Hornblower Harbor

Some of you may have noticed that we’ve been a little slow with the updates. I’ve apologized for our slow news cycle before and I’m sure I’ll apologize for it again, but as you know, we are a very small, independently run organization, so we make do with what we have. One of the reasons we’ve been particularly backlogged lately is I’ve been spending much of my time on the Coast. Last year I found out the Hornblower Estate also owns a piece of property right on the beach. The animals really don’t tell me anything. Or maybe they just forget. Old Farmer Hornblower seems to have had his hands in all sorts of schemes. In fact, I’ve been meaning to write more about him and his adventures, and I will, it’s just hard to know where to start on a story like his. I’ve been doing a lot of research though. I now have at least a score of binders filled with notes about Farmer Hornblower. But as I say, that’s a different story. When I drove out to see the Coastside property, I was shocked. Both by the size and possibilities of the place and by how dilapidated it had become. My boss, Mr. Duck, said we should just leave it alone. He’s heard the place is haunted. Of course that only made it more appealing. Luckily, Hannah, Pig Bottom, and about a dozen mice think it’s a great idea to go out there and try to fix it up. So that’s what we’ve been doing.

A Basementful of Servers

Our first step toward establishing the new Coastside offices was to get a lay of the land. It’s a big piece of property. There’s the docks, the Lighthouse, the Green House, the main house, the Garage, the Stock Room, and of course, the Beach.

I took an immediate liking to the Lighthouse, where I suggested we set up camp. Everyone heartily agreed. And to all of our great surprise, the bulb in the lighthouse tower stilled worked! Side note: it’s illegal to operate an industrial class lighthouse tower without the proper permits. We found that out pretty quickly.

What I didn’t expect was what I found in the basement. I’ve always been impressed with the technology out on the farm. The work the cows are doing in yoghurt fermentation these days has drawn the attention of CalPoly and NASA. But that’s nothing to what the Old Farmer set up under the lighthouse. Literally rows of computer servers. Which still doesn’t make sense to me, since I’ve been told he died almost 20 years ago. The computer systems down there do not feel like mid-90s personal computers. I think they might even be custom-built.

So, I’ve been tinkering with those machines a lot lately. They are even more interesting than I first judged. The amount of raw data is staggering. And even better, I’ve really started to get a sense of who Old Man Hornblower was. For instance, I now know that we was totally obsessed with all things astronomical. Planetary charts, constellation guides, whole textbooks on the physics of stars. Most of it was way over my head. Anyway, I’m going to keep scouring these records. I’m excited to think what might be in there!

Back on the farm

I got a message from the farm yesterday. Mr. Duck is very worried. It seems he forgot the combination to the safe where they keep all the money and his wife’s divorce attorney has been calling practically non-stop. He would very much like us to return to the farm and start doing some real work. I tried to explain that this could be a whole new market. Of course that changed his tune a bit. Apparently, he’s sending a few of his “best men” out here to supervise our marketing campaign.

He also told me that he had to start using my room at the farm as an AirBnB for extra cash.