lafinjack: (donk... donk... donk...)
A current band that only posts their stuff on Soundcloud. Does Soundcloud sell things now? Apparently not, at least for this band. And their Soundcloud music tracks have only heavily buried links to iTunes. Strange, they don't have a Myspace link.

Apple must have relented on not letting you reset your password and reuse a password you've had in the past 73 years. They insisted on shoving a web browser into iTunes itself for the iTunes Store but they sure do send a lot of vital account functions out to external unverified (aka non-iTunes) browsers, and insecure emails. In other news, it looks like the last time I bought something from iTunes was 2014. I wonder why.

Bandcamp looks like they have figured out how to let you buy more than one album at a time. This web store shopping cart thing may catch on, people. But they charge you individually for each artist, and for each item that artist has collaborated on with a different artist. And if you want to use Paypal they tell me you have to approve each individual payment manually. Patreon only needs to charge you once and they seem to know how to parcel out money. Patreon doesn't know how to Paypal correctly, though. Didn't we figure out this ecommerce thing out years before Amazon got started? Why are we still having these troubles?

Oh come on, now a different current band is putting out a two track full album but is only on vinyl. I thought we were better than this. Amazon has buttons on the order pages of paper books so you can request the publisher to make an ebook version, but they don't have one for dipshits who release on only vinyl. We got people willing to put their credit score on the line to lease a car simply to drive around and shove crappy printed copies of their crappy band's crappy physical CD in your hand, why can't you let me give you money for your crappy album? I hope you are a literal starving artist, and starve sooner than later.

I know for a fact that at least thirty percent of the artisanal vinyl crafting boutiques out there would not refuse to accept an email with digital files stuck to it. And we're almost back to half of the industry accepting any digital formats at all and not certified organic Aleutian honeybee wax cylinders hand carved by Tunisian celibacy pact Capuchin spider monkey monks (paid at fair trade with full benefits and strict OSHA compliance) or more even more ancient music formats, like 8-tracks. It's not for lack of industrial resources or philosophical purity that you were forced to have music that would touch the internet at some point.

This other band over here. They're a Mongolian cosplay group from 1970s Turkey. Even THEIR shit is on mp3. Get with the program.

Meanwhile this other troupe has robbed a massive record store and is forcing the customers to watch one man molest a sixpack of kazoos while another is breaking drumsticks on a pair of electric keyboards and later what is either a cooking pot or a Bavarian World War I era battle helmet. This hostage situation is reported to be in its seventeenth hour. I will keep you informed.

Reading over this, I may have exaggerated a bit. In truth, only twenty percent of artisanal vinyl crafting boutiques accept email, and they all e-scowl at you and hold their e-noses when forced to do it.
lafinjack: (Colburr Hurr)
I'm sure it's happening already, but web forms that ask for birthdays and use the fixed 19## instead of #### format are going to start breaking en masse in a little more than a year once the damn kids born after 1999 start applying for majority-related things. What are we going to call it, #y2k18?
lafinjack: (Yellow boxes made of ticky-tacky.)
There's a quote attributed to Churchill that boils down to 'as you get older you get more conservative'. People also say you get more intolerant as you get older.

Now, I'm only 31, but examining my political positions now and five and ten years ago, I can certainly see both of these things are happening to me.

I am more conservative than before: for conserving the rights of the common person, conserving the eroding rights of the marginalized, conserving what's left of the natural world. Conserving generosity and moderation and balance instead of selfishness and hate and extremism.

I am definitely more intolerant than before: intolerant of assholes, intolerant of bullies great and small, intolerant of those blind to their privileges. Intolerant of those who don't care out of apathy. Intolerant of those who don't think of the consequences their actions, because it's too hard. Intolerant of those who would steamroll over people less fortunate than them because it's convenient, or expedient, or profitable. Intolerant of intolerance.

I was reminded recently that I'm white, and I'm male. I'm also straight, and cisgender. Born with ten fingers and ten toes. I had amazing, loving parents. I grew up with no needs unmet. I like to think I'm reasonably handsome. I am from one of the greatest countries on Earth, in the middle of the most promising era the world has ever seen. I won the fucking genetic jackpot. And I didn't earn any of it.

I'm just so tired. I'm tired of seeing injustice around me and pretending it's not there, of ignoring it, of deciding it's not my problem, because it doesn't affect me.

No. This I refuse. I COULD pretend it's not there. I COULD ignore it. I COULD decide it's not my problem. I am so lucky in so many ways that I could do those things if I chose, and never notice a difference in this amazing life that was given to me for free. But it DOES affect me, because it affects those I care about, my family, my friends. I care about every single person on this planet we share.

It IS my problem. I will MAKE it my problem. I choose this. I choose to intervene when I can. To speak up and speak out when I can. To act when I can.

Because it's the right thing to do.

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies: God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut
I got a letter the other day.

It says I am about to get a very large backpay payment from my recently completed Social Security Disability claim. Like... new-car large. More than one new car, depending on the car you pick. I'll never have had even a tenth as much extra money at one time as this amount is.

And I don't know what I'm going to do with it all.

I'm paying people back. Non-insignificant amounts. (thanks mom and dad)

I'm putting some in savings. Some in investment. A non-insignificant amount.

I'm making donations to organizations that helped me out in the past. Not insignificant ones.

I'm probably buying some things that I couldn't before. But I already had a lot of things, so this part is probably insignificant.

Even so, it's not THAT much money, in the grand scheme of things. And I still don't know what I'm going to do with it all.

I just don't know how people can deal with having so much money.
lafinjack: (uhhhuhhuhhuhuhuhuhuhh)
I got this random question out of the blue from an ostensibly straight male. )
lafinjack: (Psychosomatic.)
How do you kill a star?

Nobody asked that at first, of course. But the easiest, the simplest, the most effective way to kill anything is a virus.

The goop was just that we needed, something to keep the reactors from running amok. New technology and all that, we had no idea where the upper limit was. So then, accidents happen... except these accidents were leaving craters where cities used to lie. Not good for business.

Soon, we managed to make the goop that would stop the minor apocalypses in their tracks. It was simple: the monitoring sensors would detect an overrun, a glorified ketchup bottle would squirt in a little goop, and woosh! the goop absorbed the remaining fuel, acting like a seed crystal and filling the chamber with shiny goodness.

The resulting crystals were beautiful; cut and polished they sold well, once they were carved out of the reaction chamber. It helped pay to get the plant going again (this time under control, knock on wood), but overall using the goop still cost less than the resulting lawsuits.

The goop wasn't a controlled substance, but it wasn't really something useful outside the bleeding edge of science and there was no real reason to actively defend it. It was expensive, though, so we did kept an eye on it. This is why we noticed when some of it went missing. An inventory error, surely.

Then the spot showed up. It looked like no sunspot seen before, and the world of science was ecstatic. And it started growing. From a spot to a blot, a blot to a splotch, a splotch to something larger than any sunspot seen before, tens of thousands of miles wide, the telescopes reported.

We had found out where the missing goop went. We found out that it was put on a rocket, supposedly bearing a satellite to monitor solar flares, and sent into the sky. We found out that it had 'accidentally' lost control and was pulled into the sun and written off as a loss.

Why did he do it? Why infect our lifeblood with the goop? It had to be one person with the big idea, right? No committee would agree to this. Compartmentalize everything, send it in to the sun with nobody knowing. Or was it someone on the ops team who managed to rejigger the flight vector? Was it revenge on the world for some imagined slight? Shits and giggles, pressing the button as their life faded? Did they just want to know the answer to the question, to see what would happen?

Either way, that is how you kill a star; or one way, at least. A tiny prick, inject the contagion, sit back and wait. Simple.

And so it grows, and so it gets colder, day by day.
lafinjack: (Depression.)
Igg is now with Ook.

lafinjack: (Total insanity.)
lafinjack: (Freakabibble!)
A man and a woman who had never met before but were both married to other people found themselves assigned to the same sleeping compartment on a trans-continental train.

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly, he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

At 1 a.m., the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying, "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet and get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold."

"I have a better idea," she replied. "Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married."

"Wow! that's a great idea!" he exclaimed.

"Good," she replied. "Get your own fucking blanket."

After a moment of silence, he farted.
lafinjack: (If I see that fucking cat one more time…)
lafinjack: (Depression.)
I had to put Ook to sleep today.

He had what seemed to be a hairball that rapidly snowballed (hairballed?) into a major problem. Ferrets get hairballs like cats, but aren't able to do much more than try to cough them up. Their GI tracts are so small and short that even a small blockage can cause big problems.

He had had a hairball a while back, and there's a special ferret laxative that breaks it up which usually solves the problem. I thought this was another of the same; but the blockage didn't go away (he may have swallowed something), he got worse at first, then seemed to get better (started pooping again, started eating again, less lethargic), then this morning I left to go to some appointments, and when I get back he's seizing and bleeding from his mouth and nose. The vet said there wasn't much I could have done differently, but I feel like I effectively tortured him to death by not taking him in earlier due to money issues.

The little turd survived being abandoned in a dumpster, insulinoma, me stepping on him in the dark once, fairly major weewee surgery, putting up with his crazy sister and three asshole cats, and getting lost in the laundry room for a week, and now he's taken down by a hairball. Stupid turd.

lafinjack: (Booooring...)
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I was going to a movie once, and outside the ticket booth was a reporter with a mic, a cameraman, a man in a suit who looked nothing like Sean Connery, and a woman in a slinky white dress who looked nothing like Alicia Silverstone. The reporter was trying way too hard to convince people walking by that she was in fact in some suburb of Seattle with two actual celebrities. I mean really, I know people look different on camera and in person, but "Sean Connery" was about a foot too short and "Alicia Silverstone"'s only resemblance was that she was blonde. I introduced myself as Matt Damon, but the camera guy was still setting up so I never made it on TV. :(

One time I was drunk at a piano bar in Las Vegas, and I confused the trumpet player with some other famous musician who had the same first name as the trumpet guy. I was talking to him and kept going "No way, you're the real Bill Whoeverson? Really?! Wow!" I'm sure it made him feel pretty great, at least. I hope he made it somewhere, he rocked that trumpet.

And lastly, when I was in second or third grade our class wrote stories about worms on worm-shaped paper. All I remember about mine was that I made jokes about "root beer" and "splitting up", since, you know, worms eat roots and split up. Anyway, because of that story my teacher recommended I go to a writing camp one weekend, which featured noted Northwest children's author Jasper Tompkins. My mom brought some of his books along (Nimby and My Secret Sunrise, I think), had them signed, and locked them away in the Mom Vault again.

When I was back from Iraq on R&R in November 2004, he happened to be holding a reading at a nearby bookstore (a couple blocks from the movie theater above, actually). Mom pulled the books out of the Mom Vault, we went down there, and he signed them again some fifteen years later. That was super neat, and he's a really nice guy.

Yes, that is the extent of my celebrity encounters.
lafinjack: (Default)
Some cat dude just got me high on ruby dust, silver shavings, and vampire snot. Then a melodramatic god talked to me through a rainbow which was coming out of a golden cauldron and into a tree, which had ghostly forest animals running around it chased by a floating, jabbering troll skull.

Skyrim: Not Even Once
lafinjack: (Me - o rly?)
I kinda forgot to say anything about Ook. It's been a rough couple weeks. After nursing him in the pet bed then confining him to the travel carrier so I could keep him nearby to keep an eye on, I moved him again to their cage. They're normally free range within the apartment, but they're still OK with cage time if necessary, and it gave him some room to move around, and their favorite bed is suspended so he had incentive to work on his climbing skillz.

Now he's almost completely back to normal, with just occasional wobbliness in his back legs. Yay!

lafinjack: (MY HEAD ASSPLODE)
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Captain Han Solo. I think it's the vest.
lafinjack: (Rosebusey)
Wow, I take a nap and now he's off to the races. Covered in pee, of course. He's very motivated to run around and get into stuff, but is still incredibly unsteady and can't take more than a couple steps without falling over (very unusual for a ferret). For now I'll be keeping him contained in the pet carrier instead of a plain bed, with monitored play/walking practice time outside it, but yeah. Here's to hope.
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