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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

Signal Boost: Yahoo Groups Shutting Down - Dec 14, 2019
children of dune - leto 1

[personal profile] morgandawn posted: Yahoo Groups Shutting Down - Dec 14, 2019

Starting Oct 21, 2019 no new files (photos, documents, etc) will be allowed to be uploaded. Starting Dec 14, 2019, Yahoo groups will be limited to emails only - functions like digest will be eliminated and all files and photos will be deleted. Admins will have limited tools and all groups will be invite only.

ETA: my intensely green reblog is not my fault. Apparently I overwrote the one that isn't hideous with this one. I really need to organize my bookmarks and folders one day.

ETA2: Okay, found a better one--it turns out I have an experiment folder!--but--okay, I have ten and they are all named like Test1, Test2, Test3b7. What is wrong with me?

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Yahoo!Groups Is Closing
children of dune - leto 1
If everyone knows about this and I missed it, sorry in advance if this sounds way too dramatic, but a five day countdown makes me edgy.

For anyone who missed it (like me, until this morning), Yahoo!Groups is shutting down.

Key Dates:
10/21/2019 - you cannot upload new content to Yahoo Groups
12/14/2019 - previously posted content will be removed from Yahoo Groups

Now--I still receive email from at least three email lists, and sure, I can be lackadaisical, but this--I would have noticed any combination of those words in the subject header.

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Handbrake and the Video Encoding Project - H.265 4K to 2160p60 Results
children of dune - leto 1
So that literally took ten days, but to be fair...I got nothing.

Before I post, a couple of updates: number of movies was reduced to four, as encoding the last one coincided with an uUbuntu update and I have no idea of how long it was delayed.

First: hardware

basic computer info aka my hardwareCollapse )
Handbrake Settings: H.265 - Encoding a 4K Bluray Rip to 2160p60Collapse )
Results: H.265 - Encoding a 4K Bluray Rip to 2160p60Collapse )

Feel free to ask any questions 4K to 1080p batch test starts in about five minutes.

At some point during or after this test run, I'm going to try and put together a basic MakeMKV tutorial on how to rip a movie and a basic Handbrake tutorial (or link to a really good one) as well as a list of resources for people just learning ripping and encoding. It can be ridic overwhelming--witness my near breakdown just with audio codecs!--but the basics honestly are pretty easy and it's basically a matter of googling or just experimenting after that. It's when you get weird like me and WANT TO KNOW WHY that everything goes to hell.

If anyone has written or wants to write a tutorial on how they use their favorite ripping and/or video encoding program, I'd love a link and put it on the resource list. And feel free to ask if you have questions. I love questions

Next up: H.265 encoding - 4K rip to 1080p30

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Handbrake and the Video Encoding Project (...yeah)
children of dune - leto 1
So I started! From my estimate, this could take up to two months (...oh God what), but I'll post results as I finish each batch group. And apart from my own curiosity, I hope someone may be able to use the results to fine-tune their own Handbrake settings.

(Follow up to posts about video, here and here.)

Some info below cut and links

basic infoCollapse )

So this is apparently happening. Please tell me if the links don't work; they should but google drive is tricky.

And please tell me if there are specific results you're looking for that you'd like me to record. I'll also be putting up a MediaInfo stat sheet of the new files so you can compare information.

Master List
Encoder: H.265
- 4K Bluray Rip to 2160p60 - Complete! 10/11/2019
- 4K Bluray Rip to 1080p30
- 4K Bluray Rip to 720p30

Encoder: H.264
- 4K Bluray Rip to 2160p60
- 4K Bluray Rip to 1080p30
- 4K Bluray Rip to 720p30

Encoder: V9
- 4K Bluray Rip to 2160p60
- 4K Bluray Rip to 1080p30
- 4K Bluray Rip to 720p30

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handbrake, video and audio encoding, continued
children of dune - leto 1
Continuing from sad post about video confusion and Handbrake.

Note: as a QC Analyst/Program Tester, I would like to note this is the worst test planning I have ever done, mostly because a.) I didn't realize I was testing anything, b.) I didn't know what I was doing when I realized I was doing just that, and c.) everyone prioritizes speed and file size over everything to the point no one even bothered posting literal settings, much less actual results other than 'that took too long', which is part of teh reason why b was annoying me. I am seriously tempted--after this batch finishes processing--to start over with a set of custom presets as working constants, pick five 4K rips and three resolutions (4K, 1080p, 720p), queue them up, and spreadsheet my results (in about a month, which is even back to back my best guess on how long it would take to complete that queue) for H.264, H.265, and V9 respectively, just for my own curiosity. And now that I wrote that, there's a fair to good chance I'll do it; it's not like my server has anything else to do atm.


After many (many) hours of testing with Handbrake: V9 encoding of 4K rips has much better compression than H.264 with both same or better quality video and a smaller file size. However, it does take longer: about six to ten hours for a roughly two hour movie downgraded from a 4K rip to a 720p. Between Constant Quality 20, 19, and 18 there's almost no difference in file size, and I'm not sure I see any video difference either. H.265 is logarithmic when reducing the CQ number (which is inverse to quality: smaller number is better) but it's unclear if V9 is doing the same, which may be why CQ20, CQ19, and CQ18 are almost identical.

Or--very possible--there's a big change in video, but when one of your audio tracks is always lossless and is quite large in itself, it really won't matter much.

H.265 should be equal V9, which is the third in the queue. When that on is finished, I can finally do a clean comparison of the same movie encoded with the same number of audio tracks in H.264, H.265, and V9.

notes on audioCollapse )

So I feel a little less dumb now.

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amazon brings us more devices to talk to us
children of dune - leto 1
It's that time of year again when Amazon expands their range of Alexa products and slowly but surely increases our personal paranoia about how many devices around us can also carry on a conversation. Some are Alexa-enabled--they can talk--and some are Alexa Voice Control compatible--they can't talk to you but use an Alexa-enabled speaker to do so.

Among offerings (not joking):
Echo Frames - it's frames for your glasses! No, really. Yes, including prescription glasses; they helpfully link to instructions on how to make that happen. Yes, you may now talk to your glasses and they will answer you. You will never, ever, be alone again.

Echo Loop, $179.99 - it's a ring for your finger! Yes, it's literally a ring. Anyone, anyone at all can now accurately portray more than one eighties supervillain! It is Alexa-enabled; you can talk to it and it will answer, just like every cursed object horror movie you've ever seen. Wear this shit with some Echo Frames and--I really don't know, but I want to find out. Do they need different wake words? Do they fight? Can they be integrated to play music together? Will they eventually turn on you? Only one way to find out!

Amazon Smart Oven, $249.99 - this baby is a quadruple threat. It's convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer and okay, I am feeling less like making fun of it and more like I could really use one. It is not Alexa-enabled--it does not talk to you--nor does it have speakers--so does not play music or any sound. It is Alexa-compatible, however, so you can use any Alexa-enabled device to talk to it and hear what it has to say, which sounds creepy instead of reassuring. No fear: right now, it comes with a free Echo Dot (Gen 3), and through that, your oven can tell you when the oven is preheated or the food is ready, and boy would I love my oven to tell me when it's preheated that instead of a tiny orange light going off because that's bullshit because the other tiny orange light means a burner is on and who hurt the person who designed my oven enough to want to do that?

Echo Glow, $29.99 - okay, this is goddamn adorable colored globe lamp. It is not Alexa-enabled (it cannot talk) and it does not have speakers (it cannot play music) but pairs with any Alexa device for voice control, has many colors, and this is a really good price. I totally want one; adding that to wishlist.

Echo Ear Buds, $129.99 - ear buds, because everyone's doing it. Can't lie, I'm kind of interested if the sound quality is good, but wireless buds and I have problems.

For one: In-ear anything never, ever fits (I think?) and work their way out, but (much worse) any pair that have been in my ears eventually make the entrance to my ears ache like a lot. Not volume related (I keep well below threshold); I mean literally the entire opening of my ear gets very sore to the point I have to take them out. I can't tell if the problem is my ear opening is too small (pain and slipping out) or too large (vibration from the headphones) or witchcraft.

For another: I'm not in any way an audiophile and know nothing of its ways (as my last post on audio probably displayed), but about a decade ago, my mother made the mistake of getting me some V-Moda headphones for Christmas when up until then, I'd been content with $20 Sennheisers and the ones you can get at Wal-Mart for $10 and you can see where this is going. Having made the shocking discovery music has way more sound than I ever imagined, it took off from there. So my ears have become moderately spoiled and also demanding, which is why my last pair were Sony WH1000XM2 after some very careful budgeting and a lot of worry about future ear escalation. Like, no I can't pontificate on the difference in bass between V-Moda, Sony, Bose, and Beats--they all sound different?--but a depressing foray into some well-reviewed Audio Technica taught me a very valuable lesson: while I don't know the technical terms, 'that ain't right' encompasses the general sound difference, sometimes followed by taking them off and throwing them far from me like they're plague-ridden. (I dare you to judge me without knowing what horror they committed on Rihanna's helpless voice; it was evil, that's all I can say.)

Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen), $119.99 - Cute, more powerful, and more compatible with more devices!

Echo Show 8, $129.99 - which gives us now three sizes of Echo Show (5, 8, 10.1). I can't lie, I'm on my second Echo Show (10.1) and love it. In addition to great sound and excellent video and all Alexa functions, I can turn the screen toward the rabbits before I leave and drop in to check at them every so often with the camera, and the video stream compression is way more friendly to mobile data than regular home security cameras. Right now, if you buy the Echo Show 8, you can add an Echo Show 5 (retail $89.99) for only $40 more.

Echo Studio, $199.99 - High fidelity smart speaker with 3D audio. It pairs with the Fire TV Stick 4K (Gen 1 and Gen 2), Fire TV (Gen 3) and Fire Cube so wireless music continues.

Echo Flex, $24.99 - plug in smart speaker with Alexa, or basically a third gen Dot that doesn't take up extra space and has a USB port for charging your phone or adding a night light. It's actually kind of cool if you have excess wall plugs and nothing to do with them, unlike some of us who have to make serious investments in surge-protecting power strips due to lack of. Not that I'm bitter.

Echo Smart Speaker (3rd Gen), $99.99 - yes, a new generation of smart speakers! Now with added Dolby 360 sound.

Echo Dot (3rd gen but different!), $59.99 - this baby comes with an LED display that show time, outdoor temperature, and your timers. Can't lie, it's kind of cool.

Note: I'm watching second season of Eureka while I write this and can't help but wonder if someone at Amazon is using S.A.R.A.H. as a template. Hopefully without the weapons of mass destruction linked to a secondary personality part.

One of the problems with the Alexa cottage industry (you know, other than privacy, corporations, plausibility of Terminator occuring, etc) is this: Amazon has many many Alexa devices and an order of magnitude more Alexa-enabled devices such as Sonos speakers, Bose speakers and headphones, some Sony speakers and headphones (like, oh, mine), Fitbit Smart Watch, the list goes on. As in, not things that just interface with Alexa Voice Control, but devices that, when you talk to them, they talk back.

There are only four wake words: Alexa, Echo, Amazon, and Computer.


In theory--and this does work, mostly--all the Alexa devices you own that use the same wake word are networked together and the one closest to you will be the only one to respond. That means if you have two devices in the same room that can both plausibly both hear you as 'near', you just name them different things. Example: my Sonos Beam and my Echo Show are in the same room so they have two different names.

However, 'closest' can be relative and acoustics are a thing, so generally, greater than two devices require some thought when assigning wake words.

Example: I have three dots, an Echo (smart speaker), an Echo Show, and a Sonos Beam with Alexa, and no lie, having all but the Show on single wake word does make life convenient; I can control any lights in any room, I always get notified when a package is delivered and if I forget the value of pi, Alexa is there for me

Also, something I don't think a lot of people realize: Alexa speakers are among the cheapest and easiest ways to create a multi-room (or in an apartment or small home, full house) music system for under $250 + tax (and less than that during sales, special buys, or buying refurbished). The Alexa app lets you add all your Alexa speakers to a group called Multi Room Music, so even if they have different wake words, they'll all play music together. Whil first and second gen Dots had terrible sound, the third gen are a big improvement, and if you add one Echo smart speaker to three 3rd gen dots, the overall sound is great. Perfect for when you're cleaning, showering, or just want some soothing background sound. (My system is three third gen Dots, one Echo smart speaker, and Echo Show: I love it.)

(Unfortunately, you can't integrate Sonos speaker--Amazon devices only at this time--but even without it, it's genuinely surprisingly good. If you want better sound, you can add an Echo Sub for $129 or wait for a sale when it drops to $89.)

However, it did take some time and trial and error to place all the Alexa devices so generally, no more than one would respond when I said "Alexa".

That was a stationary situation; the math changes when Alexa is going mobile on one or more human bodies in a given space.

Example: in Alexa glasses frames in a room with a Sonos Beam and an Echo Show or Echo Dot or Echo/Echo Plus...either all three need to have different names, good, provided you're not wearing your FitBit watch, but if you are, four. But you and two of those devices wander from room to room and your naming conventions for your Alexa devices are gonna need a decent floorplan of your house and a spreadsheet to get right.

Yes, you can turn off Alexa on your glasses and Fitbit while home, but if you are regularly using your glasses frames to chat with Alexa--I just stopped to imagine year 2000 me reading that sentence and thinking her future includes going utterly insane--you're generally not going to remember or simply don't want to because you're used to talking to your personal accessories and don't care what anyone says.

(If you're not using the glasses to chat regularly with Alexa--why on earth did you buy them?????)

Like, there is a reason my phone and my headphones are both Alexa capable and neither are enabled; I did it once--I was curious!--and realized immediately upon coming home that this wouldn't go well.

Right this second, it's only a minor annoyance and inconvenient if you happen to have a lot of speakers, but when Amazon thinks there's a market for Alexa enabled glasses, that implies there's no limit to how many items in your home will sometime in the future be able to tell you the value of Pi on demand as well as control any devices that interface with Alexa Voice Services. And if you tell me the Amazon Echo Robot isn't going to be sold in multiples when it shows up (and why on earth hasn't Amazon released one yet????), come on; I'll be skipping meals to get two I can send back and forth through the apartment while telling me the value of Pi for hours.

...yeah, I'm not over Alexa-enabled glasses.

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people who know anything about video
children of dune - leto 1
Probably vidders can help?

For various reasons I won't pretend aren't primarily my own need for constant entertainment, I've been playing with Handbrake to make different versions of a given movie from my rips. Do I need a 720p and 480p version of every bluray I own? Do I even own anything that needs a 480p? Does anyone?

I have no intention of answering those questions honestly, so lets pretend they don't exist.

Starting this project has led me to realize how very much I did not understand in any way the very basics, like what resolution and bitrate are. I'm beginning to wonder if I understand what a TV really is or if I ever did in my entire life, but let's not dwell on this too long.

(Vidders: like, I appreciated you before, don't get me wrong, but the sheer amount of technical knowledge you need to make those effortlessly gorgeous vids? I had no idea.)

Now, this needs context and I like words, so.

so this got longCollapse )

I feel like I should not feel personally betrayed by audio and video, but here we are.

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this is like finding some kind of lesser but important grail
children of dune - leto 1
So a bit back, I found an old WD external hard drive, back when 500G was totally the shit (circa 2008ish). And on it I found I'd very sensibly stored backups.

And I found....something else.

Gather round, children; we speak of ancient internet times. We speak of...the years 2000 and 2001.

For those who don't remember, being too young or--fuck my life, not even alive--this was web 2.0 territory. ww3 was only a baby, black background with white text was legit, everrrryyyyone loved iFrames, and automated archives were still Fucking Fancy Shit for the few.

For the rest of us: if you wanted an archive, you learned graphic design, web design including HTML and CSS, paid for a web page or got yourself some geocities accounts (multiple, this is an archive) and you hand-coded everything.

Within my backup drive is a zip. Within that zip file is every story in the X-Men Movie Fanfic Archive (XMMFF). All the handcoded stories. All those handcoded index and information pages. I probably still have the graphics in other folder. Roughly three hundred to four hundred stories. All just--there. My fingers remember all that goddamn coding.

This is so surreal.

ETA: And in an ancient Outlook folder, I just found
1.) every XMMFF fic from when I joined the list until the end of 2001, which could be as much as another 200-500 stories that didn't get into the archive.
2.) everything posted to WRBeta (X-Men, Wolverine/Rogue, reason for creation dramatic as fuck)
3.) some from X-Fiction when I was on that list.
4.) a lot of ASCEML (Star Trek, mailing list mirror of alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated)
5.) PTFever fic and discussion (Star Trek Paris/Torres)

...seriously, what the hell else is lurking around here?

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amazon music hd is here!
children of dune - leto 1
Amazon Music Unlimited is now offering Amazon Music HD, which offers subscribers access to UHD and HD quality music for streaming and downloading.

Me, when I get home: ...this is a manual process?

This gets more complicated than 'just find the UHD/HD version and download/add to cloud', by the way. Sometimes, there's a separate album for SD and HD/UHD, and boy, hope for that, because alternatively, it's all inexplicably on the same album. In the case of the latter, if you have the SD version of the song, you have to remove it from device and cloud, then re-add and re-download it to get the HD or UHD or it simply won't do it (or worse, redownloads the SD. Why??).

And so far, the only place I can do this is in the Amazon Music App, fuck my life. Is this what hell will be like for completionists? I'm at twenty five of oh my God how much music do I have in the cloud??? Would it have killed someone to get an autodetect? Do you want me to kill someone to get it?

That said, there's definitely a difference between SD and HD and SD and UHD and to me it's worth the upgrade. That said, YMMV depending on your speakers/headphones.

ETA: apparently, if you clck on the tiny little UHD/HD symbol on a song you already have, that will open the song in HD/UHD and you can add to cloud and save.

...it really didn't need to be that tiny, amazon.

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to dedicated plex machine or not...no, definitely to, definitely
children of dune - leto 1
So I am now reluctantly accepting if I want to use Plex as a media server and not a really technical way to indulge my passion of random micro-organization with a side benefit of watching movies, I'm going to have to build a dedicated server to it.

See, up until now, my home server was Thing That Let Me Play With So Many Cool Things, and as a side benefit, resulted in two promotions at work and a reputation for coincidentally always having the basic skill sets for any tech work because when you're running Ubuntu server and can download pretty much anything used on web servers to practice with and forums chock full of experts to google, the learning curve is fast.

However, as I have discovered while ripping 4Ks, Plex Media Server wants all the resources, all of them, every one. Actively doing nothing on my server, I can mostly play everything okay, but transcoding is almost impossible because of all the other things running on it even when not being actively used. Trying to rip something while Plex is running? Nope. Trying to use Handbrake at all? God no.

And: I do a ton of recreational scripting and sometimes it's even useful, I experiment with different programs like ntop and oracle and apache just to see what they do, I have several IDEs to keep up with my python and C++ and so I can read downloaded source files, and I experiment with different flavors of Linux, and when I've uninstalled, reinstalled, and altered programs too many times or I start getting too many errors (which is a side effect of trying four different Linux distros or ever installing anything oracle as you never, ever get rid of all of it), I nuke or replace the OS drive and start over with a fresh install (all data is kept on separate drives).

Which leads me to the biggest difficulty: even if I do a full backup of Plex, a lot of organization inevitably gets lost. I finally gave up and did the painful work of using someone else's organizational folder scheme in preference to my own much better one, but there's still a lot of bad matches that must be fixed and customization, and the hellscape that is organizing TV shows that have some questionable quirks (hi, Dr. Who), stand up comedians (sometimes they're movies! sometimes they're TV!), and miniseries (sometimes they don't even know for sure).

That's nothing, though, compared to the nightmare hellscape of Plex when it comes to home media organization, aka fanvids.

ubuntu, plex, a lot of wordsCollapse )

Which leads me to why I need a dedicated server for Plex (yeah, it took a while to get here and I bet you forgot. Yeah, I did, too): nothing but Ubuntu Server, a basic GUI distro, Plex Media Server, and all packages required to run it will be on the OS drive. Provided I plan the organizational structure carefully and assume its permanent (aka Why Did I Put Fanvids With All the Random Video??????), once it's all installed, configured, and running, all I'll need to do is minimal maintenance and updates and ignore it otherwise. And my home server can return to being for ripping, encoding, experimenting, and as needed, nuking.

I was originally thinking NAS--after all, those are made for Plex and media servers, right? Dedicated, less expensive, easy to use?

Funny story: I googled on which one to get. Color me surprised: none of them. Low processor power and low RAM (non-expandable) were an issue (aka, playing 4K movies, playing multiple movies on different devices at the same time, playing movies with subtitles on, transcoding, you know, the things the NAS was purchased to do?) but also? Expensive as fuck. And that doesn't include the price of the hard drives to put in it, which you buy separately.

Most recommended NAS for Plex: Synology Bay DiskStation DS1019 - $639.99. The five bay expansion to this costs $449.

You know what's almost half the price, has a much, much, much better processor, more and better RAM, comes with four bays, has a DVD RW (not needed but is there), and RAM is expandable to 64 GB (and possibly 128) and drive bays expandable to six (and some have gotten eight) with the purchase of a SATA PCI-E controller card that retails under $30? It even comes with a 1T hard drive.

Dell PowerEdge T30 Tower Server (2017) - $370.94

In case you're curious: this is the current top recommendation for a Plex Media Server.

Dell PowerEdge T30 Tower Server (2019) - $479 and the price is more than justified by twice the RAM of the 2017 (16GB) and a 2 TB hard drive.

I am seriously not over this. That Xeon chip can play two to four 4K movies simultaneously, can transcode on the fly, and probably clears your skin and removes wrinkles, this processor has power to spare. Pair that up with all that RAM.....

Yes, I did start a budget for this like right now.

Look, if anyone here is thinking of getting that Synology because you don't want to do the OS installation and configuration and all that--I have a counteroffer. For less than the difference in price between those two you can buy me a plane ticket to come to your house for the weekend and do it for you--set up, installation, configuration, format, partition and mounting of all drives, customization, and teach you how to do it yourself as well, and that server will be up and running and you will be watching movies before I leave. I may even do some tagging for you. Price of labor is meals and a Good Omens binge on Saturday night, maybe some squeeing, vodka and ice cream, and nachos. I'll even bring salsa.

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my mom has achieved dog!!
children of dune - leto 1
Back in March, I talked about the drama of trying to get a small dog for my mom.

Update: Mom got her dog! It's a Havanese-something mix named Rosie that is small, precious, and spoiled to death.

(-something mix: yorkie is a possibility but still looking at similar dogs)

She also has increased the cat population of her home to five. We'll start with the dog drama.
it was fate, probablyCollapse )
Right, now the fifth cat. Which I visited to meet Rosie, it was like this:

Mom, surrounded by cats and single dog: This is Rosie!
Me: ...there are five cats.
Mom: Yes, I can explain that.
My sister, who lives with her: Wait for it.

From what I understand, it's the neighbor's cat from three houses down that walked in the door and just--doesn't leave. It apparently goes home like--never--and the neighbors do know but have done nothing. It was taken home at least once but that totally did not take, and if you're curious, keeping a cat out is about an order of magnitude harder than keeping one in.

Worse--much worse--it just sits on the front patio looking miserably patient with the vagaries of fate and cat ownership (if anyone can really say they own a cat) and will do this for a straight day without seeming to move and staring at anyone coming or going. My sister confirmed this actually happened and obviously, everyone's will broke after a day of that shit.

It's a good cat; does not jump on or destroy furniture or anything else, pretty chill, but it can't be denied, two cats you have 'a couple of', three cats is 'a few', four is 'some', but five, you're at 'clowder'. She has a clowder of cats.


So, dog achieved and a clowder of cats. What a time to be alive.

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handbrake help
children of dune - leto 1
So I need some assistance. Does anyone here use Handbrake?

So when I rip a bluray or dvd, I do a straight rip of all audio and subtitles, lossless if available.

I'm trying--by questionable experimental method--to make a 720p version of all my 1080p files with minimal loss of quality and no loss of any audio or subtitles. Does anyone have recommendations on settings?

my current settingsCollapse )

john wick is going to happen
children of dune - leto 1
I saw one and two in the theatre, but not three, and now I have them all. The anticipation is unreal.

...yet I haven't watched them. A three-part binge was planned, but it has not happened.

I ripped them for the server already, the X-Box is revved up, the discs are waiting. But I just--can't deal with Assassin!World ending yet.

I feel this should be a fannish fusion genre--send your characters to Assassin!World! and not necessarily all as assassins either; I mean, I assume at least a few people are civilians--I mean, how would a assassin-plumber even work? Assassin-surgeon?--and I wonder what it's like to live in a world where you are walking to the library and randomly have to pause for two assassins to do some vendetta-related parkour and be all 'fuck my life, let them confine their destruction to the upper Dewey Decimals this time.'

I can't really work out why I like it, either; I mean, yes, Keanu Reeves exists in it so of course, and yes, him with weapons is--okay, yeah, I know why I like it, but not the world itself.

...maybe there will be a 4???????

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mcdonalds is a drug? I guess?
children of dune - leto 1
As it has been roughly surface of the sun temperature for the past four months here in sunny hell Texas, going for nice walks not related to going to work is on par with seducing sun cancer into a long term relationship (which is not uncommon in my family), which means--no fast food.

Thing is, we don't eat fast food much. The store nearest us has a small deli of hamburgers, sandwiches, tortas, salads, tacos, and during winter, multi-Latin American tamales, enchiladas, tortilla soup, and other hell yeah at super reasonable prices; if I want to eat out, I go there as everything is delicious (especially the sandwiches). Once every three months, I get fried chicken or there's a better than average chance murder will happen (I am southern; this happens if you don't get something deep fried and covered with gravy at regular intervals). Once a month, pizza, maybe.

But now, I am desperately starving for McDonald's like, all the time. I have now twice--twice, for fuck's sake--ordered McDonald's from Doordash in the last two months. I am not proud of this, but worse, I'm weirded out as fuck, as McDonalds, before the last three months, was Place of Egg McMuffins, Coffee, and Some Other Stuff. Since I got the hang of making circular eggs at home and Keurig has McDonald's Coffee, it's barely that (once it would have been And Cherry Pies, but they don't have those and fuck them). The three years I've lived in walking distance of McDonald's I haven't even gone there. Once in a while when shopping with mom, we get a cheeseburger and split a frly.

..but these last four months, suddenly I'm starving for Big Macs and Chicken Nuggets, every time I think how close it is to walk there and oh if only: then I'm eating a Big Mac, chicken nuggets, and a super size fry like chewing is optional and this shit is weird.

Right now it is a crisp 88 F, truly near sweater weather. This doesn't end soon, I fear for my arteries.

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grapes! all the grapes! cotton candy grapes!
children of dune - leto 1

Grapery's Cotton Candy Grapes are now available. I repeat, Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes are now available. Also in select locations: Grapery's Flavor Promise which I managed to find for the first time and have entered a grape semi-coma with at least two and a half pounds left.

Central Market also had grapes, I kid you not, called Plot that tasted a little like Rose. No idea who makes them but man I wish I'd gotten some because three pounds of grapes, a pound of hatch pepper jack cheese, and olive bread really isn't enough even though I can no longer move.

Are the Greatest Grape People on earth available to you? Probably: The Grapery where you can find a complete Grape Calendar with all their varieties (my God, there is nothing here that isn't worth murder) and who distributes their great work.

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mockingjay part 2 has been achieved
children of dune - leto 1
A very satisfying ending.

interestingCollapse )

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mockingjay part 1 has been viewed
children of dune - leto 1
Finished Mockingjay Part 1

this is some impressive shortsightednessCollapse )

Mockingjay Part 2 arrives tomorrow--er, today--and I can't wait to see it.

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catching fire - that was interesting
children of dune - leto 1
This is a cut to avoid boring everyone with five year old movie thoughts.

hehCollapse )

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plex discovery!!!!!!!!
children of dune - leto 1
While anally organzing Plex Media Server, I discovered something that I had just like yesterday realized I want to do.

in case you don't use Plex, quick quick explanationCollapse )

So Plex is super super rigid in organization, so I had to do a lot of rearranging and renaming to save myself stress when I first set it up. Suffice to say, I am now at the place where everything--movies, tv shows, specials, and most especially vids are now appearing correctly and I can devote myself to the most anal fucking thing you can do; tag everything (they call it "Collection" but seriously, the label when editing is 'Tags'). (Well, co-first: I also need to go through all billion of my saved vids and name them all correctly instead of whatever they saved as with proper capitalization, then tag them with vid author as well). Still though: tagging.

Now, tags are all your own, so you can go crazy. Black Panther, for example, is tagged with the following: Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers, Black Panther. I am anal, therefore my tags in Movies, TV, and vids are all similar (Agents of Shield in TV is tagged Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agents of Shield).

When going through all Marvel movies, I opened up Iron Man in Plex and noticed something: on the information page, below the Marvel Collection line that lists the other movies in that collection, a new section was added on the information page called Other Movies in Marvel Collection. It was all the vids I'd tagged with Marvel. So now, all my movies that have vids tagged Marvel show those vids right on the main page.

NOw what I'm trying to work out is how it chooses the tag. It looks like its only matching on first tag (aka if I have the movie Iron Man tagged with Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Avengers, Iron Man, then the Iron Man vids will need to be tagged with Marvel first to match) but I am so going to experiment.

IF anyone else is using Plex, feel free to share info!

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so I finally saw the hunger games
children of dune - leto 1
So. I deliberately and of my own free went onto Amazon to sort through their 4K movies under $10 because generally, there's almost never anything I want to buy but I tell myself I will totally splurge if there's something because there never is. This is what I call 'good financial management' because it works. Until today.

The Hunger Games was $9.96.

Okay, here is where I admit; I (at the time)(two days ago) had neither read the books nor watched the movies because while I love dystopia, I only read it now when written by fanfic writers. I got it mostly because I thought Child might like it (and I had a promotional credit to burn) and if it got on my nerves, I'd just write a DW post while watching about how much I hate it, which was the plan this afternoon because the next best thing to falling in love with a form of media and writing all about it is hating it and writing all about it.

I'm on my third watch now.

To be clear here: I had not read the books nor watched the movies but I osmosised (apparently accurately) the entire plot of the first book.

(The only genuine surprises was how fucking young Prim and especially Rue were. And Rue was tiny. Which is why I am not ashamed to admit I cried through Rue's death and the flowers and the reaction of her district. Uh, twice.)

What I"m trying to work out now--other than which days this week work is light so I can time my reading, since obviously, when the two come into conflict, reader's gonna read--is if I would have liked the books back in 2008. More specifically, I remember when hearing about it, it sounded like a cool idea but parts seemed way over the top, like the entire population of the Capital and the popularity Circus Maximus et Technologicus (...I wonder if I need that 'et').

uh, this is just rambling, in case you need the warningCollapse )

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i really have nothing better to do but rec music
children of dune - leto 1
I've talked about how I have to do mandatory playlist updates to avoid the most terrible of all problems for someone who uses music like recreational drugs to get a good high; too long, my ear and taste harden and it gets hard to get into anything new.

The first and best way is going on a vid-watching kick in any fandom I'm vaguely conversant with or involves hot people and if possible, leather. Fanvidders are revolutionaries when it comes to this; they can and have taken a song I thought I hated, created a visual storyline and theme for it, and suddenly it works for me; I understand it. This also has the benefit of expanding that liking into all music like it, which is why I have an Amazon Unlimited Subscription to avoid dying in poverty surrounded by terabyte of music files.

The second and chancier way is to use TV shows that have someone on staff who has at least a vague inkling--not understanding, they're not fanvidders and so I have to lower my expectations appropriately, just an inkling--that it's just not just combining music with pretty moving pictures.

(I mean, you're not going to get a [personal profile] sisabet level piece of masterclass art here. I don't expect them to be able to vid Brian Kinney and the cast of Queer as Folk's season three plotline to "Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses" and convince you it's the only song that could possibly fit plotline and theme. If you haven't seen season three Queer as Folk or know who Brian Kinney is, you cannot appreciate how terrifyingly sincere I am when I say that.

Unrelated: is there a word that encompasses the concept of 'stockholm syndrome' but with vidders? Just curious.)

However. It does work. Sometimes. So the playlist below is mostly the result of multiple Bones marathons, the latest season of Lucifer and Another Life. Oh, and apparently Hawaii 5-0.

music!Collapse )

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anyone awake? need a reality check
children of dune - leto 1
This survey showed up on my dash: Right Wing Authoritarian Survey

My--possibly utterly insane and/or ultra-dense tumblr response: read here

Alternately, I'm putting the text of my response under the cut.

survey on right wing authoritarianismCollapse )

Like, yeah, I get this is a right wing authoritarian tendency survey but...to answer half these questions with any kind of accuracy, you have to already be in a very narrow (very white) Christian Protestant demographic that already is right wing authoritarian (the atheist question alone was ridiculous, but 'homosexuals' and 'gays' gave it that 'oh God what' touch). I'm a white Christian and I can't answer several of the questions as written with any degree of accuracy because of the base assumptions of the questions which is either a.) utterly foreign to me or b.) repulsive is an understatement like you have no idea.

So those familiar with surveys: am I just not getting the methodology here on what it's doing?

Note: I took the Dark Triad test and I'm glad to report my psychopathic tendencies are in the bottom two percent, my narcissism in the eleventh percentile, and my Machiavellian is around the 66th which seems not too worrying but to be fair, I really liked The Prince.

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watching another life on netflix and--huh
children of dune - leto 1
Spoilers if you haven't watched, but for the record ,I have yet to work out what that title is supposed to refer to.

another life: a brief slightly spoilery intro if you're on the fenceCollapse )
another life, warnings, spoileryCollapse )
another life, really spoilery about ep one but up to ep sixCollapse )

I'm not willing to promise anything--The Magicians broke me of that shit--but it's definitely interesting sci-fi and I'm liking the characters. If you're jonesing for some spaceship disaster, this is for you. And you know, the earth stuff might get interesting? It could happen.

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media life update
children of dune - leto 1
Watching Bones Season 6, episode 22 again:

bones is totes my jamCollapse )

In other news, I acquired Jupiter Ascending for my first watch since the theatre and good God this movie is fun. I also got Pride & Prejuidce & Zombies and so recommend it right now

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hope can come from super unlikely places
children of dune - leto 1
So I got an Amazon Prime Store Card, because if you're going to sell your soul, you should be getting a 5% return. For various reasons, I have avoided getting a credit card for some time, but here we are.

However, this is not what this entry is about; it's about what happened when I went to look at Amazon Pantry (again, my soul? Bought for excellent prices), and on the Pantry home page on the top of the left nav, I saw this option: Pay with SNAP EBT in NY. This also applies to AmazonFresh.

I screamed then called [personal profile] lillian13 as the only person available because I knew she'd be excited that I was excited no matter how non-verbal I was. I was right (thank you bb!). Because this is--like a dream come true.

(I have no idea how long that's been an option, so maybe I am late with my excitement, but whatever.)

I'm not going to argue the good/evil of amazon, large corporations, whatever, because I don't disagree and even if I did I'd lose the arguments. I will argue, however, is that we take the positives when we get them because God knows they don't happen often, and this is one time where capitalism and greed and power are actually of benefit to marginalized populations.

Specifically, online food shopping for those using EBT cards. As in, if you live in NY in a food desert or are elderly or disabled or have poor access to transportation or it's not feasible to easily reach grocery stores and you get SNAP, you can order real actual food be brought to your home. And if we are lucky and the profits are good, it could be expanded, and other companies will have to do the same, because Amazon is huge and powerful and hungry for all the money and by God, they will not let Amazon eat all the SNAP pie. (And I really should have paused and thought about it when I realized Amazon accepts HSA cards.)

Predatory convenience stores with ridiculous markups, meat truck scams, everyone who preys on the poor to get their EBT benefits, I see numbers on their days and they're approaching negative and I only wish I could see their evil faces when they no longer have people to swindle. Fuck, people will be able to get the best deals with comparison shopping instead of depending on the single store they can reach.

(Goodbye judgmental assholes in grocery stores who shame and judge people on benefits and what they buy; I hope you stamp your feet and whine every day and please, please die still mad about it.)

I am way too excited about this, but--today, New York, tomorrow, maybe everywhere.

ETA: I forgot to link to the page about it: Amazon: Pay Wih SNAP EBT in NY Apparently this applies to Amazon Pantry, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon itself.

According to the FAQ, this is part of a online pilot program run by the USDA--the most terrifying department in the Federal government and yeah I am including the FBI and CIA--for EBT cardholders. This is goddamn amazing. This is actually happening.

While exploring, I also found Amazon Prime discount for EBT recipients and those with Medicaid. This seems to be across the board, so if anyone has family or friends on Medicaid or receiving SNAP or TANF, you might send them this link.

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slingtv and firetv together!
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, I meant to do this earlier:

Early Prime Day really good deal: Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote for $25 off the price bringing it to 24.99.

The reason I'm posting this, however, is that with purchase, you also get $45 SlingTV credit, or $15 dollars per month for three months off a SlingTV subscription. That means you get SlingTV for ~$10 a month for three months, which is a hell yes.

Also, can't lie: I've had a Roku and used the native apps on three SmartTVs for streaming, and Fire TV out performs them all. Also, FireTV takes voice commands through all Alexa devices and I like feeling like a second class despot lounging on my couch while commanding others to entertain me. That's just how I roll.

This deal also applies to:
1.) Fire TV Cube, $119.00
2.) FireTV Recast, now $100 off bringing it to 129.99 and the lowest it's ever been.


Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for $25 off the price, bringing it down to $14.99.

Again, not my primary: free with purchase is two months of HBO Go, value $30.

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so this happened and it was a thing
children of dune - leto 1
Yesterday, I finally fulfilled a long standing (aka three to five months) dream of making my DD-WRT router my primary router and gateway and turn my home into open source nirvana. It was beautiful. I had internal DNS, I could access all local LAN IP addresses with $myitem.idlewilde.home, I got to micromanage my device settings as has not been done in this universe since the fourth-fifth day of Creation itself (not saying this was on par with "Let there be light" but it was definitely higher up than say, creating goddamn mosquitoes). I even had ntopng running to stare at shit like flows and random numbers that mean something (what, who can say?) and assign everyone not just their very own IP address but device type. I could ssh into this sucker and edit any config file I wanted so suck it, Netgear. It. Did. Everything.

Except connect reliably to the internet.

(Those who have known me less than five years are like "oh, that's sad" or "fuck, that's hilarious" (or both! BOTH ARE LEGIT). Those who have known me greater than five are wondering what I set on fire this time. I didn't, but I did overclock my router's CPU so yes, legit worry. Apparently they don't have much in teh way of heatsinks and kicking up their transmit power can be sketchy.)

You're wondering what went wrong? I literally don't know and neither does any DD-WRT forum or anywhere google reaches. I am not yet at searching the Tors but come on, it's a close thing.

However, I do know one thing that went wrong around eight to ten this morning: my modem, for reasons that pass understanding, just dead refused to recognize it anymore. And even after frantically replacing the DD-WRT modem with my regular old normal not-hackable netgear one, it still refused to recognize it and kept trying to use my computer's MAC addrews instead of its own to connect which really didn't work (please don't ask why, it just apparently happens?). So I gave up and called my ISP for a reset of the modem, which according to google over mobile data (as that was all I had), modems do this. Which is true; they do. Or more specifically, some do provided they have those settings and what not and your ISP has really strict equipment restrictions so their users can't make a mess of their network, aka basically protect the network from people like me, which under the circumstances I'm seeing their point but still protest on principle.

My ISP, however, has no special settings, configs, etc; my modem was just being a dick.

Tech girl and tech guy were baffled: we all gave up and tried everything then did everything in different order.

Tech: Okay--unplug ethernet cable from modem first, then router, then unplug modem--no, router! Then modem. Then wait ten seconds then plug in ethernet--no, turn on modem, turn on router, then ethernet cable to modem and router while clucking like a chicken.
Tech: Okay, unplug router ethernet first, then stand on one leg while reciting the alphabet backward--

X number of power cycles (as above) and three or four remote resets later, it--started working. For no reason. Me and tech were stunned.

Me: ...I have internet. Google is opening. THIS IS HAPPENING.
Tech: You're kidding. *checks something* How?

After thanking him for his help (I heard something not unlike a joker laugh as I hung up so hopefully, he's okay), I DNS flushed my laptop three times, restarted it and cleared all network profiles before risking logging in to the router and--there is literally no goddamn reason. I checked the modem diagnostics and my router settings and logs and...yeah. This isn't the first time I've changed my primary router, or even the first time I've switched to an open source one (though the last time was only for testing).

So I've been casually looking around and actually, there are lots of reasons this could have happened, various scenarios that are perfectly possible, but none are actually possible in this case This is because generally, to get these kind of disastrous network results, I would actually need to know a lot more about networks (while at the same time still knowing shit but sure I know everything) to pull it off. It's not quite thousand years of typewriter monkeys and Shakespeare but like, a minimum of a D in a networking class that I napped through level, and I haven't taken a networking class yet.

So that made me humble. I know now some things are beyond my ken, or at least cannot be learned by poking configs to see what happens. I am wiser.

Then I found an email exchange I had with Batman on open source routers a couple of months ago.

(Note: Batman is BFF's husband who has a masters in math and CS and is working on his CS PhD and interns at google along with working full time. He's legit the smartest person I've ever met, can explain literally anything forever, and makes you feel smart while learning.

I'm actually not kidding; ask him a question and not only does he never, ever, even by accident imply you were dumb for not knowing or you can't understand the answer, but makes you feel super smart for asking and he'll reflexively work out how you need it explained no matter how many times you're like "...what?"

I call him Batman to remind myself not to call him every time something goes wrong (and because he's crazy smart, yeah). You do not call him for a script that won't run any more than you'd call Batman for a jaywalker. That way I don't end up with him on speed dial when I'm going through a coding phase.)

Anyway, I offered him one of my routers preflashed with OpenWRT (like DDWRT but even harder to understand and configure but much prettier interface) so he can play with it and destress from all the PhDing he's doing. He emailed me back and I guess I skimmed because in the second paragraph, I just caught a very important offer for me.

Networking books. Not just any networking books, but grad student in CS and math networking books with possibly his notes in them and an excuse to call him and ask so many questions because when Batman says 'if you need help with jaywalkers I'm here for you', that's different.

(I'm not going to be like, presumptuous or entitled here. I'll offer to make them dinner and pop out the network paraphernalia over coffee and crumb cake. Maybe like a lot. They're close by, it wouldn't be that weird. I have a large enough backpack.)

WHEE I AM GOING TO SCREW UP MY NETWORK LIKE A CS GRAD STUDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next time my modem is a dick, uit won't be because it may have developed sentience and an asshole personality; it'll be because I hacked the firmware and fucked it up personally.

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Quick DW style help
children of dune - leto 1
I'm having a weird issue. In my DW comments, unexpanded comments are jumping in font size and I can't tell what the heck happened.

screenshot below cutCollapse )

I checked my stylesheet and DW functions but can't work out why it jumps in size.

Or for that matter, why it has 'no subject' there and for that matter in regular font.

I will happily owe a favor to anyone who can help me work out where it all went wrong.

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it is friday and I scorn productivity
children of dune - leto 1
I had this brilliant idea that this weekend that I'd buckle down and do laundry. The piles are endless and I'm running out of underwear. That really isn't going to happen, I can tell you that right now.

Why did I think this foolishly optimistic plan would work?

1.) Last weekend, I cleaned the kitchen. Not up to clean people (or even probably relatively normal "clean" people) standards but there are no dirty dishes anywhere, the counters are wiped down, and the stove is presentable. I have kept it clean a week, which is a fucking miracle, not gonna lie. I thought that meant something. It didn't.

2.) I bought a Laundry thingie that rolls. This did sort of do some helping with sorting and hanging and is super fun to play with and roll around meaningfully but. Not in itself enough to get me off my ass and approach scaling Mount JennjeansAndShirts.

3.) The running out of underwear thing.

This generally works gangbusters. Like, left to the choice between washing my clothes and wearing my old bridesmaid's dress to work--it fits really well and floor length is my favorite and I do have shoes for it. My walk is only 7/10ths of a kilometer.

Interesting Fact Digression:

Due to Pokemon GO, I not only internalized kilometers as a unit of measurement but generally now measure the distance to anywhere by number of eggs and their color. My mom's house is 7/10ths purple, one special, a yellow and a green, or three and a half green; work is roughly one third green).

Returning to subject:

But underwear? That's my line.

Now that Amazon has free one day shipping for my favorite five pack, however, we are at an impasse: I am now adding more laundry to the not-washed (eventually) with even less motivation to actually ever wash anything ever again. Worse, it's cheap enough and useful enough that it doesn't trip my 'wasted money' switch (when are underwear ever not useful? NEVER). This? This is a problem and while underwear are small, so is the square footage of my apartment.

I'm glad you attended my TED talk on ADHD fueled existential horror.

Also! For your Monday-Tuesday Prime Day Shopping needs:

Slickdeals Prime List

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stranger things s3
children of dune - leto 1
Very not even a spoiler, just an observation.

this townCollapse )

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this is some kind of judgment
children of dune - leto 1
So I don't know how many of you were around and remember when [profile] synedochic introduced us to Boomshine, aka Our Own Personal Flash Game Hell. Circa 2007-2008 or so, you may have some missing time you never were able to explain? I understand that's a normal reaction to trauma, so yeah, you were playing Boomshine. Now you know. I hope this gives you closure.

Circa 2015, the game appeared in Google Play, and I conveniently remembered absolutely nothing as for some insane reason, I thought I really liked it. So I bought it.

That was a mistake.

Since that long ago day, it has haunted my phone like a poltergeist made of tiny colored balls of surrealist physics in action. I finally delete and forget it; then--months later--I come back and am like "Oh I like that game!"

I don't like this game. This game is the devil. Level 12 is a colored ball purgatory that mocks you. The balls move slower when they see an explosion coming toward them, I have eyes and I know. I've been trying to write this entry for like three days but when I think of Boomshine, I start playing Boomshine and something is wrong with this.

The Room I, II, III, and Old Sins didn't make me this crazy, even the multiple tragic endings, even the Cthulhu ending of tentacles because I missed something in that room, even the ending on the crazy dollhouse train (I think?) taking me to the Elder Gods (maybe?), which was apparently the best potential ending (?). Like, sure, they screwed with me, but they didn't do it with something a step up from Pong and make me feel inadequate because I CAN'T CLEAR MOST OF THE BALLS. The balls mock me; kinda-Cthulhu ending just taught me the value of searching a room eighty times, not seventy-nine.

Boomshine. You're welcome.

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urgh i feel unclean
children of dune - leto 1
Was forced to immediately login to Facebook outside my twice-yearly check of my privacy settings due to unexpectedly getting an email at my primary (but not Facebook-primary) address that I thought I"d removed. After hunting, discovered it as a backup and removed it with vicious satisfaction.

Yeah, I was that worried about Facebook sending something to that email.

I was never really a user, I just set it up because family was on there and social media why not; this was at the same time I set up my twitter account, according to dates. In the normal course of events, I would have started using it from sheer 'it's there' except the normal course of events didn't occur; before I even had a chance to let inertia and existing friends on there do their thing, Facebook had its first privacy problem and I noped out for a while.

Now again, memory is short, my primary email was still Facebook's primary email, so again, it's social media and there; given a year or two, I should have started using it and I sort of took vague steps--and then a bigger privacy breach. At which time, I set it to a throwaway yahoo email with no function but to handle facebook, and promptly forgot it existed (except when I went to clean it out, which is when I would also double check my privacy settings). At which time memory being short was used for good.

Logging in used to be an event; I used to open a new, clean browser to do it, carefully type in my username and password, close the tab when done, scrub the browser, close it, then restart my computer (with malice aforethought). Now, I just use Chrome Incognito. I've gotten soft, you see.

The thing is, I give the 'because privacy' reason and don't get me wrong, it's true, but. I also of my own free will own five Alexa devices, have multiple gmails and a Google Home Mini (Free gift with Nest purchase), belong to many social media outlets, and even have finally gotten LinkedIn under my wallet name (through work, I get access to classes there). I am compromising my privacy dramatically and voluntarily in every other way, but not and never with them.

Yes, Google and Yahoo and Twitter and Amazon are not at all less guilty when it comes to breaches. I am not significantly increasing my privacy by banning Facebook from my life in all forms (including many settings in AdBlock and deactivating and hiding it on my phone).

It is privacy, though; specifically, the day I sat down and went through every screen and sub-screen in settings because at the time (I have no idea now), to get the equivalent of a full friendslock required it. What I could do on literally any other site in one or two (adjoining) screens at most required a full and endless search of everything there to make sure I got it all. Somewhere I have notes about it, because when a friend--who's a goddamn programmer--couldn't work out the settings, I gave him my notes and my login to Facebook (a very very close friend, yes) so he could match mine to get a basic friendslock. I was on AIM with him the entire time so he could double check.

Facebook didn't just make it hard to even work out how to get your desired privacy; they used that difficulty as a get out of jail free when they breached it. It was just Privacy Theatre--look how thorough we are, how careful--while simultaneously making it hard to find the settings, much less work out exactly what they applied to, and then failed to actually respect those settings anyway.

So it's mostly a matter of spite, tbh. Google and Amazon and Yahoo et al will screw me--are probably doing it right now--but at no point did any of them make me enter the Privacy Labyrinth of Plausible Deniability first.

(That they apparently run random ass social and psychological experiments on their userbase just confirms me in my feels of nope. Just the five seconds of being on the homepage made me feel like I was being hunted by Mengele's psychology soulmate.)

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lucifer season four
children of dune - leto 1
Finished Lucifer Season Four and just--no words.

seriously, this show why does it workCollapse )

That has been my feelings. There were so many. Season five now, plz.

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scheherazade the phone
Oh, I forgot; I've had a major relationship change in my life this month.

Due to circumstances beyond my control (because my sister took my soldering kit due to an unfortunate fire-related incident with a motherboard and a kitchen table and fire alarms), I had to get a new cell phone. My phone began to experience charging issues in Octoberish, but in May it stopped charging altogether except wirelessly, and as it was a Galaxy S6 Edge+, you can imagine how long that took.

I'd like to ask for a moment of contemplation of technology for Dean, the phone that saw me through many troubled moments and so fucking much Pokemon Go.

Okay, done.

My new life companion is Scheherazade, a Galaxy S10+ in blue.

Also, I have discovered some neat things after two weeks about this phone.

1.) My new phone does not get uncomfortably hot to the touch while using and emit a faint metal smell like a freshly cut jugular.
2.) When the battery indicator says its 100%, it actually is and five minutes later doesn't randomly show 5% and turn off. Then when turned on says it's at 40% and making me doubt my understanding of how numbers work.
3.) It can be charged while still on, instead of having to turn it off first and praying over it. Nothing fancy, just some Revelations-based entreaties for mercy.
4.) As it turns out, I didn't dream that you can reliably charge with USB and not just wirelessly and hopelessly while drinking four dollar bottles of Sangria from the nearby convenience store.
5.) Chrome doesn't open and close at random like ghosts are reading and judging my porn Washington Post articles about rainforests and...whales being saved from something probably terrible.
6.) Apps open when you touch them, not in their own (justified, I'm sure) good time when they feel like it and you understand and don't complain because otherwise, they might get angry and living in constant fear for your life (sanity, too, sure) just isn't all it's cracked up to be.
7.) I can turn it on and off with the appropriate button, not using Button Savior for touch controls. You really don't appreciate an on/off button that works until it never, ever, ever does again no matter how much you beg and how many offerings you make to [redacted]. I can still hear their screaming when I don't wear noise-canceling headphones.
8.) The home key doesn't exist anymore and therefore I am never unduly startled with Google randomly opening and closing eight or fifty times in a row. During Pokemon Go. While trying to catch fucking Larios.

So--I'm thinking I was probably about two weeks from being literally set on fire due to my phone exploding while I was hunting Pokemon or--not outside the realm of possibility--accidentally selling my soul to a god I can't pronounce because vowels are for the weak so I could finish my goddamn week challenge and get a Sinnoh Stone to do some recreational poke evolving.

Scheherazade is awesome and Dean may have been trying to kill me. There's a lesson here, but the most important thing is--I GOT MY SINNOH STONE!!!!

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update on my life (boring)
children of dune - leto 1
So it is June, aka It's Already Fucking Ninety Are You Serious?

After two weeks out sick, I finally went in for my CT scan, and the test results--written in medicalese--seem to suggest that yes, I have some kind of stuffed nose (the word 'mucus' was involved), many words which seem to suggest that indeed the septum is a righty ('septum' and 'right' appeared in adjoining sentences though a lot of words were between them) and nothing is remarkable. I assume a mucus goblin would be remarkable enough to mention, so there goes that theory.

Next: go back to the ENT so he can recommend something. Honestly, unless my life is at stake here, I do not want surgery and the medicalese seemed not to indicate it (degrees of right septumness?) but I'll know more at that appointment.

...good God I lead a boring life. That was literally all my drama for like, a month.

However, I got back in touch with an ex-coworker recently, whose age falls exactly between me and Child, which is significant here. And I realized abruptly while talking to him that Child was still a teenager when we worked together and now years later he is very much not and goes to the same clubs (it's not like there are that many).

ex-coworker historyCollapse )

Cue me being open and honest:

Me: Please don't pick up my son by accident that will be weird
Him: Wait, he's [no longer a teenager but with more words]!?!?!
Me: Oh God yes it's been [years] since you quit.
Him: Oh, that might be weird. But I'd be nice--
Me: I'll also make fun of you both for goddamn ever.
Him: ...[understood but with more words]

Secret: it's super goddamn hard to embarrass Child. I mean, he can be embarrassed but not by like, normal things or things that don't require more effort than I generally really care to expend. In other words, an empty threat...when it comes to him.

Ex Co-worker, however, is a normal human being, knows I am capable of acts of embarrassment that I'll invent, and therefore I win.

(But God that would be hilarious and I'd have material for like, years.)

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lucifer: finished season three
children of dune - leto 1
Finished Lucifer season 3, and I have a theory.

Somewhere (a closet?), they keep a genius yet utterly insane writer, like some kind of screenwriting gimp. Every so often, he gets out and alters completed scripts, probably in the morning (when everyone else is hungover?), or substitutes his crazy-what-genius scripts. Because there's no other explanation for a show this fucking campy to manage to have mind-blowing arcs that I didn't even realize were really arcs going somewhere because again, this show is adorilarious campy awesome.

Yes, I am talking about Charlotte.

talk about a dark horseCollapse )

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AstoMark Testing | Signal Boost: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML
children of dune - leto 1

[personal profile] astolat posted: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML

I've now updated the bookmarklet so that it preserves the HTML encoding in the selected text, so for instance if you select a chunk of text that includes an image or links to an AO3 story or to another DW post, the links will be preserved. It does NOT work on embedded video, sorry. :(

AstoMarklet V.1.2
- added autofill of tags; used "reblog"

This version style includes:
- border:1px solid
- padding:10px
- box-shadow: 5px 10px

- Fixed subject with "AstoMark Testing" prefix so as not to confuse people.

I have been away from CSS too long for it has become more awesome. There is box shadowing. I have seen it before on pages but knew not how the magic happened. Truly we live in an age of wonders.

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Signal Boost: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML
children of dune - leto 1

[personal profile] astolat posted: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML

I've now updated the bookmarklet so that it preserves the HTML encoding in the selected text, so for instance if you select a chunk of text that includes an image or links to an AO3 story or to another DW post, the links will be preserved. It does NOT work on embedded video, sorry. :(

AstoMarklet V.1.1
- added new div for style control of entire reblog text (p and blockquote)
- open window in new tab

This version style includes:
- border:.1em solid #1a6f00
- padding:1em

That border just will not get thinner.

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Signal Boost: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML
children of dune - leto 1

[personal profile] astolat posted: SignalBoost bookmarklet update! Now boosts HTML

I've now updated the bookmarklet so that it preserves the HTML encoding in the selected text, so for instance if you select a chunk of text that includes an image or links to an AO3 story or to another DW post, the links will be preserved. It does NOT work on embedded video, sorry. :(

Uh, don't mind me, I'm playing with the reblogger bookmarklet because this is--seriously--how I have fun. Look, I've been sick so it's this or redesigning my network (again). Also, I never bothered to learn DOM so something new!

AstoMarklet V.1.1
- added new div for style control of entire reblog text (p and blockquote)
-- div style: background:#ecf7ec
-- div style: padding:1em
- open window in new tab

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i am not living my best week
children of dune - leto 1
Sunday I started getting sick, so sensibly, I took off Monday and went to work Tuesday feeling better. Tuesday night, I had what was unmistakably the beginning of my first panic attack in almost two years and so took off Wednesday and Thursday.

My first reaction was utter 'this is bullshit' before stomping into the kitchen and shoving my hand into the bin of ice from the automatic ice maker and left it there until my attention fixed on sheer 'ouch'. That worked, which was nice. Then I took less than a quarter xanax to follow up, which cleared the rest out and left the comforting patina of sheer rage this shit happened again.

(Yes I am a lightweight; half a xanax kncks me out and a quarter makes me spacey. So I broke it into quarters then carefully into a powdery eighth. Unless I"m having dental surgery, I hate spacey.)

whateverCollapse )

This has been some venting of bullshit.

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it's saturday and no, I have no intention of doing anything remotely productive
children of dune - leto 1
When I first found Ask a Manager, I sent it to my manager and Sysadmin V because they're--well, managers. Their response: "So it's Dear Abby for work?"

Which is true, sure, but that's not why I read it. Most of my working life has been in public service, like my mother and grandfather before me, so some parts, like salary negotiation, are utterly alien to me, as it really doesn't happen outside very specific and very rule-oriented circumstances and usually that means executives (aka the governor's appointees of course). Salary, for the most part, is intensely transparent for us--as in, not only do we have strict payscales, all state employees and their salaries are published yearly in the newspaper because public and reasons. So there's a lot of 'so that's how that works in the private world' going on.

But mostly, I read it for the same reason everyone reads advice columns: the drama. If you haven't ever read AMA, a sampling. You're welcome.

In no particular order (links to updates when applicable):

Original Post: The One With the Car Accident and Birdphobia
- Update 1
- Update 2

Original Post: The One With the Guy Who Ghosted His Live In Girlfriend and Now She's His Boss
- Update

Note: satisfying.

Original Post: The One With the Poorly-Conceived Prank and Consequences
- Update

Original Post: The One With the Poorly Conceived Surprise Foot Tickling and Consequences
- Update

NoteCollapse )

Original Post: The One With the Manager Who Thinks Beer Runs During Work Are Super Millennial and That's the Least Questionable Behavior As It Turns Out
- Comments: It Gets Worse
- Update 1
- Update 2

Original Post: The One With the Duck Club Except There Are No Ducks and I Pity the Copier
- Update

Original Post: The One With Master Pete and a Poorly Conceived Comparison to Gay Rights (No, Really)
- Update

It must be said, all of these have epic comment sections. And yes, this is an easy way for me to finally bookmark these. Feel free to tell me your faves!

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i feel like i should be sending flowers somewhere?
children of dune - leto 1
Off the top of my head, I've never seen this large a proportion of people in any of my social media accounts in deeply enraged mourning in multiple fandoms simultaneously, and this is happening in literally all my social media accounts.

I don't just mean three separate fandoms at the same time engaging in grief-and-rage-posting; that would be unusual enough, but no. The Magicians, Game of Thrones, and Avengers are like a Venn nightmare of overlap and in the surprisingly substantial center are a large number of people who are maybe (definitely) having the worst thirty days of their fandom lives and possibly (definitely) becoming increasingly terrified of turning on the TV like, ever again. Like, I'm only majorly affected by one of those but just watching the other two happen is enough; I'm starting not to trust shows not even airing anymore. Like, sure, it's been decades since TNG aired, but what if someone went in and killed Picard in the first TNG ep to add shock value or some shit?

(...could someone check on that, please?)

Sometimes, I wonder if writers think 'audience' is synonymous with 'enemy'.

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Signal Boost: Let me tell you about my Problematic Favorite.
children of dune - leto 1

[personal profile] thornsilver posted: Let me tell you about my Problematic Favorite. Anna Bishop's books (and that is true for all of her novels and short stories that I have read) have certain common themes. They are extremely rapey. Often that is true both about male and female characters. There is also a lot of lovingly described sadism. All the villains are sadists and rapists. And child molesters. (And "Black Jewels" trilogy has a real creepy thing that comes close enough to pedophilia to be a kissing cousin. Which gets circumvented by the skin of the teeth and a time jump.) And her male/female relationships dynamics are... I was going to use "problematic", but I already used this word. In any case, it is usually shown as predatory and exploitative with the few exceptions of Heroes and Heroines, which are of course completely trustworthy. Despite living in a society that supports and showcases predator and exploitative.

As far as "Black Jewels" go, it has all of this in spades. I hate the arcs of some of the characters. I have a lot of refrigerator questions about her worldbuilding. And yet, for inexplicable reasons, I still love and re-read these.

This is all true, absolutely true, yes. I, too, love this series, re-read it entirely once a year, and completely ignore certain 'wtf' because whatever.

However, this post spoke to me today because I'm on my period. It fulfills another function aside from my need for casual violence (...reading, I suppose should be at least said here); alone in fiction, we have (many) really soothing passages of women who are on their periods being told they should take off work, go to bed and nap/read/be read to and are brought blankets and meals and snacks (and between snack snacks) while men compete to make the best remedy for menstrual cramps and give massages.

I do not deny problematic, weird, and sometimes flat out "...what the everloving fuck" but five days a month, I forgive everything for knowing there is fiction that spent quality page time making a few races worth of fictional women who also happen to menstruate super fucking comfortable while their uterii threaten to crawl out of their body and kill them (but don't actually kill them because they're not that merciful).

(Also, almost no menstrual jokes I can remember. Do you know why? Anyone who made them would be vaporize by their Jewels like right then. Survival of the fittest works.)

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i am watching lucifer again
children of dune - leto 1
Second try on Lucifer Season 2 as it did the literal impossible first time around; it hit my blasphemy button.

This is weird as a.) I don't have one of those and b.) seriously, I don't believe in blasphemy any more than I believe apostasy or sacrilege (yeah I'm that type of Christian). And yet, I was very unfine with Lucifer's mother sentenced to earth as a suburban wife in six inch heels. Like, why that would create a new 'wtf no' in my brain I can't tell you but there we were. If you are going to posit God had a wife in fiction, you do not sentence her to the suburbs in stilettos and mini-skirts; that is a bridge too far.

(I don't even pretend to understand it, it just happened. Though can't deny, part of it was disappointment; I was hoping for plagues and murder and laying waste, so yeah that was a factor.)

However, I persevered and at least a third of it is the fact that Chloe lives in a constant state of almost bedhead and I appreciate that so much as that is unique on TV. She perpetually looks like she showered, ponytailed or blind-braided that shit in a state of 'whatever, more coffee', and walked out the door, and honestly I love her for that. I feel her. Like me, she said 'I could save thirty seconds more and care even less' and reached for a scrunchie on her way out the door; how can you not love it?

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joker (joaquin phoenix)
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, so the trailer for the Joker movie (Joaquin Phoenix) is totally not what I expected.


the worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't

This can't be as good as it feels like it might be.

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detective pikachu
children of dune - leto 1
I was totally born in the wrong universe. For the record: that was goddamn adorilarious.

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recipes: london broil
children of dune - leto 1
This is partially being posted here so I remember to add it manually to pepperplate.

Today's recipe: London Broil wtih Arugula salad

My attempts at steak have been...better left to Child, but to my surprise, this one turned actually worked. Original recipe and variation below. Actual result to prove I managed this.

Beef broiled almost-medium rare with arugula sprinkled with asiago

okay, that wasn't badCollapse )

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budgeting, shopping, meat, and rice
children of dune - leto 1
Rookie mistake: shopping for food online when you're not hungry and feel like you never need to eat again because you glutted yourself on tamarind candy from Mexico that your coworker introduced you to never realizing where this could lead.

There are two things that deeply annoy me here:

1.) How did I not know tamarind a.) existed (I thought it was some kind of fantasy food?) and b.) was so fucking good? Like yes, I get I'm eating the compressed sugar-and-spicy version but holy shit.

2.) My shopping list was, to my experienced eye, remarkably functional with little to no indulgence (nope, one thing: English muffins). In fact, I am well under budget.

This may sound like a good thing but generally, no, it's not. My budget plan has built-ins for indulgence, and in general, I go over by at least 10%-15% each month, which is expected. Then why not raise the budget, you wonder? No, then I'd go ten to fifteen percent over that. Logic.

Anyway going under that hard this early in the month when I'm stocking up on staples as well? Not a good sign.

Sure, now I'm on a tamarind candy high and care not, but there's a reason I have that ten to fifteen percent buffer to buy snacks and candy and boomerang pies at reasonable prices. The reason is, if I don't, if I'm careful and methodical and stick to the healthy ingredient list and act responsible and shit, there will be many trips to the convenience store next door for overpriced Bear Claws, Reese's Pieces stuffed chocolate everything, and while I'm there, might as well grab an Orange Vanilla Coke or two.

This is going to be a really fun month.

Food Weirdness

When I moved to my apartment, I made a resolution to eat healthy. This quickly morphed into 'eat healthy and organic (when affordable)' but at some point turned into becoming super into ethically conscious meat and dairy consumption.

yeah, it's a good thing, butCollapse )

Semi-relate, I've also come to realize there's been a shift in the Force on how I view rice.

rice: it is a food and not just white stuff under the actual foodCollapse )

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you and your network - the art and science of expansion
children of dune - leto 1
Today we shall speak of networks again--because I'm awake and here--but first, a rant.

So I've mentioned DD-WRT, which is open-source firmware you can use to flash your router and use as the router OS. It's honestly awesome, except I just discovered something.

if you're not into DD-WRT, this section may safely be substituted for ambienCollapse )

Now back to you and your network!

Previous: you and your network - router and device limits.

quick note on my recent network upgrade: if you're not into networks, this section will be an excellent alternative to valiumCollapse )

now: expanding your networkCollapse )

common questions you may haveCollapse )

a prequel to the router upgradeCollapse )

one last common questionCollapse )

So other than reliving my router buying trauma, that was fun. Go forth and expand your network!

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this is so goddamn charming
children of dune - leto 1
Someone is trying to crack my home server through the forwarded ssh port and the logs are goddamn epic. Apparently they've been doing it for many hours and sadly failing like a lot. My dude, I use an extremely memorable and super long passphrase and throw in a special character and number for kicks; there is not enough time left in the universe before entropy overtakes us for you to pull this shit off. But you know, you do you.

I mean, yeah, super bad, access to my LAN and everything, but also, really? This is what you want to crack? You're wasting a truly amazing amount of time to get into an ubuntu machine that exists only because around a decade ago, I wanted to learn command line and ssh and learned to really like it. It's secondary purpose is to rip blurays and host a media server, but mostly, it's me bored on a weekend and spending my free time learning scripting languages, fucking around with installing mulitple distros to see which I like best and always coming back to kubuntu, and crashing it during some very unfortunate experiments that lead to accidentally deleting half the OS.

...greater than five times, but how I did it was different every time.

It is with great reluctance I have deleted the forwarded ports off my router, however; they're literally hitting it every ten seconds and I'm tired of getting logs mailed to me. I'd like to have a moment of silence because this shit is hilarious.

ETA: As I was finishing this after closing the port, they finally stopped.

Further Note: This is totally a legit reason to login as root, right? Just to look around?

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