Happy Kicking Us Out Day

If you’re in the U.S., today is July 4th, Independence Day – the day that you *may* celebrate kicking the Brits out. As a Brit now living in the U.S., I find it rather fun to say “Happy Kicking Us Out Day”, although I only tend to say it to people who I know.

This year, we hosted, and I actually cooked as much of the food as I could. The menu this year?

  • Home-made burger buns and hot-dog rolls.
  • Impossible burgers and impossible brats.
  • Home-made burger sauce
  • Asparagus from a local farm
  • Corn from a local farm
  • Lettuce from the garden (but Beefsteak tomatoes from the store because ours aren’t ripe yet)
  • Cheese from the local dairy.

We also made some pretty substantial deserts.

  • Home-made rock cakes (which stared off as oatmeal and raisin cookies, but which were a little too dry for that role and became rock cakes instead.
  • Home-made ice-cream, using eggs from our hens, and milk from just down the road at a small, independent dairy with a herd that includes Holstein Friesians and Jerseys!
  • Home-made fudge.
  • Meringues, home made using the egg whites from the eggs I used Yolks from to make ice cream!
A Kenwood Chef making merangues from fresh eggs, sugar, cream of tartar and lots of fluffy air!

We did the actual grilling on our electric barbecue too, so no fossil fuels were burned for our food (although, technically, I’m guessing our solar array didn’t power everything but we did generate 88 kWh today so… 😉 )

You might notice from the featured image that the young dog there is Not Mr. Ghost. That’s because she’s Skye, our newest member of the family. We actually welcomed Skye into our home back in February, but as you might have noticed, I haven’t exactly been posting.

That’s because… the Aminorjourney.com server died (again). I know. I’ve been sucking at keeping the server running, but back in February/March, the 12-year old SSD that I had inside the Mac mini that runs this site finally gave up the ghost. It went from being sickly one day to being completely unresponsive a few days later, and (yet again), I found myself having to start from scratch.

If I had the time, energy, and spare brain cycles, I could have got the site back up and running again pretty quickly. And I managed to reinstate the WordPress installation pretty sharpish following the drive’s demise. The sad bit though was the fact that even with the new drive purchased and installed, it has still take a few weeks months to get everything back up and running. Most challenging has been re-installing Cloudflared to get the site serving properly. And with everything going on over at TransportEvolved, building a massive new greenhouse, and just keeping the house in a sensible place, I’ve just had ZERO time to get this server working.

Earlier today? Earlier today I got it working. Which is why we’re here.

I know there are currently a huge number of posts here with broken images and the like, and that’s because when the drive died, I lost most of the content. I’m going to spend some time in the coming weeks and months trying to retroactively fix those, but it will take some time, because well, life tends to get in the way.

Good news? I have backups this time. I will continue to make backups.

Tomorrow, one of my plans (we’re taking the entire week off, which is one reason I had the brain power to fix this site) is to try and start the prep work to put a full-height rack into the server closet. It will make it a lot easier to store things and hopefully will improve the airflow around our servers too. But it will also be quite the challenge and will (repeat will) mean this site and some of our other servers go offline temporarily.

But what I haven’t shown you? The new greenhouse. It’s epic. My wife made it. And I am very, very lucky.

For today though? I’m going to sign off. It’s late, and I’ve been cooking a lot today. But Ghost and Skye are always ready for you to chuck that ball…

Two border collies wait for someone to throw a ball for them. They're in the middle of a greenhouse row.