This and That—October

It’s Not The Bahamas, But…

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It seems strange not to be heading south this year, but then again, fall in Nova Scotia is pretty nice. Mind you, check in with me after the first ice storm.

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Meanwhile, Morgan’s Cloud is all snugged up in a shed for the winter.

Safe Surfing for You

The badge above, which we also display in the sidebar, signifies that this web site is now checked four times a day to make sure that some hacker has not figured out a way to get past our defenses and use AAC as a conduit to put some nasty malware on your computer.

And, by the way, this service is not free, or even close, but it is nowhere near as expensive as the journalism insurance that we just signed up for after years of being told that we were absolutely nuts to run a site like this without it.

So, if you were thinking about making a donation, or even if you weren’t,  now’s the time. We would really appreciate your help in at least partially covering the ever-growing out-of-pocket expenses of running this site.

Thank You

For those of you who have already donated, or just did, another huge thank you. (Each person who has donated has received a personal thank you email from Phyllis.)

While donations are not keeping up with expenses, they have helped to stem the tide of red ink, as well as inspiring us to keep posting as we search for ways to close the expense gap.

AAC is Growing

Talking of the site, we thought you would like to know that we just passed half a million page views this year, with two months to go. And it looks like about 150,000 people will visit the site this year.

Of course this makes us a tiny site in the greater scope of the internet. But then again, not bad when, as I always say, you consider that more people play competitive tiddlywinks than sail, or aspire to, offshore.

Childhood Sailing

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There is a really wonderful piece over at WaveTrain on what it takes to make a sailor. Highly recommended. I know I linked to WaveTrain last month too, but wow, how Charlie can write!

And before anyone asks, no I’m not getting anything from Charlie for linking to his stuff. In fact he and I disagreed pretty strongly, and had a bit of an email set-to, when he tried to sign us up for their feed aggregation over at SAIL magazine. I thought the proposed contract was predatory and he thought I was being unreasonable. Me, unreasonable, I’m never unreasonable. The nerve of the man…cue Phyllis rolling eyes.

Anyway, he’s still talking to me and gave us permission to use the lovely family shot above, which does the man credit after our altercation!

Feeds and Email Notifications

A couple of people who get our free email subscription have asked me why it is that it takes as much as 24 hours after we publish a post before they receive our notification and that they often find that many others have commented on the post before they even know it’s up on the site.

The reason is that the automated system we use sends the email post-notifications out between 0700 and 0900 Atlantic Time (GMT –4), each day, no matter what time the post was published.

But those who keep up with our doings via RSS feed get notifications within 30 minutes of publication. Also, there are a large number of readers that don’t subscribe in any way, but just check in daily to see if the muse has struck us.

We are looking at using a different and better email notification system, which will solve this problem. But, like most good things, the service costs money we don’t have at this time.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Chris October 28, 2012, 11:36 am

    John,
    I’m sitting here riding out the Tropical Storm portion of Sandy in NC. The view is very different. Janet is home in Texas to be with her nearly 98 yr old Dad who, it appears, has very few days left.

    I find I have time on my hands, and so, I also found that a service called blogtrottr.com that lets people sign up for RSS feeds and notifies them by email when there is a posting. “Realtime” is one of the choices. No charge, no limit is what they say.

    I have zero experience with them, but the reference source has a good reputation for recommendations (and for taking down bad ones).

    I’ll likely test them as this could be a way to get summaries by satphone.

    Chris

    Reply
    • Chris October 28, 2012, 2:00 pm

      OK, tested it with a “realtime” notification request.

      First test post came within an hour because the service polls hourly. Had the feed I tested used PubSubHubub, the notification could have come in as little as ten minutes.

      Second test post, “realtime” notification came in 128 seconds.

      However, they aren’t plain text notifications, and it didn’t appear that was a selectable choice.

      Still for some of your readers who want keep their fingers on the pulse point…

      Reply
  • richard s. October 29, 2012, 7:50 am

    a bit of a laugh over your description of morgan’s cloud’s winter home as a shed…looks more like a hardened hanger for stealth bombers…you don’t use antifoulant ? none visible in this shot

    richard s.
    s/v lakota

    Reply
    • John November 1, 2012, 9:29 am

      Hi Richard,

      No, it’s just a steel fame shed coved with corrugated sheeting, with a dirt floor. We do find that the boat stores well that way and that the reduction in deterioration, as against outside storage, more than pays for the additional cost of inside.

      And, the boat in antifouled but it is white, the best colour with the epaint that we use.

      Reply
  • sailias October 29, 2012, 1:56 pm

    I just use the RSS xml feed in my browser. Also have the email updates in case I get lazy. RSS xml is standard in firefox so no setup needed other then point and click and its in your bookmarks toolbar.

    Nova Scotia can be beautiful this time of year. Where do you winter the vessel. Just wondering if in a major harbour or smaller port. Hope to head down that way next year and spend a season cruising from Yarmouth the Cape Bretton. There is so much to ssee down there not sure its possible to do it in one season, hence the question.

    Best and kind regards

    /ch
    Canada

    Reply
    • John November 1, 2012, 9:24 am

      Hi sailias,

      We winter MC at a boat yard in Maine where we have been doing all of our major work for some 15 years.

      Having said that, there are several boat yards in Nova Scotia that can haul and store boats for the winter, both in Cape Breton and around the Mahone Bay area.

      And yes, you are right, you will need more that one season to do Atlantic Canada justice. And don’t forget Newfoundland!

      Reply
  • Nicolas October 30, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Sure Charlie Doane is a tough cookie..

    Reply
  • Paul Mills October 31, 2012, 4:28 am

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the work on email notifications, and intro to how it works. It’s not somethig that I wanted you to spend money on; I just wondered (not being aware of exactly how it worked…) if a setting was wrong. I am happy to wait or simply check in when I have a moment..

    Thanks also for the link to Charlie’s piece, struck a real chord for me and my intro to sailing through a wonderful teacher Mr Baz Hasler to whom I will always feel grateful.

    Enjoy your road trip, I was due to spend the next month exploring S. Algeria but the gods have conspired so it’s autumn in the Cotswolds instead!

    Paul

    Reply

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