Sunny Sunday

Today was a gorgeous day, one of only a few so far this spring. It’s time to start filling pots with plants, and doing projects around the yard. I’m still wrapped up in chapter writing, but I managed to take some time for other things.
For the first time this year, I spent money on gasoline for the Moto Guzzi. Two and 3/4 gallons for $8.53. I took a ride over to what’s left of the old Oak towers and took some pictures. The buildings have been reduced to a pile of rubble. The new structures are being advertised for Fall 2008, and look to be only 3 or 4 stories tall instead of the 10 or 15 stories of what was just knocked down.
I also spent $35 on a round cement ball for the fish pond. I had looked into building one myself, but coudln’t find information on water resistant or fish safe formulations of concrete used for making solid structures for water. I’ve read that some formulations can leach alkali or phosphate and change the water chemisty. I don’t like the ball just yet. It will make the pump difficult to access, and I worry that I used a clay pot to elevate it and I don’t know if clay gets soft over time in water. I hope the ball doesn’t leach anything into the water. The person at Van Liew’s guessed that it was fish safe. The fish have grown long beautiful flowing fins since they’ve been there.

Google Analyte

I signed up for google analytics, just curious about what kind of information they collect. To track pages I had to insert some javasript calls back to google in the pages I want to track. The two pages I wanted to track are the most popular pages on the site. When I looked at the last time I had modified the pages I was surprised that I hadn’t touched them since 2001.
There’s a lot of pages on my site that haven’t been touched in years. I feel a small internal hesitation when I fire up emacs to change something that hasn’t been changed in several years. Kind of like when I used to buy records just because I felt like I should be able to say I have that record, instead of asking myself whether I really needed or wanted it.
Anyway, within 2 hours of enabling google-analytics I had the following picture of people accessing my site:
Pangloss Geo Map

Spammed to death

After years of neglect I’ve been mucking around in the guts of my website. I have a book chapter due, so of course any activity besides that needs immediate attention. There are some message boards I created in the late 90’s – when such things were rare and cool, that have been getting spammed by robots. One of them had accumulated 52 MB of text referencing viagra, drugs, and pornography in every way imaginable. The first 731 lines of text were conversation from 1998 about story writing, followed by 278,000 lines of SPAM. I decided to remove the spam and turn off the ability to add new posts, and found that I hadn’t modifed the code in nearly ten years! According to the logs, one of the message boards had received 1700 posts in 12 hours from 49 unique IP addresses.