Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Chimichurri and the Meaning of Life

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

BingoBoingo: re: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-11-15#1872387 How is Chimichurri Raptorson doing these days?

There is a time in the flow of duckitude ripe with thought and reflection, ever eager for an answer to that nagging void: when shall the next trocito of premium yellowtail materialize?

cml1

Yes, his is a philosophical adolescence, a blooming of quill-topped q-tips o'er the wings, a chortling curiosity towards twins.

cml2

The great horizons call, full of wonderment and hermit crabs. A duck cannot but wonder: why is he here?

cml3

Who invented the lambada?

cml4

If a feather grows in the forest and there's no one around to scratch it, does it make an itch?

cml5

No matter the conundrum, the conclusion tends the same. A sunny disposition's the thing, whether doing laps in the sea or in wild bewilderment.

Who's responsible for this?!

Friday, November 16th, 2018

What is any particular being responsible for? The greater difficulty of this question results from a fundamental misunderstanding of what responsibility means in the first place. Typically it's confused with guilt, inasmuch as a question as to irresponsibility is likely to arise only when shit has somewhere met a fan, and a culprit or scapegoat is sought. But being responsible doesn't necessarily mean having fucked something up. Rather, it is the state --quite without qualitative consideration-- of being he who answers.

For himself, for a sequence of events, for other people, for acts of god, whatever it may be. A person can be responsible for anything, so long as they can answer for that thing, which means delivering rationale capable of fully satisfying any and every reasonable question about said thing. The old trope of someone being told they're "not responsible for the entire world" speaks then not to the emotional pressure of feeling guilty or having urges to help others, but to the factual impossibility of being actually answerable for every other human being, to all the other human beings.

It follows that being responsible, then, isn't something that can be jotted into a schedule just-so; there's no seat-of-the-pants way to be answerable as the state itself is defined by constancy. Yes, and forethought, but forethought without follow-through of internalization and continual perception and reaction is exactly the substance of so many protestations against irresponsibility by the well-intentioned. Setting aside some time for a thing is eminently not the same as overseeing it. Just ask the last couple of generations of kids that spent their childhoods attending "family time" and who otherwise lack any actual family worth the mention.

It also follows that responsibility isn't something that can be levied on someone; the onus to be responsible, yes, but in actual fact only an agent may be responsible, and only by actually being so. There's absolutely no space for subjectivity or interpretation; one is responsible or not, and whether they were told or begged to be so or whether nobody even knew is entirely incidental.

Responsibility is a state, and I'm hard-pressed for an example of someone who could demonstrably turn it on and off, switching as convenient. Sure, some selection is required in the bag; one must pick who and what they'll answer for. Maybe one's even stuck with the responsibility for something they'd rather never consider again. This is also part and parcel of the concept, however. Dropping something when it becomes unpleasant, when one's ability seems to falter, letting it slip one's mind, even, are tantamount to irresponsibility. That's not even a bad thing, in itself, either! Remember: there's no qualitative aspect involved, here. It's just a state. Sometimes being irresponsible is the right thing.

In any case, though, constancy is an absolute requirement. "I'll take the responsibility" may never be something said after the fact, but only before it. A lack of understanding as to whether it could happen again, as to whether the doohickeys involved were green or red or fat or old, necessarily denotes irresponsibility, no matter whether one tried, or how hard, or how great they are, or anything else.

At least, that's how I feel about it.

Ingenohl, the Anti-Chucker

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Friedrich von Ingenohl, that is. Ever heard of him? Me neither, 'til I served dinner tonight and after the third bite of Orange Chicken it was "So let me ask you this." ("Ask me.") "How did World War I start?". We won't belabor the precious few paragraphs that followed, accepted more or less as they were after several years of violent dissociation from ninth grade social studies and the occasional quasi-conscious polish. Of specific interest is those paragraphs' reward, the following cascade: 1) Germany decided it lost the war because of traitorous elements among its own people; 2) reality decided that Germany lost the war because it failed at sea; 3) the very sailors witness to this failure eventually had enough and threw their silly hats into the ring of the revolution that spawned the Weimar Republic. Freidrich von Ingenohl sits at the center of this sequence, having thoroughly embodied the failure at sea responsible for Germany's loss of WWI, and arguably therefore WW2, and arguably thence-and-hence-forth.

Ingenohl received his post as commander-in-chief of the German Navy in 1913 after nearly forty years of dicking about with the same outfit in East Asia. His inheritance was a capable fleet not at all subject to the "inferior materiel problem" that might vaguely rattle around between the ears of poor sods originally educated in the same sad schooling system as I. No, Ingenohl's navy was stacked with excellent battleships and submarines, and he brought several dozen to fuck up England's northeast coast in December of 1914, including a few very heavy dreadnoughts. Some of these he left as massive reinforcements stationed a little closer to home, "just in case". Despite an arguably superior naval force and despite the considerable advantage of being able to sit in port while England's ships were obliged to patrol, Ingenohl was nervous. Possibly he contracted it from the Kaiser, who'd warned him to avoid unnecessary losses, whatever that means. In any case, Ingenohl was nervous, and he went to war with it.

His underling Admiral Hipper took a few of the ships close to shore, where they damaged a few ports and several hundred port-dwellers. The weather was on the Germans' side --the fog gave the land batteries an extra challenge-- and England had a slow start rousing ships for defense. Eventually she sent a submarine, and Hipper fled. George Warrender1, Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy, gave chase with a motley, but small, assortment. The shitty weather and report of a single enemy ship spotted prompted Warrender to send a mere six battleships towards the lurking behemoth of Ingenohl's reserve force. Shots were fired; at least three of the British ships were hit; one in particular managed to fire a torpedo from its flailing wreckage; it was not really quite dawn yet; Ingenohl was nervous. There was smoke and noise and hey maybe the entire fucking Royal Navy is nigh and Kaiser said "careful"! So he left.

He'd've blown Warrender's business to smithereens with ease, but he left. With the exception of naval minister Alfred von Tirpitz, who had already been throwing fits about Ingenohl and protested that he'd had the fate of Germany in his hand at that moment, nobody seems to have been conscious of the meaning of this abject failure. Men stuck sitting around the docks and dinghies Ingenohl oversaw apparently took a confused sort of umbrage; but the official lines, in and out of Germany, forgot and forgave Ingenohl in some magic admixture that prevents his psychological disorder from being studied as much as it deserves.

stashio

Pretty good moustache, tho'.

  1. Was his name all he needed for his military resume?! I mean.... []

The (appropriately-proportioned) Ballad of Chimichurri

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

O mottled beak and pink, webbed feet
that wobble with my boots,
No earthly dangers could defeat
the fierceness of his poops.

chimi1

And though his down be tinged with gold
don't brand him yellow-belly.
This duckling's jumped an inch, all told
to get into the jelly.

chimi5

A mountain-duck by birth, he deigned
to live amongst the valley
and eat entireties of worms, and
all crumbs he can rally.

chimi2

And I ken it's through these very feats
that Thursday's 56g
when added to his tonne of treats
is Monday's 71.3

chimi4

His awesome mass is multiplied
by awesome wealth; it's testified
he vanquished all the pond's paltroons
and sleeps now 'top his won dubloons.

chimi3

Yea, the price of valor's a lofty nap,
quack quack quack quack quack quack quack.

***

Also, aside from inspiring Vogon poetry, baby ducks also make excellent pets for people attempting to adjust their daily schedules earlier.

From Scratch

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Have you ever watched something get built from scratch? Precursors included; packaged convenience left entirely by the wayside?

Have you ever thrown out an idea because the very tower of necessaries that must be made aforehand seems to grow at a rate greater than your ability to make them? Have you ever sacrificed the correct assemblage of a thing in favor of a pre-existing solution? The "what can you do?" excuse is there, always waiting to slick its tongue in the door when the finite nature of one's time on earth is weighed against the laundry list of one's self-appointed tasks.

However tempting it may be to decry the toil of The Right Thing, it is still right. However much of a bargain The Cheap Thing1 may present, it is still a bad bargain if it leaves The Right Thing behind.

Building from scratch is an awesome difficulty. It is also one of the few things worth doing in a world where most have spent their lives contributing to cheap, wrong, packaged convenience rather than the paving of correct steps towards actual goals2.

Let us witness, then, the triumphs of one Mircea Mircescu:

popflood
My own poor Grenadine was nearly deafened by the trumpets of her fellow's several successive victories. Were she not obliged to offer a vivat and quaff a spot of Alchemist's Cheap Gin each time, she might've even been lucid enough to have achieved something, herself!

toppops
The ranking of pots won over the past thirty days. I hear Daniel Barron is looking to break into the carabiner market.

Perhaps it could be said that it's easier for a virtual man to build himself such glories from scratch than for a man of meat. Mircescu, ostensibly, felt no pangs of the stomach or loins3, had no consideration for sleep or toothache, and was never interrupted by blitzes of Sprint vs. MCI callcenter rate offers.

Nevertheless, he was still obliged to pull grass from the earth until there was enough with which to make rope. To use rope to haul in flotsam from the shore until it could be worked with other such trifles, just as hardly won, to make tools. Solely to make the further purchase of trifling items more practicable. Eulora's seemingly oppressive chain of requisites for anything resembling progress is as a poem for reality. Removed from the hard fact of actually bleeding fingers as felt in the world beyond the borders of the screen, its world permits a more visible, paradoxically more tangible, affair between right and reward.

Not that it's any clearer what The Right Thing is. But Mircescu seems to have a decent hunch. And he ought to be celebrated.

Huzzah!

* * *

  1. The Wrong Thing may be just as toilsome, and so employed as a result of confusion, or of outright malice. The Cheap Thing, and look that it's not even properly codified, the insidious bastard, isn't necessarily wrong, it's just necessarily less toilsome. The fact that what is Cheap is often also Wrong is the only true evil I know, and the principal problem of anyone attempting to move rationally through their existence. []
  2. I do not pretend to have, nor do I imagine I ever will, fully digest or even be entirely aware of the work of human history's exceptions. The sentiment is rather born of the experience of "modern living", inasmuch as that means the very state of having to trudge through ever-enthickening swamps of "solutions" that are nothing like solutions at all. []
  3. Though I hear something along these lines is being brewed for implementation. []

hanbot's ZNC bouncer notes

Friday, August 31st, 2018

My current ISP, cavalcade of dipshits that they are, has taken to peppering my daily routine with disconnects, making an IRC bouncer necessary in the stew of damage control on my stove1.

ZNC's installation and initial configuration processes are painless enough. Make yourself a dir, cd into it, and grab source:


curl -s https://znc.in/releases/znc-1.7.1.tar.gz -o znc-1.7.1.tar.gz

Unpack, cmake, and install:


tar -xzvf znc-1.7.1.tar.gz
cd znc-1.7.1
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="$HOME/where/you/want/it" -DOPENSSL_ROOT_DIR=/usr/bin2
make
make install

Then create a config file by specifying the full path of your installation in the prefix above followed by --makeconf . ZNC's docs suggest znc --makeconf alone will do this; ten wasted minutes of my life suggest otherwise.

You'll have to pick a port for ZNC to listen on among the prompts that follow. Otherwise, default options've proven fine for me. Launch ZNC when prompted at the end of the configuration dialogue.

Now all that's squared away, official docs and search result flotsam step in with the true timewasting bullshit of dropping anything resembling actionable steps, sense, or the English fucking language. All IRC users are also goats of the same age and gender, right? No need to declare antecedents for "the" password, just dandy to specify "server" password in some forms but not others, certainly no problem to be explicit to the degree of telling folks to cd to a fucking directory but neglecting to mention which network components need what information, and where.

So then, first tell ZNC where you want it to connect via the same's webadmin. Point your browser to http://your.server's.ip:portyouspecified/ . Log in, mosey to "Your settings" on the right-hand menu, and add a network with irc.freenode.net, port 6697. Check the SSL box. Put something you like in the "network name" field up top. Hit "save and return" at the very bottom of the page.

Now, tell your IRC client how to connect to ZNC. I used xchat, where this stuff is accessed under xchat/network list. Click "Add", highlight the stupid default server name that pops up, and enter your.ZNC.server's.ip:portyouspecified . Yes, the separator shows in established server details as a forward slash. Yes, the syntax is actually a forward slash. No, entering the same forward slash will not fucking work, it'll overwrite what you entered with the original default bullshit. Give it a colon; it'll convert it into a forward slash on return. This shit's so enraging they ought to market it as a depilation treatment.

Anyway, in the User name field, enter your ZNC admin name, forward slash (no kidding, it works on its own now), network name from the ZNC webadmin network settings (that very same something you like). The server password is the same as your ZNC webadmin password. Feed it your Nickserv password if it makes you happy. Close the dialogue and connect.

***

  1. Shitty mixed metaphors brought to you by hours of enraged wrangling; may this guide spare you similar emissions. []
  2. This is the Pizarro shared box's openssl path at the time of this writing, change as needed. []

And they said you can't take it with you.

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

"Hey, get my other pair of underwear out of the trunk?"
"Anything else?"
"And the water."
"You want some fruit?"
"Yeah. Bring the banana for the crabs."
"And an apple? Orange? Some juice?"
"Bring the whole lot. Better yet, bring the whole car."

There's a sweet spot between the convenience of mobile provisions and the hassle of managing all the little tasks that go into stocking, sorting, packing, and retrieving, where that which one wants, one gets, with minimal administration. Banal as it may seem, there's little better than supreme and simple outfitting in the remote wild, which is where the preceeding exchange took place --a place with orders of magnitude more hermit crabs than people, by count, by mass, by whatever metric you'd like.

Apparently hermit crabs like bananas, among other things it's hard to imagine stumbling upon just-so on a shore human scrapsmaking rarely blesses. A particularly ripe one went in, therefore, with the other trunkstuffs unknown to beachkind, like a towel large enough to accommodate any particular angle of lazing about, and a thermos full of clove-infused cafe au lait.

I navigated surf-smoothed1 feet through the short trail of hot sand towards the car, skipping over judgment-browed iguanas and fraying coconut husks. And stopped cold. A heron! Head stretched tall in wary regard, he spent but a second to raise his wings and fly from just in front of the hood to a grassy clearing some feet away.

heron
Leaving him be to continue his automobile inspection2, I returned to The Great Towel Island with All the Trunk Things and the Banana Relief for Hermitty Victims of Crabreality began in earnest. Three grand chunks were flung, and several perambulating shells were observed approaching, and eventually coming to rest upon, the soft yellow anomaly.

Then came the crow, swift, merciless, and robbed these gentle curmudgeons of one chunk (the reader may take comfort in the report that no crabs were seen still attached)! A few minutes passed -- a heated discussion on the provenance of the winch took place -- seawater previously imbibed found routes from out of various holes in various heads. The crow returned. A female, stricken with that particular cruel joke of sexual dimorphism favoring males with brilliant oil-slick blues while the girls go brownly by. She landed several feet from her desired prize, unsure if the banana bit was a bit too close to wiggling toes. She meekly approached, foot-gawk-foot, --and I laughed wholeheartedly at the cautious maneuver, which sent the bird hopping back a ways. She eyed me, attempted one step bananawise, and sent me pealing again. Three times more with this routine and she had had it, sitting sadly on a branch back at the treeline. Apparently it's not only adolescent boys who cannot abide the sound of women laughing. All the better for the crabs, who care not for such trifles --for they are neither sea, nor salt, nor slightly rotten fruit.

Back in the valley, it happened one afternoon that we'd been walking mile after bus-flanked mile over unsteady sidewalks, klaxon-blasted and asphalt-fatigued into desperation for a break. What luck that a certain "anime cafe" was there, tucked into the parking lot of an office supply store. Rainbow-ropelights and well-trod astroturf stairs beckoned. Into dayglo knick-knack paradise we oozed. Did you know that Costa Rica has some of the best, ripest, loveliest tropical fruit in the world? Costa Ricans do not know. For which reason you're well-advised, when ordering anything fruit-based here, to request the item "sin azucar". I forgot to ask Gothic Alice in Wonderland to omit the stuff from my guanabana batido, no doubt distracted by the Hello Kitty popcorn machine and 4' Domo-kun plushie staring me down in the hallway.

guanabana-1

It was like trying to drink one of those scented markers from second grade. And it came with whatever this guy is --though I must admit I can't locate him again, and that possibly he was a mere hallucination caused by the two gulps of sugar-with-some-guanabana-in-it I took before pushing Diabetes Tumbler (that's a "medium", for the record) aside.

guanabana-2

Getting what you want is a lot easier in the middle of nowhere.

  1. The sand here is volcanic, varyingly fine, and this particular time actually managed to bleed my ankles a little in the rather turbulent waves. That aside, best pedicure one could ask for. []
  2. I received no official papers indicating pass or fail by review of Heronity. []

MP-WP: Genesis Regrind

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Cause for this regrind consists of the lack of a proper manifest file as per the official Republican spec, along with the incorrect directory structure, both of which have been addressed in this new genesis vpatch.

The recently-released patch for comments has been included, as has a minor cosmetic/derpatic change to image files, the names of which no longer contain spurious remnants of their pre-svgization filetypes.

Files:
* mp-wp_genesis.vpatch
* mp-wp_genesis.vpatch.hanbot.sig

Note: this genesis was built and press-tested with phf's vtools, via its keccak head.

MP-WP: Fix for Comments vpatch

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Previously, fresh installs of MP-WP required a fair amount of futzing1 before comments would work.

This vpatch modifies /blog/wp-comments-post.php and the comments.php files in both themes' subdirectories such that commenting should work without any configuration requirements upon instalation, keeping MP's antispam functionality intact, naturally.

Files:
mp-wp_comments-fix.vpatch
mp-wp_comments-fix.vpatch.hanbot.sig

This patch is just shy of three weeks late, the fact of which is about as embarrassing as why: I still retain certain cockroaches. Three weeks' worth of "dude I still haven't made that patch" sessions is how long it took me to realize the only way this was getting done, by me anyway, was with a fucking pen and a sheet of paper, and writing out a "stupid" "unnecessary" graph of the problems and the attempted solutions, with their results. 'Cause I oughta be able to just do it, right? Harr.

Anyway, next up is MP's request for a mass file uploader.

  1. Copy-pasting the $suffix string between one of the two included themes' comments handler and the top-level post file in the case of the "Default" theme, and modifying both said string and comment field variables when using "Classic". []

The State of the Cards

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

As a companion item to http://btcbase.org/log/2018-05-22#1816592, here's the current state of supposed Bitcoin-linked Debit cards.

tl;wr At some point there may have been a market amongst these things, if we're to take the mass of reports, reviews, and similar pretense available online for anything other than ad-copy and scam fodder. In any case, in January of this year the company (Wavecrest) responsible for processing, verifying, or otherwise fucking with the Bitcoin-to-Debit conveyor cut all ties with card providers and their clients, resulting in a sinkhole of empty promises, feeble forward-looking statements, and absolutely zero actual utility.

The Would-Be Contenders

BitPay (bitpay.com)

Leaving aside everything else that's wrong with this outfit (see here: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-03-11#1787563 and here: http://trilema.com/2015/time-to-rehash-that-old-strategic-superiority-discussion/ and here: http://trilema.com/2014/bitcoin-in-argentina-exactly-nothing-to-do-with-the-derps/ and here: http://qntra.net/2015/09/bitpay-claims-hack-amounting-to-5000-bitcoins/ ), BitPay's debit cards (should they actually exist) are only available with in the United States, and applicants are required to hand over their Social Security Numbers --something no non-governmental agency is legally permitted to even ask (and something you're well advised to resist, seeing how the principal source of information used in identity theft comes from the inept maintenance of computer infrastructure by these exact culprits).

Cryptopay (cryptopay.me)

After a 15m registration process and a stroll through the extensive KYC verification required to get its cards to spit out more than a pittance, Cryptopay rewards applicants with a note: "Unfortunately you can't order a new Cryptopay card now due to the sudden programme closure by our card issuing bank. We're working on the solution, stay tuned."

Wagecan (wagecan.com)

This one has no notes about advertised products being mysteriously unavailable lurking in your lunchbox, but this at the cost of $200 upfront for the card and the usual KYC requirements, which can only be completed after the fee's been paid. How much the bribe to get the verification "approved" is isn't mentioned on the site. Plainly obvious scam, in other words.

Spectrocoin (spectrocoin.com)

If I see one more ad with that salt-n-pepper-haired fuck winking at me I'm going to lose my shit, you know? Especially since the card is advertised all over the web, and claims about it are plastered all over the site, but you'll have to talk to support to read that "Unfortunately our cards are not available, though we expect to have them this quarter."

Wirex (wirexapp.com)

Waits for users to sign up before mentioning that cards "will be available in a little while." With an account, you can sign up for a wait list --which as of today puts one at the 55k mark.

UQUID (uquid.com)

After an especially toilsome registration process which includes making no less than three separate passwords and takes a good half hour, UQUID simply spits "Sorry, service requested is not available. Please try again later." Whether "later" is more or less than "a little while" isn't indicated.

Xapo (xapo.com)

Despite still showing up on various card review lists etc, Xapo (a member of the F.DERP shame listing has silently erased all traces of offering any sort of card from its website.

Shift (Coinbase) (shiftpayments.com)

Advertised as a card that "plugs into" a Coinbase account, Shift is only available in the United States, and goes so far as to block IPs outside the zone from engaging in this "plugging". In any case, there's a reason Coinbase has been identified as a scam as far back as February 2013.

Bitwala (bitwala.com)

Nearly every sentence on Bitwala's site is appended with an asterisk. Why? It's not actually "launched" yet, but you can "pre-register" --which as of today puts one at the 25k mark.

Coinsbank (coinsbank.com)

"Cards temporarily unavailable."

Bitnation (tse.bitnation.co)

This was referenced as a card issuer on some list of reviews, but seems to be nothing more than a few images of geographical regions, idiot mugs, and links to social media accounts. I still don't know what it is even supposed to be.

Bitplastic (bitplastic.com)

Expired domain. And I thought there's value in such "virtual real estate"!

Raxcard (raxcard.com)

No verification mentioned, but between the $50 charge for signup and multiple reports of the payment being made only for the operators to respond with a "Sorry, we sent you the wrong address to pay to, please send us another $50", there's little doubt this is a simple scam.

Coinsbank (coinsbank.com)

First there's an announcement that "withdrawals to VISA cards are temporarily unavailable." Then "no debit cards available."

CoinJar (coinjar.com)

Waits for users to sign up to notify them that the card, if it exists, only works in Australia. Needless to say, this is exactly not how cards work.

ANXPRO (anxpro.com)

Visit the site as a guest, be regaled with heaps of boilerplate on their fabulous card etc. Sign up, and all mention of any card magically disappears, but "new card solutions are coming".

Advanced Cash (advcash.com)

"The card platform is not available." As usual, you have to sign up to even see this.

Mobi (mobi.me)

No card mentioned on site, despite being referred to variously online as a debit card issuer.

Worldcore (worldcore.eu)

Notes that its card is not available for use in all regions, but requires extensive KYC verification process before they'll even tell you whether your region qualifies. Pro tip: no, it does not.

Revolut (revolut.com)

"Currently only available in Europe." Also requires some application to use, which can't be downloaded on non-Euro IPs, not that there's any hope it'd work at all.

BCCpay (bccpay.co)

"We're performing maintenance at the moment. Sorry."