> The Darkener's Console

Opening the small mailbox reveals a leaflet.

Nada Surf —

I got High/Low at a thrift store a few months ago – I almost didn’t, but always did enjoy “Popular”. Low and behold, this album has become one of my “new-old” favorites. All of the songs seem very well done and are thoughtful pieces for that genre. I always thought they were one-hit wonders but to me, exposing myself to the whole ablum really opened my eyes to them as a band and a sound of their own.

I just read about them on Wikipedia and they currently have 9 albums and have been together since 1992 with 4/5 original members. Pretty fucking cool! I have a feeling I’ll be be getting their other 8 albums very soon. :)


Adjust Official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen LCD Brightness With Zenity —

Here’s a quick-n-dirty script for adjusting the Official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen LCD Brightness With Zenity (Tested on Raspbian):


#!/bin/bash
#
# Sets the Raspberry Pi touchscreen brightness.

# Set variables
zenity="/usr/bin/zenity"

# Get desired brightness level
b=$("$zenity" \
--scale \
--value=120 \
--min-value=10 \
--max-value=254 \
--step=2 \
--title "Set LCD Brightness" \
--text "Please set desired brightness level:")

# Set desired brightness level
echo "$b" > /sys/class/backlight/10-0045/brightness

exit 0


That’s Ok —

This didn’t work the way I wanted
That’s ok
I got this for free
What can I do to help

This didn’t work the way I wanted
That’s not ok
I paid, I paid
You owe me, yeah you sell

This synapse
A prolapse
Stress induced neurotransmission
Get the fuck out of me
What I want is

This didn’t work the way I wanted
That’s ok
I got this for free
What can I do to help


The Full Truth —

It’s eating at me, but I must protect me
It’s much more than you think
This trajectory
My trajectory

These years go by like days
My life is already starting to wain
I’m loyal, I’ve sustained
This vision in me

I’m stuck in this tree
Trying to break free from trading time for money
But it’s warm, it’s cool
Take a walk in my shoes
You’d do what I did, too

This necessary evil
Is still just a tool
For change, I imagine a
Future without greed
In everyone around me


i3: A Love Affair —

I don’t remember if I posted about switching window managers from Fluxbox to i3 (Update: Yep) but after about 6 months of a tabbed window manager, and enjoying many aspects of it, it proved to be a bit less productive than what I had grown accustomed to over decades with Fluxbox / Openbox / Blackbox (back in the day). I’ve tried most window managers, from KDE to Gnome, from Windowmaker to twm.. but something has always drawn me to the *boxes. It’s just kinda 1337 I guess, haha.

I’m a minimalist. I value function over form in most cases. What I’ve found with the *nix culture, however, is that I can have my cake and eat it too. A beautifully crafted, extremely lightweight and fast as fuck window manager is all I’ve ever wanted.

I don’t really desire integration between utilities and apps and the window manager (i.e. a DE). It just feels like lock-in and I have an obligation to use the integrated software instead of alternatives..and just to me, it doesn’t feel as free. There are so many options in the F/OSS world and I guess I’m kind of a whore that way.. I wanna try them all ;)

Listen – I don’t *need* pretty widgets – but dockapps are fucking awesome, take virtually no resources, are very satisfying eye candy, don’t ever cause issues and provide valuable, mostly customizable information.

Anyway, I came to a realization today that I don’t *have* to choose, at least 100%, what my standard window manager was. For instance, I’m going to continue to use i3 on my laptop. It makes more sense – the keyboard-does-most-everything approach is great for mobile.

What will never leave my thoughts, however… is that all of this great open source software is hacked out by people that *want* to do it. The development of a piece of software is driven by the developer(s). The motivations are key to the quality of a product. The motivations are also determined by the reward, or compensation, or result of development. What does the dev get out of it? Money? Eh…. Leaving your mark or legacy? Blood sweat and tears go into projects like that. Changing the fucking world?

Count me in.


Sound vs. Image —

It’s honestly hard for me to get motivated by venues’ emails with upcoming shows. All the relevant info is there – Artist names, genre(s) and styles, the date of the show…a few even have links for Spotify which I appreciate.

But then there’s the professionally taken band image. Everybody trying to ‘look’ like something, like what kind of music they play. To me it’s distracting and gives me, at best, an imperfect impression of them as primarily musical artists.

Can’t we embed even 30 seconds of audio? Maybe a professionally taken live video? Give me a taste of what I’m going there for. If restaurants could transmit smells and tastes over the Internet as part of ads, the world would shit its pants.


Microsoft vs. Linux —

Microsoft is like a very expensive, but sleek and featureful car. It is static and monolithic and richly serves a tyrant called Economy… and yet requires a lot of upkeep, somehow.

Linux is like a custom built hotrod. It’s literally free and respects liberty – volunteers have band together to forge the parts themselves. It is standardized yet dynamic… and even being based on modularity and openness and diversity… it requires very little upkeep, somehow.


Once Upon a Time.. —

There was a horrible tyrant, and his henchman.

The henchman was loyal, truthful and always did his best to appease his master, as he is also master of all beneath him. Though he dreamed of one day being the ruler of all, and armed with the faults he saw in the horrible tyrant, he felt as if he was falling deeper and deeper into a dark abyss.

The ruthless and dishonest tyrant – one who would deceive and sacrifice the ones he was responsible for the sake of himself, would chain his henchman to those he manipulated. He would fool many and entrench him, soon to benefit but long to hold the lies. He would execute plans and invite his henchman to his quarters, which would offer gold, and riches, and influence. The henchman, forever starved of importance and acknowledgement, took what was offered.

The trollish tyrant would remark, “Aren’t you glad you’re on my side?” to which the henchman would respond… “Yes I am, so as I am.”

Yes I am, so as I am.


It’s Kinda Weird —

Growing up I always had pretty strong feelings about different genres of music.. but like many things in life, as I got older I got wiser and sort of zoomed out a bit from myself to see the bigger picture.

Yes, I am an individual. Yes, I have my own preferences and tastes and opinions and beliefs. This is inherent in all of us.

It would be ignorant to present ones preferences, tastes or opinions as ‘truths’ or anything but completely objectional. Like the old saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes; everybody’s got one.”

When I was growing up in the early 1990’s my musical taste lied loyally with hard rock and heavy metal. Guns ‘N Roses, Motley Crue, and later alt/grunge made a lasting impression with me with bands like Perl Jam, Nirvana…you know. And everyone in my 4th grade who pledged allegiance to rap….were the enemy.

Adolescence is something many people don’t grow out of. And for good reason! Being an adult sucks. Sure, there’s perks.. I’ll always remember the last day of 3rd grade when one of the teachers told a friend and I, as we played kickball against a wall, to cherish our youth and make the best of it. I took that to heart that day and never forgot. I’m proud to not have allowed the more jaded aspects of life and responsibility get to my head.. though I may be much wealthier if I had the aptitude to do so, I know I would have been miserable underneath and I’d never lie to myself like that.

But “growing up” and “getting wiser” aren’t the same thing. I ‘zoom out’ as often as I can remember now. It’s sort of like meditation..hard to do, especially if it’s not a normal practice yet.

I respect all genres of music at this point in life. I have my preferences, and one of them is definitely rap now. But that doesn’t discount the amazing talent of every creative artist who puts their true self out there for the world to do what it will with. That’s so fucking inspiring to me that, how dare I act so self centered to say any one genre, artist or song sucks. Ok, I may not like it, but I’ll keep myself in check because I’m not the fucking center of the universe.


I think we’re all on the same page and have no idea… —

Both sides want peace.

Both sides want prosperity.

Both sides want freedom.

Why are we pointing fingers at each other? I feel like we’re all being led to this grande climactic point in time when the light bulbs come on and everyone is shown through this fantastic narrative that, “See? We’re all the same – how could we have been so blind for so long?” It’s corny and patronizing and I’m embarrassed to think the human race needs to be told a story to realize what’s been happening.


Perfect Balance —

If this U.S. midterm election has shown us anything, it’s that representation is in almost _perfect balance_. I think that’s something to be proud and hopeful of. There’s a lot we have to work on; mutual understanding, respect for the rule of law and due process, empathy, honor, conviction… but balance is key to a healthy and vibrant nation, I think. Whether it’s in two, or even three, four or more. As long as all of the parts understand the duality of their purpose, as party and as nation – and the latter never being dishonored.


Political shortsightedness —

Democrats have been blamed for high inflation but I find it “interesting” that the fallout from the complete mismanagement of Covid-19 in the U.S. during the Trump presidency isn’t even considered a factor. It seems painfully obvious to me that the long term impacts of that as well as everything else that was mismanaged and/or purposefully sabotaged between 2016-2020 has everything to do with our economy now. But I guess we all have goldfish memories.


Conspiracy Theory #478279 —

Fake/bot Facebook accounts that friend hundreds of millions of people that are “friends of friends” and just *occasionally* about pro-Trump propaganda. Like a slow drip.

Happened to me a few times already. Smells like the work of Banon or one of his slaves.

At any rate, fuck you.


Practicing music is meditation —

I had a rough day today. But coming home, and not just getting into other tasks and to-dos, both personal and business related, did me a lot of good.

I looked at my bass guitars hanging on my wall, silently. That little voice in my head was whispering to pick one up and just play. So I did. I started a simple drum beat in 4/4 on my loop pedal and just alternated between a single interval of two notes, back and forth. Like rocking or swaying, I just lost myself in the simplicity and rhythm. It bloomed into triplets, moving up the scale, and back down. Then doubles, and back, up and down. At times I’d hang out with three notes, repeating them over and over, and then slowly rising and falling again throughout the scale.

It was hypnotizing. In simple practice of playing single notes on a bass guitar, in a very simple arrangement, I lost all of the shit that clouded my head all day until that point. It was like meditating. I forced myself to pay attention to that and that only. Even now typing this the shit is trying to seep back in, intrude on my conscious mind and I’m fighting with typing this sentence on my keyboard right now. But when I was playing, I had to stay within the beat, I had to be on time. Every second of the way. It helped that I was out of practice and had to pay extra special attention ;)

The struggle is real. But we have tools…tools to save us. Hang in there.


Creative Commons, Open Source and Social Impact —

It’s about time that CC, F/OSS and Social Impact meet up for a beer and discuss a joint venture. I’d say we’re long, long overdue for a major ‘shift’.

Money will quickly become obsolete when we all sync up with the tools we currently have and forge an understanding of each other and a motivation to cooperate for the bettering of our species.


Boulevard Park —

We ordered Mexican food from a local place off of E. Holly St. and took it down to Boulevard Park. We found a nice picnic bench and as we made our way toward it, a man played a Melodica.

The Sun was setting beautifully over the islands. There were many people there, yet the park was enchantingly quiet, leaving enough acoustic space in the air for the Melodica’s notes to carry far. Even the children played on the big play structure quietly. I think everyone was enjoying the music.

It was a very memorable evening.
I love this town.


Holy Shit —

Listening to an old gig I played bass in, and fucking a…I sucked so bad. I mean, we all sucked, I guess. But holy shit, I’m glad bars sell beer because everyone seemed to still have a good time.

That is all.


Silicon Valley – John the Datacenter Guy —

I don’t watch a bunch of television but recently ran through Mike Judge’s “Silicon Valley”. I really enjoyed the series; it’s refreshing to find such high quality production consistently get technology and business right. John Stafford (the Datacenter manager, pictured) is hilarious. I’m just happy to see areas like this get some attention I guess!


Moved to a Tiling Window Manager —

I’m really enjoying i3 (tiling window manager). I’m no expert but after using it for about 2 months I’m pretty comfortable with it. I used to be intimidated as tiling WMs were so foreign to me. For many years I was a fluxbox faithful but I found myself constantly arranging my windows in ways that a tiling wm does naturally. Seemed like a good idea to just take the plunge and force myself to learn how it worked. It wasn’t that bad! I’d say I’m much more productive with it. Moving stuff around is much faster, and I really enjoy the each-monitor-is-a-workspace concept. This way I can switch workspaces individually on each monitor. In fluxbox each *set* of monitors was a workspace, so I’d change workspaces and *both* monitors would have different apps running. The general concept of workspaces in i3 is really just more up my alley.


How to get away with cheating – the MAGA Republican way —

How to get away with cheating – the MAGA Republican way

Step 1: Accuse others of doing the same thing, loudly and ad nauseam. Pay no attention to evidence, facts or reality – nobody cares.

Step 2: If you get caught, deny it. See step 1 re: evidence. Use the legal system to drag it out until people get nauseous and don’t want to think about it anymore.

Step 3: Double-down on your original accusations. Pepper in additional lies along with personal insults. Do it louder than before. “Flood the zone with shit”.

Step 4: Profit!