just heard the site was back up, why and how long was it down?
The company I had been using to host the site since I took over hosting from Mike got hacked and lost access to their own system. Instead of paying the hackers to gain access, they decided to just shut the whole thing down. Supposedly they also had no way to contact customers who were using their services, and even though I could have still made a backup at that time, I didn't even know it was going to go down. To make matters worse, the backup files that were being automatically transferred to my own system had become corrupted somehow, so I only had access to an earlier backup.
To be honest I intended to get it all back up and running much sooner than I did, but my life has been pretty hectic from 2016 to 2023. I used to judge people pretty hard when they went "MIA" after selling something, etc., and of course I still do, but I also have a bit more empathy for the kinds of things that can come up in life.
First of all, I decided to go back to school in 2016 and upgraded the courses I needed to enter an engineering program. I was on the waitlist but got news that I had been accepted about 2-3 weeks before classes started. So I quickly quit my job at Toyota (mostly, I stayed on for Saturdays), and started commuting about 2.5 hours a day to college. After my first year, I transferred to the University of Alberta into Mechanical Engineering Co-op and moved to a new city. A few months after that my mom, who has later-state Huntington's Disease, took a turn and was kicked out of her assisted living facility. Happened the night before my first midterm exam. I spent the next few years struggling through school while driving 6-7 hours most weekends to get my mom into a new facility, then back to the hospital, then another new facility, etc. I worked a co-op term at a John Deere remanufacturing facility, had another part time job at another Toyota dealership, and spent 4 years on the Formula SAE team before graduating in May, 2021.
So I was working on finishing school, trying to find a job, taking care of my mom, and planning another move back to my hometown all at the same time the SM site went down. While there were a number of people who had reached out to me during that time, I just didn't have the ability to deal with SM at the time, and I also didn't have the desire to give up on it, so I was in sort of a limbo. I ended up moving back, getting that job, and also getting married in September of 2021. In August of 2022 my son was born, and so it's still a little bit busy around these parts.
Luckily, I've had a fantastic time working as a product development engineer for a local company and they have been just wonderful with all that I've had going on. Even though it's not automotive or motorsports related, but that may come... we'll see.
I keep meaning to have a larger presence here, and so I'm going to try. It's easy to just scroll through Facebook or other sites here and there when I've got a minute. SM feels like a "responsibility," so I've probably been avoiding it. Don't need to though, it's really not that busy and there's really not that much to do, unless I want to.
So yeah. Hi all.
Jeff will probably read this. Great job, old chap. Thanks for getting this back up. Wow man, you are like twice as old as when I first started chatting with you. I remember you were into photography. I took that up and maybe I'll post some things in the photo section.
Still like photography, but haven't actually gone shooting in probably a decade. Time is flying man. Nice to hear from you again!