Lost Suitcase

I’m not talking about a suitcase lost by the airline. I’m talking about a suitcase lost right here at home.

We went to get out the suitcases this afternoon, and one is missing. Maybe two.

So I ask, how do you lose a suitcase?

A suitcase is the kind of thing you put in a closet, or under the bed, or in a storage room for when you need it. You only use it when you travel. You only get it out a few times a year.

And yet, when you go to that place in your house where you keep the suitcases — you know, that place where they always are — and for some reason the suitcase isn’t there any more.

You look all over the house. Its not a big house. There are two bedrooms, a guest room, a study, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen. That’s it. (There is a basement where nobody goes, and where you definitely do not store the suitcase because it’s moldy down there.) There is a hallway closet, a closet in the main bedroom, and a closet in the study. The suitcase is not in any of these closets.

We remember the last time we saw the suitcase. It was in August. We had gone to Ohio to visit my folks. We brought the suitcase home and left it in a corner of the dining room for a while. Then the cat peed in it. We took it out on the back deck and sopped it down with Urinoff, hosed it down and let it dry out in the sun. Once it was dry, it passed the sniff test, so we put it under the bed where the suitcases go.

Except, apparently, we didn’t put it under the bed where the suitcases go. Or, if we did, some leprechaun came in the night and stole it away. In any case, it’s nowhere to be found. Nor is it still out on the deck. I can see the deck from here, and it’s cleaned off except for the deck table and a half inch of snow.

Perhaps it’s lost in advance, sitting in an airline warehouse somewhere, maybe Houston, waiting to be reclaimed. Only we seem to have lost the claim ticket in advance, too.

How do you lose a suitcase?

Structures

When I was doing the Writing 101 course a month ago, one of the other participants who goes by the name dedaluss (without capitalization) had started a blog called Structures.

He (or is it she?) got my attention with this post, “A Handbook”, written in response to an assignment about finding something that was lost.

The blog is fantastically abstract, and if you ask me, genius — though dadaluss denies being that good.

Check it out and tell me, what do you think?

.green will have to wait.

I found out today that the availability of .green domain names has been postponed to the 2nd quarter of 2015. They had previously been announced as becoming available this quarter.

So, I’m sorry to say some of you will have to wait until next year for your .green domain name Christmas presents.

Doing It In Production

I don't always test my code, but when I do I do it in productionThis meme has been circulating around the internet. You can find the same picture with any number of phrases superimposed for whatever occasion suits you. He is, after all, the most interesting man in the world.

You could swap out the words on this one for something about coding under the influence. In production.

It’s amazing how often you run into situations where the only options for making changes to a site are to do it “live” with the whole world watching, or to put up a “Site Maintenance” screen while you experiment because the only available place to test is on an otherwise live server. (That’s what “in production” means.)

These situations are nearly always because someone has tried to cut corners on hosting resources. It’s a result of the widespread idea that it’s easy to make a fast buck on the internet without putting in any investment, either of money or time.

There are plenty of services that let you “do it yourself without knowing any code”. They’re cheap. Some of them come with lots of nice features and lots of templates to choose from. But they’re all, essentially, canned.

The other night we were watching the Food Network, Restaurant Impossible. It’s the same thing. I can’t remember the number of times Chef Robert Ervine (or, if you like Fox’s version, Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsey) goes into a failing restaurant to find they’re serving canned vegetables, canned seafood, canned everything. Nine times out of ten, the resident chef at the failing restaurant is tremendously frustrated, on the verge of quitting, because she would like to do something more creative with fresh ingredients. But the owner refuses, insisting canned is better, cheaper, faster.

Sure, you can get a canned site from Amazon or Ebay or BigCommerce. They’ll work. They have lots of features. But realize that you’re putting your online business in someone else’s can. There’s only so much you can customize. When you want to change, redesign or customize something, you’ll have to do it “in production” with your customers watching. And when you outgrow the can, you’ll probably pay more to get out of the can than you would have if you’d started off with something “fresh” to begin with.

The Phone Rings. My Wife, the pastor, answers.

A while later I asked, “Who was on the phone?”

“Martha Rowley, from church,” my wife, the pastor, said.

“Oh. How’s Martha doing?”

“She was calling to let me know that Dottie Smith needs special prayers because she’s getting a vasectomy tomorrow.”

Piles Day

Every year, shortly after New Year’s Day, I go through the files and clean out stuff from long ago. Generally, anything older than 7 years goes out. I also clean up the piles of paper that have accumulated around my desk.

This year I’m going to have to move my “piles” day a month ahead. They are out of control.

It won’t happen this week. But I’m setting aside November 29 and 30. Right now, ahead of time. It’ll take two days. It’s all got to go.

Up at 6:52

I and the dog and the three cats did launch the website.

I’d say tomorrow we’d sleep in. But the dog and the three cats will wake me up no later than 6:52 demanding to be fed, and in the dog’s case to be let out in the yard to pee.

Then I will make cream of wheat and think of what we can do other than sit around and watch power rangers all day.

Wednesday Afternoon

Plenty to do today.

Client A let his website go without updating for four years, and it got hacked.

Client B wants help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Client C needs instructions for updating her site.

Client D is enquiring about a new website.

And I and the dog and the three cats are still working on launching a website on Friday evening.

The UPS comes with an important looking envelope.

The FedEx comes with another important looking envelope.

Only one of the two really is important.

Tuesday Afternoon

Not a regular Tuesday, though. It’s Veteran’s Day.

This morning Silas was out with me walking the dog. As we passed across the street from the post office I mentioned that there is no mail today. He says: “That’s right. Today is the day for respecting the flag.” Then he turns to face across the street where the flag is flying outside the closed post office. He stands at attention. He salutes the flag. A long salute. Two or three minutes go by. Then he starts singing the Star Spangled Banner. Only he sings it in his Fred voice. (You might never have heard of Fred if you don’t have a 5th grader. Consider yourself fortunate.) So much for respecting the flag.

Brooke has gone to New York City. A three-day trip for a 2-hour meeting. It’s what you do when the boss tells you to, nevermind the ineffective use of time. Let’s just say, Life’s too short for this.

Silas has gone to Glens Falls with friends. I offered to do something fun with him this afternoon, but being with friends rates higher, even though the reason for their trip is to go to the dentist. Silas is not seeing their dentist. He’s going to wait. In the dentist’s waiting room.

It dawns on me that I am less exciting than a dentist’s waiting room. Oh well.

So I and the dog and the three cats are working on putting the finishing touches on a website we (yes, I and the dog and the three cats) are launching on Friday night.

Later, after the kid gets home, goes to dance class and gets home again, I’ll make a pizza. We’ll do the homework. We’ll have ice cream.