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Archive for January 27th, 2012

Spam and More Spam

In the close to five years that I have been writing this blog , Akismet ( the WordPress spam filter) has intercepted more than 12,o0o spam messages. Approximately another 1,000 pieces of spam got through and I had to delete them myself. In all this time , I’ve only had 247 messages which I felt were genuine comments and which I allowed on my blog. A ratio of over 50:1 ( 13,00 to 247) isn’t fair and readers will not blame me for feeling badly done by. We bloggers live for feedback  ; it is irritating that they are so many people who get a thrill out of sending spam and who spend so much time doing so.

Most of these spam messages do not make any sense at all. For instance , a typical message might read  “Many thanks for this tips I had been looking all Search engines to locate it!”  and it may come from somebody who signs himself ( herself ?) Poczycjomyawnix.  Whatever….

Some of the spam messages are funny. My favorite is the one that said ” Many thanks for this post. Can you explain the third paragraph in more detail ? ” I felt good about this comment… for about five seconds … until I realized that my post did not have a third paragraph. Another one said ” Great post. If you are ever in Boston , look me up.” Then I saw it was from a Boston Cab company.(LOL)

In my blog , I often write about restaurants that I go to and I invariably get feedback , though not the type I want. Once , when I’d written about an Indian restaurant , I got a message which said” That place   is not bad but for the best Indian food in Edison , go to (……)”. Hmm, I thought to myself ” I must check this place out”. Then I looked more closely and saw that the message had been sent by the owner of that other restaurant ! Well, at least it means someone is reading my blog.

That spammers  take the time to troll the blogosphere and send spam is something I don’t understand. The three spam messages I wrote about are funny but the rest are pure drivel. I wonder at the sort of person who writes them .I always think of  spammers as being men. Perhaps I’m guilty of reverse sexism but I can’t imagine a woman spammer.

Of all the spam messages that got through to my blog , only one was hurtful. It went something like this “When I started to read this post I thought you had something to say on this subject but I was wrong. It was a complete waste of time. Why don’t you just quit ?”

Somehow, I know that was written by a guy.

 

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With SuperBowl XLVI only days away , the battle lines are being drawn as football fans ponder whom to root for. For Giant fans and Patriot fans , the choices are clear .They have no doubt who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. It is the rest of fandom that is in a quandary. Some, no doubt, will root for the team they like better. It is the others ,who root on the basis of whom they hate, that  have a problem.

One the one hand , many football fans still believe that Bill Belichick is the incarnation of the Devil . Even though “Spygate” happened several years ago , they have never forgiven him for it. That hate has been transferred to Belichick’s team , the Patriots , and so these fans  will never root for The Patriots, at least as long as Belichick is the coach. These are the same guys who will never root for the Lakers because that’s Kobe Bryant ‘s team and he was involved in that unsavory incident in that hotel room in Denver half a dozen years ago.

I don’t buy such logic.

Granted , Belichick was sneaky and underhanded in ordering an underling to tape an opposing team’s practices. Granted he is a humorless jerk who never seems to know what to say in front of a microphone. Granted , he is a sore loser who barely says two words to the opposing coach when the Pats lose. Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the man is a coaching genius. His defensive schemes have troubled the best QBs and coaches in the business. I always thought that the comparison of Tom Brady to Peyton Manning was unfair to Peyton.Those battles were not Peyton vs. Brady but Peyton vs Brady and Belichick. This year Belichick has excelled himself by disguising the flaws in the Pats defense and guiding the team to the SuperBowl. On offense he has come up with the idea of using two tight ends , Gronkowski and Hernandez, at the same time often ,with one of them in the backfield. Belichick also should be given credit for New England’s stellar drafts and trades and for the way he has molded the Patriots team into a playoff threat ,year after year. You can dislike the man’s personality but you have to give him props for his football acumen and his all-consuming dedication to coaching.

On the other hand , there will be some fans who will be rooting against the Giants because they are a New York team, and New York is a symbol of all that is wrong with America. New York is the home of those Wall Street shysters, and New Yorkers are rude, obnoxious , rich, arrogant  and classless. Never mind that the Giants play in New Jersey and the players themselves do not fit that stereotype. How can people not like Eli Manning? Or Tom Coughlin ? Or Victor Cruz? But perhaps I shouldn’t be asking such questions. After all, there are some fans who hate Aaron Rodgers , than whom I can’t think of anyone more likeable , unless it is Eli.

Yes , it is going to be tough for these fans to decide whom to root for.. .whom do they hate less , Belichick and the Pats or those %^$# New York Giants ? It’s a coice between the Devil and Sodom and Gomorrah.(LOL)

Meanwhile , it seems Boston fans are very , very nervous about the upcoming clash. The memory of  what happened last time these two teams met is still an open woundin their collective psyche. One Boston fan went so far as to say ” The Giants are like kryptonite to the Patriots” . Even Tom Brady and Bill Belichick seem to be affected by those memories. And that makes me nervous. On paper, the Giants are the better team , the more complete team, but that doesn’t mean anything when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are on the other team and are itching to avenge their loss.

GO GIANTS !!

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