marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Since myself and others will probably be running XP for some time despite how end-of-service (April 8th) has already come and gone (my main reason for keeping it is Aesop here can and will run anything: 7, Vista, 8 - she's run them all - but she was made for and simply runs XP better) I figured I'd do a quick writeup on how to keep an XP computer safe and light on its feet and how to run the newer and more fancy Microsoft fonts on XP.

Best Practices For Installing and Using XP after April 8th End-of-Service Date

  • Don't! Use it! At all! Ever! Again! (from The Book of Do As I Say Not As I Do, Chapter XP)
  • Turn on Automatic Updates (users who install or use anything less than a fully updated copy of XP running SP3 Build 5512 Final will get all updates needed to bring their OSs current despite being past end-of-service date)
  • Don't use anything less than Service Pack 3
  • Turn on Windows Firewall
  • Turn off possibly dangerous services
  • Don't use anything less than Internet Explorer 8. Once SP3 is installed, IE6 or IE7 will take you to the IE8 download page so no worries. Install IE8, then go to the Menu Bar-->Tools and click on Tools, then on Windows Updates. IE will take you to Windows Update where you can install more updates you'll need
  • While still running IE8, go to Tools-->Internet Options-->Advanced and turn off ActiveX, all scripting, meta refresh, cross-domain content, automatic downloads of anything, and turn on all certificate checks (especially after Heartbleed); under the Security tab set all Zones cookie handling (except for restricted sites, which are already set to high) to medium-high; turn off all third-party cookies
  • Download Firefox, close Internet Explorer and don't open it again; install Firefox and set it as the default browser (it's worth mentioning that all three of you worldwide still using an AOL web browser are running whatever version of IE is currently installed on your computer every time you use it; older copies of AOL's browser, newer versions of it, and AOL Explorer itself are just IE disguised in an AOL hard-candy shell - same goes for Avant and Maxthon browsers, so you should stop using them, too)
  • After Firefox is installed get Web of Trust for search engine safety and to avoid entering dodgy websites; for better password management use a secure password manager; I use LastPass
  • Before logging into any website or email account, check for Heartbleed vulnerabilities both past and present; change passwords once affected websites are known to be patched
  • Don't install Java - uninstall it if it's already on your PC (link for this and next tip)
  • Don't install Flash - uninstall it if it's already on your PC; instead of Flash use the HTML5 Player on Youtube (it plays everything, just search for what you want and click on the desired result)
  • Don't go without antivirus but don't use classic antivirus. Yes, you read that right; try Webroot SecureAnywhere instead. It doesn't download virus definitions nor use heuristics to analyze any possible virus - instead, it analyzes program behavior to stop dangerous activity before it can damage your computer, and it's supposed to leave the lightest footprint and offer the most practical realtime protection - we'll see

Vista/7/8 Fonts on XP

You can get all the basic Windows Vista/7/8 fonts from two sources.

  • For fonts that begin with the letter "C" (nope, I'm not kidding;, they all do) download PowerPoint Viewer, which will also install a useless thing called ctfmon.exe; if seeing it run in Task Manager 24/7 drives you nuts (it drives me nuts) use this to get rid of it
  • For Segoe UI, download Windows Live Mail (it's not as bad as it sounds - the downloader includes five or six programs but you can uncheck them all except for Live Mail, and you never have to use it; it won't run on start up or otherwise get in your way); download link and some good tips

If I left anything off my lists (or if you'd like to debate me or each other about anything on my lists - I'm sorta democratic like that) please let me know and/or go ahead in the comment section...

Thought as I Write

Apr. 17th, 2014 12:35 am
aximili: (Yes Man: Scooter Hat)
[personal profile] aximili
My brother says I should try to get published if I'm going to bother writing my stories to completion anyway.

I've never wanted to be a published author or anyone noticeable.

But I also acknowledge that if I were ever successful at something, I could do more good than I could now (working a part-time job and tons of debt.) And writing's really the only activity I have I can imagine ever being decent at that could turn into success, as rare and unlikely as it is. (I suppose much like he thinks on baseball.)

So... Maybe. If I ever get a story to third-draft stage. As unlikely as that sounds. To put it this way - if I get to a point where I think I could use writing to increase my ability to help people in the world, I'll look into publishing. Though we could argue it's everyone's duty to shoot for every opportunity for success so they have the resources for doing good in the world.*
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie
The good: the CD I used to reinstall the OS has all the standard games on it which of course includes Internet Reversi. [personal profile] silveradept can imagine how happy this makes me; what he or she may not be able to imagine is how bad I am at it after years of not playing (which is good! moar challenge): really, terribly fucking bad. Even on the easiest games I'm like "Whut" like I've never seen the board before. Which is uh, great! Almost like having amnesia. Yeah.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple's commandments for spiders:

Thou shalt not move way too fast.
Thou shalt not be on Purple.
Thou shalt not be on Purple's delicate electronics.
Thou shalt not be way too hairy.
Thou shalt not jump!

This spider was way too in his office, but otherwise inoffensive. We'll be
releasing it outside later.

Spider-watching is fairly lousy entertainment, but decent survival skills.

spider pic (contained) )

G-Babies vs. D-Babies

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:52 pm
jadelennox: Geoffrey and Oliver from slings and arrows: "wake up and smell the coffin" (slings and arrows: coffin)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Inspired by [personal profile] roga's watch of Slings and Arrows, I read this old AV Club article "The Slings & Arrows creators discuss their writing process and the show’s future":

BM: It was over. It felt over. The big one for me was I could not imagine pulling Ellen and Geoffrey apart again and putting them back together again. We had done it so many times. It just would feel contrived.

MM: That’s why we’re doing all the characters as tots for our follow-up.


MM: See, they knew each other when they were four and five. It might be animated. It might be live-action. We haven’t decided that yet.

Slings and Arrows Babies.

They're made of felt.

And Geoffrey bites off Darren's nose.

Lives of Quiet Insignificance

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:40 pm
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
[personal profile] laguera25
One thousand four hundred and ninety-six words today.

I know I haven't posted much of substance in months. I likely won't for many more. Exposing myself to the curious gaze of virtual passersby has lost its savor as I've gotten older. Better to grieve unrealized dreams in private and foster new ones in the same. I'm no longer young and idealistic, sure I can change the world if I can just make others understand how I see it. I'm no longer a bundle of potential, but of wistful might-have-beens. I'm sliding into mundane and unremarkable middle age, and the only feeling that accompanies this realization is apathetic inevitability. I'm not yet at peace with being nothing, but there's no longer a bitter struggle against it.

I still have hopes and nebulous plans for life, but the pressure to be the most excellent always and be a shining example of crippledom is gone. Life is what it is, and if that means I spend what's left of it reading and writing and planning to go to a con and meet an actor, then so be it.

Beefcake poster time. Ngggh.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 03:37 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
Still around, just don't have a whole lot to say.

Everything sort of feels like either I am in a chrysalis with some big transformation ahead of me, or in a state of decay withering to nothing, and I can't tell which. Either way, there's nothing to see here but a puddle of goop.

(Speaking of goop... Have you ever watched air bubbles rise through a thick clear substance like liquid soap? The way it sort of glurps into existence at the formation (like if you're pouring softsoap from one container into another) and drifts upwards until -- blup! -- it's gone. My emotions are rather like that right now; mostly an unpleasantly neutral sort of blah, and there are occasional glurps of happiness that last briefly and then blup away again.)

Creative Writing

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:51 am
aximili: (Cats: Jack Yawn)
[personal profile] aximili
Lately I've been consistent with writing two pages of (original) fiction minimum per day. Instead of trying to force myself with one story or anything in particular, I have all my ideas saved up in various Google Docs folders, and whatever I feel like working on I go and work on it.

It's been interesting, because I was wrapped up in journal-writing for so long I forgot how much as a kid I wanted to write fictional stories all the time. They were never an option past first and second grade, for the most part, with an exception in fourth grade, seventh grade (twice) and... that was about it. I can count the amount of times we were allowed to do free-style fiction writing on one hand.

Anyway, so I have been making myself do it, and I'm starting to get back into it and remember that it was actually really important to me and something I looked forward to as a kid. I just hope I get better practiced at it eventually.

I'd been sick so I'm working on getting back into my old schedule, but I find when I push myself I start coughing, so I'm not quite there yet. I did half-time at the gym yesterday, but no Rosetta Stone. I'm going to take a nap, go to the gym, and do a few segments of Rosetta Stone today, even if it's only a fifteen minute exercise of French and Spanish. (Though, as long as I don't start coughing, I think it's likely I'll be able to do an hour of each once I get started.) After that I'm hoping to get back into studying with Khan Academy, as well, but I think I'm likely to start going into coughing fits at some point today, given I've already been having smaller episodes this morning.

It's weird, I didn't cough at all during the cold, but now I can't seem to stop.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Apr. 16th, 2014 02:26 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Barbara Hambly, The Walls of Air: Weirdly, I liked this one a lot more than the first book, and I almost never do that with trilogies. Here is where I think the plotting started getting good and the characters got to discover more about the world -- two of 'em went off on a quest and two of them went looking through the mysterious Keep of Dare for answers about how to fight the Dark, which seem to be kind of like the aliens from the Alien movies except they can also fly. Anyway. I like quest stories and the characters were great.

Barbara Hambly, The Armies of Daylight: I thought I knew where this was going by about halfway through -- they know what the Dark is, they have plans, they're going to try do something -- and then one character comes along and the entire plot goes sideways, which is frankly pretty awesome. Also I may have spent the trilogy shipping Gil/Ingold, hahaha yesss.

Basically, uh, I see why people would find the Darwath books comfort reads; they remind me a lot (a lot!) of the Windrose Chronicles, except with slightly more epic fantasy + politics -- the Windrose Chronicles seem more tightly character centered, although maybe that's because the villain is one man. But they are all the same flavor of awesome.

Though I could have done without the bit where everyone was straight and there was no hint of queerness at all in the setting until of course the Evil Empire shows up from the south (their evil practices include slaveholding, that's how you know they're evil) and suddenly people are insulting them with homophobic obscenities and saying they rape boys. I kind of think it would have been better just not to mention it all, if all the queerness is going to be evil. (I feel the same about Pharos in Windrose. Gee, thanks, author.)

What I'm Reading Now

Lynn Flewelling, Shards of Time: The newest (and apparently last ever) Nightrunner book; Alec and Seregil are off to Fantasy Greece to solve locked-room murders and there are maybe ghosts. So far it's... eh... serviceable, but there's this weird subplot where the whole place used to be Plenimaran and so there are a lot of 'faie ex-slaves and Seregil has swooped in and is trying to fix all their lives in a way that seems kind of creepily paternalistic. But maybe that will get better.

What I'm Reading Next

No idea.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass
Tonight I realised that one of the places my psych and I are falling down is that when he sends me SYN-ACK, I do not send back ACK. I didn't realise I was supposed to until I broke it down and thought about where we were failing to communicate. [[personal profile] thedeadparrot is partly to blame for this, but only partly.]

Often I say $thing, he says "I'm hearing you say $thing?" and I think "yes, that's what I said - but okay, I guess he had to check," and out loud I move on to further details about $thing and the surrounding issues, while he presumably keeps waiting for that final ACK until the session times out. I cannot count the number of sessions where he concludes with "We've talked about a number of different things today," and I think confusedly "I thought we were talking about the same thing the whole time." And I probably do this to lots of other people who aren't my psych, as well, and in non-therapy sessions there aren't as many debugging tools so it's harder to work it out.

Someone stop me now before I stay up all night writing a post about OSI model as a metaphor for human communication. No, seriously, stop me now. I have other things I have to do. Like get a nonzero amount of sleep before I leave for the airport early tomorrow morning.

(If you try to talk to me and I don't respond because I'm asleep, that's a layer 1 problem... I think that very often allistics think that their communication problem with 'high-functioning' autistics is located at a higher level than it really is - for instance, assuming layer 6 or 7 when it's really 4, and conversely believe their problem communicating with 'lower-functioning' autistics is lower than it is - for instance, during a meltdown, assuming the physical layer is irreparably broken when really the autistic person is experiencing what feels like the equivalent of a DDOS attack. I use scarequotes here because at different times that could be the same person.)


Apr. 16th, 2014 10:30 am
iamshadow: Still from Iron Man of Tony stark holding out his hand with a replusor glove on. (repulsor)
[personal profile] iamshadow
Just when I'd declared the tilt traps weren't working, I caught a mouse, last night. I walked a little ways down the road this morning and opened the door and he bounced right out into the enormous lavender bush near the orchard. There are no occupied buildings near there and plenty of ground cover, so hopefully he'll find a new nest and not get eaten immediately. I like the idea of the tilt traps, that's why I bought them in the first place, so maybe I'll give them a little longer before giving up on them. It's still a pain that there are very few places I can actually set them successfully, but now I at least know the concept is sound. There was plenty of poop in the trap, so I know he was in there for a while. My other theory had been that they were going in and somehow getting out again, and that seems to have been busted.

AHAHA, and I caught another one this evening, so that's two relocated so far.


Couple more recs to add that I've read since yesterday:

Unshceduled Meetings by [ profile] roboticonography
A chronicle of the early years of the career of one Virginia "Pepper" Potts.

When Darcy Meets Bucky by [ profile] ifeelbetterer
I would love to know what happens when Darcy meets Bucky.

thicker than blood by [ profile] beardsley
Five times they were not like brothers at all, in the past and in the now. Face to face or back to back, behind enemy lines or behind the privacy of closed doors, armed to the teeth or stripped bare. It doesn't goddamn matter.

a saviour came your way by [ profile] beardsley
Gabe, when they were on leave in London, saw Bucky's eyes trail after Steve as he walked out of the bar and said, 'Makes you wonder what you'd like more, to be him or to fuck him, right?'
Bucky isn't torn on that front at all. Fuck, all the way.

but hey, you're all right by [ profile] beardsley
This is not my fault,' Tony lies. 'It was supposed to be a joke! Christ.'
'Thanks to your joke,' says Coulson, 'we now have a code three-four-delta, with the variable being a Russian immigrant. We're checking his background right now, but it might take a while. Meanwhile, I suggest you civilian-proof the Tower. If any SHIELD intelligence is compromised, I will hurt you.'
Yes, this is the story where the Winter Soldier is a Russian mail-order bride. Everything goes about as well as you'd expect.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Posted in full at: at April 16, 2014 at 04:30AM
nolikereally: kickingshoes: against-stars: JUST LEAVE ME TO...




mixing dwarvish and elvish styles for tauriel’s outfit was a lot of fun! i’ll probably try to do an elvish wedding version at some point…


azurelunatic: The four quadrants of troll romance, represented by heart, diamond, spade, and club. (quadrants)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
It was a Tuesday.

I arrived at a vaguely reasonable hour, and then did vaguely reasonable things. There was the 1:1 with my manager, where the room got sort of awkwardly pre-empted by people somewhat higher up who were apparently hoping to just have a quiet cup of coffee together. (We were the ones who wound up outside because while I'm sufficiently faceblind and unfamiliar with the galaxy of changing people up top, my manager is neither.)

Crunch mode on that thing is done for the month, and other stuff has been juggled. Next I get to have fun with juggling schedules! Yay! We still haven't gotten final word on our destination in the new building. I have got boxes, though, so at least I can start with that.

Yet another of my teammates is getting married in the upcoming weeks, and according to her wishes, there will be no trips down to the duck (in every sense of the word) pond.

[personal profile] jd's Eurovision party has been scheduled! Yay!

In the lull between things, I am working on getting somewhat organized again. And thus I proceeded until my brain and body were both asking me why the fuck I was on about this again.

Given that it's been crunch mode and I've been tired, I've let my step count slip. I also let my laundry schedule slip some, resulting in today's arguably gaudy pairing of the bright magenta shirt and the undersea blue-green skirt. It goes! But it's not my raven-sober usual look. (The conversation that goes "Yeah, I've been letting all kinds of stuff slip. Just look at me!" "Huh?" "No, seriously, look at me." "Laundry?" "Yep." depends on a working knowledge of my usual style.)

"Color blocking" as a fashion, even when it doesn't make you look like a Frank Lloyd Wright (or Vasa) stained glass (in the bad way), introduces so many opportunities for someone to make an utter hash of their wardrobe. I'm talking Cecil Gershwin Palmer fanon bizarre. Purple and I got to talking about the possibilities inherent in cultivating a look which was deliberately that awful, so that someone looking at their wardrobe might go "YOU HAVE ALL KINDS OF THINGS WHICH GO TOGETHER WHY DON'T YOU EVER WEAR THEM AT THE SAME TIME!!" because that sort of thing amuses us. (This apropos of my wardrobe, in which you could find things which go together poorly, but you'd have to try on purpose.) (Though the off-light-blue cotton workplace fitness challenge shirt with the neck cut out which fits too tight in the tits over the really elegant black and silver lace skirt would probably do it, especially if I threw in a bright pink boa and the purple glitter clogs.)

There's a certain amount of geek-culture cred to being able to correctly name which series of Star Trek the only color block shirt I own (unintentionally) goes with. Somebody had to google it. *smug look*

The Stage Manager has been telling me I'm evil. This may have to do with the doughnuts (no one wanted the last half, it seems like), the peeps, or the jellybeans. I'm not sure which. He snagged the last of the blue peeps, so I opened the purple peeps. (The pink peeps are next.)

I had occasion to mention to someone that the other uncle-manager was kind of an intense guy, and had more than once made me feel really stupid from the questions he was asking me which I ought to have been able to answer, and my complete inability to say anything while so very suddenly on the spot that made any sense. One either gets used to that (or pushes back, which is probably a better strategy), or one does not. But this is a thing to be aware of when having dealings with him.

It was still light out when I started meeping and wobbling. I'm not used to that happening except on 2nd Thursdays.

It occurred to me in the shower that my current love/romance/partner/Very Important People type situation could be summed up with a simple diagram. Read more... )

Like Bailing Water From the Titanic

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:18 am
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
[personal profile] laguera25
One thousand three hundred and seventy-eight words today.

Still busy-beavering along. I'm in fic up to my bony ass and don't seem to be making much headway no matter how much I write. I've got Almost Human fic I'd love to work on, and Rammfic, but Priest and ST:AOS demand my attention, too. I need four more hands and ten times the stamina, plzkthnx.

Dear God.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

All morning it poured as low, heavy winds assaulted our humble three story abode yet the utilities chugged away as though nothing was happening. As I got out of bed around 11:30 the rains died down and the Internet went out; about two hours later the sun started shining and we lost the power. I was deep-cleaning the refrigerator and therefore less than completely delighted - you probably could've heard me cursing the power company from down the block.

The power company rep I reported the outage to warmly assured me we'd have power again by 4:30 - yet at 3:00, the automated phone system couldn't estimate any repair time at all. At 4:30 the automated system told us to wait until 6. At 6 it told us to wait until 7, and all because the sun suddenly shined, which apparently snapped all the lines in this county. When I called the cable company around 12, they told me the Internet would be back on by 3 - but then we lost the power at 1:30 so it didn't matter. But when the power came back on at 7, guess what? So I got back on the phone with the cable company, who told me all those little bits of information that normally fly around the house would be flying around it again by 8.

By the time the Internet came back on that didn't matter, either; we were starving from not opening the fridge all day so I had to cook dinner while Fiance Person had to run to the store. And because the power had just come back on after being off for six hours I couldn't open the fridge without risking losing all the food - also, I have nearly zero budget for buying any more of it this month - so I got down on my hands and knees in front of the fridge, opened the door from the bottom by just one tiny little crack, and inserted my hand through said crack to pull out the Italian sausage, green peppers and onions I'd been planning to fry up, anyway. Then I spent the next two hours cooking and cleaning it all up.

Then I had to do laundry because Fiance Person needs work clothes for tomorrow! And the water heater won't let you take two showers in a row (you have to space showers about three hours apart for maximum hot water and I use all the hot water every time, so yeah) so I let Fiance person go first (he has to work tomorrow so he takes priority over me, since I have exactly nothing to do tomorrow) and then I collapsed in from of the computer to write this.

Oh, and how did I spend the entire day without power? Ha. Let me describe the ways: I dusted the entire inside of the house, scrubbed the kitchen, cleaned the box fan in the living room inside and out, ate cold leftover meatloaf with potato chips for lunch while I read the paper (this was the only break I took), scrubbed the glass shower stall, scrubbed the toilet, swept 3 flights of stairs outside from top to bottom and back up, and repeatedly called the power company for updates. Fiance Person made his first trip to the store during this time after happily hand-building gaskets all day (don't ask) only to find out their power was out, too.

On his second trip to the store the trucks for the power company, the cable company and CenturyLink all passed him on the road pretty much in a row and the store hadn't even turned its computers back on so he had to wait in a line that snaked around the back of the place, which was how he came to learn everyone lost everything today. Whoever came up with today can shoot it right between the eyes because I am done with it (time to throw the laundry in the dryer...grrrrr)...

ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Last slice of the hazelnut torte. #mine #vscocam

[Fic] Ring Led

Apr. 15th, 2014 05:11 pm
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)
[personal profile] branchandroot

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Have and Hold, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kuroko Tetsuya, Kuroko/Aomine/Kagami
Summary: Kuroko decides to push Aomine a little further, and offers to spank him for breaking his collar (again). Aomine is perfectly pleased, but Kagami needs a bit more reassurance.
Meta: D/s, Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 2880

"You know," Tetsu murmured, fingers stroking over the line of Daiki's new collar, "sometimes I think you let them break just so I'll put another on you."

Daiki looked up at him, relaxed by the feeling of being collared again. "You did say that you would, as often as necessary."

The corners of Tetsu's mouth curled up faintly, and he set his fingers under Daiki's chin, keeping his head tipped back. "I did, and I will. Though I'm starting to wonder if I should punish you, when you break another one, for putting me to the trouble."

Ring Led )


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