Humor Kids Movies Pictures TV

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal

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Food & Cooking Kids Medical Pictures


Valerie turned six recently.

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As you see a hint of above, she and the other kids recently got a lesson about roughhousing in the stairwell…

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Valerie is in kindergarten and doing pretty well, though a lot of it bores her, and while she’s extremely bright, she is differently so than her prodigal sister. The broken arm is her left, which wasn’t good, since she is overwhelmingly left-handed. She seemed to like all the attention, though.

blogging Geekery Kids Pictures

Where are all the pictures? (Updated -Fixed!)

If you happen to peruse through here or the old Blogblivion that was never fully ported from Expression Engine, you may notice pictures of the kids are gone. Mostly. Argh!

Once upon a time, when it seemed there was far more space on the web hosting account that has as its root, my original one, than on this account, which has as its root, I started storing the pictures on the other account, linking them from posts here. Just required whitelisting this domain for hotlinking. Looks like I started doing that in 2006. In part of 2009 I recall switching back to here, due to role reversal. Went so long between posting pictures, though, I reverted on the last one because it was easier. Thus the post below for Valerie’s birthday without a picture (as of now).

Recently there was a brief spate of outages for this server, which went away, only to be followed by massive outages of the server hosting those pictures and various sites. I felt as if I broke the camel’s back, because it started, as far as I could tell, as soon as I setup my new Frugal Guy Cook blog over there Sunday. Before I did that, I backed up all three hosting accounts, which I do every 1-2 months. There is a utility that compresses and downloads the stuff for you, and can restore from the downloaded backups. Alternatively one might do a straight download of everything via FTP, which I wish had been a habit, even rarely.

They ended up migrating everything on the server that hosting account had been on, which I’ve gone through before and is not generally a problem. Or not a serious one, anyway.

I gathered what must have happened. But my blogs were gone! At least, the ones I checked, including the new one. I started investigating. Here’s what I know so far, sans another reply from support, which at last report had recopied my files and sounded like I should be all set.

The root of was there, but the entire /solo folder was gone. That was my original, premarital blog, which had become a postmarital blog. It would have been hard to recreate, being in pMachine, which is ancient and no longer available. Luckily I had a recent copy of the whole thing, so that was fixed. Some of the blogs are there, worst problem being one of them has errors from widgets that aren’t even being used, due to a change of permissions due to the server change. The legacy XTreme Computing site is gone. Married Guy/Daddy Guy Cook is gone. Some various files and folders are gone, like ones with pictures from Las Vegas.

Probably hardest to fix, pictures from 2007, 2008, 2009 and the one from 2010, and possibly part of 2007 but haven’t drilled into that – at least the 2007 folder is there with some in it – are gone.

Well great! I made a backup Sunday. When I wasn’t sure when or if the host would be able to restore things, I tried my first ever restore from the backup I’d downloaded. It took forever, and in fact I snoozed a little while it was happening after work this morning.

That didn’t help. I found some stuff I hadn’t looked at before was up, but I think it always had been. Just didn’t look closely. I’d seen that the add-on domains existed, and I’d see the mySQL databases existed and seemed to have everything at a quick perusal. Which is why the old pMachine blog was fine once the files and folder were replaced.

Eventually I wound up opening the backup files on my hard drive, starting with that recent one. What they contained was what was on the hosting currently! I spot checked all the way back to late 2007 and found the same thing in all the backups, obviously adjusting for the fact that some newer things wouldn’t have been there in the older backups.

It’s as if some of the files/folders flagged themselves “don’t back me up” and proceeded to exclude themselves!

Which would be bad if it happened to the utility customers can use to create backups.

What’s truly scary? If the same thing is affecting backups by the host. Whatever they restored from clearly lacked all those same files. The question is whether they have another backup that hasn’t been afflicted by the same problem and can or will restore from it.

Scarier still? By posting pictures on the blogs, I always figured if the building burned down or something, if we lost all the computers, if no pictures were left in our hands in digital form, we’d still have what I had posted.

Anyway, if we’re toast, I’ll see what I can do to restore everything. I should be able to generate a list of file names and locations from mySQL, locate and upload them in possibly even a semi-automated fashion. Either that or I’ll have to start fresh, but go way back. I was thinking of all pictures going forward being at a new location anyway. Just didn’t plan for there to be a disaster associated with it.

This is why I love my hosting people. Turned out a single corrupt file apparently caused backup failure. All the files except the one have been manually copied from the retiring server to the new one. There is some tweaking associated with a server change that I will need to do, and one single picture from May 2007 is now missing unless I replace it, but otherwise I am back in business. Yay!!

Birthdays Kids Pictures

Happy Birthday Valerie!

Valerie is 4 years old today! Four years and a couple hours ago she was our least eventful of the three arrivals. She seemed so mellow for a while! Still, no amount of temperamental could ever make me regret my angel girl.

Now to go make the strawberry cake she requested…


Sometime In October…

Birthdays Pictures

Birthday Boy

Henry turned two today! Time flies. Well, kind of.

It’s been kind of hot for baking, but I made a cake we had at my grandmother’s Sunday, and you’ve never seen a kid more delighted to be the center of the happy birthday song. Sadly, the leftover cake is keeping ants fed on the lawn near the car, where the cake holder my mother put it in for ease of transport back here failed on me. Deb didn’t get any, and I was going to make another, but she didn’t think it was worth it in temps high eighties and above recent days. She did get to eat my experimental lemon spice cake based on the same Henry-safe recipe for chocolate cake. It wasn’t bad, but too mildly flavored and with a baking soda tinge. I still need to work on the frosting for the non-dairy non-egg cake. Even with less honey, it tasted overwhelmingly of honey.

Anyway, grandparents brough Henry a cool Spiderman sweatshirt for cooler weather, and it lights up the way Sadie’s beloved Cars shirt does. All three of them got bouncy balls that are like snow globes inside, so the glitter and color will settle when idle, then go nuts when they are used.

Sadie picked a cool stacking peg set with pegboard, which he loved. She shopped with Deb, and they also got him a wooden toolbox with wooden nuts and bolts, wood strips with holes, screwdriver, wrench, hammer, and wooden pegs. They loved playing with that today. Finally, a coloring book and crayons of his own, which also went over well. I supplemented it with a small plastic chair, red with Mickey on the back. He loves litle chairs that are more or less his size, so he appreciated it.

Poor kid has a checkup I have to take him to tomorrow. I should probably arrange to drop the girls with someone, but they’ll probably all come along as usual.

I’d like to post more pictures, even just recent ones, but I’ve been lucky to write this post. He has twice tried to occupy my lap, and part of the way through it he and Valerie played with and spilled a pitcher of red Kool-Aid all over the kitchen and living room, while Sadie neglected to mention this to me as I’d expect. Even if I can remember what needed to be worked on, it’s hard to do anything, sometimes even the most urgent of things, with them taking all of my time. They’re like free radicals mutating cells of productivity.

Anyhow, one of the best Henry pictures ever, at the playground in Lakeville recently:

Art Kids Movies Pictures

Sadie Does Watercolors

Sadie insisted, supported by the others, on letting the Tinkerbell movie DVD play over and over and over for more than two days. I noticed it went all through the “making of” parts in the process, and turns out Sadie was studying the art aspects of it. She was intrigued with how they created the characters.

Then this morning she demanded to paint.

They haven’t painted in months.

She draws amazingly, with a distinctive yet evolving style. She has never painted anything that was clearly something or shown the same talent as she has for basic pen drawing.

Using it as a bribe to get them to help pick up things, I set them up with their watercolors and off they went. I have a tiny rainbow and a princess in a multicolored dress she painted as well, but this was the first and most dramatic of the three things Sadie painted today. In keeping with the inspiration, it’s a fairy. Click for larger:




Phone Picture

This is a picture taken with my new phone. Thus the fuzziness, but it’s kind of cute.


Favorite Sweater


TGI Spring


Valerie and Scarf

Scarf is a cool one Deb made, experimenting, that ended up as basically a kid toy. Val is a natural superstar.



This is a picture of Henry on my shoulders at the mall after we’d both gotten haircuts. Deb took it with her phone. Not bad, eh? Love how the hair doesn’t look that good once it’s had a chance to be mussed after leaving the barber. The piggybacking didn’t last more than a few steps because of the silly back. You can see he looks more like Deb than me, more than people usually note when they see him.


Henry on Dad

This is from the set of pictures downloaded off the camera on February 3rd, which means it was taken sometime between then and January 5th, date of the prior download. I’d lost most of the weigh, but not what I added to the tally in this last burst. It documents my role as his favorite place to sleep.


Artist At Work

I have piles of Sadie’s drawings waiting to be scanned and/or stored better. She’s amazing.


Henry and His First Haircut

Wednesday we took Henry for his first haircut, as I needed one sufficiently and he really needed one, more than these pictures make obvious. Back when we were going to trim it the first time, I knew the first cut would be free, Deb thought it was a significant ritual worth waiting for, and I had enough history with home haircuts that we decided to do that. I spent most of my childhood with absolutely awful home haircuts to save money. I saw my nephews get nothing but home haircuts and that being the subject of much amusement. Not that it’s wrong to trim his hair ourselves, but it’s a loaded thing for me, and a good cut from a pro starts you with a basis to make it come out better in between times. We lucked out, getting there with almost nobody in the place ahead of us, and Henry’s tears notwithstanding, had a fun day, following it with a walk around the mall to fight youthful stir crazy.

Anyway, here are two before pics, three during pics, and three after pics.



This was about a month ago, at her birthday.


Me Before Haircut

We didn’t get a picture of me after the haircut as I’d planned, except possible on Deb’s phone, but I thought I’d post the before ones anyway. You may be able to see how thin I’ve gotten, not that I post a lot of pictures, but some readers have seen me in person as well. The shirt is one of the less baggy of what are now tents on me – it was a tighter fit than it ought have been for its size. In the second one, she had described how goofy I looked when I squinched my face in anticipation of the photo, and hand over mouth was my reaction. The second one also serves as an additional pre-haircut picture of Henry. Who is, come to think of it, 19 months old today.

Money Pictures


Speaking of money, and related to the lack of pictures lately (notwithstanding the Christmas backlog), our camera is dying. It’s been fantastic and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Kodak. In fact, I will go out of my way to buy another Kodak like it.

However, until we do, there’s not much photography happening around here. A couple weeks ago we found there’d been basically no pics taken of the kids for a month, because the camera is so balky.


Upside-Down World