Blog Spam is a Pain in the…

Lately we’ve had issues with blog spammers creating annoyances with some of our sites at BootsnAll. The volume on our soccer blogs has been pretty insane. During live blogs of games there was a noticeable slowdown caused by the spammers coupled with visitors refreshing pages and posting high numbers of comments. Initially, I was suspicious of a few plugins, which may still not be well optimized, but after getting mod_status running on one of the servers and monitoring activity, it was becoming obvious that it was more than just plugin issues.

We already run Akismet and Spam Karma on some blogs, and those do a good job of catching spam when it hits the server. The main problem with those plugins is that they still allow the spammers to post comments before taking action. I decided that we needed to give Bad Behavior a shot. The nice thing about Bad Behavior is that it stops most spammers before they can post comments. Soon after activating the plugin across the sites, the server loads were cut from averaging around 5 to 1.5 and around 4 to 1. I’m pretty happy with the results and hopefully we’ll make it through Euro 2008 with no problems.

Obviously we can’t prevent all spammers. Especially someone like the guy spamming for The Ski Channel on Gary’s skiing blog. Manual spammers will slip by, but as Matt Cutts said, making spammers lose time or frustrating them is at least good for preventing spam.

Merry Christmas 2005

Christmas 2005 has now come and is pretty much gone. This year didn’t seem much like Christmas time to me until this past Friday. Partially, it is the lack of decorations around the house as we are getting ready to sell it. I have also just been so busy with so many different things going on in my life that I haven’t really had time to stop and reflect on things. This coming week, I’m going to try and relax a little before going full speed into 2006.

Today was a pretty good day overall. We found out that my sister is now engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Tony. He’s Greek and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I got some pretty cool new toys to play with and several new clothing items that I really wanted. Jayson bought me a new cooling head for my r/c car and we took them out in the desert to run them around. It definately makes a big difference keeping the engine quite a bit cooler. After dinner, we sat on the back patio, started a fire in our little chiminea and I decided to find out just how flammable r/c car nitro fuel is…quite a fun little experiment, but probably wasn’t the best of ideas.

I’m having a blast working with BootsnAll. Sean, Donovan, and Court are all on a Tanzania adventure trip getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I wish I was with them. Most likely I will attempt to go on the trip next summer.

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for 2006.

Crazy, Fun Week In Vegas

I went to Vegas this past week for PubCon. The guys from BootsnAll(Sean, Chris, and Nick) and I managed to fit alot of fun into a short time.

Monday night, we met up with Jen Leo and her friend John and had sushi at Nobu in the Hard Rock Hotel. After dinner, we drove over to Mandalay Bay and had drinks at Mix. From there, we ended up at the redneck casino, Silverton. It was themed around the outdoors and was tied in with Bass Pro Shops. I really enjoyed the overall atmosphere. Good looking “mermaids”, inexpensive tables, and a custom chopper with a Bass Pro Shop theme to it. Jen made a good call on that one.

Tuesday we spent most of the day at the conference sessions for PubCon. Many of them were boring and some were a repeat of last year. Robert Cringely delivered an excellent keynote in the morning, but there wasn’t much exciting beyond that. That evening, Yahoo! had a party at PURE in Caesars Palace. The portion of the night that Yahoo! put on was not as exciting as last year’s party at Rain, but once that party was over and people started dancing, everything picked up. We had a ton of fun dancing with the girls from LinkConnector. I will be joining them as an affiliate 🙂 . Around 1am, we left PURE and went to the sportsbook in Caesar’s to watch Australia qualify for the world cup.

On Wednesday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed to go listen to Matt Cutts from Google answer some questions in the morning session of the conference. As usual, Matt was great to listen to. Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated with Google, but overall I think they’re really out there to make a good product. I had a few opportunities to talk with Matt one on one over the course of the week. What a great asset Google has in Matt. That evening, we met up with the girls from LinkConnector for sushi at Caesar’s Palace. After dinner, we went over to Rum Jungle at Mandalay bay. Chris and I weren’t overly impressed ($7+tip for a domestic bottle of beer), so we headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel to do some gambling.

Thursday we slept in a bit, had breakfast in the hotel and took care of some business we had been discussing over the week. Around 1, we made our way over to New York, New York where PubCon was happening. We drank, and drank, and drank…then decided to walk the length of the strip to Slots-A-Fun…where you can play $1 blackjack and craps. Someone decided they were up for some Mexican food, so we went to the Hard Rock Hotel (again…that place kicks ass) and had dinner at the Pink Taco. Sean, Chris, and I sat down and played blackjack. I made just enough to almost break even for the week…lost money playing 3 card poker…bad luck with that so far.

Overall, the week kicked ass. Thank you Sean, Chris, Nick, Ioan, Jen, John, and everyone else who made the week fun.

Rest in Peace Rick

An old family friend of ours, Rick Cooper, passed away this morning. We knew that it was going to happen, but that doesn’t make it any less depressing. Fortunately I was able to see him one last time while I was up in Idaho in April. He was a great musician and loved life.

Here’s a photo of him from the late 80’s playing his guitar for my sister:

Rick and Jennifer

Beer, Wine, Vodka, Sake, Pig, Cake, and Friends

The past five days here in the northwest have been awesome. I have made many new wonderful friends and stronger friendships with existing friends. The FarmBoyz party was amazing. Sean and Chris really know how to have fun.

Here’s a quick rundown on the various things that I ingested over the weekend:


Picked up a keg of Full Sail Amber Ale from the Full Sail brewery in Hood River, Oregon. Sean and Chris managed to get a refrigerator, CO2 tank and tap for it…easy access to good cold beer. Bought various Widmer brews in bottles to try. Hefeweizen is my favorite, but the Blonde Ale and Okto were a close second.


The wine tasting trip on Saturday caused me to find a couple of wines that I actually like. I have never really cared for wine much…until this past weekend. I probably consumed two bottles myself. Somehow the 5 bottles that I have left need to make it home with me.


Sean had Ioan pick up a big bottle of Belvedere Vodka. It’s damn good when served ice cold.


I had never tasted Sake before. It’s really good. I had one shot and decided that it would not be a good idea to drink any more of it. The G was good shit.


Sean managed to get a whole pig brought up to the farm. The cook, Happy, did an excellent job barbecuing the pork in various forms. Also damn good shit.

Cake – Monday night, Court mentioned that she was going to the Cake concert. Chris and I decided that we would like to go and Sean said that if we could find tickets (show was sold out), he would go as well. We found a guy on Craigslist that happened to be selling three tickets…at more than double face value. We figured that at least we would have tickets and deided to buy them. This was the first concert that I have been to as a spectator/fan. It rocked. Cake sounds excellent in person.

Photos can be seen here:

Everyone Combined

Other people’s recaps of the past weekend:


Labor Day with BootsnAll at The Farm

I’m going to The Farm this weekend. It’s going to kick ass.

Sad Day

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up around airplanes and airshows. My dad used to help out alot when Lee Oman (a good friend of my dad’s) was wingwalking for Jimmy Franklin.

Jim Franklin died yesterday while performing an airshow in Canada. He was one of the greatest airshow pilots I have ever seen. He did some crazy stuff, but always knew what he was doing and was very professional about performing airshows.

Several years ago he was at the Portland Rose Festival with Lee as the wingwalker. Lee fell from below the airplane and the safety cable he was using saved him. To make a long story short, Jim did some great flying to help a groundcrew (including my dad) get Lee cut from the cable and onto the ground safely. Rescue 911 did a story on the incident.

The other pilot in this tragedy was Bobby Younkin. I don’t recall ever meeting him in person, but I have seen his airshows. He had been doing this for a long time.

This article has a couple of video stories on the right side of the page about half way down.

Please pray for their families as they cope with this loss. Pray for their friends and fellow airshow performers. Such a sad, sad day.

Vacation Recap

I’m sitting here in the BootsnAll offices trying to get caught back up with the real world after running around Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for the past week. Here’s a rundown on what went on:

Tuesday, April 19th ::

Called mom to tell her that I decided to drive up and meet them in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. She checked to see if there were any tickets available for using frequent flyer miles so that I wouldn’t take Christie’s car for the week. There was a ticket available for flying into Portland, Oregon which was perfect because I wanted to meet up with the guys at BootsnAll in Portland anyway.

Wednesday, April 20th ::

Christie dropped me off at the airport in the morning and I flew from PHX to LAX…then LAX to PDX. I picked up a Chevy Trailblazer at PDX and proceeded to pick mom and dad up from PSC. We spent the night in Pasco, Washington.

Thurdsay, April 21st ::

Mom, dad, and I drove to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Dad and I spent part of the day helping a friend of his to get ready for people who were coming in for Kjelsty’s wedding. Kjelsty is a friend of mine from when I was a kid. Her parents and my parents are really good friends. Levi, her father, passed away recently and we all wanted to be there for her big day. That night, we went to O’Shay’s Irish Pub in Coeur d’ Alene for a party with a bunch of Kjelsty and Glenn’s (the groom) friends. Many of them played music and everyone had fun. I hung out for part of the night with Kjelsty’s sister Tansy. She was stressed out about leaving her kids at home with her husband, so I tried to keep her entertained.

Friday, April 22nd ::

We spent the morning in Coeur d’ Alene. Breakfast was great at Rustler’s Roost. After breakfast and helping out at Levi and Diane’s house in the morning, we drove up to Athol. Mom stayed in Athol and visited with friends while Dad and I went up to cut some trees at another of his friends’ houses. That night we hung around the American Legion and Pastime in Athol. Went to bed in Coeur d Alene at 2:00 AM.

Saturday, April 23rd ::

Breakfast at Rustler’s Roost again. Spent more time north of Athol helping some friends. Kjelsty’s wedding was scheduled for 3:00 PM. It started late, but was really cool. Kjelsty, her friends, and her family are very creative people. The wedding was at Greenbriar Inn in Coeur d’ Alene. After the wedding I met up with an old friend of mine and went bar hopping until 2:00 AM in Post Falls, Idaho. From there, we went to Denny’s for food. Went to bed around 4:00 AM in Coeur d’ Alene.

Sunday, April 24th ::

After 4 hours of sleep, we left for Hermiston, Oregon. Spent the afternoon at a barbecue with family and stayed with my grandparents in Hermiston.

Monday, April 25th ::

Met up with some of my parents’ friends in Pendleton, Oregon. Drove over to Walla Walla, Washington and sampled some wine that is made there. I’ve decided that I just don’t like wine…can’t figure out what’s so great about it. I’d much rather have a good beer at a fraction of the cost.

Tuesday, April 26th (Today) ::

Dropped mom and dad off at PSC this morning and drove to Portland. Have had the pleasure of meeting Court, Donovan, Matt, and Dave here at BootsnAll. Hopefully a couple of us will go out tonight or something. Chris has to leave early tomorrow morning for New York, so I may spend part of the day touring the area if I don’t hang around the office here.

Evidence From Last Weekend

Sean put some photos up from last weekend. Good times with good friends.

Check them out here

Baseball Dream

Yesterday was freakin’ cool. Thanks to Sean and his friend Karrie, we were able to have one of the greatest days a baseball fan could have. We started the day off with a 1:00 game between the Cubs and A’s courtesy of Dusty Baker. We had front row seats on the Cubs side of the field. When that game was over, we made plans to attend a Rangers vs. Royals game at 7:00 courtesy of Buck Showalter and family. These were great seats and we were able to hang out with the family. They seemed like nice people. His wife said she wanted to take Mackenzie home with her…hmm….freedom from the kid…sounds tempting…but only for a few hours.

More info over at Sean’s site. Hopefully more pics and info from me soon as well.

Sean got video of us singing at the Cubs game