On the 8th of February

Never really noticed this coincidence before. On 8 February 2000, I announced that I was going to be moving back eastward at some unspecified point in the future. Exactly five years later, I announced the actual move. It took a while, obviously, but here I am. And I still stand by my decision. As it happens, 8 February 2007 also was the start of my transformation into the librarian you know and love today.

Pretty good date, all in all.

I used to do these “five years ago, etc.” posts fairly often. I haven’t been doing them so much lately as I’ve been trying to focus on the present and the future. But I was looking for something tonight in reference to another post, and I got sucked in. So here you go…


It just works…

…except when it doesn’t.

I’ve owned nothing but Macs–eight of them–for almost twenty years and let me just say that my recent migration to the new iMac has been one of the most annoying and traumatic moves ever. It seemed like things were going along pretty well; all my iPhoto libraries moved over just fine, even though they had been created with a very old version of iPhoto. I got all my assorted video software working fine…and it was so very fast.

But I’ve had big problems getting my email accounts to work, which should have been just about the easiest part of the process. Granted, I have an unusual setup (and should probably just migrate everything to Gmail) but it was a fucking nightmare, and worse yet, once I got things working OK, all my settings just disappeared and I had to start over again. Right now, I’m guardedly optimistic that the mail is under control.

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Moving my iTunes library seemed to go really well too, and I used this as an excuse to do a lot of cleanup and merging. I put in quite a bit of work. And then, as soon as the latest iTunes upgrade was installed, it all disappeared. My library was empty and when I looked at the library file, its last update showed as sometime in December. Before I bought the new computer. My music was still there and I’m currently rebuilding my library from an XML file. I have no clue what it’s going to look like when I finish.

Suffice to say I’m not amused…

Refreshingly cancer-free since 2007™

I had my annual checkup at the oncologist’s yesterday and all was well with the world. After next year, the tenth anniversary of my original diagnosis, I apparently get to stop coming back for these annual visits, which are kind of expensive because for some reason my insurance treats them as outpatient hospital admissions rather than as the 30-minute doctor’s appointments (with labs) that they actually are.

I have avoided writing a lot about this subject, maybe because I didn’t feel like I “deserved” to since my experience was not nearly as gruesome as some people’s are. But once you’ve had that diagnosis, it does make things a little different for the rest of your life. It also makes you a little paranoid. I’m a little less so today.

It works now…

So just to set the record straight: While the email issue still baffles me (but seems to have worked itself out), it turns out the iTunes issue was to some extent my own fault–an artifact of creating a separate library for video on an external drive. Once I figured out what had happened, it was relatively easy to fix by recopying my media folder and doing a global find and replace in one XML file.

This sort of makes me wonder (again) how people who are afraid to go under the hood of their computers and do things like edit XML files get by sometimes. But the answer is that they probably just don’t get themselves into situations where they would need to do so in the first place.

Anyway, all my music lives where it’s supposed to now for the first time in years and has been pretty much de-duped, etc. All I need to do now is fix lots of dates and determine which “protected” items from my ex’s account that were never converted to DRM-free versions I need to re-acquire (not many, it seems…).

Roy Moore’s Facebook whitewashing

When you visit the Facebook page of a controversial and divisive news figure, would you be surprised (and maybe a little suspicious) to find that everyone who’s made a comment on the page agrees with him completely and seems to think he pretty much walks on water?

Welcome to the world of Judge Roy Moore, whose social media minions are engaging in an ongoing campaign to keep his Facebook presence devoid of any trace of dissent whatsoever.

I have no doubt that rude and inappropriate comments have been posted by some of Moore’s opponents. If these were the only things being deleted, I might  question the wisdom of the decision but I could still probably acknowledge a valid reason for doing so. But Moore’s people are deleting any dissenting comments, no matter how reasonably and politely phrased. A couple of examples:

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Even his supporters are having trouble following the threads with all the deletions.

Ultimately, this is Facebook and this sort of whitewashing is common from a certain subset of both the right and the left. I don’t really question Moore’s right to do it (or, more specifically, his right to have his staff to do it) but I think that people expect one of a state’s highest ranking elected officials to have a slightly higher ethical standard, and to at least pay lip service to the concept of open public discourse.

With Roy Moore, this would obviously be expecting too much.

No surprise there.


(Adapted from a recent Facebook rant about this essay.)

San Francisco in 1992, when I moved there, was a deeply dysfunctional city. San Francisco in 2015, ten years after I departed, is still a deeply dysfunctional city, albeit in a very different way. I personally found the (early) 1990s dysfunction much more entertaining and inclusive than the current very expensive and corporate version. That’s probably because “pot truffles and hashish ginger snaps”, $4000/month studios, and hand-forged artisanal turnips from Bernal Heights are not really my thing.

While the author of seems only to remember the “sadness” that enveloped the Castro in the 1990s, the gay San Francisco I moved to in 1992 was actually a pretty happy place, one that was finally emerging from the darkness and paranoia of the 1980s and beginning to enjoy itself again.

I get that the author is trying to put a positive spin on change and question people’s assumptions about “the good old days” and how they were always “better” but the problem with this essay is that it mostly cites examples that say more about how much more sanitized and pretentious and wealthy the city has become in the past twenty years than about how much “better” it is. It may be a better place for many people, but not for me…not based on this essay, anyway.

I lived in San Francisco long enough that I’m allowed to have an opinion, but I’ve been gone long enough that no one has to pay any attention to it.