Taking my back-up business to BackBlaze

I’ve been a Mozy customer for roughly five years. I’d say I’m a happy customer, but I’ve [thankfully] never had to use their recovery service. But I’ve had peace of mind, knowing that all of our photos and documents are being backed up offsite by both a 3rd party service and a hard drive sitting in a safe deposit box at the bank.

I’ve known for a while that Mozy was increasing their rates by A LOT. Luckily I was grandfathered in because I’ve always paid 2-years in advance. My subscription service is up in early November. I went ahead and signed up for a trial of BackBlaze, which is a competing off-site, automated hard drive backup service. So far so good with BackBlaze.

Now, to put it into perspective, I was paying $209 every two years for unlimited storage and backups with Mozy. A hundred bucks a year is a good price to me for peace of mind. I like to know that all of our photos and documents are safe should the house catch on fire or a computer explodes. As of right now, we have 437 GB backed up at Mozy. If I wanted 500 GB of storage space at Mozy after the price increase, my biennial rate will go up to $1,049. I’m not that good with math, but that’s like a 5X increase. That’s just nuts.

Now I’m not one of those crazy customers. I thought I’d give Mozy a chance to retain my business. I was really hoping that they’d appreciate my business and want to retain me as a customer. I had this conversation with Kara this afternoon:

So, I’m taking my back-up business to BackBlaze, where I’ll only pay $3.96 per month on a 2-year plan.

Sorry, Mozy. It’s not me, it’s you.

Make your own mocha syrup

I think this makes an ordinary cup of mocha coffee taste better than the expensive sort at that chain coffee spot.

  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup regular cocoa
  • 1/2 cup imitation vanilla
  1. Boil water
  2. Measure Sugar and Cocoa into a two quart heat-resistant vessel.
  3. Once the water is boiling, pour into vessel and whisk cocoa and sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the imitation vanilla; Mix thoroughly (this is optional. Elise and I prefer it without the vanilla).
  5. Let mixture cool, and transfer into some pourable/squeezable container (we use an old honey squeeze bottle).
  6. Use 2- 3 Tbsp Mocha Mix for a large cup of coffee
  7. Makes approximately 32 oz.

Monthly Mara Letter: Month five

Dear Mara,

You turned five-months-old today. I have to say, right off the bat, that one of the coolest things that happened to you this month was when your mom took you to the doctor’s office to get a couple inoculation. You won’t remember this, but when babies get shots, the shots are administered in the meaty part of their thighs. A couple weeks ago, you got two shots, one in each thigh. You didn’t even flinch on the first one. The nurse and your mom waiting for the screams. Nothing. The nurse gave you the second shot in your other thigh. From what I was told, you lifted your eyebrows ever-so-slightly, but that was it. No screams or whimpers. The nurse was so impressed that she immediately capped the syringe and went to the nurses station to brag about “the cute little red-headed baby who didn’t peep after two shots.”

It seems as if you’ve started to settle into something like a schedule. Unfortunately, your schedule doesn’t really mesh with your mom’s and mine. You like to be wide awake and yammering from around 9 – 11 p.m. This is your mom’s and my downtime where we might watch a little TV, hang out and talk, or catch up on personal business and correspondences. You like to take this opportunity to talk. We love to listen to you talk, but it’s bedtime, child. And when your mom puts you in your little bed in our room, you scream and cry to the point that we can’t stand hearing you scream and cry. So, one of us gets you and brings you back to the living room where you talk and talk and talk until eventually you wear yourself out and fall asleep on the rug. And while this schedule doesn’t mesh with ours, we know all too well that it’s only temporary, so we revel in it.

Just this past week, you’ve learned to get your knees up under yourself when your laying on your stomach and then you push yourself up. I’ll give you a couple more weeks and I think you’ll be crawling. After that, I think I’ll get you a little collar and a bell so we’ll know where you are at all times.

You’ve also started sitting up on your own. However, unless one of us is behind you, you’ll kick your feet to the point where you’ll fall backwards, so someone has to be there to catch you. You’re getting the hang of it though. If you’re sitting in my lap, you’ll just sit there quietly forever. You like to sit there and just observe things. I guess after you observe all of these things during the day, you like to tell us about them late at night when you should otherwise be sleeping.

Another one of my favorite characteristics of you are your eyebrows. When you see something that bewilders or amuses you, you do this ever-so-slight lift of your eyebrows that’s just hilarious. It’s hard to put into words how cute this little expression is. It’s like your little signature expression, and I hope it sticks.

You’re cuter, calmer and more laid back at each passing day. I love watching you grow and become more inquisitive of the world around you. I love watch you take everything in. I love your infectious little giggle. I love your huge, toothless grin. I wish I could bottle up your innocence, curiosity and glee and keep it for you forever. I wish I could also forever protect you from all of the scares, harm and hurt in this world. But what I know of you so far, I think you’ll do just fine.

I love you, Mars.



Six-year-old food critic

In a valiant effort to cook foods that are healthier, last night Elise made quinoa cakes for the family dinner. I don’t know the recipe in it’s entirety, but the cakes contained things like kale, whole wheat flour, red onions, zucchini, quinoa, egg whites, dirt and twig extract.

During dinner, Maly chimed in with her critique: “First of all, it needs something. Second of all, it’s just not good.”

I love the brutal honesty of children.

There was a whole pot of cooked quinoa still sitting on the stove. One of our kitchen rules is “waste not want not,” so I decided to see if I could make some spiced up ad hoc quinoa cakes. I dumped a can of black beans and a fist full of grated cheddar cheese into the pot. Then I added generous amounts of chile powder, garlic, crushed red pepper and cumin. Then I patted out little palm-sized cakes, dredged them in an equal mixture of corn meal and white flour and fried them up in a big pan of bacon grease and plated them with ground chile & chipotle ketchup.

Third of all, they just weren’t good.