Blog spam

How annoying! I’ve just spent about an hour trying to remove all the spam that I’ve discovered littering this blog. I didn’t realise that people were so low as to spam people’s blogs, but it seems to happen. At least, they did it to mine! There were at least two spam entries for online poker games on each and every post of mine. I spent the first 30 minutes deleting them each, one by one, before I realised that I could go into my database and run an SQL DELETE query on them. Once I’d worked out the right syntax DELETE FROM comments WHERE user_email='[email protected]'; they were all deleted in less than 0.5 second. I feel quite proud of that, to be honest.

I’ve altered the way that comments can be left on this blog, however. All comments must now be accepted by me before they appear. (Confession: I accidentally deleted a comment left on the Waxman article. Sorry!)

Same Kind of Monster

My cousin Alan (Brodie) gave me a call this morning; he had a day off too. So we met up at Tollcross, grabbed some lunch and went to see the Metallica film Some Kind of Monster at the Cameo cinema. I’d seen it before, but it was still good to see it again. I still found it moving and inspiring, particularly James Hetfield’s response to having been through rehab and his exploration about how to re-engage with being in Metallica, and the recording and later the touring process. It was a re-evaluation about what was more important in his life: ensuring that the Metallica beast kept rolling, or that he and his family were a solid, functioning and healthy unit.

I can relate to some of that. These last few months, as well as struggling with ill-health (which turned out to simply be to do with a low immune system and dodgy digestion system) I’ve felt under a great deal of pressure, largely from projects that I’ve volunteered myself for. I end up working, and working, because I don’t want to let the other person down, and it hasn’t done my physical and emotional health any good whatsoever. At times it has scared me, to be brutally honest.

When I visited the renal clinic in August (I have a genetically inherited kidney disease) the doctor wanted to prescribe beta blocker drugs for me, in order to lower my blood pressure. I refused them. It scared me that the doctor considered my bp to be too high, but I’m not a fan of reaching for the chemicals straight away. So these last few months I’ve been cycling more (even while I was feeling nauseous — in fact, for the time I was cycling it actually helped me feel okay) and watching my diet and my life rhythm, if you like. I’ve been trying to meet life at less than the break-neck, I-need-to-do-this-now speed that I’ve become used to, and which is less than healthy. It seems to be working. I’m feeling fitter, I’ve lost some weight, and my bp has been coming down too (I bought a bp monitor that I can use at home).

I entitled this post “Same Kind of Monster” initially because I’ve seen the Metallica film once already. But as it turns out it is also because I can relate to something similar to what James was addressing in the film: what are my priorities?

My (disgusting) desk

This evening Jane and I watched “Should I Worry About… The Office?” on BBC1. They explored this worrying fact:

Did you know that a study in America found that the average office desk can harbour up to 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat? If your desk is dirty, you could catch colds, flu, diarrhoea and at worse, hepatitis A.

In order to avoid these office nasties, the solution is simple – don’t eat at your desk. Crumbs provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply and make your desk a ‘bacteria cafeteria’.

As soon as the programme finished I washed down my desk with Dettol anti-bacterial fluid, and hoovered out my desk drawer. I also washed down my mouse with Dettol and used a compressed air canister to blow out all the dirt from inside my keyboard. I felt sick when I discovered what was being harboured in there: hair, skin, nail clippings (?!), bits of food, …eurgh! I hoovered it out too.

I should aim to do that on a regular basis. Maybe once a week?