I'm not sure where to begin, so I guess as good a place to begin is ... I guess the beginning.
So to recap, trouble started almost a year ago at CR. We had out grown our main host, dreamhost and Hanzi's host because the forums were quite literally the elephant in the room. The issue was not how much disk space, or how much bandiwidth we were using, but rather processing power. You guys are the best and proactive forum goers we could ever hope for. But the forums were so active that loading pages, getting the info from the database, sorting the info, processing the info, and displaying the info. It takes a lot of juice.
So we tried to move CR to the next level of hosting. We had selected servint as the host after looking at a list of virtual private servers. We got the account set up, backed up the site, and then backed up the forums. We had shut the forums down due to not wanting to create a gap between what what on the new server, and what was on the old. Having new topics disappear seemed in our minds to create more headaches then it was worth.
Then we ran into trouble.
What should've been a 2 hour down time quickly became much more then that. This was Croik's and my first experience with 'professional' grade hosting. From my eyes it looked less like it was designed with simple web hosting in mind, and more for resellers. Resellers who's goal was to create web hosting solutions. It was not very fun to unravel. There were two admin panels, for instance. And for a while I was locked out of one of them because Croik got to that admin panel first and the security locked in her IP to the panel as a precaution. We did overcome that problem eventually but were no closer to decoding the host's layout.
At about the same time, problems at home got worse. My Dad had cancer, and it got to a severe state. The next days weeks and months were very time consuming. We made frequent trips to Boston for cancer treatment. Plus I had to take over my Dad's responsibilities around the house and the farm.
Then winter hit. My mom's out door arena got destroyed, and with it her source of income. Considering my Dad was in a state of mental regression and frequent medical trips, he was in no state to work, and a sudden strain of income.
I would say that about then things were the worst for us.
But that's where CR, and a bunch of good friends of mine pulled together and pooled a large sum of money. we paid a few bills and bough grain/corn with that money.
But then Wooster disappeared again?!
What happened? Is it the end of CR? It's been a year now!
First, let me say that I am dreadfully sorry. I owe you guys. Big. And if I could turn back the clock I would.
Now let me put you guys up to date with what happened after my last correspondence.
First, the good.
The arena was repaired. My Mom has been proactive in training dogs again. The mounds of snow we had destroyed a bunch of fences and gates, and we've repaired the majority of them. My Dad's co worker's built a chicken coop for us, using blue prints my Dad designed. We've had eggs coming out our ears. And a local farm shut down, and we inherited some, geese, sheep, and LLAMAS! (Very curious creatures, and curious in disposition. Never seen an animal 'prance' before, and they have a fixation for high ground)
And now the bad.
My dad ceased to be a man, and became an oversized infant. The cancer in his spine spread, and the last radiation treatment failed. His last weeks were hell for us. I don't remember when he stopped talking to us. But I remember his only words were 'ow-ow-ow-ow' when we'd roll him over to clean him when he'd defecate on himself in bed. Or on the rare occasion where I'd hear him call me to his side, only to have him stare blankly at me. Were the speech centers in his brain broken? Or was he actually insane at that point? I'll never know.
He died one month ago. The funeral 3 days ago.
Now, for what I've been doing since he died.
The first week, as you might expect was a blur of phone calls, random visitors, and hurt feelings. But by the second week the shock had subsided and things had developed a cycle. For the first time in almost a year, I had free time. Free time! You don't know what that means. No more checking on my Dad making sure he's still breathing. No more gagging as we try to clean the bed every few hours when he messes him self. No more fighting with him to get any sort of nutrition in him. Just peace. Nice, quiet peace. It was almost giddy. But a very scary sensation. Such relief that my Dad was dead? It was a moral wrong. But I felt happy? That was not something I was comfortable dwelling on.
16 months or so ago, I had bought a web programming book, (the nature of the book however will remain secret). I had not cracked it open in the whole time. With my Dad dead, and some spare time, I've spent the next two weeks starting back from the beginning and completing all the exercises, while still juggling the day to day adventures on the farm and life.
I then contacted Croik, gave her a heads up on my status, what I've been upto, and teased that I've been working on a project for CR. But, I wasn't sure if she'd like it or not, and that I'd have something more to show her next week.
And after that, I got some email correspondence from a good fellow from thesauce.net and gave him at the time the more detailed up to date version of what's been happening.
Well, today is next week, and I had planned to show Croik what I was working on, when a few people contacted me asking for statements on what's up. My first inclination was to do/say nothing. After all, in the past, the best events at CR have always been when Croik and I hold our cards close to our chest, wait till the time is right, and then hit you guys hard and fast with our surprises. That's what I loved the most about CR, and why I hated being away for all this time.
But, you guys have been royally patient with us, and it's only fair that I be forthright, if not punctual.
But, I had already made arrangements to talk with Croik this evening. How could I make a statement if the results could change in half a day? So I deferred this post until I could talk with Croik.
First, I showed her what I had been working on the previous weeks. I'm not going to say what it is, because, again, we love our surprises at CR. And, honestly, it may not be smart of me to be coming forward with what I have been working on the past few weeks, because, honestly, we might not end up using it in the end. But you guys do deserve to know that I've been proactive with something for CR, if not the server problem. Guess if nothing else, it shows I don't exactly have my priorities straight. I will say however, I haven't been this excited for something for CR since that major theme revision for the forums. I hope I can get it to work, but while it is promising, it has a lot of show stopping bugs in it. So don't get too worked up about this one. I will say however that the fellow from thesauce.net has a decent idea of what I'm up to.
After we did the project, we turned to the topic of CR's down state. We didn't get to chat on that as much as I might like, in the background at my place there were some squabbling with the in-laws, and I got put on photo-copy duty, and some goats escaped into the front yard.
But the end result was this. My first priority is to get the new server online. When that happens we can upload the backup of the forums, and hopefully end the downtime.
But. The admin panels are as greek as it was when we started, so I cannot give you a guesstimate when things will be back and running. But I will promise that with the nightmare behind me, I can focus on that.