Monthly Archives: July 2007

Sarah's pre-birthday weekend

We had a semi busy, but nice weekend. On Friday we had Mike and Renee over again, and had dinner and talked. We played the wii again and had a good time watching Liz go nuts with boxing again. I had a few bad games of bowling, but I think we were tied at the end. Everyone got tired around 11 something but we stayed up talking until just about midnight when our guests left. Abby went ot bed on Friday almost normal time, and Sarah stayed up until midnight with us. Michael would have stayed up if we would have let him, he seems to have unlimited energy and does not “konk out” at all.

Friday night, Abby woke up a few times and caused Liz and I to only get a very few hours of sleep. Michael woke up early and we needed to get up a little early anyway as we planned to go to the Rec Center for the Family Fun day. So we got up, ate breakfast and got ready to go. I think we got to the Rec Center by 11 or so. I got the kids to the pool and when they were all set, I left them with Liz and went to hit around in the racquetball courts a bit before Mike and Renee got there to warm up a little. Well I ended up hitting my only ball out of the court into the parking lot, so I had to leave and go to Wal-Mart to get a new can of balls. It took what seemed like forever, and I didn’t get back until almost 12:30. At that point, Mike and Renee just got there, but the Rec Center had run out of food, so Mike went to Wendy’s to get something. When he got back, I was back out on the court hitting around a little more, and shortly thereafter it started to rain. At first, it felt nice, cool water hitting my hot head out in the sun. Then a few minutes later it was pouring! I walked back into the pool area to find the family and they were closing down the pool area, forcing all the people inside because of the thunder storm moving over. So we stood under a walkway for a while talking but decided just to go home. It rained hard and we got soaked getting out to the van. Mike drove me to our van from his, and it was coming down the hardest right about the time we made a run for it. We had a nice relaxing day indoors after that due to the rain which makes a lovely sound on the play room roof, and is ideal for napping on the couch.

On Sunday, I took Abby out on a daddy date to the Brandon mall. I’ve never been but had heard it was a nice mall. We went in the miata together, and had a nice ride, but left the top up and used the A/C as it was very warm! We got to the mall and went to a cookie shop and got a small bag of cookies. Abby rode a small train ride before we left for the food court to sit down and eat our cookies. We found that just like the Citrus park mall, they also have a large indoor merry-go-round and so Abby just had to ride that too. We got on and rode around for a while and then headed back to the car. It is a nice mall, but not as nice as Citrus Park. I did find some stores in there that I’ll keep in mind the next time I need to go shopping…

Took Sarah to my office on Saturday

Due to problems with the Air Conditioning in my office at work, I had to go into the office and reset the A/C. I took Sarah with me on Saturday and showed her my office. We had a nice ride to work with the top down in the Miata, but the sun was really intense and we both had about enough of that by the time we got there. She played with tools while another guy I work with (Jeremy) and I got the A/C working again. When we left, we put the top back up in the Miata and rode home in the air conditioning! I think all of our cooler summer weather is over, and its going to be pretty hot for the next 2 months or so. Fortunately, the super hot stuff only lasts 2-3 months or so, and then it goes back to near perfect most of the time. When we walked in the door at home, Liz asked Sarah if she had a good time with me, and Sarah answered “yeah, but it wasn’t much fun, all I got to do was play with tools”. 🙂


I took Sarah to see Ratatouille last Tuesday afternoon. We caught the last afternoon show together. We were almost late getting to the theatre in New Tampa, but made it just in time. We both liked the movie, it was funny, had a good story, and the characters were great. The animation was really good and it was nice to sneak out and do something with Sarah just the two of us.

Twitter Updates for 2007-07-07

  • Cooling off after cutting the grass, whew its warm sunny and humid! #

Twitter Updates for 2007-07-06

  • trying to thawl my hands, its freezing in my office. I can barely type. #
  • Pondering my life on this planet and my purpose. #
  • Wishing I brought my hat so I could ride with the top down. Too hot today I’d burn my head. #

Verizon FIOS and Relay of SMTP messages

It came to my attention recently that there have been problems relaying mail to an external party from my mail server at home. I host some distribution lists and mailboxes for a small group my wife is involved with. They have a public domain setup with a few mailboxes. All the e-mail for that public domain comes through my Exchange server. Copies of the incoming messages are routed to internal mailboxes, but each mailbox is setup to forward a copy of every incoming message to that user’s home e-mail address.

So I kept getting these NDR messages (since I’m the administrator) and I hadn’t really had time to investigate until recently. When I started to take a look at the problem, I realized it only occurred when a particular sender would send a message to the users on the group’s public domain. Basically this person was sending mail to an address at the groups public SMTP domain. So my server would receive the mail, deliver it locally and then forward on a copy to each recipient’s home e-mail address. So that was the pattern of the problem, at least I had that figured out.

We recently switched to Verizon FIOS and after more checking, realized this issue started occurring right around the same time we made the switch. When looking in the event viewer on my Exchange server I found events saying that I had to authenticate to send mail as xxx user, which I knew was not my account. I checked the message tracking in Exchange and found that mail delivery worked fine locally, but failed when relaying a copy out to the user’s home e-mail address.

The issue it seems is that when Exchange forwards a copy back out to the user’s home account, it has the from address of the sender in the SMTP transmission. My server is configured to route all outgoing SMTP messages through Verizon’s outgoing SMTP server. But the user sending the original message was also using Verizon DSL with a e-mail account. So when my server tried to relay the outgoing copy, it saw the from address and that it was a account. I can only assume that Verizon has some type of account restrictions in place that prevented my server from relaying mail from this address while authenticated as my account. (I’m using SMTP authentication for outgoing mail through Verizon). The message would be blocked at this point and I’d get the NDR. So I naturally started looking at outgoing SMTP accounts with third parties for use with relaying. I toyed with the idea of setting up another SMTP connector for the recipient’s domain to bypass Verizon, but was weary of that due to PTR issues with my DNS, which could cause more problems than its worth.

I found a good SMTP relay service for only $15 a year, and was about to buy it when I decided to stop and try the SMTP connector in Exchange first, just to see if it work, or if hotmail (the home recipient with delivery problems) would reject the message if it did any type of PTR lookup on the sending mail server. I set everything up and sent a test message and was happy to see it was delivered successfully. I now route all outgoing mail to directly to the hotmail MX servers rather than route through Verizon. This way all other mail can go through Verizon, but anything sent to will go directly from my server to hotmail, which then resolves my problems of another user relaying through my mail server. After more testing I have found this works well and saved me $15 a year.

Experts Exchange t-shirt

I wore my Experts Exchange Master t-shirt to the parade in Temple Terrace yesterday, but there must not have been many IT people there, I didn’t get any comments or looks. Which I guess could be a good thing. Now if I had worn that shirt to a computer show, I’m sure I’d have gotten some comments. 😉

Free time

Liz is taking the kids to her see her family today, so tonight when I get home, they should already be gone. I’ll have tonight to myself to do whatever, maybe go see a movie, fiddle around at home, the possabilities are endless. I am very tempted to go see Transformers tonight, but I don’t know…

Book – Same kind of different as me

Liz got me to read the book “Same kind of different as me” by Ron Hall. I had heard about this book a few times and once Liz was done with it, I decided to go ahead and read it. Over a day or two I read the first 30 chapters. But then yesterday afternoon I started reading past chapter 30 which is where the story gets sad and tragic and got caught up in it. I ended up reading the entire remaining nearly 40 chapters in the next 2-3 hours. It was a good book and a touching story. Helps bring lots of things in life into proper perspective.


Last night we didn’t go to any real fireworks. It was rainy and by the time the rain was over it was so wet we didn’t want to take the kids out in it. So we watched the neighbors fireworks display until almost 9:30 and then came inside and let the girls watch the New York fireworks on TV. They still enjoyed it but hopefully we will have better weather next year.