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2 Days & 2 Nights

February 14th, 2008  · stk

Crashing 4-year-olds

Last week was a blur. First, my 4-year-old computer crashed. Shortly after, my four-year-old kid crashed (she became ill). Work came to an immediate halt. Rachel was on her 4-days of 12-hour hospital shifts. I faced a broken computer, a broken kid and the joy of running the house. Days were spent rebooting and shuttling CD's and my nights were spent soothing, medicating and taking care of our sick little girl. I didn't get much sleep.

I began as I was working on my 4-year-old computer, as I normally do. It began to fight me. Nothing unusual. I've been experiencing crashes and computer problems for over 6 months. I've been expecting the point of no return, but trying to put it off. You see, I'm an application guy. I'm not a hardware guy or a network guy. I like to USE the computer, not tinker with it.

I said, "Oh no, here we go." It's not a pleasant sensation, but who can complain after nearly four years of relatively trouble-free computing?

A sub-spooler system failure kept me from printing a check deposit slip. Rebooting didn't fix the printing problem. Restoring the system to an earlier time (which has, on occasion, been my saving grace) didn't fix the problem. I restored it to a month ago. After reboot, the computer froze and I found myself staring at a multi-colored taskbar and desktop. While it was pretty, it was also ugly. The cursor was toast. Keyboard entry didn't do anything but "bonk" at me, after entering a buffer's-worth of keystrokes. Then the computer said, "Game over." It initiated an auto-shutdown. Ack!

What was left? It was time to re-install the operating system from scratch.

That night, after day-care, my 4-year-old daughter decided to call it quits too. She initiated an auto-shutdown after contracting a nasty cold. The only difference between her shut-down and my computer shut-down, was that she waited until the middle of the night to shutdown, rather than shutdown in the morning.

To read about my week of fixing 4-year-olds ... carry on.

Fixing 4-Year-Olds

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Updated: 28-May-2009
Web View Count: 4982 viewsLast Web Update: 28-May-2009

Serving it Up

February 4th, 2008  · stk

This is as close as it gets to an "About Randsco" page. Readership sits at 85,000 unique visitors a month (Jan 2008). Reasons why, what's popular, monetization, Interent penetration & the future of Randsco are all discussed.

Randsco: 86,500 Unique Visitors During January


On Growth: Nearly 15% of all the visits Randsco has ever had, came last month.


"Randsco" was born early in 2005. It was a blogging experiment that came about after acquiring a domain name and moving to a shared hosting company. Before that, we had maintained our websites at GeoCities, a free online host. In autumn of 2004, GeoCities changed their advertising and because the new method impacted the visitor experience, we made the leap to an inexpensive ($5/month), shared host.

Randsco started as a means of documenting our lives (primarily for ourselves, but also for family and friends). Additionally, it allowed us to share our love of backpacking, cycling & adventuring with like-minded people.

Wow, have things changed. We still document our lives, keep friends and relatives up-to-date and share our adventures, but Randsco now serves up much more:

Because Randsco has been (sorta) monetized, we've recently moved to a $50/month VPS host. Hopefully this will result in a superior visitor experience (stability & page load speed).

Readership growth is due to a number of factors: worldwide Internet penetration, benefits of a blog tool, increase in SPAM and (last but not least) valued content. To find out a bit more about monetization, what articles are the most popular, worldwide Internet penetration & the future of Randsco .... read on.

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Updated: 10-Feb-2008
Web View Count: 29368 viewsLast Web Update: 10-Feb-2008

Christmas Magic

December 28th, 2007  · stk

Alex gets a visit from Santa. Video of Alex's excitement & joy from a personal visit from Santa (courtesy of the North Cedar Fire Hall). Engine 1 arrives with lights & sirens, then Santa climbs down, with a gift for one very excited little girl! (A bit of Christmas magic)

Alex 'n Santa - Christmas Magic

The Oop turned four years old in October and she is fully into the swing and spirit of Christmas. It was a special holiday for us and the guys at the North Cedar Fire Hall made it even more so with a bit of Christmas magic.

First, Oop and Dad joined the other volunteer firefighters and their families for an old-fashioned hay ride, through town, on Sunday night. Candy canes, hot chocolate, music and lights made for a festive, although chilly, trip.

Then came Christmas eve.

And Santa Claus!


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Updated: 30-Dec-2007
Web View Count: 16955 viewsLast Web Update: 30-Dec-2007

The Girls

November 27th, 2007  · stk

Our baby chicks are now 8 weeks old! See how they've grown, learn where they were born, their breed, what great layers they are and see their new (unfinished) coop.

8 Week-old Chickens: An Update

Our four chickens are eight weeks old. (For those that missed it, we got 4 baby chicks, in early October).

At first, we kept them in a file-size, cardboard box. A 100-watt lightbulb kept things a toasty 85°F for the fragile tweeters. Gradually, we reduced the wattage down to 40-watts.

Just like human babies, the baby chicks ate a lot, slept a lot (and pooped a lot). The peeped a bunch too. The louder they peeped, the unhappier they were. They became used to people, as we pulled them out and let them bumble around the house (till they pooped, at which time, it was 'back to the box').

We discovered their breed and even where they were born. They've long since outgrown their cardboard box and (soon) will be moving into their new digs.

To get the scoop ... read on ...

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Updated: 23-Nov-2010
Web View Count: 79163 viewsLast Web Update: 23-Nov-2010

Four Chicks for City Slicks

October 7th, 2007  · stk

The Kimler's add four fuzzy new members to their growing country clan. Read about the four baby (five-day-old) chicks that are living in a cardboard box, in the dining room

Four Fluffy New Chicks Arrive at the Hutton House

Things came in fours this week. Maybe it's because Alex turned four and we're sensitive to the number? It shouldn't have been a surprise that we were given, not half-a-dozen, not two ... but FOUR, four-day-old chicks, by our neighbors.

(Actually, I'm making up the 'four-day-old' part. I have no idea HOW old these chicks are. They could be 8 days old, for all we know about chickens). We're city-slickers, not chicken ranchers!

All that changed, yesterday, when we carted home four fuzzy (loudly chirping) chicks, in a cardboard box. Even our kitty is from the city. He barely glanced up from his favorite napping spot, when the brood of chicks arrived. We held one to his nose and he was more interested in the hand, than what was in the hand.

"Is that hand, holding that fuzzy thing, going to pet me?" he probably thought to himself.

For more pics of fuzzy chicks ... carry on.

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Updated: 7-Oct-2007
Web View Count: 28438 viewsLast Web Update: 7-Oct-2007