FursonaCon 2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:28 am
mortonfox: (chestnut halloween)
[personal profile] mortonfox
So this past weekend was my last furry convention of the year: FursonaCon at Holiday Inn in the Norfolk / Virginia Beach area. It's also the smallest one of the year, with only 297 attendees. (79 fursuiters in the fursuit parade) Funny thing is I think I enjoyed it the most of the four cons I attended this year. There wasn't much programming so that left plenty of time to relax, chat, and fursuit. The local furries are very hospitable. They didn't know me or where I was from ("Remind me again where Delaware is?" said one of them, probably half-jokingly.) but I was just short of dragged to a room party the first night of the con. Of course, with only a few hundred attendees, we didn't have the whole hotel to ourselves but the people from the two wedding parties we shared the hotel with were also very nice and wanted photos with all the fursuiters.

The fursuit games were run differently from other cons. Instead of having all the games as one long event, they split it into multiple short events, one game per event. I thought that was much less tiring. Plus, that meant each game had prizes. I didn't do so well in fursuit dodgeball, but my team won trophies in fursuit hockey. Because there weren't many fursuiters, the parade was short and quick and we got fish tags (for the Atlantis theme) at the end of it. One other benefit to a small con: there was never a wait at the photo room and so I got these wonderful lightstick photos.

Biggest downside though was the hotel. While some parts of the hotel were new and fairly up-to-date, my room wasn't. The faucet was loose. The power socket was loose. Lamp fixtures were rusty. The air conditioner was weak. Housekeeping on my floor lacked attention to detail. They forgot various items and even forgot to service my room the first day. Also there was a musty odor in the hotel corridors and some of the meeting rooms. On the plus side, my room had a refrigerator and microwave oven, which helped a lot because that meant I could buy some groceries and not have to contend with that ridiculous 12.6% restaurant tax in the Norfolk / Virginia Beach area.

What would the weekend be without GPS games? I found 6 geocaches on the trip. They were mostly very easy, even though two of them were rated 5 stars and one 3.5 stars. Surprisingly, the cache that took the most time to find was rated only 1 star. One of the 5-star caches was a pretend 5-star but aside from that, I'm not sure how difficulty ratings work any more. The star of the weekend though was Munzee. That area is packed with pins! On the evening of my arrival, I was up to 3,624 captures when I decided I'd better get back to the hotel! I got 290 more on Sunday evening and over a thousand more on the way home, but even then, it looks like I've barely scratched the surface.

The caches... )

Coffee and tea and the raining and me

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:27 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I drink coffee in the mornings and usually switch to tea in the afternoon. At least when I’m in the office. When I’m home (whether it be a work from home day or simply a day off), I’ll make a pot of coffee in the morning, and since I’m the only coffee drinker in the house, that’s usually more than enough for me for the day. Most of the time...

(The rest of this post about beverages, weather, life, and inspiration is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I’ve seen the opinion expressed more than once that there is nothing more boring than reading about other people’s dreams. But I have also noticed that the people who say that frequently are the sorts whose blogging consists of long cynical (and boring) discourses on how horrible every single person they have ever known is and/or how every book/game/movie/TV series episode they watch is horrible. So, I’m going to ignore them...

(The rest of this weird post is at FontFolly.Net.)

Confessions of a gadget addict

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:12 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I fully admit to being addicted to gadgets. I spend a lot of my time at home writing, reading, and researching on a Macbook Pro, but I also own one of the big Mac Pro Towers with an Apple Cinema Display for a monitor, and I own an Asuratek Ultrabook that runs Windows 7. Plus I have an iPad Pro with the Apple Smart Keyboard, upon which I do a surprising number of tasks that previously required a laptop, plus my iPhone and Apple Watch, and did I mention my Kindle? And that doesn’t even get into the more than half-dozen iPods of various models that I load up with music and rotate through the car. Plus there is a dizzying array of accessories for all of the above. The number of different types of headphones I own (even after purging a whole bunch during the move) is enough to make most people’s heads spin...

(The rest of this post about how different people's needs require different tools is at FontFolly.Net
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
The second Friday in October already. Where is the year going?

This week we have what is probably one of the shortest collections of Friday Links I've ever done (unless you count the few times I've missed the day). One reason is that I've been very busy and a little bit under the weather this week. So I just didn't collection many. But another reason is that I've been thinking about how much time I spend on various activities and considering making some changes. There was a time, not that long ago, where the weekly round up of links was one of my most clicked on posts every week. And that's just on my personal blog. I can't get stats from the places where I cross-post the full text, so always assumed the actual numbers were higher. But now Friday Links is one of the least click posts on the blog, consistently.

This isn't just about click. I've always rationalized the weekly round up based on the fact that every day I spend some time reading news and such on the net, and collecting the links of the stories I think worth sharing isn't a big effort. However, assembling the post takes several hours every Thursday. Even those time when I try to limit how much time I spend, it always takes longer because I'll reach the time limit and think, "But there was that one story about..." and go looking for the link. Sort of, "Just one more, oh, and that one! And we can't forget this one!"

It took much less than an hour to assemble this one, and I still spent more time arguing with myself about whether I should go looking for more links so it wouldn't be so short.

Anyway, here are the links I gathered this week, sorted into categories as accurately as I could.

Story of the Week



Rose McGowan's Temporary Twitter Lock-Out Inspires #WomenBoycottTwitter Movement.

Science!



Which Sounds Better, Analog or Digital Music? The answer is subjective, but the underlying math is not.

Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



WHERE I THINK THEY ARE NOW: HOCUS POCUS EDITION.

This week in awful people



Las Vegas Shooter had ‘No Political Affiliation’.

News for queers and our allies:



Experts confirm gender identity is biological and say insurers should cover trans health needs.

This week in Writing



New Hire: Talking with DW about moving to Seattle, publishing his sketchbooks, and finding cartoonists from every continent on Earth.

This Week in Covering the News



ESPN Suspends Jemele Hill Two Weeks For No Good Reason.

News about the Fascist Regime:



GOP embarrasses Trump, accidentally admits Obamacare was a huge success.

This Week in Foreign Enemies



Could we reverse a hacked presidential election?

Things I wrote:



Celebrate Indeginenous Peoples Day.

What’s not to love about Halloween?

No one deserves to live in a closet.

The Night Was Sultry, part 3 — finding the emotional hook.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Two weeks ago I started the discussion about beginnings in fiction by referencing a great running gag in the movie Throw Mama From the Train. I’ve covered when (in time) to start the story (The Night Was Sultry, part 1), and how to select an internal conflict to go with the external plot (The Night Was Sultry, part 2). In other words, we’ve talked about the narrative hook and setting the stakes.

But in addition to the narrative hook, you need an emotional hook...

(The rest of this post about the craft of writing is at FontFolly.Net.)
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
My search bar, which is usually to the right of the URL bar, disappeared. Yet it still displayed for my other Firefox profiles.

When hovering the pointer over the right edge of the URL bar, it changed to a resize icon, but it didn't let me resize the URL bar smaller (in case it had overlayed the search bar somehow).

In the Customize window, the Search bar still displayed to the right of the URL bar, like normal.

I disabled one of my add-ons which is related to the search bar, but that didn't make a difference.

When I restarted in Safe mode with all add-ons disabled, the Search bar displayed like normal.

After restarting again in normal mode, I disabled my add-ons a few at a time. Eventually the Search bar displayed again, but I wasn't sure which add-on it had been. So then I re-enabled my add-ons a few at a time. The Search bar kept displaying, even after all of them had been re-enabled.

It's possible that when one of the add-ons updated to a new version, it somehow caused the problem. And that disabling/re-enabling the add-on fixed the problem, as doing that may cause the add-on to execute some re-initialization logic, depending on how it is coded.

Update - 2017/10/14:
Today my NoScript toolbar button has disappeared. And I recall this happening with NoScript once before in the last few weeks. So apparently the problem with things disappearing isn't limited to the Search bar.
I restarted with add-ons disabled, then restarted with add-ons enabled, and now the NoScript button is back.

Maryland MunzFit

Oct. 11th, 2017 04:37 pm
mortonfox: (face tree)
[personal profile] mortonfox
On Saturday, I went to the Maryland MunzFit event in Sandy Point State Park. Although I've passed by Sandy Point State Park before, I'd never been inside past the fee booths, so I'm glad to report that beach has good views of the Bay Bridge and large ships sneaking up on people.

Although this Munzee event is connected to a series of fitness events, I don't think we actually did anything especially fitness-related but most of us took a walk around the state park to capture 70 event pins that had been deployed for the event. As usual, we started the event by gathering at a spot near the parking lot for a meet and greet. Then we wandered off in smaller groups to look for the event pins. I went with Jeeper32 and ozzy1602. Although most of the walk was along the parking lot edge, the beach, and the fence line, there was also a stretch on a wooded trail and through a picnic grove, which was nice. We successfully found all the event pins, as well as all the other munzees in the park.

All in all, it was a wonderful day even if the weather was a bit warm for autumn. Munzee is a game we can play on our own but sometimes, it's good to do that in a group.

The munzees... )

No one deserves to live in a closet

Oct. 11th, 2017 01:11 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It’s National Coming Out Day! And just for the record, in case it isn’t clear: I’m queer! Specifically I am a gay man married to a bisexual man. For many years I lived in the closet, and am ever so happy that those days are far, far behind me. So, if you’re a person living in the closet, I urge you to consider coming out. Being in the closet is scary—you live in a constant state of high anxiety about people finding out and what they might do when it happens. Studies show that this affects us the same as extended trauma, inducing the same sorts of stress changes to the central nervous system as PTSD.

The problem is that coming out is also scary...

(The rest of this post, with quotes from others and a link to an awesome comic about coming out, is at FontFolly.Net.)

What’s not to love about Halloween?

Oct. 10th, 2017 10:54 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I’ve written a few times before about my love of Halloween and my fondness for a certain type of spooky movie. Some years I have done elaborate decorating for the holiday. I often spend time planning a costume to wear to any Halloween party we might be attending. I always spend at least part of the month of October listening to what I consider Halloween music while planning what kind of movies I might watch on the actual night. And then, of course, there is trying to decide how much candy we will need to hand out that night...

(The rest of this post is at FontFolly.Net.)

Celebrate Indeginenous Peoples Day

Oct. 9th, 2017 07:18 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
America was inhabited already when Columbus blundered his way into the West Indies. They are called the West Indies, in case you didn’t know, because he thought he had sailed all the way around the world to Japan, China, and India. Seriously. He was convinced that San Salvador was Japan, and Cuba was China.

Columbus wasn’t a great thinker...


(The rest of this mildly pedantic post about a holiday is at FontFolly.Net.)

my day so far (I'm so tired)

Oct. 9th, 2017 08:00 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Struggled with washing machine. Finally got clothes successfully rinsed and spun dry around 2:15am. Hung them up to dry. Decided I need to buy a new washing machine. Went to bed at 2:30am. Had a hard time falling asleep, even though I had been very tired around midnight.

I set my alarm for 9am, but woke up before 8 and couldn't fall back asleep. Got up, washed, dressed.
Dialed in to 2 Skype meetings for work, then drove to work. Uneventful day at the office.
Around 4:30pm, Qiao called to say the dogs had both gotten out of the yard, and he was walking around looking, but couldn't find them. That was unusual, because all the other times they've gotten out, we've found them right away.
So I left work early to help him look. As I was driving up his driveway, Zorro came ambling out of the bushes from the neighbor's yard. Shortly thereafter, Serena was found a few houses away - a kind neighbor had found them both sitting in the street, but had only managed to coax Serena into her yard, for safety.

Then I found the spot were Serena had dug out under the fence, and reinforced it. (Even though there are still many other spots that need reinforcing, which will require at least a couple more boxes of 12" metal stakes (and hopefully not more fine-mesh fencing too)).

Then I found out that Zorro had gotten herself all muddy. So we drove them to my house so I could give them both a "bath" (with hose and bucket of soapy water) quickly before it got dark.

Now it's 8pm, and I shall do 2 more hours of work from home, to make up for leaving work early.

ransom

Oct. 9th, 2017 12:20 am
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Dammit. I need to go to bed. I want to go to bed. I might've could've gotten to bed on time tonight. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The ***** washing machine is acting up again and holding my soapy wet clothes hostage. Grrr.

Note to self: Never use the Heavy Soil cycle again. It often gives me problems.

And while I'm ranting anyway.

What is it with people who have these long boring-sounding telephone conversations while sitting on the toilet in one of the stalls in the bathroom at work?

And what is it with people who don't turn off or silence their cellphones in a movie theater, with the reasoning, "Noone is going to call me." And yet someone else just called them. "They're the only person who would call me, and I told them I'm at the movies. So they won't call again." Oh, really, you're sure about that? I know that person, and I'm not sure that they won't call again. I suppose you never get calls from people who dialed the wrong number, either? No one ever calls you in the evening, really? Why can't you follow the simple courteous rule of silencing your phone? Why should I have to be slightly anxious, worrying that your phone is going to ring after the movie starts? Because you're one of THOSE PEOPLE who are too rude and inconsiderate and selfish to turn off their phones. Because you're too **** lazy to press a **** little button on your phone!

And it's not reasonable to be handled a 32 oz drink when you order a "small"!!! 32 oz is not small.

And ouch **** I just **** hurt my **** hands hitting the **** washer. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
So, yesterday was Friday, the day that usually this post should go up. It's already October! Where is the year going?

I didn't get this post finished Thursday night primarily because I am sometimes very absent-minded. It's not that I forgot, though. When I got home from work I started cooking dinner, and that involved roasted a couple of pork loin chops in marinara sauce, while the veggies cooked in the microwave. Once everything was done I called my hubby in to eat, and got out a couple of plate because I wanted to smother each pork loin in cheese, so I was going to plate them up. And even though just three minutes earlier I had used oven mitts to pull the pan from the oven, I roached over with my bare hand and firmly took hold of the handle of the lid of the pan...

So, once we had doused my hand in cold water, we determined it wasn't serious enough burn to require medical attention, but the only way I got through dinner was I spend most of the time clutch my cold drink with the burnt hand, and only letting go when I need both hands to cut the meat. One of the blisters is right on the joint of the index finger, and any attempt I made to type, use the mouse, or touchpad that night was just not fun. So, I tried for a while, but eventually spend the evening reading. Things were better by morning, but I had to work, so, here we are, a day late!

Anyway, here are the links I gathered this week, sorted into categories as accurately as I could.

Links of the Week



Two strangers bond over country music and beer. Then the gunshots started.

Rosanne Cash: Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.

Whitewashing the Second Amendment.

Story of the Week



The White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter .

Headline of the Year?



Group sex during Hurricane Irma ended in gruesome murder, Hollywood police say.

Science!



There are so many butterflies in Denver that they showed up on radar.

Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain.

Ancient Tomb of Santa Claus Discovered Beneath Turkish Church.

Pterostichus neilgaimani sp. nov., a new species of ground beetles.

INVERTEBRATE FOSSILS FROM THE LOWER MUSCHELKALK (TRIASSIC, ANISIAN) OF WINTERSWIJK, THE NETHERLANDS.

Prehistoric squid was last meal of newborn ichthyosaur 200 million years ago.

Octopus And Squid Evolution Is Officially Weirder Than We Could Have Ever Imagined.

This Week in Natural Disasters



In one Puerto Rican nursing home, a struggle to get power and keep patients alive.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



To Get Down with 'The Gifted' or Naa?.

Fan Fiction – The New Inquiry.

Peter LaBarbera Is Outraged At Gay Couple On Star Trek, Wonders Where The Ex-Gay Characters Are .

Restoring Our Faith in the Rule of Law



Ginsburg Slaps Gorsuch in Gerrymandering Case.

This week in awful news



Police say Las Vegas gunman planned ‘extensively,’ used cameras to monitor officers as they approached.

At his local Starbucks, Las Vegas shooter remembered for berating his girlfriend .

Las Vegas shooter's girlfriend 'sent away' before his massacre.

Gay man was killed in the Las Vegas massacre while his boyfriend watched.

Las Vegas Horror Drives All-Too-Predictable Gun Stock Rally.

No Worries, Washington Post, I Fixed Your Headline For You!.
“People who choose to end their lives as a tool of mass violence do not get to have a public eulogy in which they are memorialized fondly for whatever the fuck they did before they decided to aim indiscriminately into the crowd.”

Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Las Vegas.

This week in the environment



Some Property Insurers Pulling Back From Highest Wildfire Risk Areas.

News for queers and our allies:



Read with Pride Northwest | The LGBTQIA Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest.

New Releases: October 2017 | LGBTQ Reads.

Straight guys keep covertly gushing about “Magic Mike” to Matt Bomer.

35 People Who Transitioned On How It Impacted Their Mental Health.

First ‘Bisexual Representation Award’ Winners Announced.

This Texas church has stopped marrying straight people until it can hold same-sex weddings .

Showcasing images, experiences of people with LGBTQ parents .

This week in Words



The Language of White Supremacy: Narrow definitions of the term actually help continue the work of the architects of the post-Jim Crow racial hierarchy.

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet.

This Week in Tech



On the face of it: Misunderstanding the point of Face ID.
“Apple created Touch ID and Face ID not as the best ways to secure your iPhone but as better ways than you were probably using. These are conveniences, not foolproof security systems. When Apple shipped Touch ID, it knew that most people weren’t using a 128-character alphanumeric passcode, they were using 4-digit numeric passcodes (if anything). Why? Because they wanted to unlock their phones quickly. MY SANDWICH MUST BE INSTAGRAMMED AS FAST AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. 4-digit numeric passcodes are terrible security. They are easy to guess, hack or simply jack by watching someone type it in. Fingerprints and faces are not perfect, but they are considerably better for most security situations.”

Redesigning history: Apple was never perfect.
“Apple’s flaws are usually real but generally exaggerated and people tend to draw the wrong conclusions from them.”

KGI: Despite production delays, TrueDepth camera puts iPhone X 2.5 years ahead of Android competition.

This week in Topics Most People Can't Be Rational About



Top conservative calls for ban on device used by Vegas shooter.

Republicans Open to Banning ‘Bump Stocks’ Used in Massacre.

THINGS MORE HEAVILY REGULATED THAN BUYING A GUN IN THE UNITED STATES.

Culture war news:



Republican Anti-Choice "Family Values" Member of Congress Allegedly (Allegedly!) Urged His Mistress To Get an Abortion.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



‘Out Of Whack’: The Most Jaw-Dropping Remarks From Trump’s Puerto Rico Trip.

Donald Trump’s Disgusting Remark On Puerto Rico Is More Revealing Than He Knows.

Poll: Public confidence in media rises as trust in Trump falls.

News about the Fascist Regime:



This headline is factually true: Trump Admin Votes Against U.N. Plan Condemning Death Penalty for Gays .

This one is not: No, the U.S. Didn’t Vote at the UN for the Death Penalty for Homosexuality. When you split hairs this finely, it's called "being delusional."

Sessions releases guidance memos on ‘religious freedom’ & it targets rights of gays.

Jeff Sessions reverses DOJ policy protecting transgender workers from discrimination.

This week in Politics:



Governor Jay Inslee Calls For Ban on "Bump Stocks" Used to Make Guns Shoot Faster.

9 million kids get health insurance under CHIP. Congress just let it expire.

GA Supreme Court: Giving the Pastor the Finger in Church is Protected Speech.

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



We Snuck into Seattle's Super Secret White Nationalist Convention.
“Despite usually agreeing with everything the Nazis did and believing the Holocaust is just “anti-white propaganda,” they always claim a technical reason for why they aren’t “National Socialists.” None of these reasons would ever make sense to anybody outside the community and “I’m not a Nazi, but” is one of the most common white nationalist recruitment tricks to have people hear them out.”

Queen Anne Freemasons To Donate White Nationalist Money to Anti-Hate Organization.

Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream.

Alt-Right’ comic book meant to ‘trigger’ progressives is as awful as you’d expect.

Farewells:



Lady Lucan, Last Witness to a Murder Most Lurid, Dies at 80.

Tom Petty, a Mainstay of Rock With the Heartbreakers, Dies at 66.

Tom Petty: How a Complicated Good Ol' Boy Reinvented Himself in L.A..

We Never Needed Tom Petty Cover Bands.

Things I wrote:



Weekend Stuff 9/30/2017: Every unhappy family….

Welcome October!

Thoughts & Prayers, again.

What the heck does it mean when someone writes “coffee-colored skin”.

Normal is overrated — more adventures in dictionaries.

The Night Was Sultry, part 2 — more adventures in opening lines.

Videos!



Pacific Rim Uprising - Official Trailer (HD):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi - FINAL Trailer (2017) Episode 8 Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
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