Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bluehost Sucks!!

As you may know, Grump recently decided to quit his job, ("retire", in his overactive imagination).  Since he wasn't going to be stuck at work anymore, he figured he would finally have some time to work on his websites, particularly his Tea Universe site.


On July 26th, his web hosting company, Bluehost, sent him an email informing him that his account had been "hacked", and that all domains associated with it would be disabled until he resolved the problem.

So he called their tech support number, asking what he should do.

The proposed solution was to run a virus scan and firewall on each of the FOUR domains he had registered with them.  Sounds reasonable, huh?  The problem was that this would cost an additional $30.00 per domain, per month.

That's an extra $120.00 per month!!

I can understand if this was maybe a one time charge of $30.00 for the whole account, but attempting to shake him down for an extra $120.00/month is ridiculous.  Besides, shouldn't a web host be running virus scans and putting up firewalls anyway?

Grump never uploaded any files to his account other than .JPG pics and Wordpress approved plugins, so he doesn't think he added any contaminated files to his account.  The techies at Bluehost seem to think the hackers exploited a vulnerability in one of his plugins.  (Maybe, disturbingly, Wordfence itself, which is a plugin that is supposed to help prevent this type of thing.)  Regardless, he believes that they should take a greater role in keeping paid-for accounts safe, rather than using a successful hack as an excuse to charge their customers more money.

So poopy on you, Bluehost!  You can keep your stupid domains!!

By cancelling his account with Bluehost, (and I have to add that, to their credit, Bluehost did refund him over $400.00 for unused hosting), Grump has wiped out the following:


The loss of tea-universe.com is the most painful, because this was his money site.  He is starting a new Tea Universe site, (https://tea-universe.biz), but it will take some time and effort before that site amounts to anything.  August/2018 update: the "new" Tea Universe never got off the ground.

As you can imagine, we STRONGLY recommend that any-and-all NOT sign up for web hosting services with Bluehost, and we are NOT ALONE.  (Check out this article if you don't believe me: http://ohsheblogs.com/bluehost-sucks/)  Unless you are very, very lucky, you WILL be at best disappointed, and at worst out lots of money, or without your websites.

Which then begs the question: why do so many prominent bloggers recommend Bluehost?  (That would be you, Pat Flynn.  And you too, Mr. Money Mustache.)  Well, I hate to be jaded about this, but have you seen how much Mr. Flynn makes from Bluehost monthly affiliate commissions?  A HUGE hooray to him for acknowledging this, (he posts monthly income reports showing how he makes his money), but wouldn't it be even more wonderful if he recommended a web host that was actually pretty good, instead of a cruddy one?

As with all things, buyer beware. These days I would probably say that you need to TRIPLE that for anything you stumble across online, as the internet seems to be a breeding ground for not just blatant dishonesty, but also harmful "sorta truths". Be careful!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Our "Net Worth" - an Update (August/2017)

A Confused Old Grump

When we last posted our net worth about a year ago,  (http://owlsandcuckoos.blogspot.com/2016/07/our-net-worth-update.html), we had a cool half million, more or less.  Now that Grump recently got a bug up his butt and quit his job, (er, excuse me - "retired"), we figured it was a good time to update this figure.

Between now and then lots has happened, mostly bad.

The sole good news is that, until last week, Grump was still employed, and bringing home a paycheck.

The bad news, of course, begins with the fact that this employment is no more, so we will have to be finding other ways to support ourselves.  (Pulling up the pillows on the couch looking for loose change?)  But the real cruddy news had to do with an obscenely expensive, (over $8,000.00!!), vacation that Sweetie, Lola, and the boys took to the Philippines this past spring.  (Mindanao island specifically, just before martial law was declared there.  Ugh!)  Add to this the fact that we are paying to completely rebuild Sweetie's sister's house in her home village, (and this costs MUCH more than you would expect it to cost in such a poor part of a poor country), and you can imagine what a train wreck our finances, and thus net worth, should be.

Here is where it gets really weird.  Despite all this mess, would you believe our net worth actually INCREASED, to almost $580,000.00 ?


I can't fully explain what is going on here, (grossly overpriced stock market?  basic arithmetic errors?  cosmic intervention?), but it does seem that despite our fiscal recklessness, we continue to get richer.

But we'll see how long this good fortune continues, now that Grump is unemployed!

1. ASSETS:  $700,000.00  

This is crazy.  Most of our assets are in stocks.  I believe that the stock market is in a huge bubble, and that once this bubble bursts the value of our assets will shrink down to reality.  But for the time being, it is what it is.

2. LIABILITIES:  $120,000.00

I'm actually proud of this number.  Yeah, we took money out of our savings to help pay this down from the $140,000 we owed a year ago, but still, reducing debt by $20,000/year is a good thing.  I hope we continue to chip away at our debt like this, rather than do stupid things like spending $8,000.00+ to fritter away a month in the Philippines.

$700,000 - $120,000  =  $580,000 , which is our new NET WORTH!

I'm as perplexed by this as anyone else.