2022.04.17

Beach volleyball bump pass
From Courtney.
Pumphouse v3

Hayward 75 hp pool pump rs750ca

After fourteen years of service, my Hayward 0.75 hp pump died. It wasn't an especially dramatic malfunction - the pump would pull water slowly but then trip the heat switch. It may be a repairable problem (e.g. seals) but I decided to go nuclear. I was concerned that the pump was fine but my intake lines were leaking, causing the pump to suck mostly air. With no small effort, I ran a separate pipe directly to the pool to all-but-confirm that it was the pump that needed replacing.


When I moved in there was a heater, a DE filter, and no pump, so the required pvc work was pump -> DE filter. Then in 2014 I worked on the enclosure and replaced the DE filter. The new filter had a really sweet valve for redirecting water between the filter, return, and waste, but the angles required a lot of 90-degree turns in the piping.

Pool pump pvc plumbing timer de filter

After some deliberation, I relocated the DE filter to a more convenient position and orientation. While there's a 45-ish-degree pool return, it's far more reasonable than a bunch of u-bends.

With pumping and filtration out of service for a bit, everything green had settled to the bottom and left clear water above. I was hoping to run the vac over the bottom with the valve set to 'Waste' and then refill what had been removed. Unfortunately the green stuff was joined by leaves (requiring frequent filter basket changes) and sticks (requiring frequent vac fiddling) so there was no way to just evacuate the detritus on the bottom.
Kilroy


I combined a couple of elements of my site generator to create a widget showing most-visited content from a given timespan. E.g. above is the highest-traffic graphics from 2001-2006. It's a combination of the gallery/thumbnail widget and the log parsing that is rolled into the "Hot/Top" image and post lists in the nav bar on the right.

I put the yearly synopses on my lists metapage.

Last year I started using alt text for images, but hadn't propagated that to thumbnails or the slideshow pages found by clicking the '[+]' next to each month. Thumbnails and slideshow images now have alt text. It makes no difference to the user, but search engines love it.
The indieweb and static sites

BBS bulletin board system menu

So Rob always spams everyone with Hacker News and Reddit links so he recently passed this one on to me:

Inspired by the "Ask HN: Share your personal site" last week, I finally came around and built a thing I wanted for a long time: a simple website to randomly explore all the awesome personal blogs without having to subscribe to them all.

So this is what I built over the weekend. You click a button and indieblog.page will redirect you to a random page from a personal page...

I guess since I'm Rob's one blog friend, I get links to the many HN posts about personal blogs. I asked him about the post and he shrugged, saying something like, "I didn't read it, I just send people links and figure they'll mention them if they're interesting."

Jackass.

Anyway, the link was kind of neat, basically blogroulette.

I haven't decided on any firm rules. If it's a personal site with an RSS feed, it is probably welcome.

No illegal stuff, no corporate blogs, no nazis.

The "no corporate blogs" thing really helps keep the Amazon referral and tech marketing junk out - based on my modest sampling, anyway. As one HN commenter mentioned, most of the content is tech-oriented. Here's some of the stuff I encountered...

Results: sysadmin and web programmer snooze

Git zine oh shit

Full disclosure: web programming and IT stuff isn't my cup of tea but they appear to be the most prolific bloggers. Some post titles:
Wait, go back one. I got off Blogger once upon a time. Maybe some of these would be useful, just not the node/angular/kubernetes nonsense.

Results: garbage and nonsense

I won't link them because that's mean, but some of the low quality stuff included:

Results: the good stuff

Crusader Kings 3 load screen

Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

Dr. Bret C. Devereaux is an ancient and military historian who currently teaches as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

History lectures from a dude who plays and writes about Warhammer and Crusader Kings. I haven't played either of those, but the blog could be a good read for its historical content. Kind of like a podcast, except podcasts are for degenerates.

Another:

Anyway I have finished the ELDEN RING and fucked off to the stars with the witch hat doll or whatever. Tarnished out.

I quite enjoy well-written and humorous video game commentary though now the end of Elden Ring has been spoiled for me. I might have to start ending my gaming sessions with J with, "Tarnished, out."

Owensoft blog Wendys menu

Someone on HN was pretty stoked to find a blog with a photo of the Wendy's drive-thru menu, describing the (contemporary) site as very much like the "old web". I enjoyed it ironically and unironically.

Whatever the subject, I was happy to find that the blog hadn't been entirely destroyed by StackOverflow, Facebook, and Amazon referrals.

Results: kilroyesque

Hugo web template editor

A few paragraphs up I mentioned one blogger (small b) who posted about getting off Blogger (large B). I saw some more content that landed close to home.

I use the Hugo website generator to create this website out of a bunch of Markdown fils. A lot has been written about this approach, but the main advantages are that the site can load quickly even when it's serving a lot of traffic, and you don't have to worry about bugs in the blog software when there isn't any.

Hey, I do static page generation using markdown, just not with this Hugo tool. I got some more giggles when the blog linking to Hugo had a voter guide with some information and some snark:

Prop 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment

Mildly support. It seems goofy to allow a 17 year old to vote in the primary for someone they canít vote for in the actual election, but itís probably not the end of the world

First time we have a record turnout because a YouTuber urges everyone to support Deez Nuts for the CA Democrat nomination, Iíll protest this with a pitchfork.

... and my axe! For comparison, the kilroy voter guides from 2016 and 2018.

Google site statistics

Another post had tips for optimizing a statically-generated website that were surprisingly similar to rules for creating a website circa 1997. A few good ones:
Won me over with Javascript awareness and took me back to my own adoption of Let's Encrypt.
Twitter, Elon, and the internet

Saturday Night Live Michael Che Elon Musk Twitter

I was going to skip the whole Elon/Twitter episode - both on this site and as a personal goal - but it precipitated an interesting megapost by former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong.

To recap the Elon part, he bought a bunch of Twitter shares and then supposedly offered a total buyout to the board. World news fatigue probably made this blow up more than it should have. WSB was filled with posts about Musk and TWTR. The conservasphere was in stitches over the woke mob's outrage, expecting that their favorite insurrectionists and pillow executives would soon be replatformed.

It seemed to be exactly the controversy Elon likes to stir up and he seemed to need it after some recent PR/meme whiffs. On the other hand, imho Twitter is a leading horse in the race for social media dominance. Facebook's metaverse play seems to be going up in flames or, at least, losing the younger generation. TikTok is (I guess) great for scrolling but still lacks some mainstream appeal and isn't as portable as a Tweet.

That said, Yishan's lengthy commentary about the Elon saga hilariously stretches the Twitter text post medium well beyond usability. So here's a distilled version with some discussion. I'm mainly skipping over the parts where Yishan cries about how hard it is to be a social media CEO.

Reddit was born in the last years of the "old internet" when free speech meant "freedom from religious conservatives trying to take down porn and sometimes first-person shooters." And so we tried to preserve that ideal. That is not what free speech is about today.

The internet is not a "frontier" where people can go "to be free," it's where the entire world is now, and every culture war is being fought on it. It's the MAIN battlefield for our culture wars.

Huh, this is the first I'm hearing of this internet porn thing but let's move on, nostalgia for the old internet is pretty common among my gen-x compatriots. The normies and megacorps did take it over. But the internet is infinitely deep, so the invasion of microblogging influencers doesn't have to be a problem unless you're trying to dominate a crowded space.

Free speech may be noble, but here's what's it's like these days:

All my left-wing woke friends are CONVINCED that the social media platforms uphold the white supremacist misogynistic patriarchy, and they have plenty of screenshots and evidence of times when the platform has made enforcement decisions unfairly against innocuous things they've said, and let far more egregious sexist/racist violations by the other side pass.

All my alt/center-right/libertarian friends are CONVINCED the social media platforms uphold the woke BLM/Marxist/LGBTQ agenda and they ALSO have plenty of screenshots and evidence of times when the platforms have made enforcement decisions unfair against them for innocuous things they've said merely questioning (in good faith) the woke orthodoxy, and let far more egregious violations by the other side stand.

Neither side is lying.

Both sides think the platform is institutionally biased against them.

And so the discussion these days is less about things that matter and more about deplatforming and safe spaces and freedom of speech and private companies.

Mostly, it's really because enforcement is hard, and there are LOTS of errors. There's a separate emerging problem (more FB than Twitter) where AI models make inhumane/dystopian judgments that can't be appealed, but that's a separate issue.

Reddit started off so well with its community moderation approach, then outsourced its Orwellian Anti-Evil Operations to broken machine learning and third world reviewers. I guess Yishan knows it failed miserably. Given the option of being more or less trigger-happy, the platforms seem to have favored censorship:

Example: the "lab leak" theory (a controversial theory that is now probably true; I personally believe so) was "censored" at a certain time in the history of the pandemic because the "debate" included massive amounts of horrible behavior, spam-level posting, and abuse that spilled over into the real world - e.g. harrassment of public officials and doctors, racially-motivated crimes, etc.

It was "censored" not because it was a wrong idea, but because ideas really can - at certain times and places - become lightning rods for actual, physical, kinetic mob behavior. It would have been perfectly acceptable if the lab leak theory were being discussed in a rational, evidence-based manner by scientists on Twitter, but that is not what happened.

I remember this one. Twitter (and others?) removed content that suggested covid came from that infectious disease lab near Wuhan. Questions/accusations of a "lab leak" were bundled in the hoax and microchip claims for being misinformation and xenophobic. Most of the interactions I read went like this:

Person A: I heard covid-19 originated in an infectious disease laboratory.
Person B: YOU MEAN YOU THINK IT'S A BIOWEAPON???

Despite the amount of daylight between those two statements, that'd be the end of it. Either because Person A indeed thought it was a bioweapon or because Person B's response caused Person A's comment to be buried or crowded out. What was missing was:

Yishan tweet Elon Musk Lincoln Douglas debate

Well, I wouldn't hold the Lincoln-Douglas debates up as a paragon of civil discourse. They were rife with race-baiting, fallacies, text walls, and unruly crowds ("hit him again!"). Regardless, it's a reasonable point. I'm just not sure (heavily-automated) moderation can effectively enforce standards of civility or quality.
Ukraine

Atlantic Council Peter Dickinson Ukraine information war

Earlier in the Ukraine saga, I lamented about the weird state of journalism and mis/information:


Me
"Per Twitter". Right? It's both a source of unfiltered (but localized) primary information and a hub of propaganda. It's also rife with uninformed speculation. And it seems both the platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit) and journalists (who cannot easily validate the source data) either ignore these posts/videos or present them with a heavy "as is" disclaimer.

Kind of a shame that all this live information is lost to the fact that it's difficult to validate.

This was echoed recently on the No Stupid Questions subreddit:


/u/Ultomatoe
Is Russia truly doing such a poor job in the invasion of Ukraine or are we just being fed propaganda?

Propaganda is certainly in full swing on both sides but the narrative, from a western perspective, is that Russia has royally screwed the pooch during this invasion. If we are to believe what is being spoken it seems like they are just throwing meat and materials into the grinder in Ukraine and getting obliterated. Are the Russians truly taking such monumental losses and is their economy soon to be as fucked as people claim?

One of the responses:


/u/audigex
There's an element of the fact that the west is generally on Ukraine's side, and that we're therefore seeing a Ukraine-centric perspective

But at the same time, the maps don't lie: Russia was expected to roll Ukraine over in a matter of days or weeks, yet is now 7 weeks into the war and have clearly not steamrolled Ukraine or even achieved their likely/apparent goals

There's no way around the fact that Russia clearly wanted to take Kyiv and enforce regime change. And not only did they not achieve that in the first few days as they clearly expected, and not only have they not achieved it at all... but they've even retreated away from the area and given up on the objective entirely. There's no way to realistically paint that as anything other than an abjact failure

Even if this had been a near-peer conflict (a war between two sides expected to be of roughly equal strength) then the attacker would expected to achieve some major objectives, otherwise why are they attacking at all? But Russia was one of the most feared militaries on the planet and Ukraine barely even a blip on the regional map, and Ukraine fought them to a standstill well short of Russia's objectives.

That's not to say Russia can't get anything out of this war or will have entirely failed - but thus far they've tanked their economy and killed 5-10k of their own men, shattered their military reputation on the world stage, united NATO and the EU, started Germany on a re-militarization path, pushed Finland and Sweden into NATO's hands, and is still nowhere near to even achieving their "fallback" goals of taking the entirety of Donbas.

It's a little short on concrete information, but most of it could be independently verified.
Brunches, board games, and bowsers

Breakfast tacos, corned beef hash, and sourdough.

Gloomhaven board game ooze imp mob
The Unnatural Ones have a bit of an ooze problem, but it's great to be back in action.

Rhodesian Ridgeback sleeping bed dog
Hank and Shar both visited again.

... and a few more of Courtney's vball shots:

thumbnail Volleyball night bump beach thumbnail Beach volleyball spike net thumbnail Beach volleyball

Tarnished, out.



Comments:
Rob


Rob

Jackass. Saw a cool blog link the other day. Didn't send it to you.

Rob


Rob