[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2020-06-05

MyMedia under screen

Filed under: Linux,Movies,Software — bblackmoor @ 11:47

I use a Python application called MyMedia to stream videos from my Ubuntu media server to my Roku boxes.

I installed Ubuntu 20 yesterday. The painfully slow navigation problem (caused by the slow but inevitable deprecation of python 2) re-appeared, and I tried to re-create the fix. Initially, I just succeeded in preventing MyMedia from running at all.

Here is what actually worked.

  1. First, I copied all of my backed up MyMedia files to /usr/local/bin/mymedia
  2. Then I installed python 2.7…
  3. sudo apt-get install python2
  4. Then I installed pip, but first I had to install curl…
  5. sudo apt-get install curl
  6. curl "https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py" -o "get-pip.py"
  7. sudo python2 get-pip.py
  8. Then I installed Pillow
  9. sudo python2 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
  10. It might not have been necessary, but I installed several image libraries…
  11. sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev
  12. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so /usr/lib
  13. sudo apt-get install zlib1g-de
  14. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libz.so /usr/lib
  15. In common.py, I made sure that this…
  16. import Image
  17. … had been replaced with this…
  18. #import Image
    from PIL import Image

Huge success!

Note that during this process, I got several warnings about Python 2.7 being deprecated, like this one:

DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 reached the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 is no longer maintained. pip 21.0 will drop support for Python 2.7 in January 2021. More details about Python 2 support in pip, can be found at https://pip.pypa.io/en/latest/development/release-process/#python-2-support

It’s only a matter of time before MyMedia becomes unusable. I would love to get access to the git repository and try to update it for Python 3, if that’s possible. I’ve asked, but the original developer is not longer associated with the project. It may be that I’ll have to find a new solution to this problem in a year or so.

Also, I have updated my init script (/etc/init.d/memedia), which runs mymedia in a screen

# Provides: minidlna
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: mymedia server
# Description: mymedia media server.

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
DESC="MyMedia media server"

case "$1" in
su - $USER -c "cd $DAEMONPATH; screen -dm -S $SCREENNAME python2 $DAEMON"
su - $USER -c "screen -S $SCREENNAME -X quit"
su - $USER -c "screen -wipe"
su - $USER -c "screen -list | grep $SCREENNAME"
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status}" >&2
exit 3

Wednesday, 2020-06-03

Where did the cosplaytriots go?

Filed under: Firearms,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:19

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, violent criminals in police uniforms have been attacking people standing on their front porch. So where were all the Second Amendment quoting gun fetishists when this was going on? Isn’t this exactly why they say they need AR15s?

No, I am not suggesting that people go shoot police officers: please do not do that. I just think it’s weird that a couple of weeks ago, chubby white men carrying rifles were thrilled to shout in the face of police officers because they objected to reasonable public health policies. But once the police start attacking innocent civilians, the cosplaytriots are nowhere to be found.

Saturday, 2020-05-30


Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 11:49

This is 18 minutes or so, but it’s worth listening to. I particularly like his comment about dominoes. Because it is completely obvious that the protests and the riots are just the last in a long line of dominoes.

I’ve bitten my tongue a few times recently, when people I know have made disparaging comments about protesters, or rioters, or looters. Because I think most of them see quite clearly what has led to this. How could they not? So the fact that they continue criticizing protesters demonstrates to me that we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what kind of society we each want to live in.

People making snide comments about protesters want to live in a society where white women can make a phone call to the police and have a black man murdered, where a cop with a history of using excessive force can calmly murder a black man and get clean away with it if no one filmed it, and where black people don’t so much as silently take a knee in protest.

I’d prefer to live in a society where black people don’t have a reason to protest.

Thursday, 2020-05-28

David Brent, vampire

Filed under: Entertainment,Humour,Television — bblackmoor @ 17:40

Okay, so, we watched part of “Get Him To The Greek” (2010) last night. And we both noticed that Russell Brand is using the same accent as Ricky Gervais used for “the Office”. And I got to wondering if that was a deliberate choice? Like, does that accent belong to a particular region of the UK, yeah? Maybe it represents a certain socio-political group, or a stereotyped mindset? Maybe a bit stupid? Maybe a bit arrogant, even?

And then, for some reason, I thought of “What We Do In The Shadows”, which is a TV show (based on the eponymous film) about vampires in Staten Island, NY. And I got to wondering what it would be like if one of them had this accent.

“So I was at this bar, right? And this young thing, this lady, not that I mind a young bloke, I’m not sexist. Blood is blood, innit? Right? If you want a bloke, good for you. I support that. But in this case, a young lady, right? She’s all forward, which frankly I’m not fond of. Leave a bit for the chase, please. It’s a little word in relationships I like to call mystery. Leave a bit of it, right? Don’t just put everything on the table at once. Let us have a bit of fun. A bit of foreplay, right?

“But she’s persistent, and it’s getting late, and if I must admit, I was a bit peckish. I do get peckish sometimes. Not that I’m always on the hunt. Just because I’m a vampire, that doesn’t mean I’m just about that. I’m my own boss. Sometimes I’ll wake up in me coffin, and I’m like, ‘David, are you hungry?’ And I’m like, ‘No thank you. Think I’ll compose a sonnet. Think I’ll be a poet today, yeah? Can I just stay in my coffin and compose a sonnet?’ ‘Ooh, don’t know, better ask the boss.’ ‘David can I stay in my coffin all day?’ ‘Yes, you can David.’ Both me, that’s not me in my coffin with another bloke called David.

“But in this case, yeah, I drank her blood and left her body in the alley. Think she was alive. Might not have been. Didn’t check. Might be breathing. Probably not. Don’t care. That’s how I roll. I’m a free spirit.

“No, but… yeah, she was breathing. Again guilty, unorthodox, sue me.”

Ricky Gervais vampire

Thursday, 2020-05-21

“Day Of The Triffids” (2009)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 14:24

Letting the 2009 BBC adaptation of “Day Of The Triffids” play while I work. This has a remarkable cast: Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brian Cox. Eddie Izzard steals this. It helps that he’s playing the perfect Eddie Izzard character: charming, clever, subtle, and much more dangerous than you think.

This is the last of the three extant “Day Of The Triffids” film adaptations. I have been letting them all play, over the past week. They’re depressing as hell. There is no happy ending. Ever. And although the triffids are undoubtedly dangerous, people are the real monsters. Not most people. Most people are decent, and have empathy. Most people want to work together so that everyone can survive. Most people realize that we are all in this together.

But just a few are malicious. Just a few are sociopaths, sadists, and liars. Selfish. Cruel. And if people allow the worst among them to seize power, that’s really all that it takes for everything to go to hell.

Tuesday, 2020-05-19

In the country of the blind

Filed under: Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:19

I made a “Republican party platform” image a while back. I update the death toll numbers on it once in a while. It’s gotten so that any time anyone shares anything about the President or the other Republicans, I just want to reply with that image. Because I really don’t think anything else needs to be said.

I’m not sharing it here, because it hasn’t gone viral (despite my sharing it on Facebook … a lot), which says to me that most people don’t see the Republicans that way. And that makes me sad.

Because they are that way.

Thursday, 2020-05-07

Dentist appointment

Filed under: Health,Poetry — bblackmoor @ 09:09

I had a dentist appointment this morning. I had planned to pick up some milk from the store afterward. Unfortunately, my car’s battery was dead. After some protests, Susan consented to allow me to drive her car.

When I arrived at the dentist’s office, I realized that I didn’t have a face mask: it was in *my* car. So no shopping afterward.

I called the dentist office to let them know I was outside, so they could bring out the pandemic-release forms and take my temperature. My temperature was 96.3 F, and they left the forms with me.

The first page described all of the reasons that I could catch COVID-19 at the dentist’s office despite their precautions, and ended with a statement I was supposed to sign confirming that my visit met the requirements of urgency and medical necessity described above.

I apologized and returned the form to the next nurse who came outside, and said it wasn’t urgent: just a checkup.

“Oh, it’s okay. We are seeing patients for checkups now.”

I apologized again, and fled, my stomach in knots.

Sunday, 2020-04-19

Hogwarts wallpaper or Zoom backgrounds

Filed under: Art,Movies — bblackmoor @ 13:54

Here are some Hogwarts screen captures you can use as wallpaper or as backgrounds for your Zoom meetings. These are all from “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001).

Saturday, 2020-04-18

Trump is a symptom

Filed under: Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:33

Focusing on Trump but ignoring Republicans is like thinking that cough syrup will cure COVID-19.

Wednesday, 2020-04-15

Long, tedious political post

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 08:34

(This was a response I wrote to someone who declared their intent to vote for a Libertarian for President in 2020, to “send a message” to Democrats. I spent a fair amount of time writing it, so I wanted to preserve it in case I had occasion to use it again.)

Just FYI, I voted Libertarian for a decade or so. ( https://www.blackgate.net/blog/the-problem-with-libertarians/ ) I’ll point out a couple of things that you might or might not have realized.

1) You aren’t influencing anyone with your throwaway vote. With the exception of Gary Johnson in 2016 (more about that in a moment), Libertarians have been lucky to get 1% of the vote — and in most Presidential elections in the past 50 years, they haven’t gotten anywhere near 1%. No one cares about your protest vote: definitely not Democrats.

2) The fact Gary Johnson got 3% in 2016 is, frankly, amazing, but it has less to do with Libertarians than it does with Republicans. Republicans like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan promoted their supposedly libertarian leanings (which was a blatant lie, like everything Republicans say), giving big-L Libertarians a huge amount of publicity in the process. But have you seen Republicans promoting libertarianism recently? Aside from a few breakaways like Amash, no, they haven’t. I am not a gambler, but I am confident that you won’t see the Libertarian candidate break 1.5% in 2020. (See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/30/republicans-may-finally-be-socially-distancing-themselves-libertarianism/ )

3) Your vote does matter, but only if you use it. We are suffering under the heel of the Republican death cult right now for two reasons (other than the fact that a third of the USA is overtly evil). 1) People who threw their vote away in 2016 rather than using it intelligently, and 2) voters who stayed home. Those people, just as much as the benighted Republican death cultists, are to blame for the fact that the Supreme Court will be dragging us backward for the next 30 years.

4) The establishment Democrats will support the changes that the USA has needed for the past four decades — but not any time soon. Bill Clinton was basically a Republican (what they were before the whole party went batshit crazy). Obama was a little better, and if Hilary Clinton had won in 2016, it would have gotten another tiny amount better (or at least no worse). The mainstream Democrats are conservative. However, the younger Democrats are pushing a progressive agenda that is slowly growing in that party. Change is slow, but it is happening.

Jesus, this is long. One last thing.

5) Libertarianism sounds great. “Pro choice on everything.” “No initiation of force.” etc. etc. It all sounds lovely… in theory. Because that’s all it is. How would a Libertarian administration overhaul our despicable profit-based prison system? How would a Libertarian administration respond to a pandemic? How would a Libertarian administration address the vast and growing income inequality in this country before that inequality leads to chubby bourgeoisie like myself finding our heads in baskets? The answer is either “poorly” or “not at all”, because while Libertarianism is great at sound bites, it is absolutely terrible at addressing systemic problems which history shows result in chaos and death. (See also: https://prospect.org/power/libertarian-delusion/ )

Utopia is not an option. You are never going to get exactly what you want. What you can do is nudge things in a marginally better direction, or stand aside while the Republican death cult drags us all over a cliff. This is the real world, and those are your choices.

P.S. Our antiquated voting system creates a de-facto two party system. Until that voting system changes, voting for a third party is no different than not voting at all. In a time period when the dominant party is deliberately dismantling and pillaging public services, while undermining basic civil rights for a generation to come, there is no reasonable excuse for that.

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