Category Archives: rants

oy! 😖

the continuing saga of the mailing list fiasco has reached a new plateau:

so, it started out that one of the subscribers to the list sent a message to the list that didn’t go through, for some unknown reason (demons).

when his message didn’t go through IMMEDIATELY — as he was used to them doing — he started looking around for other addresses, and he found two of them. one goes to the list owner, and one is a “machine only” address that sends bounce notices to the owner. it is not for sending email TO, and it is definitely not for sending mail to when your message doesn’t go through, because that triggers the MTA on the user end to blacklist your message.

i found out about this whole fiasco about 6 hours into it, when he sent mail to my personal address, asking me if there was something wrong. i noticed that he had sent mail to the machine-only address, and got blacklisted by micro$awful, so i wrote to the host provider to see if there was something that could be done to reverse the problem.

the host provider’s response was to accuse me (and my mailing list) of sending spam, and they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sending spam. 😒

they generously offered to set me up with a new IP address instead of arbitrarily closing my account, but the new IP address they gave me didn’t have a PTR (pointer) record, or a RDNS (Reverse DNS) record, which only made the machine that controls the email list mad, because usual mailing lists have a PTR and a RDNS record, and the end result was that i was blacklisted by a number of services with which i have been exchanging emails without a problem for years.

fortunately, these other services were ones for which i could submit delisting requests myself, which takes the host provider and their sensitivity about spam and spammers out of the loop.

nevertheless, i started losing patience, and i might have said some things in my communications with the host provider which ended up making things a whole lot worse, ending up with yesterday, when they asked me to move my web sites to a different host provider immediately.

at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, the PTR and RDNS records that they installed on my new IP address took effect, which meant that i can no longer send email from my local email client, because it’s not the same server that my VPN has been talking to for more than a year, and i lost it. i didn’t actually curse at them, but i did everything but that.

while i was in the process of figuring out that it was my VPN that was my primary problem, i had, simultaneously, to explain the mistake to the guy who sent the original message, re-assure the members of the mailing list who were trying — and failing — to send messages to the list that they weren’t actually the problem, despite the fact that their email addresses were not interacting correctly with the mailing list, and fend off the more and more insistent demands that i leave, immediately, from the host provider.

long story short, i didn’t sleep very well last night. 😠

at about 3:30 this morning, i finally wrote a letter to macque, saying that i was no longer able to host the web sites he has me hosting, i was no longer able to maintain the mailing list, and that i was retiring from the hosting business.

then i checked, once again, with micro$awful, and determined that I HADN’T ACTUALLY BEEN BLACKLISTED AT ALL!

the WHOLE THING had been caused by “demons” in the machine! 😖

and, to top things all off, we’re scheduled to go to the beach for a week, starting monday, which meant that, if i was going to move, i would have to find a new host and give them the information they need to move my web sites in 3 days, or wait a week, and do the same thing when i got back from vacation. both of these options made going on vacation TO BEGIN WITH not a very exciting prospect, and i was getting severely depressed about it.

and, to put the cherry on top, it turns out that sketch, the drummer for Snake Suspenderz, died yesterday, which made me even more depressed… primarily because he, being dead, didn’t have to worry about all the CRAP that has been going on in the world, while i, being not dead, had to deal with seven times MORE CRAP and had no say in the matter, whatsoever.

then, things started to get better… kind of…

the first thing that happened is that, when i told them that i would be moving my web site in two weeks, that micro$awful hadn’t really blacklisted my IP address, and that i had dumped the client that had caused the whole fiasco, they let up a little bit, and allowed that, since i had paid access until july, that i could stay until then. with a bit more discussion back and forth, they relented even further, and allowed me to keep my web sites where they are.

but i’m still giving up being a host provider for people who don’t know how it works, because it’s WAY too stressful.

so, in the end, i can go on vacation without having to worry about internet SHIT, either while i am on vacation, or after i get home; i will no longer have to deal with people who don’t know doing things that they shouldn’t do and feeling awful about it afterwards, and i won’t ACTUALLY have to move my web sites that aren’t going away anyway (which is an entirely different ball of wax)…

but sketch is still dead, which means that, either, Snake Suspenderz will break up, or that we will find a new drummer… neither of which are very attractive alternatives at this point.

hrmph!

i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.

during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.

i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.

and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.

now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒

snarl!!! 🤬

one of the down sides to vaping, as compared to smoking, is that, every now and then (even under the best of circumstances), i have to charge my battery. the “newer” battery models (and quite a few of the older ones, as well) have a micro-USB connector that you plug into a micro-USB charging cable — which are ubiquitous — and then plug the cable into a USB outlet, in your computer, in an outlet strip, in a USB charger, or in a brick in the wall.

i don’t have one of that variety.

the variety of battery i have takes a special type of charger. i suspect that it’s just a matter of swiching out the micro-USB connector (which frequently fails anyway) for a “screw-on” charger, but i haven’t taken apart a micro-USB charger (yet) to find out. it looks like this:

screw-on charger
screw-on charger

the problem is that, after a while — usually somewhere between 3 days and 3 weeks — they just quit working. when you screw them on to the battery, the light turns green and nothing happens.

i finally got tired of having to go and buy a new charger every couple of weeks, so, in desperation, i took one of the no-longer-functioning ones (of which i have MANY) apart, to see what makes it tick. what i found makes me want to spit!

what i found was cheap, probably chinese electronics, with two wires coming out of the charging end, which i expected. what i did not expect was that the wires WEREN’T EVEN SOLDERED to the screw-on attachment, which had a hexagonal piece on the end, which locked into the plastic case to prevent it from spinning.

not soldered wires! >8(
not soldered wires! >8(
the black wire was just layed down, flat, and the screw-on connector was laid on top of it, and the red wire was completely disconnected from the connector, which — naturally — prevented the charger from doing anything other than sitting there with a green light, looking pretty.

THIS IS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE!!! 🤬

they build these things, EXPECTING them to fail, so that people will have to go out and buy a new one! 😠

i don’t have time, right now, but i am fairly good at soldering wires, and you can bet that, when i have the time, i am going to jigger up one of these gadgets that has BOTH wires correctly soldered in place, and take them to local vape shops and see if i can sell them.

’cause this is RIDICULOUS! 😠🤬😠🤬😠🤬

i knew it was going to happen eventually…

16 years ago, in 2003, hybrid elephant requested, and was granted a paypal “business” account.

i never trusted paypal to do what they claimed to be so good at, so i didn’t keep any balance in my account. i had it there so that people — even people without paypal accounts — could pay me with a credit card, and i didn’t have to worry about checking whether they actually, you know… had a credit card, and that sort of thing.

i had the paypal account as a convenience, and, at first, because there wasn’t anything else like it available for “small” businesses like hybrid elephant.

a few years ago, when i had my web site “professionally” re-designed (my skills with HTML went out the window once i had my brain injury), i switched from using paypal for payments to me, to using stripe for payments, primarily because i hated paypal so much. stripe is only slightly better than paypal, but, significantly, they’re not paypal, which, for me, made all the difference.

since then, i’ve only used my business paypal account for payments to host providers, registrars and web designers, and for a few purchases of tools and materials… and nothing else.

—–

this morning, i woke up to email that said “Your account has been limited”.

immediately, i figured it was spam, but then i looked at it. the last time paypal posted such things online, they posted a few pointers for distinguishing real paypal email from fake paypal email. they included things like “real paypal email will address you by your full name, and not by “member” or something like that”. this email addressed me by my full name, and informed me that i had violated their acceptable use policy, and because of that, they were permanently closing my account.

😒

i contacted my current web designer, who was of the opinion that it was spam/phishing, and recommended that i log in to my paypal account and call them. i logged in to my paypal account, and was immediately transported to a new page that said

You can’t use PayPal anymore

At PayPal, we value a safe community for our customers to do business. We noticed activity in your account that’s inconsistent with our User Agreement and we no longer offer you PayPal services.

Any bank or credit card information linked to your PayPal account cannot be removed nor can it be used to create a new account. You can still log in and see your account information but you can’t send or receive money. Any money in your balance will be held for 180 days, after which we’ll send you an email with instructions about transferring your money.

😒

so, i called them, and, after waiting on hold FOR TWO FUCKING HOURS an “agent” told me that i had been found guilty of violating paypal’s appropriate use policy and there was nothing i could do to change their decision to ban me from their service. the “agent” also informed me that i would be unable to use that credit card number, or email address, to establish a new account in the future. when i asked them to give me some idea of what i had done to deserve such a punishment, they told me that in order to find out what i did, i would have to “seek legal counsel, and file a subpoena.”

at that point, i yelled “FUCK YOU” and hung up.

😠

they said they’ll send me any balance after 180 days (because they want to get all the money they can from your account before they close it), but, because my account had zero balance, the next thing i did was to contact my bank, have them put a hold on any further money going from my account to paypal, disconnect the card that paypal hasd, and issue a new card, with a different number.

at this point, i feel like i deserve this: i only yelled “fuck you” one time, and it was appropriately directed… and i handled the rest of it a lot better than i would have 15 or 20 years ago…

adulting award
adulting award

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex
by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226
download here

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠‼

monday, i got a text message that said i should expect a fedex delivery on tuesday that required a signature.

tuesday i waited at home ALL DAY, and my package never arrived…

which didn’t surprise me an awful lot, since half the state was at a standstill because of the weather, but that, to the contrary, notwithstanding…

i called and requested that the package be held at the distribution centre, because, even under the best of circumstances, fedex delivery drivers have a less-than-exemplary record when it comes to deliveries to my address… they told me to call again tomorrow.

wednesday i called, again, to request that my package be held at the distribution centre. the helpdesk moron told me that it wasn’t even in my state yet — it was in troutdale, oregon (BIG surprise 😒) — but that my request for the package to be held was in the system, and that i would get a phone call or text message when the package had arrived at the distribution centre.

thursday (today), i got a text message AT FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING informing me that my package had been put on a delivery truck, and was going to be delivered to my address by the end of the day.

fedex drivers have EXTREME DIFFICULTY finding my address, under the best of circumstances. but today, there is enough ice, snow and slush — despite the fact that it hasn’t snowed since tuesday — that, even if they COULD find my address, they couldn’t drive their truck to my house, and would, very likely, have to park two or three blocks away and deliver it on foot.

which they won’t do. 😠

so, i called AGAIN, to find out why this had been done, in spite of the fact that i had requested it not be done this way. i was informed that the shipper had “put restrictions” on the package, which didn’t allow fedex to do anything but deliver it to my address.

i asked them why i wasn’t informed of these restrictions the first time i called, on tuesday, but they couldn’t answer that.

i asked them why the shipper is allowed to put restrictions on a package that the recipient can’t change, in spite of the fact that it is the recipient’s property, for which he paid, but they didn’t have an answer for that, either.

they said that if i show up at the distribution center between 5:30 and 9:00 pm this afternoon, the distribution center MIGHT let me have the package. if not, they’ll try to deliver it again tomorrow.

they won’t leave the package (and if it’s what i think it is, i don’t blame them), but i have things to do today, and can’t sit around all day like i was able to on tuesday. if i go to the distribution center this afternoon, they don’t have to let me have the package, in spite of the fact that it IS MINE, AND I PAID FOR IT! if they try to deliver it tomorrow, they’ll very likely run into the same snow, ice and slush that they’ll run into today.

so, in the past five minutes, i have gotten another text message, informing me that a “delivery exception” has taken place, and that they will try again tomorrow. i called AGAIN and informed them that nobody had been to our house, but the delivery had been delayed AGAIN. they called to “get authorisation” for me to pick up the package, and they were able to obtain it.

now, my package will be available, at the distribution centre

AFTER EIGHT PM THIS EVENING!!!

i don’t know about anybody else, but if i’m not performing, or have some other obligations, i like to end my day around 6:30 or 7:00, and by 8:00 i’m pretty much done for the night…

it would be SO much easier if we weren’t so reliant on “modern technology”… 😒

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠😠😠😠😠😠

ETA: it was what i thought it was: my new 12.9″ ipad pro, which is going to take the place of my 3 music notebooks weighing a total of 40 pounds, which i am forced to carry with me when i go anywhere with my tuba or trombone. this is definitely going to lighten the load a substantial amount…

BUT… i picked it up by going to the distribution center around 5:30 and waiting. they searched for it, and had it to me by 6:30.

now, i say @fedex #SUCKS for not having their shit together AND having their head up their ass! 😠😠‼‼

#WTELF?????

okay, i’m confused… it was my impression that, when police are called because person A has shot person B, that, by definition, we are talking about what is called a “crime”.

there’s this item at Raw Story, Three killed, four wounded in California bowling alley shooting about the police being called to a bowling alley, where they discovered multiple shooting victims, including three who are dead, and no suspect available.

to me, that sounds like it is definitely what they would call a “crime scene”.

but, here’s the thing:

The Torrance Police Department said officers responded to a shot-fired call at the location found multiple gunshot victims. Two men were taken to hospital, two opted to seek their own medical attention, and three were pronounced dead at the scene.

if they were part of a crime, and shot at the crime scene, why were they allowed to “seek their own medical attention”? wouldn’t the fact that they were part of a crime scene necessitate the police wanting to know everything possible about their gunshot wounds?

… which includes records that a doctor at a hospital could easily, efficiently, and accurately provide them, but which usually aren’t accepted by the person, about themselves, after the fact…?

especially if people, you know, actually DIED as a result of this “crime”…?

😕

it is as though the police are, essentially, saying “oh, yeah… some guy shot and killed three people and wounded four others, but don’t worry, it’s not a serious crime that we’re talking about here.”

😒

THIS is why nobody respects cops

this is scary dangerous!

i got a very alarming email today, from lara trump. it said:

President Trump will keep cutting through the fake news filter, and deliver our message straight to YOU — the American people. Now he wants to be sure that you’re all signed up to get REAL NEWS UPDATES straight to your phone.

SIGN UP NOW
The more we can bypass the fake news media, the less power they have to manipulate the news, distort our message, and unleash a flurry of attacks aimed at distracting us from our agenda.

It’s time to take power into our own hands. So please, sign up for texts today to get REAL NEWS straight to your phone.

Lara Trump
Senior Advisor
Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

so, drumpf is encouraging people to get the news straight from him, so they won’t be “distracted” by the truth…

and she’s the senior advisor for "donald j. drumpf for president, INCORPORATED"…

i sure won’t be signing up for it, but i get the distinct impression that a whole bunch of american citizens will. 😒😓

MA⸘G‽A

MAGA — or Make America Great Again — has become the rallying cry of the right wing, these days, but i have a few questions about whether america was that great to begin with, compared to other countries.

first, i have to consider how we determine what “great” actually means? how is america more “great” than france, or india, or estonia? what measures do we use to determine how “great” a country is, compared to another country, especially when there are countries that have more than a million citizens, and, at the same time, there are countries that have only a few thousand citizens. presumably, they’re not saying that a country is “more great” because it covers more of the surface of the earth, or that it has more occupants than another country.

it has always been my impression — and this was the case WAY before #drumpf was president — that a country is sort of like a football team, or a soccer team: you root for the people who are the closest to where you are. in the same way, barring any other difference, a person who was born in germany thinks that germany is the “greatest” country, and a person who was born in ethiopia thinks that ethiopia is the “greatest” country, regardless of ANYTHING ELSE that may be different about those two countries, compared to each other.

to continue, my impression has also been that, pretty much regardless of what the german, or ethiopian, may say about what the “greatest” country is, a person who was born in america would, very likely, disagree with them, which makes me wonder what a person from another planet — let’s say “jupiter”, for conversation’s sake — would think about these earthlings and their petty squabbles over whose piece of earth is “greater” than anywhere else on earth.

from a person from jupiter’s point of view, ALL places on earth probably have good points and bad points, some places on earth are probably more scenic than others, more crowds, or more serenity, but, from the point of view of someone from jupiter, they’re all just places on earth: nice places to visit, but why would anyone want to live somewhere other than jupiter?

forget “Make AMERICA Great Again”, lets “Make EARTH Great Again”! earth is the only planet we’ve got, and if we ruin it, we don’t have another planet upon which we can fall back…

but that brings up my next point: how can we say that earth is the greatest planet in the solar system? if ANY of the other planets weren’t there, or some other planet WAS there, life as we know it on earth would, very likely, be considerably different. and, of course, if the sun wasn’t there, or was in a different place, or a different size, life as we know it on earth may not have come into existence at all, in the first place. so how can we be so egotistical as to say that “earth is the greatest planet in the solar system”? all it would take would be for one thing to be slightly different, and the world that we know would be unrecognisable.

personally, my belief is that we would all do a lot better if we were to give up the notion that america ever has been “great”, if for no other reason than it would necessarily make every other place on earth “less great”.

america is the place where i was born, but i don’t hold some attraction to america that i don’t hold for every other place, even though i haven’t even been to those other places. for me, america is not, and never has been “great”, it just “is”… in the same way that jamaica or ethiopia or denmark just “is”. nowhere and nobody is “greater” than any other place or person, just as nowhere and nobody is “lesser” than any other place or person: they all have value.

the sooner we realise that, the more likely it is that we will be able to do away with #drumpf and his ilk.

WTELF

which stands for “What The Ever Loving Fuck”…

it’s a good acronym. i’m going to use it more frequently.

in the mean time…

—–
RE: payment?
From: Sales <[email protected]>
To: salamandir <[email protected]>
Date: 180806 08:13 am

We do not accept payment over the website.

Once your order is processed we will contact you with any questions, your total, and to collect payment.

We do not utilize PayPal, however we can do your Master Card.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
—–

they don’t accept payment over the web site, AND they don’t accept paypal?

it takes a little longer to fulfill my order — which i made on sunday, they haven’t “processed” it yet, although they have “confirmed” it…

but this seems to be my kind of business! 😉 👍

american’t

things that have been happening recently, that are reasons why i don’t want to be here any more:

#drumpf has finally got his “muslim travel ban” to stick. apparently, third time’s a charm.

“zero tolerance” and “family separation” for brown people, but, apparently, not for white people who show up at our borders “illegally”, whatever that means. criminal charges for the parents, regardless of why they’re really showing up, and separation from their children, simply because they thought that american’t would be better than wherever they’re from.

rumours of between 2,000 and 3,500 children who have already been separated from their parents, with no obvious way to reunite them with their parents. rumours of toddlers being forced into courtrooms to defend themselves.

and it’s all “the democrats’ fault”, but it would go away immediately if the democrats would agree to taxpayer funding of the wall on the mexican border… which mexico was supposed to pay for, but which mexico has flatly refused to pay for…

drumpf has announced a tariff on imported solar panels, and is encouraging the coal and oil industries, while saying that human-caused climate change is a myth.

they’re in the final process of more than decimating medicare, food stamps and welfare, while giving massive tax-cuts to the one percent, who have been buying up stocks rather than letting the wealth “trickle down”, like it failed to do the last time we tried it.

net neutrality bit the dust last month, and the only reason why things haven’t gotten worse IMMEDIATELY, is because washington, and a couple other states, went against federal mandate and imposed their own net neutrality legislation, which is bound to cause problems (drumpf has specifically said it will) when washington needs help from the federal government at some point in the future.

drumpf has announced the creation of a “space force” to augment an already heavily bloated military, while cutting things we actually need, like health care, education and housing.

anthony kennedy just announced that he will be retiring from the supreme court next month: drumpf is going to get to appoint ANOTHER supreme court justice… which means that we’re going to be battling against his repressive policies (specifically, abortion rights and same-sex marriage) for at least another 20 years beyond whenever we finally get him out of office.

yet another mass shooting by a white, american guy, who was taken alive, unlike what would have happened if he were brown. drumpf offers “thoughts and prayers”, but no actual action to bring these white, american guys into check. meanwhile, another unarmed black guy who was minding his own business, but “matched the profile”, is killed by white cops who won’t face any consequences for their actions, because they were afraid for their lives.

americans, generally, encouraged by SCROTUS drumpf’s very blatant actions since he weasled his way into office, have gotten more blatantly racist than i have seen since i was little. sure, there are more cell phone photos and video recordings of these things for me to see, but i don’t remember seeing blatant racism like this, even during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

seriously, drumpf is systematically destroying everything that made this society even remotely worth living in. this is why i wish i had died when i had the chance.

bleh

new year blah. had dinner at the akers’, went to bed at 10, and listened to the neighbours blowing stuff up and frightening the animals until two in the morning.

#SCROTUS #drumpf threatening to blow up the world… again… among other, somewhat less horrendous alternatives… blah, blah, blah.

panto blah, sickness blah… i’m actually just starting to feel relatively normal, after having the season’s cold compounded by being around panto people who all have similar colds, for about a month. the panto, itself, is as good a show as we’ve ever done, considering that we’re doing the same show, cinderella, with essentially the same script as the one we did 10 years ago. however, they’ve sold the palladium and nobody’s told me what they’re going to do with the moisture festival, for which they’ve already scheduled the bands: the philharmonic is one of them, snake suspenderz is not. 😕 blah… everybody’s acting as though the moisture festival is happening, but nobody seems to care where it’s theoretically going to happen. it would be great if we could continue using the palladium, but if we’re not, presumably someone has started making arrangements to have it somewhere else.

bleh.

bleugh…

i’ve been sick for the past couple of days. i hope i’m going to be well enough to perform in cinderella on saturday, because that’s when it starts. dress rehearsal is tomorrow, and i haven’t even marked all of the sound effects or where to use them, so it’s going to be touch and go. i should be well enough to make rehearsal tomorrow, but i’ve already loaded the first batch of sound effects into my car. i’ve still got a huge box, plus the bell, which has it’s own stand…

i’ve volunteered to play trombone for a SANCApators performance at Teatro ZinZanni in redmond, in february. reheasals start during the run of cinderella, but the sancapators rehearse during the week, and cinderella is on the weekend, so there won’t be any conflict.

#SCROTUS #drumpf just reduced the size of two national monuments, Bear’s Ears, and Escalante, in utah, to about half of their original size. he wants to eliminate all national monuments, completely, and open the areas for oil drilling and mineral exploration. it’s probably illegal, and there’s already at least one lawsuit filed over it, but that won’t stop him from running rough-shod over it while he has the chance. DAPL has already sprung a couple of leaks, and there are lawsuits over that, as well, but you can’t put oil back in the ground, once it has been extracted… and spilled. meanwhile, there’s a rumour that democrats are going to force a vote to impeach him soon, but as long as the republicretins are in the majority, it’s not going to go anywhere. there’s eventually going to be action from special prosecutor mueller – he just subpoenad Deutsche Bank’s records concerning #drumpf’s accounts, and those of his family (although faux/fake news/jay sekulow (of the ACLJ, a “christian” hate-group) says that he hasn’t), which, allegedly, was the line across which, if he stepped, #drumpf had vowed to fire mueller, but it just happened this morning, so there’s no news on whether he will actually follow through. my personal opinion is that, if he fires mueller, i’m going to start fomenting revolution, and i’m not alone. on the other hand, if he doesn’t fire mueller, then he can definitely be more easily impeached, because his criminal activities, not to mention his treason, will be much more obvious… but once #drumpf is impeached, we’re going to have to impeach pence, and ryan, and the whole list of “republicans all the way down” before anything is going to change… and the only other option is for mueller to declare the 2016 election null-and-void, because of #drumpf’s treason and collusion, but, by then, it’ll be too late to do it over… and it’s never been done before, so nobody’s really sure whether or not it even CAN be done…

i want to be the person he shoots

people suck! 😠

when you’re out for a walk, and you see someone walking a dog on a leash, and it’s OBVIOUS that the dog is in pain, and it’s OBVIOUS that the person on the other end of the leash is TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS about the condition of their dog… how do you respond?

according to my wife, the veterinary technician and veterinary hospital manager, whose specialty is animal behaviour, there’s not an awful lot you can do about a situation like this.

so, anyway, i was out on a walk, and i saw two ladies with dogs on leashes. one of them, the lady in front, had a smaller, black dog that was acting more or less normally, ahead of its human, sniffing the ground, doing normal dog things.

then there came the lady behind. when i first noticed her, she smiled pleasantly, as she was pulling the dog leash over her shoulder, and leaning into it, to get the dog to go faster. it was plain, from her behaviour, that the dog wasn’t pleased at all with the idea of going any faster, because she had to maintain constant pressure on the leash to get him to go as fast as he was.

then i noticed the dog…

i have never felt so sorry for a creature so quickly… the dog was OBVIOUSLY in pain…

he was a medium-sized yellow lab, or a lab-mix of some kind. he was panting, heavily, and drooling almost to the point of foaming. he was an older dog, who used to be a lot fatter than he is now, because he had a lot of loose, flabby skin around his belly. there was something seriously wrong with his hips: his lower abdomen looked distended, and he was walking stiff-legged, taking tiny steps and doing most of the motivating work with his front legs… and it looked like he’d been doing it for a while, because his front legs were a lot more muscular.

as they were passing me, once again, the woman put her shoulder into dragging the dog faster than he, clearly, was able to go. he whimpered, and attempted to waddle faster, which he was clearly not able to do.

never have i wanted, more, to deck someone. 😡 i had to hurry away before i did something stupid, because, if i had hung around any longer, i WOULD HAVE done something stupid.

smoke

that’s right, smoke. as in “from a forest fire”, not “smoking pot”.

the air quality is as bad as it was last week when i wrote about being depressed because of climate change, only then it was from fires in canada, and this time it’s fires in cle elum. because #drumpf is so enamoured of screwing things up, i’m guessing that climate change is going to become a more-or-less permanent feature of life on earth, and i’d better get used to it… but DAMN it’s hard. 😡 🙁

i don’t even know where to start… he’s said that there were “two sides” to the story about the woman who was killed by a so-called “white supremacist” who drove his car into a crowd of protesters, and he’s emboldened the KKK and the nazis to be even more blatantly horrendous than they have ever been in my lifetime, he’s repeatedly ranted at south korea for doing things that south korea has been doing for years, and he’s got us on the brink of world war 3, he cancelled the infrastructure projects that would have at least partially saved texas from the results of hurricane harvey, and once it was over, he hustled down to houston with his (third) wife who was wearing stilletos, and congratulated people for turning out for his “rally”, he’s gone through three communications directors, he’s fired most of his advisors, which is good because most of them were blatantly obvious nazis, but it’s bad because it leaves him without advisors, and more likely to pull some blatantly horrendous horseshit out of his ass, like his recent attempt to ban transgendered troops from the military, or his attempts (plural) to ban muslim immigrants, which is one of his campaign promises, or his attempts (plural) to build a wall between the US and mexico, and have mexico pay for it, another one of his campaign promises, which mexico has repeatedly and emphatically refused to do, so he’s trying to get the US to pay for it…

i’m generally a pacifist, but i’ve been siding more and more with the antifa, these days. 😡

salamandir update

i haven’t been writing much because i’m severely depressed, and have been for some time.

the primary reason is #SCROTUS, who has, once again, alerted the world that, at his leisure, he’s going to dump the entire nuclear arsenal of the united states — his exact words were “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” — on a country about 0.013 the size of the united states (north korea), because their “crackpot leader” has been spouting off again. personally, i’d put #drumpf and kim jong-il in the same boat, in terms of being totally insane. and, of course, kim jong-il responded by saying drumpf’s proclamation was a “load of rubbish” and announced a missile test that is going to end 30 to 40 miles off guam. as much as i disliked the gentleman (an alert reader will notice that i don’t refer to drumpf using that term), when obama was president, i could sleep through the night knowing that, when i woke, world war 3 would not have started. 😡

this whole mess was compounded by the fact that i went off 5HTP while i was at OCF, and, apparently, it’s a medicine that you have to take for a while before it starts working. it’s been a month, and i’ve been taking it again for about 3 weeks, so i’m assuming that it’s taking effect — as before, i’m aware of the fact that i’m depressed, but i can function, more-or-less, anyway — but the whole thing with drumpf, ending the world, messing with my (lack of) health insurance, being an ignorant, racist asshole who golfs while the world — which he set on fire — is burning, really doesn’t inspire me to do an awful lot. 😕

this has also been compounded by the fact that climate change has gone from the wettest winter on record, to the longest period without rain on record, and, because of the fact that there have been massive forest fires in british columbia, the weather has been hot and smoky for about a week. i was in tacoma the other day, and i haven’t seen that much smoke there since the infamous “aroma” days. i was in seattle, yesterday, and it was so smoky that i couldn’t see west seattle from I5. the air-quality rating has been “unhealty” for two days… in SEATTLE!! it’s the worst i have EVER seen it, and it’s just going to get worse… and they’re not predicting rain until — MAYBE — sunday. 😡

but because of the fact that drumpf appointed one of his oil-company cronies to the head of the EPA, they are no longer allowed to use the words climate change, which, to them, means that it doesn’t exist. 😡

a ray of hope, snuffed out…

to continue the post started here, it appears that #drumpf “leaked” code-word-protected intelligence about the current US fight against #daesh to russians, and the media is all up in arms about it. the washington post (a decidedly UN-“fake news” source) reported about it in detail yesterday…

but drumpf and his surrogates have stated that this is 100% false — however, after saying that it’s 100% false, drumpf actually tweeted an admission that he had, indeed leaked classified information — but they are bolstering this claim by saying that he has the right to do so, because he’s the president.

Trump Says He Divulged Intelligence to Russians Because He’s Such a Great Guy

furthermore, there have been several other “legitimate” news sources that say that drumpf is a “shoe-in” for the 2020 election, in spite of the democretins gearing up to regain the majority in the 2018 election.

i’m not sure how the world is going to survive eight years of oprobrious orange “leadership”, but if this goes on much longer, it’s looking as though I won’t survive that long. 😡

a ray of hope…

a ray of hope that could very well be the headlight of an oncoming train…

turns out comrade drumpf is under investigation by the FBI. so, like the legendary nixon before him, he fired the director of the FBI this morning.

yeah, that’s not the same as admitting that he’s done something wrong, but if it walks like a duck…

it’s just a matter of time before he’s EX-president drumpf, and it can’t come too quickly for my liking.

the only problem is that when comrade drumpf gets arrested and/or impeached, the next toadie in line is pence, and, while i hate drumpf with a white-hot passion, pence would be 10,000 times worse.

neighbours

i’ve had some difficulty with some of our neighbours… not the ones that live around us, but ones that live further away. one lady was kicking her dog, and when i scolded her for kicking the dog, she suggested that i should kick her, so i did… poor impulse control is common for people with brain injuries, but i didn’t kick her anywhere near as hard as she was kicking her dog, and she had no reason to kick the dog to begin with… but that’s not the point…

the other neighbour is the guy a few blocks away, who i wrote about earlier, who i didn’t kick, but i felt like it, and i was left wondering how i should deal with this guy who was being a dick.

i figured it out…

this evening, as i was walking past their houses, i performed The Turkey Curse. i will continue to perform The Turkey Curse every time i walk past their houses until i am satisfied that they have been properly cursed.

people suck! 😠

i ran into another stray dog down by the park. this time i had my phone (but still no treats, DAMNIT!) but i couldn’t get the dog to come to me… if i had had treats with me, i’m sure he would have come to me, but without, he stayed JUST out of reach, and when i stood up, he walked off in the other direction. i’m fairly sure i’ve seen him before, but on the other side of the main thoroughfare, and fairly far from where he was at the time…

so, i got in my car (i was just returning home from a run to the post office), and tried to catch up to him. i found him in the front yard of the place i’ve noticed in the past, because of the fact that their car has a “HILLARY FOR PRISON” bumper sticker – i went by there again this evening to confirm that the address is, in fact, 11224 S. 384th St., Auburn, WA, 98001. i parked the car out of the road, and crouched down to call the dog to me again, and he looked like he was going to come to me, but then a guy who i hadn’t seen before asked me if that was my dog. i said no, it’s not my dog, but he appears to be lost and i want to capture him and call the number on his tag. at that point, the guy asked me if i was law enforcement. i said no, and he asked me what interest i had in the dog. i said that i was concerned because he was running loose in the intersection, and almost got hit by at least two cars. then the guy said that, if i wasn’t law enforcement that i should “get the hell out of my driveway, we don’t need your kind around here”…

i said “if you say so…”, got in my car, and spun out as i was leaving his driveway. 😠

first, i wonder if something can’t be done about dogs wandering loose in the south part of king county. this is the second time in two weeks that i have run into stray dogs that i’ve tried to rescue. the other time, i actually succeeded in rescuing two dogs, whose owner apparently lives on the same street as my new “friend”, and, if nothing else, i think i should probably warn him that his neighbour is a supreme dick…

second, i wonder what i can do about this guy. i’ve had my share of negative interactions with the local constabulary, otherwise i would call and report him for harboring a stray dog and “intimidation”. there’s not a lot that the cops could do about it, under the best of circumstances, but they could go and tell the guy not to be such a dick, and he’d probably listen to them, for a while anyway… it’s times like these that i’m sorry i don’t live closer to my friend gordy, because i have used gordy as an “intimidation shield” a couple of times, to great effect, and my impression is that this guy would have thought twice about being such a dick if i were accompanied by someone like gordy.

ketchup

i isolated 10 “good enough” tracks from the raw files, but none of them were more than 6 minutes, and i wanted at least one that was 10 minutes or more, so i’m going back to fort worden next tuesday to try it all again. i’ve also bought a recording device of my own, which should make things more interesting, if nothing else.

i woke up the other day and tried to log in to my email account and discovered that everything was offline, and when i went to the host provider to determine why, i discovered that my account had been suspended because they received a spam complaint about me… except that, when i looked at the complaint they received, i recognised it immediately as one that i had sent to an upstream provider a couple of days before, and what they had done was forward it to the upstream provider on the “From:” line, instead of reading the headers to determine that they were, in fact, the people responsible… and, because of the fact that i NEVER receive spam complaints, they arbitrarily suspended my accounts, instead of reading the headers to determine who was actually responsible. 😕 since then i have received about 10,000 spam messages, in 1000 message increments, from people whose php servers have been compromised such that, simply by reading the headers and knowing where to click, i can actually see the spammers online interface on the compromised server…

but I was the one whose account was suspended for spamming. if it weren’t for the fact that i’m still recovering from my bout of changing host servers every few months, a few years ago, i would seriously consider switching, but… in spite of everything, the host server i currently use has been better than any of the others that i have found, for the price.

by the way, here is the place to get your email headers analysed, and here is the place to get information about the IP numbers you’ll get from analysing your email headers. basically it’s the same thing that spamcop used to do. i suppose there’s a way to automate it so that i don’t have to go through all the steps to figure out who gets the LARTs, but i like getting my hands dirty, because i know it’s being done correctly this way. 😏

i have a gig next saturday with the fremont philharmonic at “dudefest” and another gig on sunday at the peace arch in blaine with the sousa band. i’m probably going to spend sunday night in bellingham… depending…

the book of farce

i have been dealing with a difficulty for some time now, in that, because of the fact that i hate, loathe and despise farcebook, i miss out on some important infrastructure in some of the bands in which i play. more and more frequently, i show up to rehearsals or what-have-you, only to discover that a bunch of stuff has been thoroughly discussed on farcebook, and i know nothing about such discussions. furthermore, there have been several changes in the way the music for the ritz is being scheduled, which includes the fact that there is now a farcebook group for musicians who have played, or hope to play at the ritz…

which makes the whole “hate, loathe and despise farcebook” attitude a definite detriment in actually accomplishing forward momentum concerning things that are of definite importance to me and my band-mates…

but it adds to the whole “hate, loathe and despise farcebook” attitude A LOT, because the more we all use farcebook, the richer mark zuckerberg and his CIA cronies become… but that’s not the point of this gripe, so i’ll keep that part out of it as much as i can… 😐

150222 Frank Zappa the Catanyway, i have a cat named Frank Zappa, who has become somewhat of a minor celebrity among my wife’s friends, and there has been significant pressure on her to create a farcebook profile for him, so i figured this would be a good compromise: i bought a used ipad to put it on, so i wouldn’t sully my actual computers with the zuckerbergian menace, and i created a profile for my cat…

and i have been up to my eyeballs in farcebook, ever since. literally, i have had it open and i have been actively scanning for at least 10 hours a day. we went to the beach, and i brought my ipad. i have had it at every rehearsal, and the only times that i haven’t had the farcebook app open is when the ipad freezes or has some other software weirdness (which is a lot more frequently than i would have expected) or when i am asleep. farcebook has taken over my life and i am struggling to get it back, because i have far more interesting things to do with my days than re-posting image macros, mild amusement over LOLcat videos and feeling outrage for about 30 seconds when some new bit of lunatic politics is forced under my nose, only to have it fade immediately upon finding some new bit of lunatic politics, LOLcat video or other image macro getting shoved under my nose.

i don’t want to lose my connections with people like Tom Noddy and Joe Zimmer, i don’t want to lose the ability to plan and scheme with friends concerning things that interest me, but i simply CAN NOT allow my whole life to be swallowed by a thing whose only desire is to suck me in and eat me. 😡

HTML formatting in email is EVIL!!

i know, i’m fighting a losing battle here, but it has to be said… 😐

when you send email, the person who receives it has to play along with your rules, or they don’t get to read what you had to say. that’s the bottom line.

when you send an email that is formatted using HTML, you are assuming that your recipient has an email client that is “smart enough” to interpret the HTML, otherwise the message looks something like this:

<body>
    <table width=3D"620" cellspacing=3D"0" cellpadding=3D"0" border=3D"0" a=
lign=3D"center"><tr><td bgcolor=3D"#F0F0F0">
      <table width=3D"578" cellspacing=3D"0" cellpadding=3D"0" border=3D"0"=
 align=3D"center">
        <tr>
          <td height=3D"16"></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>
            <img src=3D"http://s.ytimg.com/yt/img/email/digest/email_header=
.png">
          </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td height=3D"16"></td>
        </tr>

        <tr>
          <td align=3D"left" bgcolor=3D"#FFFFFF">
            <div style=3D"border-style:solid; border-width:1px; border-colo=
r:#CCCCCC;">
              <table width=3D"578" cellspacing=3D"0" cellpadding=3D"0" bord=
er=3D"0" align=3D"center">
                <tr>
                  <td height=3D"22" colspan=3D"3"></td>
                </tr>

                <tr>
                  <td width=3D"40"></td>
                  <td width=3D"498">
                    <div style=3D"
  font-family:arial,Arial,sans-serif;
">
                                <table cellspacing=3D"0" cellpadding=3D"0" =
border=3D"0">
    <tr>
        <td bgcolor=3D"#FFFFFF" align=3D"left" width=3D"50">
          <img src=3D"https://yt3.ggpht.com/-qroilmK3p5o/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAA=
AAAAA/iFjUrN4F6lA/s50-c-k-no/photo.jpg" height=3D"50" width=3D"50">
        </td>
        <td width=3D"16"></td>

      <td>
        <div style=3D"
  font-family:arial,Arial,sans-serif; font-size:18px; color:#333333; line-h=
eight:24px;
" height:"59" dir=3D"ltr">
         =20
<a href=3D"http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=3DUIzdYgZkFkg&u=3D/cha=

most people could probably read it, if they took a while, but it’s really frustrating…

also, HTML formatting takes a simple phrase like “i’m on my way. see you soon.” and turns it into two or three pages of, for lack of a better term, GARBAGE to one who doesn’t have an email client that is also a browser…

now i know that most email clients these days have software that renders HTML incorporated into their inner workings, including mine… but the important difference is that while my email client came with the ability to render HTML turned on by default, one of the first things i did was to turn that ability OFF, and here’s the primary reason i did so:

if you write an email message that is formatted by HTML, when you put in a URI, you also put in some “descriptive phrase” that is “automatically” linked to the URI, like this — <a href="http://www.somewhere.us/">descriptive phrase</a> — you don’t actually write the code out any longer, because the software does it for you these days, but that’s what it amounts to…

so, if i were to put a link to microsoft in my HTML-formatted email message, it would end up looking like this — <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/">microsoft</a> — and because of the HTML rendering capability of my email client, it would look like this in the resulting email message: microsoft.

those of you who are observant may notice that, while my link says “microsoft”, the link actually points to MicrosoftIsEvil.com. for those of you who aren’t so observant, click on the link, or (because of the fact that you’re reading this in a browser) mouse-over the link and look in the lower left-hand corner of your browser window, and you’ll be able to see the link in a pop-up window…

however, in my email client, and, as far as i know, in most other dedicated email clients, there is no such pop-up window. i could have created a special URI that automatically opens a “back-door” to your computer, and sent that URI to you in an email message with the “descriptive phrase” being something that you might be interested in reading… and because of the fact that you read it in your email, when you clicked on it, thinking that you were going to get an interesting article, you would never know that i had opened the “back-door” of your computer and now have the ability to send email, AS YOU, as well as doing other things like stealing your identity, installing viruses and malware, denying service to other web sites, pirating software, and any number of other things that you Don’t Do To Other Peoples’ Computers®

things may be a little different if you’re using IMAP and a “WebMail” application, but the underlying concept is the same: some evil person impersonates somebody else (whose computer they have already compromised) and sends you a specially designed URI in HTML-formatted email, and because IT APPEARS TO BE from someone you trust, you click the link without looking at where it points to first, and…

BOOOOOM! you’ve got a big mess that you don’t have the first clue how to clean up… and, because of the fact that i’m a computer geek, i get more than my share of phone calls saying “hey, can you help me? my computer is broken…” 😐

and about 95% of the time it’s because someone wasn’t paying attention when they opened an email message.

so PAY ATTENTION, because i have a tendency to “fix” peoples’ computers by installing linux, which doesn’t have anywhere near the same vulnerability to viri that windoes’t or mac does. 👿

and, while linux is a smart operating system, it doesn’t automatically fix stupid users.

idiot…

i went for a walk this morning, and, as i usually do, i brought along a little bag of dog treats, because i don’t want to have dogs barking at me, early in the morning, and i’ve discovered that if they’re distracted by food, they usually don’t bark.

i came around the corner and met one such dog, who was behind a fence. he barked until he realised that i was passing out treats, whereupon his entire demeanor changed, and he couldn’t wait to be my friend. i gave him a treat and headed down the street, where i met a guy who was walking the other way. he asked if i walked that way regularly, to which i responded in the affirmative. he then went into this rant about this “evil dog at the corner”, who barked at him when he was walking by. he said that he was afraid of being bitten, which is why he carried mace with him, which he showed me.

i told him to look at it from the dog’s point of view: here is a strange man (guaranteed to be a person who gets barked at anyway), who responds to my presence by making sharp, barking noises, himself and adopts a defensive posture… he’s bound to be up to no good, so of course i’m going to bite him. mace just makes matters worse, i told him: you may not get bitten (you probably will, regardless), but the next time the dog sees you, he’s definitely not going to be happy, and things will probably get worse from there.

on the other hand, i said, my approach is completely the opposite: here is a similar, strange man, who makes cooing and clucking noises, gets down on my level, and offers me treats… i’m definitely going to be suspicious, and maybe i’ll bark once or twice, but i’m probably not going to bite, and if i see him again, i’ll be a lot more interested in being his friend.

the guy looked at me as though i was crazy, and went on his way towards the dog, who i could hear barking loudly as i wandered down the street in the opposite direction…

moe’s right: most dogs are better than most people… 😐

phgnaw… 8P

snake suspenderz did another gig for ERA Living on tuesday. we knew about it several months in advance, and “submitted the appropriate paperwork” so that we would (alledgedly) get paid on the day of the performance.

as is becoming rather common with gigs for ERA Living, we were not paid on the day of performance. they apologised profusely (like they did the last time) and assured us that we would be contacted the next day concerning payment.

we were not contacted. 😛

last night, i wrote a “carefully worded” email to the lady that books these gigs, and told her that, in the future, if we are not paid on the day of the performance, we WILL NOT perform!

this morning my email box is full of apologies from people i don’t even know, and assurances that we should expect a check “early next week”…

my impression is that we submitted the appropriate paperwork A MONTH AGO so that we would get paid on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and this whole business of having to wait another week because they didn’t cut the check on time is HORSESHIT

ESPECIALLY since they’re not paying us enough anyway… seriously, these gigs are for upscale retirement homes where the residents get gold name-tags, and there are huge fireplaces, libraries, catered food whenever they want, and so forth… they can afford to be paying us $600 for two hours (which is what we ask for, AND GET from other places) out of petty cash, but they only budget $400 for these gigs, and absolutely can’t go any higher…

on top of that, they consistently SCREW UP and aren’t able to pay us even $400 on the day that we perform, despite the fact that we get everything set up with them a month in advance… 😛

but if we refuse to play, the old folks who make up the audiences get whatever other groups want to bend over for their money, and, honestly, the old folks really enjoy the music we play…

i wonder how many catered dinners they would have if they didn’t pay the caterer the same way they’re not paying the musicians? 😛

snrg

for a couple of years now the fan in my computer has been making an evil buzzing noise when i first turn on the machine. i discovered that if i take a bottle of canned air and squirt it into the fan, it stops… after a while…

fast forward a couple of years, and multiple cases of canned air from costco (i.e. at least 10), and it’s actually been taking longer and longer to get the fan to quit buzzing, and the buzzing has been getting more loud and evil sounding, especially since i re-oriented the box, so i finally decided to open it up and see if i could fix it.

i found a lot of dust… which i cleaned out outside, because i’ve had previous experience with trying to clean dust out of a computer while inside, and it results in making everything taste like the inside of a computer for a couple of weeks… 😛

but it didn’t stop the buzzing, so i broke down and bought a new fan.

it cost me $9.00. 😐

i don’t know why i don’t just put my computer in a place where it’s relatively easy to disconnect and clean, apart from general laziness and lack of caring, and i wonder about the habit i have of stacking stuff on top of the computer, and/or putting it in obscure, difficult to remove places even more when the solution to my problem ALL ALONG cost me less than $10.00… 😐

i’ve been working in the computer industry long enough that i should have known it was going to turn out that way… 😐

hey, bono… i’ve found what you’re looking for…

AUTOMATIC SONGS-OF-INNOCENCE REMOVAL TOOL — Apple finally sees the point of millions of disgruntled people like me. hopefully they’ll learn something from it, although i’m not going to hold my breath… 😐

also, Apple puts up support page to get U2 album out of your iTunes — Too many people don’t want U2 anywhere near their libraries

The U in U2 stands for “Unwanted”!!

😡

the U stands for "Unwanted"

Not pro Bono: Apple’s audio junk mail made spammers’ lives easier

Apple: take this fucking U2 album off my iPhone, NOW. I do not want it, I did not ask for it, it takes up space, it’s my device. Go to hell.

Just say BO-NO: Mark Hosler of Negativland on Apple’s ‘U2rusion’

Got iTunes? You got a U2 album. Here’s how to delete it.

unfortunately, it’s not how to delete it. because of the fact that it’s “in the cloud”, it doesn’t necessarily take up space on my device, but i can’t immediately delete it using any of the methods recommended — using iTunes on my computer doesn’t even show that i have a U2 album, so re-synching my device doesn’t do anything, and there’s nothing to un-check, and you can only delete something once you have downloaded it from the cloud…

i don’t use twitter, but i am outraged, and i reflect that guy’s twitter: Apple: take this fucking U2 album off my iPhone, NOW. I do not want it, I did not ask for it, it takes up space, it’s my device. Go to hell. 😡

DON’T SAY THE PLEDGE!

in honour of the eleventh of september…

DON’T SAY THE PLEDGE! — "Under God" compromises the patriotic message of the Pledge

"Under God" wasn’t part of the original Pledge of Allegiance. Those two words were added to the Pledge in 1954, when the country was in the grip of McCarthyism and communist witch-hunt hysteria.

Before 1954, the Pledge affirmed that we were “one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Indivisible means we can rise above our differences, religious or otherwise. Liberty means the right to act and speak freely no matter what one’s faith or philosophy may be. And Justice, of course, means equal rights for all, regardless of whether or not we believe in a deity. The Knights of Columbus — a Catholic men’s group — led the lobbying effort to add “under God.” Now the Pledge is twisted, with divisive religious language that implies true patriots must be believers.

With “under God” added, the Pledge is not a statement of patriotism. Instead, extremist preachers and politicians point to the language to validate their view that those who don’t believe in God don’t belong.

Religious or not, don’t say this altered Pledge
Until the Pledge is restored to its inclusive version, we can take it upon ourselves to refuse to participate in what’s become a discriminatory exercise. (Note: A Supreme Court case — West Virginia vs. Barnette — gives public school students the absolute right to sit out the Pledge, for any reason. Public schools might not tell you about this right, but if anyone questions you about sitting out the Pledge, contact the AHA’s Legal Center.)

Whether you are religious or not, you can make a statement for true inclusiveness. Support liberty and justice for all, and support indivisibility. Stand up for America by sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance until the inclusive version is restored.

STAND UP FOR AMERICA BY SITTING DOWN!

spam WTF?!?

i’ve got a directory of addresses to report spam originating from certain domains. quite a few of these domains include an upstream domain (which, theoretically, is responsible for making sure the hosted domain doesn’t send spam) that is enom dot com.

just out of curiosity, i typed host enom.com into a terminal, and it gave me 98.124.253.221

then i typed dig -x 98.124.253.221 soa which told me that rightside.co is the SOA for that IP address. whois rightside.co gave me enom dot com, which uses nameservers provided by akam.net

rightside.co or The Rightside Group owns enom dot com, and a bunch of other registry-related web sites…

host akam.net returns nothing….

[email protected]:~$ host akam.net
[email protected]:~$

however, i have a sneaky way to get around things that return nothing in my terminal, and that is DomainTools dot com. they tell me that akam.com is owned by Akamai Technologies… the people who are responsible for serving between 15 and 30 percent of all web traffic…

so, to conclude, quite a number of the people behind the domains responsible for the spam i receive on a daily basis, ultimately, buy their server time from akamai technologies.

i’ve read that up to 80% of all internet traffic is spam, and it’s all coming from a company that serves between 15 and 30 percent of all web traffic…

how does that make ANY sense whatsoever?!? 😛

grr…

apparently pierce county wants to display a banner that says "In God We Trust" in the county council chambers. only two council members (out of seven) think that might not be such a good idea…

if you know me, you should know that i’m not a “conventional” person, especially when it comes to religion. part of the reason for that is experiences like the one i had when i was twenty-<mumble-something-into-my-hand>, and i was going to a halloween party with some friends. we were dressed in costumes, i was wearing a black, horned mask with red tilaks, one of my friends was wearing a chimpanzee mask, and one of my friends was wearing a santa-claus mask. as we walked to the party, we happened to pass a “christian” “storefront ministry” called “Set Free Fellowship” which was having an anti-halloween rally. we passed by without incident, but as soon as we had our backs to them, about 10 of the “christians” rushed us, knocking me to the ground, and surrounding me, pushing me to the ground when i tried to get up. then one of them who, i presume, was the “pastor” started chanting “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved” over, and over, and over, and over… when i asked him if he could say anything else, he responded with “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved”, when i told him that a parrot could say the same thing, he responded with “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved”… at that point, i got up — they didn’t push me down again — and started wondering where my friends had ended up, and when the police were going to show up. evidently the people surrounding me were thinking the same thing, because they faded back into the storefront and didn’t bother me again. i wandered down to the end of the block, and met up with my friends. one of them had been punched and elbowed in the face. the other one had managed to call the police, who said that they would be there within 2 hours… we all agreed that we did NOT want to wait that long, and got out of there.

it is that kind of experience which goes into my feeling as though anything representing a “christian” “god” is not going to be very good at representing me.

personally, i believe siva is mahadeva. that’s fine. other people may believe kṛṣṇa is mahadeva. that’s not only fine, but it doesn’t contradict what i believe. some people believe that Jesus is mahadeva. that, too, is not only fine, but doesn’t contradict what i believe… if you can’t understand how i can believe in a God who can be more than one God, in more than one religion, at the same time, without contradiction, then you should start there and figure that one out before you criticise me for not believing in the “correct” “god”…

HOWEVER, if it belongs to a group which claims to represent me, it is my wish that they not display this banner. it is the “current” motto of our country (which it has been since only 1956) but it replaced the original motto of our country, E Pluribus Unum (which means “Out of Many, One”), and, personally, i like the old one better.

if you live in the area, i encourage you to contact the city council and tell them to vote against R2014-80.

so, yeah… that thing that was supposed to happen today…

we were going to have a new front porch installed today. it has been in the works since wednesday, when monique made the payment to the lumber yard and i demolished the old front porch. the lumber was supposed to be delivered “first thing friday morning”, and by this time we would have at least the framework for a new front porch installed.

so i woke up this morning, and wondered where the workmen, and the lumber delivery were. by 10:00, i was worried, and called the lumber yard — the first time i had contacted them. they informed me that my delivery was supposed to be delivered first thing monday morning. when pressed, they admitted that they couldn’t schedule us before monday because they weren’t able to get payment until after the delivery schedule for friday had already filled up. problem was that they neglected to inform anybody about it: not me, not monique, not the contractor… nobody.

so i called monique, who called the lumber yard and reamed the guy a new one… but what about the contractor?

that’s what i want to know… 😐

i called him this morning — again, the first time i had actually contacted him (wisely, moe has been handling everything). he wasn’t answering, so i left a message and asked him for an update when he would get started. he never called back. i called moe, moe called him, and left a message, and he never contacted her. the guy from the lumber yard called him. he never contacted him, either… 😡

needless to say, we are NOT having a deck installed this weekend. we ARE going to have to use the back door for at least a week until this whole FUMTU gets sorted out.

fortunately, i succeded in installing new door hardware that actually works, so that using the back door is actually an option, and i bought a magnetic broom and swept up the nails and screws that got discarded in the process of demolishing the porch, so that the dogs can actually go into the front yard again, albeit by a somewhat more circuitous route.

GRR!! 😡

ETA: so moe finally got a call from the contractor… at 10:30 pm here (which is 11:30 pm where she is currently)… apparently the lumber yard did contact the contractor, but nobody bothered to contact us, the customers… the contractor said that, when he learned that the lumber wasn’t going to be delivered until monday, he re-arranged his schedule to start on monday, and went fishing today… which is why he wasn’t answering his phone all day… so he’s as much to blame for this whole clusterfuck as the lumber yard goons. he said he would “try” to get our lumber order re-re-scheduled for monday, and if he can, he’ll start on monday. if he can’t… 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡

we’ve got two people scheduled to come by on sunday to bid for replacing the front porch.

bugger +1

according to this, the bug that i reported yesterday has been “RESOLVED FIXED” in Kontact 4.13.2…

i am running 4.13.1, so it should be an easy upgrade…

this guy recommends that i use PPA/Backports to install 4.13.2, but 4.13.2 is not a part of the current PPA/Backports repository, and there’s no telling when (or even if) it will be added…

in other words, they fixed the bug that i am experiencing, but i can’t get to the proper repository to install the fix because i choose not to run on “the bleeding edge” and like to keep my installation on the “Long Term Service” (LTS) version as long as possible.

ETA: i tried removing and reinstalling kontact 4.13.1… it didn’t help.

<repeated head-to-desk maneuver> 😡

1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD

1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD — the other day i was at a friend’s house when my phone rang. it was my mother-in-law, who very rarely calls me, but when she does, it’s usually something fairly important, so i answered. she proceded to ask me “tech-support-geek” questions (something about filtering spam, i think) and i had to remember not to use “computer geek” language when i told her the proper techniques. this is the woman who has to have the difference between a browser and an operating system explained to her, repeatedly… to give her a little credit, she does have a neurological disorder that affects her memory… but so do i… 😐

Tech Support Cheat Sheet

i would give a copy of this to her, except that she doesn’t understand how to read a flowchart…


Continue reading 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD

dear 183.60.243.188

dear 183.60.243.188, CHINANET Guangdong province network, Data Communication Division, China Telecom, CN.

you have been banned from this network.

TWICE.

once on 140127 and once today, 140208.

the reason you have been banned is because you tried to access a part of our web that is off limits to people who aren’t supposed to be there, in other words, the “admin” section of our web site. the reason you aren’t supposed to be there is because people who access our admin section should know the password, and be honourable and “sattvah” enough NOT to do evil with the information that resides there (which is one of the reasons why i decided to put the “admin” section of the web site somewhere OTHER than in the directory called “/admin”)…

because of the fact that you tried, TWICE to access that part of the site, without a request to lift the ban the first time, the possibility that you are EVER going to be allowed to access any of the site, at all, in the future, is, at this point, practically non existent.

get a clue, spam-boy… you’re not going to break in, so you might as well just give up.

snicker

i have owned ebeneezer dot net and ebeneezer dot org for many years… like “more than 12″… when i first bought ebeneezer dot net, ebeneezer dot com was owned by somebody else — it may have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s organisation, but i don’t remember — anyway, it was for sale, but i figured i didn’t need a “COMmercial” address for a church, so i turned down their offer of $5,000 to buy their domain.

a couple of years later, i noticed that ebeneezer dot org had become available, and i purchased that, as well, and moved my “dot net” domain to a domain — “dot org” — that was more suited for a church anyway. at that time, i noticed that “dot com” was also available, from the company that hosted it when it was in use. i still wasn’t interested in a commercial address, so i didn’t even bother looking up the price.

today, just for a laugh, i looked up ebeneezer dot com again. this is what i found:

ebeneezer dot com
Ebeneezer.com — The Leading Ebeneezer Site on the Net

dot com is now owned, apparently, by frank schilling. if his marketing department is to be believed, all i have to do is register “dot com” and the money will start pouring in… all i would have to do is pay frank schilling’s price… which, i guarantee is going to be a hell of a lot more than $5,000…

as the current, and past owner of dot net, and dot org, i sincerely doubt that is going to happen… even if i did have the unreasonable (given that i registered ebeneezer dot org, AND dot net for free 😐 ) price frank schilling is, undoubtedly, demanding for it.

also, it just occurred to me… it could very well be that the fact that i own dot net and dot org contributes to the fact that dot com is probably never going to be purchased by some upscale retailer or restaurant… i mean, who would want to be accidentally confused with this kind of nonsense… my name could be frank schilling’s curse… although, given that “His registry, domain marketplace operation and assorted name-holdings are estimated to be valued in the vicinity of $500 million”, i kinda doubt it.

i think i know too much EVER to be enticed into thinking that i can make money, solely by owning a piece of “property” on the internet. it may have been possible once (although i kind of wonder, even about those people who have made their fortunes on the net), but it’s certainly not possible any longer.

this is… amusing??

as you may or may not know from the news, george zimmerman has, once again, made headlines by doing something extraordinarily stupid for someone with as much public “rep” as he has currently, but that isn’t what i am referring to.

apparently the national report has a couple of articles, including Mainstream Media Falls for George Zimmerman HOAX – Social Media Abuzz and a poll whose question is Which Ethnicity Will George Zimmerman Murder Next?

under ordinary circumstances, i would think this was “too current” to make jokes about, but, at the same time, i think that george zimmerman deserves both to have people laugh at him, and to go to jail… and, i’m sure that, eventually, people will realise that the national report has about as much credibility as the onion, but considering how many people read articles from the onion and take them seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if someone took this and ran with it…

… which would be HILARIOUS! 👿

Don’t Like Spam? COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!

Don’t Like Spam? Complain About It. — i have been a contributing member of spamcop for close to 10 years — since february, 2004, even before i was directly involved in the electronic communications industry — and, every now and then, i get the impression that what i am doing doesn’t actually accomplish anything… so when i read an article like the one linked above, it does me a world of good to see that people like brian krebs recommends that people use services like spamcop. it is also a good source of information that i wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, like detailed information regarding the origins of the flashback worm, and the fact that people like me are labeled “abusers” by the people who send out spam…

what it comes down to, is that, if you’re fed up with spam arriving in your inbox, the best thing you can do to stem the tide, is to complain about it, early and often. you may not notice a significant change in the number of spam messages you receive, immediately, but over time, not only your personal allotment of spam will decrease, but the amount of spam everybody receives will decrease, and everybody will be happier…

well, everybody except the people who are really the abusers, but we don’t care about their feelings anyway. 😎

backwards masking

i’ve been interested in the phenomenon of backwards masking ever since i first became aware of it, which was probably shortly after it was first reported in the late ’70s. it was incredible to me that people could be saying one thing, forwards, and, completely unconsciously, be saying a completely different thing, backwards. so, naturally, when i went to college and had access to a “professional” recording studio, with the ability to record things and play them backwards, i investigated this phenomena quite extensively. and, naturally, what i discovered is that 99% of the people who talk about “backwards masking” are completely full of shit and don’t know the first thing about the subjects in which they claim to be experts… or, for that matter, any other subject.

at this point, i would be thinking “big surprise”, but, at the time, i was still an impressionable 20-something, and was under the impression that these people “didn’t know” something on purpose, as though they were lying to the rest of us, or talking from ignorance. since then i have become aware that these people are just plain stupid, and no amount of “compassionate” education will sway them from their improbable course.

i started my “education” on the topic of backwards masking with a record (remember them?) called “Flee Pasts Ape Elf” by Orchid Spangiafora, in the late ’70s. at this point, i knew what i had heard on the news-media of the time, i.e. newspapers, radio and television, but when i was confronted with this album, it gave me a whole new perspective on what they were really talking about, and i started experimenting with my own sounds. one of my first finished examples was This Should Be A Love Song in 1979, which, among other thing, demonstrated that all speech didn’t have “ulterior motives” when played backwards. i then went into a period of examining language and developing an “alphabet” of symbols that i could use to transcribe what i heard backwards into a phonetic schema that i could then, recite forwards, record, and reverse, to make intelligible speech when played backwards, despite the fact that, when i was reciting it forwards, there was no hope of understanding what i was saying. i remember working the phrase “ritsbal yeh nawkus!” into a presentation that i was giving to my cross-cultural perspectives class, knowing full well that nobody in the class knew that i was really telling everyone to “suck on a lobster”.

i have, since, become aware of people like david oates of Reverse Speech and other people, like him, who claim that people unconsciously say things in reverse that they might never say, or even imagine, if they were saying them normally. it is my impression, having studied this phenomeonon since the mid-1970s, that people are far too stupid, forwards, to expect that, even subconsciously, they would be planning their speech to reveal the innermost secrets of their lives, in reverse, at the same time. a good example of that is the famous speech given by gary greenwald, in which he claims that Aleister Crowley was one of the most feared satanists of the 16th century. quite apart from everything else, aleister crowley would have been the first person to tell you that he was NOT a satanist, and he most definitely did NOT live in the 16th century — greenwald was only 400 years off, but who’s counting? with that level of obvious scholarship, why on earth would anyone believe that anything else he has to say is anywhere close to accurate?!? and yet, approximately 51% of americans currently believe the drivel he was spouting 25 years ago.

it is this sort of thing that convinces me that i am not human: i had to have been born somewhere else, and was kidnapped and adopted by my human parents and raised as human, because this sort of deliberate ignorance on the part of the majority of people, makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

just in case there are any republicans reading this blog

the government has been shut down for almost 2 weeks, because the republicans want to defund the affordable healthcare act.

which the republicans voted to fund six months ago.

they’re arguing that “obama doesn’t want to negotiate”, but all the negotiation was completed, done, over with and ready to move on SIX MONTHS AGO and the republicans decided to change their minds at the last minute.

during the intervening six months the republicans also changed the standing rules of the house, so that only the republicans could ask that the government could be re-opened, in case of a shutdown…

and NOW they’re hoping that nobody noticed this little change, so that they can blame the shutdown on obama…

i think it’s time to dump THE WHOLE LOT OF ‘EM and put together a government that ACTUALLY represents all of the people, rather than just saying it does. 😛

Sony Super-Audio CD

quite a number of years ago, i bought a CD of “The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli” subtitled “The Glorious Sound of Brass” by the Philidelphia Brass Ensemble, The Cleveland Brass Ensemble and the Chicago Brass Ensemble. it was, i believe, one of the first purchases i ever made on a, then, brand new service called “amazon”, but the current iteration of that service has no record of my purchasing anything like that, so it might have been some other online service.

i have been playing music by giovanni gabrieli for a long time, and he is one of my favourite brass composers, so i figured that this would be an excellent addition to my music collection. however, when i received the disk in the mail, i put it into my CD player and…

nothing happened.

this was before computers had CD players on a regular basis, and the dedicated audio CD player that i had was a sony “diskman” that someone had been throwing away, so i searched around and found another dedicated audio CD player that didn’t have such a sordid background and put the disk in that and…

nothing happened.

then i took a closer look at the CD itself. what i found was this TINY inscription that said this disc is designed for use in super audio cd players only on the back of the box.

no problem, i figured. i’ll just put it into my (at the time) “state of the art” work computer (which did have a CD-ROM drive) and it’ll play there… no, i didn’t think i’d copy it into MP3 files, because this was before MP3 files existed.

but i was mistaken. it didn’t play there, either…

but it is gabrieli, and i’m sure the music is SUPERB, so i didn’t send the disk back. i held on to it, on the off chance that, at some point i would run into someone who had a “super audio CD” player.

which brings us to today… close to 15 years later, and i have tried it on every single computer i have owned, and a bunch of other peoples’ equipment, and i have STILL never heard this CD.

i have, since, learned that sony introduced the super audio CD in 1999, and by 2007 it was considered a failure, and not significantly better quality than standard CDs, but that didn’t make the fact that i have this one disk of music that i really like any easier to listen to… or copy into a format that i can listen to — which, i suppose, is what all this copyright/piracy gibberish that i hear bandied about in the news, is all about to begin with…

but, come on… this is all music that was recorded previously — the SACD is a combination of three other 12″ LP records, released between 1955 and 1980 — and i paid for the music… NOT the incomprehensible file format, or whatever it is that makes this particular disk NOT PLAY in the audio equipment that i HAVE. 😐 furthermore, i’m NOT going to buy a SACD player, which are now “audiophile” equipment, and cost anywhere up to three times what they did originally, so that i can play this ONE disk.

bottom line: does somebody out there have a SACD player that i can hook up to my computer, so i can make FLAC copies of the music? i have a digital pre-amp that plugs into my computer and has RCA inputs, and i have RCA cables, so all i need is the player, and you’d be able to get it back after i’m finished… i’d really appreciate it…

skript-kiddie stupidity

i have been getting a lot of comment-spam recently, that is along the lines of this:

{
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4}
hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view},
if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good
content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will bee {much more|a
lot more} useful than ever before.|...

i don’t really understand the purpose behind such things… moreso than i don’t understand why people send spam at all, i mean probably 85% to 90% of ALL internet traffic is spam, and, as far as i have been able to tell, only a very minute fraction of a percentage of internet users actually think spam is a good thing, but… this is a new low: a person who uses a faulty, undoubtedly third-party script to drop faulty comment spam into a blog that WILL NOT publish it the way it was received…

it makes me understand a lot more how people like ken at popehat have policies like pasting. although i’m sure that, in this case, what they’re most interested in is a hyperlink, and i’m not going to do that for ’em, because their comment is obviously spam… and low quality spam (if there could be such a thing).

put this into a perspective that we can relate to…

Don’t panic: Earth has at least 1.75 billion years to go, scientists say — saying it like that makes it seem like there’s something that we, as living individuals, could do about it. putting it into a little more realistic perspective, i.e. 100 years is 3 to 4 generations, that is 52,500,000 to 70,000,000 GENERATIONS they think we will last until the sun gets too hot…

i’m pretty sure they will have completely forgotten about me, and my son, and his offspring, and their offspring, and their offspring, before we even have to think about worrying that we’re approaching the end of the world. we have a better chance of ending the world ourselves before then than we do actually lasting that long.

get over it. the sun is eventually going to get too hot for humans to live on earth, but, unless we act a lot more sensibly than we have been the past 2000 years, we’re very likely to drive ourselves into extinction a long time before that will happen.

OY!

a while back — a year and a half ago, or thereabouts — i decided that i was going to make a separate directory, on an external hard disk, that contained all of my essential data, data that i had created, so that when i upgraded my system, i wouldn’t face the potential of losing everything when a system upgrade didn’t go the way it was supposed to… and, the last time i did a major upgrade of my system, it worked exactly the way i expected it to work, and i was very happy.

basically, instead of my “home” directory being at /home/salamandir on the primary hard disk of the computer, i had a home directory at /media/home/salamandir and everything was fine, i just had to remember to change directories when i was downloading something, because i knew (from first-hand experience) that if i forgot, and downloaded to /home/salamandir/Downloads i would have difficulty finding the data afterwards.

so i did the intermediary system upgrades on my linux box, yesterday. it wasn’t a full upgrade, but there were some more things than normal, and it “hung up” when it got to the point where it asked me if i wanted to keep the configuration file that “i” had “modified”, or if i wanted to download a new configuration file, but when i answered that i wanted to keep the configuration file that “i” had “modified”, the installation procedure proceded as normal.

then i rebooted my computer, because i like to do that, to make sure there aren’t any delayed configurations, or things that don’t get installed at reboot that aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, and that’s where the problems started.

i rebooted, and the first thing i noticed was that the external disks, including the 3TB disk that i have partitioned into a “home” and a “backup” partition, weren’t mounting the way they were supposed to. i didn’t notice this until later, but the reason why the “home” and “backup” partitions weren’t mounting correctly was because, for some (as yet unknown) reason, they had been converted from /media/home and /media/backup to /media/salamandir/home and /media/salamandir/backup

what this meant in the short run is that it couldn’t find the directory that contains my wallpaper graphics, and my “dropbox” folder was “moved” from where it was supposed to be.

this would have been an entirely different problem if i had noticed that immediately, but as it is, i tried to re-establish my directories where they should be, and succeeded only in overwriting (or something, i still don’t know what) the directory in /media/salamandir/home/salamandir — which is where ALL my data from the LAST time this happened, now lives… because i was under the impression that if i kept my data on an external hard drive, that it would be safe from random deletion and/or disasters… like this one is turning out to be.

/media/salamandir/backup (which contains backups of my “real” home directory: i.e. configuration files and nothing else) is still intact, /media/salamandir/home/salamandir-new (a directory i created when i was still trying to deal with the loss of data the last time) is still intact, but /media/salamandir/home/salamandir is NOT intact… which includes all of the printing clients that i have worked for in the past year-and-a-half, ALL of my genealogy data, a huge pile of my (irreplaceable) music files, and who knows what else.

the only good part about this whole thing is that i BELIEVE all of the data is still there: usually it takes a while for the computer to actually delete a couple of gigabytes of information (which /media/salamandir/home/salamandir certainly is), and it didn’t actually do anything that seems like actual deleting, so what i suspect is that i just overwrote the file that tells the computer where everything is, and if i could just replace that, everything would be cool…

but, so far, i haven’t been able to figure out how to do that. 😐

the last time this happened, my computer was down for 5 days, and it was only because of the fact that i was willing to let go of a whole bunch of my data that things eventually made their way back to “normal” again. i’m pretty sure i DON’T want to go through that again. 😐

i think it’s time for me to take a break from my computer for a few weeks… possibly longer… 😐

grmf! 8/

that was exciting…

for about 2 seconds… then it was irritating, frustrating and downright evil. EVIL i tell you… 😡

i woke up this morning and turned on my computer, only to discover that all of my web sites had been cracked by some adolescent script-kiddies from borneo who want the world to think that they’re dangerous terrorists.

i’m here to tell you that they’re not. they’re punk kids who use other peoples’ code to spray their graffiti and then “lulz” when people scramble to make it all right again.

Mati pucuk dan lemah, anda anjing dalam pakaian kanak-kanak.

Adolescent Script-Kiddie Ass-ociation

this guy is a real hacker… and he is so good that you punk kids aren’t even worthy to lick his shoes… 😡

oh… by the way… i’m back up and running with my web sites intact, inside 12 hours, so regardless of how big a mess you made, I WIN!! 😐

OY!

i thought i was fairly clear about my disapproval of “K2” and suchlike stuff, but this makes me wonder how muddied my explanation might be, without my knowing it… 😐

i got an email (for a change, most people call me with questions of this nature, which may be a sign that i overlooked) which said “Do you sell anything like K2?”. i responded with a link to the page mentioned above — http://www.hybridelephant.com/K2.php — and figured that would be the last i would hear from that particular potential customer…

which is fine with me, as far as i’m concerned. if someone wants to go out and poison themselves, instead of taking a substance that has never killed ANYBODY in recorded history*, i’m certainly not going to stand in their way, but i’m also certainly NOT going to sell them the poison, and i’m going to do my best to inform them that the substance they want to take, is, in fact poisonous, but if they’re still dead set, i’m not going to stand in their way…

but this is where it gets weird. i logged in this morning and found a response. the guy had written me back, and said “I checked the link but I didn’t see K2 for sale. Can you advise?”

… 😮

so i responded, yet again:

the reason you didn’t see it is because it is not available from Hybrid Elephant. i do not sell things that are deadly poisonous if you ingest them.

if you want cannabis, go out and buy cannabis, don’t buy some erzatz knock-off
that might kill you. you’ll get ripped off, at the very least.

that’s my advice.

i hope that’s clear enough for him…

because if he writes me again, i’m going to LMAO at him…

ETA: he wrote back… LMAO! 😀 apparently he “can’t find cannabis” where he lives… it’s my guess that he’s too young to know where to look to begin with. either that or he simply hasn’t looked hard enough.


* i know there are spurrious reports of people who were using cannabis and died in a car crash, or that sort of thing, but, technically, those people didn’t die as a result of using cannabis, they died because of a car crash. the LD50 for THC is 1,270 mg/kg, which works out to over 115 grams of THC (not “of cannabis”) for a 200 pound person, in a limited period of time… which is not possible in this universe… seriously, more than 10 grams of cannabis in a limited period of time, and the 200 pound person that i am familiar with would most likely be asleep, and unable to ingest any more… 😉

in reality, there have been no deaths that come about as a direct result of using cannabis by a human being, in recorded history.