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Health and link rot.

First, an update on my health. I had surgery to remove the soft tissue sarcoma in my thigh in November 2013, and have had scans every three months to watch for recurrence or metastasis. In my scans in September 2014, two nodules in my left lung were identified and they were removed Pathology shows that they were indeed metastasis of the original tumor.

The three scans since the lung surgery have been clear. If I’m lucky, these will be the only two spots where the cancer spread, and I’m now cancer free. However, it’s quite possible there are additional nodules in my lungs that just aren’t yet large enough to be seen in the CT scans. If so, I’ll have additional lung surgery at a future date.

So I’m not going anywhere for quite some time, and with winter coming on, I should have more time to work on the site. So slavens.net is in no danger of disappearing soon…

…But then, a person never knows when it’s going to be “their day.” Just because there’s little chance the cancer will take me in the next few years, I could always get hit by a bus or shuffle off this mortal coil in some other unexpected way.

Which brings up link rot. While I have instructions that this site should be kept up for at least three years following my death, who knows if that will really happen. I’m sure my executors would have good intentions, but they’re not webmasters…

So if there’s something here on slavens.net you’ve bookmarked for your genealogy, take the time to print out the page, take a screen shot, or otherwise preserve the data so you’re not dependent on the link being up forever.

Here's a prime example-- these blog pages. In December 2014 I was notified by the company hosting this site that the slavens.net space had been hacked, and the source was almost certainly the WordPress blogging software (or more likely, one of the add-ons). I took back-ups of the site and the blog, deleted all blog files and folders, and banished the hackers. A couple months later when I had a little time and I went to adapt the blog pages for display without using the WordPress software, I found the backups didn't actually contain the page content! The Wayback Machine at The Internet Archive has one backup from February 2015 that has the blog directory-- but the server with the backup has been offline for weeks! Eventually I found where I'd made backups of the content to my laptop and so they're back. But learn from my example and back up now!

I need to take time and go through all the external links on the site, as it’s been a couple years since I did it the last time, and undoubtedly link rot has set in and a few are no longer valid.

Now, let’s all think more pleasant thoughts!

Copyright © 2015 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.