Last time I talked about the option of creating a CentOS development server for developming WordPress websites. It turns out that Microsoft’s WebMatrix works well with WordPress so I decided to give it a try. I downloaded WebMatrix and installed it on my Windows 7 laptop. I have a Samsung laptop NP – QX411L.
I’m currently setting up a development environment for WordPress. Specifically for my WordPress site, Chinese Immersion Schools , a website that I created for parents to find a Mandarin immersion program in their area. I will create a CentOS VM to be my development server. CentOS I downloaded Virtual Box but it doesn’t support CentOS. However, VirtualBox has been very good for my Ubuntu servers as well as a variety of Linux servers that I’ve created in the past. So I downloaded vmWare Player and I’m hoping that it will support CentOS. It does support CentOS 64 bit! I’ve never actually setup a CentOS server so this will serve as documentation for any future development servers I need to spin up.
- Step 1: Install vmWare Player and CentOS iso
In this step, I will install vmWare player and create a new VM from the CentOS iso 32/64 bit version
- Step 2: Start the newly created CentOS VM and follow the instructions for installation.
- Step 3: Install Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin follow the instructions for installation.
For those of you who started out developing your WordPress site in production do the following additional steps:
- Step 4: Backup WordPress Database on production
- Step 5: Backup WordPress Files
- Step 6: Copy over WordPress Files to CentOS Development Server
- Step 7: Copy over WordPress MySQL Database to CentOS MySQL Development Server
- Step 8: Verify that the site works in your new development environment for WordPress.
I recommend setting up a development environment for WordPress when developing a new WordPress website. After setting up a development environment for WordPress, I will begin creating my own WordPress templates and plug-ins. Check back for my post on creating your own WordPress plug-in and template. Until next time, take care!
Thanksgiving 2013 was outsanding! I had such a family filled fun time. This year we spent Thanksgiving 2013 with my wife’s family in St. George. Her cousin got married at the St. George Utah temple. Her parents, sister’s family, and Aunts all came up for the wedding. There was a lot of eating, visiting and pictures taken.
I got to go shooting again with her uncle and cousins, my brother-in-law and my father-in-law. I shot a two barreled shotgun and was able to hit the clay orange discs targets that her cousin fired off into the sky. I was able to hit two of them. It was a ton of fun!
Yesterday, we went to church and it was Fast and Testimony meeting. Since it was the first Sunday of the month the congregation fast and bear testimonies during Sacrament meeting. I realized it was Dec 1 the night before because I had to set a few appointments for my Bishop back at home. (I’m the Executive Secretary in my ward in Dallas. I set appointments for the Bishop and send out reminders for Bishopric meetings and Ward Council.) I enjoyed listening to the testimonies that were shared. The theme of the testimony meeting was prayer and faith during trials. It made me think about how lucky I am to be a cancer survivor and to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family and extended family. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas because it brings families together.
Last night, we went to the St. George Visitor’s Center. We got to watch a movie called Mr. Krueger’s Christmas. Mr. Willy Krueger played by James Stewart is a custodian for the building he lives in. It’s Christmas Eve and he doesn’t have any family to spend Christmas with. It’s a great movie about love during the Christmas season. You can request a copy at Mormon.org.
I’ve compiled a list of things that I’m thankful for in 2013:
- My wife Kristine and our two beautiful girls Lauren and Ashlyn
- My parents and siblings
- My parents in-laws and siblings in-law
- My extended family and extended family-in-law.
- My friends
- My health of three cancer free years.
- My faith in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
- My LDS mission experience in Switzerland Geneva, New York North, and New York South missions.
- My amazing job doing what I love as a Software Development Consultant at Pariveda Solutions
- My Honda Civic 2006 that allows me to commute to and from work.
- My apartment that has heating and water
- The clothes I wear on my back
- The food I get to eat
- The water I drink
- My iPhone that allows me to stay connected to my family. I have a brother in California, a sister in Utah, another sister in Ohio and my parents live in Hong Kong. I can also listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work.
- The internet that allows me to video chat with my family and email friends and family. I also can learn a ton from the internet.
- The library where I check out books for free unless I forget to return my books and have to pay a fine
- Books that I have received as a gift from family and books that I have gotten that I need to read or am currently reading.
- Brigham Young University my alma mater where I studied Computer Science.
- Awesome friends and faculty or staff that I met during my time at BYU.
I recently had a birthday! It was the best thanks to my wife. I got some awesome gifts this year. First gift was from Kristine. It was a nice thermos for hot chocolate during the cold winters of Dallas. She got it from Starbucks. She got the same one that she got for my awesome sister Cel. We now have matching thermoses. Her parents got me a $50 dollar Amazon gift card! Next, I got a box full of candy and my favorite bag of chips (Lays Salt and Pepper chips) you got to try them if you haven’t. She also gave me a CD for The Work: A Nashville Tribute to Missionaries. I recorded myself singing to first two songs. You can check it out. Leave comments the more feedback the better. I have to say that I’m sick right now so that might be why I sound off on some notes.
Lastly, I got a special jacket from my mom from H&M.
I just finished watching Hunger Games Catching Fire. I truly enjoyed watching the movie because of the intricate detail and the action packed scenes that kept me on my toes. The storyline was well written by Suzanne Collins. After watching this movie I want to now read the books. If you are like me and want to start reading this series check your local public library. Most libraries now have an Overdrive ebooks and audiobooks collection. My Dallas library has the whole series on audiobook through Overdrive! These movies were great and I hope the audiobooks are just as good or better.
Follow the counsel from our leaders will protect us from sin and pain. If we begin to apply the counsel we receive we will have the Spirit with us.
The Good Shepherd
In the account given by John, the Lord described himself as the Good Shepherd.
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Sheep fold Story
Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, while teaching a group of seminary students shared a story about when he and his family visited Jerusalem many years ago. They went to shepherd’s field in the evening and they watched with great interest as the shepherds were bringing in their sheep. The shepherds were coming over the mountain and there were several of them and the sheep were following the shepherd and Elder Ballard was very interested in what was happening and then the sheep went into the sheepfold. Then Elder Ballard thought to himself, “We better be here early in the morning to see what happens.”
The next morning they went to the sheepfold. And it was fascinating. The shepherd would go to the door of the sheep fold and he would call his sheep and only his sheep would follow him. The shepherd went out of the sheep fold and the sheep would follow him. Then another shepherd came to the sheep fold and called his sheep and his sheep followed him. From this story, you can see why Jesus taught this parable because the people understood that sheep would follow the shepherd.
Next, the Lord teaches the people a more important principle.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
The principle that the Lord is teaching us is that everything we need to find joy peace and happiness can be found if we would follow Him, listen to Him, accept Him as the Good Shepherd and that he will lead us, protect us, and keep us safe through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as we follow Him1.
The Savior always wants us to be safe in our journey in life. He is consistent in providing a safe path for us to walk. He calls to us through various ways so that those who are interested and willing will accept it. Included in those ways is the delivery of his message through the mouths of His prophets, when the people have qualified to have the prophets of God among them. This address will discuss the principle of following the counsel of the Lord. The servants of the Lord, his prophets, are always given the mandate to warn the people and tell them the way to safety or higher ground. When there were problems in Northern Missouri in the fall of 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith called for all the Saints to gather to Far West for safety. Many were on secluded farms or on settlements that were scattered across the area3.
The Prophet Joseph Smith specifically counseled Jacob Haun, founder of Haun’s Mill. A record from that era states, “Brother Joseph had sent word by Haun, who owned the mill, to inform the brethren who were living there to leave and come to Far West, but Mr. Haun did not deliver the message” (Philo Dibble, in “Early Scenes in Church History,” in Four Faith Promoting Classics , 90). The prophet Joseph recorded in his history the following words, “Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took counsel. None had ever been killed who [had abided] by my counsel” (History of the Church, 5:137). The Prophet recorded that innocent lives could have been saved at Haun’s Mill if his counsel had been received by the people and followed3.
Pay Tithes and Offerings
The Lord has counseled us through his servants the prophets to pay tithing (one-tenth of your income) and fast offerings. All of the prophets in this dispensation have given this counsel. In my final semester at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, our family did not have enough money to pay both our tithing and our obligations. However, we decided to move forward in faith and pay our tithing believing that the Lord would provide. Some time passed and we noticed that we had received a deposit for our tax return, for the same amount that we had paid in tithing. When we follow the counsel of the Lord he will bless us.
Seminary and Institute/Religion Classes
We follow the counsel from our leaders by attending early morning seminary during our high schools years. In seminary, we study the scriptures (the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days are the Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price). My attendance in early morning seminary helped me prepare for my mission. It helped me become familiar with the scriptures and it helped me to develop a love for scriptures. I was able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ using the scriptures and this helped me be more effective.
Similarly, we follow the counsel from our leaders by attending institute or to take religion courses at Brigham Young University. I really enjoyed learning the scriptures from religion teachers at Brigham Young University – Idaho and Brigham Young University. I was able to deepen my love for the scriptures and I was able to have the Spirit in my daily life as I immersed myself in the scriptures. I felt more peace and joy as I developed my testimony through scripture study.
Take Advantage of Educational Opportunities
One counsel that I remember very well was given by President Hinckley during October 2006 priesthood session of General Conference. He counseled the young men to “rise up and discipline yourself to take advantage of educational opportunities”. I recall feeling the Spirit so strongly and I made a promise to myself that night to do my best to complete a good education. Now seven years later, I have successfully completed my degree in Computer Science at Brigham Young University. The blessings that have come from making that commitment are tremendous. I am blessed with a wonderful job as an IT consultant here in the city of Dallas which allows me to provide the needs and wants for my wife and kids.
Follow the Counsel From Our Leaders Found In For the Strength of Youth
As a youth in the church, we are counseled to follow the standards in the For Strength of Youth pamphlet. The standards in the For Strength of Youth Pamphlet were not just suggestions they are the things that if done consistently will bring true happiness and success in your life. Some topics found in the pamphlet included Agency and accountability which teaches the principle “you are free to choose your course of action, but you are not free to choose the consequences.”
Other topics include, counsel on Dating, Dress and Appearance, Education, Entertainment and Media, Family, Friends, Gratitude, Honesty and Integrity, Language, Music and Dancing, Physical and Emotional Health, Repentance, Sabbath Day Observance, Service, Sexual Purity, Tithes and Offerings, Work and Self-Reliance. These principles provided me with strength during my youth. In the message from the First Presidency found at the beginning of the pamphlet, there is a promise which says, “We promise that as you keep the covenants you have made and these standards, you will be blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, your faith and testimony will grow stronger, and you will enjoy increasing happiness.” This is true for me. I have had the Holy Ghost in my life and my faith and testimony have grown stronger and I have enjoyed increasing happiness as I strived to live the principles found in the For Strength of Youth pamphlet!
Brothers and Sisters, counsel given by our leaders from the Holy Spirit is counsel received from the Lord. As we follow their counsel, we are following the counsel of our Savior. This is the safety and protection that the Lord desires for us and our families. May we take a moment to review the inspired counsel from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and apply it is my hope in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
References and Resources
- The Good Shepherd Elder Ballard teaches a group of seminary students about the story of the Good Shepherd. (4:57) Video source
- John 10:1-15
- Finding Safety in Counsel Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Conference April 1997.
- For the Strength of Youth The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Chili’s Anniversary Luncheon
My wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary at Chili’s. Our lunch there was very delicious and the service was great. Our waitress, Brittany did such an exceptional job waiting on our table. Accidents happen at restaurants and Chili’s is no exception. My wife’s rack of ribs fell on the floor prior to being delivered to our table and she had them remake the half rack of ribs and offered us two soups on the house for the wait as they made another one for her. The soup that I got was the Chicken Sausage it was perfectly spicy and savory that left a great taste. The value for the amount of food you get is great. We decided to go with the 1 appetizer and 2 entrees for $20. Kristine got a half rack of barbecue ribs and I got the sirloin steak. For our appetizer, we got the toasted guacamole and chips. We got a Mac and Cheese for little Lauren. We left very satisfied with service and we were very full.
Chili’s Casa Linda Location
If you’re in the White Rock Lake area, I’d recommend the Chili’s location near White Rock Lake. The address is
246 Casa Linda Plz
Photos from the Chili’s Luncheon
In a few days, I will be celebrating my 5th anniversary with my wife Kristine. She has been by my side through some of the toughest times. I am grateful for her love and support through these past five years. I love her with all of my heart.
Testicular Cancer Diagnosis
Not many people know that before my second anniversary in 2010, I found a hard lump in my right testicle that hurt when touched. When I told my dear wife, she had me schedule an appointment to see a urologist as soon as possible. I am so grateful to her for loving me enough to get me to go to see the urologist. My wife accompanied me to the appointment. At my appointment with the urologist he examined my right testicle and confirmed my observation. He immediately had me go do an ultrasound at the Riverwoods Imaging Center. After the ultrasound was conducted, they had us wait and it felt like forever. Finally the doctor called and told us that I had a tumor and I needed to receive treatment for it as soon as possible. This meant that I had testicular cancer.
Kristine and I evaluated our options and decided to do the surgery and treatment in Hong Kong. We left for Hong Kong and as soon as we got off the plane, I was rushed to see several doctors. It was confirmed by the doctors in Hong Kong that I did have a tumor and that surgery would be required. Dr. Tam, the best urological surgeon operated on the tumor and removed it successfully. The next few weeks that followed consisted of recovery and careful care of the surgical wound. Once I had recovered, I would begin a course of preventive chemotherapy to ensure all the cancerous cells were destroyed.
It took a few weeks to recover from the surgery. I had to sponge bathe my wound area and try not to immerse it in water. I felt like a dog after surgery. They pretty much should have put the surgical cone around my head like they do to dogs after their surgery. My wife and I knew that I would be undergoing preventative chemotherapy treatment. We were not sure if I would be well enough to celebrate our anniversary, so we went to Hong Kong Disneyland for our second anniversary.
Life after Surgery
Once I regained my strength from surgery, I was put on a course of BEP chemotherapy. I was in the hospital for the first week of chemotherapy and it was difficult for me because I couldn’t eat much and was hungry all the time. The medicine made me nauseated most of the time and the only thing that helped was smelling orange peels. My wife would visit me during visitor hours. Just seeing her face would make me smile.
Diet and Nutrition
During my chemotherapy treatment it was extremely difficult for me to eat. I felt sick all the time so I would drink a nutrition supplement called Ensure. I found the chocolate flavor to be the best testing during my chemotherapy treatment.
Complications During Chemotherapy Treatment
I finally made it out of chemotherapy and was able to go home and spend time with my wife and my parents. A few days later I went back in to get my chemotherapy shot (for day 10). Within 18 hours, I had a very high fever which is never good for chemotherapy patients. My wife and parents rushed me to the emergency room as soon as possible. They took a sample of my blood and verified that my white blood cell count had dropped significantly so the doctors had me admitted to the ER ward. That night was a very difficult night for me. I could not sleep well at all. I was in the most exquisite pain that I had ever experienced in my entire life. I remember praying to Heavenly Father to deliver me from this pain. At around 3 AM in the morning the nurse came by with a ginormous needle and administered a shot into my shoulder. I was already in so much pain that I didn’t really care that the shot hurt so bad! Shortly after receiving the shot, I was able to sleep. It turned out that my white blood cell count was so low that my dad, a nuclear medicine doctor, was very worried that I wouldn’t make it through the night. After I had been admitted to the ER ward, he spent the next couple hours pleading for the other doctors to help his son. My dad used all the connections he had to save my life that night. I will always be grateful for his sense of urgency, his ability to anticipate, his aid and for his love for me.
I was eventually moved to the Oncology ward and my wife and parents were able to visit me there too. Since my white blood cell count was so low, they put me in a sealed isolated room. However, this was not the only issue that I would face. I was still unable to hold food down very well so my nutrition was not good. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong. It turned out that I had magnesium deficiency. Once my Dad administered some vitamins which contained magnesium I was able to recover and was discharged from the hospital in time for my second anniversary. During the struggle, the only thing that kept me going was to get better in time to spend my anniversary with my wife. On Thursday we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary with our two baby daughters. We have come a long way since that summer 2010 when I found out I had cancer. I am so grateful to my wife for standing by me when I had cancer. I know that I am a cancer survivor because of her and my parents.
Miracles do Happen
I believe in miracles. My recovery was a miracle by the hand of God. I learned that the people that love you most when you’re in the hospital are the ones that visit the most. In my case it was my family. I know the power of prayer. If you pray Heavenly Father will hear you and will comfort you. The savior Jesus Christ knows what your going through and he will lift you up. Look to Christ and live.
Baby Zuzu’s Surgery
Calculate Your Federal Tax Withholding
Have you ever wondered how do I calculate my federal tax withholding? I’ve always wanted to know how to calculate my federal tax withholding. In fact one time I allowed my federal tax withholding to be maxed out. As expected, the paycheck was incredibly low because of the 0 allowances. But my annual tax return that year was very high! Now that I’m starting a new job this week and need to submit my W-4 with my employer, I wanted to find a way to see how the number of allowances would impact my annual tax return. I found an awesome site that enables you to do just that! This site allows you to fill in a form and gives you an estimate of how accurate you are. And suggests the changes you need to make to your allowances. Now you can keep more of your hard earned income for each paycheck you receive! In addition to seeing how this would impact your annual tax return, you can include whether you make contributions to an IRA. For your reference, for 2013 the maximum amount of contributions that you can make to all your traditional or Roth IRA accounts is $5,500.
What’s my Recommendation?
I highly recommend CalcXML’s Federal Tax Withholding calculator over the IRS calculator which told me to put 16 allowances!!! If I input 16 allowances into the the above link, it foretells my tax demise! Don’t get into a shortfall, visit CalcXML’s Federal Tax Withholding calculator today! To all my fellow new college hires, go ahead and calculate your federal tax withholding today! If you have any comments or have found your own favorite resource I encourage you to comment below!
DISCLAIMER: This post is intended to document my own experience. Always seek professional tax advice if you are concerned about your W-4.