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.

No, Steve Did Not Unfollow You. His Twitter Is Just Suspended For Some Reason

Since at least one of our mutual acquaintances has already asked Carin if he’s angered Steve, a quick note for everyone I follow on Twitter.

No, I did not unfollow you. In fact I’ve hardly even looked at Twitter today, so nobody has earned themselves a good ‘ol unfollowin’ yet.

For reasons I’m trying to get to the bottom of, Twitter suspended my account this morning, which means I’ve been effectively disappeared. that means I’ve unfollowed everybody whether I like it or not. I just found out about this maybe an hour ago. I’ve written to Twitter as they suggest one do at a time like this, so we’ll see what comes of it.

See you all soon…I hope.

The Website, Terrible Beer, Audio Returns And Some Jokes At The End

I just got an email from Molson asking me to “answer the call of the long weekend.” I’m sure this is code for please drink our shitty beer, so the long weekend will be getting my voicemail.

That really did just happen.

Anyway, how’s everybody doing? I hope you’re all doing well and are less tired than this guy, who for some reason woke up at 20 after 4 this morning. Bad times, but it’s still better than being sentenced to a long weekend of Molson.

If you’ve seen it (and if you follow one of us on Twitter and clicked on this post that way you have,) we hope you’re liking the new website. It’s almost finished, thank the lord. The only thing we need to do before we can 86 Blogger for good is figure out how to make the new server send out daily emails full of our wit and wisdom like Feedburner is doing now. I know we can probably transfer the current feed over and keep everything as it is, but since Feedburner has a CAPTCHA that we can’t disable on its subscription form, fuck those guys. If we were content with firing off emails whenever a post went up the problem would be solved, but since we sometimes go on insane posting jags that’s not going to happen. We care about you all too much as readers and in some cases friends to put you through that. If anybody knows of something free or close to it that will allow for what I’ve described, let us know.

Besides that, we’re pretty much good to go. All the posts have the correct bylines on them (kiss my ass again, blog importer) and all the downloads that haven’t worked for months are now alive and well on our new server which, I should add, is fast as hell. I should also add that relinking them was a much easier process than we had anticipated thanks to a handy search and replace plugin that Carin dug up. That’s one thing I love about WordPress. It’s insanely customizable and has loads of functionality built right in, but if it doesn’t do something that somebody has ever wanted it to do, that person has probably built a plugin that’ll get it done.

If you’re thinking about making the move from something like Blogger or even about starting a new site, give WordPress a shot. And if you happen to be in the market for some hosting for that reason or any other, drop a line to Shane and James. Tell them Steve and #CarinOfTheWin sent ya. I’m not sure what it’ll do for you in the favours department, but give it a try and let me know how it goes. If it does nothing, I’m putting Shane on notice that at some point I may have to resort to tossing him around like I used to when he was little. Wait, what am I saying? He’s still little.

Oh, I almost forgot, we need to get AdSense up and running as well. I’m not looking forward to that. Messing with ad sizes, styles and positioning when you can’t actually see what your site looks like isn’t high on my list of fun activities. Carin’s either, as it happens. If any of you have a good idea of what might work around these parts, please get in touch.

But AdSense or not, daily digest or not, it’s time to celebrate! And what better way to say thanks for putting up with our quietness and website talk and to break in a new server than a little something we like to call Long Audio Weekend!? Quiet down, crickets! You’re drowning out the cheers of celebration that I’m sure are coming from all over the world! But yes, now that we have a reliable place to put them, we can do casts again, and do casts we shall…unless something bad/unexpected comes up. I’m not sure what we’ll talk about, but we’ll think of something. All the stuff we haven’t gotten around to writing down might be a good place to start.

With all that out of the way…I suddenly realize I can’t remember what else I was going to write down. This is embarrassing. Hmmm…what to do? I know, have a few of the jokes I’ve been saving. That and be sure to follow @ShakespeareSong if you don’t already. One of my favourite things ever on Twitter.

See you for audio weekend unless I remember something between now and then.

Ok…jokes!

*Okay, I know the order of the pedals is clutch – brake – accelerator, but how do I start this piano?

*There were two fish in a tank. One of them said to the other: “How do you drive this thing?”

*Some guy called my wife a pig the other day. I said, “Don’t listen to him, Babe!”

*In 1950’s Ireland, the Catholic Church ruled the country with an iron fist. It was a tough time to be an altar boy.

*After the accident, my wife was left a vegetable.

“Who left this vegetable here,” She asked.

*I just heard on the Radio that the Leader of the Monkees has died. R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

*As the sperm swam with a mission in mind toward the egg, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’ve really ruined this breakfast buffet.”

*Q: Who is a Catholic priest’s favourite singer?

A: Kneel Young.

*Muhammad Ali vs. Michael J. Fox: The Quickest Game of Jenga Ever.

*Two gay guys were on the beach. One says to the other, “shall I put the umbrella up?” The other replies “yes, but don’t open it!”

*My mate has got a computer document full of 16 year old girls. What a PDF-file.

*Q: What do you call someone who’s had their car stolen?

A: A taxi.

*A man walks into a bar and orders 6 shots of tequila.

“Why so many, buddy,” the bartender asks.

“I’m celebrating my first blow job,” The man replies.

“Well hell, congratulations,” says the bartender. “I will give you one on the house.”

“No thank you,” replies the man. “if the first 6 shots don’t get the taste out of my mouth, one more won’t make a difference.”