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A little (technical) help, please?

Hey tech wizards! I’m (stil) having some issues with the back end of the blog and could really use some advice and/or help from someone who knows about web hosting/internet stuff.

Is that you? Please email me (dfutrelle@gmail) or send a Twitter DM and I’ll give you the gory details.

Thanks!

–DF

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contrapangloss
3 months ago

I’m adding as a separate comment: I honestly don’t hate you, Surplus.

I don’t really know what’s going on in your life outside what you post here, but I know it feels very real to you.

But, please stop taking it out on us and David.

There’s a difference between sharing/venting for community support (which might be what you’re intending) and venting destructively (which is what we’re experiencing).

I don’t want you to NEVER vent, but I do want you to try and not bowl everyone else over.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

Good things come to other people who wait. All I seem to get is the same ongoing slow circling of the drain that I’ve been experiencing basically since I graduated from university …

Viscaria
Viscaria
3 months ago

@Surplus

if this is the end of that, I’m not even sure I want to go on living.

I read this, and I am really concerned. I definitely want you to go on living. People in your life want you to go on living.

I am pleading with you to please call a crisis line. This is the number for the Distress Centre of Ottawa: 613-238-3311. Totally free to call.

If you want more choices, here is a larger list of crisis lines in the Champlain area: https://www.champlainhealthline.ca/listServicesDetailed.aspx?id=10110 Calling any of these is totally free. You can get more details about any of them by clicking on the hyperlinks for each listing.

I really want you to stick around, and I really want you to experience less pain and distress in your daily life. Please call.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 months ago

Surplus, you seem to me to be a perfectly worthwhile person who often makes excellent, interesting, informative, insightful comments. You also seem (to this very un-expert, on-another-continent eye of mine) to have phases, at intervals, when your take on reality looks to many of us your fellow-mammotheers to be significantly distorted – not unreal, but skewed in a way that is not good for you.

Would you be prepared to consider the possibility that your conviction that shitty stuff happening (which it does, absolutely not questioning that!) is aimed specifically at you – that this conviction, not the events themselves but your interpretation of them – could be the product of depression or something comparable?

I also want you to go on living, and I would also be glad if you were to try calling the phone lines Viscaria mentions. They will not be able to resolve all your problems instantly; do not call thinking that they can or should – they won’t be geniuses, or have the power to sort things out in the blink of an eye, they will be ordinary people; but what they may be able to do is firstly hear you and secondly help to put you in touch with possible sources of support. I hope you call (and try more than one! Different organisations may have different strengths) and I hope it helps.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

*sigh*

See that comment saying “good things come to other people who wait”? I posted that directly after Robertshaw’s comment on the previous page saying “good things come to those who wait”. But instead of posting it immediately the thing sat on it for a good several hours and when it did finally go through it seems roughly a dozen other comments had gotten in ahead of it, ruining its context.

@various:

If a comment doesn’t show up immediately, please try taking a break for a half hour or so

First of all, it seems it can be as long as three hours, and perhaps it can even be longer than that. Second, how do I guard the damn thing in the interim? Until I’ve confirmation that it’s gone through successfully I have to assume it might need reposting, and that it’s vulnerable to e.g. a power failure since the copy sitting in the input box in my browser may still be the only copy. So instead of being able to just send a comment, quickly verify it worked, and then get on with things, as I could until January 11, you’re expecting me to keep a text file somewhere and paste it in there and save it and do a whole bunch of extra work and bookkeeping at my end. Someone was also expecting me to do some rigmarole with extra clicks and link-following just to get to the same page at WHTM via a different path on the theory that somehow these problems might depend on the path of other links one followed to get to the same exact comment thread. All of this amounts to a sudden demand for loads of extra labor on my part as a condition of continued participation. I am asking for that demand to be either rescinded or justified. The latter would mean that you can point to something that I, personally did, some choice that I made, on or before January 11 that warrants this imposition of extra-labor-to-get-the-same-results-I-used-to-get-with-much-less-work, aka a form of price-hike.

And oh, yeah, as noted at the top of this comment, the delay isn’t just inconvenient or creating an effective cost increase on my participation here; it also screws up the proper sequencing of comments and ruins the intended context of some, because I can go to a page where the most recent comment is Comment X, immediately post a reply to Comment X that only really works well if it gets displayed right after Comment X or with at most one or two intervening other comments that people might have sent near-simultaneously, and instead have that comment get hung up in the system for hours while loads of new comments get posted after Comment X by other people, and when mine does finally show up it’s not even on the same page as Comment X, let alone close by.

And note that the above phenomenon, which has been observed affecting this very thread on this very page, also means that it’s not just a general delay, it’s a selective one and it violates first-come-first-served. I can post comment Y, other people can subsequently post comments Z, W, U, and V, and the thing can end up with the comments ordered Z, W, U, V, and then Y. I’m not claiming it’s singling me out — others have complained of their own comments also being delayed — but it a) does seem perhaps to be hitting me more than it’s hitting others and b) the comments that it hits end up sorting after the comments that it doesn’t hit, causing them to end up displaying out of order compared to the sequence they were written in. So the comments on the site are getting (mildly) shuffled by this problem.

613-238-3311. Totally free to call.

I doubt that. I suspect it would be long distance from where I am. If it were really free to call it would be an 800 number.

they won’t be geniuses, or have the power to sort things out in the blink of an eye, they will be ordinary people

Then, frankly, what good are they? At this point I think it would take someone with demigod-level powers, at least equivalent to Cinderella’s fairy godmother, doing the whole bibbidy-bobbidy-boo thing to magically turn me into a charismatic ladies’ man with a wealthy benefactor and no goddamn sleep disorders to salvage what remains of my life … failing that, a huge wad of money falling into my lap, at the very least. Enough to buy the services of personal trainers, life coaches, a cleaning service, fancy clothes, and some goddamn transportation, and to make people more tolerant of my eccentricities in the way that people are generally more tolerant of those if you’re rich.

bumblebug
bumblebug
3 months ago

@Surplus. You’re not the only one with commenting issues. If you don’t want to click links copy the url of the page you’re on. Open a new tab. Paste the url. Click enter. This will effectively reload the page. It’s not that much extra work. And what you’re asking of David is. You need to step back from this and realize it’s not a big deal.

You have done nothing “wrong”. You’re not the only one dealing with shit. We just recognize that the world does not cater to our every convenience and that other people are humans who can not be perfect.

Surplus, did you really ask what good people are if they can’t magically wave a wand and make your life better? People at helplines are volunteering their time to listen to others and help as much as they can. They provide resources and support you. But they are not slaves to your whims. They exist for more than just to help you. Any help they offer is only good if you take it in good faith and meet them half way. They can’t magically make your life better, but they may be able to help you deal with the trouble you have and contextualize.
People here are not telling you to get help to become a rich, popular, attractive ladies man. They are telling you to get help because you seem like you are suffering from paranoia and are not able to put things into perspective. It’s not about your circumstances, but the fact that we can all see that you overreact to small inconveniences and attribute malice to everyone here when in reality we’re all just doing our best.

Please call one of those numbers. Or try here https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/mental-health-services/mental-health-get-help.html#a5
I’m not saying this because I hate you. I’m saying this because I can see that you are struggling and I don’t want to see you suffer and take it out on everyone here.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
3 months ago

@Surplus

“Second, how do I guard the damn thing in the interim? Until I’ve confirmation that it’s gone through successfully I have to assume it might need reposting, and that it’s vulnerable to e.g. a power failure since the copy sitting in the input box in my browser may still be the only copy”

It’s a comment on a website, not a last second peace deal between warring nations to avert a nuclear holocaust.

I do miss the formatting buttons. Can’t be arsed to remember the codes though.

Viscaria
Viscaria
3 months ago

613-238-3311. Totally free to call.

I doubt that. I suspect it would be long distance from where I am. If it were really free to call it would be an 800 number.

I don’t know exactly where you live. I gave you a big list of numbers. Some are 800 numbers. Some might be local to you. I pulled that one out because I thought it might make things easier for you.

they won’t be geniuses, or have the power to sort things out in the blink of an eye, they will be ordinary people

Then, frankly, what good are they?

Sometimes they keep people alive, which is why I recommended them to you after you said something very frightening. They can also connect you to other resources.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
3 months ago

We have page numbers! Thanks, David.

*skims some posts* Oh crap, have I accidentally been misgendering Surplus? Are you a dude? I’m sorry if I got that wrong.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

Frankly, at this point I’m not really sure what I am. I’ve no strong attachment to a gender identity.

Alan Robertshaw
3 months ago

@ surplus

I’m not really sure what I am

You’re you; that’s good enough; and all any of us can be.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
3 months ago

@Surplus

Okay, well, how should I address you in the future? Is they/them okay, or would you prefer something else?

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
3 months ago

@surplus

And that’s okay to not know. I’ve been trying out they/them pronouns for a bit to see how they feel on me. The thing is I don’t hate being woman and i don’t want to be a man. I’ve had body image issues of myself in the past but i find that coming from being a teenager and dealing with the aftermath of SA.

If you look at yourself and feel like you wouldn’t change much of your body but maybe bring a man or woman doesn’t seem to quite fit you. That’s okay. I had a lovely roommate in college who was nb and they told me that not everyone who is something else from the gender they were born into have to feel GD.

You do really get to decide who you are and what you are. Sometimes you just have to experiment to find out. And if it turns out you are the gender you were assign. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean you were lying or pretending. You were just learning more about yourself.

Either way the main thing I’m trying to say is your not alone. A lot of people have that exact same thing. A lot of people don’t even feel like there is a identity in existence that accurately described what they are. You are beautifully human and that’s all that matters at the end.

Old School HTML
Old School HTML
3 months ago

@Surplus, I always keep a text file (notepad) open with links I mean to copy, quick notes related to work, links to send to my husband, and COMMENTS I JUST POSTED (in case it doesn’t go through). When I was more active on Reddit or StackExchange — same thing — despite them being theoretically more technologically focused on general users commenting.

Any place where you might submit text into a web interface, there’s a chance it’ll be lost, so a habit of saving (just like you hit Ctrl+S a lot in your word processor, I hope?) is a good practice.

CTRL+C, ALT+TAB until your notepad app is the top one, then CTRL+V. ALT+TAB back (or ALT+SHIFT+TAB to reverse the order you’re going through the applications) to get back to the browser.

(I do know one author (Wildbow) who supposedly composes only in the WordPress Create Post box, but he says that the risk is something he feels is necessary. Adrenaline, I guess.)

Now I’m going to copy-paste this to my NotePad file (still running one from last week), since I’m a long-time reader, but rare-commenter, so I have no idea if this will go through immediately, semi-quickly, or be held in moderation. Yes, I “lose” the bolding, because I was lazy and use the buttons instead of raw HTML, but that’s not the hard part to regenerate.

Old School HTML
Old School HTML
3 months ago

Also, Surplus, re: eccentricities — you don’t have to be rich, you just need to seek your own personal group of weirdoes. I grew up in the land of SF/F, so I’ve been aware of cons and have staffed them (I prefer to have a specific role than to be an attendee with too many options); even if you aren’t into particular media franchises (many of my friends work a local anime con — no real interest in much anime), these are great places for strange people to find other strange people who resonate with them.

Friends from theater-stuff (who are also wonderfully creative and fun and can create amazing outfits and art with just about no money) are (in my experience) a little put-out when I say “I miss social cues that you’re trying to get me to go home — please tell me when you want me to leave.” — but friends from the worlds of SF or gaming (board gaming for me) understand that, and appreciate directness.

Lately I’ve gotten into Faerie Fests for 2 main reasons — events are outdoors, and the more-is-more colorful chaotic aesthetic is currently my vibe.

So that’s my CURRENT weirdo group, and I know in a few years, I may drift to another group, and that’s cool. (It used to be a local Rocky Horror shadowcast, then for a while I volunteered at a Shakespeare center.)

And you don’t have to be RICH to have weird and wonderful connections — today someone on my local Buy Nothing facebook group wanted glass jars to use as vases, because they were creating bouquets for a foster parent group. I happened to have some jars, so she picked them up, and poof, I’m now a tiny part of that good thing! That has made me so dang happy today — my part was tiny, the bouquet thing is a bigger nice thing, and all pale in comparison to the mighty goodness performed by foster parents, day in and day out.

I have seen the same birthday decorations and jigsaw puzzles also “travel” in that group. Some people are now sharing books that way (and if no one wants them in the group, we have a lot of little free libraries.) (Everything in that buy-nothing is still no-contact and porch-pickup — and if you don’t drive, some people with stuff WILL take it to YOU if you request it!)

I don’t know your employment situation, but because you’re so persistent with tracking down variables of what has changed, you may want to google the (I hate the name) “Happiness engineer” job listing on automattic-com (two Ts in “automattic”) — it’s work from home customer service for WordPress and related services; you set your own hours, you are given time each week to explore the software itself and learn what’s new and changed or what other fixes others have discovered, and it apparently pays really well. They hire internationally, so your Canadian self should be fine, and they don’t expect you to be an expert in the technology immediately. The reason why I think you’d be really good is that you could channel the frustration you express when you encounter the web misbehaving into empathy for customers having those same sorts of problems. You’d also get a peak behind the scenes at how changes in web software collide (like a security patch here messes up a plug-in there) which might be interesting, too. (For me, with every update of Teams and Edge, MS makes keyboard shortcuts either less useful or less consistent — and my end-users are visually impaired, so this really matters!)

(And yes, with a looong post like this, I definitely Ctrl-C it to notepad!)

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

@Queen of the Harpies: As I said … no strong preference. I seem to be just me … though opinions about whether that’s bad or good seem to vary. Fluctuate intensely over timescales of days and even hours, no less.

@Old School HTML: You seem to be fortunate enough to live in a city big enough to have lots of “weird subcultures” present and findable. I’m afraid there’s no sign of anything like the groups you describe here.

As for the job suggestion, I’d be concerned about its likely precarity and likely non-steady income stream. (In other ways, though, it sounds too good to be true. I mean, entry level, work your way up, no X years of prior experience required? It’s like you found it in a time capsule that was buried pre-Reagan!)

Thing is, if I took on any gig/freelance type work I’d be replacing a steady and predictable, if somewhat meager, income with an unpredictable fluctuating one. A long enough dry spell would then wipe me out. Worse, there’s no clear line of retreat: “simply quit and reapply for disability” probably means re-proving eligibility, which probably requires a doctor’s note, and I don’t have a doctor any more … so if I ever get a job, and then lose it or encounter circumstances where it can’t support me, it’s game over. Permanently. Which means any job for me would have to be a classic pre-Reagan-era 9-to-5 office gig with full bennies and job security until retirement, and a) no such job is compatible with my sleep disorder and b) I don’t currently have sufficient funds to repair my time machine anyway.

Thanks for the suggestions, though.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
3 months ago

@Surplus

So you’re basically fine with any pronouns, then? Just want to be sure.

@HTML

Oh hey, fellow notepad buddy. 😀 (On mobile I try to use my notepad app or the textboxes of translation sites and others.)

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
3 months ago

@Surplus,

Ask your caseworker (I ASSume you have one through whatever agency gives you disability) about the rules involving extra income. Or look up the agency’s FAQ about that if that’s more practical. They may allow you to take the kind of job Old School HTML suggested without loosing your disability money, provided said income doesn’t exceed a certain (obscenely low) amount per week.

Like, if the limits say ‘you can’t earn more than $100/week without loosing your stipend’, then hey, there’s an extra $100/week to help you pay the bills and perhaps build up a bit more of a cushion for emergencies. Or maybe afford a used scooter with lockable storage baskets to use when doing your shopping rounds. Or something like that.

Ask. The worst they can say is ‘no’, right? Which would leave you where you’re at now, so….

Last edited 3 months ago by Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Old School HTML
Old School HTML
3 months ago

@Surplus, I’m not saying you don’t need to know anything, but they pay for skills one can pick up for free. (They expect moderate HTML knowledge and would prefer if you have experience configuring WordPress sites.) The “catch” is a very long “interview” process (about 6 weeks, paid), and I don’t have the energy to do my day job and several extra hours at a second job that MAY replace the first job.

I was considering applying myself, but this pandemic has taught me that I would do better in a hybrid environment or a massively flexible job with some parts in-person and/or collaborative, rather than a 100% WFH gig in a teeny tiny team with no overlap in projects, like my current job.

I was thinking you would be good at this part: “Troubleshooting, investigating, and creating detailed bug reports”, but the more social skills may be more of a challenge, at least based on what I’ve read of your comments here. 

But for those who are interested, just remove the spaces from this URL, and replace the dash with a dot for the dot-com: automattic-com /work-with-us /job /happiness-engineer/

Last edited 3 months ago by Old School HTML
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