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It sucks to be down

Having the blog go down for an extended period of time is pretty awful.

I went to church this morning and learned that the Super Bowl is tonight, which was something interesting. I think the Giants and the Patriots (don’t quote me) are playing and I suppose that I could watch the game instead of blogging.

This afternoon in desperation I went for a walk with Ms. Conspiracy and the dog. (We have a fantastic 6-acre park nearby, laid out like a miniature State of South Carolina with historical landmarks and  stone paths for the Interstate Highway System.)

I’ve also been reduced to reading books, the latest being a history of Central Europe. I looked into the 2nd Harry Potter book.

imageYesterday, I added a red Grundig M-300 radio to my portable shortwave collection. That’s the 6th color I have for that radio (gray, black, blue, silver, yellow and red). Still looking for the elusive camouflage version. [Update: I got the camo, along with white, pink and orange.] I also had some time to write a short review on one radio for a Chinese radio site. I’ve been bidding on some on eBay.

Last night, instead of blogging, I watch the movie Pi. Now that was strange. Of course being math major and a computer enthusiast, and having dabbled in the “Bible codes” crank theories, a lot of that movie was familiar. Reading Douglas Hofstadter’s book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid provided background too. Funny how one of the themes in that movie is to ease up and not be so single-minded about things. I also got to watch a few episodes of Pawn Stars that I hadn’t seen and finally got around to watching Season 1, Episode 1 of Warehouse 13.

I even got a few minutes to visit The Fogbow forums  and catch up on what’s being written there.

I tell you, it sucks to be down.

There are plenty of interesting things to do besides blogging. What really sucks is disappointing the fine folks for whom visiting this site is part of their daily routine.

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22 Responses to It sucks to be down

  1. avatar
    J. Potter February 6, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Good morning, thanks, and welcome back!

  2. avatar
    richCares February 6, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    It was rough, I couldn’t get my “birther fix”, the walls are totaly scatched from my climbing attempts. Doc C, I love your site, it is a place to find facts and reason as well as a place to get some really good laughs.
    Thanks, good to have you back!

  3. avatar
    arrogantlyignorant February 6, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    I was having withdrawals. Especially after the epic birther failure on Friday. Glad the site is back up!

  4. avatar
    Scientist February 6, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    arrogantlyignorant: I was having withdrawals. Especially after the epic birther failure on Friday. Glad the site is back up!

    I tried it at halftime and it was still down. I was so bored that I actually watched Madonna

  5. avatar
    Rickey February 6, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    If I had a birther mindset I would swear that this site was under attack, what with the outage coming right on the heels of the Georgia decision.

    Yes, birthers, there really are coincidences in life.

  6. avatar
    G February 6, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Yeah, the timing of all these various downtime / outage situations on this blog was particularly painful… considering all the big news and activity in GA and other places…

    …but life goes on. Glad to see you back up and at it Doc!

    Glad you got to see at least the 1st episode of Warehouse 13 too. Very entertaining series… I’ve watched them all, since the beginning. Good lighthearted fun! I hope you continue to check them out – it really is a character interaction driven sci-fi comedy and that interplay and chemistry between the characters is what really makes it stand out.

    arrogantlyignorant: I was having withdrawals. Especially after the epic birther failure on Friday. Glad the site is back up!

  7. avatar
    Lupin February 6, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Welcome back, Doc!

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    It’s natural to speculate about things like that, but there’s never been any evidence that it happened.

    Rickey: If I had a birther mindset I would swear that this site was under attack

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    BTW, did you see The Lost Room Some say it was an inspiration for Warehouse 13. There are just a few episodes and worth the time.

    G: Glad you got to see at least the 1st episode of Warehouse 13 too

  10. avatar
    G February 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    YES!!! My wife & I absolutely *loved* The Lost Room! For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, it was the 2006 December Sci-Fi “event” mini-series for that year.

    It was great and would have made a great regular series on its own. I believe you are correct that it was an inspiration for Warehouse 13. (Which just completed season 3)

    For those who missed it, here is one of many sites where you can watch The Lost Room online (also available on DVD):

    http://www.tv.com/shows/the-lost-room/

    I found that the 2-disc DVD is only $8 at this location:

    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&tok=MNjMik7ggPQfa1VD92WmJQ&cp=10&gs_id=17&xhr=t&q=the+lost+room&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=673&wrapid=tljp1328556415533016&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=15790782283216009666&sa=X&ei=iigwT_-gI-jn0QG25fWKAQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFQQ8wIwAw#

    For more info on it and all the nifty artifact objects in the room:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Room

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objects_from_The_Lost_Room

    There was supposed to be a comic book sequel, but it hasn’t come out yet. I see that Wikipedia even mentions it:

    In July 2010, the series’ creators announced at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International that Red 5 Comics will be publishing a sequel, in comic book form, to The Lost Room.[10] Publication was expected in late summer or early autumn 2011 but it has yet to be released

    Wiki also backs up the allusion to The Lost Room being an inspiration for Warehouse 13:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warehouse_13

    Syfy President Dave Howe has suggested that it was derived from a 2006 miniseries The Lost Room

    Warehouse 13 has had 3 seasons so far. Both 1 & 2 are available on DVD. Each season has been 12 episodes and comes out in the summer on the SyFy channel. There is a 4th season planned for this summer. Note: there is actually a “13th episode” for both Seasons #2 & #3, the “Christmas Special” episode, which comes out in December. Warehouse 13 even had a few cross-over episodes with the show Eureka and some minor characters from Warehouse 13 have also cropped up on “Alphas”.

    We tend to watch quite a few of the SyFy series here at my house, so I’m quite the fan of many of their shows and event miniseries.

    Dr. Conspiracy: BTW, did you see The Lost Room Some say it was an inspiration for Warehouse 13. There are just a few episodes and worth the time.

  11. avatar
    John Woodman February 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    My personal opinion: Pi simply wasn’t worth watching. Never understood what a lot of people saw in that movie.

  12. avatar
    Keith February 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Still seems to be problems with the comments database.

  13. avatar
    Keith February 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Sometimes

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    It’s more than just the comments.

    The categories are scrod as well as the tags, plus the links in the footer below.

    All of these are related through to a rather complicated set of tables. I’m trying to figure out how it works, so I can see what the problem is. If I knew what was wrong, maybe I could fix it, but this particular part of WordPress is far from straightforward.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 7, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    CAN SOMEONE TELL ME when the Recent Comments stopped working. Did It work AFTER the move? Did it work earlier today?

  16. avatar
    Keith February 7, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    I think it was working earlier today, but I’m not 100% sure.

    I got a couple of database error messages just about the time I was going to inspect the recent comments section. That error didn’t allow any access to the site at all. I went away for about an hour and continued, but can’t remember if the recent comments were there or not.

    I have had a couple of database errors since then but they weren’t catastrophic, one of them cause a comment to be lost, that’s when I came on and made those comments above.

  17. avatar
    G February 7, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    It was working earlier on Monday…definitely until at least 6pm. I can’t remember if I was on here after 6pm or if I was only on other sites after that point. I had a busy evening with other matters in real life, so haven’t been back here since sometime before 8pm for sure. So, my best guess is good until at least 6pm and perhaps as late as 8pm.

    Dr. Conspiracy: CAN SOMEONE TELL ME when the Recent Comments stopped working. Did It work AFTER the move? Did it work earlier today?

  18. avatar
    Greenfinches February 7, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    what happened?

    I could not get access to the site direct, but then it was ok via Bad Fiction (I get my fix of Orly that way, never daring to venture too close to her site…)

    and no ‘recent comments’ at all.

    I agree, I need my fix or I will suffer withdrawal symptoms!

    I assume nothing we can do here on the outside…….good luck Doc

  19. avatar
    Keith February 7, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    I just had a comment ‘quashed’ due to ‘it looks like you’ve already said that’.

    I had not said it already, and the comment did not appear.

    That is twice today for that problem.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 8, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Last night, the site was up and down — 5 minutes on and 5 off. It was told it was a network problem and that it’s fixed. Things certainly are running well this morning, very quick.

    The issues night before last were database related, but I don’t know precisely what the cause was. My guess is that they made some setting in the MySQL installation that caused select WordPress joined queries to fail. This also straightened itself out and the hosting company put it down to “not 100%” fully restored after the big outage.

    I hope what we have right now is normal and what we had up until now was a 100-year flood.

    Greenfinches:
    what happened?

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 8, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I think I have the character encoding fixed. Basically the problem is that the former WordPress database had a character encoding different from the default WordPress installation and so the converted tables didn’t match how the encoding was configured in WordPress software here.

    My efforts to fix characters just made things works — introducing incompatibility between the articles/comments and new articles/comments.

    So I have set the software to match the old articles and comments, and manually fixed the new ones (I hope) even when you used an acute instead of an apostrophe.

    What I did with the new stuff was to use HTML codes instead of character encoding. Handy table here:

    http://ascii.cl/htmlcodes.htm

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 8, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I want to add my thanks to Ansgar Becker, the author of HeidiSQL, without which I would never have been able to get the migration done. It is the solution to size limitations in phpMyAdmin’s import function. HeidiSQL was also the tool I used to fix the character encoding.