Reflected toots by @Triskaideka@mastodon.online

My Mastodon account is @Triskaideka@mastodon.online. This page mirrors toots from that account in case something happens to it, such as the server being taken offline.

This system uses a tool I wrote called the Toot Reflector. It's open source and you can use it on your site too.

I'm only mirroring original toots on this page. Boosts and replies to other accounts are omitted. But you can configure the Toot Reflector differently if you use it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Feb-07

Every time somebody says "the AI can't draw hands", or "you can't trust code written by an AI", or finds a loophole in a chat AI's content filter, I think about how "John Henry drove his fifteen feet / An' de steam drill only made nine".

lyrics.com/lyric/3007022/Lead+

And then, you know, John Henry died from overexerting himself and the machines kept improving and now they're an integral part of our civilization.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Feb-02

Definitive ranking of soundtracks:

1) Jet Set Radio
2) Final Fantasy VII
3) everything else

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-19

Just got an e-mail saying they're shutting down , because it "has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped."

That probably has something to do with the fact that they deliberately didn't advertise it, relying instead of word of mouth.

They tout their other charitable projects, but those programs support what Amazon wants. Smile let the customers choose.

Anyway, just another reason to buy from smaller businesses when we can.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-19

To continue this train of thought:

I'll miss but the bigger question is why corporations donate to charity at all. If they have extra money, they should use it to pay their employees more or charge their customers less. Then *those* people can donate *their* extra money to charity.

Or use it to pay for housing and groceries and medical care, which in turn will reduce the need for charity.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-19

reddit.com/r/technology/commen

"There is no way for a customer to go through the traditional shopping experience, and then during checkout decide they want to give a portion of their purchase to charity, because giving to charity isn't the point of the overall program. Amazon Smile was developed by the Traffic Optimization team, whose entire purpose is increasing efficiency and lowering costs of getting customers to Amazon."

Though if this is true, one wonders why it's not still serving that purpose.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-18

I sometimes wonder which character has been typed more often, in the history of keyboards: the opening parenthesis or the closing parenthesis.

Times when closing parentheses might be typed without a matching opener:

- emoticons
- some people use it after list numbers

Times when opening parentheses might be typed without a matching closer:

- Lisp programmers dying mid-line

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-11

Don't think of making your web site's data available through an API as a favor that you're doing for your users. Think of it as a favor that you're doing for yourself.

Users will scrape the data if they have to (whether or not your TOS prohibits it). Your API means they can use less of your bandwidth to get it, with a lower chance of mistakes, and you can track their interests better if you want to.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2023-Jan-06

It's approximately the five-year anniversary of the time charged me before the end of my free trial and blew me off when I complained. (There's slightly more to the story, but that's an adequate outline.)

Told them I wouldn't be back and I haven't. Hope they invested my $15 wisely.

(I am aware that this is all very petty.)

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-27

I've reached the point where I need this, so here it is in case you need it too: a Bash function to look for & pull all git repos in your home directory, if the checked-out branch has an upstream set.

function pullall() { find ~/$1 -type d -name .git -execdir echo \; -execdir pwd \; -execdir sh -c 'if git rev-parse --abbrev-ref @{upstream}; then git pull; fi' \; -execdir sleep 2 \; ;}

Send an argument to only do a subdirectory of ~, e.g. I might do "pullall web" to update all my web projects.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-27

Just bought a bunch of nerdcore on Bandcamp after tonight's stream. Thanks for the show @mc_frontalot & co.!

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-19

There's a scene in Miracle on 34th Street where Santa, working temporarily at a department store, causes a stir by directing customers to another store when his doesn't have what they need. Eventually his bosses decide it's good for business because it earns goodwill from customers.

Since I saw that, one of the hallmarks for me of a reputable business or organization has been how they feel about you leaving. Do they try to monopolize or trap you?

imdb.com/title/tt0039628/

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-17

I've read that some web site owners have seen a large increase in traffic when someone links to them on Mastodon, because of all the instances requesting the link so they can generate cards for it.

I didn't see any noticeable spike in traffic after linking to my own site yesterday. Probably I don't have a high enough follower count to cause trouble.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-16

My list of Christmas movies named after states lives another year.

triskaideka.net/xmas/

When I started it, I naively thought that I would write the code once and then it would just run along year after year, needing little attention. But this year I had to revise the code that filters out unwanted search results after the API I'm using started returning much weirder data than before. Too much work for something that was supposed to be simple & lighthearted....

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-12

A victory for electronics hoarding:

Yesterday I finished setting up a two-computers-one-monitor arrangement in my home office area. The monitor switcher is one I'd been holding on to for years but never managed to use until now. The receipt was still in the box. December 10th, 1999.

I think the speakers are not much younger, though they've been used before and I don't have the receipt.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-06

I just unsubscribed from a mailing list and it wanted me to type in my name *and* complete a CAPTCHA before I submitted the form.

Everybody everywhere has my blanket permission to unsubscribe me from any and all marketing e-mails. No need to check with me, really.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-03

I just cancelled a pledge because they charged me for it in a separate transaction from all my other pledges. Investigated and it seems they're now billing some pledges on their start dates instead of on the 1st.

Patreon, you're a payment aggregator. Please just aggregate payments as efficiently as possible. I don't understand why you don't seem to know your own raison d'Γͺtre.

Creators: please consider using instead of/in addition to Patreon.

liberapay.com/

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-02

#!/usr/bin/env perl

use strict;
use warnings;
use 5.14.0;
use List::Util;
use Getopt::Std;

our $opt_n = 1;

getopts('n:');

my @backs = ('root', 'herb', 'bloom', 'blossom', 'weed', 'flower', 'leaf');

for (1..$opt_n) {

my $front = `shuf -n1 /usr/share/dict/words`;
chomp ($front);

if ( $front =~ /'s$/ ) {
$front .= " ";
} elsif ( $front =~ /^[A-Z]/ ) {
$front .= "'s ";
}

@backs = List::Util::shuffle( @backs );

say $front . $backs[0];

}

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Dec-02

A while ago, my partner needed a fictional plant name for a story. Rather than come up with a *good* idea, I spent an hour or two writing this Perl script to generate unlimited mediocre ideas. I looked at it again recently and was amused to discover that it fits inside a toot.

N.B. the "shuf" command and the wordfile at /usr/share/dict/words work for me on Ubuntu, but on your system they might go by another name/need to be installed.

> plantname.perl -n2
coronationbloom
commissar's herb

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-30

I probably sound old-fashioned (and maybe ungrateful), but it drives me bonkers when I find a library that might help me and the docs only say "npm install whatever" and don't have a download link. Feels like 80% of the time at least.

This project doesn't use npm! I don't have npm installed on any of my machines! Please just give me a file named whatever.js that I can drop into a folder somewhere. Am I the only one who remembers that you can do that?

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-28

Yesterday we watched a Hallmark movie called "The Christmas Train", which must have been written by someone who didn't watch The Simpsons in the '90s. Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame) plays a character named "Max Powers". They say his name a lot and I snickered every time.

imdb.com/title/tt7370936/

simpsons.fandom.com/wiki/Homer

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-22

I went to review some of my older purchases on [well-known indie shopping site] and discovered that it's not possible: there's a time limit on reviews.

But why? Reviews of older purchases are the most valuable. I roll my eyes when I read a review that's like, "I bought this two weeks ago and it works great." Of course it works great; it's brand new. I want to hear from people who've had it for a year or two.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-20

The kind of thing that's happening at Twitter right now could happen on any Mastodon/Fediverse instance. But it probably won't happen on a whole bunch of instances at the same time.

Decentralization doesn't do anything, I don't think, to impede humans' limitless capacity for generating crisis and strife. It just makes the system as a whole better able to withstand that strife.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-18

Fast Flood No.262
🚢 β†’ 16 moves πŸ₯‡
⏳ β†’ 17 seconds πŸ₯‡
fastflood.dylancastillo.co

Shattered my previous best time of 22 seconds. Found the 16-move solution on my first try and was able to repeat it faster on the second and third.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-16

It's theoretically possible to have your program open sophisticated spreadsheet formats, libraries exist for it, but I don't know anyone who does it. Every programmer I know is like "Step 1 is to re-save this Excel file as a CSV file so it makes some fucking sense."

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-13

It's sort of gradually dawning on me that there really are people who think that even satirical impersonation on the internet should be prohibited.

To me, the idea that anyone would read, say, a tweet from a pharmaceutical company about a major & surprising change to its business model, and just believe it without looking for verification from a second source, is troubling.

Skepticism is everyone's responsibility.

snopes.com/fact-check/eli-lill

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-12

Somebody should make a Mastodon instance that's exclusively for Elon Musk impersonations.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-07

A tip for people who are to Mastodon:

The Mastodocs say that you can verify your profile links -- somewhat akin to the 's blue checkmarks -- by linking back to your Mastodon profile from your remote site, using the rel="me" attribute as you do.

docs.joinmastodon.org/user/pro

The attribute doesn't have to be on an <a> element if you don't want. You can also self-verify by putting this in your <head>:

<link rel="me" href="...">

(Replace the ... with the URL of your profile.)

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-06

Dropped off my ballot yesterday. What a challenge it was to find any useful information about some of the local races. Ended up abstaining in several contests where felt I didn't know enough.

Toying with the idea of next year banding together with some local friends and having some kind of "decision party" where we divide up research responsibilities and then present our findings to one another. Is there guidance out there for doing something like this?

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-04

Raruurien, a slice-of-life in a lightly magical mountain-village setting, returned from hiatus a couple of weeks ago. It's on page 116 as of this writing, which puts it comfortably in read-from-the-beginning territory, in my book.

raruurien.com

Updates twice a week.
Available in English and Indonesian. Easy to follow via .

I'm not affiliated, just a fan.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Nov-03

Firefox was giving me trouble (hanging frequently), so I gave a try. I'm here to report that it is an eminently usable . Chrome with extra settings.

brave.com/

Modern browsers are all 95% the same from the user's perspective, so if you were thinking of switching but worried about the learning curve, worry not. You will adjust quickly.

(Brave didn't directly fix my problem, but then I disabled hardware acceleration and it hasn't recurred, so I'm hopeful.)

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-31

Where do the cool kids do their online shopping these days? My recent experiences with TigerDirect, Newegg, and Microcenter have all been pretty medium.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-28

Every time West is in the news for doing something stupid -- a not-infrequent occurrence -- I think about this DCist blurb from 2009, written the day President Obama accidentally called him a "jackass" in front of a live mic, that referred to him as "known jackass Kanye West". Since the day I read that, he has permanently been "known jackass Kanye West" to me.

dcist.com/story/09/09/15/go-ho

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-22

It's true that bandwidth and disk space cost a lot less than they used to. But in my experience, anyone who says "bandwidth and disk space are cheap" is trying to convince you that they should be allowed to use YOUR bandwidth or disk space for free.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-14

Scheduled to get the latest COVID booster *and* a flu shot this evening. Been trying to get chores squared away in anticipation of possibly going a few days without doing any of them. In fact, at this point I'll be disappointed if I *don't* feel bad for at least a couple of days.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-05

I kind of wish I could do freelance micro-projects. Like, I don't want a career with you, just give me commit privileges for long enough to fix keyboard accessibility on your login form.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Oct-01

My media consumption habits are such that I don't hear news about things like Lizzo playing James Madison's flute, and I don't hear anybody complaining about Lizzo playing James Madison's flute, but I *do* hear plenty of people shaming the complainers.

I aspire to someday figure out how to get off this ride entirely.

Here's an article with the original news, for anyone who needs it. I had to search three news sites to find it.

theguardian.com/music/2022/sep

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Sep-06

Fast Flood No.189
🚢 β†’ 16 moves πŸ₯‡
⏳ β†’ 22 seconds πŸ₯‡
fastflood.dylancastillo.co

A six-second improvement over my previous best time. Not sure I can do much better than this time-wise, but while practicing I have come across the occasional puzzle that can be solved in 15 or even 14 moves.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Voting for the 2022 Awards is open from today through September 14th.

Nominees: smallpressexpo.com/spx-ignatz-
Ballots: smallpressexpo.com/ignatz-ball

Rarely am I familiar with more than a couple of the Ignatz-nominated before they're announced. I worry that nobody else is either, and it's too much of a popularity contest.

In the hope of promoting informed voting, here's a thread that links you to the first page of each nominee in the "Outstanding Online Comic" category.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Blind Alley
by Adam de Souza
blind-alley.com/1

I read through the archives yesterday and liked it. A "Peanuts" for the 21st century, perhaps. Note, this site supports arrow-key navigation (press the left/right arrows to move back/forward between strips).

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Ride or Die
by Mars Heyward
rideordiecomic.com/comic/000

I haven't read this one yet but if you're an LGBTQ+ car enthusiast, I think you might have just found your new favorite comic.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Vattu
by Evan Dahm
rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c

This is the only nominee I was previously familiar with -- been reading for years. It's a worthy candidate for sure. Political & personal drama in an unconventional fantasy world. It started its run in 2010 and is approaching completion next month.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Alexander, the Servant, & the Water of Life
by Reimena Yee
alexanderromance.com/comic/pro

Yee was also nominated in the "Outstanding Artist" category for this same comic, which she bills as: "The 21st century edition of the Alexander Romance, a nearly 2000 year old literary tradition recounting the legendary life and accomplishments of Alexander the Great."

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-18

Technofeelia Vol. 4 'Help'
by Amy Kurzweil
culture.org/technofeelia-vol4/

A long-form comic on therapy and technology. I read through this one too (though only the nominated volume 4, not the earlier volumes), and found it thoughtful: it asks some smart questions and is open to ideas that many people might be inclined to dismiss. Thumbs up from me.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-11

Fast Flood No.163
🚢 β†’ 16 moves πŸ₯‡
⏳ β†’ 28 seconds πŸ₯‡
fastflood.dylancastillo.co

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-11

Getting rid of some old notes and came across something that had stuck with me from a presentation ~15 years ago.

The speaker (or somebody) was doing usability testing on a medical web site. They found that patients tended to visit the "for doctors" section, and vice versa. Why? Each group said they wanted to know what the other side was being told.

The lesson, I think, is that users don't trust you to curate information for them. Share everything and let them find what they want.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Aug-03

Back when "blogging" was new, I once read through a friend-of-a-friend's online diary. She had a lot to complain about; it was riveting.

But when she checked her logs and saw visits from an unfamiliar origin, she felt like her privacy had been invaded.

I felt bad about having upset her. But also... you put this on a public web site. Was having strangers read it not the intended outcome?

Anyway, I guess this is your periodic reminder that anybody can read anything that's on the internet.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jul-15

In college, I once took a day trip with some friends to an amusement park.

I remember a single thing from this trip, which is that on the drive there, I saw a car with the license number "2" (apparently a state official).

I don't remember anything we did at the park. I only remember who one of the friends was. If not for that license plate, maybe I wouldn't remember the trip had even happened.

You'd think this would be a treasured memory. Why do I have so little of it? Did I block it out?

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jul-11

I don't always start work at the same time every morning (and I'm fortunate to have an employer that doesn't mind).

For years I'd make a mental note of when I started, then add the length of a workday. "I got in at X o'clock, so I'll leave at Y in the afternoon."

A few weeks ago I wrote a script for my custom homepage that does that math when I launch my web browser, and saves the result for the rest of the day.

I didn't realize how heavy that mental load was until I stopped carrying it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jun-20

Friendly reminder to do as much of your online shopping as you can somewhere other than Amazon, but when you do use Amazon, start at smile.amazon.com and they'll donate a small portion of the proceeds to the charity of your choice.

My Amazon Smile charity is Yet Another Society, a.k.a. The Perl Foundation, which supports the Perl & Raku programming languages and community.

And they've gotten about $15 from me this way, which is peanuts. But it's more than $0.

perlfoundation.org/

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jun-18

slate.com/technology/2022/06/a

More news about the dairy industry fighting over the word "milk".

I don't recall similar wars with the makers of peanut or apple butters, so I have some opinions about their real motives....

Honestly, it seems strange now that my generation grew up drinking cow's milk every day and thought it was normal. I've switched to oat milk for non-baking use (and some baking too), and have no complaints. They may get the rights to the word, but they can't get my custom back.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jun-15

One of my pet peeves is the widespread misuse, in my opinion, of the word "my".

Say I'm logged in to an insurance company's web site and there's a link that says "My Claims". To me, that means "the company's claims" or "the web site's claims". Claims belonging to me, the user, should be labelled "Your Claims". The web site is the speaker, the one using this pronoun. *I* didn't write it.

Better to use another wording. But this counterintuitive use of "my" seems quite common.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-May-21

I worked at my college's tech help desk for a couple of years. At the time, they had printers that could be administered remotely (via a web browser) and had neglected to put a password on them.

For unclear reasons, the bottom paper tray of one of the help desk's printers was always left ajar. This caused the status message on its LCD to cycle between "Ready" and "Tray 3 open".

I logged in and changed the Ready message to "Tray 3 closed".

I still think it's hilarious.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-May-18

digitaljournal.com/business/mu

I say this without having seen any data, but the idea that < 5% of accounts are bots seems absurdly low -- I would have guessed 30 or 40%.

But then, what counts as a "bot" here? Not everything that posts spam is a bot, and vice versa.

I have a Twitter account that I use solely to transfer Playstation/Switch screenshots -- using Twitter like a bad Dropbox. Is it a bot? Probably nobody cares about banning it, but it's not an engaged audience member.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-May-10

I've published another round of updates to my DIE Combat Assistant, which helps Gamesmasters run combat while playing the DIE .

In addition to some interface improvements, the most notable change is that the site now automatically saves and reloads your data in case your computer crashes or something.

die.triskaideka.net/

Coincidentally, a DIE Kickstarter will be going live this Thursday. (I'm not affiliated; just a fan.)

kickstarter.com/projects/gshow

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-29

This was happening in the dream I woke up from this morning:

A shopkeeper had a pet dragon (looked like a half-length crocodile) and, though this was clearly a low-tech fantasy setting, loved to use Linux. But some software that he needed to run his shop was not available for Linux.

A destitute patron needed a favor from the shopkeeper, and had a magical scroll that would grant him one wish.

So the patron wished for a second dragon, that liked to use Windows, and gifted it to the shopkeeper.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-29

I've been working on deleting accounts for services I don't use anymore.

Some companies have a "delete my account" link right on the web site. Some require you to e-mail or chat with customer support.

Norton actually told me "your account is not eligible for deletion at this time ... regulations allow businesses to retain information when there is another legal obligation that necessitates keeping the data."

I kept at it and eventually the chat agent said they could "disable" the account.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-24

Me when the web site that I just changed my password on sends me an e-mail to tell me that I just changed my password:

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-23

The greatest innovation in the history of computer science was the ability to tolerate a trailing comma after the last item in a list.

$groceries = [
"apples",
"bananas",
"bread", // this comma right here
];

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-22

Statistics after 100 Wordles.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-03

Finally published some long-overdue changes to bring my DIE Combat Assistant site in line with the game's version 1.3 manual (from December 2020). Summary of changes: fixed how initiative works, added stats for the new monster/character templates, upgraded the jQuery library, made a few quality-of-life improvements.

die.triskaideka.net/

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-19

After the Winter Olympics I resumed playing Steep, Ubisoft's "action sports" video game. These days it's rare for me to ever return to a game after once putting it down.

steep.ubisoft.com/

Not that I'm opposed to violence in video games, but it's nice to play a game that, at its heart, is just about hanging out on mountains and doing cool stuff.

I suspect the day is not too far off when the servers will be shut down. But I didn't want to wait until Steep was dead to eulogize it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-15

I've been playing this "Six-Sided Streets" game a bunch over the past week. Seems like it's still in development, but what there is so far is pretty neat. You lay out a town on a hex grid and try to arrange the various terrain types optimally.

csklimowski.itch.io/six-sided-

I've managed to reach the highest rank once. I think the maximum possible score would be 125 points (if those three treeless grassy areas were connected), but even getting to 120 took some luck.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-15

Oh wait, just got to 123. The missing two points are because somewhere (can't tell where from the final image) there's a hill that doesn't have a wind turbine on it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Apr-19

Finally got a perfect score (125) and almost didn't notice I'd done it.

The game got an update a couple of days ago -- sound and some bug fixes.

csklimowski.itch.io/six-sided-

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-14

Got an Evite this morning, and it contains fine print claiming that it "is a transactional email, not marketing or promotional, which is why it does not contain an unsubscribe link...."

This is nonsense. Evites are spam and they know it. It's unsolicited commercial e-mail; they're not running a charity. And you can't opt out; you can only block individuals IF you have an account.

I dream of having enough free time to run my own mail server, so I can configure it to reject all Evites.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-14

When Evite was still a young company, I actually wrote to them to say "this is inappropriate; please block my e-mail address from receiving mail from your service." And they did! That's what responsible participation in the internet looks like.

Then the block stopped working, and they stopped responding to my messages about it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-04

I think from time to time of the "Ritual Cat" parable, third at this link, which sketches how people/organizations may continue a practice out of habit, even when the original reason for doing it has disappeared:

katinkahesselink.net/tibet/zen

I expected that there would be a jargon term for this phenomenon, in the same vein as "yak-shaving" or "bikeshedding". But if there is one, I haven't been able to find it. So I propose "cat-tying".

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Mar-01

I spent some time over the last few days sprucing up the documentation and adding some sample art to my "Block Painter" projectβ€”which I hadn't touched in seven years, according to git.

gitlab.com/Triskaideka/blockpa

Block Painter uses a tiny amount of HTML/CSS/JS to show an arrangement of colored blocks. It's not a practical tool; more like a demo (in the "demoscene" sense of the word) or a toy. Good for a few minutes of amusement, perhaps.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Feb-16

Tabletop gaming opinion:

I'd still rather play Apples to Apples than any of its several copycats.

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🔗 2022-Feb-15

Someone linked me to this illuminating article by a cryptographer peering into the world of cryptocurrency & NFTs.

moxie.org/2022/01/07/web3-firs

My takeaways:

Β· The appeal of blockchain tech is decentralization, but the actual infrastructure for a lot of this stuff is much more centralized than you'd think.

Β· Most people don't have the patience for decentralization, and it's hard to fault them. That doesn't mean we have to give up on it, but we should focus on decentralizing the right things.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Feb-09

Well, after complaining a couple of days ago about how hard it was to watch snowboard cross, I have to give NBC credit: they showed pretty much the entire women's Olympic event yesterday, from the time trial qualifiers through to the medal race. I stayed up late to watch it.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Feb-08

After the 2018 I decided that my favorite winter sport was snowboard cross, and that I'd try to start following it.

Turns out it's hard! SBX is never on TV as far as I can tell. The FIS has a YouTube channel where they post only medal races (no qualifiers) and spoil the winner's name in the title. And that's about it.

fis-ski.com/en/snowboard/snowb

It's weird how the US has 6 or 7 popular sports that you can't avoid hearing about, and then everything else might as well not exist.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Feb-02

It took me a long time to get around to reading , and I think part of the reason is that I feared it would be a difficult read: either emotionally oppressive, or else basically just a lecture.

If that's what's stopping you, you needn't worry. I found the book highly personal and accessible, and not prone to platitudes or prescription. It covers a lot of awful stuff, but it doesn't drag you through it, and it balances it with scenes from the author's and his father's personal lives.

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🔗 2022-Feb-01

🟨🟨⬜⬜🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

I was *just* saying how I'd never gotten it in two, but here we are!

Kind of feel like I should opine about the NYT buying Wordle for "low seven figures":

digitaljournal.com/business/ne

It's a shame that our society doesn't know how to have a few nice things unencumbered by commerce or independent of big businesses. That said, I won't try to pretend that if somebody offered me a million dollars for a simple word game I'd programmed I'd turn it down.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jan-31

Reflecting on how sometimes we put a form on a web site and nobody is interested, and the only way we know the form isn't broken is that we occasionally get spam through it.

You could *almost* argue that the spammers are performing a valuable service. Although if I cared enough, I could probably write a script to test the form by auto-submitting it periodically.

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🔗 2022-Jan-29

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜
🟩🟨🟨🟨🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

I'm a little salty about this one! Almost had it in two, but I chose the wrong anagram.

powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

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🔗 2022-Jan-27

I just got a marketing e-mail that said, in essence, "we noticed you're not subscribed to our monthly newsletter; are you sure you don't want to opt in?"

I feel like maybe the fact that I'm not opted in to your newsletter should have been a clue that I didn't want *this* e-mail either. Where's the setting to unsubscribe from meta-marketing?

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2022-Jan-25

Signal-boosting for a friend: Ontarian indie rock act @bradsucks@twitter.com has a streaming show coming up on Thursday night. Buy a ticket at bradsucks.net/store2/brad-suck and you'll get e-mailed a link to a YouTube page about an hour before the show.

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🔗 2022-Jan-09

I'm renewing my passport (not going anywhere soon, but it's good to be prepared) and I have to give the State Department's web team credit for putting the privacy notice at the *beginning* of the application form. It drives me crazy when you get to the penultimate step of a web form and the site is like "now read & acknowledge this 26-page legal document, but do it in ten minutes or we'll time out your session". Tantamount to admitting they expect you to sign it without reading it.

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🔗 2022-Jan-03

I got my COVID-19 booster shot last week and it laid me flat for a few days. Still not entirely back to normal. Chills, maybe a slight fever, lightheadedness, arm pain -- it was a lot like having a regular cold, actually. No sneezing or coughing, at least.

I had trouble sleeping the first night and while I lay in bed, my brain kept imagining a techno remix of Mr. Burns' "See My Vest" song from The Simpsons. If somebody with musical skill could get started on that, I'd be much obliged.

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🔗 2021-Dec-29

My MP3 collection includes the soundtrack to ".hack//Legend of the Twilight", which I think I bought years ago at an anime convention.

dothack.fandom.com/wiki/Legend

This week I was backing up the files on my PCs and noticed, while visually inspecting the archives, that the .hack folder was missing.

Then I realized that the archiver was skipping it because the filenames all start with a dot. And *then* I realized that my music player has been doing the same thing, for years, without me noticing.

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🔗 2021-Dec-28

My HVAC company sold me on a fancy air filter system. So now I need to get rid of an unused filter I have for the old system, and also figure out where (other than this company) I can buy filters for the new one.

Last night I had a dream in which I learned that thrift stores do a brisk business in air filters, and would be happy to take my old filter and sell me new ones. This probably isn't true in real life, but in the dream, I was delighted by this discovery.

Being an adult is the worst.

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🔗 2021-Dec-20

Over the weekend I received a shipment of 36 bamboo toothbrushes, which I hope will be a several-year supply. I've been using them for a year or two now and I'm happy with them, so it seemed to make sense to buy in bulk.

I just hope I don't learn about some even-more-environmentally-friendly type of toothbrush, like, two months from now. I overbought CFL light bulbs and still have some unused ones in the closet even now, when the recommendation is to buy LEDs....

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🔗 2021-Dec-18

When I was young, my dad would sometimes eat hard pretzels with butter on them. Then one day he saw me buttering pretzels for myself and said "that's weird", and I was like "I learned it from you," and he was like "I've never done that in my life". But I'm sure I didn't just imagine it, or misunderstand what I saw.

This story doesn't really have a point, but I've been snacking on buttered hard pretzels all week and they're great. Taste like childhood.

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🔗 2021-Dec-14

I've made a terrible discovery and now you have to know it too: "Good King Wenceslas" can be used as the words to the "I don't know but I've been told" military cadence.

You have to stretch out the last word of each line ("though the frost was cru - u - el") but other than that it works fine.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Kin

youtu.be/XWNyWvUdwxM

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🔗 2021-Nov-28

Finished watching the live-action . Verdict: it's not as good as the original, some elements of the story & characters are quite different, the acting is kind of hammy (maybe intentionally); in short, I don't think the creators "get" the original. BUT it's fun anyway. I had feared it would be unbearably awful, but it wasn't.

I feel roughly the same as I did about the 2005 Hitchhiker's Guide movie.

But we started re-watching the original even before finishing the live-action....

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🔗 2021-Nov-27

Last December I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of Christmas movies named after US states. So I wrote a couple of scripts to collect a list of them and monitor for new ones. I was pleased (and, I don't mind admitting, a little surprised) to see that the system still works this year, needing only minor modifications.

triskaideka.net/xmas/

It found a couple dozen such movies, which is a lot, but not as many as I thought there might be. (I can't promise that the list is comprehensive.)

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🔗 2021-Nov-16

Last month I took a few vacation days. When I returned to work, I found that I had been added to an e-mail where somebody was having trouble using a system that I maintain.

But then the person who added me saw my out-of-office message, said "oh, let me check the wiki", did so, found the relevant part of the extensive documentation that I had written, and figured out what needed to be done.

...and I'm still thinking about it a month later. It might be one of the highlights of my career?

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🔗 2021-Nov-14

Great Pretender was the first show that made me think "people who liked Cowboy Bebop would like this". I think what they have in common is the theme of "being a badass by the seat of your pants".

imdb.com/title/tt11680468/

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🔗 2021-Nov-04

A few months ago, the homeowners' association did an inspection and sent everybody a list of mandatory repairs to make. But that stuff is expensive and has no non-cosmetic benefits, so everybody (myself included) is doing the minimum amount of work to comply with the letter of the law, leaving surrounding areas untouched. So previously the neighborhood had a "charmingly dilapidated" character, and now it's starting to look like one of those cars where the doors are different colors.

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🔗 2021-Nov-01

Trick-or-treating doesn't seem to be a thing in our neighborhood. For the past few years we've left candy in a pumpkin-shaped pail on the front step, and the only outcomes have been either (a) it's all still there at the end of the night, or (b) it's all gone and the pail is lying on the lawn. (Yesterday's result was the former.)

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🔗 2021-Nov-01

As a young trick-or-treater, I had a low opinion of households that left candy on the porch but wouldn't answer the door, but as an introverted adult, I get it. Answering the doorbell several times in one night would be like some kind of personalized punishment.

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🔗 2021-Oct-31

This month I released version 5.0.0, and then 5.1.0, of HouseDraft, my web site that helps you run Swiss-system tournaments.

housedraft.games/

This isn't as big an upgrade as version 4 was. The most noticeable changes are:

- Late arrivals can now be added to the round that's in progress.

- A new feature helps accommodate players with limited mobility by keeping them at the same table every round.

- The number of points awarded for a win or draw can now be fractional.

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🔗 2021-Oct-25

Missouri Governor Ramps Up Attack on Newspaper Over 'Hacking' Scandal

gizmodo.com/missouri-governor-

Flabbergasting (yet somehow also unsurprising) that he's doubled down on vilifying somebody who merely observed a security leak.

I've been saying for years: nobody who doesn't understand the internet should be allowed to hold office anymore. Nor should there be a partisan divide over this issue; we're talking about basic comprehension of the world you live in (and are trying to govern).

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🔗 2021-Oct-22

People like to say "You don't have to put two spaces after a period anymore because modern fonts are designed to make it unnecessary" and then show you some example text that would definitely be easier to scan if it had two spaces. I feel like the kid in The Emperor's New Clothes; whatever it is that other people see in "modern fonts" is invisible to me.

You can't really do it on the web because of the way HTML works, but in all other documents I still use two spaces and probably always will.

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🔗 2021-Oct-19

I haven't kept an exact count, but at least 5 or 6 times in my life, across at least 3 or 4 offices, I've had a doctor whom I saw regularly just leave their practice with no announcement. Sometimes I find out when I call to make an appointment. Last time, I was already in the exam room when the new doctor came in and told me that her predecessor had left. Only twice have I proactively been notified.

As it happens, I wasn't really attached to any of those doctors, but what if I had been?

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🔗 2021-Sep-28

about "Good on You", a web site that rates clothing companies on how ethically they operate (broken down into three categories: Planet, People, and Animals).

I am far from being the kind of person who pays attention to fashion, but I looked up the two brands that I've consciously purchased from before and was pleased to find that they were rated "Good" and "Great" (as I suspected they would be).

goodonyou.eco/

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🔗 2021-Sep-26

You can tell is a real sport because right now they're doing an hour-long pre-game show.

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🔗 2021-Sep-24

The () was virtual again this year. Panels were uploaded to their YouTube channel last weekend.

youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbB

I've watched, and would recommend:

- The Local Scene: Shows, Publishing, and Getting Started

- Focus on The Day The Klan Came To Town

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Sep-20

Up to 50 million points in .

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🔗 2021-Sep-14

During the pandemic I've often worried about local restaurants and whether they'll survive. I made a (half-hearted, admittedly) attempt to look for charities I could donate to that might help, but didn't find any.

Today I read an article that mentioned the SBA's Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program that's giving restaurants "funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss". It made me feel... a little better.

sba.gov/restaurant

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Aug-31

This month I released version 4.0.0 (and then version 4.1.0) of HouseDraft, a web site that helps you run Swiss-style game tournaments. There are no fees, no ads, no account to create. Use it in good health.

housedraft.games/

Version 4 is a major rewrite that improves how pairings & results are stored & edited. It also adds instructions.

I wrote HouseDraft so I could invite my friends over for drafts (but it works as well for any game). Maybe some day we'll do that again....

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Aug-07

I almost never watch sports, but when the come around, I watch every minute that I can. Favorite sports this time around: skateboarding and mountain biking. 3x3 basketball was pretty cool too.

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🔗 2021-Jul-14

It's now my headcanon that the Kool-Aid Man is a soul alchemically bound to an oversized pitcher. One day he'll burst through the Gate of Truth and reunite with his original body.

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🔗 2021-Jul-13

I've been told that New York (state) is not considered to be part of "New England", an unofficial grouping of states in the northeastern US.

But like... it's in the same region, and its name is the word "New" followed by the name of a place in England. What are your other criteria??

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Jul-09

Over 25 million points and counting in .

I average about 8,723 points per level, which is slightly lower than most of the players on the high score list, and MUCH lower than some (a few are in the 13,000–15,000 range). I wonder: how did they do so much better? And if they could, why couldn't they stay alive longer? (One likely answer is: they could have, but they got bored.)

perso.b2b2c.ca/~sarrazip/dev/b

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Jul-07

Our refrigerator gave up the ghost, and the shipping of its replacement has been delayed, so for the past couple of weeks we've been ordering takeout every night.

It's more expensive, less healthy, and worse for the environment, but not having to *think* about making dinner has been amazing. I knock off work in the evening, put my shoes on, and make a five-minute drive to place my usual order at some local restaurant or other. Part of me will be sad when the new refrigerator finally arrives.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Jul-07

I enjoy cooking and think of it as one of my hobbies, but I hate *having* to cook every day -- I hate the mental space it takes up, whether you want it to or not. I remember reading in "Around the World in Eighty Days" that Phileas Fogg regularly "breakfasted and dined at the club," and thinking, how can I get that lifestyle? The unfortunate answer is that even if I could, I probably shouldn't.

gutenberg.org/ebooks/103

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🔗 2021-Jun-07

This morning I scheduled four appointments (three medical checkups, one appliance repair) that I'd been putting off until I got vaccinated.

So, all the worst parts of normal life are starting back up again. But I still haven't seen any friends or gone anyplace fun.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Jun-04

I'm officially "fully vaccinated" as of today. But I & most of my social circle still feel it's unwise to resume gathering except in small groups. Too much of the public is still unvaccinated and/or careless. Our own vaccinations are a big change for us, but a small change overall.

I'm eager to hear when mass-vax sites start shutting down (because they've done their jobs). For now, I'll probably make small changes, like taking fewer precautions at home, or going shopping a little more often.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-May-30

At the beginning of the month I said I'd probably never reach 8 million points in , but here's a screenshot where I have over 13 million, plus a comfortable reserve of both lives and peppers. The difficulty (i.e. the rate at which enemies spawn) plateaus fairly early, so I'm probably no longer in danger from anything other than carelessness.

You start with 3 lives and earn a new one every 10,000 points. Doing the math: I earn about 0.87 lives per level, and die 0.84 times per level.

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🔗 2021-May-24

One of the most useful Bash shortcuts I've ever come up with is "regrep", short for "recursive grep", which searches for a text string in every file in your current directory and its subdirectories. I probably use it at least once most days.

This is in ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_aliases:

function regrep { grep -Ir --color=auto --exclude-dir=.svn --exclude-dir=.git $1 * ;}

That first command-line option is a capital I. And I also have a case-insensitive version, "regrepi", which adds the -i option.

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🔗 2021-May-24

Got vaccination shot #2. Arm soreness, plus a headache and what you might call "general malaise" yesterday, but I was prepared for it to be much worse than it was.

Took it easy all weekend just to be safe. Not going to complain about having an excuse to do nothing. :)

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🔗 2021-May-21

Recently I've seen a lot of people on various sites posting things like "the majority of plastic waste is produced by only <N> companies", as if to imply that it's not worth the effort for an individual to try to reduce their own plastic consumption.

I went looking for what kind of logical fallacy this is, and I think it's an example of the "Nirvana" or "Perfect solution" fallacy:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_

None of us can ever do ENOUGH, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do ANYTHING.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-May-18

Here is the complete list of methods available in jQuery. Anything you can make jQuery do, you can learn about from this page:

api.jquery.com/

At work I'm dealing with a (mature, widely used) third-party system that just... doesn't have a page like this, and it's the WORST. There's lots of documentation, but I can't find my way around it, and I usually resort to searching the web for various contradictory forum replies that I work my way through until one somehow solves my problem.

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🔗 2021-May-09

Upwards of 90% of my attempts to use the Unix "make" command have ended in failure, and always for a new and different reason. I've reached the point where I'll only even consider it if I'm highly motivated to install something AND have been unable to accomplish it any other way. (So, basically never.)

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🔗 2021-May-02

My latest high score is > 2.8 million points. It would be good enough for second place on the official high score list, though I don't actually plan to submit it.

perso.b2b2c.ca/~sarrazip/dev/b

Beating the highest score, > 8.3 million, seems... unlikely.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-May-01

Got vaccination shot #1 yesterday. No symptoms other than arm soreness.

Part of me is looking forward to spending time with friends again, and the other part is like "I could do another year standing on my head."

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🔗 2021-Apr-29

One day I'm wearing slippers over two layers of socks; the next I'm walking around barefoot. Springtime is a myth invented by the Illuminati.

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🔗 2021-Apr-19

Here is an ominous picture of an apple pie that I baked around the beginning of the pandemic.

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🔗 2021-Apr-11

Every writer gets a certain allotment of "free colons" to use in situations where they're not grammatically necessary. Have you been overusing commas, or do you just need to class things up a bit? It's okay: just use one of your free colons.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Apr-06

New high score: over 1.6 million.

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🔗 2021-Apr-03

I switched to a new brand of bath soap. It costs 20Β’ more per bar, and at first that put me off. Then I did some math.

I'd guess I go through a bar of soap in 3 weeks. 52 weeks/year Γ· 3 = 17.3 bars/year; call it 20 so it's a round number. Now let's say I'll live another 50 years. 20 Γ— 50 = 1,000 bars of soap left in my life, Γ— $0.20 = $200 extra that I'll spend on soap over the course of my life. $200 isn't nothing, but over a lifetime, it's not much. Worth it for something I actually like.

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🔗 2021-Mar-31

The main thing I wanted out of the was for it to tell a more coherent story than the original. But instead I'm more confused than before.

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🔗 2021-Mar-23

I've been playing the and I have to say, this game would be a lot shorter if Cloud were capable of saying "no" to anybody and meaning it. Somebody should tell Sephiroth that that's his weakness.

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🔗 2021-Mar-19

Things you can monger:

- war
- iron
- horses
- whores
- fish
- cheese
- ???

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🔗 2021-Mar-15

I maintain an unofficial feed for the Sinfest, since it doesn't have its own.

My feed was broken for over a year after something went screwy at my (former) web host, and I couldn't summon the energy to investigate it. I can't promise that'll never happen again, but for now, it's operational.

triskaideka.net/sinsyn/

It works so well in part because Sinfest is published in such a reliable fashion: it's rarely late, and uses predictable & meaningful URLs.

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🔗 2021-Mar-08

update: over one million points.

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🔗 2021-Mar-06

It occurred to me: we call them "unordered" lists, but they are in an order. They can't not be. But is there a way to make them more unordered? So I wrote this dumb thing:

gitlab.com/Triskaideka/unorder

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🔗 2021-Mar-05

I spent much of December working feverishly on Advent of Code (adventofcode.com/2020), setting aside other hobbies and projects. It was probably one of the busiest periods of my life, programming-wise. Afterwards I pushed that code to GitLab all at once. Here's what all that effort looks like in GitLab (and a legend for reference).

I guess my complaint is: why does GitLab only count pushes as "contributions", instead of commits? Surely commits more accurately reflect the amount of work done.

Triskaideka's avatar
🔗 2021-Mar-02

Just got a call from an HVAC company I stopped using several years ago due to terrible customer service. They still call once a year or so, asking to schedule an inspection.

I should probably tell them to stop, but honestly I kind of like periodically getting the chance to tell them how awful they were (politely, of course). While I was a customer, nothing I said ever induced them to improve their service. Now, at least, they have to listen to me when I tell them to take a hike.

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🔗 2021-Feb-25

College was years ago, but I still sometimes have dreams where I suddenly remember about a class I've been forgetting to attend all semester, or where it's the first week of the semester and I need to go to my next class but don't know where it is.

To date I've had one dream (that I remembered) about being in a public place without a face mask. I will probably have dreams like that MORE frequently after the pandemic is over.

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🔗 2021-Feb-16

Dear fellow web developers: avoid making separate form fields for first and last name. Just use one "name" field.

1) There's no guarantee respondents HAVE two names. Read "Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names": tinyurl.com/p24bns3s

2) You probably don't care what the respondent's legal name is; you just need something to call them. So call them what THEY want. If you're about to say "I want to alphabetize them": what's wrong with alphabetizing by whole name instead of last name?

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🔗 2021-Feb-13

Cracked 600k points in BurgerSpace, more than double my previous record.

(If you're on Ubuntu or similar, `sudo apt install burgerspace`.)

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🔗 2021-Feb-10

I've been through the entire botsin.space/ profile directory and I'm back to report that the only one you need to subscribe to is @scream .

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🔗 2021-Feb-07

Simultaneously-endearing-and-stupid cultural quirk #2: referring to Twitter as "", in the manner of a thespian referring to Macbeth as "The Scottish Play".

I mean, I'm on here because I dislike Twitter too, but it's not Voldemort.

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🔗 2021-Feb-07

Simultaneously-endearing-and-stupid cultural quirk #1: posts are called "toots".

Every time I toot, I request that you imagine it looking exactly like this:

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🔗 2021-Feb-04

I suspect that microblogging is a net negative for human society -- short posts leave no room for nuance. Still, it has its virtues, and if it's going to be done, it ought to be done in a decentralized fashion. So I'm here on Mastodon to lend my small amount of support.