It’s A Sunshine Day

Back in November, the inimitable Rarasaur nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  I don’t usually do Blog awards, because that’s just not what this blog is about.  However, Rara is one of my very favorite bloggers, so I wanted to pay this forward a little bit.  Better late than never, right?

sunshine-awardHere’s the Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  •     Display the award logo on your blog.
  •     Link back to the person who nominated you.
  •     State 5 things about yourself.
  •     Pass the award onto 8 other bloggers and link to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by pingback.

Five Things About Me:

  1. I love old TV shows that almost nobody remembers, like Streethawk, Flying Blind, Lush Life, Automan, and Mr. Merlin.
  2. I do a really good George Takei impression. And a pretty decent Mickey Mouse as well.  And while we’re on the subject of stupid human tricks, I can make the sound of one hand clapping.
  3. I am chorally trained. I sang in high school and for the first three and a half years of college. I sing in the Bass-Baritone range and used to be part of a barbershop quartet. I also have a secret stash of recordings of me doing Karaoke in the early 1990s. Tell no one.
  4. I have some form of headache almost every day.  Some are mild sinus things, and some are walloping migraines.  I’m used to it.
  5. I have seen the Village People perform live in concert on several separate occasions. I would kill to acquire a recording of their live version of Iko-Iko.

For those who I am about to pass the award on to,  please don’t feel obligated to do anything with it.  The award isn’t created by any official group, like a WordPress Advisory Board or anything.  It’s just one set of bloggers showing appreciation for the contributions of other bloggers.

However-  I don’t like chain letters or posts that say “pass this on or else.”   While I am following the rules of the award by listing eight bloggers below, my linking to you here doesn’t mean you’re required to do anything about it.

Moving on, then.

I hereby pass this award onto these 8 bloggers, in no particular order:

  1. Das Regensblog: For seemingly being more amused than I am about living in Regensburg. Plus lots of tasty food posts.
  2. Sarah Stäbler: For being an incredibly happy and optimistic person.
  3. TQE | That Queer Expatriate:  For just having a generally well-rounded, fun to read blog.
  4. Ifs, Ands, & Butts: For being well-travelled, informative, and fun.
  5. Pink Parliament: For incredible enthusiasm in the face of a new and different life in an unfamiliar country.
  6. The Impossible Quest: For having impeccable taste in Sci-Fi, tv, movies, and the like.
  7. Geek Mädel: For being insanely interesting.  And interestingly insane.
  8. Pop Culture Boner: For being consistently hilarious and occasionally thought-provoking while talking about my favorite subject in the world.

Please pardon the downtime.

A quick explanation for why the blog has been down a lot over the last few days.

On Monday, I discovered that my WordPress installation had been hacked again.  I spent a few hours cleaning things up, and then I got really frustrated with the Sisyphean nature of the whole process.  Because of that, I decided to move my site from a self-hosted WordPress installation to servers, so that constant vigilance against hacks and software updates would be Somebody Else’s Problem(tm) for a change.

The annual fees for hosting were, I thought, well worth the one night a month I would gain in not having to clean out my blog’s infection and reset everything.

The last two days during which the blog was completely down were due to a failure in my nameserver change from Dreamhost to WordPress.  This failure is ongoing and Dreamhost support is working on it-  I’m actually using an http cloak to load the WordPress site directly without properly mapping the domain name.  It’s a kludge, but it will at least bring me back up for the time needed to resolve the real problem.

As a nifty bonus though, hosting does a few things natively that it took me several plugins to get working on the self-hosted variety.  Things like the direct connections to Facebook and Twitter to notify of new blog posts.  The only functionality I lose is the LiveJournal crossposting, and I have a different solution for that once this is all sorted out.

The downtime is not the fault of Dreamhost, although their initial communication infuriated me because they misread my question three times.  The downtime is also not the fault of WordPress, although their documentation could be a little bit more clear.  The real fault for the downtime is a combination of my poor understanding of DENIC’s strict rules and an as yet to be determined problem with Dreamhost’s third-party registry vendor, Logic Boxes.  That support request is ongoing.

Technical Note (If you’re bored by the technical stuff, skip this paragraph): DENIC, the registry for .de domain names, has very, very strict rules about things.  It requires that you have a valid zone file on the name servers you want to change to, and this was not clear to me at first.  I realized yesterday, after I discovered an “unexpected RCODE failure” on their nameserver check at that I needed the zone on WordPress servers to make this happen.  WordPress is used to this, and they get support requests to create zones manually all the time, so this was a piece of cake to fix once I knew that it was needed.  However, the nameserver change is still not going through because the Dreamhost panel thinks this domain name isn’t registered.

In any case, there may yet be some additional hiccups to the DNS here, but once this is all sorted out I’ll get back to posting about life outside of the command line.