When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

31 December 2009

If it's nae Scots, it's crrrrrrap!

Robert Burns forwarded a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man".[3] At the time it was fashionable to claim someone else's work. It was "traditional"; therefore, one should take Burns' statement with mild scepticism. Some of the lyrics were indeed "collected" rather than composed by the poet; the ballad "Old Long Syne" printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns' later poem.[2] It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself.[3]

There is some doubt as to whether the melody used today is the same one Burns originally intended, but it is widely used both in Scotland and in the rest of the world. [4]

Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve very quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (and other Britons) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Posted via web from enrevanche on posterous

Champagne alternative: Brother Thelonious Belgian-Style Abbey Ale

The label is a little hard to read, but that's what it says.  Love Monk's halo.  I guess they can't very well call it Trappist, though. ;-)

Brother Thelonoious Belgian-Style Ale

Posted via web from enrevanche on posterous

24 December 2009

And there were in the same country shepherds

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David). To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-14 (King James version.)

Posted via web from enrevanche on posterous

21 November 2009

Goodnight Keith Moon

Goodnight Keith Moon

Goodnight Keith Moon by Bruce Worden and Clare Cross (warning: not for kids!)

Posted via web from Barry's posterous

Good luck winning the Great Mail Race!

To Mrs. Shelley's Class at Bon Air Elementary, Kokomo, Indiana:

My name is Barry Campbell, and I live in Chapel Hill with my wife, Carrie Weiner Campbell, my two dogs, Josie and Bella, and my cat, Mr. Gato.

I work in the computer industry and I know Scott Abel as a fellow technical writer and social network enthusiast; when he asked his friends on Facebook to write your class from every state in the Union, I volunteered to represent North Carolina. 

So I am writing you a short letter that includes some pictures of North Carolina.  I hope you like it. 

If you have questions about North Carolina, and you’ve looked them up at the library or on the Internet and you still don’t know the answer, write to me at barrycampbell@fastmail.fm (or my return mailing address, above) and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

This is a map of North Carolina, showing the major cities, towns and highways.  (Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina; I live in Chapel Hill, which is about 25 miles northwest of Raleigh.)


North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and as of 2008 North Carolina was the fastest growing state east of the Mississippi River.  About 9.2 million people are estimated to live here – 15% more than the number in the 2000 Census, which is the last time the federal Government actually did a formal count.

Geographically, North Carolina is divided into three zones: the mountains, the Piedmont (which is where Chapel Hill is located), and the coastal plain. 

Blowing Rock, NC (in the Blue Ridge Mountains)

Bodie Island Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks

Every year, a lot of travelers and tourists come to North Carolina just to go to the mountains or to the beach, but business travel also brings a lot of people here: Charlotte, NC is one of the most important cities in the country for banking and financial services, and the Research Triangle Park (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) area is an important center for high technology, including computers and biotechnology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry.

Chapel Hill is in the middle of North Carolina, about equal distance from the beach (in the east) and the mountains (in the west.)   It is the home of the University of North Carolina.

The Old Well at the University of North Carolina dates back to 1897, when the students in Old East and Old West dormitories used it to draw water to drink, bathe, wash clothes and cook with.

In addition to being considered one of the best public universities in the country, UNC usually has a pretty good basketball team.

I graduated from UNC in 1988 and a few years later I moved to New York City, where I met and married my wife.  Our family just moved back to Chapel Hill last spring.  (Sounds like I must like it here, doesn’t it?)

North Carolina is also justly famous for its pork barbecue.

Regional recipes differ, but the basic recipe is the same: pork (either pork shoulders or entire hogs) are cooked slowly, for a long time, over low heat – and a lot of people think the only “right” way to do this is over a hardwood fire.

After the pork is cooked, it’s pulled off the bone, chopped, and seasoned with a sauce made from vinegar, brown sugar and hot peppers.

At barbecue restaurants in North Carolina, people from all walks of life get together to enjoy our state food. 

North Carolina barbecue is served on sandwiches, with creamy cole slaw, or on plates with vegetables (like lima beans, or boiled potatoes) and bread (usually cornbread or biscuits.) 

Hushpuppies (cornmeal fritters) are often served, too.

I hope you enjoyed this letter about North Carolina, and I hope your class wins the Great Mail Race!

Best regards,

Barry Campbell

10 November 2009


Posted via email from Barry's posterous

Walking-around music: MP3s on my phone, sorted by artist

Aimee Mann
Andrew Bird
Ani DiFranco
Art Tatum
Avett Brothers
The Beatles
Bettye Lavette
Big Joe Turner
Big Star
Bill Evans
Bill Hicks
Bill Monroe
Bill Withers
Billy Bragg
Biz Markie
Bo Diddley
Bob Dylan
Bobby Timmons
Booker T Jones, with or without MG's
British Sea Power
Bruce Springsteen
Buck Owens
Bud Powell
The Carter Family
Charles Mingus
Charlie Parker
Chet Atkins
Chet Baker
Coleman Hawkins
Curtis Salgado
Dashboard Confessional
David Byrne
Dexter Romweber
Dizzy Gillespie
Django Reinhardt
DJ Dangermouse
Doc Watson
Dr. Dre
Drive-By Truckers
Duke Ellington
Eddie Harris
Electric Light Orchestra
Ella Fitzgerald
Elliott Smith
Elvis Costello
Emmylou Harris
Ensemble Musique Oblique
Eric Clapton
Etta James
Eubie Blake
Everything But The Girl
The Flatlanders
Flatt and Scruggs
Frank Sinatra
Friends of Dean Martinez
Gil Scott-Heron
Glenn Gould
Gogol Bordello
Grant Green
Guy Clark
Hank Williams, Sr
Howlin' Wolf
Ike and Tina Turner
Iris Dement
Irma Thomas
Itzhak Perlman
James Brown
James Taylor
Jeff Buckley
Jelly Roll Morton
Jimmy Smith
Joan Armatrading
Joe Ely
Joe Jackson
John Coltrane
John Duffey
John Hiatt
John Prine
Johnny Cash
Joni Mitchell
Josuha Bell
Kate Bush
Kenneth Kirschner
The Kinks
Konono No. 1
Laurie Anderson
Lenny Bruce
Leo Kottke
Les McCann, with/without Eddie Harris
Lester Young
Little Richard
Liz Phair
Lou Reed
Loudon Wainwright III
Louis Armstrong
Lucinda Williams
Lyle Lovett
The Magnetic Fields
Marshall Crenshaw
Marvin Gaye
Meade "Lux" Lewis
Merle Haggard
Miles Davis
Mos Def
Muddy Waters
Neil Young
Neko Case
Neville Brothers
Nina Simone
Notorious B.I.G.
Otis Rush
Patsy Cline
Patti Smith
Paul Desmond
Paul McCartney
Paul Simon
Pete Seeger
Pete Townshend
Peter Gabriel
Pink Floyd
The Police
The Pretenders
Public Enemy
Randy Newman
Ray Charles
Regina Carter
Richard Thompson
Richard Pryor
Rickie Lee Jones
Robyn Hitchcock
The Rolling Stones
Ruth Brown
Sam Cooke
Shuggie Otis
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sly and the Family Stone
The Smithereens
Sonny Rollins
Spinal Tap
Steely Dan
Steve Earle
Stevie Wonder
Sufjan Stevens
Talking Heads
Thelonious Monk
Thievery Corporation
Tift Merritt
Tom Jones
Tom Maxwell
Tom Waits
Tony Bennett
Townes Van Zandt
A Tribe Called Quest
Warren Zevon
The White Stripes
The Who
Willie Dixon
Willie Nelson
Wilson Pickett
Woody Allen
Wu Tang Clan
Wyclef Jean

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

05 November 2009

04 November 2009

Thought for the day

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. - Orson Welles

Posted via web from Barry's posterous

30 October 2009

I think Josie may be starting to feel at home. Just guessing.

Barry Campbell
+01.919.442.8298 (GoogleVoice)
"enrevanche" @ Skype, Facebook, Twitter...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

28 October 2009

Dear Enterprise Rent-A-Car [UPDATED]

28 October 2009

Andy Taylor, CEO
Enterprise Car Rental

Dear Mr. Taylor,

On 20 October 2009, Enterprise’s Citations Department sent me a letter informing me that on 24 September 2009 at 9:11 AM, a red light camera captured a photograph of an Enterprise vehicle rented to me, running a red light in Cary, NC.

They were kind enough to inform me that Enterprise would be charging me $10 as a fee for passing on this information to me, and also for the service of transferring my information in turn to the private firm that runs Cary, North Carolina’s red light camera system. Happily, I had six days from the date of this letter to dispute this amount.

Since I received the letter on 27 October, I fear that it is impossible to dispute that amount within your firm’s stated timeframe. And when I tried to call the Citations Department, I was on hold for a long, long time before I finally concluded that I was wasting my time, in fact.

(The service at your Franklin Street branch in Chapel Hill, NC could not be better, which is why I’m mystified that these same high standards of customer service don’t apply on the phone.)

Mr Taylor, here are the facts of the matter:

(1) I did indeed rent a car from Enterprise for several days, from 23 to 27 September. It was, if memory serves, a Chevrolet Impala, and there are rather a lot of them on the road, I’ve noticed.

(2) I was nowhere near Cary, NC on the morning of 24 September; I was hard at work in my home office in Chapel Hill, and I have several date- and time-stamped e-mails (with many recipients, all of whom can corroborate time of receipt) to prove it. These are, if I may say so, long, thoughtful and detailed e-mails, and to put it mildly they are not the sort of thing one could manage while driving, even if one were stupid enough to text and drive simultaneously.

(3) I accept that Safelight Cary, the private company running Cary, NC’s red-light camera revenue generation—pardon me, traffic enforcement—service, feels that they have identified a car that has been linked to me as a renter, and clearly they have reached out to Enterprise to identify the wrongdoer.

(4) Since we’ve eliminated the possibility that I was driving in Cary on the 24th of September, the remaining possibilities would seem to be -

a. The red-light camera company is mistaken. (This strikes me as likeliest.)

b. My wife is lying to me when she tells me that she was driving our Mazda 5 that day, and she has dark reasons of her own for wanting to be in Cary, NC at 9 o’clock on a random morning, in a car that I rented for myself. (This strikes me as rather unlikely.)

c. Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa materialized in my yard on the morning of the 24th and decided to take a joyride… to Cary. In my rentacar. Poor bastards.

I’m sure there’s got to be some mechanism for resolving this within your company—and with Safelight Cary, the private firm running their red-light cameras--but so far I can’t figure out what it is. Can you help me? I’ve found an attorney here in town, but I’d really rather not go down that path.

Yours sincerely,

Barry T. Campbell

Confirming copies to:

Enterprise Car Rental – Citations Department
PO Box 22233
Tulsa, OK 74121

21 October 2009

Thought for the day

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. - Richard Feynman

16 October 2009

Meet Josie

A wee black dog. (Well, 41 pounds.)

Put a gun to my head and make me guess, I'd say a lot of Chow and a fair bit of retriever in her.

Barry T Campbell
Skype, Twitter, Facebook: enrevanche

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

Prisoner AAA11269 has been released into the custody of her new family...

...and shall henceforth be known as Josie Weiner-Campbell.

Josie, with Chow Bella, just outside the animal shelter:

More pix soon, including amusing cat interactions. We got lucky... this dog likes cats, and our cat already knows and likes dogs.

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

15 October 2009

We're gonna break out the hats and hooters when Josie comes home...

Meet Josie. She has accepted a junior position in our pack, and joins us tomorrow. Please make a point of making her feel welcome. :-)

Barry T Campbell
Skype, Twitter, Facebook: enrevanche

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

13 October 2009

05 October 2009

04 October 2009

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart

[The rabbi started Stan's burial service today with Psalm 15. It couldn't have been more appropriate to describe this good man. - bc]

(Book of Psalms)
Chapter 15

A Psalm of David. HaShem, who shall sojourn in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Thy holy mountain?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart;
That hath no slander upon his tongue, nor doeth evil to his fellow, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honoureth them that fear HaShem; he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not;
He that putteth not out his money on interest, nor taketh a bribe against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

03 October 2009

Stanley Paul Weiner, of blessed memory

Stanley Paul Weiner, 68, of Leawood, KS, passed away suddenly on Thursday, October 1, 2009. Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 4, at Congregation Beth Torah, 6100 W. 127th St. in Overland Park. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Born July 22, 1941, in Kansas City, Stan was the second son of Norman and Gertrude Weiner. He graduated from Southwest High School and then the University of Michigan, where he earned his undergraduate and law degrees.

In 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Suzi Levin.

After a clerkship with the chief judge of the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C., and a stint with the Philadelphia law firm Duane, Morris & Heckscher, Stan returned with his family in 1973 to the Kansas City area and joined the firm Smith Gill Fisher & Butts. He spent 25 years as a specialist in complex tax issues at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, from which he retired in July 2009 as a partner.

Stan served as chairman of the Heart of America Tax Institute and president of the Lawyers Association of KC. Working with the Ewing Kauffman Foundation and the IRS, he designed a successful plan that kept the Royals in KC until the team could be sold to a new owner; the proceeds from the eventual sale went to charity. He helped establish the IOLTA Foundation, which directs to charity the interest earned on lawyers' trust- account funds; since inception, the fund has generated millions of dollars for Legal Aid.

Outside his career, he served as president of the Jewish Community Center, vice president of the Jewish Heritage Foundation, president of Camp Quality USA, and a board member of Harvesters Community Food Network.

He is survived by his wife, Suzi; their children, Caren, Scott and Tracy; son-in- law Barry Campbell; daughter-in-law Wendy Coopersmith Weiner; and two grandchildren, Alec and Alisa Weiner.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Harvesters.

Online guestbook available.

Previously on the blog, and in the Kansas City Star: Stanley P. Weiner, key figure in Royals’ plan to stay in KC, retires from law firm - Kansas City Star (29 June 2009)

02 October 2009

How to have a rational debate about healthcare reform

You should go immediately to this article and read every word; it's wisdom. I'd like to excerpt the whole thing, but I'll just call out these points:
First, we need to decide which of the three – access, quality, and cost – are most important. Then we need to decide what we are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve that goal.

Do you want to improve access? Then you need to admit to the American people that it’s going to cost money, and you have to discuss how we are going to raise that money. You may also want to address how this will affect the quality of everyone’s care, because it might.

Do you want to bring costs down? Tell us how. It’s going to have to come in the form of either covering less people or spending less on health care. That can negatively impact quality as well.

You know what you can’t do? Scream about the cost and the deficit and then lose your mind whenever someone discusses limiting coverage (rationing) or removing the profit incentive from insurance (public option). Both of those things have been shown, empirically and theoretically, to reduce cost.

You know what else you can’t do? Demand universal coverage and then lose your mind whenever someone remarks that costs may skyrocket and that quality may suffer. Pointing those things out does not make you evil or mean you don’t care.

It’s easy to demonize those who disagree. We have to stop - right now. People who disagree with me or with you don’t hate America. Nor do they hate the poor. They don’t hate insurance companies, they don’t hate sick people, and they don’t hate capitalism. It’s a myth that only one solution is available or that we can’t disagree about what to do. We should debate this; we should argue with each other passionately. That’s what Americans do.
Aaron E. Carroll, MD: How to have a rational debate about health-care reform (Huffington Post)

01 October 2009

Thought for the day

You must not think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you necessarily wise because you are grave.  - Sydney Smith

25 September 2009

Old friends

I took a few days off from work this week to deal with some personal business.

Today, personal business involved driving to Fayetteville to hang out with an old friend who's in town for a couple weeks, and his family.  So glad I did.

We had some Guy Time in the morning. 

Breakfast, Thai-style, at a restaurant not far from the Yadkin Road gate to Fort Bragg. The congee and broth we ate for breakfast would make a dying man rise from his bed and walk, if he caught a whiff of it on the breeze, and certainly if he tasted it.  Some patrons were ordering Thai Breakfast like us and some were ordering American Breakfast (pancakes and eggs) and everyone seemed to be digging the food a lot.  (Note - the coffee was okay but only just - food-service grade stuff.  The love at this place is in the kitchen, not in the coffeepot.)

The shooting range at Jim’s opens up at 10 AM. We rented a couple of pistols (he picked a Beretta similar to the one he was issued and trained on in the service; I opted for a compact Springfield Armory 9mm that I’ve had my eye on as a possible purchase) and bought 150 rounds of ammunition. 

Over the course of the next hour we each made 75 little holes roughly a third of an inch in diameter in silhouette targets at 10 and 25 yards. Considering that I hadn't picked up a handgun and fired it since moving to the People's Republic of Manhattan in 1996, I gave a good accounting of myself, but my buddy is a frighteningly good shot and basically humiliated me completely.

It was a good day.

17 September 2009

14 September 2009

Now, this is shoddy journalism

It has been a long time since college--but even I remember that this is *not* the way to roll a joint.

You can't tell me that no one in the graphic arts department at AM New York knows how, either. I'm not buying it.
There's way too much weed in that rolling paper, and it needs to be crumbled up a lot a more.
AM New York, I expected much better of you.

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

13 September 2009

I love New York, part XXVII

West 4th and Ave of the Americas, Sunday night.

Skype, Twitter, Facebook: enrevanche

Posted via email from Barry's posterous

The lady in the harbor

So surprised that this iPhone snapshot turned out so well. Lady Liberty, all lit up at night, still puts a big old lump in my throat.

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Posted via email from Barry's posterous

Parigot (Grand St @ Lafayette) is our new "old standby" bistro in NYC

Carrie and I have been to Parigot several times now and we have never once been disappointed.

Well, one recent disappontment: when we were meeting a childhood friend and her family for a late lunch on Saturday at Parigot, they could not accommodate us, and we wound up going around the corner to a perfectly nice French/African place called L'Orange Bleue...

But we had brunch at Parigot today, and enjoyed it thoroughly, from the monster glass of fresh OJ to the last bit of garnish on the plate. :-). It's just good food cooked with love and skill, in a restaurant without a milligram of pretension.

Avian accomodations

Over in McCarthy Square, someone's been building birdhouses.

Now, there are birdhouses...


...and there are country cottages for birds...


...and there are high-rise apartments for birds.


Turns out the guy hanging out in the park (with a beautiful Siberian Husky named Bismarck) was also the artist/builder! Vincent Mele's business cards describe him "the Village Handyman"... but he's a master cabinet builder with a definite sense of whimsy.

I showed him rough pictures of our log cabin in Chapel Hill - and am sending him high-res images and asking for a price quote. ;-) I'd *like* a little replica of our log cabin, I think...

Diversification, Manhattan-style

From the old neighborhood - you may have to click the picture to enlarge it...


In case you still can't make out the sign:

We buy gold and diamonds

05 September 2009

House band, Blue Mist BBQ, Randleman, NC

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Posted via email from Barry's posterous

They sell it here too!

Chapagetti, I mean. And mango powder. And garam masala.  And shrimp paste. And miso. And fancy rices. And on and on.

Eastern Market on Rosemary St on the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NC border... rocks.


Eastern Market Oriental Food

505 W Rosemary St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2305
(919) 968-1703
Get directions
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Okra, tomatoes, peppers and onions over brown rice. Bhindi sabji basically but I took Liberties.

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Posted via email from Barry's posterous

03 September 2009

Contemporary crayon colors

contemporary crayon colors
Originally uploaded by enrevanche.
Crayons and big sheets of newsprint are staple items at our house,
useful in all kinds of design and planning situations, as well as ad
hoc art projects.

Some of the familar names from childhood are still going strong.

"Raw Sienna" is a personal fave.

But: "Timber Wolf" for grey? And "Tickle Me Pink" sounds like a shade of makeup.

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Thought for the day

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.  - H. P. Lovecraft

01 September 2009

Why I no longer use Gmail - and am contemplating disentangling myself from GOOG entirely

As I write this, my personal Gmail account has been down and unavailable for about 36 hours.

There hasn't been a status update from "tech support" (and I use the term very loosely, as I haven't seen anything from Google yet that deserves the name "support") since 3PM Eastern yesterday.

I've relied on a lot of Google-based free services for everyday computing - Google Apps and Google Voice in addition to Gmail, to be sure, but also Blogger (since 2004.)

I'm done with that, I think.  Monocultures are dangerous.

As a first step, I have a new personal e-mail address.  I'll be sending updates out shortly - for those of you who care, Fastmail is my new provider of choice, for the following reasons:
  • Good reputation for quality and transparency in the geek community
  • Multiple tech support options
  • Affordable: USD 35 for one year of "premium" e-mail service (free and lower-cost options are available)
I'll let y'all know how it goes.

And in the meantime - well, I guess it's finally time to suck it up and move enrevanche to a new home.  Stay tuned.