be in NH at the time, and there is a good chance of that since we’re there more than I expected we would be.
Because we now have two teams of qualified e-Liquid connoisseurs we bumped the number of reviews in July to 10 instead of 8, and we’ve come up with some other e-Liquid content I think you’re going to like. Plus, we have so many e-Juice giveaways scheduled it’s going to be fun for everyone. Just a couple more days till the party gets started!
Until next time,
(photos by Keira Hartley – copyright 2013)