Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tech Marches On - Babbling All the Way

When I got to work today (not having returned to work after taking delivery on the fridge yesterday), I immediately noticed that someone had been at my desk since I left at 2:45 the previous afternoon. I knew this because there was a bottle of Propel water with calcium near where I usually put by Diet Cherry Pepsi, and a clean space in front of the monitor. But why? Did my boss need a spare computer so badly as to put some temp in my cubicle for two hours?

Wait a second, though. Wasn't that a new monitor? It was! The spirits did it all in one night!

The reason I suddenly got a new monitor while I was home getting a new major appliance was that on Thursday afternoon someone from IT was making the rounds of Accounting, installing a patch on our newly-upgraded software. He was annoyed by a horizontal line that appeared across my screen wherever the cursor was. I hadn't really noticed it. But I did tell him that the monitor's screen was always too dark, and I'd never been able to brighten it. He checked it out, said my monitor was probably dying, and said he'd see what they had in stock. What they had, it turns out, was a flat screen CRT, no bigger than the old one, but quite a bit brighter. For the first time, I'd be able to look at photos on blogs without them appearing several shades darker than they should. That's why I've seldom done my blog jogging at the office after work - not when photos were involved, not unless I was desperate.

I've had terrible trouble at home recently (and outside Disneyland!) getting photo-heavy pages to load in less than 20 minutes. But now I could take atvantage of the faster connection at the office (during lunch, on a break or after work), and actually see Round Robin photos properly. So at lunch today, I breezed through the rest of this week's Round Robin entries, a task that would have taken hours here at home.

And that faster loading time gave me the luxury of glancing as a few other entries. Over in Blah Blah Blog, Linda (Lou) had an entry that reprinted the text of a delightfully nonsensical bit of spam:

There was a lack of communication with a notoriously difficult neighorhood association.
When it hits, I’m knitting all the time, starting and finishing projects with passion and single-minded focus. and I want one so so badly in my neighborhood!

Yeah, me too.

The text was there basically to fool the spam filters, while the email delivered the written advertisment in a graphic that the filters can't "read." But it's beautifully silly, this spider-assembled nonsense. In a comment, I expressed my appreciation of it, and suggested that turning the crazy quilt of words into coherent fiction would make an interesting exercise.

So tonight, while looking for something to write about, I hit on the idea of exploring that idea a bit further. My AOL spam folder had no promising subject lines, just phishing and Nigerian scams and such. So I decided it was time to check my Yahoo email, something I don't do very often at all.

When I signed in, I was offered a beta mail reader, and an animated tutorial, hosted by a little guy who celebated with confetti when I finished. Okay, fine - except that the loading is kind of slow on dial-up, the mouse clicking is rather counterintuitive, and the screen kept jumping a bit. Is that a bug or a feature?

And when I got to the spam folder, most of the headlines toward the top weren't even in an English alphabet. But I had 1666 of them to play with, so I scrolled down. I found these:

headline a devil 6
check out volume
Improve your carreer (sic)
I do for heavenSo I were.
Oxygen from the heart is.
Obesity is dangerous, stop it
Hey, pattern designer
You offend our chief 6
News, ocean-borne
Hi, paper hanging
swift teardop
Entity Now

Well, I'm not going to do anything with these tonight except grin and snicker, but watch this space.

I empied the Bulk folder and went on to the other and in the other 96 emails in the normal in box. Most of them wanted me to buy stock, get a free watch or gift certificate, or enlarge and use a body part I don't have and don't want. Among the spam items the filter missed were these:

what time you thinking
Serious letter. You must to read.
right front [from "is different"]
anything compress photos
motive Loving someone just
house arrest solicitous
finical Schoolgirl so triumph and .

I opened chromosome, and the serious letter. They were disappointing. But there was also this:

Well! Perhaps! He laughed loudly, for since over

Aha! That looks promising. Inside it said,

Well on it things I still a joint ultimatum is, of previous Anacreon a Well (luxury of nuclear weapons they sent me on). The

...but that's all there was to it, other than the graphic advertising drugs or stocks or something.

Still... "of previous Anacreon a Well." There's poetry in that, surely.

Stay tuned. I'll se what I can do with this stuff over the weekend.


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DesLily said...

wow a new monitor at work! That's almost as good as finding a 20.00 under your sofa cushion! lol.. j/k.. glad you got a new monitor, sure sounds like you MORE then needed it!

julie said...

I've had a terrible barage of spam lately, much of it through my gmail address. And gmail used to be so good at blocking spam. Sigh.

But congrats on the new monitor at work. Now you just need to get your laptop connected to the cable modem.