Old Posts Imported

Today I can finally say that I’ve imported all of my old posts from the old platform into WordPress. Well, most of them, anyway. Initially I’ve disabled commenting on the old posts, but I’ll be going through and selectively opening them up over time.

I’ve re-submitted my sitemap to Google and am awaiting the results. Soon I expect to see statistics flooding into WordPress from all the old indexed links.

In other news, I changed the theme again. This one is called Sparkling.

Oh, and I changed the site up so that the front page is static. The idea being that when potential employers search for me they’ll see my about page first rather than whatever the last thing I posted was. Hopefully that won’t confuse any regular readers. You should be using an RSS feed reader* anyway. (Nobody actually goes to blogs to find posts – the posts are supposed to come to you.)

* I use InoReader now, but off the top of my head you could also use Feedly or any number of others.

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ThinkServer Ready For Action

On impulse, I bought a Lenovo ThinkServer at NewEgg. It’s a dinky little Xeon E3-1225 server in a mini-tower case. (I don’t keep up with processors anymore, so I have no idea where the Xeon E3-1225 fits on the spectrum of processors, but considering the whole box was only $369, I assume near the bottom.)

Lenovo ThinkServer
Server seen here in on the floor of my customarily sterile computing environment with vintage 17″ square LCD monitor.

Why would I buy a ThinkServer you ask? I was using my gaming PC to experiment with some MSDN software that I’d installed on a VirtualBox image of Windows 2012 R2, and I just didn’t have the computing oomph to handle it. My gaming PC can play some mean games, but it’s crap at virtualization. So I saw this ThinkServer sitting on NewEgg with decent reviews and clicked right on that Buy button. (I also bought 16GB of memory to go with it.)

If I’m not mistaken, this is quite literally the first time I’ve ever bought a pre-built [desktop] Windows PC. Every single time I’ve upgraded a PC before, I’ve bought parts and installed them myself, because it’s a lot cheaper to do it that way. This time I was delighted to simply pull the ThinkServer out of the shipping box, plug in the peripherals, and turn it on.

Then of course I discovered I had no way to burn an image of Windows Server 2012 R2 onto a DVD. I only have a DVD burner in my clunky 17″ laptop, so I wrestled it over to an outlet (because the battery was dead) and discovered that 2012 R2 is too big for a regular old DVD. Then I had to dig up an old 80GB USB hard drive to install it on.

Anyway now I have a new installation of Windows Server 2012 R2 ready for action. I’m thinking about taking some Microsoft exams so I needed a place to practice. Now to see if I can figure out how to use Windows Hyper-V.

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Comic-Con Trailers

A bunch of cool trailers and videos have come out of Comic-Con, as always.

Fear the Walking Dead

I didn’t think I’d be interested in the The Walking Dead [sic] spin-off but I like the focus on the time period before the zombies completely take over. Once they pass the total collapse of civilization, I’ll probably lose interest in the new series unless they somehow make these new characters really compelling.

The Shannara Chronicles

First time I’ve wanted to watch MTV since the 80s. I believe The Shannara Chronicles is based on the second book, The Elfstones of Shannara (you see the stones in the trailer). I don’t remember much of anything about the second and third books, but I’m rather embarrassed to admit I did an oral book report on Elfstones for my eleventh grade English class. (I guess that would be no big deal today, but back in 1986 it was not normal to read fantasy books, and I still have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to commit social suicide like that.)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Speaking of the 80s, when I see anything about The Force Awakens, it’s almost impossible not to feel like I’m a kid again waiting to get into the theater to see Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But I also remember the excitement and anticipation of waiting in the theater to see The Phantom Menace, and the exact moment I realized what a crushing disappointment that movie was (it was the moment I realized that Jar-Jar Binks was not just a passing joke and he was going to stick with Qui-Gon Jinn for the rest of the movie), so I have to remain jaded and skeptical and try to set my expectations to the point where I’ll be happy with a completely average movie. (I also haven’t forgotten that while J. J. Abrams did surprisingly well with Star Trek the reboot, he utterly destroyed Star Trek Into Darkness.)

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The Newsroom

My new favorite show is HBO’s The Newsroom. You may have seen edited versions of the “America isn’t the greatest country anymore” clip floating around Facebook for various political purposes. Below is (almost) the complete opening scene of the first episode.

It’s an amazing blend of really serious drama and really silly comedy about news and politics. It almost makes me want to try to write about politics again*.

Mostly because I can strongly relate to the show’s views on news and politics, which from my perspective are fairly centrist. (I imagine it’s popularly believed to be slanted liberal though, because anything that isn’t slammed all the way over to the right is considered liberal these days.) Most importantly, The Newsroom portrays journalists doing what I think they should be doing: Keeping politicians honest. Unfortunately in real life, that job falls on comedians, while journalists seem content in their role of parroting whatever they’re told to say.

* Except I now know that trying to push back the mountains of ignorance that comes out of political discussions every day to be a quixotic effort. Hey, see what I did there? I used a metaphor from the show!

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Irony in the Social Justice Warrior

“Social justice warrior” is a relatively new term (to me, at least) used in the last year by mostly-conservative culture warriors to describe a mostly-liberal person who–grossly simplified–pushes for diversity in the arts.

(A “culture warrior” in my mind is a term to describe a mostly-conservative person… I think it gained popularity with the publication of Bill O’Reilly’s book.)

I find it pretty ironic though because it seems to me that a person who fights for conservative cultural values is also a social justice warrior. “Social justice” as a basic concept is about equality and leveling the playing field. With regard to the recent Hugo nomination controversy, the conservatives (“Sad Puppies”) feel that they were disenfranchised from Worldcon (among other things). With regard to the less recent Gamergate culture battle, the conservatives (who don’t have a name other than “Gamergate supporters” so far as I know) feel that they are being pushed out of the games that they love (among many, many, many other things).

By a strict definition, I would say that anyone who feels culturally disenfranchised or threatened enough to fight back is implicitly a “social justice warrior,” and perhaps more generically, a “culture warrior.”

Obviously I know that conservatives would flip right the hell out to be compared in any way to an SJW (social justice warrior), which now to them is just a series of letters or mouth-sounds that means “a liberal extremist who needs to be stopped.” I just find words and their meaning to be really funny and ironic sometimes. The fact that a series of words with very specific meanings can be combined to make a phrase with a totally different meaning is interesting to me.

I guess in terms of common usage and political connotation we can think of a “culture warrior” as a conservative and a “social justice warrior” as a liberal.

P.S. Liberals seem to think that “social justice warrior” is a derogatory term (since it was coined or at least adopted by conservatives), but I have no idea what conservatives might think of “culture warrior”–I would guess they’d be okay with it since Bill O’Reilly popularized it.

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Pi Day

Couple things.

I just realized that I hate Pi Day. Because suddenly it’s everywhere and everyone thinks it’s cute to celebrate it. It was funny five years ago. Now it’s just silly.

Because most people in America probably don’t even know what pi is. Whenever I see someone say, “Happy Pi Day!!” I want to scream in their face, “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT PI IS DO YOU?”

So I think from now on anyone who celebrates Pi Day should be required to solve a real-world problem using pi first.

On the other hand, perhaps it’s appropriate for Americans to celebrate the most basic of geometric concepts. It fits with the average level of math education in this country.

P.S. Don’t even get me started on the people celebrating Pie Day.

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Netflix Makes Passwords Hard

Because Netflix forced me to change my password into something that was easy to enter with a remote control into a television interface–since my television invariably asks me to re-enter said password every month for no apparent reason–I have now forgotten what my Netflix password is, and apparently LastPass never updated when I changed it. I’ve now been waiting about ten minutes for them to send me the password reset email. Come on Netflix. This is basic IT functionality here.

UPDATE: Oh, and the reason I need a password is because I am attempting to log into my account on my Android phone, because the Netflix app for the iPad is so terrible that it almost never actually plays videos.

Although it could always be Verizon blocking Netflix video, because of that whole Net Neutrality thing we don’t have anymore. Thanks Verizon. Glad you’re at the forefront of making U.S. Broadband Access so terrible compared to the rest of the world.

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More Facebook in 2015?

I feel like I should engage more with Facebook in 2015. But, to be honest, I hate engaging with Facebook. It’s incredibly weird for me to interact with real life people in the way that I’m used to interacting with The Internet. (Yes, I think of Real Life and The Internet as two entirely different worlds.) Publishing content to The Internet is a form of creative expression, whereas writing and liking things on Facebook is more like dinner party small talk.

Stouffer's Lasagna Italiano

I don’t quite know what I would say to Facebook anyway. Tonight, after an entirely ordinary day at work, I made myself a lasagna… by opening a box of frozen Stouffer’s Lasagna Italiano and putting it in the oven for an hour. I try to avoid eating such blatantly unhealthy food too often, preferring instead to make something based around a chicken breast, but this week it seemed like a handy shortcut. Also this is a brand new variety of Stouffer’s Lasagna that showed up in my grocery store a few months back, and I like it better than the previous two varieties. It has FRESH CHEESE & AGED PARMESAN, after all.

Anyway, I might post something about the Stouffer’s Lasagna Italiano on Facebook which, to me, would be a hilarious poking of fun at all the foodies on The Internet who post their recipes and report what they’re eating for lunch and dinner. Unfortunately the humor of it would probably be lost on everyone and they would just think it’s weird. Plus all the foodies that I poked fun at would get all defensive. They might start to think that their recipes and lunches and dinners weren’t appropriate content for The Internet. Which, in fact, it isn’t. Hence the humor.

(However, food makes for great conversation in a dinner party.)

Now I’ll head over to Facebook and report on my first Monday in 2015.

P.S. I changed my WordPress theme to the plain vanilla Twenty Fifteen theme. I like it. It looks great on a mobile device.

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