Rebuilding our history.

When we started RVing in June 2006 I started writing a blog. At first it was to record where we were and what we were seeing and to keep family and friends aware of where we were. In fact, in those early days if I didn’t write a story for a couple of days or so we would get phone calls checking to see if we were OK! I used a system of my own design on which I did all the programming – one that I developed starting in 1996 and had improved on over the years.

We traveled about half time during the 2006-2007 period but not as much in 2008-2010, and I mostly wrote when we were on the road. At the end of 2010 we became fulltime RVers and my blogging became more regular. In fact, since that time I have written a blog entry almost every day. So far I have written almost 2,700 stories!

Last fall I switched from my own SitePower blogging system to using a WordPress-based system, so since late October all my stories have been stored in that database. But I have wanted to extend that database to include all the stories written before October 2016 – all the way back to the start. After all, those stories describe over eleven years of our lives and I want to keep the record intact!

Elaine (and others) has often said I should write a book (or more) about the places we have been and the things we have seen. In our RV travels we have stayed in our RV in 49 U. S. states and 11 Canadian provinces or territories. We have parked in about 330 different places. We’ve had lots of experiences. I have toyed with this idea off and on, but have never actually started on the project. In the past I have had so much going on and so many projects I just didn’t have the time to devote to that writing. Who knows; perhaps I will find that in the future!

Yesterday I took the beginning steps to extending my blog database. I had been tossing around several ideas of how to actually add the older stories to the current database, but had never settled on any one approach. The old Violette.com web site is not running on any public server now, though the old database from which the site ran is still on a server and accessible from my computer. And I can run the site locally, using the web development system on my laptop, so I still have access to all that content.

The approach I tried out yesterday seems like it will work nicely. I bring up the old site on my laptop, bring up the stories one by one, create a new story in my current site setting the publish date to the date of the original story, ┬áthen copy the story content into WordPress. That’s a snap!

The harder part is the photos. I have maintained a good filing system for photos I have taken, at least since around 2008. I have photos prior to that going back to 2002, though not many. But I have each story since the start of the blog – in June 2006 – in HTML format and these have at least the thumbnail photos in the stories. So I will be able to recreate the story photos as well. Since about 2008 I have all the actual photo files, sorted by place, so those should be easier to bring to the new site. Where I don’t have the actual photo I will be able to simply do a Save As from the original story.

Yesterday I was able to recreate the stories from October 6 through October 29, 2016. That took me a little over an hour, with some of that time spent in experimenting and learning. Using that as a measure, it may take me approximately an hour or so to reconstruct each month. Given that I have ten years or so – 120 months or less – it will be several months before the project is complete.

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