"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Don't Forget The Magic

Lately it feels like I have been forgetting the magic. This old website is in its sixth year of operation, and my original reasons for starting it up -- to retain meaningful connections with friends and family, to tell (and therefore to live) a compelling life-story, to embrace several values that I hold dear... all these seem ever more pressing.

My life has changed a lot since November 2001. I've changed too, but I still need the same things. It's time to remodel, to return to some first principles. So, until that gets done I'm going to put a lid on the blog.

It's still there, under the hood, but I'm not going to post anymore until I get some things figured out. This is partly how I spur myself into action, carrots and sticks. However, if you want to get a ping when I come back, here's where you go.

In the mean time, I'm still going to be active online in the usual spots:

So maybe I'll put a little more here sometime, but for now I'm going to go back to digging for the magic. See you on the other side.

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Blog Hiatus

The blog is going on hiatus until I work some things out (details). Do you want to be pinged when I relaunch?

Hear Those Drums?

The Bush administration much have some kind of wardrum 808 going, with DJ Dick Cheney on the wheels of steel.

The political calculus is slick. Everyone "supports the troops," whatever that means. It gets standing ovations from the full house. If the warmongers can successfully create the perception that Iranian arms are being used to kill the troops, they can then make the case that those who oppose bombarding Iran aren't "supporting the troops."

The kool kids call this casus belli.

It's garbage, but so was last time. JMM says "it's a distraction" like this wasn't also true before. I worry that they'll still do it. Bombing is a lower bar to clear than invading -- though it would still almost certainly have terrible consequences. These people are, if anything, worse than Nixon, who did bomb Cambodia (next door to Vietnam) without really asking or telling anyone in Congress.

I don't know what I'd do if this happened.

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Breaking My Site Design For Freedom

Freepress is pretty cool, but not that cool. Meaning they have a nice mission, but aren't any smarter than the Sierra Club (enjoy your global climate change). Anyway, this is clever and important, but i had to hack it out of their site to put it on mine, which I shouldn't have had to do, and the only "action" is just listbuilding.

Hint to freepress: embrace viral message distro and give activists more to do than fork over their personal information.

-Outlandish Josh

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Update Soon

It's been an eventful little trip to the bay area. I think the highlight so far has been the trip to the Richmond dump, and watching a man drive a very large, yet also frighteningly fast treaded bulldozer on top of a medium-sized pile of trash. Close second would be re-tracing one of my favorite old bike routes -- out Ashby ave and up Grizzly Peak -- with Moammar. Many other things have also happened.

I've got three or four large posts brewing that I can feel, but I want to get a first cut of redesign done first. This narrow-ass text column is bumming me out. I'll see if that happens tonight when I make it home.

UPDATE: No it didn't, because after a 300 mile drive you don't often feel like wading into the reeds of web-design. It's officially a project now though.

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You Gotta Rip Up To Tear Down

Kneel before your new god:

Since I've gotten a car, the most practical impact on my life is that I've been making regular trips to the gym. I've used the little workout room at the Arcata community pool off and on since I moved here. It's simple, unpretentious, never crowded, and there are hardly ever any distractions (that is, pretty people), all of which is what I look for in a space to exercise in.

After starting back up, I've noticed I gained a few pounds, which is to be expected. Although my muscle tone is returning (hence the extra weight), I still feel a little pudgy and out of shape. I think this is because for the first time in quite a while I have not been bicycling on a regular basis.

There's a real difference in effects, both physically and mentally, between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Generally when I go to work-out it's weight training with a little cardio, but that's taking for granted that everywhere I've lived previously I'd bike to the gym. Given the new circumstances, I've decided to go for a bit more cardiovascular emphasis -- drain off some excess body-oil stockpiles / get high and cosmic on the endorphins -- and I've turned to the elliptical trainer in my hour of need.

Usually I rock the stationary cycle, but my spot doesn't have a great option there. The one upright has a wide seat, which is good for some people but not me and my workout style. I like to ramp it up to 95rpms, listen to the Private Psychadelic Reel, and sweat my ass off; having to shove my legs around a big cushion is a pain, literally. Their recumbent option -- always my favorite style for stationary cycling -- doesn't offer variable resistance, so I can't make it hard enough to get an appropriate burn.

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Reign o'er me!

It's raining!

This is a pretty good thing, as the winter out here has been exceptionally dry (and cold). Rivers running low, etc. Out where I live water isn't a problem per-se, but farmers and other folks in drier parts of California have been stressing it.

I'm also headed down to SF this weekend. Probably drive down Friday morning and back on Sunday. Got to do a little business and mind-melding, and Moammar's got a clean bill of health from the mechanic, so I feel good embarking on the trip.

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Johnny Sunshine Blows It On Health Care

I disagree with most of my friends. I think the Health Care plan John Edwards proposed yesterday is a massive dud, and I'm very disappointed.

Here's Candidate Edwards looking and sounding pretty good on the issue:

But here's a summary of his plan, which also remarkably light on specifics and isn't available as HTML (wtf?):

  • Require businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
  • Make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
  • Create regional Health Markets purchasing pools to ensure that every American has a way to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
  • Once these steps have been taken, require all American residents to get insurance.

Emphasis all mine, but notice the difference? Candidate Edwards says the word "insurance" exactly once: to attack a sick and parasitic industry which combines the worst aspects of Socialist Bureaucracy and Capitalist Profiteering, and is rightly loathed by virtually all Americans.

His plan, on the other hand, is all about making insurance affordable and creating new markets and choices for insurance. Oh, and also tax credits for insurance too.

This is a huge mistake, for a couple reasons.

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Microsoft to Embrace OpenID

Bill Gates sez M$ is gonna back OpenID. This is a good thing. Although you can be sure they'll cock it up on some Windows product, OpenID is simple and well-enough-designed (ala other basic protocols like SMTP, HTTP, DNS, etc) that even if your fancy bells and whistles suck ass, the basic protocol still functions well, and other people will make better products, and progress marches on.

Honestly, I don't think M$ can break OpenID, and I think having them on board may finally break the logjam. Get used to seeing this:


Learn more, if you like. But the jist of this is that you will soon be able to house multiple social internet logins under one roof, meaning you can pick someone you trust and use that login everywhere without compromising your security. For instance, you could use your AIM login info for most other places you need to "identify yourself" online, without compromising your AOL account. It also means it's easier for people like me to cut back on comment-spam. Woo!

Those are immediate benefits. The addition of a true distributed identity layer to the internet has much more revolutionary potential as well, but we'll have to see how things play out for a few more years before any of that happens.

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Wanna Work For Me?

We're hiring at work. If you want to work for me, you should apply.

In seriousness though, I'm really hoping we can find a couple people to grow with. Thus far things have been going pretty well, and we're looking at a very good prospective fiscal quarter. Plus, it would be nice to have some dedicated developers in the house.

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