Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hey, advertisers, make a note of this:

I used to consider adblock 'only' "really nice". Then I got hit by an auto-playing video ad in another tab. Adblock is now considered mandatory.

(Get adblock plus:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"oh, crap", as it were

Are we really up to 4x04 already?! I haven't even finished season three yet!

Twilight still has wings, I see. Mind you, I'd probably be griping if they hadn't kept them, too. It's not like you can just retcon something as major as apparently changing the species of the closest thing you have to a main character.

I only know this much because I wound up on this blogspot after doing this image search.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Firefox 25 raw first impressions

With all the brou-ha-ha about firefox 25, and all the unfortunate changes that were supposedly coming, I wasn't sure what to think.  So I snagged a copy to play around with, before updating all my devices.

Basically... I can't tell that anything changed.  Certainly nothing I care about, that I can see so far.  I haven't started a new profile yet, but I think many of the changes I'd already be patching around with other addons anyways.

When I first opened my old profile, I couldn't use the address bar.  At all.  Disabling the Omnibar and Background Tabs addons let it work again, and it still works after re-enabaling Omnibar.  I don't know if "just" disabling Background Tabs would have done the trick.

All my other addons seem to be working.  One of them is evidently stopping the 'hide forward button' so-called feature, I wish I knew which.  I _hate_ that 'feature'.  Maybe it's a setting somewhere in about:config instead.

The 'magic' stop/reload button behavior is still in evidence.

As far as I can tell, new toolbars are still an option.  I haven't tried anything even more exotic yet.

The addons 'Tree-Style Tabs' and 'Vertical Toolbar' still work fine, so far as I can see.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Using slock

I've been using slock1, from the suckless tools collection, to lock my computer recently. And I gotta say, it's really doesn't suck. Using it literally couldn't be any simpler: at any command prompt (ie, in a terminal emulator, awesomeWM's "run" box), you type "slock".

And that's it. Your computer is now locked. Mouse input is ignored, to unlock it you simply type your password at the blank screen. There's no password prompt, no screen saver, no options to mess with, nothing. Just your locked computer and a blank screen. If you're worried about burn-in, turn your monitor off---you should be doing that anyways.

1Getting slock: slock is part of suckless tools, from In Ubuntu, it's part of the package suckless-tools:
sudo aptitude install suckless-tools
It's probably in the same package for most Ubuntu or Debian derivatives.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A wacky reformulation of Moore's Law

Moore's Law states, in paraphrase, that processing power as a whole doubles every eighteen months. Sometimes it's been clock speed, sometimes it's been number of transistors, but this seems to have generally held true.

The obvious corollary is that newer processors --computers in general-- are more powerful than older ones. This has consistently been born out, with extreme cases being the emulation of entire old systems on newer ones, even many at once, even without being emulated on the newest systems. (See: Linux to Game Developers: No More Excuses)

Based on this, I've thought up a potentially interesting, but probably wrong, corollary: Every eighteen months, it becomes possible to add another layer of emulation, without effectively slowing down the deepest layer. This means that, for example, I can have my MacBook Air emulating a Mac from a year and a half ago, emulating a three-year-old Mac, emulating a Mac eighteen months older than that, all the way down to the original Macintosh -- with the deepest Mac having an effectively indistinguishable user-experience (for better or worse).

Practically speaking, assuming an arbitrary six-month delay before full emulation of a system, this means that twenty-four months after a system comes out, it's possible to emulate it indistinguishably.

Of course, this is all armchair garbage. I have no numbers of any sort to back it up. I have no intention of going looking for them, although you're welcome to throw any you find/have at me if you want :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I saw Amber Dow today.
Not so much I "really saw" her, as literally saw her. I spotted her crossing the street as I was driving out to pick up my brother. She was probably on her way home, but beyond that, I really don't know anything.

I feel weird, kinda bad about this. In school she was one of those kids, the odd ones who're social outcasts and seem to possibly even like it that way. Not that that really means anything, I was one too. Part of me feels like maybe I should try to re-connect with her. Just kind of a hey, how're you doing, hang out kind of thing. I don't really know what the purpose of that would be, though. It's not like I know we share much in the way of interests, and she's probably an 'All Grown Up' Actual Official Adult by now (unlike me, who's faking it). It'd probably entirely be just for nostalgia (or even pseudo-nostalgia) purposes.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel a little depressed these past couple days. I should retract that; I know some people who have had "actual" depression -- don't go pedantic on me, I know, I know -- and I know I don't have that.

I'm making a new blog tag, undrafted. It'll probably be something like "this never went through any drafts, so it may be incoherent / logically inconsistent / not spellchecked &| grammar-checked / otherwise generally wrong". Maybe I should make a "here's what the tags mean" post.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Well, that's enoug derping around on the internet for one day

Over on RationalWiki I stumbled across their page about "QuantumMAN". Not that I'm not endorsing RationalWiki. I don't know nearly enough about them to do so. A lot of their articles I've read have been completely reasonable "okay, really?" examples ranging from "eyeroll" to "facepalm". But QuantumMAN, assuming it's an accurate representation (a fair assumption to make as far as I'm concerned, given what gets mentioned), is actually painful to think about. Anyone with any knowledge of applied quantum mechanics, biology, or computers could tell you that there's no way in the universe for their claims to make sense. Even /r/VXjunkies is more plausible, likely due to the fact that they don't even try to be plausible.

Friday, May 31, 2013

How to: create a direct link to a facebook post

A note to self: to create the post direct link to a facebook post:

  • - copy the link location of the 'share' url
  • - isolate the &p[1]= entry
  • - construct a new url pointing to"&p[1]="
  • - link to that new url

A before-and-after demonstration:


Teeaaam Rocket's slacking off again!...

In a total cop-out, my 'blog post' for today is drawer full of pennies.

...Well, and this note informing you of this fact.

...And the tips/howto/note-to-self about how to create a direct link to a facebook post that I'll be putting up shortly.


...Never mind, then.

I've actually rather enjoyed my post-every-day practice, and the tendency to use this blog for a dumping ground. I don't think I can keep up a post a day, but posting every even-numbered day would probably work.

Repoetry: "Drawer full of pennies"

people try to
carve smiles on me
like a chunk of meat meant for the butcher
then try to tell me
to be afraid
and that they are

people try to
tell me all the things that happened to me
fair or foul
describe them to me
in detail
and then reveal
all the inner-most workings
of the broken grandfather clock
that is my chest
like they've sat inside of me
for twenty years
when they

people try to
make me see reason
or their definition of it
but reason is relative
as is too much in this world
and it doesn't bother me
to stare into them
with eyes that i hope make them hurt
because i am not a grandfather clock
that sat in a church
for twenty years
i am a redhaired girl who used to smile
who even breathed
and you never
my name.

-- Rachel H. © 2013 an' stuff.
Used with permission.1


1At least, that's how I understand it. When I asked about reblogging her stuff, I asked it in a blanket fashion, and she said yes, so...
Yes, I'm asking her to confirm that it is in fact blanket.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

And this is how misinformation gets started

So today, I discovered this nifty bit of musicpic (site content warning: ponies, random crap). I find that sheet music pretty awesome, even if it's an incredibly stupid gag.

Someone then linked to this youtube video:

-- Which, admittedly, is a pretty rad song.

Later on in the comments, someone noted that it "sounds like a boss battle". Well, it turns out that's because it is-- some poking around reveals that the song in the video is actually called "U.N. Owen Was Her?", and comes from a Japanese music/bullet hell game bonus boss. (See

But wait, that's not all!

The sheet music really is just a stupid gag. Any musician worth their instrument can tell you this upon close inspection -- my brother objects, for example, to the large groups of whole notes in a row and to the illegal gliss between the bottom two staves; but he also enjoyed the explosions and the "remove cattle from stage". With the help of google image search and this post, I was able to trace it to here:




Well guys, I found the score to House of Leaves...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Using the Mac

I discovered today that I can't use the Mac effectively. I can kinda use it, but only the same way I can 'kinda' drive a stick shift: I can steer and stop, and even hit the gas, but ask me to change gears and we are done.

Thing is, all the problems have to do with the keyboard. First is the command key. Through long training, I have become accustomed to using the 'control' key. This one isn't really Apple's fault... much the same way it's not the carmaker's fault if they put the turn signal controls in the middle of the dash instead of on the stem, or Ford's fault that the Model T doesn't even have turn signals. I don't blame them for it, I just hate it.

Then there's the keyboard itself. I might have more success with macs if I used Mac keyboards. All Macs these days have those chiclet laptop-type keyboards, though. When I'm at a desktop, like our Mac, I really prefer the old-style key-travel 'klacky' keyboards. They feel better. And no, my older Mac keyboard won't cut it. It doesn't have quite the right feel to the keys.

The real insult, though, is emacs. I'm used to the Alt key sending emacs' `meta`, but for the life of me I can't seem to find the `meta` key on the Mac. This forces me to use `Esc`, a real problem because just about everything I love about emacs is on the `meta` key. Those of you who've never used the power of emacs might feel this is a little like complaining about a car not having a steering-wheel cover. Which is true as far as it goes, but it's more like complaining about a car not having a steering wheel.


I failed to update yesterday. Unlike Sunday, this wasn't a "I didn't", I just completely forgot.

Well, not a lot I can do about that now.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Google+, revisited

Oh, gee, thanks a lot, Google. I'll just go through a crap-ton of work to delete my entire Google+ account AGAIN.

Seriously. You'd think they'd mention when they're offering to create a Google+ account for you, but noo...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Faulty Thinking: The Use of Theories

My brother has a fairly rad shirt. He got it from Harvard (yes, Harvard U, that Harvard) when he went there for an "econ bee"1. It bugs the crap out of me.

See, the shirt has this quote on it:

Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?
Which apparently is rather funny if you're an economist, but I hate it because it reflects (or appears to reflect, and in practice there's no difference in how you get treated) utterly flawed thinking.

The whole point of theories is to reflect (or explain) reality. If a theory or its predictions differ from reality, then it is worthless to the extent that it differs from reality. For example, Newtonian mechanics, the simple version of reality where you add speeds together, isn't the whole picture. It's still useful, because it holds together at any and every speed we humans can actually reach2. A theory that doesn't reflect reality (makes wrong predictions) is useless at best -- at worst, people keep using it anyways and they are wrong.

This way of thinking ignores that. It rejects anything that doesn't fit into its existing theory. That's a recipe for irrelevance. Now ordinarily, I'd be perfectly content to let people be idiotically irrelevant into oblivion. But this is expressed by Economists, so-called "experts" who people actually listen to. Almost by definition, they are not irrelevant. And so this is a huge problem.

The lesson here is, if your thinking doesn't match reality then you need to update your thinking. And watch out for your economist -- even if they know what they're talking about, they might still be wrong, maybe even on purpose (the worst kind of wrong).


1 Not really an "econ bee", it was an Econ quiz thing. I'm not super sure of the details, and "econ bee" gets most of the idea across by way of analogy to "spelling bee". It was probably a bit more like Jeopardy.

2 As of this writing, anyways.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Quick Followup Note on God

There's a C.S. Lewis quote I love about Lewis's time as an atheist. Basically, Lewis didn't believe in God, and at the same time was angry at God for not exiting. I'm not exactly angry per say, but that's pretty much where I think I am right now. I'm not entirely sure that I think God doesn't exist, but in that case...

8093 Celestia

If I were a writer, I would write about Celestia in order to ask my questions about God. Since I'm not doing that, I conclude that I'm not that much of a writer.

Which I suppose is a pity, since I love books and all, but what are you going to do, y'know?

a journal

Day three. Or maybe Day 4. I really can't tell. I haven't been keeping track. It's too late now.

The space warping is starting to leak out. I'd swear I turned both alarms off last night. But instead the cd played straight through once and stopped. I figure this had to be a warp, because the alarm that stayed on is between the off one and the cd control.

Then again, maybe I'm just fatigued.

I'd made a deal with myself, of sorts. That's not a book you read at night. So of course, recently I've been up past one-thirty, two-thirty AM reading bits and pieces of it. The footnotes are sometimes the worst parts. It had never occurred to me that you could refer to a footnote that was on a previous page, or hadn't happened yet. And that's just the numbers.

I can do a reasonable job of faking being well-adjusted in the evenings if I've been away from the book all day. Then I go back and pick it up and it all falls apart.

It's funny, but this book is something of a microcosm of my life the past year. descending, deteriorating, obsessed. ending up strange places there can be no return from because they were never there. I think I need to get out.

I've been reading bits of the book out of order, but I discovered that Navidson has a book titled House of Leaves with him. I wonder at that. What manner of recursion is this? but because I read out of order I know almost nothing else about it. Only the page count, which differs from the page numbers in my version. I feel compelled to tally up all the pages in mine and compare.

The last thing to disturb me this much was Everything is Fine, where Fluttershy 'is' Johnny and the Minotaur.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A promise to blog is a curious thing/
Makes one man crazy, another man sing

A promise to blog is a curious thing.

I'm bashing this out on a borrowed computer in a browser other than my typical one, while a movie I'd love to catch plays in the other room. And the whole reason I'm doing this, is because I comited to updating every day, and don't have anything else set up to cover for today.

I'll try to put up two things for tomorrow to make up for it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


It's amazing what you can do simply by striping context. For example:

I am moved.

-- Abraham Lincoln

I'm fairly certain he said that exact combination of words at some point in his life. What context he may have used them in, I can't imagine. The context where I picked them up is that he is literally moving into a new room.


It's the commentaries on House that matter. Kind of like shakespeare, if you read the quotes.

"Saying House of Leaves is different for everyone who reads it is like saying a used car is different for everyone who drives it. And like that used car, that's a big part of the experience.
"i will not Deface a library book. But i will not remove my Postit annotations, either."
Inside front cover, behind the flap (but showing just past it).

"Knowing some of what this means gives me pause for thought.
"Yet what does it truely mean?"
Page xix, next to the Jan. 1997 note from Zampano.

"Are these colored scrawls part of the original book, or somebody's addition?"
Page xx. Picture attempts to show both scrawls.

"The most frightening thing in the world is man himself"
Page xxiii.

I feel, rather strangely, like I'm writing House of Leaves/Just Another Fool crossover fanfiction. Wonder where that came from?


My (library) copy of House of Leaves came in today. I already know that mainly I don't know what to think of it. I bet it could make for a great (La)Tex leaning tool, trying to re-create it. Whoever double-spaces their sentences, though; I like that[1].

Apparently there is also braille which my edition does not have. Has anyone got notations or pictures or somesuch of those?


[1]Their monospaced sentences, at least. I can't tell about the other ones (I haven't gotten to them yet, but I doubt I'll be able to tell even once I do get there).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Computers are like Cars

Choosing an operating system is kinda like buying a car.

When you get a Mac, you walk into Toyota dealership and say "Ooo, that one looks nice." And they say "good choice. Do you want it with 4, 6, or 8 cylinders? Stick-shift or auto?" You say which, pay your money, and leave. You're pretty happy with it until a new one comes out in six months, but in the meantime you're confused by the steering 'wheels' on other cars.

With Windows, you spend a lot of time fiddling and debating and comparing Ford to GM, and the various options, and eventually you decide on one with 75% of the options, an entertainment system you can only use half of, 18 cupholders and two seats.

Using Ubuntu is like deciding "Hey, I need a car," so you go on craigslist and spot a car that looks good and it's in your price range. You end up getting it, and it does 93% of what you want it to do, but sometimes you have to turn left three times before you can change the channel on the radio and it has to be in reverse to open the trunk.

Using arch Linux is like saying "Well, I should get a car," so the first thing you weld together a frame and then you go down to NAPA for a couple of pistons...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

repoetry: "dancing tv-heads"

i am a product
of this
i pick-pocketed
my personality
from a ghastly array
of tv shows
and teenaged drama
if you would like a re-run
of last night's
late night
i'm at your service

i am a product
of this
if you want some fashion advice
from me
because i dress
so well
log on to
they'll tell you
what i would
because everything i wear
no matter how weird
or ugly
i wear because
they told me

i am a product
of this
i do not
think for me
i have an iphone
that has replaced
the normal functions
of my brain
it remembers everything
for me
i know everyone
we talk
all the time
i text
really fast
i'm so connected
i mean,
i'm plugged into

i am a product
of this society
my thighs
don't touch
and a lovely
mountain ridge
my back
a cavern
in my
come explore
a beautiful
of this

and you all should really stop blaming me
for being a social deviant
for being unwilling
to conform
to this new normal
sanity isn't
and this isn't
just because a billion people
do this crap
it doesn't make it
doesn't make it
i will not hold onto your tail
and follow you
because you don't know
where the frick
you're going
if we progress
one more step
we'll all be

-- Rachel H. © 2013 an' stuff.
Reblogged (with permission) for posterity and my own interests.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

There's a grand total of one comment on my blog...

...And it's this guy:

Wait, that didn't really convey why this is a big deal. Let me clarify, with the help of some linked images.
It's this guy:

I've been following this guy off and on ever since I discovered him -- I forget how, probably through a Linux forum somewhere -- because he's practically always right. And out of entire internet, he comments on my blog?

jaw drop
yes yes yes!!!!

Er, sorry. I'm just going to go dance around like a maniac and then collapse from the awesome.

Friday, May 10, 2013

You Ever Walk Into a War Zone? My Shoulder Angle Sits Left.

"You ever walk into a war zone?"


"Yeah, yeah, I know that's a bit of a weird question, coming from me. I'm a namby-pamby coddled kid from some anonymous place in the northern united states, who's never had to deal with shortage or hunger or fighting or even something as simple as life-threatening illness. Bear with me for a moment. You ever walk into a war zone?"

Uh, not really. I mean, I'm… how'd you put it… a namby-pamby coddled kid from some anonymous place in the northern united states &c &c.

"That's not true, and you know it."

Like feck it's not. What are you talking about?

*Smack!* "Tonight. May 10 2013. Fish fry kitchen. Any bells?"

That wasn't a war zone.

"Like feck it wasn't. Okay, maybe not a conventional war zone. On the pure atoms-photons-and-eyeballs level it was just a dozen or so people standing around with their eyes closed. But you know. You know. You saw. That was as much a war zone as anything your most miscalibrated imagination can come up with."

So yeah, I walked into a war zone tonight. Tail end of fish fry, a whole bunch of adults (well, older adults I should say holy crap I'm twenty) gathered in the kitchen. From what I overheard, 'he' (whoever he was) had bleeding nose and ears, broken ribs, ruptured spleen, and was being airlifted. Bad s***.

I'm standing just outside the door to the kitchen. Maybe I'm in the doorway; at any rate I moved just inside the kitchen and then back to just out over the next 30-60 seconds. Anyway, I'm standing in the entryway to the kitchen, and all these adults just start praying. Now, there's nothing particularly weird about this. We were at a church event, prayer happens, especially when it looks like things have gone south1. But this is a little different. This time, almost in overlay, I can see this battlefield going on, as they're praying. I wish I had better terms to describe what I actually saw, I only saw it for a very brief flash. That was just enough for part of me (much the same part that goes in for surface flash/'coolness', the part that self-inserts into, say, Star Wars to hijack the plot by Saving The World with Really Cool Stuff) to want to jump into the fray, complete with Cool Ninja Moves and stab this and save that; luckily, the rest of me was like "dude?" It's about this point that my angle showed up.

Now, at this point, I have to pause to say that I don't want you thinking I'm one of those angle kooks. Granted, this pause probably doesn't appear to help my case. My point is that I'm not sure whether I actaully believe in angles, much the same way I'm not sure whether I actually believe in God. According to a fair number of people around me they do, most notably including one lady who, assuming there's truth such matters, is absolutely right about these things. Sort of the Albert Einstein or Eliezer Yudkowsky of this area.2

Anyways, my angle shows up. I'm not in the kitchen anymore, I'm just outside the door by now, so he's leaning in to get a better view. And he's all antsy, he's got this – not look, exactly, that's normally what it's called, it's more like feel – he's got this feel about him like "uhg, man, I really should be in there". Because he's an angle, and this is spirit warfare, and this is, like, why he exists, it's what (well, the other thing; still assuming that all this is true) he's good at, it's what he's for. So he looks at me like "dude." And I'm like "Dude, don't let me stop you. This is your thing. Go do what you gotta do." He didn't, of course, I guess I shoulda been explicitly sending him by joining in. I don't really know why. So I told him "You gotta go, go," and he's there antsing, and at this point I turn and go around the kitchen ('cause I'm not going through the kitchen when it's full like that) and back outside. And that's the sixty seconds or thereabouts.

Right, so my angle. He's left. You know the whole shoulder angle/shoulder demon deal3? My shoulder angle sits left. Which isn't a very accurate word picture, since it makes me think they're, y'know, little guys, six or nine or eighteen inches roughly. They're not. But I could literally feel him leaning in on my left shoulder. Yes, I mean literally.

Anyways. That's my story.


1 That's a really crappy turn-of-phrase, come to think of it. Why is 'going south' a bad thing? We went to Florida earlier this year, and that was great – well, the two days or thereabouts we actually spent in Florida, rather than in the car. (A road trip is quite a different proposition.)

2 She says my angle's name is Erasmus (I really hope I got that spelled correctly). Apparently he's got one of those mortarboard-style professor hats. I wonder if he sports it like just kind of chill?

3 Which, apparently, in the original version wasn't angles and demons, but angles of [good|light] and angles of [evil|darkness].

HTML generated by org-mode 6.33x in emacs 23

Monday, April 29, 2013


My brain goes to some truly weird places. For example: Why do toilet seat exist as a separate thing, rather than being molded in? What possible benefit is there? Yes, yes, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason. I just can't imagine what it is.


I give up on twitter. Twitter's not long enough to contain my nonsanity. I'm just going to dump here, instead.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Buried within the docs for the Festival text-to-speech system for Linux is a mention of Klingon. Apparently, the system could be used to read things in Klingon, if only they could get a good sample of Klingon to work with. There's an honest-to-goodness request for a "Klingon continuous speech" corpus.

So, if you feel like translating something into Klingon and reading it out loud into a microphone, drop them a line.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Interm review: The Book Theif

I've been reading The Book Theif recently. Dunno if I'm going to finish it, though. "Poised to become a classic" (USA Today) or no, I really don't know how to feel about it. It's got little formating quirks that really bother me. For example, around page 49 there's this thingy:

She had one golden rule.
Nothing wrong with this factoid, of course. But it's offset like this, and I think it would be better put intergrated into the narrative. There's no reason it couldn't be. The book has pictures in it too, and the whole thing could just be a stylistic thing. But it's jarring and, in all the cases so far (that weren't in the prologue), in my opinion completely unnecessary.

Current Rating: 3/10 Dump it. The offset chunks are jarring and gratuitous. The message may well be good, but the writing style is off-putting.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Some things you do for Love"

All you really need is to love, well and truly love, what you do.

When you love what you do, you work to get better at it just because you can. When you love what you do, it shows in what you do, and people can see that. Because when you love what you do, you've put a lot of work into it and you're good at it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wishlist: "cmacs"

Y'know what would be cool? It'd be cool if we could rewrite emacs to use common lisp instead of emacslisp, and then combine it with the window manager.

There are already window managers in common lisp. (For example, StumpWM. I can't say how good it is though, since I haven't bothered to get it to play nice with kde-greater.) And common lisp is a full programming language on the order of C/Java/Javascript. Furthermore, emacs already tries to do ninety-nine percent of everything you could ever want to do anyways. Why can't we just universalize that?