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Pony Peroration

Potent Pony Perceivings

Moving... or rather moved
My LJ, not my were and I. If you suddenly got friended by Taur10, that's just Vex... Well, me, Vex is just one of my characters/aspects, specifically my taur self.

Why not just a name change?
Well, the minor reason is the price, but the other reason is this is an old journal, with a lot of friends who don't post any more, and in need of a remodel. With that in mind, I figure we'll just build from scratch. We might spring for a paid account, if I read that right, its a mere $20, and you get a fair number of things for that money. I might not use any of the extras, but at that price, its nice to have the option. But, we'll see, this is just one of many large projects, some required, some not, going on at the moment.
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Well, [info]Vik mentioned it already, we're going to get married. I'd already been looking at doing it next year in IL since the courts had removed the first barrier by striking down MO's refusal to recognize out of state licenses. I must say i was suprised that they struck down the ban so soon afterwards. Its not perfect, the AG is challenging it, and the ruling was on marriages performed in the City of St Louis, so its somewhat iffy about the rest of the state. Vik's waiting to hear back from Hazelwood, i suspect there might be a bit of a wait while decisions are made.

That said, it'll likely be a hand fasting because Vik's pagan. Me? I'm a deist, i believe in some of the basics, but i'm not much for organized religion. While these last two months are prolly far too busy and expensive what with T-day, 1st Annual STL FurBowl, mom's b-day and Christmas, it would be fun to do it on winter solstice. Just imagine that the first day of you lives together is on the longest night, things get brighter from there.

When we did our civil union, it was just the two of us and a Justice of the Peace in front of the Bennington Memorial in Bennington, VT in 04 (wow, its been 10 years!!). That was just a Civil Union though, for a wedding i would like a bit more, but not any fancy $$$ wedding, though it'd be nice if some family could make it. It sounds like Vik's family won't, at least not much, and mine's in PA, AL and points east, so they're not very likely either, but we'll see.

Any how, definitely looking forward to this, just going to take some planning and all.

Mini-ITX 99/4A
So, i got one of these at a thrift store: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_TI-99/4A

The plan is to gut it and stuff a mini-ITX board (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-ITX) in there. Being an X86 board, that limits my OS choices, no OS X, at least not without a lot of work and iffy results. Android is an option, but its much the same as OS X, and Windows of course (blech) or Linux. As the last entry noted, i've been running Ubuntu on my old laptop and am fairly happy with it, so that'll be the direction we go.

Now, for the problem, one that might scratch the 99/4A as the case. I can't say i have that much attachment to it, it happened to be what i found in a thrift store, and since i wanted to do a retro style mini-ITX computer, it seemed perfect. Plus it was cheap. But, there's a problem, and that's the keyboard. Its small, 9in wide, and missing quite a few keys. Not just function keys, but some punctuation keys. Plus its really too small to put even a compact keyboard in there, i've found one, and i doubt the measurements are accurate. Now if i could find a numeric keypad with some extra keys, i could do something with that possibly, but that's looking unlikely. And the case design foregos cutting a larger opening. If it was a Commodore, which would be my first choice as i had a C64 when i was a kid, the design would allow that.

While this doesn't kill the use of the case, i mean i could use an external keyboard, but that'd defeat the point. It does mean i'm now shopping for a case again, maybe a video game case. Anyone got a non-working system? I'm familiar enough with the 2600 to expect that that would be big enough. And as i said, a Commodore would work too. Game systems have the plus that the controllers are of course not built in, so external keyboard and the like won't look out of place.

Any suggestions out there? Anyone have or know of a system kicking around that i can get cheap (free preferred)?

Welcome to Ubuntu
Yep, done gone and set up an 'buntu box. After backing up my music collection since iTunes on my Mac ate some of my files, i let let it wipe my drive and install itself. Seeing as how its prolly been a year+ since i last used this computer, i figured i wasn't losing anything. Seriously, the malware software was complaining that i hadn't done an update in over 700 days. My main compy right now is an iMac running OS X Maverick/10.9.

So, what's the hardware?
Well, its almost comical, but it is a perfect test bed for my plans, an eMachines D525-2925 that i got years ago (manufactured 09) at a Black Friday sale, $279 with travel bag and travel mouse. In that time, the drive has lost the ability to read DVDs, though it will read CDs, haven't tried to burn any though. Also the battery is shot, and the power supply fried, i'm using a cheap replacement with a plug that doesn't fit the computer quite right. Considering that my next computer is planned to be a mini-ITX 99/4A, i'd say this is the perfect test. The keyboard sucks, but its usable, and the screen is too small. Still, it works surprisingly well for something so old.

So, where are we with Linux?
Well, bit by bit, i tweak it to my liking:

Email = Thunderbird as it came with Ubuntu, and it works well enough
IM = Pidgin, though i'm not a mad fan of it and am still looking for better
Twitter = Choqok for Twitter which is around my second or third client, and looks like a winner
LiveJournal = LogJam, which i like
Web = Firefox, another default, and it works well enough though i do miss Chrome's identities (allows me to be signed into multiple Google and FurAffinity accounts at the same time) and its easy ability to share settings/bookmarks/etc across platforms
Movies = VLC, i've been happily using this on my Mac, mPlayer sure didn't work there, so why change?
Music = Default Rythmbox right now, but i'm iffy on it, i don't like the layout although it seems to work well enough
Torrents = Transmission, another default program, although having used it in the past, i don't see any reason to bother with downloading uTorrent

Other system tweaks are Cairo Dock to give me an OS X like dock, since the built in Launcher falls a touch short on features. Seriously, it it had dividers and the ability to add a couple folders, i would've just stuck with it.

As you can guess, things are going well. Linux is still a bit rougher around the edges than a consumer OS like Mac or Android, but honestly, my grandmother could prolly set up and run this. Its amazing how far Linux has come, some ten or so years ago i tried to set my Mac up as a dual boot with Linux, and might've lasted two days before i gave up on Linux. Now, really easy, mostly polished, you definitely don't need to be a geek to use it. The list of what i don't like or will have to get used to is small. Lets see, have to right click to rename folders (and presumably files) rather than merely click on the name. Doesn't seem to be an equivalent to H (hide) that the Mac has. On a Mac hide makes a programs windows go away, then don't reduce to the dock, they simply disappear, and when you click on the program's icon on the dock, they reappear. for switching between programs is another thing i miss. Outside of that, its all pretty similar to Macs and Windows, both of which i've used in a wide variety of flavors.

So, i'm sure i'll be tweaking this for a bit, but we're mostly set at this point. Still, suggestions and recommendations are welcome. This box won't be my main computer, the keyboard sucks (i use a Unicomp on the Mac), and the screen's too small, but it is a practice run and back up unit.

TV 2015
Or however they figure out what season it is. If we were talking cars, it'd be the 2015 model year, and the TV season starts roughly the same time, so why not?

I'm starting to wonder why we have cable, i really don't use it except to put on reruns for noise. Rest of the time i use streaming, cbs.com and such.

So, what have we been watching?

Lets see, i was planning on watching Gotham, but keep forgetting to turn it on. Also fox.com seems to be having some issues with something in my browser, clicking on Gotham gets me Family Guy, and when i can get to Gotham's page, i can't get the videos to work. Oh well, maybe another day.

Then there's Doctor Who, the season premier had its moments, but i was rather underwhelmed. I might find a legitimate source to watch it online, or if necessary bootleg it if i get motivated.

Scorpian, god what a train wreck that was. Seriously, the pilot was bad enough that i was jumping between it and reruns, and finally gave up when they decided to use an ethernet cable to plug into a plane flying overhead. That's it, done with it, it'l be replaced by midseason. Oh, and TechDirt.com has been having fun with it since its supposedly based on the life of the executive producer or whatever his title is.

CSI, now this has been fun. I do wish they hadn't screwed us on NY and Miami. Its not like i had much love for Miami, but around the third season the producers in a TV Guide interview said that they had an explanation for us, and they would share it when it was time to wrap up the show. Then CBS cancelled it over the summer, so we never got the revelation. I wish they'd given to us in another media, maybe a comicbook like Jericho. And NY, killed off because it was getting too old. Seriously, that was the youngest. Oh well, at least they've got the original humming good now, Ted Danson has really gotten the show going right though, he's been a great addition. Plus other changes like giving Eckley a bigger part have helped. I do miss Brass though, and sadly he won't be coming back, even though he hasn't really been written off. I also like the arc this season, in the first episode it seemed like a simple twin brothers on a killing spree story. Then they had fun with it, bringing in two cops from Seattle where the original case happened, and wrapping it up with DNA evidence that didn't match any of them. Assuming they're not thinking we're not smart enough to consider familial DNA which the show has used in the past, that eliminates other family members, so its a real question. As things are going,
Finn has gone on vacation to Seattle to paw through adoption records in search of a clue. This one will take most of the season, and it looks like its going to be very interesting.

NCIS is still humming along. Somehow it just works, i can't say why this is my favorite show, but it is. I'll give the writers credit, usually you start a season with part 2 of some big thrilling season ender, but not this year. Instead they did a one part starting from scratch mining the mythology which is prollly part of the reason i like it so much. Not much to say about this, still a great show, the one i'd choose if i had to pick one show.
NCIS: LA is alright, never really felt like an NCIS show, but its good, solid cast, decent writing. Like CSI some tweaks to the cast have gone well, especially moving Owen Granger over from the original and giving him a much larger part. While i hated the character there, he's become one of the best parts here.
NCIS: NOLA (hey, that's the way i would've done it). Good, has promise, but i suspect it won't last. Unlike :LA, this show is built on the same mold as the original, which is a bit of a problem. Good cast, but how do you avoid doing the same story with just the names and background changed? Weak writing, or lack of faith by CBS shows in the fact that two out of three episodes have guest starred a member of the original. This doesn't bode well for the show.

Criminal Minds is still going, still good, interesting. I think i read somewhere that Penelope is leaving, and the last episode hinted at the changes with the team working without her, and her dealing with issues related to a previous episode. It'll definitely change the show, and might even kill it. While the core cast has stayed the same, there's always been a member of the team that hasn't lasted, and the core crew has been what keeps the show going. Losing one of them will change the dynamic, and might just kill it which would be a shame.

Lets see, i think that's all i'm watching right now, its another weak season. CSI: Cyber is coming, which had its back door pilot last season. Not bad, but its a CSI show in name only, which could be good, it'll be very different from the rest of the franchise. Still, it needs a better name.

I'm baaaaaaack...

Thanks to LJ's support team my issue with the new and improved LiveJournal has been sorted, seems there's a bit of an issue between HTTPS Everywhere and LJ. Now that everything works right, i think i'll come back here. I'm starting to warm to the new design, and i'd love to see them become a viable alternative to Facebook, something Google+ never became. I'm good with a small amount of ads to support it too, long as they're fairly basic, neither intrusive nor obnoxious.

So, expect to see more from me.

Ok, i'm not one to do the whole look at my food pic thing, but...

Well, i've always been proud of how i make my money stretch. Its not uncommon to hear people complain about not having enough money, and it leaves me scratching my head. It is harder here than in Phoenix, there i shopped at Fry's, and through manufacturer coupons, store coupons and electronic coupons, it was a bad day when the discount was only 35%. We've gotten food for free, we had so many bottles of body wash, bars of soap and so on that we donated around 2 or 3 dozen pieces to a food drive (yes, they need more than food, just ask).

So what are you looking at here? That would be dinner and lunch, including a drink. Shelf price, $24.54. But, a few months ago i got a $24 worth of food for $12 deal from Living Social, so i paid $12 then, and another 54¢ today.

Its amazing what a little investment gets you, whether its this deal, the $200 or so i invested at Six Flags (season pass, season parking pass, season dining pass), i rarely pay full price. Six Flags for example sounds expensive, but parking is or was $20 per vehicle, admission $55 (or was it $60), and meals are about $10 ea with the pass getting you two a day, so a visit would cost me $95. For just over twice that, i have unlimited visits. Spend $30 on a slow cooker, i can make a chili that will feed one person two means a day for 2 to 3 days depending on how much you eat, more if you stretch it, and that's on $10 worth of materials.

I'll admit i like spending money, and thanks to vik_thor making good money, there's rarely a worry, but i still like to maximize the value of my money.

Red Dawn the series
Ok, they're not planning one, at least not as far as i know, but having read an article claiming that a sequel to Goonies, another 80s classic is coming, it got me thinking on this.

In the past i've talked about how i like the movie, while some on IMDB accuse it of rah-rah Americanism, the ending undermines that. And it would easily translate into a sci-fi series, in fact there's two ways to go with it.

The first way would simply be to expand on the movie, after all, it followed one small town in America, but the invasion was a lot larger. That town alone allows a lot more character development, and exploration of the strategic value of that town, i mean why there? And then there's what's happening everywhere, from seeing the attack as it develops, from hispanic communists slipping across the border and taking up positions (news about the flood of illegals coming from Mexico?) to the decision to attack China (600 million screaming Chinamen/ Last i heard there were a billion/WERE) to what it looks like in other parts of the US midsection which is all Russia captures.

The second is to turn the move into a pilot, considering that its only 114 minutes, and the story could be tightened up, it'd easily fit into a two hour or two part pilot. With what we did to China (pre-emptive bombing to protect our western flank), splitting the country (communists captured only the middle) and the after effects, there's plenty for years of stories if you widen the focus beyond just that one little town. If you remember, the movie ends with Erica's voice over essentially telling us that in the end what we watched barely qualifies as a footnote in history, so there's a lot more to see out there. Imagine the changes with China, not likely to become the same economic powerhouse, that'll make for big changes. Then there's the fact that the country got cut in three and Washington DC destroyed, would it even stay one country?

I'd love to see this, i'm a big, big fan of alternate history, the world can turn on such a little thing, something that Sliders explored in its early episodes, something that's very popular in sci-fi.

What's in a name...
Ok, just a quick intermission before i post another article here.

Since its been a while since i've written 'bout it, i figured i'd explain it like its anything complicated.


Java as in coffee, and i'm really not all that picky, a light roast, not burnt, Jack in the Box is fine, Starbucks simply sucks because its crowded and on the pricey side.

Rod as in lightning rod.

So, if a lightning rod attracts lightning, what's a javarod attract?
Why coffee of course.

Yep, real complicated right? You can find this as my name here and on Facebook

Rethinking the Marriage License
Cat in hat
Ok, where to start?

Hmmm, well i suppose with me. I'm gay, and would love to get married. That said, i don't think a church should be forced to marry me.

That's a good preface to this post. Basically the idea is lets modernize the marriage license. Not just to make it legal for gays to marry, but to fix various issues with it. This is very much a work in progress, but lets go over the issues, and see where we go.

Lets start with the Libertarian issue with the marriage license, that by design, it gives permission to marry. As they say, shouldn't marriage be a right? So perhaps rather than a license... Hmmm, a registration? I've been a strong believer in separating religious and civil marriage by name. Marriage is something that gets done in a church (or a synagogue, mosque, etc), and a civil union is the equivalent if performed by a government official such as a Justice of the Peace. A registration would perhaps be better than a license, you don't need permission to marry, but if you want the benefits you get with a license now(visitation rights, insurance, etc), you have to get the government's approval in the form of registering it, but that's optional.

Religious objections to homosexuals marrying. Well, that's kinda covered by the above, the license or registration would no longer carry the word marriage, nobody could get married except in a church who would have a first amendment right to decide who can participate in their ceremonies.

Gays desire to marry. This wouldn't entirely be solved, but by replacing the marriage license with something else with the same name for everyone, they would be on equal footing legally with heterosexuals.

Women's rights groups would likely be satisfied with gender neutral terms that define the primary (currently husband) and secondary (currently wife) in the relationship regardless of gender. That would make for a standardized manner in which a man could take the woman's name if he so chose. Obviously this would also help homosexual couples.

Plurists... pluralists... What is the proper term for those who believe in more than one partner? Either way, marriage or whatever the government calls it would still be defined as a couple. I don't think there's any plural marriage group that doesn't have a couple at its core. Mormons for example (those that believe in plural marriage) still have a husband and a first wife that's above the others.

Terms, it might be best to give the terms husband and wife to the church, and go with something more gender neutral. Husband comes from the norse Hús (house) and bóndi (occupier and tiller of the soil) from which we get húsbóndi (master of the house) which became husband in Old English. It doesn't seem that there's any way a female form of that could be found, and it certainly makes husband and husband make little sense, since even in the most balanced of relationships, there's still typically a head of household for more than just tax purposes. Wif is simpler, wif, Old English for woman which is also related to the Dutch wijf and German weib, so wife would work as a term for a female primary, or wife and wife would also work. Hmmm, so maybe rather than gender neutral should husband be replaced with wer (old English) or were (which means a female werewolf would be a wifwolf or wifewolf)?

In the end, i think it'd look something like this:
Marriage (church) or civil union (legal ceremony for all couples heterosexual or homosexual)
Partner registry (legal recognition of one's status)
The main difference will be that which ceremony you have will be determined by who solemnizes it, not by the type of couple.

Its probably as equal as it can get unless we forgo the first amendment and start telling churches that they have to marry any two persons. That or make marriage something only the government can do.