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Standing athwart software development yelling Stop! [May. 5th, 2009|08:32 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

I’m glad I’m not the only person who read this excellent excerpt from Christopher Buckley’s upcoming Losing Mum and Pup to take from it the profound and moving thought of “Hey! WordStar!” John Derbyshire did as well:

One little detail that caught my eye was Bill’s insistence on sticking with WordStar as his word processor of choice. I understand this perfectly. Once you’ve mastered a piece of software, why should you have to go to the trouble of ditching it to learn a new one? Bill actually out-conservatived me there. I am proud to tell anyone who asks that I write everything (including this diary) using KEDIT, a nifty text editor from the mid-1980s. KEDIT is modeled on XEDIT, which I used in my mainframe days in the early 1980s. I’m well into my third decade with KEDIT and see no reason to change. Still, KEDIT’s first release was 1983; WordStar was already five years old at that point.

I believe I have used WordStar, inasmuch as someone opened it for me and I went “Hey! I can type my name! ooooooh green letters”

… ok, I was four years old.

I have, however, been formally introduced to vi as of last semester, and while I can’t say I’m ready to participate in any holy wars yet, I can see why other people might feel compelled to stand by their text editor with great enthusiasm.

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Numbers games [Mar. 20th, 2009|11:08 am]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

The great XKCD.

Or, in other words — Charles Krauthammer has this to say

$165 million in bonus money handed out to AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built. Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error. It amounts to less than 1/18,500 of the $3.1 trillion federal budget. It’s less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the bailout money given to AIG alone.

And there is such a thing as law. The way to break a contract legally is Chapter 11. Short of that, a contract is a contract. The AIG bonuses were agreed to before the government takeover and are perfectly legal. Is the rule now that when public anger is kindled, Congress summarily cancels contracts?

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At Midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew… [Mar. 9th, 2009|04:06 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

I saw Watchmen Thursday night, and I have to say I am joining the chorus of people saying that it was a great film and an amazingly accurate adaptation of the graphic novel.

When I first saw it, I only had one objection, not related to the graphic novel or even the film per se, and that was, when the credits rolled, I went “Oh my god. Is this REALLY supposed to be ‘Desolation Row’?”

My Chemical Romance, you fail at Dylan.

I know, the film has three Dylan songs, which is AWESOME, and expecting fanboys to sit through”The Times They are a Changin’” is more than most directors would give us, but the three-minute rocked-up version of “Desolation Row” commits one of the great musical sins of the Firefly-Verse, which is that the music is over-produced given the theme.

(spoiler cut)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Just a post… [Feb. 19th, 2009|09:40 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

… to say I’ve updated more recently than Guy.

Seriously, though, social networking is dooooom for small personal weblogs, I think. I’ll try and post soon though.

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(no subject) [Jan. 26th, 2009|10:01 am]
stolen from ze Dave

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

Please note:
I make no guarantee that you will like what I make.
What I create will be just for you.
It'll be done this year (year from now, not calendar year)
You have no clue or input into what it's going to be.
I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well. We all can make stuff!
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Getting in the Christmas spirit [Dec. 16th, 2008|03:39 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

When I reach the point that even Guy has updated more recently than me (although admittedly only with Naxx videos that would be sure to confound my faithful audience of “my parents”) it’s time to post something.

The temperatures in Michigan are staying pretty consistently below 20 degrees, which means I’ve been getting in the Christmas spirit this year, and that can only mean two things: aluminum Christmas trees, and orcs on flying carpets.

Really.

tree.JPG xmasduessa.jpg

Bonus: how many people are going to click the first picture just to see how many books they recognize?

Extra bonus excuse: one of the motivators of my sloth is the ease of simply bookmarking whatever I come across on delicious

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Don’t blame me, I voted for Thrall? [Nov. 5th, 2008|02:51 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

For what it’s worth, I spent my Election Night in Karazhan. We’ve been there a decent bit lately; with WotLK approaching, getting newbies into raiding seems more important than progression — although we’ve had a bit of that too. Anyway, it was a good distraction.

The beer also helped.

I turned on the TV in time to see Fox call Pennsylvania for Obama and after that there was very little to be done, really, except to see Shepard Smith staring cluelessly into the distance as Karl Rove talks.

It’s a bit like the Cubs’ postseason — after a great season, when it comes down to it, there we are, getting outplayed at every angle, and just like that it’s over; nothing to be done now but wait ’til next year and hope that Piniella has the wisdom to shore up our fundamentals into a World Series team.

The Republicans have to do the same thing — shore up a consistent, reliable opposition to the party that will control House, Senate & Presidency. Get away from folks like Bush and McCain who conservatives have to hold their nose and vote for and be the party it was meant to be. Act like a party that’s ready to lead, fer chrissakes.

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Were you beaten with roses as a child? [Oct. 30th, 2008|04:54 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve been listening to the Between the Covers podcasts at National Review Online, and there’s a lot of cool stuff there, like interviews with Christopher Buckley and George R.R. Martin (and, yes, Chuck Norris.)

… but! Imagine my surprise and delight when I find a podcast about T.S. Eliot, where the interview-ee is none other than… Benjamin Lockerd! Apparently, he has written a new introduction to a new edition of Russel Kirk’s Eliot and His Age.

Lockerd is a prof at GVSU, possibly the most awesome Brit-Lit-prof in the world, originator of the phrase “Were you beaten with roses as a child?” which I have shared with my father on numerous occasions as he and Dan continue the disagreement that existed between my ex-boyfriend Stefan and Dr. Lockerd about whether something can be described as intrinsically beautiful, or are only considered beautiful because our culture conditions us to believe they are. My father and Lockerd take the former position, leading Lockerd to say “If you see a rose, and you don’t think it’s beautiful, I think: what’s wrong with you? Were you beaten with roses as a child?”

Other great Lockerd moments:

Last time I talked with him, it was January, and I was wearing my coat with a World of Warcraft “druid” pin on it, and he jokingly replies. “Ah, good to see a follower of the old religions! Human sacrifice and all of that!” I laugh, explain its real meaning, and take the opportunity to find one person in the world who understands the origins of my warlock, Duessa’s, name.

Now I guess I really have to read Four Quartets

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It’s your life, you can decorate it as you like [Oct. 23rd, 2008|11:46 am]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

I’m so out of it with regard to music now, I only just found out that Ben Folds Five had a reunion concert in September. But! I found the whole video online when I logged into myspace for the first time in forever. The guys play the entirety of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner live before an incredibly lucky audience — yes, even “Your Most Valuable Possessions,” which Ben’s dad comes out to nervously read from a cue card.

Reinhold Messner has gotta be one of my top five albums of all time, easily, and I know Ben Folds is awesome to watch live. I bought Sessions at West 54th DVD beforeI even owned a DVD player and bought it to my boyfriend’s house to watch, and we were all astounded by it. I bought the official score, borrowed my boyfriend’s keyboard, and almost learned to play “Narcolepsy” except for these chords that are made to played by someone with giant Ben Folds hands amd not freaky midget hands like mine.

So, being unable to really play Ben Folds Five songs, I did the next best thing and named my computer after one of them. Looking back, it wasn’t that great of a computer, so maybe that was unfair of me. At any rate, this got me reminiscing while I watched Ben Folds Five perform, about all my computers:

  • Firefly, my graduation present, the K6-2, which eventually got cannibalized into other machines by Troy.
  • Leo, my mom’s old computer, the other K6-2, that we loaded with an absurd amount of RAM and used to run Mandrake Linux after Jeff’s old iMac exploded.
  • Jane, which I got from Wal-Mart and ran Linux.
  • Una, which Josh Rowe built, and ran Windows XP so I could play FFXI. But it was NOT named for Yuna or anything like that, but after Una from Faerie Queene.
  • Daenerys, the first computer I built. It was a learning experience, so I thought her epithet “Stormborn” was quite fitting. I sold it to my father, and he used it until it was stolen just recently.
  • And finally… Mal. There have been a number of things that I can credit for keeping me almost-sane while working at the casino, and Joss Whedon’s Firefly and the joy that came from building this computer are two of them. When I switched it on and it worked, I went “Aha! I can really do this! I rule!”

Not even counting my family’s nameless computers, all the way back to the Kaypro and Commodore-64. Well, there’s two ways of navel-gazing into my past, right there.

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Warning: geekiness ahead! [Oct. 5th, 2008|07:02 pm]
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Originally published at Firefly the Great. Please leave any comments there.

Well, apart from the whole “worrying about money and getting job” bit, I could handle being unemployed. Without the restrictions like “going to work,” I find all sorts of projects to throw myself into.

The first projects were web-related; redesigning Action Entertainment and the Grunts page to take advantage of some CSS tricks and get everything validated. But that was not enough, so Friday I decided it was time that I install Ubuntu.

I had already purchased a second hard drive for this purpose, so I’m now dual-booting Ubuntu 8.04 (”Hardy Heron”) and Windows Vista (which my bootloader likes to refer to by its production name of Longhorn, for some reason).

Read the rest of this entry »

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