Night on Missouri Mountain

On Mother’s Day, my Mom told me that my scoutmaster wrote a book about his scouting experiences. Now, I’m curious. I wonder if, among all of the many boys he had grow up in his troop, he mentioned me, either by name, or by incident. Thinking back, I probably didn’t do much to deserve a mention… except maybe one unplanned night all by myself on Missouri Mountain (visible in the picture I took yesterday evening). What with all the snowy cliffs and the dark, moonless night, the thought of a stubborn boy named “Mike” splattered at the bottom of a cliff or frozen to death might have tormented him. I’m really sorry to have done that. I really didn’t plan to inconvenience him or the search and rescue patrol. I didn’t die, obviously.To make a long story short, I fell behind a group that was going to climb Missouri Mountain and Iowa Peak, but climbed to the top of both, anyway. I didn’t know that they turned back and didn’t climb the second mountain for lack of sunlight, which I did, indeed run out of on the side of Missouri Mountain. I very slowly found my way back to within about 200 meters of our camp, in the dark, with a penlight with dead batteries (good for a brief flash every minute or so), and waited for sunrise. I didn’t get much sleep that night, but thank God I didn’t die.

Maybe I’ll have to buy the book to see if my scoutmaster had a different take on that little adventure. 🙂 His book is at

Blog Restored

Apple blossomIt turns out that my journal entries were not totally obliterated, just temporarily inaccessible. With a bit of labor, I was able to recover all of the posts in my blog. In the process, I decided to move the blog from the Rainbow Missions leased server to a “free” account on Although this has the unfortunate side effect of breaking all of the “permanent” links to the individual articles, it has the advantages of (1) upgrading to the latest version of WordPress software (2) someone else maintains the server and keeps the software updated, and (3) it saves me the trouble of trying to get Plesk, WordPress, and various web pages working together with the same version of PHP and other programs on the same server. I can minimize the pain of the broken links by making the old main blog URL automatically forward to this one. Now, I’ll run one of my favorite features of the latest version of WordPress: export of the whole blog to an XML file that can be imported to restore the whole thing, later. 🙂


My eyeYou would think that after more than three decades of working with computers, I would be better about backing up my data. Apparently, I’m not. I’m OK with regular files, but I hadn’t gotten around to setting up a proper backup system for MySQL data on my server, including my WordPress blog entries. A software glitch during remote upgrading of the Plesk software on that server killed it. This is sad. I’ll try to do better.