Monday, August 27, 2007

A cautionary tale

Patty here…

Good crime fiction ratchets up the tension at every turn of the page. Life must get progressively worse and more dangerous for our heroes and heroines until the pressure becomes unbearable. Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, something really bad happens. We call it upping the stakes.

This week while my foot was turning banana yellow and the air brace on my sprained ankle was making my toes numb, my stakes got seriously upped.

My Web site disappeared into the ether.

The guy who hosted the site on his server died some weeks back. It was sad because he’d handled all of the computers in my life for as long as I can remember. He also protected me from spam and hackers. His company was sold. I stayed with the new guy. A week ago I stopped getting email. I called to find out why. No response. I tried again. And again. Nobody called me back for four days.

To make a long story short, my friend died without leaving a password to get into the server where my Web site lived. His spam-busting routing system was so complicated that none of the so-called experts called in to solve the problem could figure out what he’d done or how to access my files. So why is it we didn't have guys like him looking for those weapons of mass destruction?

Nobody has a back up of my site, not even me, mostly because I don’t know how to back up a Web site and had no idea I should even be worried about that. In an instant, my site was wiped out—all the text I’d written, every link, every photo, and every review quote I’d accumulated for the past four years. Every everything. Oh sure, I can reconstruct most of it from scratch, but it’s going to take me days if not weeks. My Web site now lives in some quirky time capsule where it will stay forever—alone and inaccessible unless somebody figures out how to break it out. Maybe I'll start a new movement: FREE WWW.PATRICIASMILEY.COM. We'll have rallies and hand out some of Miss C's bumper stickers. It's 8 p.m. Do you know where your Web site is?

Luckily, my Web designer, the fabulous Maddee James, saved my bacon (as Our J always says) by restoring my email and agreeing to host the newly reconstructed site. Whew!

Paulie, who’s a funny guy with a vivid imagination, predicts this tale will find its way into a book one day. I hope it’s one of his. Along with all the thrills and chills his writing offers, I'd welcome some of his signature humor right now.

This whole episode got me thinking about the material things I’ve lost, sold, or given away but wish I had back.

1. My Web site
2. My parent's Royal manual typewriter
3. My green gauze culottes (but only until summer’s over)
4. My sense of humor

Got anything you want to add to the list?

Happy Monday!

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  1. Your computer guys have probably already pointed you in this direction, but has a snapshot of your site from April. At least it's something. Here's the link to that waybackmachine archived version of your site:

  2. You still have your sense of humor.

    I wish I had my Willie Mays 1951 rookie baseball card and my 1973 nylon Nik Nik shirt.

    Sorry about the incredible hassle you're going through.

  3. Karen, no one mentioned this and I would have never thought of it. You're a genius. I've already passed along the info.

    A Nik Nik shirt, Paulie? I'm sure Miss C will soon provide us a link so we can see what you're talking about. You gave away your Willie Mays baseball card? It must be worth major bucks now. What were you thinking?

  4. So sorry about the site....what a yucky way to start the week...

    I admire that your sense of humor is still intact....


  5. Rae, if I didn't have GAK! I don't know how I could face it all. I have you to thank for that.

  6. Ay yi yi.

    That's one for the record books, if not for the novels, Patty.

    So sorry!

    Sounds like you might be ready for one of those spa weekends.

  7. I wish I still had my 1974 Datsun (Pre-Nissan) truck. That thing was tough.

    Sorry about the site. But I'm really sorry about your friend.

    Jim Born

  8. Spa, YES!

    A man and his's a beautiful thing. I was just thinking about the Datsun 240Z and what a hot car that was. I wonder how many are still left out there.

  9. Oh, Patty. The universe could use a swift kick in the pants right now.

  10. I wish I had the charm bracelet that was stolen about ten years ago, along with all of my "good" jewlrey. It was silver, inexpensive and irreplaceable. Each charm cost five dollars (back in the 60's) and I saved a lot of allowance to buy each one. It's been years and years since I have thought of that bracelet. Thanks for the nudge to my memory. Charms: Megaphone (I was a cheerleader) Dog (I love'em. Death to Michael Vick) Birthday (pink for October)Mohigan (highschool mascot)and a heart that a boy bought me. Can't seem to remember him. :-)

  11. Oh anon, I'm so sorry about your charm bracelet. Every charm was always so filled with meaning and memory. Bummer.

    Thanks, Mims.

  12. This for the Nik Nik shirt, though it's only one style of many and probably not the one Paul has in mind:

    I am so sorry about your site troubles, Patty!!

    And I wish I still had my bear Bearie, whom I swear is still at my father's girlfriend's house in the Bahamas from ca. 1972, even though she denied it vehemently at the time.

  13. Awesome, funky shirt, Miss C. I knew you'd save the day.

  14. Go-Lo....really sorry to hear about your predicament ....and sorry about the loss of your friend. I always "worry" about losing my irreplaceable "stuff" via a fire or something; so as much as possible I back things computer disc out the wazoo. But, not all things are able to be backed up..........

    Now, the things I regret having lost:
    My childhood innocence, which I lost at age 7 when my parents sent me out in the world while advising me that I needed to get a REAL job and a new home....something about they weren't put on this earth to be my benefactor......

    The loss of my sanity, which happened at about 8, after a life of sin and iniquity.

    The loss of any sense of reality, when George Dub-ya got elected, twice!

    My dignity, when I became hooked on reading some "naked" blog every Monday

    And, of course my Green Hornet lunch box, and secret decoder ring....which I lost about a week ago.


    PS: I also lost a trading card was of Thurgood Marshall in a Nik Nik that is a rare collectable card indeed

  15. OMIGOD!!!!! You had a secret decoder ring? I lusted after one of those but--alas--it was never meant to be. Thurgood Marshall in a Nik Nik THAT conjurs up some interesting images. You made me laugh. As Martha Stewart always says, and that's a good thing.

  16. Go-Lo....I thought you could really USE a my job today is done.....However, let's not forget my ubiquitous "cautionary tale":

    "These comments are provided by a lay person and as such carry no warranty, implied or implicit. Taking said comments to heart is done solely at the risk and discretion of the reader. The reader shall hold this author inviolate for all harm or help which emanates from this post."