ELEVENTH IN LINE
About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated Hobbies:
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research
About My Family
My mom is a lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^
(Please see the notes below the Comment Policy before sending me a message)
My CafePress Designs
Even More CafePress Designs
Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page
My Novel: Cipere Lumen
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea
Monday, May 31, 2004
ON THE OTHER HAND, THESE GUYS OBVIOUSLY CARE... To give you all a more positive view of customer service than that
presented by the folks at Blogger (or, for that matter, TLC), I give
you this notice from Emode/Tickle:
We haven't seen you in a while... our records show that you last
signed in to Tickle, formerly known as Emode, on December 26, 2000.
Because you haven't signed in or taken a test within the past year,
your account has been marked as inactive. If it remains inactive for
another 30 days, we'll need to delete it.
To reactivate your account and save your test results, click here:
Or, simply sign in to Tickle any time within the next month. "
See, these people know how to show they care about me. The rest of
you have a new standard to live up to!
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WHAT NOT TO WATCH: "What Not To Wear" is a television program aired on TLC, which stands for The Learning Channel. Apparently the lesson of the day is "your personal style is stupid, foolish, immature, and irresponsible, because two obnoxious hyper-postmodern idiots say so, so we're going to publicly trash your lifestyle, your fashion choices, and pretty much everything else, while also literally throwing away a lot of stuff you enjoy wearing, that matches your personality, because we're judgemental morons with no sense of individuality." But I'm not annoyed with them at all.
Seriously. I hate this show. Right now there's an episode being re-run, where a 24 year old woman is subjecting herself to complete humilation at the hands of these self-absorbed twits, for reasons I can't begin to fathom. Apparently her friends decided she lacked spiffiness, and quite frankly, they should all be forced to wear little black minidresses and 5 inch heels for a month as payback. Even the men. This girl was happy, carefree, fun, and interesting. These people want to turn her into a new Stepford wife; forcing her into their conceptions of how she should live. It's not like she asked for help -- she felt fine! And they bullied her into conformity with standards she never even cared about. What really annoys me is the look on her face when they're goading her and mocking her; she's all bravely trying to smile and accept and internalize their stupidity and she looks like she's ready to cry. She has a marvelous willingness to look on the positive side of their nonsense. All I can hope for is that she got to reclaim her actual property at the end -- maybe she can return the boring, conformist, let's-all-look-like-we-want-to-be-in-New-York junk they coerced her into buying. I hope these people, in fifteen years, hear nothing but horrible, painful, relentless criticism about choices they were perfectly happy with. From obnoxious thirtysomethings who get paid too much to be entirely too evil for words.
Oh, and I hope they languish in ratings pergatory for another year and then get replaced. I want them to be serving me coffee at the toniest Starbucks in Beverly Hills, because I want to be able to say "I'm sorry, I don't DRINK coffee. Incidentally, that green apron is so 1997, hon -- why don't you trash it in favor of one of those properly hip white aprons like they wear across the way at that much better coffee shop across the street?" And then walk out without tipping them. Except I would never do it, because I'm not an egotistical overprivileged freak of modern media, like some
people I could talk about. My favorite quote from Clinton? "I'm waiting to get socked in the mouth one of these days." I'm waiting to see it on the internet and turn it into my avatar of the week. ^_^
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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
WOW, THIS IS UNIMPRESSIVE AT BEST... Golly, I hate the Google/Blogger support team. If they can manage to become more condescending and frankly stupid about Guest service, I'd be surprised. This is what seems very much like a form response to my complaint. Now to start investigating exactly what I can get by moving off of BlogSpot, as soon as possible:
Blogger hasn't changed drastically in several years, so it's possible you've been with us long enough to develop a certain attachment to the way things looked and worked around here. If this is true, wow, that's really cool... Unless of course you hate all the changes we made and are currently composing a list entitled: "Blogger Employees Who Need To Share My Pain." But that's more scary than cool.
Since 1999 we've watched blogging catch on, we've taken note of how people use Blogger, and we've read all the email our users have sent to us. We took this experience and feedback and put it to good use. We updated Blogger according to the needs and wishes of our users.
Ideally, everyone is happy about the new features and innovations we've developed to make Blogger better, and maybe those who aren't happy right away will eventually decide that they like the changes. If you're not having happy thoughts about the upgrades and you just want your old Blogger back, then we empathize.
However, we are committed to moving forward. Join us!
Like I said, time to move on.
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A NEW START... In an old place. That's, I guess, the theme for the next who knows how many months. Yes, that's right, you heard it here first (unless you got the email, you lucky re-reader, you), folks -- I'm going back to Ohio for the indefinite future. This decision wasn't easily reached; I mulled and debated and whined and wept and went without eating and ate too much and made expensive phone calls and eliminated two Ford Tauruses from the driving population all to come to a conclusion I was already aware of and actively entertaining as a solution over a year ago. Woot.
Anyway, to go along with this rather massive upcoming change in my personal life, I'll probably be making some changes around here and on my other two blogs. Maybe even my personal sites. We'll see. Stay tuned, it should turn out interesting. Heck, even I don't know how it's going to end!
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Friday, May 21, 2004
SO I'VE GOT GMAIL... And so far, it's working pretty well. I don't want to move all my
Yahoo Groups to this service, because it tries really hard to convince
me not to delete things, because I like having a "harder" copy of my
emails that I do want to keep than just "oh, don't worry, we're
keeping it on this server here in Silicon Valley", and because I still
don't completely like logging into web applications. If Gmail could
live on my machine and be a program like Outlook, I'd be overjoyed.
But it doesn't, so I'm just settling for "pleased." The best part so
far? No wrangling to get it to display Russian characters properly.
Without me even asking it to, it's showing me the Russian titles of
the emails I sent in that language. All I had to do was change
languages on my Windows bar (you folks who haven't tried writing in a
foreign language don't want to know what you've been missing). It's
about eight thousand times less of a pain than Outlook or Yahoo, which
makes me happy. I might move my Russian subscriptions over to Gmail,
though it'll make me sad to introduce spam to an Inbox this pure and
The only fault I have right now is a lack of settings options. I like
being able to get positively obsessive about my email -- I don't like
forced line breaks (especially while posting to Blogger!), and I like
not sending in HTML format except when I want to. Fun signatures are
also, you know, fun. I suspect that this is nowhere near the version
they'll eventually release, of course, so it's all good. Meanwhile, I
look forward to never having to delete an email just because I need
the space to keep receiving additional messages. Which reminds me,
it's about time to go clear out my Yahoo box, again...
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THIS IS NOT A TEST... Nosiree folks, this is the real thing. Today I saw "The Butterfly
Effect" and the final episode of "Angel." Let's get it on!
Spoilers Ahead For: The Butterfly Effect
So this movie was actually really cool. I have to say I had
incredibly low expectations, seeing as how it has Ashton Kutcher in
it, and he's, you know, Ashton Kutcher. I mean, really. Demi Moore.
Punk'd. Demi Moore. That 70's Show. A bizarre movie with Brittany
Murphy. Demi Moore.
Anyway, he rose above his own aura of idiocy, and the movie was pretty
excellent. I have to say I have an intrinsic dislike for moments
where characters visiting from the future break the rules and start
smacking people on the head with the reality that they're from the
future. I think the fabric of space-time ought to be ruptured forever
and the offender sucked into himself and an eternal dark place where
existance is only to be hoped for, as punishment. Obviously, the
writers disagree. Other flaws include a bit of excessive angst (every
change makes things much much worse, in a way that's incomprehensibly
bad) and obviously a well-earned R rating. I think that most of its
flaws are overcome by the fact that they didn't cheat in the end,
which makes me happy. Overall, I'd probably give it a 7/10, and buy
it on discount from Wal-Mart.
So ends the spoilers for The Butterfly Effect
Spoilers Ahead for the final episode of Angel
I also saw the final episode of Angel. I have to say that if you'd
asked me before I started getting caught up on this last season, I'd
have told you you were insane to think that Angel had already run it's
course. I mean, my gosh man, it's only been five seasons! They're
going strong! Then I found out about Conner. And Cordelia. And
Fred. And then I missed ten episodes (or something) and there was
Lindsay! Blech, I say, clearly, they've had enough.
In any case, the ending makes up for the end of Buffy, I think. I'm
not one for big conclusions that wrap everything up in four segments
totalling 22 minutes (or 44, for your drama series). The moving out
episode (yes, Friends, I'm looking at you) is so 1988. After Growing
Pains, it just stopped being useful. Buffy moved out, but only after
blowing up the town (they had to top the school blowing up, I guess),
and that annoys me. Especially now that I know she didn't just move
out, she went to Europe. How very... I don't know, what was that show
with the four girls and the stern cook/maid/housemother? It'll come
I liked the open ending. Jackie is convinced they all die, but I
think it leaves room for hope. I like that we don't see if Angel or
Spike regain their humanity. I like that Illyria and Charles are
still around, that we know Lorne escaped (though I felt really
horrible for him, being the one who had to kill Lindsay -- Lindsay
deserved it; Lorne didn't), that Spike is still going at it. I'm
actually glad for Wesley; he deserved peace and happiness, far more
than the folks who died at the end of Buffy (though I was glad to be
rid of Anya). I'm sort of torn as to how I feel about Illyria's
"lying" at the end. I know it made it easier for him, I guess, but I
hope he was gone enough to have forgotten it was a lie, at least. He
was my favorite character on Angel (Daniel Jackson on SG-1 taught me
that my favorite characters are always in tremendous peril and usually
die at least twice during a series' run). I also liked the hint that
there was still more we didn't understand -- Conner being told that
Angel couldn't be harmed by the folks at W&H as long as Conner was
Still, I wish the series could have gone on. I thought it still had
potential. I understand that after what, 13 years, of playing or
writing for the same characters, life could become tiresome. But darn
it, this was really entertaining, thoughtful, charming, amusing, and
silly stuff, and I enjoyed it. Here's hoping Joss Whedon comes up
with something even better for us soon.
And here ends the spoilers for the final episode of Angel.
Gosh, that was fun. This email-to-blogger thing is going to become
extremely addictive, though I have to mess around a bit with forced
line breaks, it seems...
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STILL ANOTHER TEST... This time, I want to see if I can create spoiler space using the email program.
This is a test. This is only a test. No
movies, books, television programs, or other creative ventures are
being spoiled in this space.
If it works, that big block of blankness should be readable when you
highlight it with your mouse. Let's see what happens, shall we?
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WHOOHOO!!! That rocked. The only immediately obvious difference between my email
post and my non-email post, using Gmail, is the extra space above the
byline, and I think I can live with that! Welcome to the future,
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ANOTHER TEST, This time using Gmail. What fun it is to write and sing, a blogging
... ... ...
I never said I wasn't insane.
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AND NOW, WE KNOW... That there are a few kinks. Obviously I'd rather not have the stupid "this email scanned for viruses" line at the bottom of my emailed posts; other than not posting from my main address, however, I can't see a way out of that. I have to remember to type the subject line in all caps, as well. Overall, however, it seems this is another feature I appreciate and will utilize. Especially since it will minimize the number of times I have to come to this site... ^_^
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THE GREAT TEST So, I'm trying out another new Blogger feature -- email blogging. Let's see how
this works, shall we?
[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Surfside Internet]
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Thursday, May 20, 2004
SO, IT TOTALLY JUST OCCURRED TO ME... That I can make it easy on myself to avoid one particularly irritating (in the sense that it was my own stupidity that caused it) exposure I keep getting to Harry Potter related spoilers: hide the Harry Potter folder from My Outlook until after the movie opens. Duh. I swear, if I need a vacation like this (that is, my regular day off PLUS an ADO, because I'm somewhat afraid to drive with the brake light and the expired registration and all that, and anyway my department is cutting hours) just to get stuff done and clear my mind enough to realize things I should have noticed six months ago, I ought to try and get consecutive days off more often.
I haven't decided whether or not to block avatars on the new LUN message board (one of the members has a video clip from a trailer playing as her avatar currently); I'm pretty good at ignoring avatars and I've (alas) already seen the image and put it into context (spoiler free for a movie based on a book you've read is, to put it mildly, challenging). Anyway, the movie opens relatively soon.
In other news, I'm hungry. This is the fourth (or maybe fifth?) day in a row where I've gone nearly or completely 24 hours between meals. I only get hungry around Hour 19, anymore. Some people have noted their concern.
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I JUST SAW SOMETHING STRANGE... A man was brushing the teeth of a fish in an aquarium in Scotland. No, really. He was on the Animal Planet channel, I think. Anyway, this aquarium is pretty cool (even though, according to the Dentist society people, they might violate California law if they did a demonstration of the teeth-brushing thing -- how on earth we've managed to justify a law that silly is beyond me and outside the scope of this post). It's the northern-most aquarium in Scotland, amongst other things. And we all know that Scottish stuff is extra cool just because. Plus, they have nifty facts in their Learning is Fun section -- I certainly didn't know that octopus color changes with the animal's mood, and I studied them in Marine Biology!
Anyway, I just thought it was cool, and strange, and blogworthy. You all will be much happier when my car is all registered and running and stuff again, no doubt. ^_^
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I RESISTED THE TEMPTATION... And it was great, but I did it because to give in would be the Wrong Thing To Do, and we can't have that. Mind you, they probably deserved it, but in any case, I think my missive went to the people who actually might care (or at least not trash it in irritation). Yes, that's right, I lodged my complaint about the Blogger redesign with the "Wish/Suggestion" people, instead of the "Something's Broken" people. Sure, all of Blogger is broken. No, that's still the unethical selection amongst the three given. In any case, it'll probably turn out to be the same underpaid underling at Google who reads it, and they won't care at all, and will check off a few tick marks on their comment sheet ("Hates New Blogger But Is Extremely Annoying and Evidently Unhinged and Should Be Ignored: ||||| ||||| |||| ||||| ||"). Hopefully there'll be a bunch more sheets filled with tick marks for just that line. It's their labor hours to burn, baby.
In any case, here's what I wrote, minus the actual text of the post just below this one (as I write it, anyway) and with the URLs properly linkified with standard HTML goodness. Yay.
"Hello. I read in your replies to another user's comments that you were monitoring all the questions and comments regarding your new redesign. I'd like to share my opinion with you now, by quoting from my personal blog entry on the subject. Before I start, I'd like to add that I agree wholeheartedly with the statements made in the following posts, by other people:
The Volokh Conspiracy
In particular, I'd like to see the option to return to the Classic interface, the restoration of the ability to see older posts as I wrote current ones, the ability to navigate by date (using the highly intuitive calendar), and the return to a you're-signed-in, here's-your-stuff, to-get-to-another-blog-click-on-this-drop-menu, hey-you-can-type-with-just-one-click-from-the-login/front-page simplicity. I don't want a blogger that's pretty, that's geekily certified, or written so that even the dumbest of people who forget how to do something unless you put it on the page in front of them in 12pt font (and you won't let the not-dumb people remove the hint, ever). I just want one that's fast, efficient, and more or less intuitive. I don't have a ton of time for blogging; that you guys make it harder for me is a primary reason why I haven't considered upgrading to BlogSpot Plus (the only thing in your favor is that it's also the reason I haven't moved off BlogSpot for a MT or otherwise powered independently hosted site). I don't expect you to care, but seeing as how you suggested that you wanted to know, I thought I'd share anyway. Oh, and one other thing: I don't value friendliness highly in a website design, anymore than I value coolness or political correctness. Follow the example of the Google main page, which works well (better without the images, incidentally). Websites should be usable before they're friendly or cool, and like access-minded text only sites everywhere, should value function over form. You guys trashed many a function in favor of a form that isn't even particularly friendly on a universal level (though it manages to make a lot of people feel disrespected and annoyed). You're not Disney, leave the cutesy designs to the people whose audience wants it.
What follows is the text of the relevant blog post. Incidentally, I'm not actually trying to punish you for saying "the more detailed you can be, the better."
(deleted: the text of my first post on this same topic)
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
OVER TWO YEARS AGO...
That's me, I'm second from the far right. This photo was taken at the first Meet and Greet for the Star Wars Episode II line, at Universal City Walk, on I think March 30th 2002. It's the only photo currently on my system that has me in it that I like (you can only really see my hair and my back). Anyway, Blogger now supports photo uploads; now I've got to get another digital camera.
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I DON'T LIKE IT... I don't like it one bit. I hate it when online entities (or, for that matter, brick-and-mortar ones) change the way they look and function on a whim. It seems extremely rare to me that this sort of thing ever works out, and when it does, it only seems to work when the change is made to make things simpler, cleaner, less cluttered, less confusing, less sixteen-clicks-to-make-a-new-entry, etc. And Blogger has managed to fail EVERY one of those tests. Now I even have to scroll sideways to see the entire edit screen, and I hate it.
You know, I can even think of examples where something as small as a logo change has created permanent dislike and non-identification with a product: Disneyland, or more specifically, the Disneyland Resort. When the logo was changed to add the Resort part (because we had DCA and Downtown Disney), it was supposedly more broadly appealing, more modern, more ergonomic, more something. But it only struck the general Disney-loving populace as more corporate, more egotistical, more out of touch, more disrespectful of Disneyland's legacy and history, more dumb. We've taken three years to start to change backwards; the new Disneyland Resort logo uses the old Disneyland classic logo (you know, the one that was on the sign outside the parking lot, and sort of part of the still-used Disneyland Hotel neon roof sign) with the word "RESORT" in tiny letters underneath the "land" part of "Disneyland." The old "new" logo had the classic Walt Disney signature "Disney", a generic (Arial or something) "land" appended, and "Resort" (maybe 1/4th as tall) in wide-spaced letters underneath. Jackie likes it, but I certainly don't. The best that can be said of it, in my opinion, is that it looked like the WDW logo. And I hate that logo, too, so...
Anyway, this is the second time Blogger changed its look and functionality on me. The first time, they had a "classic interface" option (probably because so many people hated the new one). I've not been able to find a classic interface option, and the changes they made (including but not limited to: a dumb new splash page, rearranging the look and orientation of all the options on the member login page [there wasn't one before], proudly toting the geek-certifiedness of their new look [whoop-de-doo, it's fully compliant], making the white and tan more prominent and diminishing the actually quite attractive blue, minimizing the old "B" logo, taking away the auto-preview of recently published posts in the add-new-posts screen [which was one of my top complaints about the old new interface, the one I rejected before], making you click two [or maybe three, the new interface isn't intuitive and I got a bit lost] times before getting to the point where the new post entry space is, default layout for something like 1024 x ??? resolution [there's a HUGE amount of scrolling space to the right of the screen as I type this, and a bit more to the left], and an exponential increase in both the hey-look-we're-geeks-love-us-and-use-our-product attitude [already I'm only marginally tolerant of that feel from the folks at Google, and then only because they're generally much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing] and the this-is-how-you-do-this-you-ignorant-slobs instructions everywhere [it is NOT necessary to have "ctrl + shift + p" next to the Preview link on this edit screen; in the worst scenario they ought to have included the keyboard shortcut in a mouse-over ALT text, NOT as a permanent 12pt hint which is actually longer on the screen than the word "Preview", already there]) are really obnoxious. The reason I went with Blogger and why I liked it was in large part because it was actually simple and classic; easy to use, lots of information on one screen with tabs to indicate additional options, uniformity of style, difficult if not impossible to get lost (except in the Help area, which still has the exact same problems it had before, plus is even more dumbed down and difficult to navigate). The free hosting thing was part of it, but I can get free hosting elsewhere.
I've not decided to move on just yet, in part because they implemented about twelve features I do like, including comments (welcome to 1996; I think my GeoCities site had a GeoCities powered guestbook on its original format), separate pages for each post (again, 1996 -- or maybe I'll be kind and say 1999), and -- GOOD GRIEF sendmail's only been around for longer than I have -- email posting. Now that MT costs a fortune, and anyway I still haven't bit the actually-buying-space-online bullet, I'm even less inclined to move, all things being equal. I don't know if I'll become resigned to this new format, or if it'll still work well enough for me that I'll live with the changes (still hating them, and even more convinced that the folks at Blogger/Google are trying too hard and doing the wrong things as a result), but I want to go on the record as saying these changes stink. And there's no way on earth I'd pay for Blogger Pro, unless it included a version that was like the classic option (because for me, denial of someone else's stupidity is, in fact, worth money). And I'd still want the other cool features, like password protected articles.
Incidentally, the reason my last post makes no sense is because BlogSpot deleted the post previous to it, where I said that I had a ton of free time and would actually get to do some blogging. I ended out spending the evening fixing problems and reading other blogs instead, as you can see from that post. I leave it up (and choose not to upload the original post, entitled "Time for Blogging") as a testament to why Blogger is, in my opinion, increasingly permanently screwed up.
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Sunday, May 02, 2004
UNLESS, OF COURSE, I decide to try and get to sleep early so that I can pick up an earlier shift. 18 turnarounds really bite, because you wake up ten to twelve hours before you have to be at work, and you don't have enough time to do something really fun, but you have so much time that just reading a book isn't enough, and you really, really don't feel like going to Disneyland today. Sigh.
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.