The Darkener's Lair

There is an object which looks like a tube of toothpaste here.

Insurrection vs. BLM Protests —

God I love reading the news. /s


“The federal government was unprepared for this insurrection, even though it was planned in plain sight on social media for the world to see,” Maloney said. “And despite all the military and law enforcement resources our government can call upon in a crisis, security collapsed in the face of the mob, and reinforcements were delayed for hours as the Capitol was overrun.”

Republicans sought immediately to change the focus to the civil unrest that arose from racial justice protests, suggesting that Democrats outraged over the Capitol riot failed to strongly condemn violence last June in the days following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.


Oh the racial justice protests? You mean the ones where people were protesting the unjust and intentional murder of a black man for no good reason? The ones where 90% were peacefully protesting and police still brutalized them? The ones where police were absolutely prepared with masses of cops, militarized police weaponry, using tear gas like breathing air?

There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between condemning a categorically minority percentage of bad actors in a nation-wide protest against a police man intentionally murdering a minority (again), and condemning an attempted coup against our nation’s capitol by domestic terrorists that were fooled by a lifelong con-artist who wanted to remain in power so he could complete his dismantling of what little democracy we have left…and for what? His own personal gain? All along the way, dismissing COVID-19 with no plan? Can you even fucking imagine where the U.S. would be if he were still POTUS today, in May 2021? Trump *absolutely* allowed what was happening at the capitol. He was excited, glued to his television while it unfolded. He ignored pleas from his government, his people. There was no action to stop what thankfully turned out to be a literal shit show. Trump. Caused. The. Capitol. Insurrection. And everybody needs to understand this. It is undeniable.

Listen– I don’t mean to upset or criticize anyone for their opinion. But we have to remember that what happened on Jan. 6 2021 is not comparable to the BLM protests. They were each spawned into our collective reality under much different premises. We have to examine each of them for what they were, why they were so we can understand that nobody wants violence to be the outcome of civil unrest. We’ve got to see that the gaslighting and psychological mind games being played by Trump and Republicans in Congress to the public, most notably for the past 13 years (starting with the Obama ‘birther movement’ conspiracy theory) need to stop. We all know what’s happening right here, right now. We understand the history and the motive behind it. I have faith that the American people, by and by, will ultimately remember that liberty and justice for all isn’t dead. We just have to stop playing these childish games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bitch Mustard —

The other night I came across this post on Reddit and instantly lyrics started pouring into my head. This morning while riding my motorcycle I filled it out a bit. I have a beat and basic vocal melody too, just not recorded yet. Who wants to collab? =D

“Bitch Mustard”

I don’t really want none of yo’

BITCH MUSTARD

I just wanna give you all my

CREAM CUSTARD

Don’t love you but I wanna be yo’

BIG LOVER

Bologna sandwich, tuna fish
Crazy bitch why don’t you
Come and take me on

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOME


Quarter ’til New —


My desktops, both virtual and physical, have been a mess. As has my mind. The pattern is still somewhat of a mystery but the symptoms are showing exceptionally bright this time around. I feel as if it’s all at a climax, I’m glad I took that motorcycle ride this morning (mitigation can be fun, even if you’re doing “work”).

I must return to balance. If I do, this shall not only pass but become another learning experience. Otherwise, it will become seeds of negativity, to sprout later. I have seen this all too much in my lifetime and I feel I’ve become pretty keen at spotting it early on and extinguishing it in myself. I’d like to think that I’m past that (muhahaha).

Though this spiral causes reunions of sorts, I need to remember that I’m viewing them as passive events. I am not, or no longer, involved in them, so I need not be affected by them. I must remember that these words can mean many different things.


Anti-vax —

I think I get it now
I think I figured it out

It’s all pretty simple
Pitiful

You don’t care about anyone else
You only care about yourself

Yeah, I caught you, now I
Know all your why’s and how’s

You don’t care about anyone else
You only care about yourself

You don’t think about anyone else
You only think about yourself

No need for hate or humor
I’ll see you at your funeral


30 Years Ago Today —

Over the years I’ve written a few posts about what this band meant to me. It’s funny that even as I was writing about ToTD back then, that the band was putting a second, completely separate and just as powerful impression on me through my learning about Andrew Wood and the core of how things happened in that little microcosm of a scene. Chris Cornell dying just a couple of years after my second discovery brought the tragedy that motivated this record, back into the forefront for me and so many others I’m sure.


I know —

I know

I know

I know
Nothing

And that’s o.k.
With me
I learn more every day

I’ve wondered why my dreams
Never became reality
But now I wonder how this negativity
Ever had a hold on me
Ever had a hold on me

Funny how
Long time ago
I knew it all…

But the older I get
The more I realize

(repeat)


Spam / Junk Mail —

I’ve felt for a while now that scanning my spam/junk mail folder for legitimate mail has an inherent negative affect on my mood.

I use SpamAssassin on my mailserver which takes care of the bulk of my junk mail. Even with this protection, as most know, a good amount still comes through – and introduce my 2nd line of defense, Thunderbird junk mail control. It does a fantastic job at picking up the pieces SpamAssassin dropped while devouring the constant influx of wasted bits.

I sort junk by subject so as to group like spam together and make it easier to scan quickly. So a few times a day, I click on that folder and scan with my eyes. I get all sorts of random crap, like most do. What’s concerning to me is that even scanning subject lines is giving an “impression” (ad/marketing speak) on me.

Next time you’re scanning your junk mail, take note of the keywords that are used. They’re more common than you think and some of them are concerning to me.

‘War’. ‘Money’. ‘President’. ‘Stress’. ‘Finances’. ‘STDs’. ‘Poverty’. ‘Health problems’. ‘Diabetes’. ‘Erectile dysfunction’. ‘Cancer’.

Speaking from a subconscious perspective, it’s not unlike the famed one-frame “BUY COCA COLA” insertion at drive-in movies of the 1950’s. I believe that looking at words consistently over a period of time, even with the intention of deleting them, can have a subtle influence on the mind and therefore body.

Sometimes I wish I had time to start a ‘junk-mail’ campaign that spread positive words to people. It would be like a war on junk mail.


COVID-19 Daily Deaths as of 2021/04/07 —

I find it interesting how the death rate was literally the highest at 2021/01/20, then started to fall drastically.

Hmm, what happened on 2021/01/20?

P.S. Annual death rate of influenza (the flu) in the U.S. is ~36,500. That’s an average taken from between 2010-2020. COVID-19 death rate is currently 560,000 for around 15 months.

That’s 15 TIMES more than the flu.


Rooting Out the Negative —

This article on affirmations is one that I will be revisiting and working on to incorporate into my life. It really struck a chord and I’m confident that it will generate successful results. What a great read. It made me exit myself and allowed me to analyze myself not unlike in a more meditative or dreamlike state. I love articles and other things like this that allow me to ‘see’ from this perspective because I know that working on the way one thinks, at the core, allows real change. It allows one to reprogram the mind and ultimately root out what is undesirable; the negativity itself that camps and festers and trolls, the thoughts themselves that cause me to believe in myself less and hold me back from what I strive to achieve.

Here’s to more personal growth! *Cheers*


Reddit —

Reddit seems to be a ‘multiplexer’ of topic-based message boards.

Back in the day it would be BBSes (of course, right? You’re on my site after all). After that came multi-BBS echoes, then the rise of the Internet with newsgroups, then www-based messaging forum software, then implementation of group forums with social networks such as Myspace and Facebook..

Then came Reddit.

Reddit is a multiplexer of group message boards. It is the facility in which topics are discussed amongst members of the groups who subscribe to these topics (or ‘subreddits’, deliniated by the ‘r/SubredditName’ syntax). Pretty fucking ingenious if you ask me.

Think about it – Reddit has created a topic-based discussion machine. Users are users, topics are subreddits in which anyone can create and moderate, and that’s pretty much the premise. IMHO the mobile app is minimalistic but incredibly elegant – it feels like how I browse. Even on Android its aesthetics are world-class and the way the UX works is just incredibly well done all around. I couldn’t dream up a better working app for this use case.

Sometimes you need to sacrifice a bit of your own creative soul…sometimes you have to take one for the team and build a platform that incubates, that harvests what you want to create (but it’s not you creating it). No matter what, the platform stands above any single ideology or stance or disposition – it is a machine. A constructor, a creator in and of itself. It’s a beautiful machine.


Emoticon Evolution —

For many years I’ve used the =) as my “emoticon” (though I hate that term – it’s a smilie, damn it). Before that I generally used :> as a snarky, 14-year-old would to show how unique and cool I was compared to the lamers who always used the standard :-) of the time (~1994).

In recent years I’ve felt like the more universal/generic emoticon, :) is better received. It’s a standard, known dialect. I guess I held out a bit too long, trying to stay different. Thanks a lot, Arby’s.

Same with “Hehe”.. in “the olden bbs days” that was very common, along with <G> (grin). These all predate emojis and other graphical representations of reactions and emotions (and poops). But one time a friend told me that “Hehe” seemed mischievous. I felt like I’d been miscommunicating myself for all these years.

But, like language, I guess emotions depicted by computer/mobile screens will continue to evolve. I’m just proud that I got to be a part of the beginnings of it all. Signing off, The Greybeardener.


Audio —

The past 10+ years have really focused on the visual senses regarding culture. The age of smartphones seem to have steered our senses toward a visually dominant experience and interaction with others. Texting, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter, memes, blogs, all of these focus on what you can see, read and understand using your eyes.

To me, there were some parts of the 1980’s-1990’s teenager culture in the U.S. that screamed audio dominance. Noisy arcades, MTV music, concerts and radio for instance.

Of course “video” games were anything but audio centric, though what I remember walking through arcades when I was young were machines surrounding me with loud music and sound effects. Pinball machines in one area clicking, dinging, flipper-ing.. On top of that, people talking loudly, laughing, screaming, cheering. A true gathering, a community even if most people didn’t know each other. Many times these arcade games were in pizza parlors (another 80’s-90’s staple) which also had jukeboxes.

Don’t even get me started on jukeboxes.

MTV’s shtick was video but its heart was music. It dominated televisions day and night with music videos of a once-in-a-generational declaration. It got us to spend every last dollar on tapes and CDs for our walkmans and discmans with their characteristic on-ear headphones that still rock today.

I unfortunately didn’t get to experience many local (or otherwise) concerts until I was around 21. I guess I just never had a friend that played in a band that asked me to see them play somewhere random where I’d be inundated into the “local scene”. Even then I wish I did know someone.

Radio was still dominant then when it came to discovering new music. MTV was big but local radio had a much different character. And more importantly, it had a /local/ character. You would tap into the local culture through truly local radio stations. Not the piped-in syndicated blubber that we all still know (and love?) today, but the stations that took listener calls, held contests for tickets and had funny morning hosts to help jumpstart your day.

Video may be enticing and intoxicating, and I definitely do not dismiss it as a dominant human sense. I feel that audio presents a very interesting avenue for influence and even a deeper cultural anchor based in rhythm and repetition.


Split-brain —

What is split-brain?

  • Difference in interpretation of laws, morals and ethics across a nation
  • Cannot identify which political party is fighting for what is “right and just”, even when both parties claim to be doing just that
  • Both parties accuse each other of being delusional, hypocritical fucks
  • The liberty, freedom and security of the people are each severely eroded as neither side can admit even partial fault in prolonging the pain, fear and suffering of whom they are supposedly serving

(Content inspired from here)

 


Every 28 Days —

The ‘week’ is a superficial construct. It’s not entirely natural, though maybe not ill intentioned.

7 days in a cycle, multiplied by 4 cycles a month. Months ‘swagger’ back and forth to compensate.

The “alternative” (/s) to this manmade time-container is a more natural cycle of the moon. Something real and physical, visible and consistent.

Like a clock, it starts new and empty, slowly waxing to a first quarter. Energy manifests and dances in the 5th dimension, waiting to cross over. A trial of one self declares a decision be made – a culmination of intent vs. the demons within battle for the prize of dominating the next phase.

Building toward a beautiful climax gives a boost to those who have prepared correctly, or were lucky, or both… a hairpin turn throws a curveball in the name of fear and doubt and obligation. It also hurls a ball of energy toward positivity.

No drug compares to the germination of the seed you have sowed.


Hard Drive Sounds —

It was mid-1996, it was dark outside and inside. I was 16.

I was laying on my mattress in my room, on my right side. I remember that because I was facing my wall. I had just smoked some pot and blew it out my window. I wondered if my mom was going to smell it. Probably not.

I was happy, content, optimistic.

My 386/SX @25MHz w/32MB EDO RAM (SIMMs!) adjacent to me was on but the monitor was off. The 28.8bps modem was busy, and so was the 80MB IDE hard drive which clicked and purred as users traversed my Bulletin Board System. When they logged off, the modem would click and the hard drive would purr, with no clicking.

I was able to tell what a user was doing on my board while laying on my bed with my eyes closed. Messaging would mean the hard drive was mostly purring with some sporadic clicking. If they went into L.O.R.D. or another intensive door game, there would be lots of sporadic clicking. If they were downloading from the file bases it would be very steady, almost rhythmic clicking as the file was accessed and fed through the modem to some other person’s hard drive.

That night was honestly one of the most memorable ones of my life. I was so happy (and baked, lol), so excited that my BBS was getting callers and activity – I felt like I had created a thriving community that people really enjoyed spending time on. I was proud and I guess I should have been at 16. My board was one of the most popular in Sonoma County at the time. I was exploring technology, making friends (and enemies, heh), getting in trouble being a teenager, making mistakes, learning about different people and how to be a good SysOp..

I don’t think that feeling has ever left me. Whenever I think about the best moments of my life, that was definitely one of them. :)

 


Real Talk —

The strategy of lying about voter fraud, delegitimizing the election outcome and trying to suppress votes has been unmasked for the illegitimate attack on our democracy that it is, and I think that it opens a lot more doors to real conversations about how to fix our voting system and root out this cancer,” said Wendy Weiser, head of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy institute.


Happy New Year —

In the past I always thought of the year 2020 as very futuristic. Essentially it was 2015 from Back to the Future Part II.

Pretty interesting year, 2020.. We’ll look back on it and say things like, “That was the year that was much different than the rest” and, “Everything changed after 2020”. Many years have been like this, each in their own way. It’s hard to deny the climactic personality of this year, though. My one hope is that the ability for humans to understand each other more, myself included. Growing as a person without bias and at least a little bit disconnected from ego all the time is an important resolution to hold, I think. Happy New Year, and here’s to an even more interesting 2021. *Cheers* =)


Life —

I feel right now that life in its most productive state is a constant influx of change; Improvement, refining, learning. Stuff like that.

With what I have been working on lately (Linux systems + network architecture) I have felt the feeling that breeds “MORE”. I am obsessed with efficiency. I drool at a shell script that is perfect. I think and breathe inter-system communication, redundancy and power. Bandwidth. Security. Potential. It’s what drives me.

</DecemberRant>


Modern Survival —

I feel like we’re all playing a game of survival.

I used to play “war” with my friend John Ortiz in 2nd grade. We would walk around the school’s field at recess, pretending to shoot bad guys, and occasionally get blown up by a grenade. I guess you could call it a survival game.

Fortunately we had “do-it-yourself surgery kits” back then when I was 7.. which, well, …you get it. :) “My stomach is blown up by a grenade! I’ll get my do-it-yourself surgery kit. Ok, I’m better, AH! Another bad guy! *machine gun sounds*”

There are many more dimensions to the modern game of survival. Personal beliefs of whether or not COVID-19 is “just a flu”, political affiliation (and degree of said affiliation which determines your level of sanity or insanity), whether you root your beliefs in science and fact.. well, you get it.

Darwinism used to be “Survival of the fittest”. Now it seems it’s “Survival of the smartest”. When taking a few steps back from the situation, it seems as though the ones who think they know better than the experts are getting systematically wiped out.

Stay safe. Use common sense. Masks work. Science and medicine is real. The Earth is round.

You get it.


Was I Was Right All Along? —

When I was young I (mostly) followed what my dad taught me about people – that many of them are shallow and greedy. In the area I grew up, there was a big gap between the ones who made a LOT of money and the ones who didn’t. We weren’t one of the wealthy ones, and that was ok.

As I grew older I found qualities of people and situations that fit that same mental construct that was hammered into me – that I was different – and ‘everyone else’ around was just looking to get a house on the hill. To get rich, have social and financial status to gloat with, to fulfill their role as the ‘yuppies’ that were despised by people like me.

As I matured I wanted to start giving people the benefit of the doubt. I was meeting so many new people of so many different backgrounds with many different social, cultural and economic qualities. Everyone should get a chance to prove themselves, right?

A contrasting point lingers in my memory of my first girlfriend who lived in a trailer park. My mom was opposite of my dad – seeking social and financial status among her “peers”, choosing to create a facade of class in lieu of honesty. She seemed to know all about the kind of person Lillian was though she had never met her. This set me off on a road of rebellion. I knew who she was and she wasn’t trash. Honestly speaking she was a very confident person and I think my mom took that as a threat (we won’t mention that I was forbidden to date until age 16, and I was just turning 15, though she was bringing men in and out of our house at the time that made me feel like I was living in a motel).

The dynamics of my upbringing and parental influence on how to judge people were a bit accusatory and conflicting, to say the least. I feel like I had to forge my own path regarding how to treat people, of the ethics of human relationships and social constructs.

As I grow even older than that, I find (and to an extent, resist) the possible realization that when you reduce people to their lowest common denominator, there really are common qualities that you can assume people have. But what is this anyway, but stereotypes that form half-baked assumptions about individuals? Do we really go down that path of reckless thought patterns as we get older? One that divides, that assumes we know it all about everyone else? Isn’t that just lazy?

I don’t want to be someone who thinks they know it all, that knows someone before they get to know them. I want to hold onto the ideals of my young adulthood by acknowledging that everyone is different – nobody should be generalized. Once you forget about the things that make us individuals, you cease to maintain being one yourself.

I remember in the early 2000’s when YouTube was just starting out and there was a channel called “Hometown Baghdad”. This was in the midst of the Iraq war, as well as the Internet revolution. A group of young adults living in Baghdad created a YouTube channel and posted videos of their views on the world from their vantage point. “I love hubbly-bubbly” was one of my favorite videos posted, a funny and charming video in homage to their favorite hookah. Another video explained the reality of their lives – in the quote I remember, as the young men were explaining their views on life, reality, as part of the vlogger movement – “Everyone just wants to be heard”.