Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Troop Rally

The City will be placing a large dumpster outside our home from Wed, Nov 4 to Wed Nov 11.

On SATURDAY, NOV 7th there will be an ALL DAY work party starting at NOON, Rain or Shine!

We will need help schlepping, hauling and mucking both inside and outside. The goal is to clear out EVERYTHING that is garbage, broken, unsalvageable, etc.

This includes excavating out both backyard sheds, removing dead bushes and taking apart the broken shed and old doghouse in the back. Inside we'll be removing broken furnature, mattresses, cabnets and other schmutta that needs hauled away.

Please bring yourself, a package of large sized garbage sacks, and anything else you think you'll need, or can share for others to use.

LOANER EQUIPMENT:
tools
garden/work gloves
chainsaw
wheelbarrows
push brooms

If you can't make it on Saturday, please ping us to see about coming over any other day, either to help out, or to bring over garbage sacks and boxes. If you know other people that might be willing to come to the work party on Saturday, PLEASE bring them along.

This will take everyone's help to make this generous donation by the city worthwhile. If we're going to have a fullsize dumpster for a week, WE SHOULD FILL IT UP!

Please RSVP to me or Blade for directions :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Emergency HtH Call

The financial situation here went from Going To Be Caught Up And Doing OK... to being $300 in the hole this morning.

Turns out the anethesiologist put through the $1300 we still owed, instead of letting us make payments.

And we have about $1700 in uncleared things, like all the smaller bills, and grocery shopping form last night, and the pumpkin patch, and my birthday. Each one will end up costing us another $35. And with the bank's new policy, we'll get hit with those charges based on the bank balance on the date the charge was authorized, not when it clears.

So we need to come up with an emergency $2000+, or we go back to being Completely Screwed.

Here is website:
http://helpthehamiltons.wordpress.com/

PAYPAL LINK

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unmanageable Community

Blade says it better than I can:
So, at this point, I'm done with Myst fandom. I've had a lot of very good experiences in it, but again and again, I've seen a subset of Myst fans tear apart almost any attempt for someone to take charge of something to get things done. Every time, people get accused of 'power grabs' and 'trying to make thenselves feel important.' There's a subset of loud fans who are obsessed with taking pot shots at people and take the 'question authority' schtick to the extreme of 'question anything that might possibly be seen as authority at all as rabidly as possible and then claim they have been wronged when people finish lash out at them.' Even some of the more reasonable people seem to fall back on the utopian ideal of everything being run by consensus in every single case.

I'm tired of dealing with that sort of abuse. Especially from people who don't actually do anything but hand out abuse. It's been going on for YEARS in the community, and it's usually the same people who cause it. And when they get called on it, they get offended and indignant and use that as an opportunity to take further shots.
... I'm pulling out of Myst fandom as much as I can for a while. I made a commitment to help with Mysterium 2010, and I'll keep that commitment. But otherwise, I'm done.


When Uru-related harassment and abuse follows me into other virtual realities, it's time to walk away. When standing up against people being rude and antagonistic gets me summarily rejected by long-time friends, it's not worth the drama anymore.

People want to carry chips and grudges, lash out at people just to prove they are right, that's fine for them. It's a waste of my time and energy to try and engage them.

Until the community responds by rejecting argumentative, attacking behaviour, *and* Cyan can pull off actual community management: someone(s) with actual, unquestionable authority and voice,this sort of backstabby nastyness will keep showing up again and again.

To paraphrase a bumpersticker "Myst, please save me from your followers"

Monday, June 15, 2009

PT @shadesong *NEW* Learn how to setup a proxy to help #Iran citizens get their media out! PLEASE RT! http://is.gd/12IA6

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Toss a buck in the Mirriam Support Fund. Medical Bills Suck. Paypal to mirriamfund@gmail.com

Thursday, June 04, 2009

An interesting discussion on "antagonists", excerpted from this article. Reading though it, it is easy to see how one or two people, by being 'antagonistic' (in the definition of this article), can bring a community to its knees.


The word antagonists is defined and used throughout this article in this way: Antagonists are individuals who, on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands,usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in leadership.

Some key phrases in this definition deserve closer attention.
Nonsubstantive evidence

The arguments that antagonists present are typically founded on little — or grossly misrepresented — evidence. They tend to quibble over trifles, providing strong proof of irrelevant points, or exaggerate the positions of their opponents. A favorite tactic is to make an assertion that cannot be disproved and then claim that the inability to disprove it makes it true.

Go out of their way

Antagonists initiate trouble; they do not wait for trouble to come along. This often goes hand-in-hand with hypersensitivity on their part. They tend to take every word and action as a personal attack and respond aggressively. For example, their response to something seemingly as minor as your being preoccupied and passing them in the hallway without speaking could result in an attack. Antagonists would rather cause trouble than give anyone the benefit of the doubt.

Insatiable demands

Antagonists are never satisfied. No amount of appeasement on your part or the congregation as a whole will suffice. Instead of calming antagonists, attempts to placate them only encourage them to make more demands. Many antagonists fight until there is nothing left but rubble. Sometimes even that doesn’t stop them.

Attacking

Harsh as the word attacking is, it accurately applies to antagonists. Although they may present some valid points, antagonists generally don’t offer constructive criticism. Their implicit goal is control, no matter what it costs others.

Selfish in nature

The attacks of antagonists are self-serving. They often seize on a slogan or pick some side of a valid issue and pretend that is what they are fighting for. It rarely is. An antagonist will quickly drop a particular slogan or issue once it no longer serves his ambitions.

Tearing down rather than building up

When people are at odds with each other, it is the result of an antagonist’s actions. Instead of pulling...people together, an antagonist divides them. Show me a divided and strife-torn congregation, and I will show you a congregation that has one or more antagonists in its midst.

At times most of us are selfish or headstrong. Without excusing such behavior, we can be sure that occasional surly behavior does not make an antagonist. What separates us from antagonists is the ferociousness of the attacks and the insatiable or tenacious quality that drags out problems interminably.

Monday, June 01, 2009

You! Yes, You!

You need more BABY OTTERS in your life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

oh, so that's what that is...

Evidently I am a "Language descriptivist".
this came up whilst experiencing second hand an argument about 'irregardless'. One one side, the ZOMG THAT ISN'T A WORD crowd, on the other the side I fell on... Are people using it? Can the communicate their meaning using that collection of sounds together? Yes? THEN IT IS A (&@)(*$^(* WORD!*

I tend to find most arguments about spelling and grammar to he horribly pedantic, ocasionaly bordering on the snobby. The only English 'rule' that ever makes me twitch is misplaced posesive apostrophes. And really run-on emails with no attempt to seperate out thoughts.

Beyond that, I spell like crap, but I get my point across. I can never remember, and almost never care the difference between it's and its, and I don't think there needs to be five different way to spell one set of sounds.

Which is why people using netspeak doesn't bug me. Decrying the simplification of language down into the smallest recognizable set of symbols for a collection of sounds makes perfect linguistic sense.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Midwives now!

Health Care Reform Must Include Access to Certified Professional Midwives

Print this out, mail it to your congress beasties and the white house. Spread this link around. Now is the time to beat DC over the head with this.

This is the letter I'm including with mine:

Dear (congressbeastie),

Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association have come out in opposition of Certified Professional Midwives and home birth (1), insisting that midwives are unreliable, and the only safe place to birth is in a hospital. This is despite the fact that multiple scientifically sound studies have shown no risk in planned home births with a trained midwife (2). Flat out, the ACOG and AMA are wrong.

There is no scientifically sound reason that women should be denied access in any way (legally or though limitations from a for-profit insurance system) to Certified Professional Midwives, and choice of birth location as deemed appropriate by the woman and her maternity care provider.

I urge you to reject the questionable, non-evidence-based stance of the AMA and ACOG, and support inclusion of Certified Professional Midwives in the future of US health care.

Thank you for your attention,
(Me)

(1) ACOG Statement on Home Births 2/6/08: "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterates its long-standing
opposition to home births."
AMA Resolution #205 "Home Deliveries" 4/28/08
(2) Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529,688 low-risk planned home and hospital births; BJOG: An International Journal
of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; April 2009
Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America; BJM 18 June 2005

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TeaHee from Tom Smith

good lord I love this man :)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Perfume Randomage!

This Friday (the 10th) Is the last day to sign up for the Chaos Pledge Circle! The more pledges we get, the more bottles we can buy, the more imps you get! We're at 8 people now, can we make it 10? Or even 15? WHEEEEEE!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

From Zander:
There will be no more games like this. The Myst series ended in semi-obscurity, and the Uru community is waiting more or less patiently for one final gift of love from Cyan, who are once again down to the bare bones and, like some Sixties pop star, desperately repackaging their one big hit again and again for a market which has no room for things that only do moderately well, or only enthrall a few thousand people. Meanwhile the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cells and the Haloes and the Half-Lives continue to proliferate and get all the expensive advertising, because there's no point giving publicity to something that wouldn't sell big without it, is there?


Yup, that's it right there. There's no room in the gaming industry anymore for games that have "beautiful, strange, immersive worlds and a compelling storyline". No one wants to publish games for people who want to explore, think, learn, discover. Players brains must not be challenged with anything deeper than finding the right combo of spells/weapons/power.

It's frustrating, really, to see Cyan sink so low, while the games that get the fanfare are just another FPS clone, just another kill-loot-level MMO. It's all about the marketing and the numbers anymore. No one cares about making an original game, just one that'll make money.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mirriam Fund

We now have a dedicated paypal account just for Mirriam, that is being watched over by . This will serve as a repository for funds, until we're able to get the Special Needs Trust set up.
Again, here's where the money will be going over the next few months:

Current Priority Goals:
Funding for SafeRoom (ASAP-Build starts March 16) (and no, we can't get state help for it. The UK is infinitely more reasonable about such things.)
Funding for Adaptive Trike (Summer)
Funding for SMS conference (September)

"Would Be Nice"Goals:
Fence repair (backyard is not currently Miri secure)
Axiom Special Needs Stroller (Yes, she can walk. Sometimes, it's much MUCH easier if she isn't)
Bathroom repair (needs post-Miri repairs, and normal Miri use-proofing. Let alone when she goes crazy in there!)

Ongoing:
Respite and Housecleaning

This poast is public, feel free to link where you will.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

While we Wait, People are Dying.

Written by Joe Decker, March 4, 2009. Copied with permission.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Y'know, I could quibble with a lot of those words, y'all know that I don't believe in a "Creator", even the Deist one invoked here. But plus or minus a metaphor, I believe in the meaning of those words as I understand them. Of course, society's understanding of those words has changed, over the years, the folks who penned these words were not uniformly against slavery, did not support women's suffrage, and so on. We've come to understand, over the years, that "men" her refers not just to white people, not just to penis-bearing individuals.

And so we are coming to learn, as a society, that queer people such as myself are "men" in this sense, too. Step by laborious step we battle toward legal recognition for what the founding documents of this country and state promise in clear language, an inalienable right to equal protection under the law, a right so basic that without it, the government lacks a moral justification for it's very existence.

But this laborious battle is taking too long. It takes too long because while we wait, people die. While we wait, people die.

This was not so obvious to me a few years back. It should have been, but it should be obvious to everyone now.

It's certainly no secret that our lives are taken, often at the hand of society's homophobia, although the the size of the problem seems to be one.

Teen suicides provide one of the clearest indications of this. While only a few percent of children, no more than ten percent, are GLBT, fully one-third of teen suicides are committed by queer teens. And the fundamental reason that GLBT teens are so much more likely to take their own lives is simple, it is because we do not treat them as we would wish to be treated ourselves, it is because we do not provide them equal dignity in society. And those forces are driven by our inability and unwillingness to even provide queer folk equal protection under the law.

Twenty to thirty percent of teen suicides are a direct reflection of our unwillingness as a society to see queer people as fully human.

It ain't just teen suicide, either. Those of you who do not support treating me and other queer people like me as fully human (and I know there are some of you on my friends list), I'll grant you one of your famous talking points, I'll agree that many deaths due to AIDS are in large part driven by irresponsible sexual behavior. But, I'll ask you to observe, even if you don't admit in your out loud voice, that you are silent conspirators to that action. When you work to force queer couples away from societal institutions such as marriage, you work against the very goals of commitment and responsiblity that you constantly proclaim. When you treat queer people as "other", as "less than", you taking a hand in the AIDS crisis as well.

Understanding the magnitude of these forces can be difficult, it was really Claude Steele's research on stereotype threat that started giving me some hard numbers to my emotional sense that "the 'less obvious' forces of prejudice" are enormous.

So, people are dying, the causes are clear, the forces at work are clear, large and measurable.

And while we are slowly, slowly winning ground towards legal recognition of our inalienable rights to be treated as fully human by our government, while people are dying, well, it's all happening too slowly.

Tomorrow the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in case that's putatively about marriage. But that case isn't just about marriage, it's about treating people as fully human, it is about treating people according to the Golden Rule, it is about ensuring equal protection under the law, it is about preserving the democratically-enacted Cosntitutional protections that ensure that very equal protection.

(Do not miss that marriage opponents are all too quick to speak of "voter rights" when they speak of upholding Proposition 8, but never speak of the "will of the people" that enacted our government in the first place.)

This court case represents for many of us, I think, a "last hope", or perhaps equivalently, a "last straw." While we wait, people die, and should the court deny our pleas for justice, there are no remaining places to turn.

No, if we are to take direct action to try and stop PEOPLE FROM DYING from queer prejudice, it must begin with the overturning of Proposition 8. If the Court fails us, well, there is nothing left. The Court failed to strike down Prop. 8 pre-election. The Governor failed to sign a marriage equality bill when he had a chance. The voters failed us. The AG's office failed to force the correction of material factual miststatemtnts in the official ballot arguments. The media didn't bother to fact-check the assertion that domestic partnerships are "equal" to marriage. There are thousands of stories about anti-marriage protests, but few about a woman raped in part for being queer, there are thousands of stories about folks losing their jobs for supporting Proposition 8 but none for the folks who lost their jobs for opposing Proposition 8. Two large religious organizations, "bastions of morality" in our society, conspired to deny us rights, and lied about their mechaniations. No matter the cause of this, and ignoring any questions of blame or fault, it is undeniable that in the near future, this is the last chance, this could be the last straw.

If we lose? Yes, we will eventually win the battle for equal treatment under the law, that will happen, perhaps in my lifetime. In the state, then in the country, then in the world. I can sympathize with those of you who are content to wait, but I can't agree with you or support your silence or inaction. I say to you instead, to the extent that while you wait for a country to honor your equal human dignity, while you wait people die.

To those of you who do not support marriage equality, with all honesty, many of us "less than equal" folks see you as a group metaphorically "holding the knife" that's killing these innocents. I don't doubt you see it differently, but I hope you'll stop, take a deep breath, and spend a little time trying to appreciate why this is for many of us a matter of life and death. I hope that you will consider these words, and take seriously the harm that's being done by a homophobic society.

I believe that it's urgent that folks understand this now, not because it will affect the Court, but because I want folks to understand the consequences of any failure to overturn marriage inequality in the clearest possible terms:

Should the government and people of California fail to recognize basic human equality and dignity, and continue to therefore support the death of innocent queers, no one should be surprised should the thoughts of the queer community turn to self-defense and the defense of innocents, it is, to force an analogy, a matter of "the ballot or the bullet", and the ballot has already failed us.

That this might get more violent saddens and disturbs me no end.

Stagnation

It does bug us too...but why spend the money upgrading until something more profound happens in the Myst world...

it works...it's slow...it works.......it's a pain....but...it works and everyone is still able to keep up with everyone...through PM's and slow posting topics....did I mention it still works...


This is a quote from one of the mods on a site that used to be one of the go-to sites for Myst information and socialization, in response to someone asking why the 'new post' function can take upwards of a minute to load, an issue that's driven me batty for quite some time now. The response to many forum issues lately boils down to "why should we bother?"

The mods there are all great people, I'm proud to number some of them amoung my friends. But the overall moderation of the site has steadily declined. From not reporting anything but CyanNPC actions in their MOUL daily reports, even after it was requested they cover other cavern events; to not being willing to move a live post to the appropriate area after they'd 'archived' it; to their apathy about forum functionality, and so on... the site is a nice resource for past info, and ok to check into once in a while for social happenings, but not so much a place to call home anymore. Which is sad, because it *was* my first D'niverse community home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moar Website Confuzzledness

Ok, so here's my usual website layout:
www.heartofbirth.net or http://heartspark.tezhme.net/

Pretty generic, background colour, header image, repeat image, text layed out in sidebar and main area containers.

Now, what I was *trying* to do, is make the background an image, and make the header and repeat transparent, so the text would appear to be floating on the background image.

I *thought* just making the header and repeat transparent gifs would do it, but noooo.

So how do I do this?

The other option is to use the code from http://eleri.tezhme.net/ and try to figure out how to do that with a new image.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Which I Seeth, Lots

Blade and I have begged for VITAL services for our 0NE disabled kid, yet we get turned away at every agency for lack of funding. We're struggling trying to survive, with no help from the government.

But Ms. I'm A Single Mom But Hey Lets Have 8 More Babies is getting food stamps and disability?

What. The. FUCK.

She DELIBERATELY put herself in the position of having not enough income and being physically wiped out. She didn't accidentally have 8 babies suddenly, she did it on PURPOSE. She is INSANE enough to think she's capable of being a single mom to 14 babies, and someone let her go through with it.

Not only should she NOT be eligible for food stamps and disability, the kids should be placed with someone who's not obviously disinterested in the welfare of her children, and she should be barred from receiving ANY donations, from ANYONE.

On top of that, the doctors who implanted this woman with anything past the first 2 kids should be fined six ways to Sunday, and that money earmarked for raising those poor 14 kids who have a nutter for a womb donor.

Thirsty Koala

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Disability Funding

The Medicaid Waiver Funding proposal is now up on the actual official change.gov site:

GO AND VOTE

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Halphalphalp

OK, this is what I have so far, via a form builder:
http://www.heartofbirth.net/test/webform/

This is what I need to change, that I'm drawing stupid blanks on:

1) Mom & Partners name fields on same line (horizontally, not same form field)
2) Phone and email on same line
3) # of prior, birthplace, attendant on same line
4) Class offerings checkboxed, as well as the drop down (IE, they check the class they want, and then pull down the date they want) Those should also be tightend up into columns for space

Now, here's where it gets complicated...

What I *want*, is for it to total up their class choice, and any extras, based on the check boxes and show it in a "Subtotal" line.
Then, they're given a checkbox that allows them to pay just the $50 class deposit (plus extras) or pay in full.
Then, the Total Due At Registration is shown (either $50+extras or full, based on above checkbox)

Then, 2 submission options. One for payment by check or MO, that just submits the form information to me, and gives them a mailing address to send the check to.
The other for credit card/paypal payment, that takes them to paypal with the total due +$5 fee.

Oh and then after all that, I want to be able to plug it into my regular website at www.heartofbirth.net, and have it look like it belongs there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

OSMO, al

Once again the endemic (and mostly unsupported) Fear Of Power raises its ugly head.

We can't have cooperation, that would be Someone Would Be In Charge, and have Power Over Others! *gasp horrors*, We can't have a single hub, that would mean some sort of organization, some sort of established structure and framework! NOOO! We must all have absolute Individual Power! We must all be able to build our Ages and Shards the way we want, or else!

Heavens forbid that the community actually listen to Chogon and utilize "organization by guilds and other fan groups." Heavens forbid that the community actually try to come up with a roadmap and a plan, instead of waiting like hounds at the leash, to be released and run everywhich direction.

People reaction to suggestions is "If you don't like it, just don't install it." People are so gung ho to get their hands on code and fix it 'their way' we'll have 20 different versions of OSMO hanging around, all claiming to be the 'right way' to do it. This, they say is "what Open Source means". Eh.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pimpin' Me - Website design

They're not the most Uberfancy webpages ever, but they're functional and easy to add to.

$50 base + $20 per page. Includes layout, images, graphics, you get all files, plus a blank template page. If you need to add additional graphics later, it's $5 per graphic/image

Working Examples:
http://heartofbirth.net/
http://www.soundbirthing.com/
http://heartspark.tezhme.net/
http://dninetwork.net/
http://www.dninetwork.net/idea/

Yes, they are all similar. I have a very tidy layout I like working with. I'm lazy ;) http://mystembassy.net/ is different, and much older, when I was playing Fun With ImageMaps.

Here's some other designs I've been playing with: http://www.flickr.com/photos/urueleri/tags/webdesign/

Friday, January 02, 2009

OSMO vs Uru vs Myst vs ...

I've been trying to clearly articulate in my head, the discomfortature (is that a WORD?!) I have with OSMO, without making it sound like I think OSMO is a Bad Idea.

So let me start out here with a disclaimer:

I think OSMO is going to be a rocking good time, full of so much fun stuff to do of varying stripes, that everyone (including me) will find something to keep them entertained and happy.

That being said, I'm still in a sort of grieving process for Uru. OSMO is not, for me, Uru. OSMO is OSMO. Uru was... something more. Uru was a mythology, a story, a universe, a continuity.

I don't know if I can explain it clearly... Imagine if Tolkien had quit writing halfway though Fellowship...and then opened up Middle Earth as a creative playground. Or sitting through the first half of an undiscovered work of Shakesperian fantasy, only to have it cut off abruptly, because the play was unfinished.

That's what I mourn. I'll never know what the carved spire above the Hall of Kings is, the weird hangar-like ceiling doors near the ferry, or why the Arch has blinking lights on top when there's no planes. I'll never sit and talk with Laxman and tease him about blowing up the Great Zero again, or get in Cate's face about management.

I'll never know why Wheely needed to die, never see a Bahro up close... I will stand at the top of the Great Stair, surrounded by a million mysteries and questions, and there will be no answers.

OSMO will (I hope, although my cynical side scoffs at the notion, the track record for support of fan story from the populace is weak.) bring new stories to the table, maybe even bring back old ones (I *liked* the WE of UU), there will be chances, as Rand says, to see "whats around the next corner..."

But it won't be the corners I've always wanted to look around. OSMO becomes, in essence, digital fan-fiction. And there'll be the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, as is the nature of fanfic.

I'm glad for OSMO, but I mourn, because in gaining OSMO, we've lost D'ni.