Happy New Year to all my readers.  Before I get into the review of the last year, I wanted to make a statement about some recent changes to the site that may or may not have upset some viewers.

A few months back I decided that I wanted to try to get more money out of my site, seeing as Google Adsense (the ads you see in the header, footer, sidebar and 1 in every article) only pays out about $100 every 5 years (not very sustainable). To do this I added a post automation tool that grabs books related to Programming and Computers, along with some computer related items, directly from Amazon and makes a nice little post about the item.  Sadly this didn’t turn out so well.  I had forgotten that all posts, automated or not, get posted to Twitter and Tumblr (Had the Publicize to Facebook function not failed a long time ago, I would have noticed sooner).  Now the full extent of the damage is unknown, I only received one real complaint, but it was a very persuading one that made me rethink the direction of this blog.  This blog is about me, my experience on the Island (AKA Montreal) and some of the cool things I come across.  It should be about the quality of posts, and not about quantity and trying to make a buck.  So, for this reason, I have disabled the posting plugin and moved the posts away from the home page.  You can still find all the posts that were made under Books and Computers categories to the right, but there will be no new posts in those areas.  From now on, my posts will be written by me, and not automated.  Now on to the Review!

Review of 2017:

2017 for me was a pretty good year overall, mainly because I landed my dream job.  Ever since I was handed my first Linux CD I always wanted to be the guy in the back room making sure things worked (server wise), and although I finally got into my field almost 5 years ago, my jobs were still public facing.  I had to either help patrons in person (Atwater Library) or support clients over the phone (Netelligent), which, even though they fell under Linux administration, I was not in the “back room”.  It wasn’t until March of this year that I would finally achieve my dream.  In March I was hired by Ubisoft Montreal to be a Linux SysAdmin, which supports only internal clients.  I don’t even have a phone at my desk. My job is completely backend, no front-end support.  This made my year.

But 2017 was not all bells and whistles.  In June, right around my birthday, I almost lost my mother.  From what was determined, a recent change in medications, which had caused an allergic reaction, also caused her kidneys to shut down, which wasn’t noticed till she collapsed at our cottage.  Once she had her blood cleaned, she came to and was able to explain what had happened to the doctors about her allergic reaction, they had realized what had happened and put her on dialysis for a short-term so her Kidneys could recover.  She is still recovering from this massive shock to her system, and its a long process, but she is getting better.

Other than that my 2017 was uneventful, no special events happened, and I made very few trips back home.  But 2018 will be a different story.

6 years on the Island:

Normally I post this on the correct day, but as I hadn’t had time to unpack my computer from my trip home over the holidays, I didn’t get a chance to.  January 1st, 2018 marks the 6-year anniversary of my move to Quebec and living on the island.  I cannot believe it has already been 6 years since I made the jump.  And I am forever better for it, I mean, in those 6 years I not only got back into my field, but I landed my Dream Job.

In the last 2,192 days (6 years and 2 leap days) I have experienced a lot, but I have made several successes, including being on my own, sans roommate for the first time in 8 years. For those who are thinking “So what” you have to understand in 2010, I had a mental break of sorts.  I was living on my own in a bachelor apartment in Ottawa when in a 6 month period, my life took a turn for the worse.  My girlfriend at the time had just broken up with me, I had just lost my job, and I started to cave in on myself, becoming a recluse.  Even the act of going down the hall to the laundry room scared the living daylights out of me.  I was on my way to being an agoraphobe.  I was saved however by my friend Eric from Alexandria, where I spent the next 6 months figuring out how to get past that feeling of being overwhelmed.  Over the next 7 years, I would only live with a roommate, someone who I could chat with, go places with, and in general never be alone with my thoughts.

Now don’t think that my thoughts were of evil nature, or that I was in any way suicidal, they were not the thoughts I had, It’s more of an information overload type of thing.  Like attaching two batteries together in an infinite loop, at some point they overheat and explode.  This was the feeling I got when left to my own devices.  This was something I never wanted to have happened again, and I think it was more circumstantial than anything else.  It was the loss of love and work that started it, because in December 2016 I made the move to live on my own again.  At first, I still had the feeling that I would end up like I had before, but as I have had steady jobs over the last few years, I have not had the feeling of the world closing in on me.

So that’s the back story, so being here on the island, away from home, truly independent has been a huge step.  6 years and I am truly financially, emotionally and mentally independent. Which is why every time I go home and my friends ask me “When are you moving back”, I tell them every time, “Never”, at least that’s how I feel.  The last 6 years of my life have been major steps forward, more like leaps and bounds.  I have achieved more than I could have ever thought in such a short time.  I got into my field, worked my way up to better jobs with better pay, and am now working for a major player in the world of Video Game Entertainment.  In the last 6 years, I have finally felt like a success.  One I know my late father would be proud of.  It has been a great journey, and I look forward to continuing this great journey in the years to come.