Wednesday, 12 April 2017

09:21 – It was 55.3F (13C) when I took Colin out at 0700 this morning, partly cloudy and breezy. Barbara just left for the gym. This afternoon, she’s headed down to Winston to meet friends for dinner. She’ll stay with Frances and Al tonight and then run some errands and head back home tomorrow.

For more than a decade, I’ve been doing what I can to encourage young people to pursue careers in science. Long enough now that I periodically get emails from parents and students who’ve gotten not just undergrad degrees in science, but graduate degrees and jobs in science. It doesn’t seem that long, but kids who got started as middle- or high-schoolers with one of our books or kits are now in graduate degree programs and some are actually employed as working scientists. Here’s the latest bit of cheerful news, this one from the Royal Society of Chemistry. My life in science: the good, the bad and the ugly

Email overnight from a young woman who’s been reading my blog for several years. She and her husband met as freshman undergrads, he majoring in pre-Med and she in nursing. They married immediately after graduation. She became a nurse and put him through med school. He finished his residency as an internist a couple years ago, and they both work at the same hospital in a large city in the Northeast.

Both are originally from smallish towns, and both want to get away from urban life and find a home in a smaller town where they can raise a family. Her husband has been offered a job in a small town practice in southwestern Virginia and has accepted the offer. The local hospital always needs nurses, and has offered her a job. So they’ve made two trips down to look for a house. They found what they were looking for, put in an offer, and it was accepted. They close the first of May and are now packing up their apartment in preparation for the move.

It’ll be a big change from urban apartment life to living in a large home on 10 acres with a barn and other outbuildings, but they’re both looking forward to it. She’s really excited about the prospect of having a horse again, as she did when she was a teenager. And she’s already planning her new chicken coop.

Her email to me ended, “Oh yeah. In case it isn’t obvious, Peter and I are serious preppers and our move is motivated as much by our desire to live somewhere safe as our love of rural life.”

Escape to the Country, indeed. Good for them.

* * * * *

10:47 – I just got the following email from Dreamhost, which hosts this site and other various domains:

Our monitoring systems show that your site is frequently reaching the technical capacity of its hardware.

Hey there! Our monitoring systems show that your site is frequently reaching the technical capacity of its hardware. When this happens your website crashes and becomes briefly unavailable as we automatically restart it.

Here are the website usernames and how many times they were restarted within the last 30 days:

<my username>: 120

You have a few options at this point:

Upgrade your hosting to a fully managed Virtual Private Server (VPS). This will give you plenty of power tailored to your site’s exact needs.

Optimize your web apps and web content to be less resource-intensive. You may want to enlist a skilled webmaster to help you.

Take no action.  Your site will continue to run up against its hardware limits, but if you’re okay with it we are too!

This is not a high-traffic site, so my guess is that it’s one of the plug-ins that’s sucking CPU ticks. I’ve already deleted the Search Everything plug-in. I installed that only because Google had stopped indexing blog comments. They resumed indexing comments some months ago, so that plug-in was obsolete anyway. Google or another search engine gives better results anyway.

If I keep getting notices like this from Dreamhost, I’ll start disabling other plug-ins, so you may notice some changes in how the site works.