This doesn't really concern anyone but me...
...so this is just some advice.
I decided to dump all the junk comments from my database through PhpMyAdmin. I'm no MySQL pro (I'm a few light years away from that), but I have a very basic understanding of how to get PhpMyAdmin to do my bidding.
So. I put in a command that should've deleted all the junk comments. After waiting ALL DAY for my database to not poop on me (I could use much more vulgar imagery here to illustrate my frustration, but I'll spare you), it finally went through and deleted some thousands of comments. Wee!
- Taken by Alex. This is the only photo I have that illustrates my pain. ...Which is equivalent to the pain of leaving Disneyland Paris.
...No, wait, I DID IT WRONG and it deleted most of the legitimate comments as well.
... [insert silence]
.... [insert mental hand wringing]
..... [insert lack of breathing]
This is about when my heart went *pip* (for that is the sound my organs make when they are sad) and I thought, "No no no no no no no I did not just do that. Wait, yes I did. Oh shit."
After a bit of staring into the cold glow of my laptop screen and cursing technology, I realized that Dreamhost must know what dumb things people like me do and have a good backup system. Somewhere. It took me some searching, but I found that in the control panel's MySQL section you can restore certain databases from specific periods of time (from 18 hours to a few months ago) and...
BOOYA, I now have 8000-odd comments back. God knows how much of that is spam.
So, thank you Dreamhost for making that so easy.
Perhaps someone out there can learn from my mistakes. For instance, do not delete a crapload of stuff from your database unless you're sure it won't screw up. That's all there is to it! And then you won't experience a high spike in blood pressure like I did.
Oh, if you have a spam comment infestation in your database, you can clear it by entering "Delete FROM `mt_comment` WHERE `comment_visible` = 0" in the SQL command line (assuming all the spam comments aren't visible on your site).
I've closed the survey. Thank you thank you thank you for helping me out! Please accept my BIG VIRTUAL HUG. I somehow got 850 replies (shizzle?), more than half of which may have come from Serious Eats, but I suppose my site pulled in a good number of responses as well.
I've written most of my paper, and so far it sucks! The paper only needs to be 10-15 pages long but I could probably write 20 pages (it's about 13 pages at the moment) if I wanted to go in depth. Not that I'm writing a thesis or anything. Sigh. I just hate it when I write a paper and feel like it could've be 200% awesomer (which is most of the time). It's due on Wednesday—I better clean it up fast.