apparently i forget the type of life i live a lot

well, now that i’m on the new server, let’s break this thing in right and proper. (and by “right and proper”, i mean just the opposite. it’s this clever style of wordplay i’ve been working on.)
before we start that, i just want to say the server move appears to have gone rather well and trouble-free. the only exception i’ve seen so far is somewhere between perl, mysql, and movable type, utf-8 is getting butchered. which means stuff input into the comment boxes in non english/western encodings is turning into question marks as it gets written into the database. i wouldn’t even notice, except i get a lot of spam in russian and it worked on my old server. (this also means ash can’t input chinese and have it look okay either.) i haven’t decided how to handle it yet. i may backup my database tables, wipe them, then reinstall movable type and see if it fixes things. once i google some more.
also, i picked up a couple of things on ebay and amazon:

  • anxiety always – adult. (ersatz audio)
  • pioneers who got scalped – devo (warner archives / rhino)

both of these are out of print. the adult. recording is the 2 lp version of the album. the devo recording is a 2-cd collection of various devo stuff spanning their career. it comes in one of those thick 2-cd boxes with special 3-d covers. the one i got is in great shape, and i paid about half of what they normally go for. plus it has some devo tracks i don’t already have.
anyway, back to the task at hand…
i don’t know if you noticed or not, but i’ve managed to piss/put off quite a number of people in the recent past. both my parents and cynthia on here, obviously. i also miffed at least one co-worker, as well as the hrc and sue. perhaps this will all help bolster my “bad boy” image. (since those are a hot commodity i hear.)
although it’s not conscious, it appears as if i’ve developed a lack of my normal discretion. (such as it is. oh, you may think it’s minimal…but you have no idea what i really think inside my head.) whatever the cause, i’m assuming it is at least somewhat connected to the recent stronger feelings of general disappointment/dissatisfaction toward life i’ve been experiencing lately. i mean, really, i don’t feel like my life has much merit in the grand scheme of things. by that, i mean i’m not achieving any meaningfulness from my current life situation.
sometimes i’m content to be nothing, but sometimes the pointlessness discourages and saddens me. why do i own a whole set of drinking glasses? why do i have a set of dishes? why do i keep things that take up space and hold no value beyond sentiment? why do i own 9/10th of the stuff i do? if i had more initiative i’d sell off a bunch of stuff. but it’s easier to just give it away to friends. maybe they can find value and purpose in some of it.
speaking of that, one of these days i’ll be shipping off tamara’s detritus to her parents. why i should even care about being nice or respecting her stuff after how she treated me, i’m not sure. it’s funny when a positive trait turns into a personality flaw. at this point though, it’s not even about feelings any more. tamara is just a fscked up chick, just like she always was — which is not to say she didn’t have some wonderful traits as well, because she did — but it’s not about tamara herself, but instead the negative effects from my life and heart being tied to someone like her. the cause has become background noise; the mental and emotional effects are what linger and matter.
all of this makes a recent text exchange seem even more hilarious:
[!me] whenever u r free to hang out let me know
[me] free at last! free at last! thank go…i’m free pretty much whenever.
[!me] i guess i forgot u live the good life — no accountability, a different hot girl every night…[…]…you f*cking bastard. d*mn u and your carefree lifestyle
[me] man, my life sounds pretty d*mn good. i’m gonna have to get you to describe it to me more often!
because you see, i’m not looking for this “good life” i’ve been gifted with.
i figure if i’m not pissing you off, maybe instead this will make you: concerned about me, annoyed by me, and/or feel pity for me. but most likely i’m just pushing everyone further away. it’s not really the best case scenario, but i suppose it’s the ultimate consolation prize.
seeing as i worked friday night, i used some of my time during the day to go by and talk to the mechanic about the engine i want to buy and have put in my car. he was cool with it and discussed other things that would have to be purchased, along with various work that might have to be done. i’m going to order the engine and have it shipped to his shop. once i find the credit card i procured for just this purpose. maybe this will help ease me out of my existential funk. nah. but at least i’ll have a working, cool car to stare at or drive while i’m feeling regret for life not unfolding well.

10 comments on “apparently i forget the type of life i live a lot”

  1. dude… you gotta love it when people (i.e. stupid programmers) destroy your data and replace it with question marks. If I had a nickel for each hour I’ve spent trying to fix that type of stuff…
    If homer simpson was a programmer, he’d make fun of those people. It might go something like this:
    “Look at me! la la la. I don’t understand any encoding other than ascii. la la la. Watch me replace valuable data with question marks just because I don’t understand it. la la la!”

  2. ash — yeah, but most people in the u.s. who are writing stuff never have to deal with anything outside of ascii/western fonts. testing only using the fonts they’d normally use doesn’t reveal the depths of complexity involved with other encodings. it really is a complex mess, especially when you have 3, 4, 5 or more pieces of software data is flowing through. from reading around, even the people who deal with encodings all the time have problems making things work properly sometimes.
    sue — i was referring to the conversation jack and you and i had about drinking that one night.

  3. I’m not saying people can’t make mistakes. I’m saying the idea: “Hey, I don’t understand this encoding, so I’m going to destroy the information represented by it by way of replacing data with question marks” is not productive on any level. If you don’t understand it, just leave it alone.

  4. i think the problem is that people doing the coding don’t even think about the fact that data with other encodings might exist in their data/variables. plus, they themselves are using tools written by other people, and those tools were written with the same lack of knowledge. it’s not that they code replacing data with question marks, it’s that the code only works on ascii/western and the underlying processing turns it into question marks (or diamonds with question marks in them, or sometimes garbage). if the original coders had any knowledge of other encodings and tried them they’d realize there was a problem, but even if they realized that it might be hard to make it work correctly end-to-end.
    for example, i’ve been using “mysqldump” for some time to backup my mysql databases. it’s not until this current problem cropped up that i realized the dump borks stuff written in non-western encodings. at least when written out to files on my linux boxes. i assume it’s because it writes them out in ascii or some western encoding, so the original encoding is lost forever.
    of course, my current problem is beyond that. i used the php mysql admin to directly inject various encoded stuff into the database, and by the time it gets from my browser window into the database it’s turned into question marks. is it apache? perl? mysql? php? dbd/dbi? i don’t know yet. next i’ll do it from the command line i guess and see what happens. i liked it better when it just worked. 🙂

  5. Yeah, mysql is a cluster-fsck when it comes to encoding (which is why I won’t use it for any of my projects). Yet another piece of software that has cost me hours of life chasing ghosts (which is a apropos metaphor considering that the ‘solution’ we finally found was very close to being a vodoo ritual).

  6. Oh, yeah… it’s not just coming out question marks because of “going through the process”. Like ascii, under the hood, non-ascii encodings are simply numbers. If those numbers aren’t changed, then the data isn’t destroyed and it shows up as weird, random stuff when being read by a program that doesn’t understand the encoding. If it shows up as questions marks, then some yo-yo has a section of code that checks for “validness” of the encoding and replaces all numbers outside of the ascii range with question marks. It’s exactly this step that infuriates me. On rare occasions, a program which doesn’t understand a given encoding will display question marks, but not destroy the underlying encoding. I have no problem with that.
    Ash: “Why… why’re you destroying that data?”
    Them: “Exactly!”
    (upon seeing a screen full of question marks)
    Them: “Success! Full Success!”

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