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May 24, 2006

Rise of the Machines

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards and Others --

Dept. of When It Rains it Pours:

First it was the spam comments. As Donald has explained, we're being carpet-bombed daily with hundreds of spamcomments. Spamcommenters, curse them, seem to have learned how to cycle through IP addresses, rendering our usual way of managing them (ie., banning IPs) useless.

Over the weekend, our heroic webguy upgraded the blog to MT 3.2; then his connection (dial-up, believe it or not) gave up the ghost. We'd like one day to have a plug-in that would require commenters to type in some random numbers to prove they aren't spambots. A small inconvenience, but one that would enable comments to pop up instantly. For the moment, though, we have no such thing installed -- which leaves us having to approve or disapprove each comment by hand. This means that when we're away from the computer, comments will queue up for a while. Apologies for that. We know it detracts from the fun of a blog's give-and-take. But your comments will show up eventually, and we do hope to have a random-number thingee installed soon.

Then it was the home computer's turn to raise the blood pressure. After 10 months of eerily flawless service, the iMac The Wife and I love so dearly took ill. Apple phone support told us in no uncertain terms that the machine required an in-person looksee, so we hauled our beloved off to the local Apple store. Back home, intent on not depriving ourselves of the Internet, I plugged the five-year-old old iBook into the cable modem. The computer and the Internet refused to play nice together. Three hours later, I was still juggling calls to our ISP and to AppleCare. The Wife gave me a pitying and appreciative look, decided she'd like to talk to her Mom -- then stared in perplexity at her cellphone, which was giving her nonsensical readouts.

Was there a new magnetic force in the air? In any case, we both needed a break at the end of a semi-trying day, so we settled down before the TV and clicked on the remote. What had we collected on the DVR? Uh-oh: What was that unfamiliar red light on the face of the DVR trying to tell us? ... Tech support is still at work on that one.

The time had come for our cast of machines to show us who's really boss, I guess. We had everything but Kristanna Loken (very cute but mildly NSFW) to make a true "T-3" couple of days of it.

Anyway: thanks to all for continued patience. I'm hoping to find a few non-tech-preoccupied moments when I can make a bit of a return to the fun of blogging ...



posted by Michael at May 24, 2006


Well something is most certainly in the air, and not just tech-wise. I think astrologers would say mercury is in retrograde, or something. Between a tax refund, an insurance claim, and an expense report, I'm not sure its possible for three documents relating to money (owed to ME) to have gotten more complicated and delayed. I'm exhausted. I sympathize.

Posted by: annette on May 24, 2006 2:56 PM

Things are just too complicated. The infrastructure won't support them. The whole state of Montana (the gov, not the area) was offline yesterday and they can't figure out why.

I'm putting my money on plasma flares from the sun which can lick out, derange all electronics, and go invisibly on their way on through the universe.

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on May 24, 2006 8:42 PM

Well, if you watched the season finale of "Lost" this should all make sense...


Posted by: Urijah on May 26, 2006 12:52 AM

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