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Big anniversaries this weekend…

June 29, 2013, 4:36 PM

So this weekend marks a couple of big anniversaries.  First, tonight marks the anniversary of the big derecho that came through the DC area.  That was a rather interesting time.  I remember that Montgomery County looked like something had hit it, with power out and tree branches down all over the place.  Lots of traffic lights were out as well, which snarled all of the traffic as people had to actually be courteous on the highway.

But as far as I was concerned, that derecho couldn’t have come at a worse time.  See, the next night was the night that I had announced a major upgrade to Schumin Web.  That was the night that the final cutover to WordPress would occur.  That work was the completion of a project that I had codenamed “Falcon” (after a JMU student web server) that converted the entirety of the site to run on the WordPress platform.  Prior to that, the site was a mishmash of different systems put together to make one website.  Some of the site was static HTML.  Some of it ran on a MySQL database.  Some of it ran on a different MySQL database.  Some of it ran on yet another different MySQL database.  And there were some dependencies between the main site and my other sites (in “Major Areas“), where material was shared between them, including one shared database between College Life and the main site (historical note: College Life was part of the main site until October 2004 – thus the shared database).  Thus with the final conversion, that changed some things.  First, it rolled out a single, unified system for the main site, as I could now edit the entire site from a single place.  And second, it broke all of those dependencies with the old site.  On that latter point, I had to do quite a bit of prep work, since the goal was to cleanly “divorce” the main site from the others, while not breaking anything on either side.

Not breaking things was key there.  And I was more worried about the side that wasn’t the main site.  I wasn’t worried about Schumin Web proper.  Everything was being reworked and moved around over there, and so things were not going to be broken because everything was being placed new again, and checked over multiple times.  But the other sites were being left as they were, and needed to be fixed.  Whether they would be converted to WordPress or another CMS would be a different discussion based on each site’s needs.  But I had to make sure that the shared databases were separated.  I had to make sure that any images were brought in-house for the specific site (i.e. no more cross-hosting).  I basically had to make sure that each site was completely independent of the other, which I should have done from the get-go, but for whatever reason, didn’t do back then.  But I managed to get it all working.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta, Weather

Have not run the air conditioner yet this year…

June 27, 2013, 11:58 PM

I don’t know about you, but I have not yet run the air conditioner in the house once this year.  I realized this when I got a memo from the property management last week that said that they were coming through to do the quarterly filter changes on our HVAC units.  I realized that they could probably save a few bucks on my apartment’s filter, because I barely used my HVAC unit at all in the last few months.  The last time the filter was changed was March 27 (first time in six years that I was actually there for it), and I think I may have run the heat a couple of times, but otherwise the thing has been more or less silent all season.  And I will say this: it’s nice to have a June electric bill of $50.13.  That’s my lowest June bill yet, and that’s even against the very mild summer of 2009.

That brings me to the next question: has it been a really mild summer this year, or is it just me?  The last three summers, I had the air conditioning on for much of the summer, and needed it.  This year, nothing.  I’m starting to wonder if it’s just me, though, since I’ve heard people complain about how warm it is outside and the humidity and such, but then when I’ve been outside, I’ve been fine.  Can’t complain.  Seriously, I even wore my hat all the way through to June 21 this year.  This week is the first where I haven’t worn it to and from the office.

This whole thing about my being not hot at all while many others have complained makes me wonder if it’s not related to the massive weight loss in 2011-2012 (I’ve been more or less stable since July 2012, much to my dismay – I want to lose even more).  The last time we had a mild summer, in 2009, I was quite the little porker, tipping the scales somewhere in the upper 300s range.  And then for two out of the last three summers, I was still quite heavy.  Therefore, I wonder if having so much extra body fat for so long has altered my perceptions of what’s hot vs. not.

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Categories: House, Weight loss

One of my worst bowling performances ever?

June 20, 2013, 6:22 PM

So I finally got around to posting the videos of when my friend Matthew and I went bowling on March 3.  It’s only what, three months late, but, hey.  Matthew and I went to Bowl America in Dranesville (Reston/Sterling area), and we did two games of ten-pin bowling.  Matthew was feeling a little camera shy on this particular occasion (it happens), but he was more than happy to film me hamming it up for the camera.

Take a look:


Welcome to bowling, and, in my own words, I can throw gutter balls like a pro.

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Nothing like a relaxing day on the river…

June 9, 2013, 10:08 PM

A week ago, my friend Melissa and I went down to Luray to go tubing on the Shenandoah River.  This was the same place I went in 2009 with my coworkers, documented in the Tubing the Shenandoah River set in Life and Times.  This time, it was just the two of us, and we had a blast.

It was apparently a slow day at Shenandoah River Outfitters, as there were only nine people going tubing.  There was a group of five girls, then there was Melissa and me, and then another two people.  But then again, June 2 is fairly early in the season, so it’s okay.  It wasn’t amazingly hot out, and the day was mostly overcast.  That made the water feel a little cold getting in, but that cold feeling only lasted a few minutes, until we got used to the temperature.

Once we got over to the dropoff site at mile 16, we got photos.  First, the group of five wanted us to get photos of them with their phone.  Once we got that, we got the same shot with my camera, Duckie:

The group of five, with their tubes arranged in a star pattern.

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