The boring life of Jerod Poore, Crazymeds' Chief Citizen Medical Expert.

We're Admitting New Inmates, for now.

I'm allowing new registrations again, although guest viewing is still turned off. I've also turned some of the features back on. Either what Jason H. at IPB did worked or it didn't. He wasn't all that optimistic. We're in a gray area when it comes to size. Although the forum is not that busy on a daily basis when it comes to users, the number and size of the posts makes it a moderately-sized IPB site.

I'll be checking the stats. Guest viewing might be part of the problem due to bots of one form or another. Although the forum isn't being spammed, the bots are still trying. Jason thinks that might be a big part of the problem, and it agrees with data I saw on previous occasions when activity spiked.

That got me thinking. People who do search engine spamming are always slurping up chunks of my medication pages. They used to use the same couple of bots, because my name, "Crazy Meds" and the same chunks of text, usually from the disclaimer, would show up on hundreds of sites promoting dubious 'pharmacies.' Bots are now cheaper and more sophisticated, so "Crazy Meds" and many different chunks of text show up for each 'medication' the spammers are trying to sell. Thus you can't see the extent of the problem like you used to. Plus the fragments show up only on Google. You usually don't see the text if you go to the blog / domain / whatever, as it's usually an automatic redirect to another page or site.

While that has nothing at do directly with the problem of the forum, those bots probably ignore robots.txt, which means they'll hit the forum and cause trouble. Because they may or may not be identified as bots they'll be doing all sorts of shit at once, making the forum work as if there were fifty or sixty people on at once, not ten.

The blog spammers' bots are more sophisticated as well, albeit still nonsensical. They'll post things like "Crazy Meds Lexapro Side Effects" on a blog with a link to a third-level domain or page with a name that is the same as the phrase, instead of burning an entire domain with a name like

That search engine and blog spamming, combined with the usual e-mail spamming and the very domain name is why e-mail from me and the forum is blocked by most spam filters.

In any event, if I can't get the amount of CPU time used to no more than 1.00% on an average over a 24 hour period either the forum goes away or I need cash to move over to a virtual private server. Once a sales rep gets back to me I'll know how much cash I'll need.

Still overloaded

I've had to temporarily disable guest viewing of the Crazy Meds forum and remove more features in order to try to bring CPU usage under control. Expect the forum to give you a busy signal anyway.

I can't afford to get a dedicated server.

The only thing IPB support found out of the ordinary was a version difference in some of the files. I'll be uploading a fresh installation of the latest stable version of the software. I'm planning on doing that tomorrow. Until then we're not accepting new members, as I know people will register to read two things and never return. That sort of overhead defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to accomplish.

If this doesn't get fixed somehow there's not going to be a version 10. I can't deal with it any more.

Interruptions in Forum Availability

I don't know what the hell I did when setting up the forum software, but it had to be something extra special. For an IPB site Crazy Meds Talk is pretty small. It really shouldn't be using the CPU resources that it is. Yet without any bot going out of control, either a malicious spammer or a misguided search engine spider, with no plug-in or any custom code whatsoever, the php script manages to use up to 43% of one of the CPUs on the server where Crazy Meds lives.

That's not very nice in a shared environment.

Those crappy search engine bots that were giving us trouble in our previous installment caused a spike in activity that topped out at 63%. They were still a big part of the problem.

So I've removed several features, put a load limit on the software, and I'm fucking around with caching. Thus things will happen like my breaking the blogs. No postings were lost, it was just access that was temporarily cut off. However the hard & fast load limit means you might get a screen that looks like you've been logged off, the forum's busy, blah, blah, blah. Just scroll down and you'll find a link that reads "Go Back." You may have to click on that a couple of times until things calm down a bit.

It's all helping, but just barely. For a site this size we shouldn't even be a blip on the domain host's statistical radar.

I have a ticket open with Invision regarding this. Even though I RTFM and all there's probably some setting I got dyslexic over.

One thing for sure, in looking at the MySQL stats there are apparently way too many table-based operations happening. Indices and joins aren't quite right. I know what it all means as far as SQL and databases are concerned. I just have no clue as to if, where and how anything in IPB something needs to be changed.

Forum is back up.

It figures that I get an e-mail from the domain host's support people just as I publish the previous post and let the meds knock me out.

So the Crazy Meds Talk forum is up and running again.

For those who care about such things, we got hit by two performance-killing search engine bots, Yahoo Slurp and Yandex.

The Yahoo Slurp bot seems to be causing people problems all over the place. It was doing all sorts of unnecessary stuff to collect data for a search engine. Like getting the last post and the newest post in addition to reading the entire topic. So that was three reads for some topics.

The other was the Yandex bot, and it was even worse when it came to doing unnecessary operations to get data from a topic. It did everything Slurp did, plus reading some topics in multiple views and looking at the user profile of whoever made a post that was new since its last visit. Yandex is supposed to search Russian-language sites. I have a few pages with some Russian on them, but it shouldn't be enough to attract Yandex.

I've updated the robots.txt file to deny those bots access to the entire Crazy Meds site.

Not much else was happening at the time. Google's bot was well-behaved. Actual human users weren't doing much at all.

If one or the other was doing its thing when we had few-to-no actual people on the site it probably wouldn't have been a problem. But when one has two badly-coded bots on at the same time, sometimes reading the same topics simultaneously, hilarity ensues.

The Yanga bot was also doing some stuff that seemed unnecessary, but it wasn't going through every topic like the other two. If I have any more trouble with a search bot I'm just giving in and giving Google exclusive access to Crazy Meds. Google is the Microsoft of the early 21st century as it is, so why fight it.


I'm waiting for the domain host's support people to get back to me. I let them know what the problem was (search engine bots gone wild) and how I fixed it (robots.txt and an IP block). That was three hours ago. The meds are putting me to sleep now. The forum might be up before I am.

Crazy Meds Talk Forum Down

Something was causing the forum software to use an excessively high amount of CPU processing time on the domain server I use, so the domain host had to take us off the air until I can figure out what happened and fix it.

We'll be back on the air whenever that happens. Keep watching this space.

"From Administrator" PM Spam

The Crazy Meds Talk forum was hit by a spam bot that sent out a shitload of PMs with the title "From Administrator." The bot's name was nothing close to an admin or moderator's name, yet many people still clicked on the link that promised information regarding changes to the forum. A link to something like a porn site in the .ru domain or a disreputable 'pharmacy.'

Information regarding the spam, what we've done to prevent a repeat and how the spam-naive can repair any damage done by visiting said links is being discussed in this topic.

Broken Dream Home Depot

Involuntary masturbation as a manifestation of stroke-related alien hand syndrome.

This sign of the times is brought to you by:

Whale Shit on the Bottom of the Ocean shirts.

When life totally sucks and you're feeling as low as you can be let meds on a shirt spell it out so you don't have to.

Photograph by Jerod Poore, Copyright 2009. Taken 10 April, 2009, Big Box Land, Missoula, MT.

Caption: Title of a case study by Drs. BG Ong Hai & IR Odderson in American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Marco Polo died for your gourmet treats

Man beaten to death in Chinese prison "hide-and-seek" game

This tasty tidbit of nostalgia for 1990s food porn is brought to you by:

The Zyprexa Made Me Eat It shirts.

Image by Lovely Package® via
Caption from People's Daily

Crazy Meds Site Updates

04/01/2009 -

* Everything is completely updated with a new design and content...Who am I kidding. I thought I had fooled myself when I woke up at a decent hour and felt like fixing shit today.

* I know about that bug with the PayPal donation button on all of the non-forum pages. The reason PayPal hates me this time is they don't like to be framed. I'll be changing all the pages so they get their very own extra-special window to allow anyone who is sure they're still going to have a job over the course of this year (e.g. those who work for the unemployment office or in the foreclosure industry) to make a donation. See the page on how to support Crazy Meds for details on mailing cash, checks, etc. or helping in ways that don't involve filthy lucre.

* As part of my program of giving in to giving up I'll no be teasing you with promises about the income and expenses of this site, like I used to be so good about up through much of 2005. My life is such a complicated disaster that I haven't been able to download my own financial information into Quicken since some time in 2007. All I know is I owe a shitload of money to banks who are in deep shit themselves. I'm part of the problem! YAY FO' ME!!!

* As usual I'm saving the best for last. I've had to update the privacy policies, because Google will be offering anyone who visits this site a tasty cookie. One of those cookies that leaves a trail of cookie crumbs. So read up on it.

Hey, this blog has AdSense ads. I wouldn't be surprised if Google offered you a cookie when you came here.