August 30, 2008

This Labor Day weekend will feature more labor than I would prefer, but that’s the way it goes. There’s a few things worth mentioning, however, before I take a couple of days off from blogging:

Got a chance to go over to Tracey’s workplace last night, and the damage from the previous night’s storm was incredible. Word is they got hit by a microburst around 10 PM – that was the time of the fourth storm I mentioned that seemed only a little less severe than #3 but seemed to be pummeling the areas north of us). Trees snapped off four feet from the ground or down completely; a part of the roof caved in where the storm ripped a huge air-conditioning unit off and dumped it in the parking lot. Lots of water damage on the second floor where Tracey worked. An e-mail she received from her laboratory manager says it all:

“Two 20 X 20 sections of the roof were ripped off. Toxicology [department] severely damaged. Cytogenetics sustained major physical damage, but all equiment and specimens were saved. Client Services, customer systems, and the majority of all administration offices (including the Pathology offices) sustained major damage with 3 inches of water on the floors. Entire sections of ceiling panels have been damaged or destroyed.”

Needless to say, these were really bad storms and we were extremely fortunate to be located where we were. I’m told just five miles to our northeast they had a 30-minute hailstorm. For those wanting to see pictures of the damage throughout the Valley from these storms, click this link.

Of course, this reminds one of just how fragile our comfy existences here on this ball of rock called Planet Earth can be: it only takes one major rain event, severe thunderstorm, tornado, or hurricane (something Rob knows all too well – BTW, you and Louisiana are in our prayers, Rob) to change lives drastically.

—————–

Mark me down as one of many who are pleasantly surprised that John McCain had the testiculos to choose someone like Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. And that’s obviously the case on the other side of the polical aisle, as well, where the sneering hypocrisy (“lack of experience“) and the weeping and gnashing of teeth knows no bounds. To me, the amazing thing about it all was that McCain was able to contain the leaks regarding his choice. That takes no small amount of discipline in a major political campaign.

Ed Morrissey, as usual, hits the nail right on the head in torpedoing the various talking points being put forth by the Obama campaign and their numerous friends in the mainstream dino-media, not to mention the delicate line Democrats will be forced to walk if they want to avoid charges of sexism were they to go after Palin too harshly.

My view is that, as great a pick as I think it was, the jury is still out on how well Palin holds up to both the intense scrutiny about to descend upon her and the pressure of a presidential campaign. But for now, it seems to me McCain has hit a home run if for no other reason than by choosing someone that has energized both Republicans and the conservative base in a way no one thought possible just a week ago.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, everyone. And stay safe, you folks out there on the Gulf Coast – you are in our thoughts and prayers.

See y’all Tuesday!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 15:19 | Comments (2)
August 29, 2008

Last night we had the most incredible night of storms I’ve ever experienced in my life, bar none. Here in the Valley of the Sun you can get some pretty severe storms during the monsoon season, but on a scale of 1 to 10 on the HCTWAAS (“Holy Cow, That Was An Amazing Storm”) scale, ten being the most awe-inspiring, last night was a ten. All in all, I watched seven storms roll through here between the hours of 7 PM and 2 AM.

The amazing thing about yesterday was that the day itself was as bright and clear as any day could be here – some humidity, but without the big building thunderheads you typically see to the east, north, and south.

Around 6 PM, I noticed some clouds to our east and south. Blue sky above us, but these clouds were filled with lightning, and you could tell it was building fast as it slid just to our southwest. Just a few drops of muddy rain from this one, but vivid lightning and some occasional distant thunder.

The second one came fast on the heels of the first (all the storms last night were moving really fast for around these parts), and originated a little west and north of the first, a trend that would continue throughout the night. The lightning was the star of this particular storm: non-stop flashes with occasional fingers of orange and green streaks. Some decent peals of thunder. A few strong gusts of wind, and a short soaking muddy rain. But the lightning was a gorgeous thing to behold, lighting up the backyard in electric blues and grays, and as it tracked just south and east of us I stood up and applauded its beauty.

It was then I thought I saw a flash to the east. Heading out front to see where that lightning came from, you could tell we were about to get bombed. To our north and closer to us still from the east all you could see was non-stop lightning. It was still far away, but you could tell this third storm was approaching fast as the thunder began to roll louder and longer. The lightning was so vivid, you could actually see the outline of the whole storm, and when it hit, it hit hard.

In all my years, I’ve never seen anything like it. Literally hundreds of lightning flashes from every direction, like a thousand flash bulbs going off continually, some in sheets, some in streaks, some like electric fingers that zig-zagged crazily directly above in reds, oranges, yelloes, and greens. The high-power lines beyond the houses across the street humming and moaning, the street lights going off and powering back up. And thunder unlike anything I’ve heard before – just a continual loud roll that lasted over 40 minutes. The storm didn’t pack much wind, and the deluge we got lasted only 20 minutes or so, but the experience was, pardon the pun, truly electrifying. Watching the spectacle above – and spectacle is exactly what it was, I recalled the words of Psalm 23:

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is power; the voice of the LORD is splendor.
The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars; the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
Makes Lebanon leap like a calf, and Sirion like a young bull.
The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
The voice of the LORD rocks the desert; the LORD rocks the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. All in his palace say, “Glory!”

As this mother of all storms tracked to our west and south, leaving behind it an amazing array of blue and white sheets of lightning, the fourth came fast on its heels. This one was a carbon copy of the previous one, perhaps just a little further north, and – at least for us – just slightly less in intensity. But you could tell the towns just north of us were really getting pounded, and I’ll bet this was the storm that caused all the damage around the Tempe and ASU area.

The fifth came shortly thereafter – again, originating a little more due north of the previous ones. Because of the intensity of the previous two, this one seemed a bit anti-climactic, a little more traditional than the others (I’d call this one more of a heavy thunderstorm than a severe one), with peals of thunder and bright yellow streaks of cloud-to-ground lightning. You knew some houses got hit by this lightning, as multiple sirens filled the air as this storm departed, leaving a nice soaking rain as it’s calling card.

The sixth and seventh in the series were more of the same, just more north of us, each one a little less in intensity, the last one finally dying out around 2 AM.

All in all, a memorable night in the Valley of the Sun, one that I will never forget as long as I live.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 09:32 | Comments (3)

Not much to write about today, so here’s a set of song lyrics I recently completed for my old Top Priority bandmate Jerry “Keys” Palma to put to music. This will be our first true collaboration on a song in more than three decades. I’m looking forward to see what “Keys” comes up with for an arrangement.

“Tequila Mockingbird”

Palm tree stirring in an evening breeze
Dark sky in greys, a lightning flash haze
The summer days turn on a dime
Another year flying, where goes the time?
And was it so that long ago?

Morning mist glides off the starboard beam
Wind in the sail, a sperm whale tail
Now voyager don’t you feel old?
A passage unfolding, a tale untolding
Left standing alone at the pier

Squeezin’ the lime, I’m passing the time, there’s not a whole lot left to say
A pitcher to pour out, a night for a tour out, I’m telling ya darlin’ one day
Gonna buy me a boat and I’ll give it the word:
Tequila Mockingbird

One of these days I’m gonna face the facts
Nothing is changing, time’s just rearranging
The same human dramas grow old
The ocean is calling where the stars are a falling
In this life or maybe the next

Squeezin’ the lime, I’m passing the time, there’s not a whole lot left to say
A pitcher to pour out, a night for a tour out, I’m telling ya darlin’ one day
Gonna buy me a boat and I’ll give it the word:
Tequila Mockingbird

If something worthwhile comes out of it, I’ll let y’all know – perhaps it’ll get posted on the Kittyhawk Productions Top Priority website (which, if a certain Victor Cugini ever gets off his lazy butt to complete, just might be operational sometime soon!)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:20 | Comments (0)
August 28, 2008

I’m blogging outside tonight by tiki light. This is the first night in several months one can honestly say that there’s no heat in the air. Oh don’t get me wrong – it’s still warm – but it’s not the kind of oppressive heat we’ve had for the past few months. It’s still humid, but my sense is this is the last week of the monsoon season. We’ve had a couple of storms this week and some nice rainfall, but when the monsoon leaves as it is supposed to on Monday, my guess is we’ll settle in for that lengthy period between September and February where practically every day is the same – sun, sun, sun, no humidity, and any cloud that appears in the sky warrants mention on the evening weather forecast.

It would appear our pool temperature maxed out at 96 degrees this year – a little short of the century mark we hit last year, but pretty damned warm nevertheless. It has dropped four degrees in the past week – right now, it’s 90 – so with tonight not as warm as previous ones have been, my evening dip was actually close to what you would call refreshing.

I’ll admit to being surprised by Barack Obama’s choice of Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware to be his running mate. Me, if I really reallywanted the Presidency, the no-brainer pick was Hillary Clinton. Biden is such a bland choice, I’m beginning to think that Obama’s ego is such that he would never chance having someone on the ticket that could come close to overshadowing him. I honestly don’t see what the Biden choice gives to the ticket. Foreign policy experience? Isn’t that why you have a Secretary of State? Delaware’s electoral votes? Not only are they a pittance, there was no chance of Delaware going Republican any time soon. So excuse me, Barack, when I tell you you’re choice for a VP is a head-scratcher.

I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to watch the New York Yankees’ chances to make the post-season fade into the sunset, courtesy of the Boston Red Sox. And not only that – “A-Fraud”‘s performance on Tuesday (2 K’s [including a strikeout to end the game], 2 double plays grounded into [one with the bases loaded and the game on the line], 1 error) was just a marvel to behold. My only regret is that the game didn’t take place on a ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast so I could hear perennial Yankee suck-ups Jon Miller and Joe Morgan make every excuse in the world for the ills befalling the Bronx Bombers.

Goodboy “Killer” Kowalski and I are in agreement on this: if given the choice between the Red Sox winning and the Yankees losing, we’d rather watch the Yankees lose every time.

If you’ve ever been even remotely interested in the Watergate scandal, James Rosen’s book, “The Strong Man” is a must-read. While Rosen’s book presents a portrait of Attorney General John Mitchell quite at odds with that made popular by Bob Woodward and carl Bernstein in “All The President’s Men”, Rosen can pull it off because of the exhaustive research that went into the book, including never-before revealed testimony made before the Senate Watergate Committee. It’s an extremely well-written and coherent study, positively riveting in its ability to recall the absolute chaos of the times and the early years of the Nixon administration.

Hard to believe three years have passed since Hurricane Katrina. This is a pretty good column about New Orleans’ continued struggle to come back.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:35 | Comment (1)
August 27, 2008

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions regarding my comments problem. The good folks at Blogs-About Hosting recommended a long-needed upgrade to my WordPress software that includes only allowing comments from people who have had previous comments allowed. So while I’ll still get spam comments that have to be moderated, at least they won’t go directly to some old post, which is a definite improvement.

I’ve also removed some broken links and updated Rob’s CrabAppleLane Blog URL. I’m sure over the next couple of days he’ll have one eye glued to college football and the other to The Weather Channel as everyone in Louisiana wonders where Hurricane Gustav is going to go.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments (0)
August 26, 2008

How do you know you are the official champions of the 18th annual Goodboys Invitational, and, therefore, all of Goodboys Nation?

When your championship picture appears on Goodboys Nation weblog, that’s how! Savvy visitors will notice the change in the photo in the upper right-hand corner, now showing the 2008 champion team of Patrick “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin and Paul “Possum” Shepter looking snazzy in their champions jackets and receiving the accolades of their fellow Goodboys.

Congrats (again) to the winners!

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:18 | Comment (1)
August 25, 2008

Madre di Dios is it hot here! And kinda humid, too. The lovely late-summer days of New England are now just a distant memory, replaced with the reality of 108-degree heat and 70 Mb of work-related e-mails crying for attention. But vacation was swell. Just a few thoughts before getting a head start on my work week:

My retreat at the Maronite Monks of Adoration Most Holy Trinity Monastery was spiritually and emotionally challenging, yet enjoyable. I’ve got some thoughts written down I’ll save for another post, but the hospitality of the monks and the solitude such a peaceful and quiet setting afforded was a delightful change from the noisy life I lead. We had a lovely evening thunderstorm that, in the quiet and darkness of the country setting, took over an hour to come, providing an extended period of time to enjoy the distant lightning and hear the soft rumbles of thunder grow louder as the storm approached. The following night turned chilly enough to leave a light frost across the farmland, providing a lovely hint of the fall to come – something we never experience here in the Valley of the Sun.

The remnant of what was once The Beach Boys – now reduced to lead vocalist Mike Love and original Brian Wilson replacement Bruce Johnston ought to be ashamed of themselves for charging what they do for tickets. Don’t get me wrong – the treasure-trove of Brian-penned hits they’re still able to drag out one after another – enough to fill one and a half hours – was enjoyable to listen to, but Love and Johnston hardly do any of the heavy lifting anymore, leaving that to a group of anonymous musicians that play well enough, but hardly memorable either in terms of musicianship or vocals.

They did a good enough job, I guess, but when you’ve attended more than twenty shows spanning the years between 1975 and 1994 as I have, years filled with great concerts and memories of marvelous performances by band members such as the late Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson, and the now-gone-solo Brian Wilson and Alan Jardine, well, it’s hard to see just how far the mighty have fallen. Of course, one has to keep in mind Love and Johnston are both in their early ’60s, so one can only expect so much. But time has not been kind, and these guys should know when it’s time to hang up the microphones.

Before the show, I got a chance to shake Johnston’s hand and thank him for helping create all that wonderful music. When I introduced him to my friend “Keys” Palma and told him he played keyboards, Bruce replied, “I used to play keyboards, now I just fake it.” He wasn’t kidding…

…But lead guitarist Scott Totten was a keeper, though – ripping off one sensational surf guitar lick after another and supplying tasteful fills Carl would have been proud of.

What made the day truly worthwhile was the afternoon spent relaxing in the sun, surf, and sand of Hampton Beach, shooting the breeze with my good friend “Keys”. The weather was perfect, the water warm and refreshing, and the whole beach atmosphere sheer perfection for a late-summer day.

OK, on to food: I’ve eaten in enough Mexican restaurants to know – the Margaritas chain of restaurants has the best combination of food, salsa, and Cuervo Gold margaritas I’ve ever tasted…

…And the veal cutlet sub sandwiches (sauce only, no cheese) at Wilmington House of Pizza are the best in the area.

Count Newport, Rhode Island as one of The Great White Shank’s favorite places to visit. Like so many other vacation spots along the East Coast, however, there’s been significant development all along the waterfront, and walking amidst all the shops, restaurants and tourist attractions I couldn’t help but think what would happen if a hurricane like the one that ravaged New England seventy years ago took a similar track. I mean, you can’t live your life in fear, but there it’s not just a question of if, but when.

I’m kinda kicking myself for purchasing Netgear equipment for my parents’ wireless network. Sounds like Linksys would have been a better way to go in terms of reliability and stability, but we’ll just have to see how it all goes.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
August 22, 2008

“Live like no one else so later on you can live like no one else.”

So says debt-reduction guru Dave Ramsey of the Fox Business Channel’s “Dave Ramsey Show”, and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Today we paid off the sixth of nine credit cards we once had – credit cards that once had a total of over $60K on them. How have we been able to make such progress? In short, discipline and dedication, and, to be honest, a combination of good income, no children, and no pre-existing car payments (a definite plus!).

It all started shortly after our return from vacation last fall. First to go was one of those tire & auto place cards – sure, in the grand scheme of things it was a mere shot across the bow at our overall debt, but it once had over $2K on it for auto repairs. We needed to prove to ourselves that we could pay something – anything – off, so doing so at least got us started in the right direction.

Next it was nose-to-the-grindstone time, as November, December, and January were dedicated to getting one of several major bank Visa cards – this one with over $16K on it (sigh…) down to something less than 10K so at least I could start thinking about sleeping at night. That was a lot of work, made all the tougher because you never got the feeling any real progress was being made.

But we did it, and I have to admit it felt kinda good to have our largest card down to four figures in size. That set the stage for an all-out assault on one of our Bank of America Visa cards with over $11K on it. From late February through part of May (with a momentary halt for taxes) every extra dime we had went to paying off this card, followed the next month by a second BoA card that once had as much as $5K on it.

(A funny story: after paying off these two cards, when I called Bank of America to cancel them outright, the guy on the other end asked me why I was canceling. When I mentioned Dave Ramsey, he told me I wouldn’t believe how many times he’s heard that guy’s name mentioned by people doing the very same thing I was doing.)

And that’s when we started the white board. Even though we were starting to make real progress on our credit card debt, we needed something in the way of positive reinforcement so we could see the progress we were making. And that’s when I hit upon the idea of a white board. So we now have one posted in my office that lists all our debts from smallest to largest, with a total we can modify on a monthly basis to document our progress.

Since the white board went up, we have paid off three more cards – another Visa card that had once had over $6K on it, a shopping channel Master card that once had nearly the same, and today, yet another Visa card that was once over $5K. So six cards down, three to go.

As yet another cards is paid off, we hold a little ceremony where the card is removed from the wallet of whomever the card belonged to and cut up with scissiors. Then the next day we call and cancel it. And the white board gets updated.

So how does such a concerted effort take place? Simply put, like Dave says, “living like no one else so one day you can live like no one else”. First of all, we are both blessed to make good money and work hard for it. Second, like I said, we don’t have children, so that helps a lot – as does having no auto loans, as both of our cars have been paid off for awhile. Most importantly, however, we’ve severely restricted our going out and eating out, limiting ourselves to take-out pizza once every other week. While we don’t have a strict budget per se, we keep a strict eye on what we spend at the supermarket – like they say, you go to the supermarket to buy, not to shop. There’s a big difference: in other words, we have a grocery list and stick to it. This year, for the first time since we’ve been married there will be no vacation around our anniversary. And, as much as I hate to say it, there’ll be no Goodboys Vegas weekend for me next February, either.

While we’re making good progress, we’re not there yet. I figure we’ve paid off somewhere in the range of $40K in the past ten months, with still around $18K to go. Then there’s a 403-B loan with approx. $30K on it that needs paying off. God willing, if we’re able to stick to our plan and no bad surprises happen, we’re thinking we can be debt free (house excluded) by this time next year. What an accomplishment that would be!

Listen, if we can do it anyone can do it. Both of us have always been pretty free spenders, and we’ve never known a month in out 21+ years of marriage when we haven’t been paying credit card bills. The cool thing is seeing the change in our mail and the reduction in the number of bills we get. I’ve also noticed the number of credit card offers we get by mail has dropped significantly, which is nice to see as well. We used to think that all those offers were proof positive of our great credit record, but we’ve come to see them as invitations to increased debt and a life we no longer wish to live. It’s so true what Ramsey says: taking control of one’s financial situation involves changes in behavior and mindset more than anything else.

For us, we now know that if we want to live like no one else in the future, we have to live like no one else today. It’s rewarding to see all our discipline and dedication is just now starting to pay off.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:36 | Comments (3)
August 21, 2008

POB This wildly eclectic and refreshingly enjoyable vacation week continues tonight, as I’m attending a What’s-Left-Of-The Beach Boys concert at the Hampton Beach Casino – hence the timing of the post.

It’s taking me a bit of time to put together a post on the re-issue of Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson‘s album “Pacific Ocean Blue”. The re-release of Wilson’s 1977 solo album, which also includes recordings from a later set of sessions intended for a follow-up album that was never released (to be called “Bambu”) is something that had been bandied about for years; now Beach Boys fans have something to cheer about. And I do cheer it, for the quality of the release in both its digital remix and packaging is fantastic and well worth the wait. But hearing the music again, as beautiful as it is, just leaves me with a sense of melancholy, even sadness.

If Brian Wilson was the creative genius behind the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson was the band’s soul. It was Dennis who had the original idea to have Brian write a surf song, Dennis who was the band’s only surfer, Dennis who had the charisma and the wild rock-star lifestyle, and Dennis who ultimately became the true victim of the “California myth” that brother Brian perpetuated through the Beach Boys’ music. Unable to conquer his addictions to, well, virtually everything, Dennis drowned in December of 1983. For all intents and purposes, he had been living dead for several years, and when he passed the Beach Boys died with him.

Dennis Wilson was the power, the passion, and the force behind the Beach Boys concert band – driving the beat, pummeling his drums, playing to the audience when his bandmates were all too often content to play it safe. After the band would leave the stage to a rousing “Surfin’ USA”, it was customary for to come back out alone to the accompaniment of a tinkling piano to sing “You Are So Beautiful”. Alone in the spotlight, Dennis was always careful to dedicate his song to whatever city or town the concert happened to be in. Girls swooned. Guys just shook their heads in awe. I mean, how could someone be so passionate, manly, tender, and rough all at the same time? Sure, it was Brian wrote all those fabulous tunes, but it was Dennis who every guy in the audience looking to score with a chick ever wanted to be.

Knowing Dennis’ insatiable taste for female conquest, he’d probably be proud to hear that whenever I hear POB I think of the girls (well, let’s say young women) who were a significant part of my life around the time his album was released. You see, it was great record to play for chicks because here you had this guy with a raspy voice pouring out his soul through music that was raw, passionate, vulnerable, sexy, tender, romantic, and risk-taking, all at the same time. All qualities I wish I had! But if I didn’t have them, at least I could somehow reflect them, and my own desires, through Dennis’ music.

Aah, the transcendent quality of music! Hearing the music on POB I’m transported back to September of 1977 and the night my girlfriend at that time called to say she had totaled her car on her way into Boston to meet Dennis at the Strawberries music store on Memorial Drive in Cambridge to have him sign my copy of POB; it just happened to be the same day my grandfather passed away. I vivdly remember that night, the two of us standing outside in her driveway, crying in each other’s arms. It also brings to mind a female co-worker I had fallen passionately in love with several months later; oftentimes on our drives to and from work, we’d talk with Dennis’ album playing in the background. And Dennis’ music weaved its magic – at least for a short period of time!

If there’s one cut on POB that in my mind exemplifies the moodiness of the album, it’s a song called “Moonshine”. The lyrics alone give you an idea of the kind of passion, vulnerability, and sense of loss so often displayed throughout:

Who made my moonshine intoxicate me?

Oooooh who made me cry
Like the end of a beautiful play

Holds and tickles and hugs out the night
Hold her hand and started to cry
The audience thought they would die

It was you who said there won’t be tomorrow
You said you love me now in another way
Oh in another way

Na na na naa na na naa no
Na na na naa na na naa no
Na na na naa na na naa no
Na na na naa na na naa no

It was you who said there won’t be tomorrow
You said you love me now in another way
Oh in another way

Gone gone away gone gone away
Gone gone away gone gone away
Gone gone away gone gone away
Gone gone away gone gone away

Steve Leggett’s review at allmusic.com sums it up pretty well, I think:

It’s difficult to describe Wilson’s sound on these tracks, although “California gospel soul” might fit, since Wilson’s raspy, wounded vocals carry more naked emotion and feeling than any of the other Beach Boys vocalists, even if [brother] Carl (and sometimes Brian) could sing like an angel. Dennis could sing like an angel, too, but an earthbound one who lost his wings yet never lost his love of the spiritual and romantic in the world.

…Beautiful, sprawling, peaceful, wise, and as tenderly romantic as the world is round, these Dennis Wilson gems are as revelatory as they are stunning. Dennis Wilson was a man in love with life, a man in love with love, and as this essential package shows, he had an achingly personal vision for it all.

The re-release of “Pacific Ocean Blue” in all its aural beauty is a triumph, but for me there’s as much emotion off the record as there is on it courtesy of Dennis. Which makes it a little raw and a little sad as a listening experience. And, strangely enough, I kinda think Dennis would consider that to be a compliment.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:36 | Comments (2)
August 20, 2008

Lately I’m seeing this weblog get inundated with all sorts of spam in the form of comments. For some reason there’s one post from last year that seems to be the primary target, which I find very strange. Not being that much of a techie when it comes to this kind of thing, it’s starting to get a little annoying having to clean up these comments, some of which direct you to not-so-nice websites – if you know what I mean.

There are WordPress plug-ins I’ve tried to use to head off these kinds of comments by looking for certain keywords, and it has helped, but these spammers are fairly sophisticated and still succeed in still getting a fair number through – anywhere between half a dozen to a dozen or more a day. It’s more of a nuisance than anything else, but a nuisance it nevertheless remains – after all, the actual number of legitimate comments from this weblog’s readers has never been very large.

I know there are regular readers who are also bloggers out there (like Rob and Dave, for instance) who have probably encountered this kind of thing before, so perhaps they’ll be nice enough to offer their own feedback. The easiest solution will be to simply begin moderating all comments (meaning one can still comment but there will be a delay in their appearance until I actually let them through), but if I can avoid that, that would be my preference.

I dunno, what do you think?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:35 | Comments (3)

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