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Solarbird

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what is it with supervillains and cats
[03 Jun 2015|10:06am]

George has been legit hugging me today. I am trapped by the computer. I will be here forever, send food and cider. Also, he is making little kitty noises and occasionally snoring.


send help

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nwcmusic needs new personnel
[02 Jun 2015|10:10am]

It’s a good time to spread the word around again: nwcMUSIC needs new personnel!

nwcMUSIC is the geekmusic festival I built at Norwescon; I ran it for five years (six, really, but the first year wasn’t the real thing yet) and it’s become a thing, which is awesome. But after six years at it it’s time for someone else to till that helm (that’s a phrase, right? I think so) and there are several jobs available.

So please, I know most of you have heard this before, but I want this thing I built to keep going, so if you haven’t passed it along already, please do so now, and ask your friends to as well. Or, hell, even if you have, do it again. Particularly on Facebook, you have no way of knowing what your friends will and will not see.

And for the record, I will help. With data, with knowledge, with everything but actually running it. I have a lot of institutional knowledge to pass along and I want to hand it over.

More details and breakdowns are at the original post, here:

http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/blog/2015/04/back-from-nwc2015/

Spread the word!

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also after mad max
[01 Jun 2015|09:00am]

Also, after the movie, walking out, I was making “it’s FuriOsa, not FurioSAR” jokes and wondering why I hadn’t seen that yet on Tumblr. Minion Paul was like OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO DO IT. But:

It was already on Tumblr. I just hadn’t seen it yet. I had to search it out! Weird. Normally that kind of dumb joke flashes across my dash the very first day. XD

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mad max – what is okay and what is not
[01 Jun 2015|08:30am]

We went out to see Mad Max: Fury Road over the weekend. It’s really quite good, and spectacularly choreographed. But while I had a fun time, I wasn’t as over-the-moon about it as a lot of people have been, despite the whole ‘hey look, I’m not being treated with contempt!’ factor. Perhaps my expectations were set a little too high by the time I got there. I certainly agree that it is the most metal movie ever made – that’s not even really debatable. It’s just a fact. And that aspect of it, I loved.


Facts.

The single biggest thing I walked away with, though, was that the realisation that its philosophical assumption that women shouldn’t be sex slaves is what really caused the the misogynist/”manosphere”/return-of-kings crowd to explode. And I’m serious about that. I mean, if you read the most forwarded-around rant, they don’t even mention all the women being used as slaves. That’s apparently okay. They’re okay with the Mother’s Milk women, being harvested very much like cows. That’s fine too. That’s all suitably manly, it seems.

But the idea that a woman character should fall outside that category, and be a driving character? Unacceptable. That’s what constitutes “a feminist piece of propaganda posing as a guy flick</a>.” That’s is what’s “ruining women for men” – being a woman while not being property and/or a sex-slave. Underneath that, the implicit declaration that you aren’t a man if you aren’t subjugating and raping women.

Pretty fuckin’ creepy, bro.

I mean, the degree of raw hatred for women that’s in all this sort of thing ought to be obvious. But a lot of people still gloss it over, and they shouldn’t, because it’s not just these jokers. They’re the Westboro Baptist Church we’re-not-like-them-we’re-okay misogyny, the version that’s easy to laugh at. They’re the sideshow clowns.

But versions of it show up other places, too, like in questions about why there are so many women are in a ‘man’s movie’ at places like Cannes. I mean, seriously, the reporter’s question boils down to, “Ick, women, why?” with the “Ick, women who aren’t sex toys for men, why?” kind of implied. (That specific codicil is somehow always okay – even when it’s Disney comedies with writers going around ranking underage actresses by “fuckability.” Ew.)

Thankfully, in this case, Tom Hardy treated the question with the kind of casual contempt it deserved. But that’s an anomaly. The idea was still sitting out there – “ick, women I don’t get to fuck, why?” Why should they even exist?

Which is the same hate – or at least, a contempt close enough to make no difference. It’s just socially modulated. Less explicit. Every so slightly less crude.

But still pretty fuckin’ creepy, bro. Even though you generally get to skate on it. Pretty. Fuckin’. Creepy.

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Stop Using HOLA VPN Right Now
[30 May 2015|09:36am]

[ mood | blah ]

IF YOU ARE A HOLA USER, STOP USING THE HOLA VPN AND UNINSTALL THE APPLICATION RIGHT NOW.

Yes, seriously. Right now.

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Anna’s put Faerie Blood on sale, and…
[29 May 2015|10:00am]

There’s a Northwest Independent Writers’ Association event going on, so Anna has put two of the Free Court of Seattle works on sale – Faerie Blood, the novel, and “Blood of the Land,” the newest story. This is the series that Bone Walker accompanies as soundtrack, so it’s a good time to get a toe in if you’re on the budget.

And as part of that, I’m putting the digital download of Bone Walker for 40% off, if you use the discount code “niwa” – so if you don’t have the newest album yet? Now is a good time to get it.

Novel and short story details here, Bone Walker the album here, don’t forget “niwa” discount code.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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that time of year
[28 May 2015|02:25pm]

[ mood | okay ]

We had to put stair rails up at murksouth, for code compliance reasons. That meant doing some brickwork, too. I didn't do any of this myself, but I liked how they came out.



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if you haven’t seen this yet (we have always been at war with eurasia)
[28 May 2015|09:00am]

[ mood | silly ]

A couple of days ago, John Scalzi signed a 13-book deal worth 3.4 million dollars. That’s pretty good for somebody that the Sad Puppies like to claim nobody really wants to read, and pretty good for someone the puppies like to say writes only the sorts of things that nobody wants to read. Basically, they’ve been accusing “SJW” writers of driving readers out of fandom, and he’s a really poorly-chosen poster boy.

So that’s pretty funny, but not funny enough yet, because you know white supremacist and oberpuppyführer Vox Day would come up with some way to spin this, right? Of course he would. The thing is, there’s no way to do it which is not unintentionally hilarious, and Vox delivers. Seriously, this is some always-at-war-with-Eurasia spinning, wherein the new line is that Real Men Self-Publish, and that’s what’s Real Writing now, not this multi-million-dollar major-publishing-house bullshit. Self-pub is the only true pub.

NO, REALLY, THAT’S THE NEW PARTY LINE. That’s a We Hunted the Mammoth link, because I’m not in the mood to link to Vox under the best of circumstances, which I suppose really, these are. But there are extensive quotes at the link. Go look, it’s a riot.
 


Confused? Lots more on the Hugo Awards/Sad Puppies mess here.

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colonial raptor
[28 May 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | calm ]

So I bought a Colonial Raptor sticker that I found for sale online, but it wasn’t the adhere-inside kind, it was the adhere-outside kind, and not vinyl, so I don’t trust it in weather. But I found a place that will make inside-window static-clings for you for like $5 from your own art, so I converted it for that. And also changed the text layout. Anyway, it looks like this now:

I’m not sure that the slightly-offset circles thing reads as entirely intentional but I like it, it adds a hint of extra depth for me. The white parts will be transparent, so I hope the design actually shows up well. If not, eh, it wasn’t exactly a lot of money anyway.

I’ve never spent this much attention on a vehicle before, what is wrong with me? \☉~⚆ /

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busy like her
[27 May 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | busy ]


Bee

Taken on the way home from one of several appointments yesterday. Nothing interesting, unfortunately. So, a flower picture it is. And a bee. Because BEES.

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So this is kind of hilarious
[26 May 2015|09:54am]

[ mood | amused ]

Skellington – one of my fiddlers from Bone Walker – was performing with her band, Pinniped, at Folklife and saw someone watercolour-painting her band at the show.

That artist turned out to be Ellen Eades, who was hammer dulcimer on the same project. They never met in studio, recording their tracks at completely different times, and Skellington only figured it out later, when she went searching for more of Ellen’s art online.

#150 player characters #millions of NPCs

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looking over music display apps for android
[26 May 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | curious ]

I’ve been looking over music display apps for Android, and right now, I’m really liking MobileSheetsPro. I’ve been testing using the Free version, which is fully-featured but sharply limited on number of songs and playlists and set lists. Does anyone have any other software they’d like to suggest before I dive in?

(BEFORE YOU SAY IT, iPad users: forScore is not available for Android. Which I don’t mind – I’m not thinking of anything I’d want that MobileSheets doesn’t do, it does a lot of things I wouldn’t’ve thought of, and the features list vs. forScore is pretty comparable.)

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m already feeling a lot of confirmation about having bought this thing – the ability to have my entire music sheet library around on any gig and the ability to pull it up at any time, even stuff I never play? That’s pretty damn awesome. I’ll be able to have stuff always that I normally just don’t bother hauling around.


That would be the tablet I mentioned earlier.

Does anybody have any suggestions for Bluetooth page-turning pedals? I’m looking at the AirTurn PED at the moment, even though it’s a really new device. It’s small, it has fantastic battery life, it’s silent, it’s listed as supporting MobileSheetsPro, and is a Bluetooth SMART READY device, which means you don’t lose bluetooth sync across power saving mode. I like that part a lot.

One big question is whether this tablet supports SMART READY. But it claims to be Bluetooth 4.0, which means it should support SMART READY intrinsically. I have a question in to support to make sure. The odds are good – SMART READY has been around for a few years now and is pretty core to the 4.0 spec, so I don’t even think you can claim Bluetooth 4 without it.

Anyway, if you have any insights, I’d love to hear ’em! Let me know in comments. Thanks!

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and if we’re talking DIY I may as well post this
[24 May 2015|06:27pm]

[ mood | accomplished ]

The Raptor has this huge cargo area in two-seater mode, larger than that of all but the largest SUVs. It’s also got a three-seat mode, which might actually be useful, as well as four and five (if one person is small) modes. Three-seat mode will be particularly useful for Leannan Sidhe gigs, since that’s usually a three-person band, and we’ll still have quite decent room for cargo in that configuration.

The vehicle comes with a cargo-area tray for all-seats configuration (again, in theory five, really four adults), but you can’t even buy something specifically made for two-seat mode. Even most universal cargo-area liners simply aren’t big enough, which is hilarious – all these SUV toys being too small for my Honda Fit Raptor, lol – but I found a one that was, and stared modifying it.

Pictures below the break…

Read the rest of this entry »

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another tiny mobile change
[24 May 2015|04:59pm]

[ mood | okay ]

I’ve set up a redirect so that mobile users going to the front page from outside the site will, by default, go to the mobile version. But unlike with the blog (where I can’t do this because reasons), you can actually and properly exit to the desktop view – there’s a link at the bottom of the mobile page to do it.

It’s the same mobile version as the one you’d get by default if you went to the blog on mobile, so there’s not really much new. But I didn’t want to have to add a “go to mobile” link on the front page or anything, so this seemed like an adequate solution for now.

Anyway, if you’re curious:

Browser-dependent: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com

Forced desktop: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/index

Mobile front page: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/blog/mobile-home

That’s not perfect because the mobile front page will be shown as a desktop blog page but with mobile content if you go there from desktop, because again reasons.

Next version won’t do that sort of foolishness, but that can wait a couple of years – I hope!

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let's just remember that for them, shall we?
[22 May 2015|10:14am]

[ mood | because fuck all those fuckers ]

Focus on the Family's Family Research Council - Focus's anti-gay officially political wing, as opposed to their anti-gay officially-not-political core wing - finally got around to taking confessed child molester Josh Duggar's Executive Director position page offline.

How nice for them. Let's make sure things aren't forgot.


Confessed child molester Josh Duggar of the Family Research Council
(click to see full size)


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it’s been a while for flower pictures
[22 May 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | surprised ]

It’s been a while since I posted a flower picture, so here y’go. This was taken on a hillside above the Oregon coast.

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"just to impress a boy"
[21 May 2015|11:24am]

[ mood | angry ]

I've been reading a lot of Shit People Say to Women Directors, a tumblr blog on the deep and endemic sexism in the US film and television industry. It consists of things said to women trying to work in the industry, as is implied by the label on the tin, and it's pretty often pretty brutal.

And we all know how bad the sexism is in gaming, and more specifically, the computer gaming industry, which makes me think there ought to be another blog called Shit People Say To Women In Gaming. This anonymous post at The Trenches could be the first entry.

In mid-2011 I applied for a localization testing position in Birmingham, UK. I have 2 years of translation experience and plenty of good references, so I knew my chances were good (I want to be part of the industry and I don’t care which end I get in). I sent in my CV and received an email back on the same day with a date and time for a phone interview. I was through the roof, you have no idea how long I had been trying to get into the industry. ...

Interviewer: Look, madam, I will be frank with you, I don’t actually believe you want this job.
Me: (very stunned) No?
Interviewer: No, I don’t believe your interest in the gaming industry is genuine as a woman.

Go read the whole thing, it actually manages to get worse. And keep in mind: this is a testing position, one of the relative refuges for women in software, in recent years. Imagine the odds of getting a callback for a woman in dev.

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Numbers are in, and having a mobile view for phones apparently really matters
[21 May 2015|09:36am]

[ mood | okay ]

It's still early days, but doing all that mobile view work (and turning it back on once it was usable) seems to have had a pretty decent impact. Here are some stats from Google Analytics:


Before



After


The bit in red is mobile; above that is desktop; below that is tablet. The tablet audience is surprisingly small; it's swamped by both desktop and phone. The "bounce" rate is the percentage of people who hit the site and only look at one page. The pages per visit is a mean, and includes the bouncers. The time-on-site thing I consider kind of unreliable, to be honest. (It's regularly internally contradictory within a single day, is why.)

Anyway, as you can see, phone users used to bounce off the site at a dramatically higher rate than other kinds of users; now they've moved into line with everyone else. Pages per visit on phone is up, time on site (unreliable tho' it may be) is also meaningfully up. Mobile users had been dragging the whole site average down; now it's back in line with other formats.

So I guess that mobile view is kind of important! In retrospect I guess that seems kind of obvious, but I tend to hate them personally, so I guess that kind of affected my impression of their value. I wish I'd done the work earlier, now. Ah, well, live and learn.

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working on applications
[20 May 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | busy ]

Working on venue applications; got invited to a couple, actually, and those are highest priority. Wow, I’m bad at this part. I need some better promotional photos, too. Like, any.

So have some photos from the trip down to the shows in Oregon last week! I took 101 the whole way, and it took much longer than Mapquest, Google Maps, or I expected, so I didn’t get as much hiking in as I wanted. But I did stop for a little.

The bridge over the Columbia was under a fair bit of renovation on the Oregon side, but the waits were not very long. If they’d been longer I might’ve got out and taken more photos. But it wasn’t, so I did not.


Abrupt Elevation


Girders!

I’m not the only one who thinks this looks like a Viper launch from pilot viewpoint, right? Doing a Viper-tube launch from a Raptor was pretty weird.


Green Squadron Leader, Launch

HI COWS!


COWS

I remember when we had air. It’s nice there’s a museum to it.


Well, That’s What It Says

This was the only time I got out and actually hiked a little. (A very little. Like, a mile. But it was steep.) I’m very disappointed because I took another panorama of the ocean that I know I took, and… it’s not in my camera. I don’t know where it went. Still, have these.

Bigger versions on my Flickr account, like usual.

Anyway, not so many photos as other times. I’d like to do 101 again, even if it is kind of freaky to go through So Many Tourist Towns in Oregon. It’s kind of like getting a tour of all the different models of Potemkin villages, and then every so often you hit a town which is Not For Tourists and Out Here For Another Reason Goddammit and you can really tell the difference.

I just wish I’d had more time to stop and hike more. Ah well, hopefully next time.

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and back
[18 May 2015|12:09pm]

[ mood | silly ]

I'm back! First long-range test-flight of the Raptor went well. As did the shows, I got invited a few more places, so did we-as-Leannan-Sidhe - thanks again Newport, Toledo, Glastonbury!

Not so many pictures this time. I'll post a couple later. But I did make friends with a moth.


Hello I Am Moth I Like Your Shoelaces Did You Steal Them From The President?


It was very one-sided. Mostly on Moth's side, to be honest.

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