sated, buzzed, and sweaty

A three-day weekend spent communing with nature. Three days with dirty feet and dusty skin, greasy hair and smelly clothes; three days spent sated, buzzed, and sweaty.

I had a great time… lounging in the sun, swimming in the river, drinking around the fire, and taking a couple small hikes (4mi and 3mi, respectively) as a family. Keaton enjoyed herself too, and was a great little camper. We arrived midday Friday and broke camp bright and early Monday morning, bellies full of that camping staple – breakfast burrito ala Coleman stove. We were home by 10am, car unpacked and cooler emptied by 11. The rest of the afternoon consisted of trawling for new holiday weekend leaks (some good stuff too, the new Architecture in Helsinki, the new Polyphonic Spree, and the new Paul McCartney), and an afternoon nap. All in all I came away better for it, my only injuries being somewhat sore legs from our short hikes and some painful little nicks on my fingers from trying to open a Newcastle with a rock.

The first harvest of my first foray into gardening is nigh. This weekend, I counted a whopping fifty-nine green tomatoes (several different varieties), at least a few of which are big enough that I figure they’ll be reddening up soon. My corn stalks are all averaging about 2ft-3ft tall and look healthy, and I would’ve had a nice handful of strawberries by now had the dang birds not carried every stinking one away just before they were pickin’-ripe. Of all the things I planted, only the peppers have fared poorly. They’re growing, but they’re just slow… still tiny and seemingly stalled out as seedlings – some have been completely destroyed by some sort of pest, chewed through at the base. I’ve decided I’m going to dig up their squares and plant pre-grown peppers instead – I’m cheating.

I’m seriously considering changing webhosts, StartLogic’s performance has been on a steady decline for about a year now – and I’m wondering if they’re just overburdened and can’t keep up with the business. If I do switch, there’ll likely be a spotty transition period while the domains transfer and I attempt to setup all my major subpages again (a little worried about having to restore my blog and gallery…). Anyway, I sent this note to my current host today:

Subject: Database-reliant pages continue to be EXTREMELY slow

Hi there,

This is the 3rd time I’ve mailed about slow performance on all my database-reliant pages, but the load-times continue to get worse. Lately, I get timeout errors more often than not – making my pages nearly unusable.
Is there some concrete answer you can give me about this? At your suggestion, I’ve done many things to try and alleviate the slowdown:

  • Reviewed all my code for efficiency in database calls
  • Randomized database calls from a pool of all available users
  • Removed any high-load code

If I can’t get some increased performance, or if the answer is “upgrade to a higher-price plan,” I’ll be honest and say I’ll likely defect to a more reliable host.

Hope you can help me out – thanks.

We’ll see what happens. Sorry for the geek-talk.

I think that’s enough for tonight. I did upload a bunch of new Keaton pictures from our weekend outing – but I’ve not put them in a public gallery yet as I want to wait for some images from other cameras that were on-the-scene to get ’em all in one batch. Goodnight folks.

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