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You Should Read Wonderella [ ]
14 Responses §  Your Response

Reason Number One Why I Hate Christmas [ ]
3 Responses §  Your Response

I Just Drove the Hell Across America [ ]
My Trip Across the North American ContinentCollapse )
2 Responses §  Your Response

Escape from State College [ ]
I haven't exactly publicised this widely, but as of 1:00 AM PDT today, I am a resident of the whitest city in the U, S, and A: a Portlishman.

In order to do this, I drove roughly 2,700 miles in roughly 60 hours. A fuller travelblogue is forthcoming.

1 Response §  Your Response

I Have a Goal [ ]
I will consider Disgaea complete when all the following conditions are met:
  • I can create every kind of character (time: fairly quick; need to beat chapters 7 and 8)
  • I have at least one of all the ultimate equipment (time: ~6 hours plus I think I need a legendary Durandal)
  • Laharl can reliably solo Prinny Baal without stealing his stuff (time: long; I'll have to transmigrate several more times and climb into the 3000s at least for this – at the moment Prinny Baal requires three sacrifices, and I steal his things)
I don't think I need to get all the endings, and I'm almost certainly not going to do an ultimate transmigration on Laharl as it requires levelling to 9999 twice among other things.
Your Response

Here Is a Link to a Thing I Like [ ]
For some reason I really like this song. I also like today's Cat and Girl. The previous Cat and Girl was also quite good.
Your Response

I ♥ Global Warming [ ]
I haven't had the air conditioner on in two days! Both this morning and yesterday morning I put sweatpants on because I was cold! Right now I'm making soup instead of salad!

We've had the mildest winter I can remember this year, and now we're having the coolest late July I can remember. Global warming kicks ass!

It's going to be kind of a bummer with all the floods and famines and displacement and starvation and food riots and mass extinctions and global sea level rise, but the weather sure is nice (here). And isn't that what's really important?

2 Responses §  Your Response

I Am Wearing Sweatpants at Work [ ]
So I have this important family reunion this weekend. It's out of town, so today is basically the last day I have time to run errands in this town until Monday.

So I went to get my hair cut. When I got there, there was a 20-minute wait, so I signed my name on the log sheet and decided to go return a call from my grandfather, whom I had not spoken with in some time. So I went back out the car and got my phone, then I sat down in the car and gave him a call.

After a very short amount of time, I realised it was much too hot in the car. Outside it was humid but not hot, threatening rain. So I got out of the car, leaving my keys inside of it.

It was the first time I ever locked myself out of a car outside of my own house, and the double-first time I had ever locked myself out of a car while talking on the telephone. I wandered over to a place that had a phone book, and when I was done with my call, I called the police. Unfortunately, as always, the State College police aren't good for shit. Unless you count issuing traffic citations as being good for shit, which no reasonable person would. The police informed me I could either call a locksmith ($20) or a tow truck ($70).

"Fuck that shit," I decided. Then I got my hair cut. I did have an appointment to keep, after all.

After that I started to walk home to get my spare key. It began to rain almost immediately. At first I thought that this was going to be a sort of sitcomesque comedy of errors, where it would rain the whole time and then I wouldn't be able to get into my house, and then I wouldn't be able to find my key, and then the car wouldn't start, and then when I got to work the building would be on fire and the United States would have declared war on Iran.

Luckily, none of those things came to pass. My plan worked out rather well. It stopped raining after a short period of time, and I broke into my house with a penny I found in a parking lot. My spare key was where I remembered putting it. I did start to rain pretty hard on the way back, so that by the time I got to my car my shirt and pants were in no condition to wear to work, but I just went home and got changed before I went in. There was a moment when I thought I had lost my spare key, but it had just fallen in amongst my reusable shopping bags.

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There's No Such Thing as Mysterious [ ]
Today after I modded that image (and was thinking about the latest Achewood story arc and this recent post by hilzoy at Obsidian Wings), I realised I had not seen any lolcats in awhile.

Then I checked and realised I was no longer subscribed to ICHC. Then I remembered that a week or so ago, this happened. I checked out the linked blog, and it had been suspended for TOS violations. I checked out ICHC, and the last post I had seen was on that date.

So I tracked that down and found out that at least two other people had my same problem. Probably everyone on Google Reader and everyone on Bloglines had the same problem. Someone named J. Kottke who is not Jason Kottke seems to think it was a wordpress issue. Would that have accounted for the change of feed title and headers on that day?

I feel bad for Courtney Redmond. She probably didn't do shit. I don't know if I'd want to blog with wordpress's free service right now.

Your Response

Timeline of a Network Outage [ ]
13:34 Huh what do you know I can't connect to my server maybe it's down
13:34 Oh my god the whole entire internet is down
13:34 Panic!
13:35 Attempt to ping and traceroute servers at various distances from computer
13:36 Stop music, unplug headphones, listen to conversation in network guy's cubicle behind me
13:36 Despair!
13:38 Get up, pace, crack neck, knees, knuckles
13:39 Leave cubicle. Everyone is in the hallway, milling around in confusion
13:40 Consider going home
13:42 Network guy and other network guy go into machine room
13:42 Watch them through the glass
13:47 Get tired of watching, go sit down at computer
13:47 Consider napping
13:48 Attempt to ping and traceroute servers at various distances from computer
13:49 Firefox crashes, probably from trying to reload a page
13:50 Man, fuck you Firefox. Why you got to crash all the time?
13:50 Sulk
13:51 Consider calling Lyn, remember she's probably on her way to work at the moment
13:53 Update twitter blog via cellphone
13:54 Decide to call family and chat
13:55 The network is back! All is well
4 Responses §  Your Response

Badvertising Mark II [ ]
So I saw this terrible ad at zhongwen today.

Here is what it said:

Here is what it should have said:

Your Response

Construction Zone [ ]
A little over a month ago, they tore down the soccer field across from the building where I work.

They've had construction equipment there ever since, digging and levelling a large area.

They have the construction zone fenced off with bright orange netting, and there are piles of tires and hills of dirt.

I deeply hope that, whenever the construction is finished, what they have built will be a new soccer field, if for no other reason than to destroy what little remains of my faith in humankind.

Your Response

I Hate YouTube [ ]
There, I said it, for all the world (read: the six people who read my LJ) to hear!

Why do I hate YouTube? A number of confluent reasons:

I am not overfond of any form of video
Video is decidedly non-interactive. You don't need to use your imagination, and you don't dare lest you miss something. It requires both your eyes and your ears, but leaves your hands free to wander. What am I supposed to do with my wandering hands? Wrap a banana in a fruit roll-up? Endlessly shuffle a deck of cards? Play with a ketchup packet until it breaks and gets ketchup on my pants? The devil's work?

Also you can't browse video usefully. It's pretty much all or nothing for almost everything that isn't pr0n, which can be entered and exited at any time without loss of meaning. I am typically not interested enough in almost any YouTube I see posted to watch it the whole way through, so I skip it the whole way through. This goes double if it is introduced with "lol" or something similarly nondescript.
I have never liked streaming content
This is mainly because Internet is notoriously unreliable when used as a media storage device. If I am interested enough in a video to watch it the whole way through, I would like to put it safely in my massive disk array. I don't want to have to download it everytime I watch it, and I want to know it's going to be there. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but my early days of downloading illegal content from the actual web, combined with my attachment to Usenet, have taught me that just because something is on the web now does not guarantee it will be there when I next want it. Google video used to allow you to download their movies if your OS was obsolete enough, but no longer. And YouTube never has.
You guys I am at work
When I am home, my computer time is usefully divided between downloading pr0n, sorting music and pr0n, leaving a game FAQ open while playing a console game, playing a PC game, and the like. Ninety per cent of the time I'm reading blogs, I'm doing it when I should be working instead. And I don't want some silly video all blasting its audio all up in my coworkers' earholes. I try not to be quite that obvious about fucking off.
YouTube controls kill
If there's more than about a half-dozen YouTube controls on a page, it will typically crash my browser. If that browser supports them, of course. I have a browser on each computer that has JavaScript and Flash disabled, so that it's safe to visit certain places without tremendous lag, but if I use my "fully functional" browser, a ton of YouTube controls will bring down at least the window, if not the whole program, and lots of people will leave fifty or a hundred blog posts on their front page, and like half of them have YouTube controls in them.
I admire YouTube as a place to watch stuff for free that you would typically have to purchase, but since I'm not a big fan of watching things at all, I don't find it that great. But all those embedded controls everywhere have really begun to set my teeth on edge, especially when they overload the browser and kill it.
Your Response

I Wish I Liked to Cook [ ]
Even though I haven't played it in nearly a week, I've still been having strange dreams about Katamari Damacy.

I dreamt of a Lord of the Rings–themed Katamary Damacy, but instead of a katamari, you'd start out with the One Ring, and you'd roll it around and pick up stuff until you got big enough to pick up Mount Doom. I remember it rolling ponderously into Gondor—already as big as Minas Tirith—and rolling up Aragorn, son of Arathorn (whose rainbow-coloured name signified him as a rare object), even though he should have been out of scale by then.

I also had a dream that I was rolling my katamari around in the world of words. I was picking up letters and punctuation out of a vast, three-dimensional page. For some reason, I kept picking up pilcrows. I don't even know what kind of documents feature pilcrows anymore.

I dreamt that Katamari Damacy was an open-source engine, and people would build not exactly mods, but whole themed Katamari Damacies—the above two of which became post hoc examples—which were distributed at a reasonable price by actual video game stores.

What would your dream Katamari Damacy theme be?

3 Responses §  Your Response

Human Energy [ ]
Here's an idea: instead of always trying to automate the production of energy (burning fuel, spinning turbines with controlled water, photovoltaic cells), why not just have someone do it manually?

I'm not sure what kind of energy crisis we'd have if, say, a million or so unemployed people on every continent all got jobs charging batteries with recumbent bicycles. We could even pay them by energy transferred.

Seems to me we'll never really be short electricity while there are people willing to exercise for money. I'm totally unfamiliar with any of the numbers involved in this, so of course it's just speculation.

8 Responses §  Your Response

Currently Reading: An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire [ ]
Modern democracies have been around long enough for neo-liberal capitalists to learn how to subvert them. They have mastered the technique of infiltrating the instruments of democracy—the "independent" judiciary, the "free" press, the parliament—and molding them to their purpose. The project of corporate globalization has cracked the code. Free elections, a free press, and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder.
To control a democracy, it is becoming more and more vital to control the media.... It's a mistake to think thar the corporate media supports the neo-liberal project. It is the neo-liberal project.

According to the State, when victims refuse to be victims, they become terrorists and are dealt with as such.... The space for genuine nonviolent civil disobedience is atrophying. In the era of corporate globalization, poverty is a crime, and protesting against further impoverishment is terrorism.... Calling anyone who protests against the violation of their human and constitutional rights a terrorist can end up becoming a self-fulfilling accusation. When every avenue of nonviolent dissent is closed down, should we really be surprised that the forests are filling up with extremists, insurgents, and militants?

The only way to make democracy real is to begin a process of constant questioning, permanent provocation, and continuous public conversation between citizens and the State.... Patrolling the borders of liberty is the only way we can guard against the snatching away of our freedoms. All over the world today, freedoms are being curbed in the name of protecting freedom. Once freedoms are surrendered by civil society, they cannot be retrieved without a struggle. It is so much easier to relinquish them than to recover them.
It is important to remember that our freedoms, such as they are, were never given to us by any government; they have been wrested by us. If we do not use them, if we do not test them from time to time, they atrophy. If we do not guard them constantly, they will be taken away from us. If we do not demand more and more, we will be left with less and less.
Arundhati Roy, from Peace is War: the Collateral Damage of Breaking News

Man, I love Arundhati Roy. I wish we had someone like her in our country. All good points here, which almost nobody ever makes. The good news, if it can be called that, is that thanks to the Iraq War and the advent of Fourth-Generation, "Open Source" Warfare, the space for armed struggle is becoming larger even as the space for nonviolent struggle shrinks. Like Xiang Yu, the imperial army of occupation in Iraq knows nothing but victory operationally, while tactically and strategically they face an undending string of failure. The new warfare pioneered in Iraq is spreading to Afghanistan, with excellent results. How long until it becomes a form of protest?

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