The Mailbag

Here at, we aim to please. Well, we aim to please me, but part of that includes answering mail that comes to this humble domain.

Now, most of the mail that comes this way is spam. At least it used to be, now that I have some filters in place there's much less of it. I've found that most spam is sent without my address in the To: header (they put it in the "envelope destination" instead), since that would generally require far more resources on the spammer's end. It sucks up just as much of the world's bandwidth, of course, not to mention the collective anger it causes.

Don't Spam.

(insert some stuff here about how many messages per day arrive, how many are mailing lists, spambucket fodder, etc)

Of the remaining mail, about half tends to be spam generated by these web pages. Not by the pages themselves.. ever since I removed the mailto: links that has gone away. But rather spam that comes from the domain name registration. Within weeks of registering I had half a dozen bits of mail suggesting for much happier I would be if I had my web site listed by various directory services. I still get a lot of mail assuming that I'm some kind of IT professional who has put together a site solely dedicated towards selling something, and that I wouldn't mind receiving tons of unsolicited mail offering me ways to sell more.

For example:

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 03:56:53 +0000
From: "John" <John@Launcher.Com>
To: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: The Castle Lothar


Launcher.Com will soon debut a comprehensive new web site
directory.  We would like to include a free listing for
The Castle Lothar.

Listing your site for free with Launcher.Com will help
thousands of web users more easily find your site.

To receive your free listing, please complete and return
the entire form below.  Thank you.

New Listings Coordinator         mailto:John@Launcher.Com
Sigh. The Net isn't about unconscious broadcasts to anyone who might possibly have an interest in what you have to sell. Having machines talk to people isn't at all interesting. Helping people talk to other people is what's cool.

The trickle of personal mail that is actually sent by humans falls into three categories: old friends who don't know my work email address and only remember "um, something about Lothar.." (for which it is handy that I'm also the postmaster and undeliverable lothar mail comes my way too), friends who are telling me to update my web pages because they're so old, and random strangers who see something on my pages that they want to comment on. And most of the last category has tended towards the bizarre...

So, anyway, the mail here hasn't been too interesting. Feel free to send me something better.

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 96 17:22:18 -0500
From: "John W. Warner" <>
Subject: Updates on your life!

I think that you ought not wait so long to update you parents (and the 
rest of the world) about what is happening in your life.  Wedding 
pictures or something! needs to go onto your web page.
John W. Warner
Ok, dad, here you go. Wedding Pictures to your heart's content.

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 96 17:55:08 -0600
From: "John W. Warner" <>
Subject: (no subject)

Pretty dull board.  No updates since June!
John W. Warner

Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 21:30:59 -0400
From: Blizzard <>
Organization: Maison
Subject: marilyn

You get the same name that Marilyn Manson get!!!

Hmmm. I got lots of names. Which one does Marilyn got?

From: "Deana Grimm" <>
Subject: are u manson?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 16:28:54 PDT

    Hi! i found your web-page, and you make it sound like your 
Rev.Marilyn Manson.Well.......are you? stupid question, I know.

   can you e-mail me back soon? thanx.....

         (a girl known as)

Uh huh. It sounds like my Rev. does what exactly? Oh, right, you're. Hmm. That depends. Who is Rev. Marilyn Manson? And of which church are they a reverend?

Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 19:56:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: man

dude you are lucky 
you have the same name as marilyn manson
if you dont know who he is 
visit my web site 
Ah, this starts to make sense.. but dude, you're going way overboard on those Latin-1 characters. Yeah, I know they're popular, the new RFCs are letting them go all over the place, even email headers aren't just for ASCII any more. But what exactly are you trying to spell with that URL?

From: "Me " <>
To: <>
Subject: hi
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 19:10:43 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.71.1712.3

first of all, dont publicly give oyut ur e mail on the internet. =
Second.... are you Marilyn manson? Cause if you are, and that is =
Mariyn's real name, then you are on e %$$#ed person. If i met you, i =
would just beat the living %^&$ outta you. Enjoy.
Charming. "Enjoy" I shall. For more details on this thread, see my Who the hell is this Marilyn Manson character anyway page.

The only other piece of mail that wants to find a home on this page comes from a guy named Joshua McFadden, whose letter was friendly enough but whose mailer (the evil Microsoft Outlook Express) found it necessary to send me the same message 8 times over the course of a few hours. (ok, ok, actually it looks like his school has a weird mail agent identifying itself as "PMDF V5.1-8 #24033" that was responsible for the duplication. But isn't microsoft bashing fun?).
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 21:52:29 -0500
From: Joshua McFadden
Subject: Phil
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.71.1712.3

Ummm.... Sorry, I have no idea how to use PGP key.  I know HTML, I know
Javascript, and I have a valid Missouri driver's license, but I dunno--I'd
be willing to admit being a bit myopic now and then.  <grin>

But you'd be amazed what you find on the 'net whilst avoiding comp sci
assignments.  Actually, I found your site by entering random www.*.com
domains and seeing what popped up.  But in January, you mention that you
think Phil is the center of the world and knows everybody... have you ever
considered that he may in fact be Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light?
Find someone who reads more Dilbert strips than I do and they can tell you
more about him.  But I think it's an interesting conjecture.

Just had to throw that at you.

(Oh, and the page in my sig blows and will die as soon as I have the time,
so if you actually want to see a good piece of work, look at it after
Christmas. <grin>)

Josh M.
Well, I have noticed that Phil has a tendency to yell "Spoon!" at unexpected moments. But I suspect that it has more to do with the Tick than with shady figures from Dilbert. Oh, and the page in your sig doesn't blow, although it is a tad cryptic. I appreciate anybody who quotes Douglas Adams. And the green lettering on the whale page is quite nicely done.

Well, that's the bottom of the mailbag for now. Feel free to write to me about anything amusing, and if you're lucky your message will end up here too.
Brian Warner <>
Last modified: Sat Aug 5 08:43:01 PDT 2006