new email regime
Sunday, October 27 2019
My website, the thing you're looking at right now, is hosted on Godaddy.com, as it has been for many years. It's not a great host and isn't even particularly inexpensive, but moving the site to a new host is more of a job than I've been wanting to undertake. Recently, though, Godaddy announced that they would soon be discontinuing the "free" email that I get with my basic web hosting plan. The alternative, they suggested, was to pay $5 a month to keep my email account as it is. $5/month may not sound like much, but I get a whole virtual private server (VPS) for about that much, and that's really where I should be moving my website to. (These days I use that server mostly for downloading torrents without compromising my Verizon DSL, which had received something like five or six "strikes" from copyright stakeholders and had been in danger of being throttled until I discovered Transmission, which allows me to download torrents from a distant server.) The VPS is pretty bare-bones and needs to be administered entirely from a console window, but that's how I prefer to interact with Linux servers. Not wanting to pay an additional $5 every month to Godaddy, I decided to set up an email forwarder on my VPS. The idea was to point my Asecular.com domain's email-related DNS records at my VPS and then do whatever needs to be done on the VPS to forward the emails to a Gmail account. This means that, going forward, I will no longer be using the Thunderbird POP3 client for my personal email. (This probably for the best, as Thunderbird — which descends from the Netscape Navigator I began using as an email client in 1996 — seemed increasingly archaic in comparison to web-based systems.) I did all those things today, using a handy list of steps I found online somewhere. Initially I was concerned that my VPS would need to have reverse DNS lookup enabled on some upstream DNS server in order for its forwarded mails to be accepted by Gmail, which was going to require someone else doing something (something I very much wanted to avoid). But sending the emails didn't turn out to be a problem; the greatest difficulty I had was getting my VPS to receive Asecular.com emails. The issue wasn't the DNS pointers, it was something about the configuration of sendmail, the basic email software I was trying to work with. Upgrading to postfix solved all those problems, and, to my delight, the emails started to forward correctly.
By then, I'd cracked open a bottle of cheap pinot grigio I'd bought yesterday at J&K LIquor. (I'd told the helpful young man working there that I wanted a "big bottle of cheap white wine" and he'd chuckled and pointed me at the $10 1.5 litre bottles of Copper Ridge.) I ended up drinking most of that bottle while nostalgically poring over those pictures of my father's paternal grandparents. I was feeling bad for my grandfather John Mueller, who ran into a burning house with the mistaken belief that my infant father was still in there. Forced to jump out of a second-story window, he developed an infection and died some months later. Part of my connection to this tragedy (which is, let's face it, an important part of my origin story) was how much my grandfather resembled me in the one picture I had of him. I started feeling drunken pangs of narcissistic misery which caused me to choke up and even sob a few times. If you ever have an opportunity to work yourself up into tears over nothing, you should probably take it. It probably helped that I was also smoking enormous amounts of astoundingly weak pot.
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