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marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Sunday, May 30th, 2010 02:55 pm
My partner is not "my woman" (and $50 says I hear that phrase in the next two days and have to go off on a rant), or any other sort of possession of mine, nor a dependent of mine, nor should she be. She is an independent adult who I trust and expect to be fully capable of making informed decisions with respect to her own personal safety.

It is not wrong, unloving, rude, or failing to think in terms of partnership for me to, say, not insist on accompanying her physically through a possibly dangerous part of the world (and I'm not even going to start on the classism and probable racism in addition to the mysogyny inherent in describing I-95 as unsafe for a woman traveling alone). In fact, were she to tell me she had considered the matter including potential safety issues and concluded that she would prefer to travel alone, it would be unconscionably condescending and rude for me to insist on such.

At most, if I were concerned for her safety, a conversation in which I said that there might be safety issues she hadn't considered and offered to enumerate them would be appropriate.

This rant brought to you by my partner's mother, who had the gall to accuse me of putting "political correctness" ahead of appropriate concern for my partner's well-being.
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 01:38 pm

[Yes, I watch a lot of television these days.]

This is old at this point, and I've seen it before, but I threw it on to occupy my attention while I was eating breakfast, and hit this quote again.

"Who would you rather see in wet clothes: girls or fat boys?"

Fuck you. On many, many levels, I find this appalling. To name just a few:

  • They're not pulling off their shirts and jumping into the pool to give you a good show, they're doing so because they'll find it fun to do so.

  • By saying this, you're supporting the idea that women should do things like this in order to give other people a show. That is, you're encouraging the cultural objectification of female bodies.

  • By saying this, you support the idea that male bodies are something to be ashamed of, never to be displayed in public.

  • By saying this, you support the idea that fat bodies are something to be ashamed of, never to be displayed in public.

I'm sure other people have already discussed this to death, as it was months ago, but it bugged me today and I wanted to take a minute to rant. Not that this is the only incredibly inappropriate moment even in that one episode ["Purty" comes to mind. Seriously? You can't be bothered to learn her name?]

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 10:36 am

Trigger warning: dubious consent/potential sexual assault

I've been watching Eastwick since it started and quite enjoying it, and I believe I'll continue to watch it and enjoy it. However, I noticed something last night when watching last week's episode which had me yelling at the screen to the point that [livejournal.com profile] shield_toad111 had to pause the show and let me finish ranting so we wouldn't miss anything.

Cut for spoilers, but mostly to help people not accidentally read what they don't want to. )

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Friday, July 3rd, 2009 10:49 pm

I own a pretty decent set of Henckel's International knives (high end of one brother imprint). Not having yet had an opportunity to borrow really high end knives from anybody, I suspect they're the best knives I've ever used, and they're certainly the best I've ever owned or had regular access to. So I try to take good care of them. I hone them occasionally, I don't sharpen them with a home sharpener, I make sure to only cut on wood or cutting-board plastic, and a knife is either clean, dry, and in the block, or is currently in use.

Because the knives are good and pretty expensive, and I don't want to have to worry about how other people might be handling them, I have a standing request with my housemates that nobody use my knives, and I keep them in their own block in a somewhat remote part of the kitchen to make that less burdensome to other people (there are house knives, kept on a convenient magnet near the stove, with a wall-mounted manual sharpener nearby).

I just went into the kitchen to discover my chef's knife sitting in the sink with a cutting board [a nice wood cutting board of mine, and that's a separate but related rant, actually] and a prep bowl filled with whatever was in there and water.

I'm not pissed yet, because I don't really get pissed these days, but . . . seriously? You [allow your friends to] use my knife after I've explicitly asked you not to, and you [allow your friends to] leave it lying around dirty and wet? Do you simply completely lack any respect for others' property?

It's bad enough that it was left sitting in the sink, but should I be worrying that when I'm not around somebody is sharpening them, putting them through the dishwasher, or even cutting on glass? I mean, seriously, a complete stranger is using my good tools when I'm not looking; I don't actually know what they're doing to them.

[Edit: Of course, it could always be a simple miscommunication where somebody didn't get the memo, and I could be overreacting.]

marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 04:12 pm
I just requested of a friend that they reconfigure their email client to send email with a text width <=78 characters, so that when I quote relevant portions of their emails they can have every line indented and prepended with ">" without the formatting getting all screwed up. How 1990s is that? Why haven't we come up with a decent way of indicating quotes which is readable for people using plain-text, easily formatted to be pretty looking in serious mail clients, and doesn't depend on the terminal width being 80 columns? For that matter, why do we still send email with hard breaks somewhere in the 70th-78th column, rather than only using hard breaks for paragraph separation and allowing the reader's client to word-wrap nicely for readability based on the size of their actual view? Why did GMail, last I checked, fuck it up so that in their default configuration, if you do internal quoting rather than top-quoting or bottom-quoting, the quoted text is completely indistinguishable from the content of the new email?

Our tools suck. Here's what *should* happen:

* Our mailers should smoothly word-wrap the text of incoming emails when "lines" are longer than the width of whatever they're using to display the text. The cost in processing power is really negligible in today's world (and is being incurred at the sending end now anyway).

* We should all be able to assume this is going to happen, and thus send email which only uses whatever newline character is being used when it's necessary to denote something meaningful.

* Our mailers should do something to distinguish quoted text from the rest of the email body (every mail client I've used in the last 5 years has done this one way or the other).

* We should be able to assume this is going to happen, and thus be able to come up with a nice, simple, universal new standard for quoting text which degrades reasonably for crappy clients but doesn't make replying using internal quotation difficult/annoying. Actually, if we stop using hard breaks at the sending end in favor of word-wrap at the receiving end, the current standard of prepending "> " should suffice, since we no longer have to worry that adding characters to a line will screw up its formatting in the average case.

Have I just misconfigured mutt and vim and consequently missed out on the last 10 years of development? I'll have to look into that; it wouldn't be the first time it had happened. However, we *are* still including hard breaks in our email, and stripping out someone's hard breaks is dangerous (they might actually indicate formatting).

Along the same lines, in writing this post I need to type in crap like "&lt;". What's with that shit? The HTML team made a really crappy choice when deciding which characters should have special meanings and what we should do when we want to use them the normal way. Why can't I escape special characters with a backslash, so it's "\<" like in every fucking other thing I use, is trivial to type (just hit backslash before what you want), and is easy to remember (just hit backslash before what you want). Fuckers. I may have to figure out how the JLJ preprocessor works so I can extend it to do exactly that, because this crap is stupid.

(The formatting on this is probably going to be FUBAR because I can't be assed to enclose every paragraph in <P> tags like I usually do, and I haven't yet learned how to use this tool if I'm not going to send true HTML. I should do that sometime; it's a nice tool in general.)

BTW, how do I get vim to show text as word-wrapped without inserting actual hard breaks in some form of text mode? I don't need a newline every 78 characters when I'm writing LJ posts, but it's much easier to read what I've written if the visual lines wrap at word boundaries instead of at the edge of the terminal, and if up/down go by the visual line rather than the real line. I'm sure someone's written something to do this and I just haven't found it yet.

Please don't tell me to switch away from the terminal. The terminal is exceedingly useful in a lot of ways, and by now we should have evolved our tools to take advantage of its advantages without putting us hostage to its apparent limitations (apparent because they're only limitations if we're lazy programmers).
marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Monday, March 23rd, 2009 12:39 pm

1. Preface

1.1 Copyright

Copyright (C) 2009 [livejournal.com profile] marcmagus

1.2 Revision History

v1.0: 2009-03-23

1.3 Authoritative Version

The authoritative version of this document will always be found at http://marcmagus.livejournal.com/98120.html

1.4 Feedback

If you have questions or comments about this document, please feel free to post a comment at the URL found in section 1.3 above. I welcome any suggestions or criticisms.

I would particularly welcome open discussion with any person who feels I have mislabeled the possible orientations.

2. Overview

There is, in fact, a correct orientation for a roll of toilet paper in a toilet paper dispenser. As it has recently come to the author's attention that this is not inherently obvious, this HOWTO is provided to educate the population.

3. Orientation

There are two possible orientations for valid installation of a roll of toilet paper in a dispenser. These will be referred to as The Wrong Way and The Right Way. Please see the following diagram:

Wrong Way       Right Way
   |                 |
   |@               @|
   |                 |

| = wall
@ = toilet roll, cutaway view, simplified

4. Discussion

Note that when the toilet paper is installed the right way, the leading edge of the roll will always fall somewhere between the far-top of the roll and hanging down the near side of the roll to the user. When it is install the wrong way, the leading edge will fall somewhere between the near-top of the roll and hanging down the far side of the roll from the user. As the range of near-top to far-top is common to both situations, the difference is that when the toilet paper is hung the right way, it will sometimes hang near the user, and when hung the wrong way, it will sometimes hang far from the user.

Please also note that if a user has a disability which requires them to use their far arm to reach the toilet paper, and the dispenser has been hung relatively low on the wall, these differences are exacerbated.

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 09:31 am

Yes, I have a RAZR. Yes, I have one of those stupid MP3-playing ones. The former is because it's portable and gets good battery life. The latter is because it was the only one I could get free with my plan. That's not what this is about.

See, Verizon replaces the Motorola stock UI software with its own garbage while it's doing whatever software patching is required to make the phone work with its networks. Among other things, they make sure that the new official software can't transfer media files directly to a computer (that's right, the phone used to be capable of downloading ringtones from your computer, but Verizon disabled that feature to make a quick buck. Jerks.). The whole thing is pretty awful.

I've found a new depth of terrible, though. The Alarm Clock feature. Apparently when you store a repeating alarm (daily or M-F; nice feature), it stores the time of day of the alarm with respect to UTC or something. I'm not sure what it's doing. What I know is that my 8:30am alarm mysteriously changed to a 9:30am alarm when we started DST this weekend. (I'll spare you the rant about DST today.) Not only does it go off at 9:30, but the clock displays it at 9:30. What percentage of users do you think want their repeating alarm to hold constant with respect to the sun when we switch to DST, vs. what percentage to hold constant with respect to the wall clock?

Sorry I overslept on Monday. I made the mistake of trusting Verizon with my alarm, and they screwed it up.

marcmagus: (regexp)
Thursday, January 31st, 2008 04:28 pm

I just want to mention, for the record, that I hate filename extensions on anything with the executable bit set. Yes, I'm looking at you, authors of Perl and Python scripts.

When I'm at the command-line and want to run a command (say, "todo"), I want to type "todo" and have it work. I don't want to have to type "todo.pl", nor do I want to have to type "todo<TAB>" to get my shell to do it for me. I shouldn't have to know, or care, or even be reminded of what scripting language the script I'm invoking was written in. Isn't the entire point of the "she-bang" magic line available in all modern shells that you can run a script without having to know what kind of script it is?

Can anybody give me a single good reason we keep tacking all this ugly garbage onto the end of our scripts? It's not like editors can't use that same first line to figure out what kind of script it is and turn on appropriate syntax features. (I'm sorry, it's 2008. If your editor can't handle that, what's wrong with your editor?)

So why is my world filled with "todo.pl" and "moap.py" and "generate.sh" (in all probability requiring bash, no less)? Will you all just cut it out? I'm sick of having to symlink and alias around your annoying naming conventions.