Well, sorry for the lack of posts folks. From the computer breaking down, phone breaking down, not sleeping because of major apartment issues, and more. January 2016 has not been a good one for me. Here’s hoping for a much better February! So, I thought I should provide an update on what I wrote at the beginning of 2016. So, let’s get going!
Move, Move, Move (Probably)
So, this is the biggest elephant in the room. Or in other terms, the elephant in the room is the one above me. Since about early November, a new tenant has been causing me apartment hell. Or in other terms, paying $475 a month to live in an apartment prison. Things have gotten so bad, that my health, especially my sleeping patterns, have taken a dark and evil turn for the worse. I mean, just take a look at my eyes below.
I mean, when people above you don’t go to bed until around 1 am, and get up around 6 am, you don’t get much sleep. Instead you stare at a wall and hope they leave so you can get the sleep you need. This means not getting up until around 12 noon, and not getting to the library until early afternoon. It means no posts here on Geek Alabama because I don’t have the time to write them up. From the stomping, loud talk, yelling, loud laughs, running the washing machine and vacuum at 1 am in the morning, and more, I just try to avoid the apartment. It’s also like paying $475 per month to not live in it. And let’s not also talk about the loud yelling next door, that resulted in some police interaction.
With these problems it also means I can’t do any videos. I have about six to eight videos that I need to make featuring the things above. But without quiet, you can’t do anything! This is making those who wants me to do things on Geek Alabama not so happy. So to sum things up, I have been venting my anger on social media. And instead of staying warm in my apartment. I instead stay outside in the cold at the laundromat or church next door, which both have public wi-fi spots, to work on my computer. Why bother getting internet at my apartment when you can’t stay inside!
So, what has been the solution to all of this you ask? I have contacted the landlord several times about this. And they have gone to talk to these rude neighbors. Their response “we don’t think we are rude and loud.” The next step, the landlord wants me to call them when these people are loud. But most of the time, I am not home or it happens too late, like 1 am in the morning. Calling and waking someone at 1 am in the morning is not a good move! And since these people are loud all the time, I would be calling the landlord every day. I also found out from other tenants that the apartment above me had its carpet replaced with floor tile, a brilliant move!
Other tenants have told me to call the police. But I don’t anything will be done there. So, the only other solution is for me to move. At least that is what everyone ranging from social media followers, other tenants, trolley riders, librarians, and even my brother has told me to do. Even medical people I have talked too have told me to move for my health. Not getting good sleep is one of the worst things you can do for your health! So yep, I have spent January looking at new places to move too. I have come close a few times, but it always fell through. So I will be spending February continuing to look for a new place to live. The only issue is most of the places I am looking at are NOT along the Anniston trolley route system.
I don’t have an car, and since being on disability does not give you much funding, a car would be an big expense. There are places in Jacksonville, Gadsden, Heflin, and other places that are affordable. Like $300-$350 a month which comes with water and garbage. But they are no where close to the public transportation system in Anniston. There are apartment complexes in Weaver and Saks for rent, but not along the ACTS system. And forget public housing in Anniston, unless you want to wait two years for a place! So, chances are I might have no choice but to go get a cheap car. I mean, for sure I will need a car this Summer for my 10 year high school reunion down in Alexander City. There is no public transport down there!
So this week I continue to look at potential new places to live. It sucks it has to come down to this. But, it’s either move, or more calls to the police and more trips to the hotel so I can sleep. Each hotel visit is around $50, and adding about $400 extra an month is something you should not have to do. To sum things up, you should not have to pay $475 per month to live in hell. And with me only getting about $750 per month, you should also not have to pay about 70% of your income on rent alone, but that is for another story.
Upgrade Geek Alabama
So, without a good working computer, anything involving moving and upgrading the Geek Alabama site has been put on hold. But it does not mean I have been looking at hosting options and themes. Most likely, I will probably choose SiteGround for my hosting needs. I have steered other people to them, and they all have had good service. It will be about an $100 a year cost, about what I pay now to host here on WordPress.com. And since I have computer issues, I don’t trust moving around 5,500 posts by myself. The folks from SiteGround will do it for me for no extra cost!
As for the theme, I want a theme with a custom header, and a front page where you see a brief glimpse of the blog post, instead of the entire post like you see now. I would also like to have options to place things on the bottom of the page as well, the footer. The theme must also have options for ad space. I have some who wants to host ads on this site. But under WordPress.com, you can’t host your own ads. I hope by the end of February I can show off a new look and a move to self-hosting!
Along with the move to self-hosting and new theme, I have also been doing some behind the scenes work. For example, I have enabled anyone to purchase a road drawing re-print on my DeviantArt account. I am also setting up a SpreadShirt shop which will have Geek Alabama merchandise including shirts, coffee mugs, and other goodies. I am also updating my Patreon account. And I have also been freshening up my social media sites like my Pinterest and YouTube accounts. I was very close to being done, until the old computer crashed. So, after getting a new computer and installing everything. I hope to wrap up the freshening up!
New Computer And Camera
Well, the old computer I have had has failed, and for good now. There are no options left to re-install everything, and with the equipment and hardware close to 10 years old now, it was time to retire the computer. Heck, the old computer has a broken hatch to hold the screen up, and the computer won’t even boot now! So, I have resorted to a backup laptop that I got at a pawn shop about six months ago. The computer is over 7 years old. The problem, there is hardly any RAM, and with little to no RAM, you have a very hard time being on the internet.
So, I hope by the end of this week, I have a new laptop. It will probably cost around $300-$500. But, for what I do here on Geek Alabama, a good working computer is a must! As for the camera to ramp up my video work, it will probably be around a $150-$400 cost. I have been looking for cameras, but until I can deal with the apartment problems and most likely move, the new camera is put on hold.
Eventually, I will also get a desktop computer which will enable me to do gaming stuff and make better videos and content. Because there are plenty of you out there, including companies who want me to do this! Yep, the desktop will be used for the processing of things while the laptop will be used for general blog writing and web surfing. But, until the apartment problems are dealt with or I move, that is on hold as well.
Get Moving / Healthy
Until I deal with the apartment problems, and most likely move, this category is also put on hold. When I can get a good night sleep without being disturbed, I will go out and get a FitBit, like many others I know already has! There are options to join gyms like the local YMCA at a reduced rate because I am on disability. But once again, until the apartment problems are dealt with, nothing will happen. When mostly everyone around me, including my brother, is going to the gym and getting into shape, I need to join them! I kind of need to hold up my bargain to the Shape Up! thing, since I am more financially stable now.
And because of being better financially. I can finally get some dental work done. I contacted a local dentist called Aspen Dental and I have my first appointment this week. The first visit is free, and we will see what work will need to be done. I am guessing about $500 of work. Yes, I know how some have been scammed or taken advantage of by Aspen Dental. If they want to overcharge and do more work than needed, there are other dentists in town I can go too. I mean, I have not had a dental cleaning in about 10 years. And the other dental visits were with a low-cost place for a tooth pull and cavity filling. This is long overdue!
More Pictures And Videos
My first $30 smartphone pretty much died, and quick too! The problems were the phone kept on freezing just for simple things like opening an app or calling someone. I guess that is what you expect when you get a cheap and under $30 smartphone. I went a week without a phone to determine which new phone to get under the Straight Talk plan. I am glad I waited, because Wal-Mart reduced the prices on many of their smartphones. So, I got this ZTE Allstar phone for $89. The original price was $149 so I saved $60! The new phone is on the right below. The cheap phone is on the left.
That means plenty of more pictures and videos on social media. It took a few days to set up the phone, but the video and photo quality has been great so far! My DSLR is still good for picture taking. And along with the old and cheap pawn shop computer, I also got a point and shoot camera with 720p video quality at a pawn shop. The last few videos have been done with this camera, and I have liked the quality. This camera will be used for event and vlog footage. The other camera and equipment for in home videos are on hold until the apartment problems are sorted out. I will need an microphone for the camera and one of those microphones used in radio for the podcasts and interviews.
So, that is it for now. I should tell you this, don’t expect much posts for now until I can either deal or move away from these crazy apartment problems. I mean, not getting up until around 12 noon, and only having a few hours at a library does not leave you much time for posts. Oh, I am writing this post at a nearby McDonald’s at 11 pm at night. Because it’s a whole lot quieter here that at my apartment.