Tuesday, November 30, 2010


it would be nice if i could remember how to think clearly.

Friday, November 26, 2010


dear spammer,

i didn't ask you, or anyone else, about a website.

even if i did, i am sure i would not have asked about [randomgobbledygook].angelfire.com. i may be rather open about my abiding love of the 1990s...but even in a state of deep nostalgia, i'm able to separate the good 1990s stuff from the bad.

and, angelfire sucks. it sucked then, and it still sucks.

no love,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

campaign promises...or not

Rev. James Meeks, one of the candidates for Chicago mayor, recently said the following:

"I think the most dangerous thing you can do is to say what you're going to fix. There are a lot of places that we can trim, but there are none which you can talk about now....You can't be specific right now. You just can't be specific."

this is one of those things that i read, and i can't decide whether to laugh or cry. on one hand, it's pretty disgusting when a politician doesn't actually come up with any concrete plans. on the other hand, the raving cynic in me knows that the best way never to be busted for breaking your campaign promises is never to make them in the first place.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

on t-shirts and bible quotes

dear $high_school_kid:

you said, "I was shocked. There is clearly a double standard here, and we're really upset about this. They said the reason we can't wear 'Straight Pride' shirts is because they are disruptive. And I can understand how maybe some people were intimidated by the shirts with the Bible verse. But I don't understand how some students are able to wear 'Gay Pride' shirts while we can't wear shirts that just say 'Straight Pride.'"

if the shirts you wore to school just said "straight pride" on them, they'd be controversial, but i agree that they shouldn't be banned, at school or anywhere else. the problem is, you are twisting the facts. the shirts people at your school were wearing didn't just say "straight pride". they had a few other words on them as well...that "bible verse" that you ever-so-tactfully say may have "intimidated" people.

the last time i checked, the "gay pride" shirts that people may have been wearing to your school (or anywhere else) didn't also have on them some quote on them about how men who lie with women should surely be put to death.

things like trying to start a conversation about your religious beliefs as they apply to sexuality, or taking pride in your sexuality, are one thing. however, responding to a student-organized week against sexuality-related bullying by wearing a shirt that says that gays should be put to death is another thing: specifically, an example of the kind of bullying that needs to come to an end.

queer students and their allies aren't running around trying to make you feel subhuman because you happen to only be into people of the opposite sex. give them the same ounce of respect.

Friday, November 05, 2010

you are a spammer.

and, joining the ranks of Dubiously Reputable Purveyors of University Degrees, we have this guy:


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i want to call this spammer to see if he talks like he types.


i dodged a major bullet today...or, it could be better said that i dodged a major shmooball.

there were massive issues with the Shmoocon ticket sales on Monday. the web server just couldn't handle the amount of load it got from people trying to buy tickets, and it crashed. no one got any tickets. the powers-that-be cancelled Monday's ticket offering to test it further, and then announced on Tuesday that tickets would go on sale Thursday at noon eastern time. as such, i set my alarm for 10:45am Thursday, so i could be up for the ticket sale--11am central time.

fast forward to Thursday morning. i slept like bollocks on Wednesday, and was exhausted when i got home from work Thursday morning. i passed out by nine thirty or so. all of a sudden, i hear my alarm. i'm confused, because it's light outside. my alarm doesn't go off until 7pm on Thursdays--and this time of year, it's already pitch-dark by then. i muttered some curses under my breath, killed my alarm, and went back to sleep until 6pm.

i didn't realise until i was walking into work around 8:45 tonight that i had failed epically. i had set that alarm for a reason, that reason was Shmoocon tickets, and i had probably slept my way out of my best chance to buy them. i arrive at work, freaking out, and fire up the Shmoocon page as soon as i logged onto my workstation.

of course, since i said i dodged a shmooball, i bet you know what happened: ticket sales were postponed yet again. i sighed with relief...and vowed to put a note by my alarm to the effect of "WAKE UP, ROGUE, YOU MORON. YOU WANT SHMOOCON TICKETS, DON'T YOU?"

i still can't believe i bungled that today...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

LJ Idol Week 1: Here There Be Dragons

LJ Idol Week 1: Here There Be Dragons

my left wrist has become a ragtag collection of bracelets. there are four of them so far. three of them have maintained their colour and their shape well, even though they've been dangling from my dominant arm for anywhere between six months and a year and a half. however, one of them has become thoroughly dingy and stained.

HERE BE DRAGONS -- 26C3 -- 27.-30. DEZ 2009

it was lemon yellow when they put it on my wrist last year at the registration desk on December 26th of last year. that's one of the few memories i have of the con itself that's not clouded by massive sleep deprivation, massive sensory overload, or massive consumption of delicious German beer. i waited in line for two and a half hours, since they only pre-sold tickets to members of the Chaos Computer Club last year. since i'm not German, there's not a friendly neighbourhood branch of the CCC for me to join. i was stuck waiting.

i have very few specific memories of waiting in line, except for a brief exchange with one of the guys at the help desk...and the entertaining aftermath. i had let it slide to the guy at the help desk (his name, i never got...) that i had checked the line earlier and judged it to be too long--only to come back later to see the line doubled in length. he laughed at me almost but not quite like Nelson Muntz, the bully from the Simpsons..."HA-HA!" i giggled; this twenty-sixth Chaos Communication Congress had been my first, and i was learning my lessons the hard way. however, every time i ran into help desk guy at the con, he broke out in this big smile and went "HA-HA!" i wasn't even immune from this when i was sleeping. i was an "angel", a con volunteer, and was taking a quick nap in "heaven" (the angels' lounge and command centre) before my next shift. i woke up, and noticed a strip of tape affixed to my jacket. written on it was "HA-HA!".

i got to the end of the line, paid the entrance desk the eighty euros cash that i had left in my passport wallet from the previous summer for this specific purpose, and they gave me the bracelet. American hacker cons generally give out badges that hang around the neck; any European con i've attended has given a badge in the form of a fabric strip held around the wrist by a crimped piece of metal. i moved the metal ring to loosen the bracelet, put it around my wrist, and adjusted it to the size i thought i wanted. i made sure the text was facing me; my bracelet from the Dutch hacker camp i had attended the previous summer had the text facing out, and that continues to bother me to this day. then, i let the angel at the registration desk crimp my bracelet.

i realised it was too loose, and i could actually slide it off if i tried. however, they would not give me a new ring. loose it would stay.

from then, the weekend was a blur. i didn't give a talk at this con, but i stood up and introduced four or five different talks. i wandered Berlin for lunches and dinners with hastily-wrangled groups of hackers. i worked the info desk a few times, although the fact that i didn't speak German made me less useful than i could have been...and even irritated quite a few of the people coming to ask for information. i partied late into the night. i hung out in the hackerspaces area, where the more-productive-than-i were working on projects.

Berlin never really slept, and i tried not to as well; i subsisted on Club-Mate, döner kebab, and the occasional wink of sleep back at the hostel if i was particularly delirious. i'm sure if i were asked more pointed questions about specific things that happened at the con, i'd be able to recall more details.

my memory may be as dingy, worn, and blotchy as the bracelet has become...but that's okay. i was there. time hasn't vanquished that bracelet, and time hasn't vanquished all of my memories of the Congress.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

election 2010

today's election day.

a huge part of me was tempted to do write-ins for utter and complete bullshit things (minazo the lolrus? i hate you all?), since i have a burning distaste for so many of the candidates. however, doing that would be tantamount to not voting at all, since it requires just as little actual information. doing so would fly in the face of my "if you don't vote, don't bitch" ethos...i feel a duty to be familiar enough with what's going on and what the candidates plan to do if elected such that i can cast an educated vote, despite my distaste for following politics.

am i voting for any candidates of whom i'm so enamoured that i'm going to promote them here and suggest you vote for them? no. but, do i feel like i'll be able to look at myself in the mirror because i've negotiated my most palatable set of options given the ballot with which i'm presented? yes.