Stuff that would make a person crazy.

5,551 emails So last night around 10:55, I just happened to look at my iphone and notice that I had 5,551 emails awaiting me. That’s more than my curated list of usually 10 emails.

This was an attack on my contact form on my website!

So, confident that attacking the contact form wasn’t going to get anywhere, I just went to bed and slept well.

This morning, I saw that the number had only inched up a few. I knew the attack was over. I went in and reviewed and archived the emails, clearing them out from iPhone and computer. It actually took very little time.

I reviewed the emails and it seems like most were phishing attempts to dig deeper into my site directory, and they all came from the same IP address. (I always store an IP address with any contact form that I do for any client.) They all came from 8:05 pm to 9:30 pm (Approx. 65 per minute). I did some research. It did not come from any registered website. I did a trace route and noted it sure took an interesting route around the country and then over to Sarawak, near Brunei.
trace route

In another bow to the Wordfence plugin, I checked out my blog and saw it had blocked the IP address after the multiple hits.
Wordfence blocking

This sort of nonsense is part of hosting a website. The only solution:
solution for $^%!ยก#@s

Good day you random idiot.

Doing an exhibit of photos.

I need to get this out of my head.

My MIL has invited me to participate in a exhibit this August that is presented on the walls of the retirement area at Stonegates, a retirement/health center community where she lives. There’s another photographer invited too. (I’m feeling competitive!)

not to worry I immediately said yes, thinking I could easily do 15 shots of George, and since he use to work there, they’d easily sell, or at least be appreciated.

MIL has put the kibosh on that. Basically it would be over a year since he left and it might be old news.

Since then, I’m going back and forth in my head. Several things keep coming up. The cost. I’ve promised 15 images. There’s the actual print ($4-$20 each) and the frame ($20 – ???). If I need to matt the images, I’m comfortable cutting those but there’s the matt cost so really no other outside labor costs. But that still means spending probably $300 with hopes of return completely un predictable. (In marketing terms, ROI comes to mind.)

My artistic side has been bouncing around with this challenge. And my artistic integrity has been putting up challenges to the challenges. And let me put something out there at the beginning. I’m not a fan of photos on gallery walls. They make me snooze. I’ve somewhat ruled out photos of my dogs, cat, kids and wife. I don’t travel enough to do a travel collection.


I’d like this to be a series of the same theme. Another thought. Since Beth, my MIL and I will probably know everyone that will see these, going over the top artistic will bomb big. The audience is older conservative Delawareans. If I went fox hunting I’d come back with 15 winners.

mr Toad 1
I could do it as a big project where I grab my macro lens and do 15 shots of bugs on flowers. All squarish formate, cheap photos, cheap frames.

Dog walk - Morning sun at the YMCA
I could do it as a collection of wide panoramas. Could double up on the prints (printing 1- 20 x 24 with 3 – 8×20 images each. This would lead to some somewhat custom frames though.

The night sky
Thinking a collection of night time shots. Moon, stars and other sky based stuff. Maybe some sky clouds. An alternative to this would be nighttime activities type shots (streets of wilmington and or cars in motion with zoom lines).

Thinking a collection of random stranger faces. Ha! Since I’ve started with the 100 strangers group on flickr, I’ve done 3… Let’s not make this impossible.

What to do?
More later.

The following week (Not Friday!)

When I left you dear readers last week on Friday, I had just gotten the news that I’d “blown” my l4-l5 disk.

Honestly, my memory is a complete fog from that point on so let me see if I can put it all back together.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Heavy meds. These days I’m really fuzzy on. I don’t recall anything of particular happening.

Pain anytime I moved my shoulders a different direction than my hips. Excruciating pain in my butt and legs anytime I moved my knees in a different direction than my hips. It all seemed to come down to being parallel. Shoulders, hips, knees. And anytime I moved, use the crutches. (Funny, I’d tried to sell them at the garage sale not 2 months ago.) Hanging from the crutches helped.

I met with my new back surgeon and his assistant (Jessica? Jennifer J-something???) on Monday. Nice guy, Dr. J. Rush Fisher. Who just happened to have time to fit me in ‘tween some other surgeries on Wednesday (Special note, the surgeon everyone wanted me to go to, could not see me till Wednesday.)

I was to check in on Tuesday. Night would be fine, they would hold the bed.

So I check in. HUGE PRIVATE ROOM with a great view over the emergency entrance and the helicopter pads. (Didn’t see any coming or going the 3 days I was there.) Beth got a huge cheeseburger and fries for dinner from the cafeteria. We had dinner and then she left for the night.

I hop into my own pajamas and curl up as best possible on the couch (couch?!?!) on the other side of the room. About 10, I thought, I’ll go to bed.

That’s when the first nurse came in with a pile of tubes and long socks and velcro apparatus etc. It was time for my “foley kit” and I couldn’t / wouldn’t be wearing my comfy pjs any longer. So i don’t have to explain… and then there was this whole thing about leggings and compression network of tubes, that honestly, made me feel like Sam the cat was walking all over me all night. Honestly, I was drugged enough that I was out soon after that.

Wednesday, the day of surgery, I actually was not hungry, all day. They must suppress appetites with something. Beth came in that morning and MADE me take a shower. (This impressed the floor nurses so much that I overheard them were talking about that amongst themselves the next day about how impressed they were with her.) Yeah, but this blog is about me and frankly, I was wet and more uncomfortable. And would remind any of my readers, always carry your own foley bag. This is not a situation where one person could per chance go right and you might go left and it will ever be a good thing. But we had no problems.

Around 5 pm an orderly shows up with the “dreaded going to surgery” cart. This is a point I’m confused about an my memory doesn’t put it right. I remember going do to the prep room with Beth in tow. (I thought it was my bed but, it wasn’t and I don’t remember transferring to a gurney.) We got to a prep room that had a million things going on. I think at least 3 or could have been 4 anastiologists introduced themselves. Maybe the first guy was a nurse. But the next guy was a guy with a needle introduced as a cocktail. The third was a woman. Cute. The 4 was a guy with a beard. By the time they pulled the curtains back the room was empty ‘cept 1 lonely guy that was 64 and having 3 toes amputated from diabetes. I will say, cocktail or not, I was with it enough to know that there was a giant dinner time exodus going on. I laid there for it seemed like ages until Dr Fisher and his assistant showed up. At this point I figured they’d been going at it all day and might like to go out for some dinner, I could wait. Actually they could bring me along.

They laughed and said time to go. I remember being wheeled into the surgery room and there was a odd bed, sort of a row of cushions for a person to lay face down, almost like a massage table. 2 seconds later. I was out and I suspect dumped rather unceremonially into it.

Ok, so everyone that’s had surgery has had that “wake up!” “who hit me?” “Where am I?” sensation. Yeah, me too.

The doc came in to tell me that they’d removed a pice of disk that had blown into the spinal canal that was 1″ x 3/4″ — possibly the largest they’d ever removed. (I hate boasting like that. It’s not like I did anything to create a big ass chunk of material in my spinal column. It was just bad luck. And for all we know the next surgeon probably removed a 2″ x 4″ from some big olde fatty that same morning.)

So it’s Wednesday and I’m drugged and they send me up to my room where Matt (Thanks Matt!) and Beth came in to visit. I don’t remember much about Wednesday night. Other than.. I felt painless. Well for one, when they dragged the disk out, it had been crushing the nerves to my legs and two, they bath the spinal cord area in morphine. You know that sounds better that a bath in rose petals and milk.

That night I wanted to listen to my ipod but was paranoid about it being stolen. So I let it play all night long. Opera at 3 am, not bad. INX at 4, maybe not a good sleep choice. Each hour a nurse came in to check blood pressure and pulse. I got down to 110 over 60. My usual seems to be 122 over 70 unless the nurse is gorgeous or I’m stressed about something. Then it can be anything. And I usually don’t remember.

That morning was the big trick. The nurse came in and said “We can remove the foley” Gee, I’d actually gotten use to it and honestly had a thought this comfort would lead to peeing my pants, hourly. So it’s removed. I won’t get into words said or anything but. Ouch!

My next trick was to “go pee!” Huh. Easier said than done. It took at least 3 quarts of water and some prune juice to get anything. It took another sitting around for at least 3 hours before we were talking progress. And let’s not talk about the other side of the equation, someone that’s been taking opiates for 2 weeks is not going to have bowel movement. At least not an easy one. I hope you understand, I’m not getting into that.

But they let me out! And I didn’t need the crutches, but somewhere along the line my left leg has gone wobbly. It’s not right and I’ll need to walk several miles to get it going.

That’s to Thursday. Friday was an entire day of hell for my best friend Grace. I’ll have that next.


We now have a third!
Harrison Samuel Levithan
Born Monday, May 23rd around 11:00 in the morning.
Beth has been grinning ever since.