We flew back into Baltimore at midnight last night, after about an hour’s delay on the ground, and got to the house after 1AM and a bumpy cab ride. Our plans to explore Kansas City on Monday were curtailed by a 102° fever, unfortunately, so we missed Legoland and the science center, although we were able to check out the King Tut exhibit and Union Station before an afternoon party and a dip in the hotel pool.
Kansas City really impressed us. Everyplace we looked was clean, well-maintained, and dynamic. We ate like royalty, from breakfast to barbecue, and sampled artisinal ice cream and locally brewed beer. And it was great to meet our new extended family, who made us all feel welcome. Apart from the flight delays, the whole trip was a pleasure.
After a trip to the Target clinic this morning, we found that Finn is most likely suffering from Coxsackievirus, which is treated syptomatically, meaning there is a lot of cold fruit and yogurt on hand for Finn. If she’s feeling better tomorrow morning, she gets to go back to camp and life will return to normal.
Its 7:59 local time and we’ve all had 3 hours of sleep. Our 9:30 flight didn’t leave the gate until 11:55 last night, and the KC airport is 30 minutes from our hotel. Circadian rhythms had us all up early for bland hotel breakfast, so were all wrung out and grouchy. Look out Kansas City, here we come…
That bit of fence you see on the far right was invisible on Friday evening. The whole right side of the garage roof was covered with two layers of canopy from the trees above. Wires hung above the fence line were fouled with the branches of fast-growing (maple? birch?) which were multiplying and threatening our phone and cable service with every strong gust of wind. I got to work with arbor saw from the roof of the garage and took the high stuff down, then continued taking them down from ground level. My electrician neighbor assured me none of the wires on that pole carry power, so I gingerly trimmed and sawed and hacked until I’d cleared three small trees out with a handsaw, ending when I was faced with stuff too tall to drop alone. When I was done, I built a pile of brush the size of an import sedan next to the driveway. Having that area clear makes a huge visual difference from the road as well as from the backyard.
Lots of other stuff happened this weekend, including a river birthday party, garage reorganization, a long-needed gutter cleaning on the east side, and a backyard screening of Despicable Me 2.
Sunday continued with more work: a trench dug in our backyard in preparation for the addition of hardwired power (The house came with knob and tube hung from porcelain insulators off the office porch, which the building inspector made us remove before we moved in. I’ve been making do with an extension cord run from the greenhouse, which has hardwired power, for five years. My electrician neighbor looked at it and told me it would be a snap to run wire from the greenhouse to the garage, so I busted out the shovels!) Finn and I saddled up the bike train and rode downtown for some lunch, and then took the scenic route home.
Then we tuned up her starter bike, checking the tires and adjusting the seat and handlebars for her size. After that I was beat, so we came in and read books for about two hours, taking turns reading each page. She’s getting better, and faster, and I finally recorded about two of her books on video. Then we made two pizzas from scratch (homemade dough!), and after she went to bed, I kegged the hefeweizen.
This morning I’m paying for it in aches and pains, but it feels damn good to get all of that done.
The site was up and down intermittently late this weekend for reasons I still haven’t been able to understand. At first I’d get either a timeout or a page that only contained
<html> <head> </head> </html>
Which is about as helpful as a blank sheet of paper. I was able to connect via FTP with no problem and looked over the file structure, but found no problems, so I turned off all WordPress’ plugins and changed the theme back to the default, with no change in status. After replacing the database via phpMyAdmin, I still got nothing, so I contacted the support team and waited. After several hours I got bumped up to tier 2 support, and a man wrote to me in broken English that he couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but restarted HTTP service, and suggested I look on my end. Magically, the site came back up at some point after that. I have no idea what was wrong, but my desire to leave that hosting provider and move to my favored company has gotten ever stronger.
I’ve been using a plugin called WordPress Database Backup, which saves a SQL dump of the database and gives you the choice of emailing it, saving it to the server, or downloading it directly to your computer. I’ve got it emailing to our server weekly, and it’s come in very handy at times like this. I’ve also got three other sites I maintain backing up the same way–just in case. As for site files, I’ve got an Automator script running a weekly file synchronization via Transmit, which keeps everything up to date.
I’ve been eyeballing a new set of bed rail tops for Peer Pressure for months now, ever since I put the soft top on. The ones that it came with have been chewed up and bent since I got it, and it would be nice to have flat, straight metal on the top of the quarters–plus, the screw holes have been getting wider and looser every year. I have a gift certificate from Super Scout since last year’s Carlisle meet and glanced at it this morning, only to realize it expires today! So I called up and ordered a pair. While I had them on the phone I asked about my odd glove box latch, which didn’t come on any Scout they remember, but possibly came from a pickup. So I’ll have to see if I can make a spare latch work with the catch I’ve got, or just keep rolling with no glove box door.
We’re back from the beach, sadly, gearing up for our return to normal life. We had an idyllic week 50 yards from the water, one big deck away from the dunes. The house we picked out with help from Google Earth and Street View turned out to be an absolute gem; one wall of windows opening out onto a deck facing the Delaware bay. The water was warm and gentle compared to the vicious riptide and crushing surf of the Outer Banks, so both Finn and Zachary were perfectly safe the entire time they were in the water (and when the tide was out, the water was waist-deep for 50 yards). We walked the beaches during horseshoe crab mating season in the middle of a preserve, so we took the time to check each one on the beach and throw them back in when they started wiggling. (Our final tally was somewhere around 18).
The kids had a great time together, settling into a sibling-like pattern of peaceful playtime immediately followed by total warfare and then back to playtime, which meant us adults could sit and relax a bit more than we’ve been used to. We carried several cartfuls of toys, chairs, and gear down to the beach and then left it there above the high tide line overnight, which was a huge help. The beaches were as quiet as we were used to in Hatteras, which was a fantastic surprise. Meals were easy, and we each traded off an evening to drive into Rehoboth for a quiet dinner. Beer o’clock started at noon, punctuated with Dark & Stormys, vodka tonics, or wine.
Saturday came too fast, and we stretched it out as long as we could by heading into Lewes for breakfast and some sightseeing. Then, we hit the road. Three hours travel time is nothing compared to the OBX trip; this is our destination for several years to come, and we’re already making plans to make next year’s visit two weeks.