Of Planes And Prayer

Those who know me well would know I had an intense fear or flying which I developed after a turbulent flight. 

When forced to fly, I would be paralysed in my seat, I couldn’t eat, it took me ages to get from my seat to the toilet as I inched step by step, every bump in the air would skyrocket my heart beat, I couldn’t look out the window. 

It’ll be the same whether it’s a 45 minute local flight or a 13 hour flight to Europe, whether it’s a 747 or an Airbus, whether it’s Malaysian Airlines or British Airways. 

If I had to go through that recent Air Asia flight washing machine malfunction, I would probably seriously collapse from anxiety or worse. 

It’s not about faith or trust or redha. Trust me, I don’t think my thoughts or prayer to The Almighty would  be as crystal clear as it would be in any other situation. 

What I need from the pilot is absolute calmness which is what they ate trained to behave. And from the recordings I have heard, that calmness was not there. 
Maybe some people would find it reassuring to hear the Captain day what was said.
I know I won’t be and that does not make me any less of a believer. 

Ps. I’m less of a basket case now when it comes to flying. It doesn’t mean I am less fearful. I think it means I am more accepting of fate and more reliance on Allah AWJ. 

Those Who Do And Those Who Do Not

There are people who watch and there are those who do. Those who watch will always know what others should do. Those who do it despite the possibility of failure and of defeat. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but surely one day they will succeed.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Teddy Roosevelt

10 Years Of Blogging By Reza Ali

It finally happened.

Over the last 10 years, I have kept quite a few blogs at WordPress, tumblr, and wix. They had a different focus and represented different parts of my life:

  • Reza Ali Reactivated on Triathlons
  • The Right Eye on Photography
  • Rezaali Tumblr on Islam

I felt that now is a good time for me to consolidate everything into one blog. It took awhile but it’s finally happened. In the last 2 days I imported all blogs into this one and now have over 850 posts stretching as far back as Oct 2007 where I wrote my first Hello World.

I can’t remember writing some of these posts so it’s wonderful to rediscover things. I will now focus all my writing to this blog.

Let me know if you have a blog. I would love to cruise through it one day.

My short lived career as a photographer 

I considered myself as an above average photographer wanting to master the craft and art of photography. People see my pictures and immediately assumed I’m a professional photographer. My career as a professional photographer lasted for about a year when I found myself starting to take photos that I didn’t believe in. When I found myself sacrificing my artistic integrity for money,  I had to quit.

Why?

I wanted to do something for the sake of mastery. To understand what it means to be committed to technical excellence. What correction without invalidation means. 

At the end of the day,  the journey of mastery in photography was so fulfilling despite the ‘sell out’ I became for a while.

I miss photography

How To avoid website drama if you don’t have an IT Department

My life in the last 7 days has been a roller coaster or joy and frustration. I have abandoned my various websites for quite a while and I decided last week that I needed to get it all updated.
 
http://Rezaali.my is my personal blog.
 
I decided I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the cosmetics of this website (at least not yet).
 
But Right Eye’s website https://Righteye.my needs a lot of tender loving care.
 
So my last one week has been spent on refreshing my WordPress skills.
 
I’ve suffered crashes, error 500, error 403, error 404, too many connections, too many redirections, ssl not valid, can’t connect to database, broken themes and the list goes on and on.
 
Today the website pretty close to how I want it to look. Performance is not too shabby. I am obsessed with checking the various online tools like webpagetest. See the screenshot of the results below.
Webpagetest Results for righteye.my
 
The very red F is there because I need to upgrade my server.
 
This experience has taught me a few things.
 
It occurred to me that I am doing all the trouble shooting for all the websites under my care. If I had an IT department I can farm out the problems to them.
 
I don’t. If you’re reading this, I’m certain you don’t too.
 
But that shouldn’t stop me from wanting my website to be of a standard.
 
This is for WordPress websites though other types of website will be along the same lines.
 
So.
 
To avoid website drama if you don’t have an IT Department, you have to consider these 4 things.
 
  1. Make sure you have a good web hosting provider. The key is support and service. I host my website with https://exabytes.my. I have a funny relationship with them. I used to nurse an almost pathological hatred for them because of bad technical expertise and equally bad customer service. I’m talking about hate. Hate that is almost sinful. But, they have transformed themselves lately. Uptime is marvelous. Customer support good (it could be faster, then it would be great). You need a great hosting service because you have to rely on them to troubleshoot for you. They are IT department.
  2. Make sure you choose a good WordPress theme. There are some pretty good free themes out there. Theme providers will release a free theme. If you like the free theme then they a Pro version. Again, service is critical here. You will likely have a website that looks nowhere near like the demo theme. A good theme provider will have an active support site. They will also provide clear setup documentation.
  3. Go through step-by-step setup guides. Some easy to follow ones are
    Michael Hyatt WordPress Setup
    WPBeginner Start A New WordPress
    WPMUDEV Getting Started With WordPress
  4. Backup! Because it’s likely that you will have to reinstall from a backup at some point. Backing up saves you time. If you don’t backup, you have to start from scratch if something irrecoverable happens. I am talking from experience. Because I had to start from a fresh installation several times.
 
So there you go. I’m sure there are more. These are the things that stand out in me memory at the moment.
 
Someone once told me that the reason why I can do a this is because I am IT savvy.
 
I disagree. Saying that I have to be IT savvy to have all these wonderful IT stuff supporting my business is like saying I need to be an engineer in order to drive a car.
 
Can you read instructions?
 
Can you point the mouse and click?
 
Can you type?
 
If it’s a yes to all the above. Congratulations. You are now IT savvy.
 
Let me know what other tips you may have.