The Darkener's Console

You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Facebook ugh —

I feel right now that logging into Facebook is largely futile and repeatable. What stems from a login is checking bloated notifications, scrolling through an endless feed of mostly regurgitated news and narcissistic quests of adoration, wrapped up with me sharing what post seems to be the least diluted and maybe even a bit educational and fun…and then my mom immediately ‘liking’ and commenting on it, giving me a sinking feeling that nobody else will now dare comment on it.

Digital Freedom Denied —

-= 1 =-

I am 36 years old. I currently live in a small town in Northern California, but grew up in a semi-large city of just under two-hundred thousand people. I’m married and have two children. I own my own I.T. business where I support and maintain small business computer networks. I am a musician. I work. I spend time with my family. I indulge in music, art… and pursue a few different dreams, projects and personal life goals. I guess you could say I’m “pretty normal”.

I’ve worked hard throughout my life to ensure, as much as possible, that I am ultimately in control of my own life.

Like I said, I’m in the I.T. profession. But even before I started my career, I was constantly immersed in technology. I was a computer geek before being a geek was cool. Right behind me, in fact, is a Commodore 64 setup – a computer reminiscent of my very early childhood, complete with some of the video games I used to play. It is a nostalgic representation of the start of my love affair with computers.

-= 2 =-

As I grew up in the early 1990’s I became interested in what some might call the “digital underground”. Back then, before the Internet was a common household utility, this meant calling online bulletin board systems with my computer’s modem. BBSes were independently run systems belonging to geeks like me, places you could log-on and communicate with others that shared a common interest (usually relating to technology). They were essentially places you could send messages to others, play games and download files that others had uploaded to share. I like to think of BBSes as part of the digital “golden age”. Every board was an island, a separate country – ruled by those who created them and, in the vast majority of cases run for free with the sole intention of sharing and communicating.

For the most part, BBSes gave you anonymity. When you signed up for an account on a BBS, one of the first things you chose was an “alias”, a “handle”. Handles were your identity on that particular board. For the vast majority of BBSers, your handle was not your real name. The reason for this was actually the basis of why most people called BBSes in the first place – to be able to be someone different than who they were in real life. For me and many of my digital peers growing up, my handle was just as important as my real name – and in some ways more important. Who I was online was who I wanted to be in real life as a teenager, but couldn’t; someone who was respected for who I was on the inside and not primarily by physical appearance or social status.

Having an online handle also gave me self-esteem in real life. It provided me with an identity that I could fall back on and allowed me to conduct my real life with a bit more strength and sense of worth. I still use the primary alias I created and used on most BBSes in 1993 for my personal e-mail address and consider it just as much of a real name as my legal one, even if now as a nostalgic reminder of a time when I could escape the real world and be who I was without fear of ridicule. If someone was behind me and called out to me by my alias today, I would turn my head without hesitation.

-= 3 =-

Besides simply having fun and interacting with others like me, I used BBSes to learn about technology. One of the things I was most interested in, and still am, is computer security. Possibly the start of this fascination was before I even discovered the BBS. When I was 11 years old and a friend had come over to play, we walked into my living room and he saw my Commodore 64 computer on the floor next to our large, wooden-cased television set. He widened his eyes, looked at me and said, “Dude – you could hack into a bank with one of these!” My eyes widened as well when he said that, and my adolescent imagination started running wild. I had no idea computers could be used to access other computers. A couple of years later, I became officially hooked on computer to computer communication when a friend and I called our first BBS late one night and thought we had somehow accidentally accessed a secret government mainframe. “WHAT IS YOUR NAME: ” It prompted. We looked at each other in confusion. We gave a fake name. “WHAT IS YOUR LAST NAME: ” ….I hung up and immediately unplugged the phone line from the wall. I was scared to death at first, but underneath that fear was a boiling excitement that never really left me; that drove me to learn more and more as the years went on.

On BBSes, “hackers” were just about the highest rank in the hierarchy of users. If others considered you a hacker, you were “elite” – a few steps above the normal user. You possessed knowledge many other BBSers wanted. You were a knight in the digital domain. You were looked up to, sought after and even feared by some. The Mentor’s “The Conscience of a Hacker”, written in 1986, was something that when read made you proud to consider yourself a part of hacker culture. System Operators (SysOps) became hackers if they wanted to successfully defend their BBSes against the bad guys – the “Black Hats”.

Black Hats are hackers with ill intention. In the BBS days, they sought to cause destruction, delete or modify files, to completely dismantle boards – usually to gain what they believed was respect, but in actuality was mostly hatred by the rest of the BBS community.

“White Hats”, on the other hand, are hackers that secure their systems and help others secure theirs. Their primary motivation is to learn as much as possible about computer and network security, and to help others learn as well. Back then, if White Hats hacked other BBSes, it was simply to prove to themselves and others that they could do it, and would not delete files or otherwise cause harm (besides maybe leaving a simple ‘calling card’ such as a message that would be displayed to other callers claiming their hack). Other hackers considered themselves “Grey Hats” – those who dabble in both good and evil. A Luke Skywalker and a Darth Vader rolled into one, if you will.

Most good intentioned SysOps wanted not only to defend their BBSes against Black Hats, but to protect themselves and their users against the danger of law enforcement overreach. Back then, government agencies were creating accounts on BBSes for the sole purpose of investigating them – and taking them down if they felt they were breaking the law. The “illegal” content on boards was usually nothing more than text files that taught you how to hack or software that aided in doing so, such as scripts and programs that other users created themselves. Some boards (called “Pirate” or “Warez” boards) hosted illegal software, such as commercial applications that were cracked to allow you to use it without paying for it. These were in stark contrast to purely hacking-centered boards, and though the pirate and hacking communities many times intermingled they were looked at very differently from each other.

From the SysOp’s perspective, law enforcement’s sole purpose was to hinder the process of learning and sharing. By secretively infiltrating their BBSes, raiding their homes, arresting them, seizing their computers and causing real life devastation, they were seen as an enemy of freedom. They were the biggest threat to independently run digital worlds. Many boards had disclaimers at time of sign-up that if you were an employee of a law enforcement agency, you must inform the SysOp before you gained access. The reason for this was simple; to let cops know that you knew they were likely there for the sole purpose of invading the privacy of your userbase and to attempt to take away what had been built with care and the purpose of helping others learn more about computers.

-= 4 =-

These days, my focus is on the Internet. To me, having grown up online before most people knew what “online” meant, the Internet is simply the largest BBS in the world. Everyone and their grandma is a user. There’s a message base for any topic, file sections for just about anything you could ever imagine and online games that allow you to forget, just for a bit, the difficulties and stresses of real life.

But the Internet is much more than just for having fun. Business depend on it to function and communicate. It is now used in almost every aspect of modern life, from medicine to military. At its core, though, it is simply a worldwide network of computers. It is not biased toward any particular use or intention of its users. It exists to facilitate whatever needs its users can come up with.

And to me, unfortunately, law enforcement is an increasing threat to the basis of what the Internet means and is capable of. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that their intentions are good. I know that they feel they must protect e-commerce, governmental integrity, corporate interests…but their inability to understand what the Internet really is causes their actions to undermine some of its most important virtues of all of its users.

One of my main concerns about digital freedom is that many countries’ federal governments have not only the technical ability, but the increasingly LEGAL ability to hack into innocent peoples’ belongings. To hack my computers, my smartphone, my wife’s smartphone. My children’s video game systems (which have integrated cameras and microphones, which require a connection to the Internet simply to function). I look at laws being passed and see the potential for widespread abuse by the few that are legally allowed to exploit them. I feel like I should move my copy of “1984” to the non-fiction part of my bookshelf.

I do what I can to defend myself and my family against these potential intrusions. I have a strong firewall between the Internet and my home network. I use an anonymizing VPN service which masks my true IP address associated with my Internet service provider and provides an encrypted tunnel between me and the VPN service itself (which I trust more than my ISP, unfortunately). I run open source software everywhere I can and always make sure each device is up to date with security patches. I even employ low-tech solutions like placing black tape over camera lenses when I’m not using them. Little can be done to microphones unless I physically open up the electronics and cut the connection, because black tape won’t stop acoustic waves from getting to ultra-sensitive microphones underneath. I must trust my other methods of protection to be ‘good enough’ to prevent threats I cannot myself eliminate.

But all of these things can’t stop the most resourceful Black Hats from invading my personal space and the personal space of those I care about. I fear there is still nothing stopping nation states, including my own, from using known and undisclosed security vulnerabilities in computers and devices I have on my network to intrude on my freedom of privacy. Even one vulnerability, say in a connected game system, could potentially allow an attacker to tunnel in past my firewall into it and then attack my entire network from the inside. Covertly activating microphones, webcams, keyloggers, screengrabbers is much easier when you’ve got direct access to the device.

Not only is privacy in jeopardy, but the battle against online anonymity is growing. Many social networking sites try to force you to use your real name. There are laws in the legal pipeline attempting to make it illegal to use anonymizing VPN providers, or to assume you are a criminal simply by using one and using that assumption to legally hack you. Many high profile web sites and services disallow access simply by using a VPN-associated IP address or Tor (such as Hulu, Netflix, and many online commerce sites like I understand that many are simply protecting themselves against criminals that use these anonymizing services to mask an attack, but a blanket reaction like blocking entire IP subnets is sloppy and overreaching at best. Why deny access to all of your customers that wish to practice digital security simply because a few bad apples use those same services as a way to attack you? That’s akin to outlawing all airplanes because of what happened on 9/11.

-= 5 =-

I don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that some very basic human rights are currently being allowed to be tossed to the wayside by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt to the masses. As the world becomes more dependent on the Internet for matters of modern life, the personal freedoms we all deserve seem to be darkening, shriveling, and fading to black. I feel the reason this is being allowed to happen is that most people don’t understand the technology they depend on, and therefore assume that the anti-hacker, terror-esque propaganda being spread about by greedy and naive governments and corporations is all true and must be stopped at all costs. These costs unfortunately include the right to individual privacy, anonymity and security. What people, in my humble opinion, must remember is that governments and corporations are still made up of people. And while many White Hats are employed by security agencies and corporate I.T. departments to secure their (and their clients’) assets, there are likely just as many Black Hats being employed which are circumventing these rights for their own benefit and the benefit of their employers.

We must, as a people, stand up once more for what we all deserve in life, which is peace of mind without compromise.

Stardog Champion – Temple of the Dog (Mother Love Bone) – 2016/11/04 —

It is simply awesome to see Temple of the Dog play old Mother Love Bone songs on their tour. If you watch the videos here on the Seattle grunge movement and Andrew Wood’s documentary, you’ll see how important the connection is between members/friends of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, and after Andy’s death, Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam. To someone who’s experienced their music first around age 11 (1991), but never knew the story behind all of these incredibly talented musicians and friends, it’s mind blowing. I feel like it’s a story that should be a movie in and of itself, one of young friends making music for the sake of music, one that expresses the value that friendship holds even after 25 years and the events that tie you together as empathetic humans experiencing life and making a difference upon the world with your craft. Here’s to Temple’s renewed presence in the world of music, and here’s to Andy Wood, who let everyone know he was there by fucking with Chris’s microphone (you didn’t think he’d let you sing the whole thing yourself, did you?)

Make it Happen —

I can’t change games within the rules

I don’t climb mountains as a fool

Circles, circles all around me

All this wasted energy

I want to kill, then create with you

Don’t you want to change it, too?

I want to turn this upside-down

Shake them up and drop them down

Watch ’em scatter in the sky

I was low and now I’m high

Media Decisions —

If major media and news outlets (including AP) made conscious decisions to promote and broadcast, not just of the U.S. but the whole world, stories that depicted generally positive news, the world economy would greatly improve.

I believe that when people are happy they are more likely to work harder and spend more money. Accomplishment is a great motivation booster and endorphin generator. We become more in sync with each other and less divided / solo. Not to mention the nice byproduct of people generally getting along instead of constantly at the defense, looking to separate from one another.

Media news outlets depicting a greater percentage of generally positive news (such as charity coverage, stand-up-citizen and generally positive role model, “I wanna do that too” type coverage) would create a desire for people to want to mimic it. As they say, it’s not called “television programming” for nothing. And not even just for news media but all kinds of mass media. It truly is, IMHO, something that could save the world at this point in time.

Same —

We are the same person
When you hurt me, you hurt yourself
And when I hurt you, I’m really hurting

I am the afterbirth, and
In this world I comfort self, and
Unfurl this mess
This mess

So close
But so far away
Let me ride this rocketship
The other way

I’m closer than you think
And I’m not really lost
So look within yourself
I’m not that far off

I’m missing that one link
And the only cost (is)
Mistook for wealth
You are in myself
I’m not that far off
(You’re not that far gone)

So close
But so far away
Let me ride this rocketship
The other way

We are the same person
When you love me, you love yourself
And when I love you, I’m really loving

And when you fuck me, you fuck yourself
And when I fuck you, I’m really fucking

Sincerely, Jordan —

I bet a lot of people (mostly my business clients) don’t realize that at the end of most of my e-mails, the “Sincerely, Jordan” is actually hand-typed and not an auto-signature.

Yep, I type it every time. Because I mean it.


IDEA: On-hold music fade-out, wrap-up tonally —

I have an idea that I’m willing to “give to the universe” (because I’ll never get around to doing it myself, haha).. an on-hold music solution that, when a call is picked up/returned to an ongoing call, instead of the music stopping abruptly, fades out (and possibly fade-in to the ongoing call). Another option, though technically much more difficult, would somehow ‘wrap-up’ the song itself – cut to a musical segway to the end section of the song (2-3sec?)..  Acoustically this would make transitioning from hold to call a much pleasant experience subconsciously – given the right kind of music, 2-3 seconds would be all you need to make your caller just that much happier.

I know it’s a stupid idea, but make it for me anyway. MAKE IT NOW.

Grunge —

The other night I was bored and did a search on “grunge” on YouTube. I found this ~45m Grunge documentary that VH1 did and watched it.

Now I was born in 1980 so my pre teen and teenage years were heavily influenced musically by grunge. While my first tapes purchased (apart from the oldies tapes my parents gave me for a radio + tape player mini jukebox for my birthday) were Appetite For Destruction, Alice Cooper and Weird Al, one of my first CDs were Nirvana’s Nevermind. I remember sitting on my living room floor one day looking at the insert and reading the bandmember’s names and the instruments they played.. “Bass” by Krist Novoselic..what’s bass? lol.. I remember hearing Perl Jam at my friend Travis’s house, where one of the songs Eddie Vedder belted out an F bomb. It was love at first listen. Rebellious, electric, raw, grungy rock …everything I wanted to be.

With SoCoRock, Cool Mic, being a musician and general music and technology addict, I was really drawn in by the documentary. I grew up and loved the music and bands they focused on – Perl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana.. but it really brought it all together into a story that made the whole grunge movement make complete sense. Seattle, an economically struggling area, cold, wet, far from any other major areas.. harvested a completely unique music scene with its roots in the music itself. Kids that were music fans hung out and figured out how their drums, electric guitars, etc. worked in musty wet garages. All day. Every day.

The scene grew seemingly with groups of friends that were into music simply hanging out together. When Mother Love Bone shot for the stars and really pushed to glorify what was going on there (along with Andrew Wood’s unfortunate Heroine overdose and subsequent death), with Sub Pop Records coming in to promote Seattle and Grunge to far away lands and the feedback loop starting between Britain and the U.S., the media had a feeding frenzy on the organic, raw nature of a completely new scene that was trying to fill a vacuum left by the charismatic Wood. Soundgarden jumped from Sub Pop to a major label first, followed by Nirvana..

The legendary one-time super project was formed and comprised of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, which was a good friend of Wood, and remaining members of Mother Love Bone, called Temple of the Dog. Temple of the Dog was a direct lyric of Wood’s, which I never knew – and both songs, “Say Hello To Heaven” and “Reach Down” were dedicated to him as well. TotD gives me many memories musically – one takes me back to my dad’s house when I remember using his high-speed dual-cassette recorder to make a dubbed copy of the cassette I must had borrowed from a friend.

I never knew Perl Jam as a band that took a lot of shit for ‘riding Nirvana’s wave’ so to speak. When the remaining Mother Love Bone members met up with San Diego’s Eddie Vedder, they were accused of becoming popular on the wave that was already being generated. What hypocrisy, I thought, as if it weren’t for the members, a lot would have been different.

Of course those memories are my own and personal to myself and watching this documentary really brings a lot of perspective to the music that created them and influenced me growing up. A whole genre that centered around bringing yourselves up on something real and that means something to you, and then immediately when it’s about to pop, tragedy.. it makes sense. Nothing can possibly create more genuine music than that. And when the media came in and started creating an atmosphere of illusion by getting signed, being a celeb and the whole “rock star” status, most of them scoffed and told them to fuck off. Unfortunately being able to handle stardom itself was difficult for such pure musical souls so addiction was common and unfortunately Heroin’s abundance in Seattle caused many of the best to drop off the face of the Earth.

To me, grunge was the latest in real musical movements. I feel a lot of nostalgia toward it today and I see a lot of style going back to it even here in Hidden Valley – plaid over t-shirts, ripped up jeans/shorts, the whole look is all around with teenagers. Just a while ago driving by Santa Rosa High school I saw a kid walking with a Nirvana shirt on. It made me smile and have hope for the next rock revolution, which I don’t think is far off. I’m going to do my best to make sure I’m a part of how it happens.

Dream Brother —

Last night I went back in time
Met my brother, classroom outside
He was glad to see me
He thought I was forty

These spaces are so easy
I can move about them freely
And I need to show you somehow
I need to show me somehow…

We aren’t locked in here
This distress is self-inflicted
We are a picture painted once
And live it through this dimension

We suffer through dementia
Our sense of time, amnesia
Looking ahead as always
Not realizing we move backwards

He wasn’t surprised to see me
He was excited, smiling
As if he knew it was me
And through this self-determined dreamstate I wandered, like many times before
Looking to my childhood
Wanting to know more
But he knew more

We can travel time in this consciousness
And I will figure out just how
I will tell you the future of now
Precognition is getting stronger
I know you see it in me
But I am still learning the ropes
So please go easy… on me

Let’s slowly remember our abilities
And stop this ruthless game
I would simply die if I saw us crumble
Before we actually changed

Is this picture painted?
Or can we change it along the way?
Keep me informed, smart and strong
Let me show you the way

(Written in 2012/03)

Fear —

“Look closely at the challenges humanity has been struggling with. What is the root cause of the environmental destruction, the poverty and inequality, crime, racism, terrorism, economic instability, mindless consumerism, endless wars and skyrocketing military spending?

These problems exist because the most powerful human cultures and civilizations have propagated a world view that presents life as a never-ending war between opposing forces- a struggle between good and evil, man and nature, friend and enemy, “us” vs. “them.”

Such dualistic thinking can serve a useful purpose at times, but creates chaos, inequity, unhappiness and instability when allowed to continuously dominate people’s lives.

For thousands of years, those in power have sought to perpetuate mindsets of competition, insecurity, scarcity and fear among the masses, in order to maintain their “ruling” positions. Nationalism, militarism, materialism, sexism, racism, colonialism, slavery, industrialization and consumerism are culturally conditioned ways of thinking and behaving rooted in a competitive and cold hearted view of fellow human beings and the natural world.

Like Adam & Eve, we continue to feed one another the lie of good vs. evil, rather than sharing the true story of ourselves as sisters and brothers, magical children of the Tree of Life. It’s almost as if the human family has been living under a spell, brain-washed and hypnotized to live in fear, to close our hearts to greater generosity, joy, wisdom, creativity, cooperation, peace and compassion…”

~Christopher Chase

Excerpt from:

Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset…/perpetual-…/

Balance —

“Karate Kid” is one of those movies, to me, that describes some of the universal truths of this reality.

When I was a kid I’d watch this movie because it was about a boy coming of age, learning how to kick ass and get a hot girlfriend. Little did I know that back then, the things I paid less attention to would soak in and manifest in my mind for sprout later in life to reveal some of the most important things anyone can learn in their lifetimes. Balance is one of those things.

My ongoing practice of Tai-Chi, meditation, healthy habits of the mind, body and soul have brought me to a place that I enjoy thinking is at a higher plane than I would be if I did not practice them. I think of the inevitable, the mystery of beyond this physical world and how what I am practicing is preparing me for that journey when I leave. With no thought of my ego, of fear or implications of events to come, I embrace these practices as knowledge… tools I will utilize in the next steps to self manifestation and the journey of everything, before, in, and after this moment. I am not without fault; I am constantly re-training, re-learning lessons I have learned thousands of times before through the same practice. From simple things like how to brush my teeth with my left hand, how to keep my eyes closed and balance one one leg while cleaning the other…and more philosophically, how to slow down, relax and embrace life with an open heart. I have found that honing these skills helps me with the things I care about most in my life – being a good husband and father. It also helps immensely with dealing with stress with work and simply with myself and being able to process the constant influx of analyzing of the past, present and future.

As Mr. Miyagi said, the lesson of balance is not just for karate… it is for your whole life.

Clock is ticking for magnetic tape archival —



Soon, these will all be unplayable, even for one-time digitizing efforts. So much history is kept on these, both of personal and public record. Music, interviews, documentation, even data such as programs and files for computers that utilized them as a primary media for loading and saving (Commodore comes to mind in particular).

Here is a great article on efforts and techniques to expedite the process of tape archival. From the article:

“The Cultural Heritage Index estimates that there are 46 million magnetic tapes (VHS, cassette, and others) in museums and archives in the U.S. alone—and about 40% of them are of unknown quality. Many of these tapes are reaching the end of their playable lifetime, and given the limited number of studio-quality tape players available for the digitizing process, not all the tapes will be digitized before the world loses them.”

Nerd? —












Is it bad that I think after a long day of Linux sysadmin projects, I feel that I need to ‘unwind’ by cutting the excess slack off of my primary Internet Ethernet cable and re-crimp a new RJ-45 end onto it (with sleeves! Woo!), so it looks nice and tidy going from my firewall to my cable modem?

I am a Laser —

I’ve had this idea brewing since 2011. It has manifested, evolved, shaped itself through my constant attention and dedication. I have a firm grip on my vision and its potential.

I know, and have known for a very long time that my project is *huge*. I say this with as little bias as possible – I consider myself a very modest person. I try to cover all of my bases, especially when it comes to dedicating so much of my time to a project I believe will succeed.

So after years of mulling over, perfecting, re-perfecting, trying to gather interested parties to team up with…to see another project spark itself out of the blue (and believe me, I’ve done my research) and gain instant traction and popularity worldwide; a project that hits so close to my project’s vision that it’s scary… it makes me very, very uneasy.

I am not without my envy, either. I can’t tell you how frustrating and disappointing it is for me to explain my project to others, those technically minded and those who couldn’t turn a computer on to save their lives… and have 99% of both sides look at me with confusing looks and responses such as whether or not it’s even feasible or realistic. I have wondered whether those thoughts by others are valid concerns for me to mull over, whether those people simply don’t believe I have the aptitude to pull a project like this off, or whether they simply don’t understand it. I wonder if I explain it correctly to people. All of this is a distraction from my goal; a temporary punch in the stomach that slows me down.

And to see a project so similar to mine pop up almost overnight with instant success, news coverage by major tech blogs and business/investment sites, and to realize that this is only the beginning of their wild ride to fame and fortune… is a major blow to my morale.

On the other side of the coin, it feels very good to me to see a lot of what I have been working toward verified to be an insanely popular idea. It feels good to see that so many of the ideas I’ve had actually be used by thousands of people, to be sparking a wildfire that is only going to get bigger. The community that is wholly embracing this new project is young and fertile, something I haven’t seen in years and rarely comes to light – only by those few that are daring enough to bet on something brand new and untested in the Internet community.

But I don’t want to live this dream vicariously.

This project that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere is causing me fright. I am both super excited and terrified at the same time. I want to join up with the company that is creating this phenomenon, but at the same time I want to crush them before they throw one last punch that hits the bullseye of what I’ve been working toward for so long. They’ve hit very close – close enough to where their community is using their tool for exactly the same reasons – but there’s one glimmer of hope in that their project isn’t geared toward it specifically – it is the Sun – a strong but diffused wave of light, reaching so far you cannot fathom to focus on any one object it washes over. I am a laser, a thousand times more powerful that hones in on a very specific object that many worldwide hold dear.

I am a laser.

E-mail links via click-trackers —

EnvelopeI rarely click on links in advertising/marketing e-mails (which I’ve opted-in, mind you) that travel through click-trackers such as Constant Contact (though those are one of the more reputable ones).

I guess I feel that when I hover the cursor over the link, the text in my browser’s bottom left corner should be going to the domain I expect (usually the one from which the e-mail originated?). Or at least one that is easily recognizable and is ‘tied to’ the type of content I’m looking at in the e-mail.

Having verifiable, trustworthy link URLs is very important IMHO. It weeds out the possibility of a phishing attack and leaves the possibility of any ill intention up to my DNS server (which could have been cache poisoned, for instance..far less likely).

That’s it.. just wanted to blurt that out.

Dark Forces / Innerlink BBS —

Innerlink BBS








(“Dark Forces” was re-named to “Innerlink” after Midas had ceased to be a co-SysOp – to preserve the original SysOps (The Darkener & Midas), a name change was necessary). This is the story of the boards original creation.


-=How Dark Forces was Discovered=-

One night, The Darkener was tooling around with a term program, and
discovered a mode called “Host”. He was playing around with it, and he
thought to himself, “Wow! This is pretty cool! I bet I could just set it up
and have people I know call when I’m not here and leave me e-mail! And, I
could even put files in here for them to download! This is like a mini-bbs!
This is pretty cool!” So he fooled around with it, and talked to Midas the
next day. Midas reminded him that he suggested putting up a BBS before, but
The Darkener never really caught on to the idea.
That day, The Darkener downloaded Renegade ™ BBS package and fooled
around with it. “Wow,” he said, “This is even better than Host mode! I
could actually set up my own REAL BBS!!” He thought of a name, (Which was
origionally going to be “Deep Forrest” but after talking with Midas, and
considering different names, decided on “Dark Forces”. (It wasn’t until
later that they discovered that this was also the name of a computer game!)
(Other considerations were “Golden Myst”, “Total Darkness”, and “Black Magic” BB
Midas came over to The Darkener’s house the next day, and tooled
around even more with the BBS, making many suggestions. They made complete
new menus, ansi pictures, and put in many popular BBS Door games. The
Darkener and Midas were proud of their work and had Merkey call and check
it out. He said it was pretty slow (Yeah, Merkey..)

The Darkener spoke with his brother a while later, which asked “Why do
people put up a BBS in the first place?” The Darkener thought about this,
and concluded that “Well, I guess it is because it is cool to watch people
interact with eachother..It’s kinda like playing God or something..” The
Darkener’s thoughts on SysOping were widened by this question.
The Duke (SysOp of Fortress Drogan BBS (707) 586-8924) helped The
Darkener and Midas with many confusing things on the BBS that needed to be
configured. (Thanks again, Duke!! I couldn’t have done it without you!) He
was very patient of the rookie SysOp’s questions and explained them to The
Darkener and Midas (sometimes, over and over until they got it). He helped
with many things, including the Online games, which was murder to set up alone..

After The Darkener’s brother moved out of the house, (With his phone
line) The Darkener got his own line, as well as a better computer to run
the BBS on (Hmmm..Let’s see…286 is not a very fast computer to run such a
BBS on) a faster modem (9600 was fine for him, but 28.8 was better of course).
And here you are right now, reading this bulletin on the discovery of
Dark Forces BBS. Pretty interesting, huh? Hehe well enjoy. This place is for YOU
-The Darkener

Rhythm —

RhythmRhythm is everything in music. It’s everything important about composing a song. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guitarist, drummer, pianist, anything. You build a foundation with rhythm.

Melody comes after rhythm. Melody is color, it’s spice… it’s the salt + pepper to the meat + veg which is rhythm. If you find a unique beat, people will latch onto it at the core.

Everyone is first exposed to rhythm in-utero (mother’s heartbeat) and they hear this for the first 9 months of their existence. I truly believe this has a huge impact on rhythmic inclinations throughout ones life.

Why “The Darkener” ? —

The Darkener

A perfect picture of how I see “The Darkener” character.

Not sure which BBS this was on, may have been my own (Dark Forces / Innerlink)..

The year was 1996 and the message base was dedicated to users’ L.O.R.D. (Legend of the Red Dragon) character descriptions. “The Darkener” was my first longstanding online alias and has stuck with me through the fall of BBSes and the rise of the Internet. To this day I feel it as much of a name as own – if someone called out, “Hey Darkener!” I wouldn’t hesitate to turn around. )

Grammatical and spelling errors corrected for embarrassment’s sake. Whoops, it’s still embarrassing ;) Actually, you know what? It’s not! I love the idea and character I created. It parallels a lot of what I was going through at the time, and always will to an extent. I have no reservations. Except it was way too easy for other BBSers to make fun of the name… “The Dorkener”, “DorkNerd”, etc…lol.



Date: 9:08 pm  Thu May 16, 1996        Number : 169 of 169
From: The Darkener                     Base   : Autobiographies
To  : All                              Refer #: None
Subj: The Darkener..                   Replies: None
Stat: Normal                           Origin : Local

Is a dark cloaked figure… He shows a resemblance to Death, yet his eyes are
that of a red hot fire… You see nothing in his presence.. A large black
cloak, dragging on the ground behind him, and two fiery eyes inside what
should be his face, yet seems only to be a pit of darkness… He is said to
be the kindest of people, IF you are on his side.. If not, he will do
nothing to hurt you unless you disturb his path in any way.. If so, he will
suddenly vanish and appear one last time in your soul, blackening it and
weighting it until it finally drops out of your body and to the ground… He
exits your darkened ball of hell and tears your chest open, ripping out your
heart, catching on every rib bone, every vein, artery, and any other bodily
organ… He shows it to you while you fall to your knees and beg for your
life.. It pulsates in his hand, pumping dark blood onto the soiled ground
beneath.. And before you close your eyes in total hopelessness, the exhausted
heart vanishes from his hands.. You fall to the ground and your eyes close
without control.. You mumble your apologies… He vanishes.. You die.

Woot!! —

I just got “” !!!

This site will transition to the new domain name in the next couple of days. Finally, the rightful owner has it – the mysterious, dark Warrior (Death-Knight, actually) from Legend of the Red Dragon.

I fucking love the Internet. =p

Sitting in a remote office —

Roadwarriors know what it means to be able to pack a bag. Being mobile is very important to me and my line of work – I’ve come to depend on certain devices, tools and methods to not only make myself comfortable and able to work but to simply stay sane. There are too many things that change technologically to rely on the latest gadget that comes along for important things such as recalling a password, taking notes and looking up information.

Right now I’m sitting about an hour away from my home (main) office at my colocation service provider, I house my bare-metal primary Internet servers here. I primarily use the server to host my websites, e-mail servers, DNS, and projects such as what is currently called Echonet.

Choosing was a somewhat difficult process (though the choice was obvious if not looked at from a financial-only perspective). I really wanted a data center at least semi-close to where I live (1hr away is doable) so if I really, really had to, I could drive down and fix something myself. But it wasn’t just that – Sonic’s atmosphere is something I love just being around. Like I tell most people, it’s like hanging out at a dot-com company before the dot-com bust. There’s a bunch of nerdy (cool) people walking around, playing arcade games and ping-pong, talking about their projects.. there’s the data center itself with Star Trek style security doors that open on one side, scan your RFID card *and* take your fingerprints, weigh you (so when you leave you aren’t holding a stack of rackmount equipment) and then let you in.

The office I’m sitting in now waiting for some backups to complete is specifically for colocated customers that need somewhere to work quietly. It’s an amazing perk to have access to all of these things…and like I said, I definitely do pay for it – but you know, you get what you pay for. I just wish I had more to throw down every month on a dedicated cabinet so my server isn’t sitting alongside many other peoples’ stuff, where a cord may accidentally get yanked, or worse. Maybe some day.

This, in addition to the fact that continually wins awards for respecting and protecting their customers’ privacy. This was just the icing on the cake for me. Not only are they technically capable of building and maintaining an infrastructure strong enough for thousands of people and businesses to rely on Internet access, hosting, etc., they really do strive to be the best out there regarding what I feel is most important this day in age – giving the customer the right for their data to be protected. They’re one of the most respected ISPs/data centers in the country (world?) when it comes to privacy and security. And that’s one of my favorite things about them.

Cheers, – thanks for giving me the tools, infrastructure, and security my business needs – and Street Fighter, of course.

Periscope #2 —

So I’ve spent another day with Periscope being at the center of my ‘lazy’ attention span(s) throughout the day. A few observations:

1) I can tell that the fever will die down very quickly with its current feature set. The Periscope devs will really need to dig deep into what it means to livestream your life, otherwise the current fire around this (admittedly very, very awesome) phenomenon will very quickly dwindle down and fizzle out. There needs to be search. There needs to be categories. There needs to be more interaction. You’ve got the curiosity of the masses, you must be magicians and amaze even more to amplify its affect on the status quo, or you will be forgotten when the next shiny idea comes along.

2) Periscope reminds me of what Google Glass tried to be, but miserably failed at (perception…of the product itself). Glass is obscure, foreign – but everyone has a cellphone so it’s more socially acceptable to hold *that* up instead of having free hands while your evil cyborg Terminator-esque camera eye records all.

3) Periscope is the ultimate A.D.D. inhibitor. If you’ve spent more than a few minutes on Periscope you’ve noticed that people will usually stop what they’re talking about to answer comments that are flowing by. This is distracting for me (the viewer) when I’m really interested in the subject themselves. Broadcast mode has the ability to turn off comments, right? I know it’s very gratifying for broadcasters to see everything their viewers want to tell them as they’re broadcasting. Most will even read each comment aloud before responding, which is kind of a funny running trait of the Periscope crowd so far.

4) Periscope, right now, is the *definition* of a young, fertile online community. It reminds me of what YouTube was before it went commercial – curious individuals poking their heads out there, experiencing a new kind of way to experience reality. If aliens are watching us to learn about what humans are really like, they’re now watching Periscope…Teleportation, yes. You did it. Congratulations, Periscope team =}

Periscope #1 —

I’ve been infatuated with Periscope for the past few days.

I’ve hardly been on Facebook. I don’t even *care* about Facebook anymore. I do admit I didn’t care very much about it already, but Periscope has become a really good reason not to waste time on Facebook feeling part-way disconnected from my friends. Living through pictures and comments and replies to comments is cool but kind of an “at-work” feeling environment now.

Periscope is sort of how I envisioned Cool Mic + Echonet at one point. I feel I’ve got some pretty good goals and app features laid out that set it apart from Periscope significantly (which also include a better initial business model), but I also know it’s a fast moving target (especially with the capital Twitter brings).

I’ve got to move quickly. Or jump on the Periscope train? ;)

The Little Fish and the Big Horse —

There was once a little fish who lived in a pond.

On a particularly sunny day, a very big horse walked over to the pond for a drink.

The little fish looked up at the gigantic horse in amazement and swam up to him.

“Horse, why don’t you live in the pond?” The little fish asked.

“Well,” the horse replied, “I don’t live in the pond because I can’t swim.”

The little fish smiled and swam away.

The next day, the horse walked back to the pond for a drink.

The little fish swam up to him.

“Horse, why can’t you swim?” The little fish asked.

“Well,” the horse replied, “I can’t swim because I don’t have fins like you do.”

The little fish smiled and swam away.

The next day, the horse walked back to the pond for a drink.

The little fish swam up to him.

“Horse, why don’t you have fins?” the little fish asked.

“Well,” the horse said, “If I had fins, I would be a fish, not a horse.”

To which the little fish replied, “I bet you wish you were a fish like me!” and jumped out of the water, making a splash.

“Well,” the horse pronounced, “I guess that’s what makes me a horse, and you a fish.”

The little fish then realized he was very hungry. He started swimming around, looking for food in the pond.

He grew tired as he searched and searched, high and low, all over the pond. After a while he swam back to the horse with a frown as he tried to think of how to get some food.

The horse had an idea.

The big horse walked to an apple tree near the pond. He found a worm inside of an apple on the ground. He pulled the worm out of the apple brought it back to the pond. He dropped it in right next to the little fish.

The little fish looked up at the horse, then down and ate the worm. “Thank you.”

The little fish looked up again and said, “Horse, I’m glad you’re a horse.”

“And I’m glad you are a fish,” said the horse, as he smiled… and walked away.

The End

Copyright (C) 2012 (Published under the CC Attribution 4.0 International license)