Sorted! (…I Think?)

So: if you’re like me, and you started your blog a long, long time ago, and you’re having trouble with CPU Minutes usage? Don’t do what I did. I did a million other things, including all the things my hosting company suggested. And then, at wit’s end, I noticed some php script being called by something in the database that shouldn’t be there.

Plugin authors have gotten a lot better about this, but in the old days? They designed plugins that didn’t delete the stuff from the database that they created. Whole tables and tables of crap, just sitting there, serving no purpose…

… well, not purpose except to slow down your CPU processes, use up CPU Memory, and screw up your life, eventually.

I went into the database, and took a careful look. A little searching online, and some guesswork, led me to delete so much cruft from the poor database that it is now–and I’m not exaggerating–just shy of 60 megabytes in total, when it was, wait for it…


… a whopping, insane, over-the-top, server-punishing 140 Megabytes before.

My choice of elephant image above isn’t by chance: they say an elephant never forgets anything, and my database was the same. But it was big and cumbersome–instead of small and nimble and responsive to my needs–because nothing got thrown away, and that messed it up seriously. The same, I’ll admit, is true of what happened when we moved out from my apartment of six years in Bucheon, and prepared to leave Korea: I had plane ticket stubs from 2001. I had movie ticket stubs from my trip to India in 2003-04. I had clothing in boxes upstairs that I hadn’t worn since 2004.

(Happily, some of that got sorted out easily. We found a service that picked up discarded clothing, and actually paid a nominal, per-kilo amount for it, and then recycled it. Some was destined for reuse, some for burning (in a power plant, the pickup guy told us), and some would be sold within Korea for fundraising purposes. Unhappily, lots of stuff ended up being left behind, or dumped, or given away, or stowed in boxes and left with friends till we can return and deal with it…)

In both life and in your website management, you don’t want to toss everything just because it’s old: I have lost things I wish I hadn’t, such as a recording of a few pieces I composed years ago. But the fact is that hanging onto everything actually makes those kinds of losses more likely, not less, because you’re distracted by managing the sheer amount of crap and forget to prioritize, or simply can’t effectively prioritize. It’s also a reminder to me of how I’ve been planning to scan some papers and stuff that I brought from Korea, with the intention of scanning, but have left sitting in a pile in the corner of the room where I work. It’s high time I got around to that work, I suppose. Now that the website is–I think–sorted out, I should have some spare time to do so, amid the other things I do every day.

And like so many lessons in life, it’s one I’ve relearned time and again. I’ll probably forget it, in part, and relearn it again later. And so it goes…

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