We Interrupt This Program

He answered the phone, sounding much like himself. He said hello and then got into the usual amenities. “Sure is windy out there, eh?” I allowed how it was, although I wasn’t all that sure. My existence is somewhat and sometimes removed from the realities of others. Perhaps I should occasionally open my blinds so I can see out the window, but I really hate reflections on my computer screen. I end up squinting and trying to make out detail on the sites I browse. The last time it happened I was checking out photos of cats wearing motorcycle leathers and either the cats or the reflections got too annoying to go on with. I closed my drapes and since then my room (aka deprivation chamber) has been luxuriously glare free.

“That may be what I’m calling about.” I said. I was talking to the guy who makes sure that my web server is alive and kicking, and since it wasn’t, I thought I might go right to the horse’s mouth and ask him the WTF question. “I can’t reach my blog,” I said kindly. “Perhaps there’s something amiss because of the weather.” I always like to give people an out, so they can blame someone else whether or not the problem is their fault. He snapped it up immediately.

“Yeah, the wind screwed with the power lines and we lost power in the machine room.”

“I thought we had a UPS, you know, the battery thing that keeps everything working when the power goes out.”

“We do! Except it blew up or had a dead battery. We’re not sure.”

“So, my website is definitely down; it’s not a problem with the connectivity?”

“Yep. Definitely dead.”

“So, how come the rest of the servers are answering?” I asked, springing a trap.

“Because we put the crappy UPS on your server. You don’t expect us to use that piece of junk for the company’s servers do you? Hundreds of people could be affected.”

“Wow.” I was abashed. Momentarily. “You do realize that hundreds of people look at my blog every day, right? It’s sold for Amazon Kindle? You know that, right? So when the blog goes down the feed to Amazon goes with it and then people who actually pay to read the junk I write get nothing for their money.”

I heard a yawn on the other end of the phone. “Um, okay.” he replied. Silence.

“So, are you going to fix it?” Lengthy pause.

“Um, yeah. We could do that.”

“I’d appreciate it.” I said, honey oozing between the words. “I’d appreciate it a lot.” The phone disconnected before I finished speaking. It’s great to be a partner in the company. Really. It is.

I wondered about building some terribly complex fail safe system. Maybe do something like set up a mirror of the blog over on WordPress.com or Blogger. Set it up so that when my web pages don’t answer, the browser is automatically shifted over to the mirror so that there’s no interruption of service. I started looking into it and discovered that I could actually pull it off –but at a cost of $100 a year. (Actually it was only $40, but they had a deal where I could do full 30 fps video blogging in High Definition for only $60 a year. Of course, they only gave you enough disk space for about one video, so I would have to buy extra space for, like, two hundred and something bucks.) I’m an impoverished veteran living on fixed income, so even the $40 seemed inconvenient. It also dawned on me that if I used the hosting facilities of those companies, that my blog would be backed up and have up to four alternate servers, making it highly unlikely that that would ever go down. I could just go ahead and host my blog on one of those websites and skip the whole fail-safe thing altogether.

Then I thought about the whole idea of a video blog and was immediately repulsed by that idea. My often green tinged face, continually shedding hair, and propensity to insert groaning noises into my speech pretty regularly didn’t strike me as attractive. Besides, I can be a textually exciting raconteur at least twice in any given year. That settled it, I would stick with my own resources and just read my Kindle as I waited for my services to be resumed. Besides, I thought, maybe it would give an air of excitement to my blog, making my readers wonder if I finally kicked the bucket, losing out to Multiple Myeloma after bitching about the prospect for so long. My doctor just reminded me in my last visit that I was supposed to have died a couple of years ago. He scrolled back my computer records and pointed triumphantly to the entries made by my original oncology team back on 2008. I apologized and promised to try to do better.

So for those of you who have noticed my inconspicuous absence from the network for the last 24 hours, it was because of the wind.