All posts by Kalin

Writer, ActionScript programmer

Finally updated Kalin’s PDF Creation Station WordPress plugin after three years

I’ve been saying I wanted to do this for a long time now, particularly as WordPress had classified my plugin as abandoned after three years of no updates and the TCPDF engine I use has been steadily updated. So today I released a new version of Kalin’s PDF Creation Station, version 3.2. I added a couple little new features, like now you can specify which type of name you want with your post_author shortcodes instead of being stuck with the login name. I also added a couple options to the post_thumb shortcode so you can select a size or set it to try to scrape the post and pull out the first image it finds. I wanted it to be a bit more advanced than that, like being able to specify exact sizes instead of just “small”, “medium” etc, but WordPress doesn’t seem to want to let me do that even though it says it can in the documentation. I also wanted to be able to have an option to randomly select an image scraped from the post instead of just the first image, but that would have taken a lot more work and I figured it wasn’t worth the effort.

Most importantly, though, is the upgrade to the TCPDF engine. I’ve been told this new version is much faster, so hopefully it will be more reliable as well and allow you to create much larger documents, as the old version seemed to conk out if you tried to compile more than 100 or so posts into a single PDF. I was hoping it would have better handling of images and fewer of those weird empty spaces in the final PDF. I think it may do better with the empty spaces, but the image support is still spotty. I’m not sure if that’s the fault of TCPDF or WordPress. It seems like both systems have been steadily updated so I’m not sure why this is still a problem.

I was also working on a plugin called Advanced Post List, which is a fork of Kalin’s Post List, but we both seemed to have burnt out on that one for some reason, even though I made the same two shortcode changes to that plugin that I did to Creation Station so I may wind up updating Kalin’s Post List as well. These plugins did always bring in a lot of traffic to my site, even if the visitors aren’t here to read my stories or opinions, it’s nice to have someone coming here for something.

Apple Hates Me

So the other day one of the Apple fan-boys I know said that he likes Apple products because he doesn’t like “tinkering”. He likes things that “just work.”

It’s funny, however, that sentiment is one of the reasons why I do not use Apple products. It almost seems like Apple fans are living in an alternate reality. The things they say just don’t seem to match with the things I’ve experienced.

Just a day or two after hearing this, I was browsing files on my Mac at work, and needed to move up a directory level. Seemingly a simple procedure. Normally I would do a search for the file I was looking for or  memorize where I was then start from a new window, but I thought of this “it just works” sentiment and figured if the Apple fans were right, there must be a simple way to go up a directory level.

So I searched. I did find a page that claimed it was “easy” and then the page went on to say that you must write your own program, use PhotoShop to design a new button, then install that button, along with the app you wrote into your finder window so that you can have an “up” button.

To me, that sounds distinctly like tinkering. On Windows XP “up” was simply a button that could be clicked any time you want. With Windows 7 it’s even more convenient, with every directory level being its own button, allowing you to jump to whatever level you want instantly.

A couple days later a co-worker asked me how to mute the log-off sound that the macs make when you log off. (I think he was trying to make it so he didn’t attract attention to himself on days he was leaving early.) I told him to just mute the computer, but apparently, no. According to him, even if your computer is muted, it still plays the logoff sound. He mentioned later that he had searched and again, found someone saying it’s “easy” to mute the logoff sound. All you need to do is write out and install this app.

…but to me, installing a special app to be able to mute your computer sounds a lot like tinkering to me.

This reminds me a year ago, at a different job, I asked a co-worker how to get the file address of a file in Finder. He told me, of course, that it was “easy”. All I have to do is open Terminal, drag the file into Terminal, then copy the output. Again, this sounds a whole lot like tinkering. In Windows you always have your address available right there at the top and you can copy and paste any time you want. No special programs required.

I started thinking that maybe Apple fans are not seeing the  whole picture. It’s simpler, for sure, perhaps easier to understand at the very beginning, but easier in the long run, I don’t believe so. They are constantly told it’s easier, but how? What specific examples are there of things that work easier on an Apple? People are constantly claiming they are easier to use, but can never seem to point to any real-world examples. But they are constantly told it’s easier, and that, combined with the slick white interface, makes them feel more at home, so they can convince themselves that things are going smoothly.

Anyway…

I have been electrocuted by Apple desktops several hundred times due to their poor static discharge. This has happened to me with half a dozen different Apple desktops over the years. The one I use currently, thankfully, has only electrocuted me four times in the three years that I’ve been using it, so it seems Apple has mostly fixed this issue.

I bought an iPod once, to discover I had to install a special program (iTunes), only to discover that my iPod would not recognize my music files because I did not have perfect track information implanted on them.

I once plugged an external hard drive into a mac and the first thing it did was wipe all the information, formatting it without my permission. I lost all my personal data backups and had to cancel my plans for the evening so I could go home and copy all my files over again to ensure I had a proper backup.

These, to me, are not examples of things “just working”. I understand why some people prefer macs, because they do have a shorter learning curve if you’re doing basic stuff, but to make blanket statements that they are always better, and call people idiots because they don’t use them, as a huge number of Apple fans tend to do, I think is entirely unfair and does not foster a fair playing field for modern technology.

As someone who spends many hours a day on a mac and many hours a day on a PC, and has done so for almost ten years, I can say with confidence that I personally prefer the PC experience.

Thou Shalt Not Lie

This is a commandment that I actually agree with. I’ve heard atheists argue that this can be a problem because occasionally telling a lie is the right thing to do, such as if you were hiding a Jewish person in your attic in Nazi Germany. This is one of the few cases where I tend to agree with the Christians instead of the atheists. I would make a few exceptions for if you’re lying to a government entity or a selfish corporation, but I believe that it’s never okay to lie or deliberately deceive an individual a person.

However, I find it truly ironic that atheists tend to be the ones who keep saying there should be exceptions to this commandment, then they turn around and follow it nearly perfectly. On the other hand, Christians tend toward the opposite: they believe wholeheartedly in the absoluteness of this commandment, then make up all sorts of excuses to avoid following it.

And sometimes it blows my mind just how common and acceptable lying really is in our society, and it makes me angry, to the point where I wish people would shout about this commandment more often.

Too often we don’t even stop to think about a blatant lie or even consider that it might be morally wrong. For example, in my state, bartenders are legally required to flat-out lie to people’s faces when they ask what time it is, telling them that it’s fifteen minutes later than it really is. Instead of recognizing this as a direct violation of one of the Bible’s commandments, we simply call it “bar time”.

Then we lie to our children, and for the lamest reasons too, such as convenience, or because we think it’s cute. We tell them about Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny as though they’re real, without bothering to care about how that distorts their ability to perceive reality or how it teaches them that lying is acceptable if it makes someone feel good temporarily. Then many adults (admittedly not all) occasionally lie to children simply to mock them and laugh at their gullibility. I remember my first-grade teacher did this on a regular basis.

Recently a friend had a problem with her son’s behavior. The kid had clearly been wrong for what he did, but she was so desperate to find an immediate and absolute solution that she told him that whenever he was bad she would always find out, no matter what, that adults always know when you do things like this and you’ll always get caught. As I heard this, I was watching the kid’s face and could see his complete lack of respect for her bold-faced lie. Kid’s aren’t idiots and they know that they can get away with stuff, because they’ve gotten away with stuff in the past. Saying things like that simply encourages kids to distrust everything their parents say and teaches them how to lie themselves.

Lies, lies, lies. For some reason people only seem to see lying as wrong in our society if it’s happening to them.

Wierd Al vs MC Hammer

This a true story I wrote years ago but I’ve just been hanging onto it, not posting it, because, well, it’s just kind of silly and pointless, but because I just can’t stand it sitting in my drafts folder any longer, i’m just going to go ahead and post the damn thing. Here it is. Wierd Al vs MC Hammer.

I was on vacation with my mom, aunt and cousins in Hawaii, driving around in our rented mini-van when the current number one hit, Can’t Touch This, came on the radio. My cousins all shouted “Turn it up! Turn it up!”.

We grooved to the song and my cousins made some comments about how brilliant and hip MC Hammer was. I was definitely an MC Hammer fan at the time. In fact, MC Hammer was the first CD I ever bought, but I still decided to say “I don’t understand why everyone loves this song so much. I mean, it’s cool but why’s it so special? There’s nothing really different or inventive about it, yet everyone’s going nuts over it.”

“Yeah, this coming from the guy who carries around Wierd Al tapes,” said my cousin Brad, and everyone had a good laugh at my expense. “MC Hammer has something called talent. He’s the future of rap, Dude. Wierd Al just rips off other songs and makes stupid jokes.”

“Well, I think Wierd Al will be around longer than MC Hammer,” I said.

They burst into hysterics. “Dear Lord, Kalin, you have a lot to learn about music.”

Originally I thought this was one of those classic “I told you so” moments, but then I looked up MC Hammer and discovered that he has continued putting out albums every couple years ever since his old “Please Hammer, don’t Hurt Em,” and continues making music today. It still remains to be seen who will be around longer.

“According to members of Nirvana interviewed for Behind the Music, when they saw the video [Smells Like Nirvana], they laughed hysterically. Additionally, Cobain described Yankovic as ‘a musical genius.'” -Wikipedia

ISellPot’s old FAQ page

This is the old FAQ page from my old website called Get To Know a Marijuana Dealer which was my old website where I talked about being a marijuana dealer. I miss that website a bit. There was a lot more interaction there than there is now on Kalinbooks. People responded a lot. They usually sent me messages of support. A few called me a horrible person. A handful of police officers sent me death threats.

Anyway, this was the old FAQ page. It brings back memories 🙂

Q. Are you for real? Do you really sell marijuana, then flaunt it on the internet?

A. Yes, I do sell marijuana. I’m not big-time, but I easily cover what I smoke and maybe make a few extra bucks on the side. I flaunt it on the internet to make the simple point that drug laws are not working. Ultimately I’m hoping to do my small part for legalization.

Q. Can you hook me up with a sack?

A. Sorry. I have to get to know you, first, in person. The reason I can flaunt my dealing like this is because I’m careful about who I sell to. The only way to bust a dealer is to set them up, and it would be quite easy to set someone up through email. My balls aren’t that big. Wish I could help, but sorry.

But if you happen to know anywhere to find a connection over the internet, let me know and I’ll post it, or if you happen to be a dealer yourself, I’ll advertise your wares for free on my homepage or anywhere else on my site you would like.

Q. Someone stole my ______. What should I do?

I get this question alot because unfortunately dealers and potheads are targets for thieves because we are generally peaceful and won’t go to the cops. Unfortunately I can’t offer much help. My method is to merely stay away from people that aren’t ethically solid. It’s very important for everyone in life, not just dealers, to choose their friends based on how ethical they are, so you can avoid these kinds of things before they happen. If you make friends with thieves, it’s your own damn fault.

I don’t think its wrong to kick someone’s ass if he blatantly steals from you, but it’s often not in your best interest and can cause more problems than its worth. Usually your only option is to go around and tell absolutely everyone what happened and do what you can to ruin the thieves reputation.

Q. How much should a sack weigh?

A. People keep asking me this question, but unfortunately, my answer is meaningless unless you live in Bellingham WA. Prices vary dramatically from town to town, and from dealer to dealer. In Bellingham, also, prices rise in late summer, early fall, and drop in the spring and early summer. Street dealers naturally charge more for the same weed than friends do. Obviously the quality of the weed also is a major factor, and the type of weed available can vary dramatically from state to state. Some states have nothing but dirt weed, some have nothing but chronic, and others have a variety.

In my town however, an eighth of decent, seedless, BC bud at 3.5 grams goes for $40. An ounce goes for about $220-$280, and a ten dollar dime bag contains about 4/5’ths of a gram. Crappy mexican bud usually goes for about half this price if not less.

So basically, my answer is, I cannot answer this question. You need to ask around your community. Find out what other dealers weigh their sacks at. You can also read my Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution which has a section on weights and measurements and figuring out how much to sell a sack for.

Q. How fast can I sell such and such a quantity? How much should I charge?

A. How the hell should I know? I don’t know where you live or how much weed goes for in your town or how many friends you have or how often they buy or how much risk you’re taking or how much time you want to spend. All I can give is generalized advice. The specific mathematics of dealing is something you need to figure out for yourself based on your own desires and what you see in your peers.

If you’re not fully confident in your plan I suggest discussing it with another local dealer that knows your situation and has experience, and I suggest sitting down with a calculator and figuring out a solid plan that works mathematically, and then stick to it.

Q. Aren’t you worried about getting busted, announcing your business to the world like this?

A. Yes, at first I was a little concerned, but I’ve been running the site since June of 2000, averaging more than 100 visitors a day, posted an advertisement for it on the local police station door, smoked pot in front of and inside that police station, and I’ve gotten no reaction from them whatsoever. The cops know that marijuana dealers are not a real threat to society. The only reason they bust people for marijuana is for the money. I’m not big-time and they know I wouldn’t introduce them to anyone, so I’m not worth anything to them. I could call the cops and tell them my buddies were coming over to buy a sack and they would probably laugh and tell me they’ve got better things to worry about. I’m not worth the trouble.

Let me ask you, when you came to this site, was your first reaction, “Hey! I’d better call the police and tell them what this guy’s doing.”?

No?

I don’t think anyone else has had that reaction either.

 

Q. Aren’t you just a sellout? Didn’t you turn in one of your friends? How can we listen to you now after what you did?

A. Well. I was a sellout, back in early 1999, but I had a completely different perspective on the justice system back then. I thought cops didn’t lie. I thought the system would come through on all its threats. I thought society actually believed all the propaganda about marijuana, and that I’d be seen as any other criminal.

But I didn’t completely sell out this person. The police promised again and again that he would not be arrested, and in fact they would not have enough evidence to arrest him. I would not have done it if not for that promise. It was true that they didn’t have enough evidence to legally arrest him, but they went out and did it anyway. But in the end, nothing happened to him. He didn’t see a minute of jail or a dollar fine. If you’re interested, you can read the complete story.

So yeah, I did a horrible thing to another dealer. I wouldn’t call him a friend exactly. an acquaintance. He didn’t deserve it by any means, so I don’t blame him for beating the crap out of me for revenge. Many readers still try to make me feel bad about what I did, but I think I’ve already paid the price. We consider ourselves even now. So now I want to use this site to turn my experiences into something positive, that others can learn from.

So for anyone who wants to write me an email telling me I’m a horrible person, I should say, I’ve already heard it. It’s not going to do anyone any good in the long run. It won’t help others to avoid making the same mistake. Anger is a gift. You can use it to punish the past or to fix the future.

Q. Do you know anything about passing drug tests?

A. A little bit. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone to cheat drug tests. I’ve known people who didn’t quit for even a day, then passed by taking large doses of Echinacea with Goldenseal and cranberry, or using a urine additive. I knew another who quit for two weeks and used a system-cleanser with a %200 guarantee and still failed.

I had another friend who states that there is a dietary supplement called Sonne 7 that can be taken in liquid form. You take a shot a day of the stuff and after a month it clears your system and as long as you keep taking a single shot every single day, you can pass all the drug tests you want.

I knew one friend who took a test for a job taking no break from smoking, as he was almost a daily smoker, and didn’t cheat in any way. He came up clean for marijuana, but tested positive for barbiturates, which he had never tried in his life.

So don’t let yourself be screwed over by a drug test. You have a right to cheat the tests, and no one can catch you unless you tell them you’re cheating.

I finally managed to find a good document on drug testing, How to Pass a Drug Test. Keep in mind that I haven’t actually read much of it, and I can’t guarantee it, but it seemed like the author knew what he was talking about. If you use the advice, let me know how things turn out.

If anyone out there can confirm or deny any of the drug test cheating sytems out there or that I’ve mentioned, please contact me.

Q. Do you need a hookup, Kalin? I sell quantity.

A. No. Again, that safety issue. I’m flattered, though. I already have a steady supplier, but thanks. If you’re looking for more customers, I can advertise your wares on my website at no charge.

Q. Do you have a problem finding people to sell to you because of this website and because you were a narc once?

A. It’s an issue, I suppose. It’s not a problem though. I’m open and honest with my dealers and I tell them about my website and that I once narced on an acquaintance. Normally, an intelligent dealer wouldn’t have anything to do with someone who once narced, but because of this website and the fact that I’m honest and trying to show people what a mistake I made, it’s not such a big deal. Once in a while they get a little nervous about my site, thinking the heat might be up on me, but they usually get over it.

Q. Do you have advice for someone searching for pot?

A. My first suggestion is to relax. It’s not that big of a deal if you can’t find weed right now. Something will come along. It always does. Beyond that, you should read my answer to all your problems. Basically, just be yourself, be patient, and just keep asking people. Sometimes the last person you’d think who’d be smoking weed is the one that can hook you up with the killer green. Often times, people that don’t smoke weed at all will know someone that can help.

If you’re nervous about asking people or get the impression that they don’t trust you, start out by mentioning weed a few times or joking about it to show them you’re okay with it and that you’re open minded. Later, you can ask if you can give them five or ten bucks to smoke you a bowl. Still later, you can ask if they know someone who can hook you up.

Read my common courtesy for drug buyers page page, to make sure you know all the little courtesies involved in buying a sack. Failing to follow courtesies is what will get people to stop doing business with you. You should also read my book, Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution to get a feel for how dealers work. It should be very helpful, even if you have no plans of becoming a dealer.

Q. Why do you sell marijuana?

A. To provide a service to the community, To get high, To meet new people, To make extra money, To make a stand for freedom, To earn free weed, To put some excitement back into life, To promote peace, To have fun, To avoid living life as a slave.

Q. Should I start selling marijuana?

A. Why not?

 

Are Our Children Being Pushed into Prison? » The Movement

Are Our Children Being Pushed into Prison? » The Movement.

pushed into prison

 

This is an info graphic that I think shows some pretty interesting trends in our criminal justice system. I think that our criminal justice system is horribly racist… well, let me rephrase that. It’s not so much racist as it is devastatingly prejudiced. It’s not like it’s run by the KKK or anything but it’s run by people who think with their emotions and when they see a black person they just think criminal because it’s been drilled into our society. This prejudism can happen to anyone, regardless of how much they are opposed to racism.

But what I wasn’t aware of was the rates of foster-care kids who enter prison. I’ve never seen these statistics before. My whole life I’ve had a hard time accepting people who make babies of their own when there are so many children living on the streets and in foster homes because I feel like foster kids totally get the shaft in our society and nobody really notices. I once argued with a pro-lifer about this issue and he just rolled his eyes and told me that foster kids turn out just fine.

The problems here are not all the fault of the criminal justice system. There are many other things at play here, but I think these statistics should tell us that dealing with people as though they are people, giving them loving homes, and a supportive community is going to be far more effective at preventing wrongdoing than throwing them in prison.

Laws don’t Protect Consumers

I found this page the other day on Huffington Post about Seattle banning ride share apps. Basically, there are phone applications used to connect riders with drivers and are allowing people to save a lot of money on rides around town. I have never used one of these but have friends who rave about them. Seattle, apparently is a testing ground for these kind things. It seems to be working out well for Car-2-Go as well as the companies listed in the article as well as my friends who use the systems.

rideshareSeattleBut of course, the taxi cab companies already have a foothold in our local political system and have manipulated and pressured the city council into considering a ban on. They claim it’s for public safety, but if you follow the money, it’s clear they are merely trying to protect their income without being forced to re-evaluate their business model for a changing society. Ultimately, consumers are suffering, as we are still being forced to wait 45 minutes for a cab so we can pay $30 to get across town.

It’s just one example out of a myriad of how our government and lawmakers just cause problems for the general population for the benefit of a small minority. Most of the time they sneak these bans in and no one notices. I can’t imagine just how much innovation has been stifled throughout the years by companies who use legislation to stifle their competition instead of working on a fair playing field.

And people try to use examples of how government helps us, claiming consumer protection is so important, but I believe this protection is largely a myth. The government built all our roads for the car companies instead of forcing them to compete with the railroad and bicycle companies on a fair playing field. Now we live in a society where everyone just blindly accepts that cars are the only way to get around, despite how they have forced us to use tax dollars to pave over our wilderness, are destroying our atmosphere and forcing parents and pet owners to keep their loved ones locked inside for fear they will be run over.

I could go on for example after example I think, but I’ll just do one more: almost ten years ago, I tried switching my internet service to a company called Clearwire. When I signed up they promised their internet service was comparable to Comcast, but I soon found that I was unable to watch even YouTube videos and some things wouldn’t connect at all. When I tried to cancel, they charged me over $300 for an early-termination fee, something that was buried in the fine-print of the contract and which the salesman had specifically told me did not exist. I attempted to fight it by cancelling my credit card, but they harassed me until I finally compromised and gave them about $200 to forgive the “debt.” I was rather poor at the time so this was a lot of money for me. People complain so often about Comcast’s customer service, but I tell you it is a world better than Clearwire was.

Now, the other day, nearly ten years after I went through all this frustration, I got a letter in the mail with a check for a little over $14, after a lawsuit settlement against Clearwire on behalf of all the people they did this to.

So even when there are legal successes on the consumer’s behalf, it doesn’t even begin to make up for the problems these selfish and underhanded companies cause for society.

Compare that to my experiences in the unregulated underground marijuana distribution. I mean, I bought marijuana literally several hundred times from dozens of different dealers in quantities ranging from a gram to a pound. Not once was I ever ripped off. Not once did a dealer ever pad a sack with catnip and not once did they ever “just take the money and run”. Not one single time.

So yeah, consumer protection is a joke. The government does far more to protect morally void companies from consumer backlash.

Everything is Awesome!

My girlfriend talked me into seeing the new Lego movie the other night. I wasn’t expecting much, but then she told me it had a 90-something rating on Rotten Tomato so I thought there might be something to it.

Right off the bat this movie starts poking fun at our brainwashed, media-manipulated, totalitarian culture and how oblivious we are to it. Then it goes into a fun little music video before moving on to a psychedelic underground experience that I immediately knew had to be LSD or mushroom inspired. It moves on to demonstrate how psychotic and brutal our police forces are, then there’s an anarchist who saves the day. They travel to an anarchist culture depicted as a beautiful place of peace and freedom without ignoring the inherent difficulties that would be involved in an anarchist culture.

Later in the film there is a blatant reference to LSD… at least it seemed pretty blatant to me, though unfortunately I can’t tell you what it is without giving a spoiler warning. Suffice it to say this movie is intended as a metaphor for an average Joe who drops some acid and suddenly sees the world around him for what it truly is and uses that experience to embrace his creativity and build a better world for himself and the people around him.

So I highly recommend this movie. Probably the best social commentary cartoon movie since Wall-E. The preview doesn’t do it justice.

On Being An Outlaw – YouTube

I don’t know who this chick is, but I must say I’m pretty impressed. I wish I had this kind of speaking ability. She may be following a script but it looks like she’s just coming up with this off the top of her head and beautifully describing my own opinions about anarchism.

I particularly like what she says about the two parties. I get so frustrated with liberals because I want to call myself a liberal since I agree with most of their social ideals like equality and the idea of healthcare for all but they are so hypocritical about the way they go about it, vehemently supporting gay rights while ignoring other sexual and social minorities and attacking the republicans every time they violate the constitution while ignoring it themselves when it doesn’t serve their purpose.

Anway, this Josie The Outlaw makes me think that maybe I should make a few YouTube videos myself. Of course, I would have to read from a script because my brain, as well as it does work, functions slower than Josie’s. I could do my 35 Ways Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace on Earth article, my 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime, and my Life Management Skills (I think I’d want to eat a bunch of shrooms and film that one while I’m out in the woods.) I really think I should try and do this because videos have much more of a chance to go viral than a blog post, but I have little to no experience in video production so it would be a little bit of a learning curve.

Message to Police – YouTube

I‘m not so sure about the constantly changing backdrop in this video, but what she is saying is quite valid. Police officers do not care about right and wrong. They could not do their job if they did. People get all upset when I say that, but it’s a simple fact. If they cared about right and wrong, then there would be the occasional instance of police refusing to enforce a law that they disagree with but as she says, that is extremely rare.

However, there is always hope. Someone can always come back from that kind of inhuman career. We just need to reach out to them. Unfortunately, most of us who understand this have been too terrorized by the police to be emotionally able to do that.