Just Shelley


Today was hot and humid, which meant the fireflies were out, in force, at dusk. One particularly frisky little bug hovered in front of the living room window, seemingly infatuated with the magnificant glow of the small light by the window. Zzz. It said. Zzz. Zzz. Callous light just glowed steadily, ignoring the little critter.

How sad, this lost moment
and the love that was not meant to be;
The little burningbug
who lusted after electricity.

I didn’t see my first firefly until I moved to a house on Grande Isle in Vermont several years ago. The place was surrounded by fields, high up on a hill overlooking the lake, the closest neighbor hid by a bank of trees.

During the summer, thunderstorms would roll through, magnificent expositions of lightening and rain. And at dusk, in the cooling moisture, bright lights would begin to appear. A shy glimmer here, a quite moment of luminosity there, until the field was aglow with the delicate white lights, dancing in and among the plants.

Was this was my most perfect moment in Vermont? Or would it be held by that winter day, when the sun fell coldly on pure white snow, brilliant blue sky overhead reflected in the ice on the lake. And across the unmarked white field in front of the house hopped a red fox.

Later that night, we threw the switch that lit the lights on a tall evergreen far out in the field. The tree lights reflected on the snow, like fireflies flying about in the cooling mist of a summer night.


Thou art mortal

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Gary asked an interesting question earlier in the week:

I wonder how many people started blogging after receiving this dictat from Chris Locke.

Seems that Chris, otherwise known as Rageboy is blogging papa to several people, including Gary, DeniseJeneane and others.

I didn’t start weblogging because of Chris. I blush to admit that I started weblogging in April of 2001 primarily because I wanted to try out the technology. And I wasn’t all that impressed with weblogging at first – particularly since I had a Manila site and didn’t and still don’t like Manila as a weblogging tool.

Though I didn’t begin weblogging because of Chris, I soon became a fan of his; he was the first entry on my blogroll, and also paid me the kindness by adding me to his. In addition, I discovered one of my closest weblogging friends, Stavros the WC through Chris – leading to some really Strange and Wonderous Moments in Weblogging (SWMW), and a life that never promised to be dull. Scary at times, but never dull.

Through Chris didn’t start me blogging, you have him to thank for me still weblogging today. When I wanted to quit (and actually did quit for a time) last November, Chris (and Sharon another of my closest weblogging friends) convinced me to give the weblog a little longer.

Considering that I have a love/hate relationship at times with weblogging (we all do, don’t we?), I don’t know whether to thank Chris for his intervention, or tell him to go get f**cked. However, knowing Chris as much as anyone can remotely, I think he’d be equally happy with either expression.

Technology Weather

Tracking the tracker

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Heat index in St. Louis today was 105. That’s 1-0-5. Rather than out finding new paths, I’m keeping my San Franciscan acclimated butt inside, playing around with the new version of MT.

Stavros – someone is watching you. Hee Hee.

(Now, you’re all supposed to go over to Empty Bottle and see trackback in operation. Who else wants to play?)


Speaking of courtesy

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The Happy Tutor has written a longish weblog posting regarding my earlier posting, The Lost Art of Courtesy.

Happy writes:

I wonder, though, BB, are courteous blogs “scaleable”? If we want to reach an audience of 10-20 personable losers, and we all constantly comment on each other’s posts, then it would be cozy, but closed. Let’s say that 400-4,000 people read a blog, could the author possibly be “courteous” to all, going to their blog, and exchanging bland comments and notes?

Sigh. I never know with Happy Tutor postings whether he’s agreeing with me, or disagreeing with me. Should I respond to the Happy Tutor persona, who disagrees with agreement, compliments that which is to be despised? Or should I respond to the person behind the Happy Tutor persona, who has real opinions and real thoughts.

If I’m in a playful mood, I’ll usually respond directly to Happy, and fun is had by all. However, when I’m in a more thoughtful or somber mood, I find the persona to be irritating.

Are blogs online simply to be overheard? Or are they an extraordinarily exhibitionistic way to maintain a small social network? If you want to exchange pleasantries with a few friends, why not use email or a listserv? Why post personal conversations where millions could read and where every banal remark will be permanently archived in Google or the Wayback Machine? Why not keep a paper diary and circulate it by snail mail to your friends, and have them do the same?

Weblogging – Open door communities, with no borders or boundaries. Does this scale? Who gives a shit.

Now, Happy – you want more, knock at my door, and as password give your name and true opinion, and we’ll talk.

Political Technology

Bush-Cheney-Gates: We are watching you

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Dave Winer can sometimes be over the top at times (in truth, so can I), but he’s not far off the mark when he writes“…foreclosure. That’s what MS is doing with everything we hold dear.”.

What Dave’s talking about is Palladium, Microsoft’s newest innovation.

What’s it all mean? Well, think about that machine you’re using to look at this post. Now think of it modified to include a “security chip” that will most likely, among other things, have a unique identifier that lets anyone know, anyone, where you’ve been and what you’ve done with your machine. In addition, that nice open protocol that you used to gain access to the Internet? Well, kiss it good-bye and see it replaced with something developed under the benevolent auspices of Microsoft.

This is the worst piece of technology-related news I’ve heard in a long time. This is also an example of how corporations can manipulate the US while the American citizens are hiding with their heads in the sand.

While we give Bush et al high marks for “doing a good job”, our beloved president and his gang are selling this country to the highest bidder – in this case, Bill Gates and Microsoft. And as we let the Bush gang manipulate and discard the Constitution and our freedoms in order to wage “war on terrorism”, so now we’re allowing Microsoft do the same to wage war on hackers.


Microsoft’s Palladium: A new security Initiative
Palladium: Microsoft’s Big Plan for the PC
Who trusts Microsoft’s Palladium? Not me
Microsoft Security: Will it be different this time?
Cringely: I told you so
The Big Secret
Why Intel loves Palladium