Neighbors who aren’t neighborly

(Warning: I am going to use some harsh language below)

We live in a nice subdivision in Chandler, in SE Phoenix. It is a clean, well kept, and in general a very friendly neighborhood. But there always seems to be someone who has to stand out as a twat-waffle.

One of the best phrases I learnt on Facebook
One of the best phrases I learnt on Facebook

Our neighbors to the north are one such “family”*. They have a Son who just graduated high school, and he was a baseball player (you can see the batting cage they built in their backyard without even needing to snoop). The father is away a lot.  Sales?  The mother works nights and long shifts. I think you can see where this is going…

The “son” (Called Sonny-Boy) is unsupervised, and takes advantage. Last year there were some loud parties on the weekends that went until 4:00 or 5:00 AM. Really obnoxious, but I pulled the covers over my head and bore it. But now that he has graduated, Tuesday nights are the designated pool party nights. Stating about 9:00 and running until 1:00AM, they have been at it on Tuesdays for a month.

We have taken to calling the police to complain, and it appears that this group has a lookout, for they get really quiet when the police car comes by. They see and hear nothing, and leave a door hanger. 10 minutes later, the hooting and hollering are back up to amusement park rollercoaster level.

Last night we called the police again, and told them to check around the back.  That did seem to bring a lasting peace but they still partied until 1:00AM or so.

There are other downsides. After one of the soirees we have to go picking up cigarette butts that the kids toss over the fence, sometimes having to fish them out of the pool. Often in the front yard, there will be beer bottles (whole or broken, and why do kids drink Bud Light?  Sheesh, I had better taste at that age.) And, the inevitable barf pile will be around somewhere that our dogs get super interested in.

So, we live with it until the kid goes to college, or otherwise moves on.

*Family might be a loose definition. They behave like it is three roommates sharing a flat. Hell, Sonny-boy had his very tramp-y girlfriend spending the night every night.  It was a joy to have to dodge her as she peeled out leaving while my dogs and I walk in the AM. Truly makes you wonder..

GoDaddy can kiss my ass

Soft porn advertisements, shitty hosting.
Soft porn advertisements, shitty hosting.

There are many valid reasons to hate GoDaddy web hosting, from their soft-porn advertisements, to their owner’s proclivity to go big game hunting in Africa, to the barrage of pushy marketing of their goods and services (no, I don’t want to add domains today). Today though, I will be complaining about their support and their absolutely shitty hosting platform.

Until Friday, March 22, 2013, the few times I needed support, I received quick, accurate, and insightful help. Leading up to the Friday a website that I run for a local non-profit, Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption, had been sluggish in loading for a week or so. I noticed it taking a minute to respond to the original URL request. and similarly on the back end (we had a fundraising event on Wednesday, so I was doing daily tweaks to keep the excitement up) it was a pig, taking minutes to load.

But starting Friday morning, it was pretty much unreachable. It would time out, or present the default Apache 500 series error. I could ping the server, I could FTP to it, I could SSH to it, but the Apache/MySql system seemed completely broken. I head on over to the support area, and log a ticket. They estimated that it would take 11 hours to get a response (in the past it had always been less than 2 hours), and the status noted that Friday Evening they would be doing maintenance on their 4GH platform (where my linux hosting is) to fix some resource allocation issues.  But no real details.

I also went to their customer forums, and noted that there was a long stream of other people with similar comments/complaints. I posted there as well, and got a prompt response from one of their support droids, telling me that the upgrade/maintenance to the 4GH platform will resolve the issue. But also 4 other people commented on my post that they were experiencing the exact same thing.

Groan.

Saturday morning, and things are back up, but still sluggish. Feels like there is some delays in their system. 20 hours after opening the ticket, I get an email response. Instead of mentioning anything at all about their problems, I get a list of unhelpful suggestions:

Support Staff Response
Dear Geoffrey,Thank you for contacting Online Support. You can make modifications to your site that improve performance. Some of these changes are easy to manage while others might take some time to figure out.

Here are four things you can do to speed up your site:

GZIP Compression

Smaller pages load faster, regardless of your Internet connection speed. You can make your pages smaller by compressing them with GZIP. (GZIP is only available on our Linux Hosting plans.) For more information about GZIP and our hosting, see Compressing Web Pages for Faster Load Times.

Image Sizes

If you use HTML to make large images small, a site visitor still needs to download the larger version. If you need a small image, don’t use HTML to do it—shrink it in an image-editing program instead.

Scripting

You can edit to say more with less. A good programmer does the same thing with code. If the code on your site is inefficient, it impacts your site’s performance. There isn’t a quick fix for bloated code, but if you’re using GZIP and you’ve reduced your image sizes, analyze your code to make your site even faster. One way to make a database-driven site faster is to use a database index to improve the speed of data retrieval.

CSS

Cascading style sheets are great for formatting the look and feel of your website. If your style sheet contains a lot of styles that aren’t being used, you are forcing browsers to download things they don’t need. If you’re trying to maximize performance, trim your CSS files and remove anything that’s unnecessary.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.

For the record, GZIP compression was enabled, I run the site on Joomla, I make sure that all the images are 640 pixels wide or less (and set thumbnails to 200×200 pixel png’s for speed), and really? want me to rewrite the Joomla core to use less PHP scripting?  I already have a pretty clean CSS.

So basically, they flipped me the bird, told me that the problem was mine, not theirs, and closed the case. Oh, and in the header of the email they were trying to sell me more domains.

Fucktards. I am now preparing to move the site and domains to my personal hosting provider, the awesome folks over at Media Temple. I will abandon a year of prepaid Go Daddy hosting to get away from those scumbags.