It is the time of year when I can almost see the point of living in cities. For here, everything is hot and wet and dripping and growing like mad. The spring flowers are fading. The horseflies have now joined the ticks in their quest to suck the blood from the careless walker, so one cannot stroll, but must stride briskly, and that makes things even hotter. (I have difficulty convincing the dogs about this. They want to stop and snap at the flies, which is a really ineffective way of getting rid of them, given that usually if you walk on, you leave them behind. That said, I just looked up the top speed of the horsefly, and apparently they can travel at up to 90mph! Wow. It's odd that just walking away from them is usually so effective.
It makes me think nostalgically of air conditioning, and river-side cafes (surrounded by ravenous fish picking off any mosquitoes) and great stretches of houses and offices, with absolutely no insects to be seen. I accept the importance of insects to the ecosystem, and I admire many of them, even the wasps - but I do find it hard to love the bitey ones.
Looking on the bright side, there are great numbers of swifts, swallows and house-martins swooping around at the moment, so clearly they are enjoying the bugs. I walked yesterday evening along a wood-edge that looks out over a field full of stout, short-legged red cows, and the swallows were swooping magnificently past the cattle, and even underneath them, weaving expertly between their moving legs in a manner vaguely reminiscent of Star Wars.
In Thieving Pet News, Foster Carlos only ate half his breakfast, but then he stole the remaining half of Rosie's breakfast (which was pretty much exactly the same stuff, daft dog, as she had already picked out the bits she specially likes). Rosie then stole the remains of Footie the very ancient cat's breakfast, and Footie crept up very very slowly on the remains of Giant Cat Henning's breakfast and stole that. I'm not sure if Henning has noticed. Brythen would have liked to have stolen Carlos's breakfast but I didn't let him because kibble gives Brythen an upset tum, so that is waiting for Carlos to feel hungry again.
Carlos has put on a kilo since he arrived, and is booked in for neutering tomorrow. I wasn't dead set on neutering him, since the evidence now seems to be a bit more mixed about outcomes for neutering male dogs (the advice is still that bitches should always be spayed if at all possible). However, as he has gained weight and condition, he has started to show considerable interest in bitches that we meet out and about, and his back legs are now strong enough to let him get humpy. I don't think anyone wants to adopt a dog that is likely to grab the neighbours dog and hump her, and the world definitely doesn't need yet more lurcher puppies, so Carlos's plums are for the chop. Once that is done he can be advertised for rehoming.
I was interested to read this article about the tooth enamel evidence for first-generation African people living in Britain from the Bronze Age to the medieval period. I was expecting the relatively high number of people born in Africa dying in Britain during the Roman period, but the appearance of people from so far afield in the record right back to the Bronze age was a surprise, as was the post-Roman evidence for continued contact with North Africa.
In other news, I have spent the last three days battling to move all my hosted websites from a Centos Linux to a Cloudlinux server, which is supposed to be better at handling the sudden high load situations that are becoming more and more common.
Sudden insane high load is the sort of thing that never used to happen much, but now happens at least twice a week: The server is sitting there quite happily chuntering along, using maybe 2 of the available four processors. When suddenly out of the blue, a huge botnet comes to visit, which simultaneously fills in every form on every site at the same moment and the poor server wilts in shock.
You can't block the attack, because it comes from machines all over the globe, and very likely the owners of those machines don't even know its happening. God knows what it's supposed to achieve: we don't host anything very confidential, or anything where filling in the forms is going to do anything other than maybe send an email. Anything transactional is handled entirely separately.
I suppose it's partly that the botnets are on the hunt for recruits, so they try to brute-force logins to everything in the hope it might give them control of the website, which they can then use to attack more websites. I have some CDNs set up, which take some of the load - but it doesn't stop it entirely because even if the content is cached all over the place, ultimately when someone fills in a form they have to hit the origin server at some point, and the sheer volume of that is a problem.
So in theory, Cloudlinux is supposed to be better at this sort of thing, and how hard can it be really to move a bunch of websites over onto a different server? Particularly when your host says they'll sort out the migration for you....? Sigh. I should know better by now. When they say 'we'll handle the migration for you', what they really mean is, we'll fill in the form and hit the 'transfer' button. If it turns out that some of the accounts only partially transfer, or or transfers that stall, if there are modules that will need turning on and tweaking on the new server before everything works, if there are other niggles... well, those are delightful surprises for you to find out. Don't expect US to help.
They're websites. That makes them my problem, apparently. I don't know what they think people host on their servers that are not websites. Maybe everyone else is hosting delightful furry nests of hamsters or something, which are a delight to migrate. Swallows. Probably they normally only host swallows. They migrate on their own. You don't even need a button.
This evening I went to a town to go for a walk, but there was no icecream. Still, it made for a break from the horseflies.
I didn't get a lot of sleep. Moving websites is a thing best done in darkness, because that way there are no users looking at them when they inevitably turn out to have hiccups on the shiny new platform that you bought them specially. Ungrateful gits, websites are.