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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 2/6/11 - 2/13/11

Saturday, February 12, 2011

CrashPlan Status: UNSUCCESSFUL

Not a complete fail, but a "mostly" fail.
Today I officially gave up on the CrashPlan 30 Day free trial to send files to "the cloud": the CrashPlan Central offsite servers.  I had a 30 day free trial to try this out, and after 27 days, I had only uploaded 60% of the files.

I didn't get enough time to test restoring the files after a full upload, therefore I cut my losses and will do backup another way.

Besides, with the recent news about Mozy, I wonder how much longer "all you can eat" offsite data storage will remain affordable.

By the way, until the end of February, CrashPlan is offering a 15% discount to Mozy customers who are bailing because of Mozy's recent price schedule changes.

Paul and I attempted some file transfers to each other, but that wasn't very stable either.  Our network settings had to be very precise to maintain a connection.  Paul's fiber broadband pushed about 2/3 of his files to me, but my slower connection only allowed us to give him about 1/3 of the files.  I have dynamic IP addressing -- so a system reboot would change up our settings and kill the connection.  We pushed our respective computers into our firewall's DMZs, which made me incredibly nervous, and if that's how we had to keep things permanently, that was also a no-go.

I will caveat things to say that it wasn't a complete wash.  Without paying, you can still use the CrashPlan GUI to manage in-house backups free of charge, as well as backups to friends.  I'm probably going to stick with that.  It's the only GUI that allows "cross-flow" between PCs and Macs.  It also allows you to attach external HDs and network-attached-storage into the setup.  Other programs, such as Mozy and Carbonite, have restrictions on that.

While I'd read dozens of testimonies to how great CrashPlan worked for their individual needs, I feel that our family's network setup simply wasn't going to support things.  We have an AT&T DSL connection coming into the house that typically allows for about 7 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload speeds.  When CrashPlan was running, those speeds dwindled down to about 20-40%.  Especially when CrashPlan was running on our PC and was uploading data to CrashPlan Central.

We couldn't watch videos anywhere else on our network (i.e. via Netflix streaming, Wii or on YouTube on our computers), so I removed Crashplan from the PC and suddenly things sped up.

This morning I re-installed CrashPlan on the PC but cut it off from external network connections.  I am hopeful that will be okay.  I will keep it to back up our 3 computers' files to each other, and we at least have that.  Better than nothing, right?

In the meantime, I'm pricing 2 TB external HDs and will be replacing our two smaller external HDs for day-to-day backups.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Be An Air Force Wife, 2011 Style...

The reason I was inspired to post about that 1957 Air Force wife book last week was because I was thinking about getting some "calling cards" of my own.  I've done this in the past, it's great for trading playdate information on the playground.  It's also much classier than scrawling down your information on the back of a crumbled gas station receipt at the bottom of your purse.  It helps out as a reservist, too, when you can't access your military phone and e-mail account daily, you can just hand someone a personal card to follow up on a correspondence.

I learned this idea through a Mom on a playground in Cary, North Carolina back in 2005, but it's reaped dividends as a military wife...when you have to introduce yourself to a new circle of friends every 2-3 years.

I had placed an order a couple weeks ago through for my free** 250 business cards and they arrived on Tuesday.

You really thought I'd show the world our address and phone number?  These cards are also great for "We've Moved" cards.  That way folks could just put your new address/phone/e-mail address in with other business cards.

Since they're free**, you'll be shamelessly promoting VistaPrint every time you share one of your cards.  I don't mind, can't argue with cheap well-made business cards.

**The cards are free, but you pay a small shipping fee (~$5).  Plus you have to be prepared to weed through no less than 15 webpages worth of "Would you like to add XX onto your order??" offers.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Oops He Did It Again...

Our poor little Howie tore his other rear CCL this past weekend. Nearly 2 years after he ruptured the left one. We don't know how he did it this time, we came home from a bunch of errands Friday night and Howie wasn't putting weight on his right rear leg.  He might have been chasing squirrels (which always seems to get him into trouble)...we have squirrels here, and Howie still will run after them.

We took Howie to the animal emergency room in Pensacola on Saturday to rule out anything broken, and the vet could tell right away it was his other CCL.  He's 11 years old now, his (suspected) breed mix is predisposed to this issue, and once you repair one CCL, the chances of the other CCL failing are increased.

This morning we followed up with our own vet and she suggested using "cold laser therapy" to trigger scar tissue to grow in quickly and we can reinforce the torn ligament precisely enough so Howie can get his mobility back without surgery!

This wasn't presented as an option in 2009, perhaps because it's wasn't widely available 2 years ago.  Our options here are much easier, we only have to travel as far as Pensacola, instead of Manhattan, KS to do the most intensive of our repair options.

Dave and I took a few hours to learn more about the procedure, ask questions of our vet and pet insurance company and we were happy with the pricing, the procedure, and the ease (almost too good to be true!).  We decided not to waste any more time and scheduled Howie to start the first of 8 treatments this afternoon.  He'll need up to 8 treatments without more than 3 days between the treatments.  It's aggressive, but since I live 5 minutes from the vet (it's just past the boys' school), it's easy enough for me.

Enjoy some recent pictures of Howie.  These are all from AFTER his first CCL repair.  He was hiking and climbing like he was 2 years old last summer!

From 2009 12 08 SnowDay!
From 2009 12 08 SnowDay!

From 2010 05 30 Black Hills Day 3: Custer State Park & Hiking
From 2010 05 30 Black Hills Day 3: Custer State Park & Hiking

From 2010 05 31 Badlands National Park
From 2010 05 29 Black Hills Day 2 Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse