your manic pixie murder machine

oh look, it’s a top-of-post eta: All of Bandcamp’s profits today are going to the ACLU, so that’s awesome. Go cruise around, check other bands not just us, see if there’s anything you like, buy it. Doesn’t have to be our work, just go do the thing, eh?

Anyway, so, yeah. It’s been more than a little bad-crazy and it shows no signs of stopping. Hell, just staying my current degree of sane these days involves a lot of Overwatch, so let’s talk about that.

I’m a Tracer main. I play a good bit of Pharah and D.va and I’m not a half-bad Ana or Zenyatta, but the outright majority of my playtime is Tracer.

One of the things I drive for is damage efficiency. And by that, I mean no “trash damage” – damage done that does not lead to a character elimination. So if I gold medal in damage, and don’t gold in kills and/or objective kills? I’m not playing well, even if we win.

It’s not like with Junkrat, who has so much splatter weaponry, right? Splash damage is part of his game. There’s enough of it that even “trash damage” has impact, just by tying up enemy support. My area of effect, by contrast, is tiny, and therefore, it needs to be effective.

There are four primary offensive stats in Overwatch games: total kills, objective kills, time spent on the objective itself, and total damage. If I get golds in all four, that’s good! But if I gold/gold/gold/silver or gold/gold/gold/bronze (total kills, objective kills, time on objective, total damage)? That’s great. It means I’m not wasting my shots. It says my damage output is disproportionately effective, and says better things, to my mind, then four golds. (And I kind of wish Overwatch acknowledged that.)

So last night, I got gold/gold/gold/NO MEDAL in a victory, which means like no junk damage. Led team in total kills, objective kills, and time spent on objective, despite being no higher than fourth of six in total damage done.

That is some goddamn efficiency.

I don’t think I’ve managed gold/gold/gold/NONE before, and I’m really happy about it.

I’ve got a song I’m writing, “Manic Pixie Murder Machine.” It’s very much not together yet but I think I see where it’s going, and of course, it’s about Tracer. And that is the kind of Tracer I want to be in-game.

Surely some of you have to play Overwatch. Who do you main?

i’m not your goddamn limey waifu honey
i’m a manic pixie murder machiiiiiiiiiiiine

the best song you’ll ever hear about a dumpy Vancouver mall

This is the best song you’ll ever hear about a small and dumpy Vancouver mall. Yes, it’s a low bar, but I used to shop there sometimes because it was convenient (it’s in Mt. Pleasant, on Kingsway, I had friends living around there), and this really does kind of capture the place.

off to conflikt

We’re off to Conflikt, a filk (geek folk/fan music) convention in the Seattle area. Last year I was Toastmuppet, this year, I’m just one of the crowd. See you there, I hope!

If not, or even if so, this works way better than it has any right to, but it is a bit slow at the start. Give it time.

and it’s on

I warned you there would be a lot of these now.

The Trump immigration/wall order is out, and includes action against sanctuary cities/counties/states, and by that, they mean they get to define ‘sanctuary’, at their sole discretion, and cut all Federal grants on that basis.

The plan, as I see it, is to really fuck the west coast. I believe that the Secretary’s ‘sanctuary’ label – which echoes Federal use of ‘terrorism sponsor’ label – is intended to be used politically. This is entirely a tax looting operation. Historically, Oregon and Washington have received about 80% of tax dollars back in Federal spending; that’s what I mean when I say we are very large tax exporters. The goal here is to reduce that to zero, so it can all be spent on Trump supporter states. Authoritarians always loot: this is a looting operation.

It’s also meant to destabilise our economy. It will affect everything – transit, infrastructure, health, education, you name it. The goal is to drive us immediately into budget crisis, which they will then blame on us in their propaganda. And let’s not lie: they will succeed in causing a crisis, barring immediate (and successful) legal actions and injunctions. We have to be ready to deal with that. It will not be easy.

It is absolutely a declaration of economic war against us. Treat it as such.

(Also, I don’t think the first “or” in “or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law” (section 9(a)) is in the slightest bit unintentional. I think they’re coming after things like legalised pot as well. If you have friends who don’t care about the primary issues, hit them on that, maybe that will stick.)

Here’s the relevant section:

Sec. 9. Sanctuary Jurisdictions. It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.

(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

(b) To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

(c) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is directed to obtain and provide relevant and responsive information on all Federal grant money that currently is received by any sanctuary jurisdiction.

(Source for text: http://www.12news.com/news/politics/national-politics/full-text-read-trumps-presidential-executive-orders-regarding-the-border-wall-and-immigration/392606198 )

factory

Several months ago, Klopfenpop loaned me a teenage engineering CA-16 pocket operator, a.k.a. the “factory” model, a synth-sequencer-noisemaker in pocket-calculator form. And then Anna bought me one a few weeks ago! Which was amazing.

I’m still pretty confused by it (I’ve never used a sequencer for anything except drums which is somehow totally different even though it’s not) and I am trying to get my head around the actual feature set. I’m not traditionally good at interfaces that require you to just kind of remember what’s stored where? So I’m going to have to learn to use this thing by actually reading the instructions, which is totally unlike how I have learned every other instrument ever, which has always been “fuck with it until neat sounds come out.”

Like, right now I’m kind of confused about the factory patterns vs. patterns you store yourself and I’m not sure if the ones you store yourself overwrite factory patterns or not. I’d think they must but the instructions are not specific and being a “Never Erase what you Can’t Replace” person I’m hesitant just to, you know, try it. Because DATA.

(yes, this is goofy. but still true.)

But I certainly like making it make really annoying noises so I guess really it’s all okay. 😀

brave hearts, everyone

Well, it’s zero day, a.k.a. go time. What do we do?

Shore up some bulwarks, is what.

First: get your local governments into non-cooperation mode with the new administration’s overtly racist, misogynist, and fascist agenda. Yes, fascist. Maybe not Mr. Trump; he’s just an egomaniacal authoritarian, but people like Steve Bannon? Absolutely.

Work on that now. Don’t just try to get them to oppose it until it starts happening for real – because if he keeps his campaign promises, it is going to happen – but to get them to refuse to cooperate from day one. Particularly with the mass deportation plans and Muslim registry plans, as a start.

Whereever you are, you need to establish: we don’t do this. Our governments don’t do this. We Don’t Do This Here, full stop.

We’re talking local governments because those are the ones you can actually reach. If you write to your city council, odds are real good you’ll get a response. Same with county, most of the time, and generally, state representatives. Occasionally you’ll maybe even get something from the governor.

So you need to phone or write:

  • Your local city council (if you have one)
  • Your local county council
  • State representatives and state Senators (or equivalents)
  • Your Governor

With messages hitting these points:

  • Mr. Trump has promised to deport 2-3 million people effectively immediately.
  • Mr. Trump has promised to create a registry of Muslims, and throughout the transition, continued to develop that plan.
  • This is unacceptable. (Neither these plans or any plan like them can be done under colour of law; they are intrinsically barbaric, uncivil, indiscriminate, and unlawful; they are immoral, illegal, and wrong; pick your phrasing. It’s all true.)
  • Your [city|county|state] must refuse to cooperate in any way. (This is not who I am as a person, this is not who we are as a (city, county, state), this is not who we are as a people, and this must not be what we become. Pick your phrasing.)

I think the phrase “refuse to cooperate” is critical, because it means “even once it starts, don’t give in, don’t stop fighting.”

Once you’ve done it, try to get other people to do it too. We need a meme of non-cooperation; we need to normalise non-cooperation, and states matter. Counties matter. Cities matter. The Feds get a lot less done if they have no local help.

Talk it up. Tell other people. Make it happen.

Second: don’t let other people normalise any of this. Not media, not anybody. One explicit goal of the white supremacist and misogynist ~~alt-right~~ shitheel pack is to make their racism and overt hatred of women socially acceptable, to move the Overton window even further over into douchebag territory. Deny it.

Last night gaming, I ran into some guy who started gleefully chanting racist slogans and n****r n****r n****r into Overwatch team chat. For fun. That can’t stand, so I hit my mike and said, “Fuck you, I don’t play with racist motherfuckers. I’m out” and dropped on them mid game. Even if he didn’t individually care, even if nobody else dropped after I did, everybody got a tiny demonstration: this will cost you something, even if the momentary cost is trivial.

Do not game with fascists, do not work with fascists, do not cooperate with fascists, do not negotiate with fascists. Do not hand fascists a platform.

Why? Because their agenda is intrinsically uncivil – as all eliminationist agendae are – and therefore, they do not get civility. They have abandoned any legitimate claim to it. The only claim being made is to raw power, and that’s the only thing they care about – or that matters. They don’t get a debate, they get a – metaphorical – boot to the head.

So never let any of that shit just go by. Resistance has to be personal. Fascism, misogyny, racism – it has to have a daily cost. In social life, in standing, in money, in whatever way it can be had. When all that matters is power, when all that counts is what you can get away with, then all that works in response… is taking that power away. Yeah, it might be socially uncomfortable at times, but deal with it – because if they have their way, they’ll make millions of peoples lives a whole hell of a lot worse than “socially uncomfortable.”

So get out there, and give ’em hell. Everywhere you can, be it small change, be it big money, be it grit in the gears, be it sand in the eyes, scale doesn’t matter when it’s coming in from every front.

Every chance you get: make ’em pay.

truly excessive geekery ahead

All those posts I made about data cleanup and old hard drive data recovery got someone I know from my old SF club interested in his old Amiga hard drives, which he sent me, and which I imaged for him, and did as much file recovery as I could.

One of them was just fine – complete image, files pulled off separately as well, life is good. The other…

This is what’s actually in the disk’s partition table.

And for those who have no idea what that means: disks can be divided up into smaller disks, more or less. There are reasons to do this, mostly on servers, mostly not workstations, but whatever. These are called partitions.

This particular drive is cut up into six, count ’em, six partitions, sort of, except that two are completely broken and one is made up of parts that are also at the same time parts of two other partitions, and just kind of… overlayed atop each other.

Spoiler: this don’t work.

It’s like if you got to chapter two of a book, and midway through, chapter three appeared, overprinted and interleaved with the second half of chapter two. And after chapter two ended, chapter four picked up, printed underneath the rest of chapter three, making chapter four unreadable. But you can still make out chapter three if you squint.

There is no partition utility in the world which would let you do this.

The amazing thing is that I managed to recover the contents of both “TWork” partitions, which is a lot like getting chapters two and three from my analogy back and sorted out separately and readable. Couldn’t do anything for chapter four, though. And chapter six… I don’t know what happened there. It’s some kind of goddamn chainsaw murder scene with horror movie implications.

Sadly, both of these drives did the all-too-common very-old-drives-out-of-storage thing, where I managed to image them and pull contents, but after one last heat up/cool down, they just said “aaaaand we’re done here” ’cause that seems to be that. They’ll work long enough to come online, but the Viking won’t even stay up long enough to format it, and the Quantum ST will format, but will only let you write between 10 and 60 megs before taking itself offline and hiding from the controller until you reboot the machine. So no eBay listings for these.

Still, I’m happy. I made enough auctioning off all this old stuff to buy another microphone kit and I am closing in on another toy. Expect more DIY studio gear posts! It’ll be fun. 😀

networking

Met a few friends of Leannan Sidhe’s, from Shoreline – other musicians with their own band(s) – this weekend, dropping by a joint recording session for a big school project. (They’re all in SCC’s audio engineering and music programme.)

Turns out they know SJ and Betsy and Alec and all of that crowd, which was great, and we shared stories and jammed a little, which went well. I didn’t stick around too long, for supervillain reasons (and also, they had a lot of tracking to do in their studio session and a limited number of hours in which to do it), but it was fun.

Annnnnd maybe, with a bit of luck, something might come of it this summer. Maybe. Y’never know.

the most amazing thing

The most amazing thing about 2016-2017 is that I managed to write, record, and release as a single an actual song about Republican politics and pee obsessions

…and it’s not about this.

They managed to come up with a completely different pee obsession scandal.

Wow.

huh, it has a riff

Looks like “You’re not comin’ for us / we’re comin’ for you” isn’t just a slogan, it has a riff.

Lots of atonal power chords, go fig.

No idea if it’s a whole song yet, but here’s hoping.

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