Archive for category Rants

Fuck you, Google, and the app you rode in on

Edit: So I now have a new “personal” account and things are relatively back to the status quo. But my arguments still remain: the whole thing is totally fucked up. And it’s made worse by their policies on “real names”, so I can’t just set up an account as CyberLizard independent of my identity as my meatspace self. This fucking pisses me off. Expect another rant about that soon.

Hold on to your seats, folks; it’s going to be a ranty ride.

So here’s the deal. I own my own domain, cyberlizard.com. I got tired of dealing with email management and decided to just let GMail deal with it all. No problemo. Now I’ve got mail.cyberlizard.com to do my emailification. At the same time, I also set up things like calendar.cyberlizard.com and docs.cyberlizard.com, aka Google Apps. I had already had my iGoogle and Google Reader set up to use my cyberlizard.com email address as the login. So, pretty cool.

Actually, not so much. Because my iGoogle and Google Reader apparently use something called a Google Account or Google Profile. Which apparently is different from the shit I just set up in Google Apps. Even though it’s got the same login. Ok, fine. So I just go directly to my *.cyberlizard.com urls for some stuff and directly to Google for others. And this works.

Until Google Plus. Google apparently thinks that Google Apps users are second class citizens who don’t deserve these special things called Google Profiles. Which means no Google Plus. But since the same email address is being used for both my “personal” google account and my Google Apps account, I can get in on the “personal” one.

You confused yet? I sure as hell am! Irregardless, all this shit works. I’m on G+, I can see all my RSS feeds on Reader, I can do my emailizations and I make extensive use of my Calendar.

Until today. Google decided to “transition” my “conflicting” accounts. So now I’m totally fucked. If I go to my email and log in, I am apparently logged in to the entire google infrastructure with my apps account. So if I go to Plus, it says, “Fuck you! You can’t get in without a Profile! And Apps accounts don’t get a Profile! So you’re fucked!” Or something like that. I may have paraphrased a bit. The point is, this fucking sucks. And Google’s only solution is to rename my “personal” account?! What about all the stuff I’ve done on G+ already? I don’t want to change my fucking email address! Why is this shit so difficult? I’m not a stupid guy. I work with computers all day long. I run web sites. I program the world’s most powerful computers. But this shit drives me batty!

I want:

  • All my existing *.cyberlizard.com shit to work; mail, calendar, docs
  • All my configuration and content of iGoogle, Reader, G+ to work

How do I get the content from both of these onto one account? Without creating a whole fucking new email address? Make it fucking happen, Google!

p.s. I’m not usually one to rant about this kind of technology struggle. I’m usually the one telling people how to set this shit up. I’m really not some dumb, ignorant user (well, maybe in this case I am). There’s probably a perfectly logical reason why they set things up this way. But I’ll be damned if I can see it. Or untangle the result.

p.p.s Yes, this is whiny and pouty. I just want my internets to work! *wail*


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Victim blaming bullshit

Well, I found something to write about. Unfortunately, it’s something disgusting and vile.

Britni wrote a blog post (It’s MY body) about being sexually assaulted in a club the other night, undoubtedly a very traumatic experience made worse by the fact that it was not the first time she has been a victim of it. It was very brave of her to write so openly about a very personal and painful experience. So naturally the appropriate response is to write a blog post entitled So yeah, it’s “your body”. But are you sending a different message?

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in this subject. I’m not going to pretend that I know all the right buzz words and proper attitudes. Instead, I’m just going to give my gut reaction. And my reaction is that people like this are goddamned douchebag victim blamers.

You know it’s going to be good when Taylor, the author of the piece and the SO of the blog owner, starts out like this:

Ok I get:

  • You didn’t want to be humped in a bar.
  • The guy had the impression it was ok to hump you in a bar.
  • You feel the need to bitch about it.

I understand all of the above.

What I don’t get:

  • How it went from dancing to humping.
  • What gave him the impression that you’d be ok with being humped in a bar, or “penetrated”.
  • Bitching about it the next day instead of doing something proactively about it right then and there.

Does that sound familiar? That’s exactly what a victim of sexual assault needs, to be accused of doing something to give the impression that she was ok with being sexually assaulted. Oh, and that she didn’t respond appropriately. As I said previously, I’m no expert on feminist issues or sexual abuse or psychology, but in what philosophy is it appropriate to suggest that a victim of sexual assault is to blame for their being attacked? I mean, didn’t we already clear this shit up?

Anyway, the rest of the article is a bizarre attempt of the male author to claim to not be blaming the victim while, in the next sentence, blaming the victim.

Here are my thoughts. The average guy, doesn’t arbitrarily start “humping” a random girl in a bar. There has to be SOMETHING that gives him the impression that she would be receptive to it. Whether intentional or not she has to do something to encourage him. Frankly most men are too chicken shit to do anything without some level of encouragement.

Now in no way am I trying to say or imply that you willfully invited the “humping” Just pointing out that there may be something you are overlooking. Some element of your own behavior that invited this bit of intrusion.  Am I trying to place you at fault for his mis-behavior? Hell no.

But I am saying that in any given situation involving two people regardless of their gender  there are two distinctly different perspectives.

My summary: I’m not saying that you are at fault, I’m just pointing out that you brought it on yourself. Jeebus farking christ on toast! Anyway, take a look at that last sentence, “But I am saying that in any given situation involving two people regardless of their gender  there are two distinctly different perspectives.” The perspective of a rapist/sexual predator is that they have the right to do anything they damn well please to another human being, regardless of the lack of consent of their victim. Hmmm. Right, I can see why that should be taken into consideration (note the dripping sarcasm, just in case that wasn’t apparent).

What I’m getting at, is maybe it’s time to take a good long look at your own behavior. Because if your body is being groped, used, assaulted, grabbed, handled or otherwise touched without your permission as often as you say, it would seem that you are doing something to provoke it. Again, this may or may not be something  you’re aware of.

But the average person doesn’t get touched on a daily basis, the average person doesn’t encounter rape and near rape all the damn time.

Sure a person should be able to wear what they want, go where they want, say and do what they want without being treated like a hunk of meat on a deli counter.

No woman deserves to be treated like a whore, however is she happens to be wearing the uniform….

I think y’all get the point. This whole thing made me feel so fucking disgusted and angry that I couldn’t even begin to express myself. As aag pointed out in her comment on the post: “If anyone ever asks me for a definition of “rape culture,” I will be sure to point them to this entry.” It’s astounding beyond belief that this kind of blatant, repulsive victim blaming is being proudly proclaimed; in response to a post about a woman’s experience with sexual assault, no less!

A number of other bloggers have picked up on the story and are also expressing their outrage (I’m sure I missed some, just let me know and I’ll add them). Britni’s own response is here.

This kind of crap needs to be kicked hard in the teeth and ended. Victim blaming is wrong. Period. It’s not fucking rocket science. And if you’re going to just say over and over again that you’re not blaming her, but that she must have done something to provoke a response and not see how that’s victim blaming, then you’re a fucking douche.

Update: Already found a post I missed Pussy Goes Grrr – http://mendthiscrack.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/this-post-is-for-britni/

Tales from the Toi Box – http://www.talesfromthetoibox.com/2010/07/britni-good-rapist-bad.html

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I want to kick Jesus in the nuts!

I am royally pissed off right now. I mean seriously pissed. Back in 2008 I came out as an atheist. I fully expected some friends or family to have a hissy-fit, but the idea that there would be workplace ramifications never entered my mind. In my place of employment, that kind of crap is kept outside. All that matters is what kind of code I write and how I manage my team. Apparently that’s not the case for everyone.

My very good friend, who I shall call “Fucked by Jesus” or FBJ for short, was recently outed at work as being an atheist. Her place of employment is rather saturated with love of the lord, but it’s a huge organization with lots of public scrutiny, so while I expected to hear about some discomfort from the petty whisperings of narrow-minded theistic co-workers, I didn’t expect to hear about a full-blown attack being perpetrated against FBJ by the organization itself. Her internet access has been cut off, TweetDeck and iTunes uninstalled from her PC, her shit rifled through and they moved her to a new cubicle. No idea if that was to bring her closer to Jesus or what.

In the interest of fairness, if there is a policy against having applications like TweetDeck or iTunes installed, then they are legally within their rights to remove them. But I’ll bet you the price of a new bible that there are other, god-loving employees there with those applications installed who haven’t been touched.

This whole thing is fucking bullshit. I suspect that it is even illegal. She is being subjected to an extremely hostile work environment due solely to her religions preferences (or lack thereof). I think the ACLU needs to get involved. This kind of shit shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century. I thought the Inquisitions became passe after the Dark Ages. WTF?

Hang tough, girl! You’ve got the entire atheist community behind you on this one. No one fucks with the CyberLizard’s friends. I’ve got a whole pack of chupacabras just waiting to be unleashed on their asses. Just say the word.

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If I were in charge, I’d fire Pat Buchanan

I am still amazed at the depths of racism in this country. One of the best side effects of electing Barack Obama is that the GOP has decided to finally reveal itself as what it truly is: a bunch of racist rednecks, drunk on power, incapable of recognizing reality even if she sat on their face and wiggled. What kind of person can hire Pat Buchanan and still look at themselves in the mirror? He’s always been a douchebag, but now he just comes right out and admits that he’s a racist. Here’s a sample of his eloquence:

White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That’s why.

Watch Rachel not give an inch to this fucking moron.


Rachel, you’re a better person than I am to not try to reach through the monitor and rip is fucking head off.

ht: Atheist Revolution

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Isn’t this just a little over the top?

A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA
Palm Beach tea party: ‘Chains we can believe in’
Americans outraged by Obama’s perceived shift toward socialism

C’mon, seriously?!? For real? Our friends at the WorldNutDaily are practically having an orgasm over the hundreds of people who turned out for teabagging today.

Those braving rain showers to sound their objections to President Obama’s policies voiced a common theme, one suggesting America is rapidly racing toward socialism.

“We’re headed toward socialism, and socialism is anathema to everything this country’s ever stood for,” said Fritz Breland, a self-employed yacht broker from Boynton Beach. “I’m essentially unemployed because no one’s buying.”

Well boo-fucking-hoo. A goddamned yacht broker is “essentially unemployed”. He’s experiencing the results of a financial downturn years in the making by Republican control, but now that the O-man is in office, it’s time to revolt. I’m completely over these fuckers. These people have lost their grip on reality in a major way and now they’re being whipped into a frothing frenzy by the likes of Glenn Beck and Fox News. Where the fuck was their outrage when previous administrations were shitting all over the rights of the people through illegal wiretapping and goddamned torture? Where was the condemnation of the president when his administration was raping the poor and working class of this country in order to support the bloated carcasses of the oligarchy funding his power-hungry and delusional dreams? Oh, that’s right. During the Bush regime if you criticized the president, you were un-American, un-patriotic, a traitor. But now that their good-old-boy white network has been thrown out of power, it’s their patriotic duty to criticize the president. In fact, the man who is a constitutional scholar, who has managed to work and sweat and claw his way up through the disgusting process that has become politics, yet still managed to maintain a modicum of rationality, respect for others and a true desire to help people is the one who is destroying America. That’s been his plan from the beginning, you betcha, palling around with terrorists and all.

I’m all for criticizing our politicians and calling them on their mistakes. It’s called freedom of speech and it’s one of the great things about America. What doesn’t make any fucking sense is to start talking about secession and inciting revolution just because you lost an election. Hel-lo, that’s how the game is played. You people love to look down on those supposed developing countries, with their coups and dictators and all. Yet here you are, after having run roughshod over the country for the last eight years, ready to start another fracking civil war after only 90 days of a new, democratically elected administration? Have you lost your ever-loving minds?

The only positive result of all this teabagging and the like is that the lunatics are finally revealing themselves for what they truly are. They are joyfully revealing themselves as the racist, fanatical greedy bastards that they truly are.

end of rant

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Zack and Miri make a … Fireproof marriage?

So Mrs. CyberLizard went out a couple of nights ago with a girlfriend to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno. She came back raving about what a fantastic movie it was and how I had to go see it with her. Apparently it’s a Kevin Smith movie, a fact I had somehow missed. Since I thoroughly enjoy his films, I agreed and we secured a little Lizard sitter last night and snuck out to catch the 9:45 showing at the local mall theater. After grabbing a popcorn and a coke, we get into the actual theater at approximately 9:47, expecting the previews to have started. Instead, the lights are on and the screensaver image is up. After a couple of minutes, I go to find out what was up. I was told that they were finding someone to start the movie. Um, ok… one would have thought that the presence of the required personnel would have been secured prior to the actual start time of the movie, but, whatever.

Finally, the previews start rolling and we sit back, expecting to laugh our asses off. Then the film starts. We did indeed laugh our asses off, but not at what we expected.
Instead of a raunchy, hilarious, offbeat movie about people making a movie of people fucking, we get to start watching Fireproof.

Now, in case you missed the hype (I, myself, had only heard about it third-hand), this is a new movie featuring Kirk Cameron. It’s a Christian morality tale about how Jesus can save your marriage. We come to see the hilarity surrounding the making of bad porn and instead we get preached to? Can you say WTF?
From the first moments of the film, the entire audience was cracking up. I haven’t seen dialog and acting this bad since the days of high-school theater. Actually, that’s insulting to my high school theater. This was bad. Have you ever watched bad porn? I mean really bad, cheap porn? That was the kind of acting and writing I’m talking about. This thing would have been too crappy for an after-school special. It made Hallmark TV movies seem like blockbuster Hollywood features by comparison.
I couldn’t resist. From the first lines, I was MST3K-ing the hell out of it. This film would have been right at home up on the Satellite of Love. Here are some brief reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:

Fireproof isn’t merely preaching to the already converted; it’s helping to further alienate the unconverted and the skeptical.

People like Kirk Cameron apparently require Scriptural instruction about how to not act like a complete **** to your wife.

The writing and directing Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, have raised blandness and narrative predictability to the level of high art.

And my personal favorite, which is almost identical to what I was thinking during the few minutes I was forced to endure this “movie”:

With the production values of a straight-to-video cheapie and the script of a mediocre soap opera, Fireproof is good for just about one thing: dousing whatever flames might be left in your marriage.

I was having so much fun heckling the piece of crap that I was tempted to just keep watching. Instead, I decided that I wanted to actually get some value for my money and see the movie that I had chosen. So after I and numerous other people complained, the manager shows up and apologizes. It’s too far into the movie, she says, I can’t change it. WTF?!? She then goes on to explain that it is too heavy, she can’t physically switch the movies. I immediately volunteer to assist, but that idea was shot down. Instead, they’re going to give us double free tickets. Oh, and as a bonus, they can move us to a different theater and show us Role Models.

Actual picture of me ragingActual picture of me raging

Now, I’m not normally a confrontational person IRL, but I’m pissed off. Outside the theater, the manager is waiting with our comp tickets.

Me: Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a babysitter so that my wife and I can come out to watch a movie?

Manager: I’m sorry, sir, I’ve got double comp tickets here for you.
Me: What, so I can come back to this place and have you screw it up again?
Manager: These tickets are good for any Regal Cinema’s, sir. Here you are. Have a good evening.
Do you remember Yosemite Sam muttering all kinds of unintelligible curses under his breath as he stalked away? That would be me as I stomped out of the theater.Maybe I was a little rough on her, but dammit, she’s the manager. If one of my team fucks up, who’s fault is it? Mine. My boss is going to chew off a piece of my ass. That’s what we manager-types are for.
Mrs. CyberLizard is none too pleased with the situation either. With a determined look on her face, she marches back out to the van. There’s another showing of the movie in 10 minutes at another theater nearby. We are damn well going to go see it AND bring our popcorn and soda in with us. And nobody better fuck with us about “outside food and drinks”.
Tune back in tomorrow to see if the CyberLizard finally saw “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and to find out how many times he can use “fuck” in a sentence.

P.S. Credit where credit is due, this all took place at the Regal Cinema at the Seminole Town Center in Sanford, FL.

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Facebook is pissing me off

In the immortal words of Dr. Bruce Banner, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

So I’ve got a Facebook account (no, you can’t be my friend). I’ve been kinda into it. And they have this little feature where you can import a blog into your Notes. “Cool,” I think, “I’ll just import my blog into Facebook and get additional exposure” (I’m not generally so egotistical to think that people might actually be interested in my babblings, but the Facebook crowd are generally personal friends so it’s cool).

Anyway, I do the import thing. All my old posts show up. So far, so good. And my new posts are showing up correctly. So today I get a comment on a Note and go to check it out. And I’m confronted with this:
WTF? I haven’t done anything other than use a feature they provide. So I visit their FAQ page. Check this out:
Time to call “bullshit”.

Facebook has determined that you were using a feature at a rate that is likely to be abusive. Before you were blocked, you were given a warning to slow down your use of this feature.

[emphasis mine] Um, no, they didn’t. No notification, nothing in my inbox indicating there was a problem. Warning my ass.

So, what are the limits? Seems like a reasonable question. I’d like to play by the rules and avoid this in the future. Let’s see what Facebook has to say:

Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that we enforce. Please know, however, that the speed at which you are acting and the sheer number of actions you have made are both taken into account.

Fracking brilliant strategy. You’ve exceeded the limits, but we’re not going to tell you what they are. Oh, and by the way, if you exceed them again we’ll ban you.

Fine. Be dicks. How long with this stoopid block last?

The duration of the block varies depending on the nature of the offense, ranging from a few hours to a few days. When the block is over, please proceed with your site activity at a slower rate so as to avoid hitting another block or having your account disabled.

Facebook will not lift this block for you until the entire penalty time has elapsed.

You know what? At this point I’m about ready to say “frack you” and delete my account. I tend to post in bursts, put up a bunch of stuff while I’m thinking about it, then move on.

I’ve got to ask myself, how much do I need “flair” anyway?

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For christ’s sake!

/begin rant

Why is it that every major piece of news devolves into what people think about the invisible sky fairy? USA Today ran this article, originally via Reuters.

With Wall Street in turmoil, some in suits turn to religion

NEW YORK — As financial workers suffer through tumultuous times on Wall Street, some are turning to an old source of solace: religion.

Religious leaders said attendance was up at lunchtime meetings in New York’s financial district last week, with many more people in business attire than usual.

I’d rather turn towards that old source of solace: booze. Both booze and religion will make you say and do stupid things, but at least with booze you can sober up.

A handful of men in suits and ties and women in business attire were among dozens of people at the Episcopal church, which was hit by debris from the World Trade Center collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. [emphasis mine]

What possible bearing on the story does this have? None that I can see, but apparently it’s important enough to bring up again:

Just a few blocks away, St. Peter’s Church has seen “a slight uptick in attendance among people in suits,” said Father Peter Madigan. St. Peter’s, a Catholic church, displays a cross found in the rubble of Sept. 11.

Seriously, WTF? Did Rudy Giuliani write this? It’s bad enough that we’re wasting time babbling about Wall Street workers going to church, but to throw in these extraneous 9/11 references; I just don’t get it.

Anyway, to the punch line.

Lou Janicek, who works as a financial adviser on Wall Street, said he had not considered attending a religious service, but said Wall Street would benefit if people applied the same morals they learned in church to the workplace.

“What you do at work matters as much as whether you regularly attend church or the synagogue or whatever,” said Janicek, who was brought up as a Christian. “If you are an accountant or you find yourself in an unethical situation, you can’t just stand by and let it happen — then you have another Enron.

Really? People learn morals in church? And apply them to their lives? Oh, yeah, all the right-wing fundegelicals are Republicans. What a bastion of “religious” values and ethical behaviour. Right.

/end rant

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HOA’s can go to hell

You might remember this post wherein the future of my garden is threatened by my neighborhood’s Home Owners Association. You might also remember my carefully worded and researched reply. I hadn’t heard anything in response and, being very ADHD and somewhat passive-aggressive, I didn’t follow up on it. No news is good news, as they say. Well, I finally got news. Just as Fay was starting to really blow, we discovered our upstairs window was leaking. As we were frantically moving bookshelves and pulling up carpet and trying to stem the flood, the postal carrier pulls into our driveway to deliver a certified letter. From our HOA.

In short, they decided to forward the matter to their attorney. “With no positive response to previous notice, the Board has no other option except to proceed with legal action.” So either my response was not “positive” enough or they didn’t give a shit about what I had to say. Naturally, I felt it necessary to respond:

Dear Board of Directors:

We were very disappointed to receive the Final Notice of Violation dated August 19, 2008. Especially disturbing was the statement that no positive response had been sent with regard to the prior notice. Apparently the letter attached to emails sent to the board members and the hardcopy mailed to the [management company] office did not count as positive response. Perhaps we do not understand the bureaucratic processes of home owners associations.

We are attaching a copy of the previous letter we sent in response. Furthermore, a hard copy has been sent out the the address listed above via certified mail, return receipt requested. We hope that this will constitute sufficient response to the violations. If any further information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are very interested in working with the board to resolve this matter.

Now here’s where my expectations came crashing into reality. What I expected was a dialog between reasonable parties where the issue could be discussed and resolved in a professional manner, even if the boards decision went against me. In my original response, I included reasonable questions requesting clarifications on the rules and advice on how to best follow them in the event the board did not see fit to rule in my favor. What I received was something much different:

I for one live on the street as this vegetable garden and it is a sight. It keeps getting bigger and bigger and looks terrrible. She can build a fence even though she is on a corner lot. I say we stick to the no vegetable gardens and if you are considering changing this, drive by and have a look yourself. It will change your mind. This is my thought

Now, a home owners association is a quasi-legal organization with the authority to file liens on your home and even to initiate foreclosure. The board of directors act as the representatives of this body and, indeed, of all the members of the community. That a member of the board would feel that this was an appropriate response to a reasonable discussion of policy came a quite a shock. In addition to the factual errors (the garden hasn’t grown since it was established, unless you count the growing of the plants) the attitude just blew my mind. After the shock came anger. Much anger. Darth Vader-type anger. If I could have force-choked this individual, I probably would have. While I despise bureaucracy, I have an appreciation for the niceties and formalities that generally accompany legal proceedings. I would expect this kind of reply in a blogs comments section or on some internet forum. Coming from one of the leaders of an organization that, quite literally, could force me out of my home was disgusting.

At this point, the representative of the management company that our HOA hired to handle all the paperwork and act as enforcer decided to throw in her $0.02:

They have received 3 notices and they haven’t removed the vegetable garden. What more needs to be discussed?

This person has no role on the board, has no decision-making authority and has absolutely no business interfering in a discussion between the board and a resident. At least that’s my opinion. Besides which, she was completely incorrect. We did respond and have been trying to engage the board in a dialog. Which they apparently are steadfastly trying to avoid.

Fortunately, not all the members of the board are such small-minded individuals. Later, another member offered their take. While well-meaning, it was full of fallacies that I will address in-line below.

I did read your letter that you sent, you did respond,

Good of you to notice. You’d think that maybe this could be relayed to the guard dogs that the board hires to do its dirty work.

I believe the notice is referring to the action that needs to happen. It clearly states as you have noted that vegetable gardens are not allowed in the neighborhood unless properly contained.

No shit, why do you think I was writing a response?

I can totally appreciate where you are coming from in your letter, growing your own produce is very beneficial, I myself do it, but it is contained in pots on the back porch and in a tiny fenced area in the back of the home displayed neatly. I have driven and walked by your home on several occasions and recognized your vegetation as an eye sore. Tomato bushes in general grow rather wildly, the manner in which you have planted them is the problem.

So in other words, tomato plants are ugly and shouldn’t be planted in a Square Foot Garden, only in “tiny fenced areas” because that’s how you like them.

The wood enclosure which surrounds the plants looks bad and the location that you choose is random.

Two things wrong here: the wood enclosures are cedar planks used for the siding of houses. They form a border 8″ high around the square beds. Not exactly a hideous bit of landscaping. And their location was FAR from random. The two beds are exactly 36″ apart and stand 36″ from the nearest landscaping, to allow for the passage of the lawn mower. They were placed on the south side of my house which recieves direct sunlight all day long.

It is obvious that you have a green thumb and I think that is great, speaking for myself I would not like for you to tear them up, just move them and make it look neat. I know you have a patio just off of your slider, why not plant the vegetation to the left of that patio and put some PVC 12″ fencing around it with some trellising? We have a long weekend ahead of us, maybe this could be a project for you.

Nice thought, but that location is in perpetual shadow and is so waterlogged that the only thing that will grow there are swamp plants. There’s about an hour a day that the sun can penetrate most of the back yard. The south side is the only viable location.

I think your property would look a lot nicer is you chose to take my advice, I am not sure what the other Board members might think about your garden because quite honestly we haven’t discussed it.

In retrospect, this part bothers me more than anything else. The association documents outline a process for handling violations that includes the right of the homeowner to respond and seek relief. What’s the fucking point of allowing a response if you’re not even going to address it?

I do wish you well, I hope my response has helped, feel free to contact me again. My intent is not to hurt any feelings, just to be honest and helpful, constructive criticism, I hope you see it this way.

I don’t give a shit about hurt feelings or how you hope I see it. What I see is an HOA BOD with a disregard for its residents and a rigid mindset that says that the only attractive yard is one that looks like theirs; i.e. chemical-drenched St. Augustine grass and landscaping completely unsuited to the Florida climate that can only be maintained by regular chemical applications and the waste of thousands of gallons of water. I see a board with no concept of professionalism and apparently with poor reading comprehension skills, since they didn’t address my clearly worded questions.

Well, as per my standard response to all bureaucratic and authoritarian bullshit, fuck ’em. Unfortunately, this attitude can result in even more financial problems that I really don’t need right now. I don’t have the time or energy to fight this kind of crap. I’m dealing with a combination of stupidity, small mindedness and apathy. The amount of shit I’d have to go through to get these people out, assuming that the rest of the neighborhood isn’t populated with the same type of people, is just too much right now. I’ve got a wife and two kids and a stressful job. Gardening used to be an outlet for my stress, a form of meditation. Guess I’ll have to get back on the cushion, ’cause the garden has gone bye-bye.

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Network Solutions? No, I think they’re the problem

Back on Oct. 29, 1999, I registered my first domain name, cyberlizard.org. I went with Network Solutions as they were the primary (only? I can’t recall) domain name issuing authority. Every year since then, I have gone on their site and renewed my domain. Along the way they got a fancy management system that you had to log into, but I never bothered. I had moved several times along the way and changed internet service providers more times than that. Therefore my email address changed since I had registered my domain. But it didn’t matter because I could just go on to their site and renew my domain, no problemo.

Until this year. One day, I went to go to my little site and the name wouldn’t resolve. I got some stupid generic page telling me that it had expired. Ok, I’ll just go renew it. Except that I couldn’t. You now had to log in to their system in order to renew a domain. Good grief, what a pain in the butt. So I call them up and explain the situation and that I want to renew my domain. Nope, they said. Can’t do that till you get in our system, which means that you need to update the email address on our records. How to do that? I have to fax a form, along with a copy of my ID and a copy of a utility bill. So I do this.

Along comes an email, telling me my request has been rejected. My water bill is in my wife’s name. My wife handled all the stuff when we moved, including getting all our utilities. ALL of our bills are in her name. It’s never been a problem before; we have the same last name, live at the same address, what’s the big deal? So I call them up. Well, according to Network Solutions, it is a big deal. Or, rather, no deal. They refuse to let me renew my domain without a matching utility bill. I explain that I don’t have any bills that will match, they’ve all got my wife’s name on them. In that case, they explain, we can send you a form to transfer the domain to her name.

So get this; they ask me what email address they can send it to. So they are going to send me a form that I can then transfer control of the entire domain to anyone I want, all with less verification than they require for me to give them my money and renew the damn domain!

Where is the logic in this world? Please, tell me. I really want to move there.

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