Site News: Changing Providers

Sorry about the lack of an update last night, but my site (as a couple of you apparently noticed) was down for several hours. You couldn’t get to it, I couldn’t get to it. This was the last straw… I like my provider, I really do, but the specific hosting plan I have with them is pretty bad for any site that wants to actually be up all the time, and the ones that are better-suited are also four to ten times more expensive.

So I finally ordered myself a refurbished Mac mini this morning at 8 AM, and will be sending it off to one of the surprisingly many Mac mini colocation companies once it gets here. Yes, I’ll be back to running my own server, but minis are quite reliable and at any rate it could go down for two hours a week and I’d still be doing better than I am now by a long shot. If I ever need even better uptime, I’ll get a second mini, put it in a different colo, configure some failover, and then I get to blame myself entirely if anything goes wrong.

Seriously, the mini is a really sweet little server, especially the 2012 four-core i7 version. (The latest ones only come in two-core versions, probably because they would have had to have an entirely redesigned motherboard for a four-core version of the latest i7, which is really annoying of Intel to do. I suspect the next version to come out will be two and four, or even four and eight.)  Stick 16 gigs of RAM in there, a 1 TB SSD and a 2 TB hard disk for backups and maybe a few high-speed USB3 flash drives RAIDed together as a secondary working drive, and put Mac OS X Server and Virtual Box on there (or even VMware ESXi!), and you have the equivalent of $100 to $200 a month in AWS servers, even if you include only modest use of the unlimited bandwidth that some of the hosting companies offer, for $30 to $50 a month. Plus it’s yours, so if it goes down, it’s your fault. And the hosting companies have licensed Apple techs on site so they can fix it for you, too… under warrantee, even.

Pretty neat. I’ll let you all know when I am set up on there, and we’ll see how it works together.

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Dog of the Day: Bernie the Miniature Golden Retriever Puppy

Bernie is two hundred and eighty pounds of OH MY GOD wrapped in a svelte 25 to 30 pound frame. She looks just like a golden retriever, but she’s eight months old and won’t be getting much bigger and she’s so little and adorable and happy she makes you want to just pick her up and tuck her under one arm and saunter off whistling. Autumn and I delayed her parents for far longer than should probably be legal. They were good sports about it, thank goodness.

Miniature Golden Retriever Comfort Retriever

It really is hard to get a sense of scale here. Trust me… she’s tiny.

Miniature Golden Retriever Comfort Retriever Looking Delighted To See Me

Some days, I really need something or someone to give me a look like that. It says, ‘HOORAY, IT’S YOU!’ It’s not something most human beings see too often, apart from a dog.

Comfort Retriever Miniature Golden Retriever Looking Adoringly Up At Unworthy Photographer

If that doesn’t make you want to get up from your chair and go find a dog to hug, there’s something wrong with you.

My great goal in life is to be the person this dog thinks I am. Or just about any dog, really.

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Dog of the Day: Golden Retriever And Friend

I suspect this woman wouldn’t thank me for the comparison, and for that reason I would never make such a comparison to anyone’s face, but, well, if I compare anyone to a dog, you can assume it is a high compliment. So, with that said… don’t they both have the most gorgeous tails ever?

Edit: Her HAIR, people, her HAIR. God. Some of you people need to dredge your minds out of the gutter. (*sigh* And yes, for the record, I did actually miss the double entendre when I originally posted this. In my defense, I was tired. But I’m going to leave it there, because erasing my own boorishness, unintentional though it was, seems worse than leaving it there and apologizing for it. Plus, the two people who linked to this would look incomprehensible if I changed it now.)

Golden Retriever Walking With Woman With Long Blond Hair That Looks Like The Dog's Tail

The dog’s tail and the woman’s hair even swayed back and forth in rhythm.

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Dog of the Autumn’s Birthday: Sad Corgi

So it’s Autumn’s birthday, but she’s out of town. This makes Adam a sad corgi.

Sad Tricolor Pembroke Welsh Corgi Tied Up Outside A Bakery

Look at that sad face.

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Sunday Switchup: Double Duck Day

Actually, I have no idea if these are ducks or not. They look vaguely duck-like, and quite pretty, though. And also very sleepy.

Pretty Duck-Like Bird Of Some Kind

I want a shirt with that pattern on it. I would wear it out in a year.

Duck-Looking Beastie

They look quite peaceful, don’t they? I’m not sure I trust them. Ducks are weird.

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Caturday Supplement: Kitten Adoption

I was wandering through Oakland and ran across a little kitten adoption fair.

Woman Cuddling Tiger Tabby Kitten

Kitten-cuddling sessions are important at adoption fairs. You have to keep the kittens ‘warmed up’ for the prospective adopters.

Woman Holding Tiger Tabby Kitten With White Socks


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Dog of the Day: Ryder the Border Collie/Labrador Retriever Mix

“Ryder border collie lab mix 3 yrs”, my notes say. He seems kind of small for that combination, but he does look a lot like those two breeds, so maybe he was just a little one.

Small Black Labrador Retriever Border Collie Mixed Breed

My notes also say that the reason he’s looking a little less than happy is that he had a hot spot and his mom wasn’t letting him itch.

Small Black Labrador Retriever Border Collie Mixed Breed Looking Pensively Off Into The Distance

It’s okay, guy. You’ll be able to scratch again soon!

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Dog of the Day: Verna the Repeat Customer

It’s Verna! We first met her when she was just a (hilariously cute) puppy close to four years ago, and then when she was all grown up (but still hilariously cute) two years ago. Her dad says he thinks she’s part Nova Scotia duck-tolling retriever, both because she kind of has that look and because she loves swimming and attracts all the ducks. (Which, after all, is what duck tollers were bred for. AKA ‘My toller brings all the ducks to the yard, and they’re like, ‘quack quack quack quack quack’.) I can totally see it… the fur looks quite similar, including the white patch on the chest. He suspects she’s mixed with chow, and/or possibly some kind of shepherd, so we’ll just say that. Because I like having two obscure chow mixes in a row, so why not?

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix Scratching Herself

Funny, I caught her doing this when she was a puppy too. She must be an itchy dog.

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix Investigating The Photographer

Verna has blossomed into a self-confident, playful, happy, and very curious dog.

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix With A Bushy Lovely Fox Tail

Look at that glorious tail.

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix Smiling At The Camera

There’s that amazing smile.

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix Smiling At The Camera

Verna runs alongside dad’s bike. No leash to get caught, she’s just incredibly well-trained and obedient.

Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever/Chow Mix Face With Giant Grin

I would totally follow Verna home.

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Dog of the Day: Gus the Belgian Shepherd Chow Mix

I just ran into Gus today, but I absolutely adored him, and so, when I found myself offloading the pictures from my phone for an unrelated reason, I decided that I just had to post him.

He’s 13 years old, he’s an utter sweetheart, and he loves everybody (and two other people stopped to pet him while I was standing there, so it looks like everybody loves him, too). Plus, the pictures don’t quite do him justice… what he looks like is nothing so much as a perfect photographic negative of a samoyed. (And I ran one of my samoyed pictures through a negative-creator, so I know whereof I speak.)

Black Fluffy Chow Belgian Shepherd Mix

He has a very, very dark blue tongue.

Black Fluffy Chow Belgian Shepherd Mix Looking Very Happy Indeed

Really unusual combo. I’ve only ever met one Belgian shepherd cross before.

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Dog of the Day: Sweet Pea the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

I probably shouldn’t use up all my corgi pictures in one go, but these pictures caught my imagination, so oh well.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Sitting Next To A Bowl Of Water

Look at that patient expression. She must’ve been out there for quite a while.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Looking Serious

The little white stripe up the nose makes a little heart on the forehead. So cute.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Looking Sidelong At The Camera

Got a little side-eye going on there.

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