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17 October 2016

We got a late start this morning for a couple of unusual reasons.

We lost a dear friend over the weekend and just wanted to take a quiet moment to remember her. We wanted to write down our very last memory of her and our very first before the day began and got away from us. It made us feel a bit better about what was an inevitable loss.

Not so inevitable, though was an email from Sonic, our Internet service provider. Our site was about to be disabled:

You currently have Bandwidth Quota Protection turned on and your site(s) have exceeded your quota. Access to your site has been disabled. If you would like to reenable access to your site and authorize additional charges being posted to your account, you may go to Hedgehog in the member tools and turn protection off. It may take up to 30 minutes for access to your site to be reenabled.

We run a pretty efficient site considering the images we provide and are usually well within our bandwidth quota. We've only once before exceeded it and that was at the end of the month after we were hit by some badly behaved bots.

This time it was Amazon, which hit our site hard over the Oct. 12 and 13. We're about 20-GB a month in traffic but halfway through October we're already at 50-GB.

That level of traffic won't be sustained, of course. But we do expect to do another 10-GB the rest of the month. That would incur about $50 in overage charges. Unless we got hit again, which Sonic estimated could run $150.

If you're wondering where the "fun" part comes in, so were we.

But we'd like to pause for a second to point out how Sonic behaved as our partner in this, warning us about the spike when it happened (in previous email) and protecting us from overage charges.

So hoping to devise a solution to publishing the rest of the month, we gave them a call this morning. There were 12 calls in front of us so we elected to have them call us back when it was our turn in line. They know the number.

Jack called back, checked our situation out and talked it over with a supervisor in a matter of minutes. We spent over half an hour with Chase ordering checks for our elderly mother on Saturday and another 45 minutes with Comcast's online chat trying to get authorization to replace her dead cable box. Sonic could teach them both a lesson or two. And it wouldn't take long.

Our options were simple. Pay for each gig of usage at $5/GB on the current plan or upgrade the current plan through the end of the month to cover three times the bandwidth. And then return to our usual plan at the end of the month, which has plenty of headroom. That would, pro-rated, cost us about $5.

So that's what we did. And were happy to do it. Or happy Jack did it while we were talking to him. We can set the plan online in our account at any time ourselves but he saved us a click.

You may not have noticed the outage this morning because it takes some time to take effect (both Jack and headquarters here could access the blocked site). But if you did, you'll be happy to know we're back in business.

And the day may now get away from us.

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