While I was making other plans, part deux

Thanks to everyone who joined my Patreon feed or upped their contributions. I’m still worried, but a little less so now.

Some good news. The post-op pain has stabilized at a level where the occasional Tylenol will handle it nicely. If Dr. Wilson the anesthesiologist is listening, damn! You are good at your job. The timing of the fadeout on the nerve block spared me agony without overdoing intrusive chemicals. This means I will not have to touch the opiates, an outcome for which I am deeply thankful.

The kneepads I ordered yesterday arrived this morning. Big win – crawling doesn’t hurt now, which improves my options. Also helps with dismounting to the floor off a toilet, which is one of those things you will never realize is a big deal until you have to do it.

But the biggest win is the real wheelchair. My mother is connected to a neighborhood non-profit in West Chester that loans out this kind of equipment. When she first went there the only visible option was a service chair, a wheeled chair designed to be moved by a nurse or assistant rather than to enable the user to self-propel, so that’s what she brought back.

It was awful. A service chair doesn’t cope well with rugs or doorsills. The caster-like wheels on the front are perverse; any kind of turning or backing motion inevitably leaves them in a twisted state that make maneuvering nigh-impossible unless the person moving the chair can brute-muscle it around, which Cathy can’t do.

Mom went back and found out about the basement where they keep the good stuff, and now I have a real wheelchair – that is, the kind designed to be driven by the user’s arms. Massive improvement! The lesser part of it is that the big wheels cope better with sills and rugs; the much greater part is that I can move myself around. Having some autonomy back is, for someone with a psychology like mine, as precious as jewels.

Reduces the burden on Cathy, too. Hoicking my 245lbs around in that service chair was barely within the limits of her strength, hard work. I feel better because I can take that load off her now.

Excuse me while I wheel myself out to the kitchen for a ribeye steak from the Outback. And if, dear reader, you fail to comprehend that this, too, is therapy, you are certainly not qualified to take care of the likes o’ me.

Still trying to get my hands on a knee scooter.

EDIT: Tale continued in next post…

Categorized as General


  1. 245? Da-yum. You don’t look like you weigh a lot more than my even 200, for some reason.

    1. >245? Da-yum. You don’t look like you weigh a lot more than my even 200, for some reason.

      I should be 20 pounds lighter, and was working on that successfully. But I made a strategy decision that my diet is suspended while I’m healing, because loading up on protein and micronutrients to support that is more important than weight loss.

      Part of the difference is simple density. I have big bones and carry more striated muscle than most, it’s that brawler package I was genetically equipped with. That’ll put my weight on the high side for my height and build even when I’m not somewhat overweight, which, alas, I am.

      Dunno if I’ve talked about it on the blog, but I was diagnosed with hypothyroidosis last year. I think that may explain my recent overweight – I didn’t tend that way when my endocrine balance was right.

    1. >So the steak could either be “protein therapy” or just “man/fire/food” therapy. Either way, bon appetit.

      Embrace the healing power of “and”.

  2. Also upped my pledge (PayPal; lesser of two evils, I think). UX was terrible, but that’s par for the course w/ payment systems it seems.

    Also, will you be using your laptop more in your current state?

    I ask because I have a few spare X220 accessories (docking station, power brick (AUS type, would need a US adaptor), DisplayPort -> mDP adaptor) that I’m happy to ship to you if they’d be of use. Drop me an email with details if they would.

    1. >Also upped my pledge

      Thanks, I still have serious medical bills staring at me.

      >Also, will you be using your laptop more in your current state.

      Kind thought, but no. Sitting in a wheelchair in the front of my desk (with the three-monitor setup a laptop won’t drive) is my default waking state until I can use both legs again.

  3. ESR:
    You, being a programmer who has worked on NetHack, I felt I needed to bring an Issue to your attention. I’m not sure if you know but there once was and is still a NetHack fork/Gui-front-end called Falcon’s Eye Nethack. It is a fork as it incorporates and edits the NetHack sourcecode; it is a derivative work as it relies and was born from NetHack; and it is a non-separable derivative work as it cannot function or exist apart from the NetHack source code, lore, media, and stats (monster, potion, etc etc) (which are also protected works of authorship: being contrived data and not compiled from the natural (or otherwise) world).

    This derivative, Falcon’s Eye, was written by an upstanding anonymous Japanese gentleman. He has kept to the opensource way and the free-software credo. There is no issue with him or his contributions to our way of life: our mode of existence: our… if you forgive me: church or cathedral. This industrious individual of honour and integrity added isometric style graphics and many wonderful audio tracks: all opensource licensed in accordance with the NetHack copying guidelines.

    Then came another. At some time, it cannot be said when, a non-anonymous western individual from America decided to fork Falcon’s Eye. He created this fork, ported Falcon’s Eye to a new version of NetHack, and added a few images; (not unlike what some pieces of sh*t do to Xonotic and Nexuiz.) This is where the story similarities between this person and myriads of other opensource projects end: The fork-maintainer seemingly took credit for the whole, renamed it Vultures Eye / Claw, and then later: closed the source: deleted the ability to acquire the source code from his websites.

    He has now decided to make a commercial closed source version of NetHack from his fork. Being a derivative work: this violates the nethack license: as well as the principals of opensource. (Note: even if he were to rewrite the entirety of the sourcecode: it would still be a derivative of NetHack: the stats of the monsters, their descriptions, the same for the player characters, and the items, etc, are works of authorship that are protected by copyright. Though the data within compilations of real-world data are not copyrightable: the same is not true for “compilations” of fantasy data: that is a protected work of authorship)

    I would like to ask you: might you consider, with your NetHack friends: to revoke this person’s license? And perhaps register NetHack as a trademark and sue him for both trademark and copyright infringement should he continue on this path: Thus announcing to all comers: “You are either with us, or you are not: if you are not with us you may not use our work for your gain without remuneration back to us.”

    1. Alas, I don’t think you understand how license enforcement works. Yes what the Vulture’s Eye person has done is scummy, but I just read the nethack public license and I don’t see a derivative-works provision, so what he did probably is not actionable.

      Supposing that it were actionable, there’s not anything the nethack devs could do about it short of suing the guy. First, there’s no money for that, and second, he’s probably judgment-proof anyway – losers like this generally don’t have enough assets to be worth seizing.

      1. >I just read the nethack public license and I don’t see a derivative-works provision,

        Did a second read and found it. Yes, he’s in legal violation.

        That said, there’s still nothing to be done about it short of suing him lately. I doubt moral suasion is going to have any effect,given that he was willing to do do this in the first place.

        1. Just a quick note: Even if a license does not mention derivatives: the default is no-derivatives allowed.

          A derivative work nearly always impinges upon the copyright of the original if it is non-separable. (The control of the creation and distribution of derivative works is one of the owner’s exclusive rights (which he can then license, excusivly or non-exclusively, to others, or transfer exclusively to others (for a set time or for the duration of the copyright [but note: after 35 or so years he has a statutory right to rescind even bargained-for licenses and transfers])))

          You could bring awareness to the situation by publicly, with your NetHack fellows, revoking the license (in this case for cause): and putting on notice any distributees of the derivative work that they would be liable for contributory copyright infringement damages. This would stop his closed-source-commercialization plans in their tracks. He has been told that his work is infringing by multiple commenters who analyzed the law (not me, I never talked to him).

          Even a well-publicized notice, without any action, would inform the distributees of the infringing nature of the derivative work. Bruce Perens did this regarding the GrSecurity GPL2 Article 2 section 6 violation and it had an effect. So much so that GRSecurity tried to quash his speech (maybe make any announcement … psudo anonomously with the NetHack team? “Anon NetHack Developers”).

          This guy is both scamming from you and the anon japanese fellow who followed the rules. At the very least it would give the world notice that the NetHack Team is still alive and well, and prompt a licensing discussion and put others on notice that they must follow the license: this is not a public domain dedication.

          1. I don’t want to speak for Eric, but I think he has other concerns at the moment. I hope he’ll forward your information to other members of the NetHack team and worry about getting well!

            1. @Troutwaxer
              Will NetHack bring the Hammer Down?!

              Imagine thinking: “These free software fools, giving their work away for free… ha! We’ll then I’ll use it! I don’t have to pay any heed to their cries… Their ‘license’. Pffft. I am a … how you say.. Chad… and the freesoftwareites virgin INCELs: I will use their labor as my succor: a sacrifice made by them to me for my material success.”

        2. >That said, there’s still nothing to be done about it short of suing him lately.

          Doesn’t at least one of the EFF and the FSF do pro bono license enforcement assistance? (Though certainly you, personally, have bigger fish to fry at the moment, even if the legal team involved was acting pro bono.)

          Beyond that, if the guy is trying to sell his product on a platform like Steam, they would probably remove it if notified by license holders that his product infringes.

          >I would like to ask you: might you consider, with your NetHack friends: to revoke this person’s license?

          There’s no need to revoke: he only has the right to distribute it under the terms of the license, so if he’s in violation of the license, then he automatically infringes on the copyright (but IANAL). That said, if he infringes, then Eric and the other devs can either sue or not sue, and for Eric’s part, if you read this blog post and the one before it, I’m fairly certain that if you press him on the issue, he’ll tell you that he doesn’t have the money for that right now.

          In any case, it’s probably better to contact the current dev team directly through the contact details given on the project site than to contact an individual contributer, who may or may not currently be involved, on his blog. If they decide they want to take action and need help from any other contributers, they can reach out to said contributers.

          Is the guy publishing on Steam or any similar platform? If so, he can probably be delisted there without direct legal action, though that wouldn’t stop him from offering it commercially on his own.

          1. The FSF won’t do diddly without legal standing. That’s why they want you to assign copyright to them for GNU projects and patches.

            1. They could easily help out a claimant as long as the claimant had legal standing to sue: just like any other public-interest firm. They require copyright assignments so that the programmer cannot later rescind the previously granted permission (license): same reason paid positions have the programmer sign over his copyrights. Don’t believe everything PR tells you.

              Fun fact: In some rather important jurisdictions, work-for-hire provisions do not cover computer code: the firm must get a written copyright transfer to own the code. And yes they often do forget to do this; and yes the programmers do “recover” ownership of the code when they go to court.

      1. Indeed. As long as it complies with the license, this is a legitimate business model. I charge $1 for my game on the Play Store, but provide a link to the source in the product description. The game is free to anyone willing to compile it themself.

  4. I would be out on the sidewalk, with my wife using a stopwatch, trying to test the max speed I can get with a wheelchair. But I am only 41 and would be drunk. Because it is not a wise idea. But non-teetotallers like me (yuuge understatement), tend to be foolish about safety. Still it would be fun. Challenging skater kids to a race.

      1. @TheDividualist
        >”… and I would have an unhealthy curiosity whether you can go “drifting” (Japanese racecar style) with it…”

        You do know that those Japanese racecars are often plastered in pedophile cartoons (“Anime”). Is that something, you, as a man, can accept and endorse?

        Anime is a Japanese mechanism for poisoning the minds of “The Enemy” with ideas such as “wanting young girls” and turning them against providing for and protecting the women of “The Enemy”‘s own society. They have not forgotten the bomb. They are working to undermine Christian American consensus. Jesus said, as we see in the King’s english; “Better a millstone”. He wiped away the pro-pedo laws of the Jewish god: and instituted DEATH for pedos in the King James Bible. Japanese are trying to reverse this. They war against white womanhood.

        How can you suggest and support Japanese Drift Racing knowing this?

        1. Good heavens. I hadn’t thought that fanaticism came in that form, much less that I’d run into it here of all places.

          1. >Good heavens. I hadn’t thought that fanaticism came in that form, much less that I’d run into it here of all places.

            “AntiIndividualist” is probably MikeeUSA. He’s right about the law relating to the revocability of licenses, but he has some disturbed and disturbing ideology about women in his head.

            1. I more suspect outright trolling, given the presence of just about every leftist strawman against evangelicals in the book in that post, but, of course, Poe’s law applies: there’s no strawman so extreme that you won’t find at least one person that reifies it, so the diagnosis of trolling is purely speculative.

              1. I’m thinking I’ll spend the next hour writing well reasoned refutations of his every point.

                Or maybe I’ll dunk my head in the cattle trough instead.

            2. He’s right about the law relating to the revocability of licenses,

              You are the only open source expert I know of who takes his Moorish Science Temple-tier legal theory and practice seriously. We have case law (Jacobsen v Katzer and Artifex v Hancom) affirming the opposite of Mikee’s position — that consideration is granted the licensor in an open source license, and that the GPL in particular is enforceable as a contract. Moreover, somehow he didn’t know, or forgot, that you lose all rights granted under an open source license when you violate its terms, putting his claims to be a lawyer under considerable doubt and all but refuting his claim to expertise in this area of IP law.

              Dude’s a straight-up crackpot.

              1. >Dude’s a straight-up crackpot.

                Oh, I’m sure that explains why, when I posted my discussion of Jacobsen on lkml backing up the revokist position, Eben Moglen promised the list a detailed refutation which he…never delivered.

                Because of course I’m a complete crackpot too, not the person who had to learn the statute and case law so I could do a competent job of founding and steering OSI for years. Hackers have a lot of weird superstitions about software licensing. Moglen isn’t helping; his ideological commitment to believing that the GPL is necessarily sound distorts his thinking.

                1. Because of course I’m a complete crackpot too,

                  I didn’t say that. If you indeed made the wrong call here (as I believe you did), I interpret your reasoning far more charitably than I do MikeeUSA’s for reasons which should be bloody obvious. You’re the one trying to make sure the open source community has their ducks in a row — he’s the one trying to smash the whole thing because he’s butthurt that there might be a woman somewhere who’s better at programming than him.

                  Eben Moglen promised the list a detailed refutation which he…never delivered.

                  Might that be because Pamela Chestek did about as good a job as anybody in refuting this notion?

                  Mikee thinks GPL revocability is a thing because the GPL is a “gratuitous license” with “no consideration payed [sic]” to the grantor. Jacobsen holds otherwise, as you yourself assent to in that LKML thread, stating that consideration may be non-monetary, and that the benefits of increased reputation do count. You don’t get to have it both ways. You can’t say “oh, I can collect relief for copyright infringement from this guy, because his violation of the license impaired my ability to boost my reputation, and therefore caused me real economic harm — and yet because no one actually paid me money for my work under the GPL, I received no consideration from my licensees and can revoke the license at any time, na na na na na!” Or as one legal commentator I read put it, “judges frown upon IP holders taking two bites at the apple.”

                  My readings seem to indicate that simply redistributing the software in compliance with the license terms constitutes consideration enough to make revocation difficult. Most open-source licenses are not “gratuitous” but come with stipulations — even the MIT license requires that the grantee put the copyright notice on all distributed copies of the software. So the WTFPL may in fact be gratuitous and therefore revocable — but as soon as you distribute software under the GPL or MIT license, taking care to adhere to their terms, you have done something asked by the grantor of the license in exchange for your right to distribute the software and, therefore, have given the grantor consideration. This is especially the case for the GPL, which has a clause (clause 5) similar to that found in clickwrap licenses, which usually have been upheld by courts as enforceable like contracts — the judge in Artifex held that because Hancom chose not to take the proprietary-license option for distribution of Ghostscript, they therefore accepted the GPL as they would a contract.

                  It will thus — most likely — be very difficult to revoke the license on a piece of MIT-licensed software, and even more so a piece of GPLed software,

                  Of course I make no claim to being a lawyer, and these things aren’t truly settled until they actually make their way through the courts. So I may yet be proven wrong on this. But I strongly believe that any judge is going to take a look at the relevant case law and shoot any would-be MikeeUSA a withering People’s Eyebrow.

                  1. In Artifex the Judge allowed the copyright holder an option:

                    Proceed on violation-of-contract theory to recover damages based on the cost of the proprietary license mentioned in the offer-to-do-business /OR/ proceed on regarding federal copyright damages for violation of the GPL. If the GPL were a contract in-and-of-itself the Judge would have instead required contract damages vis-a-vis the GPL. Because the GPL is simply a copyright license and is not, in-and-of-itself, a contract, the Judge allowed the option of proceeding on federal-copyright grounds (as if the violator did not accept the proprietary license offer and thus only had permissions under the copyright license (a bare license that simply allows the licensee permissions he had not before(default rights are: nothing: all rights reserved))).

                    In Kasner the Artistic License was ruled /not/ to be a contract and to be simply a copyright license; the violator wanted it to be ruled a contract so it could get the tiny or non-existent contract damages that would be available.

                    Neither of these rulings support what you think they support. Kasner is directly oppositional to your belief (but you don’t know the difference between dicta and ruling) in it’s ruling.

        2. He wiped away the pro-pedo laws of the Jewish god

          Imagine being such a dumbass that you make an implied claim of being a Christianoid, yet think the “Jewish god” was a separate entity.

          KJV didn’t institute anything. And the verse you reference with such certainty is rather obviously focusing on “spiritual offense”. Translated for the hard of reading: If you are looking for a millstone candidates pedos would be a decent option. But a far better one would be to go into a random church and talk to the guy behind the pulpit.

      2. As a wheelchair user – I have no doubt you *could* go “drifting” – but for those of us who don’t find wheelchair maintenance a fun or cheap thing, I would not recommend it as an activity. They’re designed to handle a certain amount of sideways loading, but the dynamics are *very* different from that of a car, or even a motorcycle. Consider it more like trying to drift on a 10-speed bike – go a little too far, and you donut the wheel all too easily.

        That being said… someone in pretty good shape, could probably break 10 mph without too much trouble on the level, and 20 mph would not surprise me. A world class wheelchair athlete – and there’s some amazing things on YouTube if you want to research them – might make 25-30 mph. Of course, with a decent slope involved, things can get dicey.

  5. Excuse me while I wheel myself out to the kitchen for a ribeye steak from the Outback.

    Try Texas Roadhouse. JMO.

    1. Great value 23oz beastie from there (porterhouse). I love the place. Been to 3 different venues, all good.

      Definitely superior to Outback.

      1. >Definitely superior to Outback.

        TR’s steak is good but the chain’s fake-Texas ambience irritates me more than Outback’s fake-Aussie.

        1. Pretty much all stylized chain restaurants have the same problem…I just focus on the food ;)

          Not that I eat out much anyway…the markup is criminal and I can prepare vastly superior meals at home.

        2. Yeah, I like me some old timey country and bluegrass but I’m not a fan of the more modern, over-produced shit-kickin’ music. And they play it too loud. But I’m impressed with their steaks and how consistent they are for a chain. We look at the check and wonder, “How TF do they turn a profit here on Long Island?!!.”

  6. Still looking for a knee scooter? We have one my wife used after a recent foot operation, but she doesn’t need it anymore… write me.

    1. >Still looking for a knee scooter? We have one my wife used after a recent foot operation, but she doesn’t need it anymore… write me

      I’ve rented one. But not having to pay a rental fee would be nice, especially since it’s unclear how long I’ll need it. I’ll email you.


    Attention worthless, moron programmers (and sub-Dilbert-level managers.) The very worst, ugliest, user-unfriendly software imaginable is the kind of worthless fucking software that tries to be “helpful!” This should be obvious truth; neither you nor your idiot manager has any idea of my skill level or what I would consider “helpful” even if I was unskilled. So keep your worthless fucking pop-ups, messages, update/upgrades, new add-ons and offers to arrange my files to your fucking selves! Don’t fucking try to anticipate me, and make sure your software gets the fuck out of the fucking way and lets me get my fucking work done!

    grumble grumble Sirius Cybernetics Corporation fucking morons and stuff!


    1. This has historically been one of the major differences between Apple and Microsoft. Apple stuff Just Works and is easy to use, Microsoft stuff is annoyingly “helpful” in the manner you describe. Or at least that was true of Apple software — outside of their OS I haven’t used it much recently, but I hear iTunes is pretty bad.

  8. When did /. become such a left-wing cesspool? The comments about this over there are full of commie pricks gloating over Eric’s misfortune.

    1. It always has been. The change is that it’s not as full of conservatives and libertarians willing to defend him as it used to be. This mirrors the SJW takeover of larger society.

      1. CmdrTaco left Slashdot a long time ago, and ever since then it’s been shit-tier. The conservatives and libertarians know they’re going to lose in an all-out shouting match, especially one the SJWs have trained for, and they don’t consider /. territory worth defending anymore.

        If (gods forbid) ESR died tomorrow, Hackernews would still turn their banner black for him, and that place is full of all-out communists.

    2. >When did /. become such a left-wing cesspool? The comments about this over there are full of commie pricks gloating over Eric’s misfortune.

      While those evil thugs are gloating, my Patreon feed has increased by $278/month in the last three days and I’ve received a bunch of one-time donations as well. $400 a month more would cover my household’s recurring expenses, and 20 more $20 patrons is looking quite possible.

      It’s actually kind of tempting to make my pitch “Donate here to put a finger in the eye of the SJWs”, but I won’t because I think supporting the kind of work I do shouldn’t be a matter of tribal politics. They depend on my software too, if they but knew it.

      1. “…I think supporting the kind of work I do shouldn’t be a matter of tribal politics.”

        Exactly why I sent you a small donation, even though our politics are wildly different.

        1. >I went to try to up my donation, but the system doesn’t seem to want me to do it…

          You’re on my patron list with a last-charge date of 2019-06-01 and a status of “Paid”; everything looks normal here. What problem are you seeing?

            1. >It won’t let me raise the amount at all unless I go to the $20 tier.

              That’s truly odd. I’ve seen people do things like $2-> $5; they show up in my notifications.

              1. I found it. The UI sucks: you have to go to your memberships, then to the page for the person whose contribution you’re looking to change, then click on the amount and edit it – and there’s no indication that that’s where you need to change the amount.

  9. Nerve blocks sound like another advanced tech not quite used here yet (unless it is just a new word for something common like epidural analgesia), but opiates are a big WTF. Why start with the most addictive painkillers? Because they have the least potential side-effects of that kind that patients or their family could sue for, while addictivity is not something to sue for?
    I go this after an operation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamizole no cognitive, psychothropic or addictive effects at all. It’s just normal, minus pain. It is currently banned in the US, and the article suggests a fascinating reason for that: it seems metamizole induced agranulocytosis (a severe side-effect) happens more frequently in populations with British-derived genetics: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19457324

    1. Why start with the most addictive painkillers? Because they have the least potential side-effects of that kind that patients or their family could sue for, while addictivity is not something to sue for?

      You’re still thinking like a filthy socialist European. :) Think American: To a pharmaceutical company, addictivity is a feature because it means people will keep buying your stuff, almost irrespective of price. There is far more profit to be made in addictive drugs than in effective drugs without psychological dependency side effects. The FDA and the pharma-industry are about as concerned about metamizole-induced agranulocytosis as Google is about cellphone users’ battery life when they mandate Android app developers to use their Firebase notification service. Is there a real risk? Who cares? It’s the perfect cover to ban alternatives and keep people hooked on opiates.

      The same holds for food, too. Now you know why American food is mainly HFCS-packed garbage.

    2. Genetic differences in medication side effects/sensitivity are a fascinating thing. Metamizole would maybe take care of a slight headache for me, and even then it might just be the placebo effect.

      Eric, I hope you heal well.

      1. >Eric, I hope you heal well.

        Actually, I heal really well.

        I went in in to have my dressing remade today – something had gone awry inside it and was griping my foot. A mere resident was enough for that, but since I was there anyway Dr. Miller quite properly came for a look-in.

        It was pretty amusing to see the “WTF?” expression on his face when he got a look at the week-old incision site on my foot. Completely healed over, no drainage, the only way to tell there’d been an 5-inch-long entry wound was by the purple stitches. As a friend of mine who’s a GP put it on Saturday, contemplating the place on my scalp where I’d gotten a laceration from that fall two weeks before that required three surgical staples, “Who are you? Wolverine?”

        Good genes. Goes with the factory-installed brawler package. Makes me guardedly optimistic about the cartilage in the joint repairing itself. Dr. Miller hadn’t been planning to even see me until the 25th, but now he wants the stitches out a week ahead of the original schedule.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *