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User Journal

Journal Journal: OMG 7

I havenÂt been here for years!


User Journal

Journal Journal: Is you Windows system down or failing due to a malware or virus infection? 2

There is a nasty piece of malware going around that has caused a number of people I know to have their Windows machines to crash and I am tired of people complaining about Windows virus/malware infections...

So let me put it mildly....Surfing the net using the Windows operating system is like having sex with multiple partners that you pick up on the street and you don't use a condom, or if you do, it always has a hole or two in it. And you do this for multiple hours of ever day.

That is surfing with Windows. Even when you use an anti-virus or anti-malware program, there are *NO* anti-virus or anti-malware programs that will stop them all. And what's more...people don't blame Windows on being insecure, they blame it on the virus and malware writers!

Or, to put it another way, it is sort of like complaining that buglers and thieves are breaking into your home, yet the only thing barring them from entering you home is turning a door knob because you have no locks or alarm systems installed. That is using Windows to surf the net.

So *PLEASE* start putting pressure Microsoft to secure their operating system, or switch to something more secure, like Mac OS, or Linux. And before you give me that BS that Linux doesn't get as many infections as Windows because it is less popular...think about this...Facebook runs on Linux, Google runs on Linux, Akamai runs on Linux, 98% of the to 500 fastest computers in the World run Linux. The fastest selling phone operating system, Android, is a version of Linux. There are easily as many Linux system out there as there are Windows system, and I am willing to bet there are actually *more* Linux system than Windows systems.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Adventures in Slackwareland...

Today, I leapt onto the bleeding edge...

I've always been a big fan of Slackware, although I have used most of the popular Linux Distros out there, Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE...but I keep on coming back to Slackware. It's just a good, solid Distro. But recently, there has been a new Distro based upon Slackware. It's called Salix. Its relationship to Slackware is like Ubuntu's relationship to Debian...that is, they take the basic base distro, and dramatically enhance it for desktop use. Now I know a think or two about taking a distro and modifying it...having created MfxLinux, a Slackware based distro which was Desktop oriented. So I know how much work goes into building a distro.

Salix does a lot of the things that I would normally do with a fresh Slackware install...and much more! A fresh install gives you all of the multi-media tools you need to use it as a desktop oriented version of Linux. As Slackware is very fast, Salix does very well as a desktop operating system.

But there is one thing that it adds that really takes it head-and-shoulders above other desktop distros based upon Slackware...even mine. They have added a package management tool called Slapt-get. It is based upon the Apt-get tool that Debian has, but it uses Slackware customised tarball as a container. It uses a separate directory on the Repository site to store the dependencies. They also bundle in GSlapt, which is a graphical front end for Slapt-get.

These tools make it very easy to keep your system updated...or do, as I am doing as I write this...step onto the bleeding edge!

There are many reasons why I am doing what I am doing, but the simplest is that it is a challenge...

I am using the "Dist-upgrade" option, to upgrade my version of Salix from version 13.1, to "current". Now if you know how Slackware works, you will know that the "current" version of Slackware is the one that all of the development is happening on. It two or three times a day. So that means, I am testing the bleeding edge of Salix, and Slackware.

This should be fun!

I know, for some of you, this is not your idea of fun....but it is for me, so don't gripe! :-)

I will let people know how this works out...

User Journal

Journal Journal: um, bye? 23

haven't used this in a while, and don't really intend to anymore. took me forever to find the stupid "write in journal" button. decided I should get the friends-list and what not squared away so if I come back I won't be confused as all heck. "see you in another life brother."

User Journal

Journal Journal: update 2

Interesting that "User Journal" was not the default topic this go-around.

So, it's been a while since I updated. And I'm banking on having some free time in the evenings for a few days, so journal time it is. Wow, had to go back and check to see where I left off. But, now for the reader's digest version of the past couple of months.

After my parent's left from bringing Puppy back home, husband and I ended up getting rear ended pretty badly. No injuries, but significant damage to car. More below.

We went to husband's older sister's sort of wedding reception (they got married in Bonaire, we didn't go). It was held at her ex-husband's sister's house. Awkward. It was a really nice house though.

After jumping through hoops, the insurance company decides my car is totaled. Sad day. I never thought I would be emotional about a car, but I was. Tow company came and took it away. Husband ramped up my manual driving lessons, since his car would be the only one for a while.

More hoops later, and we have a new(er) car. Nicer than my old car. Ok, way nicer than my old car, and we got a pretty good deal I think. Still not used to it, and can't find it in the parking lots.

Oh, at some point during the summer, husband actually got the pool fixed and usable. It was really nice to have. Puppy loves swimming too, so it helped her to get all her exercise in on the days it was too hot to walk. She's too short (who would have thought) to reach the bottom, so we had to get her a super cute life-vest so that she can rest without us having to hold her up and get all scratched to crap by her toenails.

Well, I guess that's about all that's different since the last time I wrote. Hope everyone else is doing well!


Journal Journal: Is "Free" only a Yankee concept? 1

Today, I experience what is becoming a frequent phenomenon....I will read about some excellent website to get something, in this case, Chris Anderson's New Book "Free", and I find that I can't access it. Why, because I live in Canada. Now before you get all puffed up saying "American content is for Americans"...let me tell you that I am *an* American. I've got the US Passport to prove it! As an American accessing American content, I am being denied access, simply because of my geographical location. Similarly, I try and access The Colbert Report...same thing, and I am told I have to try and access it from the CTV Broadband site, which barfs on Firefox running on Linux. So again, I am an American denied access to an American show simply because of my location, (and then a crappy website).

Now up in Canada, many people call all Americans Yankees, and going "down South" usually means going to Florida. I could access these sites using various proxy server based solutions, but that's not the point. If the US wants to be the Champion of Freedom, that should mean all freedoms, not just the ones it wants to impose upon other countries for US market's interest, or some political ideologue's. One of the US's best ways to spread freedom is through the internet, and if American Culture is the heart of that Freedom, the world is being slowly but surely cut off from that heart. And the result is laws like what Canada has, called CAN-CON.

CAN-CON is a concept that was created to promote Canadian arts in Canada. It forced TV and Radio to have a certain percentage of their broadcasts consist of Canadian produced shows and music. This has had a hugely beneficial effect for Canadian music. But a great deal of it is only heard in Canada. Now many people know some of the great Canadian acts that arose before CAN-CON came into place, bands and artists like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, The Guess Who (listen closely to the word of "American Woman"!) and Rush. Some of the acts that have come up since CAN-CON are Feist, Sarah McLachlan, Alannah Myles, Jeff Healy, D.O.A., Voivod, I Mother Earth, Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, Nelly Furtado, Dream Warriors, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly (FLA), and k-os, to name some of the top selling Canadian acts.

Now, Imagine that those acts had not been able to get across the border because of a lack of freedom of Canadian Music going across into the US. Of course, some Americans would be happy, as it would mean no Celine Dion or Bryan Adams...but there are always exceptions. :-)

Information, which is what all media is today, wants to be free. If Comedy Central really wanted to find out how many people on the internet liked show like The Colbert Report, they would allow any country to watch the show on their website...but now, they only have the US demographics...and everyone else in the World downloads the show on P2P networks. If they watch it on CTV Broadband, it is usually when they are at work, and bored.

Maybe the answer is in Chris Anderson's "Free"...I'll never know because the site it's available for previewing at a site blocks Canadian IP address.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bad Mommy 11

Well, as per usual, I write a journal entry because I am currently upset and have no one to talk to. Husband is busy, and I don't feel as though I should really be calling my mom. And since I have no friends that will answer the phone when I call, I fall back on the good old slashdot journal.

I never really know what I should say when I write here. I'm always afraid that people who know me "in real life" will find this place. And I know that one person already knows of this place, although hopefully boredom has lead them away by now.

Went to the wedding of a highschool friend who hasn't been a friend since our own wedding. We basically went to show her that even though she screwed us over by agreeing to help out at our wedding and then deciding the day of not to show... I guess to show her we're better people than she is. Both of her parents made a point of saying how important it was to her that we came, and she almost sounded relieved when she said she was "really glad [we] could make it." I know it is petty, but I hope she lost sleep over it.

Their wedding was as fancy as ours was not. I'm glad that we got married 2 years apart. That helps to ease some of the embarrassment, but not the heartache and hard feelings. The one good thing that came of that entire fiasco (including the no-clothes-to-wear part) was that I got to reconnect with my Maid of Honor a bit. They say that time heals all wounds. The problem is that I like to pick the scabs.

Anyways, we took Puppy with us, since we were staying at my parents' house for the wedding and left her there while we went on a too short vacation. She's still there, even though we've been back a few days, and my parents aren't going to be bringing her back until Monday. Originally they wanted us to come back and get her, even though that would add 10 hours of drive time to our trip, but we talked them out of that.

I kind of wish that we did go back for her though. As much as I hate that dog sometimes, I miss her terribly. And I know that she is not doing well there, even though my mom keeps trying to make her emails sound positive. Puppy thinks that we abandoned her there. And a well-meaning neighbor is "dog whispering" her because she isn't very well trained for walking and meeting people yet. While I am grateful for the progress it sounds like she is making in those areas, all of these changes are really upsetting her, and she's developed 2 habits in the past few days that she did not have when we brought her there -- poop eating, and biting.

I feel absolutely terrible and like the worst "puppy-mama" in the world. Not only did I fail to train my dog well in the first place (despite my best efforts) but now I've left her some place she wasn't comfortable and caused her to develop stress related problems. I guess I'm going to have to start researching dog-friendly vacation spots and lodgings for next year, because I don't think I can do this to her again.

At least the barrier spray finally started working, considering our house wasn't over-run while we were gone, and the number of ants in the kitchen has been drastically reduced. Will probably end up getting some more to finish treating the outside of the house around the windows and probably will do the shed too. I'd like to get this done before Puppy gets home, since this stuff isn't good for pets while it's still wet, but we'll see if I am able.

Right now husband and one of his work buddies are attempting to fix our piece-of-shit pool. I'd much rather it was just gone as I do not think it is salvageable. Whatever. His pool. His house. His time. His money.

I feel like I haven't gotten to relax since before Easter. Since my parents will be staying a week when they bring Puppy back so that my dad can do some work, I have at least one more full week before I can relax again. And husband just sprung surprise dinner plans with one of his cousins on me for tonight, so I won't even get a respite today once I finish all my chores. I suppose that I could have just said no, but I think the stress of spousal fall-out would be greater than the stress of spending a couple hours with a complete stranger talking about how much I fail at life.

This is starting to sound like the old queen again. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to cancel my doctors appointment with Specialist 2 for Tuesday, but I wasn't really sure how that would work out with my parents being in town. But I may end up having to bite the bullet and just ditch out while they are here and hope that the awkwardness will not ruin the rest of the week.

I don't know why I am posting this. And such a downer on a "holiday weekend." I guess I am just lonely right now. Well, I guess I better go and try to figure out why F-spot is fucking up right now so that I can finish archiving the vacaneymoon and zoo pictures.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mother Nature: 1

It's on bitch. Tonight I am going to discuss the nuclear option with husband. I don't appreciate it when entities do the complete opposite of what I ask of them. On the other hand, I'm quite happy we didn't waste time/money/effort on a jumbotron container of the barrier treatment. Either it doesn't work or you are much craftier than I gave you credit for.

See you in hell. ~Queen

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dear Mother Nature: 4

I don't really know how to say this to you, but I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. We've been together a long time. Remember our agreement? The line? Well, in case you forgot the line consists of the walls of my house. I was generous, I gave you the big half.

I even invited parts of you into my home to live in pots on my window sills. I've been trying to help keep you groomed. I recycle, even though in my area it isn't the easiest thing to do.

But that spider in my kitchen was the last straw. I'm tired of all the uninvited guests you keep sending into my home. Even though I kill every one of them that I can find, you aren't getting the hint. This weekend we are going to be buying some of that Ortho Max stuff to force you to comply with the line. Please note that if this doesn't work, I will be forced to get really nasty.

Love, Queen

PS: As an additional favor, perhaps to show that you still have some good will towards me, it would be nice if you could keep all the dead animals out of my yard. Oh, and those poisonous berry plants I keep trying to get rid of. I really would prefer to keep my dog healthy. Thanks.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Apr 1 12

So I didn't really realize that it was April Fools until I checked my gmail and saw the new Autopilot feature. Kind of wish that comcast had it because it would make emailing my parents a little easier.

I'll admit that I logged in just to see what all my achievements were once I saw that it was the joke for today. I have been meaning to do an update for a while now, so I suppose it is a good excuse. (Awesome, puppy just turned my speakers off for me by licking the power button.)

Survived the winter, only just barely. Had to resort to taping all windows with plastic to keep heating bill less than outrageous. Our pipes froze 4 times, but thanks be to God they did not burst.

Puppy is technically still a puppy I guess. She's 10.5 mos old now, and 60 lbs, but still insanely energetic. After one of husband's coworkers brought their dog over to play, I decided I'm glad I don't have a border collie. Although perhaps the shedding problem would have been worse.

Trick training got us through the long winter, especially that horrendous ice storm. It was so cold that even puppy didn't want to be outside, but still had tons of energy. Thank goodness bro gave us the 101 dog tricks book for Christmas.

Me? Health has been ok. Generally improved over last year. I did a couple of blender tutorials, and intend to start working on that more seriously again. I'm writing again, and it feels awesome. Since I'm apparently unemployable, I intend to finish my book and get it in finalized form by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes.

Not sure how many people are still around the dot anymore, but I have a request. Does anyone know where I can get DVD's of the ORIGINAL Star Wars that won't look like crap? I've been researching, but I'm not sure which set would be the best to get. And if I see the ghost of Hayden Christenson at the end of Jedi, I will be pissed.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Blu-Ray media streaming 4

I have the following:
1 Windows Vista x64 Machine, in my basement, equipped with a Blu-Ray drive and player software by Cyberlink that in theory works with Windows Media Center.

1 medium-strength (Athlon 2600, 2GB RAM, Radeon X800XTX) former gaming machine, with a license for Windows XP and a current Ubuntu 8.10 install.

I want: to pop a Blu-Ray disc in my Vista machine, stream over gigabit to the lesser machine, for output onto a standard-definition 37" TV.

Any suggestions? Windows Media Center refuses to acknowledge Blu-Ray playback software exists, VLC can't handle it, and I don't have the drive space to store multiple Blu-Ray movies at full resolution. While I'm in principle unopposed to downconverting the Blu-Ray discs to standard definition, that doesn't support the kind of instant experience I'd like.


User Journal

Journal Journal: If a NutJob makes sense, then am I a NUT also for agreeing?

When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said
      about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that
      he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is
      pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong
      to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are
      hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities. The terms
      "negro," "oriental," "handicapped" or "chick" for an African, an
      Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory
      connotation. "Broad" and "chick" were merely the feminine equivalents
      of "guy," "dude" or "fellow." The negative connotations have been
      attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal
      rights advocates have gone so far as to reject the word "pet" and
      insist on its replacement by "animal companion." Leftist
      anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about
      primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative.
      They want to replace the word "primitive" by "nonliterate." They seem
      almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive
      culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that
      primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the
      hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect"
      terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant,
      abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of
      whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from
      privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold
      among university professors, who have secure employment with
      comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual, white
      males from middle-class families.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I wrote it, I own it, but I don't know where it came from.

Sitting at the beach with bucket and pail in hand... Wondering where the water goes after it falls off the edge, and why the water is suddenly attacking my sand castle. I BUILT WALLS TO KEEP THE WATER OUT! But it managed to just keep me in. The sun was setting that day as I franticaly bailed out my moat. Setting on the castle that slowly crumpled back into the lovely rippled surface from where it came. It was there that I was comprehending my theory on gravity and the massive amounts of energy that must be released by friction to overcome the incomprehensable pull of one grain to the other. The bond that holds all things together was not strong enough to save my childhood or my castle. Slowly time errodes me still, one grain at a time as I edge towards my eventual demise. Worn by water and defeated by the most powerful of all forces, Gravity in the third dimension, Time.

I was pulled to the ground in ways unknown to a child at that time, my feet leaving the impressions of life that would vanish all to soon if left on their own. The world could continue to turn yet my impact would slowly be erased. As I came to this briefest of realizations, I blinked and it was gone. My sand castle had suddenly sucomed to the tides that drive the most primal of systems, the sea. Here I again sit at the shore, listening to the music of this world. One World once populated by a simple species. But like all things that rise, so shall they fall. This ocean pristine again and cleansed of this briefest of moments when we as a species built our buildings of sand. Only to be eventually torn down by that most powerful of all the forces, Gravity in the third dimension, Time. Stripped of their raw materials, even the mightiest of dwellings returned to the land and await reconstruction by the next species that may arise from the ashes. And as I blinked in the blinding light, it was made clear to me that these castles will always be destined to fall as long as we build them from the sands of this world.


User Journal

Journal Journal: update

So past couple of weeks have been hectic for me. I survived the birthday.

Ever since though, it seems like a non-stop stressfest. The day we left to visit the fam, Puppy got diarrhea. Which continued off and on for like 2 weeks. Every time I thought she was finally better (for real this time) she would get it again. I figured she was eating one of the plethora of poisonous plants in our suburban backyard, and basically destroyed it trying to figure out what was wrong.

Finally tired of random bouts of the poops, and 4 awakenings in the night for her to make them, I make the appointment with the vet. Turns out that the poisonous plants she ingested weakened her tract so that she was able to contract a protozoic infection from the millions of rabbit turds she snorfs down every time I take her outside. Brilliant. A round of antibiotics later (and two hours of picking up dog poop to make sure she wouldn't reinfect herself on them) I am hoping that I won't have to go through this again any time soon.

Bright spot: At the vet someone told the secretary that her dog was "a little sick". But it sounded like she said "little shit" so I turned to Husband and said, "Yes, my dog is a little shit too."

Health = don't ask. Double dosage is not helping. Still have most of my original symptoms, plus now I am so tired during the day that I can barely function. I haven't taken this many naps in 20 years. And I still conk out at around 8pm every day.

Oh, and the best part is that I've been battling the insurance company for the past 4 months or so to try to get them to actually cover the things they are supposed to cover. The things I asked them pointedly in the beginning if they would cover, and they insisted that they would after a $300 deductible that they are now trying to turn into a $1500 deductible. At this point I question whether the possibility of improved health is worth all this money and frustration.

Sorry for the downer post. Time for my pre-dinner nap.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 3rd attempt: ramble on 13

So this is my third attempt to write something in here today. Going to try to make this one stick. I'm so out of the practice of journaling I never seem to know quite what to write.

Health-wise, things are so-so. Have had 2 appointments with specialist #2. First one, he gave me a prescription that worked really great for about 5 days, and then basically cut out on the 8th day. Not surprising, as I seem to be able to build up tolerances pretty quick. Side-effects abnormal. Second appointment led to a doubling of the dosage. Thus far it has just made me extremely tired. Fortunately the other side-effects have been less prevalent. We'll see how it works out.

My birthday is in 4 days. Not sure how I feel about that anymore. At first I felt old. Then I felt excited. Now I just feel stressed and/or ambivalent because I have to work out how to visit with relatives that I'd rather not visit who are insisting on seeing me for my birthday. I'd rather just keep things low-key, but one thing family is good at is making you worry about things.

Puppy is doing fairly well. She's more than doubled in size (getting closer to triple at this point). For a couple of weeks she was an absolute joy. Obedient, fun. Now she's reverted back to her more rambunctious self. Testing the rules and boundaries. She really makes me appreciate the demeanor of the dog we had when I was growing up a lot more. Of course, she could have been a hellion at this age too, and I just don't remember. Hopefully she'll settle down again soon.

Got the Essential Blender book in the mail yesterday. I am enjoying it so far, but haven't really made it to the procedural sections yet. I'm excited though, because it is more in depth and will cover a lot of things that I've heard people talk about but had no idea how to do it. Seems like it will be a good companion book to my Blender 2.0 manual. Going to try to rededicate myself to my Blender studies as my train kind of derailed earlier in the year.

[Note to self: message people about Blender.]

Still working on getting the house stuff arranged properly. Finally got my desk area set up a little better. Still need to do some cleaning off and finding of things, but it feels much better now. Also, as an added bonus, the area is much more Puppy-proof now. She can no longer stick her head behind my desk and lick the grating where the computer fan blows out. Still not entirely sure why she likes to do that.

Cold and rainy here today. This is an unwanted change from the warmer temperatures we had been enjoying again. Where I come from, this is winter weather. Here, however, this is just the beginning taunts of winter. Not looking forward to visits from Jack Frost. [Note to self: get good jacket out of Husband's car.]

In fangirl goodness: I got the most awesome Darth Vader action figure from walmart. The Legacy collection. Very poseable and his left hand is in the Grip position, which is what I had been waiting for, for years. He now perches on my desk ready to choke anyone who annoys me. Still looking for the perfect Wall-E toy. I want one that can fold all up into a box and have a flap open like his garbage dumper. Not sure they have both in the same toy.

Well, this has gotten pretty long, so I suppose I'll stop here for today. Plus I think it might be naptime now. Hooray for having a cold.

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"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce