DDOS attacks at host

I have not noticed much of it myself, but my host keeps Twittering that they suffer DDOS attacks on their servers. They say things are under control, but just in case you experience any downtime, that could be due to this.

No new layout

Every couple of years I forget how many customations I made to this website. I start to work on a new “theme” on a testsite, everything goes beyond expectation and when the time seems ripe to activate the new theme on the live website, I find out how much I fiddled with WordPress to have it working the way I want. Today was another such day. I thought I remembered where the problems were going to be, but there was A LOT MORE to be done. The annoying thing is that these are things I cannot do on a test site.

I guess I will stick to the old design and functionality for a couple of years when I again forgot the massive amount of work it takes to make something more modern…

Most original spam

Spammers seem to become more original. Instead of the usual ‘all link spam’, I frequently have spam that seem to notify me of CSS problems. Of course that does not work when the same text is posted ten times. Besides, my anti-spam plugins do not even let these texts pass anyway. Recently I have been receiving spam in the vein of:

Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!

But my eye just fell on the most original spam message of all:

Greetіngѕ fгom Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a looκ when Ι get homе. І’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, јust 3G .. Anуhow, wonԁerful blog!

Well thank you Carolina. I did indeed recently make a mobile version of my website. I am glad that it works so well for you 🙂

WordPress brute force attack

In recent days there has been a massive brute force attack on WordPress websites. The new is all over the internet, but it is nothing like ‘hacking sprees’ in the past. There is close to nothing about this on the WP forums, indicating that the more ‘serious’ WP user is not affected. This quite logical, since the attack involves nothing more than trying to log in using obvious credentials such as “admin” (in earlier versions the default user) and “welcome” or something stupid like that. There is another risk though. The bot can keep pumping login attempts on your login screen until your server goes down.

So, should you have a WP powered website, there are a few things to take care of quickly (if you have not done so): get rid of that user named “admin” (I can tell you how if you cannot figure it out) and install a plugin such as “limit login attempts” so that after a few attempts the IP is blocked from using your serverload and they will have to use another IP to try again.

For your information. I have a few WP websites, but none displays strange login activities, so perhaps this thing is made bigger than it really is. But, better safe than sorry!

More about this at goes mobile

And suddenly it looked extremely simple to create a mobile version for this website. Of course, it was not… After some fenagaling I got to about 80%. It looks like crap, the mobile theme is not the least bit flexible, the mobile version lacks different functions (and the blog sections do not work) and I had to think of something to allow you to navigate to other sections, but here it is (for the moment), check it out. Get your mobile device and have a look.

Stats March 2013

The number of visitors is substantially lower than before. Perhaps I should start doing quizes and a Facebook campaign?

Main page (website index):
37 average unique per day in the last week
Top referrers Hex Magazine, Google, WordPress, Wikipedia
Popular search terms: mostly Gangleri in different spellings.

90 average unique visitors per day in the last week
Top referrers Wikipedia, Facebook, Google and most of the rest is bogus
Popular search terms: babylonian calendar, nordic mythology, cabala, nine worlds
Popular articles: Christian Cabala (280007 hits since counting), Germanic Concepts Of Fate (22232 since counting), Angel Magic (12432 since counting), Nine Worlds (12065 since counting)

63 average unique visitors per day in the last week
Top referrers: google and mostly spam referrers
Popular search terms: Galdrabók, Peryt Shou, De Tuin Der Goden, Dumezil Loki, Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte.
Popular posts: Tripartite Soul (a quote) (4849 hits since counting), Godenschemering (3384), the Heathen Journal (2592).

45 average unique visitors per day in the last week, but peaking between 96 and 25 visitors
Top referrers: Google and a whole lot of spam
Popular search terms: Maaz Christian Volckman (only used 24 times by the way, so why does Google come up relatively high?) and the rest is only 10 in total.
Popular reviews: Tideland (4373), c’Est Arrive Pres De Chez Vous (4260), In The Name Of The Rose (3992) and Be With Me (3362)

Music reviews:
74 average unique visitors per day in the last week, but peaking between 156 and 44 visistors.
Top referrers: Google, the WordPres forum and the Gangleri Facebook page.
Popular search terms: cunttt, real punk (eh?), haus arafna you review, in slaugther natives.
Popular resources: the feed (massive!), the index (high) and after a big gap the alphabetical overview and the blog, then follow a few old reviews.

WordPress 3.5

Alright, the latest and greatest version of WordPress has been made available and my backend is screaming to be upgraded. Since this is a whole new version with some serious changes, there is always the risk of something going wrong. I will (most likely) perform the upgrade some time later today. Should you get errors or whatever, know that I am working my ass of in the background and if needed, keep you posted on the Facebook page.

But of course the upgrade will prove to be a five-minute job with no bugs whatsoever!

Facebook ‘like button’

It looks like FB changed their ‘like’ button. It used to fit well on the pages and include the number of ‘likers’, now it is grey and ugly… Looking for a sollution…

[edit]Well that’s funny. In Chrome it looks like crap, in a stoneage IE it looks great….[/edit]

Thoughts on beer

A bit of a ‘general blog’ subject…

I enjoy a glass of beer and have tried many. Some people think that I am a beer lover or even a beer knower, but I do not know if this is really true. The problem is, I do not like most beers. In fact, almost the only beer that I do like are three styles of Belgian beer: “blond”, “triple” and what is sometimes described as “strong ale”. Now it seems that Belgian beer is getting more and more popular abroad. On holidays I run into unexpected surprises and on the internet I see foreigner discussion Belgian beer completely missing the point. For some reason outside Belgium (and the Netherlands) people do not seem to ‘understand’ beer. The other way around, I start to wonder what breweries think of their customers. A few thoughts.

Let me start with a very short introduction. Only in Belgium (with a few exceptions) beer is brewn by monks and has been for many years. These monks are “trappists” of the order of the Cistercians and these are the only beers that can be called “Trappist”, even though there are many other traditional breweries. The trappists usually make a few kinds of beer which is partly due to the season they brew for. Contrary to “pils” (or “ale”, the normal mainland style beer), the ‘first beer’ is “blond”, it is light, but not as transparant as “pils”. In France, people seem to mix up the two, calling “pils” “blond” thus selling a normal 5% beer for “blond” which is quite a bummer if you expected something else. Blond beer can be between say, 5 to 9 percent, but usually is 6 or 7.
The ‘next beer’ is called “dubbel” (“double”) or “bruin” (“brown”); “dubbel” because it is twice fermented and “bruin” because of the colour. It is brown of colour because the ingredients have been roasted longer. Being fermented twice, this beer is stronger, usually somewhere around 7 or 8 percent.
Then there is “tripel” or “triple”, again referring to the number of times it has fermented. Tripels are usually light of colour again and have a high percentage of alcohol, somewhere arond 9, but some go up even higher.

Now these are the three ‘basic’ forms of Belgian beer. There are a lot more, “bock”s (traditionally brewn with the last corn and having more alcohol to be better able to keep it good through the winter), nowdays there are some “quadruple”s (fermented four times), there is “white” beer, lower in alcohol, fresh of taste, amber coloured beer, fruit beers and of course the earlier mentioned “strong ale”s such as Duvel and La Chouffe which look like “pils” (no ‘cloudy’ colour), but are of a higher percentage. There are more and better places on the internet to find your information about this.

Now, already in the Netherlands there are waitors not knowing what they sell. They mix up blonds with tripels, sell bock-beers as trappist and forget about the difference between La Chouffe (light) and Mac Chouffe (dark). Things get worse abroad…

Last spring (2012) me and my girlfriend were in America (New York district) and saw a lot of “Belgian style beer”s, usually awfully tasting American beer. No difference is made between blond or double, it is just “Belgian style”. Lateron I found a slightly more ‘serious’ line of beers. One of them (Ommegang) is even a line of beers ‘designed’ by Duvel, but brewn in America and quite good. Also I noticed that there is “wit bier” (“white beer”) which is given the name “witte”, but the bartenders apparently do now know what “witte” (somewhat bad Dutch for “white”) is and giving me something dark when I ask for “white beer”, meaning a “witte”. Argh, but let us say that the beginning has been made. Quite a laberinth when you do know something about beer though…

In late summer 2012 we were in Southern France and I noticed something even more troubling. On our first evening in Reims we stumbled upon a cafe with an alright beer-card including a French (?) special beer “Liloise”, I tried the blond which was alright. I got the choice between 25 centiliter (we usually have 33) or 50 (half a liter?) and got it in a Leffe glass (oh yes, in America you get your beer in a lemonade glass mostly…). So far, so good. Later it showed that normal beer in France is 90% of the time Heineken (almost the worst Dutch normal beer) and the rest Amstel (not the best either), so I actually drank Heineken before I found that out (also I got Leffe in a Heineken glass)… Lateron we were at a place where I noticed Grimbergen (a great Belgian brewery) and ordered the “blond”. No no, “blond” is 1664 (I think a French “pils” brewn under the flag of Kronenbourg), but they did have the “white”. Eh? Grimbergen white? Assuming that we were talking about the same thing, I ordered my white Grimbergen and got something that looked and tasted like white beer, but if that was Grimbergen, this was certainly their least interesting brew! Later I saw that the man was actually right when in a supermarket my eye fell on “Grimbergen blanche”. What is that? The French have Belgian beer that we (or Belgium!!) does not have? This is indeed very much true, since we later saw an advertisement for Leffe Nectar, a Leffe with honey. Some searching on the internet showed that this Leffe is only available in France and not in Belgium!! WTF?!? I have a hard enough time to find the Leffe 9 degrees (blue) and the Ruby (they also have another red, but fortunately I do not like them myself, but my girlfriend wants to try them all) and now they have beer which is not sold to people who know something about beer?

The world of beer is a strange one.