Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Trillium and I have been somewhat concerned about the security of our computers. We have a wireless router with Comcast which has been effectively isolated to a few computers in the house and a few specific visiting laptops when they show up in the possession of our relatives whom we trust explicitly. In doing so, I am certain that we have taken away some hangers-on in the neighborhood who could tap into our extremely strong signal. Interestingly enough, even though we have six people on our block who could have regularly picked up on my router signal, Trillium has some problem getting the signal in the "Dungeon" where she has her workroom.

Safely ensconced in our little world of cyberspace, we have not been overly concerned about anyone attempting to hack in either. Both the Comcast box and the router have "firewalls", devices so spectacularly safe that it is supposedly impossible for anyone to secretly invade our personal computers from the outside. Additionally, we have spyware, adware, and virus detectors that are updated at least once a day. We are safe.

I assumed that much the same could be said of our various accounts on the web, like this blogspot, for example. Chris and Trillium, however, have had various encounters with unwelcomed guests on their sites. Chris decided to go "private" which effectively eliminates anyone whom he does not specifically invite. It is a pain to log in every time, but I understand his concern. Trillium, being deeply concerned about pictures and such, decided to put a tracker on her site just to see where her hits were coming from. It has taken her a little while to recognize that some of the odd cities were actually our regulars whom the tracker hasn't quite figured out yet. A little disconcerting at first. Some of the hits floored her, however. Who does she know in Quebec? Who is the guy in Clearwater, Florida, who is checking out my little bouquet of forest flowers? Trillium decided that she might want to go private too and encourage the others on our lists to do so as well.

I have decided not to go private, however. I figured that what I had to say about Hemochromatosis was for the entire world and not just for those who are close to me. Might I get hacked? Probably, but as Trillium pointed out to me this morning, no one is prepared to read everything I have written, much less comment on it. In other words, I am "Iron-walled". My prattlings on my genetic disease put the reader in a comatose state after the first four sentences. I doubt that there will be more than six people who will get to this point in my diatribe today, much less comment on it.

What a gift! To be able to compose such a heavy prose that nothing can break through it! I ruminated in another posting, wondering if my blood were musical. Some of my kindly correspondents thought that I was born with music in my blood. But the truth of the matter is that my blood is in my writing. Mason Williams wrote a song years ago about the poet Dylan Thomas, sung to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down":

Dylan Thomas is dead and gone
Dead and gone
Dead and gone
Dylan Thomas is dead and gone
His blood turned to words.

This is me. The Man with the Iron Prose.

Just for the record, I have had visitors from Germany, Australia, and a slough of cities I have never even heard of, much less had contact with. Who are these people? I have no idea, but they probably ought be concerned about the effect of my Iron Prose on their internet connection. Some day all of this stuff is going to reach a critical mass all around the world and "Wham": rust everywhere.


DebbieLou said...

At least your sense of sarcasim is funny! :)

I haven't been too concerned about my blog being public because I make sure that I don't use our last name, phone number, address, city of residence and so on. I must admit: when Chris posted his phone number and Jenny was able to translate it, and when Ben posted his last name and what city he live in, I cringed a bit. :/ I don't pretend to understand how this all works, but I don't want to openly take any chances, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd poke my head in and prove you wrong in not holding your audience ;) Zaphod, you are getting hits from far away places because of whatever tags you've attached to your blog. Likely they are people searching for something else who pop in and read just enough to know they are in the wrong place.

However, people like me who have hemochromatosis as a keyword in their google news feed get everything on the net with that word in it. Sometimes it's an article or blog and the word is there but it isn't informative - such as "Hemochromatosis was ruled out." or "I wish my mom would stop talking about her hemochromatosis."

My daughter has had a blog for years now w/o a problem. I wouldn't worry over the far away hits.

That said I've had an interesting proposition. A friend in California who has a severe iron deficiency disorder has her doctor investigating direct donations from me. It may solve my immediate problem.

Keep writing . . . though I may just stop by one day for the music ;)

~Linda Mac

Katscratchme said...

I also put google tracker on my blog. What I have found is an amusing array of google searches that, though random, were oddly specific enough to pull up my blog. "What aisle in grocery capers?" being one of them... those of you may remember my capers blog, but it was actually Mom's comment that pulled me into the search... interesting, no?
As far as I'm concerned, people that blunder into my blog accidentally will have very little reason to stay longer than a millisecond.

Trillium said...

Is "slough" in the last paragraph pronounced like "slew" meaning a place full of soft deep mud; a swamp, bog, or marsh, esp. one that is part of an inlet or backwater; moral degradation; or hopeless dejection or discouragement?

Or is it pronouned like "sluff" meaning stuff that is cast off?

Or did you actually mean to write "slew" which is a colloquialism meaning a large number?

Just checking. :)

Zaphod said...

Dear Trillium,

"Slough" was a conscious act because I knew that you would bring to the attention of all of the readers, all of the possible renderings for the word, both phonetic and semantic. I, of course, meant all of the above.