I've taken the plunge and turned on Earthlink's advanced spam blocker feature. This action makes me a hypocrite, as I posted on Slashdot a few months back that I'd never use a feature like this, because of the adverse effect on unknown senders (they get a link to an "add me to your contacts" form, and I get a daily notice of unknown senders). I've been using Mozilla's advanced spam filter, and that blocks about 80% of the spam I receive. But that only works when I check my e-mail from my home PC or work laptop. Lately I've been traveling and reading my e-mail on my Blackberry, which doesn't have any spam filters. So I spend about 25% of my Blackberry time deleting spam, especially while I'm on the road. It's become too much of a pain in the ass to ignore any longer. Since I'm leaving for Frankfurt on Wednesday, this seems like the perfect time to give the feature a week-long trial. So if you're e-mailing me and I don't know you, you'll get a strange response but I'll add you to my contacts if you're legit. Otherwise, screw you, spammer!
I wish I'd had my camera when I visited with my buddy Jon "Bear Magnet" Amato on Saturday. Jon has been walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine since the spring. He hasn't shaved or had a haircut in over three months. I didn't know this, so when I saw him for the first time since he started his hike, I was shocked by the mountain man who greeted me. The clean-shaven Amato is no more; he has been replaced by Grizzly Adams, Jr. He says he won't cut his hair or shave until he returns to Washington, DC in October, so I'll get a picture of him then.