What I Learned Today

WordPress tells me this is the 17th post I’ve written. That’s not true at all. I know it’s not true. This is the 31st post I’ve written. But the missing 14 or are gone forever. Why? Because in my own hubris and impatience, I deleted them forever, accidentally, at 2am this morning.


Using Amazon Linux, I installed the (then) current versions of apache, mysql, php, etc. That’s fine. They’ve worked great. But a program I wanted to play with required PHP 5.4+, while I was stuck on 5.3. So I uninstalled PHP, but then needed to update apache, mysql, etc. – so I just uninstalled them all, purged everything, and installed newer versions.

I purged everything.

I purged everything.

I purged everything.

I purged the mysql database.

All of my posts are WERE stored in that database. All of the data from my project management software were stored in that database. All of the user login data from my site were stored in that database.


When I told my wife I’d done this, the first thing out of her mouth: “Did you do this really late last night?” Yes. Yes I did. Just like she’s been reminding me not to do since she was my girlfriend. I know better. It happens A LOT (though never this critically – see lesson 3…). I know by know that when I wake up at 6am with 4 hours sleep, work a full day, grab supper and run out to a function until 10pm, get home at 11 then work for 2 more hours until I’m passing out – that is not the time to do what I did.


The only reason this is post 17 and not post 1 is I do have a backup from the end of February.

This is what I’m kicking myself the most over – because the very last thing I put into the mysql database (I’m not kidding) is a reminder to myself to set up a regular backup system.

The irony of this is agonizing.

What I Lost

2 months of blog posts – my World War I series 100 years later in Real Time (each Saturday, releasing a mock news article about what happened 100 ago to date). 2 months of project management work items/tasks/bug tracking/etc.  Other things I don’t know yet.


1. Regular backups. Since I write bi-weekly, I’ll just do it after each article.

2. Don’t do anything after 11pm that can’t be CTRL-Z’ed.

3. Understand what the command I’m about to do does.

4. Get away from my computer right now before I break it physically.

So I’ve already run into what I imagine is obvious to people who have been writing for a while – it is hard to consistently sit down and write on a schedule. I had planned to launch this on the 5th (of October), and postponed a week so I could regroup and start again.

And then another week. And another… [and another]

I’m sure that it’ll get somewhat easier as time progresses, but in the meantime I’m laboring.

When I get an idea for a post, I drop it into my “article” backlog in project management software I use for other jobs. I include any thoughts or directions I may need later to help me remember what I’m talking about. Then, each week, I drag the scribbled note stories into my “Next Week’s Articles” sprint and flesh them out 7 days before posting.

I’m already seeing some issues I may have: my group of articles for ‘God’ is currently stocked at least with enough ideas for the next 2 months; for “Glissandi” I have the next two weeks. Maybe I’ll change “Music Mondays” to “Media Mondays” and talk about movies/tv shows. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll keep scheduling time to sit and type. In the end, I think that’s the only way to do it. And maybe start slower – just a few per week, and not every day.