SPAM in my Blog – Status Update

Just had to share a status update.

The previous blog posting was a response to the daily prompt and a timely release of frustration at spammers knocking at my comments door.

I copied and pasted actual content from a nine page spam message caught in my comments filter. Since that posting, there have been 37 additional (and counting) attempted comment postings to that post from other spammers.

  • The addresses are clearly to sites trolling for sales or random hits.
  • The message text matches the phrasing and patterns of the original message. I suppose multiple spammers are using the same software to generate their messages.
  • The hits are snagging on that post like flies to honey.
  • I used no tags on the post, but there appears to have been so many keywords in it that bots are finding it with regularity.

Amazing.

 

Never met a food I didn’t like (almost)

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?


I confess. I’m Phil from yesterday’s post. (See Buffet Challenge).

Not that I’ve spent as many hours at a buffet as he did, or consumed as many plates in one sitting. I mean that I used to eat piles of food at the buffet to get my money’s worth. A friend of mine was a hungry college student who used to drink water all day to keep his stomach stretched and then eat at a buffet each night. I never went that far but I haven’t missed many meals in my life and it shows.

I’m in shape. Pear shaped.

I’m in shape. Round is a shape.

I’ve got a beach body. Whatever shape my body is in, that’s what you get at the beach. If my belly is shaped like a beach ball, grand.

I’ve got Dunlop disease. My belly “done lopped” over my belt.

Vegetables? Love them. Deep fried in butter and dipped in cheese.

Fruits? Fantastic. On top of waffles, in pies, and with ice cream.

Meat? Awesome! Animals are so tasty. All varieties. Young or old. White or red. Seared, blackened, smoked, fried, and sauteed are just fine.

My enjoyment of food could come from the competitive sibling environment of my childhood.

See also It Wasn’t Me from August 16 for an example.

This morning’s post is making me hungry. Time for breakfast.

Buffet Challenge

The sign on the door read “All you can eat 9.95, Crab Legs extra”

Phil sat in a stupor. He’d been there for three hours already. Fourteen plates had come and gone. Now he wondered if getting crab legs would be worth the extra charge.

Other restaurant patrons either glanced his way and shook their heads or openly stared at him in horror. The front of his shirt was stained with grease drippings, flecks of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, apple pie, ice cream, and several unidentifiable spots. The trend was generally downward. Bits of food left their marks or clung to his clothing if they escaped his mouth at all.

The hostess glared at him. She had asked him to leave after the first hour. Then again after 90 minutes, two hours, and each 15 minute interval after that. She was tired of arguing with him. Phil stubbornly refused to leave until he felt he’d gotten his full measure of the buffet.

By all reasonable standards, he’d achieved that in the first 35 minutes. Five trips to the food bar, each resulting in a mound of food as high as the plate was round. The cooks in the back restocked the steamy bins after each of his forays. They shot pathetic glances his way as they trundled hot containers to the line.

Phil stifled a belch and stood up. All eyes in the place watched him as he leaned on the table for a moment, steadying himself. He turned and slowly walked to the restroom, planning on making room for more.

 

There’s Spam in my Blog

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message? 


My message is to the spammers of the world. You know them. They’re the ones who stick random comments on your posts and try to ping back to their own sites for increased traffic.

Fellow WordPress bloggers, join me in dissecting some spam comments on my posts. Yesterday my filter caught a BIG ONE. Before deleting the spammer from my comments queue, I copied and pasted the text into MS Word. It goes on for 9 pages!

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I
never found any interesting article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough
for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content
as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed}
as I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service….

My guess is that a SEO newbie accidentally dumped the contents of their automated spam generator into their output message. Hilarious!

I’m entertained by the interchangeable terms embedded in the sentences. If you take them in the wrong combination, some results are really funny. Others are simply pathetic.

Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of
this {site|website|blog}. It’s simple, yet effective.
A lot of times it’s {very hard|very difficult|challenging|tough|difficult|hard} to get that “perfect balance” between {superb usability|user friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}.
I must say {that you’ve|you have|you’ve} done a {awesome|amazing|very good|superb|fantastic|excellent|great} job with this.

Aw! Thanks! Wait. This isn’t genuine praise. This person is using an a piece of software to churn out this false flattery.

Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would you mind {stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {workingwith|using}? I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard} time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something {completely unique|unique}. P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic but I had to ask!|

Duh! I’m on WordPress. If you scroll to the bottom of anybody’s page, you can see the theme they’re using (except custom ones).

I’m currently using The Misty Lake free theme. As a recently started blogger, I’m still tinkering with my site.

{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give
you a quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article}
seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.
I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something to do with {web browser|internet browser|browser} compatibility but I
{thought|figured} I’d post to let you know. The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!

Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon. {Kudos|Cheers|Many thanks|Thanks}|

So, sometimes it’s not all praise or good news.

What do you mean there’s a problem with my blog? Have I been hacked? OMG! How do I fix my blog to work properly with EVERY BROWSER in the world? Can you help me if I send you piles of money?

 

All I can say in summary is thanks for the spam filters WordPress.

The Electric Snowflake (Part 1)

The council met with grim faces. They stared at one another with somber looks. The future of their kingdom was at stake. A wrong choice could destroy them all. A right one could save them but kill everything on the world below. All the possibilities had been considered. The council had debated for weeks.

All the potential candidates who might fill the vacancy and save them had been screened carefully: Only one met all the qualifications. But he was the leader’s only son. He could not be spared. The land would have no heir to the throne. The duties of the post required a lifetime to master. It was not a short-term commitment.

The king broke the silence. As he stated his decision, the council erupted in protest. All the old arguments began again. The appointment was too dangerous. Too many things could go wrong with the power transfer. If the boy should die, so would both worlds. Even if he lived, the world below might be saved but at the cost of their kingdom.

The king would not be swayed. He knew that this was the only possible hope for the world below. It was necessary to sacrifice his son for the good of all. He allowed the council to vent their opinions. He knew that they realized the truth. One by one, the members of the council fell silent. The king’s logic was obvious.

There was no other choice. No other candidate could fill the post. His son had originally been exempt from consideration because there was no other heir. Now they agreed that no other course could be taken. The king’s son would become the next Electric Snowflake.

What do you do?

Flash Talk: You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?


The politician stood behind the bulletproof podium and gave a mediocre speech. His delivery ranged from a low mumble to blasting eruptions as he railed on about the record of his opponent compared to what he would do if he got elected. Tim and another man stood near the back of the room trying to stay awake.

The other man turned and asked, “What do you do?”

Tim stifled a yawn before replying, “I’m a husband to one, father to three, friend to some, sibling to others…”

The other man cut him off. “No, no. What do you DO?” he repeated. “Where do you work? What’s your job?”

“That doesn’t matter as much,” Tim replied. “In my day job, I help the company win contracts and keep other people employed. It’s good work, but there are other things more important in my life.”

“Like what?” the man asked.

“Well, it’s like this,” Tim explained, “My computer wallpaper is a series of images that fall into two categories. The first is scenery. You know, landscapes, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, prairies and so forth. Places I’ve been, pictures I’ve taken, and where I’d like to go again. The other category is pictures of my family. I’ve got them cycling through behind my work all day long as a reminder.”

“Of what?” the man inquired curiously.

“Of what’s important. The scenery images are where I’d like to be. The family pictures remind me why I work.”

Fall Activities

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread? 


Rake those leaves!
Mow the lawn for the last time this summer!
Stare at the bare branches out the window the next few months.

Hunt for crisp apples. Make pies, tarts, and cobbler.
Repeat as necessary.

Core the apples, fill with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Bake thoroughly until the apple flesh is soft.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Repeat as necessary.

What do I most enjoy about this season?
Ripened apples and the many recipes for them.