Good-bye, Flapjack

A number of us have been amused by the return address I’ve been using on the “Write Us” button. Because spammers are so admirably efficient at harvesting mailbox addresses, I’ve taken to coding in an alias instead. That way, when they catch on to a new address, I can just change the alias in a few places without physically creating and deleting new and old mailboxes.

We started this with “applecakes” and that lasted a few months before the spam got intrusive. We then changed it to “flapjack” at This lasted a few more months. Today, I changed it again, to (not sayin’).

The alias is a server alias that points to a real, live physical mailbox behind the scenes, whose name we never publish or use.

Where do these names come from? I made “applecakes” up out of whole cloth. “Flapjack”: well now, there’s a real story behind that one, posted in OUTDOORS in our story “Al Jemima”. I guess I just like using nicknames for pancakes.

Where do the spammers find out what aliases will work? When you write us, our server cgi program sends you a “thank you” acknowledgement, from this aliases addess. Spammers try this out more than you and I do, and they always give bogus return addreses and names. Guess we have to turn that acknowledgement off too. So much for common courtesy.

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1 thought on “Good-bye, Flapjack

  1. When we designed our webform WRITE email system, we never envisioned having to change an email address every month or two.

    Now, spammers can’t obtain our alias address by using the “Write Us” button to send us a bogus note, because we give back a bogus email address in return. This is a “blind mail drop”.

    When real people write us real letters, we’ll answer as we always do. No doubt this will keep the spammers at bay an extra day or two.

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