I lost the database on my server Friday. I don't know why. It's Solaris - not the best platform for detailing outages. I couldn't bring the daemon back up and didn't have any time for troubleshooting. I chose that opportunity instead to update the package using blastwave. Initially, I thought I'd lost everything - I couldn't log into the mysql database as the password was not working, nor would it let me change passwords by any means I found on any help pages. That's when I put out my cry for help. Over the next 36 hours however, I was able to finally bring up the database without losing a thing...I didn't even have to restore from my online SQL backups. I need to get an external dual-layer burner and burn these directories to DVD.
After work I headed to the airport to pick up photogoot who's plane was diverted on final approach to Little Rock, Arkansas. I was two hours late getting home sans Goot. The wife suggested I drive to Arkansas to pick him up. There was an ice storm threatening St. Louis, but I figured I could make it down there and back in time. Being the quick-thinker he is, he instead booked himself a private cabin on the Texas Star for a leisurely 12-hour train ride to Saint Louis.
At 0600 my neighbors ice-laden tree lost a large branch which not only once again fell on my son's room, but pierced the roof and came through his ceiling. As you can imagine, it was quite frightening for him. My adrenalin was pretty high as well. Once I ensured the kids were tucked away in my bed and asleep again, I de-iced my car for the trek downtown to meet the train. I drove straight to Union Station where after quite a bit of confusion realized trains don't go to Union Station. In an unprecedented move, the likes of which I've never seen in all my travels, train traffic takes place elsewhere. Union Station was simply a shopping mall. I've been more pissed off before, but I'm unsure I've ever been more damned confounded. Later that day, the largest branch of the tree which damaged my house, fell onto my neighbors house, demolishing most of his roof and crashing down on his bed - had it happened when ours fell, he would have been killed. There was so much ice, there was nothing which could be done that day. We moved our Friday Night planned activities forward a day and as a bonus, galinda822 brought 'Scene It' to include in the evening's activities. photogoot & I consumed half a bottle of Glenfiddich.
The trees were caked with ice and every few minutes somewhere throughout the neighborhood branches would crash to the earth. The day was cold, still, and hazy - very eerie with the crack & boom splitting the serene environment. Worried about structural integrity, we spent the next night, all of us, in the basement. Then we lost power. I moved photogoot and the family to the Embassy Suites downtown the next morning. This was bliss - heated pool, high-speed internet, and two full rooms. The kids enjoyed the pool, the wife stopped crying, and photogoot and I discovered a house scotch worth drinking: Grant's. From the distillers of Balvenie and Glenfiddich. Until I find a more peaty blended scotch, I think I've found my daily drinker. Galinda had graciously offered to watch the children while my wife, photogoot and I had dinner at the Morgan Street Brewery downtown. Unfortunately, the extenuating circumstances I've described above prevented this from occurring. All I wanted to do was walk around with photogoot in Laclede's Landing while he was here. That, my friends is why I was grinning from ear-to-ear; though it was raining, that's exactly what we did! He treated me to a fantastic dinner of medium-rare sirlion atop lobster ravioli. The beer was so good, I brought a gallon of it home and we finished the rest with my wife once the kids were down.
The next morning we had prepared omelettes at the hotel and photogoot watched the children while my wife and I drove to house to check on the cats and the cleanup. I'd called my insurance agent Saturday morning, then spoke to the owner of the offending tree. He agreed to handle all the clean-up of the branches which the company who was to tarp the roof required prior to patching. When we arrived back at the house we noticed that the branch which had fallen on our neighbors house had been removed, cleaned, and the roof tarped over. Nothing was done to our house whatsoever. I had told the owner of the property next to us that I would handle all clean-up on our end, but he'd told me he wanted to handle it on his end, and he didn't. Subsequently, the 5-gallon bucket we'd placed under the hole, had filled with water, overflowed, soaked my son's room, and seeped into my basement office. Lori was in tears again. I finally had the branches removed and a team will be at the house tomorrow to tarp the damage. It's snowing now and will be 19-degrees tomorrow. The good news is that the electricity was restored about 1600, but I'd already reserved the room another day, and at $200 a pop, we chose to stay another night. We have one hell of a week ahead of us.
I was apparently too harsh with my understanding of the clean-up situation. The guys had simply taken the MLK holiday off. Shortly after I arrived home the next day, a team of men were in my backyard clearing the debris. The adjuster will be here Saturday.