elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)
About 10 years ago I concluded that beer and I were not friends.

Prior to this conclusion, a shandy was the closest I'd come to drinking beer, though I cannot recall if this was because I was "young" (16 or so) or whether it was "unladylike to drink beer"; probably both. And since shandies are especially awful when made with plain label lemonade and the cheapest beer available, I'd decided I didn't like beer much.

When I graduated high school and went to the after-ceremony party, I just took some of Dad's beers. I didn't have an income so I couldn't get anything for myself. I think I drank one and a half of them then started to... how to put it... have chunky reflux. I wasn't sick as in retching, but I wasn't so happy either.

It was a year later before I tried beer again. I was at Uni and out with friends. We were waiting for a band to warm up at a pub and someone had bought a round forgetting I didn't want beer. So I ended up with a beer anyway and decided what the hell. A song or so in to the band's set, I was reminded why I didn't want the beer.

I've no idea why I was reacting to the beer like this, but I'd narrowed down the list of "stuff in beer and not in other stuff I'm ok with" to "hops". I decided I wasn't ok with hops went on my merry way.

A few months ago, I purchased some alcoholic ginger beer. It was delicious and after a few nights of drinking these I read the label. They contained hops. Wha? Wait. These ginger beers didn't make me... reflux. I wonder if it's the same for beer!

Well, I'm a wimp. It wasn't until last Saturday that I grabbed a beer to try at home, and it was fine! A honey wheat beer, and no upset! And delicious. Sunday I grabbed a different beer, this time an amber ale. It was drinkable but less delicious. Tonight I've got a porter which is much nicer, I think because it's a fuller bodied brew.

So that's it. Apparently I can drink beer.
elky: Elky, Destroyer of Worlds (Destroyer)
That a project team can be willing to complain about lack of action and goals, yet when:
  • The former leader made an otherwise insignificant mistake, she got a veritable torrent of flame action from the project mailing list.
  • I propose a blueprint that should give us an attainable goal and help us achieve existing goals, I get crickets from the project mailing list.
In fact, the only comment I've had about the blueprint that I've not solicited directly is:
2010/08/21 at 2:44 pm
Google Chrome 5.0.375.126 Windows 7 *

Ubuntu women? Thats clear genre discrimination, and i feel offended.

I think this needs a poll, don't you?

Poll #4164 Hrmph
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6

Why is my head hurting right now?

View Answers

People suck
0 (0.0%)

What the fuck is "genre discrimination" and do genres have feelings?
1 (16.7%)

People still suck
0 (0.0%)

All of the above.
5 (83.3%)

Why yes, I am feeling like a brat today. Thank you for asking.
elky: Elky, collector of shiny shit (ooh! shiny!)
Oh! Hai!

I'm not dead, I promise. Well, I'm hoping I don't need to promise this since I'm writing this and everything. Well, I suppose you could try the say this is a prerecorded message, but if you do then I think you have more faith in my psychic abilities than I do. In which case; what the fuck?

I digress. Hi! I haven't been blogging much anywhere, except status updates, so if you've been following those you haven't really missed anything I've said.

I think most of my DW subscribers are probably aware by now that I've changed jobs. Catalyst is a great company to work for and I'm enjoying it and especially working with [personal profile] br3nda  
and sharrow, though unfortunately not directly (yet!). It's been an interesting experience going to work for a company where I know people within it quite well, and it certainly cut down a hell of a lot of the New Job Trauma.

I've also gone and done the silly thing of starting a project. As in a real software one. It's the web polling stuff that I'd done up for the
ubuntu women competitions, and if you're desperately interested you can find it at launchpad.net/pollka. The main reason I've done this is that I'm hoping to use it as a proof-of-concept for a revival of the Ubuntu Women mentoring. More on that in the next few days. Maybe. Wouldn't want to overdo this blogging business. It's taken me like a week to write this one.

The most exciting thing I have to say, however, I've left to last. I've decided, and been granted permission by work as of yesterday, to go to UDS-N! Whee! Not only that, they're happy with me spending a week in San Francisco on the way back! I can finally hug 
[personal profile] pleia2 ! And maybe meet [personal profile] damned_colonial ! And catch up with [personal profile] badgerbag !

So. Fucking. Excited!

I suspect my bank account is less so, though.
elky: Classy. Just... no. (lulwat)
So they've found the resume of the Times Square FailBomber. Well, the person they suspect of being the FailBomber. Of course they don't need conviction or any of that stuff before doing anything that could be dangerous to innocent people like, oh, I dunno, [re]publishing the dude's street address, phone number, email or employers in mainstream media hence highlighting it for fucked up douchebags. Good luck to his family, friends, neighbours, employers, coworkers and so forth. They are probably going to need it.

As [personal profile] danni  puts it: "Well, clearly there's an important lesson here... if you're going to be non-white, and thus be suspected of crimes, don't have your resume online"
elky: Elky, collector of shiny shit (ooh! shiny!)
[Belated crosspost from my main blog]

World Play Day is coming up on May 28th. To mark the occasion, Ubuntu Women is holding another competition! Yep, that's right, another one!

The competition task is a simple one. All you have to do is take photos of your girls (toddlers through to 12yrs) playing with and loving Ubuntu. The quick guide can be found on the wiki. Entries close 2359UTC May 14th.

And do we ever have a competition for you. Just like last time, there'll be 2 winners; a community choice winner and a random draw. So, you don't have to be a star photographer to win at all.

We've even managed to get more prizes. We know you all like prizes. I know I like prizes.

The first of whom will be the popular voted Community Choice, and will receive a Dell Mini 10n (or equivalent net-book based on availability). The second winner chosen by random drawing will receive a Canonical Sponsored Ubuntu SWAG collection that includes: Mouse- pad, Silly putty, Recycled Ubuntu Notepad, Ubuntu pen, Ubuntu lanyard, Ubuntu pack of 3 pin-badges and 1 Organic Circle of Friends Ladies T-shirt.

Yes, that's right; the community choice winner gets a whole computer. We did think about just sending the box and keeping the computer for ourselves, but we're just too nice for our own good.

You can read the full announcement on the Mailing List.
elky: Elky, collector of shiny shit (ooh! shiny!)

I think I need new gadgets. Yeah I know, #firstworldproblems and all that.

I've had a 3g modem for a few years now; 2 years to be precise since this is the last month of the 24mth data contract I had to sign to get it. The modem is one of the soap-on-a-rope things, and well, the rope isn't so good anymore. The solution? Find a new 4" USB cable, or find a new modem.

Since there are new modems out now with better signal and speed ratings, I'm inclined to go that way. Further to that, there's also wireless 3g hotspot modems, but I don't really understand how these work. I mean, can your average smartphone connect to them as though they're a normal wifi network? If so, then I can probably drop my phone off the monthly un-plan it is currently on to a 365 day recharge option and save pennies.

Speaking of phones, I'm finding that I'm at the end of my tether with the e71. Nokia's default email client is probably the single worst email client I've ever used in the history of ever, and I realised a while ago that the single main reason I talked myself in to coughing for a proper smartphone was so I could access my email from it. Obviously that isn't working out. Besides, I really really really want an Android. I'm not wanting to ditch having a physical keyboard, so I'm limited to a choice of a G1 or a Motorola Dext (528MHz) Milestone "Droid" (1GHz). I can't seem to find the Samsung physical keyboard models for sale in .au, so they're not really much of an option.

Dear lazywebs, which gadgetastic solutions should I take?
elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)
Well, the inside is round! They totes exist! I just bought one.

Round microwave!
elky: Classy. Just... no. (classy)
Sam Varghese is the worst tech journalist in forever. But you already knew that, I'm sure.

Today he's gone an published an article about a blog post I wrote. Joy of joys.

What's more hilarious is the comments I'm getting in my mod queue from the fucker's fans:

"Sam Varghese is a reliable writer, who researches his articles well."


Research, like, perhaps:

Oh geez, the efficacy of this fanfapping is hilarious.

Said fan goes on to try spamz0r his blog on mine with (a trackback and) a "duuuhhh... I wroted a blog!" comment. In which he states:

"So Melissa Draper, rather than defining yourself by the Ubuntu Community, why not force the Ubuntu Community to define itself by Melissa Draper? They may not like it, but you’ll have more of an effect, and have a lot more fun."

Since his comments require registration, and I'm certainly not going to register on this loser's blog, I'll respond here:

Well, you've like totally pwned me with that one. I never even thought about, you know. It's not like trying to lead Ubuntu Women, being on the IRC Council until I got thrown off it, or for fucks sake trying to be part of the Community Council count towards this. Nope, not at all. Your proposed approach never ever crossed my mind.

You stupid douche.

Missin' the whole bloody point; You're doin' it right.
elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)
Fucking hell, what a month.

For background. I work in Australia's only Linux retail shop. In fact, I run the joint. We have a web store and a shop front. It is... all kinds of customer service-y fun. I'm actually a web developer (no, I didn't design nor develop the site, please shoot me now), so you can do the equation on that one.

A few weeks back we had a few customers order laptops. The way we get our non-windows (freedos) systems is to order then custom. The <brand name hardware manufacturer> distributor we use for custom systems is awful. Their invoices come as .txt files. No, really. I shit you not.

Anyway, one of these systems had an ETA of the 12th of February. Advised to us on the 12th of February. After much prodding. The customer was duly advised "we'll have it in ready early next week". By the 16th, we had neither system nor contact about what the fuck was up.

We prodded the distributor only to be told "Oh, really? I guess I'll look in to that" and cue them trying to find where it had ended up. We then get an ETA of the 24th. Yes. 12 days later. In other words, the distributor either a) lost the machine that would have to have been en transit on the 12th for them to give such an ETA, or b) they never even ordered it to begin with. My boss and I are split over this. I say a, he says b. Either way, it was a farce. They blamed it on Chinese New year. Chinese New Year happened after the 12th of February.

Because we couldn't provide it by the 19th, the customer cracked the shits and cancelled the order. The distributor was informed and told us that we couldn't cancel the order once it had left <brand name hardware manufacturer>'s Singapore factory. Well sorry, that's not quite true. We could cancel the order if we wanted to be personas non grata with their ordering department. Great. So much difference there. We asked if it had left... and crickets chirped. Eventually we got a response that it was too late. I could practically hear the glee.

The system arrived with the distributor last Monday. We spent until yesterday ignoring the distributor's email requests for monies and talking to our representative at <brand name hardware manufacturer>. We had to break the silence once the second shipment for another customer arrived and the distributor sales monkey got worried and finally phoned us. 20 minutes, a mention of the Trade Practices Act and me expressing utter contempt at the "You'll never work in this town again"/persona non grata missive, we got a revised stance from the distributor yesterday saying we get to cancel the overdue order without penalty. We hence received the invoice for the second system today (after both boss and I pestered for it within an hour) and paid it. Yay. Lucky us. Theoretically I'll have a system to install Ubuntu on tomorrow afternoon.

As you can imagine, all that's been fun.

But wait, there's more. All the while this has been happening, our Real Estate Agent's lawyers have been pestering us to revise the wording on the Bank Guarantee. This means that I've lost several afternoons sitting in a branch of St George waiting to talk to them about getting a diff applied to the Bank Guarantee certificate. To cut a story short, it's gone like this:
  • Agent's Lawyers: We don't like this guarantee. We want different words. Here, make the Bank change the words in Clause 1 to <redundant wanky string of words>.
  • Me: *originally doesn't get the fwd from the boss for some reason, but eventually, weeks later gets it fwd'd and goes to work on it*
  • Me: Bank, this might sound silly, but the Real Estate Agent's Lawyers want these words changed to these other words. Please? With sugar and sprinkles and a cherry on top?
  • Bank: Lolwat? Nobody's ever wanted to change a bank guarantee before in the whole entire history of before. Oh, but we have this form for doing it. *flail* Please come back with more informations! Kthx!
  • Me: *Goes back and after being sidelined from Useful Stuff for a week by a sick shop hand, then catches up on missed useful stuff and kinda but not completely forgets about Bank Guarantee*
  • Agent's Lawyers: We don't have new Guarantee. Bad leasee, bad. We want explanations by 7 days or you're out on your tush. Got it?!
  • Me: *Runs to bank with extra paperwork gathered at leisure during the previous week.*
  • Me: Halps!?
  • Bank: Lolwat? (different person this time) We can't do that. It's like a contract. With this awesome contractyness about it. I'll have our lawyers write a letter for them to say this. Mkay?
  • Me: Yay!
  • Me: *Runs back and writes email to Agent's Lawyers to inform of Bank's decision and reasoning and promise them a love letter from other lawyers*
  • Bank: Oh hai. We changed our mind. We can change the Guarantee after all! Yay!
  • Me: Hai lawyers, the bank can change the Guarantee afterall. We need old Guarantee though. Plzkthx.
  • Agent's Lawyers: Oh hai. We changed our mind too. Nevermind. Kthx!
  • Me: Huh? Wuh? Buh? Gah!
Today, Wednesday, the day I sit in the shop all day and typically get no phone calls or anything useful done, has seen all this come to fruition.

Uh. Yay?
elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)
Crossposted from my other blog.

A few of us over at Ubuntu Women today launched a little competition to help raise the visibility of Women users(of all ages) of Ubuntu. The competition will be drawn on March 8th, giving us a wonderful way to celebrate International Women's Day.

The process is simple and any entrant can win -- storytelling skills are a help, but not essential!
  1. Women write to us (see announcement for address) and explain how they discovered this amazing Linux distribution called Ubuntu. They do not have to be a contributor to Ubuntu or Ubuntu women, or a power user, or anything special. They just have to have discovered Ubuntu.

  2. In late February, we will put all the entries out there to be voted on by the community. One of the winners will be the story with the most votes.

  3. All the other entries are put in to a hat (or something of equal value), and everyone's favourite show pony Community Manager will, with much pomp and ceremony, draw from the pool a completely random winner in a videocast on March 8, and announce both winners.

  4. ???

  5. Profit! Winners will receive goodies (We'll be able to tell you what once we get confirmation from the sponsors) and everyone's stories will take pride of place on the Ubuntu Women website, where they can help to make sure other Women do not feel alone in the community!

Such a low barrier of entry!

We want to hear from as many Women Ubuntu users as possible, so tell everyone you know, and tell them to tell everyone they know, and ... well, you get the picture.
elky: Elky, Destroyer of Worlds (Destroyer)
I use IRC. Unsurprisingly, this means I lurk in numerous channels.

One of these channels has, due to the recent holiday season and the plentiful spare time it gives some people, acquired a few new chatters. One of these new chatters has managed to grate me raw.

Since I am an Operator (moderator for you forum-oriented peeps) in many channels including support channels, I have highlights for "high risk" words -- words that are likely to indicate a problem user in a support channel. No, it is not Carlin's 7 dirty words, but there is some overlap.

That is how I first noticed this individual. And I noticed him like every 5 minutes. When you highlight yourself like this, it's beyond expectable that your actions are going to be scrutinized.

Not that I had to look hard or anything. Reading the scrollback I can easily spot: Homophobic comments, ableist comments, sexist comments, fat hate, racist comments, religious persecution. You name it. Calling transfolk "psychopaths" because they're "not in touch with reality" really takes the cake. W. T. F!

I confronted him when he felt the need, after mockingly offering his butt to a guy, to announce in capital letters that he was in no way gay and following up immediately with "i hear in australia they still execute gays and retards". De-lightful.

The next day, someone misspelled sydney as syndey. Someone sparks up with "What's wrong with Cindy now?". Mr Sensitive to the rescue:

"depends... if she's cute, absolutely nothin. if she's got a broken face... well, that's what's wrong"

Me: "because a woman's worth is entirely based on her looks?"

Whoa, bad move on my part there! Someone else pipes up:

"that sounds like a comment from an unattractive woman :-P"

Insert comments that smack of "ugly bitches need to suck dick to get anywhere".

A while later this lass PMs me to tell me that "it's sad" how I speak up with my opinions, because me speaking up is Harming women in IT groups and the reason she doesn't participate in them.

I bite: "it's sad that you expect me to sacrifice my opinons on homophobia, transphobia, disablism, fat hate, and misogyny under the belief that your participation in groups that aim to provide safe places from these things would be of some service to said groups.

Not sacrifice, she says, Just don't say them. Because it's a spectacle.

How very unbecoming of me. I tell her that I shall endeavour to be a wallflower in the future, because tacit agreement of that shit is just totally helpful in stopping it.

She continues; telling me about girl geek events she's attended and how they're so full of self-pity and not geeky at all. The presentations at these events are dumbed down. Why do these events need dumbing down, and why are they full of self-pitying non-geeky women? She personally done well in her career, she says, so clearly there's no problem whatsoever in reality.

A reality that lacks mikeeusa, jonathan walther and other woman-unfriendly people, I query. She doesn't know about any of this, she admits, and that now "perhaps" I have a valid point.

We move on and discuss the events in the channel, and her reactions to me. Out come the tropes. "Ugly women are feminists because they're jealous of pretty women", "feminists hate men" and all sorts of fun stuff.

Here's the thing. Real feminists don't hate dudes. Real feminism is not female chauvinism. Period.

Real feminism also isn't fat hate, disablism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, religious persecution... etc. Real feminism is wanting Women, in general, to be equal with "the rest of society". If your average obese, wheelchair-using, gay, black, Jewish trans-man, you know, part of "the rest of society", cannot be equal as well then fundamentally Feminism cannot work. (But I'll be damned if I that means I don't speak up.)

So back to the experience this lass had with Women in Tech groups. She's now satisfied that real feminism isn't about hating men, or hating her 'cause she's pretty. Or talking about shoes rather than geekery at Women in Tech events.

She tells me how one of these events she went to had a male host, and during the evening, the host was asked by a woman in the crowd why he thought there aren't many women interested in IT careers. His response in a nutshell? Essentialism. Later in the evening, she had a conversation with this fellow who admitted to her he was "only there for the chicks". This, she confesses, combined with the lack of actual geekiness at these supposedly geeky events, has left her with bad experiences and disillusionment about the whole deal.

As she parted the conversation, she offered this: "well it's nice to hear that not all women with feministic views hate men (and men can be pro-feminism too) or disklike women based on their apperance :-)"

So, you see, me speaking up against objectifying comments is the thing really harming the Women in Tech cause. Not the geekless geeky meetup events. Not the sleaze hosting said Women in Tech events. It's all me. Making a fuss. A spectacle. My speaking up was so damaging and clearly turned her off feminism.

I'll endeavour to be a wallflower next time.

O hai!

Dec. 18th, 2009 11:10 pm
elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)


Alrighty then!


elky: a disembodied headshot of elky (Default)

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