Monday, January 17, 2005

Spam and other deceptions

My ISP has a reasonably intelligent but extremely effective spam blocking service. Very rarely does a junk message get through, but I do have to log in to the blocker's Web site to make sure that everything that's been trapped in there belongs there. Occasionally, it snags a legitimate email, so I have to scan the list of email addresses and subjects to free any messages that should have come through.

This process gives me a chance to read the subject lines of some of the junk messages that got snagged. Most are fairly boring -- buy a Rolex watch or a Paris Hilton video, you've won the Ugandan national lottery, we have Viagra and Cialis for you... you get the idea. I have to hand it to the spammers who exhibit at least some creativity. Yesterday, I received a message with the following subject line:

There's a frog in my bidet!

Not that I'm any more likely to buy (or even read) anything from these bogus buggers, but at least their subject lines are mildly entertaining.

True story: In the job before my current work incarnation, I worked with a guy who hailed from Austin, Minnesota (home of Hormel, makers of Spam). He used to go back to Minnesota to visit his family at Christmastime, and would bring us all back goodies from the Hormel gift shop (Spam T-shirts, boxer shorts, earrings, Christmas ornaments...). One year when he went back home, one of the staff people at Hormel found out that he was a UNIX sysadmin who knew something about the Internet. She asked him, "Could you please get the Internet to stop calling junk email 'Spam'?" Some things are beyond even the power of the UNIX wizards...

We wuz robbed!

Fox Television gave false hope to all of us "Family Guy" fans today. They had publicized a new season of the show (revived from cancellation) starting today, but instead of showing the new episodes, they're showing re-runs of older ones. Come to find out, they won't be showing any of the new episodes until May. Not that the old ones aren't still hysterically funny, but that's a pretty sleazy marketing tactic. Fox did its best to bury the series the first time around by showing it at random times, until people couldn't find it any more and gave up. I wonder how many people are going to sit faithfully in front of the tube from now until May.


The turquoise Fancy Fur scarf is done, and will head to LA eventually. I had nothing to wear to Mardi Gras, so I picked up a couple of balls of Skacel Peacock in a yellow-lavender-green-blue combination. It's as close to the standard Mardi Gras color scheme (yellow, purple, green) as I could get in one yarn.

I've also finished the red bag, though I haven't felted it yet. I need to finish the i-cord strap and attach it, and then the thing's ready for felting. I wanted to do a couple of the felted tote bags from the Fiber Trends pattern, but my local yarn shop was out of both of the shades of Lamb's Pride Bulky that I wanted. I left a request with them, and will start on the Booga Bag next instead.


Poor old Doogie has been having some trouble getting up on his own. More often than not these days, I have to lift him to his feet. He can still occasionally struggle to his feet under his own power, but he requires more rescuing now. I worry that he'll continue to weaken and might not be able to stand on his own someday soon, but he's still holding on.


PeterAtLarge said...

Sorry about Doogie. What kind of a dog is he?

The Misanthrope said...

The Family Guy looks amusing, if I could find it. You might like B2's posting on Fox's censorship of Family Guy. Just scroll down a bit until you see the cartoons.