The Day the Spam Stood Still

I didn’t realize how much spam had integrated itself into my life until it was suddenly…gone.*

The first spam of the day usually comes via my phone, since I have a quick look at my primary e-mail account when I wake up. Every morning I expect to see the NYT headline summary e-mail, a Yahoo groups digest, a few personal e-mails, and at least four pieces of spam.

This morning there were a couple of lovely personal emails, but no NYT, no Yahoo group digest, and, strangest of all, no spam. Wha? Nothing but communications from people I actually know? Did I wake up in 1993? If I turn on the TV will I find hot, young Bruce Campbell astride a horse? Alas, no, since I don’t have a TV, as it still 2009 and I get all my televisual entertainment through my laptop.

Also spam. My secondary e-mail account is the older, more spamtractive one, and I haven’t bothered to set it up one the phone. But it also has more active filtering, so it usual yields only the occasional personal e-mail and a designated folder full of offers from Amazon (since I bought several volumes of Sandman, a bathroom rug, and a Cinnabar Fiestaware butter dish, I must need The Watchmen, Tangerine Fiestaware salt and pepper shakers, and of course yet another bathroom rug. Because you can’t have too many bathroom rugs). This is also where the e-mails go. Basically anything that I *could* unsubscribe from, but for whatever reason, don’t.

No spam in the secondary account this morning, either. The weirdness continues.

I had a theory that the primary account ISP had gotten Tough on Spam without my knowledge, and had caught the NYT and Yahoo e-mails in a new, tighter net, but the NYT turned up in my inbox when I fired up my laptop…it was just late. And when I logged in to Yahoo, and it turns out that my group had just gone quiet yesterday. Also, there were no changes to the spam sittings on my account. Maybe they implemented something across the board.

Now the third spam channel I shut down myself yesterday, when I finally upgraded to WordPress 2.7 and installed Akismet. I tried to use comment spam filters on the old version, but they had an unfortunate tendency to lock me out of administration. So I was in the habit of scanning over the comments, approving the rare actual first-time commenter, and then Deleting All. The problem is that All was working out to about 1,500 a day. So when my excellent ISP sent me a completely appropriate UPGRADE OR DIE!!! e-mail yesterday, the only proper response was to bow meekly and say, “Yes, ma’am, sorry ma’am” and spend a day upgrading.

It wasn’t too bad — the database upgrade went swimmingly, no problems with admin access or functionality. I did wrestle with the White Screen of Death for the blog itself, but that turned out to be file corruption during the upload. I just did another upload and all was well. I even got lucky and didn’t have to replace the old theme, although I see a couple of weirdnesses that need fixing, and I’m tempted by some of the new toys.

Having to stop and take a day to do the upgrade might have been a problem, since A and I were supposed to move on Friday and I have packing to do, but yesterday afternoon I found out that the new flat’s kitchen roof fell in, so we’re not moving until Monday. Handy, huh?

(I’m sorry. I take perverse pleasure in burying the lede.)

Yep, the kitchen roof “fell in”. I’m not sure how big a hole we’re talking about — yesterday’s reconnaissance attempt yielded no useful information. We’re taking a “these things happen” approach, since the flat is otherwise ideal. It’s also newly refurbished, so if the walls start to crumble, at least they’ve had a nice coat of paint.

* Yeah, CJ Roberts, that’s a split infinitive…just like in the Constitution, baby.

2 thoughts on “The Day the Spam Stood Still

  1. lindsley

    Excellent! For the last few years I’ve had my BCJ in the form of creaky old AVIs. In them Bruce is like good mustard: hot and ever so slightly grainy.


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