Tags: google

28 Nov 2008, Comments (4)

And the golden Emma…

Author: Helen

…for foiling diabolical masterminds, of course, goes to Tigtog.

It’s a bit embarrassing because I always fix these things myself, but I simply could_not_find where the diabolical masterminds spotty socially-challenged wankers had placed the links that were causing the Balcony to look like a very low-class establishment when searched for in Google. Many thanks to Tigtog.

30 Sep 2008, Comments Off on SenselessBoy and other time wasters

SenselessBoy and other time wasters

Author: Helen

“AdSenseBoy”, you are such a fucking genius… not. Could anybody be so moronic as to send spambot comments to somebody’s genuine blog, where they are forced to expend valuable time deleting the illiterate rubbish people like you send out, inviting them to do the same? We’re the victims of your scamtastic activities, you complete douchebag.

Oh, wait. Yes, some bloggers really are stupid enough to buy automated trackback software. Not surprisingly, some of them have been scammed by NonsenseBoy, whose name apparently is Mindaugas Lipskas. Oh, and here’s Mindaugas Lipskas’ contact details (Google also shows his email address is manxp@freemail.lt).

I notice SenselessBoy has a Contact form here. Visitors to the Cast Iron Balcony, if you’re feeling like a bit of a vent today and you would like to tell him all about how much you hate spam comments and what a huge waste of space he is, have at it. A simple “You suck!” will suffice.

Another piece of lowlife is scraping email addresses and sending around a chain email, claiming you’ll get an Ericsson computer if you send it on to 20+ addresses. Delete this one – it’s a scam too. Remember the old maxim, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Why can’t these people devote their considerable computer skills to doing something worthwhile? Is it because their written English skills are so appalling?
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

11 Jul 2008, Comments Off on Friday Dogblogging: the (carbo) loaded dog

Friday Dogblogging: the (carbo) loaded dog

Author: Helen

Today, the dogs and I walked to the local strip shopping centre because we were out of bread. We went there because I was too lazy to walk the other way. This was a mistake, because our local milkbar doesn’t know bread from a hole in the ground, and the “bakery” is a purveyor of ghostloaves.*

So it was that I came home with an inferior loaf of white bread which I dumped on the kitchen counter while I went about the business of getting ready for a day out gallivanting with a friend, while the kids indulged their own busy social lives.

About twenty minutes later I was looking for something or other and my distracted gaze fell onto a plastic bag on the floor, in the living room, containing… about three slices of bread. I actually wondered whether it was possible that it was a different bread bag, but then remembered that the chances of me buying that stuff twice in a row were remote indeed. Someone had scoffed over three-quarters of a loaf of bread.

Both dogs look equally guilty, but I’m pretty sure which dog it is. To put that in context, he’s just nearly succeeded in polishing off something the same size as he is. Come to think of it, he does resemble a loaf of Karl’s Light Rye on spindly little legs.

If I wasn’t such a nice person, that dog would be languishing at home while the rest of us go to the Island to perish with cold go for long walks on the beach and chase the waves. As it is, he’s coming with us.

* “Ghostloaf” is a word for which there is no google result whatsoever. It was coined by the Australian novelist David Foster in his Postal Pastoral novel Dog Rock. “Ghostloaf” refers to a commercially made loaf which is made up from a sack of pre-prepared Commercial Bakery mix and which lacks flavour and texture, being mostly made up of air when baked.

25 Mar 2008, Comments Off on Crawling out of the woodwork

Crawling out of the woodwork

Author: Helen

You might remember that I blogged last year on the possibility that the Victorian government might vote to decriminalise abortion. Well, of course the move was brilliantly undermined by the minister Bronwyn Pike and conservative laborites, who hinted darkly that nonstop abortion parties! might result if this kind of hussy-enabling legislative change was allowed to go through. So the State government did what they always do when they don’t want to make their minds up about something: commissioned another study.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission is due to present its report on March 28 or shortly afterwards. So, guess what has come crawling out – right on cue?

Women have contacted Women’s Health West to complain about an abortion pamphlet they recently received in the post.
An anti-abortion group called the Tell The Truth Coalition included graphic images of foetuses, sent in an envelope addressed to the “adult householder: viewer discretion advised”.
Footscray resident Sally Camilleri said the ambiguous warning left her feeling violated and tricked.
“This group should have indicated who they were on the front of the material, so I could have chosen not to open it,” she said.
…A blog on the Tell The Truth Coalition website, purportedly written by a Ronald Van Wegen, said the pamphlet was delivered to hundreds of thousands of homes.
“Though some were offended by the graphic photos of dead children we also know that many were pleased that the truth was finally being shown,” the blog said.

Apparently the Tell the Truth Coalition has a website, but I’ve been unable to find it, and my google-fu is fairly good. One thing I do know, however, is that serial forced-birther and pest Marcel White (familiar to readers of Suki and the sadly departed Flute) is behind it, according to these reports.

The good news is that the citizens are frothing at the mouth with rage at the pamphleteering fruitcakes, so the campaign has backfired bigtime, but I am sure they have additional stupidity in the pipeline to unleash on the media around March 28. Time to get your letter-writing fingers flexed, my pretties, and if you happen to get one of these charming pamphlets in the mail, remember to mention it to the Advertising Standards Bureau at administration@adstandards. If there’s a return address, put them in an envelope and send them back with no stamp – to be paid for by the recipient.

15 Jan 2008, Comments Off on Second dog

Second dog

Author: Helen

We’ve been considering getting a second dog for a while now.

Boychild passionately wants one of his own. He dotes on Maggie, but she’s really Girlchild’s dog, and I think it would be good for Maggie to have a canine friend for when we’re at school and work. I don’t think it will be easy, because she’s often quite standoffish with other dogs.

Now an offer of a very sweet pug cross has dropped into my email inbox and we’re going to look at him this afternoon. If we do decide to bring him home, we’ll have to take it slowly and carefully with getting the two dogs acquainted with each other.

To those with two dogs – should they have separate kennels / beds or one big one to be pack animals and sleep together? Does this vary with the dog? I’ve only had singletons before, so this is new territory for me. I’m finding good stuff like this via google, but it doesn’t mention sleeping arrangements.

If you have advice it’s not only welcome, I say “bring it on”!

Fingers crossed for now.

14 Oct 2006, Comments Off on Alas, a problem

Alas, a problem

Author: Helen

I’m trying to make my mind up whether to do what Tigtog has done and de-link Barry, AKA Amp, AKA Alas, a Blog, from my blogroll. At the moment I’m inclined not to.

I love Alas. It was one of the first US blogs I read regularly. The posts there by Amp and others are long, meaty, informative. His link farm threads are always a goldmine. His caricatures are wonderful (not so much the strip cartoons, which don’t grab me). Above all, Amp has been a civil, rational, brilliant male feminist voice in the blogosphere, and in my mind has more than done his bit to move society forward just a little. But there is a problem.

A couple of months back, Amp, beset by financial problems, was approached by a buyer for the larger website, amptoons.com, of which Alas is a part. Amp no longer controls the site, except for Alas. The buyer – in a quite subtle sort of way – links, on the Amptoons home page, to “Amped Reviews”. These are reviews for, largely, pr0n.

The reason for the buyer’s interest is not that feminists will find their way to the pr0n links and be converted, but that by linking there in this way, he will improve his Google ranking on the back of the popularity of the Amptoons domain. In other words, feminist bloggers linking to Alas will boost traffic to pr0n sites – which is kind of a problem as a lot of feminists (not all of them) are not impressed by pr0n. To put it mildly.

You can read about it in his own words here. I’ve added “rel=”nofollow”” to the link, which apparently negates the advantage to the pr0n merchant.

Plenty of wise people have pointed out that Amp, who provides a public service for free, should be able to do anything with his own domain he bloody well likes. “…unreasonable — in fact, unjust — expectations of a blogger’s duties to them,” says Chris Clarke, and I have a lot of sympathy for that view. Others have pointed out that we all go to free sites like Google and MSN all the time, which link to all kinds of awful stuff, so why not.


I went and had a look myself, and it’s evident to me that the pr0n reviews and links are not just separate entities “hanging off” the Amptoons main page. Click on “review software” (which is an inaccurate description, although the reviews do include software), and it takes you to a page with the links in question. The page template has the soft yellow background with heading and graphics in terracotta – just like Alas, a Blog. The heading says “Amped Reviews”. if you’re new to Amptoons.com, it would give you the definite impression that “Amp” of Alas, a Blog and “Amped” Reviews would be the same person. It ties together the blog and the “review” page and identifies one with the other, even if this is specious.

Secondly, if you’re a regular Alas reader, the presence of paragraphs like these in the “review” pages will make your brain bleed out of your ears with the sheer dissonance of it:

Score: 92 | Added: Jul 13, 2006
Fleshlight. It’s like having a girlfriend, but without all the nagging and headaches. [Misogyny on Amptoons. Joy!] Now more dates with Ms. Michigan. Find out if the Fleshlight is the real deal.

Review of MILF Lessons
Score: 84
Sub-Section: Mature
Company: BangBros Online
Date: Aug 8, 2006
Milf Lessons is, without a doubt, one of the best Milf sites out there. Every week, it features a new sexy mom, just dying to get it on with one of the young studs. These Milfs just get out of control when the camera goes on. The things they do and say will make even you blush. Each one is aged to perfection and presented in DVD quality videos.

I cannot say enough good things about Milf Lessons. These moms are super hot and down right dirty. Exactly what I, and all you are probably looking for. Each mom has her own full-length video …[Snip product description…]

…It offers a great mix in the types of women. Some of them are down right gorgeous trophy-looking wives, while others seem to be just your average hot mom. The one thing I did notice that they all had in common was their chest size. Most of these women have some rather large knockers. This seems true on a lot of MILF sites. I have my opinion as to why that is, but that isn’t very important.

Liz Vicious
Score: 85 | Added: Jul 22, 2006
As the hottest thing since slice bread, Liz Vicious is taking the Internet by storm. Find out if the red-haired goth teen lives up to the hype.

Oy, the spam I’m going to get having posted that.

Much as I sympathise with Barry/Amp’s situation, much as I admit I don’t know what I’d do with my own back to the wall, much as I leave the Pr0n / Anti Pr0n debate quite a way down on my list of priorities… I still think he’s seriously messed with his “brand”, as they say in corporate land. Or as we say here in Orstraya, he’s shat in his own nest.

I don’t feel condemnatory towards Amp. I just feel sad. I think he does too.

10 Apr 2005, Comments (0)

Bloggers, wheat, chaff, etc

Author: Helen

Cover of IPA review issue 57

Quiggers has a post up here which makes a big point about what’s wrong with the mainstream media.

Someone like me — two kids, fulltime job, busy life– reads an article quoting fearfully respectable pundits from fearfully brainy-sounding think tanks, universities and consultancies. I probably read it during my half hour lunch, or on the weekend in between chauffeuring and sprog manintenance duties. I do not have time to put my busy life on hold to acquire a degree in science and to thoroughly research everyone’s background and work (although once you get into the habit, a google is always good.) What a normal working stiff like me needs is a bearded professor ™ in the room to tell us when people are trying to gaslight us on one topic or another.

Quiggin and Immanuel Rant unpick the disengenuities for us. Tim Lambert, who is on the Professor’s blogroll, is also great for these Bad Science moments, although I don’t know if he has a beard or not.

Blogs are supposed to be so unreliable and biased ‘n all, but when I put mainstream columnists or pundits like Duffy, Devine and Albrechtsen up against bloggers like Quiggin, Drum or the Crooked Timber gang, I can’t help but think this argument is all a lot of self serving dingoes’ kidneys.

Mmmmm, dingoes kidneys. Oh, where was I?

Gregory Hywood, some time ago, posited that rise of NGOs poses a challenge to our democracy. Which NGOs? Why, left-leaning NGOs, of course! Your Wilderness societies, your Brotherhood of St Laurences. They publish stuff with biases in it, you see, so we, the great majority of working stiffs, are bamboozled and blinded by their seductive rhetoric. (No matter that articles like Duffy’s, above, purport to be redressing some kind of balance while NGOs are out, loud and proud about what they’re advocating for.)

But it’s funny that it’s not a problem when Duffy or Hywood or others publish articles quoting the fabulously unbiased organisations like the Lavoisier group, IPA, CIS and others. (the IPA has proposed standards of transparency for NGOs advising governments which they’re not prepared to live up to themselves, but that’s a post for another day.)

So it’s good to have people like Quiggin, Lambert and Mr or Ms IRant batting for us.

More good sense on the parent-friendly workforce from the Fairfax opinion page. That is, instead of the “Work and familly is a nightmare, therefore Feminism has failed so we should all give up” line so popular in the recent past. And again, it’s a bloke who is talking sense!

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

….While our government runs as fast as possible in the other direction back to madness.

Will Family First use the Family Impact statements* to help push useful work-and-family reform? I’d like to be pleasantly surprised, but I’m not holding my breath.

*This memorandum from the NSW labor government, 1994, shows FF cribbed the idea from them. …Hey, who’s that Contact Officer? Strewth! Isn’t Google wonderful?