how snowballs work
Tuesday, January 5 2021
Gretchen and I would be leaving for a long five-day weekend in Virginia tomorrow and I wanted to be able to check my remote Rasperry-Pi-based camerabots remotely while we were gone. Unfortunately, though, the remote.it account I use to check those 'bots was registered under my gus at asecular dot com email address, which I'd lost access to about a year ago. I still control the asecular.com domain, but emails to that domain were being forwarded to a gmail account ever since Godaddy.com began demanding $5 additional per month for email hosting on my asecular.com website plan. Something bad had happened to that forwarding (hosted on the Linux virtual server I mostly use for Bittorrent downloading) circa October of 2019, and I hadn't cared enough to do anything about it. But then my account on Newegg.com (which is tied to that email address) demanded I submit a change of password action, and I didn't want to lose my order history with them. And more recently I found out I'd lost access to my remote.it account. So I really did need to regain access to gus at asecular dot com. Initially it seemed easiest to pay Godaddy $5 for one month of email hosting and then transfer everything to gmail, but they hadn't made it possible to do this online. As I waited on hold with Godaddy, the pre-recorded hold message wondered several times if I wanted to discuss my business goals with a consultant, interjecting with an inappropriately-informal "Aweseome!" This happened perhaps one too many times, so at some point I thought "Fuck Godaddy" and hung up the phone, determined to do whatever it took to get email forwarding working again on my Linux virtual server. In my experience, it's always possible to get complex server-y things working; all it takes is dedication to the cause.
At the time in my remote workplace, I was dealing with another vexing server issue. I had a compiled dotnet-core-based website written by the Ukranian outsourcers and couldn't figure out how to serve it from an IIS website. The jargon tossed around when trying to research such matters is impenetrable, so I was forced to ask one of the Ukranians why I kept getting an unlogged 500 error (because a helpful website I'd found had not been quite helpful enough). Initially the Ukranian was flummoxed by the problem. But then he asked, just "to be sure" we were "on the same page," whether the AspNetCoreModule had been installed. I was pretty sure it had been, because I'd installed the dotnet core SDK. Surely any modules IIS would need would be part of that. But it turns out it hadn't been, and from the way the Ukranian was communicating, the need for AspNetCoreModule is something so obvious that he shouldn't've needed to bring it up. Just installing that one thing got a lot of things working that hadn't been. And success there had a snowball effect, makint it more likely I would solve the problem with email forwarding on my virtual Linux server.
I was in an online tax department meeting when I finally got that email forwarding working. What I had to do was replace my master.cf with a stock version and then, because I'd been screwing with /etc/postfix/virtual (the simple file mapping email addresses to be forwarded to their destination), I had to run the command postmap /etc/postfix/virtual. With email forwarding correctly again, I could reset the passwords at remote.it and Newegg.com. The success was so infectious, I probably would've taken on some other server headache had I still had any to tackle. It helped me better appreciate how lifehacks like the Dave Ramsey debt snowball work.
Before the end of daylight, I made a salvaging foray into the forest near the north end of Gullies Trail. This was a little further afield (both topographically and in terms of horizontal distance) than I've been going for such salvages lately, and was the reason I found perfect firewood: a dead, perfectly-dry skeletonized twin of a red oak. There was more than a single backpack load available from just that, but all I retrieved today was the one load.
A bluejay in a small white pine east of the house today.
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