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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i make my own fun, even when i don't mean to
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
We had relatives, food, and three kinds of dip because I was unwary and said, sure, I'll go with you to Central Market to get those last few things and there was brie.

Uninteresting Notes

1.) Why does Central Market hate me and rearrange their coffee every time I go in there? I am not ashamed of my coffee preferences, but I am conscious of the fact that in general, my economic class does not say shit like, "No, not the decaf free-trade organic Sumatran with the full body and high acid; I mean the regular free-trade organic Sumatran low-acid, shade-grown, full caffeine." I sound like a parody from Family Guy. It's not that I am mocking people who are environmentally aware, but I feel like a very specialized afterschool special for the Montessori crowd whose parents went very green five years ago and talk about their composting strategies.



If you've never been to Central Market, it's the definition of how the future saw the working class and realized there was a market here for them: it's an upscale grocery store that is aware that its real target audience is a.) people who feel they really need to feel more socially aware of their food in a vague way due to their kids growing up here and b.) want to feel they are helping the environment and being socially conscious while c.) knowing shit about it and there is little hope we have any chance of catching up with Austin's level of Go Green or Die (in an environmentally friendly way) In a Fire, so for fuck's sake, make it easy on us, okay? It's nice for those of us who are, well, me, who want to be and yet are sublimely aware we kind of fail at that kind of thing. I don't want to say there's a pervasive sense of ironic shopping going on, but there is the general feeling that we're there because Whole Foods pissed us off and hurt our feelings and smelled really, really bad, but Central Market likes us and doesn't mind that right after this the kids are getting Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner.

I'd been fine in produce, okay with the bread section (barely), but got to the olive/dip/salsa bar and broke entirely and with a vengeance. Which is how I ended up with love dip (pink, delicious), asparagus, spinach and cheese (sell soul, worth it) and an orangish one that involved bacon. The weighing machine was working but the labeler was out of ink, so in a fit of shopping-mania I took pictures of the weight/price display for the cashiers before my mother gently took my phone and the nice men in the fresh food area took the dips from me warily and got them weighed and labeled. I'm want to say it would have occurred to me to turn and see them signaling that they would do this, but that would be a dirty lie. We walked by cheese and the brie was right there and I may or may not have been clutching a baguette and six tangerines (I lied about making it through produce and breads, fine) and brie requires jam, and yeah. So I was already fucked by the time I made it to coffee.

(Note: there is no such thing as tangerine jam, jelly, preserves, or compote. There's jalapeno all of those, boisonberry, goddamn pepper, but not tangerine. Why?)

The coffee area is also the tea and free-range pantry section, where you can dip your own flour, granola, and jelly beans into recycled paper bags, weigh and price right there. There's also a huge spice area. It's nice and kind of relaxing; the aisles are wide and most of us are wandering around feeling in general good, right up until the coffee, which spans part of the back wall and the ends of the aisles and is organized by the Mayan calendar, the revised Astrology charts, or the moon cycles in turn, so if you liked the third coffee to the left, you'd better know more than it was dark and strong. I've never once seen the same coffee in the same place twice, and occasionally, someone I assume new and really excited reads the coffee summary and gets really determined that the name be super accurate or someone older and realistic decides minimalist naming is key. Neither ends well. There used to be a label color pattern (guess what green text meant?) but they abandoned that due to Pluto being de-planeted, I assume, so now green text just means they're protesting that, or possibly the labeling machine was green-text only this month.

Then they did this thing where all the coffee of the really expensive variety gets into giant jars and is in a shady corner--no idea about this one--on the other side of the tea, behind the counter, with a sharp-eyed tea expert-light to watch while you stare at Kona because they changed the name of your Sumatran again and you don't know what to do and may in a fit of frustration just get some of that even though you might need to quickly do a balance transfer to afford it.

(You'd think this would be logical, except the entire store is an exercise in the trust system for picking and weighing and pricing your own produce, free-range pantry, and various items. Yes, the kona and blue mountain are hideously expensive, but like, so are the organics over to the left and they aren't jarred and guarded, so come on. The entire point of the store is to make those of us who usually get snubbed at high end stores feel comfortable and not like we're going to make off with your special organic gluten-free soy milk-made cheese bread to our gas-guzzling cars with some Miller Lite in the back cackling about getting away with it. And McDonalds.)

Clutching my paper bag (brown, recycled), I started at the far left and just went container to container, getting slowly more desperate as there was neither order nor pattern nor even like, reason. Dark roast French was by the Peruvian shade-grown light-acid aromatic and the deep nutty Mexican organic with chocolate and nut notes. Decaf was everywhere and never seemed to end. Random flavored coffees were mixed with decafs, medium roasts danced with the breakfast blends, lambs and lions fucked on aisle three. It was all wrong and weirdly hypnotizing and somewhere my mother was once again thinking why she ever came here with me, ever. Finally I ended up staring at the only section that had some kind of pattern, which seemed to be Countries I Didn't Know Grew Coffee in Quantities Sufficient to Be Sold Internationally, where we started with Mexican to all the way to the Galapagos Islands (they have giant turtles, right?). Stuck in the middle was my Sumatran (new fucking name) that I recognized pathetically by the pattern of words on the description. The words "free trade" were missing, but what-the-fuck-ever, it's not decaf and maybe this section was all that? IDEK. I also grabbed the Galapagos in blind gratitude, because I think I had it before and it was delicious. And also because I'm a compulsive coffee-buyer and I can't buy just one. And I love turtles. So there.



2.) I finally got the bluray thing working on my server by dint of turkey-induced madness and strangely enough, what I'd been wondering about for a while.



Ubuntu Server 10.10's beauty is in the fact it runs light and fast. I love command line and running headless, but fact; there are some things that require a GUI, even a simple one, or they simply do not work correctly. I finally gave in and installed ubuntu desktop and ssh'ed into it using a VPN viewer, but that took a lot of resources and did some questionable things like when the desktop timed out, it would lock me out and I was back at command line until I restarted the desktop. Over and over. Then ubuntu had a common problem with something called splashy not completely installing and it was a dark journey.

Then I found out that I could use ssh and X Windows to open particular programs that need a GUI directly on my laptop to run commands that wouldn't use my computers' processor or bandwidth to do. And suddenly I could watch blurays from my server, theoretically. I could also rip them and watch them, in actuality, but streaming that level of data was unsurprisingly slow.

But I was working on that and all was puppies and roses and yes, I finally can do this.



3.) At 11:23 PM last night, [personal profile] durandal received this email from me.
...I think I'm uninstalling my entire server by accident



Five minutes later, [personal profile] durandal called and said "I need the IP because I'm not home and what did you do?"

Funny story.

I'd installed MythTV (google it, I can't even explain) and it was having issues and fails with some of the processes and configurations, so I decided to uninstall it with Aptitude, which is a neat place to go and look at packages and programs you might want and whatnot. It's also really not a good place, because it is not Windows and takes you very literally. I went there to uninstall MythTV and all related dependencies.

From what I can work out, this is what happened:

I went to installed packages and scrolled down to MythTV and hit g to uninstall it. It wouldn't accept it--for some reason--so I went to the menu and agreed to go to root and then went back, highlighted, and hit uninstall. I have to do this every time with Aptitude, so that was not new.

Suddenly, I got a warning that didn't make sense about uninstalling a lot of shit that looked necessary, like my system.. I said no, and no again, and no again, then I thought I canceled the whole thing out, exited, and logged back in to try again. I went back to MythTV, found it, hit g, and suddenly, the window became scrolling madness.

Aptitude does not know 'cancel', as it turns out. And it remembered that last time, I said, uninstall everything. Potentially, when I highlighted, I highlighted everything I had installed.

For the next hour, I watched, fascinated, as my entire operating system was systematically uninstalled and purged while [personal profile] durandal said things like "I can't log in" and "Why did you do this?" and "What the hell?" while narrating to Jack in the background (who God help me does tech support, of course, so there might have been hysterical laughter going on) until the only things left were the boot section and some of home before the window died and Watson vanished.

Horace, the drive with all my media, is presumably safe, since it shouldn't have been affected by an OS purge, and last I checked was just inoperable but all data was still there. Frankly, I haven't gone to check again; I'm am thinking that the real difference between linux and windows is while windows might treat you like an idiot, linux knows you are and likes to watch you die.



On the bright side, I've reinstalled ubuntu server so many times I could do it in my sleep and now I actually know which programs I need and which ones I don't and cause problems. When I get around to doing it, which I haven't, because my deep sense of betrayal is too great, and um, I slept super late.

4.) Tonight is the next great server install. Earlier this week my router was under DoS from bots and while telling madelyn about it and reading the logs while color coordinating them and whirlwinding through my securities and ports, she was thoughtful before mentioning she was glad I was enjoying myself so much. Last night, after a long pause, [personal profile] durandal told me he was glad I was having so much fun.

I can't lie; if Horace still has my media okay? I don't even care. This is fantastic. I'm not bored. I don't foresee in the near future I will be. What could be better than that?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/65093.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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Note to self: In the future I will remember not to drink beverages or chew gum while reading these missives. This will spare me inhaling wads of Trident or exhaling soda through my nose.

*grins*

OH! I've been meaning to comment at least once? But you do those fantastic thematic recs posts, right? I try to wander over and catch those; it's one of the few themed recs I've read that has stories I haven't seen other places and are really good. So thank you for that!

I don't suppose you'll ever get around to Sherlock by any chance?

I just created a rec page. I'm a big liker of AC Doyle, Guy Ritchie's flick and the Beeb's recent modernization, so it's a canonical mash-up, a Sherlockian buffet, a symphony of whatever bla bla.

http://further-rex.blogspot.com/2009/04/sherlock-holmes.html

Meanwhile, the Sherlock fanon output is accumulating exponentially by the day, so I'm already up to my fannish behind in recs specific to that universe. Once it gets past 20 titles, expect an outburst.

I enjoy your posts, even though I mostly don't understand a friggin word of them.

This would be my feelings also. I'm also happy for you that you're having fun.

....er, wait. Does this mean you've lost my data? Or that I can't yet upload further data? Or what?

there is the general feeling that we're there because Whole Foods pissed us off and hurt our feelings and smelled really, really bad, but Central Market likes us and doesn't mind that right after this the kids are getting Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner

AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHA

TRUTH

This is, of course, why I strongly prefer CM.

That is like OUR local place, which is called Good Earth. I appreciate its lack of pretension, and also how it is not afraid to stock low-priced, high-soy-content, vaguely-disgusting gluten-free soup and gravy mixes that Whole Foods is too snobby for. Whole Foods is also too snobby for: local honey, the only bread substitute I can prepare for eating in twenty minutes, and the really good cookies from Pamela's. However, their range of chocolate is much greater, so sometimes they wind up with my business.

There is such a thing as tangerine jam. Only it's marmalade.

I have two and a half jars sitting in my cupboard. Well, tangerine and brandy. I don't know why, as the only kind of marmalade I eat is ginger. Maybe lime and ginger at a pinch.

This is--I don't know, do you have those weird relatives from the country who preserve everything, even some things that god never intended to be preserved? I suspect they're involved.

Oh, man. Our version of Central Market is Market of Choice; I used to always go there because it was next to the school campus, so I could trot over and buy my pound of coffee (fair trade organic dark coffee, cheaper than Millstone at Safeway) or my wee bag of spices. Best times were when I caught a meat sale and could get grass-fed free-range organic beef for like, $2 a pound (must cook immediately, but so worth it). They were definitely less pretentious than the two local hippie co-ops that turned up their nose at you if you wondered out loud at a) their prices or b) their array of pre-packaged organic but disgusting sounding items.

Also I have no idea how ubuntu or linux or command line works but a) I'm happy you're having fun and b) happy you're writing about it and providing us with entertainment.

I just spent a whole weekend doing a retreat my church organized about making better, more ethical economic choices. I cracked up at the Central Market section, because YES. We don't have anything like that where I live -- even the biggest city in North Dakota's kind of the wrong market for it -- but the one grocery store in town that has the organic/free-range/fair-trade/local/health food almalgamated section? I am all over that. And then feel like people judge me for being a hippie at the checkout. Except I know damn well I am not a hippie, as my father was one and I am entirely more cynical and far more consumerist than he ever was. I just wanna do what I can, even when it's not much.

Also holy shit you really did have server problems, huh? Losing an OS cannot be fun.

Weirdly, I visited Central Market for possibly my first time Wednesday afternoon on the way home from work, because my aunt requested that I bring something I'd never even heard of and I figured that was because Wal-Mart didn't stock it. Worked out well for me -- the clementine cuties were the first thing I saw when I walked in, and from there I had a leisurely browse through the chocolate and tea.

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