Contrary to folk wisdom about the leopard being unable to change her spots, here in Cat Central we of course heed the fashion, and with the upcoming Winter, an upgrade to Snow Leopard seems very much the order of the day.
Except of course nothing ever goes smoothly.
Here are the notes from the front – unabridged and glossless admittedly not so much to provide an unadultered account but because I'm busy beating the doggone thing into submission. Maybe there is some truth to the whole static spots thing after all …
So I was over in the park, knee-deep (well, up to 3") in snowy seeds, took a wrong turn, and found myself in a minor forest fire.
It's kinda hard to take seriously a fire that's all of three inches high, but still, it seemed to cover a good portion of the eastern slope. And of course, Google Maps failed to get a good lock on my position that we could have given the fire brigade. You gotta hate when that happens.
In other news, having to chain three sshs to tweet that seems … suboptimal.
But yeah, it's the barbeque season, what do I even expect.
I heard the sirens off in the distance as I left the park.
Now playing:Lloyd Cole and the Commotions — Forest Fire
«The court said we were organised. I can't get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you're going to convict us, convict us of disorganised crime.»
«This wasn't a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing infrastructure.»
In other news, I stood and was counted at the German Presseamt earlier today. Demo against censorship, and calling out the government's bullshit reasoning: That censorship is needed to fight child pornograpy. Interestingly, most child-porn servers are in European countries where they're highly illegal, so a handful of activists armed with the block-list called the providers, and the providers switched off most of those sites within the day. This means they did more against child porn within the existing framework within one day than the government have accomplished within a year; either our overlords and -ladies are hideously incompetent, or they're lying to us about what they're trying to do. In either case, they've got to go.
And that's not even going into how problematic it seems to make that good porn/bad porn distinction.
The [conviction rate of reported rapes] is just under 6%, down from 33% in 1977. Given that informed estimates suggest only a small proportion of victims report rape, should the conviction rate drop much lower, it really will be more than mere rhetoric to invoke a "right to rape," according to J. Conaghan, professor of law at the University of Kent.
So I quoted back in '04, in one of the first articles on this weblog. Unfortunately, we had to revisit that theme over the years, and things do not look bright in Blighty.
I'm mentioning this for historical context, for continuity. I'm mentioning this because it's literally "too close to home." And I'm also mentioning this in the hope of avoiding, when I write about Afghans later, the kneejerk reaction of, oh well, it's those crazy yellow people again, what do you expect, they're just not as enlightened as we are.
So, Afghans establish the Right to Rape. Yup, women are chattel. It's not just sexual self-determination, it's also that you can't even see a doctor without your owner's approval. Points for being upfront about it, though.
In other countries where you can't easily make that sort of shite official law (although it's altogether too close for comfort to make prostitution legal and require the unemployed to accept pretty much any job, with only the statement that nobody will be asked "that", but no out-and-out law to back that up), you need to push the rape culture from legal theory to legal practice. (Article in German about this rapist abducting a woman, and the police not checking his flat etc. when a witness calls in the case and they work out from the number plate that he's a known predator (prematurely paroled after raping and torturing a 16-year-old, then caught with a 13-year-old and child porn, but never charged). I know I like to recite the tired ol' when every second counts, the police are just minutes away, but I'll acknowledge it's inappropriate rhetoric. When every second counts, the police are just 18 hours behind. Because that's how long his recent victim's ordeal lasted, simply because the police could not be bothered to take action.)
The thing is, it's not the yellow people. When men here haggle about whether it's really rapeif she says yes and changes her mind, if you bully someone into it etc., it's exactly the same: I don't care about the woman's fun or feelings, I just want to get off and not go to jail for it.
The Afghan Right to Rape is more upfront about it. That is all.
«Typical permit requirements include residency, minimum age, submitting fingerprints, passing a background check, attending a certified handgun/firearms safety class, participating in a range check/qualification before a certified trainer (for demonstrating safe firearms handling and practical proficiency), and paying the required fee (if any).
Requirements also include certification that a person has never been diagnosed with a "mental illness," which include any condition which interferes with "normal life--" including trauma from being victim of prior crimes» —Wikipedia
Oh joy, once a victim, always a victim! It's almost like, say, how those who were abused as children often end up with abusive partners later on. Phrased like that, it's very much like those ancient laws where you get out of a rape charge by marrying the victim: Victimize someone, know they'll never (phrasing Wikipedia's) get the means to defend themself now, and know they're yours to victimize for the rest of their life now.
It started out pretty simple. And with a real world case, too. I'm debating a new keyboard, as this one starts to act up — I'm sick of wireless, I'm sick of batteries, I'm sick of PS/2-to-USB adapters, and it seems the hardware starts failing me, too. That said, I was very happy with the ergonomic ("split keyboard") Logi — it was good to my wrists, it held up for ten years, and it certainly is one gorgeous keyboard —, and if the SafeType doesn't do the trick for me, I'll be looking to get a variant of the Logi that's not wireless. Anyway, the SafeType is also a split keyboard, but they mean it. It's like hacking a typewriter in two in the middle, and then putting both halves of the keyboard upright so they keyboards aren't horizontal, they're vertical. When you type, your hand are not parallel to your desk, but orthogonal to it. It did wonders for me when I tried the "upright mouse", so I think the keyboard may be beneficial, too. The rub is, you don't have cursor keys that way. So I needed to find a way to put the cursor keys on the main keyboard.
So, I'm in the middle of something. DSL goes down for no apparent reason. I don't see any WLAN I could share (and in fact NetworkManager has been behaving very weird since the update; if I don't kill -STOP it, it eats all my CPU — just plain killing it also tears down the net; this problem can be googled — a solution, not so much). So, UMTS. On this, pppd fails, giving unrecognized option '/dev/ttyUSB0'. This is the most obscure way they could find to say, You upgraded the kernel and haven't rebooted yet, so I can't find my shit. So, I reboot. Or, I try to. The upgrade from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124 plain broke my system (broke as in, EDD check, then BUG: INT14 CR2, dead before I get even the most basic boot messages). It is at this time that I notice that I haven't got a boot-manager installed that won't let me pass kernel options without excessive pain.
Meh. British chic catches up with continental standards, 20 years late but moving fast. Film at eleven.
Man mag mal eine Ausgabe English Vogue, French Vogue, German Vogue und American Vogue ("bloody Abys- bloody -synian bloody Vogue, darling!" — Italian Vogue lassen wir mal außen vor, die hat sich ja inzwischen zum Schimpfwort unter Feministinnen gemacht mit ihren Gewalt gegen Frauen-Fotostrecken) vergleichen, am Besten aus dem selben Monat, das ist instruktiv. Ebenso ist es interessant, US BH-Grössen mit den deutschen zu vergleichen, sowie die Präferenzen unter den jeweiligen, haha, Herren der Schöpfung. Zum einem ist der "goldene Bruststandard" im englischsprachigen Raum nicht exakt derselbe wie in Kontinentaleuropa. Wenn dort also korrigiert wird, tangiert uns das nicht notwendigerweise. Erstens generell, und zweitens, wenn ohnehin nur in Richtung "unserer" Standards korrigiert wird. Zum anderem ist in Grossbritannien gerade eine Saison mit Lack und Latex und gewissen Schnitten usw. usw. durch, also das was böse Zungen hooker chic nannten — das ist schwer zu steigern, und ich bin nicht überrascht, daß jetzt etwas anderes dran ist, etwas mit weniger "display" z.B. — Mode ist ohnehin reichlich fragwürdig, aber dann eher "immer und überall," als nur dann wenn Frau B vom Telegraph gerade mal meint, nicht die Zielgruppe zu sein.
CD-baby, which I'm normally a fan of, now has MP3s for download. Good. You have to purchase entire albums though. Not quite so good. I like funk. There are, of course, pure funk CDs, but often jazzers, even those whose jazz I don't find terribly interesting, will have a good or even excellent funk track on their album. This makes the sales proposition essentially, buy our album for the single track you want, which is even worse than the usual, buy four good tracks and a lot of filler that the music industry usually offers us. I might still go ahead for an album that is 10 bucks or under, but most are in the $10 - $14 range, and especially in the jazz selection, there are actually $20+ albums, lo and behold. Now I know that the US dollar is essentially worthless these days, but still. $20 for one track is too much. I'm already paying more for CD-baby albums than I do for the few "normal" albums I still buy, since I purchase the latter via amazon "Used & new", which not only saves me money, but arguably also bypasses the bloody RIAA to an extent. Lastly, it'd be kinda nice if I could purchase the physical CD and the download in a bundle — essentially buy the CD so I'll have the media, and then pay a dollar or two on top of that for their bandwidth, that is, the privilege of downloading the music and listen to it immediately, rather than wait for international shipping. This doesn't mean pure download or "just the CD" should go away, it just means that there could be a third option which would make customers happy while not losing the baby any money. Or well, given that CDbaby's reply to that suggestion essentially was, yes, but you could buy both at full price!, maybe there are people who do that. Then the bundle option would lose the shop money. It's just that they've been so good in the "no evil" department so far. Finally, am I the only one weirded out by the download not being cheaper than the physical media in some cases?
To be fair though, mealmaster — I mean kegelmaster, nay, ticketmaster — managed to have my credit card number stolen, so I got a new CC, and bollocky amazon made it a total nightmare to update the data, especially for already existing orders. And then, amazon US won't send me my fridge magnets. (I have an urge to mix-and-match the Yiddish and the Romance ones, and if you can't see the hilarity of that, I really can't help you.) Now, if it were a used-or-new reseller, fine. But if it's called an "amazon webshop", it could bloody well go and be subject to the same principle that governs my other transactions with amazon, which is I send them money, they send me stuff. If they can't do that, they can at least put a special badge on shops that do deliver to amazon standards. But even so, I'm logged in. They know where I bloody am. How about just putting a big red warning on a page when I go to an article they won't ship to me, anyway? If they don't want my business, that's one thing, but they should at least have the bloody decency of telling me before I spend an hour shopping. By that token, CDbaby is still lightyears ahead.
Being a woman, I tend to find a half-dozen friend-requests in skype each morning. Aside from those who like my picture, I presume some are looking for free English lessons. Some also tell me about their private parts — goddammit, this is skype, not the bloody bananaphone, is that so difficult? —, and maybe some actually liked my profile. Yeah, a girl can dream. One thing though: guys, what are you thinking (well, are you?) sending me friend-requests when you don't have a picture, don't have a profile, don't even send a hallo to go with the request. Or in short, "Friend me."You've given me no reason to be interested in you. Or shorter still, "Friend me; I won't tell you who I am." What is it with those people?
I don't flag Skype me!
I don't flag Online.
I'm normally set away of busy.
That doesn't mean anything.
I never really thought much of it, they make an offer, I'm not interested, no harm done, can't blame them for trying. Right? Well, in fact I find it a little rude when the person's not flagged Skype me!, for one thing. But with at least one of a filled-in profile and a little something about you in the hallo-message (that should be both literate and not about your sexual prowess), I might relent. "Unsolicited" seems less bad when it's polite otherwise. And when it's not commercial.
article originally written on 2007/04/29
Amendment: The skype status explained! (Not sure I actually need idle and very idle; I'd have preferred I'll get back to you later (what do not disturb does now), and I'll take your call/message now, but only if you're a friend, otherwise, don't even try to get friended.
This post/thread says it all, so, rather unusually for this weblog, I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:
The conservative-sexist metaphorical framework of sex is Sex As Conquest. […] Sometimes the struggle over the pussy is between men (ex: jokes about fathers guarding their daughters’ bodies from young male interlopers) and sometimes women themselves are tasked with defending the pussy from sex. If sexual intercourse happens, by definition, the man who gets to fuck the woman has won and the defender (father or woman herself) has lost. Sex happens when women surrender, in this model.
The liberal-feminist view of sex is that it’s not a war or a game, but more of a mutual collaboration, less like a battle and more like playing music. In this model, to be a sexual person is to be a musician and sex is playing your instrument. Sometimes you play by yourself, sometimes you get with others and jam, and sometimes you actually have a band that you have a long-term relationship with. There aren’t winners and losers, but there can be good and bad sex, just like there can be good and bad music. […] Homosexuality creates a lot of grief to those who have a fairly strict conservative view of sex because you can’t even tell who’s supposed to be the offense and the defense. It’s simply outside of their model, and it creates cognitive dissonance, which often makes the person suffering it want to wipe out the source of the dissonance. […]
The conservative-sexist model of rape is the same one used to define a foul in basketball. Basically, when sexual intercourse happens, the man team has scored a point against the woman team. Each team is allowed some strategies and disallowed others. In basketball, you’re supposed to snatch the ball from the other team, but you can’t cross certain lines or you’ll get a foul. This explains why rape trolls are so eager to find out what the “rules” are, i.e. when they are permitted to force sex. (”Is it rape if she’s drunk? What if she says yes and changes her mind? Is it okay to bully someone into it, so long as you don’t actually hold her down and force her? Are guilt trips okay?, etc.”) If there’s some ambiguity when the referee calls a foul, your teammates (other men) are supposed to clamor to your defense, regardless of whether or not you actually fouled. If the foul is called, then the woman team scores a point (or a free throw in basketball, but you get the idea). The idea that it’s wrong to have sex with someone unless she really, really wants to do it makes about as much sense as saying that you should only be allowed to get the ball in basketball if the defense hands it to you.
[Amanda, continued below the fold]