Well, I have to admit that things are really starting to look up for me since my life turned to shit.
— Ghost World (film, 2001)
Well, I have to admit that things are really starting to look up for me since my life turned to shit.
— Ghost World (film, 2001)
App was terrible. It is just like a note book that costs money. I downloaded this and deleted it within 5 minutes. Strongly recommend that people should not waste their money on this. I learned by my mistakes.
Because, we all know that $2 is an absurd amount to charge for a notebook.
An empty house.
A heart full with joy.
All my dreams coming true.
Sleepless nights filled with nightmares.
My demons overwhelming me.
The tears in her eyes as she said yes.
Rising above who I thought I could be.
Remembering that she is not coming back.
All the things I wanted and the things I achieved.
The smell of her and how it quickly faded away.
Generosity and the lot of fuck all it got me.
I had followed but I have no maps for these territories.
Unbearable horror and its presence over me.
I would have followed wherever you would have led me.
Being swept away and yet enjoying the ride.
Thinking about her in love with someone else.
The magic of that night when we first met.
An overwhelming disappointment.
Fear of never loving again.
Burning the pictures of us.
All of these things at once.
Her naked body.
So as we spazzed down the Boulevard with techno thudding hard from the open shop doors lending us the gerry to drive us forward under the late afternoon’s turd-colored sky, Shelly de Lee bopped her way out into our vision with her T’s and A’s all a bangaranging round in gunmetal vinyl, sending us hooting and hollering like the apes we were. She let out a yell at our immature calling but we all knew there was a smirk on those cherry lips sitting neath the rubber and plastic of her respirator. There was a rush of breeze as we passed thru the airseal and into the shop, as we casually flicked the straps of our own respirators and sent them swinging off our ugly faces, with Norco staying back keeping at his catcalls. It’s dank and sweet in here as we all swagger up to the counter, up to redhaired Mary with her freckles and her fucking perky blue beret hanging impossibly on her head and sweet-talk our way into five of Henry’s new potions he’s been cooking up. Three of us break the seals on ours as we head for a table by the window, telling Norco his is on the counter waiting for him to stick it up his ass, where The Pompadour was staying back trying to crack another seal with ole Mary, and Norco torpedoes that good and drags The Pomp back over to the crew. We all savor that milky first sip of this fucking concoction, then the sweet then the bitter all mix in, and then we all get the first rush of the caffeine and the tetra, and the dumb shit murals in the place go all supersaturated and we’re buzzing and so cool.
It was all starting to look more appropriate, given the situation. Like I was now playing the part better than ever. Beer bottles, a pizza box, takeout plastic bags strewn on the table, invading atop the mortgage statements, insurance letters, earnings statements that had been occupying the space for weeks. In the kitchen, dirty dishes claimed the sink, a half-empty bottle of whiskey sat there in silence on the counter, pots here and there, an old iPhone, still functional but replaced by the newest and greatest, some months past. A great glass carboy of beer was fermenting on the countertop, the airlock bubbling quietly about every second, having finally calmed down after bubbling frantically through the blow-off tube the first 48 hours. I still have that behind me, I thought, that when centered that’s what I do, I create. My beard coming in as a patchwork of wiry hair. A broken, large umbrella sat propped up against the couch. Having hurt my knee, this umbrella was recruited as a makeshift cane until I could walk again unaided; the umbrella had been sitting out in the plastic bin in the backyard, that had been turned into a container for random garbage. Dog food had been thrown into that container too, at one point, leaving it a target for the raccoons to rummage through and disturb in the dead of night. Things can be abstract and pushed aside in your mind until something comes along to make it real. The cat sitting there merely watching a raccoon thrice his size rummage. When getting up to use the toilet, or to get a drink, or to go smoke a cigarette, I’d prop myself upright, hunched over to steady myself on the couch and/or coffee table, and grab the umbrella/cane, and take steps: left foot, right foot and cane, left foot, right foot and cane. It made it a whole lot easier, so long as you kept your rhythm and remembered to use the cane when you put weight on the injured knee. I could imagine I looked exactly like old men you see who need a cane daily, and it was different to feel it, not to only see it. I’ve always had the bad habit of imagining how situations will go, how a conversation might progress, to the point where I’m ignoring what’s actually going on. Some drinks and a few swift kicks to the doghouse I had built, that was enough to wrench my lower leg sideways, stretch something inside my knee too far. It swelled up to twice the size it should be, and made alarming clicking noises when it moved a certain way. Feeling the different distribution of force through the cane, yourself a big A-frame. A giant old black beach cruiser was parked in the dining room, parked there by a friend for safekeeping, far too large for me to try to ride. The doghouse I built is now forever empty, the dog I built it for having died too young, and whose ashes now sat in a wooden box perched on a shelf. I’d looked, but I could find no makeshift cane for my heart. My espresso machine’s pump kicked on, filling the house with a crunching rumble for a second. The umbrella’s canopy has come undone from the supporting prongs, and the prongs have started coming loose from the shaft, so it couldn’t function as an umbrella any longer; the shaft is still a strong, intact piece, with a large rubber grip on one end and a rubber knob on the other, and as a cane it provides stability and traction. This house was to be ours, we’d started building a life, and now it sat quiet and empty, except for the whisper of my own blood in my ears. Nothing was left, just accumulating garbage, remnants, memories. Software written with love and genius, now sitting unused, shuttered behind doors of companies, in the attic of some revision control system. Books on the table, including “Starting Strength”, which now I’ll need to get to at some point, when my knee has repaired itself again. I will rebuild. I will build more, it’s what I do, all I can do, and those things will be abandoned in front of me, not granting me the silence of death before they begin their lives of disuse and decay.
CrossFit, Inc. recently sent me a cease and desist notice for my app, WOD, because I mentioned “CrossFit” in the description and title of the app.
I contend that I was using “CrossFit” in a descriptive manner, and that my usage may have been interpreted as fair use. I wanted to work with CrossFit Inc. to clear this up, but they decided instead to be hard-line fuckheads about it. I’ve removed my app from the store, and submitted a new version that makes no mention of “CrossFit” in the app metadata.
I sent their threat to chillingeffects.org; if it gets published there I’ll point it out.
CrossFit Inc. are being dicks. They’re a shitty company, and I would hope people start to distance themselves from them, because being an affiliate gives you nothing but branding.
User: Hey! There's this problem.
Me: I'm sorry, can you give me details about this problem?
Me: Hm, I see. I looked at it, and it looks like you did something wrong, and there really isn't anything I can do about it. *I'm secretly hoping that now you'll just drop it and go away.*
As a follow-up, after another rough day and a sour outlook, our dog’s results came back stable and slightly improved today. We’re looking for some help — any help — in covering the costs of her treatment.
It happened shockingly quickly, faster that I would have guessed, though the signs were there. I had, unfortunately, attributed these early signs as simply a reaction to the new medication we had introduced, since they weren’t specific, and she only seemed diminished, not on any brink of anything.
Kafka had her first seizures when she was around 10 months. At first, I simply thought she was having a more active dream, since she seemed to be just running. It became clear that this was something else, when on our morning walk she collapsed and had a clear seizure. Working with the vet, we quickly started her on phenobarbital to try and curb the seizures. Over the months that followed, her seizures became more frequent and severe, and we were gradually increasing her dosage. She would typically have a seizure in the middle of the night; all too often if she started with one seizure, more would follow, three, four, five, each a half hour or hour after the previous one. We would use emergency valium, or would make many trips to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. The seizures came regularly, every one or two weeks.
We increased the phenobarbital dosage, then added potassium bromide, then levetiracetam (also known as Keppra, in its non-generic form). The seizures did start to get less severe, and we had fewer cluster incidents, but it still wasn’t enough. We had finally added zonisamide into the mix, and began weaning her off the phenobarbital. She was getting weaker, and more unstable, and we backed the phenobarbital off more aggressively, and left the potassium bromide out entirely.
During the week, her appetite waned, and she became more and more lethargic. We figured it was because of the zonisamide — introduced to her just a few weeks prior — that that was dampening her appetite. She would sleep most of the day, but would greet me happily when I got home, and would still go on walks, though she was getting slower and slower, and would trip and fall occasionally. Saturday she was pretty bad, listless, slept most of the day, ate very little, and generally looked to be in poor shape.
Sunday morning she started vomiting, early while we were still in bed. I noticed too that the whites of her eyes were turning yellow. I bought some milk thistle, some high-quality dog treats, and fed her those as she laid with me on the couch. As the day waned, she became more and more unable to walk, until she crawled her way into the bedroom, and crouched to pee on the carpet, her head was in a corner, sitting in her urine, and could barely move. I moved her away from the urine spot, and she laid there, barely moving. I looked at her and the darkness of the urine she had left, and gave the animal hospital a call. I described her symptoms, and they told me it was a good idea to bring her in given those symptoms. I carried her to my car, drove out to the vet’s office, and carried her in.
I’m certain if I hadn’t called the vet and brought her in for treatment, she would have died that night.
The vet that was on staff broke the news to us, compassionately, that our dog’s liver was failing, and that her prognosis was not good. The vet told us that she might not make it though the night, and that we may be left with no option but humane euthanization. They gave her an IV, and gave her a plasma transfusion. We took the opportunity to go see her in the ICU, IV in her arm and a plastic cone around her neck. She weakly kissed both of us and tried crawling out of the cage to come with us.
That night was tense, the two of us waiting for a call that might mean our sweet, lovely, young dog had died. The vet only called to ask for our permission to give her the plasma transfusion, which would help with her blood clotting, and would make her feel better. I gladly gave them permission, not minding the additional cost it meant.
No other calls came until morning, when the vet called to let us know that she had survived, and had done well, and was continuing to do well. Ultrasound of her internal organs showed no damage to her other organs, and her liver did not look as bad as it could have been. Over the course of the day she gained more energy, ate more, and was able to walk around and sniff the vet’s office when I came for a visit. She is still well in straits, and we don’t know how well she will recover, how long she will live after this, or how well we can control her seizures going forward.
I didn’t know if I should write this now, because it’s not over yet, but I felt I had to say something. I’ve thought a lot about what I might write, or what I might say, if sweet Kafka had died, or if we put her down, and I’ve needed an outlet for these feelings. Everything could change in a moment, and I could go back to the intense anger and grief that gripped me last night. But I’m guardedly optimistic, hoping for the best.
To mention the elephant in the room up front, I can no longer support or even allow firearm ownership in the United States to continue. Yes, I don’t want you to have guns any longer. I believe they are barbaric and dangerous, they have no place whatsoever in a civilized society, and that banning private ownership of them is the only way the United States can achieve some semblance of modern civilization.
Now, I know this is a nigh-on impossible thing to put into place, given the inertia of gun ownership in this country. I know we revere the second amendment to the constitution like it was gospel, handed down from above by our all-knowing forefathers and so much thus infallible and closed off to change. I know that gun owners harbor the fantasy that the reason they should have the right to own their guns is primarily to stop some fanciful version of the US government that no longer worked to maintain the health and happiness of its people (I am a hard core armchair liberal and it makes me seethe when I see the police acting like jackbooted thugs towards simple political protests, so I can sympathize easily with that anti-authoritarian standpoint).
So, thus, I have a proposal. The second amendment may remain intact, and you may retain ownership of all of your firearms. You may even own high-caliber, fully-automatic firearms. You may clean, fix, and shoot them as much as you like.
But what you cannot do is own them in public society or in private residences.
See, what I’d like to see put in place are established, licensed places — I will call them armories — where you are allowed to store, clean, fix, modify, and discharge firearms. You are not allowed to remove weapons or ammunition from the premises of the armory except in certain restricted scenarios, to facilitate hunting. You will be in charge of purchasing and maintaining your weapons, and for a small fee (bolstered by public funding), you will be able to store your weapons in a secure place. You may visit the armory at any time: you will be given keys and/or credentials so you may enter the armory and practice with your firearms (locks granting access to an armory will require transparent, public implementations, so backdoors or centralized lockdowns are impossible). Armories will be guarded on a continuous basis (but surveillance that can be centralized will be forbidden, so as not to allow a tyrannical government to stop its people from a deserved revolt), to prevent gun owners from removing their weapons from the armory.
So if gun ownership really is about maintaining a democracy against tyrannical governments, and it isn’t about your simple, base desire to wield mortal power over other people, than the armory idea should be a fine one and in line with the principles of the second amendment.
Dammit, don’t make me go and be an Apple apologist, but jeez everybody. So to start off:
Apple’s Maps app in iOS 6 has flaws.
Probably few people outside of Apple and Google know why Apple decided to make their own Maps app. It may have been Apple snubbing Google; Google might have demanded terms that Apple couldn’t accept.
But so, some points I have to make:
A lot of complaints are that Apple was not able, in version 1.0 of an app, to create a complete, height-accurate, textured model of the entire fucking Earth down to the last building. Yeah, fuck them, why couldn’t they do that in 6 months?
Making a mapping app of the caliber they’re shooting for is hard. They’ve gotten as far as they have in a fairly short amount of time; Google has had years to improve their map system. I want to see just how great Apple can make their mapping system, once they have time to mature it.
The vector-based map implementation is, actually, incredibly good. My biggest complaint with Google’s maps app was always the shitty tile loading.
I hope Apple contributes improvements back to OpenStreetMap, based on usage of their app. If they just do that, the entire exercise of creating their own Maps app will be worth it, and worth us not having the best, most-accurate, Maps app that is one day old.
Maps and directions are extremely important apps for a smartphone. Do you really think Apple wants to be beholden to Google as its exclusive partner for this area? Would you want to be beholden to Google for something so vital?