From the ashes… maybe?

Last night had no 100 words. Today, who knows. I did write them, they exist and are “published” on my Workflowy account, but website is currently barely accessible.

The database error is back with a vengeance. My tricks aren’t working, even the new and improved ones. I’ve been defeated.

Which is great timing, because I’m also super busy. We have guests on/off this week, then we’re travelling to Edinburgh/Carlisle for some de-stress time – not server debugging.

So screw it. If WordPress plays ball, I’ll publish, if not I’ll post to Workflowy for now. This isn’t defeat, the challenge is still rolling on!

Delivering frustration

It (was) 11:45, we (had) just returned from a very pleasant evening with some family/friends last seen whilst travelling through New Zealand… and I (was) arranging parcel re-deliveries. Not the perfect ending, really.

We live in a flat that can be accessed during trading hours. Our local postman knows to use the postbox or leave large items outside our front door. Parcelforce et al. would rather repeatedly attempt delivery during working hours, before getting us to drive to them an hour away. This is both tiresome and frustrating, which a delivery note section during checkout online would entirely solve. How very annoying!

Cloud nerves

Yesterday I finally filled my camera’s memory. Painfully, that means I haven’t downloaded (or edited) a single photo this year.

My problem: I can’t find a decent photo manager! Everything I’ve tried either has rudimentary tagging options or creates industrial-strength tedium. Picasa looked decent, but seems bound for the Google graveyard. I’d also like simpler HDR/panoramic editing, as CS3 is feeling increasingly clunky.

The Adobe CC Photographer package is perfect, right? Lightroom and Photoshop for <£10 a month is a great deal. I’m nervous though, because if I’m ever forced to cancel, I lose my archive. That’s a tough sell.

Journey through time

Today we boated from Exmouth to West Bay, whilst a(nother) geologist talked us through 200 million years of geological history. Apparently, the South Coast of Britain is one of the only places in the world where such a long, unbroken geological record is visible. I can honestly say I’ve never been so intrigued by cliffs (nor fully noticed their complexity/variety). The National Trust excursion was definitely successful!

However, despite the consistently varied rock type, the wildlife was notable only for its absence. Considering this coastline is predominantly managed by conservation-oriented charities, the ghosts of Mr. Monbiot’s recent lecture were definitely present.

Close call

Yesterday’s 100 words almost didn’t happen. I wasn’t too busy, disinterested or forgetful; I had a database corruption.

Scarily, despite uncovering the root cause, I seemed helpless. I removed compromised cells, entire rows, reverted everything I could think of… no change!

Just before accepting defeat I found a forum thread containing the answer. Installing WP-DBManager enabled a full database repair, which fixed whatever my overtired brain couldn’t find.

Those two hours were awful, but educational. Firstly, I don’t understand the Wordpress backend, which is problematic when debugging. Secondly, I have no contingency/backup plan. Failing this challenge due to technical issues seems wrong.

Common sense overturned

For nine months common sense prevailed, but once again it’s illegal to rip a CD in iTunes. I just can’t even…

How people hope to enforce this law is unknown, but with current proposals to make file sharing a jail-able offence, holding maximum sentences greater than intentional GBH, it’s a worrying result.

It truly baffles me that any court could uphold the argument for “fair compensation” for copied media. What is the compensation for? Lost profits? The public isn’t covered for lost value when media platforms become obsolete. Instead, they’re forced to become criminals or re-purchase goods. That’s not fair.

Music Wall

Thanks to the constant barrage of live music over the last week, I’ve been frequently pondering my Last.FM API hack. Coco and the Butterfields seriously highlight the Last.FM problem: since Monday I’ve listened to 40+ CD tracks, but Last.FM puts my total play count at 198!

Despite my growing desire to probe the API functionality, though, I keep hitting a wall. A wall called WordPress.

I chose Wordpress as my CMS because of the quick set-up time and personal familiarity. However, it’s definitely too bloated and complex for my needs, which has become a hindrance. Time to investigate my options, I think.

Folk Yeah! [Part Two]

Last night was the extremely anticipated Coco and the Butterfields gig. Finally seeing them live did not disappoint. I’m always worried that bands I only know from recordings won’t be great live, but Coco et al. rocked it. The set list was a great blend of fan-favourite tracks and crazy covers (Blue Grass Jump Around anyone?). Plus some seriously good new tracks, including a wonderful song involving Smaug… with a twist!

The only problem was the strict hour time limit: short set, no encore. Never fear though, they’re playing the Anchor Inn tonight so, yes, back to Sidmouth we go!

The new New Web

Zurb have released a great breakdown of their redesign for The Next Web. The article jumps between people’s perspectives; it’s a neat way to present main goals whilst highlighting the variety of folk involved.

This ‘melting pot’ process has produced a great website. I’ve long felt the ‘endless scroll’ was hindering news sites, so I’m a fan of the new homepage. I’m not sold on “Canvas ads” yet, but they’re a huge step forward. The current high CTR may be novelty; ad-blindness will still kick in, I reckon. Still, a large site admitting web ads are problematic? That’s a good sign.

Folking Awesome!

Two days, five bands, dozens of folk sessions and countless quirky stalls, aka Sidmouth Folk Week (finally)! From the northern melodies of the Wilson Family to the high energy, house infused Gaelic maelstrom of the Peatbog Faeries, the music was amazing – and that’s just the paid gigs. Wandering around, bumping into spontaneous busking sessions around every corner and in every pub. That’s what makes the folk scene; that and the eclectic, welcoming people it attracts.

But it’s not over until the thin, folky girl sings; tomorrow evening we return for one of my favourite bands, CoCo and the Butterfields. Excited!