Your Trickster God Is No Match for Mine

Every white person who wants to act like they’re all spiritual and know Indian lore and stuff always has to start with “well, Coyote is the trickster god.”

Bah. The crow is e’r more a trickster and sends your god loping up Wayne Street.

To clarify: this morning, as I was walking to work, I noticed a crow caw and alight on a power line near me. As I passed underneath I muttered a “hello” as I am wont to do to noisy birds. Another crow joined the first. A mockingbird thought he’d mix it up with them, but flew off suddenly–and a third crow arrived.

After I’d passed, the crows started kicking up a fuss. Usually a bunch of birds freaking out means some predator, sometimes a cat but often something more interesting like a snake, is nearby. I couldn’t see what they were after, so I turned the corner onto East Alexandria Avenue and kept on my way.

Suddenly the noise got more intense and was clearly moving up the street. I looked back, to see what the fuss was, when a freaking coyote loped up the middle of the street. Fox-like ears, thin tail, 25 inches at the shoulder, thin legs, tawny coat…a freakin’ coyote. At 9:50 AM.

Clearly some yuppie had been spewing some Joseph Campbell-inspired wankery and the real trickster gods, the corvids, decided to call them out by driving their coyote out…and thus revealing why there have been a bunch of missing kitty posters.

Hey yuppies: you don’t care about the damage your little predators do when you let them out to roam around the neighborhood to eat the wildlife, so don’t expect me to be sad when the wildlife eats your fluffikins. I’m hoping they’ll also take out some of the screaming toddlers you ignore while talking on your cellphone in restaurants.

This Is What Caused Me to Dump MacFixIt

In the days of yore, when Extension Conflicts (kind of like DLL hell on Windows, except solveable) ruled the Mac troubleshooting landscape (this was a decade ago), Ted Landau’s MacFixIt site was a must-read. He had the dish on every OS upgrade, troubleshooting tips, and how to do preventive maintenance that made a Mac pre-OS X still more stable than the Windows available at the time.

Cometh OS X, and suddenly a whole new technology resides under the hood. MacFixIt struggled to keep up, as the voodoo of System 7 yielded to the exposed underpinnings of BSD-style Unix. The site expanded but kept with troubleshooting via the post-hoc fallacy. I kept with them for a while (I’ve been using flavors of OS X for seven or more years), but the site has degenerated into uselessness. Witness the following:

Google’s Gmail service has increased its coolness factor considerably by adding IMAP access, but meanwhile, back in the world of Web mail access, one user complains that the initial Gmail Web page has trouble loading under Leopard. He says that there are difficulties no matter what browser he uses.

One user.

And a website is slow in every browser, so it must be Leopard, right?!

Um. I’ve been using this here web thing for a while now, and one of the first things you learn is that a) not every server responds equally well, b) sometimes your internet connection is slow, and c) even when a) and b) aren’t true, there can be breakdowns between you and the server you’re trying to reach.

To raise this as a serious question about OS X 10.5 while admitting you can’t reproduce the problem and not entertaining any other of a host of more likely possibilities means that MacFixIt is being dumped from my RSS feeds (I dropped bookmarks long ago).

Sorry, Ted. I can get real problems reported by other, less Cassandraesque sources, and don’t have to waste time with inane guesswork subsituting for a little education. I can do that myself without assistance, and reading about web application slowdowns that don’t even have a plausible mechanism in the OS is taking away from my valuable TV-watching, eyebrow-plucking, or even just staring-at-the-wall-blankly time. Those are all more worthwhile pursuits than the above article.

Guy Who?

Ron Paul raised $4 million today, by my rough eyeball count.




(not gold-backed)

Sure, I know this has all the weight of the Dean Campaign, except possibly less. I know the guy has a questionable history of crankery. I know he’s completely wrong on immigration and mostly wrong on abortion. But dammit if the guy hasn’t put out a much-needed reminder that liberty is something important, even in the Republican party.

Now if only Hillary could, I dunno, distance herself from Bush in foreign policy in some way. That might be a good answering move by the Democrats. Then they might see this kind of enthusiasm from someone besides billionaires.

And to those who say, “Well, sure, libertarians only give money when there’s someone saying what they want to hear,” I say, “Duh.” Try saying something we want to hear and some of that spare salary not used up by cheetos and World of Warcraft can find its way into your coffers.