After running websites for over a decade now, I’ve learned it’s always nice to have a backup (or three). Sure, you can download your files every now and then, but chances are they won’t be 100% current. A few months back I decided to look into backing up WordPress sites to Amazon’s S3 service. It took a bit of research, some SSH, and some PHP coding, but I’ve had a nice workable solution up and running for a while now.

While planning to move a site to a new server, I thought I’d try to restore from one of these backups. Surely downloading and uploading 4 TAR files would be easier than downloading/uploading thousands of files and images. It was, but there was a bit of trial and error.

In an effort to speed up the process, should I ever need to restore a crashed site, I’m going to document the process here.

1. First of all, I had to download all the necessary files from my Amazon S3 account. This was basically the httpdocs folder, plus the MySQL.

2. Next, upload the files to the root web directory.

3. SSH into the site and navigate to the root of the site.

4. Combine the files, which have been split into 300MB chunks, using the ‘cat’ command. The filenames should resemble httpdocs_date.tar.gz.p00, httpdocs_date.tar.gz.p01, etc. The syntax looks like this:

cat httpdocs* > filename.tar.gz

That will combine all parts into one file named filename.tar.gz

5. Decompress the GZipped file using:

gzip -d filename.tar.gz

and then decompress the TAR file using:

tar -xvf filename.tar

6. That should restore all the files to the httpdocs directory. There’s one last thing you may need to do. You might have to change the owner of the httpdocs directory using the chown command, like this:

chown -R USERNAME httpdocs

That will let the public see the files once the database is restored (that’s a topic for another post).

Dan Uggla was super cool to Carter.

This past Saturday (February 5, 2011) the Atlanta Braves Caravan made a stop in Nashville at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Madison. We were expecting a lot more fans to be there this year since Nashville resident Dan Uggla and All-Star Martin Prado were scheduled to appear. We arrived two hours early and were #210 in line. We felt pretty sure we’d get to say hi and get a few things autographed for Carter’s collection.

It took almost an hour to reach them, but it was well worth the wait. After talking to Uggla and watching him interact with Carter for only few seconds, I’ll have to say I’m a big fan of the Braves newest 2nd baseman. Upon seeing Carter in the line, Uggla immediately perked up and greeted Carter with a “Hey there big guy, how are you doing today?”

Carter decided this year he wanted the Braves to sign the Brian McCann bat he got at a game last year. It’s not a full size bat, but probably little league sized. I will admit, it looks pretty cool with all their signatures on it.

I told Uggla that I was excited to see him with the Braves, since we both grew up in the same small town – Columbia, TN. Based on his demeanor and attitude, you can tell he’s a small town guy. Martin and the rest were equally cool and I didn’t know until the day before that Braves pitcher Mike Minor grew up about 30-minutes from me in Chapel Hill, TN.

There were at least 500 people there this year. That’s a big difference from the 100-200 that were there last year for Jason Heyward and Mike Minor—that was a month or two before most people knew who Heyward was.

With Jill and I tagging along, Carter was able to add 5 more baseballs to his collection and a few autographed cards. Hopefully we can add a few more baseballs over the season at a few games.

Overall, I’m ready for baseball to get started. After watching a few specials/countdowns on the MLB Network and the Braves Caravan, I’m ready for Spring training and the season to get underway. We’ve already looked at the schedule and have an idea of which games we’ll try to hit this year.

With Uggla added to the lineup and Chipper hopefully making a return at 3rd, 2011 looks to be a great year for the Atlanta Braves.

Check out my February 2011 photos for a few more images from the day.

So, the very next night after bottling I was telling my wife how the process went. That it was pretty easy and went off without a hitch. Then it hit me – I primed too much sugar. I had just made a case of bottle bombs!

The night before, rather than measuring out my sugar, I grabbed a pre-measured 5 oz. package that was in with my ingredients. I was trying to be quick and didn’t even think about the 2.5 gallon batch I was about to bottle only needing 2.5 oz. of sugar.

I searched over HomeBrewTalk and other sites. I was most definitely going to have bottle bombs. I waited 5 days and then uncapped two, easily and over the sink. A light hiss and nothing more. I quickly recapped them and let the entire lot sit for 3 more days.

A-Z Brown Ale I grabbed a new bottle from the case and popped the top. Again, nothing crazy happened. I poured it to a glass and it looked great. The beer was clear and had a nice, dark amber/brown color. The head was about two-fingers thick, probably from the over-carbonation.

I tasted a sip and it was pretty good. Not the best I’ve had, but way better than I expected for my first batch. It was bubbly, too much so. It had a malty and fruity taste to it, much like Old Speckled Hen. There was a slight hop finish, which could be a little stronger. The alcohol is prevalent in the taste. I should have let it sit longer before bottling and I hoping it will mellow as it ages, which it should. At 7.5% ABV, it’s definitely a sipping beer.

I went about my business and started working on some stuff around the house. Taking a sip now and then. As it sat, the bubbles worked themselves out and it lost most of the carbonation, making it quite a nice beer.

I’ll be trying one again in about a week to see how it’s different. I want it to mellow a bit more before passing a few out to my friends. We’ll see what it tastes like after it sits a bit longer.

After brewing up my first batch of home brew on January 9, I patiently waited 2 weeks and started checking the carboy. I check the specific gravity and got the same reading over three days – 1.011. It was time to bottle. I had a few hours after the kids went to bed to get it all done and had previously washed some empty bottles a few days before. So I went and gathered up everything I needed and had a setup for bottling all planned out.

I don’t have a bottle tree yet, so I planned on using the dishwasher to drain and hold my bottles—just rinsed with StarSan. I had a bucket of StarSan to hold my other supplies and placed my bottle caps in a small tub of StarSan to keep the sterilized and handy. Over on HomeBrewTalk, I had seen a few brewers mount their bottling wand directly to the bottling bucket and I thought that was a great idea. I sterilized my bottling bucket and was ready to transfer my beer from the carboy to the bucket and bottle.

Transfer to Bottling Bucket Stirring in the Priming Sugar

First off, get an auto-siphon. It’ works great and I was transferring to the bucket in no time. As I transferred, I mixed in my 5 oz. of priming sugar—boiled in 1C of water—with a sterilized mixing spoon. It didn’t take long and the beer was transferred to the bucket and ready to bottle.

Bottling setup

I moved the bucket over the dishwasher, so the door would catch any drips. Which turned out to be a great plan. Since I didn’t have to worry about making a big mess, the actual bottling didn’t take long at all. As a matter of fact, I had everything bottled in about 20-minutes. It took longer to clean everything up than it did to actually bottle everything.

First 6 Ready to Cap

I would bottle six, cap and then repeat the process. I was a little nervous about using the capper, but after the first six, I sped up quite a bit. I stored the bottles in the closet, ready to wait another 10 days before I could try it.

However, that turned out to not be the case…stay tuned