this is why paypal SUCKS!

so – naturally – i haven’t heard anything about whether or not the email that i received from "[email protected]" really was from paypal or not, and the person i talked to last week said that i would hear from the fraud department in two to three days, so i decided to call and see if they knew anything…

why do i always decide to torture myself early in the week… ๐Ÿ˜

i talked to one person who had a very strong accent of some kind or another (to the point where i had to ask them to repeat their greeting, because i didn’t understand what they had said AT ALL). when i had confirmed that i had, indeed, called paypal, and not some place in madagascar, i explained my problem, and was promptly put on hold to wait for the fraud department.

half an hour later, i was greeted by an american girl who couldn’t have been much older than 20, who assured me that if i hadn’t heard anything, that my email was probably fraudulent. i then explained that the email had two parts, one of which matched the guidelines for a “real” email, and the other of which matched the guidelines for a fraudulent email, whereupon she changed her tune, and said that the email was real. i proceded to tell her about the fact that i traced it to a uu.net account, whereupon she changed her tune again and said that it was clearly fraudulent, which, she said, was made obvious by the fact that i hadn’t heard anything…

at that point, i politely ended the conversation, and proceded to hit myself in the face with my keyboard, because it is more comfortable… ๐Ÿ˜›

THAT is why i don’t keep a balance in my paypal accounts… it’s just not worth the risk. ๐Ÿ˜

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

proud to be a liberal

The Patriot Act Anniversary Week Round-Up – When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry… the Patriot Act has been extended until 2015…

Scum Thy Name Is Quan – Scott Olsen, member of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War and a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq… was shot in the head last night by Oakland police, and is currently in critical condition. Mayor Jean Quan’s statement: “I commend (Police) Chief Jordan for a generally peaceful resolution to (the) situation…” #OWS statement: “It is unconscionable that American government officials would sanction the use of such extreme force against peaceful citizens.”

Facebook partners with Labor Department to "help" job-seekers – facebook is implementing facial recognition routines, and buddying up with the federal government… that can’t be good…

Killing For Sport? – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Thereโ€™s a Cop in Oakland Deserving of a Severe Beat Down – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Up to 20 million tons of debris from Japanโ€™s tsunami moving toward Hawaii – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Colombian president calls for legalisation of marijuana – Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, has called for the global legalisation of marijuana… too bad he’s just the president of a country where brown people live…

catsup

in spite of numerous, obvious problems that i was too brain damaged to see through (and i continue not to be able to see through, so i did it a different way), i managed to get the bare bones of a gallery put together for the fremont players, although a link to a finished site is a long way off yet, primarily because of the loads of other crap that i’ve been having to deal with… and general malaise over the fact that i can’t do the same stuff that i used to be able to do prior to my injury… for example, prior to my injury, i was more or less right-handed: i did a lot of stuff ambidexterously, but i moused with my right hand, i wrote with my right hand, i could juggle, i typed around 100 words per minute, etc., etc…. but now i am predominantly left handed, i mouse with my left hand, i can write equally well (which is to say, awfully) with both hands, i can’t juggle more than three or four passes without dropping stuff all over, and it has taken me approximately half an hour to type the preceding paragraph… ๐Ÿ˜›

and the checkout stands at all the stores are for right handed people, which means that left handed people have to figure out how not to drop things while checking out with the wrong hand… it gets really tiring after a while, and i imagine that people who have been left handed all their lives gave up on it a long time ago… ๐Ÿ˜›

i was feeling really good about the fact that i was playing a lot more, and then all the gigs dried up. i’ve got trolloween tomorrow (which is fun, but not paid), John Philip Sousa’s Birthday Bash (another fun, but not paid gig, although we’ll probably get fed) next sunday, we’ve got a run of panto performances coming up in december, and snake suspenders has a paid gig, and a non-paying gig coming up within the next few weeks, but it seems like my calendar has had whole weeks with nothing in them for two or three months, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any busier for the forseeable future. it’s been two weeks since snake suspenderz has been out busking, and we did well enough the last time we were out that i would have expected it to become a regular gig, but i haven’t talked to any of the other snakes for almost 3 weeks…

brain damaged brain… 8/

i figured out why it wasn’t displaying like it should (a simple <p>…</p> took care of it) but i’ve been fighting with the code for this web page all day, and i haven’t gotten much of anywhere… and it seems as though things that are supposed to work, simply aren’t, for one reason or another… it actually seems as though what i want can’t be done using standard html and css — even though i KNOW it CAN be done, quite easily…

blah… ๐Ÿ˜›

GRR!!

okay, so i’m working on some new web pages for the fremont players. i’ve got a REEEEAALY simple CSS file, that basically sets margins and text alignment:

body {margin-top: .25in; margin-left: 2in; margin-right: 2in;}
.center {text-align: center;}

and i have an equally simple HTML file that’s going to be my index page (when i get this ☢☹‼‽⁂@#* “difficulty” worked out) which looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="index.css">
<title>The Fremont Players</title>
</head>
<body>

<span class="center">The Fremont Players present</span>

</body>
</html>

now one would think, just from looking at the code, that the words “The Fremont Players present” would be centered, a quarter of an inch below the top of the page… but…

text alignment problem

and it looks the same whether i’m using firefox, safari, or opera… which means that SOMETHING is WRONG

but i can’t figure out WHAT… ๐Ÿ˜

“Protect” IP?!?

much as i disagree with things like facebook and twitter, i don’t want them entirely shut down, but that’s what’s going to happen if we don’t get off our collective ass and prevent it: How’s That Free Speech Thing Working Out For You – The draft bill would: 1) Give the government and private corporations new powers to block access to sites accused of copyright infringement; 2) Criminalize the streaming of copyrighted content; 3) Restrict cloud-based storage services, music lockers, and the like; 4) Create the aforementioned new liabilities for sites that encourage the posting of user-generated content.

When they took the fourth amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
    I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
    and I can say nothing about it.

MAKE SOME NOISE ABOUT THIS
or forever hold your peace!

paypal’s response was to have me send the spam message to spoof at paypal dot com, which, if my previous experiences are anything to go by, is the last thing i will ever hear about this message… ๐Ÿ˜

oh well…

my car stereo experienced an electronic hiccough yesterday, but taking out the suspect fuse to determine if it was bad or not (it wasn’t) fixed everything.

yesterday had a phil rehearsal in preparation for trolloween. today has a BSSB rehearsal in preparation for the sousa bash.

we have a number of houseguests starting thursday and ending sunday.

THIS is the way to start the week… 8)

i got another email, purportedly from “service at paypal dot com”…

this time, the subject line was “Notification of PayPal Account Transaction”…

usually, if paypal sends me a “Notification of PayPal Account Transaction” i get another email (from myself) with details from my web site about the transaction that just occurred. this time, i just got the notification, and nothing else.

this time, instead of addressing me as %%FIRST%% %%LAST%%, they had my full name, although they didn’t say how much the transaction was… so i logged into my paypal account and looked.

no big red number at the top of the page… my account is balanced. i don’t owe anything… as it SHOULD BE 8)

i’m still not sure where the spam message i got from uu.net came from – and i’m still going to call them (bleh, ecchth, ptui) and see if i can find out, because it’s still a major concern – and i STILL want to cancel my paypal account, but those things are less of an immediate event at this point, and i’m willing to let them try to explain themselves (especially about the message from uu.net) before i leap to a decision.

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

trust george carlin to lay it right out there, and not pull any punches… too bad nobody’s listening to him either… ๐Ÿ˜

Fukushima Update and BP’s Gulf of Mexico PR, One Year Later – you thought you’d heard the last of these, but you were wrong… they’re only just beginning… but nobody cares, because they’re allowing things like this to happen in spite of the fact that they’re the worst environmental disasters ever… ๐Ÿ˜›

TSA Arrests Me for Using the Fourth Amendment as a Weapon – The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, an particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized…

We Don’t Need a Warrant, We’re ICE – The Fourth Amendment strictly prohibits warrantless intrusions into private homes and the Constitution’s protections apply to both citizens and non-citizens alike… unfortunately, nobody’s paying any attention, and even if they are, nobody cares anyway. ๐Ÿ˜

When they took the fourth amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
    I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
    and I can say nothing about it.

Huckabee to Anti-Union Crowd: Deflate Car Tires and Mislead Voters – and i thought i was a terrorist… turns out huckabee is a lot more likely to suggest illegal activities than i am…

Occupy Wall St. Pepper-Spray Cop Anthony Bologna Loses 10 Vacation Days for Violating NYPD Rules – “Frankly, I don’t want him to lose any vacation days at all. That means he spends more time on the job with an even bigger attitude… I think he needs a very long rest someplace quiet and stress-free.”

and, by the way, i bet, as a kid, he was called “tony baloney” which is why he’s wound so tight now… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Throw Them Out With the Trash: Why Homelessness Is Becoming an Occupy Wall Street Issue – “It is illegal… to be homeless or live outdoors for any… reason.”

Sen. Sessions Wants To Cut Food Stamp Program, Claiming It Has ‘Surged Out Of Control’ – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Cannabis Genome Sheds Light on Hemp Domestication and Let Our Farmers Grow and Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use and California Doctors’ Group Says Legalize Marijuana – but nobody will pay attention, because everybody knows that "marijuana" is a schedule one drug with no medical uses and a high propensity for abuse… ๐Ÿ˜

US Army to fly ‘kamikaze’ drones – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

We Are Not Your Human Resources – We are not your human resources! We. Are. Not. Your. Human. Resources.

it hasn’t been all bad, though…

111021 fez-up seattleyesterday we had a fez-up (left to right: Fez-Monger, Howlin’ Hobbit, yours truly, and Henrik Van Tiki who was visiting from hawaii) and the few days of not having anything specific to do gave me the time to do some research on where to get the next step of turning ganesha the vehicle into an actual vahana for ganesha, which resulted in my getting the stereo installed today… seriously, the people at car toys wanted $400 to install it, and the people at Foss Car Audio did it for $250, but it took me three days of calling people, driving around and getting estimates… anyway, the next step is getting it ready to paint, and getting the windows ready to tint.

also, there are some photos of my wanderings in tacoma, while i was waiting for my car to be done. the photos are from my telephone, so they’re not as good quality as i’d like, but… 8)

this isn’t really the way to end the week, either…

i got an email message, purportedly from “paypal at paypal dot com” with a subject line that read “Keeping Your Account in Good Standing”…

if you’ve ever had the displeasure of actually calling paypal, you’ll probably recognise their “security pointers” that they broadcast over the telephone while you’re on hold, which say things like “an authentic email message from paypal will address you by your first and last name”, while a bogus message will address you as “paypal user, or paypal member”…

the message i received addressed me as “%%FIRST%% %%LAST%%”…

i often receive email that has obviously been designed as html, and rendered as text because i don’t let my email client render html, for security reasons. the message is usually flagged, and if i want to allow it to render the html, i click on a button and it renders all of the non-executable, local bits of the html it can find, and if it has left anything else out (like scripts, calls to external web sites, images, and that sort of thing), i get the opportunity to click yet another button to get the full effect (hint: i very rarely click the first button and i have a policy of NEVER clicking the second button. if i want to see it that bad, i’ll usually go to my browser instead of my email client).

when i looked at the source of the message (as text only), i found that it had a malformed html section which didn’t trigger the first flag. in the html section, it actually had my first and last name, instead of “%%FIRST%% %%LAST%%”

the message said that they had noticed that i had a negative balance, and since it was only $0.30 – which was listed as “$%%NEG. BAL. AMOUNT%%” in the text version of the message – the account had been brought to balance, as their way of saying “thanks for using paypal”…

“cool,” i thought. “they have finally seen the light, and have taken steps to resolve a very, very frustrated customer”…

WRONG!!

when i logged into my paypal account, there was the big, red -$0.30 at the top of my account.

furthermore, when messages come from paypal, they have specific IP addresses referenced in their message headers, which this message did not have. this message referenced IP addresses which are associated with uu.net – a NOTORIOUS, OLD SCHOOL source of spam.

what i read in this situation is the following: some spammer has access to my paypal account.

what i’m supposed to do (according to paypal) is report it to their spam control department. unfortunately i know, from past reports to paypal’s spam control department, that they won’t accept reports from me, and even if they did, they won’t do anything to solve the problem.

now i REALLY want to cancel my paypal account… ๐Ÿ˜

#OWS: Let Me Tell You Wall Street Asshats a Little Something About Hippies

#OWS: Let Me Tell You Wall Street Asshats a Little Something About Hippies
Oct 19, 2011 – by One Pissed Off Liberal

One of the attack memes for right wingers and know nothings is that the Occupy Wall Street movement is merely the wacky doings of hippies, or aging hippies, or dirty fucking hippies.

Now I don’t want to make this all about hippies…because it isn’t. The #OWS movement is a phenomenon all to itself. Blaming it on hippies is just typical weasel behavior from the champaigne-sippin’, caviar-dippin’ greedheads of Wall Street crowd โ€“ you know, the ones who got us into this mess in the first place. It’s just their way of avoiding responsibility, and boy howdy are they good at it.

But hippies, young and old, are involved…and that’s a damned good thing.

Let me tell you something about hippies. Hippies didn’t export anyone’s jobs, hippies didn’t lie us into an immoral war, hippies didn’t conspire to steal anyone’s pension funds, hippies didn’t order anyone tortured, hippies didn’t steal so much that it crashed the economy of the entire world, and hippies don’t go on national tv and spew nonsense and propaganda for a very nice living.

So go ahead and blame hippies for everything…as if they had ruled us for decades. We should be so lucky. But we weren’t that lucky – not by a long shot. Instead, we got you.

So if the hippies have some advice for you Wall Street assholes, maybe you should listen. You could do worse. You did do worse. You did a lot worse.

Hippies told you to mind your planet. Hippies told you to make love not war. Hippies told you to not let greed grab you. But did you listen?

No. You and your minions in Congress and elsewhere turned your backs on responsibility. You abandoned the people and sold your souls to the highest bidders. Consequences be damned.

You should thank what gods may be that there are still hippies, that there are still people who put humanity over corporate profits, that there are still those who insist that we do the right thing rather than the profitable thing. We just may save the planet from assholes like you.

Meanwhile, our bought-and-paid-for politicians can’t do shit:

Global warming? Sorry.

Unjust wars? Nope, nothing to be done.

An oppressive and unjust Military Industrial Complex? C’est la vie.

Class warfare by the 1% against the 99%? It’s only class warfare when we say it is.

The disastrous drug war? Whatcha gonna do?

Loss of precious civil rights? Quit yer bitchin’.

Mercenaries on the streets of America? What’s to worry about?

Corporate takeover of the country? Yawn.

No, our bought-and-paid-for politicians can’t do anything that doesn’t involve shoveling cash into the coffers of the already filthy-fucking-rich. And by their inaction they would doom us all.

You greed-deranged fools who have done these things to us had better hope that the dirty fucking hippies come riding to the rescue. Otherwise we are all going to suffer a fate that only you deserve.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something sweet and pure about old hippies like Ben Masel and others. People who still retain their principles and ideals and are still willing to stand up for humanity in the face of unrelenting tyranny. They deserve respect not scorn. Bless them all.

spam

i logged in this morning and discovered 78 spam comments in my spam directory…

usually i log in and discover – at most – one or two spam comments. frequently i log in and find no spam comments at all (which is the way i like it), but 78 was a bit of a shock…

i also discovered that they are all from 4 or 5 different IP addresses…

since i installed my anti-spam plugins, my ability to control who comments has become a lot easier. i thought i had blocked those 4 or 5 different IP addresses already, but…

i have one method of blocking IP addresses from WP, and i have another, completely different method of blocking IP addresses from OSC. they’re similar, in that they both work off of lists, but the lists are in different places, and configured differently.

apparently i had blocked those 4 or 5 different IP addresses from OSC, but not from WP… and, it is my personal experience, that when spammers don’t get to leave spam everywhere, they get upset and try to mail-bomb me until they are completely blocked from communcation with me, at which point they get frustrated and go try to mess up somebody else’s good time.

bye spammers… go mess up somebody else’s site. you’re not going to get in here and all you’ll achieve is to piss me off… and you won’t like it when i’m pissed off.

dead people

Pete Rugolo – despite the fact that he was kenton’s arranger 15 years before i was born, i grew up with stan kenton music from the time that i was old enough to remember. my father was a frustrated, but quite good tenor sax player, who was faking it as an electrical engineer, and, as a result, we always had jazz of some sort or another playing in the background. stan kenton was in heavy rotation…

at this point, i’m probably one of the few people who will know who you’re talking about when you say that pete rugolo died…

i really admire the artists at 0100101110101101.org

somehow, the artists at 0100101110101101.org invaded a rather up-scale art exhibit with art that wasn’t what the up-scale art exhibit’s curator thought it was. “The piece has been shown for over a month, and nobody questioned its authenticity or worthiness.”not dieter roth artwork

Dieter Roth never made this work, it’s a fake. We invented it one evening in a bar with our friend Corazon Del Sol, and put it together the next day. We bought all the stuff on the internet: an old glass jar, a vintage cork and lots of flies (yes, you can buy flies online), and sent the work to the unaware curators.

THIS SHOULD BE news! ๐Ÿ˜

this is definitely NOT the way to start the week…

hybrid elephant had $0.00 in its paypal account (which is normal, i HATE paypal, and you’ll see why in a minute).

on 10th february, 2011, after someone made a $22.00 payment for something that they decided they didn’t want, i refunded $22.00 to that person, and had a $0.00 balance when i was finished. i consider this to be normal.

on 4th september, 2011 (the last time i had to refund any money), i had $0.00 balance, a person made a payment of $33.00, i refunded $33.00, and had a $0.00 balance when i finished. it was a nice, normal transaction.

today, i had a $0.00 balance, a person ordered $7.00 but didn’t include the extra $30.00 for shipping (they’re located outside the US), and so i refunded their $7.00 order… but now i have a -$0.30 balance: NOT a “nice, normal” transaction at all… but that’s not the part that makes it really bizarre.

i called them up, to find out what’s their problem. after 45 minutes of wangling around with an automated anti-service drone that wouldn’t let me talk to a real person and only wanted to give me my account details, i finally got a real person, who put me on hold for another 15 minutes while he got a “specialist” to help me.

the “specialist” told me that when a person’s money is refunded, there is a transaction fee of $0.30, and if i had never had to pay it in the past, that i was “lucky”. she said if she put my account on hold while they “investigated” it, that there is a good possibility that i will owe substantially more than $0.30, for previous refunded transactions that haven’t been charged the $0.30 transaction fee.

the only options i have are NOT paying the fee, and having my account put on hold, cancelling the account all together, or biting the bullet and paying the $0.30 transaction fee (which i have NEVER had to pay in the past).

if she had said that they didn’t charge a transaction fee for refunded transactions in the past, but that, as of some recent date, they decided to add a transaction fee for refunded transactions, i would very likely sigh and pay the $0.30, but because of the fact that she said they had ALWAYS charged a transaction fee for refunded transactions, i am livid.

i have been a paypal member for 7 years, and 7 years worth of $0.30 “forgotten” transaction fees, regardless of how few of them there have been, could potentially add up to substantially more than i am willing to pay, and my only other option is to close down the hybrid elephant paypal account and move to a “cash only” plan which wouldn’t be anything close to satisfactory for anyone.

at this point, i might as well just shut down the entire business. ๐Ÿ˜›