Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 21st

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 21st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on January 21, 2018.

Has My Blog Been Hacked By The Russians?


Up until a few days ago, the WordPress Akismet filter seemed to be working flawlessly. Bogus comments by phony commenters rarely made it by that filter and into my comments sections. But these insipid spammers have apparently come up with a new strategy.

Starting around three days ago, someone who goes by the name Alex began commenting on my posts. His first comment was, “Nice weblog here! Additionally your web site loads up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol.”

Obviously this was spam that sneaked by my Akismet spam filter. I marked it as spam and didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.

But then I started getting more comments from “Alex” on different posts. Comments like:

You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be actually one thing that I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will try to get the cling of it!

Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your website is great, let alone the content material!

I am no longer certain where you’re getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for excellent info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

At least a dozen similar comments from “Alex” showed up on various posts. And I designated each as spam.

I haven’t received any comments from “Alex” yet today, but “Ula Guzman” wrote:

F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very happy to look your article. Thank you so much and i’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

“Stacy Henderson” commented:

Someone necessarily help to make critically articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to make this actual publish incredible. Fantastic activity!

And “Delores McCarty” wrote:

Thanks for any other fantastic post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

Definitely Russian hackers. This new strategy to get through the spam filter is apparently working and it’s really starting to piss me off.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “strategy.”

Truthful Tuesday — Surprise and Delight

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and this week Frank wants to know…

Does it ever surprise you that people pay attention to your blog?

“Surprise” is not the word I’d use. I put a lot of time and effort into my blog, so the word I’d use to answer Frank’s question is “delighted.” I’m truly delighted that people visit, read, like, and comment on my posts.

What I am surprised by is the number of spam comments I’ve been getting over the past few weeks. Literally thousands of spam comments. Last night, between the time I went to sleep at around 11:15 and the time I woke up this morning at 6:45, there were 250 new comments in my spam folder and an additional 60 in my trash folder.

Prior to a few weeks ago I rarely got more than a few dozen comments daily in my spam folder and even fewer in my trash folder. I wish I knew what triggered this significant uptick in spam comments. But at least they are all being swept up by Akismet and few are actually making it into legitimate comments on my blog.

Cease and Desist

This is getting to be ridiculous. Am I being paranoid or are they out to get me? They must be out to get me because, in my four-plus years with this blog on WordPress and my six-plus years with my previous blog on WordPress, I’ve never seen anything like this.

On Wednesday night, at around 11 pm, right before shutting down my iPhone and going to bed, I deleted all comments in my spam and trash folders. So when I actually closed down, both folders had zero comments in them.

It’s now Friday at noon my time, or 37 hours later, and this is what I’ve got in those two folders.

1,300 spam comments and 544 comments sent directly to my trash folder in a day snd a half! Seriously?

I used to go through my spam folder manually and would review each one to see if any legit comments got swept up by Akismet. But that was when I’d typically get fewer than two dozen spam comments a day. There’s no way I’m going to go through more than a thousand spam comments to find one or two legit ones. So if you commented one one of my posts and it didn’t show up, well, sorry about that.


Monday night at around 11 pm, right before I shut down my iPhone and went to bed, I permanently deleted the 253 spam comments plus the 75 comments in my trash folder.

I usually check my spam and trash folders first thing in the morning to clear out whatever came in overnight. And then again, before I go to bed, to get rid of what came in during the day.

But I forgot to do that cleanup on Tuesday morning, forgot on Tuesday night, and forgot again this morning. It’s 2:50 pm my time on Wednesday afternoon and, realizing that it had been a while since I last checked my spam and trash folders, I went to see what it looked like. Here’s what I found:

That is almost as many spam and trash comments in less than two days than the total number of legitimate comments so far this month. Sheesh!

Oh well. I suppose I can take some solace in the fact that Akismet is capturing a whole lot of spam on my behalf.

Share Your World — Better Late Than Never


Whoa! Somehow I missed Melanie’s Share Your World post yesterday. Well, better late than never, I suppose.

What would be your solution to the over-population of the earth? Earth has finite resources and humanity seems to be breeding themselves to extinction. Some countries have tried restricting the number of children a couple or a person can have, with little success. So what other viable options are there for reducing the number of people?

I’m not to worried about overpopulation. Given that nobody in a position to do anything about addressing the effects of climate change is doing anything to address climate change, I figure that our planet will be uninhabitable by the end of this century and that human life will cease to exist. Boom, overpopulation problem solved.

What’s invisible but you wish people could see?

Who people really are behind the masks they wear.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

The most ridiculous fact I know is that Donald Trump is actually the President of the United States.

What are the unwritten rules of where you work? If you don’t work (retired or unemployed) what are the unwritten rules you live your life by?

I am retired, and other than paying taxes, paying my bills, going grocery shopping, and looking after our dog and cat, there are no rules, written or unwritten.

How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?

The same way I feel about a eating a pastrami sandwich on white bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. For god’s sake, don’t do it.

Toilet paper, over or under?


What’s the best type of cheese?

Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam cheese. Mmm.56219A12-222C-49C9-B2E9-7C271B07F98C

Gratitude Question

I’m grateful that I heard back from Akismet about the issue with my comments on other bloggers’ posts going into their spam folder. The reply said, “I’ve made some adjustments that should fix this for your spam problem moving forward.”

Please, folks, let me know if any of my comments are still ending up in your spam folders.