You might have noticed that I haven’t had any posts in a while here. That was intentional, part of an experiment I ran involving the spam bots of the universe. Given that there were only a few posts and a very limited number of pointers to this location, the question I asked myself was how long before the problem of spammy comments raised its ugly snout (and how severe the problem would be).
I have let the site sit here with no activity for the last three months. Spam activity started slowly with an average of one spam comment per week in the late December to mid January time frame. Then the address was obviously sold/passed on to several spam targeting lists and the rate began to rise. Late January to early February saw the rate reach an average of 14 spam comments per week. The rise continued, flattening a bit in the last two weeks, attaining a steady state spam incidence rate somewhere around 30 spammy comments per week.
Isn’t it amazing that some machine or idiot is willing to devote all that time and effort to posting spam comments. (Let’s be frank here, these comments didn’t require any intelligence to detect that they were worthless spam.) I cannot picture anyone in their right mind clicking on the links contained therein. Proof positive that even a rate of one click per 100,000 views can generate money enough to drive traffic. How sad. Fortunately there are numerous spam comment filters that will remove them without me lifting a finger. I use Akismet, but there many others equally as good.
In any case, I am now ready to post more, but it may be slow due to issues I’ll go through in upcoming posts. Those of you who actually come visit the site will note that I changed theme and layout yet again – call it a result of it being more fun to play with the endless possibilities in WordPress than to type on a keyboard. (I may change it still more since I dislike left sidebars and glaring white space intensely. Do you have a favorite theme?) Also call it a side effect of moving to a later version of WordPress and wanting to spare some low bandwidth people the pain of detailed art downloads.
To entice your interest, let me leave you with this tip for free health care:
Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The leftovers stuffed the refrigerator with care
in hopes that the big eaters soon would be there.
The groans and the moans were echoing round
from all the overfed people just beginning to sound.
And I in my night coat moaned and rolled over
even as it was announced that it was time to do over.
Why oh why did we eat all that pie
and the plates of food piled so high.
There was nothing to do but dig in again
to remove the trembling mounds of leftovers from the food chain.
From out of the kitchen there arose such a clatter
and who should appear but an elf with a platter.
“I’m sorry to say, but it is time to begin,
you really do need to eat yet again”.
On ham and potatoes and casseroles high
we added the rest of the food with a sigh.
With a final groan of delight
we stuffed on the remains of last night.
It came to an end like a battering ram
when faced with the remains a three week old ham.
We agreed to a man
that we weren’t going to touch that again.
(With apologies to real poets and Clement Clark Moore.)
Have you ever noticed how different various consumer epoxies are?
This thought was brought to mind when I repaired mom’s walker the other day. Like all the walkers I have seen, there are a pair of weak joints that are mig welded, but the axis of strain is such that the welding fatigues and cracks with use. Rather than trying to re-weld, i use the modern equivalent of baling wire: epoxy and a set screw. I learned the methodology from my grandfather. He used epoxy to “weld” the engine block/chassis of an old Case tractor when I was in my teens. The tractor continued in use for many more years without a problem and I have been a fan of epoxy for many things ever since.
Some colored epoxies form a very fatigue prone joint while most of the clear ones form a joint that holds up under heavy use. They are all rated for about the same joint strength, but the stress in walkers on the joint in question is torsional and not perpendicular to the surface. I suspect that if the strength of bond quoted on the package were measured torsionally, they would have very different ratings rather than the same.
In any case, the walker in question is now back together and in use.
The header art in this new effort is a cropped section of the original acrylic painting Herod in Blue by Gaylord Soli. It is one of the few original paintings that Laurie and I own.
Soli is not a super well known artist, but something about his use of color and texture appeals to me. Thus my choice for header art. Enjoy!
As you may have noticed, I figured out how to import all the old blogger posts and comments into this reincarnation. All 585 posts and 2500+ comments.
(The process was a bit memory intensive due to the way that the data is parsed in. Not something one would want to run on a server without sufficient memory. PHP on large files and odd parsing scan be resource intensive, but i am just glad that most of the effort was already done by the fine people working on WordPress.)
That takes one more item off the bucket list to get this beast whipped into shape.