Archive for July, 2015

which system is this?

I can’t figure out whether this crazy quintuple-star system is from Nightfall, the Colonies of Battlestar Galactica, or the Verse from Firefly.


[poll id=”28″]

so we're paying comcast business all this money why again?

Wow, I am angry.

About a week ago, Comcast mail servers started bouncing our email again, with their servers reporting 554: no reverse DNS, and reporting our IP addresses as IPv6.

They’ve done this before, twice. Once for the whole world; once just for their servers. They start exposing us somehow as IPv6, and we have no reverse DNS or even any static IPv6 addresses, so of course there’s no reverse DNS entries. That’s why we have IPv4 addresses; for exactly this. So we can deliver mail.

I’ve been calling and getting callbacks and being tossed around to different departments (all of which say this is not their job) and having the ticket silently closed since June 2nd. This is day six of this.

Comcast Tier 2 just called me back, and told me it’s not their fault, and they didn’t do anything, and it’s our network that’s broken and that our Cisco router is allocating IPv6 addresses. And somehow our mail server, which does not run DHCP and which I personally set up as IPv4, is picking that up, apparently only when talking with Comcast mail servers.

Except WE DO NOT EVEN OWN A FUCKING CISCO ROUTER. They repeatedly insisted that we did. We do not. I know what’s on our network. I know what I’ve bought. We do not have a CISCO router. We have never had a CISCO router. He insisted he could see one nonetheless.

And they will not do anything.

They’re insisting it’s our fault and they’ve never done anything like this before, and they have no records of anything like this happening before, even though they have done this and fixed it twice before, on their end both times. This guy claims to have no record of that, despite the fact that a previous tech claimed to have found a record of it.

They also simultaneously insisted that we were self-generating IPv6 addresses and using them (but apparently only when talking to their servers? Sure, that makes sense) and that our gateway is set up not to pass IPv6 traffic, even though their servers are seeing us as IPv6.

And he refused to do anything, and refused to let me talk to anyone else.

I guess we need to find a new upstream IP provider, because I have no idea what to do next.

Also, I was pretty pissed off that despite the fact that I’ve been the one doing all this calling (since always) that I clearly had somebody who comes in and “does our networking work for [us]” and I needed to talk to them. No, fuck you. I’ve implemented more mail protocols than you’ve used, you shithead.

Jesus fucking christ.

Any suggestions? I’m out of ideas. Well, other than seeing if I can screw with something on their modem to break whatever tunnelling they’re doing, if that’s what they’re doing. That might help.

eta: I’ve confirmed they’re wrong about our gateway not passing IPv6, we can move IPv6 pings, so I can at least try to make that go. Or more accurately, not go.

eta2: Talking with Joi, a friend who does IP work. (Note: SHE IS NOT A COMCAST EMPLOYEE.) Comcast recently made some internal changes to pass IPv6 around better internally. (I was actually talking about this indirectly with a Tier 1 support tech earlier today, which more or less confirms that what she’s heard has truth behind it.) But it still stops at their network boundary. We’re thinking that enabled some selfhost IPv6 functionality.

eta3: Yeah, okay, traceroute/traceroute6 games confirm it, and, incidentally, explains some of the weird geoIP results I’ve been seeing recently.

eta4: Hey, lookie thar, they did! They also may have moved the IPv6 boundary. That part must’ve been about a week ago. Might’ve been nice if ANYONE I TALKED TO HAD THOUGHT OF MENTIONING THAT. We could’ve fixed this in 15 minutes. But no, I had to get handed off a lot and sneered at instead.

eta5: Okay, so, best we can tell, at some point in the recent past, Comcast made internal IPv6 changes that silently enabled IPv6 traffic on the modem (despite this guy saying our modem wasn’t passing IPv6 even as it was, which was obviously bullshit) and caused the Debian kernel to activate the IPv6 side of traffic.

But that didn’t actually have any noticeable effect, because we weren’t delivering mail to anyone that way. Which means at that point in time, IPv6 routing stopped before reaching internal mail servers. And sometime about a week ago, they must’ve moved their internal IPv6 routing boundary (which is what said Tier 1 tech was talking about, I think), which caused us to start seeing their mail servers with IPv6 traffic. And since we’re coming at them as a customer, they prefer IPv6, which made us silently start talking in IPv6.

But since that boundary is and was still internal to their internal WAN, nobody else was seeing us as IPv6, but were instead seeing us as IPv4, as they should’ve been.

This, we can do something about on our end. I don’t mind making changes if I know there’s a reason to do so. I don’t hate IPv6. But I do hate being told that they didn’t do anything (untrue), that it’s all our fault (untrue), that we made changes that we didn’t (untrue), that we own equipment we don’t have (untrue), and that I clearly do not know what I’m talking about.

Comcast Business, I am very unhappy. This should’ve been a 20-minute support call, tops. Instead, we have this. Wow, I hate monopolies.

eta6: Moved up from comments: We’re pretty sure the “CISCO router” he insisted we have as our own personal equipment and somehow do not know we have is, in fact, the router built into the linksys modem that is their equipment.

I suggested that to him when he kept insisting “your CISCO router is handing off IPv6 traffic,” but he blew that off and said no, that’s impossible, it had to be equipment of ours. But we’re pretty sure he’s wrong and that’s what he was seeing.

eta7: Just for the record, Comcast’s twitter account support got ahold of us, apologised, and threw us a month of internet uplink credit. That’s good of them, and I appreciate being partially comped for my time and inconvenience. Apparently ComcastCares is the SMERSH of Comcast Technical Support’s world. (They solve problems, via elimination. And store credit. Whichever seems best at the time.) But really, that kind of department – the kind that finds angry people on social media and then steps in – might be better off working to prevent this sort of thing to start.

this is kind of genius

I can’t decide which of these genres needed the other more:

“Y’know what? Fuck all y’all’s tropes.”

everything new and incomplete

I’ve been writing songs again for the first time since all those eye surgeries, and the Clallam Bay Comicon show is going to be any of them I can get to a really solid first draft. There’s going to be at least two: “Thirteen” and “Supervillain for I Love You.” There aren’t enough supervillain love songs, so I’m writing one. And will likely write more.

There’s at least a shot at “We’re Not Friends” and I can’t rule out “Everybody’s Famous (at the NSA)” and maybe another one. “Everybody’s Famous” is pretty fucked up, I’m just putting that out there now.

Here, have an orchid picture. I semi-inherited this plant; I found it abandoned and pretty dried up. But it recovered and now it has strange little flowers.

So what is
supervillain for I love you?
supervillain for I care?
supervillain for I need you?
supervillain do you dare?

whaaaaaat even


It’s an electronic MIDI hurdy-gurdy.

and here comes the hammer

Amazon has been working on adjusting Kindle Unlimited – their streaming-service equivalent for writers – for a while. A fair number of people have been worrying about what that would mean. We’ve known for a while that the author money would come from a fixed-size pot – and that pot would probably be small. But we didn’t know for sure.

Now we do. Surprise! Pseudo-streaming for writers means the same thing as streaming means for musicians. Payment schedules which are somewhere between a joke and an insult.

I don’t know enough about the writer side of the world of things to know exactly how terrible this is, but given the zero-sum gaming of the system, and Amazon’s market dominance in the epub world, I’d have to say it sounds pretty damn bad – possibly even worse than for musicians, even if the actual rates are higher in some ways. The numbers being thrown around involve phrases like ’60-80% cut in royalties.’

Anyway, writers, you’ve been warned. Anybody with a better understanding of the book world want to chime in?

the confederacy was entirely about slavery

If you are one of the people who think the Confederate States of America was about anything other than slavery and white supremacy, you are flatly wrong. You aren’t wrong on interpretation, or importance, or emphasis, you are flatly, utterly, completely wrong on facts.

Don’t take it from me, take it from then-newly-elected Vice President Alexander H. Stephens of the Confederate States of America:

The new [Confederate] constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. … Our new government is founded… its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

Emphasis added. It was about slavery. The whole damn project was about slavery.

Here’s an article with some more direct quotes. Such as Texas’s February 2nd, 1861 declaration of secession:

Texas… was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery – the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits – a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. …

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. …

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

It was about slavery.

Here’s soon-to-be-Confederate General Benning of Georgia, writing to Virginia, urging secession following Georgia’s vote:

What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction … that a separation from the North was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery… If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished. By the time the north shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. … The consequence will be that our men will be all exterminated or expelled to wander as vagabonds over a hostile earth, and as for our women, their fate will be too horrible to contemplate even in fancy.”

It was about slavery.

Not every Confederate state listed their reasons for secession and formation of the Confederacy. Some kept it short, two or three paragraphs. But every Confederate state which made a list of reasons went with slavery.

Here’s South Carolina’s declaration of secession, adopted December 24, 1860, listing their complaints:

…an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress [regarding return of escaped slaves –sb] or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed… In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. …

Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States.

… A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

It was about slavery.

Here’s the Mississippi declaration of secession:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

It was about slavery.

Here’s Georgia declaration of secession, passed Tuesday, January 29, 1861:

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. …

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery and to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. …

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs.

…their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property [slaves] but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquility.

It was about slavery. They said it was about slavery. They said their government was founded and based on slavery and white supremacy; that it was the corner-stone of their government.

I’m pretty sure that means it was about slavery.

eta: More, from before and after the war.

eta2: Here are even more, including Jefferson Davis and others.

pictures from the road

I don’t have nearly as many photos of the dry side as I want, particularly ones taken on the way back. As we were headed west, I kept pointing at things and going, “goddammit, I wish I had a picture of that,” but I was flying that Raptor and the only one who could, so not so much for me. Full autopilot, where are you when I need you?

Here’s me packing the last thing to be loaded in – the cooler – before heading off. I’m wearing a highly appropriate shirt given the decision which had just come down that morning. Korrasami 5eva:

It’s canon and you gotta deal with it!

When you’re out and you want to eat somewhere, and you don’t want to do stupid chain restaurants, you kind of get a grip on recognising where is going to be good. Old locals eating there? Probably at least okay. This place was called something like… Backwoods BBQ? I don’t even know. They also had a big “BURGERS” sign up. Regardless, it’s here. I’d put in a streetview link, but here’s what that looks like, so thanks a pantload, Google Maps Driver. Regardless, they had good BBQ.

We were making really good time, and the plan was to get there and help Zinger set up his giant pavilion, but then out of nowhere this happened, and we moved about 5km in 90 minutes.

No, seriously, that’s not a guess, that’s an approximation on distance and specifically correct on time. So I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures of rocks. As usual, everything is larger and there are more photos on the Flickr feed:

This one is particularly worth looking at bigger. It’s pretty good for a shot-while-driving photo, I think:

Once we got there too late to help out with setup, it was already goofy hot and working on getting worse. That’s where I learned I can’t be in sunlight at those temperatures unless I feel like passing out, which was pretty much what I almost did. Emphasis on almost, since the band noticed I wasn’t answering questions even though I thought I was, and intervened with coldpacks and ice and fans and such.

Somehow I hadn’t recognised when getting directions and stuff that we were playing a bunch of shows in Amon Park. 48C/119F and in Amon Park. Definitely the worst Korra AU ever:


After Saturday’s last show, we ducked out to a nearby Thai restaurant (Baan Khun Ya Thai – recommended) mostly for the air conditioning. The staff were really nice and let us linger for a couple of hours while the worst of the heat… well, I’d like to say ‘passed by,’ but really, it mostly hung around, trying to wait us out.

I Am Carrot-Head Groot

Also at a rest stop we saw this. Who the hell needs to be told this, anyway? I mean, c’mon, have some sense. Don’t just toss these out.

No fine high enough

More and bigger pics start here. Next we’re headed west, to Clallam Bay Comicon again. That’ll be both a Crime and the Forces of Evil and a Leannan Sidhe show, because we’re both going and being in each others’ bands and all that. See you there, I hope!

Return top

The Music