As I sit here and type this, I am
still fighting my New Year's Eve hangover. For some reason I enjoy
punishing myself every New Year and this year was no exception.
I guess it is because I am always optimistic that the new year will
be full of fun and fortune. Well I haven't hit the lottery yet,
but I do tend to have a lot of fun.
2005 was a crazy year
in both my personal life, and in my professional life. I won't go
into the personal stuff but I'll share some of the things that made
2005 an experience for me professionally. Our website's traffic
grew at a brisk and steady pace. We had to make some expensive server
hardware upgrades, and plan for future growth accordingly. We got
hit by the entire planet Earth in October by a little thread now
known world wide as the "Charlie Wentzel Thread". If you
don't know what I'm talking about, you must live under a rock! The
traffic hammered our servers to oblivion, and forced us to make
frantic server tweaks to deal with the load.
With the growth we've
experienced over the past year, not all of our new visitors were
friendly wheelers. We experienced several serious hacker attempts
throughout the year, and we even lost our entire Bulletin Board
database once. Thankfully we had a complete backup from the night
before so we only lost a days worth of data. This is the kind of
stuff that ages me 10 years in 10 minutes. For the most part this
kind of stuff is behind the scenes, and transparent to you, the
reader. My motto has always been "To be successful, you must
surround yourself with people smarter than yourself". I truly
try to live by this motto, and Pirate4x4.com could simply not exist
without my right hand Super Nerd man, Bill Plein. Bill is the kind
of guy that can talk to you about computers (even if you have a
formal computer education), and make your head feel like it's going
to explode from all the technical talk coming out of his mouth.
He truly is the brains behind the scenes of this operation. Thanks
Bill, I love you man!
I'm very excited for
2006. The most significant change for me in 2006 is teaming up with
my good friend Jason Scherer for the UROC Pro National Series. We
are both very excited to be working together, and are taking the
2006 season very seriously. I have been working out and jogging
every day, and have lost 30lbs since October. No more Fat Bastard
behind this keyboard! Jason and I were interviewed in Sacramento
a couple of weeks ago for a future episode of "Xtreme 4x4"
on Spike TV. The show will be airing in late February, or early
March so be sure to check it out.
I expect Pirate4x4.com
will have continued growth in 2006. Now that the "Charlie Wentzel
Thread" has died off, we now know how much traffic we can handle
before being brought to our knees, and what we need to do to grow.
We are currently preparing to add a third web server to the Pirate4x4.com
arsenal. In laymen's terms, think of it this way; Go to your local
Best Buy, and ask them for 6 of the very best computers they offer.
Then have them add a few thousand dollars worth of upgraded hard
drives and memory, and that's about how much power our three industrial
servers have. That's a lot of horsepower under the hood!
In November I was lucky
enough to travel to Australia for the WEROC Australian finals. In
2006 I am planning on attending a Russian Expedition, and will be
bringing you a daily account of my adventures. Of course we will
be attending events like the Easter Jeep Safari, and Jeeper's Jamboree.
We will be on the trails a lot more in 2006 as well. From the Rubicon
to places further East, keep an eye out for us, and be sure to say
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