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friends-come-and-go

Someone on facebook mentioned wanting this in a plaque form, so I decided to get out the spiffy digital papers and have a go at it.

Design element credits

Polka dotted background: Uber Grunge 13 by Joyful Heart Designs
Solid inner: Solidified Seven by Joyful Heart Designs
Typeface: La Paz from TipoType

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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comment spamming

I love it when a comment spammer accidentally tries to comment with the entire content of their spam comment content file. Each scenario separated neatly with a pipe symbol.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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15954811_3065647_pm
Rule 34: “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.”

I was making this sign for a book cover (where it’d appear on the wall as a framed print), then thought: why stop there?

Back when I worked at a backbone ISP, the first day HR training session was interesting.

“If you object to adult material, please do not walk through the art department. We make 2/3 of our revenue from adult content.”

Maybe you like the weird stuff. Maybe it just makes you hilariously happy that the weird stuff exists because then you’re something approaching normal. Maybe you just need a new shirt and randomly clicked on this page.

Whatever freak flag you fly (or, you know, don’t fly :wink:), Rule 34 is there for you.

Rule 34 t-shirt

I have various products now available on Redbubble, Society6, and Zazzle.

In addition to the clothing options on all three of the above stores, the design’s also available in a bunch of other formats, including:
Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

Geek Humor

Nov. 6th, 2014 08:25 am
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Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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A spam comment caught by Akismet:

If the previous game is too adventurous for you, simply try flapping a blanket in the air above your ferret as if you were fluttering a bed sheet over a mattress.

You don’t say.

This particular spam comment ended with:

…and ferrets love to cuddle.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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I love product mockups, so since I had fuckall to put on a bag (and needed a place for all my zero fucks of late), here it is. Mockup from PSD Covers, the font is Lunchbox and Lunchbox Ornaments from Kimmy Design, the chalkboards (two of them) are from BMachina, and the bag texture is from Florin Gorgan and is a freebie here. In addition, I used a glass effect layer style (probably from mysitemyway.com), a shadow light that comes from the upper left (probably from the same place), and a shadow layer to sort of give a “shelf” effect on the flat chalkboard.

fuck-all-bag-mockup

Note: Now available for sale in several places, see this post.

Took me about half an hour, fwiw.

For those who’ve never seen how they work, you paste in the normal flat artwork and the script takes over and makes cool stuff out of it.

Graphicburger has some really awesome mockups. Some are free, some are commercial.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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This is a really great report of a panel at a Supernatural con.

Sebastian Roché has the attention span of a fruit fly on meth[...].

And, about a prior con:

Misha comes on stage with a small pig, because why not?

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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One of Rick’s favorites. He once posted it here.

Thus the old joke about a rancher trying to deal with his snake problem: “Dear sirs, I’d like to order two mongooses.” (He frowns, crosses that out.) “Dear sirs, I’d like to order two mongeese.” (Frowns, crosses out, tries again.) “Dear sirs, I’d like to order a mongoose. While you’re at it, please send a second one.”

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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]1 Teletype Machine, photo by AlisonW

I still remember learning to program. I remember the yellow paper tape and the teletype machine. I remember the smell of machine oil on the paper tape.

I remember the paper cuts.

What I can’t tell you is what I wanted to program back at that point in my life. Games, probably, which is something I’ve never done any significant amount of programming in.

At some point since then, I realized I could program pretty much anything I wanted. It’d run. It may not be beautiful. It may not be efficient. But I had the skill and experience (with any of a number of hammers in the form of programming languages) to pick an arguably appropriate tool, a reasonable approach to tackle the problem, and then commence kicking ass. No matter what the problem was.

I’m not easily intimidated by things I don’t know. I couldn’t have survived in this field if I were. I have cut a driver down to size to fit on a smaller EEPROM so it could go into space; I have developed power plant control systems to help reduce emissions; I have written commercial calendar software; I have written search and retrieval software; I’ve helped women schedule immunizations to avoid rH factor complications in pregnancy; I’ve written commercial audio track royalty management software; I’ve helped expand the TiVo service. Among other things.

What I forgot, somewhere along the way, is how hard the skills I have are to acquire, in part because I acquired them over a long period of time.

I’m used to arguing with computers. I’m used to that sheer frustration when things don’t go as expected, then the “Aha!” moment, followed by the endorphins of victory.

I was missing one of my favorite explainers of technology, _why the lucky stiff, the other day. I think of him often. In 2009, he suddenly deleted his online presence, then other people pieced much of it back together. However, the world is at a huge loss because he’s gone underground and chooses to remain there. This Slate article is both about his disappearance and about learning to program, and _why’s role in making learning to program easier.

Much as I hate to admit it, Slate author Annie Lowrey is correct: my personal favorite of _why’s resources, Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, probably is most accessible by people who already know how to program.

Frankly, I just like the Poignant Guide because, despite all my years of programming and all the books I’ve seen and read, this one is, hands down, the weirdest. Here are three bits out of it.

In one house, you may have a dad that represents Archie, a traveling salesman and skeleton collector. In another house, dad could represent Peter, a lion tamer with a great love for flannel.

Lately, the exchange rate has settled down between leaves and crystals.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing that Dr. Cham was a madman.

Not your typical boring programming book, right? I love the cartoons. (Chunky bacon!) I love the whole thing. It’s like The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus in programming language form.

But, then, I’m a programmer (by which I mean software engineer, though I’ve always preferred the term programmer because I almost always prefer shorter phrases with fewer syllables) who’s also a novelist. Unlike _why, I never tried mixing forms to the extent he has.

As the Slate article points out, a far more accessible way to learn to program is _why’s idea, fleshed out since his disappearance, Try Ruby. It’s still got the cartoon foxes, but, being interactive, it’s a little easier to understand. And a lot less weird.

_why, the world has been a more interesting — and better — place because of your brilliance, and I’d like to raise this toast:

5.times { print "Odelay!" }

“I just want to assure you that I’m trying to rid the world of people like me.” Some goals aren’t worth keeping.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Tales from the archives.

In 2000-2001, I was an engineer at TiVo, working on the TiVo service. When I started, all TiVos were still using dialup to get schedule updates. One of the things we did during the time I was there was to record an over-the-air broadcast aimed at TiVos, clip it into little bits, and use that for a lot of TiVo content updates.

So there I was, with my engineering machine tethered to a TiVo daughterboard via a serial cable, working away on something. I needed a few minutes’ break while I ate my dinner, so I hopped on IRC.

Some kid in some linux-related channel was doing the geek version of the a/s/l check, posting his cat /proc/cpuinfo (from a Celeron, groan) and wanted to know what everyone else had.

Well, my workstation was faster than his, so I ran the command on my work TiVo and pasted it without comment into IRC. It was a 54MHz PowerPC, which was about 1/6 the speed of the server I had at home.

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
cpu : IBM 403GCX
clock : 54MHz
revision : 20.1
bogomips : 53.86
machine : Teleworld Customer Device

(Teleworld is the original name of TiVo, and TiVo machines are called “TCD” internally (for Teleworld Customer Device.))

Kid ridicules my slow machine, then someone else said, “Is that a TiVo?”

Kid’s like, “Dude! You hacked your TiVo?”

Suddenly, I became of great interest to everyone on the channel. All I said was, “I’m not a dude, I’m female.” (Normally, being from California, dude is an inclusive term and I don’t normally comment if someone calls me dude, but I just felt he needed it.)

“No way!” Kid genuinely couldn’t believe there were female software engineers. I felt really sorry for him, but wonder how much that changed him over 13 years, if at all.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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The Hugo Awards

Yes, I’m recommending a technical paper written by a Microsoft researcher for a Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

Wait.

Come back.

There is a narrative in there….about the 2nd person narrator, son John, and the generational differences in chip design between the two of them.

As a child in 1977, John had met Gordon Moore; Gordon had pulled a quarter from behind John’s ear and then proclaimed that he would pull twice as many quarters from John’s ear every 18 months. Moore, of course, was an incorrigible liar and tormentor of youths, and he never pulled another quarter from John’s ear again, having immediately fled the scene while yelling that Hong Kong will always be a British territory, and nobody will ever pay $8 for a Mocha Frappuccino, and a variety of other things that seemed like universal laws to people at the time, but were actually just arbitrary nouns and adjectives that Moore had scrawled on a napkin earlier that morning.

John learned about the rumored Intel Septium chip, a chip whose prototype had been turned on exactly once, and which had leaked so much voltage that it had transformed into a young Linda Blair and demanded an exorcism before it embarked on a series of poor career moves that culminated in an inevitable spokesperson role for PETA.

He would then throw a coffee cup at the speaker and say that adding new hardware features would require each processor to be connected to a dedicated coal plant in West Virginia. John’s coworkers eventually understood his wisdom, and their need to wear coffee-resistant indoor ponchos lessened with time.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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I love some of the rhetorical perspectives on Twitter, especially parody people and pets, but I’m kind of new to forces of nature and inanimate objects tweeting.

So imagine my joy the other day when I saw our very own @AirshipEureka blipping about the neighborhood. She’s sporting a new side (to me) with a twitter hashtag: #ZeppMe.

Being the person I am, I leaned out of the car, snapped a photo with my iPhone, edited it in Snapseed, uploaded it with the right hashtag and got a reply. From an airship. I mean, how cool is that?

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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From Fairly Legal, Season 1, episode “Coming Home”, a key conversation between Justin and Kate. From this, it’s fairly obvious that Justin filed for divorce and that Kate didn’t want to split up.

K: (Knocks on Justin’s door) Hey, I tried calling you, you didn’t answer your phone.
J: That’s because I didn’t want to talk to anybody.
K: I’m really sorry I betrayed your confidence.
J: So you just apologize and everything’s all right?
K: Justin, it’s me we’re talking about.
J: You’re unbelievable, you know that?
K: Aww, Justin. I’m sorry. But don’t hold this over my head just to get even.
J: This isn’t about getting even. This isn’t about Paul Hainsley and you know it.
K: All right, fine. I admit it. I’ve been avoiding signing the divorce papers. It’s…. I really like things the way they are.
J: What we have is not a marriage, Kate.
K: I know, and isn’t that great?
J: How is that great?
K: Well, when we were married married, we never had any time for each other, right? And that created pressure.
J: Which I was willing to work through; you weren’t.
K: It’s everything I loved about the relationship without actually having to be in the relationship.
J: So it’s all the fun without the work, right?
K: Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?
J: Where do I start?
(they kiss)
J: Stop.
K: What’s wrong?
J: This is what we always do.
K: Yeah, there’s good reasons why we should.
J: No, and then it just goes back to the way it was before and nothing changes, and I don’t want to do this any more, Kate. I can’t.
K: Sure you can.
J: No. I can’t. What if you were mediating this relationship? What would you say? Ignore the problem. Let’s go to bed. Nah. You’d say fix it, right?
K: Maybe.
J: Yeah. I love you, Kate. But what we have is broken. We can’t keep pretending that it’s not.
K: Justin.
J: (backs away) I’m sorry.

And the opening scene from season 2′s first episode, Satisfaction, where Kate and Ben meet. It essentially is a plot map for much of season 2.

K: (plays with rim of glass)
B: Plymouth and tonic.
K; Check, please.
B: Do you always come in the door leaving?
K: Umm, it is Not My Scene.
B: But, here you are, so you were either born on that bar stool or you came in here disguised as a woman who wants attention.
K: And you’re wearing a $3000 suit with a pocket square.
B: I believe my motives are clear.
K: Sorry. It has been a while since anyone’s offered to buy me a drink.
B: Really? Did the world go blind?
K: (Laughs) I’m married. Was married. Now I’m not. Anyway, the ex is on his way to sign the (waves hand) whatever, but it looks like he has blown me off.
B: Well, it’s just as well, or he would have changed his mind.
K: (Laughs) Nice try. Maybe it’ll feel normal some day.
B: Do you believe in fate?
K: Wow, was that a line?
B: It’s a question. Takes the edge off picking up strangers in bars.
K: I’m 29. I’m, uh, nearly divorced, recently orphaned, more recently out of a job. My life is kind of at this unexpected turning point, so yeah. I do believe in fate. And I believe she is a fickle, fickle bitch. [nice recap for people who didn't watch Season 1]
B: You seem broken.
K: (laughs)
B: I like that.
K: And you’re a fixer.
B: No.
K: Yeah.
B: No, I tend to make things much worse, and then I disappear.
K: Well, at least you’re decent enough to be honest about it, you don’t see that much.
B: Oh, you must be a lawyer.
K: (lying) Schoolteacher.
B: Right. You’re a schoolteacher and I’m a decent guy, so (raises glass) cheers to honesty.
K: Hey, cheers. Yeah. (laughs) And good night. (gets up, starts leaving)
B: Is truth the way to your heart?
K: (turns)
B: Withdrawn, counselor, I misspoke. We have not yet established that you have a heart.
K: The way to my heart would be to do everything and to say nothing. No negotiation, no foreplay, no strategy. Just be who you are and take me.
B: (stares)
K: (whispers) Too late.
B: (stares after her as she leaves)

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Love this opening dream sequence from the upcoming Fairly Legal episode “Borderline”:

“They’re smart enough not to chase cars.”

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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It’s possible you haven’t seen this fine bit of rap from Annabelle Quezada, La Shea Delaney and company.

Lyrics are here and a note about author choice is here.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Funny items from this long thread on flyertalk:

When you are brought in by immigration because you have more entries and exits into that country than anyone else, native or foreigner, for seven of the last 8 years and you are not from that country.

You schedule an extra 2 hour layover to sign and have your final divorce and QDRO (qualified domestic relations order, relating to a divorce) notarized at the airport.

I had a (hopeful) FA once ask me if I was stalking him since I’d been on every single flight he’d been working for 2 weeks. But that’s a while ago now.

When you write your FF number on your bank deposit instead of your account number.

I was in Kyrgyzstan last week and called a colleague in the states for an upcoming trip. His wife says he is not at home. I walk into a cafe, and the person I called is having breakfast in the cafe.

When you run out of room on the arrival form for countries visited in the past month.

When you go to the wrong airport and the airline seems unconcerned and puts you on a flight home anyway.

When you have tickets for future travel on 183 flights for 276,000 flown miles.

“We don’t see ladies with the fat passport often.”

your wallet includes public transport tickets from cities on three different continents which get used up before they expire.

you stop changing foreign currencies back because you’ll need that money in two weeks anyway.

When you return to your office after a bathroom break and the first thing you do when you sit in your chair is reach for the seatbelt.

Your dog still barks at you when you come home. (we’ve had him for 3 months)

When you have to call home to find out what city you’re in, and what hotel you’re staying at (happened to my cousin on a 5-country trip to Europe – he went out to buy aspirin, and didn’t remember what hotel he was staying at. His daughter the other side of the world had his itinerary!)

When the crew on the flight home from Hong Kong recognize you from last week’s flight home from India (happened to me a couple of years ago …)

when the check in agent is surprised you only have 4 boarding passes this time

When you go to your closet looking for your blue blazer only to realize “Oh yeah, I left that in Germany with a colleague for next time”.
No biggie, you reach for your OTHER blue blazer only to find that it’s in Japan on a similar mission.

My daughter keeps a homeless shelter well-stocked with shampoo and soap and other stuff by donating the toiletries courtesy of my hotel stays/overnight flights.

I went 15 months from September 2006 to November 2007 where the longest consecutive period I spent in any single country was 6 days. I’ve sworn never to do that ever again – it truly wears you down in both body and spirit.

when the immigration clerk asks you where you were last week because you were on vacation and didn’t fly your regular route

when the pilot calls you to tell you that your plane will be delayed

My husband travels so much that our 4 year old son thinks that daddy actually lives somewhere else, and just comes to visit at random.

Talking to loved ones while on a layover and not able to answer the question, so where are you?
Two minutes later you pass by the Elvis store, and can finally answer, MEM.

1) Your wallet contains more foreign currency than domestic.
2) Your FF cards (mile collecting credit cards, status cards) outnumber every other type of card you carry.
3) You have various different sized suitcases in your living room, all half packed.
4) Your fridge contents consist of condiments and expired milk.
5) Your liquor cabinet is fully stocked with duty free liquor.
6) You have two complete sets of toiletries, one of which is all under 100ml and already packed into a kippie bag.
7) You have to ask the flight attendant where you are when you land.
8) You plan your vacations based around which countries you haven’t been to yet.
9) The first one to notice your new haircut is the security agent at your home airport.

I’ve gone to Caracas for lunch because I hadn’t flown Aeropostal before.

you answer the home phone in another language

I was asked the other day by a lounge agent how my recent overseas trip went. Me – “Which one, you’ll need to be more specific.” Agent – “it was last week”. Me – “Again, you’ll need to be more specific.” I’d had 4 overseas round trips the week in question.

When immigration staff at several airports say “Oh it’s you – I heard about you”

When you have a home in one country, an apartment in another, a suitcase left with a hotel in a third, staying in a fourth, and visiting a fifth for the day.

When you are going through immigration in a country that you passed through on the same day one year before, and the immigration officer asks you why you are here as you have already been through immigration… then notices the year on your old stamp.

When you have (just checked) prepaid SIM cards for 8 countries, currencies for 11, driver’s licenses for 2 and a number of prepaid phone cards and transport passes.

Actually happened tonight:
Partner: How ’bout a drink before turning in?
Voop (distracted by some nagging email): Uhmm, the mini-bar is overpriced, I think I have a bottle of something I picked up from duty-free….
Partner: “Mini-bar”? Honey, you’re at home, and I don’t charge….not for the mini-bar either….
In my defense, I wasn’t all wrong, the home-bar is stocked exclusively with duty-free…..

I was running on a treadmill with a built-in TV this morning, and briefly wondered how to get the AirMap to show.

You get an email survey from your airline asking questions about your recent flight from XXX to XXX. You think which week?

When the pilots called to ask if I wanted to join them for dinner on a layover but I had another trip lined up….

On a recent trip, at an airport that doesn’t support transits, transit passengers are supposed to be met by an airline agent at the gate. The agent for my airline didn’t turn up and had to be called when I arrived at immigration. His reason? He thought there must have been an error in the passenger info sheet – no one could possibly be travelling Vienna to Zurich via Riyadh.

“You have to take a passport to give blood.”
It took me over an hour to do the screening part of giving blood last time I tried and they had to call their head office to see if the time I spent in the Middle East was a disqualifying event even though I had told them it wasn’t.

Over the past year I have spent so much time at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur that I have many of the hotel staff in my Facebook friends list….I guess that is a sign that you have stayed there too much ;-)

My doctor is in Prague, my dentist in Dubai, my tax guy in Serbia.

the classic one that always gets me is waking up and not knowing the country, time zone, why I’m there, etc. And yes, it sometimes happens at home.

Worse still, when you can recite airline and airport announcements in a language you can’t even speak.
Attentie, alstublieft, voor een gatewijziging!

When you accidentally use the term “going home” to describe getting onto a British Airways aeroplane to go somewhere you’ve never been before.

I went through a phase a few years ago when I was on at least four, sometimes six BA flights a week. This went on for about six months, then it reduced to two or three flights a week. A began to recognise certain FAs and there were two or three captains who I always seemed to end up with. At some point I took three weeks off to spend time with the family. When I got back home there was a nice letter from BA asking if I was alright and hoping that I remained happy with their service. The letter said that they had hoped I would be travelling again soon and gave me 50,000 BA miles for the hell of it.

You ask your children via Skype what they want to do this weekend while your home. They respond with a mileage run. You cry on the inside because you have taught them well.

When not traveling, riding with the wife, she drove me the airport before realizing she’s supposed to drop me office at the office, more than once.

You actually have a frequent stay card at the Ice Hotel in Reykjavik

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Jason: “Open the pod bay doors.”

Siri on iPhone 4S: “We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently.”

Nice.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Before Mayberry RFD, Andy Griffith did stand-up, and one of his routines was about watching a football game from the perspective of a hick who didn't know what it was. Interesting from a science fiction/fantasy writer perspective, of course, as people will see things they haven't encountered before.

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I warn you, I laughed so hard I got an asthma attack, Rick was reduced to fits of giggles, and a friend of mine said he laughed so hard it hurts.

NSFW albeit not intentionally so. You may want acoustic privacy. Srsly.

Damn You, Autocorrect! (Best of January)

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