tv

Jul. 28th, 2017 02:58 am
frandroid: Picture of a pro-LTTE protest blocking the Gardiner Expressway, Toronto (tamils)
I've just resumed DS9 but dropped Elementary a long time ago. DS9 feels like LJ/DW, even though they're not contemporaneous...
frandroid: Pirate ghostship, moored in a lava creek, underground. (ghostship)
My aesthetic is the leftover gum and paper left on a surface after you've ripped off the sticker.

Book meme!

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:46 pm
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Dune)
Because I'm procrastinating. A bit on the cutesey side but whatever.

Wait, DW doesn't have a rich text editor?? I mean I usually prefer to enter my HTML manually, but here I could really use it. Motherfucker...

...

bold the ones that apply.

1. You currently own more than 20 books.
2. You currently own more than 50 books.
3. You currently own more than 100 books.

4. You amassed so many books you switched to an e-reader.
5. You read so much you have a ton of books AND an e-reader.
6. You have a book-organization system no one else understands.
7. You’re currently reading more than one book.
8. You read every single day.
9. You’re reading a book right now, as you’re taking this book nerd quiz.
10. Your essentials for leaving the house: wallet, phone, keys, and a book.
11. You’ve pulled an all-nighter reading a book.
12. You did not regret it for a second and would do it again.

13. You’ve figured out how to incorporate books into your workout.
14. You’ve declined invitations to social activities in order to stay home and read.
15. You view vacation time as “catch up on reading” time.
16. You’ve sat in a bathtub full of tepid water with prune-y skin because you were engrossed in a book.
17. You’ve missed your stop on the bus or the train because you were engrossed in a book.
18. You’ve almost tripped over a pothole, sat on a bench with wet paint, walked into a telephone pole, or narrowly avoided other calamities because you were engrossed in a book.
19. You’ve laughed out loud in public while reading a book.
20. You’ve cried in public while reading a book (it’s okay, we won’t tell).

21. You’re the one everyone goes to for book recommendations.
22. You take your role in recommending books very seriously and worry about what books your friends would enjoy.
23. Once you recommend a book to a friend, you keep bugging them about it.
24. If your friend doesn’t like the book you recommended, you’re heartbroken.
25. And you judge them. A little bit.
26. In fact, whenever you and a friend disagree about a book you secretly wonder what is wrong with them.
27. You’ve vowed to convert a nonreader into a reader.
28. And you’ve succeeded.
29. You’ve attended book readings, launches, and signings.
30. You own several signed books.
31. You would recognize your favorite authors on the street.
32. In fact, you have.

33. If you could have dinner with anybody in the world, you’d choose your favorite writer.
34. You own a first-edition book.*
35. You know what that is and why it matters to bibliophiles.
36. You tweet, post, blog, or talk about books every day.
37. You have a “favorite” literary prize.
38. And you read the winners of that prize every year.
39. You’ve recorded every book you’ve ever read and what you thought of it.
40. You have a designated reading nook in your home.
41. You have a literary-themed T-shirt, bag, tattoo, or item of home décor.
42. You gave your pet a literary name.
43. You make literary references and puns nobody else understands.
44. You’re a stickler for spelling and grammar, even when you’re just texting.
45. You’ve given books as gifts for every occasion: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, graduations, Tuesdays...
46. Whenever someone asks what your favorite book is, your brain goes into overdrive and you can’t choose just one. You end up naming twelve books.
47. You love the smell of books.
48. You’ve binge-read an entire series or an author’s whole oeuvre in just a few days.
49. You’ve actually felt your heart rate go up while reading an incredible book.
50. When you turn the last page of a good book, you feel as if you’ve finally come up for air and returned from a great adventure.



*: Most books are "first (and only) edition", so by that measure I own several; but for the sake of this question I'll assume that's a first edition of a book with multiple editions, where this edition has a higher market value.

no default

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:25 am
frandroid: Hammer and sickle logo, with the hammer replaced with a LiveJournal pencil (lj)
I wish DW/LJ had a thing where there is no default icon and you're forced to choose one to make your post. I keep forgetting to pick one and then I don't want to trigger a useless edit notification for whoever is on the thread post-facto.

I went to take a look at the DW source. It's perl. No wonder no one wants to work on it. They should just restart from scratch. :P

ETA: So you can choose "no default" but instead of forcing you to choose, it picks none, and puts a DW logo watermark in the logo spot. *faceplam*

Kurds

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:02 pm
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (ypg)
I gave a breathless 5 minute introduction to the Kurdish side of the Syrian Civil War after a prompt on my t-shirt at an NDP event tonight... Wheee. And I'm thinking of making a 10-minute presentation to my co-workers, because why the fuck not. Let's see where this predicator business goes... :P

crimethinc

Apr. 24th, 2017 02:35 pm
frandroid: A faroher, emblem of the Zoroastrian religion (faroher)
So huh, I just translated some text for crimethinc.
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Dune)
The rest of the new album isn't as good as the preview track. :(
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Great Worm)
I rented my mini dream car, a Smart Car, from car2go yesterday. I just drove it for an hour and a half, so take this review with a grain of salt. Yes, I'm writing a car review. :)

The car2go experience is funny... They've modded the cars with electronics to accomodate the rental system, and it's rather interesting. You put your car2go card on the windshield outside the car to unlock it, and when you're inside you have to enter a pin to start the rental. The car speaks to you and stuff. Not the whole time, but through the transactional process. It's amusing.

As for the Smart Car:
Wow, you have great peripheral vision driving this. I'd compare it to the Chrysler Neon in this regard. Firoza rode with me for a while, and being a short person who has had a challenging time driving certain cars with reduced visibility, she really enjoyed the view. That said, I could fit comfortably height-wise as a tall guy. I felt a little cramped width-wise, but it IS a narrow car, you can't quite avoid that.

The driving was both amusing and frustrating. The most frustrating part is the automatic transmission. It shifts gears like an inexperienced standard transmission driver, i.e. it de-engages from one gear for a whole half-second before engaging the next gear, so one second you have thrust, and then the gear chances, and you are left without thrust for a full half-second. I mean you keep going based on the existing inertia, but remember that this is a light car, so it doesn't have as much inertia as a bigger car. I guess one gets used to it, but I think it could be dangerous in a tight driving situation, like trying to avoid a bad driver or some obstacle on the road. Rather unnerving. The other bad part for time is that you can't sustain acceleration. I mean it's an urban car, so it's not like you're street racing with this, but it feels lacking. If there is a sports package to give the Smart more performance, I think I would buy it.

The second frustrating part is that this car has a rough suspension. You really feel the road. This is part suspension, part small tires, but the end point is that any time you see you're going to hit some rough road, you want to take it easy. On the other hand, I hit a speed bump I didn't notice at ~40kph on St. George St. and the car took it waaaay better than I thought it would. I had some serious bounce but no clanging, no banging, it seems that the suspension took the whole shock without cringing. Maybe that's where this car's light weight was a bonus?

The really fun part about this car is maneuverability. You can turn on a dime, do U-turns in 2 lanes, squeeze between cars on the road, in a parking lot, etc. I was putting the car through its paces and it barely consumed any gasoline, but then again this is like a scooter engine (kinda sounds like it too) so that's expected. The dashboard has an app (!!) that tells you about how ecologically you're driving. I wasn't faring well, but my goal was to have fun! I was paying attention to the road so I didn't notice much, but Firoza reports that lots of people were looking at us. I've always thought this was a special car, so I guess others share my opinion.

The fact that this tiny car doesn't have a backseat means that there is a small but decent trunk. You can possibly fit two large suitcases? I should test that. Groceries for a couple, for sure, but not for a family.

I booked a Smart car for a weekend rental to Montréal once, and when I went to retrieve the car, they were out of Smarts (what part of "I chose a Smart on the website" could they not understand?) so they lent me a Yaris instead. In hindsight, I'm really happy this happened, because I think driving the Smart on the 401 for 5-6 hours would be scary. I'll rent the Smart another time in the futue and try it out on the 401 or DVP and report back...
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
I think the most surprising thing was just how fast it all came on. I was originally supposed to run in the K100 Kananaskis Relay Race on Saturday. Late Thursday morning, all was still normal; we heard something about high water levels in Canmore and the fact that Cougar Creek was running high. When I left work for squash around 4:30, there was a report that there was a mudslide on the Kananaskis highway. “But don't worry,” the K100 website reassured us, crews anticipated having the slide cleaned up by Saturday, and the race was still on. By the time the squash was over, and I was back online, not much later than 7:30, the world had Changed. 17 communities in Calgary had received mandatory evacuation notices, a dozen more towns and cities outside, the same. Those numbers would double within the next few hours. Travel inside the city was discouraged, and on the highways outside, banned, with road closures everywhere west of Calgary. The race, needless to say, had been canceled. Barely three hours, from normal to a disaster area. The river was rising fast enough to be seen by the naked eye.

Of all the things I will least forget, right at the top would be the speed of the onset.
[...]
On Sunday, life outside the valley was again close enough to normal that my friend Namrata's wedding was still on. Namrata, a Hindu, was getting married to Bryan, an Irish Mormon. One half of the wedding was held in saris and sherwanis, the other half in tartan. The reception was held in a former Pizza Hut. Any other week, such an event would have been all I could write about. Now it seems almost quotidian.


My friend [livejournal.com profile] mrputter's account of the flooding in Calgary.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
So, one web project that's been simmering on the prefrontal stove is an online political campaign management platform. http://www.labourstart.org/ does a bit of that, but on a minor scale. Some political parties, since Obama 2008, have become rather savvy at this, and front what I've read, Obama 2012 was a sight to behold. But what tools do we have for mobilization on the left?

There are many hurdles to political action. We often feel that we are alone; Facebook events have mitigated that a bit for protests, as you can see who will be attending. I think a lot of people rely on email as their main organizing tool, but email is a painful discussion platform. I find forums and chat rooms much better for this (http://campfirenow.com/ is becoming a popular tool, even though anyone has access to IRC/anyone can set up their private IRC server). A recent group I was organizing with collapsed when someone posted a giant toodle multiple-meeting request for the next three months; this was a case of using the right tool, but overdoing it and overwhelming everyone. (There were other issues, obviously...)

Before I embark on a full activist organizing suite, I was thinking about putting together a democratic decision-making app. I remember being on a board where we were sometimes called to make "emergency" decisions by email. I was pushing really hard to not make any decisions by email, because email stifles discussion, and I was rather against making decisions without discussion, for various proper governance reasons. If you did end up having the discussion by email, that resulted in a gazillion emails, which is a huge waste of time. However, there were plenty of smaller decisions that we could have made outside of a meeting when we had consensus. If only we had known we had consensus...

I started writing a long example, but I'm finding that I was taking longer writing about it than it would have taken me developing a working prototype in Rails. So I'm going to let this simmer for a bit longer and come back to it in a few days. If you have any ideas for a decision-making app thought, please do share. How could such an app help your organizing or your governance?

Current mood: Don't mourn, organize.

no buts

May. 14th, 2013 10:49 am
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Dune)
I need to remove the word "but" from my conversational vocabulary. It's a sledgehammer that displaces other people to set my ego firmly in the center.
frandroid: (stephen harper)
So I lied (friends-only). I'm used to giving up easily on challenges, so the only thing I can do now is giving up on giving up.

One benefit of having a mind unencumbered by sri sri filters is that I let emotions run over me like reucurring tidal waves. Cases in point:

1) We went to see Le nombre d'or (Live) on Sunday (here's a video excerpt, if you want to get a sense of its texture). We had seen Marie Chouinard's bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS a few years ago, which was good, but admittedly F remembers more of it than I can. All you need to know: Marie Chouinard runs a pretty damn good contemporary dance company with a side of raunch.

(SPOILER ALERT, MARIE CHOUINARD, THE GOLDEN MEAN) )

2) I went to see Retox at Sneaky Dees. Retox is fronted by Justin Pearson from The Locust. If you know The Locust, you have a sense of the insanity that prevailed, sans organ. Just like The Locust, it was a short, tight set, but really intense. Before them was Foxmoulder, with a similar sound, from Toronto. Also pretty awesome. Once I put my glasses in a safe place I was spazzing out in front of the stage. Motionless Toronto crowds, you fucking suck. YOU SUCKK.

Anyway, I really got into both shows, in a way I would have not quite done so until recently. That was pretty good. Now I just have to keep the rage and personal attacks in check.
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Great Worm)
I took a picture of a zine cover. Edited it in my phone's default photo-editing app (Android Gallery). Went to the new Great Worm site in my mobile browser. Uploaded the picture to the zine's profile. The site automagickally created thumbnails and various sized versions. I saved, and it ALL WENT LIVE INSTANTLY.

There isn't anything groundbreaking about this technology. Except that I BUILT THIS MESELF. And it's going to save me MILLIONS OF YEARS OF MY LIFE. Because that's how long I'll be selling zines for, bitches.

I have waited (and procrastinated for) 14 years to be able to do this. This sleeper has awaken, big time. I am back to having a live zine distro website. I'm going to be slaying this. Whoop whoop.

slsk

Apr. 22nd, 2013 12:29 am
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Got back on the soulseek bandwagon, downloaded 2 days' worth of music. Oops!
frandroid: Data banging an Enterprise computer screen which just showed the BSOD. (trek)

AHHHHH CLAUDIA CHRISTIAN READ THE PART FOR 7 OF 9!!!


Imagine that. I totally would have been all over Voyager.
frandroid: Drawing of sabotabby in revolutionary attire: beret, tight green top, keffiyeh, flowing red hair (sabotabby)
Anxious awaiting for [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby's Thatcher celebratory post!!

death train

Apr. 7th, 2013 11:36 am
frandroid: A large sandworm in front of the fremen invoking him (Great Worm)
Ahhhh an old friend from BBS times just died. We weren't close, but the guy is younger than me. Last time that happened was 12 years ago. Now I think it'll start to be more frequent... *shivers*

*** ETA: He died of a heart attack while playing floor hockey. He was probably 33 or so. I play floor hockey now. WTF. Getting in better shape ASAP so that it's not the only exercise of the week I do. Now off... to my playoff game. Sigh.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
So I had an interesting discussion on the phone tonight... My friend L has been training/working as a career-type coach thing for over a year now. She was taking some other training this weekend so she enlisted me to be her guinea pig.

I've never done any coach thing with her and I didn't feel a particular need for coaching, so it started slowly, but over the course of 50 minutes I was able to re-surface and verbalize thoughts that I have had over the last few years:

1) I enjoy solving intellectually, technically challenging problems.
2) I enjoy helping other people solve their problems, more than solving my own.
3) I'm interested in working with other people more than I'm interested in working for myself, for my own sake.
4) Ruby on Rails is a toolset that I am learning in order to be able to tackle a specific set of problems. Eventally, either there won't be satisfying problems that I will want to solve with Rails, I'll find a better toolset, or Rails will just become deprecated. At that point I will let go of Rails. But right now it's a toolset to work on 1-3.

So that's kind of why I'm learning RoR now, and I have guidelines for when I'll outgrow it, or something. I feel better about that.

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frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
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