prog: (Default)
The flights home Wednesday were fine. The first leg was indeed on a zippy little Embraer jet, small enough that I couldn't plant both my feet flat when sitting due to fuselage curvature. And yet, I was cool the whole way over. The crosswinds near the ground greeted the little plane with some playful buffeting as it prepared to land in Milwaukee, and I nearly laughed at the sensation.

Second leg actually gave me more jitters because even though we were on a big fat Airbus. It was moderately bumpy ride for the first hour or so, and it was too dark and cloudy outside to visually recenter myself. But then, just as the NOAA turbulence report predicted, it cleared away completely at around the halfway point. And then, magically, Chuck Jones' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas appeared on the seat-back displays! I plugged my headphones in and I tell you, this time I really did laugh. On an airplane! Several times, and not the hysterical kind, either. This, I would have not predicted.

In retrospect, the thing that has scared me the most about BOS landings has been the descending U-turn over the ocean that flights coming in from the west must often (always?) perform. Back when my I let my caveman-brain run unchecked during plane flights, even when this maneuver involved no turbulence, it was still terrifying. Ugh ugh! Ground went away! Water getting closer! Plane tipping over! Flee!! But this time I rode it down with a smile on my face (though I admit I craned my neck to keep the beloved twinkling city lights in view while we banked).

The fallout of all this is that I find my great personal success on these four flights the most memorable part of this vacation, and a source of honest pride on a personal demon subdued, if not utterly conquered. While I don't have reason to expect I'll ever really look forward to plane trips, I think I'm done being mortally terrified of flight. So, that's good!

As a bonus, enjoy this brief, silly Twitter conversation that happened between myself, my friend Jon, and Milwaukee's General Mitchell airport. MKE's message is what I woke up to find the morning after the flight, and it really was like a grown-up(?) version of getting a pilot-wings pin. I was a flyer, once again.!/JmacDotOrg/status/20285761140035584!/roody_yogurt/status/20288326221168641!/MitchellAirport/status/20489212797124608
prog: (Default)
Landed in Columbus last night, via Philadelphia. Early critical reviews suggest I did a very good job as an air passenger, significantly exceeding all expectations based on past performance.

See my Twitter feed from yesterday for the blow-by-blow, plus some postmortem commentary. Somehow the flight on the smaller jet between PHL and CMH was honestly one of the smoothest plane trips I've ever had, maybe the smoothest on a sub-747 airplane. We flew in a straight line over the gently snowing clouds for a full hour, surrounded by a pitch black sky and more stars than I've seen since I was in college. (And it reminded me how much I'd like to do some proper stargazing again, sometime.)

Things I did differently, between yesterday's flights and previous ones:

* Used LJ and Twitter as I did. A stylish pilot-wings pin from me to all who sent along their good thoughts; you all helped me tremendously.

• Read (several weeks ago) Captain Stacey Chance's online multimedia essays for aviophobes preparing to fly. Despite its Web 0.9 layout, its frequent dips into inspirational-poster corniness, and its conclusion in a pitch for books and CDs by the good captain, it contains what was for me a small wealth of great advice. I found that, when things got juddery on the plane and I started getting nervous, thinking on these lessons calmed me down immediately.

My favorite single takeaway from "Capt. Stacey" is that, to an airplane moving at typical speed, the air rushing past "feels" like a much thicker fluid that it usually does to us groundlings. In the past, I'd try to think of the plane like a great ship on the sea, but now I had a much better metaphor: it was like a submarine! It wasn't skimming atop the medium that always threatened to swallow and destroy it; it was part of it, surrendered to it utterly, and therefore its master. Such an elegant and beautiful image.

So when the plane passed through turbulence and my hindbrain said Ugh! Plane shaking! Wind trying to kill us! Flee!, I would picture this image. The new perspective really took the edge off of the fear.

• Consumed no coffee -- or anything else caffeinated -- beyond my wake-up cup. A lesser challenge than usual, because my body was too distracted by the stress of travel to cry out for its afternoon dosage.

(And I allowed myself two and a half glasses of wine at the dinner party, but my flight-nervousness is so sobering that it's hard to tell whether it had any effect. Definitely didn't hurt, though.)

• Used the NOAA's live turbulence charts to see what we could expect to fly through. This was on [ profile] mr_choronzon's advice, and it really did help. It added a little bit of dread to see some orange-colored moderate turbulence in our flight path, but this ended up being a fair price to pay for losing the surprise and confusion of encountering it unexpectedly.

• Sat beside [ profile] classicaljunkie the whole time. Yes, I did this last year as well, but this year we had reason to mutually support each other: on the first leg she was really stressed out by all the children on board, something that doesn't perturb me so much. Worst was the toddler who tried to relieve his holiday hyperactivity by bashing at her seat-back with his shiny new Tonka truck while singing his very own Christmas song into her ear. Poor Amy! So it was nice to be able to lend her some support right back. (The kid situation was awful enough to move the leggings-and-Uggs-clad teenager sitting on Amy's other side to join us in hushed commiseration.)

• When we banked, I could pull up my iPhone's compass and watch as our heading changed and then restabilized. Where my hindbrain could before cry Ugh! Plane is drooping out of sky! Flee!, I could now wash the whole system with undeniable visual evidence that this was happening for a good reason. And by god this helped shut the damned caveman up.

• I learned a new mantra from a TED Talk that Ze Frank gave recently. (The particular story, and eventually the song, begins at 14:20.) I have used mantras on planes since I first became afraid of flying, and they have evolved from genuine prayers to God for safety to repetitions of songs I like. I found this one effective because of the story of community behind it -- I really am a sap for stories like this -- and it tied in thematically with how I leaned on y'all for support, too.

While I can't say I'm looking forward to the flight back -- I haven't regained my long-lost ability to read while in-flight yet, for example -- I'm not in bring-me-my-brown-pants mode about it either.
prog: (Default)
Passing the time at Logan, with Amy. For whatever reason, this trip has been preceded by the worst case of aviophobic freakout I've ever experienced. It's been something like a single mid-intensity panic attack, stretched over three days. I can try speculating why this is, but it wouldn't help. I've been talking about it with Amy and that's helped a little. Trying not to get into any magical-thinking modes about this.

The fact that my Xmas eve was entirely plunged into dread and fear was especially rough; reading all the seasons' greetings from my friends across the internet made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Today's better by virtue of having a really swell early Xmas dinner with a few dear friends; that really chased a lot of the shadows away, even if my appetite didn't really suit the occassion. But then we called the taxi and I'm all rather knotted up again.

Gonna throw some tweets out there as we complete legs of this trip. All I want for Xmas is the knowledge that my friends are thinking of me while I work through this. It really is very difficult for me, to the point where I'm likely to seek professional help, later.

Best and sincere wishes from your friend in the skies for a happy Christmas evening...
prog: (norton)
• Final bizcard design. This is the actual image I sent to yesterday; I expect to have a bucketful of cards by PAX day. Thanks be to various Arbitrarium denizens for helping me fine-tune it.

I wrote another column on comics and video games. It's a bit wanky and therefore everyone seems to have ignored it, but I had fun with it anyway. (Because: wanky.)

• Spent the weekend in DC with Amy, visiting our friend Monica and eating things and looking at things. I'd been to the city before, but never for its own sake.

The high point was our tour of the monuments on Sunday. Walking through the (very) different war monuments put me into an unusually quiet and receptive state, and perhaps I should have paused before moving on to the Lincoln memorial. But I did not, and so suddenly finding myself standing in the presence proved such a crescendo that I nearly broke down. I had to exert real effort not to sob loudly as I scuttled, trembling, behind one of the big pillars. It took me long minutes before I could look directly at the statue, and even then I had to sidestep slowly from behind my hiding place, making its revelation gradual.

I have never before experienced such a reaction to a piece of static artwork.
prog: (The Rev. Sir Dr. George King)
In New Jersey again, hanging out with [ profile] doctor_atomic through Sunday morning. We just spent several hours burning our brains over the latest issue of Puzzles and Answers Magazine, knocking over two puzzles and shouting "This is brilliant!" at a third though we have no idea yet how to shake the meta out of it. Taking a damn break now. (I also love grumbling at test-solver [ profile] tahnan via IM while working on these.)

Starting work on the one contract next week, though I noted half an hour of billable time on the train while I absorbed spec docs and such. Not a peep from the client who owes me in excess of two large now. Since I now have barely enough liquid to make rent, this makes me sad. Yes, I will get quite aggressive about it once I'm back on home turf.

I am annoyed at They changed the design of show pages in a way I really don't like, and which apparently I have no control over as show operator. If you go to you are treated to our first episode from 2005, and while I Stand By All My Work, boy does that shit show its age. It's not the first impression I want made on a visitor. And yet it clearly is, in many cases, since my stats show an order of magnitude more views for that ep than any of the others... which means that it's often the last impression made, as well. Blah.

I should just set up a Movable Type thing for the show, already.
prog: (King of All Cosmos)
Back home. Thanks to [ profile] xach and [ profile] jaq (har har sounds like a chewy candy product) for suggestions of stuff to do in Portland. We did indeed eat at the Sebago brewpub, and tromped around the enormous cemetery. The weather was fine. Pictures later, maybe, as well as the Central Maine report.

The Shipyard brewery tour was fun. Being in the middle of the day on a weekday our tour group was us, an elderly couple, some random beerfan dood and two teenage boys with lacrosse sticks. First we all watched a movie about the brewery's origins and its various ales (and they are all ales, specifically), and then a guide led us around to gawp at fermentation vats and bottling machinery. Took maybe 15 minutes, and then there was some beer sampling. (The lacrosse kids were invited to instead sample some of the soda pop they brew there, and they did.)

I got to look all smart in front of this handful of strangers by answering the tour guide's pop quiz about why India Pale Ale is so called. Then the guide followed us into the gift shop and started reading aloud all the jokey T-shirts to us, in case we had missed them, which seemed a little odd. He cheered and went away when [ profile] classicaljunkie announced our intention to buy a case of beer. We ended up with three, of all kinds of beverage. Good times!
prog: (Default)
Here is a much less psychotic looking picture of me at the lakeside, though my head is still huge because it was taken at arm's length with the iBook's built-in camera.

Someday I will re-assemble my camera-shaped camera. )

I proclaimed this to be a working vacation and I did work, to an extent. Put in all the time I could for the client - only about three hours, before my plate was clean - and kicked Volity around a little. Made palpable progress towards the demo but there are too many bugs to fix before that can happen, and this just isn't the environment for swatting bugs. Gotta be at my own desk for that.

Started a new Angband character (a Dunedain ranger) and am having maybe my best game yet. Controlling the urge to just play and play fairly well, this time, though I wonder if that will remain true when I'm back by myself in Somerville. There's novelty with this character - she's become deadlier with a bow than anyone I've run through the dungeon previously - and I am having honest fun with it, though there's still a distinct and unpleasant aftertaste of addiction after each play session. We'll see what happens. Anyway, I finally learned how to use the targeting command and my dude killed Wormtongue yesterday, which in my experience is the point where the game starts to get really interesting. (Whenever you manage to splat your first non-Farmer Maggot-related unique, anyway.)

Learned to play Tigris & Euphrates this weekend, and decided I really like it, though I'm quite far from figuring out any sense of good play. I've felt vaguely bad for years that I didn't know how to play this T&E, though, which is considered a high water-mark of modern board games. I did play it once before, and for whatever reason it didn't take and I found it confusing and frustrating.

General personal rule I've recognized for some time but need to enforce better: If my opponents point out a good move to make, and it is different from a good move I had been eyeing, I should not make that move even if it seems better. Since the people I usually play games with are my awesome friends, I do not accuse them of deceitfully metagaming me; rather, it's a personal fault to always see a new suggestion as better than one that I came up with myself. Their decision may be wise, but mine is based on the most intimate knowledge of my personal game state and sense of how I'm likely to follow through on the move. In yesterday's game, I ignored a tile-placement suggestion at first but took advantage of it a couple of turns later, and it scored big for me. But later I made a game-ending move right when it was pointed out to me, and ended up losing by one point. Was still a fun and rewarding game, but: yes, that's enough of that.
prog: (Default)
Even though I'm not planning a trip any time soon my subconscious has been laboring to make me feel better about air travel. I don't know why this is... it's just been occurring to me lately that it might be nice to fly somewhere, and I won't freak out about it this time. Sounds like a plot device, doesn't it? Except that the VALIS wasn't programmed very well because I don't have any destination in mind so it's not like I'm actually doing anything about it.

I dreamed last night that [ profile] classicaljunkie and I were waiting somewhere for something, and I entertained her by mimicking an airline pilot's intercom drawl about how we were in a holding pattern folks but we'd be comin' in pretty soon and here are some facts about the temperature and time down there, and it sure does look like a lovely day.
prog: (Default)
Did you know that Boston is named after St. Botolph, the patron saint of travelers?
prog: (Default)
So the vacation last weekend was great. The train trips to and from New Jersey were uneventful, comfortable, and not overly long. I like the train.

It was so nice to spend a lot of non-thon time with [ profile] doctor_atomic, which I haven't really done since we were housemates four years ago. As she's usually completely consumed in her research, my arrival made her quite game-hungry, so we played plenty of games. Besides being fun, this had the additional effect of rekindling my interest in games. I hadn't noted it here, but it had been somewhat on the wane and needed a kick. It's less the games themselves as it is my approach to them that's been getting stale, but this is a blog for another time.

We played Cribbage twice, including once at a bar, which is pretty cool coz it was originally invented as a pub-friendly passtime, y'know, and I hadn't played in that sort of venue before. After I giddily toasted to the spirit of Sir John Suckling, its inventor, the bartender asked us what we were playing and I told her. Sadly. She let me get about four sentences in to excitedly explaining the game's English origins and American traditions before saying "Ha ha I'll have to learn that!" and then fleeing. I thought of so-and-so's comment of Ahh, I see, I am informing you against your will from last week's This American Life about the mystery hunt, but really she had drinks to pour too. She got a nice tip from me.

The doctor is slightly but consistently better than me at games. She beat me at both Cribbages, and we also played the Settlers card game once, which I fought like hell to just-barely win despite her never having played before. Uh, and we finished a game of Babel, a Kosmos two-player game that you haven't heard of because it's not necessarily all that good. It was significant to us personally because she bought it when we lived together and the one time we tried to play it she fell asleep, and it's sat inert in her game bin ever since. (I'd like to play it again, actually, but I doubt I'd want to buy it. It's neither broken nor particularly elegant.)

Other than that we made walking and driving treks around the New Brunswicky area to find interesting shops she'd heard about, and while we failed every time (Google maps WTF?) we succeeded in finding other interesting stuff. We ate and drank at various places. We took up no less than three tables when playing the Settlers card game at a cafe full of Rutgersians that we happened across. (I had forgotten the ridiculous amount of real estate that game demands.) I think people were looking sideways at us and wondering what we were doing, but we were gossiping most rudely about them too, so all was well.

And we ate approx. 400 cookies that the doctor made on my arrival. The end.
prog: (Default)
As I write this I'm on the train on my way to visit [ profile] doctor_atomic amid her studies at Rutgers, where her job seems to mostly involve exposing babies to visual stimuli, and then writing grant applications about it. This is just a lil vacation; I haven't traveled for pleasure in a very long time. (I can't count last year's Origins.)

My mother does not understand this trip and is sure that something sinister is afoot. She asked if [ profile] classicaljunkie is "allowing" this, and insinuated that perhaps the doctor hasn't told her bf. (In fact, he is catsitting for me.) I reminded mom that she's been a very close friend of mine for more than five years. I think this just made her more uncertain. "Maybe you should bring Amy with you."

My dad is not batty as my mom but nonetheless wanted to warn me that Rutgers has a reputation as a wild party school and I shouldn't drink too much. I told him OK.

This visit comes only a few days after the thon, which she came up for. (She comes up a lot anyway, since the bf is here.) Let us speak of the thon. I shall direct you to a post from Spatch for a nice description of the event as a whole and another from the doctor that summarizes all the things we saw in this particular festival. As she notes, the films both short and feature-length were deliciously varied this year. I hope that the tradition of mixing shorts into the annual program continues!

This leaves me to mention random things. It was a mixed start for our little group. OK, our big group; there were seven of us at once point, which is the largest thonning party I've had the pleasure of; I'm used to a rotating crew of two or three. When we arrived our chosen section was already checkerboarded with people, but some oldsters who overheard our predicament gladly rearranged themselves to clear out some contiguous seats for us. "Hooray for fandom!" said I. (Though to be quite honest I am not sure of the thon's place within SF Fandom proper. It seems to exist largely independent of the convention circuit.)

Once we settled in and Forbidden Planet started up it became clear that we had another problem: a chatty cathy sitting directly in front of us. As Spatch notes in his post, some audience participation is OK, but running commentaries not so much. This fellow, a middle-aged gent sitting by himself, felt the need to crack wise after I-kid-you-not just about every third line of dialogue, and he was extraordinarily unfunny. Also a little creepy, since he was addressing all his remarks to a couple sitting two seats to his right (who laughed politely each time) and finished each bon mot with a self-satisfied little "Hm hm hm hm!" Here's a little sampler of what I can remember:
On-screen activity Dude's chatter
A line about boarding a tram to be taken to "the residence". The residence? The Residence Inn? I'd stay there! I've stayed there before! Hm hm hm hm!
Someone asks Robby the Robot if he is a robot. No! I'm Marilyn Monroe! Reincarnated! Hm hm hm hm!
Referring to a chained prisoner, one character instructs another to "remove his bonds". Did he say "remove his bottom"? Hm hm hm hm!
A woman hands her shoes to a man for safekeeping. Sniff 'em! Hm hm hm hm!
I shushed this guy about three times over the course of the thon, and to his credit he stayed shushed until another film he found chatterworthy started up. I don't like shushin people at this event coz I'm not the quietest person in the theater myself, but this was just beyond the pale. But once we discovered the Power of Sssssh we were able to stop worrying about him and enjoy the movies so that was OK.
Back to family: my niece Colleen is in a kind of trouble. It is the kind of trouble you're in when you're, what, 22? 24? and completely clueless. She'd be a slacker if she had a family able to support that lifestyle, but instead she's just sort of a vagrant, bumming around her mom or grandma's house or sleeping in her car in between, broke and directionless. (Her family is also broke but at least they're anchored.) Who knows what to do about that?

On the train I listened to my backlog of voice mails of Ricky talking about his daughter's most recent misadventures. He suggested I email her or something just to send her some cheer, so I sent her a text message right there from the train, telling her about my trip and the rain outside and how I hoped all was well. She pinged me back a moment later to assure me that it was so. So that much is nice, at least.

At the doctor's apt now and it's almost dinner time. Cheers!
prog: (jenna)
Allow me to summarize my evening adventures by stating that I managed to get between the Lanes 'n' Games on Rte. 2 and Somerville City hall in half an hour without a car. And Christmas was saved.

Happy birthday to [ profile] taskboy3000! I'm sorry I had to flee from the bowling!!
prog: (Default)
I've always wondered about the Fung Wah bus that runs between Boston and NYC's Chinatowns for $15. (It used to be $10.) [ profile] derspatchel tells me everything I need to know, I do believe.
prog: (Default)
The Big Dig has started to kill people by randomly squishing them. God dammit you guys. (link from [ profile] doctor_atomic)

My extended sympathies to the folks who drive through his tunnel daily; I predict... delays.

But seriously, I find myself being increasingly bothered at the news that the city's most (in)famous public works project has officially been elevated to Deathtrap status... what, not even five years after its completion?

Plane stuff

Jul. 3rd, 2006 12:15 am
prog: (what_you_say)
The dead license made it through four inspections in Hartford and two in Columbus. (Half TSA, half airline.) Nobody did anything with it other than glance long enough to confirm that its name matched the name printed on my ticket or boarding pass.

Sober and caffeinated, I had a squirming freakout on our first takeoff out of Hartford, but I was alone in the row and nobody had to see it. Singing along (silently) to Imogene Heap on my iPod did help a little. As always happens, maintaining a state of absolute terror takes a lot of work so I got bored of it and chilled out after a while. I was comparatively cool on the DC → Columbus leg, and the stranger next to me offered me an Altoid during descent, so I couldn't have been acting too awful.

I thought at the time that the flights over were kind of harsh in the landing department, but then there was today's flight, which really was bad. Turbulence all the way through, with a bump so awful towards the end from diving through what the pilot called "some weather" (no active precipitation, but the clouds around us were darkening and clearly up to something) that the flight attendant almost lost his footing while walking down the aisle.

It was no surprise since the pilot said it was gonna happen, though, so as horrible as it was I didn't actually fear for my life. When we broke through the clouds I turned to Zarf and croaked "The atmosphere." He said "Yes, next time pick a planet without one." Anyway, kudos to the pilot for making frequent updates over the intercom about what was coming up. Saying nothing and just bombing us into the rattling darkness would have been so much worse. I have been on flights like that, unfortunately.

And all this was on two beers. Maybe I'll try three next time, but then again maybe I'd have been much worse without any. Andy sez that he was surprised I didn't ask for more alcohol in-flight (since, surprisingly for a dinky connection jet, it was offered); I got ice water instead. The thing is that even though my rational thinking takes a back seat during all this I know that we are going to land, and that I'll be all dehydrated from travel-stress when it happens. And thinking ahead like this makes me feel a little better, too.
prog: (Default)
Sorted out the problems with registration, checked into our hotel room, have showered and shaved and eaten (though I probably could have chosen better than greasy pad thai given my abused stomach... oops). I have said hello to a few Looney people as I happen to run into them but haven't really debuted yet; been letting Zarf do this.

After this trip it's hard not to wonder if some malevolent force isn't throwing resistance up at every step. I'd say "other than delaying us by a whole day it's not been very successful" but that delay actually is a real bummer; now we have only two full days here. OTOH, the most recent obstacle was trying to get wifi to work in the hotel room, and that was just a matter of using Firefox instead of Safari.

I will presently go back to the convention center and seek a nice hot tea to sip.
prog: (Default)
Didn't get cranky about all of this until I went through Hartford airport security for the second time in two days. (In the same direction.)

FWIW, the dead license has made it through four inspections so far. So that much is OK.

The worst thing is that I am now very sleep-deprived; was already running on deficit yersterday, and was allowed only one or two hours last night so that we could get back to the airport in time. I can't predict how this will affect my Origins experience. Likely now that I won't attempt to be Mr. Volity until tomorrow, but we'll see.

Also the wireless in the airport is free. Hey, that's OK too.

Sad that my guts are complaining loudlly of the stress. I may be doomed to play a round or two of Throne of Agony once we finally make it to the hotel. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

Sad also that my plans of better flying through alcohol were foiled. Had a giant (and expensive) airport beer last night and it was having its desired effect but then they canceled the flight. Now instead I just drank a coffee (coz I don't want to get a headache on top of everything else) and they cruely don't open the bar at 6 a.m., and I have two flights to look forward to since they're shunting us to DC first.

I think the coffee's improving the guttal situation, but now have to hope I don't shit my pants from the upcoming catapaultage.

Hey jmac I hear they have bathrooms on planes now. No, once we are airborne I cannot move. It will be my job to remain as still as possible so that I can listen to to every variation in pitch from the engine noise.

Calling our numbers. Whee! See you.
prog: (tom)
Going to the airport soon after the Andys get back from fetching [ profile] daerr's new DS from the FedEx depot.

It's a good thing I gave up magical thinking for Lent or I'd be pretty upset that my ticket number at the place I got my breakfast bagel this morning was 911.

Should I not land at Columbus, you may blame the New York Times first, but blame Au Bon Pain second.

At least the flyers printed up real nice, though they was ass-expensive. I took [ profile] woodlander's (and [ profile] queue's) advice and asked Rob to remove the linebreaks from the phone numbers, email addresses and URLs. This meant I had to stress over getting them printed this morning instead of yesterday, but it's worth it; they look great. Thanks!

(And I can't remember who said you can hand Kinko's a URL and they'll grab the file and work with it, but: no, at least not at the Harvard Square Kinko's. Dude told me they weren't allowed to download things. I had to take a CD-R, go upstairs, and spend an extra $10 on buying computer access to download the PDF, burn the CD, and hand it to the guy. At least he didn't charge me for the CD...)
prog: (Default)
According to the nice young probably-Indian gentleman I just spoke to when I called Delta's number, my dead license will get me through if I back it up with my social security card. I'm skeptical, but it's enough to snuff out any chance of me willingly going to the Chinatown RMV office before tomorrow afternoon. We will still leave with enough lead time to counteract security kerfuffles. From all that I've read, if you don't have ID they like, all they'll do is push you through extra screening procedures, provided that you don't act like either an unstable nutjob or a foaming privacy advocate.
prog: (Default)
Considering the website done for now, after spending the afternoon rassling with unexpected (snort) MSIE stupidity; the browser apparently freaks out and spews nonsensical error messages (Server not found what) if you perform a server-side redirect from one URL scheme to another. People most often see this when they try to redirect from an http to an https URL, but I hit it when trying to throw people at URLs using our own volity scheme, which launches Gamut and sends you some spot in the Volityverse.

From what I can figure out via Google, this has been a known bug for years, and Microsoft's simply not ever felt like fixing it. Nice. Well, I caulked up the gaps with JavaScript and shall think upon it no more. (One side effect of my Volity work is that I am far more comfortable using JS as a what-ails-ya tool than I was a year ago, even though I've been dinking around on the Web for a decade now.)

Swag for Origins came today. From cafepress we got two sizes of buttons; a few big "Ask Me About" buttons for ourselves and a lot of little logo-and-url buttons for you. They all look pretty cool.

From Zazzle we got our T-shirts, and.... eh. The white rocket/moon shirts that I have seen on [ profile] dictator555 and [ profile] daerr look great, but the printing process that Zazzle uses with their dark shirts isn't all that good, really. The images look somewhat translucent, with the white parts of the designs coming out especially muddy. On top of that, there's a thin ghostly halo around the designs; it could be antialiasing artifacts that I didn't catch, but they're only on one side so I dunno. The shirts will serve, but is disappointing, especially since the light shirts were so good. I may just remove the dark-shirt designs from the Zazzle store.

I have managed to make it all the way to Origins Week without getting my driver's license renewed. I feel stupid about it, but not surprised; it's exactly the sort of thing I put off indefinitely because it is stupid and boring and unimportant. Until it is, suddenly. I don't know what happens when you present an expired license as photo ID at an airport. I guess I will find out, eh?

I have already used this dead one recently to buy beer and pick up a package so I don't know. (It's so old it's still from Maine!) I may go to the RMV on Monday or Tuesday if there's time. There may not be time. But even if I do, I will only get a cheesy temp license that day, so I likely won't bother anyway.

Best idea, based on Googling: see what Delta's policy about this is, and call and talk to someone about it if necessary. And show up with a folderful of alt docs. (I have no passport either.) And unfortunately we'll need to leave earlier in case none of that works and they make me go through extra security. Sorry, Andys...

I will soon make my monthly funds transfer from savings to checking, and this will leave me with a savings account of $0. Yes! I am literally on my last month of personal fuel. Because of all the layers of thick cottony abstract thinking that lay between my mental mind and the serrated edge of reality, I am totally not worried about this. OK, I am also not worried because I have a cunning plan. Or anyway I hope to come up with one this weekend.

If things get hairy I can go for another month or three by kicking open the IRA CDs I bought before I wised up and invested in a stock index instead, but let's try to not go there.

It kinda stinks that I won't be able to buy anything at Origins, though.

June 2014

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