eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
I kept meaning to make this post when I see people talk about RSS reader alternatives, because NewsBlur changed my blog reading for the better and I love it! And I think maybe some of y'all would love it too. The basic reason: tag screening and story training means I can follow just some tags and screen out other tags from any RSS feed (including tumblr or AO3 feeds).

About NewsBlur! With pictures! )
eruthros: closeup on apples, text "fruit porn" (fruit porn - apples)
1. Sometimes I cook all fancy! I'm home visiting my folks, and my dad wanted to grill because he's been watching this grilling cooking show. But I basically don't eat meat except for fish, so we settled on tuna, because it doesn't stick to the grill. So this was yesterday's dinner:

grilled marinated tuna and mango salsa taco-ish things for the noms )

2. Speaking of California, I often find staying with my parents somewhat frustrating (and helping my mom out with her work can be exceptionally frustrating).

But! Here are some of the things that California has in addition to fruit: It's-Its. Blue Bottle Coffee (<3<3<3). Tacos. Breakfast pastries at the Ferry Building. Boogaloo's amazing grilled plantain cakes. Persimmons from the tree in the backyard. Some friends I haven't seen in a while. Fan peoples. Thrift stores. An ocean.

3. There is going to be another Avatar: The Last Airbender (and Avatar: Legend of Korra) fanwork exchange over at [community profile] white_lotus! I plan to ask for Korra/Chief Bei Fong, among other things, so it is basically guaranteed to include great things.

Anyway, if you are interested, there's a draft signup post to poke at (to make sure all your favorite characters are on the list!) and tomorrow there will be a draft rules post that take people's suggests from last year into account. And signups will start later this week!

As part of making it work this year, we've also made an AO3 collection for the challenge, so that people who want to play in an anon-slow-reveal challenge but also want to be able to edit their fanworks can play that way. People will still be able to just send us their fanworks and have them posted straight to the comm, but the AO3 thing should make it easier for people who are already using the AO3. (Plus we belatedly made a collection for last year, so if you want to you can submit your fanworks to the collection.)

4. Remember that top one hundred specfic works thing? I haven't forgotten it, I promise, I just got cranky when I organized everything for Condorcet voting on a website that said it would do it ... and then couldn't deal with 250 things in a list, Grr. And then I tried a bunch of other places, and they all would only do ten items or allow 50 voters or blahblah. I might end up just doing it in comments and uploading the data flat to a Condorcet calculator. (The short version of condorcet: it's sometimes called ranked-choice or instant-runnoff voting [though a lot of different methods end up being called these things, since the terms are used confusingly in news stories], and it's usually done for single-winner issues. It can be done for a multiple-winner issue, though, and I thought it would be fun because it would let people rank as many things as they wanted. It's a kind of neat alternative since it lets you rank things you hate low, and not have to do careful vote manipulation to make your vote "count." But APPARENTLY the javascript version of the Condorcet page crashes liek whoah.)

5. some stuff about the OTW )
eruthros: Grant Imahara from Mythbusters wearing a Star Trek TOS science uniform and Vulcan ear extensions (Mythbusters - grant in a star trek unifo)
1. I have this problem with reading things that make me angry on the internet - if they show up in firefox's url bar when I start to type something else in, I'll go "oh, I should check that" or "oh, I should see if there are new comments" and then I'll read them even though I know they'll make me hate the world. Like, I'd start typing some other url with an s, and then I'd end up at salon.com, even though I knew there would be nothing good there except maybe Glen Greenwald and that I'd read some lifestyles article and it would make me cranky, and then I'd read the comments even though I shouldn't and that would make me despair for humanity. And cranky.

But the thing is, I only do that when I see the name of the site in the dropdown; if I don't see it, it's much easier to resolve not to go there. So I use a handy firefox keyboard command to take things out of the suggestions - I highlight the suggested url that I want to avoid and shift-delete on it, and it is gone. It will reappear if I go there a lot anyway, but since mostly these are places that I don't want to go to, places I just end up out of habit or fear or something, it works for me.

Anyway it is a great tool and I <3 it.

2. Readability! If you use(d) readability, you probably know that they disabled their old bookmarklet in favor of their new browser applet in February. I hate the new applet - it doesn't play well with noscript, it tracks pageviews, it disables printing and saving to pdf, it doesn't work on locally saved html pages or on many secured sites, and it's basically no longer really about quickly getting me a version of a site that I can read - it's about content-management for other people. HATE.

However! There are places to get the old readability bookmarklet hosted elsewhere - Readabilitude (which on my system doesn't require me to temporarily allow scripts every time I want to use it) - and there are also alternatives that have other style features - e.g. Readable (which I haven't used because it does require temporarily allowing js every time).

I was just doing without it for a while, so I was glad when I found those a couple months ago.

3. Unrelated to computers! Many people I chat with have been reading or rereading Harry Potter fic in a burst of nostalgia. But it can be hard to find that exact story, you know, the one where Harry owned a owl-order bookstore, or that one where Snape rescued him from the Dursleys, or that other one where Blaise was a fashion designer, so in case y'all don't know about it I will link here to painless_j's themed lists, wherein ze links to all the fic ze can find for various tropes and plot devices. It's handy both for the purposes of finding that one story you lost and for the purposes of reading all the HP fic featuring glory holes or someone being sorted into a different house or someone taking up a career in mediwizardry.

4. And for anyone who's dealing with too-hot weather, [personal profile] sparkymonster made a post a while back with tips for dealing with hot weather; there are also a bunch of comments full of tips. It's pretty fucking hot here, so I appreciate those.
eruthros: Toph, Aang, and Momo from Avatar: TLA hugging Sokka (Avatar - group hug!)
1. More Festivids recs!

Attention Please, Paprika. PRETTY. I don't know what's going on at all, but I think that's part of the point. And the editing is really great, and uses the music really beautifully, and the whole vid has this cool hallucinatory quality.

Illumination, Joseon X-Files. Wow, this is completely gorgeous and atmospheric and ...oddly creepy, maybe? I love the way the vidder used movement of light and shadow, and the music is a great choice. I have never seen this show but clearly I must!

Space Oddity, Community. This is a really sweet Abed/Troy vid about their shared geekery, awwww. Their love of spaceships brings them closer together!

They Want More, Jurassic Park. I can't believe I forgot to rec this the other day, because it made me laugh and laugh. Dinosaur pov ftw.

Truth Is in the Dirt, V (2009). Oh, Erika Evans, ILU! This vid draws some interesting parallels between Erika and Anna, and uses the song and the atmospheric footage to great effect.


2. In knitting-related news, if you're going to drop a stitch, should you do it a) while doing some nice 2x2 ribbing, b) while setting up your short rows, or c) immediately after knitting your two stacked short row stitches? Yeah, I picked option c, who the hell even knows where these loops go. *rips back like twenty rows*


3. I was really sick of accidentally clicking on links that people had written to include hxxp (which some people do to anonymize links) so I installed a greasemonkey script to change hxxp to http. Then I realized that I was not respecting people's desire for anonymity and not incidentally was breaking the rules of some communities and forums, so I edited the script to change the hxxps to working anonym.to links instead. If you'd like to do the same thing, instructions for making an anonym.to redirect )

And now I am clicking on those links with ease. *is so lazy*


4. I am excited to see the permanent style=mine and style=site options (described in the latest news post), but reading people's comments about both options always reminds me that neither option is perfect for me. I often turn custom comment pages on not because I like the style or worked hard on it or anything, but because I want the sidebar or header (tags and links and etc) to be available on entry pages; I usually prefer to read in the site style. And especially in communities, if the entry page is in the site style, there's no obvious place to click for the rules or tags, which often leads to a lot of questions that are a pain in the ass ("where can I find ..." "but do you ..." "if I want to sign up ..."), or posts that don't follow the posting templates or rules or whatever. So I am still torn about site style versus custom comment pages.


5. Aren't these pantone-chip cookies pretty much the coolest thing ever? I love that she just mixed up colored icing and then matched it to a pantone color after it cooled.


6. And speaking of food, [personal profile] glass_icarus recently posted Potluck #1, a blog carnival dedicated to multicultural/intersectional posts about food.


7. And only loosely related to food, Happy New Year to everyone who celebrates! At the moment I am all eeee [community profile] white_lotus Lunar New Year Exchange eeee. The fanworks are SO GREAT GUYS, I am so glad to be posting them now where other people can see them. I have been so caught up in the excitement that I have even tried to make some treats, but I keep being interrupted by spreadsheets.
eruthros: A panel from a 1950s educational comic book showing a communist deflating -- I mean, blowing up, the Washington Monument (Communists!)
1. Are you, too, frustrated by the new lj facebook and twitter connect buttons under your comments? Fear not, for not one but two people have made magical solutions! Do not mess with tab order or people shall make greasemonkey scripts, lj. These solutions only fix your view of the page and your tab-order; other people in your journal will still see the facebook/twitter options, and will be able to crosspost their comments.

Option one: daluci wrote a greasemonkey script that takes away all the facebook/twitter connect buttons. Yay! It only works on the quick-comment page, though, not on the full reply page. ETA: Now it works for all comment pages! People are awesome.

Option two: [personal profile] chagrined describes a partial solution using stylish here. This is useful for: people who use stylish (me!), people who have javascript turned off on lj (also me!) because the above greasemonkey script only works on the java-enabled quick comment boxes. Sadly, however, it still leaves "settings" the first tab select after the comment box. Me: tab-enter ... oh damn. NARGH.

2. While I am linking to greasemonkey scripts for livejournal, I also really love daluci's bannering script. It turns the lj header back into a beautiful quiet blue bar. Against which I can read the text. Sometimes it gets a little wonky over on the right, depending on what lj has done with the custom header, but I just adblock the second lj logo and call it done.

3. Yesterday [personal profile] sineala linked to some macros that [personal profile] astolat made in like 2007 that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere, so I thought I would signal boost them. It's a set of fanfiction conversion macros for Microsoft Word; they turn a story or post written in Word into pretty html or plain text, surrounding italicized text by html tags and stuff like that. (I can't tell from the post itself whether they also fix inappropriate characters like smart quotes and em dashes, but they might.) ETA: [personal profile] sineala confirms in comments that the macros fix em dashes and smart quotes and other special characters.
eruthros: Aang from Avatar: TLA looking cranky (Avatar - cranky aang)
Some of these are things I've fixed, some of them aren't.

1. New VLC makes me go aaaaaaargh. Every time I start it up or open a new file, it tries to rebuild the font cache. and then? more about the font cache )

2. So, okay, Helvetica Neue is a shitty web font in Firefox for Windows. fistshake at designers who insist on Helvetica )

3. Websites that don't put a line break between paragraphs. Especially with lots of text. NARGH. I have so much trouble reading e.g. racialicious's link roundups, but readability has trouble parsing the unordered list format, and zap doesn't make bookmarklets for that. I have looked for other bookmarklets to add line breaks to lists, but my googlefu failed me. Anybody else have anything?
eruthros: A panel from a 1950s educational comic book showing a communist deflating -- I mean, blowing up, the Washington Monument (Communists!)
1. I deleted my facebook page a couple days ago and was so happy about it. They've been eroding privacy rules and controls steadily, as long as I've been there, and I've never really done anything with facebook, and it's not really my ideal internet social network because I don't really want to talk about politics with people I went to elementary school with and haven't seen since. But I kept being like, oh man, people might be pissed or think I'm a weirdo if I delete. But connections was the last straw, and anyway I am a weirdo. So now: delete delete delete! And I just felt this great relief, that I could now get angry at facebook's privacy policy changes without having to go and change all my privacy settings or delete stuff from parts of the profile or whatever.

2. Today in Dangling Modifiers:

"Keith learns that three of the Lilith House girls were in the area of the Dean's office around the time of his murder, which was egged by unknown assailants."

From the wikipedia Veronica Mars episode guide.

3. We had a mouse or possibly mice in the house! We just discovered it this morning, although it's likely been in off and on for a while -- the problem with rentals is that landlords often don't cover holes in the foundation, so in this house a mouse can come up from the basement where the pipe for the sink goes down. And so we cleaned everything and took everything out from below the sink and swept and moved the oven to clean behind it and promised to live lives of purity and cleanliness henceforth and not leave dishes out overnight for ... at least the next couple weeks. And also we did some things that involve harm to animals, so they are under this cut )

And now I'm going to talk a lot about narratives of poverty and also mention roaches )

Anyway, that is a story about household pests.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
The latest version of Handbrake, 0.9.4, has removed all support for .avi containers. If you update, you will no longer be able to export to .avi -- just mkv and mp4. So you may not want to do what I did, and go "oh, sure, go ahead and update."

From their announcement page:
AVI: AVI is a rough beast. It is obsolete. It does not support modern container features like chapters, muxed-in subtitles, variable framerate video, or out of order frame display. Furthermore, HandBrake's AVI muxer is vanilla AVI 1.0 that doesn't even support large files. The code has not been actively maintained since 2005. Keeping it in the library while implementing new features means a very convoluted data pipeline, full of conditionals that make the code more difficult to read and maintain, and make output harder to predict. As such, it is now gone. It is not coming back, and good riddance.
If you're like me, and you export to avi because it's more *cough* universally acceptable than mkv, you may find this less than helpful.

I've tracked down a release of Handbrake 0.9.3 for PC, which I can share with anyone who needs it; it's not available on their site because it's no longer supported.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (B5 - Delenn OMG)
1. So, you may think that the conservatives who miss the satire in Stephen Colbert are largely apocryphal, or that there can't possibly be many of them, because seriously, who could think that his speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner was supposed to be in praise of Bush? Well, three scientists at Ohio State University have done some research, and they looked at the reactions of 332 undergrads, and discovered that in point of fact there's a pretty significant correlation between identifying as "conservative" and feeling that Colbert is only pretending to be joking. And, interestingly, both conservatives and liberals say that Colbert is funny, but interpret the direction of the humor totally differently. ANYWAY, I have the pdf of this article -- it's on sendspace here.

2. If you like playing with color schemes, I find kuler kind of fun -- it's a bunch of created color schemes with handy RGB CMYK and hex codes attached, so you can play with color and find combinations of five pinks that are in the same tonal range. If, like me, you are hugely lazy, this is AWESOME.

3. If, like me, you are hugely lazy part II: red alt's I Like Your Colors application, which pulls hex codes for colors from html and css pages and groups them by value. If you look at my journal layout, in fact, and find the colors familiar, that's because I dug out the Celerity css page and popped it into the application -- I'm not thrilled by it, but they're soothing greens, and I was in a hurry trying to make it less orange and blue.

4. I had to pay for my new dw account by check, because paypal timed out on me a bunch of times and I gave up, which means I have only six icons! Until they get my check! This is sad and wrong.
eruthros: kink: behind the back wrists-to-collar bondage (kink: neck to wrist)
[livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings and I are ramping up to round two of kink bingo, which means a) finishing making prizes b) making icons and c) researching kinks. Which means a lot of googling. I've googled for images, I've googled for resources, I've googled for things I didn't even know existed three weeks ago.

So, there I was at the blog for Male Submission Art, and I followed the source link under one of the nicer pictures, just in case the linked blog was awesome. And there were no pictures, and no well-laid-out informational posts, but -- hey, this chick compiles sex toy giveaways! And look, there are only twenty people who put their names in the hat -- might as well comment with my name, those are pretty good odds, right? And so I enter a couple of them and then promptly forget about it, since none of them had useful resources or images. But I just got an email today from one of them, and I won!

So, yes, as a direct result of doing kink bingo, I will shortly be receiving an Onye Vibrator in a satin-lined case.

PS: there's another giveaway over here for the Lelo toy of your choice (!!!) that I haven't entered yet, because you have to submit a story or image or something and that seems like work. (But fandom should totally be on that, guys, y'all are awesome at this sort of thing.) Anyway, the closing date is April 10th.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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