The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

Getting Ready To Head Home For Christmas

There are many many many things I enjoy about hanging out here in Los Angeles. The weather is simply amazing. Being a movie guy there is no better place on earth to be than right here. Culturally there are endless things to do and see and on top of all that I’ve made some great friends here.

However… Christmas time just doesn’t feel right without 2 important things. Family and SNOW!!!! Family is obvious… but man… without snow on the ground it just doesn’t feel like the season to me. So later next week I’m going to hop on a plane and head back to Hamilton Ontario for a couple of weeks to enjoy Christmas. Christmas with the family… and Christmas with snow!

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December 11, 2008 Posted by | Life | 1 Comment

The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Read All Week

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?”

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

– Rebecca – age 8

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Interesting | 2 Comments

My favorite Blonde Joke

I can across this one today… laughed my fool head off:

“A blonde suspects her boyfriend of cheating on her, so she goes out and buys a gun. She goes to his apartment unexpectedly and when she opens the door she finds him in the arms of a redhead. Well, the blonde is really angry. She opens her purse to take out the gun, and as she does so, she is overcome with grief. She takes the gun and puts it to her head. The boyfriend yells, ‘No, honey, don’t do it!!!’ The blonde replies, ‘Shut up, you’re next!’”

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Fun | Leave a comment

5 Reasons Not To Use Hotmail

I’ve been telling my friends for YEARS to not use hotmail. I came across this good article on Dedicated Server Doc on this very topic

1. Hotmail spam filtering is too aggressive – ask any ISP and they will tell you that anti-spam filtering of customer emails is a tricky business. The ISP has a responsibility to ensure that their customers receive all legitimate emails. At the same time they need to provide some sort of filtering. Without any filtering at all, the email service would be unusable for some customers – particularly long time customers who have had the same email address for several years or more. So, most ISPs and email services will handle this in a couple of ways. Firstly, their email filtering will generally be non-aggressive by default. That means that it will block the obvious spam, but the occassional spam email may get through. So, they will offer you the option to increase the aggressiveness of the filtering AND provide a folder or login where you can review all filtered emails. This is what the ‘Junk’ folder is also used for.

Hotmail, by default, has very aggressive spam filtering. So aggressive in fact that messages that do not exhibit any spam characteristics whatsoever are filtered.

2. Hotmail Silently Deletes Messages – this is just plain irresponsible. Mind you, it is a FREE service so I guess Hotmail feel that they have no real responsibilities as the customers aren’t paying. Most mail services and ISP mail servers will notify the sending system that they are not delivering an email message and will provide a reason why. This is sometimes in the form of a ‘bounce’ email and it can also appear as a response from the mail server that is logged in your server log.

Not so with Hotmail. I have tried diagnosing Hotmail delivery issues many times and in most cases the Hotmail mail servers will respond with a message indicating that the email was successfully delivered – but it is silently deleted by the Hotmail mail filters. None of the other major mail providers do this. If a message is blocked or filtered by Yahoo Mail then there will be an indication as to why in the server log file. The same applies to GMail.

3. Hotmail’s filtering process is flawed – I had a client who was starting up a site and was finding that his emails weren’t being delivered to Hotmail. The business was new and the domain was new. The messages were simple one line notifications. Hotmail silently deleted these messages. Whitelisting doesn’t help – these messages don’t make it to the junk folder and they don’t even arrive when the sending address is whitelisted. Why have a whitelist and a junk folder if you are going to delete messages before they get to the recipient?

4. Hotmail’s Approval Process Is Flawed – Yes, there is a way that you can request that your domain be allowed to send email to Hotmail accounts – but this process is flawed and it gives a very real example of how broken Microsoft and Hotmail’s email filters are. I sent a message per their instructions. The instructions said to send an email to their address with the domain or list of domains in the blody of the message. I immediately received a bounce message that said:

Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 5.1.0 – Unknown address error 550-‘5.7.1 <Your e-mail was rejected by an

anti-spam content filter on gateway (205.248.106.32). Reasons for rejection may be: obscene

language, graphics, or spam-like characteristics. Removing these may let the e-mail

through the filter.>’ (delivery attempts: 0)

That was a message that had the domain, per their instructions, in the body of the email. I tried sending from three different addresses, none of which have ever been blacklisted. In fact all of the domains had a valid SPF record and reverse MX entry.

5. You Get What You Pay For – If you experience any of these sorts of issues, don’t expect any assistance from Hotmail. You are not paying them for the service and they have no way of handling thousands of complaints each day (which is what they would get if even a small percentage of Hotmail users were aware of how unreliable the Hotmail email service is). Strictly speaking, email is not considered a particularly reliable method of communication. Hotmail takes iot to a whole new level though.

If you absolutely MUST have a free email account then you would be much better off choosing either GMail or Yahoo mail. Both of those services are many times more reliable than Hotmail.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Tech | 1 Comment

Even the democrats are stupid

They had a chance tonight to start the healing and begin the fight to take back the white house and start to restore America again after the mess George W Bush has made. Democrats tonight had the opportunity to show they had some common sense… but instead… they botched it. Hilary Clinton is still in the race after winning in Texas and Ohio.

The democrats in those states kept the internal fight in the party going today… voting for Hilary “Just another” Clinton. A person who will unite the right and vast numbers of moderates against the democrats if, god forbid, she were to win the democratic nomination.

There has been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for 28 years in a row now. 28 years. TWENTY EIGHT YEARS.

Instead of voting for a guy who actually stands a chance to unite the country instead of dividing it, to bring some hope instead of the same old regime… and at the risk of sounding cliche… to bring some CHANGE… instead of all that, the democrats will remain embroiled in division while the republicans laugh all the way to the bank.

Mark my words… if Hilary Clinton is the democratic nominee in the election, then you might as well start practicing saying “President McCain”. Everyone knows it… the republicans know it and are licking their proverbial chops at the idea of Hilary actually beating Obama.. seems like the only people who won’t wake up to understand this are the democrats themselves.

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment

Sometimes you just need to turn around

I really don’t know the background story to this picture… all I know is that you’ll never catch me in a body of water where the word “shark” was ever spoken within 100 miles.

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Fun | Leave a comment

Worst Birthday Ever

Well, we all have one… so now I do too. I officially had my worst birthday ever yesterday. I didn’t sleep well the night before, still had to get up early to work, ended up working all day and into the evening… didn’t go out anywhere… no one came over… I didn’t do anything except stay home, watch a little tv and play some warcraft. Wheeeeeeee.

To be fair, I knew yesterday was going to be like that far in advance. As most of you know, I’m kind of hanging my hat down here in Los Angeles right now. I’ve only been here for less than 2 very busy months, and I really don’t know that many people here yet and the ones I do know I didn’t really tell about my birthday. Most of my friends and family are back home in Hamilton/Toronto and we’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t really noticed that I’m getting a bit homesick. Well… yesterday I noticed.

So as far as birthdays go, yesterday sucked… however… it was to be expected given the current circumstances. Next year I’ll have to have one hell of a party to make up for it. 😛

February 27, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

People Close To You Have The Most Power To Damage You

I don’t let much bother me. When you do what I do for a living (giving opinions publicly) you can’t allow to let what other people think effect you too much or you’ll go mad. That’s fine, since I’ve never really cared much about what other people thought of me, my opinions or my decisions. I’ve always been very confident in myself, my abilities and my decisions.

I’m also a very social person. I like being in groups of people. That same confidence I’ve had in every other area of my life was also a part of my social interaction. I’ve always been a confident person around other people, comfortable being myself and engaging people naturally without ever being nervous, shy or inhibited too much. If people liked me, great… if the odd person didn’t, I didn’t really worry about it. That was me my whole life, and I loved it that way.

But then something happened. I got into a very destructive relationship for a few years. It’s funny, nothing anyone ever thought could phase me… but when you have someone very close to you, their opinions have a lot of power over you wether you like it or not. In this relationship I spent years having my self confidence shattered, my self esteem decimated and my ability to interact with people naturally and easily totally neutered. In this relationship I was constantly told everything I did or said (socially) was wrong or embarrassing. This person had terrible power over me (those close to us often do), and although I choose to believe they never intended to cause harm or intentionally hurt me (we were basically 2 good people who were horrible for each other), the damage was done nonetheless. When I got free from that relationship, I naively thought everything would then get back to normal… but even now, YEARS later, I’m still discovering how much damage was done.

Last night, me and my roommate hosted a party. There were some friends there, and a couple of people I didn’t really know, or know that well. Everyone was having a good time. I was quite busy (it was an Oscar party, and I had some work to do throughout the evening, so I was pretty distracted), but when the Oscars were done, it was decided that the party would be taken to a local bar just a short walk from where I live. So off we all went…

Now you have to understand, a few years ago this was TOTALLY my element. A social gathering with a bunch of people. I was always so comfortable, so confident and so natural in those situations. I would be in my element. But when we got to the bar I suddenly felt uncomfortable, uneasy, shy, afraid to talk to people out of fear that I would say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing and just end up looking stupid. I wanted to engage people there, I wanted to be myself… but I was just paralyzed. I felt so uncomfortable that I eventually just left early and walked home.

When I got home I realized that I am not the same person I was a few years ago, and that the damage done to me in that relationship was deeper and more extensive than I’ve wanted to recognize… and I HATE IT. It’s killing me. Not quite sure where I go from here… perhaps recognizing the issue will help me get over it… maybe it will take more than that. Not sure. What I do know is that it’s ruining a lot of potential positive times while I’m here in Los Angeles… and that’s got to stop.

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Obeservation #3 – Booze

First thing you should understand about me is that I’m not much of a drinker. No, it’s not for religious or health reasons, but rather because I just don’t like the taste of much alcohol and because I don’t get any sort of buzz from drinking it. Having said that, even I from time to time will enjoy a vodak cooler or something else along those lines.

Now, in Canada if you want to get your hands on some booze, you’ve got to find yourself a government owned and operated shop called (in Ontario) an LCBO. You’ll find them around if you look hard enough. So imagine my surprise when I came down here and saw that booze is EVERYWHERE! It’s even in the grocery store. I’m not kidding… right across the street from where I’m living is a giant “Ralphs” grochery store… and at least 3 full aisles are all booze. And it’s CHEAP! I’d say at least 15-20% cheaper than in Canada. Beer is like half the price.

Every grocery store, every corner store, every Popsicle stand in the city also sells alcohol. It takes a little getting used to.

February 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleepless In Los Angeles

Despite all the fun I’m having here in LA, and all the beautiful weather (especially when compared to what they’re getting back in Hamilton Ontario right now), one of the unfortunate negatives of my time here so far is lack of sleep. I’d like to tell you that lack of sleep comes from the all night Hollywood parties I’m attending each and every night… but no. I just can’t sleep.

For some reason I’m only getting like 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I’m having trouble getting to sleep (it’s just past 4am here now), and then for whatever reason, I’m still waking up at 8am each morning whether I want to or not.

It’s really starting to take its toll on me too. Not only do I notice that I have a lot less energy… I’m also a little more irritable and I’m having a hard time focusing. On top of that, you can REALLY see it in my face. I took a picture of myself today and when I looked at it I was shocked by how totally sickly and exhausted I looked in it. I really need to start getting some sleep.

I’m actually thinking of starting to jog again. I haven’t jogged in years, and quite frankly I hate it, but a number of articles I’ve read suggest jogging in the day can really help you sleep at night, and at this point I’m willing to try just about anything.

February 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment