December 2004 Archives


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An error occurred: The Blacklist config directory you specified ( does not exist. at extlib/jayallen/ line 2033.

<bangs head on desk>


From Leann:

What seems to work for others is to force anyone writing a comment to preview the comment first. The spam bots can't do that yet. If you want to see it in action take a look at Jennifer's site: When I get a chunk of time to redesign my comment box I'm going to do the comment preview thingy.

The problem is that, like most solutions to spam, I don't know how to implement it. I know how tto write "this is what the page will look like" code, but beyond that I'm something of a babe in the woods. I suppose the fact that I woke up this morning with another 80 spams to deal with is partly my fault. I have had several offers of help, and I haven't taken anyone up on it yet. The thing is, I wanted to see if I could figure it out myself this time. The problem with that, of course, is my lazy streak. I'd start to figure things out, hit a snag, and then go find something more entertaining to do. The lazy grasshopper must delete comment spam, while the industrious ants have clean and tidy blogs.

Another part of the problem is that my comments get used legitimately. While I love the idea of dialogue, it seems a giant waste of time to fix the comments when, barring a spam attack, I get maybe one new one a month. It seems more efficient to simply close the comments and leave it at that.

Eh, I'm just a little cranky right now.

I keep thinking that I finally have all the comments closed on my old posts, but the spammer's bots (same ones) keep finding open threads from 2002. So I keep deleting and closing the comments. Eventually we will run out of old, open comment threads. Maybe.



"Here's how it works at Planned Parenthood of Central Texas (PPCT) in Waco, where the Pledge-a-Picket program is going strong: Each time a protester shows up at the clinic, a donation is made to PPCT. This campaign makes lemonade out of lemons by allowing Planned Parenthood supporters to pledge between 25 cents and one dollar per protester."

The more protesters come to the clinic, the more money is doanted to the clinic, and a handy sign continually updates to show how much money they have cause to be sent Planned Parenthood's way.

Something similar happens during the summer at the Dane Ounty Farmers' Market when we are tabling. When anti-choice protesters show up, people come over to us asking, "Do you guys have any stickers or a petition we could sign? Those guys piss me off." The more graphic and obnoxious the protesters are, the more people come to us.

A word from MT and Jay Allen

They did it again!!

Same stupid site. Every comment with a different IP. Whois for the site gives no useful contact info (no surprise). The site itself has nothing on it but black text on a white background...not even any links. Certainly not the online "pocker" that they advertise so fiercely on *my* site. I think I've found all of the older comment threads that are still open, but who knows?

I'm off to try to figure out Blacklist again. And maybe get a newer version of MT.



I just watched the featurette about Weta's involvement in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I now giddily await December 2005. :)

Christmas cleaning

So, now that I have a bunch of shiny new presents (and many thanks to the thoughtful people who gave them to me) I am doing some housecleaning. It is time to go through my belonging to put into use what could be used, and purge the rest.

Some of my girlfriends want to have a clothing swap, and my dad is planning a rummage sale in the spring, so those are two outlets for me. If those two fail me, there is always Goodwill and St. Vinnie's.

I wish I could do the E-bay thing, but I've discovered that I am waaaaaay lazy about shipping things and the lack of a digital camera makes getting an image online into a big pain.

I just got the Christmas present of 70-odd comment spams, all for an internet poker site. To add insult to injury, there were a good number of them wherein poker was spelled "pocker". A pox upon them indeed.


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Feel like doing some winter crafts, but don't want to deal with all the scraps? Make-a-Flake!. Very fun.


And again I ask, why oh why is Keanu Reeves going to be John Constantine?

School News

This Tuesday was my third anniversary as a substitute teacher. I spent the day at my favorite elementary school. I teach there often enough that it sometimes feels as though I was part of the regular staff--the regular staff certainly treat me almost as though I were--and many of the kids know me, so it is a comfortable place to be. I had an assignment at a different school the next day (another of my favorites) and was scheduled to be back at *my* school again today.

Today I was subbing for a special education teacher (actually helping cover for several special ed staff while they had a meeting), and so my schedule had me bouncing from room to room. I noticed a bit of a subdued atmosphere around the place, but I assumed that it was because the 4th graders and their teachers where all out of the building on a field trip. It wasn't until around 10 that I finally discovered what was going on, and that was because I found the newspaper clipping on the table in the staff room. On Tuesday night, one of the special education teachers died in a car accident on the way home. If I had been there again on Wednesday, I would have heard the news with everybody else.

Apparently, she was driving home around 10 or 11 PM, lost control of her car, and drove off the road. No one else was involved, but she wasn't wearing a seat belt, and was thrown from the vehicle. In the newspaper article, it mentioned that they were looking to see if alcohol may have been a factor, but that they had no idea, and wouldn't know for a few days. I'm not sure why, but I find myself angry that they mentioned alcohol at all, since they don't know. I think it is because many people will read that article, but never see a follow up. She may not have been drinking, but the mention of it leaves a bit of a shadow and there is a very good chance that her students may read the article. She's dead. Let her rest. I'm probably being irrational about this.

She was a wonderful teacher and a great person. She genuinely cared for the students with whom she worked, even taking time for them outside of school hours. She was firm but patient, and had an excellent sense of humor. She always made me feel welcome when I was working with her, and was ready to help whenever I had a question. She will be missed.

Please, everyone, wear your seatbelts and drive as safely as you can.


This weekend the UW Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra perform Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem at the Mills Auditorium in the UW Humanities Building. 8PM on Saturday and 7:30 on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. It will be quite a show.


I wish I had much more time in a week. I want to learn to play more instruments.

Today I taught grade school strings (for 4th and 5th graders). After the kids were all gone for the day, I messed around with a bass and a cello. I think I would like the cello. I used to take violin, but I never got out of the first book. I was in high school when I started, and was pretty much on my own so it was up to me to practice and I hated to make anyone listen to my squawking. I still love the sound of the fiddle, but when I was applying my old violin knowledge to the cello this after noon (not bad, either--I got a good scale on the highest string), I realized that even at it's highest note, the cello isn't sqawky. I love the register. Plus you play the instrument as though you were giving it a hug.

Man, if I could afford it, all I would do is take classes: instruments, voice, art, martial arts, cooking... I think I need to structure of a class to keep me from slacking off and give me direction. That's what I'll do if I win the lottery. I don't wanna work, I just want to bang on the drum all day!

Some of my friends have suggested that I find a way to parley this into a career. Good lord, if there is a way that I could take classes (good ones) for a living, I'd like to know. However, since most people pay to take classes, and it is the teaching of said classes that is done for money, I couldn't tell you how I'd do it.


Today I was driving to a grade school and discovered that we have a street in town called Lois Lane. It made me chuckle.

Leaky Windbag

So, what I really want to know is, why are Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper facing contempt of court charges for not revealing the leaker, when it was Robert Novak that wrote the piece that releaved Valerie Plame's name? Why not ask Mr. Novak?

Faith Based Inaction

Today I saw a display on a wall at the grade school where I was subbing. The caption was "How are our parents voting?" and it had selections of who and why. There was one that so amazed me that I had to write it down:

Who will you be voting for?

We will not be participating in the voting process.


We are confident that only God can solve the problems facing man kind.

What? That's not faith, that's passivity. It's a cop-out. Do they expect God to part the clouds and solve mankind's problems with a wave of His almighty hand? The sad part is that they are not likely to be alone in this belief.


The first few times I heard Mark Knofler's new single "Boom, Like That" I was only vaguely aware of it, and thought that it might be about some Australian guy. After a while, I started to pay a little more attention, but I still mostly heard it while I was driving, so I still didn't hear it all that clearly. What I heard was something about a guy going to San Bernadino to sell "milkshake mixes" and I got the impression that it was a euphemism for cocaine, and that it was a song about a drug dealer. So, I had to laugh when I finally really listened and discovered that it was all about Ray Kroc and the start of McDonald's.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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