Friday, February 29, 2008

keeping smart and other things

Link-a-rama: SharpBrains has lots of resources about keeping your brain fit and trim and gunk-free: http://www.sharpbrains.com The top-ten neuroscience brainteasers is fun—you can even participate in an experiment. It’s going to take me a long time to get through all these wonderful links ... I’m frustrated because I still haven’t finished the last Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. Most of it is done—maybe ten more clues to figure out before it’s done. So I figure my brain needs some sharpening as I can usually finish them. Eventually.

WEBSERVER WOES
Last Saturday, we got a phone call from one of our web hosting clients. She couldn’t get her email. I was zzzing away—it was still morning after all—so Stanley went down to the office to reboot the email server. At least, that’s what we assumed was the problem.

It wasn’t. He dragged me out of bed, telling me he needed help. We tried to reset the site, but couldn’t, then tried to reboot the server—nothing. It wouldn’t come back.  Trouble ticket in—we got our answer: disk drive was failing. Parts of it corrupted already.

The good news is that there were techs around over the weekend to take care of setting up a new webserver and transferring our sites over—I was kind of dreading having to wait until Monday. Our webserver provider, Netsonic, is a small company as far as companies like this go. That’s why we chose them—gee, it’s been more than five years ago now. So I was surprised that they sprang into action so fast. Even so, I knew it would take hours. It’s like getting a new computer—it takes a long time to prep the new one, transferring files and setting up programs and configuring stuff to work.

The disk, apparently, had been failing for a while—which explained all the reboots we needed to make, was driving us nuts. So the crash was actually a Good Thing. Despite the pain, we have the latest and greatest control panel software, the latest versions of PHP and mySQL, a bigger hard drive, a faster processor, and I guess the latest versions of apache and Linux (we have Fedora).

We did lose some of our database tables, but very few. I was able to salvage the templates for the updated version of our company website I’ve been working on (forever, it seems). Adam lost data for a school alumni site of his—I hope he can recover it. I had to fix some software that got buggy with mySQL 5, but it wasn’t that onerous once Bleau from Netsonic pointed me in the right direction. We still need root access and a link to our remote reboot (which I hope we never have to use) and to fine-tune our backups, oh and make sure we keep all the email servers out there happy by adding verification, but we’re happy.

I’m sure there are a few more things that have to be reset on our spiffy new box—they’ll shake out sooner or later. But the bulk of the pain is over.

Now I’m just scrambling to make up for the lost days.

posted by lee on 02/29/08 at 05:05 PM

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Friday, February 22, 2008

friday storm mid-way through

Imagine that, snow in New England in February!

We’ve been very lucky this winter—I think this is only the second significant snowstorm we’ve had this season. By significant, I mean deep enough so that we have to do some shoveling out. Mostly Stanley. Like 95% Stanley. I dug out the car and sprinkled salt (click to enlarge):

stanley shoveling on february 22, 2008

Ginger had been a bit lethargic the past couple of days, but she perked right up and did the bunny hop around the yard a few times (click to enlarge):

Ginger enjoys the snow on February 22, 2008

So far, we got about 6.5 or 7 inches of snow. That was the first wave. They keep talking about the second wave coming through but so far (knock on wood), it’s been very scant. It’s very pretty, but that’s enough, thank you very much! It’s really close to freezing, so things are getting a bit sloppy. It’s not supposed to be over until after midnight. Mostly it’s just really dark out—none of the brightening that usually happens indicating it’s nearly over. The prediction is 6-14 inches. These pictures were taken around 12:30-1:00 p.m. so that gives an idea of how heavy the skies are.

I put a few more photos up in the gallery.

posted by lee on 02/22/08 at 11:25 AM

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

best political ad ever

Black Eyed Peas made this video for Barak Obama and I think it’s really effective. Kinda made me feel like I did back in my days as a union organizer. If he can live up to just 10% of the hope everyone has in him, we’re going to have a good and effective president this time.

Lyrics:
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality.
Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
Yes we can heal this nation.
Yes we can repair this world.
Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics ... they will only grow louder and more dissonant ... We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea—Yes. We. Can.

posted by lee on 02/03/08 at 10:40 PM

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