Nothing very cohesive today I'm afraid. You'll just have to read as far as you can before getting bored and distracted. I had a lot to write, just not very much of it ended up being terribly interesting. And now it's going on 11pm and I'm being driven to my pillow by the drowse-demons. So, with much fanfare, is today's entry.
For some reason I've been thinking that my upcoming trip to Taiwan is perpetually "a ways off." Then, when I realize I leave in just a week and a half, I start not wanting to go. I always have a good time when I'm there, and I'm always excited when I book the trip, but I always get a case of the I-don't-wanna-goes just before the actual trip. I like traveling, I get a kick out of visiting customers, and I like Taipei itself - I guess it boils down to being bummed to be away from Sharaun. Not like one or two weeks is all that long, but it's long enough to give me that moment of hesitation... wishing she could come with me or that I could stay home. It doesn't matter really, since I'll be going... and I'm sure I'll have an OK time. I guess I'm just one of the old-fashioned types who feels more melancholy in leaving his wife than anticipation over cheap hookers. And believe me, a lot of people I work with who love "Taiwan" really just love Taipei's redlight district. I enjoy the city's more prudish offerings, like food, people, royal treatment at swank hotels, and standing in the spotlight up in front of a roomful of folks.
When my cellphone chirped and rumbled me awake this morning at 6:30am, I rolled over to prepare for the day. I wake up a little earlier of late so I have time for my peddle-powered ride into work. However, 6:30am this morning came with the sound of rain the downspout - which means reprogramming the cellphone to chirp and rumble again at 7am, and rolling back over for another half hour of rest. I didn't mind really, I had gone to bed before 11pm Sunday night and hadn't even heard Sharaun waking and readying - I was really out. I don't usually sleep that hard, but for some reason I ate up my 8hrs that night without so much as a stirring. Even when 7am rolled around, I was hesitant to get moving. For a brief instant nearly every morning, a thought flashes across my mind, "I could just stay home 'sick,' take a 'mental health' day and relax." Then I realize there's no point, and go about my routine.
Just figured out some details about the comment spam blast I had on Superbowl Sunday. By looking at the mails WP generates to tell me of new comments, I noticed that the spam robot was just going through my entire post database. Starting with my first post, and walking sequentially through the posts until my most recent - trying to post a different piece of comment spam on each entry I've made (although all linking back to the same online poker website). I mentioned I'd got ~300 comment spams, which is just about right considering I've got 326 posts in the database. I'm happy to say, however, that every single one was blocked before hitting the main page, and none of the entries were logged in my stats database. I know, you're tired of hearing about blog spam - but it just bugs me so much.
And while I'm on the subject: Tonight I did something I've never really done before, I went back and modified an old entry. It wasn't in an effort of censorship though, it was for the best. See, I vastly improved my comment and referrer spam blocking script - and I went back and modified my previously-posted code excerpts and explanatory text. Instead of having some manual-entry list of spammer IPs and referrers, my code now checks against WordPress' own "moderation keys" list (which get smarter with each spam comment, thanks to Kitten's plugin). Anyway, it's not that exciting to explain, but it sure is cool to see it work. Since wannabrowser seems to be down, I had to use a little referrer-spoofer app instead when testing the script. Good news is, it's now successfully blocking on spammer IP, spammer keyword, and comment keywords; and my logs have never been cleaner.
I've sort of setup a new pattern for entries, with good stuff somewhere in the middle, expositionary fluff-intros, and link-offering denouements. Since we're now in the link-offering denouement portion, I will use this place to offer some links (go figure). Metafilter linked this yesterday, and man... it disturbed me. The guy's apparently been keeping a blog online for the past 11 years, way ahead of the curve. I guess it was extremely personal, and the link above is a video of him freaking out in front of a webcam. It freaked me out to see it; I feel for the guy, who has, by his own admission, something "wrong with him." While I personally don't get much catharsis from my own writing, I can see how someone might get so wrapped up in writing about things that they actually detach themselves from everything personal and real. Thankfully, for me, writing isn't a crutch. It's a pastime that I enjoy, not a necessity for sanity. Anyway, the video is interesting as a window into someone's hangups, and I wish the guy the best on getting sorted. But y'know, human nature makes us want to observe others' sufferings... so download QuickTime Alternative and have at it.