Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mental Health

After Friday’s work meltdown, it didn’t get much better. My software refused to work over the weekend, necessitating the friendly ‘borrowing’ of another’s internet connection. The problem was eventually traced after way too much time on the phone with Comcast to the fact that they had blocked Port 25, 3 calls and they wouldn’t admit to it until I read up and asked to talk to the ‘abuse team’, its like a ‘friendly visit’ to the headmaster of Tom Brown schooldays.

Now I should add that whilst I am validating/verifying 6-8,000 emails at a time I am at no point sending an email, but instead verifying the address exists, using Port 25 (SMTP out). I am doing this to REDUCE spam by my clients, by validating the addresses on their newsletter lists, we don’t spend time trying to deliver to non-existent mailboxes thus clogging ISP email servers. We send out 1-1.5 million emails per week on behalf of these clients, so even a 10% failure rate can be a pain for all involved. Again, this ain’t spam – its opt in rather than out, and in 7+ years of business we have never been spam blocked or greylisted by any provider.

So they lift it, but that it will be re-instated probably within 24-48 hours of me hitting a search apparently, unless I switch to use port 587, ugh, guess I need to write more software, or get my developer to hurry up and move this to a server based version using our own servers, which are..NOT ON COMCAST !.

So that was a true piddler of a weekend, going loopy and ending up running these things round the clock from Saturday into Monday (go to bed, set alarm clock for 3 hours, get up save results and run next test), so one was a very grumpy little unit Monday morning. Times like these make me sooo happy I work from home, I think human contact in an office at that point would have resulted in genocide.

Though I had run and lifted weights on Sunday, it was only enough to lift the black clouds for a little bit, but completing everything Monday morning, followed by a conversation with my partner that I was going to go take a 2 hour mental health break and all became right with the world.

It takes me exactly 12 minutes to leave suburbia on the road bike, at which point I am on narrow, back country roads, the woods still full of ice that hasn’t thawed out from the last ten days. The last 12 months of riding and running and last 4 months of intense and committed training, much of the riding carried out on a trainer in my basement have provided incredible fitness dividends. So this ride was a release, a release and letting go of the stress, aggravation, frustration and annoyance, with the strength and fitness to back it up, I floated up the first few hills and then the next long one attacked, settling into a hard rhythm dancing on the pedals, then jumping out of the saddle and laying the smackity down on the road, repeat several times.

It never ceases to amaze me how getting outside and exercising truly shapes and changes my attitude towards anything in life, when I returned a couple of messages that would have been aggravating were just water off a duck’s back and were swiftly dealt with, my team was bonded with and a direction and plan was crafted for our launch next week.

All is right with the world, interspersed are a few pictures from the ride. I wonder why only one side of the mailbox received the abuse and bullet dents (.22 judging from the size and lack of penetration)…

Word for the day is rhinotillexomania – look that puppy up, it was on a triathlon blog !

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." T. S. Elliot

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