Renewed for the New Year!

The new year brings some obvious and not so obvious changes to Mike in México. If you’ve been following my previous site on, this blog was in a nice but relatively staid suit compared to the new look. The upgrade (I’m assuming you agree that this is an upgrade!) comes at some expense in time, but no extra cost. I’ve moved the hosting for this blog to Amazon Web Services (AWS). We’re in the clouds!

There is a new building rising on Aceducto in Morelia and this is where I started my second location walk last Friday.

The term “cloud” refers to the use of a virtualized server and all the wiz-bang technology that Amazon provides. You see, I work with cloud technology as a part of my role at Scio Consulting and we are a Amazon Solution Provider. Looking at what is being done with this evolving Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that is the cloud, I decided I should take advantage of the same technology I advocate for our clients — for my own little project. In technology, we call that eating your own dog food.  I’m happy to say it doesn’t taste bad at all.  🙂

I won’t try to make this article a write-up on how to put your WordPress blog on AWS. Everyone will have slightly different aims and what I decided to do might not fit everyone. But, I can point you in the right direction. I used a Bitnami image, which allows you to set up a Linux server with WordPress installed on AWS in minutes. It takes longer to finish the configuration of the site and servers, but this is the part where your personal decisions become important. I transferred the content from my old WordPress site, changed a few things to fit the new theme and structure, moved my domain and — here is the result.  All together, it took a couple of days, including the work I did to customize the WordPress theme I used and to update content to the new format.

As for cost, the new site is free for one year, thanks to the AWS policy of providing free micro-instances as a startup for new clients. When the year term ends, I’ll pay only for usage, which will still be less than paying for a PRO account from WordPress (as long as I remember to buy a reserved instance before the end of the year), and I have a site with a lot more options than I could get without a lot more effort. For those that might be interested, I’m using the excellent and highly configurable Suffusion theme, which I have used on two corporate blogs for Scio (here and here) and I highly recommend. I will probably change to the magazine format that Suffusion provides shortly, but I need to have a little more content before that is really an interesting option.

Last Friday I took my second site-survey walk for my novel project. I need to make notes on some of the pictures I took but I will share them when I’m done so you can see what I’m up to. One of the things I can do now is add dedicated content for the novel as I work on it and that will help (hopefully) build up some interest.

(this is a bit of a postscript – I processed these pictures of flowers I took in a friend’s garden on New Year’s Day and I couldn’t resist adding them)


A New Year Rose from Morelia

The backlighting in the middle of the flower is what caught my eye...


Like an old-fashioned nosegay...


Blackberries for New Years!

Snow peas for a New Year lunch? Yes Please!

So, I hope you will join me as I continue to write and take photos in the new year and…

Happy New Year 2012!