rm -rf

I just deleted about 50 or so registered users off this site. I suspect that most of them were just completely bogus accounts created by spambots. The way I’ve configured WP on here it is unlikely that I’ll ever suffer from comment spam, but I think that some automated systems create bogus users in an attempt to make some fancy tinned meat in comments, if not posts themselves.

So I glanced through the list and removed any account that looked implausibly inhuman. If I’ve deleted your account, and you are a plausible human, I apologize. Pick a better username next time, or don’t use a mail address in some bizarro TLD.


Are there foxes native to the Pacific Northwest?

I ask because I’m pretty sure what I saw this morning was a fox.

Our family dog, a Welsh Corgi named “Major” was behaving a tad odd this morning when I went out to the barn. He usually greets me at the fence and after a bit of petting wanders back to his usual spot under the deck. Instead he followed me around, looking nervous. I didn’t think much of it. I did some normal weekend chores out there and occasionally heard him barking, which is also unusual as he’s a pretty quiet dog. I pulled the pickup truck out of the barn and brought it around to the back of the house for some other weekend chores and I saw what I thought was Major at the back corner of our property. There are some horses that live in the pasture back there and occasionally he makes some odd Corgi attempt at herding them despite the fence in the way. But this animal was obviously not Major on second glance. First of all it had a big bushy tail, something our Corgi lacks! Its nose was very pointy as well. It looked back at me as I got out of the pickup, easily 60 yards away and went into a panic. Major was standing near the house and barking at the animal. It raced back and forth along the fence, like … well a trapped animal. As I looked at it my mind tried to comprehend it. Too short and with a far too bushy coat to be a Coyote. I see and hear plenty of Coyotes around here and this was certainly not one of those, unless perhaps it was a pup? Its coat was a dark, dusky grey, not the dirty blonde/mixed grey/brown you usually associate with Coyotes. It glanced back at me a couple of times and the nose and ears had a distinct Fox look. It was much larger than the red-colored Foxes I’ve seen in the UK, or in the North Woods of the Midwest.

I gathered up the dog and got him out of the backyard. The animal, whatever it is, vanished into our pastures on the east side of the property.

I went inside, grabbed my camera, and let Sue know what was going on. I opened the gate on the west side of our property along the wooded side of the driveway. I then looped around the house to the north and east and entered the fenced area around the barn. I planned to flush it out of the pastures and towards the gate so it could be free of the fenced part and into the woods. I never did see it again, but found a place where it dug its way under the fence along the southwest fence line.

Any Naturalists or Zoologists out there care to inform me as to what species of animal I saw?


I’m by no means all that interested in my orbital position in the “blogosphere”… at all. I don’t really consider this a “blog” so much as an extension of the website I started way back in 1997. That site’s original purpose, to share with our friends photos and text of my family’s life while we were overseas, has remained true. Though we’ve been back in the USA now for over eight years, and my family has opted out of participating (for the most part. Sue watches WAY TOO MUCH TV and has bought into the whole “Internet is rife with stalkers and ID thieves!” paranoia that the news media espouses CONSTANTLY) so the site is more about sharing my photos and text with my friends.

There are a bunch of you who participate right here, via the comments. There is an even larger bunch of you, who just email me directly, maintaining a sort of asynchronous communication channel, me outbound via HTTP and you inbound via SMTP. I’m OK with that too. The majority of folks in that latter category are the folks I’ve been communicating with for a LONG time. Old habits die hard I guess.

As it is, I figure that I have about 30 to 50 people, that I know personally who view this site on a regular basis. I’ve even “met” some people via this website, but none of them “face to face” so far. There are likely a few hundred folks who wander by, one offs… compulsive link followers who get here via clicking my name in another website’s comments area probably. You can measure my hits in the thousands… so I’m not cultivating a following, a technorati ranking, or any sort of revenue. If you EVER see advertising on this site, even google ads, you know it has been hijacked or something! I just can’t lower myself to “monetize” my friends. I really do see this as a form of personal communication.

So where am I going with this?

Today I was helping my staff work on deploying a frequently requested technology, and we were using this server as a guinea pig. I wondered how I, or more specifically our customers, would be able to gather data on this so I peeked at my stats. The image above snapped my head back a bit. SOMETHING I posted this month got a BUNCH of traffic. Since I do not have my stats tweaked to show granular data (remember, I really don’t care about them mostly) it took some digging and postulating to figure out what.

So it looks like the torrent of traffic started on the 14th. Looking back, the ONLY thing I can see that started that was my “William Fucking Shatner” story.

Must be the word “fucking” in there because I don’t see any incoming links for that page. So here is a hint for all you traffic whores (that means YOU John! 😉 ) use the word “fucking” a lot. heh.