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Things to do in Denver with no head


. . . Or at least with no brain.

I checked the weather report for Denver last night and saw that there were going to be thunderstorms today. "So much for my flight being on time," thought I.

I checked this morning and the flight was on time, but half an hour later I got an automated call telling me it was delayed by half an hour. Went to the airport. Flight was delayed another half-hour. Then another hour. The 5:00 flight finally left at 7 p.m.

The flight itself was uneventful, except for some turbulence and the part where my airport-purchased chicken caesar sandwich spilled caesar salad dressing onto my copy of Best American Fantasy (and possibly all over the rest of my backpack too, I haven't checked yet).

So we landed in Denver around 10 p.m. local time.

But the gate we were going to was occupied.

So we sat on the tarmac for a full hour waiting for a gate to open up.

(Including 15 minutes spent 100 feet from the gate, waiting for the ground crew--who had mysteriously disappeared--to return.)

Finally got off the plane around 11, found baggage claim, and had to wait about 45 minutes for my bag to show up.

Then caught a taxi to the Curtis hotel, where I am now going to collapse. (And where I've started coughing again, after a mostly cough-free afternoon and evening.)

Two unrelated side notes:

  • The hotel Internet connection is once again refusing to let me send email from the fiction@ address. I'm getting really sick of this. And this time autoresponses won't go out for four days if I don't figure out a way to get around it. I'll try asking Pair tech support tomorrow, or else I'll find a Starbucks or something that has an access point. (This is something that works fine from any normal Internet connection, but apparently hotel connections interact badly with Pair's system, or something.)
  • It occurred to me tonight that most of the United hubs (or at least major-United-traffic airports) that I use are in really bad-weather places. Chicago, Denver, Boston; pretty much every time I fly through any of these places, there are weather delays. And I fly through one or more of those airports almost every time I fly United. So I should probably start adding about 3 hours of weather delays to my plans for every trip on United.


Stupid/obvious question, but does your smtp server require authentication? Usually what I find in hotels is that the service provider there is redirecting any port 25 requests to their own smtp server, and of course your email client is trying to authenticate with your own server's login details.
So you could try taking the authentication off the smtp account and see if it works.

I'm working on getting my server's hosting to let me connect to smtp via a different port, so I don't have to worry about this.

Thanks, Peter--useful to know. But I think in my case that's not what's going on. My SMTP server doesn't use authentication; instead, it lets you send mail only if you've recently checked mail. And it works fine from hotels when I send mail using my personal address; it's only when I try to send mail with the return address set to the SH fiction address that it balks.

And when that happens, Mail.app tells me that Pair's SMTP server is rejecting the message. (Though it's possible that Mail.app is confused and it's actually the hotel's SMTP server that's rejecting the message. But I don't know why the hotel would care what return address I use.)

It's possible this all has something to do with Mail.app, too. There've only been two hotels where this has been a problem, both in the last two weeks; in most of my previous hotel stays (at other hotels), I was using Eudora rather than Mail.app. So there are unfortunately a bunch of different variables. I can eliminate some of them by trying various combinations of things, but it'll take time.

Mail.app probably wouldn't know that the SMTP server isn't Pair's, because the hotel's system is redirecting the port 25 requests without telling it (er. That's about as technical as I can get anyway...)

That said, it's certainly odd that it wants to reject that sender. It could be that the hotel's SMTP server likes to do some other kind of "background check" on the emails you're sending. My work's email lists get blocked sometimes because they come from a web server that's not set to receive email itself. If the Strange Horizons server isn't setup with an SMTP server itself, that might be the problem: the hotel's system tries to verify the sender address by briefly opening a sendmail session with the Strange Horizons server, fails, and thus rejects the sender address.

Mightn't help you at all, but still. Best bet would be trying to get your SMTP server to let you connect on a port other than 25, which would make it much more likely that you really are connecting to it, rather than the hotel's one. (Easier suggested than achieved, to coin a phrase...)

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