You are viewing sparr0

sparr [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
sparr

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Think positive [Nov. 16th, 2014|08:28 pm]
[Tags|, , ]

When I moved to Chicago I knew that there would be colder winters and warmer summers than in Boston. I committed to toughing it out, and I've experienced worse in the past (barely, rarely). Tonight, I saw an animated sign outside a bank with the temperature on it. It read "+33°F". Can you guess which character in that string got me thinking about how cold the winters here get?
LinkLeave a comment

Three free copies of the video game Insurgency [Nov. 11th, 2014|03:39 pm]
[Tags|, ]

https://www.humblebundle.com/?gift=4MZCRdt67WhP3A3f

First come, first served.
LinkLeave a comment

I've had better days [Nov. 5th, 2014|05:24 pm]
[Tags|]

That moment when you tell a partner "I would be better off without you", and they know you're right. :(
LinkLeave a comment

Livejournal needs a fresh start, or a wrapper. [Nov. 3rd, 2014|12:19 pm]
[Tags|, , ]

LJ is the best social network. I cannot count the number of times I have seen (or made) a complaint about Facebook or G+ or Ello or Fetlife that could not be countered with "LJ does that better".

What they don't have is the best interface, or the best marketing team.

I would love to wake up tomorrow and learn about a "new" social network launching, which is really just a new domain name and front end for LJ. A modern web interface (AJAXy, dynamic, etc). A more convenient interface. A new marketing campaign, and a "new" thing to tell my friends about.

Dreamwidth isn't much better. None of the LJ clones really match what people want out of the user experience of a social network. But the back end is SO MUCH BETTER. One-way friends, per-user and per-tag subscriptions and notifications, threaded comments, markup in posts...

Some day, maybe.

Ello, if you're listening, just clone LJ.
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Asexual vs antisexual [Oct. 16th, 2014|07:37 am]
[Tags|, , , ]

I have a number of friends who describe themselves as asexual, in one form or another. I've heard the term defined in a few ways, mostly boiling down to something like the first noun definition from google, "a person who has no sexual feelings or desires".

Read more...Collapse )
If you place negative value on all sexual activity, such that you avoid it in circumstances where the net value is otherwise positive, and your partner asking you to have sex is mostly/always a no, then you are not asexual. You are antisexual (or some other word that I am not familiar with). If you want "asexual" to describe that situation, then there's a lot of work to be done on the popular definition of the term, including the definition actively promoted in pro-asexuality literature and events.

(This note may be revised based on feedback.)
Link8 comments|Leave a comment

Visiting Boston [Oct. 14th, 2014|06:09 am]
[Tags|, ]

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit back to Boston. Saw a few friends and made some new social and professional networking acquaintances at Barcamp Boston. Got to spend (never enough) time with Kat. Saw many other friends at Honk and cuddle parties on Sat and Sun nights. Flew back and straight to work this morning.

I failed to make solid plans with a lot of people who I wanted to see, and aim to rectify that when I visit again next weekend. I fly in on Friday around 7 and am headed straight for NECTR. If you'll be there, I'll definitely see you there, and you should seek me out if you wish to converse or interact in some way. Non-NECTR folks, here's the plan:

Sunday afternoon I return from NECTR. I have no plans Sunday evening, Sunday night, or Monday morning. I may be busy on Monday afternoon. Monday evening I'm having a meeting for a sexy/kinky play space project I'm trying to organize for Firefly next year, which I'd love more input or help with. Monday night I'm free. Tuesday morning I fly back to work in Chicago, again.
So, anyone who wants to see me, get in touch here or directly and let me know. I'm probably going to try to host something social, at the Sanctuary or elsewhere, on Sunday evening or Monday night. Maybe dinner, maybe gaming, maybe cuddle party.
LinkLeave a comment

A month ago I moved from Boston to Chicago. [Sep. 29th, 2014|11:06 am]
[Tags|, , , , ]

I moved because of a job offer. I accidentally applied for a job in Chicago, thinking it was in San Francisco due to some website filtering shenanigans. Fast forward a few days and I get an email asking "are you willing to relocate to Chicago", to which I respond with a cautions affirmative. A few phone interviews and some negotiation later and I discovered I'd be moving on a week's notice.

Read more...Collapse )
If not for all the people I left behind in Boston, including the person I love most, I'd call Chicago the clear winner. After 2.5 years in Boston I had finally managed to establish some long lasting friendships and other relationships. Hopefully those will persist despite the distance, and I can convince people to visit me, and I'll be able to find more good people in Chicago. As with all things, time will tell.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Firefly 2014 [Jul. 12th, 2014|10:56 am]
[Tags|, , , ]

Firefly 2014

The good:

lotsCollapse )

The bad:

someCollapse )

The ugly:

littleCollapse )

The whiny:

littleCollapse )
LinkLeave a comment

My Perfect Girl, redux [Jun. 26th, 2014|11:34 am]
[Tags|, ]

Three years ago I wrote "Day 13, My Perfect Girl". It was part of a writing challenge, and I tried to describe a set of traits that define my perfect match in a partner, intellectually, romantically, sexually, etc. I've changed since then. I've dated and played with more people in more ways and over longer periods of time. I've also gotten to know myself and what I want/need better. That is how I find myself re-writing this post.

Read more...Collapse )
LinkLeave a comment

Who loses when someone bails out? [Jun. 19th, 2014|11:07 am]
[Tags|, ]

When someone commits to buying a ticket to an event from you, or sharing a hotel room, or riding in your car, when other people also want to, and then they bail, do they still owe you the money? If they tell you they aren't coming a month in advance? A week? A day? During the event? Or if they just don't show up?
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Rumors about me? [Apr. 29th, 2014|12:44 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Some of the things I've written lately have prompted people to inform me that there are rumors about me that I did not know about. I would greatly appreciate hearing those rumors. I am allowing anonymous comments on this post.
LinkLeave a comment

Hosting my own events [Apr. 24th, 2014|02:31 pm]
[Tags|]

There are events and venues in my chosen communities that I am not welcome at. The majority of these cases are due to my views on the subject of consent and determinism, and the discomfort of others who have trouble with rational discussion and spotting contradictions in their own beliefs and actions. Would I like this state of affairs to change? Sure. Am I willing to give up on my beliefs, and the actions predicated on them, which I believe to render a net good to my communities and society? Not a chance.
To a much less severe, but more widespread, degree, there are people who simply don't enjoy my company. I have an abrasive personality; I'm somewhat loud; I am not particularly attractive; I am not wealthy to the degree that often engenders companionship. I am on the wrong end of a dozen different trait spectra that lead to fewer people choosing to be around me. Many people will tolerate my company, despite these things, out of some overriding unrelated priority, but that doesn't speak to my value at all.
These are things that have driven me towards hosting more of my own events. By hosting my own movie nights, play parties, educational events, etc, I can ensure that I am mostly, if not only, surrounded by people who actually value my company, or at least actively choose to endure it. People who feel threatened by me can easily opt out of my company. People who do not enjoy engaging in conversation with me can be sure they will not accidentally encounter me.

This post was prompted by, but not even remotely entirely based on, my recently hosting some of my first "adult" events in MA, in close temporal proximity to being explicitly not-invited to a number of similar, vaguely or not, events in other community I'm part of. Please do not read this as directed entirely, or even mostly, at any specific event or venue. While I welcome replies on the topic of specific events, venues, or people, the scope of this post is meant to be more general than that.
LinkLeave a comment

Frolicon 2014 [Apr. 21st, 2014|12:49 pm]
[Tags|, , , ]

A bad Frolicon is still better than a good weekend at home. This was my worst one yet, but I still had fun.

The good: I got to do decorative rope, including a couple of large corsets and my first serious attempt at a rope bra, with a bunch of new people. I got to see a lot of old friends and acquaintances. I learned/tried a few new tricks for improvising a working vacuum cube.

The bad: I had to improvise a working vacuum cube, again. I didn't get to spend more than a few minutes with any of the people that I miss who weren't my roommates at the hotel. Half of my potential "wishlist" play dates fell through, and people took my cards off the wish board without contacting me.

The ugly: 40 hours in the car for 48 hours at con is an entirely unacceptable ratio, especially with just 2-3 drivers. I won't make that drive again with fewer than 3 drivers, or for fewer than 4 days in Atlanta (which is entirely plausible for Frolicon, DragonCon, Alchemy, or Euphoria). I missed Thursday entirely, spent most of Friday tired, and fell asleep early both nights, missing out on a lot of fun and opportunity. Next year we will either extend the trip by a few days, or fly.
LinkLeave a comment

How can I invite people for impromptu board games on short notice, with results? [Apr. 13th, 2014|11:54 am]
[Tags|, ]

I want to invite people over to play board games frequently but irregularly and on short notice. This could extend to movies or dinner plans, but for now it's just board games. I want to invite 10-30 people, so that hopefully 1-5 people show up. I do not have a good way to accomplish this.

I can use a FB Group. I can Post to that Group's Wall. FB will make sure most members of the group never see the post.

I can use a FB Group. I can create an Event in that Group, and Invite people to that Event. FB seems to also filter those invites from some people (which is news to me), and I don't think most of my friends use FB event invites in a real-time manner.

I can post to my own FB Wall. More people will see that than the Group Wall method, but it will also reach up to a thousand people who don't care, and it may be delayed in reaching people.

I can tag people in my FB Wall post. This reaches people more quickly, but is also tedious and manual, and is still visible to a thousand people who don't care.

I can filter that FB Wall post to a list. This solves some of those problems, but not the delay and FB filter shenanigans issues.

I can create an email list. My primary objection to this is that I do not think that most of my friends use email for realtime communication. This particular kind of invitation expires after an hour or three, and that's more quickly than most people check their email, I think.

I can send individual IMs and FB messages. This is, by far, the most *effective* solution, but it also requires the most work (although a third party IM client might be able to fix this) and would lead to more people opting out as the notifications became too frequent.

I can send group IM/SMS/FB messages. This is unacceptable because of the forced-reply-all and opt-out nature of those messaging systems. People seem to almost universally hate these systems.

Help? Feedback? Suggestions?
Link3 comments|Leave a comment

Let's talk about games and rules and cheating. [Apr. 5th, 2014|09:25 pm]
[Tags|, ]

When two players want to engage in a game together, they first have to agree on what kind of game it is going to be. They have to agree on what the rules of the game are, how the game works, what they are going to do independently and with each other during the game, etc. Read more...Collapse )
Link3 comments|Leave a comment

Tennessee Game Days 9, and my trip to Nashville [Mar. 18th, 2014|02:34 pm]
[Tags|, , ]

Tennessee Game Days 9, and my trip to Nashville

The trip:
Read more...Collapse )

The people:
Read more...Collapse )

The convention:
Read more...Collapse )

The games:
Read more...Collapse )

I would repeat any part of this trip except the travel shenanigans, and plan to do so next year at the latest.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Preserving my OKCupid profile for posterity [Mar. 4th, 2014|11:13 am]
[Tags|]

I'm going to start fresh with a mostly-empty profile and see what that does. For posterity and future reference, here's my entirely unsuccessful profile as it's evolved over the last few years:

Read more...Collapse )
LinkLeave a comment

Long shot, getting paid too late for Arisia [Jan. 16th, 2014|12:43 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Short version: I get paid Friday morning. I need to check into the Arisia hotel tonight. Would anyone out there be willing to check my room in for me? I can switch it over to my own card tomorrow for payment when I check out.

Resolved!
LinkLeave a comment

Paypal Alternatives [Dec. 25th, 2013|11:13 pm]
[Tags|]

Every time someone asks me to send them money (or accept money from them) via Paypal I have to explain that I don't use Paypal and that I will happily use any other online money transfer service. The most common responses boil down to "I didn't know there were any alternatives to Paypal" and "Why not?". Read more...Collapse )
LinkLeave a comment

Euphoria 2013 [Jun. 18th, 2013|11:11 am]
[Tags|]

Euphoria, the smaller of the two Georgia burns[1], was this past weekend. In short, I had a great time overall, but because the bar has been set so high by other events this was the least enjoyable burn I've been to.
Read more...Collapse )
Link5 comments|Leave a comment

Intent, actions, reception [Feb. 5th, 2013|07:30 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Trigger warning: rape

There are a lot of legal terms and theories related to the concepts I am going to cover here. I know a few of them, but don't know most of them, and would probably not correctly use the ones I do know, so I'm going to try to stick to plain English with some occasional explanation of my meaning.

It has come up recently in conversations about dealing with sexual assault in my local communities that some people want to strongly prioritize the impact on the victim when deciding how to deal with a person or incident. I am strongly opposed to this plan, and want to thoroughly explain why. I'm going to apologize in advance for sticking to male-aggressor rape; it's arguably more common and keeps my use of pronouns simpler. Everything I say can, of course, be applied in reverse. And I am not going to cover malicious rape here. It happens. A lot. It deserves a lot of discussion and consideration. It doesn't get as much as it deserves. That doesn't mean it's unacceptable for us to discuss OTHER things, and THIS post mostly isn't about that.

First and foremost, I will readily admit that preventing future rapes is higher on my list of priorities than avoiding mental distress for past victims. If given the choice between the two, I will choose the former. I will encourage rape victims to testify against their rapists even when I know it will cause them mental distress, because I have strong interest in that rapist being convicted and removed from society. I am aware that there are people, particularly rape victims and/or trained/professional rape counselors, who do not agree with this prioritization. If you disagree with that choice then we have fundamentally different value systems, and you should not bother replying to any of the things I say below because they are all predicated on those values.

Read more...Collapse )

Now, we come to the goal of preventing future rapes, and my earlier mention of priorities. Our community is going to take some steps to try to accomplish this goal. Those steps will be more effective the less random their basis. If we choose to ostracize everyone whose victim felt raped, we will appease the victims more often, but we will be doing away with some people who are not dangers to our community, and not addressing problems with people who are a danger but who are luckier or better at picking their victims. If, instead, we choose to ostracize people whose ACTIONS are unacceptable, and/or whose intent becomes apparent and unacceptable, then we will have a community in which those actions take place less often, and those intents are held less often. I choose the latter. To the consternation of many, this will require us to actually discuss and decide what those unacceptable actions are, to talk about the unacceptable behavior of others, and to enforce our rules consistently. I am willing to do this. Are you?
Link4 comments|Leave a comment

Why do I write the things that I write? [Jan. 22nd, 2013|03:58 pm]
[Tags|, ]

When I write on a subject at length I've usually got at least a few reasons for doing so. Some of those reasons also dictate that I share the writing, and some of them also lead to my engaging in discussion on the subject of the writing, both in public or with individuals. Often there are one or more potential or apparent goals that are NOT the reason I'm writing something, and I try to make that explicit when I think it is unclear. This particular writing is meant to comprehensively answer the question "Why did you write/publish X if your goal wasn't Z?".

ReasonsCollapse )

I hope that this has helped illustrate my motivation behind writing and posting all of the things that I do. I am, as always, open to feedback on this subject. Things people say to me about this probably won't make me stop writing, but you could conceivably convince me to write or publish less often or publicly, or to word things differently if not deceitfully. I also hope that some of these motivations may inspire others to discuss things more openly and publicly more often, as well.
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

I like you, two [Jan. 2nd, 2013|01:32 pm]
[Tags|]

If I sent you a link to this, that means I like you. I'm bad at interpersonal stuff, especially opening conversations and negotiations when I'm unsure of where exactly we might stand. This is my attempt to evade that hurdle, by putting everything on the table at once. I'm sorry if it seems impersonal, but hopefully you'll reply and we can begin a dialogue on the subject that isn't.

I want to...
do things with youCollapse )

In light of all this, what furthering of our relationship would be comfortable to you, and what might I do to accommodate that? I assign sufficient value to keeping our acquaintance or friendship stable that I would give up the possibility of having more with you to avoid significant risk of alienating you out of my own ignorance.
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Consent on behalf of a third party [Dec. 11th, 2012|04:39 pm]
I'm going to jump right into some real situations that occur with regularity for me. I don't feel my usual need to resort to hypotheticals, because most of the bases are covered by things that have actually happened and will continue to recur. As usual, I will tend to progress upwards in terms of the importance/severity of the situations. If we reach a point where you disagree with my thoughts or actions, you should stop and discuss THAT point with me. There is nothing to be gained by debating my conclusions if you disagree with one of my base premises.

Read more...Collapse )

So, given all of this information, where do you draw the line? Can you, should you, would you accept consent from one person on behalf of another, and if so then for what actions? Are there things about their relationship that would affect your decision, such as if you know they are acquaintances, friends, lovers, married, in a D/s relationship, kinky, sexually open, polyamorous, etc? Would you give that consent, on behalf of someone else? Would you let another person give consent for you? When, and why? Have you already told them that? Does it require more trust for you to accept consent from me for someone else than for you to accept consent from me for me?
LinkLeave a comment

Being creepy and rapey is not black and white [Dec. 10th, 2012|07:14 pm]
[Tags|]

I am not a rapist. I do not believe that I have ever engaged in sexual activity with someone without exercising an above-average degree of caution regarding any implicit consent and I regularly seek explicit and comprehensive consent during negotiation of potential intimate encounters. I have never engaged in sexual or intimate activity with someone who I thought was not consenting. I am aware that our culture has some really fucked up things going on regarding gender roles, rape, sex, and all sorts of other stuff. Unfortunately, trying to bring these topics up will often result in being shouted down by people who think this discussion should not be had as long as intentional rape is still happening. I am not trying to argue with or devalue any discussion of people trying to prevent intentional rape. I am, however, saying that for people who want to not be rapists, there remain just as many concerns in the opposite direction as for people who want not to be raped. As much sympathy as I feel for rape victims, and as much good as conversations about preventing people from intentionally raping other people, those conversations generally do not provide useful information to people who already want to not rape other people. That is who this post is talking about.

I am, however, a creep. A creeper. A creepy guy. I creep some people out. This is unavoidable. The mere act of being out in public, being the not-ideally-attractive person that I am, makes a few people uncomfortable. When my beard is acting out, more so. Looking at women is creepy. Starting conversations with strangers is creepy. Asking personal questions is creepy. Asking intimate questions is creepy. Voicing romantic or intimate intentions is creepy. Asking to touch people is creepy. Touching people without asking is creepy. Not being creepy isn't an option. HOW creepy to be in any given situation is a decision that I have to make, and those decisions work in the exact same fashion as "how rapey is this action" decisions. Being creepy can't be about reaction in the same way that rape can't be about regret. An action is creepy or rapey when it is committed, even if the result is positive. It is with that mindset that I have to decide whether or not to take a particular action, because over a long enough timeline, if I keep doing the same things (asking people out, complimenting people, hugging people, having sex with people, etc), every possible reaction will take place as often as its likelihood dictates.

Read more...Collapse )

So, to summarize, you are Schrodinger's Rape Victim. Every interaction that I ever have with you has the potential to cause you undue distress, to offend you, to insult you, to arouse you, or to cause you irreparable mental harm. The odds of all of those increase as the nature of our interactions tend toward intimacy. The odds of them decrease as we exercise thorough and honest communication. But they are never 100%, and they are never 0%. I have to decide where my risk threshold is, but I won't ever have enough information to make that decision completely effectively. So I write this, and I talk to all of you, and I try to get feedback that will allow me to set that threshold in a place that results in a greater net benefit according to some value system more effective than my own. I hope you will think on this, and in doing so help yourself and help me work towards a culture that is at least a little less rapey.
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Other people's relationship rules; on breaking them. [Nov. 28th, 2012|11:51 am]
[Tags|, , , ]

Like many of my writings about my decision making process, value system, priorities, and thoughts, this one is about planning ahead. I like to make broad categories of decisions in advance so that I don't have to make them on short notice. I have more time right now to think about these things, to collect the views of my friends and peers, to weigh consequences and repercussions, and generally to make a good decision than I will when it comes time to put that decision into action.

You probably think this post is about sex and cheating. You probably think "don't be involved in other people breaking the rules of their relationships" is a pretty straightforward statement, and a good rule to live by. I'd like to disabuse you of that notion. You need to think a lot more broadly about rules that might exist in a relationship, and the myriad factors that might affect your decisions and lead to those rules being broken. It's rarely safe to deal in absolutes, so let me start by thoroughly stepping outside that box. My take on this whole concept is a work in progress, but more often than not my reaction to such situations is going to be "She knows more about her relationship than I do. I'm going to let her make those decisions and she is responsible for the consequences. I may impose honest communication requirements on her as a condition of my participation.".

Read more...Collapse )
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

How to create jobs and fix traffic problems [Nov. 16th, 2012|11:34 am]
Computerized traffic control gets better every year. My parents remember when inductive sensors under the pavement were new. I've seen computer-vision assisted traffic control devices. Eventually cars will have transponders in them, and later humans will stop driving. However, until that happens, traffic still sucks, and there are so many small changes that could make it better. I'm going to present here two ideas, one practical, immediately possible to implement with minimal effort, but unappealing to some people, and the other rather less realistic but nonetheless at least as effective.

Read more...Collapse )
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Geeky Kink Event [Nov. 8th, 2012|08:20 pm]
[Tags|]

I've just returned from the Geeky Kink Event, a small convention in its second year in New Jersey. Delivering exactly what it says on the tin, this event is geeky and kinky. That describes both the programming and attendees, covering the spectrum from geeky to kinky and combinations of the two. The demographics of the attendees skews a bit younger than other geeky and kinky events I attend. The geeks tend to be of the internet media and fandom and video game generations, rather than the dea tree media and fannish and board game generations. The kinksters, likewise, tend to be less old-guard and lifestyle and "trained", more casual and friendly.
Read more...Collapse )
Overall I found the event enjoyable and would recommend it for anyone who can get to the area. I made some connections with the convention staff and may be more involved in various ways next year.
LinkLeave a comment

GMX and GKE, report and otherwise [Nov. 8th, 2012|08:19 pm]
I've just returned from a week and a half mostly away from home, having attended the Geek Media Expo and the Geeky Kink Event, a small convention in its second year in New Jersey. This post is going to be broken up into two parts. First I want to cover some aspects of GKE that I found interesting or notable, in a positive or negative way. Some of those things will be presented as a comparison to Frolicon, a similar event that I attend in the spring in Atlanta. I also want to write about my personal experience through my travel, the two conventions, and the dates I had along the way. I'm going to post those two things separately so that links from the future and comments from people will be more appropriately targeted. The second post will also be friend locked.
LinkLeave a comment

My new favorite word (or party or car) game with no components, Contact [Oct. 7th, 2012|10:47 pm]
[Tags|]

I recently learned of this game at a house party, and then later played it on a car trip for a couple of hours. The basic mechanics are guessing and trivia, with some know-your-opponents aspects as well. It's a decent game for building vocabulary, and stresses verbal creativity. It requires 3 or more players, and I think it plays best with 4-5 (road trip, anyone?). The internet has exposed me to a number of variations already, so I'll start with a description of the most basic game and then describe as many variants or additional rules as I can.

Read more...Collapse )
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Two months on OSX [Sep. 17th, 2012|09:00 pm]
Two months ago I wrote that my employer had given me a MacBook and asked me to use only it for work matters. This posed a bit of a hassle because I have to do work when I am out of the office, and I don't want to carry two laptops with me everywhere, or set up VPNs and passwords and such on two or three different computers. Some friends at work suggested I simply do everything on the work laptop, and I jumped into this idea. Except for dumping some photos to my desktop (a workflow I wasn't up to porting and amount of storage the laptop doesn't have), I have used only OSX 10.7 for the past two months. It has been an interesting and enlightening experience.
Read more...Collapse )
Anyway, what this all boils down to is that I can't keep using OSX exclusively. It's missing too many features that make my computing life easier, and has too many anti-features that slow me down. If I had never discovered Linux, I'd have jumped ship from Windows to OSX years ago, probably on a hackintosh to avoid paying the hardware markup. As it is, I'll be going back to Linux for my daily computing. I MIGHT keep an OSX partition on the laptop so that I can do firmware upgrades, but that's about all.
LinkLeave a comment

Gaming on Linux is... [Sep. 10th, 2012|03:22 pm]
[Tags|]

Gaming on Linux is Read more...Collapse )

Gaming on Linux is Read more...Collapse )

Gaming on Linux is Read more...Collapse )

Gaming on Linux is Read more...Collapse )

Gaming on Linux is Read more...Collapse )

Gaming on Linux is not going away. Five years ago gaming on OSX was a joke and on Linux even more so. Today, anyone releasing for OSX and not for Linux is throwing away a lot of money. If Windows 8 does as badly as some of us expect, that will do nothing but further accelerate Linux' ascension towards being a commonly recognized gaming platform. Ditto if Valve produces a Linux-based Steam console in the next year or two.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

The right place at the right time. [Sep. 5th, 2012|12:16 am]
I am polyamorous and I fool around outside my romantic relationships. This should come as no surprise to most of the people who read my various online writings. I've recently stirred up some debate on the subject of "facebook stalking", particularly in a passive sense. This meshes tightly with my previous writing on the subject of friend zoning and poor decision making skills among serially monogamous people. So I've decided to bring that all together into yet another treatise on the subject of effective dating (and one-night-stand-ing) strategies for a socially awkward, brutally honest, forward-to-a-fault fellow who prefers people he knows over strangers.
Read more...Collapse )
LinkLeave a comment

Why do I tie people up? [Aug. 16th, 2012|03:00 pm]
[Tags|, ]

I get asked this pretty often. Sometimes the person doing the asking is someone I'm already close to, and possibly intimate with, and they are asking as a prelude to play. Sometimes they are a complete stranger who sees me doing rope play in public, or has seen photos of my work online. The answers I give are usually very similar, possibly including more or fewer private details depending on how well I know the person.

Read more...Collapse )
I hope this has shed some light on the subject, and please feel free to ask me, here or in private, if you have any other questions.
LinkLeave a comment

Company laptop [Jul. 18th, 2012|02:46 pm]
My new job has supplied me with a company laptop. They would prefer that I do my work on it, with OSX as the primary OS and other OSes as virtual machines. For a normal 9-5 job, that wouldn't be a big deal. However, my job involves working remotely, traveling, working on-call, etc. This means that if I maintain a personal laptop and a work laptop, I'll have to keep both of them with me rather often, and that's not particularly compatible with my transit / bike lifestyle, among many other reasons I wouldn't want to maintain software / documents / accounts / etc on two separate machines (on top of the desktop and phone I already have).

Most of my coworkers have abandoned their private laptops and just use their work laptop for everything. The alternative for me is to use my private laptop for almost everything, and keep my work laptop sitting on my desk at work for the few times it matters. I'm going to list here all the reasons I can think of for each decision, and spend a little while thinking about it. I'd welcome any feedback.

Read more...Collapse )
Link5 comments|Leave a comment

State of the Sparr, July 17 2012 [Jul. 16th, 2012|09:57 pm]
It's been a while since I let everyone know what's going on in my life. I try to write one of these every 3-6 months so that people who don't read all my social network updates or journal entries, and with whom I don't talk on a regular basis, can easily get some idea of where I'm at, what I'm doing, and what my plans are.

Read more...Collapse )

If there's anything else you want to know about how I'm doing, please ask! I have too many friends that I never get around to chatting with, so take the initiative and get in touch.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Burn People [Jul. 15th, 2012|08:15 pm]
This post is about stereotypical people at a 10 Principles event, such as Burning Man or any of its regional spinoff events.

Read more...Collapse )
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

You chose wrong. [Jul. 13th, 2012|03:56 pm]
You're one of my ostensibly monogamous friends. There's one person in your life right now with whom you share some selection of intimate moments, whether those are romantic, emotional, sexual, or otherwise. You've chosen to give up the search for the right person in favor of being with the person you're with now. You choose not to share those moments or experiences with other people. Now, you might have been in a committed relationship for 40 years, or you might be more serially monogamous. Either way, you probably chose wrong. I'm not using any specific definition of "right person" or "choose wrong" here. Pick pretty much any metric you want, apply any criteria you'd like to your decision making process, from stability to happiness (yours or theirs or both) to convenience, and the odds are exceptionally high against you actually being with the person that is the best fit. That you can't see this is generally related to the human brain being poorly designed for handling emotional drives vs rational decision making.

Read more...Collapse ) I thought my friends and potential partners might benefit from some insight into this part of my head.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaid72fqzNE
Link31 comments|Leave a comment

Ten Principles of Burning Man [Jul. 10th, 2012|03:21 pm]
Burning Man is an outdoor event organized around 10 guiding principles. There are many smaller events inspired by Burning Man, across the country and world, usually referred to as regional burns. Those events follow the same principles. Those principles sometimes overlap, and sometimes conflict with each other or with real world requirements, but they espouse the ideals and virtues that we as organizers and participants try to aspire to.

Read more...Collapse )
Link3 comments|Leave a comment

Firefly vs Alchemy/Euphoria [Jul. 9th, 2012|02:13 pm]
I just spent 5 days camping in the mountains of Vermont with some of the most interesting people I've ever met. Firefly was my third different regional burn, my sixth such event total. I don't quite feel up to writing an event report, but I am very motivated to put down my thoughts on the differences between these events, pros and cons of each, with the goal of illustrating the variety to newcomers and possibly providing some suggestions to the communities and organizations for one or both.

Read more...Collapse )

I hope all of this is helpful for someone out there. It's definitely helped me bring together my thoughts on some of the differences in these events, and I've got good ideas on how I'll be trying to bring some of the better parts of each event to the other in the future.
LinkLeave a comment

Slow motion long distance relationships [Jul. 3rd, 2012|03:01 pm]
I live the sort of life that sees me traveling with some regularity. Read more...Collapse )
If we had sex (or dinner, or dates, or kinky play, or ...) the last few times we met, and you haven't told me otherwise, I am going to expect-as-in-prediction (not expect-as-in-obligation) it to happen again. I am going to talk to you like someone I'm in that sort of relationship with. If you are offended by my mere mention of the matter, I'm going to be confused. If your social or relationship status has changed in a way that my bringing up our relationship (which may be ongoing or done) is a problem, and you haven't told me that, I'm going to be unhappy and confused. That confusion, and one of us having a misguided approach to the situation, is predicated on there being almost no societal background, conventional or otherwise, for this sort of relationship. Thus, I am publishing this writing. I hope to illustrate my feelings on the matter, and I hope to spark discussion among my friends and acquaintances that might better guide me in these situations in the future.
LinkLeave a comment

"Sex" [Jun. 26th, 2012|08:13 pm]
Any act involving two or more people, the goal of which is one or more orgasms.

This definition comes from a partner of mine. It isn't perfect, but it encompasses a lot of activities that commonly get called "sex" but with qualifiers, like oral sex, group sex, cyber sex, etc. Unfortunately, it's also not the definition most people use. In perhaps 75-90% of usage I encounter, "sex" means male-female genital-genital penetrative intercourse. The bulk of the remainder include anal sex and an unspecified number of girl-girl interactions, neither of which are particularly relevant in contexts where I'm participating in the conversation.

That said, what other terms best convey the idea of all sorts of directed erogenous touching (including that one, which is so clinical as to either confuse people or drive them to laughter or rejection or both)? I've heard "sexy times", "sex-y play", "sexual play", "erogenous stimulation". What else is out there? Are there other subsets of sexy times that can be conveyed succinctly?

I ask this not entirely out of academic interest. My personal bedroom proclivities tend toward second and third base. That isn't normal, and is a relatively important factor in a lot of ways, so in the context of a casual conversation leading towards play I am always looking for better ways to get my meaning across unambiguously without sounding too clinical.
Link5 comments|Leave a comment

Expect [Jun. 26th, 2012|07:36 pm]
I expect it to rain tomorrow.
I expect you to repay your debt.

This word is unfortunately overloaded in our language. The two meanings are very distinct in most usages, but sometimes they collide and the result is regretfully ambiguous. More relevant to my interests and life, the word remains overloaded, and more often so, in the specific context of relationships and negotiations. When someone expects something or, more specifically, says they expect something, are they making a prediction, or are they observing an obligation? When you say you don't have expectations, are you failing to anticipate likely outcomes, or are you simply being open minded? If you suggest someone else should not have expectations, do you mean that they don't have enough information on which to base a true hypothesis, or that you do not expect to owe them anything? It is important that when we use words like this that the person hearing or reading them knows what we meant. That is not always the case, a situation I endeavor to avoid when possible. I hope this writing helps others out there see the distinction, and may it improve your negotiations in the future.
LinkLeave a comment

Consent, Redux [Jun. 25th, 2012|04:58 pm]
When you are doing something to or with another person, you need to know if it is something they want. A broad division of approaches to this sort of thing is the matter of whether the default answer is considered to be "Yes" or "No" to questions of acceptable behavior. There are various terms for this, and many different scenarios in which the questions arise. My previous writing on the subject of consent dealt with the broad spectrum of possible types and degrees of consent, as well as some general details on my own proclivities. This one narrows the scope a bit, aiming for the middle ground in between explicit consent and explicit dissent, the gray area surrounding more implicit situations, as well as updating the insight into how this applies to my personal behavior.

Read more...Collapse )
LinkLeave a comment

I like you. [Jun. 19th, 2012|01:01 pm]
Our culture doesn't have a word or concept for "whatever relationship meets both of our needs and desires". We have a dozen different labels for specific types of relationships, but where those terms overlap or don't apply we really have nothing suitable. This problem plagues me on a regular basis, so I'm going to write this all out in a fashion that I can link to people in the future. It might seem impersonal, and it is a little, but I'll accept that to avoid potentially hazardous miscommunication and hopefully lead to figuring these things out more easily or sooner.

If I've linked you directly to this post, I probably like you. How I like you is something we should discuss, but there's an exceptionally good chance that my desires aimed at you are a superset of yours for me, and in that light I'd like to open a dialogue with you. I'd like to know how you feel about me. What furthering of our relationship would be comfortable to you, and what might I do to accommodate that? I assign enough value to keeping our acquaintance or friendship stable that I would give up the possibility of having more with you to avoid risk of alienating you out of my own ignorance.

Read more...Collapse )
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Going away party in Atlanta tonight [Jun. 15th, 2012|10:05 am]
It occurs to me that there are people who follow me here but not on facebook or google plus or fetlife and might not know... I'm having a pot luck dinner from 5-10pm tonight at Hearth Atlanta, then dragging everyone off to the Jungle for a zombies vs superheroes themed club night. I'd love for anyone this reaches to show up!
LinkLeave a comment

Liar [Apr. 1st, 2012|02:58 pm]
[Tags|, ]

It's one of the strongest insults in my vocabulary, but also one of the least precise in common parlance. It means "You have intentionally led me to believe, directly or indirectly, that something untrue is true". This meaning is often lost, or misinterpreted. I often reserve it as an insult for someone who uses their lie for their personal benefit and potential or actual detriment to myself or people I care about, but that selectivity doesn't change the meaning. The word itself conveys much more impact than phrasing the same accusation differently[1].

Read more...Collapse )


If you don't want to talk to me, tell me that you don't want to talk to me, don't tell me your dog is on fire. If you don't want me to talk about a certain subject to you, or with other people, tell me that, don't lie to me in an attempt to convince me that talking about it isn't worthwhile. Lying to me is almost never going to have the desired result, and the more effectively I can convey that the more likely we are to have successful communicative interactions.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Driving carelessly [Mar. 28th, 2012|08:45 am]
[Tags|, , , ]

I recently had occasion to meet a friend of a friend on a road trip. We met at his mountain-top house and he and his wife then drove us about 20 miles down the mountain to a nearby restaurant. Given the choice of four vehicles, the two of which could carry all four of us were a Mini Cooper and a Hummer H3. They chose the H3, probably for reasons of comfort. While there I picked up that they visit this restaurant, and others in the vicinity, often.

Read more...Collapse )
Link3 comments|Leave a comment

How do you integrate your online communications? [Mar. 7th, 2012|12:38 am]
I communicate with a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. For most of the people with whom I communicate most often, I do so in multiple different ways. I have always been disappointed in the lack of integration between different forms of electronic communication. Here I'm going to catalog all of the ways that I communicate with people, and some of the solutions I've come across to combine and integrate them. Hopefully someone can point out some additional ways to improve the situation.

Read more...Collapse )

What solutions are you using?
Link7 comments|Leave a comment

Wherein Sparr completely burns a bridge that was already burnt more than he realized. [Mar. 3rd, 2012|02:30 pm]
[Tags|, , , , ]

Eleven years ago I had a job at Dell Computers. Read more...Collapse )
Link5 comments|Leave a comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]