spectating participant

January 20, 2007

zen cart and dreamhost

Filed under: life, geek — suzanne henderson @ 10:08 pm

I’m working through the installation of Zen Cart on another domain and have found it to be rather sluggish. After getting annoyed with the delay, I did a quick search and stumbled upon a complaint about it running slow on DreamHost — Zen Cart slow on DreamHost?. This isn’t what I wanted to find after moving to this new host. You’d think that problems like these wouldn’t be common with software DH makes available through their one-click installs.

I’m gonna tinker with it some settings and see what I can get working faster. Thankfully, since it is a brand new domain with brand new content, I can just blow it all away and start over if I decide it isn’t worth it. It is so much fun to just rm everything in a folder and start over, I got lots of practice doing that moving xixstar over. :)

One thing I do enjoy about dreamhost is the addition and management of multiple domains. Click, I’ve got another domain. “cp” and suddenly it has content. :) Perhaps it has always been this easy and I just never bothered trying.

January 17, 2007

Solar Barn

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 5:00 pm

Just wanted to share this photo from part of our trip to Boston over NYE. For one night we went up to New Hampshire and stayed on a small farm with some solar-energy folks. These panels give them enough juice to run the house, but I think they have to pull utility power if they have a cloudy week. They also had a mobile solar unit that they can pull out in the field if one of the machines needs some more juice (for the machines modified to run on electricity). It was great hanging out with these folks and I’d love to get to spend some real time up with them and learn some stuff.

The black panel below the solar panels (next to the window) collects solar heat to keep the batteries warm. The ground was covered with snow while we were there and I hear it gets pretty cold. The tiny solar panel to the left of the window runs to the fan to distribute the heat from the heating panel. FWIW – I could be totally wrong about the solar setup, that’s just the best I can do from memory having not asked enough questions to get a better understanding. Next time, I’ll be sure to press for the “systems tour” instead of just a property tour.

solar barn

January 16, 2007

burst of energy = nothing new

Filed under: life, geek — suzanne henderson @ 10:38 am

In the past 48 hours, xixstar.com has recieved the greatest burst of energy from me in over a year. What do I have to show for it? Nothing. All that work just to move from one server to another and get things working again. Now, there is a little to show for it on the back end because I’ve finally updated my very old version of my posting software, but other than that, same ol’ same ol’.

Does this mean that there will be new and exciting things happening here? Probably not. I’ve got another project lined up before updating xixstar, so it gets first dibs on the recent web-focused-energy I have. But hopefully I’ll make some changes soon — especially my photogallery that has been broken for a while and I don’t know why. I’m thinking that I forgot to set up the database when I moved to my previous server and its been broken ever since - if so, I’m pretty lame. Luckily, I still have data on lithium that I can pull over, otherwise, I’d be screwed for getting it working again.

So, thats whats new, a bunch of nothing and a little of something. I’m gonna try to keep up with book reviews since I’ve been reading so much lately. I’m really behind and most of the recent reviews were books read almost a year ago for the first time. I also have a $50 gift card to borders that I want to make use of. However, I find buying books more difficult than just picking them up from the library for free. I tend to check a book out, decide that it is worth owning, and then buy it. :)

January 2, 2007

road trip survival

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:13 pm

I got home safely from the trip to Boston this past weekend. It was a good trip though very exhausting due to the typical chris social gymnastics I was put through.

We arrived late Friday (really Saturday morning) at his friend’s house, spending much time talking despite pure exhaustion. Saturday we finally manage to get out of the house for breakfast around noon, but had to rush to get to lunch at 2pm. At lunch, we met up with four other friends (and their two children, one of which was old enough to keep alex engaged). After being at the table for about 2 hours or so, we realized we needed to rush off to make our dinner arrangement with another friend and that evenings accommodations. First we stopped at another friends house, admired all their arts stuff and mechanical stuff before running off to New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, we stayed on a farm and got to do all sorts of talking and socializing about various farming options. It was an amazing old farm house with two cooking fireplaces, including the ovens, a wood stove, and a wood cook stove. It snowed, somewhat unexpectedly, on Saturday, and the farm was beautiful with the fresh covering of snow. The hosts are the earth-crunchy type of people and we got to see all their neat modifications for living about 85% off grid with their solar panels and water heater and what not. It was a good visit. After some sleep then a morning tour and hike through the property, plus visits to their other properties including the little dexter cows (google them, they are neat) we had to head back to the Boston area.

I was hoping for a break from people, but on the way, we mustered up a couple of people for lunch and then set about semi-exploring several squares and shops, eventually landing at a yummy ice cream place. I was pretty exhausted at this point, but we headed over to his friend’s new years party since that was one of the primary excuses for something, and socialized in the pre-party hours when we had no energy and they were busy preparing.

The day before, at breakfast and lunch, Chris has prompted some “seeds of discontent” with the new years party offerings for those people with children (seems the standard parties are expressly no-kids) and urged our first night host to start a kid-enabled New Years party. So we headed back to our first destination for the kid-friendly party that included people I’d already met and was much relieved to not be conversing with more new people.

About 15 minutes to new years, we headed a few blocks over to another friend’s party to say hi and celebrate. I think I was recovered from all the social acrobats just enough to go but not enough to actually be decent company. After an hour or so, we went back to find the kids (and their parents) had gone home and Alex asleep. We filled the next morning with more socializing and some yummy breakfast before heading off into the rain for the 8-ish hour drive home.

Chris drove most the way to my constant tense worry and fear that we were going to die. I just don’t do well with people driving my car, especially not when they make a fuss about not being so confident driving stick. But, I was tired and exhausted and driving in the rain makes me just as tense, so I forced myself to deal with it. The trip allowed me to add 3 more states to my list and have planted seeds of possible New England migration later this year.

All and all, I’m tired.