TannieSpace

geekery, drawing and then some

2009 (old posts, page 7)

Cleaning up my mailboxes, and useful procmail-bits.

I started decluttering my e-mail. I thought over 1gb worth of e-mail took up too much space, and what the hell did I save in those folders anyway?

I found I also had a huge procmailrc that filtered through my messages and put them in many nested folders.

Before I started I made a small inventory of what I had:

  • work-account, over 600MB in 4000 e-mails
  • private account, over 400MB in 3000 e-mails
  • third fun account, some 25MB worth of mail, nothing really important.

I use IMAP exclusively, and my accounts have about 1GB of space each, so I had the space to save it all. I also have the space to stack my living-room full of boxes, but I’d rather not.

So, I took the necessary steps to clean it up.

Step 1: Less folders!

I decided no more nested folders! This made everything a lot easier, and much cleaner, in mail.app and in mutt. Instant relief. Though I can’t and won’t go for that ‘single archive’ approach, I do prefer to have as little folders as possible. Right now I have the default ‘Sent’ (which I clear out daily) ‘Trash’ and ‘Draft’, and for my work account I have the folders ‘work’ ‘social’ ‘specific mailing-list’ ‘other mailing-lists’. For my private account I have ‘social’, ‘web’, ‘license-codes’, ‘health’ and ‘finance’. I do receive some social e-mail on my work-account (no rules against that where I work) so I decided to give that a special folder. I made a general and quick separation, based on gut-feeling alone. My work-account receives work-related mailing-lists, but all my other lists go to a third, specifically meant for mailing-list. This way I can disable the account, or simply not read it, if I just want to read my private e-mail.

Step 2: Clearing out old mail.

I went through all my e-mail.

Yes, all of it.

It was Hell.

It was horrible.

It was painful.

I have no clue why I saved so many e-mails that made me feel bad. I tossed them out.

I had e-mails from orders I made, years and years ago. Out they went.

Work related e-mails from problems long solved (talking years here). Delete delete delete.

E-mails with 10MB worth of photos attached. Saved the photos, deleted the attachment from the e-mail if I wanted to keep it, or deleted the e-mail entirely.

I deleted a lot.

I went from having over 1gb worth of e-mail (combined in all three accounts) to about 40mb (combined in all three accounts). I did it last week, and I still feel pretty damn good about it.

Step 3: Perfecting the archive process.

When e-mail from my family arrives, it gets tagged with a special header that MailTags understands. I did this by adding the following rule to my procmailrc:

:0f * ^FROM.*(adres1|adres2) | formail -A 'X-Keywords: family'

This tells procmail that if the mail comes from either ‘adres1’ or ‘adres2’ to add a header which says ‘X-Keywords: family’. I have a similar rule for mails from friends.

I can then choose to filter it directly to my folder ‘social’ (for friends and family)

:0 * ^(X-Keywords|X-Mailtags).*(friends|family) .social/

It opens up all kinds of useful tagging!

Then, I looked at my mailing-list mail. I didn’t want the hassle of creating a new rule for every list I joined, or to have my procmailrc clog up with old rules, so I looked around and found a great solution:

` :0 ^X-BeenThere: \/[^@]+ ! ^(List-Id|X-(Mailing-)?List):.* .$MATCH/

0 * ^((List-Id|X-(Mailing-)?List):(.[< ]\/[^>])) { LISTID=$MATCH

:0
* LISTID ?? ^\/[^@\.]*
.$MATCH/

} `

Both these rules do the same thing, but they act on different headers. Not all mailing-lists use the same method, so I had to use more than one rule. Basically it either looks at the @X-BeenThere@ or @List-Id/X-Mailing-List/X-List@ to see what list the message comes from, and then filters it into a folder with the same name. Excellent!

Step 4: Enjoy!

After a week of using my freshly cleaned mail-accounts, I still feel great about it. Almost everything goes automatically, and I’ve only had to do minor tweaks so far. With the help of MailActOn I can easily file my e-mails and keep everything nice, clean, sorted and stick to Inbox Zero (which I’ve done for quite some time, but that archive of mail just kept on bugging me).

Aaaah, the joys of a clean mailbox!


And then, the trackpad died.

The most interesting thing just happened. My mouse-pointer stopped working. I rebooted, and it wouldn’t move until I turned on mouse-keys and moved it around with the keyboard. Clearly some wire broke or gave up. Yet another sign my iBook needs replacement, but as of yet, no money in the MacBook-fund.

I can manage without a trackpad, right? :)


Why I like OmniWeb…

After several days of OmniWeb use I remember why I so happily used it before. It zooms through pages and (yes, get this!) I can actually watch (YouTube) movies again. For months every time someone sent me a link to a YouTube or other movie I’d either have to say ‘Sorry, can’t watch that’ or forward the link, I’m almost afraid to say, to my iPhone so I could watch it there. Yes, you got that right, I could watch internet-movies on my iPhone but not on my laptop. Yes, I have an old laptop, but I love it.

With OmniWeb I can actually watch most of them (though a bit staggering sometimes) because the browser itself doesn’t eat up too many resources (looking at you again Firefox! this hate will soon pass but I will indulge in it a bit). So far I have not once had to close my browser or other programs to reclaim memory / cpu. Closing a few tabs does the trick. Now, I may have to do this every once in a while, but having to do it every two hours (you know who I’m talking about) gets really really annoying.

Aaah, the small pleasures in life… YouTube movies…


The Ambitious Monday Meal Plan!

For Monday I have planned the following meals:

  1. Danoontje Snack (curd cheese?)
  2. Breakfast cereal (cornflakes)
  3. Burrito for lunch (pre-made)
  4. Little tomatoes filled with mozzarella balls, sprinkled with herbs and pepper and salt.
  5. Slice of ontbijtkoek
  6. Poffertjes!
  7. A mini babybel or two.
  8. Boiled egg.

For Tuesday I’ll eat oatmeal, with fruit and cinnamon sugar, instead of cornflakes (oh, how I love the timer on my ricecooker). Not sure about lunch or dinner yet, will think about it some more tomorrow.


New nephew enters the world.

Just now the phone rang and I thought ‘What idiot calls me at 23:30?’. Turned out, my younger sister gave birth to her son and called me to tell me ;)

I have a brand new nephew!


OmniWeb now free!

Once again I got frustrated with Firefox and Safari for numerous reasons. I went over to the OmniGroup site to check out OmniWeb cause I really liked using its demo. I wanted to see what price they charged and see if I would want to part with that (next month) to solve my frustrations with The Other Browsers.

And they made it free. I suck for only finding out now, three weeks after they made it free, but at least it means I can have my lovely browser that supports applescript and Services (looking at you, Firefox!), doesn’t take ages to load a page (again, looking at you, Firefox!) and supports non-mouse browsing (Firefox! no wait, that’s actually Safari….).

Very happy :D


How do I do mealplanning?

Unfortunately, so far I suck at mealplanning. I know I need to, it helps with eating and all, and because lunch plays such an important part in my day, I think I should plan lunch and dinner.

I don’t mean I have to make a list of lunches and dinner and days and stick to it with my last dying breath. Anything can happen. Mostly I want to have a list I can refer to, that I can fall back on.

I’ve tried googling this, but what I find usually refers to big families and I don’t have the mealplanning-foo to translate that to me as a single very small portion eating person.

Anyone ideas? Links?


Postponing tasks in OmniFocus (and snoozing)

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For a while I’ve wanted to easily postpone tasks in OmniFocus because sometimes, I just want to procrastinate a little. Last night I started fiddling and playing with AppleScript to get this done and after a few hours of that I wanted to rip my hair out. I went to bed instead because I quite like my hair intact and had a few other things to do today, so didn’t get around to it until now. I applied my google-foo to try and fix the problems I ran into.

And ‘lo and behold! I found Dan’s site who did not only make a script to postpone the due date (defer it), it also gives you the option to defer the start date and he made a nifty little snooze script to basically hide projects / tasks from your view until you have to do them (by adjusting the start date).

I’ve tossed both in my ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/OmniFocus folder and set up a hotkey in QuickSilver and tried it out on a few tasks. Works like a charm!


Indy gifts for mother, sister and boyfriend.

My sister’s due date is the 5th, bf’s birthday the 7th and mother’s the 9th.

I’ve started thinking about gifts for them. I have budgeted some money for these and want to try and gift a nice non-expensive gift (cheap makes it sound bad).

For my sister I can’t really think of anything original, so I want to purchase a sweet little baby blanket at Ikea for 3.99 euro and then sew the name of the baby on it, to personalise. In all honesty I don’t think it really matters what I give, she’ll get swamped and I’ll most definitely get ‘outbid’ by his family. I have no intention of trying to keep up with them (I don’t even know them) and I do want to give a useful gift. I figured, baby blankets get puked on and dirty, she’ll probably have use for one more anyway. I like the idea of a personalised blanket, so that’s what I’ll do :)

For my mother I want to sew something, but I don’t know what. She’s a pretty independent 50-something year old woman who enjoys hiking and drives a cab for a living. She enjoys going to Germany with her boyfriend where they have a caravan at some camping-site. I’m considering sewing maybe tablecloths for the tables there, with a set of napkins, or perhaps making a fancy laundry-bag (of a recycle shopping-bag and some nice fabric, for when she goes out to the caravan). Not entirely sure yet… Maybe something to pamper herself with, but what? (limited budget, willing to spend time and she’ll appreciate that)

Speaking of fabric, I noticed Ikea has some pretty nice fabric. It’s not all great and fab, but it can certainly compete with the store where I usually get my fabric. I also noticed they have nice cheap duvet-covers that I could buy just for the fabric. I thought that was pretty good thinking ;)

No clue for boyfriend’s birthday though… What can one give a geek that basically has all he wants and needs?

So far, I’ve only purchased groceries and have not let my temptations get to me, hehe.

Still not sure about going out for dim sum in two weeks. I’d like too, but not sure if I want to spend that money right now. Also noticed it’s pretty easy to not even consider things. At work we regularly have outings, that cost a little money. I saw the poster today and immediately thought ‘Nope, can’t do, No Spending Month!’ It feels pretty liberating :)


Giving up.

Though I don’t follow any religion I have had a lot of Christian influences in my life (has to do with where I live(d)). Growing up we had Carnival (which shows I grew up down south) and only later I learned this proceeded Lent. Ever since the concept of Lent has intrigued me, not from a religious point of view but more from the challenge point of view.

Lying awake in bed thinking about that and my current situation, I’ve decided to participate. I will give up frivolous spending and TV for Lent under the following conditions:

  • I read Lent is about fasting but Sunday doesn’t count.
  • I will fast on TV shows except on Sunday when I can watch all I want.
  • I will postpone watching that Grey’s Anatomy episode till the next Sunday and nobody will give me spoilers!
  • I will go for one dim sum lunch on Sunday march 15.
  • Boyfriend and mother have their birthday, will spend some money on that as well as the birthing day of my sister’s child (not frivolous IMHO).
  • I will not spend money on anything else unplanned unless absolutely necessary, which means no booze, no craft supplies, no ‘fun’ stuff, no iPhone apps, no online ordering. Yes to medical things for me and Nano that can’t wait.

As far as I know I’ll start wednesday, which is exactly payday. It’s a sign ;-)


Making (bento) lunches.

img img img

I’ve made a few lunches for work, either in my little food-containers or in mr. Bento. It has worked pretty well for bringing my own food along, and making sure I eat enough.

I received my new Laptop Lunchbox which will let me more easily transport my tasty burritos. It turned out smaller than I thought, not a bad thing at all. It looks slightly bigger than a regular lunchbox and has convenient separate containers. From the website I learned most people found too many lids annoying, so they only put one lid on one of the larger containers. I would have liked more lids (but I knew this when I bought it), but I guess worst case, I can order an extra set of inside containers. So far, I like the size, I like that it comes with a spoon and fork and it closes easily.

Hopefully in a couple of days I’ll receive my other bento-box, for more food fun.

I went out to the market today and bought veggies, and then purchased panko, chick-pea flower, rice sheets, mirin and sake at the chinese store so I’ll have a good base of basic ingredients. I want to make spicy lentil snacks, japanese dry curry and vegetarian cake provençale. Tasty!

[gallery link=”file”]


My worm, the scar.

Scar . Of all the medical issues I have, the only one you could technically see is my scar. The scar, looking like a little worm still, of course isn’t the issue itself, but at least it shows something.

Today I read a blogpost by Priscilla Gilman that hit home. I feel pretty exhausted today, which may explain why I cried, but it’s not just that. The same thing happened when I read Michael Nobbs’ Beany (#1, 2 and 3). On page 13 of #1 Michael writes about that story with the frog in cold water, slowly heating it up so the frog doesn’t notice it gets boiled alive. I had used the same example only days before, and he then wrote about his life getting smaller and smaller. I cried there too.

I’ve been ill for much longer than I’ve had my diagnosis. About two years ago I got the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. A little over a year ago I learned about my genetic defect, resulting in the removal of my stomach. Six months ago, after they took it out, I learned I already had cancer in my stomach (I had it taken out as a prevention, damnit). Yesterday I learned that my terrible attacks of pain in my big toes probably mean I also have gout. Tomorrow my doctor will call me with some bloodtest-results, because I just keep feeling so bad. The never ending fatigue has to come from somewhere, as does the hairloss, the flaky skin, the fuzzy head, the insomnia. Most easily shove it towards ‘stress’ or ‘mental issues’, but I don’t buy that.

Most days I feel I’m running on sheer willpower, not human energy.

And it’s getting harder to summon up that will.

And people keep on telling me I look great…