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Blog away...
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2012-10-06 09:32:54 | Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Keywords: finances, money, preparation, this blog site
September was quite productive in my preparations for the new life. Although it wasnít as focused as I had wished. I decided to concentrate more on this blog site creation in order to have it up and running quickly, even if itís not complete. I need to have it up and running in order to built my audience and facilitate my Google ranking for when Iím ready to place it up there.

Blog

I read a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in order to create this blog site effective from ground up.  I also unveiled the first draft of this Web site with a presentation page I linked to through posts on other blogs.  On October 1st, I unveiled on that welcome page the mission of my trip and announced I would launch my blog on November 1st.

But since this site isnít only a regular blog but packed with information and lots of programming goodies I also spent much time creating databases to support it.  I began to explore some advanced HTML5 techniques as well.

Just to give you a quick insight on the different resources required to support a blog entry on this site, I needed to create the following databases tables:
  1. The blog entry itself (about 20 fields for various data related immediately to the post)
  2. A keywords table
  3. A keywords association table (which blog entry is linked to which keywords)
  4. A comments table to let you enter comments about a blog entry
  5. A support table with all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to link to the relevant information if the entry is related to one of those sites.
  6. A series of tables for the localizations... listing every city, in every province/state, in every country and every continent of the world.
  7. A membership table to allow you to create a profile and save your info to pre-fill the comments form.
These just represent a few of the tables used directly just for the blog entries.  I also have to build a few admin Web pages to allow me to update those tables and post blog entries.

I purchased some additional domain names to extend the coverage.  This Web site is now referenced by hobodiary.com, hobo-diary.com, hobodiary.net, hobodiary.org and hobodiary.info.  I initially wanted the .com, but it wasnít available last year when I first registered the domain names.  I also opted not to renew the French and Spanish domain names I bought last year for this blog.  Yes, I would have loved to maintain this blog in my native and third languages, but I quickly realized how time consuming that would be... and time will be a limited resource on the road.

I activated my Facebook profile left dormant for years.  Iíve updated my LinkedIn profile as well.  Iíll begin exploring other social networks as well to build a network of fans/followers.  I began exploring the possibilities to automate posts on those platforms using scripts... that way I could automatically and effortlessly update those platforms at the same time Iím updating the blog.  Such automation will probably be a requirement to join any other social network.

Health


Last month, I had a complete blood works done with my nephrologist.  I shared my blood test results with my family doctor and everything is fine with her as well.  I was a bit concerned about my HDL (good cholesterol) still being low.  Despite the medication I took to help, all my healthy eating habits (Iím eating very Omega-3 and Omega-6 foods) and even supplement pills.   But we browsed through the blood results of the past few years (data I had, but threw away when I moved) and saw that my HDL was constantly slightly lower than the desired range... no matter how I was eating (in 2008 I had very bad eating habits) or how active I was.  So, we agreed there was nothing we could do about it... and it was just my genes.  My bad cholesterol is now under control... after a temporary elevation (which could have been caused by my anti-depressant).  So, we agreed I could stop taking the Crestor medication.

With my lay-off, I had a change in my medical insurance coverage, going from a private insurance to the public one.  That affected the cost of my medication... increasing my costs a bit.  I thus went to the generic versions of the medication during the summer.  Amongst the pills Iím taking, thereís the 81 mg aspirin.  I used to get the prescription one because it was cheaper on my old insurance coverage.  Now, I switched to the off-the-counter variety, after confirming with my doctor and pharmacist that itís the exact same thing (just costs less, especially when you can get it on sale). 

Now that Iím off Crestor (for cholesterol) too, I have only one prescription medication left: Pantoloc.  This is to control my stomach acidity.  Itís something Iím taking every two days, since I donít need to take it every day.  For practical reasons mostly (because it might be an issue to refill my prescription while abroad - even if I know this medication is available without a prescription in many countries) but also for financial reasons, Iíll explore this month the possibility of using an off-the-shelf anti-acid medication to see if it will do the trick for me.   Iím on a plan to pile and stock my Pantoloc pills before my departure but it would be nice to know I also have a generic alternative that could be found in most big cities of the world without a prescription.  The one Iím trying out is much cheaper than the generic Pantoloc prescription... and itís even a lot cheaper in the US... so I could stock them while there.

Iím getting extremely closer of my goal of being prescription drug-free by the end of the year.  But I already accepted that Iíll call it a success even if Iím stuck with the Pantoloc, so I can say Iím now where I wanted.

Finances


On the financial side, Iíve increased my savings by almost $1,400, even if I had some uncommon expenses (like new shoes, 2nd hard drive for my Macbook).  That was mostly done because I increased again my sales level on eBay.   In the next month, Iíll reach an important milestone in my savings and overall financial overturn.

Iím trying to list many new items on eBay on a daily basis, but since all big items are already gone, the rest is very time consuming to list.  In addition to being a tedious task, itís usually to produce 99 cents listings.  But overall, I know I have a few thousands bucks still to get from selling my stuff.  Itís not as rewarding as it was when I was selling my big ticket items so Iím not as motivated, but I know thereís money there to be made to finance my trip.

Iím also spending a few hours each day working on my Web sites and exploring income sources for my trip.   Iím not so sure now Iíll keep the mobile applications stream active.  I will develop a few apps I need to support my Web sites and my trek (like programming my own GPS tracker for smartphones) but Iím not sure Iíll create as many apps as I originally thought.  Right now, Iím more tempted to expand towards other sources of income.  Iíll see where the next few months take me.

Iím now less than 9 months from my planned departure date... so itís kinda like a pregnancy now in progress to arrive to the start line.

Related posts:
Spent more, produced less
Itinerary and finances
First year of savings
Prepping goes along
Becoming more productive towards my goal

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