sistawendy: (drama)
I took Brown Eyes to the opening of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival last night. But before I get into that, I had a little technological scare.

As I was checking my coat* and messing with my evening bag, out of the corner of my eye I noticed that I'd accidentally activated the send-handwriting-by-SMS mode on my iPhone, which I didn't know existed. I didn't think twice about it until about a minute later when it seemed that my phone was completely bricked; the screen wouldn't turn on. This was about twenty minutes before Brown Eyes was due to arrive, and I had visions of her texting me and getting miffed at my lack of response; it could have been worse, but still, suboptimal timing. I spent the rest of the night with a bricked phone, but I plugged it into the charger anyway. This morning it's right as rain.

But! Brown Eyes arrived without incident, we got in & got drinks, and like, totally saw all the art. Notable trends this year: a lot of works featuring children. Maybe it's a parent thing, but BE & I were both a little squicked. Also a relative abundance of depictions of cutty things (which freaks me out) and poky things (which doesn't, as much). They did have one retrospective section which had a couple of faves from SEAFs past. I got to show Brown Eyes a little of what she missed; she'd never been before. The eye candy of the ambulatory variety was as fine as ever - I wish I looked that good in latex - if not as densely packed as I've seen it in the past. I dunno; maybe everybody decided to go tonight instead of last night.

My favorite piece, at least for most of the night (Foreshadowing!) was "Obsession" by Olga Zavershinskaya. Lots of red in a beautifully and meticulously composed photo that speaks to, well, a lot of my desires. At $750, I seriously considered buying a print.

From the Dept. of Be Careful What You Wish For: There's a younger lady, K, whom I've met out & about. I confess to first approaching her because she appeals to my weakness for a certain physical type: she's from Iran, speaking of brown eyes. As my date & I were taking a load off for a minute, K firmly informed me that I needed to come to one of her regular get-togethers at her place, which usually coincide with either Lambert House or dinner with m'boy. She mentioned that she has a trans friend who just started to transition a few months ago, so I may go out of a sense of trans duty. K herself is... intense, perceptive, and probably straight. (She was there with a much older fella.) She has interesting things to say about the difference between how sexism manifests in the US (objectification) vs. Iran (paternalism). She says playing dumb works way better for women here than in Iran.

Toward the end of the evening, Brown Eyes and I had one more look at "Obsession" because I liked it so much, but then something occurred to me.
"Wait a minute. Those hands on her aren't hers, are they?" I asked Brown Eyes.
"Nope." The hands in question, resting on her rib cage with splayed fingers, looked distinctly masculine.
"Fuck that! That's heteronormative. I'm not buying it. I just talked myself out of spending $750!"

I hadn't slept well the night before, and informed BE that as much as I'd love for her to take advantage of me, I might be pretty useless despite my prior consumption of strong tea & yerba mate. She said it was OK, she'd had a tough day full of doctor's appointments. In fact, she'd been quiet the whole evening because, she said, she'd been preoccupied with her upcoming surgery. Aw. I hope I showed her a good time. I think she needed one.

*My leather jacket, to go with my Acres of Dead Cow outfit - over the knee Fluevogs, pencil skirt, bra, opera gloves, all black leather - as requested by Brown Eyes.
sistawendy: (wtf laughing)
Today my team of about ten had a morale event - "mandatory fun", as my boss put it. We did a scavenger hunt around the Seattle Center and Pike Place. I spent the morning running errands and then met them at EMP at noon.

This was all set up by No link, because they've got serious problems, the first of which is plaintext passwords in both web pages and email. No, really. In 2016. They weren't attached to any PCI in our case, but that may just be because my boss, who entered the PCI, wasn't a team captain. Which leads me to another thing: we had three teams of threeish, and we were all on the same quest. More than one would have been nice, or they should have at least told us to stagger our start times.

It was a nice enough quest in terms of the questions they asked, but it seemed to be geared toward people who weren't familiar with the city. Also, we kind of raced to the alcohol and didn't take breaks when we should have. Ah, techies.

Tasty beer at the Brooklyn. I only told a few Burning Man stories, honest.
My son was with his mother last night & today, but is here now. The punkitude seems to be better than usual at the moment.
sistawendy: (lizzy)
Things I've learned today:
  1. The Internet is getting stupid, and not in the usual fashion. For the syringe/needle combo I want - 3ml syringes with 22G needles, no safety features, in a package of dozens - the Internet no longer beats the price/convenience/security* point of just bopping down to my local drug store and picking some up.
  2. Drywall dust is well nigh impossible to remove once it gets wet. Remember back when the ceiling over by bathtub leaked? Well, the drywall dust from the patch is still adhered to my tub, even after using a scrub brush with plastic bristles and then steel wool. Yeah, I know using steel wool on porcelain is pretty questionable, but fear not; I didn't do it much because it didn't work. I'm ready to say "Fuck it" unless you, Internet brain trust, have a better idea.
  3. There are, as of about two years ago, two PCCs near Green Lake on opposite sides. The one nearest me is the smaller, older, and apparently hippier one. The farther one is spacious, new, shiny, and judging from their offerings it caters to tech bro types. I want to hug all the employees at my little store. More vegan sandwiches, please!
  4. Password management apps aren't as easy to use as they need to be.

*There are some sketchy, poorly-written, and poorly-stocked sites out there claiming to sell medical supplies. I can't help wonder if they're preying on the old and the sick.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
After over a year of nagging by mail from Comcast, I upgraded my cable modem. Sure enough, I now get 50 Mbps in my apartment, at least at the off-peak hour of 2200. (My son will probably be thrilled, because he & I used to interfere with each other.) But as I recall, Comcast uses these modems, which are also wireless routers, to sell your home WiFi bandwidth to whoever's in range. Not cool, and the subject of a lawsuit or two.

My solution? Part 1, already implemented, is to use my old Apple wireless router; I also get to keep my nifty network name that way. Part 2, to be done, is putting a Faraday cage around the Comcast box. Since I'm not using the WiFi from it, it should be harmless. It should also nicely sabotage Comcast, yes?
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
On my lovely new iPhone 6, neither Amazon's Kindle app nor its shopping app nor its plain old web site let you buy digital content from an iPhone. For that, you need either a Kindle device or a browser on, say, an Android tablet. I ended up using the last option.

I find this... suspicious. Surely Apple isn't preventing them from doing this, or Amazon would raise hell in court. If it's an attempt to boost Kindle device sales, it didn't work in my case. (I actually do have a bottom-of-the-line Kindle device, but I haven't used it since before I got the Android tablet about six months ago.) If it's just an attempt to screw Apple, well, that didn't work in my case either. I'll beat Jeff Bezos bloody with hardbacks before I give up my iPhone.

So, is this simple incompetence or a rare display of strategic myopia on the part of Amazon? Knowing them as well as I do, I'm guessing it's the latter.
sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
The 2012 MacBook Pro that used to be my work laptop has a super stiff spring in its trackpad. After a long stretch of working from home a few months back, I started to feel some RSI in my right wrist. I got a trackball mouse, which seems to have helped the situation, or at least stopped it from getting worse.

Fast forward to now. The old laptop is now my personal machine, and I have a new MacBook as my work machine. I use the trackball as the mouse for the new machine because, even though the new machine has a much gentler trackpad, it's still an integrated trackpad and therefore ergonomically crummy.

So what to use as a mouse for the old machine? A new Apple Magic Mouse. We'll see if I can make the RSI go away.
And on a completely different note, my I Saw U ad for Megan from 80th is now in the print edition of the Stranger. I hung out & read in the Green Lake Chocolati this morning - same time & day of the week as when we met - but no joy so far. I am as yet undaunted.
sistawendy: (taco madonna)
Now that I've been using my iPhone 6 for a week, I feel like I can compare & contrast it with my old Windows phone:

iPhone is better at:
  • Having apps, period. Everyone supports iPhone, including everyone you care about for all values of you, even if you're a Microsoft employee. Seriously, I've seen at least one Microsoftee vent his frustration online about this.
  • Having apps that work. I kept showing up at the wrong time for hair appointments around daylight savings time because of the Windows calendar app. Granted, maybe they fixed that in Windows Phone 8, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.
Windows is better at:
  • Navigation. Windows has a back button that works like gangbusters within and between apps. Multiple Gmail accounts are easier to switch between on Windows. One long scrollable screen width of largish tiles is easier to get through than many screens of icons no matter how arty they are.
  • Being cheap? I wish I had a second bullet point here, but I don't.
Mind you, the Windows phone I was using was five years old, which may have (ahem) colored my perceptions a bit. I've tried to take that into account here. I will point out that Aspiring Ex has a much more recent Windows phone that I've at least had a peek at, so I think what I've said here is still accurate.
sistawendy: (taco madonna)
I've finally ditched my Windows 7 phone for one that can, you know, run apps: an iPhone 6 with 64GB of storage. That's right, people, I've got Slack for work, Tinder for ahem, and the better majority of my music collection. I am now truly a danger to society.

My skin? The stars & stripes. I just couldn't do the other colors they had and still be visible enough. In one stroke I can annoy transphobic right wingers and internationalist hipsters, and maybe someday Canadians or Europeans. My background? The print of the Mandelbrot set and the butterfly that hangs on my wall by Alex Musgrave. It's me.

Apps snarfed immediately, in chronological order: Slack, Tinder, Facebook, Twitter, One Bus Away, 1Password.

Yeah, I stayed up way too late syncing photos and music. Bluetooth wouldn't play nice with my laptop, so USB it was. I need an extension cord to plug the charger in on my night stand.

My old phone was so old one of the guys behind the counter was afraid he wouldn't be able to get data off of it. He knew the model on sight, of course, and spoke its name with a mixture of disgust and trepidation. It was decent hardware - five years ago.

And with that, one of the last frequently visible* reminders of my Microsoft days is gone. Good riddance for so many reasons.

*I still have a couple of GLEAM t-shirts, which I am of course much fonder of.
sistawendy: (mad woman)
I had drinks with college chum H last night and told her pretty much everything I could remember about my life since I'd seen her last, which was right after surgery three-and-a-third years ago. And you know what? I didn't realize just how awesome that time has been. I mean, I knew good things had happened, but telling all those stories brought it home to me how good it is to feel young when you're not young. I guess dating and work shenanigans had been bringing me down enough lately to need that uplift. Resolved: make the next three-and-a-third years worthy of more stories for H.
Oh yeah: I'm back home from the conference. Did I learn anything? Yes. Was it worth StartupCo's money or my time? Not in my estimation. I've gained a new appreciation for E, the woman who does my employer's analogous conference and does a much better job of vetting the content.

E, by the way, is another queer woman, as were a surprisingly high proportion of the women at this week's conference. Yes, we all know women are underrepresented in the tech industry, but are relatively many of those few women dykes? And if so, why? The tech industry has at least historically been more tolerant of queers than most, though brogrammers may be changing that. Or is it that queer women are more likely to say a mental "fuck you" to the meme that tech is for boys because they say that to all memes that X is for boys for some X? If it's the latter, I pity straight women, and not for the first time.
sistawendy: (weirded out)
The setting: I'd just gotten back from my bike ride & lunch on Sunday. I got a robocall from an eight-digit number claiming to be Bank of America, with whom I have no accounts, saying that my debit card was cancelled. I'd punched in my debit card number, complete with verification code, when it asked for my full Social Security number.

The penny finally dropped. Did I mention I was tired & hung over? I hung up and cancelled my debit card, which took twenty minutes. Several nervous refreshes of my credit union's page convinced me that the phishers didn't manage to charge anything. Whew!

Fun fact: most of the robotic voice was synthesized into an American accent, but the voice reading back CCN digits was a recorded Australian (!) man.

I've filed a police report online, where SPD is at pains to point out that they probably won't investigate it. Nevertheless, I appreciate the convenience.

I got a new debit card with a new number today thanks to First Tech and their card printer, so one adventure later I'm none the worse for wear.
sistawendy: (mad woman)
Happiness is:
  1. When Mom calls at 2030 my time (2330 her time!) and I successfully walk her through getting Skype working so m'boy & I can have a video call this weekend with Mom, Good Sister, and Good Sister's younger daughter, whom I haven't seen in over five years. The secret, it turned out, was to get Mom to delete her contact info for me in the Skype client to keep it from trying to dial my phone every time. We hadn't used Skype since before the Microsoft acquisition, I don't think, so I shouldn't be surprised that something like this happened.
  2. This week I've twice gone two days without shaving my face and felt completely comfortable doing so. That hasn't happened since I was what, 17? And even then it was because I wasn't yet aware of the fuzz growing out of my face. Electrolysis works. Eventually.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
I'm guessing that you guys have probably heard of Ello, a new social networking site. (Yes, yet another one.) What I like about this one, though, is that its business model is more akin to LJ's than Facebook's or Twitter's, i.e. you're the customer and not the product. Ello is also pretty well designed, even if it is in beta. I've posted all of one entry. If you want an invitation, hit me up. It's pretty quiet over there so far.

You may ask, at least if you're me, "Why can't LJ be again what it once was?" I'd love to think that it can be, but I think LJ's management let its interface languish for too long, and now it's acquired a patina of age that will prove impossible to scrub away on the internet. [ profile] nerds_eye_view describes LJ as "retro".
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
Scene: Saturday morning. The Wendling is driving us to Kirkland, and we've just crossed the 520 bridge. The road wiggles because of major construction: approaches for the new bridge. M'boy doesn't quite follow the wiggles.

Wendling: Was I drifting again?
Nun: Yes!

Here's what I've noticed about him: he can pay attention to his direction for several seconds at a stretch, or he can pay attention to his speed for several seconds at a stretch. But when you're driving, you have to switch off faster than that.
The calendar app that ships with Windows Phone 7 doesn't handle daylight saving time properly. It made me late for my appointment with [ profile] razorbits, which is why, sadly, I didn't get awesome foils done.

How do I know I didn't just fat-finger it? Because my phone also lied about yesterday's zappy appointment, which is nearly always at the same time on the same day of the week. Both appointments were entered right before the Great Leap Forward but occurred afterwards.

Once again, I got a product from Microsoft that's worth what I paid for it: $0.00.
Speaking of zappy, I continue to be pleased with progress. The only area I have left on my face or neck that isn't predominantly perma-cleared is the center of my throat. Ms. Zappy contends that I only have another couple of months left of six-hour sessions; after that I won't have enough hair on me to go longer than four hours at a stretch.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
Unexpected thing #1: An anxious co-worker urged me to go to a seminar by a distributed database vendor a few blocks away today. I went, and most of the presentations were reassuringly familiar - they were pitched at developers like me who've had some experience as DB users. They were even a bit basic. However, the StartupCo folks and I are trying to pick a vendor, and for that the seminar may have nudged me in a direction different from the one its organizers intended. C'est la tech.
Unexpected thing #2: Some of you may remember that Strawberry Blond Sister, a.k.a. Evil Sister, has run into serious money trouble. Her creditors have called the old old place, where Nibs stonewalled them. I approve. As nasty as she's been, I'm not going to kick her when she's down, especially since she's trying to keep things together for her two daughters, the nieces I may not see until they're adults.
Unexpected thing #3, a context-free confession: I said something stupid in front of a bi friend of mine the other night, just days after defending bisexuals from Nibbal ignorance. I blame a perfect storm of alcohol, sudafed, and keenly felt rejection.
That was kind of emo, wasn't it? I may just stop by Pony tonight to say hi to the Siberian Siren & L. It's a pity Nibs said on my way here that she wasn't going to return for another hour.
Unexpected thing #4: I had the pleasure of listening to m'boy practice his Torah portion for Rosh Hashannah. I don't live with him anymore and I've never been officially Jewish, but oy, such nakhes!

res gestae

Aug. 28th, 2012 09:56 pm
sistawendy: (prabob)
The day didn't start auspiciously: right after the Comcast guy came, somebody started doing something seriously vibratory to the floor in the apartment above mine. I also found that Comcast doesn't do wireless routers. Then I went to 425-land to get my repaired vacuum cleaner, and had to wait for boat traffic through the 520. (Yes, it's a concrete pontoon drawbridge.) Then I got on the bus without my laptop, had to get off partway to work, and come back to the Lake Place. No laptop, no work.

However, once I got to work, I fixed my first bug. Yes, it took a lot of hand-holding, and no, I haven't figured how to send out a code review yet, but at least I believe I've got it.

And I got an Apple Airport Express wireless router at [ profile] tithonium's suggestion, and it's currently carrying my bits to you. The setup wasn't quite as slick as I expected - I'm already spoiled by Apple products - but it was still pretty good. That's right: Internet and wireless on the same day. (Cue the gasping and panting.) My fifties paradise apartment is now squarely in the twenty-first century.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
I spent my last day off of the holidays, yesterday, as the MS Access database monkey for two different organizations.

First, the PTA at my son's school. Other folks have taken over the part I find stressful, namely arranging all of the activities and making sure the presenters have what they need. I'm doing the part they find stressful: scheduling the students per their preferences as much as possible. Symbiosis is happy making. I find a DB much less anxiety-inducing than pissed-off students & parents.

Second, Lambert House. I've been tweaking a monstrous and VB-infested pair of DBs to do things like remind volunteers to fill out annual intake forms, and get the race data sliced & diced the way the city of Seattle, one of our donors, wants it. Yes, Access is silly, but rewriting the whole damn thing is not how anyone wants me to spend my time. Besides, Access does a fairly decent job of building & integrating custom UIs. If only it didn't speak pidgin SQL.
sistawendy: (dolly)
Had a long, lovely evening at the Merc with [ profile] rigel_p. It kills me that she lives so far away.
My phone is dead, Jim. I was in the middle of unlocking it last night after I got home when the phone refused to believe that I'd stopped pressing one of the numbers on the screen. Then it refused to respond to any touch at all. I'm draining the battery in the desperate hope that a reboot will fix it. I do not want to lose what on that phone, mainly pics.

ETA: Popping the battery out did the trick duh. Nibs had to remind me to try that. I'm so used to iPods, which don't let you do that.
Gonna be a PTA DB monkey in 20 minutes. Mabye gonna be a Lambert House DB monkey again this weekend. Ook!
2011 was arguably the best year of my life. I'm left wondering if I'll ever improve on it. I've got some gnarly life problems to deal with in the near future, but I think there's plenty of room for improvement. It's even possible that my solutions to the gnarly stuff can be part of that improvement.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Yesterday's adventure was to get from my hotel to Amoeba Music, just steps from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, without any taxi or other car. So, that meant taking SamTrans (i.e. San Mateo county's buses) to CalTrain to BART to Muni to get there.

I got on the Muni 71 going the wrong way at first and ended up waiting forever for the one going in the right direction. I didn't mind too much, though, because it was a beautiful, sunny day and I was on Market St. in San Francisco. I got to check out what people were wearing. Trends: crazy tight pants, lots of leggings, chunky-shafted boots, sweater dresses. I saw one woman (?) older than I am ride a bicycle helmetless down the double yellow line in a red velvet miniskirt and heels. That's what I love about San Francisco.

What I don't love about San Francisco is aggressive panhandlers and other two-legged nuisances. They didn't bother me personally, but that was a matter of luck. I can tell they're a problem that a tourist town like San Francisco can ill afford.

Public transit has a last-mile problem, definitely in the Bay area, and everywhere else in my opinion. CalTrain & BART are dreams of spaciousness, frequency, and swiftness, but if you're at all off the beaten track (even Haight Street in San Francisco?!) then frequency of service will be far too poor for anybody but a fanatical tourist like me. Never mind the sardine scene that is Muni.

What to do about it? A quick look at my beloved King County Metro's expenses seems to indicate that automating driving & maintenance would be the biggest win.
Why am I sleepy right now? Because Mom texted me from her BlackBerry at 0645 this morning Pacific time, thinking she was emailing me. And who taught her how to text from her BlackBerry? Need you ask? In all fairness to Mom, by default BlackBerry unifies all text & email messages in one view, and unlike Windows Phone 7 it doesn't have an obvious way to get to the separate kinds of messages. That's more convenient in some senses, but it could (and did) confuse somebody who was new to the technology.

I just washed a bunch of undies & socks. I brought more than one pair of undies per day of my (non-hospital) stay, but I was bleeding so much when I got out of the hospital that it wasn't enough.
Tomorrow I'll be visiting N, who was the best man at my wedding, in dowtown San Mateo; [ profile] trystbat, whom I met at a wedding, in Palo Alto; and college chum H and her hubby D back here in Foster City. I'll be getting a CalTrain day pass and flogging the hell out of it. Mmu hu hwaugh huh hah ha!

ETA: Picked up at Amoeba: The Knife, Neon Indian, and the KLF.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Remember the BYODJ (Be Your Own DJ) parties that I (tried to) have at the old place? Well, now there's something like that on the Internet, only better in some ways:, where you & others upload & play MP3s you like. My fave room? "Electronic music snobs return", of course.

Big, big thanks to [ profile] xaotica for turning me on to this.

I'm kicking myself for not doing or the electronic snobs room first.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
Yesterday I waited in a long line1 and got a new HTC Trophy, which runs Windows Phone 7, from my longtime carrier, Verizon. My take on it is: it's a touchscreen smartphone that works. This quality distinguishes it from my previous phone, which ran Windows Mobile 6.1 and could barely browse.

Nice: customizable tiles optimize access to frequently-used applications, thumbnails that tell you something, good speed & UI generally. Plus, it isn't AT&T. :)
Less nice: I can't set an MP3 as a ringtone, at least not yet. The free versions of the Twitter & Facebook apps are a little klunky, but there are non-free apps out there now.

Say two former owners of Droids near me2, WinPhone 7 kicks Droid's butt for even simple tasks like email. Nyeh heh heh.

1Four. And a half. Hours. Yeah, I got a sweet deal on it. Shaddup. I was one of the last handful to get one that day. My old phone was starting to have trouble holding onto charge, so I wanted it badly.
2They may have reason to be biased, but that doesn't happen much in private.


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