Phew….

It’s been a while since my last posting and I’d like to explain…..It’s not that I’ve become lazy of late, or developed a sudden case of writer’s block or anything like that, although……For the past few days, I’ve been unable to log on to the site itself, which is where I do the actual writing. Whenever I tried to get in, I was greeted with the same scary message that the website was temporarily unavailable, due to a “brute force attack” it was undergoing. That was the actual phrase in the displayed message and the creepy, military/sci-fi tone of it filled me with no small dread. It seems that some individual or robotic cyber-virus was infecting or trying to hack into either WordPress or my site, which boggled the mind a little. I mean, who would want to hack into my site, what could possibly be gained by doing so? The stuff I write is of little general interest and even less commercial value; little kids have earned more by selling lemonade for half an hour and I’m not bitching about this, nobody’s forcing me to write.

I have to tell you though, I didn’t fully realize how addicted I’ve become to writing until this outlet was taken away for a few days. It nearly drove me crazy, admittedly a short trip in my case. Of course, I could have written elsewhere – in Word Perfect or email – then copied the text to the blog, once – and if – the problem was corrected. This occurred to me, and a couple of friends may have noticed they got emails from me that were a little longer than usual, sorry about that.

I could have been a little more pro-active in doing something to correct the problem, but that’s not exactly my style. I’m not quite a Luddite, but close, I’m more of a techno-peasant. Things with wires, knobs or buttons bewilder and frighten me, I just assume if I tinker with them I’ll screw them up even more. The first thing I had to figure out was whether the problem was endemic to WordPress as a whole or just with my site. I contacted a friend who also uses WordPress and he hasn’t had any problems, so evidently it was the latter. A library colleague of mine who’s both a good writer and tech-savvy, looked into this and sent me a link which explained several things I could do to correct the situation, which had to do with the security of my password and the advisability of changing it. I wasn’t sure how to do this without being able to log on, it was a kind of cyber Catch-22 that seemed beyond me. I talked to my wife Anna, who’s much more internet-savvy than me (I admit, that’s not saying much, but she really is the brains of the operation) and sent her the link with this information. Within a short time she e-mailed me to say the problem was fixed and giving me my new password, which is much more cryptic than the first one. It’s…….oh right, I’m not supposed to give that out.

So, thanks to Anna and my colleague, it’s with considerable relief and happiness that I can say I’m back in business; I’ll understand if you readers are less thrilled.

I don’t generally use this site for any gain or concrete purposes, but this true story should give some idea of Anna’s general acumen and abilities. She’s not only tech-savvy, but organized, versatile, hard-working, experienced and generous, excellent with money, budgets and much more, not the least of which is she puts up with me. I mention all this because Anna has been looking for a job for some time to no avail, despite her abilities; it’s a brutal job market out there for middle-aged women. She didn’t put me up to this advertisement, indeed she knows nothing about it. But if anyone reading this needs or knows of someone looking to employ a very capable person, feel free to contact me at this site or Anna at malandrino@mie.utoronto.ca I guarantee that she would be an asset in any situation.

That’s all for now. I warn you I’ll be back with Part 2 of Making Strides and other arcane journeys down the dim corridors of jazz history in the near future.

© 2014, Steve Wallace. All rights reserved.

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