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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   hating transgender people so much you're willing to excuse Putin's atrocities
Tuesday, April 5 2022
I've been working with some particularly-difficult Azure DevOps pipeline code. The syntax is fussy and poorly-documented, and there isn't much support on places like StackOverflow. Someone this morning pointed me <in the direction of using templates, which seemed like a bit of a breakthrough. But it's hard to muster to cognitive fortitude to just launch into some new way of doing things, particularly in such unforgiving coding environment. So I found myself taking breaks to work on something more exciting and rewarding: getting an ESP8266 to display data from a temperature & humidity probe. I'd given up on using Blynk, as I couldn't find anyone actually describing out to get to the data my code was supposedly generating. Instead, I used a some code I found at that displayed a dynamically-updated graph of data from an analog input. This example only graphed data for one value, and it didn't store anywhere. Without much effort, I was able to hack it to simultaneously display graphs for both temperature and humidity from a AM2301 temperature/humidity sensor (the one from the MySpool device). This required combining code from several different examples and drawing on my years of experience with both Javascript and the Charts.js graphing library.

About a half hour after the end of my workday, Gretchen drove off to Gardner to teach her prison poetry class and I took advantage of what had become a beautiful sunny day by going for a walk by myself up the Farm Road. I usually stay within range of my pirate FM radio station, but today I went beyond it, through the abandoned go-cart tracks and then homeward along the top of the terraces west of the Farm Road. Because I'd lost my FM signal, I switched over to 88.3 MHz, the local Christian radio station that is part of the Redeemer Broadcasting Network. Mostly it plays music, though at around 5:00pm they have a call-in financial advice show (it's like the Dave Ramsey Show, only more Christian and the callers are more stupid and have less money, though most of the advice is identical: pay off your debts smallest-to-largest, and don't use credit card). And then sometimes they have a news segment. This news is very different from mainstream news; the headline can be expected to hype whatever the current culture-war issue happens to be. Right now, the religious right is extremely exercised about the accommodation of transgender people, and everything is seen through that prism. The news segment I heard today was some sort of hybrid of editorial and news from an entity called The World View. I was curious what story they would lead with, since most of the news sources I track are leading with the atrocities discovered in the wake of retreating Russian occupiers in the suburbs of Kyiv. The World View instead chose to lead with the landslide victory of Viktor Orban, the head of Hungary's increasingly-authoritarian government, in Hungary's parliamentary election. You'd never know that Orban was anything but a hero according to The World View, which stressed his support from Donald Trump, his vilification by "the mainstream media," and his work to crack down on the LGBQ and (especially, since it's the culture war issue du jour) transgender communities. We were also told that Hungary has been rated better than its neighbors on the Heritage Foundation's so-called "Freedom Index," which evidently doesn't weigh the freedom to be LGBQT very highly. Bizarrely, the host kept comparing Hungary to Ukraine in ways that made Hungary out to be the much better country, seemingly as a way to discount the horror currently being visited upon Ukraine. And in one particularly long paragraph, the growth of Hungary's GDP was compared to the growth of the GDP of its neighbors, all of which it had bested, as though this was some heavenly reward for Orban's policies. Then, much later in the show when the Russian invasion of Ukraine was touched upon, a brief mention of Biden's condemnation of Russian atrocities in the suburb of Bucha was made, followed quickly by "however, Russia has denied these charges." (The evidence is pretty clear that the Russians littered the streets of Bucha with executed Ukrainian civilians; these appear in satellite photos captured before the Russian withdrawal.) I don't think average Americans are aware of how pervasive apologizing for Putin is on America's far-right. As the atrocities pile up, they have their work cut out for them. One has to really hate transgender people in order to accept so much brutality as a reasonable price for making them pay for whatever it is one doesn't like about them.

Back at the house, I cracked open an imperial stout and continued work on my ESP8266 temperature probe system, integrating code from another project that sends data to a remote server. Not wanting to load in a JSON library, I decided to just send *-delimited data to the backend I would be creating on my RandomSprocket server. I hadn't actually set up a LAMP stack on that machine, though that was easy to do. As I did, the errors from my ESP8266 (where I'd already put code to transmit data to RandomSprocket) gradually changed from "server timeout" to "file not found 404" to "HTTP/1.1 200 OK." Using modified code from my Weathertron repository, I managed to get a backend that was saving temperature data into a MySQL database. When it was all working nicely, I created another Github repository to make the code publicly available.

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