noideadog: (coffee)
Do you ever feel like you spend half your internet life unsubscribing from things?
noideadog: (Default)
There's too much social networking these days. I'm still figuring out where to put things. It used to be Livejournal by default, but now short things mostly go on twitter, and location-specific things mostly go on buzz, and occasional sanitised items of family interest go on facebook.

After a couple of weeks, I'm not really warming to facebook. I have to tell you that even if I'm your friend there, I'm probably not reading anything you say. This is not because I don't think you're astonishingly sexy and interesting (I do!), but because it's just not a pleasant place to be. Even apart from their anti-privacy creepiness, it's just full of noise and distractions; compared to other sites, there's not a lot of content. But that's where my family are, and I want to see my family, so I'm there too. (They used to be on bebo, so things are getting better.)

Anyway, I'm thinking about this social networking thing because posting is starting to feel a bit like telling the same story for the third time at a party. You know that kind of embarrassing thing where someone new arrives and asks you a question and you're responding but you're also wincing because you know that everyone else has heard you tell this twice and it's not really that good a story to start with? Social networking's starting to feel like that.

(I wonder if it could be more like getting the same news story from a bunch of different sources. Maybe we should post with a different slant on each social site. You can be all "I got a pet monkey and it is so much fun" on twitter and "Wow, minding this monkey is a big responsibility" on facebook and "here is a historical record of monkeys I have known" on livejournal and "let's review the local monkey grooming parlour" on buzz. It could be a fully integrated social news thing. Maybe not.)

This is a defensive introduction to me talking about how we got flooded at 5am last night, even though I've already put it on twitter and on the bookfaces and emailed people at work and told the dude in the coffee shop.

We got flooded! (Try to look a bit surprised).

It turns out that if you have drains right outside your door, one of the things you're supposed to regularly do is check that they aren't covered in leaves. It seems so obvious now.

Here's a cat's eye view of the space just outside our door, before we put the cat flap in.

From picasa


There are a couple of steps leading down from the door, and a couple of others leading up into the back yard. There's a drain to keep it clear so that water can't ever start leaking through your door. (You can't see the drain because it's covered in leaves. Whoops.)

We were woken up by sheets of water gushing under the door and through the cat flap, really fast and powerful and really noisy. It's lucky that Joel has fast reactions: he ran outside in his nighttime apparel (behold! the moon!) and stood calf-deep in the water pulling out handfuls of leaves, and it totally saved the day: it drained in a few seconds. Not before it had filthed up the inside of the house though. The water covered the floor to enough depth to make it splashy to walk, and everywhere was covered in little leaves and feathers and grime, not least our feet. There were smears of muck on everything. We used all of the towels in the house trying to contain the mess, and the bathroom suffered pretty badly through all the wringing out.

We were lucky though: there weren't any books or computers on the floor for once, and we got the extension leads out of the way in time. Although my study was soaked, the only real damage was to the comic box, and that's ok because all of the comics are in nerdy bags.

Overall we got off lightly. I'm impressed at Joel's fast and decisive response too. He unblocked the drain while I was still rubbing my eyes and trying to understand what was going on. (I'm less impressed at the cat who sat watching the door and looking worried and waiting for us to fix it and didn't raise the alarm. Worst guard-cat ever.)

A cleaner came in this evening to fix everything, and she had time left over so she made our house embarrassingly clean. She did the cat litter and refolded clothes and everything. You should see the bath! It is so tempting to make this a regular part of our lives. We are doomed to bourgeoisity.
noideadog: (Default)

In the last three goddamn hours I have:

  • finished reading the Foundation Trilogy
  • trimmed and reorganised my Reader subscriptions, adding categories, removing dead feeds, finding better ones.
  • read the last several months of lots of blogs and forums about Brooklyn, learned that one of the two buses I ever take is being cancelled (the B71) and investigated the arguments on both sides of the Gowanus Super Fun Superfund.
  • wished for strata of localised social networking so you can start at high quality posts from your neighbourhood, and work downwards, a lot like deciding whether you to display comments with a ranking below 5 on slashdot or youtube. (Also filters so I can grep out ' lol$')
  • played Echo Bazaar on my phone and read the EB blog and some associated wikiage.
  • regretted reading about bedbug infestations
  • thought at length about the last episodes of Doctor Who Season 4 and how they could have been made as good as they deserved to be. What a waste of that ensemble. My heart crashed when I heard the first "exterminate". Ugh. (Though, ok, points for "Daleks do not accept apologies.")
  • stared at the ceiling while listening to the cat snoring and wondered whether we should get her a bigger box to sleep in so that she lies out more flat and whether cats get back strain and also what about RSI.
  • not become noticeably more tired.

Bored, dudes. Too brain-tired to do anything useful; not sleepy enough to sleep. If I'd realised I was going to be awake this long I'd have started a game of Civ.
noideadog: (monkey!)
Oh livejournal, I still like you most of all. *hug*

I don't know about you people, but the sooner I get reader, goodreads, twitter, buzz, wave, email, IM and sms into a single page that I can skim and mark as read, the happier I'll be. My brain is full.

It's Health Month here at Tanya and Joel HQ, which means no booze, no refined sugar, no desserts, no big greasy bags of chips, no white bread, no mashed potatoes, no unnecessary joy. God. I mean, just kill me now. I lost half a stone[1] in the first few days as my body freaked the hell out, and I had to eat a wheel of cheese[2] to get back to normal. Cheese is a clever loophole, and one that might seem like an oversight, but my cholesterol levels are so low that they give me other people's cholesterol to take care of, so I can eat as much saturated fat as I want and never, ever die. I think that's how it works anyway. On the other hand, my 'eating so much bread that I go into a coma' levels are generally precarious, and I would have martinis for breakfast if I could convince New York society to bring it back into fashion, so taking a month off both won't hurt, probably. Won't hurt me anyway.

It's actually not that bad. We're a third of the way through and it's been fine, apart from every time someone in a book or a movie talks about beer, and I think about how many delicious porters exist in the world and of the limited time I have left on the earth to get really familiar with all of them. Damn you, subliminal advertising. I think I could be fine without everything else (maybe not chips), but going to a new city and not being able to investigate their local brewery would make me sad. Mmm. There's so much good beer out there.

The other thing I've been doing recently is Couch To 5K. This is something I've been planning for a while, but I got blocked for months on not knowing how to buy running shoes, and especially not knowing how to buy running shoes that weren't evil. Obstacle passed (it turns out you read this post and then go into a good shop and say "I want running shoes. Which ones aren't made by or out of children?"), I'm on week two of c25K (90 seconds running, two minutes walking for twenty minutes), and it's not impossible exactly, but it's more difficult than I expected. Nonetheless, running is a useful life skill, and I am determined to conquer it, or fall down dead trying. You know that I'll update lj, twitter, buzz, wave, blah, blah, blah, either way. (But not facebook because you have to have standards.)

[1] Americans, this is 1.8 fortnights sterling, or six decijoules.
[2] 14 hands, six imperial bushels
noideadog: (monkey!)
How old would you be if you were born in august 1966?
What causes millipedes?
How do you discourage a mockingbird?
How can you get your mom to say yes to an aquatic frog?
Why do you think linux and unix share more commands than windows xp and unix?
How do you make your hair go down?
Is ireland liked?
Did anybody die in the film titanic?
Does Wario have a girlfriend?
How many cm is 32mms?
What does canada import from canada?
How do you loose varginity?


WikiAnswers, people. Beware, it is the ultimate eater of time.

I answered a couple, most notably "What state is Ireland in?". I said "Sure it's in a terrible state altogether.". This joke is older than I am, and I still laugh my ass off every time.
noideadog: (coffee)
I don't normally put my surname on things. My first name is a unique enough identifier for the parts of the internet that matter and, for the rest, I don't like to be too searchable. There's no particular reason for that -- my internet presence is reasonably well spelled, and there's nothing I've written since I've left college that I'd be ashamed to put my name to -- but it's a habit that I've never seen a reason to break.

I've been thinking about this recently though, and I'm starting to see the value in presenting an internet profile which is distinctly you. Part of this is something that [livejournal.com profile] olethros mentioned a while back, that people who aren't on facebook still have a facebook silhouette. Without a profile, your profile is defined by the people who mention and tag you. It might be worth being there just so you can exert a small measure of control over what you look like there.

The bigger reason is that there are so many people online now. Even if you have a relatively uncommon name, the odds are high that there's going to be someone there who could be mistaken for you. There's no guarantee that you won't be embarrassed by them.

Right now Joel and I are applying to join a co-op, and it's very reasonable to expect a potential neighbour and business partner to check us out online. There are at least three other people on the internet with my name, at least one of whom is either very young or dangerously vacuous. It frightens me that someone might think that that person is me.

Anyway, my longwinded point here is that today I attached my real name to my twitter account and to my Google profile, so there's some of me on the front page of a search for my name. Both of those link directly here. And if you're reading this because you're a member of the co-op board for that place on President Street, then you've done some good detective work. Please say hi! I promise that Joel and I are ok neighbours.
noideadog: (brain)
I finally got it earlier today. Twitter is distributed irc, except much less time-sensitive. That's actually pretty clever.
noideadog: (brain)
In Chinatown the other evening we heard some booming, like fireworks maybe, or cannons, and I wished that the internet was like a cyberpunk novel with newsnerds constantly updating about what's going on everywhere. I suppose that could be a purpose for twitter at last. Make it happen, someone, wouldya? I should be able to say "What the hell's going on?" and get information to my phone about what everyone knows about my current location. I don't have a more detailed design than that. Get on it, someone.

Ugh, the bad thing is that it's nearly 3am, but the really good thing is that I've just finished putting Tiger back on my powerbook, which I've been getting around to since December. If you're thinking of putting Leopard on a twelve inch powerbook, I recommend that you don't, unless you're very focussed and prefer to have exactly one application open at a time.
noideadog: (culture)
I don't store information in my brain any more. Plans and appointments go in calendar. Movies and plays I see go in my paper notebook, as do flight numbers, quotes and things I expect to be amused by, years from now. Books go into goodreads.com. My "work" file has a list of when I was in work, and what I did while I was there, in detail, including summaries of problems left to solve, and a todo list split into "today", "this week" and "some time". I keep useful command lines or solutions in one of several "notes" files. Most of them are aliased in my .bash_profile anyway. Livejournal tags frequently help me remember when I did stuff. Password hints remind me what I was thinking years ago. My mail client stores addresses and my phone stores numbers. Maps tells me how to get where I'm going. And the ubiquitous search box does everything else, converting celsius to fahrenheit, mls to cups, New York time to Japan time, and so on, and correcting my spelling while it does so. Nil by brain.

Every single time I bake soda bread, I look up the recipe online.

Every single time I want to do ssh port forwarding, I get it from my commandline history.

Every single time I do something basic with tcpdump, I read the man page.

Every single time I need to use my social security number, I look it up in my phone.

I realised how bad this all is earlier today while googling for how long it was ok to leave cooked fish in the fridge before reheating it. If t'internet went away tomorrow, I'm not sure how long I'd survive before dying from food poisoning or ignorance, or being eaten by bears.




(I'm actually kind of worried about that, the more that I think about it. Not the bears-and-poisoning part, not really, but that maybe this is not the way to maintain healthy memory-centres. What if this internet thing is causing worldwide brain damage?)




(It'd explain a lot.)




Today I bought a jigsaw of the subway map, a mallet, a chisel, a set of drawing pencils, four comics, three yoghurts and my first ever root beer float. Today I tipped badly in anger, went to MOMA, had lunch outside at the (excellent!) Shake Shack with rain trickling down my neck, saw Jesus Hopped the A Train and reheated slightly old fish.




MOMA on a Sunday isn't ideal for my personal way of seeing galleries and museums, which is this: stride purposely past as many exhibits as possible, occasionally exclaiming and sitting down and really appreciating something good, or surprising, or familiar. Go through each room several times, liking different things every cycle. Repeat until brain is full.

It's not easy when there are thousands of people who appreciate things in a slower, saner, more thoughtful way.




I didn't know what Jesus Hopped the A Train was. Actually, I thought it was something obscure and silly, based partly on the name, and partly on the fact that it was recommended by the Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company, who are about as silly as the name might imply. So it was a bit of a surprise to take my seat in the very full Town Hall theatre (capacity: ~2300), and become aware of the excited buzz filling up the room.

Apparently JHTAT was rather excitedly anticipated. And famous, I guess. I guess I get my philistine merit badge, because.. *makes that whoosh over-ones-head gesture* .. nevvererdovit at all.

And then a dude who was apparently Philip Seymore Hoffman came out on stage, and said enthusiastic things about various people involved in putting on the reading, and the crowd applauded every single name, and cheered some of them. And seemed close to rapturous tears. Diane and I looked at each other all "Who's this guy?" and "What the fuck do you think is happening?", but figured out nothing. It was like the time Joel and I were sitting outside a restaurant, and some dude was walking by, and two girls ran up to him, -very- excited by having ACTUALLY MET HIM, and took their picture with him, and raced off again with huge smiles. Do you think I knew who he was? I did not.

My inability to recognise celebrities is frustrating for younger-sister-and-celeb-worshipper Tina. Living in NYC and not recognising them seems to her like to be the most horrific waste.

But the play/reading was bloody good, anyway. Definitely worth going to, if it's on again. Just remember to be excited, or you'll stand out.
noideadog: (culture)
I just got this mail:

from parents@barbiegirls.com
to t@google.com,
date 22 February 2008 14:45
subject Your daughter needs permission to play at BarbieGirls.com

Dear Parent,

Your daughter registered at BarbieGirls.com under this anonymous screen name:
twentyna

Please check out our site tour at www.BarbieGirls.com.

With your permission, your daughter can join our virtual community, create an online character, design her own room, shop with virtual "money," play games, watch videos, and chat with other girls in a controlled environment.

Please review this e-mail carefully to learn more about BarbieGirls.com, our privacy and safety features, our community rules, and how to activate your daughter's account.

Read more... )

So what does one do? I created an account on the site, and it's innocuous enough, if you discount the horrific flash animation and the Barbie branding. Should I give some random kid on the internet access to a site she wants to play on? Or should I let her figure out her mistake and send another email to her parent's real address? What if her parent doesn't have email, and she's too young to realise that she can set up a second email address for herself? She might never get to play in the star room or flower room :-(

I think I'll allow it, and presumably confuse the hell out of the parent, if the kid ever talks to them about it. What would you do?
noideadog: (monkey!)
I can has internets! At last! It is good to have internets, is it not?
noideadog: (monkey!)
This evening was excellent. Not really expecting it, I asked Drew whether his new house had an attic. It had! I spent an enjoyable half hour or so precariously balanced on on a step ladder, digging through his landlord's stuff and not finding a lost Rembrandt or mummified head or anything. Attics are exciting. There was a drawing of someone or other and a selection of dull sheet music and an interesting lamp. There were bags and bags of unexplored mysteries. There was a -really- ugly lampshade, and a notebook with a few words written in irish. It was great.

Odds and sods from today:
First, for the particular interest of [livejournal.com profile] gothwalk and [livejournal.com profile] inannajones, a story of how I have just failed at the Internet. Or maybe the Internet's failed at me. Something's failed anyway. There's a failure theme.

The mission: Find out how to set the clock on a Hinari Lifestyle Microwave Oven model number MX676TCGM

Simple, huh? )

Google answers doesn't exist any more, unfortunately. It seems like the ideal question for there.
So the possible next steps are
- to call the manufacturers in the UK: http://www.instruction-manuals.co.uk/category/microwav/hinari.htm
- to buy a new microwave
- to move to a timezone where the current clock time is true
- to remove power from the thing for a while, then plug it back in at exactly midnight (I'm only guessing, but I bet this will work)
- to put a sticker over the time
- to not mind it being wrong

I couldn't do the last one personally, but you chaps might be less OCD.


And for [livejournal.com profile] mollydot, today's word is.. twaddle.

degree Twaddle (°Tw)
a unit measuring the specific gravity of liquids denser than water. 1 °Twaddle represents a difference in specific gravity of 0.005 or 1/200, so a liquid of specific gravity S is measured at 200(S - 1) °Tw. For milk, 1 °Twaddle equals 5 °Quevenne

A twaddle is five quevenne. You were right. It's all so clear now.


I'm reading the Time Traveller's Wife. It's bloody brilliant. Thanks to the five or so people who told me to read it, and to [livejournal.com profile] bringaisce who gave me his copy.

I'm going to sleep now.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
Do you prefer ponies or unicorns? Are you more geared towards the amazing or the unbelievable? Vote here.

Everything is very busy in my life. I went to the Schoolhouse on Thursday to celebrate that [livejournal.com profile] involvingniall and I had been promoted. The resulting bellyful of ale was very nice, but was less comfortable next day, and meant that I didn't much enjoy the work Summer Party on Friday. It was a pretty good party: a very relaxed affair, designed so that one could lie on the ground on a squishy cushion, eat good food, drink beer and talk to people and babies, but at 6:30 I needed to nap and [livejournal.com profile] gerrowadat and I left to watch V for Vendetta in my house. That's a great movie. It gets better with re-watching. (I never claimed this would be an interesting livejournal entry.)

Today a bunch of us had breakfast in town, and then I failed to buy materials that would make me learn French. I wanted an exciting story, aimed at six to ten year olds, that would grip me with adventure and suspense and wanting to know what happened to, for example, some brave children who wanted to outwit smugglers, or an elephant who had lost his balloon. Instead, my choices were Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, or French Verbs For Beginners.

I don't know whether I learn very differently to ordinary humans, or whether there just isn't a good range of language learning books out there, but I couldn't find anything I liked. I don't want tapes. I think that tapes are a gimmicky way of increasing the price of a book by 200%. I mean, I already know what French sounds like, and I know that I learn much faster by reading than by hearing about how some dude buys milk and cheese in a shop. Language tapes do not tell exciting stories. I guess fun, easy solutions don't really exist.

In other news, I'm off to Zurich on Tuesday, for work stuff. I arrive back on Saturday, and then I'm on holidays on the following Thursday. Zurich should be good fun and good work, but I'm really looking forward to the holidays more than ever before. The plan is to take the path of least resistance: no matter what happens, I'm going to take the easy way out. I'm going to have all of the simple, relaxing, stupid fun I can. I am -so- -tired-. I can't remember a time in my life when I've needed a brain-dead holiday this much. Or indeed at all. I have become weak. Don't judge me.

In the meantime, Kells tomorrow. There's no broadband there. In the future we'll look back with longing at the idea of places of refuge, far from wireless or brain-implanted networking. We'll wish for places where we can be free of information. Until then, I'll continue to find it quite inconvenient.
noideadog: (booze)
One of the best things about the Internet is the way that you open your laptop to look up the lyrics to The Irish Rover and twenty minutes later you're on the official website of the Child of Prague.

It's 9am and I've been awake for three hours. Oh the evils of drink! Oh the perils of the early morning hangover! Still, it means I get to see Saturday morning for the first time in a long while. (And it was a good night out. Well worth it.)

Tina's visiting today. I'm also on call. We're going to have a subdued and movie-watching weekend. Actually, don't suppose anyone has a copy of Risk they'd like to lend me?
noideadog: (Default)
I didn't go to sleep. I got talking to a fellow laptop-totin' grownup Irish lady here called Niamh (ah, the pronounciations she's heard. I told her about how Neev sometimes spells it Neev.), and then I read a bit about Mexico on the inter-networks and then I talked to Melmoth online, and now I'm still here. But sleeping soon.

I read a bit about tours to Yosemite too. Yosemite is hard to remember how to pronounce. I keep finding myself saying it out loud under my breath whenever someone else says it.

I'm wearing a tshirt today that says




I think that's pretty funny. I recommend glarkware.com.

In the distance, I hear "Hey I couldn't help seeing you're on myspace.com. Well, I probably could have helped, but I didn't.", which I think is a pretty classy way to start chatting up a girl. They're comparing tastes in music. Are you on myspace.com?

[Poll #667689]

I don't really get it, despite explanation attempts by [livejournal.com profile] cliph, but I understand that it is a Cultural Phenomenon.

In the other distance, a radio is playing frantic jazz. It doesn't feel like 2am.
noideadog: (meerkat)
A US-based ISP has been awarded $11.2bn (£6.38bn) in a judgement against a Florida spammer who sent millions of unsolicited emails to its users [...] The judgement, given by US District Judge Charles R. Wolle on 23 December, 2005, also prohibits McCalla from accessing the Internet for three years. [Link]

Well, that's not bad, is it? It's probably not much of a deterrant, but it's a good start. 11.2 billion is a number beyond what I can imagine, and I'm sure someone who has that much money can afford to get out of paying it, but can you imagine THREE YEARS without Internet access? (Three years in a mouldy cell without Internet access would be better for him of course.)
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
I had a bit of a revelation last night. It seems that if I close my laptop, and put it in another room, and seat myself at a table with a cup of tea, a pen and a short stack of printer paper, that I get more work done that when I'm fecking around on the Internet. The Internet may not be the catalyst of productivity that we have long imagined. This is strange and upsetting, I know.

Did you notice my smug voice just there? Imagine it, if you didn't. That's because last night I finished my lesson plan - and it's not due until Wednesday! Check that out! It's a deadline, in the future, that I've already met. In the future! This means that I can get an early night tonight, and - excitingly - there's a small chance that for the first time my lesson feedback won't include "Relax!" as a reference to my tired, nervy over-caffeination.

A small chance.

Needing - no, deserving a lie in after last Wednesday's class, I made my excuses to the other Grumpy Breakfast Club members (Well, ok, there's only Gliceas) on Thursday and Friday, so yesterday was my first 7am start in a couple of days. Dark, wasn't it? Screw Autumn: if you have to put on the light to find your shoes, it's Winter. I was a bit relieved when I heard people saying we were just having an eclipse of some kind, but no, this morning was just as dark. It's only October! By December I'm going to need a miner's helmet just to locate my bed.

It was cold too. I got dressed under the duvet to protect against frostbite.

Stupid Winter. Here is a list of everything Winter has going for it:
big sloppy bowls of potatoey stew
fingerless gloves
Christmas!
snowmen
mulled wine (and that's part of Christmas really, isn't it?)
the crunching noise that frost makes under your boots (and that's almost cancelled out by the fact that you can no longer feel your nose or see through your crystalised eyelashes)
umm..

I hate Winter. I tried to reject it this morning by turning up the shower temperature until my skin started to dissolve, but the ice has settled inside my major organs and, as is traditional, I won't be warm again until May. Time to get the oilskins out, I guess.
noideadog: (scary jellybaby)
[livejournal.com profile] mr_wombat and I have used our 4 gig monthly download allowance in eleven days. I'm not proud of this.
noideadog: (Default)
DSL. We've waited so long.

I'm trying to go to bed, but the DSL won't let me.

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noideadog: (Default)
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