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Comments

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Silencing Dissent

Zeriel Re:moof (16 comments)

I see it completely differently -- I see one political philosophy where that underlies basically all of it, and another that's vehemently against that. And so I see it as independent of fanaticism. For example, I'm a far-Right guy, a "fanatic" if you will, but I don't believe in doing any of that. In general I reject the "both sides are basically the same" simplisticism, in most of its popular applications, as naive and insufficiently studied.

This is really the part that bothers me about your entire post--when I've got my dad saying that any news source that isn't Fox News is lying and unpatriotic, I've got presidents of both parties using "Free Speech Zones", I watch the cops shut down demonstrators and performers alike at both conventions every time, etc. I really can't see any institutional difference between the Democrats and Republicans in this regard.

It's certainly possible to be a far-Right guy and NOT be a fanatic--I don't reject the political positions of the far Right as wrong on their face, after all, I'm a pretty adamant balanced-budget and strong-military kinda guy.

Really, I think when you can't acknowledge there are complete jerks on all sides of the political spectrum, THAT gets dangerous. From my point of view, I feel like you're putting on the blinders a bit and ignoring the people who are calling for this kind of stuff while they're on your side. Speaking as a guy who votes split ticket all the time, and who votes in every election, I just can't see that neo-Liberalism and neo-Conservatism are any different--both of 'em want to take away more of my freedoms than I'm comfortable with, both have a habit of trying to suppress debate, etc.

If this isn't happening where you are, you're arguably lucky, but here in State College, it seems like there are more disruptors than there are debaters on all sides.

Oh, and as for "how it should be" with regard to the university's influence on this area, that kind of stuff only goes so far with me when it's people outside of my district trying to media-saturate my district--this is probably, for example, the number one reason why I'm going to not vote R for Senate next time it comes around, because Twoomey is 100% grade-A jerk and it comes across in everything he says (aside from being an anti-liberty force of the Christian Fundie type--again, I know a lot of Christian Fundies who are great people and NOT interested in taking my rights away. He's not one of them.)

It's entirely possible that I'm biased because I'm in an area that's a focused target of the worst the Republican and Libertarian parties have to offer--the former because it's a blue county in a swing state, and the latter because it's a college town and therefore their most fertile recruiting ground. On the other hand, I see these efforts as just as potentially frightening as anything on the national stage, especially if a lot of us here, including me, get our way with regard to the relatively higher importance of state and local governance.

more than 4 years ago
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Silencing Dissent

Zeriel Re:moof (16 comments)

It's not as bad as it used to be, but I definitely remember back in the early G.W. Bush days that there was a lot of local stuff complaining about how liberal CNN was and how Fox News was superior in every way for people who cared about the truth and America, etc. I wasn't consuming a large amount of national news (or really, anything at all except textbooks and beer) at that point, so I can't say how prevalent that was on the national stage.

It does, however, suggest to me a potential working theory that Democrats tend to prefer working on a national level and Republicans tend to prefer working on a local level when they do this--I've noticed in our previous discussions a significant difference between the local Republican/conservative political apparati between your home and mine, but not all that much of one with the Democrats/liberals (not to the same degree, certainly, even if there are some).

As for the ranking of the hosts, man, I really can't say I enjoy listening to them (when I was talking about news sources being aesthetically unpleasing, I was thinking primarily of Beck, Olbermann, and O'Reilly, in roughly that order).

more than 4 years ago
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Silencing Dissent

Zeriel Re:moof (16 comments)

that is, really, for all the force it has it's a review and not a command.

To me this is true, and at the same time, weaseling. Telling people what not to listen to smacks of the fascism that underlies what I'll call American neo-Liberalism. Maybe I would take less offense from a known more harmless group of people, but either way I have to interpret peoples' statements in the context of what I know about them. And it's certainly creepy and to me bordering on scary coming from someone in a position like POTUS, no matter who the person is.

This is one of those things, I suppose, that we're going to disagree on. Anyone can tell me anything they want to on their own time and property, and I'm just as free to ignore 'em.

"(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods"

Undoubtedly you mean "(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods that exceeds my personal threshold of tolerance for such".

I'd've assumed that was implied, unless you know of a perfect news source, but point taken and accepted.

(short answer, the hell with THAT, my freedoms are inherent regardless of the metaphysical ordering of the cosmos)

I'm completely tolerant of your rejection of the "God-given" part, as the purpose of it is still satisfied by the understanding you expressed -- "inherent". (I.e. does not come from man, or govt., etc.)

Figured you would be, you have your head screwed on straight. Mind talking to my dad about it at some point?

The other point that I wanted to address was the comment on "American neo-Liberalism". I really think a fair part of that is selection bias or regional bias--from my personal experience, the larger portion of attempts to convince me to ignore news sources or boycott whatever come from what has been being called neo-conservative sources, particularly the scary fundamentalist wings of a variety of religions. This is largely because I'm living in a relatively liberal college town surrounded by Appalachia, as I mentioned, which means that there's a lot of money invested in the local news media that's NOT in the university town in order to drown out as much as possible the university's influence on state politics, especially by conservatives whose districts encompass both rural and in-town areas.

On the other hand, we'll get days where there's a pro-Palestine-nationhood rally, a pro-Israel counter-rally, a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, a fundamentalist Orthodox deacon, and a fundamentalist Hasidic Jew all screaming vaguely in the general direction of everyone else. (to which I usually sigh, smile, and mutter about how politically awesome this particular region is).

For the rest, I really think it's less a function of political alignment than a function of relative fanaticism, and I think we'll see as the next few years go by that there will be relatively less left-wing idiocy of this type and relatively more right-wing, simply because of the galvanizing effect the President's political behaviors have on the fanatic wings of the opposition.

I'd also like to clarify that "the fanatic wing" of any given party is the group that thinks they're so right it's worth oppressing people or committing crimes against democracy in order that "their guy" be in charge, regardless of the strength or orthodoxy of their particular party platform: I'd lump in anyone from the Black Panthers to Nixon's Watergate crew in this category.

more than 4 years ago
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Silencing Dissent

Zeriel More and more, I want to move to Washington (16 comments)

The off-the-deep-end wing of the "right-wing" types here definitely are making it known that they plan to be not just present, but actively disruptive.

Of course, this is partially a problem of it being a college town surrounded by a significant amount of very rural Appalachia--I can't think of the last event of ANY type that didn't have disruptive types trying to shout down the speaker.

more than 4 years ago
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Silencing Dissent

Zeriel Re:moof (16 comments)

I don't know that I necessarily agree completely with your position here--I certainly believe it's un-American to censor, but at the same time, freedom of speech includes the freedom to give advice, and "don't watch Fox News" is functionally the same as "don't read Dan Brown novels" or something similar--that is, really, for all the force it has it's a review and not a command.

For example, I admit that I have said similar things to the former to my father, but less as a "(news source) has ideas I don't like" and more of a "(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods" or "(news source) is aesthetically displeasing, and you can get less ugly but similarly aligned views from (other news source)".

I'm sure, on a side note, we could have a great discussion on "God-given" freedoms (short answer, the hell with THAT, my freedoms are inherent regardless of the metaphysical ordering of the cosmos).

I also disagree, given the examples I've seen, that either major party is fundamentally better in terms of how they treat news sources that they perceive as being aligned with the opposition party.

more than 4 years ago
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Come to the Tea Party on July 4th

Zeriel Re:A bit late but I was away all weekend celebrati (10 comments)

Sure, but you also can't have free press without liberty, so maybe the theme of the parade should be the free press! That would be just as dumb.

That's a fair point as well. On the other hand, it's more relevant than the aforementioned hometown's theme this year, which was something along the lines of "hometown pride". (Last years, arguably even less to the point, was "our Christian heritage".) Compared to that, "diversity" (or "the free press") are way closer to the mark.

Ha. :-)

I need to start a My Dad series, he's my poster child for the ideal conservative--in other words, the kind of entrepreneur that doesn't need an Equal Employment law to tell him to hire qualified minorities and women, etc. Sadly he won't even run for mayor, much less anything serious. That's neither here nor there, though.

about 5 years ago
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Come to the Tea Party on July 4th

Zeriel A bit late but I was away all weekend celebrating (10 comments)

I'd argue that you almost necessarily CAN'T really have diversity without liberty, so celebrating the former is effectively celebrating the latter.

Somewhat related--I walked in on my dad (the American Legion post commander for my hometown) having an argument with the color guard commander (an old WWII vet) because the latter couldn't wrap his head around the idea that a twentysomething female army sergeant would be better suited to carrying a rifle than my dad (who retired a Chief Electronics Technician from the Navy) despite her gender.

Dad won when he pointed out he had no idea where the safety on an M1 was and, in fact, had never fired anything other than a .22 in the last two decades.

about 5 years ago
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Michael Jackson Jokes

Zeriel You know... (34 comments)

Since Michael was 80% plastic anyway, he should be recycled.

Specifically, he should be recycled into plastic shopping bags so he can remain white, unsightly, and a menace to small children.

more than 4 years ago
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Maine Continues Centuries of Marriage Discrimination

Zeriel Re:Don't... (11 comments)

I wouldn't care to argue with you on either point.

more than 5 years ago
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Maine Continues Centuries of Marriage Discrimination

Zeriel Re:Don't... (11 comments)

I suspect it'd be the same as anyone else's reason for incest prohibitions in the first place--that is, "the state has an interest in regulating this due to the vastly increased risk of disabled children in such marriages." Nothing in there about social stigma at all, even if the biology is arguable (and it'd be far from the worse scientific mistake made in legislatures this decade, after all, on either side of the left-right divide).

more than 5 years ago
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Maine Continues Centuries of Marriage Discrimination

Zeriel Re:Don't... (11 comments)

As a staunch supporter of gay marriage rights, I find myself in the position of happily supporting the right of consenting adults in situations where there are no power imbalance issues to marry even incestuously, preferably with some kind of genetic testing requirement so as to avoid the kind of birth defects that occasionally result. In practice this means that I'd allow sibling and first cousin incest, but not intergenerational ones due to the potential for abuse.

I'm perfectly happy with polyamory too if one can think of a reasonable legal framework for it--I've heard seriously proposed a system whereby people can be in multiple one-to-one marriages, and the sole additions to the code would be a reinforcement that each person can only be claimed once as a dependent/exception regardless of how many people they're living with, and some concept of ranking the order of one's marriages to un-muddy the waters with regard to decision-making.

Pets can't consent, they're not humans. So no worries there.

Who's the "them" you're talking about?

Oh, and Pudge? I think you'll probably find that the reality is that A) no one thought it through or B) they left the incest prohibitions in so as to keep people (like FroMan here) from being able to use support of incest as evidence for a general support of amorality in the writers of the bill.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel Re:From the front lines (39 comments)

I know at least one poli-sci guy who's theorizing that the Democrats' schizophrenic big-tentness with regard to defectors like Specter is going to cause them to bud off a new middle-left party in the next 10-20 years if the Republicans can't regain ground or lose ground in 2010-2012-2016.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel Re:From the front lines (39 comments)

Tea Parties and the like are going to make people look harder at the GOP, and if the GOP has any sense it will push those issues, and it will pick up seats in both houses.

From here, it looks like it's anyone's game, depending mostly on the perceived results of Obama's current policies and on which parties can pick up some of the protest issues and successfully run with them.

Current smart money is on Specter, if only because Toomey's a jerk. It'd be totally awesome if Tom Ridge comes back up here and runs, on the other hand.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel Re:From the front lines (39 comments)

Sigh. That's just stupid. How much (literal) communist rhetoric was going on at the antiwar rallies? (A lot.)

I'm under no illusions that the larger part of it is that these folks could safely ignore the anti-war rallies as being pointless, but don't like their position vis-a-vis taxes being "tainted" by the moral majority stuff.

a. A small minority of Republicans (except on the issues of abortion and gay marriage, which are arguably not about social repression in any significant way, of course)

For most of the Libertarians/fiscal conservatives I deal with in real life on a regular basis, gay marriage is THE huge social repression issue (the group is, for whatever reason, disproportionately gay on the order of 20%+) and while I'm not really convinced it's true now, I think in the next two decades with demographic shifts we're going to see gay rights become less of a third rail and more something that is embrace it or lose.

And there was a lot of "McCain changed" rhetoric around, but mostly from moderate Democrats and Independents trying to find a reason to vote for Obama, less so from the Libertarian/Republican folks I know.

Tying that back to the Specter thing, there's a feeling from the younger generation of Republicans (it was pointed out to me that Meghan McCain is also in this camp) that, big tent or not, the Christian Right wields disproportionate influence in the current structure. I'm not saying I think it's true, I'm saying that meme is winning the battle of ideas right now--and at least around here, it seems like Specter is trying to capitalize on it.

What it really points up, as usual, is how there's a lot of free-floating rhetoric that doesn't really have much bearing on the issues.

2010 is going to be an interesting election year.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel Re:From the front lines (39 comments)

I don't really understand why it is, either, honestly. I mean, I heard it most recently from a few friends, Libertarians, who were utterly disgusted by how much Christian Nation rhetoric was going on at the local Tea Party.

There's a perception around that the Republicans are all monsters of social repression, and the scary thing is that on the other discussion forum I talk politics in online, the self-professed Republicans/conservatives openly revel in it--the poster boy thereof calling outright for a return to the 1950s Ward Cleaver-style lifestyle where everything is homogenized and safe.

It seems largely due to the ongoing perception in the last few years by the annoying wing of the Christian Evangelical movement that they are the ones with their hands on the wheel of conservatism, and they're doing a lot of subtle and blatant things to keep tying themselves to the Republicans.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel Re:From the front lines (39 comments)

I've noticed there is a significant discrepancy between the national ads, the in-state ads, and what the local canvassers/protesters/campaign offices say about the varying issues of the day. The biggest problem the conservatives are having in local politics (and this goes back to the Tea Party phenomenon) is that the local and to a certain extent the statewide Republicans are having a lot of trouble holding on to the message, when that used to be their biggest strong point.

It strikes the local thinkers (admittedly over beer at the cafe the Philosophy and Poli-Sci students hang out in) that the Republican party is trading their patented Party Unity away in order to more firmly cement themselves in with the religious social conservatives, and for a large number of independents and moderate Democrats, the fiscal message is getting lost because it's simply not as important to them as gay rights, pro-choice, drawing down overseas military commitments and domestic surveillance, etc. And it's the rhetoric that's winning the day for the most part right now--we'll see if there's any backlash to Obama's/the Democrats' strong words on some of those subjects compared to their weak or contradictory actions, but it's really too soon to tell in the mainstream right now.

Stimulus bill aside, Specter's going to rise or fall with me on whether he decides to go full-bore Democrat all of a sudden or stays in the political place he's been solidly in for the last two decades. One of the things that I always liked about him was his stance on abortion--not because of his position, but because he was willing and able to say "I'm a Republican, but I'm not straitjacketed to their platform on every single issue." In the political climate in this country that took a certain amount of personal integrity.

The battle lines the parties are drawing are shaping up to be in vastly differing locations for 2010, with a gulf between them--but I suppose this early on we can expect both major parties to be staking out defenses on safe-with-the-base territory and waiting for the other side to engage them.

more than 5 years ago
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Retceps

Zeriel From the front lines (39 comments)

From within PA (I'm just a smidge north of Toomey's former Congressional district), the battle lines are being laid out on social conservatism lines, not fiscal ones as much. That is, both in 2004 and already in the rumblings about 2010, Pat Toomey (the presumptive Republican nominee) is going after Specter primarily on his abortion rights record and his positions on gay rights, with fiscal issues being a distant second.

With a lot of moderate Republicans and Independents having shiny new Democrat registrations in PA after the "Oh God, anyone but Hillary" presidential primary last year, if the Specter thing isn't handled carefully the Republicans have a serious chance of losing a lot of ground here--from the point of view of a lot of folks in the central area, Specter's one of their old boys, a touchstone back to the Reagan era, etc. Somewhat ironically, given the circumstances, Specter's also well-respected for his ability to compromise with the Dems while standing firm on his own principles.

This could be played well or poorly by both parties, but already the local Republican types are taking the wrong tack--just this weekend, I got to watch a group of avowed Republicans pile onto a Tea Party type who called Specter a "traitor to his party and country".

Probably better for the Republicans to either portray him as someone who should retire, and act as though this is sort of a tacit retirement for him, and then quietly push whoever his primary opponent is. On the other hand, the Dems could potentially force the issue to a head by simply encouraging people to let Specter run unopposed.

Basically it's just as contentious and wrong-headed on the ground here in PA as it is nationally.

more than 5 years ago
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Proposed Bill is Income Tax for All Washingtonians

Zeriel Really dumb move from a revenue standpoint anyway (1 comments)

...since if it costs that rich guy less to avoid your tax by shifting income, perhaps to another state, than the tax itself, his/her only incentive to pay said tax is a feeling that it's fair for him/her to pay it.

If it passed, I bet you'd see a few "corporate offices" springing up in Oregon and/or Idaho, just across the border.

more than 5 years ago
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Olympia Tea Party Wrapup

Zeriel Re:Yours went a lot better than the ones here. (8 comments)

Yeah, I concur that the larger part of the whole shebang was grassroots--to the extent that there was orchestration, it seemed pretty clear the big shots were following/attempting to steer a nascent grassroots movement rather than making it happen from whole cloth. And it does seem like a red herring compared to a substantial discussion of the issues.

As for the "Bush did it" defense, the nuanced version that I've heard of that comes in two parts, one of which is trivially rebutted and one of which takes more thought:

1) 'Bush didn't include the Iraq War in his budgets, instead using "emergency spending", so his deficit reports were artificially low.' -- True on the face of it, but we're talking IIRC 1.8 trillion over seven years at that point, so the Bush deficits still don't approach the Obama ones.

2) 'Deficit spending is the indicated Keynesian response to an economic recession." That's harder to positively refute--one could argue that Reagan's economic successes early on coming out of the 70s were a large part due to the huge cash influx his defense spending pushed into the economy, for example. And it's a basic idea of Keynesian economic that as long as you're not basically destroying goods, it doesn't matter WHAT you spend money on, it's the act of spending it domestically that stimulates the economy. (I'm obviously simplifying this for the purpose of a summary)

I'm not really worried about this year's budget. At this point I'm worried about those trailing off years of increased spending, I don't really think we need to plan for what's basically emergency spending to go on for that long, and I think that we need to focus on sustainable expenditures right quick so that we have a plan in place once the economy gets back into a growth mode.

Frankly, given recent history, I'm hoping that the Republicans retake Congress in 2010 but Obama wins in 2012--in the time I've been old enough to be politically aware, that R/D split has been best for the budget deficit overall.

What I'd also like to find, and I haven't been able to so I might do it myself, is a chart of debt/deficits in inflation-adjusted dollars, just to get a better sense of historical perspective--specifically, I'm interested in seeing how the Obama-proposed deficits compare in inflation-adjusted magnitude to Reagan or FDR.

more than 5 years ago
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Olympia Tea Party Wrapup

Zeriel Re:Yours went a lot better than the ones here. (8 comments)

Yeah, that hype basically annoys me--of course the news coverage of impending events made them bigger. That doesn't imply orchestration.

My criticisms of the whole movement are less about who's wagging whose tail and more about maybe it becoming a movement with a coherent conservative purpose rather than just a collection of angry right-wing types.

As it stands, in my neck of the woods they were more disorganized and off-message than the Iraq War protesters a few years ago--but only by a hair. This is obviously not a compliment.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

Zeriel hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Blu-Ray media streaming

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I have the following:
1 Windows Vista x64 Machine, in my basement, equipped with a Blu-Ray drive and player software by Cyberlink that in theory works with Windows Media Center.

1 medium-strength (Athlon 2600, 2GB RAM, Radeon X800XTX) former gaming machine, with a license for Windows XP and a current Ubuntu 8.10 install.

I want: to pop a Blu-Ray disc in my Vista machine, stream over gigabit to the lesser machine, for output onto a standard-definition 37" TV.

Any suggestions? Windows Media Center refuses to acknowledge Blu-Ray playback software exists, VLC can't handle it, and I don't have the drive space to store multiple Blu-Ray movies at full resolution. While I'm in principle unopposed to downconverting the Blu-Ray discs to standard definition, that doesn't support the kind of instant experience I'd like.

Thanks!

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Political Musing

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 5 years ago

It seems to me that the more I get involved in political discussions, both real-world and online, the more I notice that the only thing most people hate more than the "other side" is the extremists in their own party.

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Long time passing...

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Wow, it's been almost a year since I've put any thoughts down in this journal. And, as usual, I'm never quite sure what to write.

I got a new job. Christmas was wonderful, with no familial drama whatsoever for a change. New years was at my place, and the party lasted three days, with a consensus that it was the best new years party many of them had ever attended. Of course, as host, I got new years kisses from every single lady there, much to the amusement of my wife, who collected most of them.

Another year, many changes but it's all the same in the end.

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I never write here anymroe

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

And that's a shame.

Christmas was surprisingly relaxing at the Zer household. MrsZer and I joined my parents on Christmas Eve for church (neither of us is Catholic, but it's surprisingly relaxing and candle-filled). Christmas day lunch with them, too. Opened presents, then the relatives came since my dad's idea of Christmas Day Lunch is grilling as much steak as is necessary. Mrs Zer made the baked potatoes, I cleaned up the living room from the gift carnage, and all was well.

Then in the car for an hour to spend the afternoon with her grandparents. Turns out we'd just missed her parents and siblings there, since her dad had got spooked by the potential oncoming rain that never materialized and left very early. So we spent some time with Nana and Pap, opened a few more presents all around, and then called her parents (who, fortunately, live less than 15min from us).

Another hour in the car, then we dropped by my in-laws for round three. MIL always showers us with stuff, which I'd feel more guilty about if FIL didn't make more than three times what I do (he's a full professor at my alma mater). Spent some good times with her parents and younger sibs (both still in high school, and both very good kids and a lot of fun to hang out with) and then to home.

I won't bore you with loot tales, since most of it was the typical "adult christmas" stuff--books, shirts, socks, etc., except for two. First of all, my lovely wife and MIL went in together on a very very comfortable zafu and zabuton (Zen meditation cushions). They're a joy to just sit on in general, let alone meditate on. And then there's my parents. Who got me the best geek present yet.

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How about the power to kill SuperMicro Server Corporation...

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

...from THREE THOUSAND MILES AWAY...with MIND BULLETS!

That's telekinesis, guys.

*ahem*

I might rant more about this later in my life, but right now I'm too infuriated to articulate it.
In brief.

WHY, in 2006, are you selling a SATA chipset (the ServerWorks HT1000/HT2000, for those playing at home) that doesn't support LBA48 addressing? I should not have to jump through retarded hoops or put a smaller boot drive in the system to use a 320GB drive on my ultramodern dual Opteron server.

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Job Opening

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Attention jobseekers in the Central Pennsylvania area! If you need a junior sysadmin position, I might well be able to hire you in the next two weeks.

Linux knowledge strongly required.
Windows desktop administration required.
Hardware assembly and testing skills are a bonus.
No experience required if you have a related degree and can show me you know what you're doing.

Downside? I think we'll probably only be offering 30k/yr to start. And you get a pager. But for the Bellefonte area, that gets you a comfortable 950 sq ft apartment for your wife and two cats, at least if you're me three years ago.

The short version is that I'm interim manager and likely to become full-time manager.

Send your resume and anything else relevant to sholes@athertonia.org, or comment here if you have any questions.

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Yet another MMORPG post

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

If you play EVE Online, look me up. My character name is Meholick, and a few friends and I have just started a corp whose mission is to smack around the idiots who cruise 0.4-0.1 space killing new players for kicks.

If you don't, and you think you'd like a MMO game similar to X or Privateer or Elite, with RTS-style ship controls, I urge you to do a google search for EVE Free Trial and get your free client download and free 14-day trial.

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Why my wife (may not) love me, part N

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This is an actual fragment of an AIM conversation.

Her: "My true love hath my heart, and I have his."
Me: And together we form Devastator, most powerful of the Decepticons."

I got to see the Dalai Lama speak yesterday. I'm not sure there are good words for describing how supremely cool it was.

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brain...kspltzy....

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

If I don't seem myself over the period of time between -5 days from now and 5 days from now, it's because I'm elbow-deep in database replication software for our primary website.

"But Zer," you say, "you're a unix admin, not a DBA."

And, like a Zen master, you cut to the heart of the problem with a simple observation.

Seriously. Stupid, stupid, stupid company decided that a DBA was unnecessary when our last one quit. Now we need replication yesterday. POSTGRES replication. POSTGRES with CUSTOM CONTRIBS replication.

At least Slony seems to be up to the task.

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Ask a subset of slashdot: Celiac-safe cakes?

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MrsZer's mother's birthday is coming up.
She hasn't had a real birthday cake in years, because she has very severe celiac disease.

I am an excellent baker. I want to make her a cake anyway.

Does such a thing as a good celiac-safe cake recipe exist?

I figure some of you have firsthand experience with this kind of thing, so I'm asking here for recipes you've tried, before I go randomly hunting on google.

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my cat almost got to be a hero last night

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So cats can give blood transfusions, did you know that?

It's true! Apparently, cat blood types either can't be tested or don't matter, as the procedure is for a donor cat to give blood directly to the recipient (no such thing as a feline blood bank).

There are fairly stringent criteria for donors--the donor has to be older than two and younger than seven, and in the top half of their healthy weight range, and above 10lbs in general.

So it turns out that of the cats that fit that description in a 10mile radius of the vet hospital MrsZer works at, the only one who's consistently available is my younger cat, Nikolas. Sixteen pounds of pure docile stupidity^W love, he is. http://athertonia.org/czarnikolas.jpg

So he almost gave a transfusion to a kitty dying of lymphoma last night. Alas, the sick kitty was fading too fast, and euthanasia ended up being its fate.

Still, it's weird to think that my cat's now on a list of blood donors. And cool at the same time.

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Life goes by.

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This workaday living is getting me down.

Well, down isn't the right word. I've been down, and it's worse than this. Discontent, perhaps.

Job hunt is going slowly and not very well--the last two places I applied to didn't even bother telling me they'd filled the position and didn't wish to interview me, which I'd thought was pretty much a common courtesy.

With the current job, and MrsZer going to college part-time, the state of the bank account is at a low not seen since *I* was at college part-time and working at a sub shop (Penn State Sub Shop on Beaver Ave., Abm0raz.) for my daily bread (usually with a cheesesteak on it, at least you got free food on your shift).

This makes everything tense. MrsZer's big joy in life is traveling, something we can't afford. Her second big joys in life are movies and new music, and right now it's either movies or health insurance.

Her job is making her crazy too. Her boss is the kind of sublte sexist that drives her up the wall, and having met him, he needs to have his stupid grin kicked repeatedly off his face. Imagine a sordid cross between Adam Sandler and Bill Lundbergh. ("HEY, GIRLS! I'M GONNA NEED ONE OF YOU TO STAY TWO HOURS PAST THE END OF YOUR SHIFT TONIGHT, M'KAY? GREAT!")

So basically, the highlight of my month thus far has been successfully getting a set of Ogygos' Bracelets in Final Fantasy XI (yeah, semi-frivolous expense, but both the wife and I play and so do many of our friends, so we agreed it's the best use of $25ish per month of our meager entertainment budget) the other day.

(for the gamer geeks: getting the bracelets requires you to get to a specific elite monster, who spawns in a set place once every 2-4 hours. Only one person can fight it at once, and it's a race to be the person who claims it. Once you kill the monster, it has a 1 in 16 chance of dropping the bracelets. I got 'em, go me.)

Meh, this is just kinda random. Anyone need a sysadmin in the central PA area? (we're tied here until MrsZer finishes school)

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Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Fantasy Football help!

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Okay, here's the deal.

My dad and my little brother are running a fantasy football league. They talked me into signing up.

This could be a lot of fun. But I have no idea who any of the players are. Seriously, I watch football for the games, but I don't pay any attention to the stars or the stats.

So here's the question--who in the heck should I be drafting tonight?

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In the Spirit of StB...

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Anyone have a sysadmin job they know about?

This is only about 10% serious at the present time, since the wife has to finish college (part-time classes, part-time job)

HOWEVER, the wife also wants to attend grad school in Cincinnatti in a few years.

How kickass would THAT be?

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Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Flight Simulators.

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This falls under the "somewhat esoteric" category.

I have a $90 flight-sim quality 8-axis 24-button joystick+throttle.

I haven't used it to fly anything other than Battlefield 1942 stuff in over two years. (since I retired my last Win98 computer and, with it, my ability to play Jane's Fighters Anthology.)

I require a good flight sim. Any suggestions?
Criteria:

1. Must have a realistic, rather than arcade-style, flight and combat model.
2. A decent story-oriented campaign is preferred, as is a random mission generator or some form of extended replayability.

Bonus points if it's not a straight dogfighting sim, and I can play bomber pilot.

Suggestions for sci-fi sims will also be entertained, with criteria 1 obviously not applying.

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Mood swings

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  about 9 years ago

Good mood due to being married and all that. The honeymoon was short but just what the doctor ordered to get my stress levels down.

So of course, one of my (possibly so-called) friends has chosen this weekend to have a meltdown and start screaming at me over...*drumroll* an argument. In Final Fantasy XI. That I (and the four observers I talked to) thought was just random banter.

Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with people, when they can get all steamed up over a lousy video game.

Apparently the argument was the final straw on a host of other problems. You see, I'd organized (a few months back) what's called a "static party"...which is kinda like when you schedule to meet your friends in Diablo2 at a certain time, and never level those characters with anyone else, except you do it every week. Sounds great, yes?

Well, four out of the six people involved apparently thought so, I haven't heard from one, and the last person (subject of my rant/gripe) has apparently been hating it for a long time, and not bothering to tell anyone despite the existence of a web forum solely for the group.

I fail my comprehension check. Is this "normal" behavior, or am I justified in being confused and hurt over not-being-talked-to over a video game?

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holy crap

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  about 9 years ago

I'm getting married in 50hours 15minutes 24seconds as of RIGHT NOW.

I'm a bundle of emotions, most all of them good.

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Today is a good day.

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 9 years ago Good news. The fiancee-parents decided it was in their best interests to keep their promises. They have a somewhat stormy relationship with the fiancee anyway, and they're generally good people, so yay #1 is that we can afford to get married again. =P

Yay #2: A good buddy of mine from work has been talked into making my wedding his first-and-a-half (he assisted another wedding shoot a few months back) professional gig. This saves me ~$650 off the cost of a full-time photographer (who wanted $900, Jase will do it for $250 and me promising to be a reference).

Yay #3: From the "we're dorks" department, one of my friends just sent me a wedding gift, that consists of labeled His and Hers copies of Guild Wars. Sol, you'd like it--it's like all the best things about a MMORPG (lots of folks, lots of chatting) and all the best things about Diablo II (play style, only people you wanna play with come into combat zones with you, no monthly fee, etc) in one shiny happy game.

As of today, 29 days until I'm </single>.

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Okay, why do people promise things?

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Julia's parents promised $1,000 to help with the wedding, unasked-for. I thought, well, this is nice of them. And we planned with that assumption in mind.

Julia called them today, since wedding bills are starting to come due. And her dad told her that, well, he had to discuss it with her mom because they weren't sure about this and that...

Long story short, promise made, we planned around it, poof it's gone.

So where the hell am I gonna get an extra thousand bucks from?

The answer is probably going to be Julia's going-back-to-college fund. Which hurts even more.

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So...busy.

Zeriel Zeriel writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I haven't had a free weekend in six weeks.

Damn pager.

Wedding planning hates me.

My baby girl kitty (gah, she's three and a half) got a red sticker on her file at the vet for attacking the doc. (And when little Aleksandra attacks, you KNOW she has tigers in her ancestry. I think Doc Griffiths needs at least one stitch on his nose)

To be fair, I'd attack the doc too, if I was getting Feline Leukemia, Distemper, and Feline AIDs vaccines all in one syringe.

It'll be better in August. It'll be better in August. I'll be MARRIED and not just planning it, Julia will be back in school, the cats will be calm, it'll be warm and sunny for a goddamn change.

At least I have FFXI in the two hours between getting home from work and going to pick up Julia. Anyone else here play it? Or want to? Or want to hear about it?

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