ActivityPub Test

In theory, this post should show up in the Fediverse as a thing you can read and/or interact with.

Grand Reopening

A while back, I figured my site needed a bit of a facelift. So here it is. I’ve moved my posts from Epsilon Clue to here, and I plan on posting at rather than there.

Obviously, any time you move from one site to another like this, there’s the risk that people won’t follow you to the new site. To prevent this, I waited until no one was reading me there, so no one was affected by the move.

If you’ve somehow stumbled on this post in the future, be sure to update your RSS feeds, or whatever our robot overlords have replaced them with.

Followup on Faithless Electors

Four months ago, I wondered whether there would be faithless electors in this election. And as it turned out, there were. Nine of them, in fact, of whom six were successful. That seems like a lot: according to Wikipedia, these days there are usually zero or one faithless elector. There were 8 in 1912, and 27 in 1896.

When I wrote that article, I expected to be surprised, and I was. But I stand by my comment about the dumpster fire consuming the GOP.

Thanksgiving Rules

This year, I’m hosting Thanksgiving. Hooray! I’m a grownup! I’m looking forward to it.
There are, however, some rules:

  1. Smoking: As the saying goes, there is no heaven or hell; just smoking and non-smoking. To that end, there will be two designated smoking areas, one out front and one on the patio out back (but feel free to release your inner buffalo and roam). Thanks for understanding.
  2. Donald Trump is a clown. Also vain, a demagogue, and possibly a fascist. But that’s just me. If you would like to voice a contrary opinion, there will be two designated areas, one out front and one on the patio. Please don’t bother the smokers.
  3. I’m told there will be a game on Thanksgiving. Football, I think. If you’re a football fan, I’m sure all the major news media will report the score tomorrow.
  4. I will not guarantee that any given foodstuff is free from gluten.
  5. The cat comes and goes as he pleases. Don’t try to force or coerce him. If he bites you, I will laugh, take pictures, and call 911, in that order.
  6. There will not be a separate kids’ table this year. Please don’t make me regret it.
I’m Back, Baby!


For some time, now, I’ve been thinking of moving this blag off of my private server and onto someone else’s network.

The straw that finally broke out a pack of Camels was when, a few months ago, someone exploited a vulnerability in WordPress, and posted a couple of spam articles (without, it goes without saying, my knowledge or consent).

I eventually got around to moving things over to, as you can see. Don’t worry, all your favorite posts are still there, as are the comments you were hoping would be lost.

So sit down and update your RSS feeds. Please excuse the boxes and dust while I finish unpacking.

Ramp Closed. Use Next Exit

(See what I did there? It’s because my site is a fill-in-the-blank on the Information Superhighway. Get it?)

The more eagle-eyed among you who visit this site on a regular basis (both of you) may have noticed some changes to the layout and whatnot. Or maybe something just went kerflooie in the RSS feed and your aggregator has just tossed the whole thing in the trash rather than try to deal with it.

Well, not that you asked (you could’ve asked, you know. I take an interest in your lives, you insensitive assholes1), but I’ve been messing with things behind the scenes, mainly to avoid having to update stuff all the time. So, in keeping with the vintage 1992 metaphor in the title, I’ve stopped leaning on my shovel, drained the last of my coffee, and actually gotten to work fixing the actual roadway underneath the twenty-times-patched potholes. And then knocking off early and asking someone to punch my time clock for me, because that’s the kind of tireless lazy fucker I am.

Actually, one thing y’all might like is the “Reply” button underneath comments, that allow you to reply to individual comments.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pop over to Geocities to download some animated “Under Construction” and flashing-light GIFs.

1: Not intended as a factual statement.

New Venue

I’ve been invited to be a contributor at Secular Perspectives, a blog associated with the Washington Area Secular Humanists.

My first piece is up now, and begins thus:

Have you ever watched a movie where some people are stuck in a broom closet or a train compartment, and wondered “Gee, I wonder how they managed to fit the camera operator in there with all those people”?

The trick, of course, is that they don’t: there’s a set with four walls that make the closet, and they remove one of the walls to allow the camera to shoot the scene. Then they can replace that wall and remove a different one, to shoot the scene from another angle.

All of these pieces of film are then edited together so that as you’re watching the movie as it cuts back and forth from one shot to the next, you’re also seeing scenery and props jumping in and out of existence (with the occasional revealing mistake — glasses inexplicably filling up, cigarettes magically growing longer and shorter, and so forth).

A similar phenomenon goes on in arguments and claims about gods.

2010 in Review

Are you tired of all the “Year in Review” columns popping up everywhere yet?

No? You want a recap of the 117 brain eructations I’ve posted this year?

Okay, fine. Here’s a link to the archives.

Possible Outage might be down this weekend (Update, Aug. 14, 2010: Well, it’s Saturday, and the server’s still up. So yay) due to electrical work being done in the building that houses the server. I’m not yet sure whether the server will be affected, but it might be down starting this evening, through Sunday evening.

So if your RSS reader says Epsilon Clue doesn’t exist, wait until Monday before concluding that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth.

Network Problems Fixed?

As far as I can tell, FreeBSD 8 tickled something in the driver for my ethernet card, and caused it to behave unreliably. Rather than muck around with half-tested kernel patches or ifconfig settings, I slapped a $30 Whatevertheyhadontheshelf-3000 (read: common chipset that’s been debugged by a lot of people), and as far as I can tell, things are now working as they should. If the site stays up for a year, I guess we’ll know.

I also took the opportunity to add some memory. So whoo-hoo all around.

And while I’m at it, I should point out that FreeBSD is like a VW Bug: not the prettiest thing to look at, especially compared to various Apple or Linux offerings, but in a crunch it’s nigh-indestructible. Wanna run with a root partition that’s over 100% full? Sure thing. Boot a 7.2 kernel with a 8.0 /usr? No problem.