Jul 042015


You may have noticed that over the last day and a half it has been difficult to connect to our site. You have probably been getting messages that tell you there has been an error establishing a database connection. Sometimes, with persistence, you can get through, and sometimes you can’t. The reason this is happening is… well… fuck if I know!!!

Your humble editor has spent significant amounts of time with our web host’s tech support people, who have given conflicting and inconsistent explanations and no useful advice about how to correct the problem. At one point they thought the issue was caused by the fact that our dedicated web server was running an out-of-date version of the MySQL database software. They upgraded that… and it didn’t help.

Then they informed me that we have been experiencing frequent spikes in the load on the server that it is unable to handle. Initially they had no explanation for that, but later told me that it appears we’re being deluged with spam comments. Our spam filter prevents them from appearing in the Comment sections, but they’re still incapacitating our server — at least that’s the best guess I was offered by those tech support people.

They had no advice for how I should handle this problem other than to hire someone to provide professional assistance. Fuck me, I thought that’s what they were supposed to do.

Anyway, last night, before I got the explanation about the spam comment deluge, I talked with a very tech-savvy acquaintance who suggested that I upgrade the WordPress software running on our server.  I haven’t done that in ages, for reasons I won’t bore you with. He wasn’t sure this would help at all, but I’ve decided to do it anyway. This could have all sorts of bad consequences for the functioning of certain plug-ins on the site as well as the theme software that makes the site look and work as it has for years (which I also haven’t upgraded — ever).

So, if the site crashes in the next hour, you’ll know why — that is, if you happen to read this before I hold my breath and initiate the software upgrade.

Wish me luck!

If the site doesn’t crash, but the database-connection error persists, I’m not sure what my next move will be — though it will probably involve alcohol.


UPDATE:  Well, I successfully installed the current version of the WordPress software and updated my plug-ins, and the site still seems to be functioning properly. So, I’m breathing deep sighs of relief. BUT, none of this has solved the “error-in-connecting-to-database” problem. The server is apparently still being slammed and can’t figure out what to do other than hang itself. So, I suppose I have no choice but to hire someone on Monday who knows how to deal with problems like this.

Thanks for your patience. Now I’m going to go find alcohol.



  1. Uh-huh…In reality its because Islander forgot to pay the electric bill again

  2. I had problems but not today and I will wait calmly, enjoy your alcohol, thanks for letting us know!

  3. i’ve noticed on other sites a higher than usual number of spam comments, the kind in which the entire comment is a hyper link talking about whoever-the-fuck’s aunt or whoever earning blah blah money working from home, etc. is that the kind of spam your filters are catching?

    • There does seem to be a lot of that, but all sorts of other crap too. Over 4,000 of them in the last two days.

      • wow, that’s crazy!

      • If the US were a proper democracy, and I’m not saying my country is any better, NSA’s soul task wouldbe hunting down fuck-farts that spread spam. Navy Seals should seize them by night, and Guantanamo should be used to lock up those nitwits for good. Such trouble-making good for nothing cunts is what we in my mother tongue would call “pimples on society’s ass”.

  4. whois and find out what ip they’re coming from (probably china), and black list the entire range for that hosting company.

  5. “It’s time for sacrifices! Lots and lots of sacrifices!”
    (taken from “Blood II” PC game)

  6. Does your liability insurance cover a new keyboard and monitor when they are broken following consistent digital provocation using the “Error connecting to database” message?

    I just couldn’t help the ensuing apoplectic rage.

  7. Just for the record..whatever you did yesterday seems to have helped me. Its been around 24 hours and so far I havent had any issues getting onto the website

    • Yeah, I haven’t noticed the problem since yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping the worst of it is over. I got some helpful tips by e-mail from three of our readers who work in the IT field — which was very cool.

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