Just Shelley


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

There’s something magical about seeing the first snow flake falling. At that moment, you and nature are joined in a special secret only shared by those who look out their windows at just the right moment. The first flakes are few, and dance lightly about in the breeze, like the tip of a tongue during foreplay. Moving here, no there, no here.

During the snowfall I watch the pattern of the wind, no longer limited by my crude perceptions that tells me the wind is blowing in a straight line from here to there. The snow traces the individual movements of the wind, a waltz of breezes.

During the day, through my window I watch a father take his child for her first walk in the snow. Hesitant footsteps made a little more unsure by suddently uneven footing that shifts about and causes her to fall. Cruel! But then there’s that moment when tiny face is turned up into the snowfall for the first time; gently, cold touches sweep across cheeks and wisps of cotton at lashes and falls and melts in mouth opened to cry out in pure discovery. All is forgiven, and another child is found winter.

Better than watching the first flake, I love to go to bed with bare streets and wake up in the mornings knowing that snow has started falling. You can hear it by the absence of sound, and you can see it through your window as streetlight reflected. Pulling back the curtain, you look out on a world of white, lines softened between objects until the differences are erased. All you see is soft, crystalline mounds, sparkling in the light.

Snow brings with it a hint of Mother tucking us in against the cold, and a promise of waking.


Down the path walked three…

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Since techie woman does not live by beating up on techie men, alone, I thought I would get outside, have a nice walk.

Powder Valley was my choice of destination today, but in addition to the Ridge trail, I also walked the little 1/3 mile Tanglewood Trail. Since the latter is handicap accessible, it makes a nice gentle walk for cooling down from the peaks and valleys of the other trails at PV.

Along the Tanglewood, the rangers had stationed implementations of projects you can work on to make your backyard wildlife friendly. Projects like creating brush heaps, planting wild grape, or building backyard ponds. An effective use of trail space to educate people into taking responsibility for the environment.

At the end of the trail is the the restrooms with a sitting area and a wild bird habitat. As I neared it, I noticed movement on the trail in front of me. Three wild turkeys were walking towards me, looking like so many other walkers I’ve met along the paths. Except those walkers didn’t have feathers. And things hanging underneath their chins.

The turkeys moved off the trail as I approached, but didn’t go far. I was close enough to the birds to smell the stuffing and see the marshmallows bubbling on the sweet potatoes.

In my mind, I named the birds, but I’m not going to tell you whose names I used.

Technology Weblogging

The story of the RSS feeds and the little CC license that could

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Again the consideration of exactly what it means to put an RSS feed online has reared its head. Specifically, Mitch Wagner found out that his RSS feed — which includes full posting content not excerpts — was re-published online at LiveJournal. He wrote:


That site is my intellectual property. You do not have permission to post the entirety of my weblog to your site. Please take down the site


Well, all sorts of interesting commenting occurred, as you can imagine. In particular the implicit assumption that RSS feeds come with ‘tactic approval of republication’ was raised.

What was a surprise is that Mitch reversed himself and now offers a Creative Commons license on his material, though the license information isn’t duplicated in Mitch’s RSS feed directly. Mitch also brings up the ‘commercial’ aspect of re-publishing the material at LiveJournal, and what’s to stop someone from grabbing the content and putting it behind password protected sites that charge money for access.

Easy — don’t publish all your entire posts in your RSS feed. Keep the RSS feeds to excerpts only. Remove the content-encoded field and just leave the description. And adjust your blogging tool to publish excerpts, only. If your weblogging tool doesn’t allow this adjustment, ask the tool builder to provide this capability. The RSS feeds are there to help promote your ideas, not promote their theft. But you have to control the technology, not let the technology control you.

I have a feeling that 2003 is the year when technology and the law will finally find ways to learn to live together, or forever exist in a state of permanent hostility.

(Thanks to Ben for the story.)