Category Archives: technology

🙄

so, i decided to reposition major furniture in my office, to achieve the following results:

  1. i have to figure out how my studio is set up. i originally set it up to use with the piano/synthesizer setup, and i seem to recall doing at least one piece of music in that configuration… and then i set it up some other way, which i don’t remember, and now everything is mixed up and i can’t figure it out, because all of the connections are on the back of the devices, and in order to access the back of the amplifier, i have to move the printer, and stand on a stool, while leaning over the printer, and accessing the back upside down… which isn’t ideal. what i need is the back of everything to be as easily accessible as the front, which means moving stuff around.
  2. in the process of trying to figure out how the studio stuff was hooked up, i thought i had completely disconnected every audio connection from my computer to the amplifier… and yet, i seem to be able to play music from my computer, and hear the sound through the speakers… which would seem to indicate that there is a new/different/as-yet-undiscovered audio connection that i have overlooked somehow… (possibly the HDMI connection from the monitor, but how does it get to the amplifier??? 😕) but, unfortunately, the cables from the computer to the amplifier are accessed from the back, AND under my desk… which is REALLY not ideal… i’ve got to figure that out.

this may involve a trip to ikea and possibly a new desk, as the one that i have is a repurposed ikea table.

the reason i want to figure out how my studio works (again), is because i have recently discovered jamulus, which appears to be an audio interface that is designed to be used over internet. i realise that there’s some pretty hard physical constants that make audio connections… let’s say difficult… over long distances, but, apparently, distances less than 50 miles or so the latency is tolerable, and they get around the rest of it, sketchily, by having everyone listen to the server, and not the actual sound coming out of your instrument, and… well, i haven’t been able to busk the past couple of weeks (HVAC stuff), and i’ve been going nuts, because there are new songs that we’ve been talking about, but we can’t get together and rehearse because i have to be at home to let the workers in… and now i’ve got jamulus installed, and (apparently) working… all i have to do is hook up a microphone, which i do, but… no sound… and thus began the task of figuring out how the studio is set up.

there’s another thing i tried to get set up, but couldn’t, because of a lack of installation instructions. JamStud.io actually advertises “jam online without latency”, despite the fact that, as far as i know, scientists are still stymied by the speed of light 😉 which makes it impossible to have an audio connection without more and more latency as the distance increases… but, hey… if i could get it installed, i might be using that, instead.

You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie

THIS!

exactly, all of THIS!

this is PRECISELY the reason i prefer to use FOSS whenever possible!

i AM one of those “1990s Linux proponents” although i didn’t start using linux on my own computers until 2000 — the last version of windows i installed was W2K server. before that time, i was predominantly a mac-head. i tested windoesn’t software (testing windows is easy, because there are plenty of bugs to be found), and used linux (and unix) at work for years, but i used macs for everything else… while i was building up the courage to switch to linux on my own machine. 😉

Continue reading You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie

and to think… 😒

at one time i was a major apple fanboy… 😒

admittedly, it was back when the operating system was free, and all you had to do was go into your local computer store with four floppy disks, and you would walk out with a functioning operating system… in the early ’90s…

these days, apple has turned into a proprietary nightmare, which penalises people who buy and sell apple products without going through “proper” channels.

example:

my tablet has been needing service more and more frequently. it got a slight bend in the frame, and, apparently, the way they are made is flimsy enough that the strongest element is the screen… which breaks at the slightest breeze in the wrong direction.

my tablet first started exhibiting the symptom of “not charging” a few years ago. the first time it happened was when it was still under applecare warranty, but i took it to a third party repair shop (one hour device repair) once the applecare had expired. one hour device repair has a lifetime warranty on repairs, so subsequent times it started exhibiting this symptom, i took it back and got it fixed for free… and, usually, got a new screen in the process, because they had broken it in the process of fixing the charge port.

then, a couple months ago, someone (it may have been thaddeus, but i’m not sure) sat on the tablet (or something) which put enough of a bend in the frame that the screen no longer met the edge of the frame… at which point i started needing to get it repaired (for free) more frequently, but, on the up side, they could get the screen off without breaking it.

the last time this happened was last week. i took it in, and they diagnosed a new problem with one of the power management chips. they said that, under normal circumstances, their experience has been that once this power management chip starts to go, there isn’t anything that can be done to fix it.

🙄

so, knowing that apple sells “refurbished” equipment for EXORBITANT prices, the first place i looked was on craigslist, where i found an ALMOST IDENTICAL tablet (the old one is a 3rd gen., and the new one is a 4th gen.) for $690… which is A LOT less than i could get it refurbished (starts around $1,200 and goes up from there). i contacted the guy, and arranged to pick it up (which is what i was doing at dick’s drive in the other day). he said that the applecare subscription expired tomorrow (which is now yesterday), but he was going to extend it a month, so i could get a chance to switch it over to my name.

so, i called applecare, and (after getting cut off mid-call), i finally learned that i couldn’t switch the applecare to my name, because it had to be done by the original owner. so i contacted the guy, and arranged to meet him in issaquah. when he called applecare, they asked him his name, and the serial number of the device…

and then, they told him that it is NOT POSSIBLE to switch the applecare to anybody else. i can’t even wait for the applecare in his name to expire, and then subscribe with my name, because i am not the original purchaser.

if i had bought a “refurbished” tablet (from apple), it would have come with “refurbished applecare”, but, because i bought it directly from the seller, they didn’t have a chance to “refurbish” it, and they aren’t willing to issue a new applecare subscription.

AT ALL!

EVER!!!

🤬

apple has just lost ANY loyalty i may have still had for their products. this is totally stupid! 🤬

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts!! 🤬

i SHOULD BE at the oregon country fair, at this very moment… but i am not.

less than 12 hours BEFORE i was supposed to leave, i tested positive for COVID-19. moe tested positive, as well. 😒

i mentioned it on twit-turd™, and some random person responded “your (sic) fully vaccinated? why blame the anti-vaxxers?”

to which i responded “”your” fully vaccinated?” PLONK! 😒”

(if you don’t know, “PLONK!” is the sound that spam messages make when they are shit-canned)

however, here is my reason for blaming the antis/republicunts:

if you recall, way back, two years ago, when this whole pandemic was first starting up, the CDC came out with a statement along the lines of “if we can get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, we can defeat this.” this was BEFORE they even had a vaccine…

but there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who believed #drumpf when he said that it would miraculously disappear, and totally ignored the CDCs recommendations.

and tens of thousands DIED because of it.

then they announced a vaccine, and there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who said that the vaccine contained aborted fetuses, or some such garbage, and refused to get vaccinated.

literally MILLIONS died, but the antis stood their ground, as millions of THEIR OWN KIND were dying around them…

and, more recently, there has been the “federal” (#drumpf-appointed) judge who decided that the mask mandates for airlines and public transportation were “unconstitutional”, and the rush to re-open businesses, and the rush to “get back to normal” that has totally ignored the CDC recommendations (AND, i might add, COMMON SENSE) which means that millions MORE died…

if we had listened to THE EXPERTS about this, we would have been done with it, or, at the very minimum, be well on our way to recovery by now, but…

now, don’t get me wrong: if a person CLAIMS TO BE an “expert” on something, i ALWAYS take what they say with “a grain of salt”, particularly when they claim to be an “expert” in MY health. but i also know enough history to know that, in 1918, when we had a pandemic of the “spanish flu” (which turned out to be an american phenomenon that was first isolated by spanish doctors), BEFORE the advent of reliable vaccines, the “anti-mask” crowd was the PRIMARY reason (along with world war one) that it lasted for 3 years.

yesterday, i felt “under the weather”, and slept most of the day. towards the end of the day, i transitioned from feeling “under the weather” to feeling truly awful, but (fortunately) moe was there with over-the-counter medicines and common sense, and i actually slept through the night (which is something that i rarely do, under the best of circumstances, these days), and i feel weak, but more-or-less normal today… but i was SUPPOSED TO BE at OCF LAST NIGHT — my panto comrades are going to miss me, there are at least two pieces of music they CAN’T PLAY because there are prevelant tuba parts, and, because of the fact that i tested positive on tuesday night, i can’t even go out in public (even with a mask) until sunday or monday.

and i have ZERO compunction about naming the stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts as THE primary cause of this. 🤬

and, despite the fact that boris johnson (the UKs answer to #drumpf) stepped down as the prime minister of the UK, yesterday, i am still not holding my breath that anything is going to change for the better, any time soon.

fortunately, i haven’t seemed to have lost my sense of taste and smell: i’m currently burning incense, which i can smell, and moe made chicken soup, which tastes AWESOME, but both moe and i have commented on the “brain fog”, which will, hopefully, go away over time.

MF: one week down, one to go

220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
as the moisture festival enters its third week of 2022, they have been testing EVERY PERFORMER, EVERY DAY, and so far, NOBODY has tested positive… and there has been only one person associated with the festival who has tested positive, independant of the MF testing, and he tested positive BEFORE coming in contact with anyone from the festival…

and, as everybody has been saying, it’s really great to have a LIVE audience for whom to perform…

but i’m still terrified… not enough to stop me from plating, but enough that it is definitely making a difference in my performances: i totally screwed up the melody for Godfrey Daniels’ tune yesterday… i played the first few notes correctly, and then got totally lost and confused. i picked it up again, a few measures from the end, but, as ALL of my other performances of this tune have been exemplary, that one was a major embarrasment. 😒

one of the unintended results of playing the moisture festival is that i haven’t been able to spend as much time on “twit-turd“, with the immediate effect being that, when i logged in, this morning, there were TWO events which were “trending”, about which i knew absolutely nothing… and the more i read, the less i understood about both of them. 🤨 i’m not giving up on it (because, honestly, it’s the most contact i’ve had with people on the fringes of, and completely outside “my community” since i gave up fecesbook), but, once again, i am forced into a position where i have to examine whether or not these “social media platforms” are, really, good for me… and i get the very strong impression that the answer will be “no”. 😒

not that it’s any great surprise…

this is friday, right?

today is the day one hour device repair said they would repair my device… because they couldn’t do it tuesday, because the right person wasn’t in. so i took my device in to redmond, watched the guy open up the shop, he took my device, said the board tech would be in in about an hour, and he would text me when it was ready, and i went home.

when i got home, i got a text from the guy. he said that his board tech had called in sick, and they’d have it done tomorrow.

except that i have to, you know, USE it tomorrow… 😒

fortunately, i have printouts of all the required pieces of music for tomorrow’s rehearsal, because there’s almost a 100% guarantee that IF they actually have it done tomorrow, it WILL NOT be in time to take it to the rehearsal, and i’m still not 100% convinced that they’re not going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… which, naturally, will mean that it will be EVEN LONGER until i get it back. 😒

this time, instead of being one step forwards and two steps back, it’s actually been two steps forward and one step back. i wonder how long i’ll be able to keep up this pace? 😒

now that’s what i’m talkin’ ’bout!

i made the jump from kubuntu 18.04 to kubuntu 20.04 today, and it went smoother than i had ever hoped, in my wildest imagination… 😎

i’ve been slowly configuring the computer for about a month now, and i finally found an old debian CD that had the .deb file for sigrot, which i installed this morning… and that’s pretty much the last thing that i had to install from external sources.

my old .deb file for sigrot went away with the old cloud drive data, and they discontinued it around 2000, so it’s “no longer available”… but it turns out that i can purchase install CDs for old versions of debian from LinuxCollections dot com — apparently the modern version of CheapBytes dot com, which went out of business a while ago 😢 oh well… — and it turns out that the versions of debian called “slink” and “potato” have the most up to date version, and it works perfectly well on kubuntu 20.04…

and why wouldn’t it? ‼⁉ it’s a tiny little application that only interacts with plaintext files that I provide, and it only makes a .signature file, so it’s not relying on system calls or hardware requirements… why they would have discontinued it is beyond me… apart from the fact that, i’m fairly sure, nobody but me even uses a .signature file, these days… 😈

i already had to install gucharmap, because no KDE-based character map works as well for what i do, and i’ve also installed the “Deep Connections” gramplet in the new version of GRAMPS, which is A LOT easier than it has been in previous versions. i’m fairly sure that there will be other things that i will install as i use the machine more, but i’ve got the old machine set up next to me, and i can use its configuration as an example when i need to.

at this point, the system looks good, and the minor tweaks that it needs will get done when they come up, because this is good. 😉

but this is, far and away, the easiest complete system upgrade i have ever experienced. THIS is the way it SHOULD happen, ALL THE TIME!! 😁👍👍

also, i finally got a mouse whose third button works the way it’s supposed to, which means that, now, i have to UNLEARN the “copy-and-paste” gesture that i have been forced to use, because the old mouse had a third button that didn’t work consistently. new computers that work the way they’re supposed to, ROCK!!

urgh

so, the tablet-fixer shop got the part in, and they said i could come in any time, and they would fix it “while you wait”… so i took it in this morning, only to discover that the person who can fix it (without destroying it) won’t be in until friday, unless i want to take it to bothell…

the thing is, i’m still more convinced than not, that they’re going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… like they have, twice, in the past… and if they’re going to have to replace the screen, i would rather that the people who have dealt with me, and my device, in the past, be the ones that deal with me this time, rather than having to “break in” (so to speak) a new person, when my device gets broken… 😒

but i’ve got a zoom class on thursday, and, while i CAN do it on my phone, it’s A LOT smaller than my tablet, which makes things like responding to chats A LOT more difficult… and i’ve got the final rehearsal for the moisture festival on saturday, so if they DO break the screen, it probably won’t be fixed until after the second week of moisture festival, which is the first week i am supposed to be playing the moisture festival… which is decidedly LESS than ideal. 😒

the guy was supposed to come by yesterday and finish the insulation on the ductwork, but because of the plumbing disaster that happened over the weekend, and the EXTREME squeamishness of the guy, it turned out that he REFUSED to work, because of a little puddle of clean water that was left over from them running the hose into the cleanout under the house… 😒 our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber) came over during the actual disaster, and again, after the HVAC guy left. what the HVAC guy said made me think that there were new leaks and ground saturated with grey water, but when i and the plumber went into the crawl space, the only moisture we could find was a small puddle of clean water… the plumber said that the HVAC guy was being a prima donna and a “pussy”, and called him up to tell him so… which i thought was EXTREMELY funny. but HE won’t be back until NEXT TUESDAY!! 🤬 and they want the crawl space to be COMPLETELY dry, and clean, before they will complete the work… the thing is, the weather has been rainy for a week, now, and, even with a fan down there, the ground moisture is NOT going away. i got a 25-foot sheet of visqueen which i’m going to lay down after a couple more days of the fan being down there, but, if the guy doesn’t finish the work, then i guess i’m not going to pay them the $6,000 that we agreed on when they started. 😒

on the plus side, i met someone who, i think, is my third cousin, once removed: ryan dorward, currently from bali, but normally from vancouver, BC, otherwise known as SHARPS. he is the great-great-grandson of John Muir Dorward, the elder brother of Peter Dorward, my great-great-great-grandfather… which makes our common ancestor Robert Dorward, who lived from 1803 to 1846 in Arbroath, Scotland.

here we go again… 🙄

i’ve got a zoom class this evening, a telehealth appointment tomorrow, and a moisture festival rehearsal on saturday…

… and my tablet decided to stop charging this morning. 🤬

i got in touch with the technician that replaced the charging port (odd that this seems to happen on an almost yearly basis… odd indeed… 😒), and informed him that it had quit charging again, and he said i should bring it in. so i left an hour earlier than normal, and headed up the east side of the lake to redmond, where the technician confirmed that it was, indeed, a faulty charging port, said that they would fix it on warranty, and ordered the new part. 👍

problem is, i’m fairly sure he DIDN’T also order a new screen at the same time… and this particular model of ipad is NOTORIOUS for screen breakage when you have to open it up FOR ANYTHING… kinda like they had to do last year (and the year before) when they replaced the charging port. it turned into a two week job, during which time the screen of my tablet was BROKEN, which precluded me from using it for ANYTHING… 😒

and that can’t happen this time, because i have zoom classes, telehealth appointments, and moisture festival rehearsals AND PERFORMANCES in the next three weeks. i can get through the rehearsals and performances with my old-school hard-copy music, and the zoom classes and telehealth appointments THEORETICALLY can take place on my phone, but it will be at least three levels of hassle that i would rather avoid, if i had the choice. 😒

mind blown… 🤯


The Evolution Control Committee – Fool On The Hill, major/minor swap

so, i’ve heard a couple of other “modifications” like this: John Denver, Country Roads in a minor key“is a significant example, but, still, i gotta ask…

HOW DO THEY DO THAT???⁇⁇

seriously! 🤔

i can imagine how the key of the entire piece could be changed from major to minor, but changing the individual chords from major to minor, or vice versa, would be A LOT more work, and even if one were willing to put in the amount of work necessary to do it the way i imagine it’s done, it wouldn’t result in anywhere as “nice” sounding music… 🤷

along the same lines, Jolene at 33 is also pretty awesome. 😉 but i’ve done that…

ARGH! (A₁R₁G₁H₁)

another casualty of the cloud drive crack:

my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”

which i have been updating since my injury (2003) to help me keep track of what happened in my life, and when it happened in relation to other things that happened in my life.

my recollection is that it was a fairly complete, if compact, version of an “autobiography”, which i had been updating with new material, or changing around the position of old material when new evidence came to light, for a LOOOOOONG time… it was DEFINITELY a “working document”, and it’s gone. poof. 😩😖

a couple weeks ago, i started to rebuild it, but i’m confounded by the fact that things that appear very vividly in my memory don’t seem to match up in a predictable way with the timeline of my life. i don’t remember when important things happened:

for example, i am reasonably certain that i lived in St. Gordy’s house in 1988, but the job i remember having — working at mellowoods and music in friday harbour, doing musical instrument repair for the friday harbor traditional jazz festival — didn’t happen until 1991… and i actually HAVE a button from the friday harbor traditional jazz festival, and it actually SAYS “1991” on it, so it’s kind of hard for me to argue…

but, the problem is that i lived in St. Gordy’s house for a while, then i moved up the street a couple blocks and lived there for a year or so, then i moved into the dome in 1990, and i lived there until i moved to thillberg road, in mount vernon, with ruth…

or, when i freight hopped to wenatchee… i know i lived in the dorms during 1979 and 1980, and i moved to lummi island for 6 to 8 months, and then i moved to mackenzie street, and lived there until i moved to seattle to start the tech school, in 1984. i also know that i didn’t freight hop to wenatchee until i lived at mackenzie street, but i can’t remember, for sure, whether it happened in 1982 or 1983. at this point, i’m LEANING TOWARDS 1982, because i have calendars and sketchbooks from the early 1980s that may seem to indicate that, but nothing is written in clear enough language that i can be totally certain. 😖

fortunately, Ezra, St. Igon (with whom i freight hopped to wenatchee), and St. Gordy are still in my “contacts” list, but this whole thing started when St. Igon ASKED ME when we went to wenatchee, and that was AFTER i had already started to rebuild my list.

and ezra is in michigan with his sweetie, and won’t be back until mid-december…

FRUSTRATING!! 😖😖

goo dot gl 😒

goo dot gl URL redirect QR code
goo dot gl URL redirect QR code
a few years ago, i got a QR code from google, attached to their URL-forwarder at goo dot gl, that resolved to वृत्तिः from “Unknown Album”, which i promptly had made into a sticker, which i have been sticking to various different things, and handing to strangers i meet on the street, for a few years now.

i INTENDED to use goo dot gl’s analytics to determine how many people had hit the link, and where they were located. apparently that was only a SMALL FRACTION of the information i could receive from the QR code.

what i didn’t know is that they shut down their URL-forwarder at goo dot gl in 2018 and i only JUST found out about it.

fortunately the QR code, and the URL-forwarder continue to work, but…

goddam it, gewgel… when you stop using something important, you should make it somewhat more obvious. 😒

now, admittedly, i INTENDED to use the goo dot gl analytics, but i only logged in to see what was happening for the first time, today, so i really was NOT paying attention, but still… you would think that a company as big as the big G could be a little more public about things like this.

so, my tablet is broken, again…

this time it started out as a charging port. it was intermittent for a while, i had to plug it in a certain way, with the plug held just so, or it wouldn’t work. then i upgraded the OS to 15.x and it ceased charging all together. of course i noticed right away, since i almost always keep it plugged in to power, unless i’m actually using it for something.

i had to wait a week (with my tablet unable to charge) while they waited for a part to come in. i was supposed to pick it up today.

i heard the technician who actually fixed it, say, about 3rd gen 12.9″ ipad pros, he’d seen one with a broken charging port “last week”. he also said the job was sensitive, because switching the charge port means disassembling the screen, which is “sensitive”… which meant that they might have to replace the screen as well…

i don’t think i was intended to hear that part, because the technician was talking to his boss, but… well…

he was right.

they broke the screen. 😒

i was supposed to pick it up at 2:00, and when i walked in, the guy said that there had been an “issue” with the screen, and that i was getting a new screen, which — he said — would be delivered “tomorrow”…

the last time they replaced the screen (last year? two years ago?) their replacement “tomorrow” took around a week. and, because of the fact that they broke it, while in the process of fixing something else, they get the privelege of keeping my tablet until the screen comes in (whenever that ends up being). 😒

and, of course, i have a telemedicine appointment tomorrow… 😒 i think i can do it on my phone, but i have never done it before, so it’ll be challenging, at the very least. 😒

woo…

a couple weeks ago, i suddenly couldn’t login to my blog. it didn’t give me any of the standard “you can’t login” messages, instead it gave me half a page of code that was only partially legible (to me), and no clue what happend or how to fix it. 😱

after a good deal of futzing around, and a few back-and-forths with the host provider, i figured out that it was because i had a 2FA plugin, set to auto-update, and WordFence, also set to auto-update. when WordFence added a 2FA feature which was activated by default (generally, a good thing), and auto-updated itself, it “auto-updated” itself right into the middle of a conflict with the 2FA plugin that was already there, and active. 😱

at the time, i figured that it would be easier to delete the 2FA plugin and use the feature provided by WordFence… so i deleted the 2FA plugin, and set up the 2FA feature provided by WordFence.

except that, unlike the 2FA plugin that was now deleted, WordFence’s 2FA feature only gives you the ability to set up an authenticator ONCE, and, after that, it “assumes” that you have an authenticator set up, so it doesn’t give you the ability to set up another one.

which i discovered today, when i tried to login using my phone, rather than the tablet on which i have set up the new 2FA set up. the result was that i entered the 6-digit code given to me by google authenticator, only to have it rejected… twice… and then i was banned from logging in TO MY OWN GODDAMN BLOG! 🤬

THIS is why the web designer DIDN’T set plugins to auto-update on Hybrid Elephant! 👍

after i used one of my emergency login codes, i set the plugins to NOT auto-update, re-installed the 2FA plugin that allows you to set up more than one iteration of the authenticator, and deleted, and re-installed the blog on the authenticator on BOTH my tablet and my phone…

whew… i think that’s everything… 😕

yawn

nothing has been happening.

nothing has been happening politically, nothing has been happening socially, nothing has been happening musically, nothing has been happening in regards to the COVID virus… i now have A LOT of “free” time: every other week i have a one-hour appointment with kate, and every week i have my one-hour circus class, but that’s it. 😩

i’ve been spending a lot of time hiking on taylor mountain.

i shipped out two incense orders, today. i’m averaging between two and six orders a month, and, before i got cracked a few months ago, i actually had over a thousand dollars in my bank account… but then i got cracked, and spent it all on replacement hardware and a pile of recovered, possibly useful data.

i have expanded ZIP files for about a tenth of my fonts collection, from the recovered data. mostly TTF files, and just a small fraction of the fonts i used to have. fortunately, my recollection is that my entire >10,000 font library is backed up on CD, somewhere… i’m sifting through the rest of the recovered data slowly, and more or less randomly: it’s totally discouraging to look at this huge pile of recovered data, which took me a couple decades to accumulate, but which is now many, many schrödinger’s cats with random file names, EVERY ONE OF WHICH has to be opened to determine whether or not it’s corrupt, and if it’s not, what general pile it goes in, which all have to be sorted again, later on, and then, probably, sorted at least once more before they’re back in more-or-less the place where they’re supposed to be. 😒

so, it’s something to do, but, literally, i would rather be doing ANYTHING else… 🤬

i ordered some “performance masks” from J.W.Pepper a few weeks ago. they were back-ordered (without my knowledge), and, when i talked to a customer service drone on monday last week, i was assured that they would be shipping out later that week, but i still haven’t seen or heard anything. they’re called “performance” masks, because they look like you’re wearing a mask, but, in reality, the mask has a hole in the front, that your mouthpiece goes through, which makes it practically useless as an actual mask… but the new rule at the market is that the only buskers allowed MUST BE masked, so it’s either wear a “performance” mask, or don’t busk. 😒 but i can’t busk at all, until the “performance” masks are delivered, and, as far as i can tell, at this point, they’re still on back order, and who knows when they’re going to arrive. 😞

interesting…

fecesbook was down for around 6 hours, today… down, like, completely down, DNS not working, routes not functioning, nslookup and whois not working, domain for sale…

it’s back up, at this point, but, allegedly, fuckerberg lost 7 billion dollars as a result of the outage, and is now only the fifth richest person on the planet. still no word on exactly what caused it. 😉

FecesBook
FecesBook

however… 😒

one distinct DISadvantage to having a new, working cloud drive, is that there have been two different occasions within the past two days, where i thought of something, and went to look for the source files, thinking that i knew exactly where they were located, only to discover that they were on the OLD cloud drive… 😒

god DAMN whatever anonymous skript-kiddie that caused this! 🤬👎‼

micro$not, mshtml, and activex

back in the dark ages, when i was working at STLabs, before we moved to factoria (i.e. STLabs… so, what? maybe 1995? 1996? somewhere in there), i was testing Internet Explorer version 3.0, which meant, basically, that i was testing micro$not’s browser engine, which is called MSHTML.dll. at the time, a very good friend of mine from college, saint fred (now, sadly, passed on) was mucking about with the innards of micro$not’s operating system, and discovered a problem which had existed for several years prior to this, which micro$not had “made disappear” by changing the technology’s name from OLE — which was, itself, a “renamed” technology, originally called Visual Basic for Applications, or “VB-A” — to “ActiveX”, and, in the process of making it “disappear”, actually made it more prevalent and insidious, by making it work seamlessly with even more micro$not technology.

and, saint fred being who he was, took advantage of this by writing the “Exploder Control”, which could be embedded in a web page, or a microsoft document, and would, when “activated”, perform a clean shutdown of the computer on which it was being viewed… whether you wanted to shut down your computer, or not.

you hit this web page, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 😏

or…

you open this microsoft word document, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 🤣

i watched it happen as it first came out, before anybody realised what it was. it was hillarious! i gave the URI for the exploder control to my boss, and then went back to my workstation and listened, as she suddenly whined “it shut down my computer!” 🤣🤣🤣

and, of course, micro$not’s response to this was to threaten saint fred with lawsuits for doing stuff he shouldn’t have been doing, and when that didn’t work (because fred made sure that the exploder did everything strictly “by the book”, including getting micro$not’s signature on the control), they made the exploder control something that was detected by their anti-virus software (even though it was very clearly NOT a virus, and, actually, did everything totally “by the book”, something to which micro$not never admitted), and, once they figured out that they had caused all of this, they pulled their signature on the control, so that it raised even more red flags before actually activating it…

and, basically, did everything EXCEPT fix the problem, which, after a few months of frantic ass-covering by micro$not’s marketing department, while the tech industry had a good laugh, got swept under the rug, anyway, by more current micro$not fiascos.

but the technology remained, and every version of windows has support for activex, every version of MSHTML.dll has support for activex (which is one of the reasons micro$not got rid of MSHTML.dll a couple years ago, and current versions of Internet Exploder… um… what’s their browser called again? EDGE, that’s it… uses google’s “chrome” browser engine, instead. the browser wars are over! micro$not LOST!) and you can, literally, do ANYTHING with activex, that you could do from the normal user interface of windows, and there is, literally, NOTHING stopping you from doing this — or other, more nefarious things — given A LITTLE knowledge of the technology.

which is why, when i saw this headline: Miscreants fling booby-trapped Office files at victims, no patch yet, says Microsoft the FIRST THING i thought was “Exploder Control strikes again!”

this is one of the VERY BIG reasons i do not use micro$not on my computers. i don’t even have my microsoft 5-button mouse any longer!

i wonder if they’ll ever learn. 🙄

Continue reading micro$not, mshtml, and activex

umph!

i’ve come to a decision.

there are over 150,000 separate files, which takes up 4.5GB, in the .jpg directory alone, of the recovered data.

it took my computer half an hour of doing nothing but loading the directory, before it was completely loaded. every time i opened a file, it took 10 minutes to reload the directory.

i would have to open every one of them to determine if it’s corrupt or not, and if not (about ⅔ of the time), i would then have to determine what it is, and where to put it.

if it takes me (conservatively) 30 seconds per document to make those determinations, i will be doing this for the next 4,500,000 seconds, or more than 7 months of doing NOTHING but opening files to determine whether or not they’re corrupt… no eating, sleeping, shitting, busking or anything else, just slogging away in front of the computer.

factoring in those other things, i’m looking at a couple years, minimum. 😒

i may have been willing to do it at one time… who am i kidding, i’ve NEVER been willing to do that, for that long, for as little payment as i would get. 😒

it’s sad, but there it is: the last 6 years of my life, in pictures, and they’re all going down the toilet, along with a significant portion of my business, my music and artwork, and monique’s photos from the past 6 years.

now, do i keep the data on my new cloud drive, or do i delete it. i’ve also got it on the 1TB external drive that the data recovery folks sent me, so it wouldn’t be entirely deleted… but… 😭

this is one of the times the computer has won the battle. 😒

ETA: interesting, but extremely BIZARRE development is that, upon further investigation, there is a “.jpg” directory, and a “photos” directory, in the recovered data. the documents that are in the .jpg directory are about ⅔ usable files, but their names are gibberish, and there are more than 150,000 of them, all in one directory. however, for some strange reason, the files that are in the “photos” directory are in subdirectories that indicate the manufacturer of the camera, scanner or printer (of which there are about 50), and further subdirectories that indicate the make and model of the camera, scanner or printer (there are A LOT of them), and the files themselves, for the most part, contain the date they were taken in the filename… and, let me tell you, i have A LOT easier time figuring out what a photo is if it is named something like IMG_20061129_133315 (49EA1400).jpg than i do if it is named 80AB2B00.jpg… A LOT!

oh, alright… 😒

this is an update. what i’ve been doing:

busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉

ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.

hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.

hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬

hope? — dashed?

sorting through the mess of recovered data is heartbreaking.

i’m finding all sorts of stuff that, once i actually see (or hear) a bit of it, i know exactly what it is, and i’m starting to get things organised enough that, some of the time, i even have a place to put it, once i’ve discovered what it is…

but, then… everything doesn’t come crashing down, but…

i haveHAD a CDR album called “We Bore 2“, which was one of my favourites. it was produced in 2003 by Toast & Jam Records, which has, since, gone out of business, and their web site is now a japanese porn site… it was a “various artists” compilation of electronic, experimental, glitch music, and it was AWESOME!

i found a .RAR archive with the .mp3s for “We Bore 2”, and i was, like, “COOL!”… i expanded the archive, and put it in the place it had been taken from in my collection, and went on to the next archive.

today, for the first time, i actually LISTENED to “We Bore 2″…

yeah, all the tracks are there, but track 1 is NOT what was there the last time i listened to “We Bore 2″… and track 2 is also the same way, to a lesser extent… and track 3 is pretty messed up… and track four is mostly there, except for a patch in the middle which is totally missing… and track 5… and track 7… and track 8… and track 9… 😭

pretty much all of the tracks have something wrong with them…

and i can’t get another copy of the CD, because i originally downloaded it as a .rar file…

and, i’m pretty sure (given the huge quantity of .rar and .zip files that got recovered) that more than a few of them are going to have exactly the same problem. 😭

ETA: all is not lost… well, for “We Bore 2” anyway… it turns out i actually have the original CDR for this album… but i’m fairly sure that is NOT going to be the case with a majority of the .rar and .zip archives i have…

gress

why is the opposite of “progress” not “congress” rather than “regress”?

i got in contact with the vehicle-wrap artist that did the actual artwork for the previous car, and he, also, sent me an .eps file containing the original artwork, so i’m sure i have backed it up, now… although i haven’t backed it up to the cloud drive, yet, because i can still only access it through a web browser on my linux box, and not at all on my mac laptop… and i am worried that they’re not going to be able to make it work on my mac laptop, because i did the steps to auto-mount a network drive, at startup, and it took my password and chewed on it for 30 seconds or so, and then rejected it… i THINK it’s because the cloud drive wants me to login to /cgi-bin/ but the ancient mac will only let me login to the base server URI. and on the linux box, it allows me to specify the login directory, and accepts my password, but never gets beyond that, to actually logging me in — it just repeats its request for a username and password, over, and over, and over, and over… 😕 hopefully, when the guy comes over this evening to give me the keys, he will be able to conclusively address these issues.

ETA: he addressed those issues like a boss, and had BOTH the ancient mac and my linux box wrapped around the NAS’s little finger in about 10 minutes… the old mac, apparently, doesn’t like the domain name, and REALLY doesn’t like the fact that my username has an @ symbol in it, but it eats up the intranet IP address like it’s going out of style, and, because of the fact that it’s ONLY addressing the NAS from the intranet, i just gave it the administrator username instead of my username… and the linux box was, basically, the same, once we figured out how to do it… and connecting monique’s computer was easiest of all: just gave it the intranet IP address and everything was kosher. 😎

there’s A LOT of music in .zip or .rar archives in my recovered data, so, once i get to the point of actually expanding those archives, i will have a significant part of my music collection back… for that matter, i’m pretty sure i “backed up” my music collection to CD, around 10 years ago or so, which means that, once i find where i’ve put it, there’s a good chance that my music collection will be back to 75% to 80% of what it was prior to the crack.

the western digital support personnel that i talked to on 210724, who said that someone would be calling me “monday or tuesday” lied, because it is now wednesday, and i HAVE NOT received a call from them… which only strengthens my suspicion that they are NOT going to try to contact me until after 210731, which is their deadline for making a claim through their data recovery program. 😒

the process of categorising partially corrupt files is both time-consuming, and ultimately frustrating, because, once i have rough-categorised the files, i have to go back through, re-open every file again to determine what it is, re-name the file, and then categorise it AGAIN… and A LOT of the file names started with the date that they were last looked at, which, frequently, is a complete mystery from inside the document, so even when i have them renamed, and categorised, i still can’t complete a time-line for stuff that was modified more than once… which will, very likely, cause major headaches in the future, particularly with documens created for other peoples’ printing. 😒

seriously, whatever anonymous skript-kiddie did this to me — who has never even met them before — just for “lulz” — better hope that i don’t run into them late at night in a dark alley, because, if that ever happens, the result will NOT be positive for anyone. 🤬

on a lighter note, i got my physical copies of questionable content, the electronic copies of which were lost… i’m slowly getting everything put back together.

but i still have to rewrite the IOTM blurb about patchouli for next month, because it’s coming up really soon, and it’s the only IOTM blurb that i didn’t get back… which is a real shame, because the old one was really amusing, and i don’t know if i can remember all of what i said.

new nas

lord buckley would love this…

but, unfortunately, lord buckley was part of the data that either wasn’t recovered, is corrupted, or i haven’t found it yet because i’m dealing with sixty gazillion files that are named something like 0SVP8382U794.mp3 or 3O1458DNLWO.jpg, because all of their meta-data has been deleted. 😒

anyway, the new NAS is up and running, although not completely configured yet. i have an “app” on my phone and tablet that gives me access to the cloud drive, and i can access it through a web browser on my antique mac and my linux box.

ETA: and accessing it through a web browser is an entirely new experience for me, because, despite the fact that it’s in a web browser, the “pages” are things like the file center, which allows me to “drag-and-drop” files from my local computer, to upload them. basically it acts like a window, even though it’s technically a web page. will wonders never cease?

although i’m fairly sure linux has a more direct way of accessing the cloud drive, the guy who came by to set it up wasn’t a linux geek, and, apparently, has never met a linux geek in the general public. he was astounded when i told him that i had been running linux for 20 years… 😉

but the new NAS is WAY cooler than the old cloud drive, primarily because it is, apparently, possible to edit files while they are still in the cloud, rather than having to download them, edit them locally, and then over-write the old file on the cloud. if what i have already experienced with audio files is true, the likelyhood of my losing any MORE music is practically eliminated. also, it appears to be possible to install executable code on the NAS, and run it locally, which would make things EXTRA SUPER COOL, but i’m not 100% sure of it, yet. 😉

ETA: the NAS has, apparently, either configured itself, or something has been installed remotely that allows it to communicate with my linux system via a number of different protocols, including SMB, MTP (whatever that is — Media Transfer Protocol… who knew?), HTTPS, and bluetooth… which is really odd, because my computer doesn’t even have a bluetooth reciever, so i kinda wonder where the “Bluetooth” icon in the remote network directory came from… unfortunately, i have been unable to connect with anything other than HTTPS, even though the SMB instance takes my password and doesn’t say it’s wrong, it just won’t log me in… which is something to take up with the configurators tomorrow.

the “twisted pair” who are whipping my computers into shape doing my configuration are going to be finished up tomorrow, at which point i hope to have the more direct method of connecting on at least the linux box (if they aren’t able to figure out the antique mac, i understand). i’ve already got a lot of stuff sorted out of the recovered data, including a whole bunch of music, embeded in .zip archives, which appears to be uncorrupted, so, initially, it appears that i may not have lost everything. oh, i also discovered a bunch of CDs that have the date 4/20/13 on them, that appear to be raw .wav files of my first three cassettes, originally produced in the 1980s. if they are as pristine as they appear, then i MIGHT NOT have lost all my old music.

AND western digital FINALLY got back to me — i originally reported the loss on 210624, and, since then, i have sent the drive to texas, waited two weeks, and had the people in texas deliver the drive back to me, which arrived ONE WEEK BEFORE the western digital team (which “values your data”) got around to contacting me… 😒 they said they couldn’t help me unless i uploaded the system logs, but when i plugged in the drive, it wouldn’t even mount on mac, which means that they couldn’t even talk me through the process of recovering the system logs, at which point the issue was “escalated”, and they are, alledgedly, going to call me back monday or tuesday. at this point, i would estimate that it’s NOT particularly likely that western digital is going to call me back before 210731, which is when their web site says i have to have contacted them regarding a data loss from CVE-2018-18472… because after 210731, they don’t have to do anything about it. 😒

mrgmf!

so, according to the latest theory, a script kiddie found out about, and took advantage of CVE-2018-18472, but the bug doesn’t just allow anyone with the IP address to login as admin…

the bug allows anyone with the IP address to login as admin AND DO A FACTORY RESET!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

what this means is that the files weren’t just deleted, they were OVERWRITTEN… a factory reset reformats the drive and re-installs the operating system.

which means that the files that are gone, are gone for good. there’s no getting them back, at this point… 🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢

i have resurrected ganesha the graphic

140215 Panchamukhi Ganesha The Car
140215 Panchamukhi Ganesha The Car
last night at about 10:30, i found a couple of .eps files of the graphic for my car.

vector renditions, i.e. infinitely expandable and contractable, keeping the same line quality.

today, i confirmed that they are the original, and my modified versions of the graphic, which is excellent, because, otherwise, i wouldn’t have artwork for my NEW car…

whee? 😕

oh, definitely whee… the new car is a hybrid that gets almost 50MPG, and is only slightly smaller than the current car, although it’s white, and not black…

such is life.

i got the data

good news: i got back (most of, as far as i’ve been able to tell, so far) my IOTM club records, including, most importantly the records of who paid when, and what they have received.

bad news: i’ve checked the largest adobe illustrator documents i can find, and they’re all corrupt, which means, very likely, that the artwork for my car is no longer, and when i get a new car (which might be a lot sooner than i expected), i will have to come up with new artwork for it.

i still have A LOT of files to evaluate… like more than a week, of solid 8-hour days, doing NOTHING but evaluating files… possibly as much as a month of 8-hour days. 😒

and that’s NOT listening to music and watching videos… that’s opening files, to make sure that they’re not totally corrupt, and listening to no more than 5 or 10 seconds of the music or video, to make sure that they’re not TOTALLY corrupt, and then rough-classifying the file based on the contents i’ve seen… and then going to the next file in the list.

which, of course, is leaving me with files where all but the last 5 or 10 seconds of music or video is corrupt, but the rest of it is fine, which is almost more frustratingly irritating than if the entire file was corrupt. 🤬🤬

also, more bad news: there were NO .ogg, .flac, .aif or .aup files recovered AT ALL, which means that NONE of the music that i have recorded since 1983 made it. 😢

i MAY still have the cassettes on to which they were originally mixed down, but they haven’t been played for at least 20 years, and i don’t hold out much hope. ken may have some of my stuff, because he is a music hoarder, and i have played music with him since 1985 or thereabouts, but he lives in bellingham. and i can download .flac files from bandcamp for all of the CDs i have made, except for the one that was made right after my brain injury, which isn’t all there on bandcamp… 😒

but, at this point, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging, and i strongly suspect that i’m going to have to re-rip ALL of the physical media i own, which is another couple of months of solid 8-hour days, at least. 😒

and that doesn’t even begin to address the HUGE quantities of music of which i have purchased and downloaded ONLY electronic copies, like the 40+ albums from ergo phizmiz which i have been collecting for AT LEAST 20 years.

it feels good to have created a way out of this mess, but it’s heartbreaking to think of how much quality work i have done that has been lost. 😢

ETA: i don’t know whether this is as good news as it could be, but i got a zip file full of business logos from my web designer, and there are a couple of high res graphics that are, basically, what i used on my car… and i actually found a couple of .eps files (which, i believe, are vector, and native to illustrator) of the graphic on my car… i haven’t checked, yet, because it’s late, and i really should be in bed, but, well… 😒 AND i am, officially, buying a new car (a hybrid, hyundai ioniq), which means that i’ve got to move my graphic, anyway.

updated answer

the answer costs $600, not $800. 👍

the answer is two 4TB disks in a RAID1 array, not 2TB disks, in a RAID1 array. 👍👍

i know that the cause of all this was the (potential) loss of all my data, but, at this point, i like where it’s all going A LOT more than i did two weeks ago… for that matter, i like where it’s all going a lot more than i did a month ago, before this all started happening. 😉

the answer

the answer is a 4TB NAS, two bays of 2TB each, in a RAID1 array.

this serves a dual purpose: the NAS is my “cloud drive”, and the RAID1 array is my backup.

i can “backup” the backup, to “the cloud” or to an external 2TB device (like a flash drive) on a regular basis if i want, at that point, for extra security.

the answer costs around $800, for them to come in, set it up, get all my devices talking to it, from the antique mac to the bleeding edge kubuntu box, and hand me the keys.

i can afford the answer, without having to get “household funds” involved.

why?

because someone send me almost $1,200 for one of my huge boxes of incense, that’s why. 👍

in other news, i paid them $600 and they’re mailing me back the remains of the old NAS, and a disk full of either data, or not-data. 😒 whee.

aarrgh… (which is a²r²gh for those of you keeping track)

i want to make a bootable kubuntu 20.04 USB flash drive, but i don’t know how (never done it before) to install from a USB flash drive… and “installing from a CD” is no longer an option.

and, apparently, cheapbytes.com is no longer in business… 😒

so, i go to https://averagelinuxuser.com/make-a-bootable-usb-drive-in-linux/ which contains step-by-step instructions for how to do it.

after spending half an hour figuring out which is the USB flash drive i want to put it on to (/dev/sdc — which i found out by removing all the other USB disk from my system, and typing “sudo fdisk -l”), i try to wipe /dev/sdc and reformat it (because it is formatted for mac), but when i type

sudo wipefs --all /dev/sdc

it says

wipefs: error: /dev/sdc: probing initialisation failed: Device or resource busy

so, i try

umount /dev/sdc

but it throws the same error…

i DO NOT UNDERSTAND!! the device is NOT “busy”, you dumb machine!! 🤬 but then i realise that the machine isn’t the dumb one here, and if it’s giving me an incomprehensible error, it must be because it has been given incomprehensible commands… by me… 🤬

so, i type:

sudo dd bs=4M if=/home/salamandir/Documents/Install/kubuntu-20.04.2.0-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc status=progress && sync

and, eventually, it gives me

2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163 s, 16.2 MB/s
630+1 records in
630+1 records out
2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163.442 s, 16.2 MB/s

but after that, it hangs up. when i press "enter", after a LONG delay, it gives me

^C

and, after that... nothing.

i don't have the patience to learn all this again... i just want it to work... 😒

after another HOUR of futzing about, i figured it out... but it's REALLY frustrating, and i really don't have the patience to figure it all out without significant stress.

and, when i booted with the new system, it was UGLY, and i know FOR A FACT that i'm going to have to spend as much time tweaking the system to my preferences as i am going through endless stacks of numbered files, and re-filing them in more-or-less the right place, for about the next 3 years.

just another reason to give up computers all together and become a hermit. 😒

news

i heard from the data recovery people. they said:

There’s ~4 billion sectors on the 2TB drive. Head 0 died with ~55 million sectors left to read (very small percentage). It’s at the end of the drive so it was probably zeroes anyway. The main issue is that the metadata has been overwritten and the directory structure and file names are gone. This means that the files will have the correct extension but no names and no parent folders.

so, what they recover will be, essentially, files with their proper extensions — .ai, .otd, .doc, .otf, .txt, .mp3, .mp4, .html, .pdf, .eps, .jpg, .flac, .gif, .etc… — but with numbers, instead of file names… and if, as with the files from audacity, the project file uses ancillary files in the same directory, then the project files won’t open until ALL the ancillary files have the correct names, and are in the correct directory… 😒 they said, because of the way i was attacked, actual file recovery is not guaranteed, and recovered but corrupt files are billable, which means that i MIGHT end up with no readable data at all, and STILL have to pay for it. they said their “standard” service costs $600 and takes 5+ days, whereas their “expedited” service costs $1,000 (like moe said, everything costs $1,000 😒) and takes half that amount of time.

i contacted the place that built my last computer, InfoTech, when they opened, at 10:00 this morning. i gave them the specifications for a new computer (pentium G6400 4GHz, 16GB DDR4, Intel UHD 630, 2TB SATA HD, with the 1TB SATA SSD i’ve had since 2018 installed), and they said that they were going to send me an invoice, but, as of 3:00 this afternoon, i haven’t seen an invoice from them. once i’ve got the actual computer taken care of, i’ll ask them about a replacement for my WD cloud drive… although, i think i may avoid further western digital products, at this point. 😒

miraculously, i seem to have all the parts for this month’s incense of the month to be sent out with a minimum of hassle. i suppose that’s a good thing.

more computer headaches

so, i still haven’t heard from ace data recovery, because of the holiday weekend, but i decided to get my computer ready to take the new old data (if it still exists), by installing the 1TB SATA drive i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, which is the first time i thought i was going to need it…

however, it turns out that, because i got the “low profile” case, the last time i bought a computer (which, according to the label on the back, was 2015), there isn’t enough room to install the SATA drive, despite the fact that it’s ⅓ the size of the “normal” IDE drive.

i have two options. i can either buy a not-low-profile case, and pay someone to transfer all the internal shit (because i’m not skilled enough to do it, any longer), OR, for about $200 more, i can just buy an entirely new computer. 😒

it would cost around $700, give or take, to get a new computer, and have the 2018 SATA drive installed (thus making it a 2 HD system right off the top), and, at that point, i could hook up the hard disk from the old computer, via USB or something, and probably have enough space…

and moe sez it’s okay for me to spend that amount…

so, i guess i’m getting a new computer, as well. i remember when i would have been really excited at the prospect of a new computer, but, at this point, it’s JUST ANOTHER HEADACHE! 😠

let’s get on it, then! 😒

today, i got the following message from western digital:

Western Digital is working on a Data Recovery recovery program and allow us some time for the program to be put in place. I understand you sent the drive to a Data Recovery Center. If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.

Some My Book Live devices connected to the Internet are being compromised by attackers and in some cases, the attackers have triggered a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device.
We are here to help. Although this product family is no longer sold or supported by Western Digital, we know some of our customers have been impacted and we want to help.

If you have lost your data because of these attacks, we will provide data recovery services which will be available beginning in July.

We know how important your data is to you and are committed to helping you protect it.

We will provide details about how to take advantage of this program in a separate email.

For more detailed information and updates, please refer to the Security Bulletin listed below.

WDC-21008 Recommended Security Measures for WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo
https://www.westerndigital.com/support/productsecurity/wdc-21008-recommended-security-measures-wd-mybooklive-wd-mybookliveduo

the problem is, i NEED that data. it was driven home to me how much i need that data when i realised (this morning) that all of my federal tax records are on that drive… and they’re due soon… 😒 i DO NOT have the time to wait around for a “Data Recovery recovery program” that hasn’t been developed yet. 😒

“If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.”… if “who” would like WD to assist…? I would, very definitely, like WD to assist with the recovery cost. unfortunately, i NEED that data NOW (actually, yesterday would have been better 😠), also, well, this IS july, now, and i haven’t received any indication that this recovery program is much more than a pipe dream.

my plan is to continue at the rate that i’m already going with the “recovery plan”, and if WD has any problems with my plan, they can shove it up their ass, and pay anyway! 😠

i JUST got email from the data recovery place, which says:

Thank you for choosing ACE Data Recovery. We have received your device in our lab.

We will be contacting you soon after the diagnostic’s results will be ready. Usually it takes one to two business days.

my impression, at this point, is that WD is GOING to “assist with the recovery cost”, whether or not they think they are now. it’s just a matter of how hard we (the class of people who lost data because of this negligence) are going to have to try to convince them. 😠

so…

the cloud drive is on its way to dallas, to the temple of the computer wizards, who seem to think that they can actually retrieve data from a drive that has been wiped. whether they can, or not, remains to be seen, and if they can, actually, retrieve data, there’s no telling how much, but the expense increases with every file they retrieve, and i’ve got A LOT of files on that drive.

the current conjecture is that an anonymous, malicious, mindless, skript-kiddie found out about the bug that they’ve known about since 2018, but haven’t done anything about it because it’s a “legacy” device that hasn’t been upgraded since 2015 (despite the fact that MANY WD cloud drives are still in use all over the world), and wrote a script to search out all the IP addresses of MyBook drives it could find, and wipe them…

because they can… 😒

L0L! 🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕

but, according to the latest theory, they didn’t overwrite the data, they just removed the allocation tables… they did a “quick” erase, not a “complete” erase… so the data is, probably, still there, as long as something hasn’t overwritten it, and, since the first thing i did when i couldn’t login was to shut it down, the chance that it’s still there is relatively high. it’s up to the experts, and whether or not i have enough money, to determine whether or not i see any of that data again.

and, as far as remediation goes, i think i’ve learned enough to install the 1TB drive (which is not big enough to store 2TB of data) that i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, but i haven’t done it yet, and i haven’t even started to search for a replacement cloud drive, or a backup system, because i’ve been going through an existential crisis, AND temperatures that have been an average of 35°F hotter than they have ever been, which has, essentially, shut down any hope of doing anything other than hiding and hoping it’s all going to be over soon. 😟

but climate change is a myth, created by china! 😒

it’s 25°F cooler than it was yesterday, but it’s still 10°F warmer than normal, for this time of year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be getting better any time soon.

oh, just wonderful! 🤬

so, my Western Digital MyCloud Live bit the dust the other day. i spent most of yesterday stressing, and figuring out what was wrong, and beginning to figure out how to fix it (and not getting very far, because of the stress).

then, this morning, i wake up to this: CVE-2018-18472

Western Digital WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo (all versions) have a root Remote Command Execution bug via shell metacharacters in the /api/1.0/rest/language_configuration language parameter. It can be triggered by anyone who knows the IP address of the affected device, as exploited in the wild in June 2021 for factory reset commands…

and Action Required on My Book Live and My Book Live Duo

Western Digital has determined that some My Book Live devices are being compromised by malicious software. In some cases, this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device. The My Book Live device received its final firmware update in 2015. We understand that our customers’ data is very important. At this time, we recommend you disconnect your My Book Live from the Internet to protect your data on the device.

the only hope i have is EITHER that the MyCloud IP address was unknown, unknowable, or “small potatoes”, OR that this is for My”BOOK” Live, and what i’m dealing with is a My”CLOUD” Live, and that CVE-2018-18472 applies to the My”BOOK” and not the My”CLOUD”…

but what is the probability of those things happening? 🤬

(actually, now that i think about it, the probability is fairly low: i BOUGHT the MyCloud device in 2014, and i’m pretty sure that i received firmware updates well after the 2015 date that they mentioned here, but… it’s still worrying.)

actually, i couldn’t POSSIBLY be that lucky… i was looking at the back of the device, and it very clearly says “MyBook Live”… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

word now is that western digital has known about this since 2018. 🤬

some good news, for a change… i’ve written for a quote from Ace Data Recovery, which is a partner with western digital. i’m as confident as i can be (which isn’t much) that they have a MUCH better chance of actually recovering my data than anything i could do. of course, because of the fact that it is currently after business hours on friday, central time, and the fact that they don’t work on weekends, i’m probably not going to hear anything until monday, at the earliest. however, this gives me some time to work on the problem of where to put it once it has, actually, been retrieved.

zoinks

my cloud device is not a cloud device.

it was working fine two days ago. by the time i discovered it wasn’t working, yesterday, it was too late to get tech support on the line, so i got them on the line today.

what they said is that my WD MyCloud Live is old enough that it’s considered a “legacy device” and they don’t offer service for it any longer.

so ALL of my hybrid elephant records, ALL of my “Incense of the Month” records, ALL of my appointments, ALL of my digital artwork, ALL of my pictures, ALL of my music… EVERYTHING is gone.

😟

ETA: i talked to the folks at western digital this morning, and what i learned was encouraging and discouraging at the same time.

i bought it, and had it configured by 140127, so it has only been six years, not the eight that i was complaining about originally… doesn’t make me feel any better about losing access to that data. 😟

the device is a WD MyCloud Live device, which is a “legacy” device which is no longer serviced.

the fact that i had the drive partitioned four ways, and primarily used it on linux, means that, even if it were able to be serviced, they wouldn’t do it. they support windows and mac, but not linux.

despite the fact that western digital disks are used on linux systems ALL THE TIME… 😒

it MIGHT be accessible directly, by plugging it directly into the computer, instead of a router. i plugged it into my mac laptop, and a new icon appeared on the desktop called “MyCloud Live”. it contained four “public” folders (documents, pictures, music, and another that i don’t remember), but they were all empty. also, it said i was logged in as “guest” and my disk doesn’t have a “guest” login, so my guess is that mac logged me into a new, blank partition.

which means that i MIGHT be able to access it from linux, if i can get it to log me in as something other than “guest”…

when in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles…

ask if anybody has a clue on kubuntu forums dot net

the guy there said that, in all likelyhood, it is running an embeded linux OS, and, if nothing else, i could take it out of its enclosure and add it as a new hard disk on my computer, as long as it works.

however… 😒

at this point, i’m going to HAVE TO get a new cloud server to replace the old one (more goddamn money spent on this damn technology… 😠), and i don’t want to do ANYTHING with the old one until i have a new place, however temporary, to store all <900MB of shit. AND i just happen to have a samsung 1TB SATA disk — had it new, in the box, since 2018 — but because i don’t actually know how to install a new hard disk on a linux machine, i haven’t done so.

so, MAYBE everything isn’t gone, but it’s going to be a few stress filled days until i get it all figured out and get everything settled down to what passes for “normal” these days. 😟

twit-turd

so, i made this tweet yesterday:

210621 killing people is "dispensing freedom"? - what the fuck is wrong with you?
210621 killing people is “dispensing freedom”? – what the fuck is wrong with you?

this afternoon, approximately 24 hours later, this is the kind of reaction it’s having:

210622 more than 300 likes... 🤯
210622 more than 300 likes… 🤯

if there were only some way to get #NationalStrike #GeneralStrike #TaxStrike #LaborStrike #BankStrike #RentStrike #DebtStrike #MortgageStrike #MinimumWageStrike #CreditCardStrike #PeoplesStrike #PeoplePower #EatTheRich #RaiseTheWage #GuillotinesNeeded #WeAreClosed the same kind of response… 🤯

i might have known…

so, the weird weirdness with my web site was ENTIRELY caused by the osCommerce web site…

which i haven’t even thought about since 2016, because the previous web designer was supposed to have deleted it, once i had successfully migrated to wordpress…

but which wasn’t deleted (despite the fact that it was one of the things i paid her to do 😠), and continued to “function”, without a “head”, for FIVE YEARS

if nothing else, i suppose, it says something about osCommerce’s resiliancy and ability to continue to function despite being headless and updateless for the past 5 years. i wonder if i could treat wordpress the same way, and expect the same result. i suspect, probably, not.

it’s still there, physically, but it has had it’s hooks into the system removed, so it is no longer functioning. the next step is to figure out which parts are wordpress parts and which parts are osCommerce parts, and delete the osCommerce parts.

in other news, ezra has come up with an idea that needs internet and a web host to work, and, well… i’m the next best thing to a web host, these days… apart from the FUMTU with osCommerce… 😉

bat out of database hell, sideways

in a new twist, the web designer that i worked with prior to the current web designer i work with — the one who blew a gasket for some still-unknown reason — was, as a part of what i was paying her to be a web designer, to delete the old web site files, once i had successfully been migrated to my new site.

unfortunately, apparently she blew a gasket before she actually did that.

and i didn’t know until… well… today.

my current web site is running PHP5, but there was an error which showed up in the log which was an uncaught variable that doesn’t exist in PHP5… in fact, it doesn’t exist until PHP7.4… and, upon further investigation, we discovered that it came from a document that is from osCommerce, which lead to other osCommerce documents, which lead, basically, to the entire osCommerce web site, which has been trying, and failing, to run PHP7.4, and generating WEIRD errors.

it had been beheaded — i.e. it didn’t have an internet-facing interface — but it is all still there.

it should be deleted. 😠

database hell updated

quoth the web developer: I’m going to guess, they’re going to come back and tell us they see nothing wrong. However, they will modify the server and then when I get back in there to test it again, it’s going to work. They just have a problem admitting when they’re wrong so they’ll fix it but tell us that it works fine.

quoth i: i don’t care how it’s fixed, i just want it to be fixed.

they have access to the dashboard, but they’re in a different time zone, so i have to be patient. 😒

ETA: i just got an email notification that says: A user with username “webhost-python” who has administrator access signed in to your WordPress site.

and then a note from YET ANOTHER technician who i HAVEN’T TALKED TO BEFORE (😠), who, apparently, tried the login, looked through the ticket history and decided that they don’t know enough to do anything about it, saying “I will assign this to our developers and they will get back to you.”

so, it begins…

tomorrow… 😒

database hell, okay?

i gave the web developer my login to the open support ticket at the host provider. there hasn’t been any obvious action yet, but i’ve emailed with the web developer, who worked out a temporary solution which may work out if his attempts to communicate with the host provider don’t work out… but, as i said, he hasn’t even logged in, much less done what the host provider asked of me, which was to “clearly lay out the issues you’re facing and the solution you need done to resolve this issue”.

210606 screenshot SQL error
210606 screenshot SQL error
the issues are that i can’t add new content (the “not HTML” difficulty and its results), and i get weird SQL errors, which only appear once, and then go away. i don’t get them on a regular basis: sometimes i get them the first time i hit the site, when i boot my computer in the morning, and sometimes i get them in the middle of the afternoon. frequently i get them when i’m hitting the base URI, but i’ve also seen them when i’m hitting deeper content.

i don’t know what the solution is, because i don’t know what is causing it. my web developer seems to think it’s the database engine at my host provider, because he has some sort of advanced tool that tells him when things aren’t working correctly. my host provider says he’s full of shit, that his proposed “upgrades” will break things for everybody else, and won’t even talk to the him unless he logs in as me. unfortunately, i know little enough about database engines that any input i can offer would be totally meaningless.

i feel a little bit better, because, now, instead of "doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance", they have now, actually charged me money, so i am, actually, paying them to fix my shit, and the temporary work around that he proposed, while not ideal, would certainly fix the problem for at least a year.

but i seem to recall going through another database fiasco last year around this time, and, if this is going to become a regular occurrance, i think i’ll pass, thanks. 😒

ETA: the web developer has logged in as me, and given a detailed description of exactly what is wrong, exactly why he thinks it’s wrong, examples of identical installations that follow his guidelines that don’t experience the problems i’m having, and a variety of different solutions to the problems he’s found. the host provider has yet to reply. because of the fact that they’re on eastern time, there’s a good chance we won’t hear anything until tomorrow.

blargh! 🤬

i’ve noticed a couple of things that are… screwy… about my web sites.

intermittently, i get random SQL errors. they only appear once, and when i reload the page, they disappear, but it’s sort of alarming.

and then there’s the “not HTML” FUMTU, which usually works, but has decided not to for a few days now.

so, i contacted my web developer, who said that my database needed “upgrading” to prevent these, and future problems.

not knowing that much about databases, i contacted my host provider, who said that the “upgrades” he proposed are actually DOWNgrades, and implementing them would break the databases for EVERYONE who shares the server i’m on.

so, i got back to the developer, who said that the reason he stopped using this host provider two years ago (which was about the same time i started using this host provider) was because “their policy” was to avoid communication with “third parties” (i.e. i’m a customer of the host provider, and the guy who i pay to know more about the web than me is a “third party”).

while they didn’t actually deny that this was “their policy”, the host provider went out of their way to emphasise that i am their customer, and if i wanted to include my web designer, i would have to give him my login, because they weren’t going to create a special login for him.

so i did that.

i figure, whatever happens, i can change my password once this whole thing is resolved. it is also A LOT easier than trying to convince the host provider to create a login for someone who is not a customer of theirs…

then they switched their tactics, and had a different technician chime in (one with whom i have not talked about this particular problem), who stated “let your developer know that it is already upgraded and using a stable version. If he is unable to diagnose this issue then another developer may be needed…”

this was AFTER i gave my web developer my login, so that he could participate in the “conversation”…

i wanted to say “HE’S RIGHT HERE! TALK TO HIM, NOT TO ME!!” 😠🤬😠🤬

but i didn’t…

but i wanted to… 😒

the web developer was busy yesterday, and (like most “businesses”) he doesn’t work on the weekend, so i’ve pushed back the impending storm until monday…

but…

the web developer has already said “we’re doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance” and “if they can’t do what we’re asking them to do our hands are tied.” AND the host provider has already said “we do not have a way to resolve something like this as the server itself is not causing the issue and the database server is already up to date.”, which gives me the very strong impression that, when monday comes around, the web developer is going to show up and make demands, the host provider is going to say no, and we’ll be right back where we started.

and all of this is IN SPITE of the fact that i am paying BOTH of these entities to make sure that my shit is kept up to date! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

🤬

this morning is the second in a row that i have woken up at 4:00 in the morning, and can’t get back to sleep. 😒

it is THIS EXACT PHENOMENON that makes me want to give up internet forever and go live in the woods, like a hermit, not interacting with anyone! 😠

when HTML is not HTML

i’m REALLY glad someone else is maintaining my business web site these days. 😒

seriously, if it had been left up to me, i would have given up a LONG time ago, and would probably be out of business, because the web design business has gotten REALLY confusing.

example: the places in WordPress where HTML code is not, actually, HTML code…

210603 not html
210603 not html

there are places which display HTML code, and where that code occurs on the back end, it is actually rendered as HTML code in the browser, but if you want to edit the HTML, you have to copy the ENTIRE page, go to another location (or use an actual text-based code editing tool) and paste the ENTIRE page into that location, make the edits, save them in that other location, copy them from that location, go BACK to the original location where you copied the original code from and paste the new code in, and THEN save the original location…? 😕

210603 not html rendered
210603 not html rendered
and, oddly enough, if you try to edit the HTML code without jumping through the copy/paste hoops multiple times, you end up screwing up the page entirely. 😠

and, to make matters even worse, as far as i can tell, there’s no way to tell which locations are HTML, and which locations only LOOK LIKE HTML… you’re just expected to know. 😠

as far as i can tell, backed up by a professional web designer who does this for a living, that’s the routine that works, and it has actually worked for me, in the past… but not this morning… which is frustrating beyond belief…

in my day, if something LOOKED LIKE HTML code, it WAS HTML code, and could be edited as such, wherever it occurred. 😠✊

tablet unbricked

1 Hour Device Repair (the one in redmond, not the one in issaquah) repaired my device for free, because they have a lifetime warranty on the repair that they did a few months ago.

as it should be.

they also apologised for the guy in issaquah sending me down the wrong rabbit hole.

this has been a very early, abrupt and completely satisfactory end to this battle. 👍

brick tablet update

tablet became brick.

took it to 1 Hour Device Repair in issaquah, who told me that the charging port was damaged.

took it to the genius bar (two days later), and they tested it, and told me that the charging port was fine, but “have you had the display replaced?”

why, yes. yes, i have… by the people at 1 Hour Device Repair… 😒

the charging port is fine, according to the genius bar drone. he tested it, and it works fine. the display, however, is another question. according to the genius bar tests, the tablet is in “recovery mode” which normally displays a “connect me to power” icon, on the display, but, wouldn’t you know, the display isn’t working.

so i called 1HDR and talked to someone, who, it is my guess, is the “owner” of the 1HDR franchise in the area (if it is a franchise operation, which it appears to be), a young woman with purple hair and an eastern-european accent, and brought it in to the location in redmond, which is where it was repaired before. the FIRST THING she said, when she tested it, was “i don’t know why anyone would tell you that the charging port was the problem.” and didn’t even respond when i told her that it was the 1HDR repair guy in issaquah…

which tells me something about the 1HDR location in issaquah that i didn’t know before. 😒

long story short, she’s going to have to keep it for one to two weeks, because she doesn’t stock the screens because they’re so expensive, and it’s the holidays, and there’s a pandemic…

and she said that it’s a free replacement, because there’s a lifetime warranty, as long as i can prove that there’s no external damage that would have caused the display to fail. the fact is, she looked at it very closely, and told me that “sometimes the displays fail”… but i’m not ruling out the possibility that, once she gets it open, she’ll discover some “damage” that voids the warranty. i don’t know of any “damage”, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. 😒

so, fine. keep it. it doesn’t do me much good as a brick, but then…

i realise i’ve got an appointment on telehealth, and another appointment on gotomeeting tomorrow, which i’m going to have to attend using my phone, which is about one-eighth the size of the tablet (tablet is 12.9″ ipad pro, third gen; phone is iphone 6SE, which is 5″)…

this is going to be “interesting”… 🤦

my tablet is a brick

i woke up this morning and checked my email on my tablet, like i usually do. nothing seemed amiss, as i browsed twitter for a half hour or so, then i put the tablet to sleep, came downstairs, plugged the tablet into my downstairs charging port, heard the chime as it connected, and walked off to get my morning soylent…

when i got back to my office, about 5 minutes later, i tried to wake the tablet up, but it wasn’t having any.

i tried a number of “tips” that i found on internet (using my computer) for waking up a sleeping tablet, and elicited some interesting responses — siri, speaking from a blank screen, saying “i’m really sorry”, for example, and various official-sounding chimes, boops and bongs — but no screen action whatsoever.

i took it to the guy at 1 Hour Device Repair, in issaquah, who said that he thought it was the charging port that was damaged, because the device he hooked it to was saying .09 amps when it should be at least 1 amp. he said that it’s working, but, because of the fact that the charging port is damaged, it doesn’t have enough electricity to run reliably.

so, i made an appointment at the genius bar (because it’s new enough that i think i might still have apple care for it) on wednesday.

that doesn’t sound bad, does it? except for the fact that i can’t login to twitter — which is pretty much my ONLY social contact these days — because of the fact that i have my authenticator for my 2FA login on my tablet… i have an authenticator on my phone, as well, but it doesn’t have my twitter account, and the only way to get a 2FA authentication for my twitter account is from WITHIN my twitter account, which i can’t get to because the authenticator is on my tablet. i don’t usually use twitter on my phone, so i never updated the authenticator when i started using 2FA on twitter.

😒

201111

Trump Tees Up a New Type of Coup: In Plain Sight
by Ted Rall, 201111

Donald Trump revolutionized political campaigning. It was by accident. Because he was too lazy to prepare for or memorize a stump speech, he ad-libbed his rallies; TV networks gave him $2 billion worth of free airtime because something he said might prove newsworthy. Because he was cheap, he made appearances at any random dump that would have him for free; he used the money he saved on big data research that paid off handsomely.

Now the president is attempting to revolutionize the art of the coup d’état.

Leaders of broad-based movements who want to overthrow an existing government usually agitate for revolution in plain sight. The activism of a popular front attracts new recruits.

A coup is the opposite of a revolution. Unlike revolutionaries, who need the masses to succeed, coup plotters require secrecy. A coup is usually carried out by a very small group of insiders. Coup schemers are not interested in, or have concluded that they cannot, obtain popular support. They do not seek to transform society. They simply want power. It is an attempt by a minnow to swallow a whale.

Without the protection of millions of adherents and operating outside constitutional norms, politicians and/or military men who plot a coup must take over the government by surprise. Leaders of the outgoing regime have to be in prison or dead, and thus powerless, before their supporters realize that their nation has been seized by a small faction. A coup d’état is over before it begins in the event that some element of the conspiracy comes to light before the zero hour. The classic example of a failed coup is Operation Valkyrie, the 1944 attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler and overthrow of the Nazi government of Germany by a group of military officers. The plot unraveled when Hitler survived a bomb attack and went on the radio.

Successful coups include the 2004 overthrow of democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, whom the CIA kidnapped and spirited away to the Central African Republic, whose president Ange-Félix Patassé had himself been deposed in a coup a year earlier, the Taliban-supported takeover of Pakistan by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999, and the bizarre 1993 self-coup by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who illegally shelled and dissolved parliament.

All of these events seemingly came out of nowhere. By contrast, Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for a coup attempt in plain sight.

Defying tradition, Trump is still refusing to concede the election since the Associated Press and other media organizations called the race in favor of Joe Biden on Saturday, November 7th. Without presenting evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing, he has filed several lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of the vote count.

Most top Republicans are supporting Trump, or remaining silent and refusing to congratulate Biden. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the U.S. Senate. “President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” said McConnell. “Let’s not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”

Asked whether he planned to congratulate Biden, Ron Johnson (R-WI) replied: “Nothing to congratulate him about.” Even as world leaders called to acknowledge Biden’s win, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

Roger Stone, the political adviser and loyalist pardoned by Trump, previewed the possibility of a post-election military takeover in September. If Trump lost, Stone said at the time, he ought to declare “martial law,” invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807, nationalize state police forces and round up critics and political opponents including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “the Clintons,” and journalists because they’re involved in “seditious activities.” On November 2nd Stone said Former CIA Director John Brennan, Former FBI Director James Comey and other former officials who offended Trump “must be tried and convicted of treason” and then “they must be hung by the neck until dead.” Stone is still tight with Trump: news just broke that the president had the IRS wipe away Stone’s bill for back taxes, which totaled $1.5 million.

Attorney General William Barr, following Stone’s recommendation, ordered the Department of Justice to investigate irregularities and improprieties in the election.

In order to enforce martial law Trump would need, and has, widespread support among the police. He would also need the military. Though inherently reactionary, active-duty troops have moved away from the president in recent months. So he is replacing top Pentagon brass with compliant loyalists likelier to follow his illegal and unconstitutional orders.

On November 9th Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who refused to deploy troops against Black Lives Matters protesters in June. “In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a Secretary of Defense with 72 days left in an administration,” Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and an official in Obama’s Pentagon, said. “[One] would be because the President wants to take actions that he believes his Secretary of Defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming.”

“Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, could be next in line to be fired. Removing these senior officials — in effect decapitating the nation’s national security bureaucracy — would be without parallel by an outgoing president who has just lost re-election,” reported The New York Times.

In a major, unprecedented transition-period shakeup, policy chief James Anderson, intelligence boss Joseph Kernan and Esper’s chief of staff Jen Stewart have also been fired from the Pentagon. Anderson’s replacement is retired Army General Anthony Tata, a nutty far-right white nationalist who called Obama a “terrorist leader,” said Islam was the “most oppressive violent religion I know of” and used a racist slur against CNN host Don Lemon. He will do whatever Trump wants.

What’s going on? Stupid impetuous drama? Or a real coup?

If it turns out to be a coup, it may well prove that teeing it up in plain sight improves its chances of success. Trump’s supporters, disproportionately prone to violence and more heavily armed, are watching and waiting. They can only pitch in as paramilitaries or freelance goons if, like the rest of us, they see the dark days ahead.

Then Trump’s coup becomes a counterrevolution.


Coups For Dummies
by Clay Jones, 201111

On November 10, 2016, President Obama hosted President-elect (sic) Donald Trump in the White House. Vice-President Joe Biden hosted vice-president elect (sic) Mike Pence in the VP residence. First Lady Michelle Obama gave a White House tour to Melania Trump. Today, it’s November 11, 2020, and instead of inviting the future president of the United States to the White House, Donald Trump is hiding inside his bunker in denial he lost. What makes this even worse is that he has enablers. These enablers are helping Donald Trump thwart democracy.

Republicans are pointing out that Democrats whined about the 2016 election. This is true. I whined. I didn’t like the results. I still don’t like it. But while I said the election was tampered with and Russia meddled, I never said any ballots were fraudulent. No Democrats opposed the transition of power. Today, the Trump administration is not allowing a transfer of power.

The Trump Administration could still pursue legal challenges over the election while allowing the process of a transition to happen. That would be in the best interest of the nation. Instead, offices are not being created for the transition, funds aren’t being released, and the next president isn’t even being given security briefings. These were all acts afforded to Donald Trump when he was the incoming president (sic).

The United States condemns leaders of other nations who refuse to leave office and give up power after losing fair elections. Now, our leader (sic) is refusing to give up power and is hiding inside his palace sending his minions out to help him stage a coup. Donald Trump has not been seen since last Thursday.

Mitch McConnell is supporting Trump’s legal challenges even though there isn’t any evidence of massive voter fraud. Lindsey Graham is telling Trump not to concede. McConnell and Graham both won their Senate elections last week but neither one of these two men refused their opponent’s concessions.

Ted Cruz says allowing the media to declare the winner is not how we do it in America. Except, he was more than happy to accept the media’s declaration of a winner in 2016. He was more than happy to accept their declaration in 2018 when he won reelection to the Senate.

When asked if he had congratulated President-Elect Joe Biden yet, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, whose state went for Biden, said he doesn’t have anything to congratulate Biden for.

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said, “We have got to allow our courts to hear these allegations of voting irregularities by the president.” You may as well allow the courts to hear allegations of lizard people running our government too because you have just as much evidence of that as you do of voter fraud.

North Carolina’s Thom Tillis was finally declared the winner of his race yesterday and he said about the presidential election, “Every vote legally cast must be counted.” Who says they shouldn’t? Who says they haven’t been counted? Guess what. Tillis didn’t stop his opponent from conceding saying, “Every legal vote must be counted” bullshit.

Isn’t it fucked up that right after you elect someone, that they make a pronouncement against democracy and fair elections?

Attorney General William Barr is releasing the Justice Department’s legal hounds to fight Trump’s loss in the courts. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani is holding press conferences outside dildo shops claiming the election was stolen from Trump.

It’s funny Democrats stole the election for Biden while simultaneously losing the Senate and seats in the House. It’s also funny that it hasn’t occurred to any of these Republicans claiming fraudulent ballots, that they also have their names on those “fraudulent” ballots. If we’re going to wipe out who won the election, that should also mean we wipe out all those Republican victories. Should we wipe out McConnell’s, Graham’s, and Tillis’ victories?

Each government department is being told to prepare their budgets for next year as though the administration will still be operating. As if they’re still going to be in town and not all applying at Fox News at the same time. And Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the nation’s top diplomat has said there will be a “smooth transition…to a SECOND Trump administration.”

What the fuck? The top diplomat or the world’s leading democracy is telling the world we don’t obey election results anymore. Pompeo said the eletion has not been decided. It has LITERALLY been decided.

Can you imagine the outrage if instead of conceding the election the day after, Hillary Clinton had refused to admit defeat, mounted legal challenged, and claimed the election had been stolen? Can you imagine if instead of inviting Trump to the White House, President Obama had refused to release transition funding?

In Michigan, Trump beat Clinton by 10,704 votes in 2016. In 2020 in Michigan, Biden beat Trump by over 146,000 (and still counting). In case you’re a Republican, 146,000 is greater than 10,000.

In Pennsylvania, Trump beat Clinton by 46,765. In 2020 in Pennsylvania, Biden beat Trump by over 48,000 (and still counting). In case you’re a Republican, 48,000 is more than 46,000. Now, Trump is suing to overturn the election in Pennsylvania.

As the counting continues, Biden is heading for a 306 electoral vote win. That’s the exact same amount Trump won with in 2016. How are they going to win the presidency by overturning one state without any actual evidence of election fraud? They would need to overturn more than one state. Maybe they can do it in Georgia where the two GOP senators are calling for their own Republican Secretary of State to resign because they don’t like that his count shows Donald Trump is losing.

This is banana republic type shit here, people. This is a coup attempt. Maybe people like Pompeo are just trying to appease Trump for now. Maybe Pompeo is a coward. He wants to appease Trump’s base for when he runs for the Senate in Kansas or even for the presidency in 2024, if Trump doesn’t. Or maybe, he’s afraid of being fired two months before he’s scheduled to lose his job. Trump is already lashing out and firing people.

Maybe people like Mitch McConnell, John Kennedy (not the good one), Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Thom Tillis, and Ted Cruz are all just big, fat ass kissers. Or…they’re trying to steal an election and are engaging in a coup.

I predicted before the election that Joe Biden would win… but I did not predict he’d take the White House because I was afraid the Republicans would try to steal the election. Even before the election, Trump said the only way he could lose was if there was corruption and voter fraud. Boy, did I call it or did I call it?

We know this about Trump supporters: They are all cowards. They have made their party into one of a cult. They put one man before their nation. They are putting one man before democracy. They don’t care if they turn our democracy into a dictatorship.

The Trump administration will NOT legally continue, but the resistance must.