I think my byethost.com-hosted account is down for the count.
Earlier this evening I was online, editing and publishing previously-uploaded articles (when I use Zoundry Raven to publish articles they appear in WordPress as “scheduled” but then they just sit there unless I physically change the date or time), uploading new header images, and getting ready to run a backup of the databases and other files.
An aquaitance using a neighboring terminal asked for my assistance with something and when I returned to what I’d been working on an error message appeared at the bottom of the WordPress editor: “You don’t have permission to do that!” What? Then I noticed that my FTP client was flashing a “password denied” message. I tried saving the page I was working on and received a message saying that WordPress didn’t recognize the username or password I had given them (the one I’d used to login about fifteen minutes before). I then tried to open the blog in a new tab and received the plain “Error connecting to database” message.
Sometimes this happens when my webhost is running maintenance so I wasn’t too worried at this point. I thought I’d see if there was a message in the server’s control panel. But that gave me a message saying that my username and password weren’t recognized which has never happened before (this backend is on an entirely different server than my blog). I have a really bad feeling that my security has ben compromised and that Phuket Bookworm on byethost is a goner.
To top it all off, when I tried to log into my Google account, I received yet another password denied message. I couldn’t access my main Gmail account and, naturally, I’d left my mobile phone upstairs so I couldn’t have them send me a verification SMS. I’ll have to wait another night to do that. Luckily, I could send a couple of emails out using a different account. I just think it’s a pretty big coincidence that I had the same thing happen on both Google and byethost almost simultaneously. Could the computer I’ve been using in the internet cafe have some sort of tracking software installed? I thought I was pretty secure as I use portable apps running from my USB drive to access the internet and always clear histories, etc. at the end of each session. I need to learn how to make this all more secure so I don’t have this problem again.
All of this comes when my writing has been rather more prolific than it had been just a month or so ago. The blog was experiencing a renaissance of sorts with a major redesign — using a great theme that I’m especially enamored with — and I’d begun a few new series that had a lot of potential to keep me inspired. Not only that but I’d just received archives of two earlier blogs that I’d thought long-lost and was looking forward to incorporating them into the Bookworm. I’d also had the thought last week to put up a mirror of the self-hosted site (well, as much as I could without using the wonderful Suffusion theme as it’s not available in the WordPress.com setup) so that when my host was experiencing problems I would still have a live blog.
Well, too little too late.
I’m not sure I have the energy to try and migrate backups and saved HTML into this particular version of the blog. I certainly can’t do it when paying an hourly rate in a public internet cafe with antiquated (and possibly spying) computers. I’ll continue to write on a daily basis — either in my journal or drafts in Raven for future publication. But my heart just isn’t into spending a lot of time on the mechanics of the blog right now. I’m already depressed enough as it is without having to repeat a bunch of work it seems like I just did!
I’m sad enough this evening for an entirely different reason. Soon after realizing I couldn’t do anything else on the blog I found out, rather by accident, that Clarence Clemons passed away yesterday. Clemons had been the saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1973 and has also fronted his own bands as well over the years. Even more than the sound of Bruce’s guitars, or Max Weinberg’s drums, or the late Danny Federici’s organs I feel that Clarence’s wailing sax truly defined the sound of the E Street Band.
When I came upstairs after finishing with the internet cafe, I immediately found a DVD on which I’d backed-up some Springsteen CD’s (I used to have a HUGE collection but now only a very few remain) and copied over a few selections to listen to. As I write this, a 1974 live version of “Kitty’s Back” is playing; I’d preceded it with five or six different versions of my all-time favorite track, “Jungleland” (the album version, several different live versions from 1975 and culminating in a soundboard recording of the earliest known performance, from New York’s Bottom Line club in July 1974). It’s the best tribute that I know how to give the “Big Man.” Rest in peace, Kahuna.