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everything else

Driving Alone 2: Lost in Kantucky

I didn’t misspell the blog title and this post isn’t about the movie starring Macaulay Culkin. “Driving Alone” stars a cranky elderly man lost between two lakes. Watch him struggle to find his way back to I-24! Will he make it out of the Twilight Zone or be LOST IN KANTUCKY FOREVER!

Coming to a Box Office near you.

Categories
everything else

Eggner’s Ferry: Everybody Was Running Back And Forth

WKDZ did a great job covering the bridge hit and collapse of the Eggner’s Ferry bridge. Of all the coverage they did I want to highlight one interview. It is a classic that will live forever in the genre of country-fried disaster interviews.

 MP3: Robert Parker Interview – (C) WKDZ Radio

WKDZ: Did you get out of the vehicle after this happened and look down there?

RP: Yes.

WKDZ: Did you yell at anyone on the boat? Did anyone yell at you?

RP: Nuh Uh, everybody was running back and forth.

WKDZ: Did any of them know you were up there?

RP: I don’t know that they did or not.

Everybody was running back and forth, I’ll bet they were!

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Computing hopkinsville

Blinking Lights, Blink A Little Slower

The BrakeBlog is running on the Energynet network now. My day off for MLK Jr. Day was a day for considering bandwidth issues related to my websites and moving them to Energynet. My first thought was to mark the current response times as measured through the Google Webmaster tools. Since one of the recurring problems I experienced with Godaddy was slow load times. It would be good information for me to know and it would make a good blog post later.

BrakeBlog Oct 2011 – Jan 2012 (Godaddy)

BrakeBlog download time
BrakeBlog

Page loadtime High 1086ms – Average 639ms – Low 360ms

Christian Heights UMC (ditto)

CHUMC download time
CHUMC

High 1730ms – Average 1080ms – Low 379ms

The church website loads 440ms slower on average when it is running normally. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change since the BrakeBlog has transitioned to its new home.

Another thing which is much more surprising to me personally is the radical difference in traffic patterns between my personal blog and the church website. The BrakeBlog received 143 (non-unique) visits in December while transferring 709 megabytes of data during the same period. These numbers are reversed on the church though. CHUMC received only 64 (non-unique) visits while transferring 1,810 megabytes in December. 28 megabytes per CHUMC user versus only 5 megabytes per BrakeBlog user. I have to think that the sermons I post online are far more popular than I realized.

server lights
Thanks to Paul Lloyd

Doing this analysis I realize how large both websites are. The church website seems to hit a ceiling at 100 users. I have been disappointed that I haven’t been able to attract more than that. A CHUMC user, however, is much more involved and that counts as much or more than the simple visitor total. After I move both websites away from Godaddy those TX/RX lights on the server won’t be blinking quite as fast as they were.

To all my visitors on the BrakeBlog and Christian Heights, THANK YOU! Stay tuned for the follow-up post when we find out what were the results of this experiment.

Categories
Computing hopkinsville

The BrakeBlog is Packing to Move!

energynet datacenter
Energynet Datacenter

I have been a GoDaddy customer since 2003. For the vast majority of that time the service from GoDaddy was acceptable though not excellent. I tolerated many of GoDaddy issues because none justified the time necessary to switch. The most recent example happened in September 2011. The website for Christian Heights began loading very slowly and throwing “500 Internal Server” errors. When I emailed Support about this, their best response was to paraphrase; “It’s not our fault! WordPress is slow, you need to optimize your database.”

Our administrators actively monitor the performance of our hosting and balance the load on the servers as needed. However, as your site is hosted within a shared environment, you may experience periods of reduced performance. This can generally be caused by the application interfacing with the database or just to the amount of content the site contains. You can improve performance by optimizing the fields and tables of your database.

They are full of —— er, baloney. I know this primarily because the problem stopped immediately after I contacted them even though Support never admitted to doing anything. I have shopped for alternatives before but never bothered to make a serious move because Godaddy was always the cheapest among the mid-tier registrars. Being cheap always trumped whatever service problems I experienced.

It became a matter of principle when I read that Godaddy was supporting SOPA/PIPA. This time I am strongly motivated to leave Godaddy. I picked Hopkinsville Electric’s Energynet service to be my new web host. Energynet being local is very important. It is the primary reason why I am willing to pay more. I have taken the first step by transferring ericbrake.com to Hover. I expect to move christianheightsumc.org and ericbrake.ws also though not immediately. ericbrake.com will operate as a test site while I learn how to migrate both blogs to new installations of WordPress.

Categories
hopkinsville

Christmas Parade 2011

Here is a selection of photos from the Christmas Parade in Hopkinsville.

Categories
hopkinsville rant

Crooked People And Their Crooked Thinking

Paula Russell speaks at CHUMC
Paula Russell speaks at CHUMC

I hope this will be the closest I ever come to professional thievery. Paula Russell from Aaron McNeil House was discovered victimizing the organization she was hired to lead. In the initial report she was charged with stealing only from AMH.

The former executive director of the Aaron McNeil House in Hopkinsville is charged with using funds from the non-profit agency to pay more than $23,000 worth of bills.

Then the next day more details were released saying that Paula Russell has done this before.

It happened 8-years ago and law enforcement and court officials say she was going by the name Paula Nightingale. Russell, or Nightingale, pled guilty in December 2003 to three counts of false bookkeeping and one count of felony theft after being indicted on more than 47 various charges. She was ordered to pay nearly 84-thousand dollar in restitution directly to Pasminco Incorporated.

Christian Heights also had our interactions with Ms. Russell/Nightingale when we collected 1100 units of food for Aaron McNeil’s food pantry. On the day when Ms. Russell visited us to receive the donation. She gave the congregation a backhanded compliment saying that she felt welcomed into the church even though CHUMC is 100% white and she is black. It was rude and unnecessary for her to mention it. Her comments reveal what is first on her mind. Are you black or white? Are you the “oppressed” or the oppressor?

Categories
Computing

The Old Workhorse Prepared For Retirement

clunker computer
Clunker Computer

Mom’s current computer is at least ten years old. Back in the day it probably ran Windows 98, then I put Linux on it. Now is the time for it to go to the scrap pile and be replaced by Mom’s New old computer. Dad made a comment that when the HP is setup for Mom’s use that it should have an anti-virus installed. So I remembered that Microsoft was now producing it’s own anti-virus free for everyone. It is my opinion that both McAfee and Norton should drop dead anyway. I considered Microsoft Security Essentials to be far better than any of my other options.

My original plan was to setup the laptop where the CRT monitor is sitting now. Mom would use a regular keyboard and mouse just like she is now. However, my plan changed when Mom said she wanted to use the keyboard and touchpad built in to the laptop. The touchpad is something new that she has never used before. She thinks using the touchpad is more advanced than a plain mouse. I’m not sure that the touchpad is the best thing for her but if she wants to try it, so be it. What this means for the moment is that the laptop can’t sit where I originally planned for it. I was disappointed because I was ready to tear into the old computer and start unhooking it but such was not meant to be.

Categories
Computing

The Old Workhorse Meets His Replacement

 

Old vs New
Old vs New

The old laptop on the left is an HP Pavilion dv4000 and the new one on the right is a Dell Inspiron N5010. The HP has been through the battle and it came out only slightly dinged. A piece of molding on the left side is broke off and there is a wear mark on the right side of the touch pad where my hand always rested. The Intel graphics are old enough that they are no longer supported by the 2.6.38 Linux kernel. Finally, the main reason why I replaced the HP is that the cd burner started throwing errors when I was burning sermons on disk for church.

broken molding on laptop
broken molding on laptop

Those are all of the things wrong with the laptop but that wouldn’t prevent it from being useful in retirement. Once I have the Dell setup and I’m at home using it. I will give the old laptop to my mom for her to use. The HP is still a fast machine good for web surfing and email.