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Missing Letter Monday No “Q” – Randomly Spam

Published September 25, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So, I have nothing to talk about today because the book report I was going to write today has the forbidden letter right there in the freakin’ title (despite that it’s one of the least-used letters in the English language!) so I thought I’d talk about a weird trend I’ve been seeing in spam comments in the last, I dunno, six months or so?

Formerly, all spam generally fell into two categories:  spam that was pretending to be random comments and spam that was directly trying to sell me on their advertising services for the products they for some reason think I’m selling.  (Seriously, if they’re trying to target businesses, why are they sending their spambots to blogs?  Most blogs are not advertising products for sale.)  Well, that and the more direct lists of links, but the spam filter trashes those right away without bothering to send them to the spam folder, so they don’t really count.

Now, I have never really understood the point of the random comment ones.  They don’t contain links, and even the e-mails, fake user IDs, and URLs don’t always contain any indication of trying to move a product or get people to go to some site where they’ll pick up a virus, or whatever it is that the people behind spambots usually want.  But usually one of those three factors would have something obvious, like they’d put the name of a product as their user name, or the URL would be to a store page.  (There have always been make-me-laugh things about those random comment ones, of course.  Like the ones talking about “great paragraph” or “so much informative” on a post on my dolly blog that consists exclusively of a photograph and zero words.  Or the one today that was talking about “I passed this on to a colleague who is doing some research on this” on not a post (despite that it started with “nice post”) but a page which listed some of the dolls I would someday love to add to my collection.)

This new trend, though, it’s really weird.

Read the rest of this entry →

Shares and other Blogging things

Published February 16, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, so this has been bugging me for a while now.  I clicked on the “Site Stats” link from the main Dashboard page, and scrolled down to where it said “Totals, Followers and Shares” at which time I wondered what it meant by “Shares” and so I clicked on that tab.  It gave me an underlined number, which of course turned out to by a hyperlink.

Of course, I clicked on that, too.

But then I left my comfort zone.  By which I mean “then I went somewhere with nothing that I actually understood.”

Near the top of the page, it says this:

Note: we don’t count shares from ‘official’ buttons, just the standard share links. These numbers may not match the Sharing buttons or stats provided by the Sharing Services themselves, because we can only count shares that happen on WordPress.com.

Am I totally stupid, or does that not really say anything?  Or rather, what are ‘official’ buttons?  What are standard share links?  I’ve never put anything share-related on any of my posts, though WordPress automatically puts on ones for “Press This,” “Twitter,” “Facebook,” and “Google+”…though I’m not at all sure what “Press This” does, since it’s obviously different from the “Reblog” button right below it.

Um, anyway, I’d think those were the ‘official’ buttons, but if so, then what are the standard share links and how did they get on some of my posts, since I didn’t put them there?  I am very confused.

Anyway, I went to check the first post on the list, and all of the buttons are still a flat, dry gray, with no little numbers on them.  (I know sometimes they have numbers, ’cause I’ve seen that on other blog posts by other, more popular people.)  I found it odd that the stats page says it’s been shared 7 times, but no one actually likes it.  (At least, no one’s clicked the “like” button.  But that’s okay, ’cause it’s silly and only about four lines long.  Five.  Whatever.)

So, what’s up with the claim that’s it’s been Twittered thrice and Facebooked thrice and Google+ed once?  What does it mean?  Is it a statistical error?  (That’s my best guess, anyway.)  I can’t check these things out to see if they’re true ’cause I don’t have Twitter or Facebook, and I haven’t a clue how to use Google+.  (I have a Gmail account, so I think I am, technically, on Google+, but…I’ve no clue what, if any, its functions are.)

Looking at the other posts that register as having been “shared” in this manner (whatever that manner actually is, since it sounds like it doesn’t involve pressing the share buttons), it seems like half of them are quotes from the Iliad, including the “homoerotic” passages I quoted back in June.  I guess that means I’d be more popular if I only quoted the Iliad?  That would get boring pretty quickly, though.  (Particularly if I started quoting the Catalog of Ships…)

Anyway, if anyone’s interested, the total “sharing” scores are Facebook 37, Twitter 23 and Google+ 23.

I have no idea if any of those numbers means anything.  (I suspect they do not.)

But since you’ve read through this much boring stuff, let me reward you!

I have here some links to posts from the last week that I’ve enjoyed, so let me share them with you.  (Sharing them in a way I actually understand, too!)  These are just a few of the many, many posts I’ve read in said time, ’cause I follow a ridiculous number of blogs, and not all the posts I’ve liked felt really shareable.  (Especially since there’s a bunch of very personal ones in there, and a bunch of doll-related ones, and…)

In roughly chronological order…

Juliet” is a really hilarious take on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.  (I’d rather see that play than the real one…)

Reinterpreting Zeus’ Golden Rain:  The Greek Anthology on Persuading Women“…because I enjoy looking at ancient erotic pottery.  Er, no, truth beam disengaged!  Actually, it’s just interesting.  And I don’t think that Klimt painting looks the least bit tame, personally, no matter what you’re comparing it to.

In a very different vein, “70 Collections to Infuse Your Writing” is a very useful set of links to collections of examples of descriptive writing.  As a writer who can’t describe anything to save her life, this is a super-useful post.  (If I can ever train my visual side enough to be able to figure out what anything I’m writing about looks like in the first place…)

The “Super Awesome Self Promo Thread of Doom” may have the best title I’ve ever seen on a post.  Like, ever.  Also, it’s a chance to promote your own posts and see what other people are doing at the same time, which is always cool.

For my fellow doll collectors (who are probably not looking at this blog, but my other one) the post “Support a Great Cause and get a chance to win a cute Custom Pullip” does, well, just what the title says.  There’s a link to a place to make a charitable donation in exchange for raffle tickets in a contest to win a very nice custom doll.

And, last but definitely not least (except perhaps in terms of sanity), is “Orphan Club:  ORIGINS” which cannot be described in words.  Its hilarity must be experienced to be understood.  (But I feel obliged, as one who is too old-fashioned to swear in public, to mention that it’s definitely got R-rated language.  Which is actually about the way I talk, so I have no problem with that, but since it’s not the way I write…)

 

Okay, so…it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything this random, huh?

I’ll try not to be so random in the future.  (In fact, I ought to be re-writing my paper on Descartes and Kant right now.  But…I…it’s just such a lame paper.  I can’t really bring myself to bother.  It’ll suck whether I re-write it or not.  And these papers are really not worth much of our grade at all.  It’s mostly the final paper that matters.  And actually showing up to class.  He’s become very big on that since the last time I had a class with him.  He got really ticked last week when it looked like most of the class bailed due to the snow storm.  But then they were all just late, and so he was fine with it.)

But!  While I’m being random, I wanna share something else random.  In the last two days, I’ve been to see two movies.  (Which probably did not help my paper any, but I’d already finished it by the time of the one I saw today, so I wasn’t being completely irresponsible.)  So, the first of the movies, as you might expect, was Deadpool.  (Which was, as you’ve probably heard (or experienced), quite awesome.)  The one I saw today was Hail, Caesar!…which was also awesome, though in a very different way.  (But I suspect people who don’t know anything about Hollywood in the 1950s probably don’t get much out of it.)  Possibly my favorite scene was the one where it starts out with all the sailors in a bar set and I’m like “oh, they’re about to do a riff on Anchors Aweigh now, right?” and then halfway through the song it starts adding a decided undertone of “In the Navy” and I’m dying laughing.

Um, okay, that wasn’t actually what I wanted to say.

What I wanted to say was to tell you about the odd realization I had after getting home.  All I knew about the picture, going in, was that it had George Clooney as a movie star in the 1950s who gets kidnapped, right?  And before the picture started, in the “Coming Soon” stuff, there was a trailer for a movie in which George Clooney, as a TV star, is the hostage in a hostage crisis.

Um, is he going through a “victim” phase in his career?

Or was this just a really weird coincidence?

(Also, is his career somehow going backwards in some meta way?  Is his next picture after that going to have him playing a guy who’s landed a role as the comic relief in a B movie?  And getting kidnapped?)

Yeah, probably meaningless.  But the coincidence was odd.

(Like how before Deadpool, there was a trailer for the new X-Men movie, and then Deadpool makes this “McAvoy or Stewart?” joke in the movie…uh, yeah, that probably wasn’t actually a coincidence, huh?  Still, I didn’t actually pay attention to that trailer until McAvoy showed up.  Up to that point it was like “yawn, another apocalyptic movie” until he suddenly addresses the girl as “Jean” and I’m like “whoa!”)

Hmm, my inner ’80s girl appears to be showing.

I should probably get that seen to.

Randomness

Published September 12, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

One day I forgot to turn off the radio when I turned off the car. (Yes, my new car has a CD player, but I keep forgetting to bring CDs with me.)

When I turned it back on again, virtually the first thing I heard was “increased libido.”

I really don’t want to know what they were advertising.


 

I was in a store that had a pink set of those refrigerator poetry magnets on the register.  (Remember those things?  No idea why this set was pink, though.)

Someone had aligned a sentence to read “She is very beautiful.”

I put a new magnet over “beautiful” so that it read “She is very bruiser.”

I feel this was a definite improvement.


 

In the running competition of me vs. dial-up-machines, I have just scored a win.  The conversation went like this.

Dial-up-machine:  Is this {my-first-name}?
Me:  Yes.
Dial-up-machine:  Wow, you’re harder to catch than a rabbit on roller skates!  (fake laughter)

I am almost always at home, btw, especially in summer.

Dial-up-machine:  I’m {so-n-so}, a paid fund-raiser for {such-n-such charity}, and we’re just calling everyone to thank them for their past support.

I had never given that charity any support, particularly not over the phone, because I never do that, as a matter of policy.  By now, I was absolutely, 100% positive that this was a machine I was talking to, but I knew that if I just said “so, you’re one of those recordings” it would say “do I really sound that bad?” because that’s the recording that the voice recognition software triggers if you say “recording” or “computer” to them.  So instead I decided to confuse it.

Me:  Did you know it’s lunchtime?
Dial-up-machine:  (dead silence)
Me:  Did you know that it’s lunchtime?
Dial-up-machine:  (dead silence)
Me:  Oh, I’m sorry, did I confuse your voice recognition software?  I did, didn’t I?
Dial-up-machine:  Now, I know times are tough out there, and–

Only when I said “I’m sorry” did it find any way to respond to me.  Wow, did I find a serious hole in their algorithm or what?  Imagine if I’d started saying something really off the deep end, like quoting Jabberwocky at it or something!

Dude, I have so got to do that next time.


 

On the inside of the door of a stall in the ladies’ room at school, someone had written “you are enough.”  (Just like that, no caps.  Nice handwriting, though.)  Now, I’m sure they meant it as a statement of encouragement.

But I’ve read enough about Japanese urban folklore regarding nasty things that lurk in public toilet stalls that I kept wondering what was going to pop out of the walls (or the toilet) to grab, devour or otherwise kill me.  (Despite that I do not live in Japan, or anywhere near it.)

This is the way my brain operates.


 

Seeing as this has been accumulating bit by bit since July 21st, I thought it was high time I hit the publish button on it.

BTW, regarding that dial-up machine thing from earlier?  I’ve gone past the stage I was at then:  now I just hang up when it gets to the “you’re harder to catch than” line.  Last time I snapped “go away, you stupid recording!” at it before I hung up.  Not that I think that’d help, mind you.  I was just annoyed.  What would help would be if I had caller ID and could avoid answering those calls in the first place, but that costs extra, so I don’t have it.  (I know, I’m cheap.  But I have expensive hobbies, so I have to pinch pennies somewhere!)

Although, speaking of automated dial-up machines, I had a good one not too long ago:

Machine:  Hi, this is Tim from the Customer Service Department.  Can you hear me okay?
(Minuscule pause in which I had barely contemplated how to answer, let alone said anything.)
Machine:  Great!

And then it started its spiel about…something to do with resorts, I think.  Thing is, whoever programmed it hadn’t bothered giving it an actual “check for an affirmative answer” routine to the “Can you hear me okay?” question, so not only would it have plowed right on ahead if someone had said “No, I can only barely make you out,” it also would have plowed right on ahead if it had been talking to my answering machine.  Pathetic.

Anyway, sorry about this lame and random post.

I’ll try to post something interesting tomorrow.  Or, failing that, whenever I next make a non-scheduled post.

Ack, speaking of which, I haven’t even thought about Monday’s post yet.  Ugh…what letter am I up to?  P, right?  Well, that’s not nearly so difficult as some of the earlier ones have been…

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