Never stop. Never settle.

So goes the tagline to a cognac advert, which used to make sense to me, but has since been updated and now merely wastes 30 seconds during half time in the football. (I do recognise that I’m not the target demographic. I hope it makes sense to them.)

I guess that it’s a motto designed to encourage continual improvement and personal growth, but it speaks to me in a different way. Just recently, I’m struggling to relax. Sure, there’s a list of jobs this long [indicates long list] that need doing, but that’s always been there. And I know that this is a Sisyphean challenge, and I’m content to knock things off it one at a time.

I can like to be methodical with my rock pushing.

However, it used to be the case that after a long day of doing things, I could then sit down and enjoy the football or some pirated programme from the UK. That doesn’t seem to be possible anymore.

Of course, this is an extreme situation depicted above. I’m not suggesting that I will be flushed down the metaphorical toilet if I stop for a while: there’s no danger in slowing down every now and again. I just don’t seem to be able to do it.

My downtime is now spent walking the beagle or in the gym, but it’s just a few hours a week and while I’m doing that, I’m already planning what else needs doing that day. Those evenings in front of the TV, admittedly shorter and less structured now that the kids are getting a bit older and staying up a little later, don’t seem to be as appealing as before, and I’m ready for bed early – maybe because I haven’t relaxed all day.

I’m not convinced that this is a bad thing. It’s just not a normal thing for me. Probably just another change that needs to be adapted to, rather than something that needs to be interrogated in an introspective blog post.

We’ll leave it there.

Going down

Briefly, at least.

Incoming from The Guru – it looks like we can expect some downtime here on tomorrow:

Your server experienced a service failure recently resulting in the need for us to perform a reboot. As a result, we are scheduling maintenance to perform a manual file system check (FSCK) to ensure there is not data corruption on the hard drives. We do not anticipate the scheduled outage taking more than a couple hours barring major problems being detected by the FSCK. We will be doing this maintenance during the following window:

Start: Friday, August 31, 2012 1:00AM CDT
End: Friday, August 31, 2012 3:00AM CDT

A quick calculation makes that 8-10am SA time.

So don’t panic if you pop over tomorrow morning and we’re not around. We’ll almost certainly be back by mid morning for coffee and cake.

See you then.

The Plan To End All Plans

Or so they say…

Incoming from the 6000 miles… hosting company far, far away – via The Guru:

Server: walter
Plan: The Plan To End All Plans + Turbo Package

We are scheduling maintenance for your server (Walter) on September 8,
2011 between 4:00am and 7:00am CDT in order to switch from the
standard MySQL to Percona – an improved version of MySQL. The process
will take at least 15 minutes and involves shutting down MySQL,
installing Percona, and starting Percona. During this time, anything
that requires a MySQL database will be unavailable. Examples include
WordPress, Drupal, and similar script applications. Websites that do
not utilize a database, email, and ftp will remain online and
operational during this maintenance.

While this maintenance can sound worrisome, fear not! This change will
not negatively impact your websites! In fact, database performance
should actually increase! Additionally, Percona allows us to view
statistics on a user by user basis which in turn will allow us to
better identify those users abusing resources. This alone will help us
to provide a more stable server for everyone involved.

Basically, at first glance, it seems like it’s just a quick heads up about a bit of server downtime for an upgrade, but apparently there’s so much more to it than that. The “The Plan To End All Plans” label suggests that the installation of this Percona thing (which I think is a small town in central Italy), is the biggest, best and indeed, ultimate attempt to increases database performance, detect abusing users and provide greater server stability on “Walter”.

The upshot of naming it thus does, however, create some concerns. If I should find that my database performance is not increased to my satisfaction, then there’s actually no point in my hanging around and waiting for the next upgrade  – this, after all, is The Plan To End All Plans. There is no plan after this.
If I am dying, post-upgrade, for better server stability than I am getting – I should go elsewhere. After The Plan To End All Plans, there are, by definition, no further plans to improve my user experience.

Of course, on the flip side, should I be an abusing user (wittingly or not), and my user abuse is unidentified, even after The Plan To End All Plans, then I’m home free. After all, if the local Carabinieri are unable to detect my naughtiness now, they never will be. There are no further plans after The Plan To End All Plans. This is it – the final throw of the dice.

All in all, it seems to suggest that once we’re all done here, I will be stuck with a hosting package which will never be upgraded again; and while it may be fitted with a Turbo Package and a Tuscan conurbation, even when a new, improved Turbo Package and a town with more residents, charming houses and fantastic cuisine comes along, given that the final dice is to be thrown between 4:00am and 7:00am CDT September 8 2011, those things will pass me by.

Of course, in the meantime, before those improvements aren’t made, 6000 miles… will be the ultimate display of rocket-fuelled, Turbo Package-charged, database-refined wonder.
It will be The Blog To End All Blogs (again).

Although we might not be around for 15 minutes around lunchtime tomorrow.

You have been warned.


After this (from The Guru), came this (from The Guru):

Except, apparently The Guru can’t read all that good – it actually starts at 2AM CAT on the 28th.

Which now means that I’m not allowed to post tomorrow (this currently being today, the day before tomorrow), but I can now post today and schedule it for 1am CAT tomorrow (tomorrow (the day when the servers are migrating) being the day after today, (when the servers aren’t migrating anymore)).

Got that?
Right. Yes. Me too. *cough*

Better play it safe with a quota slideshow – the upgraded version of a quota photo – detailing some few highlights of our Summer holidays thus far:

With another couple of weeks of staggered leave for myself and Mrs 6000 (read: lack of childcare), there’s sure to be more, so do pop back soon.

And whatever you do, don’t leave a comment because you’ll break teh interwebs. Unless of course you’re one of those daring sorts who laughs in the face of danger, pokes hazard in the tummy and spanks the bottom of risk. In which case, comment away.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. I’ll be back when I have been successfully migrated.