The other day, I received an email informing me of the recurring charges for this site. I was somewhat bemused and thought that this was a mistake. You see, the hosting for this site is charged annually. And these matters were handled by my kappiya (steward) so I thought that this was yet another rip-off by some obscure hosting site. Indignantly, I accepted that if the account was not duely cancelled, then the charges would be honored but to prevent future charges, I sent a request for account cancellation, not forgetting to just rant as a surprise that the account was still active even though I’ve not used it for awhile. I promptly received a cancellation confirmation email with a footnote that as per service policy, accounts not cancelled will be automatically charged with recurring bills. Fine and good. I’m all for policies and was not the least trying to get a waiver or anything. I thought that was the end of this episode, but boy, was I wrong.
By the time I checked my inbox and received the cancellation email, it was already 6~7 hours later. This was due to the time-zone difference and it was the next day already. A few minutes after I read the email, satisfied that everything was back to normal, I proceeded to clear other email accounts and check up on buddhavacana.net to see if there is any new posts or comments on the blog or forum. It returned me a generic advertisement page for web hosting services etc. *gulp*
Some of you may have realised by now the flow of events. For a second there, I thought the domain registration was hijacked or hacked by some rogue spammers. I clicked refresh a few more times and there was no redirection of URL or anything. Then the whole truth hit me smack in the face. Apparently the “rip-off” was a legitimate charge by the web hosting company of this site! By cancelling the account, someone somewhere in the states have deactivated the account for this site and now the web server was dishing out the
default page, which is a simple advertisement for the web hoster.
My mind kinda kicked into “auto” mode, running through all the possible scenarios of Disaster Recovery Procedures (DRP) best practices. My earlier training in the IT industry meant that DRP was second nature and there was a certain sense of fear and at the same time, excitement, knowing that now was an interesting time to put these best practices to application. To be honest, I’ve not really done backups religiously. Only the source code, binary and an earlier revision of the web site was stored offline. So then I weighed my option and realised that a full recovery was not very possible. The site was out for at least 6~7 hours already and activating another account , restoring from the backups and waiting DNS resolution if I switch hosting company meant that it could be another few hours.
At that point, I started laughing. Laughing at the whole situation, but mostly at myself. I again asked myself, as I’ve done before “So the site is down, big deal!?” What if impermanence death or sickness were to strike tomorrow? What would happen? Apparently, attachment has subtly set in over the past 3 years. There and then, I caught another glimpse of attachment at work.
Its easy to see gross defilements such as anger and greed, jealousy and envy etc at work. Its easy for one to denounce harmful acts like killing, stealing, sexual misconduct (or sexual conduct for renounciates), lying and taking of intoxicants. It is also easy to renounce worldly affairs and put them aside. But it is also all too easy to rationalise to ourselves that we are doing Dhamma work and hence its ok. Doing Dhamma work *is* ok. Its great! Being attached to it to the extent of it causing worry and stress is not. Doing it is compassion, seeing the subtle difference between doing it and being attached to it is wisdom. Seeing the difference and abiding in purely doing it without attachments is putting that wisdom into action and being liberated, if not totally, at least somewhat.
After reflecting over this for awhile, I felt lighter at heart. I still sent an email to the web hoster to ask for help in reactivating the account. While it would still be good for it to be reactivated, for it was serving the online community with the daily reading software, Digital Buddha Vacana, I came to be at ease with the possible outcome that it might not be possible via this route, that I may have to recover the site from scratch, and possibly lose some of the content, design or structure of the site. I can live with that.
About an hour later, I got a reply from my hoster that they’ve reactivated the account. Lo’ and behold, the web site manifested itself again when I accessed it. A sense of relief somewhat, if not due to attachment, at least relief that I won’t have to spend several hours or days to recover the site. Oh wait, is that another attachment? … … 🙂
Footnote: To the web hoster’s credit, the service level that I get for this site is pretty good and hence it becomes seamless and transparent. On the flip side, its seamlessness ultimately removed it altogether from the radar! 😉