Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OilCan Drive, A Rock and Roll Love Story

I meant to post this on Saturday. I wanted to share with the everyone that all of the old OilCan Drive art and comics had been shown on the OilCan Drive web comic site and it was now time for some new art and stories. It felt like an accomplishment that I had run the site for a full year and this "coming soon" piece of art would mark the next chapter in showing my favorite cartoon band off to the world.

But, then the weekend happened.

Everything was ready for the roll out on Friday. Wednesday marked the last day of pages that I had in the archive and Friday would show this new piece. I uploaded the piece and was working a bit on the site on Thursday night when, all of a sudden, I lost my connection to the site. I rebooted my router to see if that was a problem but I still couldn't make it work. It was weird that I couldn't work on the site but it was even weirder was that I couldn't even view the site. I could see it on my phone and I could see it when I took my computer to a nearby coffee shop but, at home, nothing.

After a few emails back and forth to the people who run the servers that OilCan Drive resides on I found out, somehow, my IP had been tagged and I was being blocked from my own site. A few more emails back and forth and I was back up and running. Problem averted. I was still ready to roll. I added some things to the site and went to bed.

Saturday morning I checked the site to make sure everything was still working. I noticed there was an update to the web comic theme I was using to make the site work the way it does. I clicked on the update and that's when it happened. Everything on the site still looked the same but every comic and page I had posted in the past year was totally gone. I panicked. I clicked some buttons, tried to fix it, and then something even worse happened.

I clicked the link to get into the administrative page of my site and all I got was a blank page. Nothing. I didn't know what to do. And that's when I freaked out a bit.

I need to learn to take a step back and take a breath sometimes. But, in situations like this I usually try and do too many things at once as my mind is spinning and I wanted to do something, anything, rather than sit back and do nothing.

So, in my freaked out wisdom, I completely tore down the site, uploaded a fresh copy of WordPress, and began to rebuild the site from scratch.

In retrospect, I liken this move to finding out the window in your car doesn't roll down and, in response, you tear the car apart and begin to rebuild it from the ground up. Probably not the best idea. But, it's what I did.

I do wish I could go back in time and stop myself from hitting that "update" button but I am now playing the hand I've dealt myself. And, as much as I wish I could blame this whole thing on some cyber-hacker terrorist attack on my WordPress site I think I am really the only one to blame.

The good news is that the site is getting back to where it was. The designer of the Inkblot theme I am using on the site, Michael Sisk, has been absolutely awesome in helping me with the questions I have as I rebuild the structure and make it look like the site I know and love. I highly recommend Inkblot to anyone thinking of starting a web comic site. It's easy to use and how often is it that you can reach the actual designer of the program by email and he writes you back right away to help you out? Thank you, Michael! You are the best!

Right now it's still a little shaky and I am still rebuilding a lot of the content but the good news is that I've set it up enough that it won't interrupt any of the new web comics' schedule. It may be a bit dusty on the site and excuse the rubble as I rebuild, but the story will go on without a hitch.

In other news I sent out a bunch of the OilCan Drive merchandise for printing this week so all I have left to work on is the book itself and the album. For once in this crazy schedule the only thing left is NOT everything but only a few things...big things to be sure... but I am getting there.

But, don't worry, it's not like the schedule is getting any lighter. I now have "rebuilding a website" to add to my list of things to do. It's always something...

Have a great one!

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