I swear I didn’t touch it

Yesterday, apparently something went bang in the universe somewhere, and entirely unbeknownst to me this caused a rippling cascade of cosmic errors that – although entirely imperceptible to me… took the blog down and entirely corrupted my huge mysql (I don’t know what that is) database. Indeed, oblivious to the problem at all, I went happily to yoga class. When I returned, I had a couple of emails (thank you, Christy and Janey) letting me know that all was not well in the land of comments. I sighed. I had a beer. I watched House. I waited for the forces that be (the forces that be would actually be Ken) to fix the thing. After all…I had done nothing to deserve a blog problem. I had bought lots of room, I didn’t upgrade, I didn’t touch the templates. (I am prohibited the template touching.) Yea, even though I am often perplexed, intrigued and made curious by the software that makes the blog go, I had not touched the software, nor clicked on any buttons in the software. Indeed, though it is my software, I had not so much as adjusted a setting, nor posted to the blog, nor even looked at the computer, in sooth, I had not even been in my home when the cascade of errors erupted.

This morning, the blog was still broken, in fact, things were worse, since the gush of server related faults had progressed to the point where not only could you guys not participate in the blog by commenting, but I couldn’t participate by posting an entry, which seemed to be just as critical a portion of the process. Indeed, when I checked my email this morning, my server had sent me a lot of mail letting me know that it had deep concerns and failures related to its “hpptd, named, ftpd, exim, syslogd, imap and cpsrvd” thingies. I don’t know what those are, but I had a feeling that they were the server equivalent of “pancreas, spleen and gallbladder” so I (still) did not touch anything but backed away from the screen and called Ken on the phone and told him “blog still broken. Make blog go?”

Ken, unfortunately was hampered from helping me by the presence of something he termed “a real job”, and I realized that I was going to have to do the unthinkable. I was going to have to call technical support for the server.

This is how much sock you can knit while you talk to the very helpful Jason at tech support.


It was best for me to knit while he explained what is wrong, because I swear that didn’t understand a single word he said. I pretended to say intelligent things while he “repaired the mt_entry table in the mysql database” and talked about “command line entries”. Jason was boggled at the depth of the problems. He would find one thing that was broken that would lead to another thing that was broken that would lead to …..well. You get it. It’s like when you call the plumber because the kitchen tap is leaking, and he tells you that the problem is the pipe, so he takes apart the pipe and discovers that it’s actually the supply pipe behind the wall, and knocks out the wall, and finds out that the problem is really the larger inlet from the street and the next thing you know they are fixing your leaky tap with a backhoe and a team of guys tearing up the front garden.

Jason kept saying things like “Woah….what the….” and then whistling low and impressed at the breadth of exactly how screwed the whole thing was. (I do not find this comforting in a tech guy.) Every time he went “Holy cow…what happened to the…..” I would knit a little faster. What does he mean “What happened” ? I called him to find out what happened. Is it broken? Is it expensive? Can it be fixed? I need a little feigned confidence from the tech guy….I’m drowning in a huge pool of tech-crap and the fact that he is impressed with how screwed I am is not at all comforting. I would knit, knit, knit…all while suppressing the urge to scream “MAKE BLOG GO!!!”.

All through the process of fixing the thing, Jason quizzed me. What had I done to deserve this? Upgrade? Click on something? Install something? I had to have committed some crime to have created this conflagration of incredible craptitude. In a scene worthy of The Closer, Jason tried to divine the exact moment when I had committed some innocuous action, some click or stroke of the keyboard, seemingly anodyne – but in fact the seed of all that had come crashing down since then. I don’t think he wanted to hold me responsible, but only to be released from the mystery that had consumed so much of our respective mornings.

“Think” pressed Jason, “What, exactly were you doing when the server failed.”

I thought about it, retracing my evening steps, cataloguing all that I had done. Then I answered.

“Downward Dog.”

“Pardon?” says Jason, surely guessing or even hoping, that this was some new application that I have been running on my computer that has corrupted everything.

“Downward Dog dude. I was at Yoga class.”

“Hmmm……” says Jason, and I hear him still typing….

“You wouldn’t expect that to be a problem for the server like this”.

Exactly dude. Happy Hallowe’en.