blows against the empire

referer logging rendered valueless

Well, I may just stop logging referring URLs, since I noticed this morning that the top 22 HTTP_REFERER variables logged are all bogus, all spam, all designed to attract pr0n surfers.

This has all been in the last couple of days: traffic has quadrupled but it’s all meaningless, since I know it’s some invisible background hack running on a myriad of unsecured Windows PCs, all requesting “/” just to leave a bogus referring URL.

Since I don’t automagically publish all referring URLs, the geniuses behind this aren’t benefitting at all. Cretins . . . .


the ever-dynamic workplace

Well, after several detours through the Slough of Despond at this job, I am on the verge of completing my 6 month probationary period and becoming a full-fledged employee of the State with all the rights and emoluments thereto appertaining . . . .

It now seems that some of my tech skills and interests are useful, so I am taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about PHP and CSS. PHP seems more straightforward than CSS so far, or at least more familiar. I have successfully created a database, and some pages to query and display its contents, all in a matter of hours.

It helps that the summer lasts until late September, giving me a nice 3 month window of opportunity without students and the background distraction of teaching to get in my way: faculty like to — and plan on — travel in the summer, and staff can’t afford to, so that keeps us out of each other’s way.

obscure pursuits

JK Rowling’s spell persists

I finished Harry Potter 5 last night, and am pleased that the depth and strength of the story continues to build. Sorry, no spoilers: you need to look elsewhere or read the book yourself if you want to know what happens.

If you found The Goblet of Fire to be heavy going or too intense, you may want to put this one aside. Sadly, now we face another 1-2 year wait for book 6 and then another for book 7. It’s like an elaborate meal: hours or days in the preparation, a fraction of that in the eating. I only started the book Thursday morning, just to ‘see what it was like’ and then ended up putting everything else aside to finish it.

Just a reminder that JK Rowling isn’t likely to see any of the tributes posted here: I don’t mind them being posted here, but I’m not forwarding any of this stuff on (even if I knew her address).


it could be called work

Oregon roadtrip

Haystack Rock, in misty morning