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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'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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Somewhere in Nevada

Jan. 12th, 2019 | 11:00 am

It's been a while, but Madness Combat 11: Expurgation is finally ready. Watch it here on Newgrounds, or here on Youtube.

If you're not familiar with the Madness series, you may want to watch the other installments before this one, just so you'll have some idea of what's going on. (The earlier ones are sillier, and the art style's more primitive, but they're still very enjoyable.) The recommended order of watching them is, unsurprisingly, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 10 and 11. (There's other side animations that aren't essential to the ongoing story.)

If you want to learn more about Madness in general, there's a wiki, and Newgrounds has collection.

If you don't like ultra-violent cartoon killings, this is NOT for you.

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Jan. 3rd, 2019 | 01:06 am

Youtube embeds are still a pain, but here's a pretty cool melodic death/black metal song Belzebubs — Blackened Call. If you like the sound of, say, Finntroll, check this out. (And the video is a pretty amusing jab at how serious (too) many bands in that particular subgenre take themselves.)

Also, here's Hayseed Dixie — Don't Stop Believin', a cover of the well-known Journey song. And as the video's description says: "Coming soon to a bathroom near you! It's Hayseed Dixie's John Wheeler aka Barley Scotch getting clean as a whistle with his favo(u)rite My Little Pony pals." Indeed, it does have ponies! AJ's missing, but the rest of the Mane Six all seem to be there.

(And if you want to see more footage of Barley Scotch getting soapy, look no further than Haysee Dixie — Livin' on a Prayer, that of course being a Bon Jovi cover.)

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Festive Holiday Disaster

Dec. 25th, 2018 | 01:54 pm

Ho ho ho!

Image: Radian

Happy holidays from Katia!

One more...Collapse )

Merry Christmas, indeed — and joyous Yule, somewhat belated blessed Winter Solstice, and happy Hearth's Warming!

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Dec. 2nd, 2018 | 04:21 pm

And then, it occurred to her. Edible dynamite.

— cleverpun, The Elements of Excess

I recently learned that vegetarian haggis is apparently a thing. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, I'd readily agree it is, but it does exist, and you can even order it online, canned.

However, none of the efforts I've seen seem to go far enough in actually distinguishing themselves and rising above the riff and raff, so in the best Tom Lehrer tradition of going too far, my mind produced this mental image of a company mascot called Veggis (promoting a product of the same name): a vegetarian haggis with bushy red eyebrows and beard (think Yosemite Sam), wearing a white, rhinestone-studded disco suit that's an obvious parody of Elvis, and performs parody versions of his songs for advertising purposes:

On a cold and gray highland morning
I sat in my kitchen with a hot steaming bowl
Full of Veggis™.
(Full of Veggiiiiis™!)

Neeps and tatties, too.
(With his Vegiiiiis™!)

'cause if there's one thing I love to eat,
It's Veggis™ every day, I don't need any meat
In my Veggis™.
(In his Veggiiiiis™!)

Remember folks, if this ever graces your TV screen, you saw it here first! (And whoever copied it is a bloody thief.)

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Nov. 18th, 2018 | 10:17 am

Flickr is undergoing some changes again; apparently Yahoo has decided to spin it off into an independent company again (remember the uproar when Yahoo bought up Flickr in the first place?).

Account perks will be changed in the process (again); in particular, free accounts will now be limited to 1000 photos. And unlike (way) before, when you could have as many photos as you wanted, but only the 200 most recent would be visible, old photos will now apparently be outright deleted.

Unless, of course, you pony up to 50 bucks per year for a paid account. Which I don't intend to do; I'm not using Flickr much at all anymore[1], and I don't feel like paying just so that older pictures of mine will remain accessible. (Cue grumblings about vendor lock-in, holding data hostage, and "I've-altered-the-deal-pray-I-do-not-alter-it-further".)

What this will (likely) mean is that Flickr embeds in my old LJ posts will disappear. So if you come across older posts of mine with pictures that won't show up... this is why.

Side note: if you would like to archive your data, Flickr (to its credit) makes that very easy and convenient. Go to your account, and request your account data; shortly after you should get an email telling you you can download it. There'll be an "Account data" ZIP file containing all metadata, and a bunch of ZIPs containing all the photos and videos you uploaded, in handy chunks of roughly 2 GiB apiece.

  1. Mind, I used to have and pay for a Pro account for many years, so it's not like I've been a free rider all along.

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Barbie, MILF Princess of the Twilight

Nov. 12th, 2018 | 09:16 pm

No, not that Twilight. Just a very good and amusing Rhapsody parody, by a band called Nanowar of Steel (also from Italy!):

...which I'd embed here if Youtube still had the old embed, but I think that's been deactivated for good, so:

Click Here

Give it a listen, it really speaks for itself (as it were).

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Software recommendations

Oct. 31st, 2018 | 12:18 pm

Can anyone recommend:

  • a recipe manager? I'm trying to collect and organize my crockpot recipes; I've been using Gourmet for about two months now, but it feels fairly unpolished and tends to get in the way more often than it automatically Does The Right Thing™. Anything you're using that you'd recommend?

  • an image viewer? The one I'm using right now is QuickViewer; it's decent enough (and fast, which was one of my main requirements), but if you have alternate suggestions I'd be happy to hear them.


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Shy heart

Oct. 21st, 2018 | 10:42 pm

ponyphonic — Shy Heart

Be yourself, they say, but be assertive
Hold your ground but do not be unkind
I have sought to be both lamb and lion
Heartache is the thing I tend to find
Can I only have what I can capture
Will I be unheard unless I shout
Clamor overwhelms me and I wonder
What is there to be so loud about?

Many are the musings of my shy heart
Though precious few are spoken out aloud
How I wish to wrap them up in confidence and style
And send them out like magic through the crowd
Then everyone would listen and I wouldn't be afraid
I wouldn't shrink away and disappear
I don't want them to worship me or care that much at all
I only want to know they know I'm here

I can wear a mask of pluck and power
But it never says what I intend
Words become like scissors in my keeping
And friendships are so difficult to mend
I don't want to shout above the babble
I'm not even sure what I would say
Maybe just, "Excuse me, could we maybe
Be a little quieter today?"

Many are the musings of my shy heart
Though precious few are spoken out aloud
How I wish to wrap them up in confidence and style
And send them out like magic through the crowd
Then everyone would listen and I wouldn't be afraid
I wouldn't shrink away and disappear
I don't want them to worship me or care that much at all
I only want to know they know I'm here

Part of me has things she wants and wishes
Part of me is worried she is wrong
Part of me is busy masquerading
As a girl whose pieces get along
I don't mean to come across as distant
I don't think it adds to my mystique
I just find it difficult conversing
And think an awful lot before I speak

Many are the musings of my shy heart
Though precious few are spoken out aloud
How I wish to wrap them up in confidence and style
And send them out like magic through the crowd
Then everyone would listen and I wouldn't be afraid
I wouldn't shrink away and disappear
I don't want them to worship me or care that much at all
I only want to know they know I'm here

Artist: unknown, but possibly illuminatiums

I've been feeling like Fluttershy a lot lately.

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Oct. 14th, 2018 | 08:53 pm

Do you have malapropisms that really get on your nerves? Ones that stand out in any text you read, in any words you hear, and grate? I do.

I dislike the expression "quantum leap" when it's used to refer to a particularly large (conceptual) jump; a quantum leap is the smallest conceivable leap.

Worse than this is "significant", used in the same sense, as "large" or "noteworthy". A difference being significant means it is statistically distinguishable, i.e. unlikely to be an artifact of random chance. Significance has nothing to do with effect size: a small difference can be significant, and a large difference insignificant. (In fact, one must take further care to confuse significance with semantic meaningfulness. As sample sizes increase, any difference, no matter how small, will become significant, but whether this tells you anything is another matter.)

Turning to German there's "anscheinend" and "scheinbar", a pair of words that both mean "seemingly", but with different twists. The former indicates that appearance and reality match; the latter, that they don't. Wilhelm Busch, for instance, wrote: "Scheinbar schlummert der Leib, aber die Seele ist wach": Silen appears to be sleeping, but really isn't. Some people I know consistently (at least they are consistent!) use "scheinbar" when they mean "anscheinend", and it's always bugging me something severe.

EDIT, 2019-01-07: if you're looking for an alternative to "significant", perhaps consider "substantial". Also, here's another English pair: "effective" and "efficient"; though these are not wholly dissimilar in meaning, I've found that people tend to say "effective" even when they really mean "efficient" (but not, as a rule, vice versa).

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