Our First Visit to Maui

With two greats friends in town, believer and I decided to hop over to Maui for six wonderful days exploring another isle. Maui reminded us lots of Ireland and allowed for us to relax some. We were able to take the Road to Hana drive, view the sunrise at Haleakala Crater, and overall experience a completely different side of Hawaii.

Beauty Still Exists

Its easy to get caught up in the day to days of life. The yard, the bills, making mortgage payments, meeting deadlines at work, 7am conference calls, 10pm programming, pending surgery, etc, they all can creep up on me. One of the beauties of Hawaii, however, is that with all of these on my mind, I still hop in my Xterra and drive over the H3 from Kailua to Honolulu and see the beauty of the shoreline in Kaneohe, the mountains over the H3, and the rainbows of Honolulu. It helps keep a perspective on things….

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Every Friday night the street I live on has a pau hana (end of work) party. Its pot luck so its a great time to experience new foods. This week I made stuffed mushrooms and it was a big hit. I think it was the first dish gone!

16-32 regular mushrooms, washed, dried, and stems removed.
1 tub of garic and chive cream cheese
4 bacon strips fully cooked, minced
1 cluster of green onions minced
garlic salt to taste
1 cup of cheddar cheese (for mix)
1 cup of italian seasoned bread crumbs

I threw it all together, whisked it briefly (cheating, i used the microwave to soften the cream cheese), and filled the caps. After filling, sprinked more cheddar cheese lightly over the tops of all of the mushrooms.

Then i very lightly oiled a baking pan, preheated to 350, put them in and waited 15 minutes. Be sure to let them cool before serving, the mushrooms keep the heat very well.

SSMTP + POP3S + POP Before SMTP Authentication in Outlook

So for quite some time i’ve been wanting to send and receive email with my mail server over purely encrypted methodologies using Outlook in Windows. Additionally, I didnt really want any user accounts having cleartext passwords thrown around, so i finally managed some free time during off hours while my wife was at work, and was able to get everything working.

This isnt a step by step introduction, guide, or FAQ, but a few things to point out…

First, for your pop3 stunnel configuration, be sure to set ‘transparent = yes’.

exec = /usr/sbin/vm-pop3d (or your pop3 daemon)
execargs = popa3d
transparent = yes

This enables your pop3 logs to show the originating IP, not turning this on shows, which isnt what we want.

Second, be sure transparent is off for smtp’s config in stunnel and you’ve defined the protocol as smtp.

protocol = smtp
accept = 465
connect = 25

The xinetd services are faily straightforward:
service smtps
disable = no
socket_type = stream
wait = no
user = root
server = /usr/sbin/stunnel
server_args = /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf-smtp
log_on_success += HOST DURATION
log_on_failure += HOST


service pop-3
socket_type = stream
protocol = tcp
wait = no
user = root
instances = 25
server = /usr/sbin/vm-pop3d
server_args = -D -i
log_type = SYSLOG local4 info
log_on_success = PID HOST EXIT DURATION
log_on_failure = HOST ATTEMPT

Lastly, I downloaded and setup pop-before-smtp, http://popbsmtp.sourceforge.net/, and had it configured for my vm-pop3d daemon.

In outlook when you check use SSL for POP3, it puts 995 (the right port) into place, however, when you check SSL for SMTP, it leaves it at 25, be sure to change it to 465.

If you have some problems, run sniffers and make sure packets are being exchanged, no firewalls are in the way, etc. I found /var/log/secure to yield stunnel logs and also you can turn on logging in Outlook throught tools->options->advanced turn on logging.

Hope this helps someone out there, if not, I’m sure oneday I’ll need it again.

darky was kind enough to tell me TLS was in POSTFIX’s SMTP server, here is my config:
# TLS [#98]
smtpd_use_tls = yes
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/tls/smtpd.key
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/tls/smtpd.pem
smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/postfix/tls/smtpd.pem

Note you can be your own CA 🙂

Live Webcam of Backyard

So, out of sheer boredom and a lot of ‘old’ toys laying around, I decided to setup a webcam of the back yard. So, if you’re ever curious about the weather…. click the link to the right, choose “Friends and Family” and look for ‘ardent’.

Have fun watching nothing! 🙂

Vacation calendar

For those of you interested in knowing availability of visiting us in Hawaii, I’ve assembled a calendar you can view and select dates for visiting us. You arent able to modify or add items, those must be approved by us first!

Anyway, the link is to the right, under “Links” titled Vacation Calendar.



Today is going to be one of the hardest days of my working career. Updates to follow…

Uncluttering the mind

I’ve started hunting for ways to unclutter my mind. So many things are flying through my head every second. I’ve begun reading many articles related to the proper work / living environments, how to prevent distractions that aren’t really urgent, etc.

I hope to share some of my findings here over the next few weeks. Regardless, I need to find something.

customLASIK Day Two

I went back for my 24-hr checkup. I was previously 20/80 vision and am now 20/25 in each eye and 20/20 altogether. I personally expect better vision as time progresses, my eyes are still healing. Nap time….