I'm back (you didn't even notice I was gone)

We had a little scare this week.

Hosting a website is a tricky business.  You have your domain, which you own, as long as you pay the domain fee.  Then you have to have a company which hosts the domain, usually the same company.  For years, I have been using Bluehost.  They used to be solid and pretty cheap, but I have had them now for over 7 years and last month, the renewal wasn’t on autopay, I didn’t pay attention and the site was brought down.  That was on July 5th.

On the 31st, since I still hadn’t renewed my hosting, they deleted the whole thing.  Databases, site, everything.  I called them, wondering what in the hell was going on– they explained that they don’t make backups and that data is deleted at the end of the month following non-payment.  Years of work, flushed away without a care.  She offered me to go to sales to start over… Lili cried at the loss of all that she had been working on with her craft site– it was unnerving.

I decided to contact technical support– maybe I had gotten some clown who didn’t realize that there were still backups, that all couldn’t have been lost…

Luckily, that was the case.  I spent a couple of hours working with someone in India who restored the databases and we are back up and in business once again.  Still– the situation as a whole is a nasty affair.  However, with the amount of files I have, its not easy to just pick it all up and move the stuff to a new home and most of the other sites are the same– and really, who has the time to think about the process of migrating the data to a new hosting provider and going through and republishing all of that content?  Well, I have a year to figure it all out now….

I am mainly writing this today to make people aware that if you do decide to run your own site for whatever reason, the business side can be challenging, even if you aren’t selling a product.  This site isn’t worth anything to anyone but me and someday when I am no longer here, maybe my family, but it still holds value to me personally.



Twice now I have had fatal errors on an external hard disk that was holding major data for my personal and professional life.  It had been awhile since I indexed exactly what all of it is, but you know, the birth pictures and videos of your kids, short stories you managed to throw together in the spare moments of your life, random iphone photo dumps that you haven’t gone through but will someday… All of it gone… not once but twice.

Last time I learned that backing things up on something like carbonite was the thing to do– sure they charge $120 bucks a year to back it up, but then its backed up– no worries.


Carbonite and most other backup like places only actually store your data for 30days!  Files older than 30 days get written over– so, if you have a backup that dies and you don’t check the backup for a month and it hasn’t written itself to the Carbonite drive…. Its gone.  This isn’t an “edge case” scenario– this can easily happen!  I was amazed that this is the policy — and it seems logical, until you have a backup failure of that type.  To lose everything because something you pay $120.00 a year to backup the files– well that is just unacceptable.

This is a great time of the year to review what your backup options are— I ordered a NAS 2 bay backup. The QNAP 251+is about $350.00 for just the drive– and I bought one 3tb WD RED HDD and one 1TB Samsung SSD– that’s a pretty burley setup.  The QNAP also comes with a personal cloud setup for backups, but just to be safe I have created an Amazon S3 AWS account to upload all the pictures that we can’t risk losing again.  I was shocked to see that Solid State Drives are available in 1GB now and the Samsung Evo was less than $300.00.  That’s a very solid network system to add on for about $750.00– which seems like a lot– but the computer store was quoting $1-$2k to restore that drive — WHICH WE WERE GOING TO PAY, but they came back and said that the platter was shattered– meaning TOTAL DATA LOSS.  We can’t have that happen again.

NASBackup options need to be easier for the consumer market.  If I am spending money with your company for you to hold my data, I want to know you are holding all of the data unless I tell you to dump it.  Charge me whatever, people would rather pay for their data then lose it because you are trying to manage your infrastructure!

Here is some more details on the QNAP stuff.  I wasn’t super familiar with the brand until my father in law Uwe mentioned it:


More on the 1GB SSD Monster here:



2014 In Perspective

Ahhh, the year in review.  2014 was a great year, but the world is still full of astonishing violence… But through it all we manage… Here’ s to a great 2015, with hopefully less violence.

January 1 – The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect,  making our country one step closer to having the same health care as almost every other country on the planet, yet divides us even further as a nation.

January 4th- 51% of Union Approves worst Boeing deal ever.

Yeah.  Further proof that the American workforce has no plans for the future, Boeing employees fearing for the future decide to go with the company offer.


February 2 – The Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, destroying the Manning led Broncos.  This was a major event here and in my life–especially after seeing the Bills lose so many to our arch rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.  I hope the Seahawks get the chance to destroy the Cowboys on their way to their 2nd straight Super Bowl. #whynotus

seahawks win

Seahawks Win Super Bowl

March 8 – Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappears from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.  We were reminded of this tragedy this week when another small airline lost one of its planes in the same region– only this time Air Asia luckily had its bodies floating to the surface hours after the crash, thus quashing any debate about where the plane might be.


March 18 – In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin signs an annexation pact with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol.

March 22 – A mudslide near Oso, Washington, kills 43 people. This one is about 25 miles from our house.  #osostrong


March 25 – The CDC issues its initial announcement on an Ebola outbreak in Guinea.

April 14 – Boko Haram militants kidnap more than 270 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Northeastern Nigeria. Officials there say some of the girls were able to escape.


April 29 – The NBA bans Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life in response to a leaked recording in which Sterling made racist remarks.  Little did we know this would turn out to be such a small blip on the overall American race topic for the year.


May 23rd – One year with AT&T Mobility

June 2 – The city council in Seattle, Washington, votes to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

June 12-July 13 – The World Cup takes place in Brazil. Germany is the winner.  The US stops caring about the World Cup when they fail to clear the sweet 16 in a dreadful loss to Belgium. We celebrated mightily in our house tho, knowing all along that zeee germans would take it all.


July 9th – Washington States First “Legal” Pot Shop (or Bud Hut as my Dad calls them) opens and everyone is happy.


July 17 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to the United States. All 298 people aboard are killed.

July 17, 2014 – Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, dies after a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, puts him in a chokehold. Garner’s death is later ruled a homicide by the New York medical examiner.


July 31st – Close on our first house in Kirkland/Bothell


August 2 – A specially equipped medical plane carrying Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly lands at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. He is then driven by ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

August 19 – In a video posted on YouTube, U.S. journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, is decapitated by ISIS militants. The militants then threaten the life of another captured U.S. journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff.


September 2 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.







September 13 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.


September 23 – A coalition of military forces from the United States, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan launch air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. The U.S. , on its own, also launches airstrikes against a terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group, saying that the al Qaeda affiliated group was planning attacks in the United States.

October 3 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of hostage Alan Henning


October 14 – Liam Hogg is born at Overlake Hospital.

Liam1Liam Andrew Malte Hogg 035

October 16 – In a show in Philadelphia, comedian Hannibal Buress criticizes Bill Cosby and his “smuggest old black man persona,” and says, “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.” Over the next two months, more than 20 women come forward, claiming that they were sexually assaulted by Cosby. Cosby has not been charged with a crime.


October 17th – The Foo Fighters premier Sonic Highways.

This makes the list because of how great of a job they did on this.  From the first episode to the last, I really enjoyed this series immensely.  Several cities featured all have major musical connections to me, from Seattle to New Orleans to Chicago.


October 24th – Marysville-Pilchuck High School Shooting

At the same time its on the November ballot for stricter gun purchasing laws, a popular high school kid shoots people in his own family over a girl.  This is particularly shocking because he is a popular kid and usually only kids wearing trenchcoats and social outcasts commit school shootings.


November 16 – ISIS militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig in a video published to the Internet. Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is the fifth Westerner whom ISIS claims to have beheaded via video messages.


November 24 – A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decides not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.


December 28 – Air Asia Flight 8501 disappears while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.

The Miracle of Life, Part 2

In some ways, it feels like ground Hogg day, having that second baby in the same hospital that you had the first one. Here we were again, almost exactly three years ago– and not much changed.

This time there was no labor to see how far we would get, this time it was purely surgical, an early morning appointment that led to a son being born about 2 hours after we checked in.

We learned a lot this time.  For example– in the south, they don’t encourage breast feeding, but rather direct to formula.  Seems insane to me, especially given the overall health of Elliott and he was breastfed for 14 months.

One thing that was new this time was the immediate skin to skin contact following the C-section.  This is now highly encouraged if not loosely required.  As soon as Liam’s vitals were checked and his health and weight recorded, he went to spend a few moments with mom as she was being stitched up.

This birth was much less stressful than the previous one with Elliott.  Elliott had a slight heart murmur and after 18 hours of pushing, we were all out of our element.  The procedure was unfamiliar and there were some complications.  This time around, it was like clock work — the only surprise was his weight– all along we were all thinking it would be a big baby– at least 8.5lbs– but in the end, he ended up at 7.5– not a bad surprise to say the least.

All of this is good, but what most of you will come for are the pictures… Speaking of pictures– we will have some really great photos done by Trellis Photography… I will post those as soon as we get them…. (http://www.trellisphotography.com)

Wish us well… We go home tomorrow and then the double trouble begins…. Hope to have enough time to post to the site and keep things updated.  I know that people get tired of cute baby pics clogging up their Facebook feeds. 🙂

Thanks to everyone that came by and we hope to see more of you this weekend!


Things are moving fast in Hoggland.  We are in the process of closing on our first home and it is both very simple of a process but at the same time its very complicated– somewhat unnecessarily so, but they do seem to make it seem like it was the people’s fault the banks got into the mess that they did some years ago– they need all these forms and there are all these questions— where did this money come from, why did these people pay you in cash, why were you saving cash outside of a bank– its all so silly in the grand scale of things, but people have to do what they need to in order for us to get permission to pay a bank for the next 30 years and at the end of the day, what protects the consumer from the banks?

Regardless, I think that its a good idea to buy, even though it seems crazy expensive and I could laugh/cry if I think of the size of the place I was spending this kind of money somewhere else, but land value is a funny thing– the odds are pretty good that what will buying will just increase in value– one thing is for sure– rent will certainly increase over the years and I like the idea of having a place that I am free to do what I may.   Even if it does seem to cost us every cent we will earn for a number of years.

I never thought I would be interested in being a homeowner, but I think children turns that rather quickly– giving your family a place where they can spend their formative years– in a consistent sense is important to me– part of what makes me is the way that we moved around so much, so that culture might be important, the perspective of different people, but I think I given the choice, I would have probably preferred one place and then been set free in the world, but who knows.  It is usually the case with people I meet that have only lived in one place their whole life have more of an altered perspective than those who have traveled.  That being said tho– most of the experience with place comes later in life– going away to college, getting that first job in a different city, the ability to know that you can survive in a city on your own is a rewarding thing– not to be taken for granted.  Children almost beg for consistency, especially during those developing and early childhood years.

Owning a property doesn’t necessarily tie you down either– it just puts the roots in the community I want to live in while we are here.  There appears to be a trend here with housing which indicates that investing is a good idea and if we decide to go to Germany for a couple years, we could easily rent the place out and head out.  Which I could see us doing before the kids get settled in school.

When I say kids, there it is.  Number 2 comes just after number 1 turns 3.  That is going to be interesting.  Elliott is a special kid– such a great demeanor to him– and I think pretty smart for his young age– but I think children now have a lot of things at their fingers that we didn’t have– for example, he knows how to find his own shows on this device I am typing on and the iPad and the iPhone– its pretty interesting to see him do it– at 2.5 years– it wasn’t a skill we taught him, but we are on these things a lot– and it does work to keep him calm at times when there is adult talking to be done.  I used to make fun of parents that would bust out the phone to entertain their kids, shaking my head and saying to myself that there was no way I was going to let my kid get away with that.  But here I am today, eating crow as usual.

The summer has been super fun and busy with the preggers wife and the son — it started with a great visit from my in-laws who spent three weeks with us and it was good to take some time off and enjoy it with them.  Soon after they left, we were back on the housing hunt, thinking we wouldn’t be purchasing a piece of property until late in the summer at the earliest, then one day when we were just planning to look at a couple of places in the market to see what was out there, we stumbled upon the kind of thing we were looking for.

–Not a flipped house.  Buying a house that someone just bought and flipped seems cheeseball to me.  Buying a new remodel means you have to accept everything that people did to that house and every house we looked at– we had to gulp at a lot of the things that people did– from the odd sinks to the fake tiling… it reminded me bad Russian stuff you would see in China– No Thanks!

–Updates over the years is fine, just not dreadfully outdated or just shipped from Home Depot.

–Big Yard.  This was huge and this is disappearing with the amount of zero lot housing being developed here.  I wanted something that we could make into our own at this point– I have been gardening a lot lately and its something I enjoy– as a hobby.  I also think it would be cool to plant a tree when the next boy is born– but with my luck, it would die by winter if we planted in October.

So, lots of things to consider as we throw ourselves into this next chapter– exciting, scary and amazing.

Here are some pictures, because no one likes stories without pictures…

One of the three rooms for the kids.
Another one of the smaller bedrooms
Walk in closet…
…an example of what needs renovating… The guest bathroom– needs a makeover– but it is functional now– but its little projects like this that tend to skyrocket the asking price for a home– and I would rather do this to what Lili and I want.
View from the Master Bedroom of the yard. Hot tub is located below.

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