A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- June 25
- So just as I'm writing an email to customer support, I figure
I'll give the app one last try, and lo it's started "Downloading
Europe..." We had some internet weather yesterday evening which
might have played a part in the slow transaction processing but
still doesn't account for the completely obtuse user
Plus, now I need to endure the "we timed out downloading a 4GB
file, so let's START ALL OVER AGAIN. But before we do, we'll
pretend the download succeeded, and try to unpack the files! Whee!"
*EYEROLL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS*
Almost forgot, we watched Jane Eyre staring ORSON WELLES and an uncredited
Liz Taylor (as a child, obviously). Well made, visually striking,
but then it turns out Mr. Welles had a hand in the making of as
well as chewing up all available scenery every time he was on
screen. An awesomely talented lad.
- June 24
- Currently suffering a hideous dose of manflu. Bleh.
Once again, TomTom Home proves itself to be Not Made For People To
Use: I start it up, it insists on downloading a "Critical Update",
runs the installer, restarts itself, and says, "A critical update
is available" and my only option is to acknowledge this and watch
the app exit. This is very, very basic stuff to be getting
wrong. From previous experience, I'm guessing I'm going to have to
manually download the "critical release".
Manual download. Install. App pops up a window - blank - that is
stuck in the foreground so I have to move it around to close the
installer app and clean up. Blank window shows spinning pinwheel
of doom for a minute or so, then pinwheel and window disappear and
"Application is not responding".
Force Quit and restart. "Your device is up to date". Go back to
top level. There's a splash there saying "update available". This
is just made of shit, basically. Maybe they've only one person in the
office with a Mac, and when that person's not around they just
churn out the Mac release and hope it works.
(Note, you can't click on that "update available" notification -
you have to click around the app, which has many non-functional
options, until you find the thing that lets you download the
Ok, Map Update, and my subscription has run out. Click through the
buying option. Redirected to the website to pay. "If you have
purchased new maps or map updates you will find them in My Maps"
There is no "My Maps" section in the app, and the app is still
prompting me to buy the map I just purchased.
(In case you're wondering, I've actually tried to sort out
problems like this with their customer service before. Took
months, literally. They wound up having to extend my subscription
because I couldn't use it when I'd paid for it.)
Aha, despite the fact that I have not one but THREE emails from my
purchase, all suggesting that I have paid money for
goods/services, the order on the website is still listed as
"Inprogress". I wonder how long that takes? Maybe they can only
sell during business hours or something.
- June 19
- Wrapped up season 8 of the X-Files. Dogget's first season: he's
kinda not really the new Scully, and Scully isn't really the new
Mulder. Dogget's sort of half-way - he's not in-your-face
skeptical except when the plot needs him to be. And then Skinner's
all, "sure, aliens, no problem". The "Scully's
Baby" thread, particularly the finale, makes little sense and
just feels like an obvious hook to retain viewers. As for Mulder
when he does show up? How has he not been arrested for intruding
on crime scenes? How does he even intrude on them?
But anyway, we'll be starting season 9 shortly.
Really impressed with Vodafone's site makeover.
Nice job, Vodafone.
- On my laptop, the entire screen "above the fold" is
taken up with useless information including an image that's about
half the height of the available screen real-estate. This is not a
small laptop screen.
- My account details have been "upgraded" such that
Vodafone apparently no longer have any record of my handset
type (it's apparently - and I quote - "UnKnown Device"). That'd be
the handset they sold me.
- ...clicking on "over-the-air device configuration" here
- ...and clicking on "Check your device insurance eligibility"
brings me to a page which says, "Protect your device with Vodafone
covered" and has a greyed-out "continue" button.
- Speaking of upgrades, I can no longer check my upgrade
eligibility on the site. I can't even find the option for it
(I stumbled on it last week and it said "call customer
- My billing presents a number of add-ons for additional data,
none of which appear to be active (sample descriptive text: "50.00
MB Mobile Internet Passport; 0 MB of this add-on expires on 15
April 2018"). Clicking on "Manage add-ons" does not allow me to
get rid of these because they don't show up there.
- Billing also shows me three "Text unlimited"
circles. Because I am so special I have three times the unlimited
- June 18
- MapMyRun's response to GDPR is to require me to grant them the
right to ship my data wherever. And I can't download my data
without signing up for their premium membership. So I'm going
through what I've posted there, saving what I feel is worth
keeping, and nuking the rest, in advance of deleting my
- June 15
- Justice League is another movie
that I'd heard some poor reviews of, but turns out to be actually
pretty fun. Goofy flash: fun. Sarcastic aquaman: fun. Batman,
Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and SECRET MYSTERY SUPERH aw seriously have
you not seen the posters, promos, cast list, etc.? HENRY
CAVILL. It's RIGHT THERE. Anyway, yes. All fun. Zack Snyder does
need to be prevented from directing anything else until he can see
beyond the physical attributes of his female cast (seriously,
gratutiutous cleavage and butt shots are not a crucual part of the
story) but other than that this was definitely a lot better than
- June 13
- I regret to inform you that The BBC are at it again:
|2018-06-13 10:05:02||Minnesota raccoon's daring skyscraper scramble transfixes internet|
|2018-06-13 10:35:02||Minnesota raccoon hailed as hero after skyscraper climb|
|2018-06-13 13:05:02||Raccoon hailed a hero after Minnesota skyscraper climb|
|2018-06-13 14:35:02||Raccoon hailed a hero after Minnesota skyscraper climb|
|2018-06-13 17:05:02||Daredevil raccoon's Minnesota skyscraper climb|
I mean, it's not like anything else important is happening,
- June 9
- Went to The Last
Ship, Sting's musical based on the shipbuilding town and
people of his youth. I've been looking forward to this and was
only slightly disheartened to discover that the man
himself wouldn't be on stage. To be honest, that was a bit silly
in multiple respects; the musical performances by the male singers
could all have been Sting if you closed your eyes. As musicals go,
this isn't Oliver or Annie, a point to which the
chorus draws your attention at the interval after one of the
characters has collapsed on stage after a beautiful duet rendition
of the title song. The chorus, in fact, reminded me a bit of
Elaine, "your tour guide through South Central Los Angeles" from
that Ice Cube track on account of this particular change in tone!
The cast: superb. The music and singing: superb. The story: well,
it's The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a
mountain except the Englishman is a dockyard crew or maybe
the dockyard foreman and the hill is a ship and the parish priest
was excised from the UK/Ireland run of the show and... what I'm
trying to say is that the story's a bit derivative, but if you've
read this site for long enough you know that I don't care about
derivative if delivery is done well, and delivery was indeed done
well. The set:
The set needs its own paragraph, basically. It's the uncredited
cast member. A simple enough layout: a large backdrop that could
be a dockyard gate or the inside of a ship, a gallery accessed by
steps that could double for part of a crane, some movable bits in
the foreground to make a bar counter, or dockyard detritus. Ah,
but then. There were screens on rails that could be raised or
lowered left, right and center stage, and with various lighting
and projection they could be made opaque or transparent or
somewhere between the two. These provided a street scene, a
church, a house interior with a sudden fade-in of a couple dancing
in the background as the older version of the male partner told
the story in the foreground, and for the finale, well, of course,
it turns into The Last Ship. Above the backdrop was another screen
on which was projected skylines appropriate for the plot point at
hand - the bow of the ship under construction, shipyard cranes, a
lighthouse, and so forth. I'm giving it all this praise, but the
real magic of it was that it wasn't a cast member - it
supported the story without being a gee-whiz effect distracting
you from what was going on. I'm just a nerd who takes note of this
sort of thing.
Anyway. A very enjoyable afternoon, and
I'd have happily walked out the door and back in for a repeat
- June 8
- 47 Ronin was a fairly straightforward
action / drama movie; no real surprises, a couple of decent
fights, and the somewhat expected outcome with minor
variations. So basically a passable way to spent two
- June 4
- SCORCHIO! Weather here is spectacular, so fiddling about with
computers is somewhat minimal, as is media-observation.
Having said that... still chomping through the X-Files, now season
8 (the one where Mulder mainly appears in the credits, falling
into an eye). It's kinda funny seeing Scully completely flipped to
Mulder's "I want to believe" point of view, but I guess
after seven years of exposing her to assorted phenomena they kinda
had to do something about the increasingly silly
skepticism. We've just passed the point where Mulder's decided to
show up to work again, and in a very short number of episodes -
possibly from one to the next - Scully went from "I'm
pregnant and noone can tell" to "I'm VERY PREGNANT"
which was a bit weird since nobody seems to notice. Well,
whatever. Alien baby or something, everyone's just shrugging and
going "X-File" I guess.
There are, of course, constant jokes chez Waider about Robert
Patrick changing into a metallic man to pursue whoever's pissing
him off this week. He never does, disappointingly.
As mentioned, saw Neil Gaiman doing a sit-down talky thing, and as
a result I'm finally reading Sandman; my cohort in
college were mostly mad fanboys of this (and also, curiously
enough, Tori Amos who subsequently turns out to be a friend of
Gaiman's) and to be completely honest the fanboy thing kinda put
me off ever looking at any more than bits and pieces (I seem to
recall reading Death: The High Cost of Living at some
point). Anyway, reading the graphic novels now after consuming a
large percentage of what Gaiman's done since, it's interesting to
see him with rough edges trying to craft a story where he knows
what he wants but doesn't quite know how to get it. I
don't mean it's bad, just... it's not the work he'd produce if he
did the same thing now; it's a bit more raw, a bit less
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All Our Summers Come At Once.