Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Is anyone else besides me sick of blog spam?

Mar 28, 2004 in Personal

It seems that at least once a week, a flood of spam comments for prescription drugs and penis enlargement pills fills my blog (and my inbox). This, folks, I don’t understand.

What in the world makes these scumbags think that anyone would take an interest in their products by spamming the public comment section of a blog? The blog owner is certainly not going to like it; he/she has to clean out the comments, and even if he/she wanted penis enlargement pills or illicit prescription narcotics, they certainly wouldn’t be inclined to purchase it from a blog spammer.

We’ve all kinda gotten desensitized to spam in email (but frankly, it’s the internet worms that have been causing more of a nuisance lately). But to spam someone’s public web page, now that’s low. I’m sure the spammer is using a script to do this. Hopefully they’ll introduce some anti-spam measures in Movable Type 3.

It seems to be the same person. The URLs to their crummy websites always match, and they’re always promoting the same products. Apparently, they’re operating from the comfy legal confines of European ISP’s, since that’s where the reverse DNS lookup always leads.

In the relatively organized anarchy that is the internet, it seems that it takes just a few bad apples to make it an unpleasant experience for the rest of us. I’m pondering whether I should just shut off the comments on my blog altogether. I’d like to leave it open for people to comment on posts, although frankly, I don’t get all that many comments. What do you people think?

My psych-nurse friend calls it OCD…

Mar 20, 2004 in Personal

Lately I’ve been contemplating the idea of starting a web hosting business. Running my own websites has become a fulfilling hobby, and the money I’ve been making from affiliate programs is pretty nice. I’m intrigued by the challenge of running a home business, and I’m confident that I have the technical skills and experience to do it. The start-up costs are low enough for me to be able to finance the business myself.

But, the webhosting market is quite crowded, and it would take a lot of work in the beginning, for little money. There’s always a chance of failure. I’m working on a business plan and doing a lot of research, but I’m not rushing into this, if I even do it at all.

I have this tendency of taking intense interest in a subject (whether it be poker, blogging or webhosting) and then absorbing myself in learning as much as I can about it, to the (temporary) exclusion of everything else. (Thus the lack of updates in the last few days). This’ll go on for a while, and eventually I’ll lose interest in it altogether.

Spring Break is this coming week, and I have the next nine days with nothing to do. I should have enough money saved up now to buy a (cheap) car within the next week.

And at a mall record store, no less…

Mar 14, 2004 in Personal

Yesterday, when I was at the mall, I picked up a Peter Tosh box set, brand new, for only $2. (I didn’t notice it was on cassette until I got home. But that’s fine, since I have a cassette player. Guess that explains why it was a bargain.)

There are photos of him holding this bad-ass custom Stratocaster modified to resemble an AK-47. Wish I had a scanner.

While unwrapping one of the brand new cassettes, it reminded me of the thrill of holding a new cassette when I was younger. It’s something different, to have that small, rectangular box in your hand, as opposed to a 5″ CD case. I was reminiscing on the excitement of going to the mall and picking up some new music to hear (Ok, there were no hip record stores within 50 miles of my house then.)

It’s a step backward to realise that, for instance, you can’t just hit a button to skip a song. Instead of a digital push-button, you actually have to engage a mechanical process with the play button. It takes at least 7 seconds for the damn thing to start playing. And there’s a lot of fast-forward and rewinding.

Come to think of it, I don’t miss cassettes. Just the thrill that came with unwrapping a new piece of music. I’m so jaded now, especially considering that I can occasionally get my mitts on the hottest new indie releases days before most people get to hear them.

I just spent the last five hours writing a 1500-word news article on a lecturer that came to our school on Friday. (More on that later.) I just hope it’s not too damn long for publication.

“It’s” Annoying

Mar 07, 2004 in Personal

As a self-professed writer, I take pride in proper spelling, pronunciation, and use of vocabulary. Yes, we all make mistakes once in a while. But when 50,000 people have read something you wrote, those minor punctuation errors become quite obvious.

More than one person has noted that I’ve used it’s incorrectly on my page at Niggling details, huh? Well, it turns out that I used it’s incorrectly not once, not twice, but five times! (all within the same two or three paragraphs).

Needless to say, I’m a tad embarrased. Yes, I do know the difference between its and it’s. I don’t know how I missed it five times, especially considering how I repeatedly re-read and revise my work. Punctuation is something I’ve always had a bit of trouble with.

I’d like to thank the Academy…

Mar 07, 2004 in Personal

Over 45,000 people have visited in the past two days!

Fark brought the majority of hits, but I’ve also gotten a lot of traffic from,,,, and (I wasn’t aware that there were so many Fark-type link aggregators out there).

The site was listed on Blogdex, Daypop Top 40, and Popdex, and was also linked to from numerous forums, blogs, journals and emails.

Now if only I could get that many readers on my blog…
(Some of the traffic has been spilling over, but it’s a very small percentage).

But anyway, it’s nice to see that I’ve done something that entertained so many people. (Well, I didn’t really do it. That credit goes to Chris Hilgert; I just catalogued what happened after he did it.)

Wistful remembrances and nostalgic schwag (:snif:)

Feb 23, 2004 in Personal

The other day, after chatting with a distant friend/ex-gf, we were saying our goodbyes to each other. She types. It seems to be a long, thoughtful message. The message pops up, and it reads: “I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately. Sometimes I walk by your house, and I wish I could just knock on the door and say hi”

I thought I was gonna cry when she said that.

Bloooogs. Need more blooogs! (Argh…pllllt!)

Feb 20, 2004 in Personal

Ok readers, all several hundred of you a day (at least thats what my web stats say). I need some good blogs to read.

I’ve got about a dozen or so (listed to the right) that I already check out. But it’s time consuming trying to find good blogs to read. I need the kind denizens of the blogging community to hook me up (and i don’t just mean the really popular weblogs that everyone already reads).

So, post your suggestions, link me to your OPML files or better yet, email your Bloglines subscriptions to me (email: ). Feel free to suggest your own too.

An eager blogger and info junkie thanks you.

I dislike loathe despise hate math!

Feb 19, 2004 in Personal

I have an Intermediate Algebra test tomorrow on rational expressions and equations, and I don’t think I’m going to do well.

This is the second time in my college career that I’ve plodded through the “math tard” curriculum of elementary and intermediate algebra. Oh, I did ok the first time. But after two years, I didn’t remember any of it. Rational expressions is where my brain skid to a grinding halt the last time. This time is not any better. Everything else up until now has been a cakewalk. But I still have the rest of this semester, plus a semester of college algebra, and I’m scared (and exceedingly frustrated). Please tell me this isn’t going to get any harder.

I’m going to repeat that old chestnut that every math teacher has heard countless times: WHEN THE HELL AM I EVER GOING TO USE THIS STUFF??

Somewhere in the future:

Me: Ok, so how do I figure out my interest rate?

Helpful bank person: Ok, well you just factor both expressions, find the LCD, multiply all terms of the equation by a factor equal to 1, perform the operation, cancel, factor again if neccesary, set both terms equal to 0, and solve for X.

Me: (curled up on the floor in fetal position)

Before enrolling in my current program, I was a computer programming tech major at community college. I took the basic and intermediate algebra, computer math (discrete math) and elementary stats (only got a C). And from what I know about programming, everything about algebra that applies to computer programming is learned in the first two weeks of the course. (This is assuming that you’re not programming graphics, engineering, or scientific applications).

It turns out that my problem is what psychologists call dyscalculia. The list of symptoms on this page describe me to a T:

Normal or accelerated language acquisition: verbal, reading, writing. Good visual memory for the printed word. Good in the areas of science (until a level requiring higher math skills is reached).
Difficulty with the abstract concepts of time and direction. May be chronically late.
Poor mental math ability.
Poor with money and credit.
May have difficulty grasping concepts of formal music education.
May have poor athletic coordination.

Great! Now when are they gonna come out with a pill to treat it?

Oh, and this is pretty funny too. For a discipline that is allegedly so rational, orderly and perfect, there certainly is a lot about it that seems arbitrary.

An Internet-style ass whooping

Feb 16, 2004 in Personal

This weekend, I learned one of the hard lessons of the Internet. The game files for the “Smack the Penguin” game that I was hosting on my tribute site proved so popular that my visitors used up all of my bandwidth (as well as all of next months bandwidth) in the space of 48 hours. My domain was down for three days, and I’m just hoping my sites haven’t lost any visitors. Oh well, c’est la vie.

In unrelated news, I have the flu (finally), but I’m functioning enough to write an article for my student newspaper on the Grey Album copyright controversy (see last post).

LiveJournal user budgie_ has kindly set up a LJ account for my syndicated feed. It hasn’t been tested yet, but if you’re an LJ user and want my blog to appear on your friend’s page, add andrews_feed to your Friends list. (This may only work for paid accounts, at least until I get more subcribers to the LJ feed).

KWYJIBO - A dumb, balding North American ape, with no chin

Jan 30, 2004 in Personal

Just started watching the first season Simpsons DVD. It’s interesting to see how the characters have developed and changed over time. Homer, for example, wasn’t nearly as much of a dolt as he is now. In some ways, the show was much more intelligent and profound back then.

Today at work, a coworker gave me a breaded and deep-fried pickle chip. It actually tasted pretty good, which led me to thinking about the wide variety of foods that could possibly be deep-friend. My co-worker said he tried frying bread once, which didn’t turn out too well. I also tried a deep-fried tomato, which wasn’t too bad either.

We all already know that you can deep fry meats (even whole turkey carcasses), cheese, and most vegetables (broccoli, onion, peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, zucchini). But what about fruits? And did you know that people also fry Mars bars, Snickers, Twinkies and Oreos? (these things are really big at state fairs)