A measure of Werner

2021/07/30 10:17 AM 4 months ago

It’s that time again:

  • Hurt: 4; when he’s lying down his breathing is pretty shallow. He still isn’t expressing pain but he’s definitely disliking being picked up anymore. I’ve been managing his pain with CBD oil.
  • Hunger: 6; he’s not quite so voracious right now. But that could also be because of how warm it is. Also the CBD oil.
  • Hydration: 8; he’s still an incredibly thirsty boy.
  • Hygiene: 7; he’s actuall pooping? in the box?? on his own???
  • Happiness: 3; he seems pretty down in the dumps most of the time.
  • Mobility: 3; still stumbling and seems off-balance. But he’s still able to jump up on the couch or bed when he wants skritches.
  • More good days than bad: 6; he’s still trucking along.
  • Total: 37; this is, um. Really close to the rubric’s cutoff.

Night Court has a transphobia problem

2021/07/29 10:50 PM 4 months ago

I have fond memories of the show Night Court growing up. In particular, I have a fondness for the episode “Best of Friends”, which I’d remembered being a surprisingly progressive episode about trans issues.

I have been rewatching the entire series from the beginning, for the first time since the series ended in 1992, and “Best of Friends” was in fact surprisingly progressive for the era. It still had problems, though; it put the burden on the trans woman for having hurt Dan’s feelings, rather than on anyone else for not respecting her, and her new husband was seen as some sort of freak for daring to support her. But in the end, Dan more or less comes around and realizes that Charlene has done what’s right for her.

But oof, there is so much unnecessary, downright mean transphobia in the rest of the show. For example, in the episode “Hurricane,” there’s a few jokes about a baby being “transsexual” due to a miscommunication (which also involved Brent Spiner’s bumpkin character), there’s a common undercurrent of perpetrators wearing dresses for the sake of man-in-a-dress jokes, there’s some ridiculous gender-essentialism on display in “Bull Gets A Kid,” and in the episode “Rabid,” there’s a gag in which two Swedish women (of course) turn out that they “used to be men,” which they feel compelled to disclose in response to Dan saying he might have rabies — and them being transsexual is treated as far, far worse than said disease.

As a kid I remember a bunch of later-episode jokes about big burly men wailing that they are a “woman trapped in a man’s body” but I’d always chalked that up to 1990s edgelord humor, during a decade when every other episode of a sitcom would involve some joke about a woman being “really a man” or just generally being shitty. But no, this show ended up having it all the way throughout its entire run.

Sometimes I wish I could get the ear of the writers and producers of TV in this era and see how they feel about how they treated gender-diverse people.

And of course it’s not just the transphobia. In the first couple of seasons, this show is generally pretty gentle, and optimistic, and treats quirky people as the wonderful diversity of life in New York, but as time goes on, the humor just gets meaner and meaner. And even Harry Stone, perpetual boyscout and optimistic truth-and-beauty-seeker, joins in on the punching-down.

I’m about halfway done with the show, but I’m not sure if I want to finish it.

And just as I was writing this, the episode “Caught Red Handed,” which I was already not looking forward to due to some well-remembered blatant hypocrisy regarding sexual harassment, is making fun of feminism, with Christine going on a feminist rant, and then she gets pulled out of it — by a trans woman agreeing with her.

Some recollections of working in the games industry

2021/07/29 6:30 PM 4 months ago

From 2004 to 2005 I worked at a new Ubisoft studio. Technically it was “Guillemot Entertainment” at the time (before it was renamed to Longtail Studios, and then later moved to Halifax and became Ubisoft Halifax), but it was basically Ubisoft; we used Ubisoft corporate letterhead, our QA and publishing went through Ubisoft, our paychecks came from Ubisoft, and so on. And, most importantly, our studio head was Gérard Guillemot, one of the Guillemot brothers. Notably, Yves runs Ubisoft as a whole, and Michel ran Gameloft, which was (at the time) Ubisoft’s foray into mobile gaming.

Because it’s relevant to the current discussion around the games industry and its rampant toxicity, I have a few stories to share.

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Werner status for 7/27

2021/07/27 5:45 PM 4 months ago

Again with the PetMD quality of life scale:

  • Hurt: 4; breathing is still a bit shallow, and he’s getting pretty uncomfortable with just lying down on things without propping his front half up.
  • Hunger: 10; holy heck this dude is a hungry little dude.
  • Hydration: 7; still drinking plenty of water, but feeling a bit dehydrated.
  • Hygiene: 5; he’s randomized where he decides to dump his load, but otherwise unchanged.
  • Happiness: 3; he seems pretty checked-out lately, but he still wants to spend time with me and purrs when being petted.
  • Mobility: 3; he’s slowed down further and stumbles a lot more. I think he’s mostly really off-balance because of his swollen liver.
  • More good days than bad: 7; he still seems to be doing okay overall.
  • Total: 39

Guess I should start making preparations.

A decaf coffee rant

2021/07/23 2:35 PM 4 months ago

Why do so many roasters seem to think that decaf coffee isn’t worth doing a good job on? The whole reason people drink decaf is because they like the flavor of coffee, but don’t want (or can’t have) the caffeine. So you’d think that there’d be a lot more care taken on making decaf that tastes good!

Of all the roasters in Seattle I’ve only seen two that give a crap about making decaf at all good: Vivace and Zoka. And even then, both of them provide a wide variety of caffeinated roasts, and only a handful of decaf roasts. Portland’s Stumptown used to be a good choice, but their decaf quality has gone way downhill ever since Peet’s bought them out.

I suppose I should give Vita another try now that they’re under new ownership, but I’m not terribly optimistic about that.

But anyway. There’s this weird notion that to truly appreciate espresso you need to also be Very Into Caffeine. Seems like a bunch of shitty machismo to me.

Werner status for 9/22

2021/07/22 2:33 PM 4 months ago

As usual, rated on the PetMD quality of life scale:

  • Hurt: 5; he seems to be breathing somewhat shallowly, and he seems to have trouble finding a comfortable position to lie in, probably due to enlarged liver.
  • Hunger: 9; He’s still eating a lot and happy to enjoy food.
  • Hydration: 8; Still drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Hygiene: 5; still peeing in the box, still pooping on the floor (now in my bedroom).
  • Happiness: 4; loves to spend time with me, enjoys being pet, but has no interest in toys or catnip.
  • Mobility: 4; he’s moving slowly, and stumbles while doing it. But he has no trouble getting on or off the couch or bed. And as stated, he’s still able to get into the litter box just fine.
  • More good days than bad: 7; he’s been pretty affectionate for the last few days.
  • Total: 42

Various updates

2021/07/19 9:26 PM 4 months ago

fluffy health

So, I had a very bad experience with my doctor with this latest chronic pain flare (and the short-term disability leave situation), and with encouragement from my therapist I am switching to a different doctor. The doctor I’m switching to specializes in LGBT healthcare (and apparently 10% of his patients are trans) and also has a specific interest in treating chronic conditions, which is what I need.

I’ve also gone back to my self-determined physical therapy regimen. You know, the one that my GP and the pain doc and physical therapist she referred me to all think will cause more injury, even though it’s always helped me in the past. So far it feels like I’m actually making progress on recovery.

Said regimen:

  • Frequent powerball sessions
  • Upper-body stretching and partial chin-ups using a chin-up bar
  • Playing DDR (okay I haven’t resumed that yet but I’ll probably be starting that again soon, and I’ll be streaming it when I do)
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Current goings-on

2021/07/10 11:08 PM 4 months ago

Still on disability leave, and still in considerable pain. I’m trying not to work too hard on things, but it’s hard not to do things.

For example, I worked on a song with my friends Ken and Huan-Hua for this week’s Song Fight!; we entered the “We Did Everything We Could” fight under the band name Richard Donner Party. It was a fun song to make. Fortunately I didn’t have to even so much as look at a guitar. Most of my work was vocals, light keyboard work, and editing.

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I am not having a great day

2021/07/08 6:43 PM 4 months ago

I got woken up at 7 AM by an onslaught of opportunistic vulture realtors trying to get my attention because my condo listing had expired, and it only went downhill from there.

There’s this hideous practice where if a housing listing expires or is pulled from the market, realtors go out of their way to try to get in touch with the owner with the hopes that they will be the person that the owner switches to. and they’re relentless and fucking entitled and have all sorts of clueless feedback for why my listing isn’t doing well and why I should dump my realtor and go with them, and they don’t care about my explanations about the actual problems and respond even more shittily if you ask them to stop or tell them why calling me at SEVEN IN THE MORNING is not appropriate (but of course they have so many reasons why it’s totally okay and even expected and why it’s justified or even my fault why they’re even contacting me?!), and at one point some of them were even calling my mom with the hopes that she’d be able to help out, somehow.

I don’t even know how they got her number, probably looking her up in the phone book by last name or something. She’s in New Mexico, and has nothing to do with my property.

So my mom’s (rightfully) freaking out to me about all the calls she’s getting too, and I tell her it’s totally fine to just tell them to fuck off, and then apparently some of them started calling my sister too? Which makes even less sense, she doesn’t even have the same last name as me anymore.

In the meantime, my realtor’s working on trying to get the listing back up and that takes way too long because the MLS is slow to respond and meanwhile I’m still having this gigantic fibro flare which the stress is NOT HELPING WITH, go figure. But she gets the listing updated and the calls stop. Whew.

After all that settled down I took a nap because this is already too much for me and I can’t even.

Then half an hour ago I woke up to find that Werner pooped in the bedroom, because he’s senile and has forgotten how the litter box works. Fine. I work on cleaning it up. Just after I’m finishing with that, he goes back into the bedroom and poops again, this time diarrhea. So I start cleaning that up. Then as I’m getting my carpet cleaner ready he goes into the living room and DIARRHEA POOPS AGAIN.

so yeah I’m not having a great day

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Short-term disability leave

2021/07/03 7:26 PM 4 months ago

Over the past couple weeks my pain has been flaring up again, driven especially by work stress. A few days ago I hit a breaking point and realized that this is something I need to actually take short-term disability leave for.

Fortunately, Moz has an extremely generous disability leave program, and management would much rather someone take it if necessary. So, for now I’m off from work until August, and we’ll see where things go from there.

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Werner update

2021/06/30 11:29 PM 5 months ago

After he’d finished his course of antibiotics and antacid, he was doing pretty well. But today he’s started having bile vomit again, and he seems to be losing weight again as well. I think I also caught him drooling a little. It’s all very mild right now, but during the last scare it also started out pretty mild until it suddenly wasn’t.

He doesn’t seem to be in pain, at least, but he might be on the way out after all.

One funny thing is that he’s got no interest in dry cat food at all anymore (he’s probably finding it too hard to chew what with his horrible teeth) but he’s become extremely interested in everything I’m eating… salads, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, pretzels, that sort of thing. I’ll give him little tidbits of the stuff he’s curious about, which at least makes him really happy, even if it’s probably not very good for him. But it brings him some amount of joy and that’s what’s important.

4th of July barbecue?

2021/06/29 6:10 PM 5 months ago

So hey, even though my birthday party got rained out, a bunch of people came and it was a good time. I suspect that an even better time will be had when it’s sunny. Anyone in (or able to get to) the Seattle area interested in having a barbecue at my place on the 4th?

Let me know in the comments!

Private, friends-only, IndieWeb stuff

2021/06/27 10:32 AM 5 months ago

Yesterday I participated in the IndieWeb sensitive data pop-up, or at least the first half of it (I had to disappear for my refrigerator delivery). It was really great to have some further discussion about what people want out of this stuff and how we’re all going to agree to get it.

Authentication stuff

One of the biggest pain points that keeps on coming up is there being no support for people to be able to get private posts without having to log in or be notified about them in side channels. Lots of people are doing things like making pages with unguessable URLs and then doing side-channel notification, but that’s unwieldy; fewer folks are doing things with actual login mechanisms.

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High temperature alert

2021/06/26 5:41 PM 5 months ago

It’s pretty hot in Seattle.

First, advice from someone who grew up in the desert:

  • Drink lots of liquids, but don’t drink just plain water because sweat loses electrolytes
  • A good way to cool down reasonably quickly is to hold ice against a major artery or vein, such as your wrist or armpit, or against your sternum (but be careful about overdoing it in that case)
  • A breeze can help but at a certain point you’re only blowing hot air around and heating it up even more
  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
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Impossible burger update

2021/06/18 6:09 PM 5 months ago

Turns out that Impossible Burger does, in fact, use enough methylcellulose to give me a bad time.