Three bulletins that concern this blog: on the continuing plague of spam comments; on the rhythm of blog views; and on the paucity of my postings.
Spam comments. Every so often, Mark Liberman posts on Language Log about the flood of spam comments and potential spam comments there — most recently here, where he noted that the flood was a bit abated, but added:
Whether the spam filter’s daily harvest is 500 or 10,000, it’s too many for me to check the whole list for false positives. So if your comment doesn’t appear, and it wasn’t offensive and/or devoid of relevant content, there’s a good chance that you somehow got caught in the spam filter.
The Akismet spam filter on this blog finds 700 10 1,000 pieces of potential spam a day. Many of these it silently deletes. Some it puts into a spam file I can look at if I want to. And a few it tags as borderline and sends me e-mail about them, for me to moderate. The middle category is too big for me to cope with, so I delete them all. As Mark says, if a comment of yours that you believe isn’t spam doesn’t appear, you probably got caught in the spam filter.
A few weeks ago, the total number of spam comments filtered out reached 200,000, and now it’s over 225,000. Overwhelming.
The rhythm of views. The rather chaotic pattern of readers’ views of this site has settled down to a more regular wave-like pattern, with a low point on Saturday, then a steady rise through Tuesday or Wednesday, followed by a steady fall. Since my postings don’t show this pattern, it seems to be a fact about the habits of the readers.
Postings down. You might have noticed that the number of my postings has been down recently. None at all yesterday. Well, my osteoarthritis has been wearing me down, wrecking my sleep, severely limiting what I can do, and obliging me to spend much of the day dealing with its effects.
The bright point in this is that sitting in chairs is just fine, virtually pain-free, so if I can be gotten to a restaurant, to a Stanford meeting room, whatever, I’m ok, and sitting and working at the computer is a pleasure (until I lapse into sleep at the switch). (I sleep sitting up in an easy chair.)
Standing and walking is difficult, even with my cane, and lying flat on my back is pure torture, even while I’m tossing down Vicodin (stronger drugs for better days!). Which brings me to the Lost Yesterday, Sunday, when I had an MRI scheduled for 11 a.m.
So here’s the problem: my worst symptom is the pain on lying flat on my back, but the MRI requires that I lie, motionless and flat on my back, for 30-45 minutes. Conflict. I stuck it out through the halfway point, but by then my legs were cramping wildly, I was moaning in pain, and I was getting close to throwing up. So I called a halt to things.
I failed my MRI! I’ll see the orthopedist tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a slew of blood tests say good things, meaning that I don’t have various other conditions that might be worse than just osteoarthritis.
And the usual crop of posting topics (20-40 a day) continues to cry out for harvesting.