100

That’s how many posts on Sunday Epidemic as of this one.

Kind of like the odometer in your car rolling over. Only not quite.

I’ll be sure to let you know when it gets to 1000.

(At 1 post a day, that’ll be in a couple years.)

Only Time for One

Anyone who knows me probably knows that over the years I’ve started quite a few blogs and other sorts of websites.

I started off in 1999 with cjgreen.net. That’s still where most of my email ends up.

When I lived in Fort Ann, I started FortAnnNY.com. When we moved from there, I passed that on to someone else. I guess they didn’t keep it up. I can’t say I’m surprised about that. The domain is for sale. You can buy it for $2,195.

About that time, I also started with townfool.net, but didn’t do much with it until 2005, when I started the website business to help friends and family who were asking for help with their websites.

iCaspar and CasparWorld got started during our time in Glens Falls. Those were the first blogs.

Then came Pastor on the Edge. Then, about the time we moved to Jay, FairTradeFamily (a short-lived experiment) and Scarlet Letter Bible. Concurrently, I had a blog called The Pastor’s Husband that seemed like a good idea for stories about crazy things that happen in church. It might have worked if I’d taken the time to develop it.

Finally, last year, I started with this blog, Sunday Epidemic. At first, I thought it would be another go at church stuff. But I don’t enjoy writing about church stuff. So I scratched that and restarted it as my daily public journal.

The thing is, both iCaspar and CasparWorld are sort of the same thing. After all these years I’m ready to admit that I really only have time for one blog.

Last week when the hosting account came up for renewal I dropped FairTradeFamily and Pastor’s Husband. I’m too attached to iCaspar and CasparWorld to let them go. I’m hanging onto Town Fool, too, even though I’ve changed the business to iCaspar Web Development. (Town Fool didn’t inspire much confidence.) Maybe someday I’ll attempt some other foolishness with that.

For now, though, (I have to keep telling myself) I really only have time for one.

Flood Days

The weekly school newsletter this week included an explanation of how they decide on snow days.

The letter didn’t call them snow days. “Emergency days,” it said.

Because the school district is entirely in a river valley they plan for, in addition to snow days, flood days. Days when the river goes over the main road. (Yes, there’s only one main road. When the river goes over it, you can’t go anywhere.)

This being only our second year at the school, and not having had any flood days last year, I had not realized this until now. But it made a lot of sense.

I asked Silas if anyone had ever mentioned flood days to him.

“No,” he said. “But do you think Thursday will be a flood day?”

“No,” I said. “I highly doubt it.”

However, they’re predicting “a few” more inches of snow tonight, so a snow day tomorrow, Thursday, isn’t out of the question.

Where Would You Go?

At our house, we’ve often had discussions about “If we could live anywhere…”

It assumes, of course, that we’d really want to go anywhere. As far as places go, Jay, NY is pretty good. We have deck overlooking the AuSable River. The school down the road in Keene is top notch. Despite the long winters and the remoteness, it’s a pretty good place to be.

Nevertheless, when we think about where we might like to go, some places come to mind immediately.

On our short list:

  • Savannah
  • Puerto Rico (no specific city)
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC (we really liked it there for the year we lived there)

When other people talk about where they would go, we hear of places like New York, Boston, LA, London, Paris, Sydney, Houston. I’ve heard Austin, Philadelphia, Las Vagas, Punta Gorda, FL, Tempe. The list goes on.

But there are a lot of places that don’t come up. At least, I’ve never heard them come up as destinations.

I have family living in Akron, OH. They live there because they work there. I’m sure it’s a fine place to live in many respects. No disrespect to Akron, but I’ve never heard someone say out of the blue, “Gosh, I think I’d like to move to Akron.

If you’re not from Akron, you kind of need a reason — and there are lots of legitimate reasons, like a job, or family connections — to settle down in Akron.

Or Kansas City. Or Milwaukee. Or Biloxi. Or Charlotte. Or Honesdale.

Let alone a place like Jay. Where’s that?

There are people who can live anywhere they choose who choose to live in Jay. They come for the mountains. They come for the skiing. They come because it’s remote.

Even they will tell you, though, that they didn’t choose Jay. They say that it was as if Jay chose them. The mountains were calling to them. When they retired and got the chance, they came.

More often than not, the places we live choose us rather than the other way around. We like to think we’re making the decision. Most of the time, the decision is made to a large extent for us.

Nevertheless, we like to muse. If we could settle down anywhere, where would we go?

Or would we just stay put after all?

Happy St. Patty’s Day

In Dublin (Ireland), 53.3478° North, this morning the weather is rainy and 50°F (10°C).

In Jay (New York, USA), 44.375° North, this morning it’s sunny and -16°F (-27°C).

Dublin is farther north by almost 10° latitude. Yet it’s 65°F warmer there than here.

It has to do with ocean currents that pull warmer weather from the caribbean to western Europe. (Which is also why it’s rainy there. Condensing humid tropical air.) We get the southerly flow of dry frozen air from the Canadian arctic plains.

Adirondack is the Mohawk word for “they eat trees.” Because to survive here against winters that bring -16° days in mid March people used to resort to eating tree bark.

All this explains why, in spite of many people’s best efforts to import them, Ireland has leprechauns and we don’t. Nothing that small that doesn’t hibernate can survive the winters here.

Lightsaber Videos

Silas has been going through a Star Wars phase.

That’s not unusual. Most kids probably do.

He’s discovered, thanks to the glorious internet, Youtube videos of lightsaber battles. There are hundreds of them.

Here’s my favorite. Jedi Grandma.

We used to have lightsaber battles when I was a kid.

But we didn’t have video cameras. And we didn’t have FX software to make the lightsabers actually glow.

He wants to make his own glowing lightsaber video now.

I’ve looked into it.

The glowing light saber effect has to be painted in on every frame of the video. The standard frame rate for online video is 30 frames per second. Painting glow effects on that many frames is pretty labor intensive. If you can paint a frame every 10 seconds it’ll take five minutes for each second of the video.

Some sites suggest that you can lower the frame rate to 12 per second and still have a reasonably smooth video. If you ask me, the 12 per second frame rates look like choppy slow motion.

It’s just a matter of time before we do one.

It’s going to be short.

Site Migrations

I spent most of the day moving WordPress installations from one host to another.

In all, I moved three sites.

I’ve done enough of them now that the process is pretty routine. Every now and again, though, I run into obstacles.

Of the three I moved today, only one went completely without a glitch.

Number two was on a shared host that kept crashing as I was trying to get the files off. Short story: it took much longer than it should have.

Number three was hosted on a private server. The old host had it installed differently, shall we say, than the norm. In an effort to make it more secure, I suppose. Things had to be rearranged to bring it back into line.

As I was trying to figure out that third site, it occurred to me that paranoia and hubris often seem to run together.

In an attempt to make the site more secure, somebody thought he (I’m assuming he) could outsmart the whole world by installing things in funny places and then writing his own code in an attempt to obscure everything.

He ended up with a less secure poorly performing site. And it was still pretty obvious to even a casual hacker that it had started out as WordPress.

Oh well.

Most of the time they call them “best practices” for a reason.

Playing Bridge

For the first time in more than 12 years, this afternoon I’m playing bridge.

More accurately, I’m trying to remember how to play bridge.

Two weeks ago we had to change Silas’s piano lesson from Friday to Wednesday. Wednesday is Rotary night. I took Silas to piano lessons. Brooke went to Rotary in my place.

At the Rotary meeting, she mentioned that I used to play bridge. I don’t know how it came up.

One of the other Rotary members plays bridge every Friday. She got very excited. “We’re always looking for players to fill in,” she said.

Brooke didn’t tell me about it until the next week. Just before Rotary. “By the way, if she asks you about playing bridge,” Brooke said, “it’s because I mentioned it last week.”

Sure enough, she asked me about playing bridge.

I told her I haven’t played in years. I’d be terrible.

She didn’t care. Anybody who could attempt it without them having to teach the whole game from zero would do.

So today is the day. She’s coming round to get me at 12:45.

So I’m going to skip dance class and review Stayman and Gerber conventions.

13 point hand opens.

16-18 point balanced hand opens 1NT.

Snow Day

Actually, today is the second snow day in a row.

While the rest of you are enjoying your first taste of spring, we had over a foot of snow here in the Adirondacks yesterday. This morning it’s still coming down.

March Storm Garage

March Snowstorm Porch

March Snowstorm Drive

Three Months Blogging

Today is the third monthiversary of Sunday Epidemic, and this is the 91st post.

Month three included the addition of sticky posts to the Epidemic theme. A small thing.

Over the course of the month, I wrote several posts that turned out to be personal favorites. Among them:

They’re personal favorites because they gave me a chance reflect on some less than flattering experiences from my childhood. It was cathartic for me at least, and I hope sorta entertaining for anyone who chances across them.

The site is getting an average of 13 page views a day. Admittedly, that’s small potatoes. But that’s ok. At this stage, the point is to practice showing up with a new post every day. If it turns out to be something interesting to anyone else, so much the better.

Again, my thanks to everyone who does read, and especially to those who leave their own thoughts in the comments. (Seth gets the prize — a mention in this post — for being the most prolific commentator this month.)