Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   first woodfire of the season
Monday, October 4 2010
This morning as I was plinking around with other things, I happened to notice strange behavior coming out of the mailer for David's website. Today was Monday, the day David sends out his weekly mailing to his customers, and, as you'll recall from yesterday's account, I'd had to improvise a solution to get those emails out once Godaddy proved incompetent at getting a broken outgoing mail server up and running after days (yes, days) of downtime. But now it was clear that even this improvised solution was broken. The server now charged with sending out the emails (a virtual dedicated server, mind you) was having difficulty connecting to its outgoing mail relay, a totally different mail server from the one that had launched me on this route-around-failure odyssey in the first place. So yes, two different outgoing mail servers at Godaddy were broken. It could have been that I was just unlucky, but it suggests a rather shoddy level of service, especially given the delays in getting that first bad outgoing mail server up and running. I ended up wasting away my morning on the phone with Godaddy and attempting other solutions while David's mailing sputtered and misbehaved, by, for example, sending multiple copies to certain customers. At some point the first mail server suddenly started working (something I discovered on my own; Godaddy has still yet to tell me it has fixed the problem) and I was able to complete the mailing normally. But nobody was going to give me those hours of my precious life back. And nobody was even going to apologize.
At some point in the middle of this fiasco, I'd experienced trouble with the root password to the virtual private server (whose password I'd had to change in response to the scammer takeover of David's Gmail account the other day). I changed this password in Godaddy's web-based admin tool and then wondered why the new password wasn't working. So then I'd change it to something else. There was no indication on the admin form that I should be experiencing a delay in these passwords taking effect, but when I brought up this situation to the Godaddy tech person in my little live support window, he said that there is a half hour delay, and that, because I'd just changed it twice, there would now be an hour delay. Here I was trying to fix something that was broken right then in real time, and there I was being told that I should just give up for an hour, and there hadn't even been a warning posted in the tool about this delay. It seemed like a gratuitous injustice being cruelly perpetrated by Godaddy, just another to add to a growing list. "Jesus Fucking Christ!" was the response that I typed into my live support window. To this the tech guy on the other end cautioned me that this was a professional forum and that if I persisted in using such bad language he would have to terminate the chat.
In the early afternoon David appeared for an informal meeting in the laboratory to show me some features he'd like added to the set of admin tools for his site. He also brought a case of Hurricane Kitty in acknowledgement of my dedication and hard work. While he was showing me the things he wanted, he pointed with the stout little index finger of one hand while holding his young son Milo with the other (the kid couldn't be trusted to entertain himself in the sharp-edge-rich chaos of the laboratory). Periodically Milo would squirm violently or shriek directly into my ear, driving from my brain whatever thought it had been in the middle of processing. It's clear that Kurt Vonnegut was thinking of the IQ-subtracting effect of tiny children when he wrote Harrison Bergeron.

Today was another clammy, rainy day, with occasional violent downpours and even some thunder. In the evening after Gretchen came home from work, she complained about the chill, so I made her a fire in the woodstove using actual wood (Sugar Maple?), the first wood-fueled (as opposed to junkmail-fueled) fire of the season. Nigel, our newest cat (the one who wears a tuxedo at all times) seemed to relish the heat, spreading out belly-down on Gretchen's lap with both his arms sticking straight forward, as if anticipating a wave in a tropical sea.

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