Gather round, children…

And listen while I tell you a tale of fancy and whim! Or something like that.

As many of you are surely aware, I experienced a HUGE outage the other day for everything I run outside of the extralife site, and that was because it was all hosted separately and apart from MyExtraLife.com. This worked fine for quite a long time, but the end came swift, and the repercussions were brain crushing. Rather than try to explain what literally happened, I would rather tell this story in a metaphor, if you’ll allow me.

Imagine that you decide to go to Sizzler for their all you can eat steak and shrimp offer, as you are definitely in the market for some good steak and shrimp. As you walk into the restaurant, you see signs everywhere selling patrons on the idea that they can eat as much steak and shrimp as they want, no limits, no boundaries, no catch. You think, “wow, this is the place for me!”, and dig into your first big plate of surf and turf.

The waiter comes back after a while and says, “Can I fill you back up?”, to which you reply, “Absolutely! Keep it coming!” The evening goes on, you continue to eat more and more, but you begin to notice that the waiter seems a little less exuberant to refill your plate, and you get the feeling that this promotion was not counting on you showing up on a Friday night. But regardless, you figure I’m here, I’m hungry, and this sign says I can eat all I want for what I am paying.

Here is where the story takes a bit of a turn. Let’s say, 3 hours later, the manager of Sizzler comes to your table, hits you over the head with a club, steals your shoes, and he and the dishwasher throw your limp body in a dumpster in the alley, and walk away. No warning, no admonition that you’ve taken the all-you-can-eat promo too far, nothing. This is the gastrointestinal equivalent of what happened to me with Bluehost. (Not linking to them…I have no desire to send even accidental business their way.)

In a very real way, I am that guy at Sizzler. In July alone, I had used over 10 terabytes of transfered data, and if I were them, I would want me off their network too. I have no disagreement with that. One guy should not be allowed ultimately to eat all the shrimp you make in a day! And no one should be able to use 85% of your bandwidth in a day either. Other people gotta eat, other people gotta run their servers. I get that.

The way it went down was this: Bluehost sent an email out of the blue that said, “You’re using too much of your unlimited bandwidth. All of your 13 sites have been shut down as of this moment. You have 14 days to get your files out.” No warning, no, “hey, sorry about this but we can’t sustain your usage at this rate…we can give you a few days to move your files, but we won’t shut down your sites until that happens, sorry it didn’t work out, etc.” Nope. None of that. Hundreds of thousands of podcast listeners and site viewers could not get to my stuff for a day, which hurts my livelihood in a significant way. I still have a ton to do before things are normal, but HUGE thanks to ZeHosting, who already hosts this site, for swooping in and saving the day, and personally moving everything over and getting us back in shape. Much love their direction.

So again, I am not bugged about the reason they had to cut me off, I’m bothered by the utter lack of humanity in their methods of doing so. We are not all robots. Wait. Maybe they’re robots? That would explain things.

Anyway, just had to get that little thing off my chest. For a great alternate look at what this caused, Randy did a great post on his blog the day this all went down as well.

Let the good times roll.

UPDATE: I am getting a lot of people telling me I should sue, or do other legal stuff. Not interested in any of that. We’ve kicked up a bunch of dust, and got their attention, and that is good enough for me if it means that someone in future does not get treated that way. I got a phone call from them today apologizing for what happened, and offering to keep servers up, etc. (No need to now since it’s too late for that.) That would have NEVER happened if you guys did not collectively let them know that what happened is not cool. So Thanks.