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[sticky post] Hello!

Oct. 29th, 2009 | 03:00 pm

Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside!

— Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part II)

Hi there!

If you're reading this, you're probably just looking at my journal, perhaps even thinking about adding me as an LJ-friend; or alternatively, perhaps I just added you as an LJ-friend, and you're curious about me now. In either case, I I'd like to use this opportunity to say a few things.

Trevor: You're skating the edge.
Æon: I
am the edge.

— Æon Flux

First of all, I tend to write freely about topics everything that matters to me; more distanced, "professional" entries may directly be followed by more personal ones (and vice versa), and I will, generally, openly write about all sorts of things, including philosophy, sexuality, politics and more. Some of my entries will be friends-only, others will be publicly viewable, too, and unlike other people, I don't use <lj-cut /> tags or specific "topic filters" (i.e., custom friends groups dedicated to specific topics) to shield people from things they may not want to see.

Well, as long as it's text, that is; I will cut images that aren't safe for work etc. (at least if I remember, which I might not always do!), since I wouldn't want for people to get in trouble if their boss happens to be shoulder-surfing at work. Text, though, is a different issue, and if you'll get into trouble for reading about certain topics at work, you probably shouldn't be checking your friends page at work to begin with.

He said, "I am told that when men hear its voice, it stays in their ears, they cannot be rid of it. It has many different voices: some happy, but others sad. It roars like a baboon, murmurs like a child, drums like the blazing arms of one thousand drummers, rustles like water in a glass, sings like a lover and laments like a priest."

— Mike Oldfield, Amarok (liner notes)

Second of all, concerning friending me: feel free to. There is no need to ask if it's OK to do so; everyone's welcome to, as well as to post comments etc. (as long as they're genuine: spammers etc. will not be tolerated, but that goes without saying, anyway). I may add you back if your journal looks interesting or if I know you, too, but this isn't automatic. If you do want me to add you back, engaging me and talking to me is probably the best way to go about it.

Please don't ask about being added back if I didn't do so on my own, either, unless I already know you well and you want to be able to read my non-public entries.

If I already friended you but you don't know who I am and haven't been in contact with me before, that most likely means I became aware of your journal somehow, took a look, and decided I wanted to keep up with what you're writing — "I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter", as it were. I don't expect you to friend me back or otherwise take an interest in me, but if you do — all the better.

If what it is to be furry you still don't comprehend
Then consider this advice, my curious friend
If you're willing to respect that which you don't understand
Then come take my paw and I'll take your hand.

— from "Furry", by Croc O'Dile of TigerMUCK with help from Tony DeMatio, June 1995

Regarding commenting, BTW, I'm always happy to receive comments. However, things like "lol" are not proper punctuation, and correct spelling and grammar would be nice as well. And of course, I expect people to not be insulting or rude, but that, again, should go without saying.

That's about all I can think of for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Jul. 28th, 2015 | 11:59 am

From the list of Words That Should Exist But Don't™:

bauchery /ˈbɔː.t͡ʃə.ɹi/ n
modesty, restraint, pudency; specifically chastity, sexual abstinence.

Give it a try some time — walk up to, say, a church and exasperatedly exclaim "a... a den of bauchery!". :)

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I spy

Jul. 25th, 2015 | 12:19 pm

From the list-of-things-I-should-do-more-often: put on a black suit and tie, grab a briefcase, and walk up to random people on the street saying things like "it's nice weather we're having today, but it's not as nice as in Russia"... and then politely say good-bye and walk away, no matter the response.

I wonder for long I could get away with that before I was arrested, politely questioned or shot by a sniper (or all the above, not necessarily in that order). ^^

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Windows X spam / GWX / KB 3035583

Jul. 9th, 2015 | 12:14 pm

If you're running a recent Windows version, you probably got a tray icon/notification pestering you to install OS X Windows X. And if you're like me, you're probably thinking "never change a running system — I don't want this, not on this computer".

Unfortunately, this is an offer you can't refuse (though you're not outright being forced to accept it, just yet). In particular:

  • There is no way to say "no, I don't want this, stop bugging me".
  • There is no way to exit the program.
  • If you kill the program, e.g. in Task Manager, it'll be restarted automatically later on.
  • If you hide the tray icon/notification, it'll be unhidden after the next boot.

This is obviously annoying.

It turns out that the program responsible was installed by way of Windows Update. The update is KB 3035583; the English description is:

This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies to a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Perfectly honest description that tells you exactly what it does, right? Descriptions in other languages are even less informative, BTW — you only get the generic "this update fixes problems in windows, you may have to restart your computer after installing it" language.

In any case, if you want to get rid of this notification for good, what you have to do is thus:

  1. Start Windows Update.
  2. Uninstall KB 3035583.
  3. In the list of available updates, right-click KB 3035583 and select "Hide Update".

That should be all that's needed.

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365 days of SL, just for fun 25

Jul. 7th, 2015 | 12:21 am

365 days of SL, just for fun 25: For those who missed it... some shots from the destruction of the Cake Stage at SL12B. The SL12B sims had previously closed, but they were reopened some time before 4pm SLT so people could come back for the grand finale.

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People dancing at the pre-explosion concert with BubbaC John and the Bubbettes. The concert ran from 4pm to 5pm SLT, and it was pretty good; I even managed to get in a few requests.

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After the live concert, people invaded the stage, while Doctor "Doc" Gascoigne, the guy behind not just SL12B but previous SLB community celebrations as well, looked on.

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Mikati Slade, the builder of the Cake Stage, and soon to be its destructor.

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And here's the big event now! First the stage was raised into the air; then it was set !Phantom, unlinked, set Physical (not necessarily in that order), and finally all the parts were deselected so that they'd come tumbling down. And that's exactly what they did!

At least 112 people were there to witness the whole thing, in the four sims immediately surrounding the Cake Stage. And most were hit by giant falling hearts. :) All in all, a worthy end to SL12B; and here's to SL13B next year!

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Blowing up the Cake Stage

Jul. 5th, 2015 | 12:40 pm

SL12B is about over, but there is still the grand finale:

Group Notice From: SLB Community Celebration, Doctor Gascoigne

Mikati will blow up the cake stage at 6 pm slt Sunday July 5

This notice has an attachment.

6pm SLT is 3am for me, so I might not make it, but if so I'll be there in spirit at least, cheering Mikati on. "Make the pie higher! Put food on your family! (In the form of bits of exploded cake!" :)

So, see you there!

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R.I.P. Doug

Jun. 28th, 2015 | 01:12 am

Wow, Doug Winger died. More info here and here.

Doug was a one of the first wave of furry artists whose works I came across when I first got into the furry fandom, back in the 90s; hyper-endowed herms were never really my thing, but I appreciated his artistic skills, his wit, and the cheerfulness that always characterized his pictures.

Doug also gave us the Winger, the unit of squick, one Winger being equivalent to the amount of squick caused by a typical drawing by Doug. :P And then there's Wingerization: the process of hyper-endowing a character, especially to comically large, almost absurd proportions.

If you're curious about Doug's art, most of is on VCL. And if you're innocent and pure and don't know what "hyper-endowed" means, this is about where it starts. (NSFW, natch, and no, there's no upper limit.)

Good-bye, Doug, and rest in peace, you magnificent bastard.

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No IPv4 for you

Jun. 27th, 2015 | 01:43 pm

Looks like this is (almost) the end for IPv4 in North America:

Image: JoseJimeniz @ reddit

Stick a fork in it, it's done!

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SL12B reminder

Jun. 27th, 2015 | 01:41 am

Just a quick reminder: SL12B is open until tomorrow! If you've not visited yet, this weekend's your chance; after that the whole thing will be permanently dismantled.

So, be there or be square!

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SCOTUS strikes down gay marriage bans

Jun. 27th, 2015 | 12:29 am

Just in case you've not heard it yet, the US Supreme Court has struck down remaining state bans on gay marriage, effectively making it legal and available throughout the entire USA. SCOTUSblog has an explanation in plain English:

Today [...] Justice Kennedy again joined Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in holding both that states must allow same-sex couples to marry and that they must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

[...] Justice Kennedy begins his opinion for the Court with a paean to the institution of marriage: he describes it as “essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations,” “sacred to those who live by their religions” and offering “unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm.” But it is also, he continues, an institution that “has evolved over time” from an “arrangement by the couple’s parents” to a voluntary agreement between a man and a woman. Similarly, although being gay was once considered an “illness,” public attitudes have shifted significantly.

The Supreme Court, Kennedy’s opinion explains, has long recognized the right to marry as a fundamental right. And although until today it has always done so in the context of opposite-sex couples, he continues, all of the same principles on which the Court has relied in cases involving opposite-sex couples apply equally to same-sex marriage and the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. For example, being able to decide whether to get married is an important part of an individual’s autonomy regardless whether you are the same sex as your intended spouse. Along much the same lines, marriage is a unique way for two individuals – in both same- and opposite-sex partnerships – to demonstrate their commitment to one another.

The Court has also protected the right to marry, the opinion notes, because of its importance for children and families. Laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, the opinion concludes, “harm and humiliate the children” of those couples by depriving them of both financial benefits and – even more importantly – “the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers.” The Court takes pains, however, to make clear that a right to marry is fundamental even for couples who cannot or do not want to have children. And more broadly, the Court continues, marriage is “a building block of our national community” in so many ways, from the moral support given to married couples to the legal benefits and rights that they enjoy. “There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle,” the Court emphasizes.

The Kennedy opinion then takes on the principal rationale on which the lower court relied in upholding the state bans on same-sex marriage – the idea that the political process, rather than unelected judges, should be allowed to play out and decide this question. Kennedy begins by pushing back against the idea that it is, in essence, too soon to decide this question: there has already been, the opinion maintains, plenty of discussion of the same-sex marriage issue. The very reason that we have a Constitution, he stresses, is that some rights are too important to leave up to the democratic process. Moreover, same-sex couples should not have to wait to have their rights recognized: the husband of lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell, for example, has already died, and the children of same-sex couples are growing up without their parents being married.

The Kennedy opinion closes with an assurance that churches and other groups that oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds can continue to express their views. But that pledge may not provide much legal protection for a florist who does not want to furnish flowers for a same-sex marriage ceremony, for example; we can expect the precise scope of this protection for religious beliefs to be the focus of lawsuits in the not-too-distant future. [...]

The usual suspects dissented, as you'd expect, including Scalia, who wrote:

If [...] I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,” I would hide my head in a bag.

Funny that. I would hide my head in a bag if I were a homophobic bigot.

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