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Showing posts from January, 2017
I don't miss Windows at all.

This computer used to get bitchy around two dozen Chrome tabs, plus the office software/large document combo of your choice. We're currently at four Chromium windows, one of which has pinned tabs that never unload from RAM, one of which has about forty-seven iStock preview windows in it, and one of which is running Google Play Music that uses Flash and has a memory leak with the throughput of a firehose; GIMP with several large print-quality files open; Audacity with multiple instances of an MP3 I'm chopping up; and an assortment of miscellaneous LeafPad documents and file manager folders and terminal windows.

Some of the improvement is obviously because of the SSD. All operating systems use what's called a "cache file" to expand upon the physical RAM installed. It's just a big chunk of disk that they use the same way I use all the untitled LeafPad documents, as a buffer to hold things it thinks it'll need soon but not imm…

Monday Mystery: The Disappearance of Louis Le Prince

One crisp fall day, a man named Louis Le Prince paid a visit to his in-laws, Joseph and Sarah Whitley, at their home, an estate named Oakwood Grange. While there, he shot a brief home movie of his family perambulating in their garden. The camera he used was a single-lens model of his own design, using a perforated reel of Edison photographic paper. The year was 1888. The snippet, known as "Roundhay Garden Scene", is believed to be the oldest piece of motion picture film still in existence.

Le Prince had discovered a love of photography while still a child, working in the lab of his father's friend Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. A circuitous route through art school in Paris and post-grad chemistry in Leipzig ultimately took him to England, where he was employed by a firm in Leeds, and ultimately married to the artistically-gifted sister of a colleague, Elizabeth (née Whitley). He continued to tinker with new cameras and new designs through a stint as a representative of t…
Update to the update:

After several rounds of Flexeril, I seem to have gotten things back into anatomical position myself. Now it just hurts like a horse has somehow managed to kick me deep in the middle of the hip joint. Walking is difficult, because it doesn't want to bend. Were I not capable of a deep plié with all of my weight on the other leg, 100% of the objects that were on the floor when this started would be there still. Standing and sitting also make it complain, although not enough to make me burst into tears like I was doing before.

You know how, when you're really tired or really drunk, you'll start doing something and then somehow lose your train of thought in the middle of it and grind to a halt, and have to concentrate hard to figure out what the hell you're doing there? I was doing that, except instead of just being distracted, I was distracted and crying and doing breathing exercises, because it hurt. It took me ages to get anything done, if I managed…

Weekly Album: Adele - 19

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Update.

Urgent care sent me to insurance first. Insurance lady was very nice. She had cool boots. Cooler than mine. I notice weird things when I'm trying to block out pain. I mostly sat there crying as quietly as I could while she dealt with the state people over speakerphone. It's hurt for two weeks, I could deal with another half-hour. She got me a pharmacy voucher.

Nurse was also nice. She asked me how to spell "Ehlers-Danlos", so someone has at least now written it down. Doctor also nice lady, with some kind of Caribbean accent, who took it well when I explained why Vicodin would not help. Got IM ketorolac, cyclobenzaprine, imaging appointment, referral to PT/sports medicine.

Don't think the ketorolac helped. Stabbing it just seems to have made it angrier. At least they listened and tried something new.

Getting home from the clinic involves climbing a hill. Hadn't realized that until just now.

One of the intervening streets is busy, with crosswalks but no…
Trying to psych myself up to go to the nearest clinic and find out if they have an Urgent Care.

I keep telling myself it's not that bad. That hip will still bear weight. It rotates correctly. I can walk. It's not broken, it just hurts. I'm being a drama queen. I should just shut up and deal.

I don't know why I keep ending up in this groove. I had to go out yesterday. I ended up teaching about a quarter of the hoop lesson from the floor, contorted into an impossible stretch trying to open up the joint. I spent the train ride home in a corner seat, huddled against a baffle, wanting desperately to not be there. Not the train, the train was fine. I wanted to not be in my body, where the thing hurt. I wanted my headphone volume to go up higher. I wanted to not start crying in public.

I have to make a plan. I can't cope with sudden changes anymore. I don't want to end up just standing in the waiting room, helpless, if something goes wrong.

What will I do if it turns …
I remember predicting when we moved into this place that I'd spend my bad days sitting in bed, staring out the window at Dorchester Bay. Right now I'm staring at where the bay would be, were it not for the intervening fog, but otherwise my guess seems to have been rather accurate.

My left hip hurts. I'm not sure if it's something in the joint or in my lower back that's objecting, but it's doing so vociferously. It has the same peculiar electric quality as the moment you bash your funny bone, or bite down on tinfoil with a metal filling. It's not the dull throbbing red ache or the sharp stab of having actually injured myself; it's the pointless pain of a nerve that is holding a grudge over something, possibly something imaginary, and doesn't want to let go.

It started before Arisia, but I had a show to do, so I ignored it until I noticed it was starting to make my gait go funny on stairs. Funny thing about neuropathic pain; even if it didn't begi…

Weekly Album: The Beatles - Meet The Beatles

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One of the weirdest things I've run into in the past year is Brian Molko. He seems, at some basic algorithmic level, to work a lot like I do.

This is a startling thing to realize. I'm not dumb enough to think I'm the very specialest snowflake, unique in human history, but I am aware that most people don't work like I do. I know this because if they did, the world would be much better adapted to me. Most of the people who do work like I do go to some trouble to keep it under wraps. As irritating as it is to deal with some of this shit all by myself, involving other people just makes it more complicated. The main problem is that there is just too much stuff in the world, and sometimes it comes at me too fast, too bright, and right in the fucking face. Most people who want to help think that help involves interacting with me, which is exactly the opposite of what I need in that situation. So covering and deflecting is a survival tactic that both preserves my important rel…
Having completed my Victorian period show, I have now put the blonde flash back in the front of my hair. It's amazing how familiarity breeds contempt. When I first started doing it myself, I was terrified. You're doing something permanent! To your hair! OHGODWHATIFITGOESWRONG. Now I mix up a couple of tablespoons of bleach in the lid of a discarded peanut butter jar and smoosh it into my roots with a travel toothbrush.

It became a lot less nerve-wracking when I realized that my hair is virtually unkillable. Lifting to level 9 involves 45 minutes in 40V bleach, wrapped in cling film and jammed under a hat. (I've no idea what level I start at. About 6, maybe? All the sample cards I can find run blonde to brunette, which is unhelpful. My natural hair color is Titian red, almost dead on young Jane Seymour.) The idea of letting it marinate that long is probably making some of you twitch, but nothing really happens, aside from all the color coming out. Might be a bit more fly-aw…
The show is over, and I lived. We all did! Which is no mean feat, as we all showed up at Arisia pre-infected with something horrible. I was personally medicating our tech director, and pretty much anyone else who turned up coughing their little brains out.

Other people keep telling me that I sound very busy. I don't know that I am; it's hard for me to really tally up the hours I spend at things. I had a time clock app for my phone which I never successfully made myself use, mainly because the phone is a bear of very little brain that runs a few things very well and most things slowly and grudgingly. And also I found it depressing to see how much time I spent on trains.

One of the problems there is that I get the nagging feeling that things I enjoy doing don't really count. I can spend ten hours a week in rehearsals for a show -- which I am paid to do, to the best of the producer's ability and budget -- and I still have trouble bringing it to mind when people ask what I…

Weekly Album: Nena - Nena

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Hello! I am alive, sort of. I am in the middle of what is called "tech week" for my annual January show, which is when you get together for hours and hours every night to run the show as it will be done on stage, so that you can get all the screwing up and panicking out of your system before you actually perform it. It kills me ded every time, because hours of people every day, and also right now i have some sort of head cold that is clinging desperately on weeks after it should have gone away. I have excellent drugs and also excellent co-stars, so I'll be fine, but if you're going to be in Boston for Arisia this weekend, you should come and see us so I'm not doing all this for nothing.


Our show photographer will also be wandering the halls before and after, taking photos of cosplayers. Feel free to stop her and get yours done! Her name is Annushka Munch and you could probably spot her from other planets, as her hair is violently pink. I know this because I helpe…

Weekly Album: David Bowie - Legacy

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Update: Did the thing I said I was going to do. Certainly I expected performance to improve once I installed the new drive, but holy fuck. Can't determine how much of the performance bottleneck was the hard drive having to spin up and down and how much was Windows 7, but the combination of an SSD and Lubuntu starts my colossal lumbering raster graphics editor in about ten seconds. BRB, going to go see how many fonts and plugins it takes to push that to twenty.
At this point, I am thinking I might just skip letting my roommate play with his drive cloner and go straight to the part where I install Lubuntu on the new SSD.

The various not-Windows operating systems generally let you make what's called a LiveCD or LiveKey, which is essentially the OS on some kind of portable media. They generally start with a menu that gives you the choice between using the OS off the optical disc/USB drive, or installing it to the local hard disk.

I have LiveKeys for both Lubuntu 16.10 and RemixOS 64-bit. The trial for RemixOS is a little unfair; it saves absolutely nothing, not even for pretend, and is almost telepathically fast, so it's clearly running off a RAM drive. I can get it to boot to an "installation", as it's designed to run off of a portable drive, but it's deeply unhappy about being confined to USB 2.0, and an I/O speed of less than half the 10Mbit/s it wants makes it unusable. It's got some quirks; notably, it assume…
Hi! Uh. Happy new year? I meant to write something serious and contemplative days ago, but then the garbage disposal broke, taking out the drain to both the kitchen sink and the dishwasher. While Tom was in the middle of draining and cleaning a 90 gallon fish tank.

And then the internet broke. Well, I say 'and then'. The internet has been intermittently broken for months now, because this neighborhood appears to have been wired for cable in about 1974 and then diligently ignored. There was no way to get Comcast to believe it was their equipment and not ours until we had submitted roughly 978,378 support tickets, at which point they generally dispatch a tech to shut the customer up. I don't know what exactly the issue was, but once we got someone out to look at the outside of the house, they fixed it in like half an hour.

The actual computer is not broken, but that's mainly because I haven't gotten around to it yet. I know various and sundry people who work in IT an…