Raw fingers

©2023 michael raven

My fingers are raw.

Yesterday I got it into my head I needed to do some music, but the day got away from me as I set to work getting caught up with work (I am still behind, but only about six hours instead of fifteen or twenty). Determined to have a break on Sunday and make it so I can try to keep up with treading water in terms of work, I sacrificed a day for the stress relief it gave.

When I was not working, I was playing cab-driver for the kids.

But… Today I sat down to do some music.

Continue reading “Raw fingers”

spam spam spam spam…

©2023 michael raven

New comment spam tactics alert for y’all… I haven’t seen some of these before, so I am sharing them with you.

First, I had someone who has never interacted with the site use the pingback feature to link to their own work by hyperlinking to a recent post of mine within their own writing to get folks (namely me) to follow the link back. The actual page does not actually mention my site at all, nor me, nor quote my writing. It is just a hyperlink within their text, which is not the intended purpose of a pingback. The fact that there are multiple pingbacks to other sites with no mention of the sites is proof enough for me of their intent.

Secondly, on my contact form someone asked how they could pay to be featured on this site as a writer. I’ve never solicited material from other writers and I won’t with this site (I can’t image how I would do it elsewhere either, as I am generally opposed to promoted writing). I most definitely will not take cash to feature your writing on this site. Combined with the author’s name that is associated with an actress/singer who uses the same name (although it is a common enough surname and given name to be possibly legit), I have marked that request as spam for Akismet to add to their filters on the off chance it is. Perhaps it isn’t spam, but there have been zero interactions with the person (or bot) submitting the comment otherwise on this site, which increases my suspicion level (I’m a bit on the paranoid side of cautious when it comes to internet scams).

Finally, I recently received a Reader follow and email follow from someone who interacted for a brief moment, but doesn’t seem to be aware that they did anything along those lines. I won’t go into the details in case I’m wrong but everything screams phishing and/or catfishing the more I looked into the site. Or someone who might need serious professional help, at the bare minimum. Still, it is a potential vector for spam, so I dropped that hot potato and might stop Reader follows and the email sub.

It also should be noted that I do not follow other bloggers by request, nor do I allow comments linking to other sites that do not appear to be commenting for any other reason than to try and drive traffic towards their site. I delete those comments and, if that kind of comment comes too frequently, they get marked manually as spam. If you write something I am interested in, I will continue to check you out and possibly follow your site. But I won’t do it just because you ask me to. And no — I never share my followers lists for free, barter, or sale — don’t be absurd.

I promote other sites because I like what they offer and think someone else might like it too. Not as a matter of trade.

I love interactions with folks when you feel up to it. I do not like self-serving interactions or attempts to get information from me someone doesn’t need (e.g., email) when they have no history of interactions.


©2023 michael raven

I am one of those people who suffers from social awkwardness pretty much all of the time. If there is an occasion to put my foot in my mouth, chances are that I will find a way to shove it deep inside. If an opportunity comes to remove it, I have preternatural ability to use the opportunity to cram it deeper rather than extract it.

As a result I tend to keep to myself to spare everyone my lack of social graces.

Continue reading “Awkward”

Experiment (n=1)

©2023 michael raven

I’m trying not to let my institutionalized stigma associated with certain “herbal remedies” prevent my talking about my experience, but I can feel those nagging hooks tugging at me, attempting to shame me over my investigation into seeing it it provides a decent enough relief for my ailments. While things are changing here in the upper midwest, there is still a looking down one’s nose by the “good” folks of Minnesota when it comes down to the use of cannabis for the purposes of treating chronic pain (my situation) and other ailments. As little as ten years ago, use of the substance in polite company was considered a bit rebellious, especially if inhaled. People are starting to recognize that there might be social-political elements to this mindset, and there are fewer people who consider it a baneful habit. It is still illegal unless you have a medical exemption in this State, but it looks like that might change if the people currently making the laws have their way with it.

There are other elements impacting my worldview on the matter.

Continue reading “Experiment (n=1)”

Playing Sherlock

©2023 michael raven

I’ve been doing some research after seeing an interesting pattern develop in my occasional forays into my DNA makeup at 23andMe. It’s taken me a bit to put enough stock into what I was seeing to really dig in, but I happened to get one of those regular emails from the service that tells me “X number of new relatives” have been added to the service in the past 30 days.

I decided to meander over to the map section and was reminded that their new prediction model release last July jiggered things around a bit with some interesting results.

Continue reading “Playing Sherlock”