28.feb.2006 - The Dog (my bestest, longest friend) is flying in this eve (from NYC). We'll be meeting at Muldoon's Irish pub in Newport Beach for a beer and some Irish stew. (He is very Irish.)
Miss Julie will be coming along to meet the Dog. It will be cool to have them meet. The Dog knows everything, the whole story.
The Dog is one of those people who makes you feel good about yourself. He is unpretentious as they come. No ego. I always feel great after spending time with him.
The problem is I don't see him enough anymore, since he moved to NYC (from Hollywood). He is funny as h3ll. Great sense of humor, with a Jersey twist. Can't wait to see him.
We first met in the Navy, in Hawaii, assigned to the same nuclear submarine (home-ported at Pear Harbor). We hit it off from the moment we met. He's the only Navy buddy I still stay in contact with.
27.feb.2006 - Been thinking lately, about the nature of romantic relationships, specifically: what makes some work so well, while others fail (so miserably) .. why some become heaven-on-earth, and others .. well, the other.
Certainly, I am no Dr. Phil. But I do have plenty of experience (first-hand), which counts for something.
Countless books have been written on the subject, and the factors are obviously manifold, but what is the key? Can we distill the books into a single concept?
After musing the topic at length, I feel it has something to do with finding someone who possesses the attributes we're looking for, or (better yet) those we need.
And obviously, things will work better if, likewise, we possess those attributes the other person is looking for (and needs).
If you're looking, for example, for someone with money, it doesn't really matter how physically attractive they are, how intelligent they are, how witty, funny, charming, educated, loyal, noble, how blue their blood is, etc. That person simply isn't going to do it for you.
Conversely, say (like me) you're looking for someone who is affectionate. If you happen to find someone who has trouble showing affection, all the money in the world isn't going to matter.
When I started to entertain the idea of another relationship, I had a short list of attributes I was looking for: someone who was sweet, kind, affectionate & emotionally stable.
Looks were not a factor. It didn't matter how hot someone might've been, if they weren't sweet & affectionate, I wasn't interested. (Cuz my needs lie elsewhere.)
Looks are easy to determine, being readily apparent. But kindness & emotional stability .. those things take longer to discern.
So far, the new squeeze is exceeding all expectations, being sweeter, kinder, and more affectionate than I could've imagined. She is a snuggle bunny, a cuddle monster, ultra affectionate, hyper-affectionate. And right now, that's what I need. That's what works for me. It feeds me on an emotional level.
Technology has always been easy for me. The concepts come naturally, effortlessly. Not so with this other stuff. I find it much more difficult to understand. Yet it is responsible for so much of our pleasure (and pain) in life.
There is a great quote by Freud, which says: The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is: "What does a woman want?"
In other words, Freud spend most of his adult life trying to figure out women, and couldn't do it. Died trying.
26.feb.2006 - Went horseback riding this afternoon. Thought it might be a little much, physically, considering my recent infirmity, but we rode slowly .. thru wooded canyons, over picturesque hilltops.
Warm breezes blew in our faces, rustling leaves of surrounding trees. Seemed supernatural, magical. Best part was that we didn't see another human being the entire time. The experience turned out to be remarkably therapeutic.
My horse's name was Noah. He was a big (as an ark), chestnut colored guy who kept wanting to stop and eat grass and leaves. "You got a hungry one," Julie called out, turning back from the trail up ahead.
Her horse, Trigger, was light colored, smaller, with an elegant gait and long, wavy tail. Not so ravenous as Noah. Trigger liked to lead the way. We only got lost once.
Horseback riding reminds me of backpacking thru the woods .. without the backpack, and without even having to walk. Good way to get acquainted with a new friend. She said she sometimes goes riding alone, just to get away.
In other new, I have a tie-wearing event scheduled for later this week .. for which I would appreciate your Rad prayers. Regulars know the deal.
24.feb.2006 - After moving the site to a new host earlier this month, the only problem I'm still having is that I can't post new blog entries, cuz the blogging software I use can't access the MySQL database.
This is not a major problem, merely an inconvenience. I only use the blog for daily posts made here that are rather long, by continuing them in the blog.
This way (by transferring the remainder of post to the blog) I don't have to consume much of the home page for any single daily entry.
Lunarpages (my new web host) has a different naming scheme for their MySQL databases and user-names, so I had to modify the blog's config file to reflect those new values.
But, for some reason, I still can't connect. And the error message is rather vague. It just says "Can't connect." No details on exactly where the problem is.
My copy of MovableType (my blogging software) is a few years old (v2.63). I could just install a whole new version. I think v3.20 is current. It's not difficult. Been meaning to do that anyway.
In other news, I have officially returned as a member of the human race. The rash is starting to fade, just like the doctors said it would. I just need to work on my stamina, which suks right now. Get winded easily.
Whatever that crud was, it was nasty. Even when sick, I normally never get headaches, I believe, cuz I drink plenty of fluids. But this thing came with a wicked headache. This was the first time I had trouble getting to sleep cuz of a persistent headache. Felt like my brain was on fire.
For what it's worth, I found Advil more helpful than aspirin, which didn't seem to help very much. I don't care for Tylenol, cuz it makes things smell plastic-y to me.
And what bizarre dreams I've been having. Last night I woke from a dream that I was crying real hard. I wasn't crying in my sleep, just in my dream. Never did that before. Can't recall what I was crying about, but it was that deep soul-crying.
Other, more bizarre dreams, like people trying to have me killed .. those are always pleasant, you know. No wonder I wake up drenched with sweat.
Even ran into vacationing George & Laura Bush in my dreams last night, asking George for directions, while I was riding a motorcycle in the snow .. trying to get away from the people who were trying to kill me .. but George couldn't help. He was lost, too.
Some of my dreams would get me committed if I dared share them here. Seem so vibrant & real. I think they are somehow connected to strong underlying emotions. Cuz I've been feeling rather emotional lately.
23.feb.2006 - Medieval rash starting to go away. Upper body looks pretty good. Lower half still looks scary, but no longer swollen. Skin merely looks discolored, in strangely random patterns. Feels weird to touch, wash.
Feeling good today, mainly cuz I no longer feel so bad. (You know that feeling?) Fever gone (whew). But I tire easily.
Went to sauna yesterday, thinking I might sweat out any crud left inside. Just walking from car to club kicked my butt. Was huffin'-n-puffin'. Had to sit & rest. Zero stamina.
In the locker-room, one guy was walking by, stopped and shouted, "Jesus! Man! What the h3ll is that?" Fortunately, the light in the sauna was burned out and nobody there could see very well in the dark.
Stopped at Trader Joes on the way home and picked up a few things for first meal in days: wine, cheese, bread, olives & fresh raspberries (for dessert). That was a big day. Traded a few text messages with new 'friend' before bed. Crashed early.
Normally I get the little guy today, but doc said to stay away 'til rash is gone. Long as I live, I don't think I'll ever get used to this structured sharing arrangement. I mean, it just feels so un-natural. There are all these obstacles to being a dad. .. something which should be encouraged, not thwarted.
Yet for all the discord, he seems pretty happy. While at Sherman Gardens last week, one older lady came up and said, "All babies are beautiful, but he's really extraordinary." Could I be any prouder? I think not.
22.feb.2006 - Today's is NightOwl's birthday. He's the author of the surprisingly-popular Guide to Creating Bootable CD/DVDs.
You can find him swooping down at the Rad forums, where he helps moderate, answering some of the more challenging questions posted there.
His b-day is easy to remember: 2-22 (since mine is 1-11). He lives up the road in the great Northwestern city of Olympia, the state's capital (yes, folks, that's right, he's a bonified 'Olympian').
I used to live in Washington state (for 2 years). Beautiful state, fine people.
I remember when he first broached the idea of writing a guide to creating bootable CDs. I honestly didn't think it would be very popular, so I wasn't very encouraging. But I was very wrong. (Every month I send him a nice check for his guide's earnings.)
Great person to have on your team. And if you have questions, you'll find him willing to help .. especially after the sun goes down.
In other news, the rash appears to have quit spreading, altho it never really bothered me. It didn't itch or hurt, or keep me awake. Appetite starting to return, which is a good sign. I probably lost a few pounds.
Laying low. Doc said to push the fluids (to flush the crud). Feeling sweaty every now & then, but not the brutal fever of Monday (which made me think I had brain damage). Feel good enough to know how bad I really feel.
Monday was the worst, so I think I'm finally on the mend.
20.feb.2006 - I have a rash. Not just a little poison ivy .. no, we're talking medieval.
Went to Urgent Care walk-in clinic yesterday morning (Sleepy Hollow Medical, here in Laguna, cost me US$211).
The doc there didn't know what the h3ll is was .. spent 30 minutes looking thru a book on rashes. Thought it was viral (not fungal, not bacterial or allergic reaction, or insect bite).
Haven't had s-e-x in a year, so it can't be STD. Started around my ankles/heels (clue? maybe from showers at 24-Hour Fitness?). At first, I thought it might be from flea bites (altho no fleas here).
Then it started *spreading* .. to pretty much everywhere *except* soles, palms, face, back & crotch (thank God). Not on fingers either, stops at backs of hands. Tops of feet & ankles are worst (up to hiking-boot high).
Doc at clinic drew 2 vials blood and gave me number of Dermatologist to call. I called this morning. They made apt for wednesday afternoon.
UPDATE: Dermatologist office just called back, to say they received call from Doc at clinic .. they want me to come in first thing tomorrow morning. They also changed my apt to see the HEAD DERMATOLOGIST there (not one of his flunkies.) Sounds serious, no?
Bad as this stuff *looks*, I don't actually *feel* very bad. It doesn't itch, hurt, or keep me awake. No head-cold symptoms, or sneezing. Chest is scratchy, but no crud to cough up.
Worst part is I am so dang TIRED. The idea of getting up to go to the bathroom is *exhausting*. Mere walking gets me huffing & puffing (with my mouth open). I get COLD easy, too. Drinking tap water makes me shiver for a few minutes.
Could be stress-related. (I *have* had plenty of excellent reasons to be stressed.) It is symmetrical. Whatever appears on one side of my body is mirrored on the other.
To convey how whacked I am, I was just looking for my reading glasses .. and I was *wearing* them. (Never did that before.)
I'll know more tomorrow morning. Nobody has this thing but me, no friends. Doc, said he didn't think it was contagious, but said, "You look pretty scary, so no one is gonna wanna get near you."
"The good thing about viruses," he said, "is that they usually go away untreated."
I had mono (infectious mononucleosis) when I was 20 years old, in the Navy, stationed in Maine, at Bath Iron Works. That hit me like a freight-train. This feels like mono with a rash.
I remember the mono epiosode. I was in the gym working out (strong as an ox, too), doing lat-pull-downs. Quick as you snapped your fingers, the weight became 3X as heavy. I could lift *nothing*. All my energy had been sapped in an instant.
Took the Navy a while to figure out what it was. They thought I was making it up to get out of work. Eventually they drew blood, when I refused to work any more.
After the results came back from the lab, the Navy Doc who drew blood said, "You're a pretty sick young man." They told me mono can *kill* older people. Told me to stop taking anti-biotics and go home and stay in bed for 2 weeks.
Anyway, I should know more tomorow. The shame is .. I was just starting to let down my defenses .. (re: previous entry, directly below) .. starting to loosen up, and feel good about life again. Now I feel like I'm merely trying to stay alive. Someone suggested I might be emotionally-detox'ing.
It's true that I had stopped feeling so resentful recently .. due to new emotional focus. The worst part is NOT KNOWING what's causing it.
When you hear a doctor say, "I'm stumped." .. uh, that doesn't make you feel very warm-n-fuzzy. (This was an older doctor, too. He has seen a few things.)
18.feb.2006 - Regarding the new relationship, which I mentioned earlier (refer to entry below for Valentine's day, and also blog entry titled: Time to Move On) .. yes, she still seems too good to be true, but is starting to make a believer out me.
On V-day eve, I found a surprise steak-dinner waiting (yummy filets) and afterwards, I was even brave enough to do a little snuggling on the couch.
Absolutely incredible how *good* that feels after so long time with no physical affection. Literally felt like I was flying.
She is patient with my cautious approach, and says she understands. After my recent trials & tribulations (of which regulars will recall) I *do* find it difficult to trust again. And since relationships are all about trust, if you don't have trust, you don't have very much.
She makes me laugh. You can't imagine how good that feels after feeling attacked for so long. Proverbs 17:22 says: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Uh, I think I know a little bit about what that verse refers to.
Her first name begins with the letter J, so I guess I can call her Miss-J. What's most remarkable with Miss-J is the *ease* with which things have been proceeding.
I've never been much into dating. Don't get me wrong, I can do it alright, and I'm actually pretty good at it, probably cuz I have plenty of experience, and have made all the mistakes .. but the concept of dating .. of "trying out" for a position on a team .. never much appealed to me.
This relationship however, feels more like hanging-out-with-a-good-friend. In fact, I haven't 'jived' so well with someone since I met the Dog in Hawaii .. 25 years ago. Maybe that's cuz (despite her feminine looks) she's got a little tom-boy in her.
So, on the one hand, I have this relationship with someone who I feel like I've know a long time. Yet, in reality, I've know her only a short period of time ..
.. which leads to an internal struggle .. where, naturally, I feel like moving along at a much more liberal pace .. but because my trust has been so badly damaged in the past, I'm hesitant to follow thru on my instincts.
In the end, I suspect it will take some time .. to build trust .. but she is building it at much faster rate than I thought possible.
<new thought> One of the problems she has to deal with regularly (as a freelance graphic designer) is meeting with clients (primarily male, and usually after normal business hours), who seem more interested in her than in her work.
And, to be honest, I can totally understand how these guys must feel. The other night, she was heading out for such a meeting, wearing jeans, boots, and a black t-shirt.
But the black tee had shiny, silver writing on the chest. So I told her, "the poor guy is not going to be able to keep his mind on business with all that sparkly-stuff flashing in his eyes."
I know, cuz I've had years of training in how to ignore distractions and focus on the issue at hand .. and *I* was having trouble focusing.
Not sure what it is, but she has that thing that brings out aggressive impulses in me. I imagine it must be similar to what a hungry lion must feel when it sees a gazelle bounding aimlessly across the plains. (And believe me, I'm plenty hungry.)
And she comes home: disappointed. The guy spends the evening trying to sell himself. She was bummed, altho says she never felt threatened. (She's not very big.) But says it's something that happens fairly regularly.
Last week, on a similar meeting, another "prospective client" offered her something he called a "life account", which is like a unlimited expense account ... if she'll date him. The guy has a business that starts other businesses, gets them up-n-running, and then sells them. Obviously very successful at it.
I was telling my buddy Battman that story, he said (jokingly), "Dude, ask her to give me that guy's number! I look pretty good in a wig and nylons."
The thing is, that's exactly what many here in SoCal are looking for. They're called gold-diggers. So when you find someone turning that down, it seems as if you've found an anomaly. She says they (the guys with money) need to look for younger girls. She's 35, altho looks 25, so I think that's part of the problem.
Last night, she was talking about horseback riding. Says she knows a place where they let you take the horses by yourself, and cruise at full-gallop.
"Do you know how to ride?" she asked. "Hey, they don't call me Billy the Kid for nothing," I bluffed. Heck, last time I rode a horse, I damn near dislocated my hips .. walked with a limp for days.
I'll let you know how it goes. I think we're going to church again tomorrow. Great church. Never been to one like that before. Very entertaining. Not boring. I think she's been going there four years now. Her ex still goes there, so it can seem a little weird, altho to a different service.
16.feb.2006 - The following note is from Magoo, regarding his recent Linux migration (from Windows). Thought you might find it interesting. Here it is:
Now that I've finished my Networking certification (and secured a promotion at work) I have more time to devote to Linux.
I'm up and running with Ubuntu 5.10 (32-bit version). Install was painless. Took me a while however, to figure out RAID support.
But it turns out support is built in, and I just had to figure out how to enable it. With a little help from a friend and some great forums, it was surprisingly easy to get up and running.
I have my video card drivers installed and running great. I can watch DVD's and listen to music on my computer. I have email (Thunderbird), Internet (Firefox) and instant messaging (GAIM) all running great.
Took a day or two to locate all the options I'm used to using, but all the programs are full-featured and easy to use.
I have a few things left to do, like find a better driver for my sound card (Audigy 4) and find a decent web editing program to replace Dreamweaver, but I just haven't gotten to those yet.
I'm finding Linux easy to use, but installing and configuring it still requires patience and resourcefulness. Using Linux is just as easy as Windows and its something I think anyone could learn to do. Linux has come a long way since I tried it a few years ago.
The performance gains I've witnessed have been impressive. Movies play smoother and take less time to load. Thunderbird opens twice as quickly as Outlook XP. System is generally more responsive and snappier (than Windows).
I've always heard Linux wass better, cuz of leaner code, but I never thought the difference would be this dramatic.
I've started a rough draft on an upcoming Linux guide. It will require some time. Wanna do it right. Give the little guy a big hug for me.
15.feb.2006 - The new site is having trouble with certain functions, such as forum registration .. which can be traced back to MySQL database configurations. Traded a few emails with Lunarpages support, who said:
"Looking at your account, I do not show any MySQL databases have been set up yet. So this is probably the problem with connecting to it. If the database information has been moved over already from the old server, you can install it with phpmyadmin.
You can create a backup of it at your old host or, if your old host has phpMyAdmin installed, you can export it into a *.sql file and use phpMyAdmin to install it here."
That's what I'm working on today. A little trickier to make the new databases look (and act) like old ones. Simpler to create new databases .. but certain programs - such as the forum software and the blog software, are already configured to use the old databases configs (db names, user-info and passwords).
So something will have to be tweaked .. either the new MySQL databases, or old forum/blog software (or both). This stuff makes my head hurt. (Where'd I put that Advil?)
In other news, Maria is flying to the Big Apple tomorrow .. New York, New York .. the city so nice, ya gotta say it twice .. her first time there. Taking her 16-year-old daughter, Mikaela.
I grew up an hour north of the city, in New Haven. Haven't returned in ages. Only miss it when the leaves change (autumn). Heard they had record-setting snowfall a few days back. Here's wishing her a safe trip.
14.feb.2006 - Happy Valentine's day. Today can be difficult for those who have no one special to share it with, especially following a nasty break-up. (Regulars will recall my tales of Rad woe.)
I know, cuz I've spent many (too many) Valentines days as a free agent. Even spent a handful of them under water, on a submarine, with 150 smelly guys. So certainly, I can sympathize.
But recently (very recently) I found someone special (very special).
Not only is she a hottie, but she also has a heart of gold - something which isn't readily apparent until you get to know her better.
For example, she's spent time in Mexico (with her church) helping to build homes there for the homeless. (I'm much too selfish with my time to do something like that.)
It's wonderfully refreshing to spend time with someone who appreciates your positive points, instead of always harping on your negatives. (We all have both good parts, and bad parts: strengths & weaknesses. No one is without flaw.)
If someone sees only your negative parts, I feel that means you're not meant to be with that person. Nobody wants to hear someone harping continuously on their negative characteristics. (Sure, I have my negative parts, but grow weary of people who consistently try to reap where they do not sow.)
A few details: she's 35 (tho looks 25), Lebanese (slightly exotic), grew up in Santa Monica (graduated from SaMo High), currently resides here North Laguna, holds a degree in English Lit from SFSU (obviously well read), caught a wild ride on the dot.com boom as a graphic design artist.
(In fact, if you need a professional-looking web site, I can probably get you a good deal.)
My favorite thing (after the way she smells) is that she still has lots of little-girl left in her, which allows her to approach life with a child-like sense of wonder, despite some hard knocks which life has tossed her way. Oozes creativity.
Still way too early to tell how (and if) things will develop, but preliminary indications are encouraging (tho proceeding at a cautious pace).
In fact, I sometimes feel like she's too good to be true. Seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.
Well, there is one thing, uh .. don't quite know how to say it .. so I'll just go ahead and say it. Here goes: she uses a Mac. Yeah, sorry for being so blunt. I know, I know (hanging head in shame). Hope I didn't ruin your appetite. Been grappling with how to broach this glaring defect.
That's right, she has the dreaded Mac defect (not to be confused with Mass defect, altho I must admit: she does seem to have an abundance of Binding energy).
No, it hasn't been easy. Friends have suggested trying to get her some therapy, or into a good 12-step program. My best friend (the Dog) offered these words of consolation: "Well, at least you know she's not too good to be true." =)
Everything is still very much nascent.
UPDATE: The mail is starting to come in, with many readers coming to her defense, saying things like, "Rad, be reasonable. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water, especially now that Macs will soon ship with Intel chips. Give the girl a chance, for crying out loud."
Rad, Look, it's gotta be this way. Opposites attract. Personally I like my woman effeminate. And for some reason, Macs apparently think like women. I'm convinced, if she liked PC's, she wouldn't smell so damn good. =) It's a yin-yang thing, brother.
I'm obviously getting ahead of myself here, but what would be the ultimate .. is to have a kid I could see every day. Every day.
13.feb.2006 - While returning from sailing yesterday, the engine died .. in the channel .. 200 yards from the dock. Shortly after sunset, we heard a 'pop'.
It came from the engine compartment, and sounded like a champagne bottle uncorking. Then nothing. Silence. Not a good sign. (Ever seen the movie Dead Calm?)
Had to get on the radio and call Vessel Assist, which is like AAA for boats. He motored up alongside, ever so nimbly, tethered his powerful twin-diesel boat to ours, side-by-side, and towed us back to the slip, which was right around the corner (we almost made it).
Impressive how skillful these Vessel Assist guys are. They make it look easy.
People think, cuz I spent 6 years in the Navy, I know something about sailing. But I don't .. cuz submarines have no sails. (They only taught me how to run a reactor plant.)
It was actually pretty nice sitting there, watching the full moon rise over the mountains. Warm breeze blowing. Kinda romantic.
In more technical news, I called Lunarpages technical support today to inquire about their two web-mail programs that come installed with each web-hosting account: SquirrelMail & Horde.
SquirrelMail (they say) is small and fast, with minimal features, while Horde (as the name implies) is a bigger, feature-rich program. I actually called twice. Both support reps preferred Horde (the feature-rich one).
If you want a Rad email account, lemme know. They give me unlimited email accounts. The only thing I ask is that you don't let it fill with spam. Lemme know what you want as a user-name and password.
For those of you who had Rad mail accounts with the old server, I have to re-create the new accounts with the new server.
Tomorrow is Valentine's day .. just a friendly reminder .. so you don't get caught with your pants down.
12.feb.2006 - Had the little guy Friday, when I played Rad dad. (He's 1 yr old). Took him by the old neighborhood .. just to let him know it was still there (to convey the notion of permanence).
Wandering around, I found the old place unlocked and empty. Applications lying on the new carpet. New paint on the walls. (Coffee color, very nice)
Went inside. Very weird. Walked him thru all the old rooms, slowly, silently .. kitchen > living room > bathroom> both bedrooms > his old bedroom...
The experience quickly became nostalgic .. and emotional .. surprisingly so. This was the place we were living when he was born. Felt like such a shame .. the way things degraded.
I put him down and let the little guy walk around his old stomping grounds. He didn't seem very affected by our return to paradise lost. A million thoughts blew thru my mind like a tornado. Felt sad afterwards .. but then he managed to make me laugh.
In less-nostalgic news, I was invited to go sailing today (35-footer out of Newport harbor) .. by new friend (see entry 02.feb) .. right after she invited me to attend church with her, later today.
Trying to decide .. she says she knows how to sail .. ah, what the heck .. I'm think I'm gonna go.
11.feb.2006 - Everyone agrees the site's new server seems faster than the old one. When I was transferring all those files from one server to the other (see previous entry), I noticed the new server seemed ~3X faster (based on observed file-transfer speeds).
At first, I thought it might just be cuz the new server is physically located here in Southern California (downtown Los Angeles), while the old server resides way across the country in Atlanta.
But people on both coasts claim to have noticed an improvement in the site's responsiveness. So of course, now I'm disappointed I didn't change over sooner. In the world of web sites, zippiness is next to godliness. While researching the company and their wares, I was most impressed by their networking infrastructure.
The bad .. is that I can't get the new mail server to work. Normally that's the easiest thing to configure. Lunarpages even has a web-based auto-configure utility as part of their control panel that will supposedly configure your email client (e.g. Outlook Express) for their mail servers.
But even that utility wouldn't work for me. So I'll be needing to contact their support group. Altho I'll have to do that via email, cuz their phone support is only available during normal business hours (no weekends).
Update: Email now works. They have a tutorial that disseminates bogus info .. as if moving a site isn't complicated enough. Tech sppt gave me mojo to config properly.
One oddity I noticed about Lunarpages is that they haven't yet provided me with my dedicated IP address, even tho they already charged me for a year's worth of IP addy up-front.
I mean, if you can't deliver the goods, you don't charge the customer .. right? Seems like a standard business practice. They told me they're "waiting for ARIN to release more IPs to us so we can assign one to your account."
They only charge $2.50/month for the dedicated IP addy, but I was still surprised they billed me for 'goods' they don't have. Update: Got the dedicated IP. Now we're cooking with Plutonium.
The old site's IP addy is 188.8.131.52. It is still there .. for now. You can get anything there by replacing the the first part of he URL up to "radified.com" with the IP .. altho you shouldn't need to.
09.feb.2006 - The new server (see previous post) had a problem with the forum. Guess I didn't test as extensively as I should've. I should've tried to *post* a message on the new, test server, before transferring.
Lunarpages didn't transfer any of the forum "members* data. So when I tried to log-in, it told me "No such user exists." I am the administrator. I *have* to exist.
So I checked the \Members directory of the new server -> nothing. Empty.
They are more than 1,700 members. Each member has two files (1 *.dat and 1 *.log). So I had to copy all (3,400) files to the new server.
But, if that wasn't bad enough, it wouldn't let me copy direct > old server to new server. No, I had to first copy all 3,400 files to my hard drive.
And it wouldn't let me queue up all 3,400 at once. That choked the server. I had to transfer the files in small chunks (100 files at a time).
So I am currently transferring more than 6,800 files. (That's why I wanted Lunarpages to do the transfer.) This suks majorly. Hours of transferring files.
08.feb.2006 - Currently in the process of changing over the site to the new server. So you may notice some weirdness for the next few days.
But it seems (from here, anyway) that the change is occurring rapidly. I am already getting (resolving) the new server .. an hour after making the change.
Lunarpages has a less flexible way of managing subdomains, so I will have to work some mojo there, cuz I make extensive use of subdomains (cuz I feel they are a more elegant & sophisticated way to organize a site).
Okay, I worked my subdomain mojo. My old host let you name the active (subdomain) folder anything you wanted. While Lunarpages only lets you use the SAME folder as the subdomain itself.
For example, all the files for the ghost.radified.com subdomain are located in a folder named "Ghost" (notice capital 'G'). But Lunarpages only lets you use the same folder name as subdomain, so their active folder is "ghost" (notice the lower-case 'g').
But Unix/Linux is case-sensitive, so the files in the "Ghost" (capital 'G') folder aren't recognized by the new server, when using the subdomain. So I had to transfer all the files in the "Ghost" folder to the "ghost" folder. Well, actually, I need to *duplicate* folders .. until the old server goes away.
Luckily, I saw the light on the benefit of using all lower-case letters in my web-development ventures .. but not until I created several subdomains which use folders with capital letters.
In order to let you know whether you are getting the NEW or OLD server, I am annotating this page thusly. This webpage you are reading now is being served from the *NEW* server.
They tell me the changes take between 1 and 3 days to complete. And hopefully you'll notice the pages loading with a little more zip when you finally get service from the new server.
The site was down again today, and that convinced me to go ahead and make the change now instead of waiting until Friday.
07.feb.2006 - Lunarpages transferred the site's files today. They are currently residing in a temporary subdomain while I conduct some testing. You can find them here: http://callisto.lunarpages.com/~radif2/index2.html
Seems too good to be true, but it appears everything is working, including the forum:
.. and including individual threads, such as:
Even the blog looks fine: http://callisto.lunarpages.com/~radif2/blog/
including individual entries:
Woohoo! About time I caught a break. Thank-you, Jesus! I expected serious code tweaking would be required .. especially for the MySQL databases .. the kind that makes my head hurt.
The only thing I'll need to do is create the subdomains after I switch over from the callisto subdomain to the official radified domain, such as http://ghost.radified.com/ and http://mp3.radified.com/. (I currently use 15 radified subdomains.)
I was gonna wait until Friday, to do the DNS transfer, cuz the weekend is the slowest time of the week. But seeing that everything is working so beautifully at the new host, I'm thinking of calling them tonight and saying, "Let's rock, boys." Uh, maybe I should have a beer first and think it over. =)
The old/current server is physically located in Altanta. The new one (with Lunarpages) is located here in Southern California, right up the road a ways in La Habra. During the next three days, following the transfer, there's a chance you may get one or the other server (as the domain name may "resolve" to either host.
Once Lunarpages converts the callisto subdomain to the official radified domain, I go to my domain name registrar (Domain Discover) and change the domain name servers from those of Interland (old host, Atlanta) to those of Lunarpages (new host, SoCal).
Then we sit back, have a beer and wait for a few days while the 'Net does its thing and propagates the changes. Who's yer daddy? =D
06.feb.2006 - Got a new web host today: Lunarpages .. despite everyone's recommendation of DreamHost, cuz Lunarpages offers free site transfer. (DreamHost does not.) Lots of Dreamhost fans out there. Convince DH to offer site transfers, and I'd gladly go with them cuz they offer more for less.
I got a subdomain with Lunarpages first, to which I will transfer the site's files, so I can test everything and ensure everything is working properly.
After which I will transfer the site's actual domain. It usually takes a few days for the 'Net to figure out I'm at a new server (Domain Name Server propagation).
I also purchased a dedicated IP addy. (I'm old fashioned that way.) Cost an extra $2.50/month. Paid for a year up front, to avoid paying a set-up fee ($30).
You should observe no changes until I make the official change. I want to make sure all my database-driven files work properly, before I make the leap. Might have to modify the blog and the forum.
You might've noticed, the site was down again today for a few hours, and that just gets frustrating. Like Popeye says, "That's alls I can stands, and I can't stands no more."
I've never moved hosts before. Started with Communitech (who I really liked), who was bought out by Interland. They suk'ed at first, then slowly improved, but lately the site has been going down for large chunks of time (e.g. 24 hours on 26.jan).
Should never take 24 hours to get a site back. Normally takes only a few minutes (to restart Apache). Lunarpages was founded about the same time Radified went public (summer of 2000).
I appreciate all the letters of advice and recommedations. In the end, I went with the provider who offered to transfer the site for me, and who has experience doing it, since that is my main concern .. that the transfer goes smoothly. All the extras offered by DH were nice, but not necessary.
The new Rad server will supposedly be a Dell PowerEdge 2850, equipped with dual Xeon 3.2Ghz processors and 4GB memory, running a varient of Linux, which I think is Redhat Enterprise. (DreamHost uses the cooler Debian.) UPDATE, I learned it is CentOS 3.6 .. altho I know of no way to verify the hardware, other than believe they are telling me the truth. (I've grown more skeptical lately.)
04.feb.2006 - Don't tell anyone .. but I went to see that gay-cowboy movie everybody is talking about: Brokeback Mountain. It's very well done. Spartan dialogue. Directed by Ang Lee, who won filmmaker-of-the-year from the Director's Guild. Only one scene made me uncomfortable (the tent scene).
With Brokeback, I've now seen all the Oscar nominees for Best Picture. To be honest, I feel Brokeback was the best, despite its controversial theme. Spectacular outdoor footage. Rivers, mountains, nature. Makes me wanna go backpacking.
Capote made me wanna slash my wrists (depressing). Capote is not actually about Capote, but rather about Capote researching his novel In Cold Blood (1965), which he couldn't publish until the murderers were executed, so he did things to help facilitate that. Very slimy, since he first befriended them, to get the story.
Crash was too contrived. Good Night And Good Luck was a little dark for me, tho it may've been my mood at the time. And Munich never quite grabbed me. I went to see it twice, and walked out both times. It's about revenge, which I'm not much into.
In other news, I had the best-ever day with the little guy yesterday. (He's 1-year old.) We spent the day exploring the world of smell, starting at the coffee shop (fresh-ground coffee aroma), where he makes he rounds, visiting each table, introducing himself to the regulars, who now know him by name and look forward to seeing him.
We also visited a flower store, where the girl let him smell all the best-scented flowers. Then we stopped in a cigar store, where the guy took us into the humidified room, where they keep all the cigars. (Bought myself a Macanudo for later.) We also visited a candle store, which smelled heavenly. Finished the day at Sherman Gardens.
At Heisler Park, a girl stopped to watch him walk and said, "He's perfect." At Main Beach, a woman who was painting a scene, thought about it for a while before describing him as "self-possessed". "Yes," she finally nodded, confident she had found the right words, "He seems self-possessed."
At Sherman Gardens, an elderly woman there became enamored and told him, "You're a dream boat." He smiled real big, as if he knew what that meant. A dream boat .. yes .. I dream about him all the time.
03.feb.2006 - Magoo wrote to say: Linux migration going well. Playing with a few different distros and desktops, trying to decide which flavor to adopt. Also trying to determine if I should go with a 32- or 64-bit OS. (Leaning toward 32.)
Tried Mandrake (now called Madrivia). Didn't fit my needs. Also tried Red Hat and Fedora, but they didn't have
what I'm looking for. I'd like to try my hand at Slackware or Gentoo, but still have much to learn to make those work.
Currently testing Kubuntu 64, which is 64-bit version of Ubuntu with KDE desktop.
Thought about writing a Linux guide several times, but could never get a feel for what I would include .. until now. Documenting my experiences as I go. Could probably throw together something useful for readers .. when I'm done.
RAD note: Every good geek oughta install a Linux distro and become familiar with it. Linux works best with older systems .. cuz that gives the community time to write drivers (for the hardware). Nothing like hearing from a user with first-hand experience.
02.feb.2006 - Friendly reminder for those of you living locally here in Laguna Beach (LaBeana Gooch) .. today is the First Thursday Art Walk. Gets underway ~6PM, and goes until 9 or 10.
In other news, I went on my first date this week since the break up (7 months ago). Not a real (schmoochy) date, but rather a friend-date, since that's all I'm ready for (emotionally). Too many expectations associated with a real date.
But it was still enjoyable. Nice girl. Easy to get along with. Cute. Sweet. She drove (since the Rad-mobile is still in the shop) and snuck two Coronas into the theater (in her purse).
My social life has been suking majorly. Heck, the most intimate relationship I've had in the last six months has been with my lawyer. That should tell you how bad it's been. Pretty lonely.
A few other girls tried to persuade me to go out, but that was before I was ready. One of them said, "Your ex is screwed for the rest of her life, cuz she used up a lifetime worth of luck when she found you." Little Nik said, "You ruined her for all other men." They know how to stroke my ego. =)
What I remember most from the date is her fragrance. I normally don't care for perfume .. but this was very nice: subtle, clean, barely detectable. Funny how quickly you forget what it's like to be with a woman. I can still smell her ...
I get the little guy today .. will be playing Rad-dad. Can't wait. Now *that's* something that makes me nervous. Anticipation. Hope I can get to sleep.
Everybody was extra nice to me yesterday .. going out of their way .. cuz they knew I get the little guy today. People at the restaurant fixed me a special plate for dinner (not on the menu) - maybe the best meal I ever had .. and didn't even charge me. That's never happened before.
Late last night, Maria drove over in her pajamas .. to bring me her BMW, so I can get the little guy later today .. cuz my car is still in the shop (waiting on a part). Many similarly thoughtful gestures came my way .. all cuz I get the little guy...
Feels good for a change, cuz the last few weeks, I'd been feeling like my life was being held together by duct tape and bailing wire.
01.feb.2006 - RADIFIED set a new site record last month, with over 3.5 million hits (a 10% increase over the previous record-setting month) .. despite the site being down for a whole day (see entry for 26.jan). Indeed, it appears all metrics logged new highs. See here: Site usage statistics
In other news, I've been looking into alternative hosting, and received many excellent recommendations from readers. I've whittled down contenders to these two: Dreamhost and Lunarpages.
Dreamhost offers more space & bandwidth (20-GB storage & 1-TB bandwidth .. wow!). But they want $50 set-up fee, unless you pre-pay a year. See here.
For roughly the same price ($10/month) Lunarpages offers 5-GB storage and 400-GB bandwidth. Their set-up fee is only $30. And if you pre-pay for 1-year, it's also free. See here.
Dreamhost gives you unlimited domains (nice). Whereas Lunarpages gives you 1 free add-on domain, with a max of 10, with each one after the first costing $2.50/month. I shouldn't need more than 10.
For a dedicated IP addy, Dreamhost wants an extra $5/month. Lunarpages says one is "available", but offers no pricing info. (I have an email into them. UPDATE. They wrote back. $2.50/month.)
What I really like about Lunarpages is that they offer FREE site transfer. It suks to transfer a site to a new host. Best to let an experienced expert do that.
Right now, I have 350-MB (use half of that) and the site uses ~ 30GB bandwidth monthly. So either plan with give me way more space & bandwidth than I currently need/use. The offer of a free site transfer (Lunarpages) is what really got my attention.
I also like that Lunarpages has toll-free phone support, 7-days/week, during normal business hours (7-5). Dreamhost offers only email support with that plan. I currently have 24-hours phone support, which I'm used to (spoiled).