Category Archives: commentary


I wrote this over the weekend (before all the news stories that say essentially the same thing came out), and didn’t intend to post it. But the post I wanted to post is taking on a life of its own, so here’s some filler instead. Not that it is trite, but a) you all have probably heard enough about this, and b) compared to this other post, I am not emotionally invested in it. So, the post:

Treyvon is dead. His killer was deemed not guilty of murder, and not guilty of manslaughter. People are upset, how could this happen? They make it about politics. They make it about race. They make it about wealth. They say there is no question about whether he was the man who did it, or that he did it. They claim the only question is, was he fully justified in every way in doing it?

But this is not what the jurors were instructed to deliberate. What were they instructed to deliberate?

The webs we weave


This picture was taken on a day when, after a late afternoon appointment at the doctor’s office, I said, “Nope, I’m not going back to work today.”

In my FB activity feed, I saw a friend had commented on a “photo”, you know, the kind that is really just a bunch of text someone slapped onto a background with Paint or Photoshop or Gimp… and now they’ve shared it on FB. The text said:

Do you ever just wake up and go “NOPE” …and roll over and go back to sleep?

My friend commented “everyday”. The page/user was named “Forget love forever alone”, but using a crude and distasteful four letter word in place of “forget”. I’d like to think this friend just didn’t happen to notice the name, that if they had they wouldn’t have felt compelled to continue, but it makes me wonder…

Do you ever comment on a photo/link/status/etc., and not realize that you’ve just associated yourself with something crass?

[A note to my readers and followers: Before you decide to stop reading or unfollow me because you think I’m a prude or naïve, know that I have said my share of those crass, crude, and distasteful words, both softly and yelled with venom; I have also chosen to leave them behind.]

Web Stats and the Stalker in Me

I finally shared a link to a blog post on my running blog yesterday, and I got a decent number of hits.  According to WordPress’ stats, there were 30+ views, and 12 visitors.  I was pretty excited that at least ten people were interested enough to check it out, out of all my 230+ FB friends.  Then I wanted to know more.  Who viewed it?  What pages did they visit?  Back when I had my website hosted with a shell account, I could access the Apache web log and see IP addresses, referring urls, user agents.  I wrote a script to convert IP addresses to hostnames where possible, filtering out my own IP addresses, and enjoyed analyzing the results.

Usually there would be a bunch of lookups by various search engines, some of which respected my robots.txt, some that didn’t (they weren’t major search engines, so I didn’t really care about blocking them).  And every now and again I’d get entries that were clearly someone that was interested in either me or what I had to say (perhaps stalking me?).  Those were the fun ones.  Who is the domain name registered to, or if the IP address could not be converted to a hostname, what entity is the address assigned to?  Occasionally I was able to get enough information that if needed, I could have built the beginnings of a court case about someone stalking me.

Sadly, the web stats offered by WordPress just aren’t as comprehensive.  Maybe they have an option to pay to be able to view the access logs, seeing how they like to charge for just about everything else.  (What? seriously? you want me to pay how much per year just to be able to edit CSS?  Okay, fine.  Maybe I will.)  But whatever the case is, you, my readers, are safe for now.  I doubt I’ll be paying to read access logs anytime soon; the stalker in me will simply have to go back in the closet.

“But of bliss and glad life…”

Last night I was pondering recent happenings in my life, which included what could have been déjà vu if only it weren’t clearly a separate and distinct occurrence.  I came to a conclusion that should be fairly obvious, but it took two data points, and several years transpired before I acquired the second.  When I am passing by or walking away from someone, feeling hurt or slighted but doing my best to bury the pain, and in my mind I tell them where they can go or I visualize the synapses of my brain firing such that all my phalanges form a fist but for one finger, it is a sure sign that my relationship with that person, whatever that relationship may be, is in peril.  And thus applies this quote:

“But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while still they endure for eyes to see, are their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.” – JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Which is great from the perspective of me being able to write some potentially great poetry.  But if I could choose between the relationship being “in peril or broken forever” versus never writing a good poem about that relationship or that person, I’d choose the latter.

A corollary to this conclusion is that at such times, I should probably just let myself feel the pain and stop trying to numb it by the commands I mentally issue to the other person.  Otherwise I start a downward spiral that, if not quickly corrected, spills over into other relationships.

Lies of Future Intent

Lies cannot be reasoned with. No matter how much logic you apply, a lie will just expand to fill all available space. No, in order to combat a lie, you must not reason with it; you must expose it. This is exceedingly difficult for lies about future intent.
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Tips or Tricks?

These tips were in my FB news feed today (shared with a photo from  Some of them sound pretty legit, and I’ll have to try them out.  Others, either because of the way they are worded or the actual ideas suggested I’m going to have to pass on.  Here are my favorites, either way.

2) Cornstarch: Untangle Knots
Sprinkling cornstarch into tough knots, such as shoe laces helps loosen them.

I’m always making a rat’s nest of knots when I winterize people’s swamp coolers.  Then in the spring I have to deal with my mess.  I’ll have to give this a try when spring finally decides to stop teasing us and get on in earnest.  But, I think I’d prefer to use nutrient-less white flour: flour just sounds better to me than starch.

Care to read more?

Sick (not the slang version, the twisted and depraved version)

Some spammers are now using the ploy of video footage of the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon to try to hook unsuspecting fish.  What is wrong with these people?  Have they not even a shred of decency?

<conspiracy-theorist>Maybe the spammers did it, so they could have a more enticing hook?</conspiracy-theorist>


So, if anyone reading this blog is a friend, dear or otherwise, and is offended at the suggestion that they might be a monster because they willingly give up their privacy, I apologize.  You may be a cute monster, a dear monster, even a hot monster, but still a monster by Milan Kundera’s estimation.