I’m back in Vermont for the first time since the beginning of August, and likely for the last time until April. It’s interesting to be back… the elation I felt as we touched down certainly reaffirms my firm belief that regardless of where I live or for how long, Vermont will always be Home.
During the days prior to leaving, I spent time with Mickey when I could (she’s been working) and for the rest of the time, I’ve been working on getting a local mirror of this site working on my computer. This took far more effort than I’d expected (or was really necessary), as I decided that it would also be an opportune time to update my versions of Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl on my local machine. After all said and done, I reverted Apache to what it was, MySQL got downgraded from 4 to the latest version of 3, and PHP and Perl actually managed to be updated (though not without trials and tribulations)
I’ve almost got it working, I just need to figure out why my author database isn’t working on the local machine, and how exactly I can fix that. I’m sure given a few hours to root around in the MovableType forums, I’ll find a solution. Once that’s done, I’ll be ready to really start gutting the site and making the more significant changes that I want to do. Of course, my reference books (O’Reilly’s Definitive Guides to MySQL, XHTML, CSS, and PHP, plus the PHP Cookbook) are all at home, so it may have to wait until November. We’ll see. (Well, I’ll see, since all changes will be on localhost until I have it running smoothly, at which point they’ll all get migrated to the website.)
I digress. Mickey’s father showed up the day before I left, travelling the countryside on a photo safari that I’m quite envious of. We all did some wandering, and swung by the local camera store (where Mickey thinks I should work, since I seem to be so good at evangelizing various types of equipment), and in general had a good time. Finally, Mickey dropped me off at the airport for my redeye on JetBlue to Vermont.
This was my first time flying JetBlue, so I really wasn’t sure quite what to expect beyond a metal tube filled with people moving very very quickly through the air, a process which I’m convinced only works because we’ve decided that it should. Overall, it was pretty normal. The check-in was reasonably quick (more because it was very late, and very few people were there than anything else), and there was a minor adventure in getting to the terminal, since it involved going to a DIFFERENT terminal and then taking a bus across the tarmac (for those not aware, SeaTac is currently performing night construction on their subway system between terminals). When taking all that into account, I didn’t have to wait that long before being able to board the plane.
The pilot was quite cheery as we all boarded, which he explained in his introductory announcement was for two reasons: 1) The Jet Stream was cooperating heavily and because of that a full hour was going to be shaved of our flight time, and 2) because he was from Chicago, and the Cubs won that night. Beyond that, the flight was fairly uneventful, and I passed the time by watching television (JetBlue has a deal set up with DirecTV, and offers 25 channels such as the Travel Channel, Food Network, Weather Channel, ESPN, CNN, NBC, et cetera) with headphones on the televisions built into the back of each seat.
So, it’s great that the flight took less time and all, but it really didn’t make much difference for me. It meant the difference between sitting where I could stretch my legs and sitting on the plane longer, which I will admit CAN be a pretty significant difference. JetBlue’s hub is JFK, so most flights connect there… in fact, they have their own terminal of JUST JetBlue, which is nice for connecting flights.
I arrived and was greeted by my friends Adam and Ann (and their very cute and VERY well behaved baby), who were kind enough to drive me down to the Upper Valley, where I’ll be staying for the next few weeks. We went to lunch with our friend Chris and my father, and then in general hung out for most of the day, as I got more and more tired (I had been awake for around 30 hours at that point) and out of it. I got to see a lot of my friends all in one fell swoop (Mike happened to come show up after helping Eli with something, and had brought Aaron… so they all showed up at once… Margot and Dave and Uri were already hanging out, so we joined them, and Megan joined us for dinner, which pretty much rounds out the normal crew). We all went to dinner to celebrate Margot’s birthday (day prior), and in general had a great time. Uri and I went home after that, and I pretty quickly zonked. I was fully passed out by 9 oclock.
Woke up the next day surprisingly refreshed, to the sight of an absolutely gorgeous sunny day with peak foliage outside. After getting ready and such, we went to lunch, where I randomly ran into my friend Richard (whom I VERY rarely see). This was extremely fortuitous, because I was able to inform him that our mutual friend Chris was going to be in town later this week.
I’d brought my camera, so after lunch we ran some errands that Uri had while I took pictures out the window of the foliage. After running the errands, we met up with Dave and Margot (Dave had the day off as it was Columbus Day today), and went for a really nice hike. It was EXACTLY the right answer, and I took a lot of photographs of which a decent number came out quite well. That took up most of the afternoon, after which we hung out briefly with Eli, and then went to our parents’ house to have dinner with Mom and Dad.
After dinner, we went back and hung out with Dave and Margot and Eli and Megan some more, which was a lot of fun. It was nice to laugh and see my friends again. We finally managed to get Eli to post to his blog (after nearly two months), so you should totally go check it out.
Finally got back to Uri’s place around midnight, where my half finished blog posting lay waiting for me to finish it… which brings me to now, when I’m done for the night.