Winter’s log, earthdate 201502.24

Goodness, what a day! Himself went off for his morning constitutional as usual this morning, and of course, stopped by the PO Box to see what goodies it contained… 🙂 It was my nail polishes!  YAYYYY! 🙂 I was over the moon! Last time they sent me an email saying that they’d been dispatched, a few days before they arrived – not this time though… or maybe they did, but I just never received it. My mail has been more than a bit “patchy” at best, lately, and it’s apparently impossible to find a mail service that doesn’t very heavily vet everyone’s incoming mail for spam and other nasties. Personally, I prefer to vet my own spam email, thank you very much – for some totally cynical reason, I simply don’t trust anyone else to do it for me – but it’s been snatched from my control for reasons that himself could best explain (an explanation in a comment would be appreciated, dear 🙂 ) because I can’t, and I’m livid about it! 😦 (I have been for some time, actually, but apparently they’re all doing it 😦 ) Anyway, mail grizzles aside, I’ve spent nearly all day searching about for another blog host – mainly because I’m getting fed up with some of the bugs in WP – the way headers don’t display on some templates when they’re supposed to, for instance. The lack of a decent variety of fonts to use (I mean, c’mon! It’s really hard making do with about 20 available fonts, when you have 2000+ on your own computer to choose from!) I didn’t even Rift today, except after lunch, when himself and I had a one hour traipse through Moonshade Highlands – and – punching way above our weight, we managed to finish off the weirdly convoluted, backwards and forwards, Dwarven Artifact quest chain! Hopefully we might be able to get in another hour again tomorrow! Anyway, I looked at all the so-called “main” blog sites – Blogger, Blog.com, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Blogspot, and a few others – and quite frankly, they were terrible, compared to this – so here I’ll stay, for the nonce, and try to find something suitable for Darth Carla to reside in… I’m now exploring the $$$ templates… *sigh* So tomorrow, I’ll devote 1 hour only to finding a not too expensive template – after that, I’ll give up and Rift. If we don’t go out – because the lift will be back in action again tomorrow! (reprise: YAYYYY! 🙂 ) I shall probably dream of shop windows all decked out in handbags, nail polishes, clothes, and lovely jewelry tonight… 🙂

Because my new nail polish (oh my ghod! Himself has found “Kenya“, and is happily playing it in the background – It’ll be his fault if I don’t finish this blog tonight because I’m too busy banging my head against a nice, soft wall! 😉 talk about memories! 🙂 ) Where was I? Oh yes, my new nail polishes… I didn’t know which one I should try first… The yummy red one? (just like a rich, thick, metallic red duco – only serve with a dollop of whipped cream!) The scintillating gold one with the silvery sparkle? or the dark and brooding stormy blue, with the cobalt shimmer? Ah, decisions, decisions… what about painting each nail in a different one? Well, maybe not… I know I’m adventurous, but…  er… 😉 I’m not going to tell you which colour I picked… yet. I’ll tell you tomorrow night. So after Rifting with himself, I sat down to do my nails… waited until they were dry, then went for my afternoon Stair Walk. I’ve decided that doing my Stair Walk after breakfast in the mornings when I have a full stomach probably isn’t a very good idea – I was really pushing to get up the last stretch of stairs this morning – but if I go right after my weigh-in, it means that himself doesn’t get a chance to have his (much longer and more energetic) walk before breakfast – and if he does it after breakfast, it eats up too much of his day. So we’re going to try something different. He’ll go for his walk after my weigh-in, as usual, but he’ll ring me when he’s about 10 minutes from home. I’ll dart off (I’m getting a little bit better at darting, now!) grab the book to prop the door open with, and start my Stair Walk. By the time I’m on my way back up the stairs again, he should be back home and will meet me on the stairs to let me into the house when I finish (of course, I could take my keys with me, but I don’t have a pocket to carry them in :/ ) I think we’ll try that for a couple of days and see how that works out…

Weigh-in this morning. I’m now in abject fear and trepidation about tomorrow…I know I shall rebound, and go up, I just know it! 😦 I went down again today – only one point, to 102.7kg, but the law of averages say that for every ounce I lose I’ll have to rebound and go back up again (a little bit!) sooner or later… and I reckon that that “sooner or later” must be just about ready to fall on my fearfully anticipating head… Plus the fact that February is a short month, so it’s almost time for me to start taking those rotten fluid retaining pills again. I fear that my current downward spiral will be short lived… *sob*

So anyway, tune in again tomorrow night – you’re in for a veritable feast of news and tidbits from chez nous – what with blog templates I might, or might not have found for Darth Carla’s return, what colour nail polish I eventually decided to try out first, if I Rifted or went out shopping (and if we did, what did I get, if anything? I’m sure you’re all dying to know! 😉 We still have an IOU for a Valentine’s Day present for ourselves, too!) for the first time since February 9th, and of course, whether my weight went down… or stayed the same… or as I suspect it will, went up. And when you throw the random acts of Crool Forchin*  into the mixture, who knows what other newsworthy gems will be cast before you? But if you look in again this time tomorrow, all will be revealed 🙂 So until then, bee good, take care, and stay safe! ciao, all! 🙂

*with apologies to C. J. Dennis’s “The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke”, circa 1915

2 thoughts on “Winter’s log, earthdate 201502.24

  1. Winter requested some sort of explanation of the concerns we’re having with the Email.
    There are three matters that impact our mail hosting. Greylisting, RBL’s and the “Five eyes / Metadata collection problem”
    The first, and biggest is “greylisting” – performed by most incoming email servers. Here’s how it works.

    Our master email server receives incoming connections hoping to send email: if it’s not one our server is familiar with, it lets the email transaction continue partway through, then sends a “temporarily unavailable” message, and aborts the connection, whilst keeping the ESMTP ID of the email transaction recorded in a circular buffer. This forces the sending server to “queue” the message, keep a track of this (and maintain a retry count) – and retry a short time later.
    When it does, our email server then accepts the connection, after noting (and removing) the ESMTP ID from it’s pool, and “greylisting” the incoming server – subsequent connections are then permitted without interruption.

    REAL email servers making connections to us have the wherewithal to maintain the necessary send queues and retry logs, but compromised PC’s spewing spam typically cannot – so this filters out a huge chunk of the spam that spews from spambots – without affecting normal email (which runs through legitimate servers, and can process greylisting mail servers correctly). Virtually all Email service providers operate greylisting – and it typically gives zero problems. Still, I’d prefer it didn’t happen.

    The second, far more contentious problem is that of “RBL’s”, or “Realtime Black Lists”.
    RBL’s are lists maintained by self-appointed anti-spam crusaders, which maintain logs of IP addresses an domains spewing SPAM. These lists can be interrogated in “realtime”, and used to permanently reject incoming mail. A list of them can be found at http://mxtoolbox.com/problem/blacklist/ . RBL’s have a chequered past, and I’m personally distrustful of them. Most do not notify domain the domain owner they’re ON the list, and have been known to be unresponsive, or extortionate on removing innocent domains from the list. Innocent blocking through multiple domains using the same server abound, and their use by email server admins cause the silent binning of email – email never arrives, and the both recipient and sometimes even sender are none-the-wiser.
    It was the mandated utilisation of RBL’s by our PREVIOUS email provider, MelbourneIT which forced me to move away from them. Our current provider (Studiocoast) has assured me they do not utilise RBLs. I still would prefer to be more sure.

    Finally there is the emerging “metadata” issue. It’s quite clear that email hosted in any one of the “Five Eyes alliance” countries (USA, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada) will be subject to mass screening, and I don’t like that. It’s not tinfoil hat stuff, it’s just a case of “None of their damn business” stuff.
    I’ve started looking at email providers in more respectful jurisdictions.
    There seem to be some good hosting providers in the Netherlands, and that’s something that I’m looking further into. Performance is a factor: Australia’s links to Europe aren’t that quick, but it’s something that can be overcome. I’ve been playing with VPN services hosted there, and the latency ain’t that flash – not a problem with a non-real-time function like email, but more significant with websurfing, however.

    And then there’s the possibility of hosting email here on the premises. I’d rather not – we’d need to change our internet connection rather (or run a second one – something I’m seriously looking at)
    However – maintaining an email server & keeping it REALLY SECURE require work and experience I frankly don’t have, and can’t afford. It’s not discounted, though.

    So, yes, dear Winter – it IS a matter I’m concerned about – but it is a big project.

    Julian

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  2. Thank you Julian, I know you’ve told me all of that before, but it’s much easier to understand when it’s written down! 🙂 I’m sure other readers will be interested – and probably not a little surprised – to see how their email works 🙂

    Much appreciated! 🙂

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