A tiny problem

I had a good weekend, it was eventful and charming and a few things happened that will never happen again, and that’s always good. First, I “swept” my first training ride.

teamleads 2014-05-26

That’s me and Jen and the two other sweeps who were very gentle with the newbies. “Sweeping a ride” is when you agree that you’ll ride slower than the slowest rider to make sure that nobody get’s left behind.  On the long rides (this one was 83km) two sweeps ride bikes, and two sweeps travel in a car, driving the route over and over again, making sure that all the riders are ok. Jen and I had a first aid kit (we didn’t have to use it, thank goodness) and water and a pump, and all the riders did really great, except for one guy who hit a pothole and got two flats 30km from home.  (We drove him to the subway.) Jen and I have to sweep three more rides, but we’re ever so grateful that we got our first one done without anybody calling 911, which I think was absolutely our biggest fear.

I got home, washed the dirt off of me, and headed over to Lou’s house, which is really Kate and Carlo’s house (on account of they are the adults, and they hold the mortgage, despite the way that the worlds most charming two year old runs the place.)

lousfirstselfie 2014-05-26

(That’s Lou’s first selfie. What kind of a person gives a two year old a smartphone so he can take a selfie? <raises hand slowly> I did. Clearly I value his fun more than my phone.)

Last week, after months of work and study, Carlos became a Canadian citizen.

katicecarlos 2014-05-26

We’re all so proud to have him, and so there were Canadian presents and Canadian food, Canadian drinks (that would be the magnificent cocktail known as the Ceasar. Virtually unknown outside of Canada, and the worlds a poorer place for it.)

ceasar 2014-05-26

There was everyone dressed in Canadian clothes, and flags and posters and good wishes and nobody could have been happier for him.  Carlos has spent the last few weeks asking Canadians questions from the citizenship test, and then demanding they turn over their passports if they don’t know the answers. It’s funnier than it sounds, and highlights how very hard it is to get that precious passport, if you weren’t lucky enough to be born in this safe, prosperous and beautiful country. (Sorry. Some national pride leaked out there.)

canadapresents 2014-05-26

It was a wonderful day.

Today of course, is another thing. This morning I woke up and discovered that I had about 10 000 bounced emails. (That number isn’t a joke.) I called Liquid Web right away (they’re awesome, if you’re ever wondering) and found out that while I slept my email had been compromised, and a really, really, really huge number of emails had been sent from my server. We changed my password, said some unbelievably unkind things about spammers,  the dude cleaned out the thousands and thousands of emails waiting to be sent from the server, and assured me that things would be okay now.   I went for a bike ride.

When I came back, I had about 20 000 notifications of bounced mail, and as I sat down in front of my computer wondering how I was ever, ever going to delete all that, I noticed something AMAZING if by amazing, you understand that I mean completely horrible.

I was getting 256 emails per minute.

You can bet your stash that I was back on the phone with Liquid Web in about two shakes of a lambs tail, and found out that while everything is going to be okay, it’s going to take a while to be okay.  Turns out my client can only download 256 per minute. That’s the cap. There’s so many waiting to be downloaded (ones that already belong to me as a result of the overnight incursion) that it’s going to take three days to stop. THREE DAYS – and during that time my computer is going to be so busy I might as well forget I have email.

I got 4000 emails while we were talking about it.

Dude gave me some information on how to deal with it, advised me that the best thing I could do was wait for it to stop, and then sort it, and said I was going to have a “super unproductive day.”  He sounded genuinely sympathetic.  He suggested I have a beer and try not to think about it.

That’s totally what I’m doing, and let me tell you this.

spinning productinve 2014-05-26

There’s no such thing as unproductive around here.  No email? That’s cool.  I have something else to do.


86 thoughts on “A tiny problem

  1. Oh goodness, and if I comment in sympathy that means you get another email. Oh well, I’m heartless that way. (Hugs!)

    Edited to add–Hah! Human verification test requires that I move a flag over to the circle. How completely poetically perfect is that! Go Carlos!

  2. Pingback: A tiny problem | Yarn Buyer

  3. I remember the day 10 years ago that my husband became a citizen. It’s a huge deal.
    Congratulations to Carlos.
    (and my husband was just as insistent that we all turn in our passports. 🙂

  4. Congrats on the first sweep, and on a new Canadian citizen. Living as close as I do, (Detroit), I completely appreciate Canada and her citizens. Love, love, love. You are so right to be proud.
    (Just fyi, it’s “world’s”, “world’s”, and “lamb’s” (not worlds, worlds, and lambs), unless rules for grammar are different in Canada. Or unless you sent from your phone, in which case a totally understand. Also, you have the best human verification system ever.

  5. I too am a Canadian by choice, and I chose that because my husband and sons were Canadian by birth. No one made a big fuss about it, but it was darned hard work, and expensive (and is even more expensive now). Yes, I think people who were born here who don’t know the most basic facts about how their democracy works or who Louis Riel and Sir Wilfred Laurier were, should have their passports taken away. I also got to sing the national anthem in both official languages, and how cool is it that I didn’t have to read the card to know the words to either one! (Yes, I’m bragging, but it was a lot of fun).

  6. Congrats to Carlos on becoming a Canadian citizen. We have every reason to let a little national pride leak, and when someone works that hard to become one of us, we should leak a little pride all over them. (Figuratively of course).

    I had forgotten that the Caesar is a Canadian drink – you’re going to get lots of requests, I think you’d better post the recipe.

    Congrats to you on the clean sweep – hope the rest go as well.
    Chris S in Canada

  7. Congrats on a successful sweeping, congrats to Carlos, and congrats for thumbing your nose at the spammer attempts to impede your “productivity”.

  8. Oh boy does that sound like a doozy of an email problem!!!

    I never knew that about Ceasars. I guess it’s time to surrender my passport!

  9. I know where that apostrophe from ‘world’s’ is – it’s hiding in the ‘gets’ just under the first paragraph. Dang those wandering punctuation marks.

    Good luck with the sweeps. I am baffled by the spamming thing – whyever would somebody want to harrass people at random?

  10. I hope the email thief gets bitten by a moose. The bright side, as you point out, is that being a spinner and/or knitter means never having to say, “I have nothing to do” or “I’m bored.”

    Here’s hoping that the avalanche of email stops soon! And largest of congratulations to Carlos! Citizenship exams are hard, so I hope he’s rightfully proud of his accomplishment.

  11. In terms of the email mess, it is probably best to set up a quick auto-reply for the next couple of weeks that tells anyone sending you an email what happened (and maybe tweet about it too), and then delete the whole lot. Anyone really trying to reach you will hopefully get the message and email a second time!

    Good luck, and congrats to Carlos! We Canadians just love it when someone wants to be here enough to join our crazy country 🙂

  12. I love the fact your tech support told you to have a beer. Now that’s realistic.
    Congratulations Carlos! Canada is lucky to have you.

  13. Wow – sorry to hear about your spammer, but congrats to Carlos!! I sent you an email today with a Karma gift for you to give away. Should I re-send it in a few days? I’d post it here but I’m not techie enough to get a photo in the comments, if that’s even possible…

    • I also have karmic balancing gifts to give, but haven’t yet sent you an email. Am also wondering whether waiting a few days and then sending is the way forward?

      Congratulations to Carlos! And good luck with the e-mail situation.

    • I sent an email a day or two ago because I contributed towards the ride. Let us know if a resend is needed. Congratulations to Carlos! Boo to spammers.

  14. OMG and I thought about 20-30 of those bounced emails a day was horrible. I kept forwarding them to earthlink as I didn’t recognize the people they were being sent to. Earthlink finally blocked my email for too much spamming. Called them this morning and it’ll take 24 hours to get my new password cleared. Who are these idiots doing this and why?
    Congrats on your successful sweeps and your newest citizen.

  15. Congratularions Carlos. Welcome to the best country in the world. IMHO. At the moment my son-in-law is in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen and I know how difficult it is. I think he’s great because he’s in awe of my mediocre knitting ability. Just like Carlos he will be a wonderful addition to our country.

    Hope you get your email issues solved soon. With wonderous technology seems to come a dark side.

  16. In the time you can’t deal with email, you will actually have super productive days! I’ve lost connectivity a few times and I’m amazed how much I got done when I wasn’t sitting down at my laptop.

  17. Sorry to hear about the email snafu, Steph. Hope everything else in your world is going ok, to make up for it.

  18. Well this is going to sound very un-patriotic of me, but I had no idea that Caesar’s were a Canadian thing. You learn something new every day…

  19. having run a half-marathon trail race as sweeper (twice) i understand all your feelings when sweeping! i’m thankful all the DNF racers i encountered could exit the course under their own power. It’s a difficult (and slightly stressful) task and many good things for you and Jen for doing it !

    Congrats Canada and Carlos!

    While I highly advocate Inbox Zero and am helping others to reach that goal, your method is a bit .. extreme even for me. 😉

  20. Count me in, too, as a Canadian who didn’t realize Caesars were Canadian. I’ve never been a huge fan, though… I’d so much rather have a Creemore, or a SteamWhistlle, or a Mill Street Organic, or – the mind boggles at the beer choices! Carlos has made an excellent choice to join our ranks.

  21. Sincere congratulations to Carlos! I well remember when my parents and I became Canadians. It took them a lot longer than me to get around to it but was still exciting.
    I strongly recommend Canadians visit a citizenship ceremony, perhaps on Canada Day – but bring a hankie.
    I completed precisely one 40km bike race. I wish there was a sweeper as they would have been with me the whole way …
    Ugh and triple ugh on the email spam. Kudos to your tech support’s attitude indeed.

  22. WoW! Not only did you IT person give you permission to spin/knit all day, but he wants you to have a beer while you’re about it. You need to send him some warm wooly love! Enjoy! deborah

  23. Hooray for Carlos, and for Lou’s selfie, and for Bloody Caesars (have had the drink, but didn’t know it was Canadian)!!!
    Boo for spammers!!! Guess this makes me glad nearly no one reads my blog. (Never wanted to be famous, and it’s working out just fine…)
    Enjoy the lovely free time to spin, knit, and quaff a brew or two. Or three. Or…

  24. Congrats to Carlos. I missed being born in St Catherines by three days and have never forgiven my parents for moving out of my grandmothers house in Merritton and into their own apartment “over the river”.
    Congrats to you and your fabulous team. My donation will arrive when the paycheck does. ;0)

  25. I didn’t know that Caesars are unknown outside of Canada until my husband and I were in Connecticut for a wedding. At the bar I asked for a Caesar and got a blank look from the bartender. She then said she’d never heard of them I had to settle for a vodka and cranberry juice. Hrrumph.
    Sorry to hear about your email trouble. I hope it’s all straightened out soon.

    • They’re not totally unknown outside of Canada. I’ve seen them on the menu here in Washington State, but they’re usually listed as a “Bloody Caesar”. I hereby admit to never having drunk one. While I love clams and find tomato juice semi-drinkable (with enough hot sauce added), I refuse to consume them together. *makes hissing noises in the directions of “Manhattan Clam Chowder”*

  26. hi steph-I love that you are a champion spinner and that you do it on a basic ashford wheel. The high end fancy wheels are nice, of course, but this is just a reminder that the instrument is not as important as the skill of the person using it.

  27. Only parents know the US Constitution better than me, and we became citizens when I was in 7th grade at that time!
    Congrats to Carlos!!
    (Sorry about the spam)

  28. That Caesar sounds rather like a Bloody Mary – similar ingredients except for the clam, which sounds plain odd. But I suppose that’s cocktails for you!

    Like your ‘human checker’ thingy.

  29. I love that your web tech’s advice was to have a beer – now why doesn’t my IT help desk come up with that more often – it might work better than turn it off and on again!

  30. I used be a bartender on the American side of the 1000 Islands and I knew how to make a Ceasar because we had a lot of Canadian customers. You can find it in the USA along the US/ Canadian border, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the US. Congratulations to Carlos! Canada is a wonderful country and I’ve always enjoyed visiting it. Canadians are terrific people, warm, generous and kind. I think that it comes from living in a land with such a long cold winter. Sorry to hear about the spam! That’s just dreadful! At least you have something fun to do to distract you LOL!

  31. The test for Australian citizenship is equally difficult, and I’ve seen similar from people studying for ours.

    And your spam problem? More than a little irritating…

  32. You’re beautiful sounds just wonderful to be a part of. Congratulations Carlos! I love your family get-together blogs. And who can’t get enough of Lou? (He’s very good at “selfie” taking!)

  33. Congratulations to Carlos! Hope his questions didn’t leave anyone unable to leave the country 🙂

    As for your email…well, clearly that’s a sign that you should be doing Better Things. Like spinning. Knitting. Talking to us. You know.

  34. The email problem is seriously nasty I wish you well after your day of enforced Knitting related day lol in sorting out thousands of crap emails………………

  35. Congratulations to Carlos! I’m working on becoming a Canadian citizen as well! I’m still in the PR card process, but one day I will get there. It’s a long road, but it will be so very worth it.

  36. Congratulations to Carlos on changing his citizenship…and there are probably quite a few US folks who can’t answer the questions that you need to answer for citizenship in this country.
    Congratulations to you and Jen for having the first of what we hope are all uneventful sweeps! Those of us at the rear of the pack appreciate that someone makes sure that we complete the ride.
    May karmic balancing deal with all spammers…I can’t say more than that on a family-friendly blog.

  37. Many congrats and welcome to Carlos!

    Have you checked your laptop for viruses since the spamming incident? Sometimes a password can be compromised because of a virus that stores keystrokes and sends them to the bad guys (called a “keylogger”). (I’m a network security engineer when I’m not knitting.)

    • Thanks for posting this. I would never have known to look for something so invasive. That might explain why I’m unable to get into my non-knitting account.

  38. If my math is correct, you will have received over 1.1 MILLION emails by 36 hrs. That is insane!! Talk about unproductive, wading through 1.1 million emails. As said above, now would be the perfect time to delete it all and start from scratch. We’d all understand.

  39. Congrats to Carlos!!!

    Here in Duluth/Superior they are Bloody Caesars as well!
    My Canadian brother-in-law taught me to give it a squeeze of lime as well though that is likely a personal thing. We DO find that Canadian Clamato has a different flavor profile than its American counterpart. More to love!!!

  40. How can you talk about a drink unknown outside of Canada and then not post a recipe!! lol

    I’m sure I could google it, but I’d rather try your fav version!

  41. A funny Caesar story. A group of Canadians was at a meeting in Miami. One of them asked the (Spanish-speaking) bartender for a Caesar. He was like ” A Cea-sah??” Yes. A Caesar. ” Again with huge incredulity and eyebrows lifting off his head, “A Cea-sah????!!??” YES! A CAESAR. So he putters around behind the bar and brings…..scissors. A sciss-ah, I guess.
    Congrats to Carlos!

  42. As someone who threatens to move to Canada every time our American government does something stupid, I’m bummed to hear the citizenship process is not an easy one. Boo for spam but yay for spinning and beer.

  43. Congrats on your first sweep – that sounds really interesting as well as important. And more sweeps to come? Also congrats to Carlos, such a great step to take with all the work to earn citizenship. The spam/email part is fascinating if also a total drag. I hear about these instances, but they sound so preposterous that it’s hard to imagine they can happen to anyone I know. Hope it tapers off and is totally straightened out soon. Great blog post – each story was bog worthy in itself!

  44. Congratulations to Carlos. My grandparents were naturalized U.S. citizens. They knew more than I did and I am a certified history teacher. I suspect we Native born North Americans really don’t appreciate what we have. So what’s a Caesar?

  45. Congrats, Carlos!

    So true that knitters/spinners are never lacking for something to do, except… When a powerful storm system knocks out your power after daylight hours, you’re fresh out of batteries, and its too stinking hot to burn candles. Ask me how I know that. As I type on my phone the dark (and irony of ironies, I was spinning when the offending lightning bolt struck!)

  46. OMG!!! I am soooo sorry! I hate computer problems! I am a teacher and the first day of my marine biology class I write on the board (and don’t say a word) “He who lives by technology will die by technology!” Hang in there. I would do what I always do…shut the computer down and send it into cyberspace time out until it can behave… : )

  47. Congratulations to Carlos! Commiserations on the e-mail problem! And, forget the Caesar, just give me a Bloody Mary (I’m not wild about seafood).

  48. Looks like a lovely way to ignore your computer! Stupid spammers-sorry about that-what a drag!
    I actually just purchased my first spindle due to your bad influence and an angora rabbit-must be the wool fumes as you like to say 😉

  49. *prepares team of knitters armed with snow shovels to help deal with spam-bounce inundation. ties skeins of yarn to St. Bernards, preparing to send them into the Yarn Harlot’s domicile. rethinks that last because of a) dog drool and b) chances of distracting snow-shovel-bearing knitters…”Was that YARN????!?”*

    I hope the email avalanche has died back.

  50. Caesar = Bloody Caesar.

    I loved them. Much spicier and nicer than a Bloody Mary.

    However, it’s the only drink I know of that is off limits to vegetarians, which I now am.

    So yeah, I miss them. However, I might declare an occasional moratorium and think of clams as ‘fruits de mer’.

    Welcome to the club, Carlos.

  51. You need to share the recipe for the magnificent cocktail known as the Ceasar! Or is that a Canadian secret?

    Bad luck about the email. I hope it gets sorted soon…

  52. I love Kate’s shirt! Is there any way of finding out where she got it? I’m an American with Canadian roots and Canadian in-laws, and I would wear the heck out of that shirt all over the U.S. if given the chance.

  53. I cannot tell you how bad the two-year-old selfie thing can get. I used to get home from my niece’s house and would find up to 200 little person selfies. I loved the ones where you could tell she’d just been caught taking them and her face would get wild with half panic/half delight as she kept clicking to get in as many as possible until the phone was taken from her.

  54. My husband did the exact same thing when he became a citizen. I think it is a right of passage, to quiz and fail all the people who were born here. hahaha.

    Congratulations Carlos! It isn’t easy to become a citizen but it that makes it all the more wonderful when it happens I think.

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