Thursday, March 18th, 2004

Just got in from the back yard, where the healthy first bloom of spring is also the not-so-welcome first bloom of kudzu in the back yard, and this year I’ve re-developed the gumption to exert a chemical hand over this scourge of the south–at least as far as its domain extends into our property. I bought some Roundup and welcomed the kudzu back from its long winter’s nap. Actually, as nervous as I am about the use of chemicals at all, I just kinda hit the worst of it and will carefully inspect the damage in a couple of days. What are the consequences of this stuff? Well, there’s some interesting web reading out there, but by en large I think we’re OK as long as I don’t go nuts with the stuff or try planting tomatoes or other edible stuff 24 hours after its use.
Once back inside, though, a quick look at the blog edit screen showed that the weeds that have been plaguing our little Peachtree Hills server have floresced again in the form of (yes, even more) comment spam, mostly on Nancy’s blog, recognized everywhere as a home to comments of all races, creeds, and pharmaceutical orientations. The past few days (hey, it’s spring) have been particularly bad for this stuff…it tends to take root in the predawn hours, and the Roundup in this case is the MT-Blacklist filter created by a nice guy (and photographer) named Jay Allen. It works by doing those Perl-y kinds of searches of the content and URLs of comments and where it finds stuff that matches with a huge (800-plus) collection of entries and expressions, it kills that spam dead, dead, dead.
If only the back yard would work with Perl regular expressions: