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There are downsides to being a celebrity or someone in the news for sport skills or whatever.
You don’t get to Tweet what you really think without being caught up in Gawker, Buzzfeed or the Daily Mail and condemned for being human.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
I spend a good deal of my time thinking strange thoughts. I don’t mean just those seemingly strange thoughts which I have written about over the last few days, which are only strange to people who cannot allow their fantasy to run free or their mind to wander elsewhere. My strange thoughts tend to be random ideas for things to write about, for stories and articles, even for blog posts now and then. Often the wildest ideas run through my kind, almost like a B-movie in some cases, take some sort of form and then, if they are worth anything, allow themselves to be put down on paper. Admittedly only as notes, but with the promise of future greatness, I like to think.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read – Creative Commons
Recently my thoughts have been turning more and more to fictional works, and to one particular genre. Not the one you might think, going by my record of writing so far, but something a little different. Horror.
Tomorrow I will hit another mark in the fight against spam. Well, not exactly since it is not really a fight, more of a submit and delete. Tomorrow my stats will show that more than eighty-five thousand spam comments have been caught and deleted on this blog.
Photo Credit: chrismar – Creative Commons
The big surge in spam comments that I have received over the last week – several hundred each day – comes because of a change I made here: all spam sent through my comments page which then arrive as mail are now filtered through Akismet and no longer reach their target. Someone operating a spambot somewhere – because these spam messages are not sent out by real people – must have noticed and changed their methods.
Does it make a real difference? Not really. All I need to do is click on one button and the spam comments waiting in the approval queue are deleted unread.
Of course, there are blogs which allow comments through unmoderated, where anything goes. These are the sites which fall into Google’s bad list thanks to the links most spam comments contain. I can’t imagine that anyone who allows such comments through has been savvy enough to activate a nofollow on their blog.
So I will watch the number grow, sit back with a satisfied smile on my face, and click that delete button, keeping, as far as is possible, a clean blog.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
You know that feeling, when you see someone, where you just stop thinking about anything else and concentrate just on them? Where, if there was a lamp-post or an open manhole, you’d walk into it because you’re so distracted?
That lip-biting moment when someone gets so in your mind from one quick glance in their direction? If you don’t then, I’m sorry, but you’re a Eunich.
It took me longer than a book – or two in this case – normally requires to work my way through but, this evening, I managed to finish Plato’s Republic. Not that it was difficult to read, it is really a monologue from Socrates with occasional breaks as others agree with him or set harder questions to tax him, but there is so much in these nine books that I constantly had to stop and think, weigh up what had been written and put it into perspective.
For anyone who wishes to correct me, yes, there are ten books in all, but I will come to that in a minute.
Photo Credit: wallyg – Creative Commons
The idea behind the book is to find out whether injustice or justice is better. Socrates, in his usual manner, goes the long way about explaining what both are, and convincing his listeners that he is right; by making them agree with all of his arguments until they have no choice but to agree. Part of this preamble to agreement is the setting up of a perfect State – or City State – according to his beliefs, and that is what the meat of this book is about.
After a good deal of hard work – which I am definitely getting used to! – our first three titles are now available on Amazon for anyone who wishes to buy through their system instead of through our shop or Etsy. That is, it is available on their US site but, for some reason, there is no crossover to the UK site which still shows them all as being unavailable. At least it doesn’t claim that they are out of print any more!
Over the next few days I will create a UK Amazon seller account – which is a real pain, why can’t they have a simple crossover? – and then the books will be free to purchase there too.
Of course, anyone who wants one now can order titles easily through my Shop… which is also linked in the menu to your right!
Love & Kisses, Viki.
It’s still hard to imagine, but amongst the billions of Tweets sent out there are one or two which either make sense, or have some relevance to real life. There are some people who get over the urge to write ‘blah’ or describe their breakfast / brunch / Taco and put a few words together which make you pause and think.
Admittedly, and speaking from experience, not all that many, but the search, whilst often frustrating, can prove worthwhile, depending on how much patience a person has and how much faith in the human race!
Hardly a day goes by – hardly an hour up until this morning – when my mail box isn’t filled with messages I really do not wish to see. After a while it becomes more than a chore, deleting all the rubbish, seeking out the real messages, blocking the real addresses or websites used by spammers. It’s not that anyone has my mail address, other than those I know and trust, but the fact that the comment form on this weblog has to be linked directly to me in case anyone (real) wants or needs to get in touch. Akismet does a wonderful job of blocking and filtering out the spam comments on each individual post, but what about the comments which do not appear, which are sent by mail and not designed for publication?
Photo Credit: IntelFreePress – Creative Commons
Up until now I have been using Contact Form 7, which has proven to be a very reliable and efficient method of allowing people I do not know, who do not have my mail address and do not wish to post a comment for all to see, to get in touch. This had its drawbacks, in that absolutely anyone could send a message, real or spam. Not fun for my mail box, and certainly not fun for me.
Now things are different. Contact Form 7 can be changed so that all messages sent are directed through Akismet, and known spammers, known spam terms are automatically filtered out. My mail box, since this morning, is surprisingly free of rubbish.
It’s these little tweaks which make life on the Internet so much fun, which enhance our pleasure in surfing, in reading mail, in communicating.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
Anyone who hasn’t come across Donna Leon yet, and I cannot imagine that there are many who have not – is definitely missing out on good crime stories. It is one thing to look through photographic books in Venice, with its beautiful architecture and long, well documented history, quite another to read works by someone who lives in the State and, clearly, loves its winding alleys, canals and social life. To understand the society that has formed in Venice over many centuries, you need to be a part of that society, and Donna Leon, who has lived in Venice for many years, has clearly managed to find a way into the intrigues and inner-life of the city and its people.
Commissario Brunetti is called to a seemingly simple crime scene: the theft of books from a library, the destruction of printed works of art by the removal of valuable illustrations. A crime which has been growing over the years as more and more people, collectors in a shallow sense, begin to appreciate the financial benefits of collecting rare books and illustrations. What is initially a fairly simple investigation, with a clear suspect, quickly evolves into a more complicated and wide-ranging series of crimes, spanning not just Venice but also Italy and the rest of Europe. A series of crimes which can bring real collectors and appreciators of rare books to tears.
The writing is lucid and flowing, the descriptions well crafted, enticing. Brunetti and his small team of investigators are more than just figures on the page, their thoughts and actions, their lives, are laid out clearly and carefully so that the reader feels an immediate affinity for them and for the City State itself. Donna Leon writes crime works which hark back to the heyday, the golden era of crime writing before everything had to be conceived with Hollywood and the film industry in mind: down to earth, realistic, thought-provoking. And this work is no exception, following in a long line of crime novels which are well attuned to entry in a hall of fame for crime writing through the centuries and which will, in years to come, still hold their place as amongst the very best of the pure crime writers art.
This work is reviewed as part of the Goodreads First Read program.
Published by William Heinemann. ISBN: 978 0 434 02303 5
- Viktoria Michaelis.
I just love spammers, no honestly, I do! They send me so many wonderful offers – I’m getting a wealth of links from dating sites at the moment, with offers of love and sex from other women! – and, of course, they are all well within my interests.
What amused me today was a spam mail from a Chinese photo-retouching service which included:
This e-mail message and its attachments (if any) are intended solely for the use of the addressee(s) hereof. In addition, this message and the attachments (if any) may contain information that is confidential, privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you are prohibited from reading, disclosing, reproducing, distributing, disseminating or otherwise using this transmission. Delivery of this message to any person other than the intended recipient is not intended to waive any right or privilege. If you have received this message in error, please promptly notify the sender and immediately delete this message from your system.
I guess that means, since I am the intended recipient, that I can publish your offer for the whole world to see? Not that I am going to, but I could. In the end it makes no difference how good an offer it is or where it comes from, or what is written at the end about unsubscribing or confidentiality. It’s spam and hits my trash can faster than you will ever believe.
An amusing little side note: we all know that unsubscribing from a spam mail doesn’t do more than confirm your mail address is live – which is why no one should do it – and even my spellchecker recognizes this fact, and marks ‘unsubscribing’ as a false word, offering ‘subscribing’ instead! Oh, so true, spellchecker, so true!
Love & Kisses, Viki.