Some output from the daily cron job:
Total Number Folder
----- ------ ------
664829 90 .spam/
3765099 411 /dev/null
83557 27 /home/djh/Maildir/
41492 16 /usr/sbin/sendmail -oi firstname.lastname@example.org
The first is likely spam, which goes in a “quarantine” folder that I review every few days, catching the occasional “false positive.” The second is definately spam, and /dev/null is a special place on a Unix system that is akin to a black hole or a “circular file.” The next line are messages that are not spam — twenty seven legitimate messages, and sixteen of those are actually addressed to me, and are thus forwarded to the archive of my GMail account.
That’s right kids, around five megabytes of spam per day. Five million “bytes” is five million western characters, or letters, that a computer scans for me automatically to shitcan. I’m not sure whether to be depressed at the spam or marvel that the filters process it so well. The latter is surely the greater achievement!
(21:56:01) MaryJ: so, are you living in chicago?
(21:56:07) dannyman: yes.
(21:56:10) MaryJ: cool..
(21:56:10) dannyman: totally.
(21:56:13) dannyman: everything rules.
(21:56:20) MaryJ: just you and your girl?
(21:56:32) MaryJ: and you have gainful employment
(21:56:58) MaryJ: near your momma
(21:57:03) dannyman: my boss is actually my landlord, and the office is in a coach house behind the apartment. there’s a coffee shop on the corner across from a pizza place. and the subway is three blocks away and i can bike to the lake in fifteen minutes.
(21:57:09) MaryJ: sounds like you got it all under control
(21:57:28) dannyman: well mom is like seven miles away by city streets but i get to see her.
(21:57:36) dannyman: and my sister comes to party at my place.
(21:57:43) dannyman: sexiness abounds.
(21:57:54) MaryJ: i’m happy for you, boy
(21:58:25) MaryJ: okay.. now it’s time for six feet under..
(21:58:29) MaryJ: talk to you soon..
(21:58:43) dannyman: i have tivo too.
(21:58:44) dannyman: cya!
- As of July 7, 2004, I will be a Community Representative of the Wells High School Local School Council. There was a three-way tie for the two seats, and my name was selected out of a wastepaper basket. I am honored. Actually, the LSC Meeting was cool yesterday. I attended as a public observer. I may write more on that later …
- You know why Windows administration sucks? Because sometimes you need to dump some data so you can move a config somewhere else. On Unix, you just cat the data output to a text file, most days. Today I had to take a screen shot of a window on a remote server, paste that in to Microsoft Paint, and print out a picture of the window on the screen. Ewww!
- Amazon.com versus Barnes and Noble. Okay, I just ordered four books. Amazon.com was cheaper on three of the books, and a penny pricier on the fourth. The total came out 10% lower. Barnes and Noble gave me the total right off, with free standard shipping. To actually total the order on Amazon.com, I had to enter my Credit Card information. With not-free standard shipping, the total, after I had to enter my credit card number, was a few cents higher. To be sure, Amazon.com offers free super-saver shipping, which is slower than the free standard shipping from Barnes and Noble. The Winner? Barnes and Noble. Four books plus free standard shipping six cents cheaper than four books plus not-free standard shipping on Amazon.com, and I don’t have to enter my credit card to see the shipping charges, so they’re more straight-up and honest. I’ve complained in my log about Amazon.com before. We’ll see how bn stacks up.
My books just came from Barnes and Noble. They include a sticker so you can return the books if you don’t like the books. I read “Who Moved My Cheese? For Teens” — I had tried to order “Who Moved My Cheese?” This version I guess is “Who Moved My Cheese?” but with some cheesy teen dialog written by marketing folk.
It’s this parable about the rat race, and how if they move your cheese you should get over it and pick yourself up and go find some new cheese, and you’ll recall that finding the cheese in the first place was part of what made you happy. Well, I know all too well that I have to keep a lookout for new cheese … is the lesson lost on me?
I’m so clever that I ask “what if you are sufficiently comfortable hunting the cheese that what you’re really trying to figure out is whether you should enjoy the cheese you have before you and not waste your time hunting cheese?”
I really enjoy reading your RSS feeds, and I enjoyed the high-quality advertising included in my previous complimentary subscription to Wired magazine. Unfortunately, your complimentary subscription has lapsed. This is unfortunate, as I would like you to enjoy the benefits of high-quality readers like me. I thus extend this invitation to you to resume your complimentary subscription.
Given that I am in a valuable target demographic, (a mid-career technology professional, an upper middle-class geek, and a business manager,) I believe that sending me a complimentary subscription to Wired Magazine is in your best interests, and in the best interests of your advertisers. Please do not pass up this special offer. Act today!
As an avid reader, I look forward to hearing from you. It is my sincere hope that you can continue to enjoy the beneficial advertising revenue that a valuable reader like myself can help to bring your fine publication.
Unfortunately, their web site is either rejecting my message without an error, or it keeps accepting it over and over, but it is just not telling me that it has been accepted. Maybe I’ll send them a paper offer. I could throw in some stickers, perhaps.
What has been going on lately, we all like to know?
Well, let us step back a few years. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time in institutions. There was pre-school, public school, after school, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, soccer … heck, when I graduated High School it only made sense to enlist in the Army. I was pretty good at institutions — no great responsibilities, and a clever guy like myself could figure out the game and mostly do what he pleased.
And so this led the way through college and in to work. I was accustomed to having bosses. I had more respect for the private sector than for education – a TA grad student was giving me instructions as part of a course that was ostensibly for my benefit. A boss or a manager was paying me money to affect certain outcomes. It was an exchange. For the bosses I would bust my butt, and get money. For the teacher … not so much. After all, I was there for my own education, right?
My biggest crisis in the past few years came from unemployment. I’ve been so accustomed to having other people telling me what to do, whether I was ignoring them, fighting them, or cheerfully serving them, that I was at a complete loss for what to do when nobody was demanding anything of me. In fact, I couldn’t find anyone to boss me around. For someone who had lived his life being bossed around up until that point … well, like I said, it was a crisis.
I noticed that e-mails from the Kerry campaign are consistently quarantined to my Spam folder. So I forwarded them a sample and gave them some suggestions for being less spammy. They responded promptly:
Thank you for attempting to send a message to the John Kerry Campaign. To better handle and manage our email volume, everyone must now use the new web form reached by clicking the link below: http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/contact.php
This does not inspire confidence …
… but I’m already in for $100, so I went to the web site and suggested they spend some of it on better IT.
Hrmmm, no auto-response from BushCheney04@GeorgeWBush.com. I’ll let ya know if I get anything back from the pachyderms.
And, I’m sorry to report, that Ralph Nader’s website has only a form, and no e-mail link that I can find. You’d think a populist …
Friday we visited Mom, who was layed off recently. She’s doing very well with the whole thing, but she was having home networking issues. After a lot of poking around we went off to dinner together to a Persian restaurant that Yayoi found in the Japanese guidebook her mom sent her. We ate a great deal and came home stuffed, after picking up a replacement router, because I had diagnosed Mom’s Linksys as bad. I showed her how to set it up and turn off the wireless part, making her network more secure.
Saturday we drove to Michigan for Ravee’s picnic. The weather was fantastic and the drive was so pleasant. The picnic was alright – I got to see Yvonne, an old highschool friend, and one of the few I’ve stayed in touch with, and she and Yayoi talked at great length. I mostly just used the time to relax. At the end of the picnic I ran up and tossed mine, Yayoi’s, and Ravee’s name in the hat for the giveaway. Yayoi won a portable CD player, which she gave to Yvonne, because we have one and Yvonne does not. Then Ravee won a slimline DVD player, and gave it to us, because he already has a DVD player and we would like to have one. Ravee pointed out that I had put his name in the hat anyway, and I remarked that it was all good karma.
. . .