Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogger's Automatic Spam Detection For Comments

I hate spam comments and the idea that my readers will have to read any because they were nice enough to subscribe to the comments on any of my posts. As such, I make every effort to delete the little suckers the moment I am aware of their presence. Another thing people using the blogger platform (and others, I suspect) can do is turn on moderation for comments on posts more than x days old. Cafiend of Citizen Rider put me on to this, for which I thank him. To do this in blogger (as it looks right now, November 2010), follow this handy diagram and save your changes:

This prevents people who subscribed to comments on one of your posts from receiving email thanks to spam comments made weeks or months later. Good stuff. But what about the time period before your posts become moderated? That's where a fairly new feature in blogger, "Automatic Spam Detection for Comments" comes in. I saw it mentioned on the dashboard for my blog, but didn't give it much thought until recently, when I received this irksome bit of mail in my inbox:

Its nice Blog.affiliate marketing is a web-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

I bet I garnered this flattering "Its nice Blog" comment because I was foolish enough to put "Affiliate Marketing" in the post title. Oh crap, I just used those keywords again! I am less concerned about that today than yesterday. Here's why: I rushed to my blog to destroy the offending comment, only to find that it wasn't there! What? Where was it? Given the title of this post, you know what happened, but it took me a little while to clue in and check the Comments tab in blogger...

This is the first spam comment I have received since the automatic detection was introduced. It would seem that at least in this case, it worked just fine! Thank you, blogger!

Now if they could just add a "dashboard" link for when I'm signed in but viewing the blog, I'll be really happy. I keep clicking "design" just to get to the screens where I can select "dashboard"... not that I'm really complaining. I mean, it's free, for Pete's sake! What have I got to complain about?

Don't Stop Riding Your Bike! Hang on just a little longer...


Monday, November 29, 2010

Loading the 2nd Best Tub in Town - Winter Prep

The time has finally arrived. No snow yet, but the mercury is dipping below freezing on a regular basis. It is time to awaken the mutant. Mutant Winter, I mean. Her bottom bracket sounded like hell (think broken marbles) by the end of last winter. I have swapped it out, replaced the chain, cleaned all the gunk out of the derailleur and she's ready to roll. Except for stocking the 2nd best tub in town.

Here's a little catalogue of what will go in there.

Various batteries that fit my various lights. Especially with some of the super cheap lights that I use, this is important. They can fade to nothing super fast if they are so inclined. pic source

Zipper bags, plastic bags
A decent assortment of these will take care of all kinds of problems, from transporting wet clothes home to protecting your feet from soaked shoes or boots.
pic source

The usual assortment... spare tube, CO2 inflator things (I think I want to switch to a mini hand pump... I can see myself screwing up somehow or other with the CO2 inflator things), hex wrenches, small crescent wrench, etc. I don't even know why I bother. If I flat or suffer some sort of serious mechanical failure, I would either call Mrs. Rantwick for a rescue or throw the bike on the rack of a bus before trying to fix it in sub zero temps. pic source

Spare Socks
Even totally soaked footwear is usable if you have dry socks and plastic bags to put over them. Spare socks can also double as mittens in a pinch.
pic source

An Adorable Little Kitten
It is nice to travel with an adorable little kitten, but panniers or backpacks don't have the room to set up a comfy bed for it. The 2nd best tub in town does. If a motorist causes you to crash or wipe out, they may not care about you, but just watch their faces when you open the tub, carefully draw out this little darling and say, "what were you trying to do, kill my adorable little kitten?" Of course, it might be dead or injured, which will make them feel 10 times worse! Awesome.
pic source

A Big Bottle of Whiskey
If I am using the bike path, there is always the possibility that I will crash and break both my legs while landing squarely on my cell phone, smashing it to bits. If that happens, I am going to need access to a big bottle of whiskey. It will either kill the pain until help arrives or assist me in freezing to death in style. I don't like transporting glass bottles along with the kitten, so I go with a cheap whiskey in a plastic bottle. Using a lovely single malt scotch or something to kill pain is an insult to the whiskey anyway. Note: My bottle of Canadian Whiskey will not say "imported" on it. pic source

A Flare Gun
Once I have consumed the big bottle of whiskey, I will, of course, need something to shoot at the kitten with. Don't worry, I won't hit it.
pic source

Well, that's it! I hope some of you will benefit from my sharing. It is all about the journey, as they say, and I'm glad you are my travelling companions, because nobody else will talk to me for some reason.

Riding in Winter is Awesome. Try it.


PS - If you were enjoying the first half of that post, sorry it went all sideways. I was looking at what I was writing and all I could see was blah blah blah blah blah. There is a ton of good information on winter riding out there without me rambling on about what I pack in the tub. If for some reason you want my specific opinion on something, please ask and I will be happy to help if I can.