ONE THING, ANOTHER THING, AND THEN … ONE MORE THING

Garry’s computer went down, but that was okay because he could use my other computer. The Kindle went down, but that turned out okay because Audible fixed it and then Amazon fixed it more. But when my computer went down this afternoon, that was NOT okay. Not even a little bit okay.

First, there was a download. Turned out to be a BIOS download, but they didn’t mention this little detail to me and in any case, it didn’t matter because it blew out all my recovery backups. I have my photographs on hard drives, but the rest of my world is online.

It blew out Photoshop — the one from 2008 which had been running fine, thank you.

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It also blew out my sound, but after a bit of jiggling, I got that back. It blew out both of my C-port adaptors. They were cheap and I can cope with stuff that cost me ten bucks. Brand new. But when she told me the jpgs weren’t working and I had to call the company that owns my cameras, I got a little crazy. I was trying really, really hard to be normal, you know? I was trying to not breathe hard, not scream in panic or anything. I was doing okay, but that was it for me.

I said “It’s a FREAKING JPEG. It’s not a fancy schmantzy super special thing that comes with my fancy camera. It’s a JPEG. A lousy little JPEG.”

We eventually worked our way around to the point where she admitted there had been a lot of calls today, all pretty much like mine with people screaming “WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY COMPUTER?”

So — everything is working. Except I don’t have software. For pictures. I do, however, have Photoshop on Garry’s computer and the guy from the computer shop is fixing HIS computer. To be fair, Alien is pretty sure they can get me a version of Photoshop, too. It’ll just take a couple of days.

I’m just saying … it was one thing. Then, there was another thing. THEN, there was THIS thing. I’m totally freaking nuts. Except the computer is working … minus the lack of software. Maybe we’ll get that fixed too. Oy.

SPEAKING OF SPEAKING OUT …

DISCOVER CHALLENGE | SPEAK OUT!


As Garry was switching channels, he paused briefly on the news. “Senators protested the president’s …” and then he clicked on through. No need to listen. Something awful was going on, but these days, something awful is always going on. It is less than two weeks since Number 45 took office. Doesn’t it feel like so much longer than that? It is hard to imagine what we will be experiencing three hundred days from now.

I am not sure we will still have a country, or if the world will exist. We are living not merely in interesting times. We are living an absurd, surrealistic nightmare from which we cannot awaken. 

I have been having nightmares. Not the wake up screaming kind, but the anxious kind where I’m looking for something, but cannot find it. I forget the details of the dreams after I’ve up, but I remember the seeking, searching, not finding, looking further … until finally I give up on sleep. It is not restful. I am having a national nightmare in my personal dreams.

I hope things settle down, at least a bit. I don’t think I’ll survive four years without a full night’s sleep.

By Mike Marland - @mikemarland

By Mike Marland – @mikemarland

So, speaking of speaking out, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m a bit low on righteous indignation today, but I should be ready to rock n’ roll by tomorrow. I’ve been so pissed off at having a president who I think is 1) a sociopath, 2) demented (as in suffering from dementia), or 3) the anti-Christ. Alternatively, Lex Luthor, wearing an orange wig.

What’s left to say?

That this is a guy who has never read a book? Can’t write anything longer than a tweet? Has no sense of fairness, or honor? Cares about nothing except himself and (maybe) his own? Who is willing to do anything to get his own way, no matter who or what is destroyed in the process?

I’ve said it before, echoing and being echoed by many others.

I’m embarrassed that my country voted in this bloated tick to be president. I’m ashamed of my countrymen. I never imagined I could feel this way. I have not always been entirely happy with how, as a nation, we have behaved. I hated the war in Vietnam, appalled at how we treat Native Americans and people of color. Yet, I always believed we had our heart in the right place. That we were a nation with a moral compass that holds a fundamental belief in doing the right thing. Even though it takes us a long time to figure out exactly what “the right thing” is, I always thought we were going in the right direction, if slowly.

Now? We have lost our way. Our moral compass is kaput. We stand humiliated in front of the world. And we aren’t even two weeks into this administration. What new horrors will be perpetrated before his term of office is finally over?

Moving to the ridiculous (or is it?), check this out. I am not the only one who thinks maybe DJT is really Lex Luthor with a rug.

Jimmy Kimmel Turns Donald Trump Into Justice League’s Lex Luthor

For more posts with varying degrees of rage, irony, humor, and despair, you can read any of these recent posts. The list includes a post by Tom Curley and a couple of reblogs.

ON THE SCENT: COME BACK, SUPERMAN!

HELL NO!

DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU

JUST SAY NO

I’M GLAD MOM DIDN’T LIVE TO SEE THIS

LOVE NOTE FROM THE NETHERLANDS

PRINCESS LEIA AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER (Reblog from Sean Munger)

WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR, HE OPENS A WINDOW YOU CAN FALL OUT OF – TOM CURLEY

THE INAUGURATION: AN OBSERVER VIEW (Reblog, Gordon C. Stewart, Views from the Edge)

DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU

We used to live in a constitutional Republic. It’s a kind of representative democracy in which the Electoral College stands between the citizens and the final result of elections — like a water filter in a well. It’s supposed to keep the big lumps of dirt out of the system.

It isn’t working. Not the filtration on our well — that’s working fine. Our water is clear, cold and tastes as good as water can. It’s the government that is broken and getting more broken by the minute. Somehow, a huge lump of dirt strolled right past the filters and took the reins of power. We’ve got ourselves our very own despot! Holy shit! How did this happen?

I was not even a little surprised that Trump’s minions refused to obey the order of a Federal judge. Why would he? Why would they? He has declared himself outside and above the law and his followers have said YES! We want MORE!

He has declared the constitution obsolete and invalid. His followers have cried Lock them up! Shoot them down! Ban them! And all we said was “Can he do that?” while he did that. Then, we shook our heads sadly.

By “them,” the minions really mean us. You, me, and anyone else they don’t like. Reporters and writers. People with not white skin and anyone who doesn’t go to the right kind of church. We are the declared enemy. If we write stuff about him and he doesn’t like it, we are in his sights. Uh-oh!

We are in trouble. Proof positive this morning that the forces of the law are not going to protect us. They’ve declared that they’re with him, the one who is above and outside the law. Forget all that constitutional gobbledygook. Number 45 is calling the plays and he wrote his own book in sentences of 140 characters or less.

For all of you who skipped history because it’s irrelevant to “real life,” this is a full chapter out of the Adolf Hitler playbook. This is how it’s done, how a minority bullies the majority into kneeling down to a dictator. He does not need the consent of the majority, only that they be too spineless to stand up to him. A powerful bunch of thugs at the helm and a shipload of weak, indecisive “oppositions” who are bound up in not wanting to “make waves.” All the thugs need do is for their opposites to do nothing long enough to let them get a firm grip on the military and enforcement arms of government. Later should opposition develop a spine, it’s too late. The powers of darkness have taken over the army.

They’ve got the weapons and the power while we have gallant words. Which historically, have yet to bring down an armed dictator.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’M GLAD MOM DIDN’T LIVE TO SEE THIS

Martha Kennedy suggested I watch this video. Generally, I don’t watch videos and this isn’t my musical taste. You don’t need to like the music and I don’t think the group “Dead Kennedys” expected you to like it. This isn’t entertainment. It is eerily prescient … except that current reality exceeds my wildest, weirdest, worst fears.

When you finish watching that, you should read this piece from The New Yorker. The two go together like a horse and carriage, although I’m ready to believe that the cart is pulling the horse. I never believed I could be this personally upset by national politics. But I’ve never lived through anything like this before. I’m glad my mother didn’t live to see this.

Donald Trump’s lies, and his urge to tell them, are pure Big Brother crude, however oafish their articulation. PHOTOGRAPH BY NINA BERMAN / NOOR / REDUX

Donald Trump’s lies, and his urge to tell them, are pure Big Brother crude, however oafish their articulation.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NINA BERMAN / NOOR / REDUX

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/orwells-1984-and-trumps-america?mbid=nl_TNY

I am now living my nightmare in a world rendered dystopian by one man and a lot of foolish voters and liberals too faint of heart to recognize a genuine threat when it was shouting in their faces. They still seem paralyzed. Maybe when the shock wears off? The Women’s March was, to date, the brightest spot in what has been only one week of Number 45’s reign of terror.

It feels longer, doesn’t it?

PRINCESS LEIA AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER

A fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

womens-march-1

A little less than a month ago, on December 27, 2016, actress Carrie Fisher died after suffering a heart attack on a plane. Her death was followed the next day by that of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. The world, especially that part of it which (like me) was brought up on Star Wars as a staple of our pop culture, deeply mourned the loss of the classy lady who not only played Princess Leia in the movies but epitomized her. This article is not an obituary for Carrie Fisher. If you want one of those, I highly recommend the touching piece by the Burning Blogger of Bedlam giving tribute to “the people’s princess.” I loved Princess Leia. You loved Princess Leia. We all admired her courage, determination and grit. Carrie Fisher, who went through a lot of hard knocks in her life, will be greatly missed.

Yesterday (January 21, 2017), the day after the inauguration as President of the United States of a fascistic know-nothing who detests women and just about everybody else, millions of people in the United States and around the world–including even Antarctica!–took to the streets to support women’s rights, feminism, empowerment, diversity and to express in no uncertain terms their opposition to the viewpoints of President Trump. I took part in one of these marches, in Eugene, Oregon. Like everywhere else, the crowds that turned out vastly exceeded what authorities expected. There were (reportedly) 750,000 in Los Angeles and over 1 million in Washington, D.C., dwarfing the tepid and pathetic “crowd” that turned out for Trump’s lackluster inauguration. In Eugene I’m told police expected 1,000 marchers. The number who showed up? Over 10,000.

I was struck, during yesterday’s march, by one recurrent image: the face of Princess Leia as an icon of resistance.

carrie-fisher-by-gage-skidmore

Carrie Fisher, as she appeared in 2015. Her outspoken views are part of the reason why Princess Leia resonates as a symbol.

I saw Carrie Fisher’s face in a lot of places. Many people, men as well as women, were carrying signs with her picture (one of them is shown at the top of this article). I saw a woman with the symbol of the Rebellion from Star Wars tattooed on her arm, and I saw a man with a patch of the same symbol on the back of his denim jacket. In one of the most touching tweets I saw about the march, Fisher’s Star Wars co-star and friend Mark Hamill referenced Leia as a symbol of women’s empowerment, linking it to Fisher’s own strongly-professed beliefs during her lifetime. His tweet included an image of a woman, evidently from the Los Angeles march, dressed as Princess Leia.

When women’s rights are under attack in real-life America, can a science fiction princess help us defend them?


Complete original post at: Princess Leia and the Women’s March: a fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

It’s the time of year when I set aside my blogging cloak and don the cloak of book judge. From now until the end of February, I’ve got a lot of reading to do. it means I’ll be visiting you less often and posting less. I’m sure you will all manage with less of me for a few weeks. I won’t forget you.

I hope these books are better than the last batch. I worry about the state of literature.

me sicko 2

I’ve also picked up a miserable head cold. Why is it that I am brave and stalwart in the face of major adversity, but a pathetic whiny lump in the face of a runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat and all that other stuff? And yes, Garry’s got it too because caring is sharing and we really care.

STAND UP FOR TRUTH

This the season to spread stupid rumors. It keeps coming up. I get madder each time I see it.

This is the season to spread the rumor that there’s a war against Christmas. That the same cabal consisting of “them – the unnamed conspirators that are doing bad things” want to ban the holiday. That there are movements afoot to make Christmas trees into “holiday” trees and thus ban Christ in Christmas. Worse, that people will get angry and maybe sue you if you wish them a merry Christmas.

Has that ever actually happened? To anyone? Anywhere?

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It has never happened to me. I am not a Christian, but I like Christmas. It’s a nice holiday with pretty decorations, terrific music, and great lighting. Good food and drink and friends getting together to celebrate. What’s not to like?

I am an equal opportunity greeter. I will greet friends and strangers by saying whatever comes to tongue first. I have been doing this my entire life. Not once in all these decades has anyone objected to being wished Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday. Because people are not anti-Christmas. There is no war on Christmas.

There is a Constitutional, entirely legal (obligatory) separation of church and state. It suggests putting a crèche in the middle of town might be in poor taste or outright illegal, but is not a war on anything. It’s protecting my right to not be Christian while simultaneously protecting your right to go to the church, synagogue, mosque — or none of the above — of your choice. Separation of church and state protects all religions and non-believers equally.

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If you want to a crèche in the middle of town, ask the nearest church to put one on their property — if they don’t already have one (and I bet they do). Enjoy it at the church because that’s where it belongs. It’s religious iconography and is entirely acceptable in a religious context.

The United States is not a Christian country. It is religiously unaffiliated. Even though the majority of the population may profess to be some kind of Christian, this includes millions of people who never go to church. One of the many thing that are protected is your right to say your are a Christian or anything else without actually having to do anything to prove it. Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. It means the government has no stake in your personal belief system as long as it stays personal and doesn’t involve bombing other sects or non-believers.

Which means you can say you are a Christian, never go to church at all, complain how Christianity is being threatened by the “freedom and politically correct cabal” (who don’t exist) and no one will ever ask you to show your bona fides. It’s a great constitution we have. If we ditched everything else but kept that first amendment, we might just be okay anyhow.

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If there’s a war on anything, it is on my right to not be Christian. Enforcing the first amendment is not a war. It’s what keeps us free.

Speaking of the first amendment, there is no law anywhere against greeting anyone in any manner you choose. The first amendment also protects your right to free speech including saying Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Or nothing at all. Whatever. It’s all good. I suggest the following response to any seasonal greeting: “Thank you!” Accompanied by a smile. Because someone is being nice and you should be nice, too. Now … that wasn’t so hard, was it?

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Despite Facebook, there is no war on Christmas. No war on free speech. If you spread the rumor that this is true, who knows how much damage you can do? Unless that’s your intention, don’t do it.

No matter what you believe, it’s time to stop sharing, tweeting, and re-posting stuff that’s supposed to be true without first checking to make sure that it is true. How about we stop letting other people’s opinions substitute for facts? How about not passing rumors? How about we all make a commitment to fact-checking as a matter of course? Because the damage we do by spreading lies, rumors, and half-truths — intentional or not — is incalculable. This is something you can do to make the world better without getting out of your recliner.

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If you don’t have time to check the facts, do not repeat it, share it, re-post it, publish it, or in any way pass it along. Unless you personally have checked the facts, assume it is not true. The world will be a better place no matter what politics you favor.

This is not an “us versus them” issue. It is a true versus untrue issue, a fact versus fiction issue. It affects everyone — including your children and grandchildren. Stand up for truth!