downtime for muckender

When I started my Muckender Etsy shop, I opted to move my domain over to their e-commerce host, Pattern. And despite some concerns for SEO and the like, it’s been great to have a single source of truth for both Etsy and my own site. However, just recently I got a notice from uptimerobot.com that the muckender.com site was down and I hadn’t received any notifications from Etsy/Pattern as to why this might happen.

To make it worse, I couldn’t find Pattern-specific support, which I found odd.

Once I started troubleshooting the issue, it was a pretty quick solve — I just had to update my A Record to a new IP address, but that’s not the problem. The real problem is that the site was down for well over 8 hours before I knew about it and I wasn’t — to the best of my knowledge — given any advance warning that this IP address name change would take place. Pretty shady.

All that being said, ultimately the blame rests on me; I shouldn’t rely on convenience when running any kind of business. What this means in practice is that I’ll be transitioning everything over to either Magento or WordPress w/ WooCommerce before the end of the year.

cmd-shift-f madness

For the past few days, I’ve been getting a random string of digits when using PHPStorm’s Find in Path functionality. I shut all apps down one by one, trying to figure out which was the guilty party, starting with aText. It got down to just my Keyboard shortcuts under preferences, but I knew I hadn’t changed anything in there recently, which was puzzling. To make this story short, it ended up being some application shortcuts that got added (without me realizing) when I updated my GPG Tools software:

After disabling the shortcut for Shift+Command+F (⌘⇧F), the problem went away and all became right in the world again. Really not sure how I missed the prompt to enable those and I’m almost certain there was no prompt, but that was really frustrating for no reason.

Other potential annoyances you may want to assign custom shortcuts:

Shift+Command+D (⌘⇧D) – Decrypt Selection
Shift+Command+E (⌘⇧E) – Encrypt Selection
Shift+Command+I (⌘⇧I) – Import Key from Selection
Shift+Command+K (⌘⇧K) – Insert My Key
Shift+Command+R (⌘⇧R) – Sign Selection
Shift+Command+V (⌘⇧V) – Verify Signature of Selection

To be clear, I definitely think these might be useful for some, but given how rarely I’m generating keys, I personally didn’t think this should have been enabled by default. I really hope this helps someone else.

muckender.com

Recently, in my spare time I’ve been working on launching my side business, Muckender. (And yes, that’s meant putting the trivia app on hold).

For the past few years, I’ve designed shirts for my kids’ school and after a couple of other people asked me to design shirts for them, the idea sort of clicked. The name for Muckender came from a previous attempt at launching a business under the same name that ultimately fell through, but I decided to run with it and use the branding material, which had already been created and was just sitting around. Luckily, the two ideas have a lot of overlap, and ultimately I’d like to pivot (only slightly) to the initial idea, which was to launch a whole line of products (clothing, accessories, etc.) for gentlemen.

The name Muckender is just an old-timey way of saying handkerchief, and the funny part is that it’s a word that’s marked as obsolete, but I hope to change that.

Here are a few example products (that have already sold, by the way!):

You Gon' Learn Today Teacher Shirt

You Gon’ Learn Today Teacher Shirt

Schrute Farms Bed and Breakfast Shirt | Dwight Schrute Beet Farm | The Office

Schrute Farms Bed and Breakfast Shirt

I'm Only Here to Pet all the Dogs Shirt | Funny Dog Shirt

I’m Only Here to Pet all the Dogs Shirt

For a while, I was putting products on both Etsy Muckender and Shopify, but recently Etsy launched Pattern which has made putting products on both platforms super easy. So I ditched Shopify’s $29/mo and will end up paying about $20/mo starting next year for Platform. Not too bad. I’m still investigating other sales channels, which is still very foreign to me, since I’ve spent the majority of my life on the other side of things.

As a software developer, we’re generally just hooking things up and told what to do, so stepping into marketing again has been an interesting challenge but fun nonetheless. In the midst of all this, there’s been a lot of chaos (including the death of a family member) and keeping up with my regular workload, but I’ve kept it up. I’m still trying to get my wife to join me in this pursuit, but I’m fairly certain she’ll join up once I start actually scrambling to keep up with demand.

Oh what a problem to have.