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21 November 2010
I've become a target for a really determined spammer, which employs real people to go through the process of filling in the details on the captcha and posting the spammer's websites in the comment boxes. The idea is to get the website high on Google ratings. Sounds a soul destroying way for these poor people to spend their time, but I guess if you're desperate for money it's worth doing.

These companies specialise in commenting on old posts, in the hope that the blog owner won't notice them - so if you have a blog yourself, check out comments on the old posts. Even though you may have forgotten all about them, they may have been hijacked to advertise these spammers' websites.

Since I moderate the comments, I simply deny the spam, but the volume has become so great that I'm probably deleting real comments too as I hurry through. So I'm temporarily disabling comments on the assumption that in the end the spammers will give up and go away. They usually do.

I am sorry to lose all your previous interesting comments, but they're still there and when I re-enable comments, they'll return.

Meanwhile, if you have some thoughts on anything in the blog, I'm always interested to hear - there's a contact button for a feedback form at the bottom of the menu on the left.


16 November 2010
The trip to New York was great and so was the LCSNA meeting. It was in the NY INstitute of Technology, where Edward Giuliano, a noted Lewis Carroll student and writer, is a big wheel. It was the first time I'd met him in person, and we had a very interesting chat aftewards about the provenance of the Wasp in a Wig. I've always been bothered that there essentially isn't one - and it looks as if it will never be revealed.

To be honest, the first bit of the meeting slightly passed me by, as I was mentally going over the talk, So the brilliance of New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik, which was mentioned afterwards by several people, didn't make much of an impression, unfortunately.

When it came to giving the talk itself, though, I rather enjoyed it.

At the podium

It was good to see some familiar faces, like the Imholzes, and to meet Adam Tannenbaum for the first time.

First time meeting Alan Tannenbaum
I signed copies of the book - Barnes and Noble were in attendance, and they seemed to sell most of them. Buyers also materialised for all the copies of Lewis Carroll in his Own Account which I had brought along in my luggage.

Book signing

At the book signing I also had my first real life meeting with Mahendra Singh, who was signing his brilliant Snark book (no - that's not him - either of them)

Andrew Sellon, retiring LCSNA
president, was presented with a very nice pen and real ink, so he can carry on raving at his writing desk - not an original remark :)

Andrew Sellon

All in all, it was a good humoured, truly nice affair, and afterwards, we all went off to Josephina's restaurant nearby, and relaxed. Here I am sitting with Amy and Erin. Erin, at 16, is probably the youngest LCSNA member - and really, really bright.

At Josephina's


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