Tuesday isn’t the best day for taking a day off, and so it came to be that I spent the keinday at the office.
The actual day
The actual day wasn’t too bad. We’d gotten a shared birthday cake for the June/July folks last week, and that was great.
The morning was pretty prosaic, but I got a ramen lunch treat from David at Momotaro! Sam also popped by the office for birthday wishes before that, which was really cool of him. And of course, a birthday cake this year – YES!
This was the same cake from Le Petit Gateau V got for me back in 2008 when some of the guys were around, fond memories.
The site got smacked!
This was the not-so-fun side event to the keinday. My morning began with a text from LS, pointing out my site (yes, this site) was down. Tested it on my phone and yep, this was what I saw.
Warning: Unknown: failed to open stream: Permission denied in Unknown on line 0
Fatal error: Unknown: Failed opening required (REDACTED) (include_path=REDACTED) in Unknown on line 0
Waking up to an outage (admittedly, a non-critical one) was annoying. Plonked myself down at the computer, and after a bit of digging, realised the permissions on the index.php file were set to 00. That was fishy, and it made sense. Obviously the browser error began at line 0, because read permission was being denied. Replacing the index.php with a fresh copy fixed things, but that in turn triggered the question – why was this happening? Figured it might be a security measure from the webhost, so an email was fired off to them.
Apparently, my site was compromised and was being used as a spam relay. Hey webhosting guys, thanks for locking my site down and not letting me know, I really appreciate the support. I guess I sort of deserved that for using a grandfathered (and likely vulnerable) theme. I really liked Hemingway, and had hacked away to keep it usable throughout the years.
Step 1: Change theme.
Step 2: Signing up with Sucuri, and getting them to clean the site up. This was painful, as it involved an annual fee of $200. Great value, but it was a bit of a hit when paid upfront.
Step 3: Go through the usual post-hack measures. Limit permissions, change passwords, remove users, delete unused plugins, regenerate salts, the lot.
The Sucuri signup had a good ending though! Being an affiliate from the earlier days, Sucuri very kindly offered a free account after some discussion, so that really saved a heap. Thanks guys! Sucuri and MaxCDN have some of the best customer service that you can ever find.
The past year hasn’t been too bad overall, and I got a trip to Shanghai last year, which certainly was an eye opener. It wasn’t all pretty though; the workplace went through a pretty severe round of retrenchments a few months back. I survived, but it was a quite a blow to everyone, myself included. Crushing to see friends leave, but things have to go on. Had to pick up the slack left behind, and the extra work resulted in some good karma. Put in the work and get things done, get the recognition, and the rewards will come.
It’s really great to see all the positive feedback from folks around the office, getting the recent office award, and even from the directors on recognition on all the grunt work, definitely made my week.
The Pick and Roll
As far as PnR is concerned, we’ve been slowly but surely getting our feet under us. Improved frequency of coverage, positive partnerships (especially with Basketball Australia and Eurosport), and culling general NBA coverage have been some of the major milestones. The idea to remove general NBA coverage made a lot of sense. There’s fierce competition in that broad topic, it’s hard to gain differentiation/recognition. On top of that: the site is already Australian basketball-centric anyway, so why not focus the NBA towards that niche too?
Let’s not even start talking about the herculean efforts it has been, trying to ensure consistent coverage with a huge team that needed a lot of motivation to keep writing. The strain I faced on pushing topics out, encouraging writers, editing, publishing and promoting was enormous.
I was so burnt out at the end of the playoffs, but have recovered and am getting back on track, no small thanks to the fantastic work from Alistar, Hayley, Winston and Jayme that’s helped so greatly with Aussies in NBA coverage. Streamlining the team has helped keep me sane.
Our core (Steve, Damo, OU) have been nothing but solid, something I’m sure a lot of other sites lack. Big props goes out to guys like Brendan, Grant and Dean for their work as well, and also to people like Tom Read for all the encouraging comments.
The year has been mostly good. I’m writing faster than ever, coverage pieces are shorter and I’m slowly tuning my game. The knowledge part of it is still the biggest gap, and I’m glad the internet is there as an invaluable reference – writing with nothing but my noggin would have been tough at times.
The biggest milestone for me on the PnR end, was being able to interview Dante Exum – what an experience! Ask me about the possibility of that a few years back, and I would’ve laughed and gone nah, that’s crazy.
Not much to say here, except that life has been peaceful and pleasant, much the same as it was last year. Once again, much thanks to the family for working around me for times when I zone out and go into one of my get-things-done mode, and blithely ignore everything else.
There was this fun (not so fun) episode early in the year, when almost everyone in the house had food poisoning, and all the adults (except me – I had milder symptoms) were just limp and comatose in bed for the better part of a day. Lots of Hydralyte helped, but that was a scary thing.
And oh, I had a molar yanked. It sounded like a frightening prospect at first, but I don’t even notice the gap anymore. Much thanks to Dr Pippa Robinson for handling it painlessly, been good since.
Elly has been very good for the most part, until she gets into one of her raging crying fits. And then she’s a horrible bundle to deal with. It’s as much a learning process for her as it is for us however, and knowing her quirks helps minimise these episodes.
Keilen (I think I’ll call him Lenny in future) is firmly attached at the hip to mum these days. Overattachment is a bad thing, and we’ll have to slowly sort it out as things go along. He hasn’t been quite as firmly disciplined as Elly was in her younger days, which is part of the fun of being a grandparent – you get to spoil the kid! But when he’s in his fun bubbly mood, he’s an absolute pleasure. Adventurous, stubborn as hell, and a constance menace, Lenny is going to be a walking disaster in the days ahead.
Again, I have been quite remiss with the catch up sessions. Time is absurdly compressed these days; it’s hard to get out on weekdays because I have to charge home and grab Elly from daycare, and Saturday mornings are usually major snooze times. That effectively leaves Sundays and maybe Saturday arvo at best. Things will get better as the kids grow up and leave their naps behind, but for now it’s in a sort of holding pattern.
I’m glad I didn’t miss some of the big stuff, like Bill’s buck night, ahlong’s wedding, seeing WY, QL and ZL’s kids, getting out for KTV time with my singing buddies Vale, HY, Sharon! (Yes, KTV is important.) And all the friends I managed to meet over the past year whenever I got back to SG, like the Swim Team folks, LH and WJ, among others. And also to the other folks, my ex-Netbay people and also Andrew/Gen for catching up, very thankful for that!
Life with the boys Sam, Roland and David and the funny-as-hell work lunches have been an amazingly enjoyable period of my life, and I’ll always remember the lunch gang fondly.
No international trips (those endless flights to Singapore didn’t count), but V and I actually managed quite a few getaways, huge thanks to the mother and Stan for helping out with the kids.
We headed out to the Dandenongs for Christmas, and went over to Daylesford for the wedding anniversary. And of course, the birthday weekend.
The birthday weekend
I had a pretty good weekend with V! It’s been ages since we’ve had an extended romp in the city, and this was more or less what I’ve always been wanting to do. A couple of nights away from the kids, having time to ourselves. A stay at a classy hotel, good solid conversations, couple of soaks in the jacuzzi, man. Life is perfect. V also enjoyed the stay a lot. The first night we were there, she just sat at the couch and went, it’s so good to sit there and enjoy the peace without having something always going on in the background.
Let’s not forget about brunch at The Hardware Société (pork belly, yum) and The Grain Store in one weekend, that’s a first for sure.
Catching movies at the theatre, really good too. Thoroughly entertained by Ted 2, and Jurassic World was underwhelming. Of course, it might’ve been that Gold Class seats were too comfortable to begin with, which in turn resulted in me getting some early shuteye.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t been near a basketball court in three months or more, so yes I am in a rather depressing situation. The closest I’ve come to sinking baskets these days are popping balls into wastepaper bins – gotta keep working on my shooting stroke!
Will have to find the energy to get up in the weekend mornings and play ball. Soon.
I haven’t noticed much changes this year. Perhaps it’s been more a constant journey to improve the way I talk, the way I think, and the way I present myself to others.
Perhaps the one biggest perspective shift, would be the rather clinical view I take on content (TV, online) these days. Everything is seen as a pitch, and it’s all about giving a tailored presentation that appeals to the target audience. The best presented pitch wins, period.
What do you get when you cross Back To The Future with Transformers? This.
Marty McPrime apparently. Pretty rad T-shirt from the brother!
ZM and XX sent the latest issue of Dear Boys Act 3 over, along with a card. Love it! Thank you both so much for the thought.
4th JULY 2015
Secret present from LS! A Memobottle that can easily fit into a bag, begone y’all cylindrical bottles. (Just kidding. The car’s drink holder is still unfortunately circular. I still need one other one at least!)
The card arrives once again! Courtesy of LS.
On this special day, I’ll like to thank you for being there for me; a special light in my life.
Throughout the ups & downs, you were always just a tinkle away.
You have a way of making the good times better & the less-than-good times bearable.
Thank you for making a difference, not just in my life but I’m sure in the lives of many of your other frens!
Dearest old fren,
Simple card for a Simple Man! Happy Birthday ^^
The world is a brighter place because of you!
And here’s my first ever birthday card from Elly. This is probably what I look like to her, complete with sarcastic smirk:
ahlong: Before the day is through and the flurry of well-wishes descends upon thy.. Happiest Birthday, good health and blessings of a fortuitous nature to you bro..
Stan: Happy bday to you, another year wiser now
Bill: Happy birthday brother!!!
SJ jie: Hi di, happy birthday to you! Things look like they going well for you, so I wish you good health, great energy for running after your kids (reserved for your kids not basketball! ;p), and that everything will be 顺顺for you. :) All the best!
LS: 👍 👍 👍 Happy birthday!!!
ZM: Omg! Today is your birday ! Happy Birthday my most hated friend in this universe … may you continue to be my most hated friend till the end of time 😂
HJ: Happy birthday!! Have a great one :))
Jianhao: Happy birthday bro…. :)
CL: Hey hey, Happy Birthday !!!
Cherie: Happy birthday, Mr. Chua 🎈🎊🎉🍰🎂
Estee: Happy Birthday!!!! Hope one day you don’t need to work for sleep hahaha
PR: Happy birthday, Kein!!!
Dinesh: Happy birthday bro! Long time no see but friendship doesn’t fade! Wishing you even more luck and happiness in the future. Oh and satay. I wish you lots of satay
Sharon: hope im not too late=) may u enjoy ur burf with ur dear ones tdy happyburfffffffff
LS: Happy birthday to my dearest fren ( AU time). Though we rarely meet, I treasure the random chats we have! Belated card otw! ^^ Awesome bday once again!!!
Law: Happy birthday to you (and me), Kein.
Jen: Happy birthday Kein, I hope you have a wonderful day
Roz: you’re old mate. hbd bruh.
Cousin Noelle: Happy Birthday Kein..
Yen Shuet: Another year older, another year wiser.. Happy Birthday!!
Greg: Happy Birthday KC !!!
Meishan: Blessed birthday, dear friend. :) The song says it all.
Mat: Happy birthday mate
Momo: Happy birthday Kein!
XX: Happy Birthday Kein!
Happy birthday! 😄
Weizhong: Happy bday bro ☺ have a great one ☺
CP: Happy birthday, frd!
Uncle Loh: Happy Birthday Kein!
Daryl: Vaguely remember it’s sometime in mid Jul. So now jump on the bandwagon and wish you happy birthday + many happy returns.
Ashley: Happy Birthday… enjoy ur special day with lotsa smiles n laughters
Jack: Happy Birthday Kein!
Albin: Happy Birthday Kein Chua
HQ: Happy Birthday!
Meihui: Happy birthday!
Mandy: Happy birthday have a great day ☺️
Julian: Happy Birthday Brother! We ball soon!
Kenneth: Happy birthday Kein! Have a good one!
Weiliang: Happy birthday!
Eugene: Happy birthday!
Kenrick: Happy birthday Kein! ☺️
Benny: Happy birthday !!! good health and happy days!
Nash: Wish you many many happy returns of the day superman
Lukas: Happy Birthday Kein!!!
Cousin Wenjun: happy birthday^^
wish you all the best^^
Dave: Happy birthday brother! Have a great one!
Mike: Happy birthday Kein!
Murray: Happy birthday mate. Hope you had an awesome day
Joyce: happy birthday!!
WY: Happy Birthday!!! May all ur wishes blossom true on this special day! *wink* *wink* 😉😘
NZ: Happy Birthday! mmm… hows it going so far? keinday 2015
From my winning folks in the AITNBA team:
Winston: eh?! Early happy birthday then! Enjoy your day Kein!
Alistar: Champaign showers at 12
Jayme: Happy Birthday Kein! Same day as Dante, something in that.
Hayley: Happy birthday Kein!
And here are two of my favourite people:
Steve: How was your birthday weekend away KM? Happy Birthday big fella! Hope you had a great day ☺
Jim: Damn, I missed your Bday! Rock on Keinmeister! You are the standard that everyone should subscribe to! Wait a minute it’s still Tuesday! Happy Birthday Mate! Damn alzheimers!
And belated wishes as well, including ones from people at the office like Ashish and Simon, love ’em all:
Shuxian: Happy birthday!
Zhiwei: Happy birthday to you!! ☺
Adele: Happy blessed birthday!🍦🍭🎁🎂🎉🎊🍰
What will the year ahead bring? Hopefully good health, and good strides made in everything else from family to work. (And hopefully a longer holiday to somewhere else.) And satay. Very important.