Concerts, Dentists And The Damn Website

A few things as I sip on some tea that I’ve just realized I absent-mindedly put sugar in twice. Fuck.

I keep forgetting to mention it, but if for a couple of days last week you tried to leave a comment and couldn’t, feel free to try again. I didn’t notice a problem at first because the comment volume for everything that isn’t spam is way down these days, but I fixed it over the weekend and all *should* be ok now.

I also want to apologize again if any of you are getting weird internal server or page not found errors when accessing the site. I don’t think most of you are, but if you do just refresh the page and everything should load up normally. I’ve done a few things in the hopes of fixing it, but I think whatever it is might be beyond our control. For now, just hang in there. A lot of you have been through broken with us before. We’ll get through it together. Yes, I’m saying that more for my own benefit than yours. Breathe Steve, breathe.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but am I the only one who gets headaches from hell after going to the dentist? I don’t know what causes them, but I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. They’re even worse than a lot of the ones I get from being on the phone. They’re so bad that Carin has taken to meeting me afterwards whenever she can and helping me get home so I don’t get lost or hit by a car. That’s the one disadvantage to the dentist being right across the street from the house. It’s great on the way over when I’m feeling fine and dandy, but at the end when I’m almost a corpse but I’m too close to home for getting a ride to be sensible, no buys. It might not be so bad if medicine wasn’t dirt useless on them, but none of the stuff that generally works on me will touch them and I’m usually a write-off until at least the next day.

Thankfully after my most recent bout with this shit I was better the next day, because the next day was yesterday and I had a concert to go to.

We went to see the Crash Test Dummies and Grapes of Wrath. If you don’t remember the Grapes of Wrath, if you’re me they’re these guys,

and if you’re Carin, they’re these guys.

They played both of those and a bunch more tunes old and new. They sounded great. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them in more of a club setting as opposed to the theatre we were in.

If you don’t remember the Crash Test Dummies, if you’re Canadian they’re these guys,

and if you’re American, they’re most likely these guys.

I still can’t hear that without my brain inserting the kazoos at the end.

They were also pretty great. I’m not sure I’d go as far as saying I have a new favourite Dummies song, but I definitely discovered at least one more last night that I really, really like.

Last night they stripped it down and slowed the tempo a little so that everything had a bit more time to sink in. It was, as I sit here feeling rather in articulate at the moment, quite wow. There are lyrics here if you’d like them.

Good job picking that show, Carin!

And now, I am off to make a cup of tea that will not punch me in the pancreas and to see what else today has in store! Farewell for now!

It’s Up, It’s Down, It’s The Vomit Comet

Not sure how many of you this is happening to since it seems to be rather intermittent, but if in the last day or two you’ve gotten some unusual errors or something hasn’t loaded quite right, yes, we do know about it. And unfortunately, as best I can tell, we’re powerless to fix it. All of the systems we can touch appear to be working as they should. The problem seems to be somewhere in server land, and that’s out of our control. We’re not the only site hosted on our server, so whether something is happening to one of them and things are wobbling for everybody else as a result or there’s something wrong with a machine, we’re just going to have to wait it out, I’m afraid.

So for now, if you get a page not found or a server error or anything else odd, just try again and things should come up normally. And if you aren’t getting them, good times. I’m happy for you. They’re starting to drive me nuts.

The Site Was Hacked, But You’re Probably Ok

Never have the words the system is down been more appropriate. Ug.

If you happened to stop around these parts yesterday, you’re probably wondering where the hell we went. The short answer is offline, because we got hacked. Twice.

The first one happened on Sunday. I learned of it while I was on a train and couldn’t do anything about it, which is an amazing feeling, let me tell you. Fortunately fixing it was a pretty simple matter once I got home, so simple that most of you likely didn’t even notice it. The site didn’t even have to go down for more than the time it took me to make some necessary edits.

But that, it turns out, was just a warm-up.

Monday morning I awoke to another email from DreamHost, the wonderful (I mean that sincerely) company that keeps us running alerting me to a second hack, complete with a list of potentially compromised files as long as your arm. Happy Thanksgiving to us. After a wee bit of panic and substantially more investigation, we discovered that somebody somewhere had designs on making us into a hub for all sorts of nasties. Malware, porn, a haphazardly knocked together fake version of Fox News…you name it. But between DreamHost’s security monitoring detecting and locking things down, me when I was around, Carin who was sick and really should have been resting and our buddy James who is far beyond awesome, we *think* everything is ok now. Time will tell, but so far so good.

Alright, Steve. We’re glad you’re back, but what does this mean for us?

Not much, more than likely. If you’re worried I’ll give you the standard advice about scanning the devices you come here with for viruses and spyware, but best we can tell none of you should have been harmed in any way. But since we’re not precisely sure how whoever this was backdoored their way in, what you may notice are some site features possibly coming and going from time to time. Right now you can’t get comments by email, for instance. Aside from that though, you should be able to carry on tolerating our existence/hatereading us as you always have.

If for some reason you do have any questions or concerns, leave a comment or drop Carin or I a line. I’ll be getting nervous every time my email goes off for a little while, but don’t let that stop you from sending one.

Server Move 2015 Complete…We Think

It took slightly longer than I’d hoped because I really don’t know what I’m doing, but between me, Google and James who is awesome and actually knows his ass from a hole in the ground, the site is back online and should be running as normal. But I’ll say what we always say at times like this, because should doesn’t always mean is. If you run across any broken links or something else that doesn’t work, let us know. Once we’ve had a good cry, we’ll do our best to get it fixed.

Welcome To Server Move 2015

At some point in the not so distant future (today or tomorrow would be a good bet), you might start noticing some weirdness with the site. This is because it’s moving to a new server. Hopefully it won’t take long, but I fully expect to screw something up somewhere along the way so lord only knows.

This, by the way, shouldn’t require any real effort on your part. The site’s address isn’t changing, so there’s nothing new for you to remember.

Talk to you when the job is done and the world’s DNS servers figure out where we are.

Please Excuse The Impending Site Weirdness. I’m Fixing Stuff…I Hope

Quick heads-up. If the site looks more broken than usual in the next little while, it’s because I’m breaking it. We’ve been planning on changing the theme for a while and today I decided screw it, it’s time. Hopefully it won’t be too complex an operation and we’ll be back to normal soon after only minimal incident, but you know how that goes.

This shouldn’t mean much in the way of changes for you, aside from the site hopefully working better with your pocket compy of choice. Old man compies should be business as usual if not a little nicer, but again, you know how that goes.

As always, feel free to yell at us if something doesn’t seem right.

A Guest Post And A Note About Yesterday’s Unexpected Disappearance

This was meant to go up yesterday, but two things happened.

1. I was flattened by some sort of unpleasantness that woke me up in the middle of the night. I’m still not quite over it though I feel miles better than I did.

2. Some tech issues flattened the website for several hours yesterday, so even if I wasn’t sleeping and feeling sorry for myself there’s a chance it wouldn’t have made it up anyway.

And since what took out the website did the same to the email, now seems like a good time to tell you that if you wrote yesterday expecting a response and didn’t get one, try again. Messages from the downtime have been slowly coming in, but I’m not sure they’re all gonna make it. When I sent myself a test message yesterday it bounced, so there’s a chance some things may have gotten lost.

Ok, onward!

Gill sent this, I believe intending to time it for Bell Let’s Talk Day. It’s good that she’s in a position where she can talk about her own struggles, since sadly so many others don’t feel they are.

Question

Have you ever been on an amusement park ride? You probably scream, but you also know that you can get off, right? Imagine that that seemingly harmless rollercoaster was going on in your head. Not so much fun, is it? Knowing you can’t get off, and there are things to regulate it, but you still can’t get off. This is how I, Ms. Gillie live every day. I have something called bipolar disorder.

When it Began

Like most things mental illness invades at puberty. Mine started around fifteen or so. I just didn’t feel right, bursts of sadness, anger, and liveliness that seemed to know no bounds. On my good days I could function at about an average level, but my bad ones would plunge me deep in to a dark tunnel with the light securely blocked. At times I would crave an ending at my own hand, longing for the pain to go away, with most people either telling me to put a smile on my face, or that I was going through one of those dark teenager things.

The Diagnosis Game

When I was seventeen I wrote just how much I wished to die by my own hand in a journal assignment, alarm bells went off, and I began my first round of talk therapy. Diagnosis depression, one of those catch-alls like every professional gives. Several years, and several extremes later, the actual diagnosis. Bipolar.

Myth Fact

Myth- Someone with mental illness is faking it.

Fact- It’s real, anxiety disorders do exist.

Myth- The home life of someone suffering from mental illness is disfunctional, and the sufferer is usually poor.

Fact- The truth is mental illness knows not class, race, or location.

Myth- Only able bodied people suffer.

Fact- Differently able people are just as likely to suffer, sometimes more.

Thoughts

I am just an ordinary person, but I am glad to share this with you out there. It might seem cliche, but sharing is the first step to breaking stigma.

What Blew Up?

Update: Well, things dont’ seem to have been as bad as first thought. For the most part, I think that everything what needed an unbusting has gotten it. Now let’s hope it doesn’t do that again. And as always, if you see anything that just ain’t right, let us know. I won’t be able to fix it right away, but I will eventually.

Original Post: Um…uh…yeah. I have no idea what happened, but as you’ve surely noticed if you’re at all familiar with the place, something is definitely wrong here. Through what I assume is no fault of our own but could totally be, a bunch of stuff looks…quite a bit different and not at all like it’s supposed to. And of course this has to happen as we’re about to head off for the weekend and my sister’s wedding because why wouldn’t it, right?

We were planning to give the site a makeover soon, but this is most definitely not what we had in mind. I’m going to hope that somehow it mysteriously fixes itself much in the way it mysteriously just went boom, but since I’m generally not that lucky, I’ll be back on Monday to hopefully unfuck everything. Until that time, I apologize for how ugly and messed up I imagine it looks.

Have a better weekend than the poor Comet is having, everyone.

A Wee Bit Of Comment Jiggery Pokery

A quick heads-up for those of you who still use the comments. An update to the email notification system gave me a few new options to play with, so I’m testing some of them out. If all goes well you won’t really notice much of a difference aside from oh hey, there’s html in the emails, but if anything goes fuckity doo, please to be letting me know. Thanks.