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Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Three days before we leave. I still haven't had much time to think about the vacation. I have a deadline for work that I must meet by week's end which I'm not sure I'll meet. Kathy's time is short as well as she has classes four nights a week: aerobics on Mondays and Wednesday, beginning fencing on Tuesday, and voice on Thursday. I have jewelry on Tuesday and intermediate fencing on Thursday. Plus, Kathy's workplace was just bought again after having been bought previously in 1997. Her real estate office is one of the most productive in the world yet the parent company seems to think that it needs to produce more and more revenue, while cutting the staff ever more.

So, along with world events, things have been increasingly stressful lately.

It even shows in my internet activities. As you may know, I respond to each and every piece of spam sent to my main web site ( Some, such as the ever repeating scam about companies in Africa that are looking for someone that will cash checks for them, I send to the FBI. I've heard of one person that is apparently working with the FBI on this scam and the FBI is letting him keep the interest he earns on this money laundering scheme. On the rare occasions that I get e-mail about buying stocks, usually a "pump and dump" scam, I send to the SEC enforcement division.

Most I usually just respond to spam by sending notices to the spammer's ISP, the ISPs that were fraudulently used as open e-mail relays, and the common ISPs that are fraudulently referenced in return addresses -- mostly hotmail and yahoo. Lately, however, I've gotten really irritated by two persistent spammers. One keeps wanting me to register for new domain names, the other keeps sending porn announcements using just a few of the many sites they own. In both cases, I've gotten nastier and nastier. I've even told the ISPs that host the sites that if they won't close down the spam sites that I will take action to get the ISPs themselves shut down.

In one case, I explained to them a couple of times that I wasn't complaining that the spam originated from them, that I was complaining that they were hosting the spammer's web site. After they understood, they said they would shut the site down immediately. The other, unfortunately, is in Russia.

Russia, in case you didn't know, is now hosting all sorts of porn sites, scam sites, and so forth. And no one seems to be able to do much about it. So, I've been petitioning Internic -- the people who manage all the "dot-com" domain names to deregister the web sites. And I've been petitioning the people that hand out IP addresses in Russian to revoke the IP addresses for the servers hosting these sites. If either one of these tactics work, I'll rid the world of a whole lot of spam.

I tried finding out if our flight was still scheduled to go for Saturday. Tomorrow, our travel agency will check the airlines and the booking agency in Kauai'i to see if everything is still set.

Well, time to run now. If can I fix two more classes of problems at work before Friday, things should be ok, and I can enjoy my vacation without feeling like I've let everyone down.