Sunday, October 18, 2015

Signmaker's nightmare. Also, former signmaker's nightmare.

Sometimes when my sleeping body wants me to wake up, it gives me a stressful dream, sometimes an all out scare you to death nightmare, sometimes a more moderate unpleasant situation. I used to work at a one day sign shop. Sometimes the wake up nightmare involves signmaking.

This morning my body woke me up with a moderate level signmaker's nightmare. An order had mentioned on a work order than the customer left a banner with us. The color and content of the banner left with us was similar to what the order was for.. So I measured the customer's banner and reproduced on just like it. The work order, however, was for a similar but different design, and we already had the logos needed, knew their fonts, and colors, and we weren't told on the work order to do anything with the customer's banner, neither to look at or clean it up. Basically, there was no reason to leave it with us.

The customer arrives, we show them the banner we'd made; it's not what they want, I'm called out to have my error pointed out, like a puppy having its nose rubbed in the carpet. I's stressed out over my easily avoidable error.

At that point of embarrassment at my incompetence and fallibility, I wake up.

It's been five years since I had my real, 20 year long signmaking job. I think it might be time for my subconscious to stop using sign themed waked up nightmares.

Still, better than the tumbling head over heels in a car, or me with scissor and other people and lots  of blood, and other similar more horrible plots of wake up nightmares my wake up system generated.

Youtube: Don't play it till I click the play button.

YouTube has changed it's behavior, playing videos instantly when you click on them from a search results list, instead of showing you the page, the intro picture, description, comments if wanted, and letting you then decide to play it if you want. 

I never want the current behavior to occur.

The only time to play videos without an explicit per video authorization by clicking is if I've picked a play list and selected autoplay for playlists.

In all other cases, I don't want the video to play  till I click the play button. I want to have time to see the picture, select full screen or not, and read the descriptions and perhaps the comments before the video plays.

Not being able to do this will mean I will use YouTube much much less.

I also don't want the controls to overlay the videos. I want the controls to have a separate space, to make the controls as easy to see as possible, and I don't the videos ruined by having the controls over top of them. 

I have installed a Firefox add-on intended to address this problem, but it doesn't work well enough. It stops some playing without specific authorization but not all.  The extension is
"YouTube™ Auto Pause/Stop 0.1.0" at

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Selected to test a Beta version of StumbleUpon, "and it filled me with ecstasy and dread."

Just woke up, at nearly 2 in the afternoon, or 14, I guess some folks might say, listening to an endless loop of all the Night Vale episodes on a old, offline Windows XP computer, the episode where Cecil gets a call from an angel, the existence of which sort of being  is not approved, though it appears in fact they do, and in that episode,  Cecil says the angel gave him a terse, mysterious answer to a question,  "And it filled me with ecstasy and dread."

I was checking the links on this site, trying to get going on blogging a bit, again,  knowing past experience suggests I won't pursue, but one never knows, maybe this will be the time I finally get going and write well enough, and often enough, to pick up a few readers, or to at least feel good about my efforts. One of the links was to StumbleUpon, an old site, that I never used a lot, but a long time ago, I did use it a little, and I did enjoy what tiny use I made of it. This was many years ago. When I clicked on it, I got a dialog box offering to let me join in a beta test of a new layout. 

Ecstasy is just what I don't feel about being given the chance to participate in a beta test of a site I don't use much. "Dread", though a bit strong,  is certainly the closer of the two feelings the angel's word filled Cecil with.. For a beta tests of a site I use a lot dread might be not be way too strong, while a chance to test  a new version of a site I haven't used for a while gives me the illusion of false hope, which will most likely resolve to, if not dread, something negative.

They are so many good words for bad emotions that come to mind when writing about new versions of software, or changes in product design, or the inevitable new war, or escalation of an old war, or news like I saw yesterday that China - the country Apple picked to make high quality devices at super low prices - has these wonderful lethal autonomous aerial vehicles, great military grade murder bots, now at low, low prices, and they're selling like hotcakes, lethal, kill at a distance, hey we're really sorry about your wedding or your hospital, whirling Frisbees of flying death.

The StumbleUpon this beta replaces is already several versions older than the one I remember. That's common, I guess, for an old person on the web, to remember, vaguely, when something first out, or when it first seemed to appear to them, which is not always when it first appeared, as one is often reminded by people who got online earlier, who can remember pre-internet bulletin boards, and they can't let you express your feelings of having old memories, because theirs are older, and better, and your memories suck compared to theirs, and they young people don't want to hear your memories either, so you end up just being quiet, and when people ask how you are, or what you've been up to, you don't know what to say.

Several hours have elapsed since I wrote the last paragraph. I got distracted by what the "s"  in theirs is for, why it can't have an apostrophe, yet needs to be there. So, to finish this post, I have to read the above, and see if I can figure out what, if any, point I had. There might not have been much of one.

Ok, after reading and editing a bit, I think I see some points

 I'm old or jaundiced enough that "new version!" doesn't give me hope, it makes me expect things will be worse.

I don't feel like people are much interested in what I have to say, also a common feeling for old people.

We humans spend a lot of effort on things of relatively little importance, but relatively little harm, like new versions of StumbleUpon, but that's a lot  better than some of what we spend resources on, like lower priced killing machines.

That's it, I'm through with this post. Going to learn some Esperanto, practice learning the names of countries and I think I'll add learning the capitals of all the counties in the world. I am trying to be able to write all the country names from scratch, no map or other help. I can find most of them on a map, given a list of names. I haven't found a game that actually has all 196 or so, the best I've found is about 160 on a quiz game. I'm also going to see if I can find a game to locate the all the elements on a blank periodic table.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Twitter's Thread Killers: See all activity on, View other replies, Show more, and Other replies to

So far as I can tell, there's not a single page in Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go that includes all the Twitter thread killers, the labels that appear where tweets should be, that Twitter is using now because being able to chat in a coherent, organized, straightforward manner isn't what makes Twitter the most money.

Without any evidence other than timing, my suspicion is that abuse prevention is the driving force behind these coherent communication destroying techniques and the far too often appearance of their labels (link text):

"See all activity on"
"View other replies"
"Show more"
"Other replies to"
"View more in conversation →"
"This Tweet is unavailable"

Here's some Twitter users views of these thread killers:

This active thread by started by @anildash about Apple oddball vertical position for mouse charging is a great example of making following a conversation completely impossible.
If there's an explanation of the motivation behind these coherence destroyers in the Twitter support system, which there ought to be, along with an explanation of exactly when they are triggered, it eludes me so far.

The way Twitter is fragmenting conversation might be the stupidest thing I've seen since I started using the internet. Twitter is supposed to have world class people working for them and turn out a system that make avid users switch to a competitor, Blogger, to gripe about bad they are. It's baffling. 

I think this is an illustrative example of the saying "you get what you pay for", and how systems that are paid for by ads may end up not even being good for ads because they are so bad for the other non-ad-serving task that one tends to think, incorrectly, that they are really for. Twitter started out as a way to chat in short messages in chronological order, and long term users tend to think that's what still what it really is at heart.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

State Zero VFX Breakdown

Great job. Very impressive. I'm a 55 yr sci fi fan, if you count comic
books at age 5. I'm not a fanatic, nor knowledgeable about technical
details nor a student of directors, producers, etc. I think there's a
lot of people like me in these regards. Looks great.

Friday, September 4, 2015

One Pancake One Egg One Bowl One Person No Milk

It's sometimes hard to find recipes for one person, one meal, minimal dishes, no leftovers, and this is especially so when the normal sized, two servings or more recipes call for at least one egg. Who wants to use a half egg?  It's hard to find half chickens that lay half eggs.

Here's a recipe for one full size pancake that uses one egg and only one bowl, instead of two bowls, one for dry and one for wet.  This uses one bowl for both.

One Pancake Recipe:




1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil butter or margarine (Butter will taste better)
1/2 flour



Set pan on stove, and butter or oil, or spray,  to stop sticking. Butter will taste best. You can just rub butter on the pan.

To a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients and stir them, which isn't all that big,

1. Add
    1/2 cup water
    1 egg
    Stir well A fork is fine.

2. Add
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon oil, butter, or margarine

3. Add
    1/2 cup flour

4. Pour into pan. If pan is big enough, one normal full size pancake will do fine.

5. Cook till bubbles are all over surface. Check edges till it looks done enough to suit you. There  should be at least a hint of brown.

6. Flip over, cook roughly the same time, lifting edges with spatula.

Add butter, syrup, jam, or whatever suits you. Nothing is fine. Grated cheese will work,

Meals For One

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Musician Comedian Bo Burnham

Bo Burnham does funny words and nice tunes, somewhat similar to Tim Minchin, Hugh Laurie, Dudley Moore, or Tom Leher.