November, 2003: 46 posts.

Super-brief and incomplete

Leah and I went to the opening of “The Grove” in South Park, a bookstore and more next to M-Theory — we got there late, but it was kinda neat. The music playing was nice though. Yesterday was racquetball and chilling out mostly, after a hard week. I worked late Halloween, so missed out on festivities for the most part.

I don’t mind working holidays, really; but I like to know in advance.

So that irritated me.

Going to breakfast with a buddy now.

Oh, and added a new header today.

Have a great day!


That was a full weekend.

Other Recent Linkers

Chicken Blog, Pierre Carion, Andrew Phelps also linked to my various web/fire/sandiego/blog stuff.

Tori Amos: New Record; Looking Stylish and Good

I’ve been a Tori Amos fan since her first record, 1992’s Little Earthquakes. Since then I’ve seen her live several times. Her latest record comes out in a few weeks, and it’s called Tales of a Librarian. It’s kind of a greatest hits type thing.

And she looks great. I really like that 1930s gangster moll look (I think I’m reading the style correctly there):

I love this kind of feedback

About my The iTunes Music Library file cannot be read because it does not appear to be a valid library file

You saved my eight hours of mp3’s with this fix for the itunes library files not found error message. i dont even know what I did. I just followed your directions. thank you thank you thank you.
You new best friend Tamara

You’re welcome Tamara!

Gross Things To Clean Up

I have no problem with:

  1. Cleaning up a dead, bloody mouse
  2. Cleaning up vomit

But I find

  1. Washing drinking glasses by hand

Really too gross to deal with.

Letters, we get letters

About washing glasses with your hands, Sassy writes:

Don’t ever wash drinking glasses with your hand. Beth was washing one and it shattered, slashing her hand open from her finger-web to the back of her knuckle. Severed tendon, 10 stitches and over 3 months before she had full use again.

When I worked in a restaurant one of the dishwashers broke a coffeepot while washing it with his hands. He had to go to the ER. He slashed the entire back of his hand from knuckle to wrist.

Get a sponge on a wand. They cost 99 cents.

Excellent justification for my dish-o-phobia! Thanks Sass!

And sheesh, I’m getting lots of positive feedback on Lab items.

About Changing the color of a form element when it’s blank (aka Pink Validation), a C.F. writes:

Thanks for the pinkvalidation example. It was just what I was looking for. I automatically generate forms with lots of default values in them, and I wanted to give visual feedback to the user of which fields have been changed before submitting the form

To which I reply, wonderful! Glad it was helpful!

Lyric of the Day

by Ben Folds : “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You”

make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
but there’s always someone cooler than you
yeah, you’re the shit
but you won’t be it for long
oh, there’s always someone cooler than you
yeah, there’s always someone cooler than you
oh, there’s always someone cooler than

life is wonderful
life is beautiful
we’re all children of
one big universe
so you don’t have to be
a chump


Driving to work

So I won “employee of the month” for November at my job (thanks to all the people who make me look good, and thanks to a nomination by someone who cut and pasted a Girl Scout pledge to describe me.

The upshot is that I won a parking pass for the month, which would otherwise be a hefty $120.

It’s cramped in the parking garage, but it’s an honor to be… honored.

Pamela Jaeger needs a website

Jaeger is an artist who caught Leah’s and my eye a few months ago. She got a cover on Fahrenheit‘s print pub a few weeks ago, and she needs a site to showcase and sell her work.

(Joe goes looking for links to her stuff)

DAMN. Fahrenheit has a DUMB website. Lots of flash. I can’t link to anything easily. STUPID. Get with the program guys!

Here’s Pamelas’s Bio. And you can sort of look at the cover here.

Where do I get my drawing from?

My mom sent this to me and my sister today:

…about which she writes:

[Your grandfather] was always drawing this dog. He drew them on everything, he even made little boxes with pictures of dogs. Love you both, Mom

This morning I went and looked at the Church where I was baptized. I live within a mile of it now, which is a bit of a surprise.

Remarkable things are afoot.

What’s up?

Was up late late late last night.
Spent half day at work.
Broke out early.
Went to Church.
Made the Sign of the Cross for the first time in several years.
Spoke with a Catholic priest.
Got a seal from the Church where I was confirmed.
Seal is not a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’ but appropriately “other”
Much spiritual gnashing of teeth for me. Drove north.
Quick lunch with Leah.
Stopped in Irvine for a smoothie.
Checking email (here) at Kynn+Liz‘s work. (Thanks guys!)
Baptismal sponsor class tonight here in Orange County.
Rushes of memories and feelings and emotions.
My desire is to be a figure of support and guidance to my friend’s son.
I wonder how I will do?



So there’s lots of entirely serious things to blog about right now.

But that’s not what I’m going to do.

I have discovered, on local Cable Access: SHEMM.

Red velvet shirt. Semi-leather (glad plastic bag) black pants. Smeared red lipstick and caterpillar eyebrows. Practiced stage moves. He does his own choreography. He does his own catering.

He is SHEMM.

He has a website. Nobody has ever linked to it. (1 result on google)

I am linking to it now.

Leah and I saw it on cable access and were transfixed. “You lost by one point” is the song we listened to and saw him perform.

The presentation, I think is intended to make us think of grandest of singers.

SHEMM, is something else entirely.

You MUST listen to “You lost by one point” to understand why I am reacting so strongly.

It’s available via

Words fail me.

Bruce Sterling, Blogging Again

Itinerant mendicant journalist, soothsayer, and storyteller Bruce Sterling is back blogging at Beyond the Beyond, for Wired magazine.

iTunes, meet Jesus; Latest Mix CD for the truck

Songs from my music library containing the word “jesus” in the title…

Chocolate Jesus ………….. Tom Waits
Jesus Built My Hotrod …….. Ministry
Jesus Gonna Be Here ………. Tom Waits
Jesus In The Summertime …… Randy Newman
Jesus Is Just Alright …….. The Doobie Brothers
Jesus The Missing Years …… John Prine
Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk … Frank Zappa

If we included “jesus” in all the lyrics, the list would be considerably longer.

this weekend: ray@night; baptism of zachary

ray@night: info on
ray@night review from leah from a few months ago

definitions of baptism on the internet

So I’m going to be a Godfather. Or is it godfather? I never considered either as a possible title for me.

Bruce Sterling ArtLung Timeline

1988: I attend a reading by William Gibson for Mona Lisa Overdrive. He recommends Bruce Sterling’s Islands In The Net as the work of a guy who “actually thinks about this stuff”
[scene missing]…
1996: I mention with a laundry list
1998: I put him on my links page
1999: Viridian Couture Contest
1999: Heat Kills Contest
2000: Disaster Glyph
2001: Greeny Megawatt Contest
2001: Enron Logo Redesign Contest
2001: I notice Bruce Sterling starts blogging
2003: Bruce Stops Infinite Matrix Blog
2003: Bruce Starts Wired Blog

That was fun and pointless!

Oh, I did have a fresh link. Viridian Note 00389 – where Bruce answers the nagging blog community which whines about RSS and design and everything else. Basically, he’s replying in the manner of the classic Shatner SNL-ism: GET A LIFE!

Go Bruce Go!

Missions Accomplished

Ray@Night? Check.

Zachary’s Baptism? Check.

Great weekend. So tired.

Onward to the workweek!

Next verse, same as the first…

Onward to the workweek!

Stew on NPR

Stew on NPR

“Singer/songwriter Stew seamlessly blends gospel and funk with sophisticated lyrics, sweet melodies, and an even sweeter voice. His eighth album, Something Deeper Than These Changes, takes the listener on intimate journeys into Stew’s past. NPR’s Neda Ulaby profiles the musician. Hear five full-length pieces from Stew’s repertoire.”
Go listen about Stew

Visit, Stew’s official site.

More Jesus iTunes Entries (aka: Songs)

In reference to this post… My friend Erin sent me:

These are the Jesus songs in my iTunes (just in case you wanted to know):
Jesus Was Way Cool – King Missile
Jesus Christ Pose – Soundgarden
Jesus, Etc. – Wilco
What A Friend We Have In Jesus – Aretha Franklin
Jesus Shaves – David Sedaris
Jealous Of Jesus – Sebadoh
Jesus’s Birthday – Bob Rivers

(Thanks E!)


Did you know that San Diego Blogger Chuck, of Howling Point is blogging his cancer and treatment?

There are millions of stories in the naked city. Chucks’ is certainly a remarkable one.

And sometimes, he writes his blog from the POV of his dog Pongo.

Several million points for style, that.

Caleb on Dean

Local cyber-bon-vivant Caleb John Clark, is making some homegrown Dean media.

About: Me

Work: okay.
Religious state: evolving.
Food yesterday: lovely roast by Joe and Leah.
Quicksilver: still reading.
Laundry: not done.
Leah: recuperating.
Racquetball class: back on, tiring (missed last week due to Baptism Class and the week before due to Fires).
Truck: like a top.
Laptop-to-be: ordered and in process.
Weather: brisk.
Now listening to: Lots of Steely Dan.
New header: just done.
Feeling: groovy.
Recurrent themes: fire, water, rebirth.


the main page and navigation of are evolving. the old front page has been moved to the archive, specifically here.

I’m toying with several changes. Expect more movement and changes to come.

Tonight: Socializing and Biz

This needs a librarian.

This needs a librarian.

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New headers for Writing and Contact. My biography is also getting a makeover.

Theme today: fresh starts.


Laundry done! (that was a biggie).
Computer on its way! (thanks JP!)
Housecleaning done!
Dishes clean (Thanks Leah!)
Space heater purchased! (Thanks Costco!)
Shaved for the work week!
We bought groceries! (Thanks for the Free Turkey Ralphs!)
I feel pretty good.
The holidays approach.
I hope they will be enjoyable.
My folks come next weekend!

Latest Great Security Newsletter From Bruce Schneier

Crypto-Gram of 15 Nov 2003. An excerpt:

Nathaniel Heatwole is a student at Guilford College. Several times between February 7 and September 15 he tested airline security. First he smuggled box cutters, clay simulating plastic explosives, and bleach simulating bomb-making chemicals through security. Then he hid these things in the lavatories of airplanes, along with notes. And finally, he sent an e-mail to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) titled “Information Regarding 6 Recent Security Breaches.”

The problem is that the TSA never asked him to test their security.

For years, computer networks have been plagued with hackers breaking into systems. These people are not breaking into systems for profit. They don’t commit fraud. They don’t commit theft. They’re breaking into systems for the intellectual curiosity. They’re breaking into systems for the fun. They’re breaking into systems to see if they can.

A traditional and common defense by hackers is that they’re breaking into systems in order to test their security. The idea is that the only way to learn about computer and network security is to attack systems. Never mind that these hackers don’t own the systems they’re breaking into; that’s the excuse.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration have been attacked by their first hacker. This wasn’t a terrorist; he wasn’t out to take over planes. This wasn’t even a criminal; he didn’t try to extort money. He was a hacker, plain and simple. He wanted to test the efficacy of the security screeners. He wanted to demonstrate that the security measures were, in his eyes, inadequate. He wanted to hack airport security.

Point 1: This is extraordinarily silly. Every traveler I know has stories of knives being missed by airport security. No one who flies regularly thinks that the TSA is doing a good job of keeping sharp objects off airplanes. Even worse, no one who flies regularly thinks that keeping sharp objects off airplanes makes us all safer. Most of what the TSA does is security theater — window dressing. It keeps up appearances, and maybe (hopefully) makes the terrorists a little less sure they can smuggle their weapons aboard airplanes. Probably not.

Point 2: This is, and should be treated as, a crime. “I was only testing security” is not a valid defense. For years, we in the computer security field have been hearing that excuse. Because the hacker didn’t intend harm, because he just broke into the system and just looked around, it wasn’t a real crime. Here’s a thought experiment for you. Imagine you return home and find the following note attached to your refrigerator: “I was testing the security of back doors in the neighborhood and found yours unlocked. I just looked around. I didn’t take anything. You should fix your lock.” Do you feel violated? Of course you do.

Point 3: While it is a crime, it isn’t a terribly serious crime. Heatwole’s stunt was embarrassing, and cost a whole lot of money to investigate and clean up. It could have disrupted the travel schedules of lots of people. But he’s not a terrorist. He didn’t do this to feed security information to al Qaeda. His actions didn’t endanger anyone’s lives. There’s a tendency to want to throw the book at him because he embarrassed important government officials, but that’s not a good enough reason. We need to discourage this behavior, but the punishment needs to fit the crime. Treat Heatwole as a criminal, but not a serious criminal.

Welcome to our world, Department of Homeland Security. Welcome, TSA. We’ve been fighting these sorts of people for years. You’re going to have better luck prosecuting them, but don’t let your anger get in the way of reason.

The whole thing is worth a close sober read. Go!

Rodentia Update

This morning I got up just a little bit earlier than usual. Stumbled bleary-eyed into the kitchen, and what should I see skittering across the long counter? Something very “Stuart” shaped. Just a little bit earlier, mind you. They know our habits. I’m convinced of it. The last kill was right as Leah and I turned off all the lights, and I went to the bedroom. Only then are they active.

Last sighting (and first kill) was October 30th. (here’s my and Leah’s account).

I’ve said that the humane traps did not work. Only the traditional one worked.

We placed the last working one down on the floor near the stove, where our previous kill was.

I’m sure these mice only think they’re “testing” our security. But I assure you they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The penalty, unfortunately for rodents, for being a mouse in this house is death.

Add to that that Leah and I beefed up container security in the cupboards. There are no more containers in the cupboards that can bitten through by mice. All cookie and cake mixes, all healthy grains, all yummy chips are now inside plastic containers.

One purchase I almost made last night at Home Depot was more mousetraps. I was sloppy though. I underestimated them. I thought the mouse we had was an anomaly. Time to smarten up.

Today I hope to deploy one of the super-sticky pads, baited of course. These supposedly trap mice very well. But they don’t kill them. I have been told that one has to do the killing with these. I’m wondering if I can deploy it and upon capture, release whatever I catch into the wild. Seems reasonable. But if the mouse is not removable, then I’ve resolved myself to killing it, regardless.

Leah and I have been talking about getting a dog in the past few months. Also a cat, but mostly we’ve been talking about little dogs.

Yesterday we looked at cats. Some pretty nice ones, though none that hit us hard, figuratively speaking, with emotion. Hard to consider an animal. They require attention and love.

We weren’t even thinking of the mice when we did this.

I rather like the idea of choosing a pet for its work capability.

How does one choose a cat for its’ mousing capability?

IF we get a cat (still a moderately big “if”), I will delight in saying “There’s a new Sheriff in town.”

Onward, Anti-mouse Soldiers, Marching As To War!

King of the World

I’m late to the party, but I just figured out that the lyrics to “King of the World” by Steely Dan are about driving around a post-apocalyptic American Southwest…

I don’t want your bread
I don’t need your helping hand
I can’t be no savage
I can’t be no highwayman
Show me where you are
You and I will spend this day
Driving in my car
Through the ruins of Santa Fe

I’m reading last year’s papers
Although I don’t know why
Assassins cons and rapers
Might as well die

If you come around
No more pain and no regrets
Watch the sun go brown
Smoking cobalt cigarettes
There’s no need to hide
Taking things the easy way
If I stay inside
I might live til Saturday

And this… from Wikipedia, about nuclear weapons:

The cobalt bomb uses cobalt in the shell, and the fusion neutrons convert the cobalt into cobalt-60, a powerful long-term (5 years) emitter of gamma rays. In general this type of weapon is a salted bomb and variable fallout effects can be obtained by using different salting isotopes. Gold has been proposed for short-term fallout (days), tantalum and zinc for fallout of intermediate duration (months), and cobalt for long term contamination (years). The primary purpose of this weapon is to create extremely radioactive fallout making a large region uninhabitable. No cobalt or other salted bomb has been built or tested publicly.

Pop music is educational.

Well, maybe just pop music I like.

Well, a fraction of it, anyway. 101: Retirement

The following has been on my site a long time. Time to retire it. But I’m putting it in the blog for posterity. I’m making the FAQ a real FAQ. So here goes…

First timer, eh? Hmm… I’m usually suspicious of newcomers … but I’m glad you came.

You’re welcome to stay as long as you like. Peruse my portfolio and resume, you can also see the lab. If you want to offer me work, drop me a note via feedback. Don’t be shy! There are old versions of the site to look at. I have an area I call the smorgasborg – where I keep detritus and gems. If you have ANY problems, send me feedback

I’m Joe Crawford. It’s my site. I take all the blame AND all the credit.

I like the web. Ever since my first site, on geocities, my presence on the net has been growing. In that way I’m gas-like, expanding to fill the volume of my container. [Fun Fact: The three main phases of matter: solid, liquid, gas].

The internet is an incredible resource, despite what neo-luddites like Clifford Stoll may have to say. He’s a personal hero of mine, but I disagree with him about the implications of web. I enjoy surfing the web aka the matrix aka information superhighway aka infobahn aka the net. My favorite term of all is “Cyberspace.” Here’s its source, a bit of pulp that revolutionized the way I see the world:

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts…A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data, like city lights, receding….”

This was written in 1984. It’s from a book called Neuromancer by an American expatriate living in Canada. He is William Gibson.

I’ve attended two book signings of Mr. Gibson’s. I was as giddy as a schoolgirl (a scary thought, really) each time. The first was in 1988, when he was signing Mona Lisa Overdrive. My good pal Chris Greazel was with me. [An aside: Chris is an unrecognized genius living in Orange County, California. You can check out some more of his work if you like. Now, back to my main thread]: It was at this fateful signing that Gibson recommended the book Islands in the Net.

This book, by Bruce Sterling, was and remains astonishingly prescient. He’s got quite a presence on the net, and for me, his books are a “must-read.”

Some years later, I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Sterling sign that copy of Islands. When I told him of how I found him through Gibson, he recommended Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash to me. That book blew me away too. I am always in search of interesting reading. Reading has been the means of my education.

I’m not sure that all that was useful, what do you think?

Keeping Score (WARNING: This gets a little grisly)

X - mouseX - mouse

Courtesy Catchmaster has a 100% Flash website, so none of it is in Google, but Here are the Catchmaster Glue Boards that did the trick.

(Here’s the grisly part)

He was still alive and terrified when I woke up. He was struggling, so I knew I had to act fast. My friend Meg emailed me about these, saying basically they’re not very humane, and that while struggling the animals tear their bodies apart. I wanted none of that. I quickly put the whole glue pad into a dark trash bag, and then another.

Then I went outside with it, and a big, flat bottomed bucket. I put the bag and enclosed mouse on the ground, placed the empty bucket flat-side down on the bag, and applied every bit of force I have (my not inestimable weight) and the deed was done.

(Here’s the philosophical part)

Leah asked me how I felt. Lots of feelings. If there is a capital “G” God, then this was one of his creations. If I’m at harmony with nature, this is a fellow creature. But the reality is I live in a home that I want to keep sanitary and clean for me and my girlfriend. That wonderful scenario does not include rodents coming around whenever we leave a crumb out. These “cute” mice, while being very sweet and cute, and perhaps pets in one context, are also carriers of disease. It’s my prerogative to not live with them if I so decide.

There are sometimes things people must do that are odious; these things should be done for a greater purpose. If the means are not justified by the purpose, then the odious thing should be dispensed with. In current political terms, I offer as an example the USA PATRIOT ACT, which takes away too many freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. It takes them away from too many people, for too little gain.

So how do I feel? I feel mixed about the whole thing. My adrenaline is pumping, I’ll tell you that.

Time to go to work.


I’m doing lots of reorganizations here on the site. Navigation changes, organization changes. Browse around. Photos now has the global navigation, and so does Portfolio. Colophon has a new header, as does Contact and FAQ does too.

The Site Index is a mess. It really does need a librarian.

Maybe I’ll be a librarian?

No Mice = Good Mice

So I left another baited trap out last night, and we’ve had no kills.

For some reason I find this reassuring. We’re not about to be overrun, I think. We just have a mice problem.

I got some feedback on my posts about the mice yesterday from friends. Thanks for the feedback! I chose the glue pads at random, because it was what the local Wal-Mart had those few weeks ago. And Leah was looking at cats and dogs on adoption sites last night, and I’m up for that. Unfortunately we were told by Meg that we really won’t know if a pet is a mouser until we see it confronted with a mouse. Some pets may simply want to watch, or play with whatever mice they see.

Some Links!

Now gotta get ready for work!

Current Important News: VideoChat! Divorce! Life! Onward!

I got an iSight today. Talked to my sister and boss and even Dori Smith and Mathowie – it all worked well. Except my Dad and Mom’s connection is messed up somehow. We’ll figure that out.

Just checked the mail, and I received my “NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGEMENT” from the Superior Court of California, San Diego County. I am now divorced. It’s been a long road from May 2002, and even longer from April 1999, and also from 1996.

My sincerest hope is to honor and remember what was good, and learn from what was bad. I am a stronger, better person than I was last year at this time. I’ve made many mistakes, and continue to learn from them. I hope to continue my dedication to ruthless truthfulness. About myself, my faults, my strengths — everything. Always striving to work on those big four pillars of my life, the emotional, the intellectual, the spiritual, and the physical.

Many people have been wonderful to me during the past year and a half. My parents and sister, my aunt, several key friends, and since last September, Leah, who has a inquisitive, self-search, relentless dedication to truth that I really appreciate, and with whom I share a home and life.

People ask me if maybe we moved a bit fast, I think not. We both do what feels right, and I must say, the truth can be a very difficult road. But in the end, we share a bond that means a great deal to me. I feel I’ve found a real partner, a peer who I am not superior or inferior to. I will continue to be truthful, and open, and hope for all the best.

One never knows what life will bring. That is most certainly the way of things.

But I know I’m happy, and evolving daily. And I expect that to evolve and change every day.

And as I’ve been saying… ONWARD!

First Post!

from the new lil’ 12 inch iBook.

Productivity this week is pretty low.

But spirits are high!

More Fun Linkies, Catching up and blogging from bed from the new iBook

Dating Leah in the Gaslamp

Last Saturday, Leah and I went on a date. We went and saw Intolerable Cruelty, then we went for a walk through the Gaslamp Quarter. We had a lovely, low key time.

It’s funny, I remember when I was in my teens – driving through that part of the Gaslamp near the corner of 5th and G Street – and thinking what a den of badness it was. “Seedy” does not do it justice. But now, it’s yuppie and hipster and tourist heaven.

I’m not any of those, but I enjoyed it.


From great racquetball Saturday Morning, to housecleaning in anticipation of my visiting parents, to my parents arriving and a great dinner with a roast cooked by a visiting Australian, to Sunday morning at church, receiving the Eucharist for the first time in at least 5 years, to getting Leah’s homemade rosary blessed, to Ralph’s downtown, to getting ready for an open house, to the open house, to seeing Breaking Glass with my parents and Leah, to doing some freelance work, it’s been a great, and PACKED weekend.

Bring on Thanksgiving week!

Geeky Unix Conversation Slash Unix Confession of the Day

ArtLung: so i’ve been trimming away at – reformatting stuff, getting rid of dead directories
ArtLung: this morning i’m futzing along, killing little dev experiments
ArtLung: was doing rm -rv * in some dirs
ArtLung: *accidentally did it in my main directory*
ArtLung: DOH!
Sassbert: doheth
ArtLung: luckily, i had a dir with special permissions which caused it to prompt me before i killed anything public
ArtLung: ladies and gentlemen, the power of rm -r *
Sassbert: always be careful
ArtLung: i was being so careful, i would go down into the little dev directories
Sassbert: hehehe
ArtLung: seeing i had not left anything important
ArtLung: then cd –
ArtLung: and up in my history, and NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
ArtLung: maybe i should have a thinger to automagically remove any rm command from my .bash_history
Sassbert: maybe you should be more careful!!!
Sassbert: hhehehe
Sassbert: you could write a shell script to remove grep and remove rm from your history but that seems like a waste of time
ArtLung: *bows head*
ArtLung: “yes, i know”
ArtLung: *chastened*
Sassbert: hehhehe
Sassbert: you can do this though
Sassbert: alias rm to rm -i
Sassbert: then, it will always prompt you
ArtLung: make it interactive
ArtLung: yeah
ArtLung: that’s a good idea
Sassbert: it’s easy enough in your startup script
Sassbert: its probably a good idea
ArtLung: *adding to my to do list*

Quote of the Day

The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.

– Assyrian stone tablet, c. 2800 B.C.

I don’t have an original source, but it’s all over the net. Anyone have an original source?


So today is starting well. The goal in life is to improve each day I think, and today is a success on that basis.

So now, Leah’s kids and my sister and her boyfriend and also my parents are here. It’s going to be a mega-Thanksgiving, and I’m a bit nervous about it, but I have found that bringing people together who I love usually works out better than I could ever anticipate.

The dead iBook has been willed to Leah’s eldest. Leah and Allie are working on a killer relish tray. We’re all taking our showers and making ready to head over to see my family. It’s gonna be a good day.

Now it’s a mini-air hockey game with the other two kids. And of course blogging. Got to relentlessly take my own pulse for my own feelings and thoughts.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my newfound “religion” or “spirituality” and about attending church. It’s an evolving thing, and I’m not sure what to say about it other than it’s still very personal for me. I’m still hesitant to say much more with any more than a select set of personages. That just feels right for the time being.

On that note, I wish all of you (in or out of my beloved United States) a Wondrous and Happy Thanksgiving.




2. The first day of the week, Sunday, observed as the day of rest and worship by most Christians.

Rest, worship, and contemplation, I hope. In some religions one does no work. From

On Shabbat, the Jew withdraws from the performance of “Melachah.” All categories of “Melachah” represent purposeful, creative interactions with nature. In the case of Man, this refers to his interaction with his environment, whereby he exerts mastery and control over nature, as in fact he was commanded to do by G-d. Our purpose in this is to express our belief and to testify that G-d is the Creator of the Universe, and is the source, on an ongoing basis, of all creative forces within it.

Note in the text that there is a specific reference to this word “God”, but the middle letter is masked. Rather as one would mask a word that is odious. But instead, this masking is intended to be one of reverence and respect. The distinction is interesting to me.

Once again I attended mass this Sunday. I have no idea where this is leading me, but it feels right, and produces the kind of feelings of relief, unease, and humility that I enjoy. I remain a Freethinker, and I have no idea where the capital “T” Truth lies with regard to spirituality, but retracing the steps I took when I was younger feels right for now.

The church I attended today is in my neighborhood, predominantly Spanish. So today I’m looking and reviewing these: Spanish Christian Prayers of the Rosary. At one time I actually knew several prayers of the Catholic Church in Spanish.

Lately, I’m rusty.

So, time passes. But man, I really like this phrase from The Shabbat is that one day out of seven that was charged with holiness, by the holy Creator of time.

The non-specificity of that phrase: “the holy Creator of time” is really interesting to me. “Creator” is a much better and less loaded phrase than “God” or “god” or “G-d” — whose invocation is so ubiquitous as to be uttered all the time. “Oh my god” is so common a phrase, and in repetition, perhaps the meaning, and interpretability of the phrase, and the word, begins to mean nothing.

This journey continues.

The crew, which is to say Leah, her kids, and me, are headed to the swap meet today: some commerce. We’re also going to do laundry: work. These are in violation of the Sabbath by some interpretations. However, there are times when the constraints of time and our own wants alter the timing of things.

Let me be clear, I’m not feeling “guilt” for a violation of what should be the “holiness” of this day, just pondering the requirement that we take a day to reflect, and do nothing else on that day.

It seems an impracticality, given the structure of the world I live in.

My folks and sister and her boyfriend left yesterday for back East. It was wonderful to have them visiting. Joyous even. I miss them already. However (ha!) the impracticalities of time and space make it hard for me to see them more than a few days a year.


Today feels like a good day.


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