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14 March 2012 @ 10:20 am
So, there's one of those "don't pull the thread" kind of stories.

  • I used to have Ubuntu, then they went all UNITY/GNOME3 on me. So when I got a new system, I installed flat Debian.
  • But I installed Debian Squeeze (Stable) for amd64. It lived up to its name, it was stable.
  • Except when I had to install Nvidia proprietary drivers. The Nvidia drivers were good. But apt-get hated them, because it messed up some xorg-alternative-something-something package, due to a bad link in the install script. Long story short, the packages are fine for 32-bit, but the 64-bit need some work. But this made installing packages difficult because they would ALWAYS get the error "can't find link to libgl-something.1," which was there, but a link to libgl-something.1.2 which wasn't there. So I'd link it to libgl.209.12 (something) which was Nvidia's video driver, but then it would error out, "this is a 64-bit executable" which, duh, it's a 64-bit OS. It was annoying, but I was able to install packages.
  • Except when it came to various packages, which errored out, because a few packages (like MAME) wanted the xorg-alternative-something-something to behave, and so I couldn't install them. So much for continuing my Pokemon Blue game.
  • So I needed to install a DVD burner for making movie CDs. My favorite is DeVeDe. It wouldn't install because I had a copy of ffmpeg libraries that were too old. I couldn't upgrade ffmpeg because... xorg-alternative-something-something was messed up.
  • So I tried to do a dist-upgrade, which did nothing but make the machine worse and worse. This failed on all kinds of levels. I tried various fixes and long story short, rendered Linux unbootable. I have dual-boot into Windows, and that works (so, you know, GRUB works). And my /home partition is a separate partition, which is also backed up daily, so I am not hosed when it comes to data, so I decided to do a fresh install of Debian 6.04, Wheezy, which is the "testing" version (as opposed to "stable"). I should have started with Wheezy anyway, as "stable" is always way out of date because it takes so long to test the stability of packages and their dependencies. The install download constantly timed out, which mirrored the issues I have had off and on for a while getting the Debian ftp mirrors for *anything* (even here at work). Their servers time out, the sources.list have IP errors (or at least DNS is not updating quickly), and it took 30 minutes just to get an 198mb netinstall CD.
  • The first CD didn't match the MD5 hashsum. So I had to download it again. Then it took two CDs to burn it via the Windows7 "burn an ISO" program, whatever the hell that does. At least it doesn't try to burn one ISO file on the CD like WindowsXP did, it actually burns a real image. The first image failed, and the CD was not recognized as boot media. The second image worked.
  • Then, of course, a few more hours to get the packages. Many timeouts. Then it said it could not find a kernel to install, but constantly asking for it to find one (I assumed due to the timeouts) eventually found one: version amd64-3.02. At around 11:30pm last night, I booted into Debian and it hung at some funky-assed error dealing with AHCI or something. Known bug, you need to change some things in your modules.conf. So I tried to boot into "recovery," and that failed at another error that didn't recognize something in my hard drive. So I thought I'd mount it off a rescue CD I had and... the BIOS didn't see that CD as bootable. I gave up, because now it was midnight, and I had work to go to in 6 hours.

My options seem to be among these:

  • Re-install Debian squeeze-stable. I'll be back to issues with my packages.
  • Try installing wheezy-testing again. Maybe the install got borked with all the timeouts.
  • Go back to Ubuntu, which seems to have a lot of this figured out. Then I'll have to deal with Unity/GNOME3 unless I install KDE or XFCE. XFCE seems so unpolished,
  • Download Kubuntu. KDE 4 isn't that horrible, and GNOME 2 is on its way out, anyway.
  • Download an RPM distro, like Fedora.
  • Just accept that I paid $129 for Windows 7, use that. No way.

Either way, I have to get my desktop up and working. I have to burn some DVDs before the weekend.
This was such a pain in the ass, I wanted to save it for later.

Setup: I have a Debian server, running the browser Chrome. I had SSL problems for my Smoothwall firewall which didn't allow me to store passwords, nor could I go onto the site without "OMFG YOU ARE GOING TO AN UNTRUSTED SITE LOOK OUT!!!" errors from Chrome.

Given that I didn't want to shell out $50 for a real root cert, I needed to generate a self-signed cert because, well, the one that came with Smoothwall was mostly empty and stupid. I needed to do this anyway for my own educational purposes.

Step 1: Generate a Private Key
openssl genrsa -des3 -out smoothwall.server.key 2048

It asked me for a passphrase, so I chose password12345 (not really, but I am not telling you my real one which is 230 characters long, and not the same passowrd as my luggage)

Step 2: Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request)
openssl req -new -key smoothwall.server.key -out smoothwall.server.csr

Then I filled out this:
Country Name (2 letter code) [GB]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Berkshire]:Dementia
Locality Name (eg, city) [Newbury]:Paranoid
Organization Name (eg, company) [My Company Ltd]:Punadyne Labs
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Speculative Techology
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []:smoothwall.localdomain
Email Address []:cforrester@gizmonic.com
Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []: [left blank]
An optional company name []: [left blank]

Step 3: Remove Passphrase from Key
I fucking hate it when sysadmins forget this step, and every damn time I have to restart the webserver, I have to enter in a passphrase. This removed the passphrase, but make sure that when you save it on the server, this file is set to only be readable by the root user!
cp smoothwall.server.key smoothwall.server.key.orginal.withpassphrase
openssl rsa -in smoothwall.server.key.original.withpassphrase -out smoothwall.server.key

Ideally, you should have these files and permissions:
$ ls -al
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 745 Mar 10 12:19 smoothwall.server.csr
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 891 Mar 10 13:22 smoothwall.server.key
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 963 Mar 10 13:22 smoothwall.server.key.original.withpassphrase

Step 4: Generating a Self-Signed Certificate
At this point, normally you mail the CSR to some site that charges you $50 or more to generate a cert. But fuck that for a personal home network. I am self-signing for 5 years because after 5 years... well, I don't think this server/setup will last that long. Hell, I hope it survives the next reboot, I have it on an old Dell desktop.
openssl x509 -req -days 1825 -in smoothwall.server.csr -signkey smoothwall.server.key -out smoothwall.server.crt

Yes, that's what Verisign charges you $125 for doing. Oh, but they are "trusted." Whatevs.

Step 5: Installing the Private Key and Certificate
In this case, I had to check where Smoothwall stored its certs. I found the apache config, and noted these lines:
SSLEngine On
                SSLCertificateFile    /etc/httpd/server.crt
                SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/httpd/server.key

I backed up those files in case something went horribly wrong (note, you should always do this), and then I copied my files over to there, renaming them "server.crt" and "server.key" so that everything matched. Yippie skippy. I couldn't figure out how to restart the web server itself, so I rebooted the box. Ha ha, fuck you, all who were on my network!

Step 6: Testing the cert
I looked in Chrome, which STILL said it was untrusted, and since Google Chrome in Linux doesn’t have a SSL certificate manager. Chrome for Linux relies on some "NSS Shared DB" which I am sure sounds clever to somebody. But I checked and made sure the new cert was no longer the generic Smoothwall "A Dooooyyyy" cert. Yep, Punkadyne Labs. Now I have to beat up Chrome.

Step 7: Installing the cert in some NSS Shared DB
Frankly, it was easier for me to load the site in Firefox (on a Windows machine), then export the cert as punkadyne.sslserver.crt.pem (PEM stands for "Privacy Enhanced Mail," I had to look this up, must be a legacy thing) and then copy it over to my Debian box. Them I imported it:
certutil -d sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb -A -t TC -n "Smoothwall Server" -i punkadyne.sslserver.crt.pem

Then I had to restart Chrome. And voila! We are up and running. Chrome trusts the cert, I can store the password in my password cache, and life is bootyfull.

Note: If you get an unhelpful error like "certutil: could not add certificate to token or database: SEC_ERROR_ADDING_CERT: Error adding certificate to database" you probably have done what I did: tried to install a certificate with the same name twice. You can find out if you did this with:

certutil -d sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb -L

Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attributes

Smoothwall Server                                            CT,, 

When I switched to a new firewall, I had to add it as a new name for the cert, "Smoothwall Server 3.1":

certutil -d sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb -L

Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attributes

Smoothwall Server                                            CT,, 
Smoothwall Server 3.1                                        CT,, 

What a wasted couple of hours tracking that one down.
08 December 2011 @ 09:29 am
So, the other day, I am responding to this post on a forum about why people who work in computers always get asked to fix something, like it's all related. I say it's our unique troubleshooting ability. Jeff Goldblum demonstrated how, using only a Mac laptop and some software, we could infiltrate an alien ship and plant a virus somehow. That character had some mad driver-writing skillz, yo. I could see any one of my tech friends being taken by spaceship and asked to fix something, and this happens:

Okay, I fixed your anal probe. I found out that your ship's power is divided into several nodes that are color coded. I don't know what they mean, exactly, but I did notice that the anal probulator was plugged in twice: one to a green outlet, and one to a blue. I didn't know which one did what, so I unplugged them both, and plugged them back in one at a time. What I noticed is that a small green light appeared on the ... wand thingee, but there was a dim orange light on the main part of the unit that flashed. I noticed that it had a red plug, plugged into a blue outlet. I wondered if you had a red outlet. You did, but something else was plugged into it. I asked a crew member what it was, and he said it was something I cannot pronounce in my language's phonemes. I asked him if it was okay to unplug, and he said, "Oh, yeah. I don't need it on anymore." It turns out he was using it around the same time you said the probulator stopped working. I unplugged the... other thing, and plugged in the red plug on the probulator to it. And I got a green light. They tested it on this poor redneck in a holding cell, and said it was now working great.

Am I right?
08 December 2011 @ 09:23 am
I had a classmate who had this opinion on Star Wars back in the 1980s.

Me: So, you ever watch Star Wars?
Him: No, I don't get into Gorilla movies.
Me: What?
Him: Gorilla movies. You know, Planet of the Apes, King Kong, Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001, etc.
Me: Chewbacca is not a gorilla.
Him: Ape, space-chimp, whatever. I don't know why sci-fi is always has to have a gorilla in it. Is it because of the chimps in the space program?
Me: What is wrong with you? What is the last sci-fi film you watched?
Him: Alien.
Me: Hah! And was there a gorilla in that?
Him: I don't know, I stopped watching it because after twenty minutes of the same hallway over and over, I fell asleep. Did they ever get off that ship? At the end, she's blasting some gorilla into space. Didn't even make sense.
Me: That was an alien!
Him: No, it was definitely a gorilla.

It reminded me of another friend's mom, who thought Star Trek was "that astronaut gangster TV show" because the ONLY episode she saw was "A Piece of the Action." Because she didn't want her kid to be a gangster and reinforced the Italian stereotype, she forbid him watching Star Trek.
07 December 2011 @ 02:44 pm
My dad had an unusual gift of making people feel stupid. While discussing this with someone who had similar problems as a child, we tried to diagram how these conversations would go. What resulted was a string of IMs about techniques so evil and horrible, that I am scared to post them lest it give some evil person ideas. I think I may someday post a list of countermeasures, and maybe make an e-book out of it called, "How Others Manipulate You and Ways to See It" or something. Not that I have decent counter tactics, like f I wrote "How to Build a Pipe Bomb" it wouldn't necessarily prevent you from being hurt in an explosion.

One of the more common tactics that I will discuss is the way some people try and make you look like a liar. My dad and her dad had this down to a science. It's amazing how it works and I am not sure if our fathers did this because they really thought they were trying to stop our lying, or just wanted us to look stupid. In my case, I am pretty sure it was the latter. I am curious how this looks in professional debate techniques. My friends Neal and his brother Glen were debate team champions in their school days, and Neal used to fascinate me with terms like "petitio principii," "reductio ad absurdum," and other tales of tautology. I often wished I had similar training in the face of people trying to prove me wrong in something I am most assured is right, or at least exactly how I saw it.

The premise of a liar hunter starts with the assumption the other person is lying without thinking of alternatives. Thus anything and everything the victim says is interpreted, to its fullest extreme, as proof of the accuser's theory. For instance, the devilish phrase, "What the hell is wrong with you?" or its cousin, "Are you stupid or something?" Posed as a question, it's actually a statement that something is wrong with you. "When did you stop beating your wife?" Thus, you are put on the defensive if you're not aware of how to handle this tactic.

It reminds me of an old joke my friend Neal had with his dad which infuriated him. "Suppose a rooster lays an egg on top of a barn," his dad would say. "Will it roll on the east side or west side of the roof?" The answer is apparently, "Ha ha, roosters don't lay eggs; hens do!" This implies the person who tried to answer anything regarding the egg itself was an idiot. Neal immediately brought up the point that to answer such a question established a hypothesis independent of reality. Maybe roosters do not lay eggs in real life, but you said "suppose," which means you set up a premise and and answer demanded a postulation on the premise. "Suppose the murderer was someone the victim knew?" is a good example from a typical mystery novel. But in this case, it was the questioner trying to make you look stupid, and his dad merely repeated that someone raised in the suburbs was so disconnected from reality, they were blinded to the fact roosters are male. People who set up false premises in questions are not looking for an answer, they wanted to be be right and destabilize your argument until you doubt even your own reality and experience.

This is one of the core reasons that privacy is, or should be, an essential right to an adult. It disarms someone looking for postulated evidence that can be used against them. Does this related phrase sound familiar?

"If you did nothing wrong, what reason do you have to hide?"

A good answer is, "If I did nothing wrong, what reason do you have to look?" Sadly, that's a logical answer, and people out witch-hunting are not swayed by debate or reality in most cases. They want to look because they have no evidence. And when they violate your privacy, they will pick and choose among what they find and use the rest of the privacy obscurity to their advantage as they paint a different picture.

When I speak to a lot of people who said they lied a lot as a kid, they were similar to my stories: "my parents didn't believe the truth." My parents were not looking for truth, they were looking for justification of their own insecurities. If their daughter is out, she's a slut. Their son is out, he's taking drugs. And after random and inaccurate predictions followed by arbitrary punishments, parents are not looked to as towers of stability, but an obstacle that cannot be defined, reasoned with, or even figured out. Suddenly, ALL parental things come into question, and parental rules lose meaning. Looking for stability as children and teens are wont to do, and programmed to do, they look elsewhere. And that works out randomly. In my case it worked out, although I have never really figured out how. In my friend's case... she got an STD that still haunts her to this day. Because her boyfriend at the time, who assured her it was okay, and if she really loved him... you know the rest.

I am curious as to what you have to say about this.
07 December 2011 @ 01:45 pm
In 1977, I was a book nerd who signed up for the Scholastic Book thing... many of you remember it back in US grammar school. There was an onionskin paper catalog that had mostly reprints of popular kids books, with some posters, calendars, and sometimes toys tossed in. My mother made sure I got a lot of books, and I was the ONLY kid I knew who always had an order of more than 5 items per delivery. This was awesome, personally, but it gained me a lot of beatings because I was a "BOOK WORM." One year, it got so bad, my teacher gave me the order after school because she understood how hard it was.


Anyway, in one of these packets I got a free "1977 Fact-a-day" calendars. It was a large unfolding poster that had a fact a day for each square. One of the things that this poster had was a goofy, "This calendar can be reused in 1983!" As a joke, they had a space where you could cross out "1977" and put in 1983, using some futuristic font.

I was such a nerd, I mathematically figured out that I could also use the calendar again in 1994, 2005, and 2011. I remember how proud I was at this discovery that calendars repeated. I showed this to my teacher and she said, "so what?" I was crushed. I won't name her name, because otherwise she was okay, but 1977 was the year I found out doing math for no reason was pointless. Thank goodness I was too stupid to remember this lesson. Also, in the back of my head, 1983, 1994, 2005, and 2011 were magically connected in some way. So this year ends an era started by some strange calendar I got as a kid. I guess I could also connect 2022, 2033, 2039, 2050 and so on, but enough is enough.

In 1977, the year 2011 seemed impossibly far away to be almost magical. "Man, I'll turn 43! I'll be older than my dad!" I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the future would be like. We'd have a base on the moon, that much I was certain of, because I mistakenly assumed we knew the value of establishing colonies in space and didn't know how the economy was militarily-driven. Cars would probably fly, because I knew nothing about stupid drivers and traffic mishaps. Part of me wishes I could go back in time and ask myself, "So... what will people eat? How will children's TV be different?" I would say nothing but my calendar math was remotely accurate in predicting anything.

What I didn't know was how my life would change in that year. I was diagnosed as dyslexic and some bozo test said I had an incredibly high IQ. My mother's drinking also increased. This would cause my father to "get involved" in my schoolwork, and my grades plummeted. My childhood ended in 1977, which started a spiral into depression, and started patterns that affected me in 1983, 1994, 2005, and even residuals linger in 2011.

Well, it's time to end all that. I am going into 2012 with a positive spring in my step.
12 October 2011 @ 02:23 pm
Years ago, I worked at Chesapeake Knife and Tool. We sold many "manly" things besides knives and tools, like Zippo lighters and straight razors. I learned a lot about people who shaved with straight razors. First, they were usually among the fringes of educational society. It took a strange person who, in an era of disposable razors, would prefer an unguarded thin steel blade that was so sharp, it could cut through a human being without much effort.

Sharpening the razor with such a thin edge was a task in itself. Unlike the edge of your common kitchen knife, if you tried to chop celery with a straight razor, you might actually break the edge. You'd certainly dull it really fast, and at the very least, bend or curl the fine line between deftly cutting thick hairs at pore level or dragging a small rake across your face that had been sharpened by evil fairies. The edge would dull simply by aging after a week. So using such a fussy device to shave one's face where a lot of important veins and arteries were close to the skin in a very visible disfiguring area took a certain kind of crazy.

These people would come by and ask for the usual accouterments: lathering soap, a bowl, a brush, and a "strop." A strop was a strip of leather that also had another parallel strip of cloth with a very, very mild abrasive impregnated into it. Because the blade dulled with practically every use, an aficionado of risky facial cosmology would need to make sure that the edge of his thin scythe was not only as sharp as it could be, but was also clean and free of any warping. So before every use, they would hone the blade with the white cloth, and then "deburr" (remove microscopic bits of metal) the blade with the leather strap. You may have seen this in a movie, where it looks like the barber is wiping the blade on some leather strap. But you can't just do that without a degree of skill; it requires knowing exactly what angle and direction to swipe the blade. And after so many shaves, the razor may actually need sharpened in the classical sense: on a hone, a kind of slippery piece of slate-like stone lubricated with only water or maybe some shaving soap.

After all that, after every use, you have to oil the blade because it's such a high carbon steel that it will rust from the moisture present in the air. I am not shitting you. I have seen some of these blades where there are dark pits where water was left for a day or so, and if you just leave it un-oiled, after a few weeks, the blade starts to stain black.

This is not a hobby for the lazy. This is not a weekend thing where you can keep coming back to it on your spring break like you've been meaning to. I can't tell you if this process is better than any other kind of shave, and any straight razor zealot will insist it's better even if it only means, "I have to justify I am not some kind of lone nut!" I don't think I'll ever want to know because a friend of mine in the SCA once trusted someone who was "skilled in this art" at Pennsic to give him a shave. Even though "the bleeding was not that bad," he had to grow a beard until the scars went away on their own.

The whole point of this story came about as I was explaining to someone about making sure never to say something aloud until you were sure there were no customers in the store. One day, a man came in, looking to buy some supplies for his dabble into the art of facial scarring near-misses. Like many of his ilk, he was an older guy who wore a newsboy cap and a plaid sweater vest under a suede jacket. The kind of guy who was nostalgic for his father's time when he was assured it was simpler. A scoutmaster who insisted on dressing like he was from Roosevelt's rough rider calvary on his weekends instead of the jeans and camp shirt like all the other guys. He had tortoiseshell frames over thick glasses and probably ate sensible meals with vitamin supplements. And now he was going to prove the last few generations wrong by abandoning the safety razor and shave like a man's man.

Trouble is, he was like many book-educated men; he had read about the process, but never discussed it. He started talking to the salesguy near the shaving section, our resident Vietnamese smartass named Charlie (really, and he knew the joke, too).

Man: I am interested in buying a straight razor.
Charlie: Well, you came to the right place... [blah blah blah] and we have various scents of soap, honing oil, and the strop.
Man: How much is it with everything including the strap?
Charlie: Will, with the strop this starter kit comes to $140 with everything you need to get a decent shave.
Man: And the strap is sharpening-ready?
Charlie: The strop is ready to go. We also sell the grit once the white side gets dirty.
Man: If I have my own strap can I buy the kit without it for a discount?

And so on. Eventually, the man was dissatisfied we wouldn't break a kit, and felt the cost of the pieces individually without the strop was too much. "I see," he said, assured that the book he read on how to make a good sale would cause Charlie to eventually lower the price rather than lose the sale. But we didn't make the price; corporate did. So Charlie just went back to cleaning the countertop. Then, suddenly, the store manager's voice came loudly over the office door...

"Will somebody tell that MORON it's pronounced STROP???"

Charlie dropped his cleaning rag and ran into the back office. I was at the other end of the store, and watched as nonchalantly as I could the man ambulate his way out of the store in a mosey that suggested he hadn't heard what my boss had said. When he was gone, I went to the back of the office to see my boss and Charlie hiding under the desk, stifling their laughter, their eyes in tears.

"Oh my God, I swore he had left the store!!!" my boss snickered.
As some of you know, I work among the highest management in an anime convention as a co-chair, which is kind of like claiming your were president of the college chess club on your resume; it may impress some hard core nerds but most people don't care and may actually be annoyed if you bring it up too much. But for the small core of you who knows who Stan Lee is...

OK, for those who don't, Stan Lee American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. He is credited with being one of the major creators of superhero characters you have heard of if you have been watching movies for the past 10 years: The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, The Hulk, and many others. In the comic book world, he is the closest to a deity as it gets. He's also a really nice guy, very funny, and like the wacky grandpa who can get away with calling people a dork in public. Stan Lee is a "Big Deal."

My nerdly saga in painful detailCollapse )
08 August 2011 @ 12:23 pm
(Summary at bottom of post)

@Wilw recently Tweeted

Panhandler did not appreciate my thoughtful critique of his angle. My advice was EASILY worth more than a dollar, ya lousy bum.

I wrote this journal entry so Wil wouldn't have to. He's got better stuff to do. He has a wife, a son, friends, a career, role playing gaming, a podcast, a toaster, and a dog in that order. If you have looked here, you are either being educated as to why this was delivered as funny, you want to see how humor works, or you are adding to the mockery of the people who took Wil seriously as disliking the homeless.

Humor is a form of delivery where someone says something, expecting the other person to laugh. It arises from a mental conflict that is resolved, invoking laughter in the recipient. Ironic humor is where someone says something that is the opposite of what is commonly perceived as true for the same result, often in direct opposition of their normal attitude. It is higher level of humor that has this flow:

1. Deliverer says a common that is socially unpleasant.
2. Receiver hears the unpleasant comment, and feels conflict
3. Receiver has the mental facility to understand that it was not meant truthfully. This is an added step where someone can sympathize with another's thoughts and understand that this is in conflict with another's thoughts.
4. Seeing the conflict resolved, laughter is invoked. "He was being sarcastic/ironic!"

People took offense at this tweet because they did not expect ironic humor. Here is the joke explained.

1. "Panhandler did not appreciate my thoughtful critique of his angle." The words used in this phrase were used in a syntax that was a little more complex than required. This is part of the setup. It implies that Wil was imitating the higher educated as thinking of themselves as better than other people, notably people who ask for money on the street. This is known as "mockery," but not of the panhandler, but of his portrayal of a higher breed of human on the social scale.

2. "My advice was EASILY worth more than a dollar," he continues. This is probably a jab on Hollywood and the esoteric vague quality of advice which people pay for. The subtlety of this comment is hardened by years of listening to bad advice from people in media production, like program managers, many of whom consider their advice to be so valuable, that giving it away for free is a rare treat. This is commonly seen as stupid except for the people who actually believe themselves. Wil has not bridged the mockery from a snooty set-up to the delivery of sarcasm.

3. While the joke could have ended there, Wil punctuates the remark with a twist, by adding, "ya lousy bum." This is a stark contrast to the syntax of the language previously presented. Thus the joke is funny in two ways: one, it mocks the arrogant, and then ends it with a more guttural, "commoner," response. This exposes the mocked snooty person as being no better than a commoner after all.

To further clarify the delivery of this Tweet, I shall expose it literally.

"I am making fun of a person (via method acting) of higher social class that was confused as to why someone of a lower social class did not understand why advice into how he asks for money was not accepted as valuable. This person would assume that the person of lower social class was mistaken if he did not believe that his advice was worth a great deal more than one US Dollar. Then I let the persona I am acting out collapse to expose that he is nothing more than a schoolyard bully via a taunting jeer that would not be common to someone of higher breeding."

Summary: He was kidding, and mocking snooty people. Get a sense of humor.
27 July 2011 @ 01:25 pm
I am a little stressed. For once it's not about money as much. Thankfully, takayla's full time job has saved our skins and plateaued us to the road to recovery. At this rate, it will take 5-7 years to fully recover from what was a slow drain since 2001 to a calamity in 2009. But things are looking up.

I am stressed because of the delay in my eBook, which has lay awaiting my approval in my inbox since last week. I haven't had time because of Katsucon. Oh, and I haven't had time to work on my next book, either. I have been running about like nuts. This weekend I have Otakon, where I will be helping at the Katsucon table, but most of the time I am expected to make the rounds to various vendors and guests to try and schmooze and drum up business for our little con that could.

Did I mention I am working Intervention con, too? What is with me? Onezumi, who runs that amazing little con, is ... amazing. So vibrant and full of energy and hope, she and Harknell are running one of the best startup cons I have seen since the FanTek days. Hell, already they have a lot of former FanTek staff. I should have said "no," but my inner voices told me to jump on this thing at the ground floor. The way this is looking, my lovely bride (who is fucking BOSS-awesome at this) and I will be Katsucon con chairs for this year and next, before we hand the reigns over to someone else the board elects. I may settle down with Intervention and see it grow from the inside out. If anything, the company they keep are amazing and talented.

But I am barely doing anything for that con, reltively speaking. I am running their info booth, which means me and two assitants I hire will sit at a table most of the day and party while we get other people to party as we hand out maps and give out information. I'll be like Slurms McKenzie on my own private Wurmulon with Trixie and Dixie.

"Whimmy wham wham wozzle!"

Last night, I went to visit my beloved DC Roller Girls for picture day. The size of the volunteer squad is now reaching small con proportions. There were about 7 of us for the photo ops, and we got our own individual photos. I am curious why anyone would want to see my face in a program book, I mean really. But they had a professional there, taking shots with a backdrop and light umbrellas. I got a few with my new friend, a Brain Slug.

What is the Futurama spin this post has taken?

Anyway, I am wearing said slug at Otakon. Perhaps it's symbolic for the drain this has had on my brain. Here's my work list:

- Regular work (main income)
- Contract work (supplementary income)
- Being a published author and writer (supplementary income)
- Running a house with 2 handicapped people, 3 cats, and 2 dogs. Which means I do all the housework, cleaning, cooking, shopping, budget, and repairs.
- Volunteer as Convention Co-chair at Katsucon
- Volunteer as head of Info Booth at Intervention
- Volunteer as narrator at Balticon Podcast
- Co-producer and podcaster of Fireside Meanderings
- Volunteer as bouncer for the DC Rollergirls
- A smalltime project I can't speak about
- Another smalltime project I can't speak about

At Otakon, I have to do work for Katsucon. Same with Baltimore Comic-Con, Nekocon, Anime USA, and whatever other con we're having a table at.

My to-do list looks like a large scoll of the Talmud.