Category Archives: Personal

My Story of the Master Cleanse

master-cleanse-diet.JPG
After watching Rosminah do it several times, I finally decided to do the Master Cleanse. You may have heard of it–seven to 10 days of nothing but diluted maple syrup and lemon juice, while the body detoxes itself.
I guess at some point I decided my body needed some cleaning out. I’m pretty healthy anyway, but could I do with some extra intestinal housekeeping? Some things were promised: lost weight, a heightened sense of smell, watching weird stuff come out of your body, a general euphoric feeling. I’ll try anything once, right?
So on a Tuesday night I had my last food and drink. I went out with a Zombie and an appetizer plate of potstickers. This wasn’t by design, just how things played out.
DAY 1: This was the only day I really felt hungry. It was more a mental thing. I kept getting up to “grab a snack” and then sitting back down. While I was teaching I started thinking about what i was going to have for dinner. And then realizing…Nope! The mix itself of lemon juice (2 tbsp) and maple syrup (grade b, 2 tbsp) with water (about 1-1/4 liquid cups) and 1/10 tsp of cayenne pepper wasn’t bad. And you do get to have a cup of tea at night: Yogi brand herbal laxative tea.

Continue reading My Story of the Master Cleanse

FlipCam’s software goes from awesome to ass in one fell swoop



I’m posting this hoping that other people come across it
and FlipCam gets shamed into fixing this problem, which it could do very simply.
My mom bought a FlipCam for her holiday in Italy and came back with about three hours of footage. Of course it was down to me to teach her how to use the software to then turn it into a DVD. I was initially surprised–FlipCam’s software was easy to use and even my mom got the hang of it. Very simple viewer, a bit like iPhoto, with all the videos in order, from first to last. All she had to do was select all, click make movie, and then the computer ground away, making all the little videos (from 1 second to 1 minute–Mom learned well to keep it short and sweet) into one long one. She started making one hour videos this way.
Two days later I get a call from my momz. Now all the videos are backwards, with the most recently-shot one being first in the list. So when you selected all and ran “make movie” it edited the films into a reverse order.
My first suspicion was my mom had clicked on something and omgmomyouscrewedeverythingup, but when I went to visit I found, no, the software now put the files in this order. And there was no way to simply view them the other way. The only way to make a movie now was to manually drag the files in order to an “assembly” video. When you have 150+ files, that sucks. Not to mention that each time I dragged a file, the assembly window snapped back to the top. Oh, awful. Turns out this was the result of a software update that my mom had installed.
I called FlipCam and got somebody on the line who said yes, she knows that the new version of the software does this, but “focus groups” had determined that this is the order people wanted their videos in. Really? Had anyone at the company tried this new version? No.
Other questions: can I just reinstall the software that comes with the camera? No, b/c the software is *on* the camera when you first plug it in and now that had been upgraded too.
Is there a section of the website with old versions of the software? No.
I sent in a complaint to FlipCam but got a patronizing “Here’s how to sort video for dummies” response in return. And this quote at the end: “There is no other way to sort your videos in the Flip Share program.”
Well, yeh, that’s the problem. Being able to sort both ways (earliest/latest, biggest/smallest, a-z/z-a) has been standard on pretty much every app since the ’80s. What kind of focus group fail did these guys have?
So that’s it. My mom went and returned the camera, bought a Sony instead…which has its own problems too. But that’s another post.
Hopefully FlipCam will realize what a complete ass piece of software they now have on their hands and will lose users until they fix it.
In the meantime: FAIL FAIL FAIL.

And we’re back!

Okay, that took a bit of doing, but here we are back with what *looks* like the same blog, but on a different provider. For those who like to hear about these kind of things, here’s the tale of the process…
Jeff Kaiser, who I turn to in all matters of internetitude, suggested that I drop my old provider ipowerweb and switch over to GoDaddy.com. I had noticed recently that ipower used to be staffed by Americans and now had switched over to Calcutta, and that tech support was now just people going thru one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” scripts devoted to getting the rubes off the phone asap.
So, first, I backed up everything off my old server. Then I contacted GoDaddy and set up my plan. The first hurdle: to get both my domain and my hosting over to GoDaddy. And it turned out that www.tedmills.com was owned not by ipowerweb, nor by networksolutions, but by, oh no! onestopnet, a provider I had completely forgotten about. Turned out they were still around, but nobody was at home. No live help, nobody at the 24/7 tech line. I left a message, but then turned back to Network Solutions and said they really should force the issue. I had checked out onestopnet online and the reports were not good. Absent since 2006 or so.
Fortunately, networksolutions got this going for me quickly and in a few days my domain was unlocked so godaddy could get it. Okay, so I uploaded everything to godaddy. The site was there, but I didn’t thiink that the blog was working.
Oh! the reason turns out that I needed to back up my MySQL database over at ipowerweb. I had to call Calcutta a few times and finally got that figured out, all 2mb worth downloaded to my desktop. A bit of a worry when it came as an Oracle file and not a .sql or .bak file, but lawdy, GoDaddy took it anyway.
Ok, now…movable type still wouldn’t work. I sent off mail to my friend who lent his more experienced eye to the problem…but couldn’t fix it.
I called GoDaddy for the 12th time and it turns out no cgi scripts would work because I had signed up for the economy plan and well, economy has no cgi. For fukkksake. Okay, for $60 more for 3 years, I get boosted to Deluxe hosting. Okay, so finally Movable Type is working.
So now I upgrade to 4.2.5 and after a bit…it works! And here we are. Now, I would like to set about getting tags to work on every page. And now I’d like to start reshaping the blog so it incorporates all the social networking I do on other sites, mostly twitter and facebook. So we’ll see what we can do.
By the way, this entry is being written at my local coffee shop on my Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v, a concurrent project that took place during the whole provider move story. That’s another entry, but here I am writing, publishing, and more. Nice!

Moving to a new provider

Sometime next week, I’ll be packing my internet bags and moving to a new provider. So this will be my last post for now…but I hope to come back and update this bastard of a blog to MovableType 4.whatever. And then we’ll really be cooking with gas.
In the meantime, here a picture of cats, waiting waiting waiting. Just like you!:

At last this day has come!!

Watching the Inauguration at the Arlington
Today I got up at 7 a.m., walked downtown and joined Nik at the Arlington Theater, where they were showing the inauguration on their film screen for free in HD to the general public. Awesome! Much cheering when President Obama appeared and regular booing anytime the MonkeyFascist showed his smirky face. Obama gave a rousing speech that effectively swept clean the last eight years without explicitly mentioning the architects nearby. We walked out after the benediction (another great speech–never heard of that Reverend before) and I walked home in the warm sun.

(BTW, this is a composite of two exposures, because I wanted to show both the screen (important moment!) and the audience. The exposure on the screen was so good I had to dumb it down a bit.)

PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!!!


I can’t believe we actually did this. Back in 2003 or so I started this blog and most of that year’s entries were full of anger at the illegal invasion of Iraq. Those were dark days. For eight years the world has grown to hate us, and for eight years we’ve lived under some of the most evil shit bastards the now-completely discredited “conservative” movement has thrown at us. And the GOP slate for 2008 looked even more horrific with McCain and that absolutely frightening idiot from Alaska, who made Bush look like a statesman.

I’ve been active, donating money, working phone banks, but some of my friends have put me to shame. My friend Laura traveled to Vegas to GOTV in Nevada. She got 400 people to vote on election today, just herself. She’s been tireless. Her and others like her are the real heroes of last night. Back in 2000, before the theft of the election, a lot of us harped on about the lack of difference between two parties. And in some way, we were correct then. But eight years quickly taught us that there are real differences. But on the other hand, the grass roots movement we’ve seen is a direct result of people like me waking up and realizing we had to change the Democrat party from the inside.

Last night I had to teach class, but as I suspected, most everybody could not concentrate and soon the computers were on checking results. We called it early, and I rushed home to get ready. As I got dressed, my cell started blowing up. My official notice was from my friend Chris:

“OOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOAOAOAOA!!! Are you happy? They just called it for Obama! Even Fox called it for Obama!!”

I fielded 10 more calls and text messages and skeedaddled down to Stateside for the Democratic Party…PARTY! The place was crazy and I had a bit of problem getting in, but soon I was jumping up and down and celebrating. I hugged a lot of people. I didn’t get drunk…I was too high anyway! At 9 or so I sat at the bar with Sabrina and watched the most awesome, stirring speech I’ve seen in my lifetime. We were tearing up and whooping it up and cheering and clapping.

I danced with my local Congressperson, Lois Capps, for about 10 seconds. I danced with a whole bunch of people. Nik turned up, post-photography assignment. He had gone to the Republican election night “party,” which, appropriately enough, was held at the satellite racing room at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds. Ha! I don’t fancy your odds…there were literally three people there. EPIC FAIL!

Later, Nik, Rosminah, and I went down to Fatburger because we were starving. And what did we put on the jukebox? P-Funk’s “Chocolate City.” Ah yeh, Bootsy Collins, your dream came true, thirty years later!

BTW, the hard work starts in 2009. We have to further crush the evil fuckers in 2010 and gain more congress seats. We have to heighten our political discourse (yes, I know I said “evil fuckers,” but that’s different.) We have to hold our own representatives to high standards as well. We have to remember all that we did this year and remember that if we want something bad enough we *can* get it, but only if we work together.