National Winter Hibernation NOW! / Overdue culling

typed for your pleasure on 18 January 2009, at 3.23 am

Sdtrk: ‘Cherish’ by Ike Yard

Absolute zero, meaning the weather is neither hot or cold;
it is in a perfect null-state

I’m starting to believe that this ridiculously frigid weather is actually having an influence on my lifestyle and mindset. Since the beginning of Winter — not the official beginning of Winter, as it’s been freezing off and on in SE Michigan several weeks before that — I’ve noticed an increased willingness to hibernate, a drop in my writing output, which extends to my creativity at large, as I’ve had no inclination to either do legitimate research on potential posts, or work on other creative things, such as ‘Kitten with a Whip!’, for example, and worst, a dip in my libido; which, for any Scorpio worth their salt, is almost inconceivable. I undoubtedly sound like a broken record, but it is just too cold to do anything but stay in bed, where the heat is. At the moment, I’m at a creative standstill, which is really unsettling.
And the thing is, I’ve noticed similar behaviour in a couple of friends of mine. I don’t know if you can chalk it up to the whole Seasonal Affective Disorder thing, but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. Don’t get me wrong; I love me some overcast days, but egad, you gotta break that shit up now and again. Couple that with polar temperatures and crappy driving conditions, and Winter’s approval rating just continues to sink. Really, the only thing that makes Winter better than hateful Summer is that it doesn’t make you sweat, but that’s a small comfort, all told.

Therefore, I propose that we follow the example of our friends, the bears and squirrels, and hibernate during the Winter season. Of course, I don’t mean that we should literally stuff ourselves with acorns and honey, crawl into a cave or hollow tree, and sleep for three straight months out of the year. Although you’d be free to do that if you liked, but that’d be weird. No, what I’m saying is that society should go for a general go-slow when Winter sets in. Not like a complete shutdown of industrialised society or anything, but more of a simple understanding on the part of companies if an employee calls in to say, ‘sorry, I won’t be coming in today; it’s like 3°F outside.’ All this, naturally, would be done without cutting into any time-off time, or sick time, or vacation time, et al. It’d be officially sanctioned, but regulated so that business wouldn’t be short-staffed. It’d be a lot like Golden Week in Japan, only it’d be more like Golden Twelve Weeks…
The hoped-for result is that people would be more well-rested and less stressed-out overall, and ready to tackle the remaining nine months. Honestly, what better time to stay indoors and recharge your batteries than when Mother Nature’s being a disagreeable tart?

In other news, due to considering how Tomas and Jaems are attempting to simplify things with their lives, I’ve deleted my Livejournal account, as well as, which is where ‘Shouting etc etc’ got its start, and my Facebook account. My Livejournal consisted of a single post that essentially said ‘Nothing here, go to my actual blog’, so there’s no loss there, and what remained on Blogger/Blogspot said the same. As far as Facebook, I’ve already expressed my displeasure with it, but between Thursday night and my drive to work Friday afternoon, I thought to myself, why do I still have a page on Facebook? Initially I started it due to that twat in Australia co-opting my identity on Myspace, so I started a profile of my own, in order to stop Hitler at Munich, as it were. The thing with Facebook, however, is that when a person registers, they’re required to enter both a first name and a surname. Obviously I wasn’t putting in my actual surname, so I used a ‘fictional’ one. In addition to me realising that in effect, no-one can make a Facebook page for Davecat, not even myself, and since I had very little interaction with the site anyway, I decided that deleting the account would be the best thing for all involved. Twelve out of the fourteen people I’ve made friends with all there already know other ways to get hold of me, and as for the other two, well, you’d be well advised to bookmark ‘Shouting etc etc’. Now, if only I could get rid of my Myspace profile that easily, and ensure that no-one else re-starts it…

via text, Saturday:
SafeTinspector (2.28 pm): Re: facebook.
I pretty much ignore mine and consider it a biographical aggregator. It auto-pulls in my twitters, flickrs and blog posts.
Davecat (2.38 pm): Yeah; the sole content of my Facebook is my Twitter feed, but then, why not just check my Twitter feed?
Davecat (2.39 pm): My Facebook is like a (Organik) appendix. If you can get rid of it, do so, cos you really don’t need it.
SafeTinspector (2.48 pm): You could also have it parrot your flickr, youtube and WordPress posts. It requires 0 maintenance, so mine shall remain, as my MySpace page, as a simple signpos
SafeTinspector (2.48 pm): t.
Davecat (2.49 pm): Bah. BAH! *dismissive hand gesture*
Davecat (2.49 pm): That was the idea with my Myspace, but people just stop there instead of going to my blog! I’m funnelling.
SafeTinspector (2.49 pm): I’m glad you specified “Organic” appendix, as I am a pig proponent of appendices.
Davecat (2.50 pm): Proponent of pig appendices?

Twitter’s always a laugh, though! That’s not going anywhere

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typed for your pleasure on 26 December 2008, at 11.15 am

Sdtrk: ‘I’m in love with a German film star (long mix)’ by the Passions

‘Shouting etc etc’ is down to DEFCON level 5, as yesterday, I successfully upgraded my WordPress version to 2.7. I didn’t have to sacrifice any goats or children or anything! Well, just one child, but he was a spotty little bastard, so I actually did the neighbourhood a favour. How did I manage to pull that off, you axe? The WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. Unzip it, upload it, activate it, click a couple of buttons, honk the horn, ring the bell, and voila! New version acquired! As I backed up some unneccesary stats, the backup process, and therefore, the entire upgrade process, took a wee bit longer than it normally should’ve, but nothing on ‘Shouting etc etc’ shattered like glass when it finished up, so I’ll call it a success. Not one hundred per cent success, mind you — I don’t think the Plugins list plugin (how very meta) that I’m using works properly with WP 2.7, as it doesn’t list all the plugins I’m using as links, but still. (FUTURE EDIT: Plugins list plugin updated 27 Dec)
All hail the Automatic Upgrade plugin! Making life easier for lazy unattentive tossers like myself. Well done!

And while I was at my parents’ house for Crimbo, I learned that Eartha Kitt, Catwoman and cabaret star, unexpectedly passed away.

US singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81
BBC News | Thursday, 25 December 2008

American singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt has died at the age 81, her friend and publicist has said.

Kitt died of colon cancer on Thursday, Andrew Freedman said.

She was one of the few artists to be nominated in the Tony, Grammy and Emmy award categories and was a stalwart of the Manhattan cabaret scene.

She famously played Catwoman in the Batman television series in the 1960s and was known for her distinctive, feline drawl.

She also had a number of hit songs, including Old Fashioned Girl, C’est Si Bon and Santa Baby.

Kitt was blacklisted in the US in the late 1960s after speaking out against the Vietnam War at a White House function.
the rest of the article is here

First Bettie Page, and now Eartha? I’m not liking this

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typed for your pleasure on 13 July 2008, at 4.28 pm

Sdtrk: ‘L’escargot’ by Michael Nyman

PRAISE “BOB”. Remember all those comments from the first iteration of ‘Shouting etc etc’ that were previously gathering dust on HaloScan? They are now completely transferred. Every last one of them. By hand, I might remind you. Shi-chan’s double-excited, as I told her that when I was done with all that transfer silliness, that I would get back to resurrecting ‘Kitten with a Whip!*exhales* O boy.
But for now, go enjoy the past!

Being a fan of Montreal’s finest sons and daughters, the Dears, I periodically read vocalist and keyboardist Natalia Yanchak’s blog, bizarrely titled ‘Natalia Yanchak’s Blog‘, wherein she details life with lead vocalist and hubby Murray, being a mum, trying to stay environmentally aware, recording fumfuh, etc. Recently, she posted an entry that resonated very strongly with me:

Facebook Killed My Blog…
…not that it’s completely dead or anything. But the amount of laptop time I permit myself per day is limited, and with the addition of Facebook to my online routine, there’s just less time for blogging. I mean, this blog should be enough of a window into my life: does it really need to be supplemented with a half-assed Facebook profile?
the rest of the article is here

Obviously, you can just as easily replace any instances of the word ‘Facebook’ with ‘Myspace’, as they’re entirely interchangeable. Both are essentially glorified profiles, for the purposes of networking and negligible announcements. For someone such as myself who already has a blog, keeping up with a social networking site is just one more silly thing I have to look after. Were it not for some tosser in Australia, I wouldn’t have a Myspace at all.

I do have a Facebook profile (and no, I’m not linking it here; if you’re clever though, you’ll know what name to look under) that I’ve mucked about with maybe five or six times, as frankly, I find the interface to be even more baffling than Myspace, which is a feat I wouldn’t have thought possible. What are these ‘gifts’ they keep referring to? There’s a wall that you can write on? Human G knows Human L, who knows Humans T, KK, and 42? What is this, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon??

The one thing I hate most about Facebook is that unless you friend someone… fuck. Let me stop that right now. Unless you add someone as a friend, you can’t have any access to info about them. I realise that for people merely seeking to beef up the number of ‘friends’ they have, that’s no big deal, but personally, I want to know something about you before I accept you into my life. Does that not make any sense to anyone else??

I realise that I’m making myself sound like a cranky geriatric, but I dunno, I like writing, as opposed to merely commenting in bulk. Again, Myspace and Facebook are profiles, and as such, they don’t exactly engender writing at length, and listing the shitty bands that you like doesn’t count.
So basically, I’m drawing a line under it: I’m not accepting adds or wasting time with either Myspace or Facebook anymore. I’m not deleting mine or Sidore’s — you can thank that enterprising Australian for that — we’re just no longer maintaining them. Should someone send me a message, I’ll simply ask they Email me. Remember Emails, and how fun they were? But yeah, I’m curtailing keeping up with them cos frankly, if curious types really want to know about me or the Missus, they should be rooting through ‘Shouting etc etc’, rather than some facile social networking site

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typed for your pleasure on 26 May 2008, at 3.57 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Separate and ever deadly’ by The Last shadow puppets

Hah! You may recall how when I transfered ‘Shouting etc etc’ from its modest origins on Blogger over to the acclaimed WordPress, how there were difficulties importing my multitude of HaloScan comments from There to Here? I mean, this was way back in 2006. There was a plugin that was supposed to be able to handle that exact sort of scenario, but try as I might, I simply could not get it to work. So guess what? I’m transferring all of those feckers by hand. That’s right. All 1,440 comments; copied, pasted, redated, etc. See how much I love you, where I’m willing to do this??
Frankly, the whole process makes me feel as if I’m losing my mind, but thankfully (?) my OCD tendencies keep me from saying bollocks to it, and deleting the lot, which I honestly wouldn’t do anyway, cos there are quite a few gems amongst them. This is obviously going to take a while, but when I’m finished*, I’ll let you know. So there you have it!

While we’re talking back end stuffs, I’d like to formally introduce you to a couple of new bloggin’ pals. There’s Intentionally Mispelled, which is intentionally misspelled. It’s a rather meta pun. Also, there’s If I Was A Rich Girl…, which is by a girl who, to my knowledge, is not rich. It’s a rather ironic pun. And lest we forget, there’s Princessrachel’s Extrawhoredinary, which is about whores celebrities. It’s a rather factual pun.

Okay, better post to come soon! Theoretically speaking, of course. So here’s a picture of one of the lovely lasses by 4woods in the interim! Standards round here have to be maintained, y’know

Oi! No lying down! These comments aren’t going to transfer themselves!

*estimated completion date is early Autumn of 2745

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typed for your pleasure on 28 April 2008, at 9.01 pm

Sdtrk: ‘A get together to tear it apart’ by the Hives

*mops brow* Some of you may have noticed that not only is ‘Shouting etc etc’ kinda… different-looking… but it was down since 2.30am Monday morning. The reason? I tried to upgrade to the latest latest version, apparently deleted something crucial, and freaked out. There was failure on a massive scale, needless to say. Thanks to the staunch efforts of SafeTinspector, though, this blog’s been upgraded and restored. I owe you a case of Coffee Crisp, sir!

Do bear with me as I reinstall everything and tweak colours/layout/etc for the next couple of months. Also, don’t ever have me upgrade your blog, as I will inadvertently bring ruination to your efforts

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Alles klar

typed for your pleasure on 23 April 2008, at 11.47 am

Sdtrk: the soundtrack to Tadanori Yokoo’s ‘Tokuten eizou anthology No. 1’

IT IS DONE. Last night, I finally upgraded ‘Shouting etc etc’ to the latest version of WordPress available (now with go-faster stripes), thanks to the expert help of Zip Gun. No more pr0n spam wankery makes me a happy lad! Frankly, it took a lot less effort than I thought it would, and I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to get it overwith. Procrastination would be my middle name, but ‘Davecat’ is only one word.
Not only is there that, but I’ve added a new plugin that allows people to preview what they’re about to post. Truly, an Idea Whose Time Has Come. Thanks again, ZG and Bloke who came up with that comments preview plugin!

Now that I know the coast is clear, expect more posts relatively soon, as well as the glorious return of the Technorati tags! Cos I know you lot have really been waiting for that. In the meantime, why not look at what I’m listening to right this minute?

Happy 23rd!

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typed for your pleasure on 20 March 2008, at 11.48 am

Sdtrk: ‘He is everywhere nowhere’ by Current93

JUST SO YOU KNOW: Quite a few people — perhaps even you — have been wanting to post a comment, and finding that either the comments have been turned off, or the reply function is simply no longer there. Heh, you’ll love this: lately, ‘Shouting etc etc’ has been getting hit by some bizarre virus that does two things — it not only deactivates the ability for people to post comments or make pings for some posts, but it also throws a shitload of spam links into the bottom of each post. Now this is going to sound like the ravings of a lunatic, but the links are coded so that they’re invisible. No, seriously. If you view these infected posts via a cellphone browser (like I did), you’ll see lines and lines of spam links. It’s the strangest damn thing.
Originally, I thought it was due to the Technorati tags I was using, as the first time this occurred, it was in February’s ‘Any Doll-related news etc’ post, so I got rid of the tags, but the comments would still shut off and those spam links would come back.

What it boils down to is that I undoubtedly need to upgrade WordPress, which I intend on doing soon, otherwise the homicides will begin. In the interim, if you don’t see the reply function for a post, seriously — reply in another post, and I’ll just transfer the bastard to where it’s supposed to be.
We here at Deafening silence Plus thank you for your patience and patronage! No, seriously.

So recently I dreamt that Shi-chan and I were driving round the suburbs — it looked a bit like the Grosse pointe area, but you know how it is with dreams mutating things that actually exist in your mind into totally new things — and some chunky bloke with a paper bag over his head stepped in front of our car at a stop sign, and handed me an index card. He then took his paper bag off, revealing his shaven-head and his broad smile, and stepped away as I drove off. Sidore read the card: there was a paragraph at the top, stating the message was from a college fraternity, and that they apparently liked our work. (??) They went on to explain that if we were to go to the URL provided below, we’d see some guy in Texas that looked exactly like me. ‘Huh,’ I remarked.

The dream then cut to footage of this bloke. The video quality was similar to that weird video black & white that you get with closed-circuit television, but a little sharper, and it even had a running timecode in the upper right corner. Unlike a CCTV camera, though, it wasn’t fixed in one position. It centred on this bloke that could’ve been my identical twin — his facial features were the exact same as mine, but his ponytail was around two feet long, and he was wearing a hoodie, which is something I’d never do. He was seated in the front row of a college classroom, a couple of columns toward the centre. At one point during the course of the footage, he pulled a toothbrush out of his bag, applied some toothpaste to it, and proceeded to brush his teeth right there in the middle of class. No-one seemed to notice, except the girl behind him, who tapped him on the shoulder and said something chastising. Or at least, I assume it was something chastising, as the video didn’t have sound. He stopped to listen to her, then kept on brushing.

Then the dream cut to Shi-chan and I watching the video (on YouTube, naturally). For some reason, the room we were in was dark, and the monitor illuminated our faces. ‘I don’t know what to make of that,’ Sidore commented.
Dopplegängers! Honestly, you just can’t get away from them…

Happy Vernal Equinox, people! I’m hoping for a short Summer, but a long Spring. And an even longer Autumn

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