Monday, October 8, 2018


It appears my formerly preferred social media outlet is being shut down.

Google has announced that they are finally shutting down the "consumer-facing" portion of Google+ over the next ten months.  Which comes as a bit of a surprise to me... I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner!

I'd been a large proponent of Google+ and used it as my primary social media outlet for both my blogs and groups for years.  To me, it was functionally the better system.  I preferred the layout, the text formatting, the ability to categorize people, posts, groups, circles, and collections as I saw fit.  I also liked the near-seamless integration with my blogs and Hangouts messenger app.

I much preferred the Google+ experience to that of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.  Unfortunately, I was one of the few who did, and Google+ will now be a mere footnote in Internet history, and surely the butt of a number of jokes.

I'd killed most of my social media accounts last year, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, mostly because I was sick of the human race (fuckin' trolls!), but also because of security concerns.  I joined the Fediverse full-time and haven't really looked back.

I've learned a lot participating in the Fediverse, but I ended up reactivating my Facebook and Google+ earlier this year. I did this to keep up with family news, but also because I started blogging again and wanted to announce new posts to a wider audience. 

Facebook was exactly as I left it, but Google+... Google+ had changed.

Most of the G+ groups I'd joined were either gone, or taken over by spammers.  My favourite urban cycling group is now flooded with porn, or spam from the Subcontinent.  Ditto for my urban photography group and retrocomputing groups.  In the space of a few months, Google+ was dead to me.

It was fun while it lasted.  These days, apart from the odd FB post, I spend my days in the Fediverse, a decentralized federation of private Mastodon, GNU Social, Pleroma etc servers.  Better conversation, smaller crowds, not to mention better weeding-out of trolls, bots, and assholes.  And it's open-source!

Plus is dead.  All hail the Fediverse!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

But What Can I Do?

Can you vote?

Can you write a letter?
A missive?
A book?

Can you blog?

Can you talk to others?
Can you engage?

Can you speak up?
Can you shut up?

Can you yell?

Can you paint a sign?

Can you draw?

Can you make a phone call?

Can you send an email?

Can you sign a petition?
Can you draft one?
Can you circulate one?

Can you throw a rock?

Can you pull a trigger (as a last resort)?

Can you march?
Can you protest?

Can you talk it out?

Can you light a torch?
Can you carry one?

Can you walk off the job?
Can you strike?

Can you change?
Can you support change?

Can you donate?
Can you boycott?

Can you give your support?
Can you withdraw it?

Can you fund?
Can you defund?

Can you join?
Can you leave?

Can you?

Will you?

I normally steer clear of politics, but a recent conversation with a friend in the US left me drained (as most political conversations do).

He complained about the state of his country, its government, its sitting president, the recent Supreme Court appointment/attempted rape controversy, the possibility that Roe vs Wade will be overturned and women will be stripped of their right to choice, et cetera, et cetera...

I've had these conversations many times in the last year, and they all seem to end with the same lament, "But what can I do?"

My answer to this is "Plenty."  We can always do something, even if it's just a drop in the bucket.  Enough drops will lead to a trickle, then a flow, then a stream, then a fucking torrent of change.

You can do a lot.  But will you?

CJ's Note:  I'm sure similar things have been written throughout the years, and I've probably and inadvertently plagiarized at least one work.  My apologies if I have, send me a link to your (past) work so I can give credit where due.

Also, before anyone asks if I've done any of the things I've listed: Yes, I've done all but write a book, pull a trigger, and lit/carried a torch.  I practice what I blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions (updated 10/03/18)

(Original post: March 2008)

I've had a few people emailing me with the same damned questions over the last couple of weeks years, so I thought I'd put together a FAQ in order to better serve my not-so-adoring public.

Q. I love your nickname! Are you really conceited?
A. No, but I have every right to be.

Q. Are you a sociopath?
A. No.  I'm normally quite friendly and easygoing until you piss me off.

Q. Are you single?
A. No, I'm a happily married father.

Q. Who is this Nadia?
A. Despite my referring to Nadia as "her" or "she", Nadia is a "what" and not a "who". Nadia is my beloved Macintosh Powerbook G3 "Lombard", still in active service as of 10/03/2018.

Q. Why aren't your blogs updated more often?
A1. I don't have much to say.
A2. I did have something to say, but someone else has already said it better, and I hate being a "me too".
A3. Social media gets the lion's share of my attention, along with any thoughts that might have turned into blog posts.
A4. I have an active family life away from my computers.

Q. Why don't you allow comments on your blog?
A. Because, frankly, I don't care what you think.  Most internet commentors seem to be either loathsome trolls, racists, partisan, or are just plain ill-informed, and I refuse to deal with any of that crap on my own blog.  The only feedback I'm interested in is guitar feedback!

Comments are however allowed for Blogger/Google+ users. I won't allow anonymous comments because I believe everyone should have to sign their name to what they write and take responsibility for what they write, instead of hiding behind the relative anonymity of the Internet like the spineless fucking cowards they are.  I will delete irrelevant or inflammatory comments, and don't owe anyone an explanation as to why.

I'm also tired of spammers.  I don't have a lot of free time to spend deleting spam.  I also have little to no time for (or interest in) engaging in debate on anything appearing here.  I'll clarify statements I've made and will make an attempt to answer relevant questions when I have time, but don't expect to have any sort of discourse apart from that.

Unlike some people, I don't spend hours upon hours on my computer or mobile devices every day.  I'm an adult, I have an adult life, and adult obligations outside of the internet.  I have no time for book-smart pseudo-intellectuals whose social consciousness was formed by the Internet.

Q. What, exactly, is your blog about?
A. The focus of my blog is broad, and vague.  It's about nothing, and everything.  Mostly, it's about me, my experiences and observations, and a bit of (anti-)social commentary.

Q. Why don't you write about something constructive? Like politics or current events?
A. I write about current events as I experience them; I will not quote, reference, rehash, or reinterpret newspaper or news site articles (or worse, someone else's blog) for my own purpose. There are plenty of other local blogs do cover politics et cetera better than I care to do.  Frankly, I absolutely loathe partisan politics.

Q. Don't you ever think before you post?
A. Rarely, if ever. I prefer to use my blog as a spontaneous, off the cuff, knee-jerk reactionary outlet, as it captures my true feelings concerning a particular subject at the time of posting. I prefer this method and I find it's a great deal more honest, and not peppered with half-assed rationalizations and/or justification. My motto has always been "Justification is for people who lack conviction".

That said, a lot of my writing has a moral buried somewhere within. Sometimes it's obvious. Sometimes it's not.  Sometimes I'm wrong.  Sometimes I'm not.

Q. Why do you name your computers?
A. It's a holdover from my Project Planner/Implementation Coordinator days at a previous job as a warehousing/logistics specialist, where everything was assigned a project name by the higher-ups. This practice, which I was forced to use, soon carried over to my life outside of work, where I used it when working on several similar computer projects at once.

It all started when I did a buyout of several dozen identical computers from a failed dotcom. I wanted to tailor specific machines for certain tasks, while I fiendishly experimented on others. It got to the point where I was unable to keep track of what I was doing on which machine, so I started designating or "naming" my machines and writing a project manual on each in order to keep track.

Desktop machines and servers were named after cities or countries, while portables and laptops were typically given women's names (as in "my girl friday").  Sexist, I agree.

Q.  Why do you feel you need to write multiple paragraphs when a single sentence will do?
A.  I wrote freelance for a number of years (1990s through early 2000s), and I'm used to padding my word-count.

Q.  How much of this blog is factual, and how much is made-up bullshit?
A.  All of it.