Summer 2009 Pt.1

Hi all, I know I have been quieter than usual lately. Life post echo / TM has been busy. I spent six weeks taking care of my son, Connor, and setting up a business. Doing both at the same time was a little trickier than I anticipated.

My company is called Stone Fort Technology LLC, we provide software development and consulting services. We opened for business on August 3rd, 2009, and started work for our first client on August 5th.

Additionally I am working with a graphic designer to come up with a company logo, fonts and colors, etc. I am also working on a game plan to grow the business as well as laying out specs for a web-based software application that we will offer as a service.

More to come soon...

echo Nashville is no more

I mean to post this on June 18th, but have been a little busy with Connor. Any how, June 18th was the last day for most of the echo-peeps at echo Nashville.

I see that the new echo Los Angeles group has wasted no time in replacing the helloecho.com website. It is sad really, as there is no way to know what echo does, it is simply a generic login now screen now.

I have no hard feelings about TicketMaster's decision to relocate the business. I can't say that I think it was the right thing to do, and as a shareholder I believe they degraded the value of my stock a bit. All that said, I truly miss working at echo and with my development team peeps: Anton, Brett, Charlie, Dale, Doli, Eric, Geoff, Joe, Nathan, Paul, Rich, and Tamara.

Welcome Connor Harrison Parton

Gillian and I are pleased to announce the arrival of our son Connor Harrison Parton. He was born on Friday, May 15th. Both mom and baby are at home and doing well.

Connor Parton

Ever wonder: Is the Bathroom Free?

... well if so, this web-site aims to answer that question.

http://www.isthebathroomfree.com/

Goodbye, Goodbye echo?

Sad, sad news. Ticketmaster has decided to close the echo Nashville office and pull the operation into L.A. The echo staff, was notified on April 15th in a company wide meeting. TM currently plans to transition everything over the next 60 days.

We were not given much more information than that. Other than we were told that the company wanted to consolidate digital services to the LA office to cut costs and eliminate duplication efforts.

So if you know anyone that needs a web developer in the middle-TN area or via telecommute, I'm available.

Cracking down on SPAM with SmarterMail 5.x

A few months ago, I took on managing a couple other email domains for one of my personal clients. Since then, I've seen our SPAM levels rise. I have spent a little time tweaking spam restrictions for my domains off and on for a while, but recently I have started really cracking down.

If you are using SmarterMail, one thing you can do is add in content filtering. I've added in a domain wide filter based on domain names that, in my opinion, are spammers. The thing I love most about setting up the filter is that I can have the mail server send a bounce message back. I like this approach, because it should reduce the amount of this crap we get over time. That said, I've noticed that a number of these a-holes have a multiple domains and proceed to blindly send in a cycle day after day.

All that said, I'm compiling a list of suspected spam domains, and intend to make a file available with these for anyone that would like to use them. I've only been gathering these for about a week now, but here's my current list of offending domains:

aquaphorsolutes.com
carprodamerica.com
carprodusa.com
ganachetwos.info
gmtoffers.net
leveragedonline.com
myleaderobama.com
nesma.net.sa
ointproductions.info
ricknavalha.com
serviceslocks.info
shrunkonhunk.com
stillwatermountainq.com
truthsaturated.com
unitsettlement.net
viewhills.com
yourcreativenature.com

make your website better with bacon... (really)

The folks at bacolicio.us are here to make our lives better with bacon.

Example: http://bacolicio.us/http://yahoo.com

Post Holiday 2008 Wrap-up

First and foremost, I hope that everyone had a joyous holiday season in 2008. 2008 was certainly a bumpy year for the US and the world at large.

For Gillian and me the holiday season was quite busy between visiting friends, family, and getting ready for yet-to-be-named baby boy Parton. That's right we are expecting our first little one, and are ecstatic. He's due in May, so we've been busy get the house ready, looking into day care centers, etc. We know we are in for changes, and while we can anticipate many of them, I'm sure we are still in for plenty of surprises.

Tivo & Netflix Partnership

For those of us that are members of both Tivo and Netflix, there is good news on the horizon. Look's like the pair are partnering up to offer streaming Netflix flicks to your Tivo. (happy! happy! joy! joy!)

Read more at: http://www.tivo.com/mytivo/netflix-signup.html?WT.ac=tivohome_netflix_pressreleasedet_lnk

Flying Lessons

I'm a little (OK, a lot) bit late in blogging about this, but last January I took an introductory flying lesson and it was "da bomb!" This hour of fun was a present from my awesome wife.

I took my lesson at the Smyrna, TN airport at Wings of Eagles School of Flight. These guys are excellent and I look forward to going back some time.

Check them out at: http://www.wingsmqy.com/.

I've not continued my lessons for two good reasons: 1. I'm not a small guy, but the planes are tiny. So it's a little close for comfort. B. It's not cheap.

That said I'm working on the first item, by hitting the gym on a regular basis since September and letting my trainer, Mike, kick my butt on a regular basis with his workout routines.

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