Scarlett slept all night last night. But for the past week it’s been something like every other day that she sleeps through the entire night. But I can’t figure out the variables. I try to copy them from night to night. Oh well.

I’d love to see either (or both?) Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith take on an updated film adaptation of Catch-22. The dialog is so important in the book and those guys are masters of dialog.

Watching Netflix on Fedora 20

These instructions are from this site, but I don’t trust sites to stick around.

  1. Make sure Netflix is setup to prefer HTML5. This is in Your Account-> Playback settings.
  2. I have the latest nss (has to be equal to or better than 3.17.1)
  3. Need Google Chrome (you can PROBABLY do this on Firefox with a similar plugin)
  4. Get the User-Agent Switcher.
  5. Fill it in with:
    • Name: Netflix Linux
    • String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36
    • Group: (is filled in automatically)
    • Append?: Select ‘Replace’
    • Flag: IE
  6. Click on Permanent Spoof list and put netflix.com in the domain (and select the rule you just made from the drop-box). Then click the add button.
  7. Go to Netflix and watch instant videos.
  8. And it works! So linux is perfectly capable, but apparently it’s not supported. I guess I can understand not wanting to support the infinite versions of Linux, but why not Ubuntu or Fedora? Maybe it’s coming? That’d be great.
Netflix on Linux (Fedora 20)
Netflix Instant on Linux (Fedora 20)

I’ll later check if if it works on Ubuntu, too, with with this method.

Just realized Jetpack hasn’t been working 100% correctly since I changed URLs. Got it working correctly and I think I lost all my old stats. Oh well.

For more or less the first time since mid-June, last night Scarlett slept the entire night without needing her blanket fixed, her hair-tie fixed, or a cup of water. It was nice to get some rest.

A Small Change at the ends of the Posts

I’ve been working with my host to try and figure out why my relatively low traffic site has been having issues. So I’ve rejiggered WP Super CACHE to work well on the site and I’m using Cloudfare on most, if not all, of my WordPress blogs. Yet I’m still getting some periods of time where the site’s offline. So, after many years I’m getting rid of Sociable and YARPP (which produces related posts). YARPP, in particular, if often called out as a plugin that requires a lot of resources. Here’s how things looked before I changed it:

YARPP and Sociable
YARPP and Sociable

Now I’ll be switching to WordPress.com’s Jetpack equivalents. Hopefully that helps. If it jacks everything up, I can always switch back.

I love when newspapers predict things that are hilarious in hindsight:

Hitler Tamed By Prison
Hitler Tamed By Prison

Last.fm Listening Trends 2014 Q3

I continued listening to artists alphabetically on my computer and randomly on my phone.

1. Childish Gambino (92 listens) – Came across his music in my alphabetic romp. Currently conflicted. I enjoy the verbal jiu jitsu, but find a lot of it whiny (after hearing for the 15th time) and just so overly aggressively sexual I feel wrong listening to it with my daughter around.
2. Billie Holiday (64 listens) – long-time readers know that Danielle and I listen to pretty much everything from the latest music to the oldest music. Billie Holiday is awesome and more people need to listen to her.
3. Danny Baranowsky (61 listens) – Listened to the Super Meat Boy soundtrack. It was fun.
4. Chance the Rapper (47 listens) – Still really enjoy Acid Rap and don’t enjoy #10Day.
5. The Black Keys (46 listens) – I always start off happy listening to The Black Keys, but the sameness drags on me by the end.
6. Alan Menken (45 listens) – for Scarlett.
7. Celia Cruz (44 listens) – I can listen to Celia Cruz at any time. Really enjoyed revisiting these songs.
7. Brave Saint Saturn (44 listens) – Although the first album’s a tad cheesy, I really enjoy where Reese took things for the second two albums. I continue to hold out hope that he will do another one.
9. Mandy Moore (43 listens) – Scarlett wanted to listen to a lot of Tangled this quarter.
10. Anberlin (31 listens) – Maybe it’s just the quarter in which I bought it, but the last album failed to make a lasting impression. I’m sure, with time, I’ll come to enjoy it as much as I enjoy the other albums.
11. Christafari (30 listens) – The music is a great groove. I have the first two albums and I think I like more songs in the first one, but I do like a lot of the second one. Although no longer an evangelical, I still find it to be pretty uplifting.
12. Ben Shive (29 listens) – There’s a certain timelessness to the songs. Some of them remind me of a subdued Billy Joel.
13. The Chipmunks & The Chipettes (28 listens) – Playing some Chipmunks for Scarlett.
13. The Weeknd (28 listens) – I know there are issues with some of the lyrics, but I do like the sound of a few of the songs. Especially “High for This”
13. Ben Prunty Music (28 listens) – The FTL soundtrack. Quite moody. I enjoy it.

Stats

Total Songs (in my collection): 15303 (up from 15042). Less of an increase than in the past, but I’ve been so busy this quarter that I haven’t really been as diligent about looking for new songs.

Total Artists:4526 (up from 4421) I’m actually surprised at this number, but I think it was from me adding a few free songs early in the quarter.

Total Albums:3496 (up from 3454)

Average Songs Per Album: 4.38 (up from 4.35)

Average Songs Per Artist:3.38 (a slight drop from 3.4) Surprised this fell since the previous one rose, but I guess I added a few artists with long albums and then mostly artists with smaller albums.

Total Scrobbles at End of Quarter: 80539

Total Scrobbles for this Quarter:2459 (not quite the 3228 of the last quarter). I think partly due to the fact that I’ve spent a lot less time at my computer, the place I most often listen to music.

Last night I had a dream that combined Games of Thrones and Perl programming. Like it was in the GoT world, but we had to do some Perl programming to defeat the Lannisters.

2014-09-20_00021

September Video Games

Poker Night 2 (3 hrs): Before going on my recent business trip I wanted to take  a small break from school work so I played PN2 the night before my trip. I reached the point where I’ve heard all the in-game dialogue so many times that I don’t even listen any more. I can generally last a while, but I wasn’t able to win any tournaments. I usually got knocked out by the last man standing.

Civilization 5 (30 minutes): After a long time without playing because both my brothers were moving, we just got back into the games. If things pick up, I’ll probably have some updates next month.

Mario Kart Wii (15 minutes): Scarlett wanted to watch me play “the driving game”

Review: American Gods

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you take Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods and combine it with Scott Snyder’s American Vampire, Vol. 1, you’d have a pretty close approximation of what this book is about. Given that this book has been out since 2001, I’m not going to bother with marking spoilers. I’ll say here at the top that I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys mythology. Also, not for the faint of heart – lots of profanity, violence, and explicit sex.

I’m glad that, earlier this year, I read Don’t Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned because the gods in this book are not the Greco-Roman gods that everyone knows. What I found most interesting about the book is that the title’s actually quite misleading. Then again – now that I think about it, given the plot, that works QUITE WELL. In short, the book’s about the gods that were brought over to America through migration vs our new gods – TV, money, Internet, etc. But the focus is on the old-world gods. In a way it’s not THAT misleading because the gods here are a duplicate of the old world gods – there’s an American Odin and a Norse Odin. Given that American Odin is a grifter, the slightly misleading title works.

I see that American Gods is being made into a TV show and that’s quite wonderful because I think it would make a horrible movie. Gaiman wanders around with the plot – sometimes taking a break to show us how the gods came – including (my favorite one) the first humans to cross the Bering Strait. There are also a few sections where the plot isn’t advanced but we learn more about the gods in America and Shadow grows and evolves as a person. Given that the book was about 450 pages on my ereader, nearly all of that would have to get cut even if they did a three hour movie. I think a TV show’s 20 hour season will give it a lot more breathing room. Wikipedia says it will be on Starz which hopefully means they won’t remove too much of the Rated R-ness of the story.

As I mentioned at the start, this book shares the central conceit of Small Gods (and I’m sure other fiction I haven’t read) in that a god’s power is relative to belief in him or her. I’d always loved this plot idea because it’s not too far from the truth whether or not you believe that gods actually exist, they do have power over people that’s directly proportional to the amount of people that believe. In a way, Nationalism had to rise out of the Enlightenment because without religion, how else could you rally people to do things they don’t want to do – like wage war on others. Where Gaiman diverged from Pratchett and made things quite interesting is that the gods with little belief don’t fade away, they just have to become mostly normal humans. They hold jobs, they collect pension, and those around them don’t realize they are interacting with gods.

I think it’s rather interesting that Gaiman feeds us Shadow’s past in slow drips that constantly change the reader’s opinion of him and Laura. In fact, Laura’s treachery magnifies as you find out it’s her fault he’s even in jail. So it’s not as though the “you were in jail and I needed a lay” excuse even makes sense. Also, at times I thought Shadow seemed a bit out of character until it was revealed that he was a nerd until he had a growth spurt and then just played into the jock character that others seemed to impose on him.

There are so many themes to tackle in this book and I just don’t have the energy to tackle them, but I’ll be busy for too long and won’t have time to write more when I have the energy. I have to say that the many layers of deception – right through to the final mystery of the missing kids – were quite mentally stimulating and added an extra dimension to the god vs god conflict.

There’s a reason people often mention this as a Neil Gaiman book that must be read. Do it.

View all my reviews

WTF ADOBE?!?

Adobe is doing some pretty despicable stuff – logging EVERY book (whether or not you are using Adobe Digital Editions) and sending it back to a server. (Here’s the guy who first discovered it).

Why is this an issue? Because the books you read can be used to discriminate against you or, in some countries, land you in jail. In the USA it could put you on the no-fly list. As soon as I get home I’m uninstalling ADE – I’d installed it for the possibility of checking out digital books from the library. Forget it! I’m sticking to the no-DRM books and physical books at the library.