’m not dead. Nor is the Blogtorium.
But it’s late, I know, but there were reasons.
Some time ago I noticed that the Blogatorium (where you are now reading this) was down. Really down. Nothing but the pen, the word “Manuscript”, the tan screen and nothing else.
Now I’ve gone down once before – for GoDaddy issues (it came up two days later). But this time they weren’t suffering any national malware attacks. And I’d just agreed to some service plan where they would nightly scan my site for malware and whatever. Yes, my site has been knocked on before. And also it’s old, so it’s vulnerable. So that’s why I did it. But it sure felt like a co-winky-dink that the site would crater the first day the security scan was running. GoDaddy didn’t think so. “You’re screwed,” was their assessment.
Yes, I was doing backups – database pulls. However, I’d never made a dry run at it. And since I couldn’t get into the site, I wasn’t sure what I had to do. Yeah, the blame’s on me for that – for the four years of backup, I’d never looked into how to restore.
Site was gone – nearly gone – GoDaddy could do a Hail Mary and try to restore off a Sunday DB backup. And that would cost $150 to try and give me maybe a 50% chance of success. Since I have more money than brains, I told them to try.
And then my wife and I came to terms with the loss of the Blogtorum. You see, it’s part of our lives. JB likes when I write about our trips and such. And I’ve got a cadre of model railroaders who enjoy the train blogs (everyone’s primary concern in an ops session is to stay out of my blog). Occasionally someone will read a book review of mine and take my advice and thank me later. Really, twice a week updates and that familiar tan homepage has become part of our lives. JB was actually quite upset by its loss.
I had a long day of meetings that day at work so I had a chance to think things through. Site was gone. Kiss it goodbye. I’d have to start from scratch. I might be able to salvage some content from my old backups but that would take a lot of parsing to get the English separated from the HTML. My wife, bless her, was eager to do this. So I thought of things I don’t like about the site: the wordiness, the links, links and more links. I could do it better next time. So I’d probably go with WordPress (which my friend and I use for GridSims.com). And I’d find someplace like eLance (or whatever it is now) to contract for someone to come up with a basic site and some suggested templates to work with. I’d get them to set up the basics on GoDaddy and take over from there. Oh, and backups. Good backups.
My wife and I actually talked in bed like we did when Mookie the cat died, thinking of our post-Mookie lives and how we would continue on. And then we went to sleep.
The next morning I was up at 5:30, checking the weather because it was raining out and I had a bike commute to make. Booted in, went to the weather site, blinked.
Waitaminute – the blog was up! Hit that backarrow!
Sure enough, there it was, everything intact and running. Fantastic. I actually snapshotted it in case that security program rolled through and smushed it again. But it stayed up, all day. JB was ecstatic. Really, I was too. It felt like a pinch-me moment. 500 reviews, all there. Trips, all there. Train blogs, all there. Wow.
That night I checked on GoDaddy – yes, they do have affordable backup plans, like $3 a month. I’d pay that much for the automatic nature of the thing and the support they provide. So now the Blogatorium is back and spitting out wit and observations and life-hacks. Hopefully, we’ll stay up for years to come.
But, yeah, that WordPress site was going to be very pretty…