I guess it was several years ago now, in some discussion on Megan Giles' LJ, that in a moment of anger Elin Winkler let slip something she'd been holding against me for years, decades even, something that made me think "What the fuck are you talking about?" Basically she said I had accused her once of stealing from me, had gone around saying as much, and had never apologized to her. I didn't have an answer for her then because this literally hit me out of the blue, and had no resemblance to any reality I was aware of. I thought it was very unfair.
The only apology possible would be one of those phony Democrat non-apologies that puts the blame on the person being apologized to. You know, the kind that start "I'm sorry you feel that way". I don't make those kinds of fake apologies, and I don't respect people who make them because they are not sincere. And it certainly would be insincere to apologize for something that NEVER HAPPENED.
Eventually, I figured out what she might talking about, and so I'll put it out there to be clear. I think this is it, because there is no incident that exactly resembles what she accuses me of, but this is the closest match.
It dates all the way back to ConFurEnce 4. She and I were set up on a table just outside the Dealer's Room. I had a few copies each of three issues of Gallery with me, and I think she had some AP stuff, or something else. Anyway, I realized I needed to go back to the room to get more stock, and I asked her to watch my stuff. When I got back, a stack on the corner of the table, one of each issue I had there, was gone. This was before I started the practice of printing up spares for replacements, so I was pissed that I would be out of pocket in my accounting to make up for it. I was a bit naive at the time of what scumbags some furries could be.
So certainly I was not happy at having been stolen from, and I did direct some anger at Elin because I had asked her to watch my stuff and in the maybe 10 minutes I was away, something got stolen, but I did not at any point accuse HER of having taken the books. That idea never would have occurred to me, and I still don't even consider it a possibility.
To summarize, If this is the event she's been holding against me all these years, I think she is mistaken.
- Yes, I may have had some harsh words because she failed to watch my stuff when she said she would but then, it's a chaotic environment and she had her own things to watch, and people will do shit like put their stuff on top of books and then pick up a "little extra" when they're done. I don't blame her for it. Shit happens, and I learned from it.
- No, I never for a moment thought that Elin had taken the books.
- No, I never accused her of taking the books.
- No, I never spent the intervening years accusing her of having stolen from me because I never thought she had.
And it's sad that this thing she had in the back of her mind poisoned our interactions ever since, because I had no idea that she felt that way, and that she ascribed those thoughts to me, and viewed things through that particularly distorted lens.
Frankly, I'd pretty much forgotten the incident, other than it taught me that I couldn't go exactly zero-sum on production, and that I needed to print extras to replace damaged, lost and stolen merchandise, and that at Cons, I had to put books out one at a time so that it would be more obvious that something was not where it was supposed to be.
If there's anything for me to apologize for, I'm sorry I got mad at her because I had unrealistic expectations about how rampant and sneaky theft of merchandise at cons is, it was literally the first time I'd been selling anything at a table at a con, and so it was unfair to expect her to have been able to prevent that. But seriously, that was water under the bridge before the Con was over, and I never once thought of it or blamed her for it ever afterwards. Any anger I had was directed at the thief, whoever he was.
As for the other things she accused me of, I'm just chalking it up to distorted impressions that all trace back to this one misunderstanding which I wasn't even aware of. I certainly did make some open criticism of the way she handled Radio Comics, but I didn't conduct some extended whispering/sabotage campaign to undermine her, and I never told any artists not to publish with her (Indeed, I often suggested they submit things to her). People who know me know I only critique things I care about enough that I want them to improve. I wanted things to go well for her, and ordered every single title through my comic shop, right up until I just couldn't justify it any more. ("Skunk School" was the "Gnuff" of Genus.) If she interpreted anything I said or did in light of her misunderstanding of that first incident, well, that is out of my power to change.
And frankly, I washed my hands of all that stuff over a decade ago now. As far as I'm concerned, that chapter of my life has been closed, and several others after that.
Everyone has one, I assume. It's old, probably the first large pot you bought. A simple thing made of aluminum with a couple of plastic handles on the side. Eventually you get a nice stock pot made out of stainless or something, but the old, slightly tinged white with corrosion aluminum pot, maybe stained dark on the bottom, possibly dented, and maybe with mineral stains near the top, lives on, used for nothing beyond boiling pasta (Because you don't want to do that in your nice pot).
Well, apparently another thing you don't want to do is marinade meat in it. My ancient Aluminum Pasta Pot is going to pot-heaven now because it has a hole in it, and a pretty good sized one too - maybe a 16th of an inch. Amazingly, it didn't leak and dump a gallon or so of marinade inside my fridge. But after I dumped it out and cleaned it, I must have freed whatever was plugging the hole, and the next batch I mixed up surprised me by appearing on the counter outside its intended confines.
I dunno, do I want another cheap as crap aluminum pot for boiling pasta in, or will I end up doing it in the stainless pots now?
(And yes, I know all the stuff about Aluminum pots now being bad for you, if you cook acidic things like tomato sauce in them. But boiling pasta is perfectly safe.)
I kinda wanted to preserve this comment that I made over at According to Hoyt. I'm rather proud of it. Although if you need the context, the original is over here
Reading this, I had a reminder of the old adage "The Map is not the Terrain", or in this case, we're having trouble with words because the meaning has changed over time (and sometimes that change has been steered deliberately to advance an agenda).
Take for example the word "Race" which is now almost functionally equivalent to "Racism", in that you can't even mention the former without invoking the latter. And for that to work, the current definition of Race has evolved to mean "Damn near to speciation" and therefore WRONG! (And EVIL, and Politically Incorrect). (Of course, BEING Politically Correct, it's okay to use the term if you're handing out bennies in exchange for votes from the poor benighted bastards.) And because the term has been forced into this new meaning, the OLD tribal usage, e.g. The English Race, The French Race makes no sense. You can't even talk about race as a tribal thing because someone will point out that the races are inter-fertile, when you were never implying anything of the sort. The fact of the matter is that regional differences in the human genome are naturally going to occur when you cover the planet on foot as your species expands. It's only the advent of sailing ships and jet airplanes that have thrown those regional differences into more extreme contrast. But even when we were on foot, we could tell the subtle differences that meant someone was not from around here.
Go look at that average face photoset again, and you can see how the average face from two close countries is similar, but still subtly different, but the more geographically distant, the more different they are. At some point you can draw a line, usually at a geographic barrier, and say there's enough distinction here to call it an ethnicity, but the folks on either side of that line are going to still be awfully close.
But with the new PC that border is both IMPORTANT, and UNMENTIONABLE, depending on the context. And it has to be treated as something inflexible, rather than the topographic line in the gradation of some human physical trait.
Back to the language thing, I'm reminded of another bit, where an Alien, dealing with human language, comments to his colleague, "They call their planet dirt." And all of the words for the Earth in pretty much every language are synonyms for the surface, Terra = Terrain, Earth = Soil, one could go on. I'm sure it's the same in any language. So I discount the importance of the statement people make about “All words for themselves translate to "the People"" because that's making too much out of the symbol, the word, when in either language, that symbol refers to the same concept. But most languages attach a word to several concepts, but they aren't necessarily the same set. So building some huge logical structure out of English's word for the concept of "us" (people), implying they regard others as "Not people" and thus "Not human" and thus "We can kill them because they aren't human and don't matter." when that isn't attached to the idea in the original language is an exercise in the Noam Chomsky textbook.
"Not our tribe" does NOT necessarily imply the thinking "Not our species". Forcing that implication in order to critique humanity might fly in Critical Theory, but it ain't reality.
This is not a Pipe.
So, who ended up with my old Monster Manual? I'm missing that from my bag of D&D books.
"So, you won the right to force yourselves on people who don't like you. Of course, forcing yourself on someone unwilling always makes them like you eventually. Just ask date-rapists."
Rats, what was the other one?
I was looking at a friend's Facebook, and he had commented on some post by George Takei about some proposed law in Arizona that would allow businesses to refuse service to anyone they chose to.
It was very hard to keep my trap shut, but the last thing I wanted to do was incur the facebook wrath of 10,000 George Takei fans. But it still bugs me, so I'll dig my hole here and shout "The Czar has the ears of a goat!" into it.
"So, basically you're arguing against this law because you want to secure your right to give bigots your money?"
"Does this work both ways? Do you want to allow Christians to force gay bookstores to order bibles and Fred Phelps books for them or face lawsuits for discrimination?" (They give me hot buttons, I just have to push 'em). "Or is this one of those one-way rights that only protected classes get to sue?"
"I understand it's pretty easy for a Black person to show that they're black and have been discriminated against, but how do you prove to a court that you are, in fact, verifiably gay? How do you prove the business knew this?"
"This is very anti-freedom. You're basically demanding the law say that if someone waves money at you, regardless of any principles you may have, you are absolutely obligated to do what they want or they can sue you. Again, unless this is one of those one-way rights, somebody could contract George to play some horrible gay child molester for a political ad, and he would not be allowed to refuse them on the basis of discrimination and their legitimate offer to pay. I mean, if you think it's okay for some baker to be compelled to give up her principles when someone waves money in her face, it really has to work both ways for it to be fair, right? After all, what are principles when someone waves God Money in your face?"
Embedded videos that worked fine last night are coming up black.
New Flash update didn't help. Reinstalling it didn't help either. But it can't be flash, because if you click on the videos to open them on YouTube, they work fine.
I'm guessing in the next few days either it'll turn out to be a problem with the latest Mozilla (it just updated) or Flash, or more jigger-fuckery by Google.
I guess it depends on if I'm the only one.
Since I'm home sick from work.
The Slow-Mo guys take on a full-auto M4 rifle. And if you watch, not only is it cool (watching things happen like the bolt bouncing before it fully settles into battery) but it also shows why you can't hit shit in full auto. (Hollywood is full of shit, but for some reason people believe them).
At the supermarket I usually go to, they sometimes have a little display of very cheap DVD's, typically RedBox rentals in cardboard sleeves.
As I was poking through them, I found "Superman Returns". Interesting enough.
Then I found a movie I'd never heard of before on the other side of the display. "Waiting for Superman."
Naturally I had to take the first and put it immediately after the second.
So over on Instapundit, the topic of LED bulbs comes up a lot, and a lot of people swear by this one brand that is currently only available at Home Depot: Cree.
So last time I was there, I picked up another 65 watt flood equivalent, and their 60 watt soft white bulb equivalent. Today I just put the latter in a floor lamp in the living room.
There isn't a damn bit of difference in the light it puts out. It's exactly the same color as the incandescent. There is no purple undertone. That right there was amazing.
The bulb itself is slightly different, the exterior seems to have some kind of rubbery, grippy coating. I worry that might attract dirt. And of course it is a bit heavier than a regular bulb - not an issue in the floor lamp. Looking directly at it, (ow!) the ring of LED's inside it show through the frost like a big ring of filament might, although there is a shadow on the center top of the bulb from the internal structure. Unless you like to look directly at light bulbs, you wouldn't notice it. The lampshade helps too. It is generally shaped like a normal "A-19" style bulb, unlike some of the others.
The nice thing is, the Cree bulbs are not the most expensive ones. Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive. They're dimmable, and available in Daylight and soft white color temperatures. Haven't tested the dimming, and I don't know about X-10 compatibility. Considering X-10 seems to be a dead technology these days, that's probably not an issue.
The downside, nobody has 100 Watt equivalents yet.
The exterior does get a little warm, and the metal heat-sink area is uncomfortable to touch, but nothing compared to a fully-heated-up incandescent. It's supposed to use only 9-9.5 watts. Two night-light bulbs MIGHT generate that much heat.
We shall see how long it lasts. That light is on a timer that runs 9 hours a day. So if it's supposed to last 22 years at 3 hours a day, I'll report back in about 7 years.
Via Instapundit, from "View from the Porch"
We reduced Japan to a pile of radioactive smoking rubble in 1,346 days. It's now Day 1,355 and, despite promises to do likewise to the healthcare system, they're still working on it. The FDR administration built almost a hundred working aircraft carriers faster than the Obama administration has managed to build one working website.
Happy Pearl Harbor Day.
... because I ate the whole chicken.
and it was GOOOOD.
(A turkey is a bit much for a Bachelor, so I buy chickens and roast them. Normally I try to only eat half of it.)
It started a while ago when Google kept asking me to change my user name on YouTube to my real name. When I said I wanted to keep it the way it was, they said the next step would be to create a Google+ account. Well, no. I have no interest in giving all my data to Google (that which they haven't already scraped up off the Internet). You don't have an option to say no, you can only say Yes, or they'll ask you later.
Well, I guess that's not enough for them. Now they won't let you comment on YouTube without signing up. Still not going to do it.
Fuck you Google, I will not be blackmailed or inconvenienced into going on to your stinking service just because you've gotten so big you think you have leverage over me. Go to hell and die in a fire.
My kitchen has those in-ceiling light fixtures that take 65 Watt indoor floods. I tend to leave those lights on most of the time when I'm home, since there really isn't much built-in lighting in the main living area. As a result, they tend to burn out more frequently, and the probably represent most of my lighting use (which in turn is probably actually a tiny fraction of my electricity use compared to the computers and HVAC).
I was at Wal-Mart pricing more bulbs, at around $15 for a four-pack, when I saw they also had a LED version for the same price.
I tried a CFL copy of the bulb years ago, and it sucked so bad I took it out and put a regular bulb back in (slow to light, slow to reach full brightness, dimmer than the incandescent).
LED though is a technology I could get behind. It makes more sense than CFL for numerous reasons. So I put in the new bulb and bam, it's actually brighter than the bulbs it's replacing. The light floods a bit wider, and it does have a tiny bit of that purplish tint white LED's have, but not as bad as bare LED flashlights. It turns on and off instantly, possibly faster than incandescent. It also claims to use only 12 watts and last 22 years. It may be a bit of a wait to see how that pans out, but considering how many dead CFLs I've had that croaked in less than a year (5 year life my ass), and how often the regular bulbs go out, it could pay for itself if it lasts five, just in the cost of bulbs.
LED's are definitely more suitable for directional lights like floods, so I don't know about replacing normal A19 bulbs with them. The economics are really not there, especially with Washington's cheap electric rates. But the long life will definitely steer me into replacing the decorative candelabra lights over the front stairs with them when a suitable replacement is available.
The only downside is this model is not dimmable (Dimmable versions by GE are about $5 more), but I don't have the kitchen lights on a dimmer, so who cares.
"I'm afraid it's cancer, a rare form called a Fossenoma. It generally affects dancers. Symptoms include random spreading of the fingers, sometimes called "Jazz hands"."
"Is it serious?"
"Cancer is usually referred to in numbered stages, but in your case, the stage is Broadway. I'm afraid you won't be tapdancing PAST the graveyard."
Eeesh, the things that happen in your brain when you spend four hours with your head stuffed in a hole. (There's a story behind that, but really, it's just part of the endless gripe session about what fucking incompetent idiots we have on first shift. I swear, they must be getting paid by Airbus.)
So I'm reorganizing some pictures, some are duplicates. At least under XP, if I dragged a file into a folder with a file that had the same name, it would ask me which version to keep. But Windows 7 has nerfed that ability.
*Drags file into folder desired*
Windows: "The source and destination file names are the same."
Me: "Yes, I know that, overwrite the file."
Windows: "Sorry, your only option is Cancel."
Trying it with multiple files
Windows: "Okay, your options now are Skip or Cancel, with a checkbox to do that for all files (Even if that makes no sense for cancel)."
Me: "WTF happened to replace?!"
Windows: "Hehehe. U Mad?"
(Update: Seems to be related to accessing your files through the "Library" system instead of your directory structure. I hate this system. I'd like to turn it off.)
The government took over Freedom Hosting, and allowed Child porn and worse to continue for months, hoping that they could also maybe get the terrorists to log in, then slipped in some code in a maintenance page to completely de-anonymize users.
I remember folks telling people to get into TOR to fight NSA spying. Yeah, THAT worked real well, didn't it?
And Encryption isn't as hard to crack as advocates were saying either, especially with government-mandated back doors.
The next time someone says you should trust all your dirty laundry to some new technology, perhaps you shouldn't listen.
So I was reading Sarah Hoyt's blog
this morning, and in a discussion about politics, THIS comment pops up, quoted in its entirety:
Peter Grant | August 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm
I had my own epiphany about Left and Right in South Africa after the advent of democracy in 1994.
Prior to that, the policy of apartheid had meant racial segregation, the suppression of individual rights in favor of the state, and a blinkered approach to humanity that meant only whites were regarded (in so many words) as 'fully human'. Every other race was lesser, and should be treated as such (including stripping some of their South African citizenship and casting them out into 'tribal homelands' that no-one else in the world recognized). Taken to its logical conclusion, this meant that Japanese and Chinese (whose trade was essential) were officially classified as 'honorary Whites'. (What they felt about this is not recorded.) It also led to the deliberate, dispassionate murder of tens of thousands of Black people, from activists such as Steve Biko (whose death in police custody, the Justice Minister said, 'left him cold') to ordinary men and women in the street, shot dead by police in sweeps through the segregated Black townships. (Don't tell me they were all 'terrorists' – I was there, and saw for myself. I bear wounds from police bullets to this day. I also bear wounds from terrorist bullets and knives. Both sides hated those few of us who tried to help the victims, irrespective of ideology. They couldn't control us, or our message, so we were targets.)
The epiphany came after our first democratic elections, when the so-called Truth and Reconciliation Commission began to arrange its first hearings. I'd seen so much during the evil years that I had plenty of evidence to provide. I duly asked to give evidence, and provided a summary outline of some of the events I'd witnessed.
I received a phone call a few days later. No, I could not give evidence about so-called 'terrorist' atrocities – only about those committed by the apartheid government. I said, bluntly, that I'd seen everything – I even had photographic evidence of some incidents – and that I'd tell the whole truth, not an edited, selective version. I was then told, by a Commission executive, bluntly and unambiguously, that if I attempted to 'smear' the 'liberation movements' with my 'lies', I'd be killed before they'd allow me to give evidence.
There it was. 27 of my friends died in trying to help the victims of violence perpetrated by both sides (including my fiancee). I'd shed my own blood trying to do the same. Now we knew that the free, fair, just society we'd been working for was a chimera. One form of racist dictatorship would simply be replaced by another. Thus it happened, and the evidence of it may be seen in South Africa to this day.
Yes, I felt like a fool – but not completely. We saved many lives in those years. Hopefully some of them at least counted for something.
I also learned to distrust any government of any description whatsoever. They exist to serve the ends of the people in power. They do not exist to serve the interests and needs of the people themselves. That applies on Left or Right, in democracies or dictatorships, no matter what their (stated or unstated) motivation or philosophy may be. Distrust power. The same applies to almost any institution (including churches and other religious movements). I saw and experienced politically-motivated betrayal of the truths they proclaimed by many Christian leaders during those years. I came to forgive them, reluctantly, afterwards . . . until the sex abuse scandals blew up, and I found that those leaders in other countries were just as corrupt, just as eager to protect their institution and their own power as any others. I no longer participate in organized religion at all, as a direct result. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
I hope my friends who died, didn't die in vain. Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I wonder whether I'll ever know.
It's not a nice feeling.
And yet the Hagiographies of Nelson Mandela are just waiting in the wings for him to kick the bucket.