Tag Archives: rants

extremism

i’ve been reading, the past couple of days, about “extremism” on the right, and on the left, as being somehow equal in their “extremism”. i was reading about how alexandria ocasio-cortez had to “stand up” to an interviewer who tried to imply that the two forms of “extremism” are the same, and it reminds me of something my old friend xydexx said about nazis. imagine this:

you and your extended family are having a potluck picnic, and everyone is supposed to provide some food. but when you arrive at the picnic, there, sitting in the middle of the table, is a huge steaming platter of dog shit, surrounded by dishes of actual food, provided by other relatives. do you want to interact with the person who put the dog shit in the middle of the table? and what about the rest of the food… would you be inclined to eat ANYTHING from a table that featured a huge steaming platter of dogshit? would you be inclined to talk kindly and gently with the person who provided that platter, to find out what their story is, to find out what possessed them to bring a huge steaming platter of dog shit to your family picnic? would you be anxious to hear their reasons for messing up your picnic? would you ignore it, hoping that the perpetrator would change, if given a good example?

the probability is very high that you would not do those things, but that you would find out who the perpetrator is, and eject them (forcefully, if necessary) from the picnic area.

that is the difference between “extremism” on the left versus “extremism” on the right: “extremism” on the left is more inclined to help other people, regardless of who they are, whereas “extremism” on the right wants everything their way, and if it’s not exactly the way they lay it out, they’re going to mess up the picnic for everyone.

xydexx has a multi-paragraph statement about this, but that’s basically what it boils down to. in xydexx’s version, the furry fandom is the extended family, and nazis and other fur-haters bring the dog shit, but the argument expands nicely. when people say “there are two sides to every argument” when the discussion is about having a country with universal health care, instead of causing harm to people you don’t like (furries, gays, trans, etc., etc…), you know that whoever is saying it is probably NOT someone you would want to invite to your picnic.

oyoyoyoyoyOYOYOY!!! 😒 (part 2, continued)

so, i emailed woocommerce tech support. they told me that they didn’t see a zelle-compatible gateway installed. i told them that i was using “Direct Bank Transfer (BACS)”, according to THEIR instructions, which were given to me by an employee of THEIR company.

then they informed me that their plugin DOESN’T SUPPORT ZELLE…⁈

so i took them through the process of enabling zelle ON THEIR PLUGIN, and enabling zelle at my bank, and THEN they tell me… oh, if you do it that way, YOUR CUSTOMER has to go through this EXTRA STEP to send you the payment, and until THEY do this extra step, their order will be placed “on hold”.

which is NOT going to work on my web site: incense customers are impatient and flighty. if they have to go through this extra step to make a payment, they’re going to abandon their shopping cart, not make a payment, and not get any incense.

which is “BAD FOR BUSINESS™” 😒

i wish this little piece of information could have been conveyed to me A MONTH AGO, when i had three separate email conversations and a zoom call with a woocommerce representative, named bradley gilkerson, who ASSURED ME that it was fully compatible with zelle (false), and that all my customers would have to do was enter their credit card information (false) and it would instaneously (false) be transferred to my zelle account (false) without extra fees for credit card processing (false). 🤬

220909 how many things can you find wrong with this email?
220909 how many things can you find wrong with this email?

so, basically, i have wasted a month, and $200, getting a plugin that won’t work, installed and set up, only to discover that it won’t work, and now i have to UNINSTALL the plugin that won’t work, and find a new, different plugin that WILL work… and (hopefully) do it all before stripe decides that they’re going to cancel my account… AGAIN!! 🤬

i thought it was the end, but i was wrong. 🤬

this morning, i learned that, despite the fact that my bank allows the use of zelle, it only allows personal accounts to use it. “zelle for businesses” is, apparently, a “pay-for” application that isn’t used by the bank, so i can’t switch to using zelle, like i thought i was going to be able to do for the past couple of days.

argh! 😒

while i was freaking out about that, i got an email from stripe (at 6:30 in the morning), which said:

Unfortunately, following an additional review of your account, we’re still unable to support your business as it falls under our restricted businesses. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for herbal incense , as mentioned on our restricted businesses list (https://stripe.com/restricted-businesses).

HERBAL INCENSE????

first they said it was tobacco products, then they said it was items “which mimic illegal drugs”, THEN they said it was because i “accept payments for aggregation or grouping of funds” (which i STILL don’t know what they’re talking about, and now i don’t think they know, either), and now it’s because i carry “herbal incense”????

W?

T??

F???

need i mention that there is NO restriction on businesses which carry “herbal incense” on their list of restricted businesses… 😠

so i sent them a response, saying that.

45 minutes later, i got this message from stripe:

In order to provide you assistance with this inquiry, my colleagues and I will be reviewing this case, so we can provide you with the proper information about the verification of your company and the reason for the restrictions of this type of business and once we have a response to this concern we will reach out back to you.

which was followed, half an hour later, by this:

I just wanted to let you know that we have successfully completed our review of your account, and your payouts have been re-enabled.We may be asking for more information down the line, but for now you’re all set.

W??

T????

F?????? 😵

so, if i parse this correctly, on 220823, they said they were going to cancel my account. then, on 220829, they said they weren’t going to cancel my account. then, on 220901 they said they were going to cancel my account for a different reason, and on 220908 they said they were going to cancel my account for yet another different reason, which they emphasised on 220909. then, this morning, (220912) they said they were going to cancel my account for another FURTHER different reason, and then they changed their minds, and said they WEREN’T going to cancel my account. 😵🤬

it’s a really good thing i kept detailed records of this fiasco, because i wouldn’t be able to keep it straight, otherwise. 😠

needless to say, as soon as i can locate another payment gateway that ISN’T stripe, i’ll be switching hybrid elephant to that, because, as it is, this is totally ridiculous! 🤬

what the fuck, stripe? 🤬

tuesday morning, i got an email from stripe, the credit card processor for hybrid elephant. it said:

[Please Read] Closure of your Stripe Account for Hybrid Elephant

We’re writing to inform you that we have determined your business, Hybrid Elephant, is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for tobacco products, as mentioned on our Restricted Businesses list.

um…

i don’t sell tobacco products.

repeat, i DO NOT SELL tobacco products, of ANY KIND!

never have, never will. 😒

i went to their list of restricted businesses, to see if i could figure out what was going on. they mention tobacco products, and e-cigarette juice (is it just me, or does the mere concept of “e-cigarette juice” sound just a little bit creepy?), and they also list businesses which sell “illegal drugs, items intended to mimic illegal drugs, and items intended for use manufacturing or using illegal drugs.”… which i take to mean that they’re down on “paraphernalia”, and i HAD a “Pipes” category on the site…

but, because of the fact that i actually haven’t sold a pipe in more than two years, i actually had the “pipes” category removed and deleted from the site today.

they said if i disagreed with their decision, that i could submit an appeal, which i did, on tuesday. they said they would get back to me “in 1 or 2 business days”. according to the way i figure it, “1 or 2 business days” should have been yesterday or today.

their web site DOES NOT list a phone number. moe said that they apparently have a “chat” feature, which i have used in the past, but i can’t seem to find it. if i can locate their “chat” feature, i’m DEFINITELY going to be in contact with them tomorrow. if i can’t, i don’t know what i’m going to do.

they gave me until 2nd september before they’re going to quit accepting payments from my site. 🤬🤬🤬🤬

it KEEPS! GETTING! WORSE!!! 🤬

and there doesn’t appear to be anything at all that i can do about it! 🤬

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! 🤬

it’s never going to be “back to normal”… this is the new normal.

last summer, we had temperatures in the 110s farenheit. this year, europe is having temperatures in the 40s celsius (approximately the same).

the recent COVID19 variants have “stealth” capabilities: they have very few, if any symptoms, and can fool some tests into giving a negative result… but the infected person is still massively contagious, and, because of the fact that there are few symptoms, they are less inclined to do things like mask and isolate, which infects others… and they still have the possibility of developing “long covid”, or monkeypox.

and i remember, way back when the pandemic was first starting up, in early 2020, before they discovered the first vaccines, when the CDC basically said that, if we could get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, that we could get ahead of it… but of course, that never happened, because there were too many COVIDiots who believed #drumpf when he said it would miraculously vanish. 😒

AND EVEN NOW there are public media personalities and prominent politicians who are TELLING PEOPLE that there is no pandemic, that it’s a fraud concocted by the chinese to destabilise our economy, that masks are a sign of slavery, and encouraging people to eat horse paste to “cure” COVID symptoms. 🙄

the republicunts, through a largely #drumpf-appointed supreme court, have overthrown Roe v. Wade and are champing at the bit to overthrow gay and interracial marriage, birth control, and transgender health care, and enact a nationwide ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, ectopic pregnancy, or, basically, anything else, and the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it.

there has hardly been a week go by — sometimes as frequently as every day — when there HASN’T been a mass shooting. sometimes it’s the police killing innocent, unarmed (but, unfortunately, black) people, and sometimes it is people like kyle rittenhouse, who crossed state lines with his mother and an (unlawful) assault rifle to join a riot, ended up killing two people, got away with it, and is now a “celebrity” who appears on talk shows and is interviewed by pundits, or the kid who shot up a grocery store in buffalo because he wanted to start a race war, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed, or the kid in texas who shot up an elementary school, or the kid who shot up a black church, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed…

and, once again, the republicunts are blaming everything, and everyone EXCEPT the guns, and, once again, the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it. 😒

meanwhile we have people like tucker carlson, alex jones, and other news media figures, who are actively fomenting unrest, with disinformation, misinformation and flat-out lies about everything from the most recent presidential election, to “the great replacement” conspiracy, to “Q-anon” madness, and blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi propaganda. and we have people like the “proud boys”, the “3 percenters”, the “oath keepers” and other blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi fanboys, who eat it up and spew out their own particuarly putrid brand of garbage, which is duly reported on by the news media.

and they STILL haven’t addressed things like gun control, universal health care, student debt forgiveness, or climate change, all of which are broadly popular and essential. federal minimum wage is STILL less than $7.50 an hour, which isn’t even starvation wages, these days.

AND IT’S NOT GETTING BETTER!

in fact, in many ways, it’s getting WORSE!! 🤬

at this point, as far as i can tell, the ONLY hope for a reasonably un-polluted, reasonably progressive future, with more or less equal rights for everyone, is a massive general strike… and that’s probably not going to happen, because a big chunk of people can’t be bothered or don’t care, and another big chunk of people believe they CAN’T go on strike, because of rent and food worries…

but, as far as i can see, those two big chunks of people are just delaying the inevitable, because the chaos that WILL ensue WHEN (not if) civilisation collapses will be WAY worse.

annual moisture festival…

i got my MF check today… 😒

  • 2022, 15 shares, $750 – $50 per share
  • 2021, 4 “virtual” shows, i played for 2 of them, no payment.
  • 2020, 17 shares – cancelled at the last minute, because of the imminant pandemic.
  • 2019, 13 shares, $520 – $40 per share
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…

as always, they included a note that says “Please don’t approach this as a paid gig or a money-making booking, because there is no financial guarantee…” blah, blah, blah…

the fact is, the moisture festival is STILL one of my “top paying gigs” every year, and the fact that i’m on SSDI doesn’t matter.

at the same time, $50 a share is as high as it’s been since i started keeping track… i wonder if this means that i’m one of those people who has been making money because of the pandemic? 😒

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. 😒

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.

the pond, nazis

200412 first morning
200412 first morning
across the street from our house is a pond. it normally has about 10 feet of water in it. you can see it in this photo of the “first morning”, which was taken last year. the pond started losing water in early spring of this year, and it has been mostly dry for almost four months.

today, after 3 days of rain, the pond FINALLY has water in it… not 10 feet of water, or even 10 inches of water, but it’s a start… and it’s going to have to rain A LOT MORE before we’ll be back to the “normal” 10 feet of water. 😒

but “climate change” and the coronavirus are chinese frauds, and we need to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory to junior high school kids in public schools. 😒

211006 the "pond"
211006 the “pond”

seriously, i’ve been removing flyers for patriotfront dot us, and flyers for somebody who is running for school board SPECIFICALLY on the platform of “mask CHOICE, not mandate” and “no CRT in schools”, from the bulletin board at the local convenience store… 😠 i’ve been replacing them with my “ultimatum to world leaders”, with a link to ABillionPeople.org, but it’s been being taken down almost as soon as i put it up, so i’ve been trying to get “creative”…

but it’s really disturbing to me that there are actual nazis living in my community. 😠 if he gets elected (which i hope doesn’t happen, but around here, who knows), i wonder how much actual school board experience he has, because the pandemic is not going to last forever, and once he discovers that public primary schools AREN’T teaching “critical race theory” he’s not going to have much of a platform left… but, by then, he’ll have discovered that the school board buys school books for the district, and i’m pretty sure he’ll have something to say about that. 😒

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. 😠✊

updated 😒

because of the fact that they were, for the most part, MAGA chuds, and not real, honest-to-god terrorists, they didn’t do anything more than break a bunch of windows, urinate and smear feces all over the walls, break furniture, steal nancy pelosi’s stationery, and a bunch of other meaningless, mindless vandalism, and then claim that it was all ANTIFA’s fault (hint: it wasn’t).

oh, and one guy, who was trying to steal a picture (of tip o’neill), accidentally tazed himself in the balls and died, and a lady carrying a gadsden “don’t tread on me” flag, was trampled to death, bringing the death toll to five. 😒

the FBI has currently made around 80 arrests, with more, allegedly, in the offing, but the FBI is “having difficulty” identifying people like the “Q-shaman” and “Bigo”, whose identities and general locations i knew about two days ago, while the insurrection was still in progress. (“bigo” has, since, been arrested, and, my guess is that it won’t be too long until qshaman is also in custody)

it’s really a good thing that these people weren’t more organised or had a better idea of what they were going to do once they had stormed the capitol. there were a few of them that had sort of a clue; the right-wing social media was rife with people encouraging kidnapping, murder, and general mayhem, for at least a month beforehand, but there were a only few of the MAGA chuds that actually came equipped for such things. for most of them, once they had broken into the capitol, they had no clue what to do next.

pelosi has invoked the 25th amendment, and said that if trump’s cabinet won’t remove him, congress will impeach him, AGAIN… they PROBABLY won’t have enough votes to remove him from office (again), but he’ll go down in history as the only president ever to have been impeached twice.

ETA: trump’s cabinet is resigning, rather than invoking the 25th amendment. this points out that they knew they were wrong, even before this whole thing started blowing up. if their own base hadn’t screwed up so badly, they all would have gotten away with it! #ImprisonALLTheMotherFuckers!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

ETA: donald trump’s personal accounts have been banned from all social media. not only that, but apple and google have given parler (the right-wing twitter alternative, for people who have been banned from twitter) an ultimatum: either put together a realistic moderation policy or be banned from downloading. this, of course, caused a run on parler, and it’s currently offline all together.

it’s too bad they couldn’t have done this four years ago…😒

ETA: moe gets vaccinated next week. nobody knows when i get vaccinated. they say “may – december, information on phases 2, 3 and 4 coming soon”. “people experiencing homelessness” get vaccinated in april. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

😒

it's officially an attempted coup, now...
it’s officially an attempted coup, now…

MAGA chuds have overrun the US capitol, in washington DC.

the capitol police let them do it. 😒

tear gas was deployed in the rotunda. at least one person has been shot.

the mayor of washington DC called in the national guard. the national guard said no. they’re sending in the national guard from some other state (virginia?), because the washington DC national guard could, potentially, come under the control of the acting POTUS (because biden hasn’t been inaugurated yet), which would not be ideal, at this point.

so this is how america dies. 😒

VEWPRF green things

VEWPRF was made only a little bit more tolerable this year because the pandemic has made everything else so awful that there didn’t seem to be as much energy put into the decorations and the public displays of “christianity” that there usually are…

but, because of the pandemic, we did NOT have things like the profusion of money-making gigs for performers, and the big, lavish dinner parties, and the exchange of massive quantities of commercial products, and the mass, forced, fake “love for all” like we usually have, either, so it all, sort of, evens out into a generic awful that has been, more or less, constant, since… oh, i don’t know… march? january?

so they’ve discovered a vaccine for COVID19… at the same time that they’ve discovered a new varient of the COVID19 virus. at this point, they’re pretty sure that the vaccine will work for the new varient as well, because of the fact that it’s a mRNA vaccine, rather than one based on dead or disabled virii, but, in part, because of the fact that it’s a new vaccine technology, the anti-vaxxers are even more suspicious of it, and quite a large number of them have already said they won’t get it…

what i’ve heard is that people who know seem to think that, if we can achieve masking, social distancing, and vaccines for 100 days, we MIGHT be able to “open up the economy” again around june of 2021… but, with the republican’ts and other assorted “christians”, anti-vaxxer/anti-masker idiots who will fight anything they don’t understand, and deliberately refuse to understand anything that’s not in the bible, i sincerely doubt that we’re going to see ENOUGH masking, social distancing, and vaccines to accomplish much of anything other than the opportunity for the idiots to say “see, it didn’t work”…

and the more “important” you are seems to be the determining factor in who gets the vaccine first. #drumpf got it, in spite of the fact that he’s already had it, and he’s (allegedly) already taken hydroxychloroquine as a “prophylaxis” (which it’s not, despite all the hype he gave it). my brother, who is a RN, got his last week. i don’t know IF i’m going to get it, let alone WHEN… maybe when i turn 65…

thailand has had 4 deaths from COVID19… FOUR! 😒

FUCK 2020!

our BRAND NEW, not even three months old yet, 6-foot security fence, has been destroyed by a falling tree.

200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!

200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!

it was a dead tree, on the neighbour’s yard, that fell… it didn’t even have the decency to fall all at once; it broke off about 20 feet up (remember, it was dead), and the broken part fell on our fence… it didn’t hit the shed, and nobody got hurt, which is a good thing, but still…

FUCK 2020‼‼

arf! 🤬

the word that i just got is that we are, indeed, going to yakima.

i don’t have any more details, yet, however:

1) the guy who complained about us not being colourful enough is eric. eric is the guy we were supposed to contact when we got to salem, but when we got there, and called his number, we were informed that he no longer works for the oregon state fair, and we should call someone else.

2) eric is also the guy who was supposed to be responsible for procuring the signs that didn’t exist at the oregon state fair, a fact which cost us a fair amount in tips that didn’t come in because (as was clearly demonstrated) people didn’t know that we were NOT being paid a substantial amount by the fair to be there and entertain them. to counteract this for yakima, we demanded to be paid $2,000 if yakima had signs, $2,200 if they didn’t have signs, and $2,500 if they said they would put up signs, but don’t actually do it.

3) deni apparently “went to bat” for us, and got us hired in spite of eric’s complaints that we weren’t colourful enough. whether or not this means that the issue of the signs (see item 2) that we put into our list of demands (or, for that matter, ANY of our list of demands) has been met remains to be seen.

part of this is because hobbit is so broke that busking to bring in some money NOW is more important to him than clearing up questions such as this. i trust hobbit — more or less — so i’m fairly sure that he wouldn’t deliberately put me into a situation which, ultimately, would leave me screwed, but, because of the fact that he’s so broke, i can’t be 100% sure, and even if i was 100% sure that hobbit won’t screw me, i still have significant reservations about deni, and i’m actually fairly sure that eric would deliberately do things to fuck with me, knowingly or not, simply because he has done so in the recent past. 🤬

so… whee… we’re going to busk for 10 days in yakima. woo. 😒

hopefully it will be more “productive” than salem was.

oy! 😖

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

then, things started to get better… kind of…

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

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

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

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

hrmph!

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

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

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

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

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

snarl!!! 🤬

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

i don’t have one of that variety.

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

screw-on charger
screw-on charger

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

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

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

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

THIS IS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE!!! 🤬

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

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

’cause this is RIDICULOUS! 😠🤬😠🤬😠🤬

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

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

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

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

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠‼

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which they won’t do. 😠

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFTER EIGHT PM THIS EVENING!!!

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

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

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠😠😠😠😠😠

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

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

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

american’t

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

smoke

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

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

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

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

salamandir update

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

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

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

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

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

a ray of hope, snuffed out…

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

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

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

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

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

a ray of hope…

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

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

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

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

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

neighbours

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

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

i figured it out…

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

people suck! 😠

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

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

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

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

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

ketchup

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

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

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

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

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

HTML formatting in email is EVIL!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

idiot…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The U in U2 stands for “Unwanted”!!

😡

the U stands for "Unwanted"

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

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

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

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

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

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

DON’T SAY THE PLEDGE!

in honour of the eleventh of september…

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

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

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

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

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

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

STAND UP FOR AMERICA BY SITTING DOWN!

spam WTF?!?

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

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

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

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

host akam.net returns nothing….

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

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

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

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

how does that make ANY sense whatsoever?!? 😛

grr…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that’s what i want to know… 😐

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

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

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

GRR!! 😡

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

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

bugger +1

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

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

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

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

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

<repeated head-to-desk maneuver> 😡

1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD

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

Tech Support Cheat Sheet

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


Continue reading 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD

dear 183.60.243.188

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

you have been banned from this network.

TWICE.

once on 140127 and once today, 140208.

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

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

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

snicker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this is… amusing??

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

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

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

… which would be HILARIOUS! 👿

Don’t Like Spam? COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!

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

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

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

backwards masking

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

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

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

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

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

just in case there are any republicans reading this blog

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

which the republicans voted to fund six months ago.

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

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

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

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