I'm stuck sitting here just trying to come up with words to describe the roller coaster ride that was July 2004. Really stuck. What a month.
The month starts off well enough, work's starting to pick up after a slow start to the summer, and then my laptop dies. The screen turns grey and that's the end of it. Fortunately I bought AppleCare (Apple's extended warranty) and so I place the call.
"The screen is dead."
"OK sir, please reboot."
"OK, it's rebooted."
"Good, now what do you see?"
"Nothing, the screen is dead."
Repeat with subtle variations for half an hour.
"Well sir, it sounds like your screen is dead."
There are a thousand stories like this on the web, now I'm one of them. So off it goes to Apple Canada with a note that this is my main machine, please rush, can't work without it, etc. I call all my clients and explain that I'm down for a week or so, hang in there, I'll be back up soon, Apple said I should have it back in a week.
I take the opportunity to drag in Pete, Tina and Stephen and we stucco the front of the house. The time is not wasted the house looks great!
While we stucco Gator suddenly gets very sick, he can't keep anything down, he's shivering convulsively. Off to the vet he goes. Gator has swallowed a stone. It is lodged in the juncture where his large and small intestines meet. They cut Gator open and remove the stone. With all the diagnostic x-rays and such it's a $1200 procedure.
While all this is going we learn that Joanne's grandmother, her last surviving grandparent, has been admitted to hospital with pneumonia, she is 94 and she is not expected to live through the night. She does, she's a fighter to the end but passes away early the next morning. We take the dogs to my parents and head off to Burlington for the funeral.
We return and I still don't have a computer, "Maybe early next week." They said that last week to so I decide that I'm going to need to buy a new computer. My clients have been very patient but it's been three weeks of no work and that's three weeks of no billing. I buy a new computer that I really can't afford. Of course I get my laptop back three days later.
During the no-computer hiatus I get an email from the editor of MocoLoco saying that they'd like to show our house on their site, could I please send pictures? I really like MocoLoco, I read it everyday, I'm thrilled and send off pictures.
A couple of days after the MocoLoco posting I'm reading WorldChanging another site I like and a group of people that I really respect, and I start yelling, "Joanne! Worldchanging! Linked! Worldchanging!" I could play it cool, but I'm just way too excited, first MocoLoco and then Worldchanging, I am chuffed.
By late July the site has long since passed the most vistors that we've ever received in a month and I'm reading the stats every night wondering how high it will go. The house is starting to get mentioned on a whole variety of sites. On July 28th we get picked as a Hot Site of the Day by USA Today's online edition. All told almost 19,000 people visit the site in July, and we serve over 64,000 pages. That means that a fair number of people that visit the site stick around and read more than just the home page.
While all this is going on Gil learns to sit up, crawl and then stand up on his own (while hanging on to something). Suddenly we have to pay very very close attention to him, because man, he can move FAST when he wants too. The dogs seem slightly alarmed that the noisy little attention hog is suddenly mobile. The safety plugs go into the outlets, the floor lamps get moved away, and the glass end-tables and coffee-table in the living room are packed for temporary storage.
Then, on the 30th of July, Gator starts throwing up again. He starts shivering and quivering. I take him into the vet, he's x-rayed and there doesn't seem to be anything inside him, we figure he's just really sick, they advise me to give him some Pepto-Bismol and bring him in the next day if he throws up again. He pukes several times during the night. Back to the vet. This time they do a barium series: they feed him barium and then x-ray him to see how it moves through his system. There's a blockage, same place as the last one. It's the 31st of July, the date of the annual Hunter family picnic, I've spent most of my day at the vet clinic, talking to the vet on the phone or waiting for her to call, I walk onto my parents back-deck three hours late and announce, "They're cutting him open again."