7 Days (Vegan) Documentary

Great short (15 minutes) documentary

I had to share this with everyone. It’s a really great introduction to animal-free eating and why more people should make this transition. If you want to learn more you can read more or watch more. Start your jorney today!

More with the NAS

Bad Sectors on Hard Drive
Bad Sectors on Hard Drive

Back in April, I posted about coming home to a beeping NAS.  Well, it happened again.  To the very same drive, I installed in April of this year!  That’s right.  See the graph above from my Synology OS showing the increasing number of bad sectors on the HD over 7 months.  I replaced the WD Gold 4TB drive with a Red 4TB 7200RPM drive.  Hopefully, it will fair better.  I also turned on a weekly in-depth test that will email me if anything really bad comes up again.

While researching for this issue I noticed a lot of confusion in forums and on discussion boards stating that you manufacturers like Western Digitial will not take back a drive that has “a few” bad sectors.  I don’t believe this is true.  I have returned drives in the past for this same issue, just bad sectors.  This drive had 26 which I consider being a lot of bad sectors.  When plugged into my iMac it would not initialize at all.

If you are not sure about sending a drive in for RMA, I encourage you to at least try it.  Worst case scenario, they send the drive back to you.  You only lost a bit of shipping costs, still cheaper than a new HD.

Also, use common sense when looking at the numbers.  My NAS said 26 bad sectors was fine, but I knew better.  Don’t believe the system, after all the defaults for the number of bad sectors may be set to null or to 100.

HD Health 100%
HD Health 100% ????

NAS Woes

We just got back from vacation and after turning back on NAS I get beeps!  Not what you want to hear when powering on after a week of having the server off.

So new hard drive is ordered and I’m $200 dollars poorer, but all my digital files will be a little safer in a few days.  Disk 1 is the drive that went out and it was the first one installed of course so, makes sense I guess.  The best part is because of RAID 5 nothing was lost and the system continues to run.

With Prime from Amazon, It will be back up Monday night.  I’m currently doing a secure erase on the bad drive.  Then I’ll take it out and dust the whole enclosure while throwing out the old drive.  #ITdad


Michelle has been posting more than I have on this site that I created.  I just moved the domain to this site from Bluehost to google domains.  Bluehost is 15.99 right now and you have to pay extra for hiding your address information.  For 12.99 google includes the privacy information.  I’m still hosting at Bluehost because that’s just easier.

In addition to that, I updated this site and dropped off things that didn’t make any sense anymore.  I still need to update the pictures of the family on the about page.

I’ve stopped updating history podcast since my job responsibilities have increased dramatically in the past few years.  I have started another blog that is updated when I have time called Jason Reads.  That site is all about the books I’m reading and I love that site!  It gives me the space to write about the books that I am reading and share with other readers.  I don’t know a lot of real readers.  There are only a handful of readers at work and I’m so busy there I don’t have time to talk about that.  Goodreads and Jasonreads gives me the places to talk books!

Thats all for now, I hope to use this space more often, but no promises!

The Best Books I Read in 2015

Just as in previous years I’m writing a post about the books I read in 2015. I read 87 books in total, below is the breakdown. This year I’m adding a few metrics which I think will be interesting. Like, how much I saved by borrowing books from the library ($807.40) and what percentage of the authors I read were men (67%).

Fiction was the majority of my reading at 60%. Fantasy (20%) and Science Fiction (21%) being the largest portion of all genres. Read a few series this year, meaning I read 8 books by Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), 3 from C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), 2 from Timothy Zahn (The Thrawn Trilogy) and 2 Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson). Paperback was the least popular binding at on 17% of my reads.

Most of my books came from the library (37%). Longest audio book I listened to was Capital at 1,503 minutes (25 hours), shortest was The Hamburger: A History at 180 minutes (3 hours). Total audio listening was 11,751 minutes (196 hours, 8.2 days).

Longest book I read was Hadoop in Practice (536 pages), which was for a class and I didn’t read every page. Next was All the Light We Cannot See at (530 pages). Shortest was 30 pages, a short story called Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo. In all I read 14,560 pages.

The longest it took me to get through a book was Capital (195 days), Michelle and I listened to it in the car. Shorts books included a lot of the Spiderwick Chronicles, in all I finished 12 books the same day I started them.

I finished the most books in July (20). The most popular book (according to goodreads) I read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The least was Valkyrie.

So how does this year compare to previous years? Well, I read the most I have in the past 3 years, but still not as much as 2011, when I read 96 books. That big 100 is still just out of reach. Maybe this year…

Some of my favorite books of the year were:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Falling Up

Tuck Everlasting

The Nixie’s Song

How Reading Changed My Life

The Wrath of Mulgarath


The Field Guide


Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Dark Force Rising

The Last Olympian

Shade Me Review

Shade Me
Shade Me

So I read Shade Me by Jennifer Brown. Before we get to the spoilers let me just say quickly that this is a very strong 4 on a 1-5 scale. The only reason I held back on 5 is because of a bit too much teenage angst for my liking. Although, not nearly as much as the Twilight books. Also, there were a hand full of times, that I caught myself thinking, come on Nikki really, that’s dumb, don’t do that. But this actually might be a reason to give it more stars not less because if you are talking to yourself while reading the book, its got you. Full disclosure, I entered a contest on EpicReads and was sent this book for free. It doesn’t get officially published until 1/19/16.

**Spoilers Below**

Continue reading Shade Me Review

Claude Monet & Dora

Claude Monet- The Painter Who Stopped the Trains
Claude Monet- The Painter Who Stopped the Trains

Tonight Samantha read Dora’s Mystery of the Missing Shoes and I read Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains to Samantha.  Listen to her audio review below.

The Velveteen Rabbit Christmas

The Velveteen Rabbit Christmas
The Velveteen Rabbit Christmas

Tonight Samantha read The Velveteen Rabbit Christmas and Daddy read Princesses Are Not Quitters.  The audio review is below.

Play with Blue

Play with Blue
Play with Blue

Tonight Samantha read Play with Blue all by herself!  Daddy finished reading Scooby-Doo and the Howling Wolfman to Samantha.



Tonight Samantha read Dixie with just a little help from Daddy.  We also started to read Scooby-Doo and the Howling Wolfman.