It’s early afternoon here in Renfrew, and I do believe we have a sort of “clean slate” for 2021, especially with U.S. President Joe Biden officially in charge as of 12:01pm today. Based on what I’ve seen so far today on Reddit’s r/politics subreddit, it sounds like many, many Americans, and who knows how many here in Canada and elsewhere around the globe, are breathing a collective sigh of relief and, at the same time, crying tears of joy.
Earlier this week, with the help of my wife Shannon, I completely re-arranged my “corner office” at home, this time setting it up as a sort of universal office that can handle just about any task or line of work while most of us are at home and not doing things in-person like we could before 2020. My main workspace, seen here, is based around an Acer desktop PC (running Linux Mint 20.1 and an SSD), and yes, that’s my 1991-vintage IBM Model M “clicky” keyboard, the same type of ‘board I used in school for probably the majority of my elementary years (1988-1997). Audio and video communications are done via the Logitech HD webcam atop my Acer curved monitor, and the CAD Audio “Zoe” USB mic on that short black mic arm. Speakers are the Bluetooth-ready Mackie CR4BT, headphones are the AKG K240 Studio, and finally, an Acu-Rite weather station… the sensors etc. are atop the shed in our backyard and feed their data wirelessly to the main unit up here. Renfrew doesn’t have its own weather observations from Environment Canada (Renfrew’s forecasts show conditions at Garrison Petawawa, about an hour northwest of here) and my Android phone gets its current conditions from just east of here, in Horton Township, so I felt it was time to grab one of these and get current conditions right here at home.
Also on my “new start” this year, I’m strongly considering weaning myself off of some social media, notably Facebook and Instagram, and instead shifting my thoughts etc. to my own platform, i.e. this website. The first step I’ve taken is the installation of the Signal app, on both my computer and my phone. For regular SMS (texting) and MMS (images) communication, I’ve already begun using Signal instead of the stock Messages app in Android 11, and my goal is to have Signal eventually replace my Facebook and Messenger presence, given the recent policy changes involving Facebook and WhatsApp. To connect with me on Signal, use the phone number listed on the “Contact Me” page.
Finally today, I’ve been spending the last couple of days beefing up the security here at the WordPress-powered BMacBroadcast.ca, given the rash of hacks/attacks/etc. involving hundreds of thousands of WordPress-based websites around the world and polluting almost every page of search engine results. I certainly don’t want this to happen here, so I’ve taken several steps to harden the security of my WordPress installation; among them are two-factor authentication, reCaptcha and anti-spam plugins, and putting the site’s main .htaccess file and critical PHP files on strict lockdown at the server level, using my hosting provider’s cPanel. Speaking of hosting, I’d like to give a shout out to my provider and cul-de-sac neighbour, Kent Tubman of Tubman Marketing/SmilingHost.com here in Renfrew, for his efforts and assistance since I first launched BMacBroadcast.ca in June 2019. I doubt I’d be able to get all this set up on my own, from scratch, and having worked with Kent off and on regarding website content during my myFM years, it was only natural for me to go with him for website and email hosting.
Here’s hoping 2021 is a heck of a lot better than 2020 was for all of us… stay tuned!