This evening just before sunset, I finally got the shot I've been trying to get for years. pic.twitter.com/JFJG4vlAb3
— Greg McCown (@Gregtucson) August 9, 2015
It’s really a beautiful shot.
Earlier this year, I brought my bow and arrow to the office. I told people we were making a video.
Here it is.
Our annual (ish) conference will be in San Diego and I’ll be there to teach you the WordPress things.
I know you can’t wait. See ya there!
I saw this on Twitter, by Anna Vital, called “How to Talk to Programmers”
Change the second to last one to “only meaningful projects inspire good work” and it’s basically universal.
Source here is Ambelies’ Tumblr and the story here is this. Boxer crabs are badass because they pick up stinging sea anemones and use them as weapons.
Waitaminutewaitaminute- what you’re telling me is that when that crab gets threatened, it picks up another organism laying nearby/minding it’s own business and then proceeds to use said innocent bystander to beat up whatever was threatening it?
This made a song to the tune of Llama Llama Duck.
I will beat a motherfucker
with another motherfucker
’til the motherfucker fucking fucked the motherfuck.
Do not fuck with motherfuckers,
Who have other motherfuckers, with to fuck you back.
I once saw a spider
He was not a dove.
using other creatures like some fucking pompom gloves.
He looked very pleased.
And with spider friends like that
Who needs anemones?
Did you see that motherfucker punch a fucker with a fucker?
I will beat a motherfucker
with a motherfuck.
Once a motherfucker fucked with
twice the motherfucker and he
found the motherfucker was a motherfucking… duck.
And then it was recorded:
So when you hear me shout “Motherfucking duck!” this is why.
I was having issues with my work computer. It was slow and annoying me as I tabbed between apps, so I decided to do the logical thing. I cut down all the apps I was running until I was down to just what I needed to survive. It was still slow. So I looked at what was using the most memory (besides email, I knew that was a pill).
Like a lot of people, I have a lot of browser windows open at any one point in time. I work in them, I’m always answering and refreshing and reading. It’s just how I work and how I have to work. So I started closing out windows I didn’t really pay attention to. First it was Google Plus, then it was Facebook. And around that point in time, my computer decided to play nicely (as much as it can) and I forgot about it for a while.
A week later, I realized how little I was using Facebook… and how little I cared about it.
Two weeks and I had forgotten to log in.
I think this is a thing for me now. I’ll keep the account, to keep up on some of you people, but I just don’t care about it. In fact. I feel better not using it. Go figure.
When I was recently in New York for a WordCamp, I saw some of my Canadian friends were coming and asked if they wouldn’t mind smuggling me some candy. Smarties in particular. My American friends (whom are the majority) asked why didn’t I just go to the store and get these:
And I screamed NOOOOO like Darth Vader, king of the Light Vaders (look, I was 5 and the StormTroopers wore white). I did not mean that crappy Sweet/Tart knock-off everyone tried to get rid of on Halloween, I meant Nestlé Smarties, a hard-shell chocolate candy. My American friends eyed me curiously and said “M&Ms?”
M&Ms are sweet, nearly sickeningly so to me these days. They’re more sugar than chocolate. Smarties are flavoured naturally and aren’t super sweet. They’re enhanced, with a fruit undertone that is so delicious and tasty… Almost like a tiny bit of orange in every bite, but they’re not like the orange chocolate eggs. They’re so subtle and wonderful and bring back memories of visiting my relatives as a kid. Car rides with my mother. People with funnier accents than Cleveland. They’re still the taste of youth to me, where as M&Ms and other US candy has become unbearably saccharine.
And, damn it, I can’t buy them in the US! I don’t know why, I just know Amazon was sued over selling them and I have to resort to presents from friends. But god, I love me Smarties. And I’m telling you, they don’t taste like M&Ms, they’re not some cheap knock off. They’re a totally different beast.
Andrea and Christine, I still have the two big bags, but I’m giving my mom one.
Header image credit: Medium.com
I quite like the idea behind Medium. For people who don’t want (or need) a blog, it lowers the bar and lets them post ideas or longer stories. It lets people have their stories interact and crosslink, to share ideas in a way that expands people’s horizons. You get to see more than just one voice. Also the editor is pretty sweet stuff.
But I don’t really like it for two reasons: accountability and ownership. Mostly ownership, because the accountability thing isn’t Medium’s fault, it’s the world’s.
Personally, I don’t use it because I have my own blog. I have quite a few blogs, actually. While posting on Medium might introduce me to another audience, it’s not something I feel I need to do as it might cause more dillution of my online identity. Having too many places to find and follow a person is as bad as none at all. So that’s the ownership issue I have. It’s not that I don’t own my stuff, it’s that it’s not as easily followable as me. A good example of this is my friend Helen, who writes some very thoughtful stuff on Medium and even though I know I can go to her page there and follow, I never do because I’m already following her blogs and why do I have to go somewhere else?
This may just be me, but I don’t like it. I have my blog here where people can follow my personal Mika-ness. I have a techy blog. I have photos. Those three make up the brunt of my long-form posts (and my store blog I suppose, which I still don’t have a real feel for). Point is, between them and Twitter and Facebook, I think there’s enough of me-ness to go around. That’s why I post about SCA stuff here and not sca.ipstenu.org (or elfwars or something silly). It’s a part of my personal, fun, life that is just stuff I do.
Accountability is a bigger thing.
There was a big riot over in Github about Julie Ann Horvath, an engineer at GitHub, who left due to sexism and harassment. Always these things become a he-said/she-said argument, and in Julie’s case, an anonymous person posted some ‘Facts Conveniently Withheld‘ on Medium.
Regardless of where you side on this one, it’s a concern that Medium, which is a kind of managed agora, affords that level of anonymity without moderation.
Okay, I know what I just said and someone will shout “I should be allowed to be anonymous on the internet!”
Yes, you’re right! You should! I think accounts like OohaKala’s and his(?) post about why he’s anonymously writing are hugely important. I believe strongly that GooglePlus and their real name bullshit is bullshit. I think people should be allowed the veiled protection of anonymity on the internet. I think it’s great Medium, like WordPress.com, allows people to express opinions that may not be welcomed.
At the same time, when someone steps up, like Julie did, and says “This happened to me.” I can’t help but get pissed off at people who hide and say “No it didn’t.”
This is a rather extreme example of the issue I have with accountability, but it bothers me that many of us feel we cannot express thoughts that may cause anger (like my acceptance of people who hate the gay) without being hidden. Medium, and WordPress.com, and Twitter, and Facebook, and everything else where we can pretend to be other people. Someone will use that to hurt others. I’ve been on the internet for a long time, long enough to see people make fake personas to garner attention, and long enough to have made real online friends and had them die. I’ve been talking to people in text for what is now the majority of my life, and for some people, their entire lives have been where we can communicate with strangers around the world, and that’s okay.
Anonymity isn’t the issue though.
When you feel that the only way to express your opinion safely is to do so anonymously, there’s a problem. It’s a problem that people live in fear that they can’t say what they want. Sometimes what you want to say isn’t going to be well received. I have those days where I turn to my wife, in private, and say “I’m a bad person and I can never say this out side.”
Not everything has to be said in your outloud voice. Not everything has to be public. But what is public should be things we can stand behind and believe in. We should be able to stand up and say “No, that is not the whole story and I know because…” The very fact that this Jane Doe person hide herself (or himself) like that makes me discount the validity. Would I have taken Julie’s story as seriously had I not had the name and face behind it? Probably. I would have said “Yep, it happened again.” But with her name, with her honesty, and with her face I look at her and say “Wow, this really had to be bad and painful to give her this courage.”
We laud transparency in our companies. We praise them when they say “This outage was caused by Bob unplugging the server” and when people like Andrew Nacin step up and say that we’re sorry about pushing WordPress 3.8.2 that broke quickdrafts. When we make mistakes, we’re honest. But we still can’t be that honest with our personal thoughts. Or at least not 100% honest in all things we say in public.
I can’t say “If you can’t say it as yourself, don’t say it at all” because we don’t live in world where that’s safe. But I wish we did. I wish the world was a place where Medium’s anonymity wasn’t needed. And that’s my issue. It’s not really with Medium, it’s with everyone else who makes it so people don’t feel safe or listened to. It’s with the world. I want everyone to be able to own their words, always, in all things.
But it’s just not possible.
Fans are funny creatures. We come in a lot of types, like casual, fair weather, hard core, devotee, and crazy nutbar.
And I’m a type of fan who gets a lot of crap from other fans, and always have.
Allow me to tell you a story of my fandom and how it shapes things.
In general, I’m not a person given to grand moments. Ask my wife. Buying rings was something we carefully planned. Ditto a car, and everything else large in our lives. I don’t surprise her, I tell her what I want and she tells me what she wants, and we make it happen. This doesn’t mean we don’t have big gifts, it’s that we don’t surprise each other with them. Wife wanted a sewing machine? We were saving up for it when serendipity struck and we got one for $200 total. A good one, too. I wanted a bow? We put aside money and then, when someone gave us funds as a present, bought it.
But I’m not the romantic who gets a flash mob to help me propose. I’m not the spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris person. I’m not into grand gestures. I’m the person who shows up every day and demonstrates my love and affection in the small ways. Like putting aside a couple bucks to buy that thing, or even just “Hey, we had a Coke Zero at work and you love them so I brought it home for you.” I remember her in ever moment, so she always knows I love her.
And I’m a fan in the same way. You see, I’m the fan who really, really, loves a thing, will be happy to talk your ear off about it, but I’m not the one who’s going to make a movement to send millions of peanuts to someone in order to save a show. Oh, I’m happy to donate when I agree with it. I mean, if you consider the shows saved by fans, one would be a fool to think that fans don’t care, or they have no power. But I’m not the one who comes up with that sort of thing. I’m a follower in that sense.
But follower is the wrong word. My path intersects the grand-gesturers, but it’s not the one I follow. I follow the path of fandom where, day in and day out, I continue to show my fan-colors. Every day I contribute to the fandom in small ways. Every day I do something, maybe a lot of things, but generally not massive things to give back. I am constant and consistent.
When you get down to it, I am not trying to change the world, but to change myself.
My fandoms are meant to make me better. They teach me things I didn’t know, introduce me to people I didn’t know, open my eyes to the world. Being a Jorja Fox fan made me more of an activist. Being a WordPress fan made me a community leader. Being a comic book fan taught me art. Star Trek did science, and so on and so forth. Heck, Xena inspires me to exercise and keep fit (and remember not to take myself too seriously).
But I don’t ‘do’ fandom for a thank you or anything at all like that. I do it because I like the me it made. I had a situation early this year where I felt I was being a person I didn’t like because of the fandom I was hanging with. When my fandom makes me a worse person, I walk away, and I think that’s the smart thing to do. If I can’t use it to make me, and the world, better, I’m doing something wrong.
So while I’m the kind of person who laughs at the end of Lost, it’s not a thing of meanness or a lack of understanding. It’s just that I’m the fan who does her thing every day and carries on, and when the day ends, I accept that I had a wonderful thing and I move forward to the next great thing to make me more awesome. I’ll miss it, and I’ll look back on it with sadness, but hey. Let’s go forward.
That point of view is what gets me crap from people who claim I give up, or I’m a traitor (love that one…). They say I was never really a fan, or a member of the community, because I accept the end. Oh, I’ve tried to explain that acceptance doesn’t mean agreement. And that walking away from Batwoman because I don’t like the new story line doesn’t make me less of a fan. It doesn’t make me a better fan than you either, it just makes me … me.
There’s room for nearly every type of fan. So let’s stop attacking each other for being different types of fans.
Twitter claims to have a robust handling of impersonation. I would like to share with you my personal experience.
I have an account for a fansite I run. On May 23rd of 2013, someone makes a Twitter account where they have copied all my account’s public information (including link to site) and some of my latest tweets. I file an impersonation complaint, because this account has been harassed many times, to the point that I have learned Twitter will do nothing to help you, except say ‘Block the account.’
Right away I get an auto-reply asking me to fax (FAX) a copy of my ID as proof I’m me. I fail to see how that proves fuck all, but that’s all I get until June 4th, when I get this:
We have received your fax; however, we are missing required information needed to resolve your issue:
• Documentary evidence that you have authority to act on your client’s behalf (i.e., agent’s agreement, power of attorney, etc.)
• A faxed copy of your client’s valid photo ID (i.e., driver’s license, passport)
Please fax the information to Twitter at 415-xxx-9958 at your earliest convenience. This is a United States number, so be sure to include the appropriate international dialing code if you’re sending from outside the United States. Include your ticket number and write “Attention: User Safety, Twitter Inc. -@MYAGENT.” Once we receive this information we’ll be able to investigate your issue further.
Okay. I faxed a copy of my ID to them, with the ticket number, and a ‘I have two accounts…’ explanation. June 10th, I get the exact same email.
Now I reply:
I’m VERY CONFUSED.
I set you MY fax information. Someone was impersonating ME.
What about this is unclear? I faxed you MY OWN drivers license.
And this elaborates, yet again, my problem with how Twitter ‘handles’ problems. They don’t. They send you form reply after form reply after form reply until you give up. They never answer questions, and when you finally do get something from them, it’s about as helpful as those canned help lines. In 2010 I asked for clarification as to what my recourse was to being accused of being a harasser, and only received canned replies.
Twitter, here’s what I want. A human being to reply and help me. Yes, you get millions of these a day, but clearly your canned reply has a limit and I (and others) are hitting. Some human has to be skimming these and if you need to hire millions more to handle your tickets, do it. OR publicly state “Kids? You’re on your own.” Because right now you claim to help us, and you’re clearly not.
Simplify your process while you’re at it. You should be able to handle this without fax, especially if someone says “I’m the official account of ‘webpage’!” and the webpage is linking to a different account.
Did I ever get closure on this? Nope. That fake account is still out there. It’s not me, though.
Does anyone else make up stories about pictures in ads? Not memes, stories. I use Project Wonderful and their front page has a random image when you load it. Sometimes it’s a train, sometimes a bug, and sometimes it’s this:
For some reason when I saw that I thought the two women were rookie cops, being sent out as bait for a killer or to hunt down the sex trade. The one on the left is thinking “Hey, that guy looks suspicious” while the one on the right is trying to get her to say cool and not give things away. And then I started making up this whole backstory about how the one on the left was really into being a cop for the ideals and had, thus far, been disappointed at the reality, while the one in the sunglasses was fourth generation police and kind of ‘yeah yeah’ about the whole thing. Clearly one of them would have to die in the second season of the show, to make it brutal. Probably the idealist, which would shock the jaded rookie into realizing what she was really doing and what it meant, and maybe she’d go on a bender….
Does anyone else come up with crazy stories like that, just based on the ad photos?
I ran into this post about 40 maps that will explain everything about the world. And they’re not really wrong. I’m not generally a visual learner, I learn by doing, but this time it actually worked. Here are two:
The rest of them kind of depressed me about the US. Though “Visualizing Global Population Density” was downright humbling. I wanted to see “If the World’s Population Lived in One City” done for Mumbai, though. Yikes!