marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-11 11:54 pm
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[sticky entry] Sticky: Clearing out my bookmarks: the outré 'Comey condensed' Russian edition (updated 5-20-17)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, and other still-unfolding events


Disclaimer: I began this timeline on May 11th and keep it updated so I can process what's going on, which is why it's not formally constructed and lacks obvious chronological dates (but as far as I'm aware, it is in chronological order of when each event actually occurred). For more of what you might be looking for in timelines (though I can't guarantee they are or will ever be kept up-to-date) you can try this one by NPR or this Google search.


Yes, French, as also seen in the title. But things are getting so dire even French can't do this ongoing mess any justice.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-20 05:22 am
Entry tags:

Au revoir!

I've never seen anything as fucked as Cheetolini's stupid overseas trip - comprised mainly of him wandering aimlessly through the Middle East while indiscriminately firing off his mouth and cocking his POTUS Twitter account at folks like the loaded weapon it actually is in any angry and temperamental six-year old's hands.

Question, apropos of nothing: would you let your angry and temperamental six year old run a POTUS Twitter account for say, any normal POTUS? Would any sane or thinking person? No, of course not. Yet this six year old is not only running that account, he's running our entire fucking country because some Trumpists both in and outside of Russia thought they should let him. Thanks, y'all.

This trip is gonna go very badly. Why? Two things. There are many, many more things, but let's just focus on two.

  1. He's turned tail on Israel, giving their code-worded, "highly classified" info to the Russians while boasting he gets such "great intel". And now he's going to Israel, because of course he is. I mean, that won't be awkward or anything.
  2. He's supposed to give a speech in Saudi Arabia; guess who's writing it? That's right, smart people: "American Carnage" speechwriter and destroy us some MOOSElims broNazi Stephen Miller because who could do a better job of wording the words? I'm sure it'll go over just swell!

If I were the betting type (and oh, I am) I'd place wagers on which country does the thing first in which something something something will there be a White House procession with Clydesdales is this WWIII are we all fucked now. Obviously I'm a bit biased on how this might turn out, but not in the way you might think.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-20 01:51 am
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Going with the theme of "obvious things"...

Dreamwidth was unintentionally DDosed by someone's homework a few weeks ago. And no, you can't make this stuff up: Tonight's intermittent 404's.

While I was busy being mostly unable to use the site (along with [personal profile] conuly, whom I was having a comment exchange on this DW with at the same moment said homework went on a rampage) I hit upon a few DW pages that thanks to our CDN (CloudFlare) had been converted on-the-fly into read-only, which lets us view the site without actually being able to use it.

Fascinated, I studied the read-onlyness of them while exchanging replies with someone on an Anti-AOL post about AOL shutting off their News comment sections, which occurred approximately eleventy bajillion years ago but somehow is still news. The person replying was in a pique that comments to that post were less than, shall we say, civil.

For her, this included comments from my commenters (who think my blog is officially sponsored and run by AOL, and who therefore address the blog owner - that is, me - as though I'm not only an AOL employee, but also like I'm The Reason Why They Can't Have Nice Things) and comments from me, because I don't enjoy people still thinking I work for AOL after telling them a thousand times a second that no, I don't.

After exchanging a few comments with her (she was actually rather nice, which I appreciated) I looked back at DW's Support page, which I was also trying to reach while it was set to read-only, so thanks specifically to DW's homework DDoS Anti-AOL is now (permanently) read-only, because while I was waiting for DW to get un-DDoSed I shut comments off, just like they did over at AOL News.

If you're a Wordpress.com blog owner who wants to completely disable comments, it's not that hard, just time-consuming. Step 1: Log in, go to WP admin and disable comments. Step 2: Screen all publicly visible comments - that's it. It took a while because WP.com's admin is 1983 dial-up slow and you can only screen one pageful of comments at a time.

The way I did it (I'm not sure if there's a sorting option or if having one might help) newest comments screen first, which gave me a nice, chill walk down memory lane back to when Anti-AOL was on LJ and nearly no one thought I worked for AOL and sometimes I miss the hell out of just being thought of as myself but oh well, the blog will be 12 years old this November and I stopped having anything constructive to say about AOL years ago.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-20 12:55 am

It's not that hard, really, so why use multcloud or mover.io or...

After logging back into DW tonight and having a look at my email and recalling what my last post was about I instantly had my "duh" moment..."duh" being why would I think I have to use a moving service like MultCloud or Mover when duh...*tears hair* you can just download any drive service at all (Google Drive or whatever) and fucking transfer the files yourself?

*vicariously takes a moment to smash things*

I mean Jesus Christ it's just copy/paste it's not that fucking hard

OK, I'm done destroying myself over my Captain Obvious moment. I don't always have one but when I do they're often actual fucking tragedies.

Now I wonder why third party services choose to get involved in transferring files from one drive (or cloud) service to another (besides the obvious goal of "money") when really, it's not that fucking hard - what are they looking to get from it? Usernames and passwords to various file storage services? The files being transferred? Both?

And I guess I wouldn't be so pissed - both at my lack of foresight and the mover services for existing when I don't trust their motives, especially if they offer as generous of a "free" service as MultCloud does - but in 24 hours MultCloud *still* hasn't finished moving files, so I just got done moving them myself, which was when I realized I could have done the entire move without them - just download the Google Drive software and let the copy/pasting begin....

Christ, my own burns burn me sometimes. Ouch? But yikes, this was just too obvious self-flagellation ftw

Also, Google has no Drive for my Win10 phone, so at best using it on my laptop will be a temporary solution. The one upside to OneDrive's rate limits is they apply only to new uploads; after re-reading the details on Microsoft's 2015 blog post and checking out the fine print on the current offer, it seems they won't delete previously uploaded files, nor deny access via downloading or sharing.

Then again, you have to trust Microsoft to not cut off your access at some point, which I don't trust them not to do, not at all.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-18 11:25 pm

Freakin' OneDrive (they should rename it OneGigTimesFive)

Updated 5-20-17

So, back in 2015 when OneDrive decided their free, unlimited storage for Office365 was no longer free or unlimited, and that free storage for all other users was no longer capped at 15GB but was now just 5GB, I too was stuck with the prospect of losing several gigs of data if I didn't Do Something.

Most of those gigs were comprised of music (about five out of eight) so I just transferred the entire contents of my OneDrive to an external notebook, copied the music into an offline folder on my laptop and let Microsoft cut my storage down to the new, much lower 5GB limit. Yeah, we all went from having "free, unlimited storage" or "15GB free" to 5GB, how does that even happen?

Well, ostensibly because Microsoft was mad at people "abusing" it by keeping 75TB in the cloud, which makes no sense - which part of their own "unlimited" offer did they not understand? I'd have walked away from OneDrive at that point, but it's tied directly into Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 10, and I've pretty much stepped up to each new OS as soon as the betas have come out, and having cloud storage integrated into my OS has been totally privacy-wrecking convenient, so I didn't want to give it up.

Luckily (if you could call it that) I broke another person's tablet around this time last year when it bounced off a table I was vacuuming under, which smashed up the screen (I really, really hate Asus tablets; the stupid, smashable screen is just one reason for that), which made me the unproud owner of said tablet (I never use it; I'll probably flip it, broken screen and all, on eBay someday) and forced me to buy another tablet to replace the one I broke.

When the other person got their replacement they offered me their license for Office365, which also gives you one free terabyte of OneDrive storage, so that undid my cloud storage limit until tonight, when I got the dreaded email saying the subscription expires soon.

Microsoft first offer was to keep my subscription going by "automatic renewal", which made me log into OneDrive and cancel right away (though Microsoft doesn't seem to have my bank info on file at the moment). With that fire out, I decided to see how much they want. Well, of course they want a lot, so their next offer was to renew at $69.99. Naaaaaah. The next was to renew at $99.99. Don'tcha love it when you reject their last offer so the price goes up? What for? Oh, for the "Premium" package, of course. Pfffffft.

So I checked what it would cost for just storage: $1.99 per month for 50GB; not bad, considering most cloud storage can cost a lot more. So I tried to sign up to see what the final cost looked like - if they'd be charging me for a year or more in advance, or if they'd actually be charging me by the month, only to be taken to this page telling me I currently have an Office365 subscription with 1TB of storage. I tried again and again, thinking maybe their system is just hiccuping, but no, Microsoft will not let me buy more storage. So there's no buying it in advance, I guess?

Being unable to see what the final price would be for more storage has ticked me off so much I'm moving everything to Google Drive as I type this. I'm using MultCloud to do the entire file transfer, which has made 41.27% progress copying files (out of 10.5GB of data) since I opened DW's editor to write this. I imagine it'll take a while, but I can wait.

The one thing that bugged me about moving to Google Drive is I don't want my OneDrive files tied to my main Google account (I do have one, but use it mostly to recover my main Outlook accounts when I change passwords; I use another to forward Dreamwidth email to Outlook, because Microsoft mostly just bounces it) but I got around that by just picking another Google account I never use, that might've once been tied to an Android phone of mine (or two) but no longer is.

The next thing is figure out how to get Google Drive to show up on my computer (I last used it years ago, long before it was an official app, and that version did have software for the computer side of things) so I won't have to go online to find and work with my files, but the phone side is where I might get screwed; I use an older Windows phone, and while it's running Win10 Preview (it's not supposed to, but it does) the Win10 app store is awful, so I'm unsure if there's a Google Drive app for it, or if there is, if it'll work (the camera in BoA's app, for example, doesn't, so I can't use it to snap pictures of checks, which was the whole point of having it, since I already get alerts and notifications by email).

But when I think of Microsoft charging $2 per month for something they used to offer 10GB more of for free, and realize they're holding all my intangible things hostage, that's all it takes to realize I don't care what a PITA Google Drive might turn out to be because it's the principle of the thing.

ETA, 5-20-2017: The Windows store doesn't have a Google drive app for Windows phones - there's a small chance I might be able to "sideload" the correct app, but if not, I'll either have to go without or find something else that syncs my phone with my laptop.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-16 05:51 am
Entry tags:

What if I don't *want* to speak Russian?

The Republicans have washed their hands of this country.

I'm starting to think Trump could break out an Uzi on live TV at his next address to the joint chambers of Congress but as long as he only hits Democrats (the more the merrier, of course) there will be no recourse and no stopping him; no public outcry will change a damn thing, nor will it result in any charges or end up in any impeachment because the Republican's plans are set (and don't think Russia doesn't know and isn't taking advantage of this; they do and they are).

Republicans are handing the keys of US power over to the rich while giving the rich two huge tax cuts to help them take the reigns: one in the form of stripping viable and affordable health care away from the vast majority of Americans; the other in the form of simply giving them another huge tax cut, because why stop at just one tax cut when you can eventually convert the rich into tax-exempt status, two gigantic tax cuts at a time.

Meanwhile, Trump allowed Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov - and by extension, Putin and all of Russia - to flat-out troll us over Comey's firing even as Russia state news agencies published what were supposed to be unpublished pictures of this same meeting, which the US press was not even allowed to sit in on or photograph, all while opening us up to possible espionage in the form of the photographer's so-called "camera". Then Trump immediately handed Russian ambassador Kislyak state intel about ISIS for Russia to do whatever they want with, and all this just one day after he fired FBI Director Comey to obstruct the FBI investigation into his Russian dealings, clearly breaking US law and even more clearly trying to hide not just something, but likely a whole lot of things.

Against all this, including Russia's latest order (likely directed solely at the US) to not respond to North Korea's threats with anything but meek offers of negotiation, if the silence from the Republican faction of Congress was any more deafening my eardrums would split open and pop out of my head onto the floor, which is not nearly as disgusting of an image as what might happen next in this country.

If this is all the reaction Republicans will ever have then we're done, all so we can watch them hand this country over to the elite (which will suit Russia just fine, as oligarchies have always kinda been their thing).

Enjoy the show, folks.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-13 01:17 am
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Funny thing about this Oatmeal comic going 'round about the 'backfire effect'...

Is that most of the time, what you're seeing probably isn't one. While Matthew Inman's descriptions (including visual) of why one might feel uncomfortable around new-to-them facts rings true and sounds rather like a fact, a new study suggests the backfire effect may be "a very rare phenomenon" that's not impossible to overcome.

People entrench around factually wrong information for many reasons: personal or in-group bias, feeling an emotional or intellectual discordance, thinking their view of life or actual way of life is under threat, rhetorical or semantical differences, philosophical disagreements...whatever. Calling it a backfire effect - and explaining it by what goes on in your amygdala - does little justice to what disbelieving a fact actually involves. It has little to do with brain chemistry, which I'd say is more a part of the process of fact-disbelieving than its direct cause.

Let me change your mind: people can be convinced to change their minds through a process called "factual intervention".

Which reminds me: people can convince themselves they hate something. Anything. Matthew's image of a house with walls scrawled over with formative reasons for disbelieving facts, which bizarrely enough includes the phrase "hatred of cilantro"? Cilantro is probably on there because it's not something you hate - there are several genes that actually change the flavor of it for some of us. Judging by how I think soap cilantro tastes, I also have the little buggers.

While I'm on the topic of not accepting facts, and while I'm still on the topic of science in general (yes, starting this paragraph counts), science is never a settled question. Some of the latest food studies seem out to prove it by pronouncing butter bad for us again and salt better for us than we thought. It can even help people lose weight, but in doing so increases loss of both fat and muscle, so I'd take this news with a pretty large grain of, uh...

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-10 10:39 pm
Entry tags:

In which I continue to pick apart Cheetolini's main ingredients (chink in the armor: paranoia)

Updated 5-12-17

What strikes me most about this week's news is that the Head Cheeto is nothing if not a series of easy-to-spot patterns. In this post I discuss two of them.

The first pattern is clear: being his ally/friend/insider/toady/admirer/boot polisher/vote fixer - as much as he insists upon being emotionally and politically worshiped to inflate his oversized and incredibly thirsty ego - will not help: witness the political corpses of Manafort, Page, Flynn, Comey, McMasters (whom Trump is said to be routinely enraged at - the phrase "was heard screaming at him" is used a lot, so we're counting McMasters down, yo).

Turning back in time, let's look at his multi-decade friendship with the Clintons: he turned on Bill during his own presidential run to drag Bill's alleged "abuse" of women out into the open again - 20 years after the original accusations were levied, a time in which Trump and the Clintons remained close friends - and even had a few of the women speak out at press conferences and sit in on speeches to prove his point (which was something incoherent like, "See, I'm not the only one who does it ha ha").

Throughout his run for office he held his personal friend Hillary out for public skewering at rallies, speeches and on his Twitter - "lock her up", "hang the bitch" and a huge run on official campaign hate memorabilia being just a handful of the still-shocking, though inevitable results.

Zooming in to shortly after the election, the Head Cheese Puff highly praised Obama (after about 6 years of trying to convince us he was a jungle bushman - no big deal, right? That Obama even deigned to meet with this libelous orangutan is beyond my can even) only to turn on him recently to announce - adorned in the most perfectly paranoid mental regalia the world's ever seen - that Obama personally had him spied upon and wiretapped while he still resided at Chump Hour - a laughable allegation if ever there was one.

Have I missed any bodies in the political body count? I don't feel like Googling to jog my memory or complete this post, so if someone (or something) has turned up missing, feel free to dive in. ETA2: I missed Corey Lewandowski. And maybe a few others, but I still don't feel like Googling.

The second pattern is one of showmanship. I don't mean how he gave one "good" speech (though I'm not one to agree with the message - no matter how adroitly it's been phrased) out of an endless series of clunkers or being able to recite - if not actually speak in - complete sentences (good for him, because maybe he's not as demented as some people think - is he in good enough shape to stand trial? Based on his performance that night yeah, he's doing just fine... *wink wink*).

I'm talking about the art of distraction and his total mastery of it: there's nothing he won't do to get people to talk about anything but the Russian investigation, and there's nothing he won't do to keep it from happening.

These factors - paranoia and distraction - are keys to destroying his new career.

He's on his endgame. He knows it, we, the American people know it, and the world is catching on. Everyone's talking.

Obviously it would be in his - and our country's - best interests if he resigns, because he's been too busy since the election trying to make us look away from the Russians to get anything else done. It won't work; he's just needlessly wearing himself out juggling too many balls that have nothing to do with what's best for our country: there's no time or mental focus left for that. Which is doing a huuuuuuge disservice to the American people and the world at large. And it needs to stop.

To be clear: lobbing missiles at North Korea? Won't work. Turning American government into a malevolent dictatorship? Won't change a damn thing; if anything, it turns more of us against him. Firing everyone and their uncle? Won't cut it (though this is key to getting the right people to turn on him, so it's fairly important that he keeps on firing pretty much indiscriminately).

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, "town coming coming down" come hell or high water, so it's time he pulls his head out of his lower regions and starts coming up with more reasons to work on his golf game or admire the shrubs gracing the main lobby at the NYC Trump Tower.

Because he probably won't resign (he doesn't want the job and never expected to have it, but has some too-strong desire to serve his out-of-control base* to walk away now; still, never say never) the endgame's pretty simple: dig for what you can, find and push it out into the open, and never stop working his paranoia. Rumors are essential. Various players gain his trust and expound upon his fears. Onto his (and other) Twitter(s) these rumors no doubt go, pushing him even further into conspiracy-theory basket case territory than he's ever been before.

Make him believe his time's up and one of two things could happen: a) he might yet choose to resign or b) he might break and admit what he shouldn't (highly unlikely, so focus more on a)), which will pretty much force impeachment hearings, should the Rs agree to it (and given enough damning evidence from any source, it might get to the point where refusing to hold hearings exposes their own complicity - I think we're at that point now, but the Rs clearly hold party above country, so it's going to take a lot more).

ETA1: he's gone with choice b) - witness the Head Cheese Puff's paranoia in action (and see this post for a condensed Comey timeline). So color me wrong about which part of my prediction to focus on, as it goes without saying at this point: FOCUS MORE ON b).

*Re: his "too-strong desire to serve his out-of-control base" (ETA3)? Figured that one out, too. It's not that. What he's doing is using them to gut protections for everyone else but the rich - which will also gut any and all protections for his base - before he declares MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AMERICA'S NOW GREAT AGAIN and hands the keys of power over to the people he's already going out of his way to further enrich through his presidency.

What made me think of it is the 2020 census. With the way things are going, there won't be one. But why take one when everyone but rich whites and their families and friends will long be disenfranchised?

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-09 12:16 am

Browser support for CSS standards is weird

Firefox actually has the weirdest performance in some areas:

  • clearing comment forms on entry pages (the whitespace between entry and form works as it should in _every_other_browser_; in Firefox the form doesn't clear by more than a few pixels unless I about triple the top margin).
  • arranging cell space on comment forms under 360px width on mobile is not going very well (our comment forms are actually tables nested within tables, which doesn't make it any easier)
  • displaying padding in text fields (for example, the search box in the navigation bar above the header is the wrong shape/size in _every_other_browser_ because Firefox)
  • certain CSS properties/values work in Firefox but in no other browser, which led to this thing today where my comment forms looked like someone shook all my pages really hard and let the form fields land where they would. Such fun.

I think I'd need about a thousand hacks for every possible browser/OS/device configuration to work around some of this, or to simply hack Firefox to allow better display in other browsers. And I could hack Firefox, because there are hacks for it.

The other thing is how needless it is to test page display on multiple versions of modern Webkit (only speaking of Windows browsers). If you check a web page in Chromium or Google Chrome, it seems you've checked it in every modern Webkit browser including Safari for Windows - which stopped at v.5 some years ago - except modern (non-Presto) Opera, which has its own ideas about CSS.

I'm not sure if this applies to Chrome on Android, as well, but as far as desktop testing goes, yeah, it does seem that way.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-07 04:13 am

Because people are having a (big!) misunderstanding about the Religious Liberty Executive Order

It is not this, okay?

Update your DW posts (posted yesterday/today/tonight; if you know someone* who's posted incorrect info on this, then please let them know to correct it) to reflect the final version of the EO - otherwise you're spreading misinformation and sowing needless fear into people's hearts, and that's really not okay!

The new version of the Religious Liberty Executive Order does just two things: it lets religious leaders bully you from the pulpit tell you who to vote for, which is technically illegal, as the Johnson amendment still stands. The second part of the EO addresses that - not from a civil law point of view, more from a strictly financial one - by ordering the IRS to give "regulatory relief" to "religious leaders" *snorfle* who might eventually choose to bully you from their pulpits.

Did y'all read that last sentence? Wtf, right? I don't even know what that means! I almost never write anything I can't understand, so this has been really awkward for me.

*cries*

if anyone needs a hint that there's at least one person who has perhaps erroneously done this, I have one on my reading list - not a mutual, just someone whose public posts I sometimes read. No one's corrected them as of this writing, and we had a falling out on my blog a few weeks ago, so I won't be doing that, either.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-06 02:23 am
Entry tags:

Our blood is on their hands...

And they celebrated it in the Rose Garden. Feel the ice in your veins as they turn it that cold. They're not just murderers but psychopathically incapable of feeling bad, though our blood remains on their hands, regardless.

But still, it's always helpful when the other side shows their true colors; at least then you know who the fuck you're dealing with.

Orangini showed his hand only after the game was over, revealing he prefers Australia's single payer to our incomprehensible patchwork of health care laws, proving he doesn't have the courage of his convictions (nor courage or convictions, for that matter).

He just panders to his rowdy little band of reverse Robin Hoods who steal from the poor and overcharge the old to cut taxes for the rich.

And don't get me started on how when White Guys Do It That's Just Fine (see Romneycare) but black guys can't do anything if enough racist bigots are on hand to stop them so Obama's live show got cancelled, likely costing millions of lives if the Senate passes a bill that even remotely resembles the still-incomplete butcher job the House has done.

Disclaimer: and don't get me started on Rick Scott.

Thanks to him - and though I live in a Democratic county - the entire state got opted out of the ACA's Medicaid option, which is the only way people like me/my household/my neighbors/entire swaths of my county and surrounding areas stretching hundreds of miles in every possible direction could possibly afford health insurance. Which means no, I don't have any, either.


On another note, though I'm sword and pitchforking here, most people reading this will readily note I'm not a Congress critter (for the rest of you: no, I'm not). Given that Congress critters have rules for behavior that limit their responses to unwelcome vote-casting, I think singing, "Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye" was completely appropriate and actually too good for every last one of the healthcare-destroying R's sorry fucking asses.

Stay classy, Ds. Also, they can carry a tune. They ought to form an informal Congressional choir or something. Singing's a great stress reliever, and JFC, are we under some stress, or what?

marahmarie: A coffee mug that reads: "I figuratively die as I hear you literally abuse words." (grammar)
2017-05-05 01:44 am
Entry tags:

Hey, let's all move to Alaska and have abortions to get this cool free trip to Anchorage!

Every uterus-possessing person's dream! I had to stop reading when I got to the part where we're "incented" to do so because o rly we're INCENTED? Wtf? As my mind does scores of times per typical reading session - because no one has a fucking copy editor anymore - I mentally shouted the correct term at the screen: "INCENTIVIZED", then looked up both the tragically wrong-sounding usage and its better-sounding cousin. While most of the Internet's resigned itself to "either/or" this comment seems to aver it's about as either/or as someone saying "I might could do that" instead of "I might" or "Maybe I will".

In other words, it's a typo that's somehow jumped the misprint divide into actual known, if not "common", usage.

I just, arrrrgghh...words.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-04 02:17 am
Entry tags:

Pasta Alla Vodka

From this recipe, annotated as follows.

Step 1: Don't boil water yet; your big burner heats to boiling in just five minutes and you haven't even cooked the sauce. Cut a huge shallot instead of an onion. "Oil" is "garlic-infused", which you don't have any of, and which is a horrible cheat, so use olive oil. The cast iron skillet is on the water-boiling burner, so expect carmelization to occur in five minutes, not ten.

Step 1a: Wonder why shallots make you cry, why the sting is so much sharper than an onion's and why it takes so much longer to hit than the onion sting does. Crush three cloves of garlic with the flat side of your knife and let it rest in the mortar, because you'll be making your own garlic-infused oil OTF.

Step 2: Use one big can of Prego garlic and herb red sauce and one big can of diced tomatoes. "Fresh" grocery store tomatoes are almost never naturally ripened so you quit buying all but the cherry kinds years ago. Resolve the math problem the cans create by leaving a few ounces of sauce behind. Find the special lid that seals cans and refrigerate. You used all the light - not heavy - cream, in an earlier dish, so use half and half. Look up recipes for mock heavy cream in an absolute panic. Decide they're ridiculous because this recipe already calls for butter, and how much more does it need?

Step 2a: Decide the sauce needs more cream; get the half and half back out and double it. Wonder if you're only doing so because heavy cream is thicker so not so much is needed, or if the recipe is just somehow wrong.

Step 2b: Wonder if you're favorite pasta/pizza place on Long Island, the one owned by a young Sicilian Italian who did most of the cooking, ever made this dish right, even if it was one of your favorites. The sauce was much thicker, had no allium, was just barely pink - almost white - and had just a tiny pop of tomatoes. The thing you just created is, even with the doubled half and half, a deeply sunburned color, loaded with allium and tomato dice, and needs red pepper flakes, come to think of it.

Step 2c: Add a few energetic shakes of red pepper flakes.

Step 2c: Mash garlic in mortar with pestle and scrape with a small, soft spatula into a smaller cast iron skillet, along with a spoonful of olive oil. Go low and slow so garlic gets sticky but doesn't turn brown or burn. Mix into sauce, which only has half the olive oil it needed to saute the onions, because adding more with the garlic later on was the plan.

Step 3: The water's on the slow burner, where you left it after putting the big cast iron on the water-boiler, so leave it there and add pasta, as the water has already hit boiling twice. You don't have penne, so use rigatoni. They didn't tell you to salt the hell out of the water but you do so, anyway. You let the steam soften your face as you dump the boiling water in the colander because your mom always did that but you thought it was nuts - until you didn't.

Step 3a: You're not happy with today's news (Rex Tillerson plays the bumbling lead in Yo, War's Peace, You Feelin' Me Bro in a newsfeed near you, the most common Google search term is [nuclear war], The Religious Freedom Act's getting signed over Ivanka and Jared's obviously not-too-strenuous objections, even as the mangled health care bill that might kill legions of Americans is being rushed out to a vote) so you add roughly double the amount of vodka the recipe calls for and don't even try to pretend it was an accident or like you feel bad about it.

Step 3b: You realize you cooked only half the pasta the recipe calls for but still doubled the vodka and shrug it off, indifferently. Then you watch as the butter melts: such a creamy, swirly, sticky mess up against all those big, fat noodles, then you mix some freshly picked and chopped ribboned basil right into the pasta. Your vodka smells like nail polish remover as it hits the pot, so you make a mental note to try to buy better quality someday, because quadruple-distilled apparently isn't distilled enough.

Step 4: You skip Step 4, put the pasta on a plate and cover it with sauce. You almost die over how good it tastes, then clean up the kitchen, put away the leftovers and write about what it is you made.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-05-01 11:59 pm
Entry tags:

If anyone can't see pictures on my posts (in the future) would you please let me know (updated 5-8)

I do actually have a Support Request in over this. From the tl:dr: at the end of it:

"the Upload Images page should have uploaded images set to the same security as one's journal is by default, which should match the security shown on the Manage Images page, but because the upload page defaults to "public" on the dropdown, the last 3-5 images I've uploaded from DW and posted publicly, both to Support Staff and on my own DW were locked to access-only and I didn't know it, since I haven't viewed any of these pages while logged out of DW."

ETA: I closed the original Support Request and opened another after getting feedback in the comments below saying that the first request was not worded clearly enough.

All pictures I think I've set to public should now be public at this point, as I just went through my last few weeks of image uploads to make sure. My apologies to anyone who was like, "Huh" and just stopped reading because there was no image to carry the point(s) I was trying to make in whatever post(s) you came across in this condition.

Now y'all have learned I don't look at my own DW logged-out often enough to catch these things, which is maybe not the greatest fact to share with whoever runs across this, but anyhow...

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-30 07:34 am
Entry tags:

Does *everything* weird on Dreamwidth happen to me, or...

...what? *side eyes Issue 2119 (from related code tour)*

Actually happened. To me. At the time, though, that was *not* what I thought had uh, happened *winces*. And no, reading through the pull request, I see I'm not the only person who's been bit by this bug (following it back to the original is actually pretty interesting, as the bug responsible for it was alive and kicking 16 years ago).

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-30 02:25 am

The Grim Biology of Being Poor

Worth reading not just for the biology - as up for debate as that might be - but for the points the author makes throughout.

That word—disease—carries a stigma with it. By using it here, I don’t mean that the poor are (that I am) inferior or compromised. I mean that the poor are afflicted, and told by the rest of the world that their condition is a necessary, temporary, and even positive part of modern capitalism. We tell the poor that they have the chance to escape if they just work hard enough; that we are all equally invested in a system that doles out rewards and punishments in equal measure. We point at the rare rags-to-riches stories like my own, which seem to play into the standard meritocracy template.

But merit has little to do with how I got out.


Why do so few make it out of poverty? I can tell you from experience it is not because some have more merit than others. It is because being poor is a high-risk gamble. The asymmetry of outcomes for the poor is so enormous because it is so expensive to be poor. Imagine losing a job because your phone was cut off, or blowing off an exam because you spent the day in the ER dealing with something that preventative care would have avoided completely. Something as simple as that can spark a spiral of adversity almost impossible to recover from. The reality is that when you’re poor, if you make one mistake, you’re done.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-29 09:59 pm
Entry tags:

Calling a spade a spade

I was reading this deep-thinky thing about Facebook today when the terminology got to me, as per usual.

The overarching framework was that Facebook, and the Internet more broadly, have encouraged us to gather into "information bubbles" and "silo" off. After over a year of being subjected to this nonsensical blather, which even Obama is guilty of splattering across our consciences, it finally hit me that the people who write these things need to get out more.

What brought this to the forefront for me is how neutrally the problem is framed. We're divided based upon our "preferences" and "what sounds more like the truth" and "bias" and what? Really?

None of these things cause our divisions. The dividing line is one of lies which likely stretch back to pre-historic times. Some people enjoy deceit, think being mean is what makes them superior, that pissing on people's legs is a perfectly good reason to tell them it's raining out, or get a kick out of choosing an unlikely scenario over the most likely one - because the truth is flat-out enraging if it contradicts their in-group identity (which in all respects is built upon a shared sense of superiority), while telling the truth is flat-out boring and will not advance their causes, so is to be avoided at all costs.

They live, in other words, to cause, be the source of and to increase baseless friction. Friction is the water they swim in, the air they breathe, the source of all energy they have, and causing it is how they "stand out" from "the others". A lot of people deserve the silos they build and will remain in. A famed subterranean silo, the existence of which has been hotly contested for eons, was no doubt designed specifically with this in mind.

For them kindness is weakness, truth an embarrassing letdown or just not harmful enough to sustain, loving one another a silly game for the weak-minded and feeble, helping one another a degrading lesson in bad optics, because for anyone else to win requires they lose something - either time, money, or else their positions as sole proprietors of the universe - arbitrarily picking groups to spew scorn upon ensures superiority, telling lies ensures their superiority lasts, and enforcing those lies with laws and violence starts and fuels their dynasties.

So it's not choosing an "information bubble" or "what sounds more like the truth".

It's having the spirit of truth, which each side either has or else pretends to have while doing the exact opposite of what the truth would require. No one's choosing what "sounds more like the truth", some people are simply rejecting it to advance their own causes, which isn't a new problem: it's been a part of the human condition for thousands of years.

But until the discussion is framed more honestly - as a war between truth and lies, and therefore: right and wrong, good and bad, morality and amorality, the so-called silos will remain, and the people within them will stay put.

As they always have.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-27 09:36 pm
Entry tags:

Sad!

While there's a lot I could post about, doing so won't change much - it would just add to a sea of voices that gets tuned out - or is that "drowned out" - on the regular by the minority, a Sad! state of affairs (I'm still trying to grasp how it's even possible, but yeah, somehow it is).

But after being reminded of this (the Orangado, among other things, boasting he gave the best damn Congressional speech eva!!!1!) I recalled having something to say about that. I watched the entire thing live on TV for however long it took, maybe two hours? Four? Five? It felt that long, because I'm not someone to sit around and watch him because I want to, but because I want to know.

Unlike most people, I'm nearly incapable of misunderstanding him (see word salads that flummox the world getting tossed for yourself) if only because he talks like the neighborhood one side of my family comes from (apparently the poor linguistics jumped the dividing highway more easily than the high incomes ever will - its kinda Sad! what's happened to the other side of Jamaica, Queens) so I figured I might be doing everyone a favor by tuning in, just in case I needed to go and get what he'd said again for other people's sakes.

MM the Trump interpreter, yeah. I get word salad, yo.

So, because mostly I get it, and rarely, if ever, fail to (as awful or completely bs as what I'm "getting" might be/generally is), I wanted to hear what he had to say with my own ears, no interpreting it for me the next morning thankyouverymuch. But no need to worry about word salad: he mostly delivered a canned speech from which he never once deviated nor went off-script. Which tells us a few things:

He can follow - and perform beautifully from - a script (at least, as long as S. Bannon or S. Miller aren't writing it for him. Their speeches would fall flat no matter who delivers them, because no one - except maybe a small subset of his darkest, most extraordinarily cracked followers - wants to hear all that Grim Reaper bullshit, anyhow). Yay!

I mean his performance was lush, it was gorgeous, it would make the showiest Declaration of Independence signer blush with recognition and cry over just how damn good his delivery was. It made some of Bill Clinton's most fiery speeches look like boring little fireside chats. The head Cheeto set a high bar for himself re how to perform, then blew past it and left everyone's expectations in the dust. It was, oh God... *winces as mocking tic comes on* THE GREATEST THE BEST EVER

By contrast, nothing he's said or done in the days before or since his speech has matched a single word he said throughout it. There's only a few ways to go from here:

  • Cheetolini is blustery insincerity at its best. He can put on a show (likely for his daughter Ivanka, who likely had a huge hand in the wording of said speech), which should disabuse anyone of the notion he's incapable of thinking and acting deliberately or that he only knows how to react impulsively and without thought. He simply chooses not to think and plan his words and actions out most of the time, finding intellectual laziness vastly preferable to taking the time to learn the issues and act accordingly, from a place of both knowledge and principles. Or even, as he's so freaking fond of saying, with "heart".
  • My takeaway: He might be willfully ignorant but he's not stupid.
  • If he's impeached and eventually removed from office - as he should be - his public speaking gigs could rack up gagillions until he finally succumbs to his latest McDonald's treat - which I've got pegged as occurring no sooner than 10 years from now. Patience, peeps: I think the tears and prayers of the fundies are what's keeping him alive - it's certainly not the diet, sleep schedule, nor his stress levels.
  • He has no relationship with the truth. Saying things he doesn't mean and bloviating oh-so-sincerely on topics he doesn't give a rat's ass about might be his way of jiving, maybe so the Dems - and his daughter in particular - can never accuse him of not saying something they/she wanted to hear, though what he actually thinks and feels is almost inevitably up to the last bidder against his emotional landscape or else up to his own particular whims.

I think I might feel sorry for his daughter Ivanka. He's manipulating her as cleverly as he tries to manipulate the rest of us, but because she's his daughter there's very little she can do (the rest of us can protest, make jokes, call/write/fax Congress - she has little choice but to keep quiet or lose face by admitting she's been wrong about him - which risks losing her inheritance and winning ostracization from the entire line of Cheetolini products, which I'd imagine she'd never willingly endure).

It seems Ivanka has a very fine line to walk: she can be as honest with him in private as she wants (so she says!) but if his public decisions don't even resemble the promises he's made, there's nothing she can do except shrug and move on - or else risk the loss of all she has at stake.

Luckily for her, she can afford to lose ideological battles with her dad. As a self-employed, rich, white, cis-gendered woman, she gets to skirt 99% of the problems the rest of us can often face: racism, poverty, classism, misogynistic effects upon her career and public persona, lack of health care, lack of reasonable housing choices, lack of reasonable child care choices, lack of equal standing under the law, over-taxation - her money, skin color, and apparent sexual orientation and gender identification confers 99% of the protections she needs but would not otherwise have as a citizen of her father's increasingly racist, ableist, classist, bigoted, elitist United States.

So while her dad might pander to her in private and has done so publicly with one grab-ya-by-the-collar-and-shake-ya-around Congressional speech which I think he made mostly to allay her fears, he doesn't mean it, so he shouldn't brag because it was a performance, and that is all.

You can't unbullshit a bullshitter - that's the reality all of us, including Ivanka, will just have to deal with.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-25 12:25 am
Entry tags:

Ooooh, this burns me up

No Sarah, no comfy midriff workout tops for us. Here's Tom Schneider to 'splain it to our pretty 'lil heads:

Mr. tells a sister how it is

Yet this is OK - though no one would wear it to a "church", "in-laws", "family gathering" or "someplace more conservative", ie "someplace where men are breathing":

Sister tells a Mr. how it is

Hypocrites, much? Every woman who uses that gym should boycott and picket it with posters like the one above - to prove a point. To address some of Mr. Tom's so-called "points":

"many folks that read my initial reply to Sarah think I'm some crazy conservative"...Naaaah, why would folks think that? Conservatives "crazy"? Why, that'd be like Trump changing his party affiliation from Democrat to Republi- OK...well, as they say, birds of a feather...

"The problem [note: he thinks there are lots of problems] is in our society we think that comfort means less."...No, "comfort" means "comfort". There's a reason we don't stuff ourselves into hot, restrictive, uncomfortable, bothersome things just to shield the Mr. Tom's of the world from dealing with where someone's sexualized-to-them bits fall on a scale of -1 to Whoa!.

"You could have easily wore a dry-wicking shirt from Nike over your sports bra [..]" In other words, if you don't have the money to buy top-of-the-line workout clothes, don't try working out.

"and been covered up"...Again, the Mr. Toms of the world suffer over how hard it is to not manufacture certain temptations and then blame other people for them, and their self-control is your problem, not theirs, so fix that up for them right quick, and get their coffee light and sweet - thanks.

"we wore the gear in Afghanistan and it got up to 120 at times."...In other words, the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines paid for you to wear it: troops don't generally purchase their own "gear".

"The problem is, skimpy clothing for ladies and their chest hanging out in sports bra shouldn't be considered workout gear"...yet men in ballet tights, tight little swim trunks and walking around bare-chested is proof of the holy Lord moving amongst us in sacred male form or something, amirite?

"and still worked out in your yoga pants and not been hot"...Notice he's actually predicting what her body temperature in certain workout clothes will be as though he would know and telling her what to wear and not wear? Your tightly outlined butt is alright. Your any-outlined tata is not.

"....Nike makes HeatGear just for that reason...."...

It's not just a classist statement he keeps coming back to, it might be proof that besides being a sexist asshole that he also works for Nike.

"it's just like you wouldn't wear a bra to workout, right?...Wait, now it's *not* a bra? Wasn't that exactly what he was just haranguing her for...wait, it's a shirt, it's a bra, it's a shirtssiere!...(there's got to be a meme in here, somewhere)

"it's no different, but our fitness industry has made it acceptable and think it's OK, but it's really not."

...

You know what Mr. Tom, you're right: it's really not OK to run around in those obscene tights, dear little swim trunks and sweet, tartish little Scottish kilts that show off so much of that long, yummy leg, so why don't you and the entire "sports industry" knock it off? You don't want me remembering that you guys have some junk in your trunks because then you'll blame me if something goes "wrong", won'tcha...

But then I'll just turn around and blame you, because the temptation was just too damn much!

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
2017-04-24 11:13 pm
Entry tags:

I accidentally part of my LJ friend's list

In looking through support requests tonight I ran across [personal profile] steve98052, which turns out to be pretty neat, because after five minutes of staring at his username I finally recalled we used to hang out on LJ. Thanks to the nature of his support request, I initially thought he was importing his LJ (but he hasn't, and to judge by things, probably won't be anytime soon) but I clicked through to make sure, only to see an empty DW.

Then I looked him up on LJ, where in fact he's still updating.

Then I checked his friends list, because it's been bugging me for weeks that I had a friend on LJ who's username I can't recall (well, half of it: I can recall half of it, but that hasn't helped) who doesn't seem to be here or there now, but once I saw Steve's name, it occurred to me I think I shared (might have even met this friend) through him. Her and wuchan (also gone) were my closest friends on LJ, and sometimes (OK, I've spent six years in this condition) I miss not having them here.

But this all went nowhere fast. Turns out, checking Steve's friend list, that I probably met him through [profile] bob_deloyd, but other than that, this was sort of just a half hour of me chasing my tail. Oh, well.

Steve's support request is interesting, though, and I'm sorry it didn't/probably won't get much attention, because his request (to find a link rewriter in the importer to point internal LJ links to corresponding internal DW links, or to write the code to do so himself, then give the code to DW!) is much needed and HE'S OFFERING TO WRITE THE FEATURE HIMSELF so why aren't we welcoming volunteer baby devs like this with open arms? It seems not having this feature might be stopping him from moving here, which is really not cool.

(Not to mention I could have SO used this feature before my own import occurred in 2010 - I had to rewrite dozens, if not hundreds, of links over the years, post by post, totally and completely by hand, with all the attendant time waste and errors that involves. It sucked.)

Not that he needs the defense, but he's a Silicon Valley (and/or) Redmond WA guy, and is pretty cool all around....which makes me think Dreamwidth can be totally at odds with what I would expect them to want to do, sometimes.