Mercury Retrograde

So, as you may have noticed my blog went down in flames and was inaccessible for almost 48 hours.  According to my craptastic hosting company Lunarpages my site was “using too many resources” which is code for “your site gets too much traffic for the ridiculously overcrowded server we have you on” even though it’s supposed to have unlimited bandwidth etc.

My best guess is that there was a bit of extra traffic from the link to Becoming-Mom from the bump’s feature on Pregnancy fears to which I contribued and it pushed my site over the edge into the too many resources zone.

But I’ve had similar instances with Lunarpages and too many resources and normally they move your site to a production server and you work with them until you figure what is causing it and then they move your site back, but normally your site stays running.  In this case, there was some sort of configuration error that they caused that even the techs that helped me on the phone couldn’t figure out, and I had to wait for a high level tech to respond to my ticket which took FOREVER.  This is why I’m so pissed at Lunarpages, their normal response time to a support ticket is 24 hours. That’s ridiculously long when your site is down, so they agreed to “expedite” my ticket by placing a priority flag on it.   12 HOURS LATER they finally responded and restored the site. 

I tell you this not to bitch about lunarpages, even though I could go on for pages about how much I hate them right now but because this sort of clusterfuck confluence of events is vintage mercury retrograde.

So for those of you that aren’t astrologically inclined, Mercury goes “retrograde” about 3 times a year for about 2-3 weeks at a time.  What affect does this have?  Here is a good explanation from Susan Miller’s website:

What happens when Mercury retrogrades? You miss appointments, your computer equipment crashes, checks get lost, you find the car you just purchased during Mercury retrograde is a lemon. (Or, you hate your haircut, the lamp you bought shorts out, your sister hates her birthday gift.) There will be countless delays, cancellations and postponements..All machinery and things with moving parts–such as computers, VCRs, camera equipment, garbage disposals, and so forth, will reveal any weak links now. It is critical that you back up your data system and be more careful and vigilant than ever. Projects will demand more time and money than anticipated this month… When traveling, leave early and allow for extra travel time. Have all bags double-taped closed, count your belongings, double-check addresses and reconfirm appointments. Things get lost when Mercury messes us up. Take NOTHING for granted.

So in other words, anything computer, communcation, contract or travel related GOES TO SHIT (volcanic ash anyone?)

Now, I’ve posted before that I am a big believer in birth chart astrology, but I don’t pay much attention to general astrology as in what planet is where at a given time, and I don’t even mark my calendar for mercury retrograde periods (even though I probably should) because I don’t even NEED to check in advance – when Mercury is in retrograde I KNOW it without even looking because everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

But even my site going down wasn’t enough to make me think about Mercury.. what really sealed the deal was the fiasco I had with trying to rent a lens for the first time through

I have two shoots this weekend that were the perfect excuse to try the 70-200L 2.8 IS. It’s a hefty investment if I do buy it eventually, so I thought it was worth the $90 or so rental fee to make sure I LOVE it.   I placed my order Wednesday in order for it to get here on Friday via their normal 2 day shipping.  I read on their site that if your shipping address is different than your CC billing address you need to call your CC company and place your alternate shipping address on file, which I did.  So I order the lens thinking that all is well and I realize the next day that I haven’t gotten a shipping notice from them..

So I call their customer service and I’m informed that they were unable to ship the lens because they couldn’t verify my shipping address and “didn’t I get the email asking for the phone number of my credit card so they could call and verify?” Well, no, no I did not get the email.. and I never got an order confirmation email from them either!   So basically, for no reason at all (I don’t even have a spam filter on that email so it wasn’t in my junk mail or anything) I just didn’t receive two emails from them.  And I know they have my correct email address because I DID get the automated cancellation email when I had to cancel the order because I didn’t want to pay for overnight shipping. 

Yet again, VINTAGE mercury retrograde.

Oh, and back to the site outage, I wasn’t even aware they had taken down my site until about 5 hours later because they had my email address wrong in their system.  Mercury strikes again.

So you may not think you believe in astrology, but I swear to you if you start to pay attention to when life’s little details all go to crap you will find that in all liklihood mercury is in retrograde!

Now, if you’ve made it this far in my little mercury sermon, I’d love to solicit advice from any of you techie inclined folks.. I need a good webhost.

 Lunarpages has screwed me over one too many times at this point adn their insanely long wait time for tech support is totally unacceptable to me.  In fact, I’m not even that annoyed they took my site down for excess resources (any shared hosting plan would do the same thing) it’s that they took over 24 hours to do anything about it that I take issue with.

So I need a webhost that has outstanding technical support (preferably 24/7 PHONE support) and something more than a basic shared hosting plan like I have but not as insanely expensive as a dedicated server hosting plan which runs about $99 a month. 

If anyone has any recommendations please let me know!

PS: Mercury goes out of retrograde May 18th, so if you are planning on buying any expensive lenses, signing a contract of any kind, making travel plans,  etc. do yourself a favor and wait if you can.  You’ll save yourself a whole lot of headaches in the end!

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Mary Tweedy says:

I use Bluehost and they are fast in their response. I could not acces my blog or login in or do anything a couple of months ago. I called them and in less than 30 min, my blog was up and running again.And it’s pretty affordable.$ 6.95/ month. Can’t beat that ! :)

ariana says:

Thanks Mary! I ended up going with hostgator, and they’ve already been head and shoulders above lunarpages with their support.. so far NO resource problems. Take that lunarpages!!!

Ashley says:

We use We’ve used them for a little over 5 years and they’ve been great.

Christina says:

My husband uses Webfaction and he’s been very happy them. It’s something like $10/month.

Jen says:

Ditto dreamhost. I switched to them last year from a so-so host. I’m really happy with the change!

Jamie says:

You were ALSO linked to on Young House Love’s Facebook page. They just got a new camera and someone recommended following your photography guide last Wednesday, here is what they said-

Beth Mundwiller Grebe
this is one of the best generic tutorials i’ve ever seen on shooting in manual……/photography-friday-shooting-in-manual-mode/
low aperture lenses are great, too, especially for newborn and kid portraiture. they … See Moreallow for a better depth of field and create that wonderful bloom effect where whatever isn’t focused on is blurry, and the subject is crisp and defined.

Link to YHL facebook is–!/YoungHouseLove?ref=ts

They have over 8,000 facebook friends so it might have added some heavy traffic :)

ariana says:

Thanks Pam, it looks like they have a good option for being able to use more resources for just $15 more.. that’s what I need!

Erica, don’t send her a link to this post LOL. But don’t be surprised if there are LOTS of little mishaps and errors .. things not getting delivered etc. The way to get through it is to double and triple check EVERYTHING! Leave nothing to chance and then pray :)

Crap! My sister is getting married on May 16th… No wonder everything has been such a mess lately!

pam says:

PS I don’t know about their other plans, I’m really only familiar with the one I have.

pam says:

I use Dreamhost and am quite fond of it. I host several sites on my account and it’s v reasonable. ($120 a year, i think.)