New for December

Well, if we don’t announce it here, it quickly becomes “not new”, doesn’t it? Still, we’ve been busy – here’s what we’ve been up to.

  1. Swan sent a new photo today, posted in PHOTO Notes
  2. We posted skeptical observations on the proposed new US Citizenship test, last week, in Commentary
  3. Noting the regrettable tragic death of James Kim last week in freezing weather at the bottom of a dead-end canyon in mountainous Oregon, we posted observations based on some personal incidents of our own. Even in balmy weather, nature can catastrophically exploit our disorientation, sense of urgency, or compulsion to stick to the original plan no matter what. In My Notes, December 8.
  4. Security in WRITE US: Almost every page at contains a “Write” button, connected to an HTML “form”, connected to a number of programs that allow you to write Over the years, any mailbox connected to that button eventually gets filled with spam. Since there’s no way we’re going to post any of that garbage, we have to assume others are getting the spam too – probably showing as the sender! I’m no prude, but the spam is abusive and offensive. We took three steps to reduce that risk.


  1. HTML not allowed. A simple filter wrecks the formatting so that any links or images that get through won’t work.
  2. Common cuss words are rejected. Everyone knows you can’t get them all, so we added a couple of tricks to the reject filter.
  3. Security Word – you know how secure financial sites now require you to read an image and type the word into the form? This requires that the user – or abuser – physcially go to the site, and spammers?prefer their back room smoke and mirrors?to wasting time at each individual site. We added a simple security word. Obviously, this is not a secure site, we don’t want or solicit sensitive information, and we don’t DO anything with the “word” – it is not a “password”, and is not linked to you or any ID.

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