Thursday, January 21, 2010


Haven't we all had a lot of spam lately. I just don't understand the mindset of these spammers. As if we would ever voluntarily seek them out after flooding our comment boxes with their rubbish. I'm still determined not to resort to word verification though. From what I can see in the blogosphere even people with word veri still get spammed. And what's with people who elect to have word veri and then also comment moderation? Why have both?

What I've done is just set comment moderation for comments left after ten days - it always seems to be the older posts they target.

And now for something completely different: I gave up on the Ben Elton - he's not a very good writer and his book didn't hold my interest at all. I've moved on to Graham Greene - I know his name is legendary but I'm ashamed to say I've never read any of his books. I have seen some films based on his books but - just 50 pages into The Heart of the Matter - well I might just have a new literary hero-worship blooming (although he does love his similes).


Dumdad said...

Never read Graham Greene!!!!

Well, you're in for a treat: he wrote so many great novels.

Kathy said...

Hated spam as a kid and I still HATE it now, lol, but won't turn on comment mod or word veri (it irritates me). I just make fritters out of the spammers.

Have fun with Graham Greene. Kathy xoxo

Bill Stankus said...

Seems spam happens in cycles. I still find it difficult to believe people respond to this junk. Why? Are people that gullible?

BTW, I'm now selling time shares for luxury apartments to be built on Mars at an unspecified date!

Elizabeth said...

Brighton Rock and
The Heart of the Matter are my favorites.
I like pink spam when few on the planet do.
Spam, Salad Cream and anaemic English lettuce
and beetroot. Thursdays menu at my primary school......

Nora Johnson said...

Now don't get me going, dear FF! But I simply adore GG. The Heart of the Matter, The Power & The Glory, The Human Factor, The End of the Affair. For me, he can do no wrong...!(Lola, stop gushing - Ed.) But as for Spam, ugh!

Love to yr bichons too!

PS And I'm selling brand new offplan timeshares in Dubai - best bargain of the new decade!

Molly Potter said...

Molly Potter offering you some pills to make you stiff. I don't have the nerve to abuse your credit card, so if you could just send me some cash - I'll be happy.
Silly Potter After Money

Steve said...

Spam, junk mail, cold calling... they are the "common colds" of commerce... and as welcome.

I tried the Ben Elton book you referred too and, like you, found it disappointing. Elton is a funny stand-up but he ain't no novelist. I've never tried to read another.

Jon in France said...

"The Quiet American" does it for me.

For the spam, however, I would recommend a plug-in called Askimet which I use in Wordpress. This is excellent and completely automatic. About one message per week gets past it and I have never had it take a genuine comment that I am aware of.*

There should be a equivalent for Blogger, I imagine.

willow said...

That's exactly what I have done and it catches most of the spam. Then my readers don't have to fool with the moderation.

I love Graham Greene, especially The End of the Affair and The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne. Enjoy.

Veggie Carrie said...

Slightly off-topic, but I thought this was really a post about spam (food). I find it interesting looking at what is on sale in small 'British' section in the supermarket near my parents (not that I've spotted spam before). Do you have a British section in the supermarket near you?

Anonymous said...

I love GG too - I am amazed you haven't read any of his but I am sure you will love him

Reasons said...

I know what you mean about Elton. Nick Hornby is a better light read - Starter For Ten was funny. I turned off word verification too but am getting some chinese jibberish fairly frequently!

Ken Devine said...

Spam!!! I've enough of the stuff to feed me for life!
It's driving me scatty!

Berowne said...

Have you ever "gone through" Evelyn Waugh?

Mark said...

GG - excellent, though a very odd fellow if you read is biography.

Good ones, but slightly lighter ones are Brighton Rock - first decent book I ever read - and Dr Fisher of Geneva and the Bomb Party.

Spam - just I just ignore / delete it

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Good for you -- I'm so bad at putting something down that I've started reading but have lost interest in. I feel committed to finishing for some reason. The hours I could get back if I'd just follow your example ;)

LadyFi said...

It's been ages since I've read G Greene.. in fact, I just can't remember the plots of any of his books.

I've just read Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane as light relief - my goodness that was two days of nail-biting and thrilling reading!

Debs said...

I love Brighton Rock and have read it a couple of times.

Angie Muresan said...

Love Graham Greene, hate spam. Seriously, I have no idea why, but just this last Sunday I had 79 hits from the suckers. Spam, begone!

French Fancy said...

Dumdad - yes, it is surprising I've never read GG. I tend to stick to the same novels by my favourites and not venture far outside my own particular box.

Kathy - I totally agree about word veri - and as for moderation - I like my words to appear that instant!

Bill - Oh I'll buy a timeshare on Mars please. I promise never to wear red when I move there

Elisabeth - I think my mum made spam fritters with parsley from time to time (yes, she used to grow it years before people knew about herbs in food. It's something she picked up when she lived in Paris). I thought they were rather yummy

Nora (and of course the beautiful Lola) It seems I am the only person on here who has never read GG. I have seen the films of the books you've mentioned though.

Molly Potter - I like putting both bits of your name. Is it your real name? I love it.

Steve- yes, BE did make me laugh. I remember watching the 'end of the toilet paper' one with my mum and we were laughing so much we ended up crying and with a stitch

Hello Jon and welcome to this column where I drone on and on and try and bond with everyone. I love this bit almost as much as blogging.

willow - I've seen both the films although 'The End of the Affair' I caught on a plane and it wasn't the biggest screen in the world. I do love RF though, he is one of my favourite actors.

Carrie - we have four supermarkets in our town and in three of them there is a substantial English section. The mark-up is tolerable as well and has put out of business the few expat shops that opened up here a few years ago. You can even buy Crunchies!

CA - yes, I'm amazed as well. I can see a lot of book purchases about to happen

Reasons - I quite liked a couple of Nick Hornby and then I read the one he wrote from a female point of view and I went right off his writing. I can't recall what it was called and I gave it away so can't even go into our little library and check

Berowne - well, I've 'done' Brideshead, Scoop, Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies. Mr FF admires him very much so we have most of them here

Mark - Well I know John Irving is a great admirer of GG and in one of the books a character talks quite a lot about one of Greene's autobiographies. That then reminded me that we had 'the Heart of the Matter' in our collection and neither of us had read it.

Ken - ah, not a lover of the slimy pink stuff then - not surprised

Contem - I seldom put down a book once begun but this is now the second one in as many months.

Ladyfi - I'm trying to cut down on my miscellaneous paperback buying but - if I find a copy at an expat library that I've joined - I will borrow it.

Debs - a few of you now have mentioned Brighton Rock. I must get a copy but - following on from my recent discovery that too many of the same author back to back is not good - I must space out the GG book fest

Angie - that is a phenomenal amount. I just have one or two a day atm.

A Super Dilettante said...

FF, darling, I've always got the spam email from a lady called Mrs. Willcox whose mail always titled "Jesus loves me". I restrained myself from replying to her by saying "Yes I know. But he never answered my love letters and our honeymoon is over". Mr FF is back for the weekend!! How exciting!! I'm sure he deserves a break, put his feet up!!

Sydney said...

I totally agree about the spammers logic. And bravo to you for dumping a book that doesn't interest you. I do it all the time (book lover than I am) and stand in awe of people that tell me they always finish a book even if they don't like it. I don't know how they manage and doesn't that take the joy out of this voluntary act? (Maybe they SKIM, lol)

Carol said...

Ooohh you are going to love Graham Greene....I can't believe you've not read him already!!

As for the spam thing...I saw your headline and the Monty Python Spam song popped into my head...I fear that it may be stuck there all afternoon!! I do know what you mean about the word veri and comment moderation thing having the two does seem a bit excessive...

C x

French Fancy said...

ASD - I don't get religious spam - I get saucy and time share spam on the whole. And as for Mr FF coming back - hurrah, yes and I have been coooking and cleaning all day in readiness.

Hello Sydney, nice to see you here. As for abandoning books that are not worthy of me or my time, I never used to be like that. Once I would have plodded along but now I am much more ruthless

Carol - yes, me too, why have I not read GG? I really don't know.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

So, FF, this is not spam, but it is a tag! Instructions at my place, if you want to do the meme, but no rush and no pressure :)

Jean said...

It's really disappointing when, on returning from a week's holiday, I find 250 emails but 240 of them are adverts for viagra, rolex watches or online gambling.

Some of the made-up names are funny, but some of them are so close to those in my email address book that I find it rather unsettling.

The world would be a better place if the people doing this directed their talents to good deeds instead of mischief.

the fly in the web said...

I started GG with Brighton Rock, have all his stuff and re read fairly regularly With you on ditching books that do nothing for you...I persist for a bit, try again a few days later, but if it doesn´t work then, I give up.

As to spam, having advertised my house I now have lots of Nigerian government officials, a vaguely religious person who wishes me to take her money and put it to a good purpose, and some very strange corresondents whose offerings appear to be aimed at Mr. Fly rather than to me...after all, what am I going to do with some blasted woman looking for the ideal gentleman with whom to share her attributes?

I don´t know how I got word verification on the comments on mine - must have pressed something - but I did go for moderation after some anonymous pest kept putting up adverts for products.

cheshire wife said...

I am not sure that I have read anything by GG. Must broaden my reading horizons.

As for comment moderation I fail to see the point of and although I have word veri I do still get the odd spam comment. I am reluctant to turn it off as I am sure that I had a good reason for having it in the first place.

bermudabluez said...

Hi there! I have found your blog through the Blog Catalog and also have two bichons! My younger one is also a rescue and it took a bit of adjustment...but here we are and we will never be without them in our lives! You have a very nice blog here and hope you don't mind...I've added you to my blogroll faves! Take care!! Hugs to your bichons!!

Ian Lidster said...

I'm not a big novel reader, but I do like Graham Greene. The Quiet American is superb, as well as Brighton Rock and The Power and the Glory. The Quiet American was also an excellent film.

Rob-bear said...

Span with cheese and pasta — what hungry university students used to survive on. (Been there, done that.)

Graham Greene, ah yes! Good writer, very engaging; strange plots.

Trust you are recovering well from your fall. Too much snow to be getting out very much; hence, no falls here.

French Fancy said...

Contem - sorry to be late to see I've been tagged. Will play catch up at your place very soon

Jean - Most of my spam is blog-related - I reckon Yahoo have pretty good spam filters

tfitw - how come I have not read any GG. Everyone is so far ahead of me

cw - I used to have word veri and still got spam so now I just choose to be without anything

BB - how nice to see a fellow bichon owner here.

Ian - hiya. Yes, I saw and also enjoyed TQA. I've not read it yet though

Rob - I bashed my bad arm which was excruciating but it did free up the arm that was damaged in the fall. Mr FF reckone the first fall dislocated it and the second bang got it back into place

Rob-bear said...

Maybe you're on the way to being well-healed, J (if not well-heeled). Hope things keep getting better!

French Fancy said...

Thanks Rob - like everyone with an achy part it is worse first thing in the morning

Owen said...

Excellent choice, imho, I love Graham Greene... given everything going on in Haiti these days, you may want to read The Comedians... it's excellent. And with such a long cold winter going on, what better to do than catch up on some reading ?

French Fancy said...

I must space out the reading of just one author though - I don't want the over-reading of one style to kick in and ruin him for me.

Was there an old film of 'The Comedians' - it does ring a bell?

日月神教-向左使 said...