And so to 2017

Everyone does these “here’s what I’m going to do next year” posts and it’s a bandwagon I’m more than happy to jump upon.

But first, as 2016 draws to a close, I’d like to say thank you to those readers who have stuck with this blog through thin and thinner this year. You loyal, gullible fools, you. Also thanks to The Guru, without whose invaluable assistance, this blog a) would not look as good as it does, and b) would not actually look like anything at all. And then also to Mrs 6000, who pretends to read this crap every day just to keep me happy. Although in all fairness, I doubt that she’ll have actually got far enough down the post to have seen this.

So, what plans for 2017?

Well, more photography is a good bet. This holiday season has been disappointing in that regard, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

And more health stuff: I got lazy in the second half of this year, and that’s something you can’t afford to do at my *ahem* ‘advanced’ age. It’s apparently also harder to come back from, so I’ve got my work cut out. Rest assured that you’re not going to be seeing exercise programmes and healthy eating recipes on here though. Unless I find a really nice salad that you simply CANNOT miss out on or something. I think we can agree that that would warrant a blog post or two.

Next up: better communication with friends and family that don’t read 6000 miles… Because not everyone does Internet, and a letter costs nothing.  Well… almost nothing. (Actually, how much is a letter these days?) Again, readers on here will not be troubled by this, I thought I’d just tell you that it will be happening.

And then the drone thing. It’s ordered, it’s paid for, it’s due any day now. And I think it might be mentioned once or twice on here over the next twelve months.

2016 has been fun, and personally speaking, much better than both 2015 and 2014. Thus, 2017 surely promises even more (n=1). Come join me for the ride.

Happy New Year.

Commenters

Look out. Admin post ahead.

It’s been a week since we made some big changes to the appearance of 6000 miles…
I still like it. It’s a good start.

One technical thing which changed along with the front end of the blog was the system for commenting. It’s moved over onto Disqus:

a worldwide blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that uses a networked platform

‘Disqus…’ = ‘Discuss…’ Because it’s a comments section. Geddit?
I’m ashamed to say that it took me a while. I was thinking about the Olympic frisbee thing.

Disqus does require you to log in to use it, but it’s a once off thing (assuming that you click the “remember me” box when you log in) and I hope it doesn’t put too many people off. Also, if you’ve already commented since the change, you may have noticed that your comment was held for moderation. I get to them as quickly as I can (time zone differences notwithstanding), and you should see your opinion on the page within minutes in most cases. Regular commenters (you know who you are) have been and/or will be added as “Trusted Users”, and won’t have to endure the ignominy of joining the back of the moderation queue.

I hope this answers questions and puts minds at rest.

Import of comments started

The change has begun… You probably can’t see anything yet, but behind the scenes, a new commenting system is being installed and your old, much loved comments are being imported into that new commenting system so that your valuable views are never lost.

More on that in a future post (i.e. I have to to work out how to use it before I can tell you).

The import to the new commenting system currently stands at post #2005 of an impressive 3597. And it appears to be stuck.
Meanwhile, the new commenting system has sent me 4 emails telling me that it has completed the import.
Really now? Honestly, I believe more of what I heard during last night’s debate.

I’m now working on trying to make the font on the site look pretty. It’s harder than it looks.
And it looked quite hard.

Depending on how things go, the switch over might be later today, or it may be tomorrow.

Either way, despite the best efforts of mice and men (but to be far, mainly men), it’s probably still reasonable to expect a few minor teething problems. We’ll be trying to identify and squash them as soon as we can.

Beagle news

According to this comment, I should be thinking of Colin as clickbait. The rationale, as the commenter goes on to explain, is that revenue from the Google ads clicked upon by people coming here to see photos of Colin could be used to pay for replacement furniture. It’s a good plan, but there’s going to have to be a lot of clickage to sort out all the damage.

Earlier this week, the dog discovered the joy of digging up the lawn. Turns out that it’s actually very good at it too. Let’s make no bones about this (pun intended), I KILL MOLES WITH A SPADE for doing exactly the same thing. And then on Monday evening, I spent an hour repairing the wire from the alarm contact on the front door because it had been chewed through (the wire, not the front door) (yet). While there’s no actual proof that this was the dog, sources indicate that they are around 99.999% certain it was Colin-related.

Beyond. Reasonable. Doubt.

DSC_0058
Look, I’ll admit it. It looks fairly harmless, doesn’t it? It’s clever though. Devious. It has already learned the power of public relations and it poses, looking mournful, underloved and completely innocent, as soon as it sees a camera or cellphone. It has naked selfies on the iCloud and will rightfully expect widespread pity when its account is hacked.

Don’t be fooled.

Once the camera is gone, the mischievous, destructive escapologist reappears. Things get dug, chewed, eaten, damaged. The dog isn’t where you left it and you’ve no idea how it got where it is. Your daughter has been partially devoured. Colin is about 1o weeks old. Apparently, “it gets better” by the time they’re about 10 months old.

Something is going to have to give.

Dry The River

If, when he left this comment, Jon Liddle was attempting to generate some sort of interest in his son’s band’s new album, well then, he’s succeeded. I’ve had a quick wander through their back catalogue and – while there’s a bit of gospel, a lot of beard, some violin and more than the occasional hint of banjo – it’s well worth a listen. This ain’t no Mumford and Sons/Lumineers mashup. Thankfully.

Recording in Iceland was about shutting ourselves off from our daily lives and our heavy touring schedule to rediscover what Dry the River means to us. We suspected it would be some kind of otherworldly experience, and it was: beautiful and alien, lonely and taxing but ultimately rewarding.

So yes, the tenuous link was Iceland: its wild beauty and solitude. And they did a documentary on just how that worked out for them:

MOAR SCENERY!!!!

Apparently:

The end product, Alarms in the Heart, is so heavily engrained with that process, that strange location and the experience of being there, that you have to take the two together.

I’ll be giving the album a full listen and I’ll let you know how that goes, but in the meantime, here’s Gethsemane: which features on the documentary from about 8 minutes in and just. fits. perfectly.

My son doesn’t have a band, but when he does, I’ll probably advise him to head to Marion Island (SA’s equivalent of Iceland, I guess) to record that difficult second album. “Fewer beards,” I’ll also tell him.

Safety first.

UPDATE: More information about Dry The River? Here.