Archive for the ‘This blogging life’ Category

Legally contested liverwurst

August 5, 2019

A recent amendment to my 3/30/16 posting “Back to Braunschweig” chronicles some legal events in my blogging life:

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A note for Terry Kiser

July 23, 2019

A prospective comment for posting on my blog, following up on my 6/12/15 posting “Morning: Vic Hitler (and Terry Kiser)” (the narcoleptic comic Vic Hitler is one of Kiser’s most famous roles):

Please give Terry a message from his past. “After about seventy years, I am still following your career. On the island of Tobago, you were “getting away” after your show in NY. I just celebrated my 92nd b.day and still have happy memories of my time spent with you and your friend wandering the island. You are a credit to your profession. Thanks for sharing your talent.”

A fan letter from an old friend (of Kiser’s), whose identity I will steadfastly conceal here (actually, his name is sufficiently common that I’m not sure who he is). A fan who assumes that since I wrote about Kiser and his career in some detail and with appreciation, I know the man myself, or at least know how to get in touch with him. Alas no, though what I’ve found out about him suggests that he’s someone I’d like to get to know.

(He’s living in Austin TX, still acting — see below — and teaching. He’s a year old than I am, and he still has that great actor’s face, which in repose tends to convey subtle warmth together with sharp intelligence.)

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Early summer

May 2, 2019

Plant news from my house, now we’re definitely into summer here in Palo Alto — plus a notice that my 4/13 posting on Easter egg quotations has been fixed, sort of: the idea and the term are introduced, with an Economist example in an issue on synthetic biology, a subtly deployed quotation from Gertrude Stein (which leads to a Gertrudian snowclone).

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Another 100k spams

March 5, 2019

… just came up on this blog. Since I last reported on the crowds of spam comments here, in my 10/20/18 posting “Numbers and names” (“The number of pieces of comments spam on this blog … passed 5.5 million a little while ago”).

Well, on the 3rd, when I first checked, some 5,600,601  had accumulated since this blog started in December 2008. At the moment, there’s an attack underway from a site with a clever strategy for evading spam recognition programs, so I’m getting more than a thousand new spam comments a day..

Meanwhile, there’s a certain amount of entertainment in the ebbs and flows in the views of postings on this blog — which will lead me eventually to some remarks on location expressions in the world’s language.

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Decorative

December 26, 2018

A Warwick Rowers 2018 tree decorating scene:

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Seasonal thanks

December 24, 2018

A juxtaposition of two sets of greetings for the season, each expressing thanks for the recipient’s work.

Item A, two pieces of e-mail to Emily Menon Bender, from completely unfamiliar organizations, thanking her for her publications in computational linguistics: some new cross between holiday cards from commercial associates (maintaining the business relationship) and what Margalit Fox calls “demented p.r. releases”, what amount to cold calls (by electronic means or ordinary mail) soliciting the recipient’s business.

Item B, a brief e-mail to me from a complete stranger thanking me for my blog postings. Thanks to the fact that the sender has a name even rarer than mine, I was able to verify that he was not only a real person but a very interesting scholar — and the note moved me far more than he could have imagined, coming after a long dispiriting week. (What’s more, it turned out to latch onto my morning name from the 18th, (Lady) Ottoline Morrell.)

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Numbers and names

October 20, 2018

The number of pieces of comments spam on this blog (since it began in December 2008) passed 5.5 million a little while ago. (Actually, it’s already up to 5.51 million, since there’s been a barrage of comments spam from a particular proxies site.)

Against this, about 11k actual comments (and pingbacks), and about 8k postings (roughly a thousand postings a year).

Then there are some truly inscrutable statistics about the number of views of things on my blog.

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Dong Goodwin

August 23, 2018

I’m once again afflicted by spam comments — thousands a day — from a source that creates sender names by pairing random names from some gigantic database. Today’s most entertaining combo is Dong Goodwin, a personal name (from a Chinese surname) with inevitable phallic associations in English, plus an OE surname meaning ‘good friend’. So a nice mixture of louche and earnest.

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contractions

June 7, 2018

The One Big Happy from May 11th, in which Ruthie discovers that there are contractions and then there are contractions:

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Who views what

December 3, 2017

About the readership of this blog, examined through the very imperfect lens of WordPress statistics. Back in May 2016 AZBlog had accumulated 5 million spam comments (since late December 2008), and WP said I was getting about 1000 views a day. Then reported spam comments dropped to about 100,000 a year and reported views to 750-800 a day, leading me to wonder if I was doing something wrong, but friends convinced me that WP’s monitoring was simply screwed up.

And then, about two months ago, the views per day went back up to 1000-1200, reliably, so I stopped fretting. (Spam comments stayed down at the ca. 100,000/yr level, which I view as a blessing.)

More interesting is which postings get the most hits, and from which countries. Some of this is easily explicable — there’s a big market for sex — but some is bizarre; Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky tells me it’s probably bots ruling the netverse, and not much to do with me specifically.

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