Introducing: The Booze Ninja

I made a site.

So I use this app on my phone called “Highball” as my drinks recipe app. It’s very, very, very pretty and reasonably functional, but it is lacking a few things:

  • there are no categories or tagging
  • there is no search
  • you can’t even sort the order of entries
  • data entry is not bad but not great

Moreover, I have a bunch of stuff written on scraps of paper or stored in the notes app on my phone. The prospect of manually entering all this into Highball was … ugh.

So I made a thing. The idea here was to simplify data entry, and make sharing with my friends easier, plus address the above problems.

ATTEMPT NUMBER ONE

So I decided: I wanted a static site. But a nice UI would be cool, as would all the features available to powerful CMS platforms. So I installed WordPress locally on my machine, and installed a static output plugin.

It is a shitshow. I got everything I wanted except the most popular static output plugin produced broken output. Pagination was broken on a plugin at version 6.6, their support forum was flooded with complains from October 2019, and it was clear there was no intention to address it.

ATTEMPT NUMBER TWO

I tried Ghost, a popular NodeJS-based platform. It is a shitshow. The same thing as above, except: there is no static output plugin.

See, it’s a headless CMS. So instead we use the content api and send the content to a theme. Well, I found a theme I liked for the dynamic version. I found a standalone version of it but it wasn’t compatible with the content api consumer thing, so I’d have to rewrite everything from scratch, and don’t you know it that not a fucking thing is compatible with a fucking other thing, because NodeJS.

ATTEMPT NUMBER THREE

Ahhhhhh, happiness.

Good docs. A port of the theme I liked. Command line tools.

And of course, it’s in Python.

I had it up and running in a few hours. Everything works, modulo the small number of edge cases (the WordPress import tool defaults to reStructuredText, and I’m a Markdown boy).

I have fiddled with it just a few hours and I got everything I wanted. I wrote scripts to automate the content files, I wrote a script to convert the rst to markdown, I have sync to S3, the works.

And it’s all in GitHub.

So I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t want to become a “booze blogger”. The purpose of this site is to resolve the problems above, not start a second career.

Addendum:

I just wanted a ‘.ninja” domain and it seemed funny, in case you were wondering.

At some point, they’re going to try death squads

So, a bit of meandering here.

As you can easily see by reading this blog, I’m a “gun guy”. But I’m also a leftist. So what do you do when you believe in socialism and firearms ownership? Well, I joined the Socialist Rifle Association (Wikipedia).

One of the points the SRA supports is community defense, especially for marginalized people. Moreover, the cops can’t be trusted to defend the marginalized or the working class. The purpose of the police is to defend capital; to defend the property (and power) of the bourgeois.

This is a bad thing, but it’s made worse by those in power adopting the iconography of violence and making violence as strength their identity.

You can read more about that here. I used to be very much into “tacticool”. I’m not any more. There’s a lot of reasons; if nothing else, it’s just my aesthetic has changed as I get older: I don’t want to look like that. Yeah, maybe I have a Glock 43 in an appendix holster, but I’d rather look like Indiana Jones externally than Frank Castle. (Indy gets mad tail, yo.)

So combine those two things. And we have this:

What started as a bunch of dumb nonsense on a chan is now a combination of ARG, supernatural fantasy, and violent fascist movement.

Who do you think the cops are going to side with, when these guys finally decide to murder everyone with a Bernie sticker on their car? Here, let me help you answer that.

You can find more if you care. Suffice it to say if you expect cops to protect you, I have some bad news for you.

To be clear: I don’t think these lunatics will “win”. To my mind, the most probable outcome is isolated lunatics just do some mass-shooting while screaming Qanon memes, and they’ll be subsequently put down, because they’re disrupting the system.

Or:

A Bundy Ranch standoff situation (1, 2) that goes from the nuts pointing guns to killing a few LEOs and/or civilians. Since the critical mass won’t be with them – there’s not going to be a mass uprising of “patriot” groups, and most QAnon followers are fat, dumb boomers or the local village idiot – the ones just hoping to LARP will surrender/flee and the rest will end up as the latest iteration of Branch Davidian.

Everyone wants to be the hero protagonist of a world-saving narrative. We don’t live in that kind of world (if we ever did). At some point this is just cult behavior, accepted and tolerated like other cults (see also eg prosperity gospel and other fringe christian movements).

I wish I had an answer other then “do not succumb to paranoia, but be watchful”. Particularly be mindful of marginalized people. They’re going to be the lowest-hanging fruit for these psychos. You don’t have to become a leftist or join some group. You just have to do the right thing and protect the workers, the exploited, the marginalized.

And don’t trust anyone with a death’s head.

Ghost Gun update

I mentioned earlier that I am working on a “ghost gun”: you know, the super-scary DIY AR15. Let’s recap, shall we?

  1. To date, it has cost as much money as a decent budget AR. Maybe a little more if you count shipping.
  2. After weeks of on-off fiddling, I’m getting close to seeing if it’ll work.
  3. It might end up starting as an 80% lower to 80% of it chucked in the bin.

Here it is. AN ACTUAL GHOST GUN:

(Not pictured: a boring, stock AR15 upper and the standard M16A2-style stock. I loathe collapsible stocks; I’m not getting in and out of a friggin LAV, I don’t need compactness.)

I have been carefully Dremeling the trigger well for literal hours after roughly milling it out with a drill press. Still can’t get the trigger quite seated correctly. Also, once it is, I have NO IDEA if it’ll work. (Same goes for the hammer assembly.)

Also, for reasons I do not understand, the bolt hold-open and buffer tube retaining pin don’t quite fit. Without a really nice machine shop I’m not sure how I’m going resolve this. The geometry and form are something that you just … you can’t just lark down to Home Depot and pick up the precise set of tools needed to resolve this.

Lastly, the takedown pins have somewhat wonky fit; I’m almost 100% sure it is functional and safe, but not pleasant to use, at least until I figure it out.

 


 

I understand the concern about 80% lowers. I really do. That said, when it comes to serious fears about these things: You are wrong.

No one intending to commit mass murder is first going to spend 3 hours carefully Dremeling so maybe, after 5 or 6 more hours of careful complex work, they might have a functional AR15. 80% lowers are not a giant, looming vector to the gun violence problem. No one will go through this when the firearm version of rubber-hose cryptanalysis – straw purchases or plain ol’ theft – is just simpler, cheaper, and easier.

“If we have a proper assault rifle ban in place, criminals will resort to using these to commit crimes.” Well, OK, I get it, but as I have endeavored to show with actual examples, these things are not a quick 1-hour jam-up. Yes, a criminal with enough money to eg have someone do a straw purchase and a nice machine shop and lots of spare time can have an “off the books” gun. You got me.

“Other people are better at doing machine tool work than you”. Yeah, um, ok you’re not wrong, but is there an actual correlation between mass shooters or bank robbers and people with machinist certifications?

At some point, this goes from “caution” to necessitating the rise of The Union Of Evil Machinists, a dastardly group of law-breaking machine-tool makers, dedicated to milling out trigger wells of 80% lowers, so armies of criminals can go forth and crime.

 

 

It is fair to say I was wrong about The Witcher

OK. It is fair to say I was wrong about The Witcher.

I get that Hellscape Bird Site is not the real world nor even an accurate measure of it, but hoo boy, does Hellscape Bird Site love it. I mean,

if you need a specific example, or just

https://twitter.com/search?q=The%20Witcher&src=typed_query

if you’d like to see a lot of love.

And hell, even me. “This show is dumb and bad”, he says, watching every episode.

First World Problems (an ongoing series)

Problem: The Hellscape Bird Site is bad for my mental health, the mental health of others, and probably society at large.

Problem: it’s where the “action” is, lots of people I know online are only there and nowhere else, and it is occasionally valuable for news esp. in the tech world.

I can’t leave and I can’t stay.

Solution one: unfollow lots of people. good but people are still going to retoot shit into your timeline.

Solution two: mute like a mofo. better maybe. manual effort.

Solution three: fix our culture. unlikely in the short term.

The Witcher is dumb and bad

Here is some interesting information about The Witcher.

This should have been a good show, probably. Maybe. Some other universe is currently like, “Game of what? This is the real deal.”

Not here, though. Not us.

I had some thoughts in the first few episodes.

For example, in episode one, I wrote:

What the fuck is happening. Who the fuck are these people. Is there a prequel I was supposed to have watched? Why does the nation of Nils Bohr hate Candyland and Discount Kirsten Dunst?

and it kinda just goes downhill from there.

The dialog is so out of place much of the time. I assume it’s not just weirdly translated from Polish but actually just written that way by native English speakers.

Wizard lady, whose origin story is she’s an ugly hunchbacked abomination, gets a gratuitous shot of her tits but it’s during the Special Magic Surgery to make her pretty (the actress is very pretty and has fantastic tits). But like, “Yeah, ok so, I fixed your hunchback and fucked up face, and the one leg that is longer than the other, and your fucked up arms, and twisted spine, and all the other stuff. Took a few minutes less than I’d planned, though, your tits are just, I mean, 11 outta 10. Didn’t need to do a thing. Just fucking great.”

We coulda seen her tits later, and just assumed they were not spectacular all along, you know?

And it just goes downhill from there.

There are moments I do enjoy, I guess. Occasionally Cavill does a decent job of being somewhat world-weary. But he only has one face so “world-weary seen-it-all Geralt” is exactly the same as “angry Geralt” which is exactly the same as “just nutted Geralt”. Dude has exactly one look. One-faced as hell.

Anyway sometimes the supporting characters are kinda fun, I guess. The scenery is OK. But there’s no cinematography of note in a show about this grand fantasy world. Compare with Mr. Robot, a goddamned triumph of using a camera for a TV show.

In the end, it’s like a fantastically high-budget “D&D actual play”, only with less love of the source material.

And better tits.