On #deletefacebook

I hate Facebook.

I feel like I have to have started a dozen posts with that sentence by now. I hate Facebook, I’ve always hated Facebook, I resisted having a Facebook page for years after most of my friends were already on the service, and my tenure there was characterized by frequently shutting my account down for a while and occasionally deleting every single thing I’d ever posted to the site. I finally permanently shut my Clark Kent account down … a year ago? Two? Longer? I dunno, it’s gone, and my only presence there now is as Luther. Luther rarely posts anything other than the automatic notifications of new posts, although I do comment occasionally on other people’s stuff.

Here’s the thing: Facebook does allow me to at least nominally keep an eye on some people who I’d have fallen out of touch with otherwise. But the site in the last couple of years has transitioned from Something What I Don’t Like to, like, actually genuinely becoming evil, and it’s getting harder and harder to justify having a presence there. The problem is (and I’ve said this before) that I do get a decent amount of traffic driven my way from there (I am not unaware that many of you are seeing the first couple of paragraphs of my I-still-don’t-like-Facebook post on Facebook), and while it’s not like I make any money from the blog I do like the idea that people look at it every now and again. The other problem, and this is a bit more serious, is that many of the shows that I go to to sell books basically only have a presence on Facebook. They have websites, but the websites are static, and the number of important updates from conventions that I’ve only seen because I was following them on Facebook is quite a bit larger than it should be.

I’m able to justify remaining on the site because I block nearly all of their ads (I saw an unaltered Facebook page not too long ago and was shocked at how much clutter and advertising I’ve been avoiding with my adblocker) and, well, nearly everything the site thinks it knows about me isn’t true. Facebook isn’t making any money off of mining my data. My name, birthday, home city and a bunch of other stuff are all either at best sorta-true (Luther, as a pseudonym, exists, I suppose) or utter lies. I have tagging turned off in photos and most of my privacy settings turned up to 12 so even if someone were to put my picture up somewhere they can’t tag me in it, and if they did, it would be under the wrong name.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish other people would stop using Facebook, and I wish these cons would have more robust websites so that I didn’t have to have a Facebook account to interact with them. If the site shriveled up and died I wouldn’t miss it at all. But I still have one because right now I feel like to a certain extent at least I have to, and the second I no longer think that’s true will be a happy day around here.

Because why not

There are static links all over the place, but it’s been a long time since I actually talked directly about any of my books in the blog itself, so let me take a minute and port this over from Twitter real quick, because some of you may not know:

Okay this is a banners and finance blog now

And video games. Because sometimes I talk about Sekiro. Which I discovered today I’ve put forty hours into since it came out … twelve days ago.

*coughs*

This is why I can’t get anything done.

So anyway. My computer is from 2011, right? It’s not dead yet but I’m looking at replacing it this summer sometime. I created that banner in GIMP, and the first thing I had to do was download the newest version of GIMP because the old one wasn’t compatible with my operating system any longer. The new one is giving my computer hiccups. Then I pulled up the template that I used to create my original Skylights banner and created the new banner.

I then tried to upload it and got barked at because of the resolution of the image– which, remember, they’ve already printed a banner from this exact template. Which, it turns out, was 100 DPI. They wanted 300.

Oh, and also a pull-up banner has slightly different dimensions than the one I originally had made. Oops!

I created a new version of the file at 300 DPI. My computer said “Uh, you know that’s 2.2 GB just for the template, right? And that I’m old?” And then it made some noises I’ve never heard before, and everything took a lot longer than it had on the original images. And I dunno if my images are gonna look right scaled up quite that much, although my cover file was supposed to be 300 DPI itself, it was also for a cover that was only like a foot wide and not three.

And then I dug around some more, and found their template– meaning the one the printer I want to use provides– and it’s 150 DPI.

So my computer will explode if I made the file 300 DPI, my original file was 100 DPI and the image looks fine, and their own templates are 150 DPI.

This will be fine, right?


In accordance with the advice received from many of you yesterday, I will not be cancelling the card. Interestingly, after griping about there not being some sort of simulator online I dug around and discovered that Capital One actually has a “what will this do to my credit?” tool on their website. Their suggestion was that cancelling that card will drop my credit score 5 points, and considering that it’s gone up 21 points in the last six months I can probably afford the hit.

Nonetheless, I’m following instructions.

A banner update and a finance question

This should probably be two posts because the two halves could not possibly be any less related to each other. But whatever. I’ve continued fiddling with the banners I posted yesterday and now I’m looking at this (which I posted to Patreon yesterday!):

Interesting fact: everyone who commented on the blog preferred the banner with the characters, and everyone who commented on Facebook preferred the one with the BA1 cover. This still isn’t final (I need to move the Prostetnic logo up a bit, take the capital letter out of the T in “Trilogies” and maybe change the font on the pull quote) so I’m still open for suggestions if anyone has them.


I paid off a credit card yesterday. Without getting too much more deeply into my business than is strictly necessary, I’ve spent my thirties and the first couple of years of my forties either a) managing or b) putting to bed bad financial decisions I made in my twenties. I have, in other words, more credit card debt than most people. My credit rating is on the high end of average, I think– I don’t miss payments, ever, but I have a lot of open credit and a lot of debt. I would like it to be higher, and I would like for a substantially lower amount of my paycheck to go toward paying off credit cards.

The card I paid off has been paid off before, for the record. The last time I paid it off I didn’t close it, and then I was unemployed for six months and underemployed for two years, so not cancelling it seems, in retrospect, to have been a pretty good decision, because as it turned out the available credit kinda saved me. However, it’s a Bank of America card (one of two I hold, because they bought this card from MBNA) and I kinda hate Bank of America and want to be out from underneath them. It’s *also* my longest continuous line of credit, though– I’ve had this account for over twenty years.

So: is it better for my credit to close the card, thus lowering my overall available credit (which I keep being told is hurting my credit rating) and reducing my dependency on Bank of America, or to hold onto the card with its zero balance, because it’s my longest continuous credit account (which I’m told helps my credit rating) and I can’t predict the future and who knows if I might need it again?

(I’m also not certain how much I need my credit rating to be high right now, for whatever that’s worth. We own our house and aren’t moving anytime soon and I see no reason why I might be applying for anything demanding a credit check any time in the foreseeable future. So maybe I can afford to take a hit right know? Who knows.)

I hate how opaque credit ratings are. There should be a formula I can feed this shit into and get an objective answer and I’m pretty sure even people who know what they’re talking about are gonna be mostly guessing. But if you know more than me, feel free to jump in with advice, because I don’t know shit.

Fuck Mel Hall, Chapter 4: Never Mind, Fuck Everybody

There was another anti-Jackie Walorski flyer, paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party, in my mailbox when I got home this afternoon. Once again, the flyer makes no mention of who the flyer-ers think you should vote for, only that you should not vote for Jackie Walorski.  Now, the last time this happened, I was kind of wondering just how much Hall’s people had had to do with it, since he was never mentioned.  Well, his radio ads are all about “Washington Walorski,” so even in his own stuff for his campaign he can’t avoid using Republican frames.  I’m not going to bother talking about the entire flyer.  Let’s just talk about this part of it:

 

IMG_7695
This is a photoshopped image.  It was photoshopped by an asshole at the behest of another asshole.

The general theme of the ad is that Walorski voted for the tax bill without knowing what was in it, so she’s “voting blindly.”  Get it?  She’s covering her face?  Or at least someone’s manly hands have been photoshopped over her face?  It’s the exact same hand in a different image on the other side, so this isn’t even a good photoshop, and don’t think that I haven’t noticed that it appears to be a man’s hand they used– rumors about Walorski’s sexuality (she’s married, to a man) have been floating around for literally as long as she’s been in office.

And then there’s that fucking gesture again.

Let me be one hundred percent clear:  that image is photoshopped.  It is not real.  Even if it is an actual image of her using that gesture and only the right arm is added on, it’s still a photoshopped image and therefore by definition the entire thing is suspect.  Which means one of two things:

  • That somebody affiliated with the Indiana Democratic Party deliberately decided to use an image of Jackie Walorski making a white power gesture in an ad and then not call attention to it, basically just doing it as a dogwhistle to both white supremacists and antiracist leftists; or
  • That they were unaware of what they were doing.  In September of 2018, just a couple of weeks (how the fucking hell has it only been a couple of weeks??) after Brett Kavanaugh’s asshole assistant caused a rather substantial brouhaha by making the same gesture behind him at his confirmation hearing.

One of these possibilities is disgustingly cynical at best and actively slanderous at worst.  The other possibility is proof of utter fucking incompetence.  And neither of them are fucking okay.  I hate these people.  I hate this fucking election, and I hate the fact that I’ve now had to spend two fucking posts defending Jackie Fucking Walorski, who is also an asshole, but who still doesn’t deserve this shit.

A pox on the lot of these fuckers.