Chatting with Sprint is fun. My phone (Palm Pre) and Jill’s (Samsung Moment) have one foot in the grave and multiple issues. We’ve got less than 2 weeks to upgrade them both, but Jill’s phone stopped dialing out today – which kind of defeats the purpose of a phone. I told her I’d check with Sprint and see if we could get her the upgrade price now.

My first mistake was using the Sprint chat.

13:56:17 : Thank you for contacting Sprint. My name is #### #.

13:56:22 : #### #: I am happy to help you. Please hold a moment while I access your account.

13:56:27 : #### #: While I access your account information, can you please provide more details about why you’re chatting with us today?

13:57:44 : Phillip Duncan: My wife’s phone (***-*I**-****) won’t dial out, experiences slowness, locks up… She’s less than 2 weeks away for replacement – can that be adjusted to get her a new phone now?

13:58:32 : #### #: Ok

13:58:42 : #### #: Please allow me a few moment to look into it.

14:00:52 : #### #: Thanks for waiting.

14:01:32 : #### #: I have checked that you will be eligible for an upgrade on September 01, 2011.

Sigh…

When the Atlanta Braves sent out an email blast with $18 tickets and I found seats on the right-field warning track, it was too good to pass up. School was still out and a 7pm EST start time meant we’d probably get home about Midnight – plenty of time for me to get some shuteye and make it to work the next day. Little did we know that what we were really going to see was the LONGEST GAME in ATLANTA BRAVES Franchise history.

Yep. The game lasted 19 innings for 6 hours and 39 minutes. Yes, we made it home and yes I made it to work — only about 2 hours late. It was all worth it because the Braves won – even if it was a controversial call.

Plus, we made it on TV – twice. You can see the clips above. Carter, Riley and I are walking the plaza at about 20-seconds on the pre-game show. At about 40 seconds, look below the SportSouth logo and you can see us all for a second and Carter for a few more as he walks down to the right-field wall.

There’s no doubt that we like the Atlanta Braves. Everyone has their own favorite player. Carter likes Schafer or Heyward, Jill likes Chipper (and so do I). But, just like the Braves themselves, we all like Martin. It was a little disappointing to see him move to the outfield this year and we’ve missed him with his recent stint on the DL. If there was any doubt how important his is to the Braves franchise, their promotional materials for this year should let you know.

The Atlanta Braves filmed several commercials for this season during Spring Training. They debuted one featuring Jason Heyward first and it was especially funny since it dealt with a partially true Spring Training story. Chipper’s commercial was next and the content and attitude embodies Chipper (it’s also one of Jill’s favorites). The third commercial released featured Huddy and Lowe showing off their new pitches – which look like they were developed by Bugs Bunny. The fourth commercial featured Brian McCann in a deadpan performance in his catcher’s gear. I had heard the final commercial featured Prado and was the best of the bunch. After we saw it the first time, there was no denying that it was the best.

Although Chipper is having an outstanding year and I hope he returns for the 2012 season, I would love to see Prado take over 3rd base when Chipper retires. Various outlets have stated that Prado is the heart of the team, so I can’t wait to see how they perform when he returns (hopefully after the All-Star break).

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.