Date posted: September 20, 2020 | Filed under finn, friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

Yesterday was my fall cancer checkup in Baltimore, so I drove in to Hopkins for a CT scan and consult with my oncologist. Everything looks OK on the scan, and my bloodwork is trending upwards—I’m still not in the normal range for white blood cells but I’m knocking at the door for the first time since 2018.

My stamina has reflected the low blood cell count; I’m still not at my pre-cancer ability to crank on house projects for two days straight, but I can go for about 4-5 hours solid before I have to stop, and it takes me most of a Monday to rest up before I feel back to full strength. This is all good news, though, and I’m going to continue to push myself in the belief that the work I’ve been doing is making me stronger.


Date posted: September 17, 2020 | Filed under cancer, photo | Leave a Comment »


I went to put the Scout back in the garage the other night after dark, and when I hit the running lights I was greeted with the lovely sight of all of the dash lights glowing brightly in front of me. There’s about a one in four chance of this happening at any given time, so this was a nice surprise.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: September 16, 2020 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Illuminating



Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

So there’s been a lot of unrest at MICA (My alma mater) over the last year; there have been multiple allegations of sexual and racial harassment aimed at full-time faculty by the students for years that have not been addressed (some of these teachers I remember, and I don’t doubt the allegations for a minute.) Yesterday a majority of the full-time faculty voted no confidence in the current school administration, including the President, Provost, and COO. In a letter to the Board of Trustees, the group complains of “…poor communication on part of leadership; a lack of financial transparency; excessive workload demands; and unilateral, non-inclusive decision-making practices that neglect the expertise of faculty.”

Notably missing is any mention of harassment or discrimination, which is troubling.

Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under art/design | Leave a Comment »

A long time ago, on a site far away, Jen had a blog set up for Finley. She posted pictures and wrote about Finley in the first couple years of her life, and all was good. For reasons I can’t remember now, several technical catastrophes befell both her local machine and the server the site was on. We were able to recover the files from the webserver but for a number of years I couldn’t find the backups I’d made of the database (the glue that holds the whole thing together) and it faded into memory. The Internet Archive never crawled it, so there’s no outside record of the site.

This past week we’ve had some conversations about words that Finley made up when she was a toddler and some other things that Mama captured from that time, so I figured I’d dust off some files and see if I could resurrect the site. It was built in WordPress as a subdirectory of her professional site when that content was still static, and when she had it updated and built in WordPress we saved a copy of the database and made way for the business site.

I have extensive backups of almost everything I can think of on the server or on optical media, and I’ve spent time cataloging everything so I at least have some idea of where it lives. But no search of the server or my catalog revealed that database backup anywhere. Jen did some digging on her old laptop and was able to find an email with a backup from November 2010, so I grabbed that and got to work. So far, I’ve:

Built a MAMP instance on my Macbook. Easy
Built multiple blank databases using PHPMyAdmin Easy
Loaded WordPress into the localhost server folder Super easy
Installed a new version of WordPress, had it build a database, and attempted to migrate the old database into the new one Fail. I think it fails because they’ve rewritten or renamed some of the database tables between version 3.0 and 5.X
Installed a new version of WordPress, imported the old database into MyPHP, and attempted to get WordPress to use that one Fail. wp-login fails because there’s some way the database is pointing at the old server for authentication so it times out.
Installed an old version of WordPress (the same vintage as the database) and attempted to get it to load Fail. The version of PHP in MAMP is 10 years too new, and I don’t feel like fighting MAMP to revert PHP back to 2010
Tried manually cleaning the WP_Posts dump in the SQL file using GREP statements Fail. WordPress saves multiple revisions per post (yay) which makes finding the final revision impossible over 1280 records (ugh).


The good thing is that the data is there. I can see it; it’s all in the SQL dump, and the crosslinks to the images and other media files I’ve got here are present. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to dig it out and put it back together. I’m getting to the point where paid solutions are looking better and better, but the internet is vast and wide, and another solution may present itself when I least expect it.

Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under geek | 2 Comments »

I took delivery of four bushings from Energy Suspension last week and carved out a half an hour to put one in on each side. It took some investigation online to know exactly what I was supposed to do, but once I found a couple of reference photos I got things organized and put them in properly. Both the bolts needed some PBBlaster to come off cleanly, but other than that it went quick.

The bolt on the driver’s side bottom has been replaced with a Grade 8 bolt, washer and locknut, and I have to get a little time next week to replace the bolt on the other side. She still rides like a truck, but the clanking from under the front suspension has disappeared, which is great.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: September 14, 2020 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Shocked

Until Thursday evening, I’d had about 200 files from the March scanning project still waiting to be color-corrected and processed. I ran out of steam toward the end of the project, after I’d been sitting and staring at them for several weeks on end. After the girls went to bed last night I worked my way through the last batch. I wish I’d done all of this before my Dad passed, as I think he’d be blown away by how modern technology and a professional eye can save an underexposed or poorly processed negative—of which there are many in this collection.


The greenhouse bounty is winding down now that we’re getting into September; the cherry plants are sending out their last bunches of fruit, and the heirlooms are almost done producing. There are maybe 10 large tomatoes still ripening out there, and then the plants can come out and the greenhouse cleaned up. I’m happy to say we’ve enjoyed every tomato that’s come out of there, and I can’t wait to build a better version with more variety next year.


Date posted: September 14, 2020 | Filed under greenhouse | Leave a Comment »

This is one of the most well-written obituaries of an incredible life ever published. Rick Rescorla was English by birth, fought in the Vietnam War for the U.S. Army in a pivotal early battle, and later became a writer and lawyer. He was the chief of security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center on September 11, and died getting his personnel out of the building. Recommended reading: We Were Soldiers Once…And Young.

Date posted: September 12, 2020 | Filed under books, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Bel Loc 2


They knocked it down to put up a fucking Starbucks. At least Second Chance saved the neon.

Date posted: September 9, 2020 | Filed under Baltimore, comparison | Leave a Comment »