algeh: (Default)
Trivia people: I meant this Game of Life, not this Game of Life. (Neither was a helpful thing to be thinking of at the time, but at least the one I thought of had something to do with math.)

The rest of you: I have become completely terrible at reading email. I am sorry, and I will try to fix that sometime next week. I think I last read personal (non job-hunting or tutoring) email just before Halloween. So if I'm ignoring you, it's not you personally and if it's important you might want to call me.
algeh: (Default)
So, The University of Oregon has decided to "serve me better" by outsourcing my student loan to Educational Computer Systems, Inc. This is, as always in these cases, couched as a move to serve me better. I dispute this strongly.

Counter-example #1: They charge a fee for paying online, whereas it was free before. So, right, fuck 'em, I'll pay by check, and a human will have to actually handle my mail in the process rather than having my computer talk to theirs. This is stupid of them, and quite possibly costs them more money, but I'll live. I resent that I was informed of this change after it happened, as I would have been tempted to pay off my remaining loan balance (of less than $800) in September online had I known.

Counter-example #2: They just sent me a letter (received today, dated the 18th) telling me that I had a bill, sent on November 16th, due December 1st. Historically, I've been on quarterly billing, due the last day of the month in March, June, September, and December. This would be moving my due date up from the 31st to the 1st and informing me less than two weeks in advance.

Counter-example #3: As a result, of #2, I decided to spend some time talking to them today, as I still hadn't received this Surprise Early Bill they just sent me. They "helpfully" printed an 888 number on the letter. It would have been substantially more helpful had this been THEIR 888 number, however, instead of the disco'd one referring me to a $4 per call directory service line actually printed on their letter.

In conclusion, serving me better my ass.

(I did actually get all of this resolved, eventually. I called the UO admissions line and had them figure out the proper 888 number, then called ESCI, the least competent company I've had the misfortune to try to give money to, to discover that they've actually moved my billing due date to January 1st, which is an acceptably small change in date and also explains why they haven't sent me a bill yet.)

Once I can write the non-profanity-laden equivalent of this blog post, I'm writing a letter to UO, including a photocopy of the letter from ESCI with red-pen corrections, a grade of D--, and a comment of "see me!". I'm tempted to also write further letters, if anyone can help me brainstorm who else might possibly care about this galloping display of incompetence I now get to deal with, presumably every 3 months since I don't actually trust this company to be able to find their ass with both hands and a guide dog, let alone correctly process my loan payments.
algeh: (Default)
...because I'm pretty sure the easiest way to solve my current problem is to learn Python.

Blargh. I was really looking for the "half an hour" level of solution rather than the "several weeks, but you'll feel really accomplished when you finally get it working" level of solution.

(I'm trying to design a custom day planner for myself. Since I tutor on evenings and weekends but am also trying to sub this year, I really need one that runs from about 7 am to 10 pm all seven days of the week. It appears that nobody makes a nice application for Linux where I can design the layout I want in a WYSIWYG fashion and then have it autofill the dates from now until sometime next summer using some kind of code fields. Real Linux Users™ probably write a script that outputs LaTeX and also can be auto-updated to include new appointments by sending a text message to certain email address that they have forwarded to be read by some script they're running on their home servers. I am a fake Linux user because I haven't done much serious programming since my first attempt at grad school, just sloppy code for one-off projects.)
algeh: (Default)
So, I threw another load of miscellaneous Things I Own into the van tonight. In the process, I found several things that I didn't realize I owned but are kind of useful, such as a leatherman tool. I also FINALLY managed to find the missing 2 DVD sleeve for one of my box sets and was able to pack it intact, increasing the odds of my being able to watch that season of 90210 straight through at some point in the future should I choose to do so.

However, in the battle against entropy and the clutter elves, there are always casualties. As I was unloading the van, I noticed two small cards on the floor, clearly from a memory game. This is slightly odd as I remember packing my memory game with the rest of my childhood games that are not actually fun to play as an adult back when I was packing things for the storage unit. (I plan to get them out again when I have children someday - most of what I have are Ravensburger games that still have all of their pieces and are in good condition. This is what happens when you are an only child and only get to play board games with adults.)

Upon closer inspection, here are the cards:
cut to save the surprise for this part of the post )
algeh: (Default)
I've been offline for a week or so in Moving Hell. I just got my computer set back up today.

Done:

  • Caught up on LJ friends page
  • Caught up on two other blogs
  • Caught up on webmaster, tutoring, and job-hunt email accounts
  • Caught up on Ubuntu updates (which is SO MUCH FASTER with broadband internet - it is a whole new kind of thing to be doing now)


Not Done:

  • Check personal email
  • Check DW friends page
  • Check DamnPortlanders
  • Change address with post office
  • Pay student loan
  • Make DW/LJ flocked posts updating address and phone numbers
  • Change address with dial-up ISP
  • Change address with college I do not have loans with
  • Change address with whatever other online places I've told where I live for some reason
  • Check other blogs I read
  • Get Flash working now that I have broadband
  • Find new time wasting things to do on the internet that involve images and/or videos
  • Play FreeCiv for weeks on end while forgetting to shower, let alone job hunt


Some of those things might not get done. We'll see which!

(Now I have to go throw more random possessions in the van and hope that the Carpet Vacuuming Elves will visit in the night.)
algeh: (Default)
Currently, I plan to post all entries at both LJ and DW. I've also imported my back-entries over to DW to create a "just in case" archive (I also periodically go through and save things to my hard drive). I have the same username both places.

I consider my LJ my "primary" journal and DW my "back-up" journal, but I'm leaving comments enabled both places for the convenience of people who'd rather comment at DW. For ease of management I'd prefer comments on LJ if you read both places.

I've also imported all previous comments to my posts over to DW, and may continue to do so in the future (I don't know if they have a good way to keep comments synced currently, but I want to also cover the possibility that I'll choose to do so in some manual way or to do so automatically if a good way presents itself). These comments are in the context of the posts on which they were made, and with equivalent security levels (those in locked posts are still in locked posts, those in friends-grouped posts still in groups with similar purposes and criteria for group membership), so it feels like an appropriate way to "archive" them as part of my overall journal. However, I realize that some of you may feel differently, and I want to respect that.

If you don't want your comments to my old posts in LJ appearing over on DW, I will go through and screen them for you. This is not an automated process and will be a pain in the ass for me, so please only ask if it's important to you. They show as being made with your LJ account using OpenId, and you are also able to go through and delete them yourself using that OpenID login on DW.

If you have a DW account and would like to be added over there, please comment on this post both places (noting the different usernames in both posts if you don't have the same one). That makes it easy for me to click the little userheads on each comment and get you in the same security groups. (There no automated way I have found to say "this DW user should have exactly the same privileges as this LJ OpenID account, so add them to those imported security groups" so I've been opening that page side-by side and adding them by hand.)
algeh: (angry)
So, LiveJournal has found another way to disappoint me. This isn't really surprising anymore, and I've pretty much stopped posting outraged entries every time they manage to do so, but I've decided that this one is actually a good time to talk about norms, content ownership, and such.

Anyway, if you haven't already done so, you might want to go read the current News post about their exciting new "feature" involving linking your LiveJournal with Facebook and/or Twitter. You probably won't want to read all 80 (at last count) comment pages full of angry users but feel free to knock yourself out. (I left a comment on page 25 that's gotten 4 comments back, so clearly some people are reading through the whole thing.)

So, here's a summary of how I feel about the whole thing in terms of my journal. I don't personally have a Facebook or a Twitter account. Every now and then I'm tempted to get one or the other, but they just don't fit well with how I prefer to use the internet. At some point, I may get one or the other and feel the need to cross-post some of my content on more than one service. (I am more likely to actually start crossposting with Dreamwidth since it fits much better with how I use the internet - I am also Algeh over there but have yet to really set up the account much.) I cannot imagine that I would want to automatically cross-post everything from LiveJournal to Facebook or Twitter because it's a different kind of writing for a different kind of audience. However, if someone else wants to habitually post their LiveJournal entries to one or the other service because they use them to communicate the same information to different audiences, I see that as their business. It's their content and their choice to post it wherever they want.

Comments are trickier. In general, I see comments in my journal as a collaborative exercise among the readers of a post. While you in some sense "own" your comments, you built them with the inspiration and assistance of the post and possibly the other comments, so they're less "yours" than a post in isolation. Obviously, there are some comments that stand alone just fine. If, in a public post, I threw out some kind of general discussion prompt like "so, how do you feel about US foreign policy?" and someone replied with their overall position, I would have no problem with them also posting that comment as an entry in their journal (with or without linking back to my entry). I also wouldn't care if they posted it on Facebook or, for that matter, sent it in to the local newspaper (preferably without a link to my journal in that case). However, I'm more likely want a conversation in my comments than a bunch of disconnected op-ed pieces, and those generally would not make sense to share outside the conversation. I assume that my readers also have a basic sense of whether or not a comment of theirs stands on its own or needs to be fleshed out before being shared outside the conversation. I expect comments to my public journal entries to be treated like any other conversation in a reasonably public place where it is likely to be overheard, which means that they are not private or exclusive but also not to be mindlessly and automatically parroted somewhere else - if someone wants to listen to the conversation, they can come on over and listen here.

I expect, along with most users of the feature, that the content of my non-public posts, including comments to those posts, will not be shared outside those posts. There may be times where it makes sense for a reader to re-work a comment they wrote to a locked post and share it in a larger context, but I expect them to do it in a thoughtful, non-automated way that does not reveal its origins. (For example, if I were to write a locked post about a family matter and a reader chose to reply with a related family story of their own and then realized that their story also would make a good post for their journal, I would expect them to then re-work their comment into a post that does not reference my post's content or existence before sharing it.) My friends list has, historically been full of people who seem to share this expectation, as I have not had an issue with the content, topics, or existence of my locked posts being broadcast inappropriately. I assume that will continue and that those I have chosen to friend are the type who will not intentionally broadcast things I have chosen to keep private simply because LiveJournal has given them a very easy way to do it. If given the option (as I feel would be good practice) to disable the cross-posting of comments on locked posts I would enable it to make my feelings on the matter more clear, however.

However, I have a further concern. The new comment-sharing tickyboxes are right next to the post comment button. Worse, they are in the tab-order between typing and the post comment button for the keyboard-users, replacing the previous tab-enter behavior of posting a comment. This makes it easy for someone who is momentarily careless to accidentally check the box and end up broadcasting their comment to the entire twitterverse or facebooksphere without meaning to.

Thus, I have a request. If you choose to link your LiveJournal account to your Facebook or Twitter, I ask you to think carefully about the new responsibility you have to double-check whether you have accidentally checked those boxes before commenting in my journal. I'd strongly prefer that you not link your journal in this manner at all to prevent such accidents.

Also, feel free to go give 'em hell in the news post.
algeh: (Annabelle (princess mode))
I have three events from August that deserve posts, as well as lingering guilt over never posting a trip summary from my California trip back in March, my Idaho trip in April, or my Birthday Adventures in May. (I probably also should feel guilty about not posting anything from June or July, but I don't currently remember doing much in those months.) Pretty much what happens is that I take a giant pile of pictures and need to be selective about which to upload (no one wants to see fifty blurry pictures of scenery taken from a moving car, but at least modern technology means I did not have to pay money to get them developed), and also that I want to share a useful and entertaining amount of information but not a step-by-step "then I ordered coffee and after that I drank it" guide to everything I did and that requires editing. Also, I've gotten kind of self-conscious about the fact that the people I mention may read this after several of my friends have had (mostly positive) experiences with people who put Google Alerts on their names and find blog reviews of things like books or concerts (this applies more to talking about filk cons and such than it does to other things).

Anyway, on Saturday the 21st I went to Multnomah Days with my mom, my grammy, and Annabelle the Basset Hound (in icon). all about Multnomah Days, including a larger picture of Annabelle the Prize-Winning Basset Hound, under the cut )

So, anyway, my total haul from my local neighborhood festival was $45 in gift certificates, a cereal-sized box of dog treats, a small bag of kibble, three dog toys, two t-shirts, a few dog biscuits, and a toothbrush (which a vet office was giving away as part of their goody bags that also contained dog biscuits and a business card - I assume the toothbrush was also for the dog). It's kind of ridiculous but also awesome. I think Annabelle had a pretty good time too, even if I did make her wear the princess crown and cape for about half of it.

So, I shall end with a poll:

[Poll #1610462]
algeh: (dream)
As I was waking up this morning, I thought "man, it feels like this dream was written by the internet". I'm not quite sure what that means, but I don't think it was a compliment.

I'm back!

Mar. 13th, 2010 04:18 pm
algeh: (adventure)
So, I'm back from Consonance and the rest of my Bay Area trip. I'm bogging down trying to write a proper con report (I think I'll have to listen to my recordings a few times through before writing about any of the concerts because it's all a blur to me right now), but I had a great time overall. I got to see and hear several performers that I'd previously only heard on some old, low-quality tapes, and that was pretty exciting for me. (I'd originally gotten into filk as something that one orders out of catalogs rather than someone one can actually participate in, and didn't actually get to a filk circle until years later.) This is also the first time I've gone to a fan convention of any genre all by myself and actually had a good time, and I'm glad that's something that worked out ok for me. (The only previous time I'd tried was the Kumoricon of Extreme Dramaz a few years back, and that wasn't intentional but rather a side effect of having pre-reg'd before the Dramaz and not wanting to waste my money.)

I also had a pretty good time wandering around on mass transit visiting friends for a few days afterward, although I didn't figure out that I wasn't in the most tourist-friendly part of San Francicso until the third day of me wandering around aimlessly when I decided to take the cable car and see if I could steal a menu from Ghiridhelli's to frame next to the one my mom stole in the 70s. Oh well, I had a pretty good time wandering around what was, in retrospect, probably not the nicest part of town for two days before I figured it out and I probably saved a lot of money on food and entertainment that way. I wish I'd had time to go to the aquarium I saw on the third day, though.

I also picked up some kind of stomach bug on the train ride back Thursday and I haven't shaken it off yet, so I've been kind of a lazy slug. I'll try to upload some pictures and expand on all this in a few days.

Now I need to see if I can somehow afford to go to Baycon and/or Westercon this year, as I have now decided that solo convention trips and train rides to California are something I can do.

Postcards!

Mar. 2nd, 2010 10:18 am
algeh: (thinking)
So, I'm heading to Consonance down in the Bay Area this weekend. On the train, which means I will have lots of spare time to make poorly-drawn homemade postcards unless they yell at me for using Sharpies (in which case I guess they will become ballpoint-based and less colorful). I will also be in a different state when I get there, which means I can buy tourist-style postcards.

Anyway, who wants a postcard? Comment below with your name and mailing address, and any particular requests, such as homemade vs tourist-style or a suggested theme. Requests may not be honored, particularly if I am amused by something else or you request something at all difficult to draw. (Comments will be screened.)

I plan to print out this page Wednesday night, so I'd prefer you to comment here rather than link me to your various locked address posts.
algeh: (filk)
Argh. Consonance pre-reg closes Saturday, so I need to make up my stupid mind if I'm going to the Bay Area or not. I really, really want to go, but the logistics are getting annoying. Right now, the plan looks something like the following, assuming that various people are free exactly when I'm assuming they are, the bus system works the way I think it does, and magic ponies come flying out my ass to fix my life:

long, and probably boring to people who don't either know me or enjoy babbling about cons and transit )

Main point I'd like advice on (for those who skipped the cut): Is there some way to store luggage while touristing around San Fransisco? I'd also welcome advice on things to do while touristing around San Francisco, but I may be pretty sharply limited in what I can actually do if I can't lick the luggage problem.

Subsidiary point: If anyone is attending Consonance and looking for a roomshare, I'd like to get in on one for Friday-Sunday, if possible. (This will also be posted in relevant lj communities, as I don't think many people on my friendslist are going.)

Finally, if anyone else is in the bay area and would like a visit, feel free to speak up in the comments. It's been ten years since the last time I made it down there, and it may well be another ten years before I go back again, particularly if I turn out to hate the train ride.
algeh: (sleep)
Yesterday, I woke up at 4. While 4 am would not have been that bad and something I could probably make work for me in terms of my continued quest for employment, I woke up at 4 pm, which really isn't doing me any favors. Part of the problem is that I have always, dating back to childhood, naturally slipped into a schedule where I go to bed around 5 am and wake up sometime in the afternoon. I think I did this every summer growing up except possibly the summer I had 2 shifts a week volunteering at the zoo that I needed to leave the house before noon to get to. (Other pre-college summers I either had about 2 weeks of all-day day camp or about 2 weeks of all-day volunteering at day camps, and slipped into my nocturnal schedule for the rest of the summer which was largely self-directed time.) The other problem is that I seem to want to sleep about 12 hours a day lately. Anyway, this clearly isn't working out for me very well in terms of accomplishing anything with my life.

So, I'm not going to sleep tonight. With luck, I'll be good and tired about 5 pm tonight, and can sleep a solid 12ish hours and get up at 5 am Monday morning, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and full of optimism about my ongoing Job Search From Hell. Rather than going to bed at around 5:30, I made and ate a hearty breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, and coffee. (I kind of regret learning how to make hashbrowns, because they are easy, cheap, and delicious.) I now consider my new day started.

Today should be an interesting day.
algeh: (adventure)
I just got back from Conflikt (up near Seattle) and I had a great time after a rocky start (allergic reaction to dinner + social anxiety worsened by squirming children sitting behind me and constantly moving in my peripheral vision = lousy Friday), so I'm considering going down to California for Consonance in early March. The con itself is in Newark, CA, which I understand to be in the Bay Area somewhere (I am a little fuzzy on Bay Area geography as I've only been there once and that was ten years ago and I pretty much stuck to Mountain View and Palo Alto while I was there). The con is March 5th - March 7th, and if it's anything like Conflikt I'd pretty much spend the whole weekend busy with con stuff.

However, I know I have several non-filker friends who live in California, and I think at least three of you live somewhere in the Bay Area. Would anyone be interested in hanging out on the Thursday before the con or the Monday after, with or without letting me crash on your floor for a night? This whole thing is still very much in the "maybe" stage (looks like I have to register by the 20th if I'm going, and I'm going to stall as long as possible in case I get a job and can't take that time off from work), but I'd like to go if I can find a way to make it work, and seeing other old friends would be the icing on the cake.

I wish drinking coffee didn't keep me up for so many hours after I drink it. It came in handy for the Saturday night filk circle that I was still awake at 5 because I'd had coffee with dinner about 12 hours earlier, but it's not very convenient today or generally. Perhaps I just need to find all-night filk circles every night. Perhaps I need to stop drinking coffee. It is hard to tell.

I recorded most of Conflikt with my new zoom H2. I'll try to transfer the files to my computer on Wednesday or Thursday and will possibly post recordings of [livejournal.com profile] two_star singing in open filk if they turned out well. (I already know my one short and painful attempt did not turn out well because I did the panic-thing and let my throat tighten up and then rushed the tempo, so no amount of recording quality will fix that up enough for the internet. Blargh.)

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] greatblondelf for letting me crash at your place on Sunday. Being able to stay in Seattle rather than drive back to Portland on the last day of the con was nice. Hanging out with Sean is also nice. I observed to Ali at one point that if you'd told 2000-Nea that she was going to get to spend a weekend going to a filk con and also seeing Sean, she would have thought it was THE BEST POSSIBLE WEEKEND IN THE HISTORY OF WEEKENDS. It fell a little short of that standard (allergic reactions are not a part of the BEST POSSIBLE WEEKEND, for starters), but it was still the most fun I've had in a while. Apparently, this future thing is pretty nice. I just wish it had jobs.
algeh: (undefined)

  • Not sleeping

    • Using the computer

      • Reading entries from 10 years ago on my Very First Webjournal

        • Posting about it here

          • Posting publically rather than custom-friendslocked all to hell

            • Editing this entry repeatedly to change little things







In related non-nested notes:

  • To every professor I had as a sophomore in college: I was the worst student ever. I can only plead youth and stupidity. I am so embarrassed about it now. Thank you for passing my pathetic ass anyway, which I probably didn't deserve.
  • Still crazy and staying up too late and telling the internet about it, although a lot less of that last one. Why did I used to share so very much? I suppose it was A Different Time.
  • Some predictions don't come true.
  • Goddammit self, caffeine makes you crazy. Stop it.
  • Today will be my 10 year Spiffy's-a-versary. I do not plan to celebrate it by driving to Spiffy's, as I probably should have outgrown driving to Chehalis for bad diner food by now. (I do now understand the theory behind vegetarians attempting to locate breakfast places when trying to eat in small towns, though.) I will probably celebrate it by sleeping most of the day and then eating Chinese food for dinner, because that is what I was going to do anyway.
  • GOODNIGHT I AM GOING TO SLEEP OR AT LEAST NON-INTERNET NOW. I AM SO DUMB.
algeh: (filk)
I had a job interview over an hour's travel time from my apartment today and a concert I was supposed to go to tonight (but had the wrong time for, which I only realized when I saw the sign on the door), so this'll be another fragment (apparently, announcing an Internet Project is a good way to make your Real Life busy, which I will keep in mind against future needs).

Filk Advent Calendar, Day Four )
algeh: (filk)
Folks, I had a major case of Real Life come crashing down on me today (nothing worrisome, just family stuff that belongs in a locked post rather than this one), so this'll be a fragment only.

Filk Advent Calendar, Day Three )
algeh: (filk)
I went to Orycon for the 4th year this year, and I've realized that it's past time that I start actually writing filk songs rather than making vague mutterings about doing so someday. Thus, I have decided to do a Filk Advent Calendar. Every day from now until Christmas eve, I am going to write SOMETHING that could be at least part of a filk song, probably to the tune of a Christmas carol, and post it here. If I go out of town, I'll probably either post them before I leave or after I get back since I have a cell phone so old that it actually makes phone calls.

Most of these songs will not be of very high quality or at all likely to be performed. The main idea is to get me working on (a) scansion and (b) writing something the heck down.

Filk Advent Calendar, Day One )
algeh: (music)
Would there be interest in a housefilk in Portland (Oregon) in July? My apartment's property management company thought it'd be a reasonable use of our complex's rec room, so I thought I'd ask if people would like to come.

I'm thinking the weekend of July 25th and 26th, no preference on day. I'd probably want it to start around 1 or 2 pm and break up around dinner time. I could offer some out-of-towner crash space at my apartment, and my complex is on a Frequent Service bus line. We have limited visitor parking as well.

The downside: I'm not nearly good enough of a musician to anchor a housefilk by myself. I sing along with choruses, but I don't have a repertoire of my own stuff to sing nor do I play an instrument well enough to accompany anyone else without advance notice and sheet music. So basically, I would have a very sad time if the only people who showed up were me and my neighbors.

Would there be enough interest that I should get the ball rolling on this? If not, would changing the weekend help?

I'll make another post in a week or so to let everyone know for sure whether or not this is happening with an actual time and date included if it is.
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