greatbear: (aerial me)
It has been just over 2 months since my last entry here. The reasons are what you might expect, I've been busy, we had our vacation, there have been disasters both little and large... in short, life more or less as usual. Jeff was beset by a pretty nasty hernia, and had surgery for it a few weeks ago. Since neither he or I have been able to stoop, most of the yard work at Mayhem Acres has been entirely neglected. Weeds taller than me in the flower beds, I can't even see out of the sunroom windows, vegetable garden nearly completely neglected, the house looks abandoned and I have ended up in tears a few times because of it. No help offered, of course, except for one person, and that had to be postponed due to illness. I'm getting to the point where I don't care anymore. I'm not inviting anyone over to socialize in this mess. And the socializing I'm doing has become minimal. This goes for the virtual world as well, hence my absence here.

Since a fair amount of people I used to interact with here have moved onto Facebook, it's there where I will concentrate what little time I now spend on social media these days. There's little to no interaction here anymore, the effort is greater in creating a post, and I am no longer willing to write deeply personal stuff for general consumption anymore. Minor fluff and occasional messages I am comfortable with; I guess I finally reached social media overload for whatever reason(s). I have no idea if this will ever change, I had high hopes for blogging, and the practice as a whole has been basically dumbed down. What was once small-scale publishing from creative people of engaging stories, often with wonderful layouts and photography has been squashed into the sameness of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr and other similar outlets. Gone is content-rich, replaced by mobile-compatible. The latter is destroying the internet as a whole in my opinion. LJ is one of the remaining holdouts, but almost nobody want to use this platform solely of smartphones, so it too gets neglected. I still try to catch up on reading here every day if possible, though in recent weeks, it has been more like every couple of days. I remember the days when I would be away for a weekend and have to catch up on LJ by reading a hundred entries or more. Now I can be gone for a few days and a single page of friends carries everything, including quite a few entries read those few days ago.

Anyway, unless something big and newsworthy, or a want/need to unload in a deeper, more personal style, I don't really know what to do here anymore. Crossposting is an option, but I'm not keen on Facebook having its tentacles in this space. I still like having a mostly quiet, private space here, but I don't know who sees my entries anymore. I know of a few that I'm pretty certain still comment and interact with me here, though most are on that other site as well. I'm open for suggestions.
greatbear: (old graybeard)
Earlier in the week I pulled the plug on my LJ. I had mostly run out of uses for this, and, to be honest, no longer felt the need to have an outlet for what I would call "personal" matters and discussion with the internet in general. It has been about 20 years (!) since I had ventured out onto the internet in a personal capacity, rather than a technical/professional way for work reasons. It took a lot of courage on my part to make that change, and it wasn't long before I was pouring my heart into online interactions, making literally hundreds of friends along the way, even enjoying a bit of both figurative and literal rock star status along the way. I soon learned that much of this was fleeting, with the vast majority of people eventually moving on, leaving what I thought was some incredible friendships, relationships and great causes to founder and die. Perhaps it was the value I had placed in these relationships, or my investment in them, emotionally, mentally and physically, that left me not only disappointed but also feeling left behind once they had evaporated. It took a while, because for the 32 years prior I had been very much a loner until that time, but I learned to reconsider the experience as more of a crucible, or distillery that helped to separate out the fleeting and leaving the best behind. Maybe more like how maple syrup is made I suppose, where it takes a great deal of sap to be carefully boiled until the sweet syrup remains. What came out of these hundreds of fun (for the most part) interactions and countless good (with a bit of bad) memories is a sparkling core of truly great friends, that to this day still amaze me with some of their actions. I sought to leave my online world as I had formed to to simply concentrate on the product from it. After a couple days (I bet you didn't even notice) I switched this back on, not so much as a continuing place for me to pile my thoughts, but for the few remaining people I know and love who remain here. Without my LJ being active, I had no way to interact with y'all. My analogy is this is like a small town of bygone days where people would run into one another while out and about, or take the time to walk from house to house to say hello and talk over the fence. I guess I can't board up my place yet still remain neighborly, given how this system is set up.

This is not the Livejournal I set up shop in over ten years ago. Like so many other online "spaces" in the past, what began for me as a thriving community has become rather barren. Those who remain, however, and still making great use of the medium, and maintaining fantastic connections. What skeeves me these days is the reduction in quality of the service, the politics of the Russian owners and general disregard for the stateside users that really made the community what it is. The latest technical hell here is the never completing page loads. Sure, the pages seem to render properly and mostly stuff works, but some connections never complete, with the page loading indicator spinning away. This is often a sign of bad server configurations, and sometimes of a more dangerous nature, with open connections lying in wait for malware or other bad mojo. This has been going on for a few weeks now on my end, regardless of what computer or connection I access the site with. Aargh. Oh well, the neighborhood falls apart even more, the landowners letting the place fall apart around the remaining denizens.

I will keep my door open for a little while longer, I guess, at least until the wedding and a bit after. Then, well, we'll see. These days I am busy with as much as my day can hold, trying to get the house and yard fixed up, putting the final touches on a huge network upgrade to accommodate new home security and automation now and be usable into the foreseeable future. La Casa Mayhem is my only true home, I built it with my hands as well as a lot of outside help, and I plan on living the rest of my years here. As my health has taken several downturns in recent years, I now have a sense of urgency to get lots of things done while I am still able to do them in order to be able to have some years later to relax and simply enjoy the spoils of all that labor and thought. I am lucky to be able to (sometimes barely) be able to get around, and I am measuring my time wisely. With the wedding coming up in less three months (!) now, I gotta kick it into high gear. I am overlapping projects to my best advantage. I will be redoing the entryway to the house, with a new front door, paint, floor, lighting, landscaping, and more. I am sitting here configuring and testing security cameras I will be installing while I crawl around doing these other upgrades. Several hundred more feet of network cabling has to be installed too, and I am pleased with how this all is shaping up. In the spirit of the days past, here's a photo of the goings-on as I test one of the cameras down in the Underground Concrete Bunker before I finally get it put where it belongs on the outside.

I just hope my creaky old body holds up as I do all this work, if not, I am truly screwed. Our little wedding is shaping up to be a big deal. Certainly it's the most important day of my life in decades. I can only hope all turns out as we are working and planning it out to be.

Seeyas 'round.


May. 15th, 2013 01:57 am
greatbear: (panic panic panic)
For the entire day I've been unable to access my friends list view here on LJ to catch up on everyone's stuff. Seems I am not alone, but at the same time, it appears to be a fairly isolated problem. The status page shows all systems go, but there are a few folk leaving tickets for tech support. I've done a bit of individual friends reading, but it's remarkably tedious compared to the all-encompassing friends list view. I guess it's just another temporary (hopefully) failing that happens when the overlords of LJ push updates and unwanted features into the system. I can read my own pages, individual friend's pages, and, so far, all of their own f-list pages. I can also, obviously, post entries as well as comment elsewhere. Try to look at my own f-list? 500 Error.

In Soviet Russia, Livejournal something something you, I guess.
greatbear: (seasons greetings)
Testing? Number 9? Is this working?

The other evening I decided to post and, lo and behold, LJ was either under attack by Russian hooligans or someone tripped over a thick cable in a server room somewhere. Typical. I'll try that post when things have calmed down.

How's everyone doing?
greatbear: (facebook indicator)
Well, it appears that LJ is mostly operational, but not without isolated issues. Like eating the long post that I had written a few minutes ago. Ah well, I guess I have to kick the crust off my DW account and use it as a primary, with a crosspost to this place. No wonder I am really soured on blogging and social media in general, it's unreliable and getting to be more work than it's worth at times.
greatbear: (Default)
I have lost just about all faith in LJ. Because of the unfortunate circumstances that made LJ a historically significant primary blogging platform for Russians and the fact that anyone from the region that happens to post something critical of the Russian government or political groups causes those parties to unleash a tsunami of DDoS attacks making the platform completely inaccessible, well, let's just say that a rusted out Honda Civic with a blown head gasket and a dead battery is more useful. Were it not for the really cool people remaining in my circle of LJ peeps, I would have pulled the plug (permanently) a long time ago. However, the viability of this thing has become so poor that I am finally going to move on to other pastures, but I won't (as of yet) leave entirely. I do have a Dreamwidth account, as well as one on Blogger, both of which are idle at the moment. Perhaps I will hang my shingle there, if I decide that "blogging" (whatever the term means these days) remains something something I still want to participate in. Granted, I am beyond frustrated now with the bullshit that crops up and I might eventually change my mind (again). I should actually be patient with the course of events that affect the service because it has huge political and free speech/information ramifications, but I am sick of being collateral damage. Oh well. For now, I am going to kick this thing in the corner and weather the storm while I take on other meaningful tasks.

Lest many of you miss my social intercourse and presence, I will attempt to post something truly interactive in the meantime. If you manage to get to this post, use this entry as a reminder of good times. Try not to leave fingerprints on your screen.


Jul. 26th, 2011 02:08 am
greatbear: (facebook indicator)
Okay, what's gotten into LJ this time? Russians? Martians? Someone tripped over a stray network cable?
greatbear: (Default)
*brushes off shrapnel and debris from the controls after the failed KGB attacks*

Now witness the power of this fully operational LJ!

Yeah, well, I was laying low while shit got real during the DDoS hell that beset LJ for a while. Of course, it would have to take place during the time I actually wanted to make a post or two. Unfortunately this episode of unauthorized mayhem has caused an increase in the rate of defections to other venues for some of my favorite LJers. I myself have a Dreamwidth account I acquired at the time of Livejournal's sale to SUP (aka The Russians). I have it to fall back on, since I can't get it to be the dog 'n' pony show I have here. So I will remain stubbornly here if just to turn off the lights once everyone is gone.

More doctor visits and tests upcoming for me. Tomorrow I have a nerve conduction study, and more bloodwork done. My overall condition is improving, but way too slow, and I still have aggravating issues like insomnia, limping and stumbling and the feeling of someone taking .22 long rifle shots at my legs and feet at random times. Yet, I don't know if it's the recent warm weather, but I've felt better about myself and an actual recovery. To that note, after my doc visit today I stopped by Performance Bicycle and picked this up:

It's a Mongoose Teocali Comp all-terrain bike. It was on sale/clearance since it is a 2010 model, and it has everything I wanted. I decided on a fully suspended bike to help save my back from any more shock and compression than necessary. I took various models for a parking lot ride and fell in love with this one. The folks at Haverty's Furniture were probably wondering what the middle-aged dude was up to riding up onto their sidewalk and jumping off the curb. The disc brakes are a delight, and no longer do I have to worry about scaring people with brakes that sound like I am strangling geese. Despite the problems I have been beset with with my spine and whatnot, I can ride a bike like nothing is wrong. The riding position and pedaling action keep my rickety parts in an optimum position and I can actually enjoy a physical activity with no pain.

Jeff has been, of course, putting in lots of extra time at work and coming home tired. I worry about this a lot, but at least it is not nearly as bad as his last few venues. Sadly, he has been filling in for general manager who has been taking care of his mother, she learned today she has only two years left to live, after finding out a little while ago she has leukemia. To top it off, their beloved dog has been stricken with kidney failure. I can sympathize here, since during the time my Mom was fighting her cancer, we lost Patches, our wonderful Dalmatian. It's watching the world crumble around me with nothing to stop or change it. I met his boss' Mom last year, she is a delight. That family is going through a lot this year, and I hope they work things out and find their peace.

I always say that despite how bad I think I might have it, there will always, always be someone worse off. Gotta do the whole counting blessings thing, and make sure that life here at home for all of us is the best I can provide. I just hope that I am a good provider. I still have my doubts at times.
greatbear: (blackness)
(Warning, lots of personal meanderings ahead.)

Well, I guess it has come down to this. At first I thought it was just a passing feeling. I tried to work around it, doing what I could to make a presence here and on the very few other social media sites I still use. Granted, the posts are of little substance, videos and failed memes, etc, but at least it was an effort. But I've come to the conclusion that my use of various "social media" outlets has left me more hollow and wanting than if I dispensed with the things entirely.

I realize there are many of you reading this that don't understand what I am feeling. I see a lot of people who absolutely rock their various online self-media outlets. Lots of dialog, on- and off-line gatherings and get-togethers, those sort of things. In my case, I only feel the "illusion" of a robust circle of friends. If I don't initiate a conversation, or join one already happening in another venue (in the case of LJ, this means posting something here or making a comments in someone else's entry), nothing will happen. No "hey, what's up" or other outside initiator will happen. Often if I send a message to someone I might not get a response, or the conversation will cease if I don't make the last entry into it. I generally chalk it up to folks' increasingly busy lives. But when the results have approached 100%, I tend to get the message, even if I am slow to realize.

I've long realized that my personality is not everyone's slice of cherry pie. But as I've found myself going through a lot of terrible things in my life with no one beside me to speak of save for maybe Jeff, I've come to some pretty indelible conclusions. The one that pertains to LJ, and by extension, any other online interpersonal sites like Facebook, etc., is do I continue to pin an increasingly false hope of actual friendship and support based in a "virtual" world? What I mean to say is it seems that doing so has only increased to disconnect and made me realized how little I have in the way of close friendships and camaraderie. Having friends halfway across the globe online is well and good in itself, but in reality it's nothing more than a circle of pen-pals. Human beings thrive on interpersonal contact, something that is sorely lacking in my life in not only recent years, but throughout my entire life. I grew up in an isolated little community where I had no local friends. People that I could call "friends" lived at minimum a few miles away. This involved a car trip or a time-consuming (and dangerous) bike ride through rural roads to get together. As time rolled on, this situation has not changed. I still live in a mostly rural-suburban setting with no neighborhood friends. The few people I counted as friends growing up are the same ones I associate with now on a somewhat regular basis, with the incidental traveling conundrum still in effect.

Throughout all of this the one aspect what bugs me the most is the near perfect record I have with meeting people in person that I have gotten to know via previous online interaction who I apparently have a good time with together, but once we've gone back to our own respective corners of the world, it rarely if ever recurs, Also in many cases the online tête-à-tête diminishes if not disappears entirely. I might not always be the sharpest crayon in the box, but for the life of me I can't figure this one out. Am I the victim of differing expectations? Do I smell bad? Did I not pick up the tip for dinner? I'm totally dumbfounded. When it happens now and then, I can chalk it up to various things that make humans incompatible with one another for whatever reason. When it occurs with nearly the same regularity as a sunset I don't know what to do. Suffice it to say, it does hurt, and I no longer want to expose myself to those kinds of situations.

Where does this leave me now? Do I keep being the one that has to initiate and carry conversations? Do I expend the most effort in trying to buoy a budding personal friendship? Do I send out repeated status queries to everyone involved to basically ask "are we still friends?" I'm no longer going to subject myself to unreturned messages on social sites and apps, no-shows to party and meeting invitations or similar. And, sad to say, I wont expect much more out of LJ other than entertainment, news and mild comment interplay. Pinning my hopes that "social media" leads to being more "social" has only reinforced my belief that the opposite is in fact what is true. It brings well-intentioned people together through often vast distances, raising hopes in people like me that there are indeed people out there that I share lots of interests and whatnot with, but in the end those vast distances remain. And in most cases when those distances were breached, the hope of lasting friendship gets quashed for whatever reason I have yet to figure out.

LJ has become a nearly unusable morass of failed entry and comment postings, delayed or nonexistent comment notifications and for some people a disgusting display of advertising and spam. The latter is not always apparent to LJ users with paid accounts, but the basic stuff is a mess, with all users being subject to all kinds of scripts and mechanisms designed to make money and track user movements and habits. The failure of the various scripts end up blocking the actual content, and people stumbling upon our journals from outside are often forced to watch an ad or video before they can even get to actual entries. I did not originally sign up to be subjected to such bullshit, and I've had enough. What little meaningful contact I do have here is interrupted by what amounts to the Russian Mafia. I'm done with it.
greatbear: (Default)
Once again, Livejournal's emailing of comment notifications is spotty to nonexistent, at least for me. So, if you replied to a comment I left somewhere and were expecting an answer, chances are I was left in the dark. Again.
greatbear: (asshat)
LJ has become increasingly unstable, unresponsive and just plain unusable lately. I guess my theory of LJ becoming less and less relevant in my use going hand-in-hand with SUP Fabrik (the Russian LJ owners now) trying to monetize the thing like another Facebook is true. Usually, site issues like this have resulted in some sort of compensation to the users of a tangible nature. Things like extra userpics, extra paid time, etc. Do they throw us a bone this time? No, they throw us a virtual puppy.

Now, if this critter did not look so much like Kodi, I'd be completely incensed. As it stands now, in Soviet Russia, Livejournal Use YOU!

LJ stuffs

Aug. 8th, 2009 01:23 am
greatbear: (glasses)
Since LJ (along with Facebook and Twitter) has been dogged with usability and functional issues for a couple days now due to denial of service attacks, notifications of comments I have left in other journals that may have gotten responses have been spotty at best. So, if you said something in response to my responses, don't be surprised if I haven't responded. Poke me if you want more dialog.

I've also noticed that, boo of all hoos, I've been defriended by a few folk in recent months. Since these same people tend to write everything in locked entries, now that I have nothing to see, you're cast off like a used burger wrapper. Sorry, but that's life in LJ land. What gets me is the occasional drama that some people raise when people remove 'friends' from their lists and those people reciprocate. Hell, I've tried giving offers to those who have tired of my entries to pull the plug, only a few have ever taken me up on it. I felt I have to do something to cut back on my burgeoning reading list simply because I refuse to filter people off my default reading list. To me, that behavior is kinda dickwaddish. Then again, I have two, never used, LJ accounts. No entries, nada. Both of them have accumulated 'friends'. Go figure. Time for some cleanup I guess.

A Wii fit

Jan. 7th, 2009 10:10 pm
greatbear: (forearms)
Jeff finally got his Wii Balance Board/Wii Fit today. The thing is a hoot. The exercises are simple, yet pretty effective, and the balance-oriented games a challenge. I can see us using this quite a bit in the future.

He bought the item from an eBay seller that had high marks. Well, her marks are going to take a dive after he's done with her. She misrepresented the shipping method, changed her story numerous times and sent the thing out much later than she originally said she would, using USPS standard shipping rather than the second-day UPS service she said would be used. This is yet another example of someone making up in shipping costs a lower-than-usual sale, of course. But far too much was changed after the sale, and sending the thing out a couple weeks after the sale rather than immediately does no good either. Anyway, we got the new toy, and some eBay seller is gonna take a hit in their rating.

I tried to post this a while ago, but LJ was completely inaccessible to me for at least an hour's time. I spent the evening putting in LAN segments and taking a nap. I could not help but think of the Great LJ Evaporation rumor. But, it's still here, imagine that. I'd miss you guys 'n' gals if the service were to go. I would not even care too much about losing a 'permanent' account because, in the long run, it's been worth it for me, and the friendships gained, stories told and read, the laughs and tears, it's all priceless.
greatbear: (Default)
I've been having a recurring issue with LJ for a while now, and I cant seem to pin it down. While perusing my flist I will occasionally will have it missing everyone's locked entries. It's as if I intermittently lose the login cookie. Or something. I can reload the page and the missing entries reappear. I have to be mindful of this as I try to catch up or I will miss out on those locked entries. This happens on more than one PC here as well. Is this something that anyone else has been experiencing on a regular basis?
greatbear: (headsmash)
Not sure about some of you, but my LJ experience has been a mess lately. I am aware of the issues they've been having with DDoS attacks and whatnot. I have not been getting comment notifications, some posts and comments are blank in other's entries, and reading and posting has been iffy for a while now. If you've posted a reply and was expecting a return, I probably didnt get it, and I have to try and backtrack through my comments and do it 'manually'.

I guess this made my decision as to getting a permanent account. I dont want a permanent headache.

LJ issues

Nov. 16th, 2006 07:35 pm
greatbear: (fuzzy)
Seems like LJ, at least for me, has been having some odd issues with post notifications. Some notification emails show up normally, but some either arrive containing the text of my post and missing the text of the reply, or dont show up at all. If some of you were expecting a response, I might have missed it due to not being notified.

Anyone else having similar problems?

Judging by the huge amount of spam I receive via my LJ address, it is also possible the some of the notification mails are being tossed as spam. I have a feeling a lot of the spam that arrives in this account is due to crawlers triggered by some of the memes. After all, simply adding "" to usernames will create valid addresses to paid/perm users. Say NO to prepackaged memes!
greatbear: (forearms)
For those Livejournal peeps who have paid accounts, head over here to nab an extra week of paid service due to the snafus last week that made the site flaky or downright unusable.

I am currently using the uber PC with RAM I stole borrowed from my work PC. So far, so good, and it means I simply need to get replacement RAM from Corsair. In the meantime, my work PC will plod along minus a gig of RAM. Just to be safe, though, I backed up files I have accumulated in the short month or so this machine has been running. Incredibly enough, it was over 7.5 gig of files. The two terabytes I have in each of the recently built PCs is evidently a requirement.
greatbear: (forearms)
It seems that LJ has hiccupped for me, taking my layout with it and leaving me with the 'generator' style that I was so happy to rid myself of a while back. It appears that anyone who used the stylesheets put up by [ profile] masterslacker are all in the same boat. I hope this is temporary, because I really dont want to be futzing with styles on here anymore.

Say what?

Jan. 9th, 2006 09:55 pm
greatbear: (headsmash)
Are you being annoyed by someone on the internet? By someone not using their real name to identify themselves? Take solace in the knowledge that the person is now committing a federal crime, thanks to actions of Sen. Arlen Specter (R. PA) and others, and signed into law this past Thursday. I am surprised this has not been more widely reported on. This law has serious consequences for free speech and privacy on the internet, but does that surprise anyone given the totalitarian regime controlling this country now? Have a read, and spread the word. You might want to mirror the text too. Just, you know, in case, you know...

Returning to work today I find that the articles I had in a rough draft form were not on the PC. My fault, saving something else and overwriting the previous using the same file name. That's what I get for mixing work and op-ed pieces I suppose. Kinda put me out of mind and mood to start from scratch. It was a crazy day anyhow, so I would not have gotten much done. Too late to get much done at the moment either, so it will have to wait. Some recent events in the news regarding the same things I have been writing about as well. It's beginning to catch the ears of the general populace, rather than those techie sorts like me.

More blarg @ LJ for random 'database unavailable' and technical problem errors lately. The F5 key is your friend, especially if you wrote out a long post and it looks in danger of being eaten alive when you hit "Update Journal" and you get hit with an error page and going back nets you a blank screen (usually not a problem in Firefox). On the error page, hit F6, OK the 'POSTDATA' dialog and you should be fine.

Speaking of Firefox, I've been having issues with it ever since a Microsoft automatic update and moving to v.1.5. Some of my favorite extensions are broken, most noteably Adblock, even though it's compatible with the newer version. Also, FF will begin slowing down after extended use and eventually crashing. Not making me a very happy camper.

Speaking of blargh, why is it that I can do a couple thousand bux worth of business with a company (Newegg) without issues, and my last order gets put on hold due to billing/shipping address issues? And it did not make me any happier to find this out in an email sent a half hour before their closing time, and my call back to them with 20 minutes to spare nets me a bubbly 'we are closed now' automated message? Jumpin' Jesus on a rocket-powered pogo stick. I am half tempted to cancel the order if I get any sort of 'tude from their staff.

It looks like someone has a case of the Mundays.


greatbear: (Default)

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