Social media and future employment…

I’ve been on social media since the early days of LiveJournal – the days where you needed to be invited by another community member. I joined FaceBook in the fall of 2007. I’ve been on Twitter since March of 2008. Over the years I’ve said many things that I would not say today.

Times have changed.

According to CareerBuilder more and more employers are reviewing potential employees social media to help the company’s selection process.

Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, Finds Latest CareerBuilder Study
– 57 percent are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online
– 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
– Half of employers check current employees’ social media profiles, over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content
– 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006

I know the above is true as I’ve been on teams where social media of applicants has been reviewed.

Like a resume, CV, phone screenings, interview, or skills assessment social media is another way for an employer to determine if an applicant will fit the culture of the organization looking to fill a given position. Personally, I’ve been publishing and distributing books, comics, and novels for many years. My company is well known and respected in our narrow market niche. When I apply for jobs I am sure to include works from my hobby business. This has helped my land at least two positions, one that lasted almost ten years, and the other I still do work for today. I was hired not only for my ability to sell and market the products I published for my contributors, but because I show an entrepreneurial spirit that my employer saw value in bringing to their team.

Do I curb my tongue on FaceBook, Twitter, Mastodon, Telegram? No. You get the whole me on my social networks.

There is more to say on this topic…just not today.

Plan B

It started back in the late 90s, my habit of reading Exhibitor Magazine. Two sections were always of interest to me, the annual salary survey, which I would leverage in performance reviews for salary justification, and the articles about event horror stories, which included a Plan A and a Plan B. It was the Plan B that always got my mind moving. What would I do if I needed a Plan B?

Over the last twenty years, I’ve been lucky enough to plan ahead and almost always run with Plan A. This weekend due to several uncontrollable circumstances Plan A didn’t work out as expected and Plan B was formulated and employed.

Plan A:
This should have been a simple one table sales event in Orlando, Florida. The week before the show I packed up the inventory, display items, signage, and table covers into four boxes and shipped them via common carrier to the destination. Easy as pie. Done this thousands of times over my career. I noted the tracking numbers and tracked the packages the first few days to make sure they were on their way.

The day before the I leave for the event I load up some additional inventory in my luggage and check on my packages. One of the four boxes didn’t leave California…The other three made it safely to Florida.

No reason to panic just yet, I called my logistics company and started a trace and claim – just in case.

Since I didn’t know which box was missing (the weights and dimensions were all similar) I didn’t know what extra to bring – and my flight was in three hours. If it were an inventory box, no big deal, I have lots of inventory. If it were the supplies box, I would be in trouble. No reason to worry until I get there and find out what was missing.

It was the supplies and display box.

Fork me!

Plan B (Watch the Good Place show to understand inside joke):
Step One – call the shipping company and modify the claim to include a details list of what is in the box.

Step Two – prepare a sign to be printed at the on-site print shop at the venue.

Step Three – alert the team back in the office and see if what items were in the box could be economically shipped to the event (they could not).

Step Four – Implement the plan.

– A blanket from my hotel room solved my table cover problem. I’ll return it after the show.
– The UPS Print Shop on site solved my signage problem by printing up some company logos on 11 x 17 paper (their largest size).
– I’ve got pockets to keep change in, so that solves the missing register drawer problem.

Problem solved.

Electric Vehicle? Why Not!

Last year I purchased a Ford Focus Electric and have been enjoying it for the last 4,500 miles. Some of the perks for having an electric vehicle include: NV Energy’s Electric Vehicle Time of Use rate, free charging around Las Vegas, DC Fast Charging between Las Vegas and almost all points California, Tax Incentive for first year, and it’s fun to drive!

NV Energy’s Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate:

NV Energy offers a special Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate for its northern and southern Nevada EV customers. It allows customer to pay a discounted rate if they charge the vehicle during the utility’s off-peak hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. As an added benefit, the discounted rate applies to all of the energy used at a home or apartment during that period of time, not just electricity used to charge an electric vehicle.

Time of use rates are higher during daytime and early evening hours (peak-usage) and lower during nighttime hours (off-peak). To help customers who are uncertain about the best rate for their lifestyle and electric vehicle charging needs, a comparison will be made between the Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate and the regular flat rate for the first 12-month period. If the Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate was more costly during that period, NV Energy will credit the difference back to the customer and give the customer the option to move back to the flat rate.

It’s no secret that we have a whole home automation system that is smart enough to no run the HVAC system during the On Peak hours. I’m smart enough not to plug the vehicle in until 10:00 PM. This has effectively cut our total electric bill by 15% in the winter months and over 30% during the summer months.

Free Charging Around Las Vegas:

I live on the west side of town. Within easy driving distance the following locations offer free electric vehicle charging stations:

– Downtown Summerlin: Shopping Mall, ChargePoint J-1722 in each garage
– Las Vegas Cyclery: Parking Lot, single J-1722 and wall outlet – Solar Powered
– Veterans Memorial Leisure Center: Parking Lot, two J-1722, non-networked
– Tivoli Village: Shopping Center, J-1722 and Tesla
– Evo Apartments: Parking Lots, twelve two port J-1722 ChargePoint stations
– U.S. Micro Corp: Parking Lot, J-1722 station

Almost every strip casino also has EV parking stations, but one typically has to pay for parking or pay the valet – but then the electricity is free.

By and large I make use of the free EV stations around town at least once a week, and then plug in at home during non-peak hours to pre-condition the cabin before taking to the road.

DC Fast Charging between Las Vegas and almost all points California

Thanks to the Baker, CA DC EVGo station opening this past June I can now take my Focus EV from Las Vegas to San Diego, LA, Bakersfield, and beyond all the way to Seattle if I wanted…

Going east is a different story. Once the Tonopah, NV station and Moapa and Mesquite stations open it’ll be more time efficient.

My Focus EV takes just under thirty minutes to charge from empty to about 85%, giving me 100 miles of range. So each stop is about the same as my old 1987 Cadillac Limo, but far less cost! (My limo had a 20 gallon tank and got about 10 miles to the gallon highway, about 180 miles per fuel up at over $3.00 per gallon – do the math. I put over 35,000 miles on that car over seven years).

A year ago I had range anxiety, but knowing where the fast charge stations are, and keeping a standard 120/240 volt charge cable in the car has me confident I can go to Canada with my Focus EV! I’m already planning a road trip to Los Angeles later this fall.

Federal and State Incentives:

The federal government and a number of states offer financial incentives, including tax credits, for lowering the up-front costs of plug-in electric vehicles (also known as electric cars or EVs). 

The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax credit is for $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the U.S. The size of the tax credit depends on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity.  To find out specific tax credit amounts for individual vehicles, visit’s Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles and Tax Credits for Plug-in Hybridspages.  This tax credit will be available until 200,000 qualified EVs have been sold in the United States by each manufacturer, at which point the credit begins to phase out for that manufacturer. Currently, no manufacturers have been phased out yet. 

Of course I took advantage of this tax credit. I’d have been a fool had I not.

It’s fun to drive!

As much as I enjoyed throwing the weight of the nine seat limo around, this Focus is just fun to drive.

Some important tools for writing, collaboration, and team building…

I’ve been a remote employee for over nine years and would like to share with you some of the tools that help me be more effective at communicating with my team members and feel more like part of the group.

  • Writing Tools:
    • Grammarly
    • Word
    • Pages
  • Communication Tools:
    • Email
    • Telephone
    • Messages
  • Involvement Tools:
    • Slack
    • Skype
    • FaceTime
    • Confluence
    • GitHub

Over the coming weeks, I’ll flesh out what each of the above tools means to me and how I work with them.

Just some thoughts

When one gets married one usually becomes a member of the other’s family and social circles. When I married, I was fully embraced by my spouse’s family. I was a welcome member at dinner, holidays, and events around the house. After twenty plus years being together I’ve become comfortable with my family. This past week we lost Dad Rabbitt.

I was adopted by the Rabbitt Family when I started dating Sean. When Kipp learned that I enjoyed sailing  and that I worked ten minutes away from his house, he would routinely call and say he was looking for some crew for the day. Every time this happened, I would reschedule my meetings and meet him at the boat for an afternoon of sailing. 

On weekends Sean would come down, sometimes our sister would join, and the four of us would spend the day out on the water chatting, enjoying Narragansett Bay, just enjoying life. Kipp knew all the places to stop for lunch up and down the Bay. One of his favorite spots was Chelo’s, but he wouldn’t say no to hitting Iggy’s for clam cakes and chowder.

Another thing Kipp would call for was yard work. I do enjoy working outdoors with my hands. One day I got the call that Kipp wanted to burn some yard debris and had obtained a permit from the town, so I headed on over, and there was Kipp with a flare gun starting a fire of epic proportions. The next few hours were spent making sure none of the trees around the are caught fire. It was classic Kipp.

Kipp reminded me a lot of my grandfather who I lost earlier this year. 

Two great men that I looked up to have passed. 

It’s been a busy year…

To say it’s been a busy year is an understatement…

…It all started in January with the Consumer Electronics Show followed by a trip to California for Knott’s Berry Farm and Downtown Disney. Then in February we went to LA to see WorkJuice Under Coverfollowed by Folf visiting for an epic photo shoot (brush brush brush); immediately followed by a trip to Boston for Anthro New England. We ended up back in Boston the following week for my grandfather’s funeral. Our Corgi friend visited in March and I had another California Trip to teach the California Department of Public Health how to test cannabis for aflatoxins. April started strong with Motor City Fur Con followed by a week long team summit in held in Nevada. Then it was off to Reno for Biggest Little Fur Con! After that I headed to Vancouver for the ICANN (Clap Clap Clap) GDD Industry Summit while Sean held an Aflatoxin Training session for Harris Ranch and P-R Farms in the California Central Valley. The next week we were at ChefConf in Chicago and now are in Minneapolis for another industry summit

June and July will be met with house guests, which is always fun. We really do enjoy cooking and sharing our home with friends and family.

August gears up for more travel with trips to Denver, Minneapolis, France, followed by San Jose, Phoenix, and Chicago.

What have you been up to the first half of the year?

GDD Industry Summit, May 2018 Recap

Greetings and welcome to my first blog post here at DNSimple. As Anthony mentioned in a prior post I recently joined the DNSimple team to assist with sales and marketing pursuits. One of core activities of the sales and marketing is attending industry events. Conferences, industry events, meetings, and trade shows can easily fill the calendar if one lets them. The crafty sales team picks and chooses each event with care with specific goals in mind. For my first event, it was the GDD Industry Summit held in Vancouver, British Columbia in May of 2018. My goals were clear, to meet industry leaders, attend sessions on a variety of topics, and learn from my co-workers. In addition to the GDD Industry Summit I had the opportunity to meet with prospects with one of our valued partners.

Tony Kirsch kicked things off for me at the Success Stories of New gTLDs: From Brands to Generics to Citiespanel. The session was packed full of examples of how new gTLDs can be used to focus a person/organization/company’s internet presence. When talking about brands and brand TLDs the primary advantage is brand image. That said, brand TLDs allow companies to create lots of second-level domains for campaigns and products. Take BMW for example, who use the .bmw TLD in their marketing (used to promote the next 100 years of BMW – it currently points to their .com home page). From a brand marketing point of view, brand TLDs allow for shorter and more memorable URLs. While not as popular as .com some generic new gTLDs are gaining acceptance including .blog, .cloud, .io, .shop, and .works.Perhaps the most important of the new gTLDs are those focused on cities. The .vegas TLD and .nyc TLD have worked in favor of both Las Vegas and New York City.Overall it was a very informative session. As more and more people and companies adopt the use of gTLDs their acceptance will grow. I envision a future where .blog, .works, .shop, and more (link to TLDs Page) are just as respected, or more-so as .com.

The next panel discussion I attended, Industry Led Initiatives to Improve Domain Name Adoption & Use:,, and more, highlighted some of the things key players in the industry are doing to help end users seamlessly interact with their domains. Many of the services discussed are currently offered by DNSimple – our one-click-services (link to services) allow users to instantly connect popular services to their domains so they can be up and running quickly without having to manually create domain records. One of the things that I thought was interesting was an authentication scheme still in development, id4me. This is is an open, public, user-friendly Internet identity system that provides authorization of a user for access to any third party accepting ID4me identifiers and controlled communication of the user’s personal information to said third parties accessed by the user. (Link to graphic from slide at

After lunch I attended a compliance session. Entire blog posts can be written about that hour and fifteen minutes – by someone not me.

My final round table discussion of the day was by far the most informative. Lead by Frédéric Guillemaut, the Marketing Premium Namessession went over the pitfalls and benefits of premium and reserved domain names.

Premium domain names are those that are already owned by a person or registry but are available for sale at an increased cost or those domain names held back from general registration by the registry due to their perceived higher value. Held back premiums are those that make the domain appear more valuable – such as,, double and triple letter names, and single character names for that TLD. Secondary market domains of high value are considered premiums due to the costs involved and the often need of a broker to handle the exchange between the current owner and the prospective owner. One of the issues discussed was the radically different pricing structure for these higher value names. Some charge a higher registration fee and then a lower annual renewal fee, others charge a higher than standard domain registration fee and then the same amount annually…others have multiple pricing tiers that have their own renewal fees. I guess the simplest way to talk about these special names is to say it’s complicated.

Other topics in the round table included early access periods for new TLDs, post payment vs pre-payments for registrars, and harmonization of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP).

While I’m not a real fan of early access periods or domain name auctions, I do understand that these are components of the industry. I also understand that trademarks need to be honored and that the Trademark Clearinghouse is a vital component in the creation of new gTLDs. The Trademark Clearinghouse is the repository for validated trademarks for the purpose of protecting brands in ICANN’s new gTLD program (

After the last session I met up with the rest of the DNSimple Team at the event and we shared what we had learned. Overall it was a very educational summit for me.

Home Meal Delivery Services – A Review

Back in 2013 a friend, let’s call her Amy, introduced me to the concept of Blue Apron ( and every week (except when traveling) since then I’ve received a box containing three meals for two people. The services has been excellent with only two meals being less than ideal and a handful of selections that I wouldn’t cook a second time. There are many that I have duplicated for friends and the cooking techniques imparted by Blue Apron have made kitchen time more enjoyable. I’ve shared Blue Apron with friends, though admittedly many have not stuck with the service as long as I have. Over the last two years I’ve expanded beyond Blue Apron to include Plated (, Munchery (  HelloFresh (, and Smith’s ( into my kitchen: alternating weeks between the three dinner delivery services and using Munchery as a lunch service as needed and Smith’s to fill in the gaps on travel weeks. This has not eliminated the need for grocery shopping as these services are only replacing three meals a week, allowing my spouse and I to experiment or go out the remaining evenings.

The purpose of this post is to review each of the services as they compare to each other and my experience with each. The reviews will be in no particular order.

What Do These Services Offer:

Each of the four services send fresh ingredients with no preservatives to you home in a box packed on reusable ice blocks. Inside the box are the recipes to go with the foodstuff. Everything is labeled. Digital versions of the recipes are also available for Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Munchery, and Plated. Blue Apron has a social media (Facebook) integration allowing people to see tips from other users on a per recipe bases. They also include video tips and cooking techniques for the novice chef to learn how certain things are done, like chopping and egg separations. All of the services include nutritional information for each of the meals provided. To a lesser extent HelloFresh and Plated have similar offerings. Munchery also has an extensive tips and hints for many of their recipes. The Smith’s product offering provides only the recipe card in each box.

Now to review each service…

Blue Apron:

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Food packaging: Everything is labeled, but loose in one box. Meats are individually wrapped.
  • Delivery: UPS and OnTrack (Depending on where you live)
  • Price: $59.94 (9.99 per meal – 6 plates total / 3 Unique Meals)
    • Offers a family plan for more than 2 people
    • Cooking Time: 45 – 90 minutes per meal.
    • Required Pantry Ingredients: Salt, Pepper, Oil


By far one of the longest running meal delivery services Blue Apron always impresses me. There have been very few meals that disappointed us. Blue Apron requires a certain cooking skillset, but offers the tools to teach if one does not possess that skill set in the form of videos on their website.

Things to keep in mind, if you know where a recipe could use extra garlic or an onion that is not included in the recipe card, you’ll enhance your experience. Also note that an additional piece of protein can stretch almost every Blue Apron meal to three portions. This is not true of the other services.

All in all my favorite of the delivery services.


  • Skill Level: Novice
  • Food Packaging: Individual boxes containing all the ingredients for each meal. Meats are individually wrapped.
  • Delivery: UPS (Depending on where you live)
  • Price: $4.95 Monthly Membership – Pay per meal price, 15% off for members. Meal kit prices vary… Works out to be slightly more expensive than Blue Apron.
  • Cooking Time: 20 – 30 minutes per meal
  • Required Pantry Ingredients: Salt, Pepper, Oil


Munchery is ideal for planning lunches. You get to pick everything that is delivered based on your pricing needs. Time to cook is the shortest as they have done all the work for you. It’s simpley heat and eat.


  • Skill Level: Novice
  • Food Packaging: Individual bags containing ingredients for each meal, larger items are bagged separately. Meats are individually wrapped.
  • Delivery: UPS and FedEx (Depending on where you live)
  • Price: $59.70 (9.95 per meal – 6 plates total / 3 Unique Meals)
  • Some recipe selections are a slightly higher price
  • Add on dessert recipes are $4.00 per dessert
  • Offers a phone number to call if you are planning for a larger event and need more than two plates of the same meal
  • Offers a family plan for more than 2 people
  • Cooking Time: 30 – 60 minutes per meal
  • Required Pantry Ingredients: Salt, Pepper, Oil, The occasional Egg


Plated is the most cumbersome of the services as they often require you to have things in your pantry that you might not have around – like an egg for batters and coatings. This means you can’t do that meal until you have said egg.

Otherwise it’s a very pleasant service.


  • Skill Level: Novice
  • Food Packaging: Individual bags containing ingredients for each meal. Meats are individually wrapped.
  • Delivery: UPS and FedEX (Depending on where you live)
  • Price: $59.94 (9.99 per meal – 6 plates total / 3 Unique Meals)
  • Offers a family plan for more than 2 people
  • Cooking Time: 30 – 90 minutes per meal
  • Required Pantry Ingredients: Salt, Pepper, Oil


HelloFresh is almost exactly like Blue Apron.


  • Skill Level: Novice
  • Food Packaging: Individual boxes containing ingredients for each meal
  • Delivery: Local Pickup at grocery store only
  • Price: $16.00 per two meal box regular price, $8.00 per two meal box sale price if used same or next day (read: about to expire boxes).
  • Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes per meal
  • Required Pantry Ingredients: Salt, Pepper, Oil


Smiths is a good service if you need something that day or the next day as you can go and pick up the box you need that day. No waiting on deliveries and if you need something else it’s right there.


I very much enjoy these services. It adds a verity to my cooking with little thinking effort on my part. I will stick with Blue Apron as my primary, and continue to alternate through the others as needed.

In writing this I realized that these services are pretty much the same at very similar price points. I have over four years’ worth of recipe cards in binders on my cooking shelf. The meals I often repeat come from Blue Apron and HelloFresh. The services that have offered me the most education have been Blue Apron and Plated as their tips & tricks and education aids are far superior to the other services.

Bottom Line:

All the services are fun way to spend time in the kitchen with my spouse. We really enjoy cooking together and these services take the guess work out of that process. They take the thinking out of what to eat and provide the tools for success. The price works out to be less than going out to eat but more than grocery shopping (except Smiths). The portions are controlled so it makes dieting and weight management easier. We’ve never felt hungry after any of the meals we’ve cooked with these services.

For a slightly outdated photo blog of my cooking check out