Something a Little Bigger Than a Microblog

I threw together a toy mail server on an OpenBSD machine I have. Just an OpenSMTPd setup for local users, with mutt. It works, although of course deliverability will be terrible. My Gmail account accepted a message from it but marked it as spam. But, when I un-spammed it and replied, it kept the thread in my Inbox.

So, most people would consider it useless. I'd consider it slightly not-useless. Not usable the way we typically desire email, but could come in handy, if only as a teaching tool.

I've thought before about treating email kind of like the #fediverse, as in deciding to set up a server just to talk to specific other servers, instead of trying to reach any mail server. In other words, using it just between friends. I would like to put together a little guide for this sometime. Could be fun/interesting/slightly not-useless.

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It's the middle of August, and still very much summer. However, it is quite a bit colder now, definitely in the 50s (F). I'm up late again with a camp fire in the back yard, and it's kind of pleasant. It was stiflingly hot before, and now while still warm during the day it's nice at night. Good for sleeping.

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I am posting this from a #PinePhone. Actually, the phone is plugged into a USB C hub, with HDMI, and a keyboard and mouse connected. It actually works pretty well. On the phone, Phosh is the desktop (I'm just using the Manjaro install it came with), but I get a nearly-normal Linux desktop experience on the monitor. I've got a SIM card in there now for internet.

This isn't too bad. I tried it a while ago just to see if it would work, but never really used it. Now, it's sluggish to start some applications, but this could kind of be an interesting daily driver. The PinePhone has issues with AT&T, in that data works but voice and text don't, but with a different carrier it's not a bad phone if you don't actually need the Android/iOS app ecosystem. (AT&T is migrating to VoLTE only. The PinePhone supports it, but they've chosen to just ban other devices which aren't VoLTE exclusive, which the PinePhone isn't. The phone does work with a Verizon SIM I'd already activated, though, including voice and text.)

This phone is kind of like a compromise between a smart phone and a Linux laptop. So, it's not a direct replacement for say an Android phone, since it's not really the same thing. But in my opinion, it definitely fills a niche.

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It's cloudy, but hot out. I haven't mowed the grass in a while, and I'm not sure if I'm going to today. I may go for a swim, and then reevaluate.

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Time seems to move quicker as I get older. I remember the school year taking a long time when I was young, and then the summer being a long time, though not nearly as long as it should be. Of course, I didn't really have much in the way of obligations back then.

Now, of course, work doesn't let up for the summer. It goes by a lot quicker, and before I know it it'll be September. Then fall again.

That will mean cooler weather, which I generally prefer to the heat. But the heat waves haven't been as bad (yet) this year, and we're still closer to the beginning of summer than to the end. I'm enjoying the nicer weather.

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Change things up a little bit, whatever that means to you. I have routines that I like, but it's refreshing to break free from them once in a while. Try a different coffee, or go for a walk someplace new. Drive somewhere, or read a different book.

Or if it makes sense, travel. Or move. Or change jobs.

Change your way of thinking about things. This may be difficult, but it can be revealing.

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It's a cloudless night. I'm sitting by a fire out in my back yard, with a beer. It's chilly, but I'm burning a bunch of cut up pine from branch that fell, so it's warm.

The sky is amazing. No clouds, some light pollution, but not a lot. The stars are faint, but they're there.

Get out and look at the sky when you can.

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July 4th was yesterday. I didn't go out for a fireworks show, as I went out the night before. There were however, a lot of amateur displays happening not far from my neighborhood. It was actually a continuous series of explosions, that went into the morning. I guess people were getting it out of their systems.

Celebrating Independence Day seems weird with everything going on.

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I am away right now. It has its pros and cons – I'm away from the normal sources of stress, but there are some new, temporary ones. But those new ones tend to outweigh the old ones, I find. Routine change is important.

It's sunny here, and (more or less) warm. The water is beautiful, and pleasant though it's the cold Atlantic. It's great to see the sand, ocean sand, again.

This is a luxury, but in a way it's also a necessity. The getting away part, that is. A change in routine, a few days someplace else, or just doing something different. It can take on lots of forms, but it's important to try for once in a while.

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It's the night before travel. Maybe, I hope, I can get an early start. I hope to have a pleasant drive. I'm mostly packed, just need to eat breakfast, get my coffee, corral George, and load the car.

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