Apr. 12th, 2017 01:54 pm
acroyear: (Default)
Not that I really do much in lj or expect to do much in DW. My non-tech blogging is often at http://aboutjws.info/index.php/jots/ , my tech blogging at http://jwsdev.net/jottings/ and I'm trying not to rant about politics the way I used to. trying. but its very trying.
acroyear: (sp)

But damn, the Washington Post in their Congressional endorsements (yes, Comstock) show a naivete that is unheard of in a national-level newspaper.

Seriously? "our endorsement is a calculated hope that after wrapping herself in a bipartisan banner, her actions will match her rhetoric."

Drinking the kool-aid indeed.

acroyear: (sp)

I *almost* posted this on FB. I really did. Sanity saved me at the last second.

The ACLU has openly come out against the idea of using the No Fly List as a criteria for any further restrictions against those whose names are on it.


I seriously agree with the ACLU on this one. The No Fly List is horrid, in its accuracy, its consequences on the innocent, and on the utter lack of due process. It is one of the grossest violations of the 5th Amendment ever accepted by modern America (the other being civil asset forfeiture).

On top of that, it is obvious that it would not have even stopped San Bernardino at all, as 1) neither shooter was on the list, and 2) they weren't the ones who purchased (from a store) the applicable weapons in the first place, so they never would have been detected by such a check even if they were on that list.

When a proposed solution doesn't actually solve the problem, and it wouldn't solve the problem of ANY of *big* events of the last few years, either because these types of weapons weren't involved, or they weren't on the no-fly list, then it is not a solution, it is rotten theater.

And that's all I'm going to say about it.
acroyear: (normal)
One of the common questions asked is why haven't the "moderate" Middle Eastern governments taken a harder stance against ISIS. Even Turkey, a NATO ally, kept the border rather porous for individuals to cross and join with ISIS, and resisted letting us use our own air strips within their country for strikes against them until the nutcases crossed the border to harass the Kurds. Turkey may hate the Kurds, but their own Kurds are their problem, not ISIS's, to deal with. Jordan as well, has armed their border, but not dared to cross it...but then again, Jordan itself hasn't actually seen a direct threat yet, in spite of their more secular attitudes to personal behavior compared to the hardline ISIS leadership.

Today I read a detail about Beruit that the media, even when finally mentioning that city at all, didn't say.

ISIS's target wasn't the city as a whole. ISIS didn't even target the (eastern) Christians in that city.

ISIS's targets were Shia. All of them. Village and family, it was a Sunni strike against Shiites, not a fundamentalist strike against moderates nor a Muslim attack against non-Muslims, which it would have been if the Christians' neighborhoods had been the target.

A Sunni strike against Shia.

Suddenly, a lot of things made sense.
the rest behind the fold )
acroyear: (Default)

  • The Thriller Free Zone has begun. Warming up with Stick Men improvs and Starless with David Cross.

  • ProjeKct Four - Seizure

  • A Scarcity of Miracles by Jakko Jakszyk, Mel Collins, and Robert Fripp

  • followed by Caitley's Ashes, from Jakko's solo but featuring Mel Collins.

  • Liquid Tension Experiment Osmosis

  • DreamTheater Space Dye Vest

  • A wall of later Pink Floyd - Yet Another Movie, Terminal Frost, Sorrow, Wearing the Inside Out, Keep Talking

  • Zep's No Quarter

  • Alan Parsons Recurring Dream

  • Sting's I Burn For You

  • Queen Who Wants to Live Forever

  • Fleetwood Mac for Halloween? When it is Buckingham's Live version of I'm So Afraid, you better believe. Then Nicks's Straight Back.

  • Back to Robert Plant with Ship of Fools, then

  • Metallica's Nothing Else Matters

  • Into the 80s for realz, with Prince's When Doves Cry, then

  • U2's Indian Summer Sky

  • 80s movies: I'm Falling from Real Genius, Wang Chung's Fire in the Twilight from Breakfast Club

  • Winding down in the late 80s with The Cure: Fascination Street (extended version) and Lullaby

  • Last of the 80s, The Cars Moving in Stereo.

  • Takedown and cleanup to Cirque du Soleil's Corteo

acroyear: (hick)
I've kinda been busy, first with the SubFire player, then with prepping for a vacation, then finally taking said vacation in Orange County, CA (incl Discovery Cube, Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Disneyland and DCA, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, a Signing Time concert for my kid and a friend, and walking through Crystal Cove State Park (incl a Beach with interesting tide pools we don't get on the east coast).

So, watch the photo blog, 'cause lots of pics are coming in the next few weeks.

Plus here I may recap my thoughts on Disneyland.
About JWS :: Been Busy Doing...Nothing Much?
acroyear: (sp)
Ok, everybody remember 9/11? Of course you do. You also all remember so many of the false stories that the radio stations and sometimes the TV were telling until we all calmed down a little and got to focus on our thoughts (well, until buildings 5 and 7 fell, which kinda shook us all up again).

One example: there were explosions at the state department (false). There were explosions at the capital (false). There were military planes chasing civilian airliners (mostly false). There were military planes shooting other at civilian planes (false). Lots of these little rumors, all called in to the radio stations or reported on the internet (for those of us who had connectivity in that day of ultra over-load). All false.

One of the problems we had, partly due to that internet overload, is that of those rumors still being posted even after they'd long since been discredited. The caches of the news reports, or copies of them, kept getting passed around, or links to the original page continued to be spread around after the news sources had made a new page for the updated information. The old info, out of date and known to be wrong, was still on their site.

The news media took to handling that situation by basically making a master page for the news story, which they would then update and edit as if it was a wikipedia page. Any time you clicked it, it would be the most up to date version possible. This is a reasonable solution.

It is not a solution Facebook is expecting. Facebook's "OpenGraph" system basically caches an image, headline, and summary on the page as soon as somebody shares it with the system. Any one of those 3 items may change later on the actual news page, but Facebook continues to show the original summary which is full of false information, or the original headline which is very leading, subjective, and possibly not even true. All because it has cached that as being the headline for the url.

This is happening today.

Right now, the WTOP story on the DC and Southern Maryland blackout is a rather mild take on a "problem with a transmission line", belonging to PEPCO. But if you were to try to share the URL, the original headline and summary, that there was an explosion in a St. Mary's transmission station belonging to SMECO, is what gets displayed. Lots of false information, but Facebook won't correct it. This is a problem, because someday there WILL be something serious, something full of false headlines and false stories, and people's reliance on links in facebook is going to make things worse, not better.

Facebook needs to solve this problem. And soon.

About JWS :: Facebook and Emergency Handling
acroyear: (waitaminute)
reasons I love following JWZ for 15 years...

This shit never would have happened when Jobs was around.

I mean, he might have done something objectively even more horrible -- like declaring that iTunes no longer does files at all, it's cloud only, welcome to hell and here's your accordion -- but this nonsense of "we claim it does this thing but that only works like 70% of the time"? That shit, up with which he would not have put.

Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

About JWS :: why I still follow JWZ...
acroyear: (fof not quite right)
My late friend Pete Brown used to sing this often, with his own minor variations, of course, at the Foggs' various pub stops.

Teddy Bears Rave Up

If you go down in the woods today you better go in disguise.
If you go down in the woods today you're sure of a big surprise.
'Cos every bear that ever there was is gathered there for certain because
today's the day the Teddy Bears have their Rave Up.

There's Angel Bears who've come on their bike dressed in their leather gear.
There's gallons of Scrump all green with limps and 'orrible Watney's beer.
Yogi downed a pint of it quick, was very promptly 'orribly sick
and filled up both of Paddington's new wellies

Rave Up time for Teddy Bears.
The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time today.
Grooving to those heavy sounds
that only Status Quo know how to play.
Cresta Bear is freaking out.
He's frothing Man, he's blown his little brain.
Rupert's spaced, he's on a trip. Winnie the Pooh is doing the strip.
They reckon he's on The Game.

Now every bear that's ever been good is sure of a treat today,
for Mummy and Daddy and Baby bear have found a new game to play.
Beneath the leaves where nobody sees there's Goldilocks tied up to a tree.
You bet your life she's getting more than porridge.

So if you go down in the woods today you better not go alone.
It's lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home.
'Cos it's a really kinky scene, a big butch bear is playing the Queen
and they don't call him Sugar Puffs for nothing.

Rave Up time for Teddy Bears.
The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time today.
Groping in the undergrowth,
Oh what would Enid Blyton have to say?
See them gaily stagger round, collapsing on the ground,
they haven't got any cares.
At 12 o'clock the coppers are coming to take them all away,
'cos they've been naughty little Teady Bears

(Mudcat Credit: This was recorded by Fred Wedlock on his album Oldest Swinger in Town, with Chris Newman. I'm not sure whether he wrote it or if it's attributable to someone else.)
About JWS :: Naughty Little Teddy Bears...
acroyear: (fof not quite right)
One negative of growing up is that aside from B&N, perusing a mall, even one as loaded as Tysons, just isn't interesting anymore. Sure, I got a little amusement from looking at the Lego store's Hobbit collection, but my 3 year old just isn't ready for that stuff yet. Who knows what will be the next big thing when she is (besides Star Wars, which will never go away), as even the Harry Potter and PotC sets are now gone. I mock the Microsoft store every time I walk past. I cringe at the Apple store not because I dislike the products, but rather just that I generally dislike the prices...and have no room in the house for a new computer (and I have 2 netbooks that need to find a new purpose in life).

But the Disney store's changes in the last couple of years are the most depressing. Between Disney's acquisition of Marvel and Star Wars, the Disney Princess line, Tink, Frozen (almost as large as the rest of the Princess line combined), and Sophia (from the TV channel), plus the required area for Mickey and Minnie, there just isn't any room for promoting the classical era of Disney films except for one tiny floor stand that was promoting a line of things for 101 Dalmatians (I'll wager the Blue-Ray release is coming up soon). Even Pixar is underrepresented, nevermind the Muppets, and I don't expect the Pixar line to grow with the next film as it seems more for a grown-up audience in the same way that Big Hero 6 is (that film also have almost no merch in the store at all).

Just depressing. Much as I *can* shop online, I actually don't like to.

Original Link.
acroyear: (lemme sleep)
i've always wondered how to handle the aspect of showing classic shows to the kid (currently 3 and a half). we grew up (or more recently, grew older) with certain things happening in a certain order. our parents, too.

my parents had to patiently wait and hope for that next Beatles album. we had to patiently wait for that next Star Wars film, that next (and eventually last...sigh...) MASH episode. as we grew older, that next Harry Potter book and movie. That next (and eventually last) Star Trek episode from a series that didn't suck. What introductions we had to things before us still came from TV - the episodes were only day-to-day on repeats (who knew if they ran them in order, and shows never really had finales in those days except The Prisoner), the movies were seen only when they just happened to come up on a saturday afternoon.

so how do we introduce those to someone much younger (say, my 3 year old), who has today all of that, every movie and ever episode of every series that has ever existed (if it survives) at the click of a remote (and the parents paying for a netflix subscription etc etc)?

do we try to recreate that anticipation we had with seeing it week by week, day by day (or you have to wai three years to see the next Star Wars film), or just get on with it in a huge marathon viewing, the same way we adults catch up to a show we realize we like, and see what the world comes up with that will be this tiny generation's "gotta wait and see..."
original: About JWS :: How should I show the Classics to a Kid?
acroyear: (foxtrot saving time)
tl;dr summary: I like & use Google Drive, OwnCloud, PicasaWeb, Flickr, Amazon Cloud Player, Subsonic, PlexTV, Feedly, Pocket, Disqus, and especially Trello. I hate Amazon Cloud Drive for photos now, and rant about Adobe CC's business model. Links in the original blog...

As a modern techie, I do tend to keep quite a bit of my life on the cloud (or web 2.0, or just "the net", because in the end, isn't it all the same at heart - I have a client, somewhere there's a server, and they talk to each other and exchange data).

So not that anybody's asked, but here are my personal favorite cloud-based applications and services (some self-hosted, some only exist "out there"), for the media and things I tend to keep.

Read more... )

So that's it. My cloud lifestyle in a nutshell.
About JWS :: Living in the Cloud
acroyear: (geek2)

A 40-something geek (and husband and father), typical of many though I'm not much of a gamer. Professional software developer for 21 years, specializing in library design and user interfaces. Current focus is on html5 technologies. Past experience includes Java/J2EE and PHP/MySQL.

Hobbies include landscape and event photography (no, I'm not for hire - support your local professionals), morris and scottish dance, celtic music, renaissance faires, contemporary classical (anything Debussy and beyond), progressive rock, some (not all) sci-fi/fantasy genre works, and classic and (some) modern PBS kids shows. In a retro mood, I do still listen to classic 80s and acoustic new age guitar.

About JWS :: Home

Yeah, I think the personal home page is finally done. 'Bout time...

acroyear: (folk process at work)
as we get closer to the 25th, the seasonal albums that aren't just tolerable, but i absolutely love countdown...but not in any order, so nyah.

  • Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio

  • December - George Winston

  • A Celtic Heartbeat Christmas - various

  • Jethro Tull's Christmas Album

  • A Scottish Christmas - Maggie Sansone, Al Petteway, Bonnie Rideout. (Maggie's Music has lots of good holiday albums, including a new one this season just announced, but this particular one strikes me the most)

  • A Winter's Solstice - Windham Hill artists (the first one remains the best)

  • If On A Winter's Night - Sting (though I prefer his mid-80s version of Gabriel's Message more than the one on that album)

  • A Collection of Recycled Gifts - Marillion (my copy's still on its way, but I know most of the tracks already...)

About JWS :: As we get closer...
acroyear: (don't go there)
Colbert Report's Interview with a Dragon is quite possibly one of their best moments ever. Way to go out on a high note...
About JWS :: Interview with a Dragon...
acroyear: (border)
Soundchecking - 5:30pm
  • Flock of Seaguls - Nightmares
  • Depeche Mode's Policy of Truth
  • Frankie's Welcome to the Pleasuredome
  • Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  • Eurythmics - Who's That Girl
  • Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again
  • Kate Bush - Experiment IV
  • Kate Bush - Running up the Hill
first kid at 6:35
  • Madness - House of Fun
  • Madness - One Step Beyond
  • Men at Work - Who Can It Be Now
  • Men at Work - Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde
  • Missing Persons - Destination Unknown
  • Modern English - I Melt With You
  • Oingo Boingo - Weird Science
  • Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party

only my second kid (and Wiggles is on her way out now). by the way, this is my 11th year, 10th anniversary of the first TFZ!

  • Planet P - Static
  • Planet P - Why Me
  • B 52s - Channel Z
  • The Cars - Moving in Stereo
  • The Cure - Lullaby
  • The Cure - Fascination Street (Mix-up extended version)
  • Big Pig - I Can't Break Away
  • Peter Gabriel - I Don't Remember
Now switching into classic rock mode
  • Alan Parsons - Recurring Dream within a Dream
  • Moody Blues - Lost in a Lost World
  • Keep Talking - Pink Floyd
  • Careful with that Axe Eugene - Pink Floyd (Pompeii version)
  • Sting - I Burn for You (Bring on the Night version)
  • Spirits in the Material World (heard this one at lunch) - The Police
already feeling like it has slowed to the end. only 8:18 and maybe 16 kids total. :/
  • Invisible Sun - Police
  • Veteran of the Psychic Wars - Blue Oyster Cult
  • Home by the Sea - Genesis (yes, both parts...)
  • Mama - Genesis
  • Osmosis - Liquid Tension Experiment
  • Nighttime Birds - The Gathering
and I think we'll call it a night, as far as broadcasting outdoors goes...
acroyear: (border)
Why are the conservatives so happy about passing on this NYTimes thingy that Iraq may have actually had chemical weapons, when it would be their administration's pentagon that suppressed that information in the first place? If GWB, Inc. really wanted to save face in light of the lack of evidence for WMDs, why didn't they come forward with this 5-10 years ago?

No I don't want answers to why GWB etc did nothing about this (if it is even true), I want answers to why Conservatives are so gloatful and completely missing the hypocrisy of their own administration throughout this entire time frame.

In other words, the great unanswerable question.

Hence, I'm not bothering to post this on FB.
acroyear: (bad day coyote)
Left this on a comment at another blog, but it basically repeats something I wrote on FB when it happened:

I’ve got all of the Looney Tunes golden collections (then hunted on youtube the rest until they get officially released), though from there I ripped them all into individual ones I can shuffle so it is more like what Saturday Morning (when the BB-RR Show was 90 minutes long) was like when I was a kid. Thus, I’m already selective of which ones I’ll include, leaving most of the black-and-whites and some of the Tex Avery’s and Bob Clampett’s out.

One thing that bothered me is their repeat of gags that really just weren’t funny. It isn’t just that they were wrong (though they were), it is that they weren’t funny. Especially when they were totally out of theme of the rest of the material.

Case in point, a bit totally not in the original book of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hatches the Egg, that Clampett added to the 1942 cartoon – at one point as the boat crosses the ocean to take him to the circus, a fish sees it, goes “now I’ve seen everything”, and quickly pulls out a revolver from nowhere and blows his head off. I’d forgotten it was there, as it had been cut from syndicated versions since the late 80s so Cartoon Network’s broadcasts never had it.

And it all happened faster than I could react to stopping it before my 3 year old daughter basically saw her first on-screen suicide (her first on-screen death was the dinosaurs in Fantasia, but I was there to talk her through that *before* it happened, making it clear that not all dinosaurs are nice like Buddy and Mr. Conductor ;-) ). The most I could do was repeat “it’s not funny” a few times and then start talking about the plot as it took over from there, because it’s true. It isn’t funny.

It is a gag that the Termite Terrace used at least a dozen times in those early years, and it has never been funny. I honestly have no idea why they thought it was funny enough to keep repeating over and over, and worse still, stick it into a Dr. Seuss work where it absolutely didn’t belong.

No wonder (besides the war and a few other projects) it would be more than two decades before Seuss was willing to let someone animate his work again.

In any case, not every aspect of the Termite Terrace years is bad because of stereotyped racism, or overt sexuality. Silly gun violence is one thing, but un-funny suicides are something different and deserve just as much a warning as the rest.


acroyear: (Default)
Joe's Ancient Jottings

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