Thursday, February 28, 2008


So this has thus far been an interesting week—as in the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times.”

On Monday I learned about a meeting (that we were not invited to) between three political groups who have all made individual bombing runs at the July 4’th Parade and failed to do any damage but now they’ve combined forces and want the Town Manager to implement the nuclear option—pulling town vehicles this year and taking over the Parade next year.

Then on Tuesday, I return to my Club at noon (having opened at 5:35 am until 10:00 am) and discover a portable electric heater in the downstairs aerobics room had been carefully placed face down directly on a wood floor with a layer of paper towels in between. Yikes!

Also on Tuesday morning my post ‘Umass Tiananmen Square?” just completely disappeared without a trace. Blogger guru Tommy Devine asked if I always sign out from blogger because that leaves a half-hour window for a hacker to get in. Naturally I never sign out (until now of course).

And today I get an email from another computer guru in Amherst saying Comcast is censoring this humble blog from emails within the Comcast system.

So if you are a Comcast customer (which I am, but I use my AOL account for email) and you make the mistake of using the term http::// in an email to a friend, it will end up in the cyber incinerator.

Strangely enough for a blog about Amherst only half my readers are from the People’s Republic but, of those, the vast majority are Comcast customers.

And I just now picked up a copy of the ultra-crusty Amherst Bulletin and discovered that instead of 2 ads for this blog and 3 for my Athletic Club I got 4 blog ads and only 1 for my Club.

So now the next time I get into a firefight with a pimple faced 17-year-old, they will say I should spend more time on my business and less time and money on this…whatever the Hell you call this.


Tony said...

Censorship eh? You must be doing something right.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, as the Indians--I mean "Native Americans"--would say: "You measure a man (or womyn) by the size of his (or her) enemies.

Not quite sure why mine always seem to be Goliaths.

Mary E.Carey said...

Interesting about the half hour window for hackers! Who'd have thought? I can't even understand the Comcast thing. And the fan -- what was that about? Was someone trying to dry some paper towels? Or clean the fan?

LarryK4 said...

Well it was a heater set on "High" (although it does have a fan setting) so worst caste scenario it starts a fire and best case is the heater simply burns out and I'm out $30.

The disconcerting thing is not that some random series of events occurred and only in the last moment did I intervene to stop a potential disaster; because even if I had not come along, the chances of it causing a fire are probably 1,000 to one.

It’s the thought that some naïve MacGyver wannabe did it with the intention of doing damage.

Most troubling of all: the room had 22 children in it only an hour before (one of them my daughter).

Could be karma said...

I just sent your email address from 2 different email accounts to my Comcast email account & also from my Comcast email to those 2 other email accounts with no problem. Could it be that your friend made a mistake? Could it be your Karma?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, could be. You know how God,
YAHWEH, or Allah likes to punish us sinners (being normal in a whacked out town like Amherst I'm sure qualifies)

It’s not my email address it’s my blog web address. And yes, I’m getting reports that sometimes it is blocked and sometimes not. It’s the times that it’s blocked that (sort of) concern me.

Now if you could just solve the mystery of the electric heater placed face down into a paper towel on a wood floor (that concerns me a Hell of a lot more).

P. Mastrangelo said...

FWIW: re: comcast. I could not send an email from a comcast email with Larry's url, cause I tried it over and over again. Comcast is looking into it for me. A rep will be calling back. For those who have been following the news, comcast is well know for censoring and obstructing net traffic, particularly for profitable means. Thats what the FCC hearing the other day in Boston was about.

tho most likely larry's url is not being censored for reasons of profitability, but has been caught in a spam filter. In a call, the rep noted to me this is something that happens. If true, this helps illuminates how comcast plays fast and loose with their influence, as individuals can make complaints about urls being spam, and comcast has and will take action such as preventing emails with that url from being disseminated.

I will def follow up with comcast on this, and will be posting the info i receive as soon as I get it.