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I'm a PC sugar-daddy no more: time to pay the full costs of Windows yourself [19 Aug 2009|01:13am]

My computer support policy as of last night:

I'm done. I've already allowed Windows to rob me of far too much precious free time, and thus have vowed to never again perform any Windows repairs, for anyone. If you want my help with your computer, and you're running Windows, my help will be limited by the rules below.

  1. I don't fix Windows PCs. Ever. Don't even ask. I don't care if you're a family member, my girlfriend, or the second coming of Christ: I. Will. Not. Fix. Your. Windows. Computer.

  2. Removing viruses and spyware: see rule #1, but with double the “HELL NO.” Viruses and spyware are almost assuredly your fault. You've gotten this virus/spyware for one of 3 reasons:

    1. You're cheap. You didn't want to pay Microsoft $50/year for OneCare, even though you know you should have. Now your antivirus subscription is expired (or never got started in the first place) making you the proud new owner of your own private zoo of vicious malware! You being a tightwad: your problem.

    2. You're lazy. You bought antivirus software, but you were too lazy to read those few dialog boxes which constantly popped up, begging you to enable automatic updates for Windows and for your antivirus software, with which you never would have had this constant stream of porn popup ads appearing on your desktop. Yes, but wait... that would have been at least like 4 full minutes NOT spent on the crucial work of sending virtual hugs to all your Facebook friends! What is the lesson here? Your sloth: your problem.

    3. You're really cheap. You have antivirus software, but it's some barely adequate freebie package you heard about from the computer armchair-expert at the office. With your PC armored with the software equivalent of paper mache, you went out to torrent sites, pirating software and downloading the Dave Matthews discography, knowing deep down it was a bad idea, and probably at least a little bit wrong. But as we've established, you're really cheap, so you visited and plundered anyhow. Yarr! Congratulations matey, yer PC has scurvy, and yer resumé file's carryin' the computer herpes!

  3. While I'm at it, all of the above applies to Macs, too. Of course, if you have a Mac, you probably don't need help fixing it, you need help selling Amway door-to-door to raise the mad cash for that MacBook.

  4. I am a complete sucker for supporting Open Source software. Come to me with OpenOffice problems, Fedora Linux issues, Firefox questions; I am your support bitch once more. At least those systems don't actively strive to hide valuable troubleshooting information. Get me drunk enough and I might even help fix those apps on your Windows PC.

Running Windows has major costs associated with it. (Protip: it's more than just the $180 you pay for that shiny install disc, or the $50/yr for Norton. Think harder.)  Time to carry that shitty burden yourself – I ain't your PC pack mule no mo'.

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Now you have *two* problems. [17 Jul 2009|03:48pm]
[ mood | grumpy ]

Especially in the Open Source and "Web 2.0" communities, tabs in user interfaces and the concept of tags have become ridiculously overused and abused in creating software.  It's time to create a variant of one of my favorite JWZ-isms: 

"Some people, when confronted with a problem, think 'I know, I'll use tabs|tags.'  Now they have two problems."

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TV-out in Fedora 10 - not too hard [21 Feb 2009|04:10pm]
[ mood | pleased ]

Got TV out working in Fedora 10 today.  Took me under 10 minutes (and that includes the time spent Googling for instructions).  For reference, I have a Dell Inspiron e1505, and I was using the S-Video input on the TV.

It was pretty simple.  First, I ran the following from a terminal:
xrandr --output TV --auto

Then, I had to disable Compiz.  The TV output itself did work with Compiz, but Totem wouldn't restrict itself to the TV's resolution when going fullscreen.  Metacity, however, could manage this.  (For anyone unfamiliar with switching between Compiz and Metacity, just go to "Desktop Effects" in the Control Center, and disable desktop effects.)

It would be nice if I didn't have to quit Compiz, and a graphical utility for this would be great too, but all things considered, I'm pleased.

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Python finally achieves the crucial recognition it deserves [03 Feb 2009|11:15am]
Attention Intartubes: you can finally stop arguing about the merits of Python.  The issue of Python's relative awesomeness has finally been settled, officially: in this article, Ted Dziuba declares that Python, in contrast to Java, C#, & Ruby, "[doesn't] suck".

Ted became famous for hatin' on pretty much everything.  As far as The Internet is concerned, for him to declare that something doesn't suck is greater than fawning blog posts from 100,000 nameless, lesser nerds.

Show yourself a little love.  Try Python for a week, and see if you don't agree.
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Spammers... FTW? [16 Jul 2008|09:42pm]
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I was almost impressed with this particular piece of spam - unlike all the other spam in the picture, promising "exquisite" Rolex replicas and increased pride in my "male power", these guys actually got my attention - who would have thought spammers had a good sense of humor?

Spammer FTW?
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The truth [31 Aug 2007|12:16pm]
I know with certainty this is, in fact, how it happens, because it's been the past 4 years of my life.
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Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and Thelema (for Novae Res) [05 Jun 2007|03:22am]
In reading about Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, I could not help but be reminded of some of fraternovaeres ' comments and arguments about Thelema, and the relative lack of understanding or depth of sincerity he believes are displayed by those claiming to somehow adhere to it.

In many ways, I sympathize with his ideas on the subject, despite probably being or having been one of the people he's referring to in his frustrations.  For myself though, what really bothers me most is not the notion of an "ala carte" system of beliefs on its own, but the fact that the selections some make from the cart are not due to any kind of experimentation, experience, or understanding, but rather just on what is immediately appealing.  I don't see anything wrong with the selective rejecting and accepting of certain ideas - which I suppose is fortunate for me, since while I no longer really consider myself "a Thelemite", I am still heavily influenced by Crowley's ideas and writings - but one should know why one is rejecting or accepting, and that why should be based on one's best assessment of the truth.

While I'm mentioning it, the reason I can't say I really call myself a Thelemite anymore is my belief (grounded in experience and understanding) in a lesson behind the story of Zen teacher Lin Chi telling a monk that if the monk meets the Buddha on the road, he should kill the Buddha: as soon as you think you have the ultimate answer to anything, you can be assured you are ultimately wrong.  Liber AL vel Legis might be a source of tremendous wisdom (and it is!) but it is still manifest, and thus flawed - I will never vow to attach myself so wholly and permanently to something that will in some way become an albatross around my neck.  This is also much of why I discontinued my active association with OTO and never pursued any further degrees.

Perhaps I am mistaken in this, and there is something which makes Liber AL different in this way from every other prescriptive and descriptive text ever written, that it lacks the flaws of being manifest, but I doubt it.  If I'm wrong, I'm willing to live with the consequences.
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Calling all Kings [01 May 2007|12:58pm]
[ mood | mischievous ]

"Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.
The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings."

- Liber AL vel Legis II:73-74

Attention, all Kings: I have just realized, per the above quote, I am now officially yo' massah, bitches!  Now, bow down before the King among the Kings!*

* or, optionally, "
Son(s) of Jor-El, kneel before ZOD!"

Disclaimers:  Yes, I'm totally abusing a very literal translation of these verses.  Also, before any of you cites AL II:56, consider what, if anything, I'm really "mocking" here, and even if II:56 applies, I guess Hadit will just have to abandon naughty ol' me, eh?  And finally, no, this doesn't mean I'm actually looking to go practice chute-less skydiving or to that I'll try jumping into the lion cage at Como wearing the fashionable "Eau de  Prey" gazelle-scented cologne.   I'm just in a sh*tty but perverse mood and happened across the above when reading a random section of Liber AL beffore work today.

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The Myth of Sisyphus - unimpressed? [26 Jan 2007|07:36am]
Has anyone else found themselves unimpressed with Camus' rejection of suicide as a valid idea in The Myth of Sisyphus? He seemed to make the assumption that everyone can and will (by using his line of thought anyway) find happiness and satisfaction that outweighs their misery and discontent, but I'm not at all convinced of that idea..

This really killed my enthusiasm for what looked like such a promising beginning premise.
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Music recommendation - Vas, "Feast of Silence" [09 Jan 2007|09:51am]
For all of you on my friends list who are into Dead Can Dance, this is something along a similar vein, but more specifically Middle Eastern:
Vas - Feast of Silence

Stolen from the Amazon review of the above album:
"Born in Iran and raised in India, Ali's pristine voice is steeped in the traditions of those countries. Greg Ellis surrounds her with a global percussion orchestra of the imagination, mixing udu drums, frame drums, mridangam, dumbeks, and just about anything else from his global groove storeroom to create the throbbing rhythmic undertow of their music."
"Moksha", on the latter half of the album, is fantastically stirring.

Highly recommended for anyone into this style of music.  I enjoy their other albums quite a bit also, but this is the most moving of the four.
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The A∴A∴ "Student..." syllabus - how much have we read? [28 Dec 2006|04:02am]
I was reminded of the AA "Student of the Mysteries" syllabus today when reading some LJ discussions on Thelema.

For reference, this is the syllabus:
The Equinox, from Vol. I to the current number
Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda
The Shiva Sanhita, or The Hathayoga Pradipika
Konx Om Pax
The Spiritual Guide by Miguel de Molinos
Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie - Levi
The Goetia or The Lemegeton of Solomon the King - Crowley/Mathers
Tannhauser — The Sword of Song — Time — Eleusis - all Crowley
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-melin the Mage
The Tao Teh Ching
The Writings of Kwang Tze / The writings of Chuang-Tzu from Legge’s The Texts of Taoism (vol. XXXIX and XL in the OUP Sacred Books of the East series).
The Book of Lies

This is what was laid down as prerequisite reading, to be completed before taking the Oath of a Probationer, ie: before doing any practical work, within the
AA structure anyway. (It's worth repeating here though, the note from the Equinox Vol I, #9, which offered this very syllabus: "The Student is expected to show a thorough acquaintance with them, but not necessarily to understand them in any deeper sense.") There are plenty of kibitzers in the Thelemic online community, offering up all kinds of advice and opinion on Thelema, but how many have done even this fundamental work of reading most or all of this syllabus yet? If Crowley considered this the basics, the required minimum before one gets started, it makes me wonder about those who have not read the bulk of this material who spend a lot of time debating those who have read it.

I can speak from experience on the matter, having wasted my time in the past on such debates, while standing in the Have-Not-Read camp.  It's not even that my point was invalid in these debates -- I may have well been right! -- but until I have the intellectual foundation laid, how would I know?

One does not have to agree with what's written, but how can one debate a subject on which one has not really educated one's self? 
Before debating a topic, one should know the topic, even if only to "know thy enemy".

All this is not meant as an attack (at least not in the colloquial sense) on anyone, but rather as a reminder from a peer, to think before speaking.

Lastly, I realize the immediate irony of posting this, thus being a kibitzer, while still being in the Have-Not-Read camp, but I'm not debating or discussing anything actually Thelemic here; I'm talking about basic qualifications for debate, the context just happens to be Thelema.
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Dear Lazyweb... [01 Oct 2006|03:41am]
I'm trying to find a Crowley quote that I thought I'd written down, but apparently I've managed to hide it from myself.

The quote says something along the lines of watching the ocean of troubles that gets stirred up by a person merely determining or declaring their intentions to begin the Great Work.  I'd swear it was in Yoga for Yahoos or MWT, but I am rather embarrassed to confess that I just can't find it.

Anyone care to lend a clue?
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How sickeningly familiar [23 Sep 2006|02:35am]
"So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers, all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person, but that's going to change, I'm going to change. This is the last of this sort of thing. I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm going to be just like you: the job, the family, the fucking big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three-piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing the gutters, getting by, looking ahead, to the day you die."

Renton, in Trainspotting


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Blogging blues [21 Sep 2006|03:33am]
Why I didn't have a blog for a long time, and why this one often goes without updates for a long time: http://www.wikihow.com/Dissuade-Yourself-from-Becoming-a-Blogger
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Liber III: addendum [15 Sep 2006|05:03am]
SWEET LORD that was nasty.

A note to anyone who might try Jugorum using hot sauce as the method of discipline: dripping a couple drops of  ultra-burning-lava style hot sauce onto your tongue just after finishing a super-strong mint like an Altoid does not make for a pleasing taste.

Consider yourself warned.
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Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos! [06 Sep 2006|08:57pm]
Victory for me!  The monkey on my back is toast:  I have successfully kicked the caffeine habit completely.  I've been "clean" for 4 days after over an almost unbroken decade of addiction.  I even managed to do it gradually, without having to suffer through days of vomiting and pounding headaches.

Quitting cigarettes was cake for me, but this has always been a bitch.  Now we'll see if I can keep it up...

In other news, for any of you not on the Xian path but wondering on occasion if YHVH is waiting around the corner to smite you, have no fear!  You can get into heaven with a simple prayer!  So, mumble these few words, and friends... salvation is yours.
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Liber III a Go-Go [04 Sep 2006|07:39am]
"[Liber III vel Jugorum] forms one of the most hilariously exciting parlour games for the family circle ever invented."
- Uncle Al

I could not agree more.  I had forgotten how perversely amusing I find the practice of Liber III.  That I forgot this was probably another indicator that I was in serious need of it once more.  I've been very pleased so far to have started up another  round of it again.
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EGC baptismal name guidelines? [03 Sep 2006|05:10am]
When one is baptized into the EGC, one approaches the church under a name which can be (and often is) different from one's legal name.  I have been strongly considering EGC baptism for a while now, but had a couple things to resolve first.  These are largely through and done now, but one of the remaining details is that of the aforementioned name.

There is much information available in print and on the Web regarding magical mottoes, but not on baptismal names.  I asked an EGC leader how one goes about choosing a name, what guidelines there are, or even what the purpose of choosing one is, but was unsatisfied by the answers I received.  If there was an answer hiding in what seemed to me a (unintentionally) content-free response, I was apparently deaf to it.

So, to any EGC members reading this, any comments?  What's the point of taking a name in the church, what are the guidelines of selecting a name, etc -- any hints?
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Barriers to greater adoption of the Law [17 Aug 2006|10:57pm]
Of late, I have been attempting to pursue the Great Work more seriously.  To this end, I have scripted up for myself a daily routine of ordered tasks which must be completed upon rising, throughout the day, or before bed.  These include the Pranayama work from Liber E, the Star Ruby, and even just exercising more and keeping better posture.  I've been developing this routine for an embarrassingly long time, but have put off actually doing it with any consistency.

The reasons for not keeping up this routine are numerous, but I know that in one form or another, they're excuses I make for myself.  So why is this so?  The Path seems clear enough, yet I persistently refuse to walk it.  The routine is not very complex or terribly strenuous, but each day, when it comes time to actually do the work, it feels incredibly difficult to even begin the tasks, or to turn away from the myriad distractions that present themselves.  What is it that makes such simple tasks seem so overwhelming?  With such persistent failure, I cannot help the thought that it's simply that I am unwittingly lazy, or of "weak moral fiber" (whatever that means) or some such.

In the light of this, I am hardly encouraged in the Work when I read things like the following, from Crowley's Comment called "D":

"The wretched and the weak are simply not real beings; they cannot be helped or mended. They must be expunged as falsehoods likely to infect the truth."

What of the person who is all too aware of their failures and weaknesses?  Put yourself in these shoes.  How likely is one to explore and accept the Law when its Book suggests the possibility that one cannot be helped or mended.  What rational person would accept a law that denies them utterly, insisting that they are not even a "real being" and "must be expunged"?

Supposing such a person did accept the Law, how would they even act on this?  What behavior is prescribed for these, the wretched and the weak?
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Withdrawal [17 Aug 2006|10:48pm]
"I want to go to heaven
so I build myself a tower
a lonely pillar on the plain
for no one else but me

I want to taste the clouds
between my sharpened teeth
find out if I'm a demon
or a saint in disguise

I want to close the doors
behind my bleeding back
and dance among the shadows
for future glories lost"

 - from Covenant's "Babel"

(To be continued/explained shortly in another post...)
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