Category: Announcements

Mr. Bubble

Aside from changing my photo at the top of the homepage, I've also changed the site's tagline.

The previous tagline, "Now works on phones!" was a double entendre (of the non-sexy kind): at the time I wrote it, I had not only just converted the site over to mobile-friendly design, but I was also (briefly) working a temp job where I was setting up a new phone system. Now works on phones, geddit?

The new tagline is Uncle Thad's Propaganda Bubble.

See, the other week, some guy in the Techdirt comments said this to me:

BTW: keep pushing your web-site because proves that you make your own propaganda bubble and only read what agree with

Now, I never would have seen the post at all, thanks to my Hide Techdirt Comments script. But another poster responded to that post and quoted it. So, quick side note: please don't quote the trolls; I've blocked them for a reason, and that reason is that I do not want to see what they are saying.

That aside, though, I kind of loved the "propaganda bubble" comment -- not least because, at the time the troll accused me of using my website as a propaganda bubble, I had written a total of four posts in all of 2018, and all four of them were lengthy, digressive posts about how much I like "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Mandatory Fun album cover
Does this look like propaganda to you?

Now, the troll actually did accidentally stumble onto something resembling a point: I am posting to this blog more these days, and, as I noted last week, that's specifically because I want to spend less time dealing with assholes.

Assholes being the keyword, of course. Not people who disagree with me. I've got no problem engaging with people who disagree with me; I do it all the time. But, much as trolls like to bleat "You're only calling me a troll because I disagree with you!", there is, of course, a difference.

The Old Crew

As part of my policy of updating the photo at the top of the homepage at least once a decade, I've updated the photo at the top of the homepage. It's cropped from this one:

Thad, Jim, David

That's me on the left. I grew a beard again. So for those of you who read this site for the Shaving tag and have spent the past nine months awaiting my next shaving post with bated breath, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you.

I don't usually dress that fancily. I am dressed fancily because I am at a wedding in that photograph. Specifically, Jim's wedding. Jim is the guy in the middle, and David (right) and I went to his wedding a few weeks back.

The three of us went to NAU together. I see David a few times a year, but hadn't seen Jim in years; it was nice to have a chance to catch up. Nice wedding, nice vacation, and his new wife Liz is a lovely person as well.

If you want some idea of the kind of wild party animals the three of us were in college, I leave you with this: when David and I introduced ourselves to Jim's mom, her response was, "Oh. Mystery Science Theater 3000."

Home with the Sniffles

I caught some kind of head cold, or maybe the flu that's going around, and stayed home from work today.

Reports indicate that this year's flu vaccine may only have a 10% efficacy. But if you haven't been vaccinated, do it; 10% efficacy's better than nothing. I got mine -- and if I hadn't, I might be feeling even worse right now.

Employment

Last night I finally got around to changing my site intro. I removed the bit that said "I'm a thirtysometing computer scientist who's spent the last few years bouncing from one temp IT job to another."

I got a full-time job on April 1, 2016. It's been good. Good company, good pay, good benefits, good coworkers.

Back in 2013, shortly after starting a new temp job, I introduced myself to one of the other guys and cracked a joke about "jumping from temp job to temp job, hoping each time that my next leap would be the leap home." After eight temp jobs in seven years, it looks like I've finally made that leap.

I'm getting used to it. That constant fear that you learn as a temp, that the axe could fall at any time? I'm working on unlearning it. It's not as bad as it used to be.

I wrote a post once called Tempin' Ain't Easy. I'd still like to expand it to book length, one of these days. Years of unemployment and underemployment certainly affect your outlook. I'm not about to forget those years. I feel lucky that that's not what I'm dealing with anymore.

Now I need to think of a new tagline. "Now Works on Phones" is a two-year-old joke; it's a reference to a then-recent responsive redesign of the website and a brief (about three days) contract I took installing phones in an office. Now Works on Phones.

No more jobs working on phones. I hope.

What's Next?

So what's on tap this week? I don't know. I might sit Thanksgiving Week out, unless I get inspired.

I've got a third Kurtzman piece in mind, but haven't had the time to do the image gathering/editing portion of it. (Lost another damn Sunday to a migraine.) And I've got two Weird Al posts already written (with an idea for a third), but since I'm timing my Weird Al nostalgia to Nathan Rabin's series, I'm waiting until he gets near the end of Bad Hair Day, for reasons that will become apparent.

There are plenty of other topics I've got some thoughts about -- Linux gaming! The Internet's lack of robustness against very simple brute-force attacks! Steve Ditko! The ongoing disputes among the Zappa family! The difficulty of keeping an inventory of a large comic book collection! -- so maybe I'll get inspired and crank out some more material this week. But in case I don't, happy Thanksgiving.

Who has two thumbs and ow, my thumb!

I've got some kind of carpal tunnel or arthritis or something going on, and my right thumb's been bothering me for days. I'm going to try and spend less time typing until it gets better.

Old Tom and the Old Tome

Old Tom and the Old Tome

I've just released my first eBook. It's a short story called Old Tom and the Old Tome. Here's a plot synopsis:

Old Tom is a mercenary. In his youth, he fought for Mordred in the war against King Arthur.

But, as his name implies, Old Tom is not as young as he used to be. These days he prefers simple, low-risk jobs.

When a witch asks him to find an old book in the ruins of a school of magic, Old Tom thinks it will be exactly the kind of simple, low-risk job he’s looking for.

He is wrong.

I've released the book under a Creative Commons license; you can download it for free right here on good old corporate-sellout.com in the following formats:

If you like the book, you can send me a donation:


It's also available through these sellers (with more to come; I'll update the post when it's available elsewhere):

This was an interesting project, and I hope it will be the first of many. In the coming days I expect to share some of the Making-Of information -- what tools I used to make it, the learning curve, etc.

Hope you enjoy it!

Updated

The migration should be complete and everything should be here. If you trip over any missing images, wrong formatting, etc., contact me.

Magical Disappearing Posts

My hosting company is in the process of moving servers and I didn't get the memo; all my stuff was copied over a week ago but I haven't changed DNS settings yet. So if some posts disappear and reappear, that's why; normal service should resume within the next couple of days.

I'll Call It a Good Start

Well, that's the update done, and you should be looking at the new theme now.

It needs work (the current "Archives" list in the sidebar is 67 lines long and I need to remember how to limit it to just the last few months like in the old version), but it's a start.

I'll be puttering around behind the scenes for a little while yet. Course, the point of all this is that I'd like to start blogging regularly again; there's not much point to going to all this trouble to pretty it up if I don't start using it.

As you might expect, just the update itself gives me plenty of things to talk about -- what I like about modern Web design and what I don't.

More to come, I should think.