Another Change of Scene(ry)

So not long ago, I mentioned that I had decided to rework my morning schedule (doesn’t everyone have a morning schedule?) to do writing stuff on the weekends and blogging stuff on the weekdays. That kinda sorta worked, in that I did get some (though not enough) writing done on weekends, and I did manage to (almost) keep up with the blog posting and with the visiting; but overall, it wasn’t really working out all that well, at least for the writing part. What I really needed was for the day to be a little longer. And so I built this device to slow down the Earth’s rotation and … Oh, wait, I’m being told the device is not ready yet. Scratch that. What I actually did was start getting up a half-hour earlier. More coffee, anyone?

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September is National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month

Hey, look, it’s September, and that means, once again, that it’s Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month!

In much the same way that Thanksgiving and Christmas have become occasions for annual reposts over at the animals’ blog, it seems that one post in September is going to be dedicated to revisiting The Event. This year, rather than just link back to all the original posts (although I’m still doing that too), I thought I would reproduce the first of the Event posts in its entirety, since that’s the one that includes most of the helpful tips about what to look for and what to do (and, uh, what not to do) should aneurysm troubles come your way. Read on for more!

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Spamcommentology: Matchmaker Matchmaker

So this week, in addition to the usual sorts of spam, I got one that reads like a sort of mail-order bride ad. Wait, are mail-order bride ads still a thing?* Would it be an international dating site ad now? Well anyway, whatever it is, it’s quite obviously fake, and spam.

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That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2021 Edition

So this year, as it does every year, Goodreads compiled a list of the books I read, making a nice little ― or not so little ― tapestry of covers, along with a few details. You can check out the list at Goodreads here, or, if you like to spend a lot of time watching a huge* image load, you can wait for the screen capture below. But first, a few notes on this year’s list:

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Spamcommentology, Part V: Porn (You Knew It Was Coming*)

So this week we’ve arrived at the climax** of my Spamcommentology series, with a very common sort of spam comment. I would ask the reader to take a wild guess what this category is, but since I already bared it all in the title, I’ll just get right down to it! (Incidentally, this kind of spam always includes links, but I’ve taking the liberty of stripping said links from the screen shots.)

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Spamcommentology, Part IV: Word Salad, Plus Bonus Category: It’s A Conspiracy!

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of Spamcommentology! This week we’ll be looking at Word Salad, with a bonus look at the “It’s a Conspiracy!” category. Now, the Word Salad type of comment is, as you may have guessed, when the spambot just throws a bunch of words into a comment, presumably in the hope of fooling spam filters with heaps of text, as well as to overcome any minimum-length requirements that a site may have. Mostly Word Salad comments are merely gibberish; sometimes they seem to sort of quasi-make sense, until you actually try to parse them; and sometimes they rise almost to the level of some sort of koan, as if an abstract impressionist painting decided to upchuck a poem. Here are a few examples:

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Spamcommentology, Part III: Praise and Insults

Now that we’ve dispensed with the fake advice and fake technical support spam, it’s time to look at another common category: Fake praise and fake insults. The fake praise is designed to get you to approve it even though it’s clearly B.S., and the fake insults are designed to provoke a response even though they, too, are clearly B.S. For example:

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Spamcommentology, Part II: Seeking Fake Technical Support (And Fake Technical Comments In General)

So last week I posted some examples of spam where the spambot was allegedly seeking advice about various things, such as blogging platforms, AOL, and sex toy manufacturers. This week I’m back with a somewhat related category of spam, in which the spambot either claims that there’s something wrong with your site which they beseech you to fix, or else tries to make it sound like they are totally hip to today’s technology and so are you. Unfortunately, it seems like spambots don’t get updated regularly, and so these sorts of comments are often hilariously out of date. To wit:

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