Extended Rambling about Calibre and FanFicFare

Couldn't figure out a synonym for post that started with F, sorry.

I started with FanfictionDownloader, too, which made nicer HTML files, IMO, but FFF is so much more powerful.

If having separate directories is the issue, please be aware that Calibre will let you make as many separate Library directories as you want. I have Food/Gardening, (other) Nonfiction, (commercial) Fiction, Fanfiction (that I've read and liked), (unread fanfic) To Sort In Progress, To Sort Long, To Sort Short, To Sort Series, and a fileless Physical Fiction Library. I have yet to find a limit on how many libraries I can have.

Also, Calibre will make lots of custom columns for useful sorting, and has the option of custom coloring the text based on your filter criteria. A lot of what you have on your database is the kind of thing I've been trying to figure the best way to share, though it looks like we don't have any overlapping fandoms.

Calibre's catalog function will create the spreadsheets. I've looked into shared Calibre libraries (looks like you can't make it read-only and public, though, which defeats my purpose) and so far, the best option I've found is a dynamic table:

Of course, I haven't done it yet, because I've been too distracted trying to make a dent in my oversized To Sort libraries. You want to try collaborating on this? I've been making do with marking my favorites on FFN and AO3 instead.

Oh, and since AO3 is out of control with the tags, I've completely abandoned the tagging function on my Calibre libraries. It's too much to try to clean up, so I just pretend they aren't there. On the other hand, it sounds like tagging will do exactly what you want, so you'll want to ride herd on the tags you download with the stories.

I found it a lot easier to just download most of the stories again, even though I had a lot of them downloaded with FFDL before. Obviously the deleted ones won't work that way, but manually entering the metadata is annoyingly time-consuming.

You'll want to avoid downloading too many at a time, to avoid getting server-banned. Usually 5-10 is okay, but it can vary.

YahooGroups Shutdown

In hopes this will be helpful, I've made a list of alternatives for YahooGroups. I'm making a new post instead of a comment so as to TRY to reduce the overload on [personal profile] morgandawn

Only viable option for transfer, but Adult Content not permitted.
Easy import of YahooGroups, but requires Premium Membership for one year $110 $220. https://groups.io/static/pricing
For some reason, they require login to view the process, so I'm pasting it here:

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Has email list servers and archives, but archives appear to be publicly readable instead of password locked to members. Adult content/fan friendly. Dated look, but also hosts pages and files. Probably the closest match to replacing YahooGroups.

Adult content/fan friendly. It allows explicit material, is free, has threaded conversations, privacy locks and more. Image uploading is limited to 500MB free accounts and 1.5GB paid accounts. Can be set to email comments on your post and replies to your comments, but not primarily an email server.

Google Groups
Adult Content not permitted.
May be impossible to transfer. If possible, it's way complicated for those of us who don't write computer code for a living.

Does not appear to have a way to import Yahoo Groups. Unknown position on adult material.
Looks like it has the necessary features, including a free level that handles most of what fan-based groups would need. Includes a mobile app. Geared toward businesses and techies, though. Not a lot of info on what I was trying to find out on their site, and the "ask" link wants name, title, company, email, and phone for someone to contact you back later.

Does not appear to have a way to import Yahoo Groups. Unknown position on adult material.
Not sure which came first, but it looks a lot like Mobilize.io. Free plan only allows access to the most recent 10,000 messages, though.

Wordpress Plugin
Requires your own hosted Wordpress installation, not WordPress.com.
Moderation, archiving messages, and importing members requires premium version, but unhappy reviewer says it's clunky at best. No mention of whether import includes messages and files, but given the member import apparently is limited to batches of 10, I'd say probably not.

Does not appear to have a way to import YahooGroups. Unknown position on adult material.
Appears to be all of Yahoogroups functionality plus some, but Free is limited to only 50 members.

Does not appear to have a way to import YahooGroups. Unknown position on adult material.
The sheer number of apps available is daunting, but Cliq appears to be their closest match to YahooGroups.
They also have something called Connect, but the free plan is limited to 25 members.

Does not appear to have a way to import YahooGroups. Unknown position on adult material.
Doesn't seem to do email at all - instead focused on message boards, chat, online task lists, calendar/scheduling. Does have file storage. The free version is limited to 20 members.

Wikipedia has a list of some mailing list software, which will require hosting/servers and technical know-how:

Filehosting and sharing is another whole book's worth of discussion, but if the group itself can't move to a provider that offers all the same pieces that YahooGroups had, it is possible to split the services up to separate providers, if necessary.

Jeans! Ponytail! Long Hair!

I'm still amused by the reactions at work this weekend; hard to say whether I got more comment for my clothes or my hair (who'd have thought jeans and a ponytail were so dramatic?;) Tested my new fancypants stud finder tonight, too - the good news is that the metal scan seems to work through the tile (which is why I bought it). The bad news is, it looks like the studs in the main bathroom are spaced exactly WRONG for the showerbar I want to put up. Seems I can put one end into a stud, but the other end is going to be in basic drywall-and-tile. Of course, first I have to work up the nerve to use those new drillbits; I've never drilled through tile before. Still have to check the master bath; the walls are more even, so maybe I'll have better luck in there.

Had to protest the schedule change to keep Saturday night for anime, too. (local friends welcome!) I do so love working with the kind of people who will just abandon their jobs instead of putting in notice, or at the very least, calling to say they aren't coming back. Sigh. On the bright side, maybe the sudden void will help a little with the hours situation for a few folks.

On another note, it seems LJ is trying to force me to choose between LJ and FB. Citing security, it keeps deactivating my connection to FB. Given what I'm seeing here, security is an issue, but there really isn't anything on my LJ that I'm afraid to have on FB, so it reads like a "me or him" ultimatum. Since more of my friends use FB than LJ, I think that's a bad idea for LJ. I wish I could have convinced them to use LJ; at this point, their primary reason for choosing FB - privacy - is better at LJ. Some of my FB friends can't even come over to LJ to read my posts, so I may have to just switch to C&P anyway.

Also, am amused by these:

What in the world is he ironing? Curtains? A tablecloth?

This wouldn't work for me. With my luck, I'd get "William h start turn-is-over width sing."

One day at a time

I didn't get much accomplished yesterday. Spent most of the day on FB, then got ready for the free dance class at UAH that a friend told me about, only to find that my sneakers weren't just coming apart - the side of my foot was sticking out. Since shopping is not one of my favorite things, I do tend to leave things until I absolutely can't avoid it :/

So, I made a run to New Balance first; made it to the class only about five minutes before it was supposed to start. It went okay, though I'm not very good at it. My friend is a lot easier to follow than the instructor, actually. A couple of the guys I got partnered with kept telling me to look up, since the instructor had said we were supposed to keep eye contact as much as possible, but I couldn't. Until I feel confident that I know what I'm doing, I'm going to have trouble keeping eye contact with anybody. It's part of that insecurity thing.

Afterwards, I went over to my parents' house to give my brother the rest of the guitar stuff I found in my purse last week. Ended up staying to watch whatever episode of NCIS they were on, then having a nice long talk, the way we usually do.

Today, I had lots of stuff I intended to do: hang my living room pictures, pull staples and tackboards in the last bedroom, wrap the frayed wire in the attic, clean some of the stuff out of the family room to put into the attic, do laundry, vacuum the living room rug, wash dishes, etc. What I actually did: I was checking FB for messages (still trying to get in touch with my late friend's BF) when I got a call from friends I hadn't seen in a while. Met for lunch, stayed and talked for a long time (tipped extra since the poor guy couldn't clear the table until we left). They had an appointment, so they arranged to come over after. I went home and spent an hour beheading all the dandelions I could find in the front yard, at least until I was so tired I could hardly stand the heat anymore. (If ever there was a time I wish the neighbors had munchkins I could borrow: yes, dearie, go pick all the dandelions you can find! Yes, they're very pretty. Look, there are some more! Go get 'em, kiddo!)

Ended up having a nice long chat (must have all my friends over more - must get house straightened up a little), but didn't do much. After they headed back home, I climbed up into the attic to wrap that wire at least. Had trouble getting the attic door to come down - will have to replace that blasted wire/twisted-hanger with something that is gentler on my hands when I pull. Then I had to get a step-stool out to be able to reach the attic stairs in order to unfold them. This is not great. The attic is kind of a mess, with wires running all over the place (and they only bothered to insulate the part that's over the house itself, not the part that's over the carport-turned-garage). So, pink fiberglass strewn everywhere, with wires coming and going almost at random. There is also a TV antenna mounted just under the peak of the ceiling up there. I found the wire dad had been talking about and used the electrical tape he'd given me to wrap it. That was a little harder than I'd expected, mostly because trying to hold the flashlight and wrap the wire at the same time was really complicated. The worst part, though, was when I climbed down and couldn't get the door to close. I don't know if it just needs oil, or if there's a latch I'm just not seeing, but it's tremendously frustrating. I hope I don't run into it tomorrow when I leave for work.

I ended up sticking the stuff from the family room in the garage instead. The attic needs some work before I'll feel comfortable storing anything up there.
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Yesterday was the worst day ever

Lost a friend and not taking it well. Mom's taking off work to be with me today.

It was a rough day at work, with two coworkers out and one over an hour late. Lots of minor issues, so when one coworker called late at night to tell me she had bad news, I was thinking something work-related. Something like the end of our major project, or cutbacks or something. When she told me there was an accident and our friend didn't make it, I couldn't parse the words. It didn't really register. This was a gut-punch.
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Of Work, Education, Intelligence, and Dreams

To those who don't know me very well, this may sound like bragging. It's not. This is me being introspective about my reality. It's also very long, which is pretty typical of me.


Sounded interesting - a full scholarship to University of Phoenix for retail employees. Work had a notice for managers to make sure that all employees were aware of this opportunity (though unless they bring it up at the meeting this coming Saturday, pretty much nobody knows - communication is a huge issue in this company) and I decided to check it out.

I've occasionally considered the possibility: another degree, to get me somewhere more useful than I've managed so far, to get the credentials to be acknowledged when I write about things I've observed, as though the ability to recognize patterns in the world and follow scientific logic requires certification from an accredited agency. (I have a sort of cynical amusement at this notion, since I noticed long ago that the problem with standardized intelligence testing is that it is limited by the intelligence of the test creators.) Psychology, perhaps, or an MBA? Maybe even something in web technology.
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I was having a pretty good day

until I logged onto my computer this evening. It's wet and cold outside (has been for days) but I'm usually pretty philosophical about that. I put on more layers (and lately, a knit hat) and settle in to do whatever I was already going to do.

I was not happy with what I found tonight. First, I kept getting incorrect password notices in Thunderbird when I tried to download my email. When I realized it was my main email address, I pulled up a browser and logged in that way. Apparently someone in Russia has been trying to use my gmail. I had to change my password and go through the options for tighter security in gmail, which took a while.

I'm getting really annoyed with these ID thieves. In the last year, I've had my Facebook locked out twice, because someone in MS (or LA?) and NJ (I think I'm remembering the right states) tried to log into my FB with a mobile device. What's even more annoying is that when I changed the FB password last, I forgot that I would need to change it on LJ, too, so that I can crosspost properly. For those of you who follow me on FB and not LJ, this is also notice of the post yesterday. Anyway, I've set up the two-step login for gmail, irritating as that is, because apparently I need the added security.

When I did finally get my email, I had a notice that the coffeetable order was cancelled because they had trouble with my card. Now, I didn't want to give them my linked-to-my-checking-account debit card, because I've never used this site before, so I went and got one of those prepaid debit cards at the grocery store. They told me I'd need to call or go to the website to activate the card, but the lady on the phone said it was activated when I bought it. I'd called because when I tried to activate on the website, they wanted everything: Name, address, phone, birthdate and SSN. To fight money laundering, they say. To send a permanent reloadable debit card. I say, you don't need all that, and I don't want a permanent card from you. Unfortunately, it looks like opting out of that may be the cause of my troubles with the order. I'll call the ordering company tomorrow and see what I can do, but my predictable time off ends this week - sending the table next week means I may not be home when the delivery comes. Then there's the question of how to deal with the prepaid card if they can't accept it anyway. Arrgh.

I also had to answer direct emails asking questions that were already answered on the group site. It never ceases to amaze me how people can fail to comprehend plain English.

(LJ also sent me an email about an unfamiliar IP login, but it was just my new IP at my house)

I Has a Couch!

and a coffeetable on order, expected later this week. Of course the first thing I do after getting things settled is sit down on the couch with laptop and cola, then spill cola all over everything! Only a little on the couch - wiped up all right - and I wasn't terribly concerned about the carpet - it's already got stains I haven't been able to get out - but the laptop worried me. I tipped it over (spilling the cola from the laptop to the carpet) and propped it face-down to encourage any drips to fall out rather than in. So far, it seems okay, and the couch has good cushions and good lines, so it should be relatively easy to reupholster when I'm ready to do all that work to make my living room furniture match. I'll be looking for slipcovers in the interim.

In other news, I hit my one-year anniversary at work last month, which automatically conferred on me the one week's worth of vacation that full-time employees are given. What's weirder to me is that it's annual by calendar, not by personal anniversary, so they told me it had to be used by February 1, because I get another week's vacation after that, for use between this February and next. As a result, I'm off the rest of this week. (At least officially. They asked me today if I might come in this week if they called? I said maybe, because I'd already started making plans.)

The vacation is handy. Work is finally starting to settle down from the holiday-season-in-retail chaos, though I just signed up to take a temporary (six month) promotion which will probably have me pretty busy. The idea, though, is to make use of this time for house stuff and Meetups. It was going to be better-job-hunting/business-starting, but since I just accepted a six-month responsibility, that's kind of on the back burner. Still want to get business going, but it'll have to be in the spaces between.

The washer has developed an intermittent leak, or it could be the connection, because there are stains on the floor from before I bought the house. The garage door spring broke about a month ago; dad and brother came and replaced it for me. It was a bit of a shock, being unable to get my car out of the garage because it would only open about three inches. I had to ask my brother to take me to work that day (late, of course), then dad and brother helped get the door open long enough to get the car out. I've gotten spoiled, being able to get in the car without worrying about rain and such, but I certainly preferred parking in the driveway over being unable to leave.

Yukihito is well and truly gone. I've seen neither hide nor hair of him, other than tufts of fur left behind on his favorite chair from before. I'm annoyed, and I miss him, but there are limits to how much running around I can do. He was an outdoor stray for nearly a year before I took him in; I can only hope he found accommodations more to his liking. I do want to get other cats, but I have a lot of balls in the air right now, and I'm inclined to wait until I can resolve some of them.

I have stopped fostering cats. The three I had intended to adopt were too high-energy for indoors, no matter what the others say, and the kittens ruined the floor in the spare bedroom. I'd expected them to ruin the carpet, but not to soak through the carpet and padding to destroy the hardwood flooring underneath. I was quite annoyed. I can't really fix the flooring, and I'm not sure what a potential roommate would think.

On the other hand, I've also been wanting to grow a number of tropical plants (edible ones), and since I can't really afford to build a complete greenhouse just yet, I'm thinking of turning that bedroom with the ruined floor into a sort of greenhouse. (leaving me one room to get a roommate, still) I'll need grow lights, since the windows won't let in enough light by themselves, but climate control will already be settled, since the plants like temperatures in the same range I find comfortable.

I'm also intending to try to raise rabbits for meat and fur, but that'll be in the garage or out back, not inside the house, and there are so many other issues to tackle first!

The folding dining room style chairs I saw at Costco are gone, so I'll have to figure out something else for family room seating. It's not really laid out for permanent seating, but the camp chairs aren't really all that comfortable long-term, so the folding wooden ones seemed the best choice. I'll have to see what I can find.

I have also discovered that part of my foot pain may be from the fact that my formerly-ridiculously-high arches have fallen to be really low arches; apparently, walking on tiptoe develops high arches, and since I always used to walk around the house barefoot and on tiptoe, well. So I've been making a point of walking tiptoe when I can. Mom also gave me a can of tennis balls to use as foot rollers, and I've also noticed a significant difference in the level of pain based on whether I've gotten a full eight hours of sleep at night - not something I usually do, but apparently I need to.

And now, I'm really tired, so I'm going to call this good for now.

The Last Nine Months, Cliffs Notes Version

I got the job at the bookstore, which was hectic, because hello Christmas season, which was also the reason the temp agency had shindigs for which I could serve (and yes, at way better hourly rates than anything else). At the same time, I was trying to keep my languages Meetup group going. Around June, was promoted to specialist, which is nominally full time and includes benefits (yay, eye doctors). My chronic foot pain is also getting worse. Shoe salesman at New Balance, after cautioning he's not a doctor, said it sounded like plantar fascitis; from what I found via Google, it matches description. Not sure if podiatrist is included in insurance, but based on experience and internet research, best treatment is not being on my feet all the time. Not going to work with this job. Also have developed lower back pain (probably from slouching in my computer chair at home) and strained my wrist (carrying too many heavy books at once). Have been wearing wrist brace for support, which helps, but while I've forgotten I'm wearing it, it sparks a lot of comment.

Job schedule is chaos theory in practice. No two weeks are the same, though since promotion I can be reasonably sure that New Releases Day and Truck Day will be the same each week. Two days out of seven that I can predict, usually Tuesday and Wednesday. Better than the non-specialist employees get, even the managers. Oh, and the schedule is only posted a week at a time, usually on Thursday or Friday, so I never know my Sunday schedule more than three days in advance.
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Jobs & Blogs

I had an interview today at a bookstore. It went well (actually, it felt more like socializing than interviewing - was it just her, or have I just been doing really badly all these years?) and whenever the background check comes through (the webform to fill out for that was also easier than I was expecting, but then, a bookstore BG Check != US Clearance App, so maybe I'm being silly) then I should get a call for an interview with the GM. I'd put in for management or sales clerk, and the manager told me they don't actually have any openings for management right now - corporate just likes to keep those posted on the job site. Apparently they promote from within, for the most part. Works for me. I have plenty of experience in customer service and add-on sales, and it's a bookstore...! Why haven't I tried this before? Oh, I know - because before I wouldn't have had the will to avoid buying out the place every time I set foot in the doors :P See, extended underemployment has taught me something!

So, when I finally got my email up - for some reason I had to reboot everything from the modem to the computer - I had some other messages next to the background check link. It seems one of the applications I emailed a while back has finally garnered response - three responses, from three different email addresses, two of them within an hour of each other, telling me to log into three different websites and provide information. Evidently, scammers don't keep track of how many times they email each mark. Interestingly, the first one specifies that I log in with Facebook.

Yyyyyyeahhhhh. So here's the question: do I go after their whois and complain? They're probably using a domain privacy service, which would likely cancel them for this, and once before I complained to a host/registrar about a fake job email (which was completely out of the blue, that time) and they emailed back to tell me that apparently it had been set up on a stolen card, so it was shut down now. Most of the Craigslist posts these days are fake jobs, which is seriously frustrating, but since the majority of these spammers are re-routing hopefuls to their affiliate links rather than trying to get their personal data, there's no easy/obvious way to stop them. I hate to say it, but maybe Craigslist needs to implement a posting fee on the jobs section here, like they did with the big cities.

Also, speaking of FB, what a nag it's turning out to be. It used to be that occasionally I'd get a message that someone sent me a private message, or a "hey, you haven't logged on in a while, we miss you!" Lately it's more like every few days: "Chrystalline, you have notifications pending." It's annoying, but I don't want to turn off notifications altogether. JournalFen has a more effective approach. They send me notices when I get comments, so when the spammers hit my journal, I have to log in to delete them. LJ lets me screen all anonymous and suspicious comments, which means I can leave it for a while, and on FB, the spam is almost always from my friends, trying to get me to play a game. (Look, you're my friends and family, and I love you, but quit it with the games, will you? The only apps I have on FB are the ones I a. can't remove, b. use for job-hunting, or c. use for political stuff. I'm not into webgames, sorry to disappoint.) Anyway, yeah, FB is turning into that kid that pesters you for attention every five minutes: "Hey, look at me. Didja know I could do this? Hey, I'm over here. Hey, hey, didja see this? Hey!" :: whap! :: Shut up, Navi.

You know, I don't really understand spammers. First of all, the majority of blog platforms have implemented NoFollow into their comment link display, assuming you get past the screening and spam filtering, so spamming a blog with links gets you ZERO search engine boost. Second, they seem to go after older, less-traveled blogs, which means there are fewer people to see it. You put time into posting stuff here and there, and all you manage to do is annoy the one or two people who maintain each blog - why do it? Makes no sense.

Oh and BTW, for some reason I've been having trouble getting my WP blog to restore properly, so I've switched hosts to try again. I'm not intending to go back to WP, just copy/paste over here (since LJ seems to be where everyone prefers to comment anyway) but I'd rather have it formatted properly via WP than have to manually go through the entire SQL file and reformat it. For some reason, it says it's imported the SQL and the main page looks fine, but when I click on any of the links, I get a 404 Page Not Found. Grrrr. Might be a while.