jinjifore: (Default)
Because I was stupid and managed to give myself the same cold/fever again with my own toothbrush (don't ask), I decided to make productive use of my lying-in-bed time by making a post to share some of my favorite fanfic-reading Firefox utilities (plus a couple of random things). Unless otherwise indicated, everything works on both Mac OSX 10.14 and Windows XP running Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 (some of the add-ons need to be the latest version to run on Firefox 3.6).

Firefox Add-ons )

Greasemonkey Scripts )

Other Stuff )


Mar. 13th, 2010 08:49 pm
jinjifore: (Default)
Someone posted a rant on [livejournal.com profile] fanficrants about the difference between Early Modern, Middle, and Old English. This led to the reposting of a partial translation of Beowulf. Into LOLcat. (Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] aesc.)

Hay thar! We can has knowingz of teh c00lniz of
teh Spearcats, teh kingz of teh pplz, in teh old daiz,
how teh prinzes wuz all FTW!1!! \o/
Wif ninja cats Scyld Scefkitteh
stoled teh mead-benchiz (whut??) of many doggiz
an skared lots of pplz. Aftur he wuz
founded bukkitless he got cookies cos he was sad kitteh,
he growed up an pwned c00l stuffs
so all teh doggiz in teh hood
an cross teh see did whut he sed
an gave him cheezburgrs. Taht wuz gud king, srsly.

Beokitteh, 1 tru !1
jinjifore: (Default)
Um. Hello. Yes.

So. It's been approximately 10 days since I started watching Supernatural. Watched the latest aired episode last night. I think even for me that's a record for mainlining a series.

First impressions, which, if you have been a fan of the show for more than five minutes, you have no doubt read a million times already at some point in the last five years )
jinjifore: (Default)
I am pin-less, cast-less and have the ability to be splint-less at will. I still have a couple of stitches in (literally, like, two stitches), but those will be coming out next week. I'm cleared to do pretty much anything I want so long as it doesn't hurt beyond certain parameters. At the moment, those parameters are very small, but it's nice to be able to eat a meal without worrying about breaking my pins lifting a soup spoon.

Medical Details )

Personal Details )

The timing of all this good-feeling is fortuitous, as it turns out. Boo's school is going to be closed today and Monday because more than 30 kids (about a quarter of the student body) and half the teachers are sick with the flu. They haven't specified if it's H1N1 or suspected H1N1, which irritates me greatly because, hello, I'd like to know, but the school is advising everyone to avoid other people for a few days. The Jewish Community Center will be taking kids from Metro schools in the daycare-aftercare program, but kids from Akiva need to stay home. That means it'll be just me and Boo. As much as it's inconvenient, and as much as I don't want Boo or me or Al or anyone else to get sick, it's also kind of nice to be able to take care of my own kid for the first time in weeks. :)

We have also released Tom back into the wild. Or tried. We opened up the garage door for him, but as of a few minutes ago he was still hiding under his favorite shelf. He seems to be very well healed up, no sign of his injuries apart from a slight bald patch on his foot. Boo has been taking care of his medication for that last few days, and has proved a very able assistant.

In other words, the household is on the mend. :)

ETA: I should really learn not to tempt fate by posting things like the previous sentence. Right after posting the above I realized that I didn't actually feel that well. Current condition: sore throat, aches, fever 100 degrees.

I would headdesk, except that would hurt. I'll headpillow instead.
jinjifore: (Default)
I suppose you may remember my not-cat. You know, the cat who I took to have neutered, who I've been feeding for two years, who hangs out on my deck and who is emphatically not mine. That cat. (His name is Tom, by the way.)

Today, when I put out food for the cats, Tom was limping and had blood on his paw. Since he's not my cat, I of course took him straight to the vet. (Being the lawless feral stray that he is, it took me about a minute to get him in the carrier one-handed, and that was only because it took thirty seconds to chase him down. At a walk.)

Fortunately, he's not badly hurt. )

Tom, of course, acted like the aforementioned lawless stray at the vet's office. He protested really, really loudly the whole time he was in the carrier, and on the (two-mile) drive to the vet, and for about the first three minutes in the exam room. By the end of it, he was lying sprawled on the exam table, purring up a storm while the vet poked at the cut on his paw, and not even flinching when he got his shot. He's a big sweetheart. :)
jinjifore: (Default)
I had my penultimate orthopedic visit today. It went very well, and I'm on track to have the pins removed on May 11. Yay!

There was only one hiccup. The doctor had initially intended to remove the cast and put me in a splint for two weeks. This would have the advantage that I would be able to take showers without wrapping a plastic bag around my arm...and not much else. I wouldn't really be able to take off the splint otherwise, and would have to be very, very careful so as not to break the pins in my wrist. I am not a very, very careful person. When I expressed this to the doctor, he asked, "Well, do you just want another cast?" and I said, "That would probably be best."

So, I have Bright Pink Cast #2 (they didn't have purple or yellow, the other two colors that Boo had requested, so I reverted to the number one color choice). It hasn't been too bad wearing the other casts, and I would certainly rather put up with two more weeks of plastic wrap in the shower rather than risk breaking the pins. I'll have the cast on for two weeks, then I'll go to the doctor and get it removed the Wednesday before the surgery. Presumably I can go for five days in a splint without damaging myself. We'll see. :)
jinjifore: (Default)
In response to my question about the adult filters, I received the following reply:

Hello again from Amazon.com.

As promised, I researched your inquiry for a turn off/on option for the filter.

In response to customer feedback, adult-themed products are now filtered out of our All Products Search. The All Products Search appears on our Welcome page, and can be found in the drop-down search menu in each Amazon.com store.

If your keyword search matches any adult-themed products in our catalog, those results will not automatically be shown to you. You will see a link at the bottom of the search results page that reads, "These search results have been filtered to remove adult products. Click here to include these items in your results." By clicking on that link, you will see the additional items that match your query. However, there is no option to “turn off/on” at this time.

It is not possible to turn the All Products Search filter off; however, searches within individual stores do not have this feature. For example, if you search in our Movies & TV store, using the normal search feature, mature-themed titles will not be filtered out.

The problem is that when I went over there and searched "homosexuality," I turned up a paltry four pages of results with no sign of the "search results have been filtered" link. The links under the book titles indicated that there were over 63,000 books under that topic. I didn't get those results until I searched the same term and limited it to the Books department. And the top results still leaned heavily to "Homosexuality is wrong" and "How to prevent it." Maybe they're still in the process of fixing the "glitch," but this does not bode well.

On the other hand, the search results I got when I typed in "gay" were decidedly un-filtered, so who can tell?

The bottom line is that I do not believe the Amazon deliberately tried to un-rank and hide books about gay and lesbian issues. I also think that the front-page-only filtering is a good compromise, especially since un-filtered results are fairly easily accessible. But the fact remains that gay and lesbian books, and books about feminism, seem to be disproportionately vulnerable to these errors in filtering. It's also a fact that Amazon didn't bother to inform any of their customers about the filtering until they were caught at it. I haven't decided yet how comfortable I feel in continuing to shop there, but I'm also going to continue to pester them about this issue.
jinjifore: (Default)
Okay. As I read through the AmazonFail news today, I find that I am willing to believe, for now, that the widespread de-rankings and de-listings that occured over the weekend were an accident. Even if the accident didn't happen the way Amazon claims, even if it was another kind of screw-up or outside malice, I can accept that Amazon did not consciously intend to target gay and lesbian books, or books on sexuality and feminism. They screwed up, and they are fixing the problem. Fair enough.

This does not, however, resolve the issue of why this could happen in the first place. If Amazon did not already have their adult filter in place, this would not have happened. This debacle has, at least, called attention to the fact that, for months, Amazon has apparently been quietly filtering searches without the knowledge or consent of its customers. It has also brought to light the fact that the filters aren't even working properly, that when books fall onto the "adult" list there appear to be few checks and balances to prevent books from being improperly categorized and de-ranked.

So, while I'm currently willing to accept that the widespread de-ranking was a genuine error, I am still infuriated by the very existence of the de-ranking policy. I'm outraged that Amazon has been shunting me away from material that they, and not I, feel is too "adult" for me to read. I am an adult. I should be able to browse their store unfiltered, and more to the point, Amazon should have told me.

Today, I spoke to an Amazon customer service representative, and asked about the adult filter. I explained that my issue was not primarily with the blanket de-ranking, that I accepted that it was an unintended outcome, but that I was extremely concerned that Amazon was filtering adult content in the first place. Even worse, that they were filtering without telling me, as a customer, that they were filtering my searches. I said that I was very angry that I wasn't getting all the available material and that Amazon has been making reading choice for me without my knowledge. I also told her that I understand why Amazon felt the need to filter searches, but I was very upset that there was no way for me, as an adult, to not be subject to that filtering, to be considered an adult. I asked if the filtering policy was going to continue, and she couldn't really answer that, but my impression was that there were, at least, no plans to discontinue the policy. I then said that I wanted an opt-out (or opt-in) button for the filtering, or for the filtering to stop, otherwise I would not be able to continue as a customer.

She said that there appears to be no way to turn said filter on or off, but she also said that she would research the issue and get back to me via e-mail in a couple of days. We'll see what happens once Amazon has figured out the party line on the adult searches.


Apr. 13th, 2009 02:18 pm
jinjifore: (Default)
I'm sure that some of you have already been bombarded with information about Amazon.com's new dickwad policy of removing sales rankings and search results for gay- and lesbian-themed material. If you are among that number, please feel free to move along. :)

For the rest of you, here's what's been happening.

The policy of removing ranks and limiting searches for "adult" materials has, apparently, been implemented on a small--and secret--scale for several months. It was only recently, when several high-ranking gay and lesbian themed novels disappeared from said rankings, that author Mark Probst inquired about why his novel, The Filly, had disappeared. Here is the text of the reply he received:

Amazon's Reply to Mark Probst )

Now, I have, in fact, read The Filly. It's a young adult novel. There is no explicit sex, no violence. It's about a young man discovering and exploring his first love, and coming to terms with his own sexuality. That's it. And just because the young man happens to be gay, Amazon.com has decided that young men who are, perhaps, trying to find materials to help them deal with their own sexuality shouldn't be allowed to read this book. (In a dose of truly bitter irony, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now at the top of the search for "homosexuality" on Amazon. How nice.)

Yesterday, I wrote to Amazon using the "Contact Us" button on the Help page. Here's the letter I sent:

My first letter to Amazon )

I wasn't the only one who sent a letter, and today I, and the others who had e-mailed, received this letter in return, claiming that the issue was a "glitch":

Amazon's automated reply )

Considering that they had just told Mark Probst outright that The Filly's exclusion was a new policy, my immediate response, echoed by most everyone else who'd received this letter, was "Glitch, my ass." I clicked the "No" link, and sent the following:

My second letter to Amazon )

Some links )

Some final thoughts:

Why the heck, if Amazon was so keen to "protect" their shoppers, did it not occur to them to give their customers an opt-out for this? I can buy that the wholesale eradication of anything gay and lesbian wasn't what they had in mind--though I'm also pretty sure that they're way more sorry for getting caught than for doing it. But it's clear that they have been--and probably intend to continue--filtering the searches for all their customers whether they want it or not. Even if they implement this policy in an even-handed manner to filter only material that is sexually explicit or violent (though, frankly, violence doesn't seem to be bothering them much), I do not want this. I'd still be pissed about singling out the gay and lesbian books, but I would be a lot less angry if I had the option to choose for myself whether I wanted to be "protected" by Amazon's search filters.

Oh, yeah: Amazon Rank

ETA: If you're looking for an alternative to Amazon, Indie Bound is a site where you can search for books and then order them from an independant bookseller in your area. Very nifty.

ETA 2: Amazon's second reply )

Okay. I am willing to grant that Amazon did not deliberately set out to eradicate gay and lesbian-themed works, that the "error" was widespread enough to suggest that it wasn't targeted.

This doesn't, however, answer any of my above concerns about the fact that they've started filtering content in the first place, without the knowledge or permission of their users. I suppose, really, that it's almost a good thing this happened, because otherwise I wouldn't have known that they were filtering. Also, the fact that Amazon admitted to filtering The Filly shows that they have no clue what they're doing with said filtering process. I'm also not convinced that the process isn't somewhat biased against gay and lesbian content, if an Amazon rep could blithely presume that The Filly was adult. I guess I'll be waiting to see Amazon's next move.
jinjifore: (Default)
I got a new cast today. It is, as the subject line suggests, green (at the request of Her Booness).

Boo had decorated the pink cast with kitties, sunshine, a flamingo and family portraits. I made sure to take pictures, because I was pretty sure the cast would be too unsanitary to keep around. As it turns out, though, the unsanitary inner layers of gauze and stockinette could be peeled away and discarded, allowing me to preserve the fiberglass part. If I can find my camera cable, I'll try to post the pictures.

They did more x-rays, and everything still seems to be in place. The doctor says I'll be in this cast for three more weeks, then in a splint for two weeks, then I'll have one more surgery to take the pins out. The pin removal is apparently miles simpler and less painful than the first surgery, and I should be ready for physical therapy within a couple of weeks. Physical therapy should take six months to a year, so in the shortest-case scenario I'll be finishing up my recovery a little over a year after I first fell. Next time, I'm landing on my head.

Details, details )

Onward and upward. :) I feel that I can do everything that's really important (well, okay, almost everything :)). I certainly can find plenty of ways to be occupied and happy. The good things are getting better, and the bad things are diminishing. Can't ask for more than that.
jinjifore: (Default)
Note to self:

If you haven't driven in a month, and therefore haven't drunk your regular post-school-delivery regimen of coffee, it's entirely possible that when you do test your cast-impaired driving ability by going to the coffee shop and drinking a large coffee at four in the afternoon, you will find yourself writing journal posts at 5:45am.

Just FYI.
jinjifore: (Default)
Five Ways In Which My Life Has Improved A Lot:

1. I can type using up to nine fingers with minimal discomfort (for some reason my pinkie is taking a while to get back in the game). Only short periods right now, but considering that on Friday I couldn't even press the keys, this is pretty darn stellar.

2. I can open bottles, cans and other food packaging. This means that my husband no longer has to leave a cooler of sandwiches and a certain number of pre-opened bottles of water for me when he goes to work.

3. I can go up and down the stairs as I darn well please. Free access to the kitchen is good.

4. I can take a shower almost all by myself, instead of having to have the assisstance of my entire family. If I could just figure out how to open and squirt out the shampoo with one hand (okay, and wrap my own right arm in plastic), I'd be golden.

5. I am taking about half the amount of pain medication I was taking last week. It might *sound* fun to spend six weeks stoned on various members of the -codone family, but the reality is that I can't wait to get off the stuff. Obviously, I'm choosing to continue to take it because, well, pain sucks, but I feel that the pain is also approaching the point where I can see the end of it.

In short:

jinjifore: (Default)
I have a new cast. It's about half the size and a third the weight of the post-op splint/cast. It is also bright pink because my daughter asked if I was getting a pink cast and I said no (because I seriously had no idea that casts came in pink.) I'll apparently be getting the chance to experiment with other colors as well, because the cast will be changed every couple of weeks.

Healing seems to be proceeding. The doctor took out the stitches, and x-rays showed that the pins seemed to in the right place. The new cast leaves my fingers completely free, so as soon as I work out the post-op swelling and stiffness I'm hoping I can return to two-handed as opposed to one-fingered typing.

I'm still having to take quite a bit of pain medication, but I can also tell that, as promised, the post-op pain is rapidly dwindling. I'm hoping to be off the pain meds sooner rather than later, and I also hope to be driving again soon. All in all, things are looking up.
jinjifore: (Default)
Hey this is Jinjifore's spouse Al. Jinjifore has asked me to make a quick post updating her condition. She's been through the surgery and is doing fine. The procedure went well according to the doc. Her entire right arm is in a plaster cast from her fingers to her elbow. She is taking lots of really good medication for pain and so she is doing mostly fine in that department. She will be going back to her doctor on Thursday for a checkup and a new cast. She says Hi to everyone out there and cannot wait to type her own posts soon.
jinjifore: (Default)
I'm going in for my surgery at 11am today, which means that I won't be able to type for a while (even, I suspect, with the really good drugs :)). Wish me luck, and hopefully I'll be back on the internets within a few weeks. Take care, all! :)
jinjifore: (Default)
My surgery is scheduled for March 2, two weeks from Monday. I am very pleased. :)

It seems as though everything is going to go pretty much as I described in my earlier post. I'll be in a cast for about two months, then I'll have to have a second surgery to remove the pins. After that, it will, hopefully, be merely a matter of recovery and physical therapy.

Full Disclosure Section (with bonus whining) )

In the meantime, I've cheered myself up with a little self-pampering: painting my nails. So far, they have been wine-red, purple, orange and chartreuse. (My toes are pink and sparkly, but I assure you that it wasn't self-inflicted. I merely point to this as evidence that I love my daughter. ;))

In closing, I'd like share an exchange I had with the stewardess on the plane I took from Wyoming around the first of the year:

Stewardess: Did you hurt your arm skiing?
Me: Sadly, no, nothing that exciting. I fell on the stairs.
Stewardess: Oh, dear. Are you right-handed?
Me: Yep. And, of course, my favorite things to do are knitting, crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles.
Stewardess: Have you taken up drinking?
jinjifore: (Default)
When I went to the physical therapist last week, I'd increased my range of motion by about 30 degrees. This is very, very happy news. :) We'll see how it goes with the surgeon Thursday.

My new nimbleness did not, however, keep me from losing my grip on my debit card and sending it sliding over the dashboard and neatly into that tiny, tiny gap between the windshield and the dashboard. Seriously, it freakin' disappeared down there. Fortunately, I was using an ATM at a bank branch, so after I'd spent about two minutes realizing that there was no way I would ever get it out of there (barring the invention of a Plastic Magnet), I walked into the branch and got a new card. Luckily, the glass below the dash is tinted, so I don't have to see my card wedged down there mocking me.

Side Note: Part of my physical therapy excerises are done with a ball, so I bought an inexpensive substitute for the squishy rubber one they had. Boo, of course, feels that the purpose of a pink, blue and purple swirled toy ball is to be played with, so we laid out the rules about the ball never leaving Mama's room, and always being returned to Mama's chair. Naturally, the first time I turn around, my *husband* has nicked the ball and is playing with it in his office.

Also, a memo to Torchwood fandom: Glenn Miller. G-L-E-N-N.
jinjifore: (Default)
I am highly medicated, so I am typing for my own little self.

I consulted the surgeon today. He was a nice, funny, confident and eloquent person who gave me Lortab. I like him. :) Although the MRI results weren't terribly conclusive about whether or not I had a torn ligament, further x-rays showed that I have a tilted scaphoid bone. Misalignment of that bone usually *is* the result of a torn ligament, specifically the Scapholunate ligament. Given the length of my (non) recovery, the kind of pain I'm in, and the site of the pain, the clues do seem to point to a torn ligament. (To use the surgeon's analogy, if it looks like dog poo, and smells like dog poo...:))

There are a couple of things I can do about this. )

To sum up for those who wish to skip the icky medical details under the cut: I'm going to do physical therapy for two or three weeks, then I will probably choose to have surgery to try to repair/replace the damaged ligament. Surgery recovery might take 8-12 weeks, then it might take as long as a year to recover completely. I'll probably lose some flexibility in my wrist, but the doctors say that I *shall* knit again. :)

PS--The pictures I've linked to come from a helpful and informative article called Ligament Injuries of the Wrist.

Arm Update

Jan. 26th, 2009 08:43 pm
jinjifore: (Default)
This is being typed by my helpful husband.

As I mentioned in my last entry, two months ago, I fell and sprained my wrist over Thanksgiving. I have just been back to the doctor for a third follow-up and my options are apparently surgery or waiting--again--to see what happens. Since my arm does not seem to have gotten any better in the last two months, I suspect surgery is in my future.

I wanted to update to let people know why I haven't posted. I know that this isn't exactly unusual for me, but I have been reading and following and desperately wanting to join in the conversations. Hopefully I'll be back to typing (and knitting and writing things and being able to using my right hand) before too long.

I'm consulting a surgeon on Thursday and I will dictate any pertinent details to my minion for transcription when the time comes.

Take care everyone! :-)
jinjifore: (Default)
This is one of those good news, bad news posts.

Good news. I have no broken bones.
Bad news. I missed the bottom step over thanksgiving, broke fall with right wrist and still can't use right hand.
Good news. I had finished nanowrimo 5 days earlier.
Bad news. Crosswords now hard to do with crappy left-hand writing.
Good news. Sudoku.

(Bad news. Capital letters hard one-handed.
Good news. Textwrangler "capitalize sentences" function.)


jinjifore: (Default)

February 2012



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