marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-05-11 11:54 pm
Entry tags:

[sticky entry] Sticky: Clearing out my bookmarks: the outré 'Comey condensed' Russian edition (updated 8-28-17)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, Comey set to testify 10am EST on June 8th, June 14th BREAKING NEWS Trump is now under investigation, and other still-unfolding events

Follow me here... )
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-10-11 09:50 pm
Entry tags:

This thing still on? *pokes*

I...I tried to keep it to an even 30 days away because I like even numbers, but obviously I've fallen short. I don't have any reason to write, just blowing dust off The Thing.

Well, if you really want to know, I'm killing time while Tablet from Hell gets a hard drive format so I can finally sell it. I sold one of the two we had for $20 while Other Person was asleep, just to get it off my hands (it was mine after I cracked the screen and bought a replacement with better overall specs) but also because I hated it, and just sold this one for about 6 times that because it was in better condition, but also because I hated it. And OP has a Surface tossed out by someone who apparently didn't know how to clean contacts on a charging cable; nothing else was wrong with it - so he didn't need (or want) the replacement anymore.

Since it's been a hair over three weeks (140 years in intertubes time) I could talk about what's happened - [personal profile] madgravity and I've been having a nice, off-topic bi-monthly chat on a post I made back in August; I have no idea why; AIM's shutting down on December 15th, and while I'd be the obvious choice to say something on that, I'd just be raining on the collective's parade, so can't compel myself. "AIM installs OpenCandy" (malware - yay), "AIM won't let you download your Buddy List since I don't know what version it was they decided to lock you in like this" (using an existing AIM email address might work, or you could try an older version of AIM; I can't get the oldest versions to run on Windows 10, but I could try newer old versions, if I ever stop not feeling like it), AIM never complied with AOL's Software For Sale philosophy (big rip-roaring success that was) which was why it never became Skype or WhatsApp....rain, rain, go away please come back another day. I can't do it. People love AIM so much I just hate pissing on that parade.

In other exciting news, a frozen quart of chicken stock jumped out of the freezer the other day, which probably broke my toe after the corner of it hit said digit just right. I haven't spent a day in that much pain since the other foot got laid to semi-permanent waste, which means I last went around wanting to kill an inanimate object that was actively trying to kill me about three years ago, almost to the day.

Btw, inanimate objects doing everything from flying through the air to jumping out of freezers, fridges, ovens, off of stovetops, out of kitchen sinks, bathtubs, off of buildings and so on are exactly why I believe in quantum psychics. If something can be in two places at once, then something can be two things at once, which literally means all the stuff we think of as "inanimate objects" is actually living - and capable of thought. Tell me it isn't possible. I'll kill time much as I usually do - desperately fleeing inanimate objects that are clearly on the fucking warpath - while I await your response.

Hmmmm, the hard drive forcing me to sit through this post because I have absolutely nothing else to do (I could go scrub the shower, but the hell with it) is still formatting. So lastly, politics suck. I valiantly powered through 12 months of searching for the right words to make change possible via the inwardly flailing author of this blog and finally got my reward in the form of tonsillitis and bronchitis all at once. When I can look at OP and go, "If I don't get antibiotics I'll either be dead or in the ICU in a few more days" - something I've never had to say before, though other times in my life I've cut it pretty much this damn close, so nothing all that new going on here - then yeah, I think it's time to take a break - if not have my head examined.

I have Suggestions in queue on Dreamwidth image hosting that, if they ever post, will show the date of the night I got sick. It was two days later that I got antibiotics over the counter because I couldn't wait on a doctors appointment (up to six weeks off in the future for any clinic I can afford), knew what was wrong because tonsillitis has haunted me since my early 20s, and wasn't about to pay $2,000 for an emergency room visit. And Oh Doctor Heal Thyself I indeed got better. But I'm not revisiting my previous posting schedule - not unless the subject matter changes a lot, and actually interests me again.

The depressing slop that's today's political landscape doesn't, except in a sort of, "Hey, let's watch this trainwreck again in slow-mo!" fashion borne of being so disgusted with such rapid and unthinkable change you can't stop looking, though it's the same trainwreck over and over and over. Each time you watch there's one more tragedy you simply hadn't noticed before. And in the long run, there's too many for any one human to see, absorb or actually deal with without tuning out or drowning, and I don't have any fairy dust left to sprinkle on this thing and make it all go away. Even Eminem's become sort of incoherent, and when he struggles for words, I guess it's time to cut the tape.

Then there's the thought of finding yourself - if not your passion or path, then simply who you are, what you want. But in all the political madness I forgot what I want. I forgot who I was, who I am. I forgot. Then I read Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks and considering how seriously I'm writing this up, you might laugh: it's an article about Olive Garden. But the incredibly over-the-top artsy-fartsy ridiculous fashion it's written in made me realize I no longer want to take the political landscape in and breath it back out like the black soot upon our souls it is. So while I was recovering from tonsils, I stopped emailing myself anything political to repost. The first link I emailed myself was on Olive Garden, weeks later. I decided I liked where it was leading me - way off the path I've beaten here.

But what really swings me around is the situation with North Korea. Which, if you want to (briefly) talk politics (I hope not), all I can say is: "We warned you. There's nothing he's said or done that should raise an eyebrow, nothing he can say or do that should induce the slightest shock. We warned you. And warned you. And warned you! Those of us writing, we warned you. Those of us reading such writers, we warned you. Those of us telling you he was no good, and into infinity exactly why that is, to a person, we warned you."

Anything predicted is coming true so ad infinitum there's probably nothing left that won't - and you know what, if I have but a short time left thanks to this walking brain stem and "his [so-called] people" I'll be damn well sure to enjoy it, or at least die trying to. Nothing he says or does is worth more than the ounce of energy it takes to scan the headlines and any extra ounces required to read in-depth when I must. Because we did warn you, and we shouldn't have to keep retreading the topic of His Royal Asswipe like the threadbare tire it's so quickly become.

Which is to say that while I don't know what I might do with myself in lieu of no longer covering this topic, I can probably think of something.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-19 04:18 am
Entry tags:

!Signalboost: CCleaner's been hacked (updated 9-20-17)

I'm uh, still reading about it, and even just as I was reading and trying to find out which version I have - without actually opening the program because holy crappola - Windows Defender displayed behind-the-scenes scan results saying it found an infection...in CCleaner. I'm not sure what to tell anyone as far as "what to do" because I don't know the answer to that.

ETA, 9-20-17: Current recommendations are to either use System Restore to roll back your system to a time before CCleaner 5.33 (32-bit) was installed, or else to "refresh" (Windows 10) or completely re-install your copy of Windows.

*curses*

It's a backdoor called Backdoor:Win32/Floxif that's been in the wild since CCleaner v.5.33 released in August of 2017. ETA, 9-20-17: But it affects 32-bit versions of CCleaner only. You can tell which version you have by opening CCleaner and looking in the top left corner, where it will say if it's 32-bit or 64-bit.

Signalbost: CCleaner has been hacked

Time to reinstall my OS, if the fucking backdoor hasn't already destroyed our ability to do so...ETA, 9-20-17: and I did just that. It didn't destroy our ability to do so, at least not as far as I can tell.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-15 05:42 am

Photobucket stats (updated 9-15-17 - added link and 5 ETAs)

Amount of posts to add new image links to: 89 (some of these are imgur photo swaps because I don't trust them, either, and some are to edit out links to an image because it was lost or is no longer being made available) so say there are still around 80 posts to swap Photobucket images out of.

Dreamwidth's uploader lets you beam the server as many images as you like, so I fed it a bit north of 260 of them. At once. After deleting under 20 images and noting that another 20 won't be included in my posts, that still leaves about 220 image links to replace across 80 entries I've written.

And it's taken me the better part of a few weeks just to get this far because a) I don't feel like it, b) I got too busy on eBay up until I had to end all my sales early because of the fucking storm, 3) the storm, plus d) see a).

We don't have a link rewriter to automate this mess, so before I do anything I might campaign for it via Support request*, after checking to see if anyone else put in for one besides Steve from LJ (whose request was summarily rejected a few months ago), then check the web for any scripts that might help me get anything done here.

*ETA, 9-15-17: I put this into a Suggestion rather than a support request, since Support isn't set up to handle feature requests, and that's all this really is.

ETA2, 9-16-17: I've since posted two more (closely related) Suggestions. Considering the parent suggestion's topic matter, if one gets tossed they probably all will, yippee.

ETA3, 9-16-17: I've been trying (as I mentioned in my last Suggestion) to find a screen scraper to grab links to images I downloaded from Photobucket and uploaded last night to Dreamwidth, but there's not a one that's gonna work, or at least not without getting me ToSed, mostly because Dreamwidth doesn't make a public-facing, per-user image directory available for this (or any other) purpose. I'd almost hire someone to do what I'll have to do instead, but 1) my privacy and 2) that'd probably also get me ToSed. I just aaaarrggh.

ETA4, 9-16-17: Minutes after my last ETAs it hit me why, above all, I can't use Dreamwidth to host my Photobucket images: because DW changes the original file name on every image to a random number, so there's no pattern-matching/find-and-replace to either find the image in Dreamwidth's Manage Images interface nor to easily find its match to swap out with in the entry. So I'll just upload my Photobucket album to Anti-AOL on Wordpress (my Plan B to begin with) and do this whole thing from there.

Because I've got to get it done.

I could post yet another Suggestion at this point saying more or less, "Oh and btw can DW plz stop swapping out image names for like, random numbers because it's messing up my project" but it's too late now (for me, not for others who might be affected by this issue in the future) plus I think I've about used up my Suggestion-fu for the month week day. I need to just get my ransomed images fixed already, then maybe...

ETA5, 9-16-17: after taking a break to make tuna pasta salad from scratch, because yum, I decided to roll "don't rename image files" - along with "add a search box" - into an existing Suggestion (my second one, with a request my rewrite be released from queue instead of its predecessor). And I'm not trying to stay up all night (yeah, for once, right) so I'll pick up again on this tomorrow, maybe.

In retrospect, I'm sort of glad I waited this long to look into moving my images, because I either never had the time or else the presence of mind before to dive this deep into why DW's image hosting is or isn't workable for moving images from another host. It really isn't, but it seems most of its issues could easily be remedied...problem is, there are so many ways to fix various issues or shortcomings in the service I really had a hard time choosing which to give preference to, so I just submitted all of them. :/

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-11 11:54 pm

Welcome to the new 'Welfare queen': the 'EITC Queen'

I can't imagine how else they'll sell the base on auditing everyone eligible for the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) except to tell them:

"There they are, cruising 'round in their Cadillacs with those heavy Gucci bags back to their McMansions to rest on their big, fancy couches with their 104 inch, 4000K TVs blasting away in their faces, eating some crab legs. Meanwhile, hard-working people like YOU are just scraping by!"

I could see this as the thing that makes the plug-and-play "base" stomp and howl and chant, "Lock 'em up!" at Trumpanado's next barnstorming. Of course, half the people at the rally would have be locked up, too, but whatever; never let facts get in the way of a good hate-in, is what I say.


Before anyone asks, it rained for about 14 hours. We're at a slight elevation so it wasn't too bad. Wind held steady between "blowing branches off trees" and "knocking them over" (including one down the road that took our power out around 6:30am, so at least it wasn't like we were in the pitch black dark while debris made terrifying landings on the roof all night). I jammed earplugs in and slept through most of it, because I didn't want to know.

I made my own ice blocks using gallon ziploc bags the day before, and today we found a store with some ice, then the power cut back on a few hours later, so food loss was pretty minimal.

The hardest part was not knowing: as of 9pm last night Irma was supposed to hit as a Cat 3 or 4, so I was fairly anxious, even apologizing to Bowie, who's even more terrified of debris hitting the roof than I am, which by then it already was.

But Irma was downgraded via push notification to a tropical storm shortly thereafter. I could not believe my eyes, so I spent another hour checking my radar app, my news app, NOAA, weather.gov, the latest on the Post, the Times and the local news, then, satisfied this was probably not End Times In My Neighborhood, just tried to get some sleep.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-09 07:56 am
Entry tags:

More Equifax updates *smh* (updated 9-12-17)

The Equifax data breach is turning into a complete disaster because the very thing they're offering to "protect" us - free credit monitoring for one year - has so many "gotchas" built in you might be better off not signing up, or even using their website to check if you were affected by the breach.

For starters, checking your name for breach status or signing up for Equifax's credit monitoring could prevent you from joining the class action lawsuit which arose from it.

ETA, 9-12-17: Not to mention the website appears to be broken, which sounds about right, because the first time I checked I got no answer on whether I was "impacted" or not, while the second time (same session, same cookies) I was told I was "impacted" and encouraged to sign up for free credit monitoring - after I already had.

And opting out by snail mail from the arbitration clause which prevents you from joining requires submitting an "Equifax User ID" that people who merely check their status or sign up for protection will not have, so opt-out for us isn't actually possible.

But signing up for "free-for-now" monitoring will result in getting billed for service after just one year if you don't cancel ahead of time (just like AOL's so-called "free" trial, if you do nothing they'll start charging for service whether you like it or not). Signing up also requires internet access and a credit or debit card because of course it does, so your connectionless grandma who still uses a landline, has no credit or debit card, does everything by snail mail and just writes checks for whatever she wants is SOL, because Equifax has to minimize their losses, somehow.

If all of this isn't bad enough, it's been said that:

  • Kaspersky Antivirus flags Equifax's breach-status website as a "phishing site"
  • Entering Qwerty as your last name and 12-3456 as the last six of your Social indicates your information was stolen
  • Equifax insiders sold off stocks before the breach was announced - but they've known about it since May, so obviously they were locking in profit ahead of the stock collapsing

I still feel "hackers gonna hack" and haven't wanted to hold Equifax responsible, but it's getting increasingly difficult to maintain that position when Equifax is doing nothing to show they're being "responsible" or "transparent" about this, or to adequately compensate anyone who might be affected (which, let's be honest, could be almost all of us).

ETA2, 9-12-17: since posting it's become not just "increasingly difficult" but impossible to sympathize when it's not a case of hackers finding a novel way around their backend security, but their own failure to patch an Apache Struts vulnerability that they've been able to fix since last March. So they're as at fault as they could possibly be for this entire mess.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-08 03:00 am
Entry tags:

Hell to the...

She called herself a master negotiator and "worth the trouble" when the Democratic Party tried with all its might to pitch her overboard, preferably head-first.

Boy-howdy, she wasn't kidding. She stood her ground and so she stayed. She did it again this week, and in doing so saved the day (the week, the month, the year, and possibly all of 2018).

Nancy Pelosi, hell to the...

YES!!! An MSN poll shows 65 percent currently approve of Trump accepting the Democratic proposal to avoid federal government shutdown
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-08 02:28 am
Entry tags:

If you haven't done so already, check equifaxsecurity2017.com/ (updated 9-9-17 PLEASE READ ETAs)

ETA, 9-9-17 PLEASE READ FIRST: Things got hairy here real fast: a class action was recently filed against Equifax (which I didn't learn of until shortly after posting) and signing up at Equifax for credit protection (or even entering your name to check if you were affected by this breach) using the steps below could legally prevent you from becoming a member.

I'd signed up before writing this, but because I don't hold Equifax responsible (hackers gonna hack, and they're getting sort of good at it, lemme tell you!) I'm not worried about joining. It would be nice if I could, especially if this breach winds up costing me money and/or my privacy down the road, but if I can't I can't.

I just wish I'd known of the lawsuit before signing up for protection. In light of that, I want others to be aware of any possible trade-offs they'll be making.

The Verge reports on what to do if you've already entered your name or signed up for protection (emphasis mine):

For now, the one existing loophole is Equifax’s opt-out provision — another common element of arbitration clauses. Within 30 days of agreeing to the terms of the enrollment, you can deliver a written notice to this address:

Equifax Consumer Services LLC, Attn.: Arbitration Opt-Out P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, GA 30348

It needs to include your name, address, and Equifax User ID, as well as “a clear statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with Equifax through arbitration.”

ETA2: the above opt-out information is useless for anyone who isn't a paying Equifax customer, as the rest of us didn't get "Equifax User IDs" just by checking our names on the website or signing up for credit protection.

ETA3: More updates are in a separate post.


It's been a banner week for this sort of thing, hasn't it? And I'm in the affected users pile, so I'll be signing up for protection (they put you on a waiting list because apparently they wish to not imitate healthcare.gov with a disastrous rollout, so signup looks to be ongoing in slow waves).

In five steps, because apparently they feel a bit awkward about putting us through all this

  • Read the blah blah blah
  • Click here, more blah blah blah. Now click the button (it takes you here: Check Potential Impact)
  • See if you were in the affected user pile by typing your last name and last six numbers of your Social Security number into boxes on this screen
  • Take the "I'm not a robot" vision tests (I hate these fucking things; anyone else?)
  • Sign up for protection

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-07 04:51 am

If you haven't done so yet, check haveibeenpwned.com

With a hat tip to [personal profile] andrewducker for including https://haveibeenpwned.com/ in a recent linklist

The results of my scan? Well, I've got seven email addresses (it's a not-putting-all-my-eggs-in-one-basket thing), and 6 out of 7 were good. Real good. The seventh - my most important - got pwned ("pwned", for anyone not familiar, is l33tsp3ak for "owned", pronounced "owned". It's an ancient term. I'm surprised the website owner uses it).

I haven't looked very hard into why I'm on the list but more or less, Russian hackers. I turned up on three exploits (with no pastes). If I were to guess, my mailing lists and at least one of the survey websites I use (I have a strong hunch it's Opinion Outpost and/or sister sites, but just a hunch) got hacked and because of that, my info got scraped into various database dumps that were published/sold/given away online/stolen.

I'm able to guess this because all four GMail accounts came up clear and only one Outlook account was compromised. That account was tripling as my Spam Me and survey-taking account.

And surveys...I don't know if you all know this, but sites like OpinionOutpost and Pinecone Research (in it's new incarnation) farm you out from dozens (Pinecone) to hundreds (OpinionOutpost) of survey sites per session, and those websites could've been compromised. The amount of cookie tossing and redirects that goes on in one survey-taking session (sometimes over less than secure pipes, to this day) is a bit hair-raising.

But like I said, that was my most important account, and I can't afford to share it with Russia nor with hackers in general, so I binned it. Goodbye four-year old (or maybe even older) email address.

That made a fun night of getting a new email address (the name-picking alone took me an hour), changing my address across all heavily used websites - and on my computer, which uses the same address to sign me in and out and sync my files to the cloud - and my phone, which again, is hooked into the same ecosystem using the same email address (and which refused to cooperate; it was actually using both email address at once, so eventually I had to hard-reset it, not the easiest or fastest thing to do on my Nokia), then exporting/importing my contact list, letting others know of my new address, and all those other not-so-fun related tasks.

There are still companies I have to call and write (that is, email(!)) because functionality to change your email address is literally MIA from their interfaces. In 2017. Go figure.

One of them is my bank (in case [personal profile] darkoshi asks, not BOA, the other one. But still!)

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-07 01:03 am
Entry tags:

PRICE GOUGING

My area...*rolls eyes*

As you might know, my area might or might not be in the path of an oncoming storm. The crap that's going on, not just in my town or county, but in the entire bi-state area, is perfectly unreal: all the stores from here to Georgia were sold out on water...by MONDAY. Generators are going for well over $1,000 for just ~1000-4000 watts (many of which do not/cannot power a fridge).

A few kind souls had listed used 4000-6000 watt generators for $150-500 but until later on today I didn't have the money for even the lower end. By this afternoon they were gone. I've been on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook (scrounging every local swap-n-shop and garage sale) and can't find anything I'd actually buy. There are a few 3000-4000 watt models still available on Amazon in my price range ($100-300) but now Amazon's tacked on a message: "May take an extra 1-2 days to ship" in grass-green letters below the price, so even with Prime, that means 4-5 days goes to 6-7 days to await shipping, and I think we might need it (if we do, at all) by Monday, but my thought is if conditions turn bad enough delivery services won't be out risking their lives by then just to deliver people's goods.

I mean, I wouldn't go out in a hellacious storm if I didn't have to, but who's to say if UPS/FedEx/USPS would or not...

But that's not the end of the price gouging, oh not by any means. A few examples: a manual for some generator is listed at over $200 on Amazon that still costs just $12 on the manufacturer's website. Some UPS battery backups are going for over $300. I have the identical UPS to one I saw at that price on Amazon - just a different brand - sitting on the back corner of my kitchen counter running our kitchen laptop, a lamp, some of our phone and tablet chargers, and I know the damn thing's not worth more than $50 (got it for free off the curb, because as I've said under lock, my neighbors throw away stuff because...like, *in a high-pitched voice*, "It's Tuesday, Harold - time to toss the UPS!". I don't know what's wrong with these people, but I'm not complaining).

But I'm desperate for a generator. I threw away at least $300 worth of food last fall with Hurricane Motherfucking Still Cannot Say Its Name, and spent another $150-200 just so we could buy more during the extended power outage - that's upward of $500 - and between that and the storm putting us out of work for over a week, that turned into such a spiral there was no getting out of it. So I want a generator at least powerful enough to run the fridge so I can keep the food, which will pretty much help it pay for itself, especially if it comes in at or under my $300ish-max budget. But because I can't guarantee we'll even need it, I don't want to spend more than that.

Then again, I could just do like so many people are doing...buy one for $400, then flip it to someone desperate for $1,200 before the next big storm... *eyeroll*

I'm sort of regretful I didn't look sooner, but I didn't have money sooner, and couldn't know I needed it until it finally hit me in the middle of the night that we've got to get a generator. A lot of people had the same thought I did, to judge by Facebook where everything more affordable was marked sold by today.

I just...*gggrrrrrrrrr*

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-05 04:25 am
Entry tags:

Fact check! Trump malicious to Jimmy Carter: 'unproven'

We have our own fake news, you know. It's just not as profitable* as the other side's. :/

*Because our fake news is/has always been such a crashing bore. All the gonzo Hunter S. Thompsoning is going on exclusively for the right.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-04 11:38 pm
Entry tags:

Prediction Edition

It's do that or drink. You're welcome to flip a coin to help me decide which in the future.


  • China remains defiant and disrespectful to the US
  • Trump ends trade with China* (maybe not so much other nations, and def not with his precious Rossia) sometime this week
  • Russia sides with North Korea, whether we drop trade with Russia or not
  • North Korea lobs something at us by Wednesday
  • Irma hits US mainland by Sunday - or else harmlessly breaks up at sea
  • As I write this, I predict it's dark out on the East Coast

*Too bad we didn't have infrastructure in place years ago, at the ready as we speak, to drop trade with China. Building it after the fact will be like playing catch-up for the next 20 years, all while prices fast approach something like banana republic of Venezuela inflationary levels. But China takes most of our manufacturing and many of our blue collar jobs, tons of our money, chips away at the well-being of millions of our people and give us almost nothing in return (the 900,000 jobs the media frantically panics about us losing are surely mostly tied up in poorly paying port and trucking jobs with fantastically horrible conditions), not even assurance of protection from a little stain the size of Pennsylvania.

The thing with North Korea is if we hit them we take South Korea out - if somehow we precision target the North and don't hit the South, if any useful part of the North is left standing then they'll use it to take out the South - and S. Korea has no nukes to threaten or actually go after the North with, just to spare us the fucking agony. That's because our policy has been completely bereft of rhyme or reason in that we prohibit the South - our long-term ally - from even possessing nukes, while the North is all like BOMBS AWAY MOTHERFUCKERS. Doesn't make much sense.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-09-02 04:14 am

Anyone want a cat? (public post - we're in Florida; please PM for pics)

As some of you may recall, I adopted three male kittens from the parking lot in front of our place last summer. We love all three, and two have worked out great, but the one called Tab-Tab sadly has not. He probably has a different father; the others are twins with just a coat color difference, while he's a tuxedo/tabby with the same unusual (and really gorgeous) smoke brown color and tabby markings of the feral tabby roaming our neighborhood.

The difference might matter, because he's (literally) tearing our twins apart, apparently because there's a territory issue he thinks can't be resolved in any other way.

And it's not just his brothers. A while back we had two calicos, and they were so territorial that between them and Tab-Tab the house was a chaotic mess 24 hours a day...the calicos were constantly hiding, spitting, biting, and chasing down the kittens (even when they were just tiny, sweet, friendly babies) and Tab-tab in particular was getting his "revenge" (even when he was still just a tiny, sweet, friendly baby) by lying in wait and attacking and chasing them in return.

When one of the calicos began repeatedly peeing the bed earlier this year we decided to re-home them. I made it clear to their new owner that they're great cats as long as you don't let them live with any others (which I said only because they were even quite mean to my last adult cat, Stuie, right up until the day he died).

With the calicos re-homed things calmed down, but only for a month or so; in the last three or four months Tab turned vicious on his brothers. I don't mean "too rough" nor "too energetic". Vicious. He actually tears the fur out them, leaving huge wounds full of blood all over their necks, heads, faces, chins and upper backs that take weeks to heal, and doesn't stop until they're cornered, screaming in pain and terror and I chase him down with the water bottle.

My place is too small to deal with Tab-Tab separately; it's got an upstairs and a downstairs and is not cramped, but there's only one room with a door on it (the bathroom, which only locks from the inside); the rest is an open floor plan. There is no walk-in closet or any other closed space to hold (or even raise) Tab in by himself.

So, here are the good parts: he's fit and healthy, to judge by his clean, clear, very big bright eyes, his healthy teeth and gums, clean nose, thick, shiny fur and his tremendous energy, is entirely flea-free, has no other pests or worms, and he doesn't shed much. He has a good appetite, drinks just enough water, uses the litter box religiously, has no litter-output issues, loves to play with his toys, loves our 7-foot tall cat tree, will pick a spot and sleep in it and nowhere else, loves to talk to people, and is exceedingly sweet and gentle with all of us bipedalists.

He just can't be around other cats. I don't know if he can be around dogs; if the dog's small enough, maybe not.

If you're into indoor/outdoor cats, he's your guy: I keep him strictly indoors, but he's an escape artist and likes to go (and stay) outside. In one of his escapes a few months ago, he got badly injured, either by a wild animal or another cat. He almost died of infection before he went for surgery: his fever was touching 106 degrees, which is pretty much the beginning of the end, but the doctor brought it down with antibiotics and his leg healed so you can't even tell anything happened. Thanks to that he has his rabies shot but still needs all the others, and will need fixing as well.

If you take him I can give you his vet papers and whatever supplies you need to get started: I have an extra cat carrier you can take and keep for yourself. I'll send him along with his favorite food, treats, toys, and whatever else you can think of to help his new life get off to a good start. I just ask that you don't have other cats around this little guy. His brothers are not having it: they avoid him entirely now; one of them actually comes to me crying and howling after every attack and can barely be calmed down because it upsets him so much, and my nerves are about shot.

At one year old, if I put him in the shelter they'll probably put him down, especially if I own up to how bad he is around other cats, which in all fairness I'd be compelled to do to prevent his next owner from getting quite a nasty surprise. The Humane Society is complaining it's kitten season (which it is, though we're at the tail end of it) so they're full, and while I do intend to ask around the 'hood and run local ads, if necessary, I just figure I should try my luck here.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-30 04:01 am
Entry tags:

“Historic.” “Biggest ever.” “Epic.”

While Texans were fleeing, losing their homes, workplaces and lives, Trump "actually suggested that he’d timed the announcement of his pardon of Joe Arpaio to coincide with the storm’s arrival" because he figured more people were watching the news than normally would be on a Friday night.

Which proves nothing trumps Trump's race card - not even members of his own constituency drowning, flooding out and dying while he merrily, quite contentedly plays, pleased as punch not just with his own timing, but also with the wholly repugnant nature of his announcement.

“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” he said. Thousands of Texans were losing their homes. Some had died. And Trump, per usual, was measuring his audience.

[...]

“Historic.” “Biggest ever.” “Epic.” That was Trump on Harvey.

“Historic.” “Massive.” “The likes of which the world has never seen.” That was Trump on his election victory.

The next day he held a (likely paid) rally at the storm site, same as the (likely paid) rally he held to announce his cursed run for office. There, he had choice words for the newly flooded, injured, homeless, jobless and mourning-the-dead voters awaiting him with the adoration bordering on near-rapture we've come to expect:

"What a crowd! What a turnout!"

In other words, maybe God's played a little joke on us.

See, it was simply time for Trump to hold another rally, but God's Anointed Orange just couldn't figure out where, so this time He chose the venue for him - but only after completely destroying it to ensure the maximum amount of TV coverage.

See, it all makes sense now!

Texas, you have my sympathies.

marahmarie: Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! (Kotter)
2017-08-29 11:08 pm
Entry tags:

Go, troops! (Updated shortly after posting w/ETA)

YES!!!!

The push notification came during dinner. I glanced at it, put my phone down, got out of my chair and started whooping. I also had something to say about the walking cheese doodle, with a smile on my face while two fingers stayed up in the air.

Now, I'm not one to engage in bothsidesism, especially when the divide opens on the same side(!) but this time I have to. Mattis is openly defying Trump, and that's one of the most courageous and beautiful things I never thought I'd see. There's a lot of elation going on right now, just owing to that. But you have the parallel universe we occupy where, in fact, Mattis is not at all defying Trump - if anything, he's still following orders to the letter - so I just want to get that out there.

But! There's not going to be any study "proving" transgender people are unfit for anything - not unless Alex Jones (or some similar quack) conducts the damn study himself. So let's just wait and see...


ETA: Scavenged the news and saw the ACLU's sued over the ban, Democrats and "LBGTQ" advocates (I prefer the term LBGTQIA) are vowing to fight the ban, and opinion at The Washington Post states Congress must block the ban. Agreed!

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-28 12:47 am

Now Lastpass is playing nicely. And Firefox is staying fast even with it installed. W. T. F.

Last night I decided I was so unhappy with KeePass and that Firefox's performance was so dismal that I gave the same email address I deleted from LastPass last week back to them and (initially) exported my KeePass database back to Lastpass via .csv file. Then I stopped for a while and just read reviews of the top five password managers. I even read the reviews on LastPass's Firefox page again (they continue to suck).

Lifehacker's poll and conclusions last week were decisive for me: when I realized all the glowing praise for KeePass just makes my eyes roll, I knew it was out. KeePass is aspirational: carrying your entire database(s) around on a USB stick in order to make it/them "portable" or so it/they can "sync between devices" is not a good idea...you can lose the stick and with that, everything you ever knew about logging into websites. The tool is stuck in the XP zone style-wise, and I don't need multiple databases though it's kind of a neat idea (separate "vaults", in LP lingo, that can be shared or kept to yourself).

Not to mention I can't count all the database entries that were corrupted after importing them from LastPass...I lost logins on multiple websites wherein my usernames were mysteriously replaced with short strings of numbers or blanked out altogether and passwords went missing or got swapped out for others...which I learned simply by watching my KeePass autofills. I never did get that feature to work; between corrupted entries and KP's inability to remove pre-filled instruction text and usernames from form fields (ie, Outlook.com, eBay) - it would just write my username and password over the pre-filled text, causing Outlook, eBay and other sites to declare wrong user/pass - it was a no-go. I had to use the KeeFox add-on to manually copy/paste user/pass for every website, and it only took a few days of that to burn me off KP.

Which left only Dashlane and LastPass to ponder, since I'm only considering the top three password managers as judged by web reviews, but Dashlane offed itself from the running by allowing you to use it for free on only one device (they're kidding, right...I run LP on pretty much every device I look at, another reason why KeePass could never work; it's free to use on multiple devices, but *you* are what makes it portable, and *you* are how it "syncs" and I just can't even) and by charging $40 per year, which is roughly $25 more than I'm willing to pay.

At that point I decided I had to go back to LastPass. I figured copying/pasting from my Vault was not much worse than copying/pasting from KeeFox (which, strangely enough, wouldn't always offer the hamburger icon to do so, so I'd be left right-clicking on blank space) and that KeeFox's errors - beside all the others, it was also trying to save almost every form field on every web page as a username/password combo, and ignoring the first offer on pages I had to re-load multiple times would just make it offer multiple times, until it really gunked up the works and slowed my work down.

My first KeePass export into LastPass failed, likely because I exported in KP 1x database .csv format, but then I read the instructions on LP's tin and realized they wanted an XML file, so I put that together and had my stuff back in LastPass a few minutes later. Then I spent about an hour manually fixing all the broken database entries from KeePass, deleted tons of log-ins I don't use anymore, but before I even got that far, I uninstalled the 32-bit version of Firefox that was my failed workaround to LastPass's previous issues, did a true Firefox refresh and winnowed down the remaining add-ons in the x64 version, as compared to what was on my list last week. The next step was to see if LastPass would tear itself apart again on browser restart. It didn't.

It was about 3am and I was exhausted, but I was so excited that LastPass didn't disassemble itself I kept restarting Firefox just to watch it not fall apart again. There it was: I could search and not get a frozen panel; I could click "Show matching sites" and get an actual dropdown list of matching sites, not a blank panel. And all those huge favicons! After what I'd been through, they were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. But I didn't trust it, so I shut my laptop down soon after, pretty sure that was the last of a working LastPass in Firefox I'd see again. But lo and behold, I restarted the laptop tonight and it still works!

The only thing I can point to this time is I used LP's Universal Windows Installer, after reading a tip in Firefox reviews that the LP for Applications installer fixed this same, entire mess. They're both "universal", right...And fast? For Firefox, this is blazing, even with LP installed. After the initial "Not Responding" white title bar bottlenecks on first run tonight, which cleared after a minute or two, everything settled right down.

So, whew, close call there, LP...now if Web of Trust would just be 57-compatible, I'd feel like I had Firefox pretty much back together (well, I miss Web Dev, but I can still use it in Chromium or Opera, so not the end of the world. Yet.).

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-25 11:05 pm
Entry tags:

Trump proves who "the base" is made up of with his latest moves (updated 8-26-17 & 9-4-17)

By how firmly he's standing on his hair helmet while federal-diaster-declared Hurricane Harvey blows through Texas to perform the care and feeding of his fringe, he shows that if this is the output Cambridge Analytica gives him, the inputs must be nothing short of well nigh primordial: today and tonight the same sprayed-on tan who believes "nice Nazis" exist pulled a hate-group-approved triple play: pardoning Arpaio, considering the cancellation of DACA (apparently he just likes to play with his food - this would hardly be the first time), and signing* a directive on the transgender military ban.


ETA, 9-4-17: When I said "likes to play with his food" I had no clue I was being that literal. But yes, I was! Jesus Christ.


Looks like he's picking up where Bannon left off on the weekend-ruining - because obviously Texas blowing apart - possibly twice - wasn't bad enough.

And ETA, next morning: The Orangado regime really does get a kick out of fucking up your Fridays (not news when Bannon admitted as much after, if I recall correctly, three weekends in a row earlier this year of sowing absolute chaos with everything from the Muslim ban to deportations).

*Fixed/updated link after posting; hat tip to [personal profile] darkoshi for finding the error.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-25 04:03 am

Just used Firefox's native Web Dev to edit my style sheet for the first time and...(updated 8-28-17)

I wonder if I'll get used to it. My current online project is: "Make Firefox not use so much RAM it stops responding" and boy howdy, has it been a project. I'm still getting two or three (Not Responding) white title bar freeze-ups per start-up and Firefox is taking between a few and 20 minutes to just calm down and be a browser already, but once it does, it goes pretty fast. What I've done to get it that way is almost unreal.

Starting last week:

  • Completely uninstalled Firefox; removed all personal data, files and folders, reg entries
  • Installed Firefox latest from scratch. Because Mozilla couldn't find an old copy of Firefox, I became a new user, so they kindly gave me the 64-bit version with multiprocess (e10s)
  • Installed add-ons, then kept uninstalling any that weren't e10s compatible (how to tell: the add-on list will show a message saying the browser isn't multiprocess compatible. That means one of the add-ons isn't playing nice)
  • Got rid of LastPass, which by itself was hammering RAM
  • Dropped Web Dev by Chris Pederick (which killed me; it's my favorite add-on besides ABP) and taught myself how to at least find the "Style Editor" in Firefox's Web Dev (there's not another panel in that tool that I know from Adam)
  • Dropped custom themes; am using Firefox's default dark theme

And between all that, I'm still having consistent, repeated browser freezes for the first 5-20 minutes until Firefox finally becomes usable (that's on first run; on any subsequent runs the freeze total is about the same but the wait time to get through them is usually quite a bit less).

Remaining add-ons are:

  • ABP
  • Add-on Compatibility Reporter
  • Archive Url
  • Clean Uninstall
  • FlashDisable - not sure if I need it or if it works - but it doesn't disable the video embedded in the article I linked to in my last linkcatcher post (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • Ghostery - hammers RAM, but I like it
  • Google search link fix - not sure if it works (ETA, 8-28-17: works better than the add-on discussed next) I prefer the version from the guy I worked with on the JS to add to my Google search userscript, but even his doesn't work on topfold, onebox results and isn't e10s compatible
  • gui:config - I could probably scrap it and about:config everything; not what I thought (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • HTTPS Everywhere - another RAM eater, but practically indispensable (don't see why the same tech can't be built into the browser)
  • IP Address and Domain Information - DT Whois add-on replacement
  • KeeFox - LastPass replacement (ETA, 8-28-17: removed; put Lastpass back)
  • TrafficLight - WOT replacement; WOT is e10s ready not e10s ready, and it eats so much RAM. But TrafficLight thinks eBay is a scam or phishing site and blocks pages and tries to whisk you away and just grrrrr
  • WayBack Machine - I used the in-house Firefox experimental of this add-on (I think after being tipped off to it by [personal profile] darkoshi - or was that the other way around?) and wanted it back

In all of that you'll see three of my favorites are conspicuously MIA: Web Dev by Chris Pederick, ColorPicker and MeasureIt. That's because all three add-ons are rolled up into Firefox's native Web Dev. The last time I tried them, MeasureIt no longer worked (blank dialog boxes), ColorPicker was acting pretty janky, and Web Dev wasn't e10s compatible, so I felt like I had no choice but to stop using them if I was going to make Firefox stop crying big, RAM-filled tears.

But native Web Dev is weird. I don't know if you can kill all the extra panels but I hate them. When I'm in their pretentiously named "Style Editor" I don't want a bunch of panels: I want my CSS. The Web Dev add-on did that, and displayed dark-on-light or light-on-dark (I have blurry vision and astigmatism so light on dark is out) but with native Web Dev, the editor color must match browser color. I prefer a dark browser and light editor, so it's forced me into light-on-dark editing.

And in the Web Dev add-on, when you make live CSS changes they "move" into view. In native Web Dev, they "slide", and it makes me feel like my stomach is turning, watching page elements start sliding around. I can't explain it.

The font is also too small and I have no need to work in syntax highlighted code because I generally know what and where things are, so the syntax highlighting is distracting, because I'm probably (not kidding, just not diagnosed yet) a bit ADD.

So from an accessibility standpoint, it seems native Web Dev needs some work. Knowing Mozilla, though: "Oh, that doesn't matter because we're re-writing the engine for that, it'll be ready in 2019!" and I just...grrrrrr.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-25 01:03 am
Entry tags:

Possible new career: Comcast field tech (kidding. Sort of)

Sometime after dinner tonight our download speeds dropped to half a megabit per second on direct connect and pages wouldn't load over wifi, which I caught onto when I couldn't get live.com to display after seven minutes. I was on the phone with Comcast by then because seriously, seven minutes.

Other Person was complaining of the iHeart Radio app buffering before dinner and I was like, "iHeart, it always does that", because iHeart, it always does that, which is why I use YouTube on AutoPlay (and might also be because I keep forgetting Amazon Prime. I should sell my subscription to someone who'll actually use it, but that's probably somewhere out there in ToS territory.).

But no, this time he was actually onto something. Which meant our internet was fubared...again.

It was so late by the time we realized the modem was blazing away at baud speed our call was routed to India, which I knew it would be before I dialed, and I was steamed because I know India doesn't do tech support late at night, and the rare times they've tried I've wished I could fly to India to tell their entire team to never try to do tech support again. It's some combination of barely being able to grasp each other and lousy training that just doesn't work.

After 10 minutes of questions and troubleshooting (the rep didn't ask us to power cycle the modem; instead, without asking, she reset it, opening our signal to the public after I just locked it down again last month - for the third time in a year) which got us nowhere (the ethernet and wifi stayed the same - half a megabit down/too slow to measure, respectively) the rep had the sweet presence of mind to transfer us to tech support - in the US! I was like, "Oh, thank God I don't have call back during business hours tomorrow".

But I sensed USian tech would also not help. Sure enough, he made us power cycle the modem right away, so I was walking between the modem (well, jumping - I have to climb on the back of the couch to reach it, then hop back down) and my laptop sitting on the table nearby making the same sounds Eminem makes in some of his more gut-wrenching raps: "Aaaarrrggggghhhh!" because fuck, this is tech support, and I was over power cycling about 295 years ago.

The signal, of course, showed no signs of improvement, so he signed us up for a tech to come out. I asked uselessly whether we'd be charged or not, because I knew the answer: if it's on our end; yes, on their end, no. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I had a hunch, so I waited 'til OP went to bed and took the entire living room apart, shoving furniture aside, and dug up the 10 feet or so of coax buried under the rug.

Coax is not supposed to be under a rug. But ours crosses a walkway to reach where we had it (more in the center of the room; it actually grows out of a corner on the far side of the living room near the patio door - thank you 1970s pre-internet cable installer) so it had to be under the rug because there wasn't enough line to go across the floor in any other direction.

But, after I got off the phone with tech support, I recalled how I recently came into more coax when someone nearby moved out. You can wrap this cable around the entire downstairs, and it's untouched, still in its original binds. So that was tonight's project: tucking in the new coax from a different spot I knew would leave just one foot exposed instead of seven or eight. And I could just tape that down to the hardwood floor.

As I took the old coax out, I checked the length of it with my fingers, a big, bright floodlight and my reading glasses, hoping if the problem was on our end, I'd find it. I got three quarters done and looked away, ready to toss it aside and unscrew the other end, when I felt my finger catch. Looking down, I went: "Oh my God" and held the coax to the light. My hunch was right: we got new (to us) leather furniture in exchange for a job OP did this week; it weighs a ton, and my guess is someone dragged one of the pieces at an angle and tore a bit of coax under the rug.

But then I had a plague of doubt if it was indeed the dragging of the new furniture that tore the chunk out of it, or if the missing chunk even affected the signal that much, or at all.

Either way, I unrolled the new coax, got it where I knew its living situation was an improvement, taped the entirely expected one foot of leftover cable to the hardwood floor (I think I've been practicing this in my head for a year; I don't know why I didn't dig out the new cable sooner), re-assembled the living room, power cycled the modem, restarted my laptop, and gaaaah...1mbps down. Then two. Then three. Ran a few more tests. The same. Ran another. 15mbps. Another. 35mbps. Another. 33mbps. Then I got back online and wrote this.

Everything's been fine since, and the coax needed refreshing anyway, so I guess this worked out pretty good.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-23 04:30 am
Entry tags:

Does a "base" not count as a "fringe" if it has an ever-dwindling membership that was kind of...

...small to begin with? How big was Pumpkinado's base at its height (and let's judge a true "base" by "strongly favorable" reviews, since "base" sort of equates to "cult")? And what's it at now?

And if it was always a minority of USians (Hillary won the popular vote, so yeah, "minority"), and if it's a minority of Trump voters - to judge by today's "strongly favorable" reviews - than is it any less of a fringe than the KKK or the Black Panthers or whomever (for purposes of this discussion, I'm limiting my definition of "fringe" not to which ideology's supported, but to how many people it can boast. By this standard, if dog lovers become few and far between enough, dog lovers become "fringe").

Asking because: Gah, why we are twisting ourselves into pretzels over what the media calls a "base" that I can only think of as a "fringe"?

Say, by the numbers, which are dismal, there were 10 people - these crazy, hotwired fiends that always seemed to want more and more of my style of...trashtalking, let's say? - and I always kowtowed, content-wise, to whatever they wanted...would that be "playing to my base" or would it be "the care and feeding of my fringe" (and possibly a sign that I've sort of lost my marbles)? I'd say the latter! Though that might actually be fun...but with just a blog to run, and not the whole country, I can kind of afford to think that way.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-23 03:50 am
Entry tags:

Pumpkinado's claim turns out to be false

Someone who routinely lies, stretches the truth, exaggerates, is too vague or inserts people, places, and conversations that were never there, or not in the context he claims is wrong about something? No way. While we're at it, let's just fact-check Tuesday. Back to alternative-alternative reality in 3,2, 1...2018!