Internet Trolls

July 27th, 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

Normally I take a pretty passive approach to internet trolls. I mean there are the really creepy type of internet troll who take video games far too seriously. Then there are just the general forum douche bags who try to start flame wars with people all the time. I get a slew of weirdos in the comments and they seem to be screened pretty well. Occasionally a loan offer, or gold Rolex offer will slip through, but they’re pretty easy to spot, the spam I mean. So they get marked as spam and sent to the spam folder of comments.

It’s the real life trolls that seem to be a problem. I don’t often write here, but when I do it’s usually just some silly diatribe about whatever was on my mind at the time. I write about Doctor Who a fair bit, and recently it’s been about not using shampoo and trying to find a day to change my sleep schedule. There’s a decent amount of writing about my crafting, from knitting to dyeing yarn. All in all it’s a pretty standard personal online weblog. No big deal.

Note: All of the screenshots can be clicked on for full image and they should open in a new window.

But then you get people like this:

My initial reaction was to question who the hell would say something like that about that post. I then realized that the poster was hiding. Hiding behind a fake website address and a fake email address. I was ready and willing to just shrug this off as some random commenter that thinks they know me. Apparently they’re my friend, so it had to be true, right? Wrong. At first I thought this was an old friend, who often stops by to read but rarely comments. There is the occasional comment, but it’s not normally something so negative. It’s okay, she could be pissed at me. It happens. The part that I take the most offense to is the fact that they claim this post is “so full of lies” as though they know intimate details about my life. How does one write a personal blog entry such as this one and it be something that is purely lies? I mean, I could fully understand if I were writing about someone else’s life and got all of the information incorrect. Except that I’m writing about my own high school experiences. I’m writing about what I went through. The post is told in a very quick, short sentence way because that’s how it was back then. Everything was in spurts. I didn’t realize that my experiences could be trivialized and turned into a fact or fiction type situation. I didn’t make any of this up. This is the way I felt when I was younger. No question. Unless there’s something I’m missing here and someone else lived that portion of my life for me. Could be, I suppose. You never know.

Then to turn around and claim that I’m “trolling up sympathy and made up drama.” Um, wow. I wasn’t trolling for sympathy. I was sharing my experience. Which, according to the other two commentors, seem to mirror their own experiences with themselves and family members.

“Get up off your ass and do something with your life. That is the entire problem.” You’re assuming I don’t do anything with my life. You’re assuming that I don’t have anything else to do with my time. I wasn’t speaking about current depression or problems, but it seems that basic reading comprehension levels aren’t needed before posting asshole-y comments on people’s blogs. No big deal. I’ll “get up off my ass” and figure out who the fuck this person is.

Oh, and this definitely gets better.

I have the IP addresses there in the comments. So I followed them back to the website that does my analytics for me. I then looked back and found the most recent comment and IP address from July 10th.

Wow. 6 actions. And you came from a direct link. Interesting. I then clicked on the IP address link you see there and this is what it gave me.

Excellent. I now know that the commenter is from Southern California. Their IP address shows Sherman Oaks, California. I also see they’re running a Mac, and google chrome at a pretty decent screen resolution. Must have a Macbook Pro. Nice. Oh look at all of that activity linked to this person! They seem to read a lot, even if they don’t always comment. Also looks like the other IP address matches the first comment. Funny how that works. Let’s click on that ARIN link up there towards the top and find out who this IP address belongs to.

Hmmm… interesting. Brandissimo Inc. I wonder what a google search would yield for “Brandissimo”. Let’s find out what shows up for me! I imagine if you did your own google search you’d find something similar.

Huh, lookit that! It’s a name I somewhat, if not vaguely recognize. Not who I thought it was at first, but alright. Let’s see what their site shows or says. Maybe there’s someone else who things I should “get off my ass and do something with my life.” Maybe I pissed someone off in the passed. Let’s look. Going to the Brandissimo! website gives you some weird flash thing embedded into the page. I click on the people link to see who all works here.

I cut all of the rest of the junk from the surrounding area and captured this bit. Now, there are 4 other faces you see there. And this company could very well have an army of employees underneath them, one of which is using company time to troll my website and be a complete dickhead. But I don’t know this, nor will I bother to get too far into it. For now I see that the only person who’s name is even remotely familiar is one David Gagne.

Apparently me and David were once really good friends (I hardly knew him at all). We apparently went to high school together (Um, nope) and ran with the same people. It seems we were so close that he knows without a doubt that all of my depression talk was fake (Again… nope) and made up to garner sympathy from the internet masses. All 5 of you who read… when I’ve posted a link to tell you to read.

Let’s see what the truth really is. David Gagne came across as an arrogant computer guy way back in the day when I still worked for Healthcare Recoveries Inc. I truly cannot remember a single personal conversation we ever had, and well, I don’t even remember the professional conversations we may or may not have had. This isn’t really a story about why I stopped working there, but I was let go. I think officially on the paperwork it said “Improper employee conduct” but really they found I was writing on Opendiary, printed out a handful of my entries and fired me for them. Whatever. I hated that job and only stayed for the money. They did me a favor. I haven’t looked back. I had some rough patches in life and still do, but there is something very important that I learned from working there and getting let go… I never EVER wanted to work in the computer industry as a professional. Ever.

Now mind you, this isn’t about starting a shitstorm, although I imagine the link backs might do that. Also putting up all of the screen captures and what not. This isn’t about Brandissimo, which I know absolutely nothing about. Let’s face it, I don’t even know anything about David himself. I hardly knew anything about him back then, so why would I care to know anything about him now. Here’s the thing, between the various social networks, there’s a whole lot of stuff I really don’t give a shit about. I don’t care about the dumb games people play on Facebook, so when I see someone post something on their wall, I block the app. I don’t care about the quizzes, so I block those too. I don’t, however, go to the people’s FB pages and tell them that they’re lying and saying stuff (taking quizzes, playing games) to garner sympathy. I just ignore it.

So here’s my plea to you, David. Go away. Leave me alone. Follow the golden rule we were all taught when we were little kids and just keep your comments to yourself. We were never friends. You knew me some 9 years ago back when I was interested in doing database administration work and the employer we both shared was willing to give me a shot. I got in trouble for blogging stuff on the internet and lost my job. Who cares. Is your only measure of success to have a lucrative career in the IT world? Cause it’s not for me. I’m not interested and I don’t care. My life took a huge turn in a different direction the day I walked out of those doors. I never looked back, and maybe you should do the same. I can’t even fathom what your interest in my life is, and why you feel the need to comment so harshly about things you know nothing about. You have no idea who I am today or in the past. We were never friends. Do you understand this? I don’t know what planet you’ve been living on or why you believe we were ever friends, but outside of your blog I know nothing about you, and truthfully, don’t care.

So stop reading. It’ll spare you the need to write nasty little snide remarks about the validity of my personal experiences, and it will keep me from having to spend a couple hours of my life sharing how I figured out who it was with the world.

The Epic Search for a Digital Camera

March 16th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Over the last however many years digital cameras have existed, I’ve owned my fair share. My first was a really old, super bulky, Sony CyberShot. I love the hell out of that thing and while it didn’t exactly die, it just became a nuisance to carry. Digital cameras have been shrinking in size and portability, but expanding on their capabilities. Removing DSLRs from the mix, the Point-and-Shoot cameras have gotten so good that it’s nearly impossible to figure out which ones will be the best choice for my application.

The criteria for what I was looking for:

Point-and-Shoot (P&S): It had to be portable. Maybe not necessarily pocketable, but I didn’t want something bulky. As portable as possible, that’s for sure. I understand that DSLRs take the best true macro shots, it’s simply not in the cards for this gal.

Price: The price of the camera needed to be in the $350 and below range. I wasn’t looking to spend my rent money on a camera. The cheaper the better sure, but there’s an understanding that inexpensive cameras aren’t always very good cameras. Thus why I set the price range a tad higher than what I would truly rather spend (about $200). The name brand models fall in the more expensive range, but the technology that these cameras offer also tend to be better. It’s a cost/benefit analysis in the end.

Macro: This is a must. I needs to do macro/close-up shots. It doesn’t have to do them fantastically or like I said to a friend “I don’t need National Geographic quality pics.” And the statement can’t be more true. I’m less likely going to use the camera for things like bugs, flower, dew drops and the like and more for other macro type shots. Because of this, I don’t need perfection. I just need good. Damn good is ideal, but I’ll settle for good and able.

In searching for a digital camera that had these three qualities I ran into many opinions and articles. David Pogue’s over at the NY Times was the first article I read, many weeks ago. It was an interesting insight into the various feature sets of each individual camera and I looked closely at all of the three he mentioned as the top 3. However, no where could I find that any of them had the macro/close-up setting. I was terribly disappointed.

Next came the google searches on various word combinations in hopes that I night score with finding a nice comparison piece on macro enabled P&S cameras. Yeah, as you can imagine, I found an awful lot of junk and very little of anything that was fruitful. After much frustration, I gave up the search.

Until today.

And then I went on yet another search for macro-abled P&S cameras. A kind friend pointed me towards Steve’s DigiCams. Rather than hoping I find something I went straight for the Best Cameras link. For anyone curious about digital cameras, this site gives you an excellent quick look and separates all the cameras into nice little categories. However, no “does it do macro?” category. /doublesigh

After much searching and some additional frustration I stumbled across Engadget Labs article on the best point-and-shoot cameras under $400. So, first of all, thank you guys at Engadget for giving me the exact kind of comparisons (in shots, quality, gripes and goodies of each, etc) I needed to see and read. After looking at the photos and reading what was said about their first choice camera (of the small number they looked at, mind you), I think I’m going to go with their choice for the Samsung SL820. Now when I have a couple hundred dollars, I’ll be picking this up (and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t disappoint).

Moral of the story from this entire many month long experience?? Read a lot of tech magazines. Look at the related links. And wait until the expensive camera comes down in price.

My nook… and ebooks in general

February 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I am, without a doubt, a book lover. While I was in school I found myself buying books upon books where they sat, collecting dust on my bookshelves as the pile grew more and more. My large bookshelves (note: more than one) are already brimming with books that I have read and those I have not had the pleasure of reading including paperbacks being two deep that the new books are literally piled on top of each other, for lack of space. Books that I bought and loads of books that other people bought for me. My lack of free time kept me from being able to make a dent in the fantastic world of psychology as well as fiction stories.

I am also one that has many hobbies. I have tried to find a balance between my love of knitting and crocheting, video games and reading. After 2 years of intense schooling (my last semester yielding me 18 units and no free time) I needed a break from reading. I won’t lie, I had spent so much time reading that the last thing I wanted to do was read for pleasure. Period.

Since getting my nook, I find myself reading much more often. Initially there was the “Oh! Shiny!” factor, but it has now become something more significant than just a new gadget for me. The almost instant on to the last thing I was reading makes it so much easier to read a few pages, or a chapter, and set it down again. No need to prop the book open. No need to find a comfortable position to rest my elbow. I hold my nook in my hand or rest it in my lap. While laying in bed it weighs exactly the same if it’s 200 pages or 800 pages. I prop up my book light as I would with a paperback, but no need to shift from side to side, or change the way I lay down to read. The inconvenience of reading an actual book in bed is no longer there.

I must say though, I will not stop buying physical books. There is nothing I love more than walking into the infinite possibility that is a bookstore. Small or large, new or used. I have been known to judge a book by its cover or by its title. I found gems and duds, but rarely do I regret a purchase because I learn something from the experience of reading a new author, an unknown author, or a well-known author I’ve never had the pleasure of reading previously. My purchase of physical books will just slow down, tremendously. Especially with the only new bookstore within 50+ miles of me closing down.

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There was a long pause…

February 13th, 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

It was more like an abated breath. At least that’s what I’m going for.

Life has decided to dish out the dirties to me this year. New Year’s weekend I got stuck with that cold/flu thing that basically sucks. Anyone notice that all of the cold/flu things going around lately pretty much suck? That it seems there’s no end in sight and your friends and family members decide that sharing is caring? Yeah, well, I’ve about had it with getting that gunk.

In other news, I have found myself in the possession of a nook. I only received it today, but already I’ve plowed through half of a book. Alright, it doesn’t really count as a book since it’s a tiny little thing. I imagine the physical copy is a quick read and that I could have just sat down in a bookstore and read through it, but I’m sure I’ll find the information invaluable as time goes on. I have yet to put any of my own content on there (PDFs or otherwise) so we’ll see how that turns out after I get to that point. I need to find my other microSD card… one is in the camera and the other is… well, I’ll find it eventually.

The nook was quite sluggish at first, which I expected from all of the reviews. I also knew that there was an update that helped with this little problem. It has and it did. I’ve never played with a Kindle, so I have no point of comparison, but I love it already. I’m enjoying how easy it is to read on. I like that I was able to take it to the gym, prop it up on the little shelf in front of me, set the font to the biggest it goes and read while running/walking on the treadmill. This in and of itself satisfies my multi-tasking ADD self. Okay, I don’t really have ADD, but it really does help. Makes me feel like I’m getting to do something WHILE at the gym. And reading books are on the agenda of “Things to do More Often”.

I’m happy with the purchase, even if my car decided to take a digger and cost me $700 to repair. I don’t regret the nook. I do, however, need to set myself a budget so I don’t over spend on books. Like $20/pay period or something. Or only buy a book after I’ve read one. Who knows what I’m going to do. I do have a ton of them on my computer to upload, so we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, I’ve decided to take my ever growing ass to the gym. I keep gaining weight, which makes me more depressed about being overweight, which causes me to stop at Chipotle, In & Out, and McDonald’s far too often. I need to limit this to once a week or less. I need to make hitting the grocery store a bigger deal.

Spring is starting to make it’s way here, and losing my car yesterday and being stranded meant that I walked to the gym and walked back. I also walked the mile or two to pick up my car. It was good for me and I needed it. I didn’t, however, need the honks and catcalls. I mean really people, grow the hell up already.

In other crafty news, I’ve started working on a pair of socks from Wendy‘s older book, Socks from the Toe-up. I have been wanting to make socks from this book for a very long time, but I’m such a self-striping/hand-painted yarn whore that I never picked up any skeins of sock yarn that were less… variegated. I have picked up some wool yarn from KnitPicks as well, so that I may start on some new amigurumi projects.

I’ve had bad luck with patterns, and I think I’m going to start working on my own patterns before I invest the time in another ami doll. There’s just too many variables that don’t seem to fit. Numbers that are off, stitch counts that don’t match when having to put pieces together. Ah well. Photos of the new doll are after the cut. They’re kind of fuzzy. :(

Continue reading »

Testing WP 2.0 for iPhone

November 4th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

No offense to the WordPress iPhone devs, but 1.0 was a pain in my ass to use! I’d write and entry and publish it and it would never show up. I’d have to do all sorts of finger-crossing and hoping that after 20 minutes of screwig around with it on a computer would I eventually figure it out. And while I don’t expect to be writing anything profound or fantastic on my cellphone, I still wanted it to work.

So here’s me. On iPhone app WordPress 2.0 with fingers crossed (again) that when I open a browser and go to my blog, I will see this little post.

Oh PLEASE work!!

Edit #1: Test one was a failure. The I set it to publish, and it shows status as Published. Visibility as Public. Shows the date and time of publishing, but when you visit my blog there is nothing. This edit is being done on a desktop.

Edit #2: And after adding the first edit, and updating the post, it shows up on on the site. *ponders* I don’t know if that’s quite as functional as I had hoped. Better, but still a pain. Not sure what’s going on.

And now for some photos!

October 5th, 2009 | Tags: , , , , , ,

So… I’ve been having some issues with getting some of the WordPress plugins to work. Particularly The WordPress Flickr Manager. For all intents and purposes, it absolutely looked like it was working properly. Except when I tried desperately to add a photo to an entry. Then it would just reload the lightbox pop-up (used for inserting into the entry) and do nothing. I thought it was the browser (Chrome) but it was happening in Firefox too! So I went looking for a working plugin, and had to do all this crazy nonsense to get that one to work. Only, it wasn’t for what I wanted, which was to be able to include just one or two (or 4) specific images to a post. I didn’t want to have to link and entire set/gallery. This isn’t a photo blog (and let’s face it, I’m not the best photographer anyway).

The “other” flickr manager thing required me to do all of this high tech mySQL database conversion stuff. It was kind of terrifying. Mostly because it’s been years since I’ve done that kind of stuff, and I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of how WordPress does it’s thing. Dreamhost ends up doing all of the updates for me automatically anyway, so it’s not really me that looks all high tech and fancy. It’s them. No joke. Not me. So I ended up getting the databases all converted from latin1 to UTF-8. Sounds exciting, but now my little Flickr widget is broken. *sigh* Ah well.

So of course, I’ve been doing all of this and getting no where. Getting frustrated was inevitable, but really? I can’t just put A photo in my blog? Just one? I don’t want to have to upload the same damn photo eleventy-billion times in fourteen different places. I use Flickr almost exclusively for my photos. It’s because I can email them from my iPhone and share. It’s just easier that way. So why all this running around (on the internet) and backwards nonsense to share A single photo?

Oh well. It seems there was some kind of weird change when WordPress updated to 2.8. The author submitted  a fix for the lovely Flickr Manager plugin I already had installed, but it hadn’t been approved yet and you could download it directly. So I did. I could have saved myself a ton of headache and confusion and database backup-ing and terrified I’m going to break something to beyond fixing. Y’know how it goes.

And so here I go with the photo sharing. Because after all this nonsense I better start sharing some damn photos, right??

Sweater Hoodie Thing

Here is the first attempt at Sweater Hoodie thing. It’s technically called theApres Surf Hoodie, but I like my name better. It’s easier for me to say outloud when I talk to myself while knitting/blogging. The pattern calls for you to make two halves, the back and the front, and piece them together. I started the back (which is what you see pictured here) when I found some blog posts somewhere on the internet regarding doing it in the round (I cannot for my life find the link where the girl mentioned how she did this, but if I ever do, I’ll link it!). So I frogged (took the whole thing apart, for you non-knitting/crocheting folks) and started again. And started again. And again. And again. And again. No really. I started it over 5 different times before I finally decided on starting it on DPNs (double pointed needles; usually used for making socks and other items in the round) and after a few rows transferred it to the circular. The “invisible” start cause some issues with starting ON the circular needle (aka frustration!). I’m about 2 rows away from starting the lace part (the body), which took me DAYS to do.

Side note: Because I can now work this all in Stockinette Stitch, I can continental stitch all of it, meaning that I knit 4 times faster. Having to “throw over” all of the purl rows (when going back and forth) meant I got the first 26 rows (of both the front AND back) done in less than a day and a half (of knitting in between Wintergrasps (WoW speak ftw!) this weekend). This should technically take me a whole helluva lot less time to finish. Yay!

Tribal Skein - White Background

Also to share, because I’m in a slightly obsessed phase, is some yarn I dyed. Because, like I said, I’m slightly obsessed. This one is called Tribal. It’s Brown, Teal and Orange. I used Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye. This one makes me happy and I love it.

Odyssey - Skein

I call this one Odyssey. No reason for the name, but it’s Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye as well. I love the colors on this one.

And thus concludes my photo sharing entry of the day.

iTunes Genius suggestions

September 21st, 2008 | Tags: ,

So for the last week or so, I’ve been playing around with the Genius feature on iTunes. I love the idea. It’s actually not quite as bad as people think. I personally like that it gives a little bit of variety. It also allows me to pick a particular song that I know I want to hear as the first one, and it picks other songs to go with it. Yay! Spares me the hassle of having to create playlists, considering I will often just make a playlist of one song and listen to it over and over again.

Because of Genius I’ve heard some new songs that I would never have otherwise noticed. I have 3,000+ songs on my ipod currently, and I know how I am with regard to music. I’ve enjoyed most of the playlists that Genius has created.

What I would like to see with the Genius feature though, are a handful of things.

1. Give me the ability to remove a single song, and have Genius replace it. I’d like to keep hte 25 or 50 songs, but sometimes, I just want one or three to be different. Currently, I have to either refresh the whole playlist (and hope that the songs I liked remain) or just remove them entirely, and shortening the playlist altogether.

2. Let me make it a “non Genius” playlist, so that I don’t accidently hit refresh (or someone else hits refresh for me) only to have me lose the playlist that existed, and have it replaced with a playlist I wasn’t expecting.

3. Mostly, just let me remove a song and have it replaced.

Okay, that’s my rant. I’m done now. And it’s time for sleep!

Thankfully, skoo is killing me!

September 11th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

So, basically here’s the deal. If you saw some weird page, for the two of you who come here to read, I’m sorry. When I log into the WP admin control panel thingie, I get this “UPGRADE NOW” message. I upgraded via Dreamhost, as I always do, and suddenly, everything is gone. It’s a completely new install. WTFF! (What the flying fuck, for those not in the know). I mean, here’s the automatically generated password for the first admin login, and what do you want to call the blog you’ve had for the last 7 months, but are now redoing because something got fucked up.

Yeah, I prayed and HOPED that Dreamhost could fix my epic failure attempt at upgrading.

So as I look and see this pink line across the top of my screen I want to flip it off and yell “FUCK YOU SQUIRREL!” to the Upgrade message. I’m terrified to do it again. TERRIFIED. Can I stress this a little bit more… I mean, unbelivably, unequivacably scared out of my fuckin’ mind of losing my blog… again. It’s not that I have all these great entries. Or that I have the most amazing layout known to man. But it’s mine and I want it.

So I’m SUPER happy that Dreamhost was able to fix it. And I’m super happy that I was so busy for the last couple of week that I hadn’t updated, there were no new comments or anything of the sort, because it gave that poor guy who got my email a chance to pull up a working back up and fix what the wordpress upgrade screwed up.

Wanna know what’s funny? I went to WP, to see if other people had issues. I wasn’t the only one. It may not have gone the same, but people were losing the ability to login with their admin passwords, and things just weren’t right. Fuck that stupid pink bar, I’ll leave it there until the next one comes out.

BTW, my favorite class is EDS 151 – American Sign Language 1. My least favorite class is everything else.

WP Themes

August 13th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

Now that the WP Themes Directory is available… I might play around with some theme design. I mean, there used to be some awesome ones out there. Maybe I’ll play with making them usable in the newest versions or something. Because there are still some older theme’s I’d love to be able to use, but alas, I cannot with it in their current state. :(

But I’m thinking I might play around with creating some myself. There are some decent ones there, but a lot of ones that I would never even consider using for any application… ever. Maybe some versatility will help. We’ll see how motivated I am at doing this.

Cellphone… stuff

July 14th, 2008 | Tags: ,

So I’ve been messing around with my cell, trying to get the alarm situation taken care off. There are some known issues with Windows Mobile 6 (WM6), one of the biggest pet peeves out there is the alarm situation. Lemme explain. Once you set a time for an alarm, it will go off. No matter what. Even if you set a new time (it will now go off at two different times), and if you try to turn the bugger off, the alarm still goes off.

Case in point. Every night I check to see if the time is set right on my alarm. Apparently I shouldn’t have hit “done” on 3 different occasions, because in the morning, the obnoxious beep sound of 3 alarms set for the exact same time, going off in the mornings. And guess what?? You can’t delete them. You can’t REMOVE alarms once they’ve been set. You have to download a 3rd party program, in order to edit notifications or even the registry, in order to remove the alarms that have already been set.

If you can imagine, this is horrifically annoying for someone who needed to get up at 4am one time, and is now awakened every day, because (surprise surprise Microsoft has yet to fix this and release an update) the alarm doesn’t work. Oddly enough, while trying to figure out how to get it to stop doing that, my phone reset itself. Fine. It was almost a blessing in disguise I guess. But even recently the alarm goes off, 3 different times, at 6:40am. Why? *shrug* It makes no sense.

So I downloaded the trial version of Gentimer and so far (after a single day) I love it. It’s pretty inexpensive, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to buy a legit version at some point, but for now, I’m content with the fact that now I can have an alarm that goes off (once) in the mornings to wake me up for work (M-F), another to go off every day at 3pm to remind me when to take my pill. They are separate, and I don’t have to have Gentimer running in order for the alarms go off. I turned the WM6 alarm OFF, and guess what it did this morning anyway? Oh yeah. It went off, and turned off when Gentimer kicked in. Stupid WM6.

I’m seriously considering getting an unlocked iphone. No. Seriously.