Yes, 2nd story of woman pulled from bathroom is fake, but 1st one is very real

I was informed today that the latest bathroom story I shared earlier is a hoax – the story was made up with pictures from something else:

http://hoax-alert.leadstories.com/910969-transgender-woman-not-kicked-from-bathroom-arrested.html

So I went back to check the first story I’d heard about (which happened to a different woman) and the link I’d posted returned “Not Found.” However, the story is still being reported by The Advocate. The latest is that she’s filing a lawsuit:

A Detroit woman has filed a lawsuit against restaurant chain Fishbone’s after a frightening incident in which she was mistaken for a man and tossed out of a women’s bathroom, reports TV station WXYZ.

http://www.advocate.com/business/2015/06/17/detroit-woman-kicked-out-restaurant-bathroom-looking-man-sues

So, yes, I was taken in by the hoax, but the problem is VERY real.

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

Morality Police Attach Anti-nudity Clause to Much Needed Rape Kit Testing Bill

Today a friend shared this post about a new bill in WA State that seeks to address the massive back-log of rape kits that need to be tested. We should all be ashamed of the number of rape kits nation-wide that are – apparently – ignored after being collected. Something needs to be done, and this looks like a good first step.

Then I read this line:

“and imposing a small fee on admission to sexually oriented businesses, such as live adult entertainment clubs”

Wait, what? Why? Exactly how small is “small,” and how far does this extend?

According to the text of House Bill 2530, the fee

  • consists of $4/person, collected at admission to the venue, and
  • applies to “Adult entertainment,” defined as “any live exhibition, performance or dance of any type”

So the bill doesn’t appear to apply to stores like Lovers or Castle, but is defined so broadly that it could apply to any of the following:

  • burlesque performances
  • nude modeling
  • caressing a dance partner’s buttocks

I want to support HB 2530 – the number of untested rape kits is deplorable, but this kind of bullshit gives me pause. We always seem to find money for building new stadiums and invading other countries.

Do your jobs, legislators – find that money and start treating women with the respect and dignity they deserve.

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

Automated phone scams? Yikes!

I just got a call from a phone number in South Carolina that I didn’t recognize. (As far as I know I don’t know anybody in SC.) This is Google’s transcript of the voicemail they left:

Angry as a way of thanking you for being one of our premier customers you qualify for our all inclusive promotion which covers your accommodations and all your food and drinks for up to 2 guess that’s right all you can eat all you can drink for 5 days and 4 nights. that’s valued at $1,800 also as a bonus you will receive a free 5 day 4 night magical Orlando get away that includes your accommodations and Disney tickets to any Disney Theme Park Which alone is valued over $800 just for taking advantage of one of our all inclusive exotic destination promotions, so I just need to ask you a few questions to see if you qualify is that okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you clearly so I just need to ask you a question to see if you qualify is that okay. Our records show that your at least 28 years or older and you still have a credit card or a debit card correct. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you clearly nowadays almost all resorts require credit cards Do you have a credit card that you can use on your trip? Okay, no problem. Sorry. I bothered you I hope you have a really good day.

Wow. “Do you have a credit card?” Are you sure? “Nowadays almost all resorts require credit cards.” How many people can this robo-caller fleece every hour, I wonder? Yikes.

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

Tooting my own horn: My work helped win “Best of Breed” award

Got a huge “thank you” today from a customer who just won the Best Integration of Legacy Systems or Line of Business Applications award at Microsoft’s Ignite conference. They’re using a beta version of the product I’m responsible for to integrate with their legacy/LOB system.

Few things are better than seeing your efforts get used and being useful πŸ™‚

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

Old Man Kitty

We’ve noted for awhile that Oreo has been having some trouble with his stomach. It gurgles a lot and lately he’s been throwing up more and more frequently. This morning I heard a horrible "HAK!" sound from the bathroom and came out to discover that he’d thrown up across half the bed. Yuck 😦

So Katrina took him to the vet this afternoon. Apparently there are lots of things it might be, so they took some fluids to test. Also, a chart on the wall informs us that he’s now 56 in human years.

They still look like teenagers to me :-/

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

Bad tutorials

Inspired by something a friend used to say and a recent discussion, I present a parody of a common type of frustration-creating tutorial…

How to create a ZIP file

Why: Sometimes you need to e-mail somebody just one file instead of a whole bunch. Maybe the files are large and you need to make them smaller. In any case, zipping up your files can be extremely useful. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Find your files. For this you will need to locate where the files are. If you’re on Windows or Ubuntu try searching for them. If you know what folder they’re in use the file explorer – explore.exe on Windows.

Step 2: Gather all the files together. I find it’s useful to create a temporary folder as a staging area. Just right-click wherever you would like to create the new folder and select "New Folder" (or something like that) from the pop-up menu.

(Optional) You may also want to organize your files into sub-folders. Use the same technique described above to create as many folders as you need.

Step 3: Zip the file.

You now have a bunch of files perfectly packaged into one. You can e-mail this to somebody, copy it to a USB drive or just tuck it away for safekeeping πŸ™‚

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

New blog, etc. addresses

I’ve been making some behind the scenes changes that will ultimately (I hope) help me be able to write and share more with all of you. As part of those changes I’ve got a couple of new web addresses – one for my personal WordPress blog and another for my new stream at WithKnown:

The previous addresses will continue to work, but I strongly recommend that you use these from this point forward. The systems that host this information may need to move, be replaced, etc., but the addresses above should never change.

(Originally posted on WithKnown)

The Real Reason for My Seasonal Depression

Every year, the holiday months are immensely depressing for me. Most people assume this is due to Seasonal Affective Disorder, but as with many things, this is an incorrect assumption. I actually prefer the darker, cooler days. No, the real problem is much more subtle and insidious.

It all starts in October

I generally feel pretty good as October begins. The stifling summer days are gone, everything is cooler, winds are starting to pick up and my birthday falls in the early part of the month. As the days progress, however, the Orgy of Horror slowly creeps into the cultural dialog. Movie theaters, TV episodes, commercials, community events – everything is crowing about how scary/spooky/gory it is.

I don’t like horror. I don’t find it entertaining. Being frightened isn’t what I consider fun. And I don’t understand others’ fascination with it. Whether it’s the “thrill” of impending doom, rotting corpses or exploding guts, I want nothing to do with it. Ever. But because the Universe loves irony it all congregates instead in the one season that I would otherwise consider my sanctuary.

Emotionally weary, having been beaten down by the horror marketing blitz, final gut-punch comes at the end of the month. I sit at home, reading about all the parties and looking at the pictures of everyone in costume. I can count on one hand the number of parties I’ve been invited to – not attended, invited to – in my adult life. I can recall a total of 2 Halloween parties I’ve attended in my 40+ years on this planet.

Now, I am fully aware that there are plenty of other factors that play into this: I live in an outlying town. I’ve made no secret of my discomfort with alcohol as a central fixture at social gatherings. We’re all busy in our own lives. But it’d be nice to at least imagine that the few real friends I have would like to spend time with me once in awhile.

This is something that I struggle with throughout the year, but it hits particularly hard around Halloween.

Next: Socially-Enforced Merriment

Once October has run its course and left me wallowing in depression, it’s time for the Period of Socially-Enforced Merriment. Back when the Winter Solstice celebrations began they served a very necessary purpose. People had been cooped up in the dark and cold for months. They needed to interact with others and to raise their spirits.

How many of you have gone months without talking to friends and family by the time Christmas rolls around? How many of you have been wallowing in the dark and cold? Precious few. No, in today’s world we are subjugated to Christmas music shortly after Halloween and for the next two months. We spend more time in stores, shopping for presents, than we would the rest of the year. There’s more lights, more music, more traffic, more stimulation. Add to all of this the increased pressure to get together with family and it’s no wonder we’re so stressed.

While I believe Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real, I would respectfully suggest that an even more likely culprit is all this artificial stimulation during a cycle where our bodies and minds expect to be able to slow down and recharge. In the current environment the holidays don’t provide us a respite from the dreariness of Winter because we haven’t allowed ourselves to enter that dreary state.

Finally: System crash

So there you have it; the reason why every holiday season I want to crawl into a cave to escape:

  1. My favorite season usurped.
  2. Forgotten or overlooked.
  3. Overstimulated.

I can only speak for myself, obviously, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others really explored their internal workings and discovered the same.