"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Kids are Coming Up From Behind

Quick meta-notes: my prestigious google ranking for the keyphrase "authentic experience" is not long for this world, methinks. Couldn't be eclipsed by nicer folk though. ;)

I did some good work today on the Drupal for Firebug project, which my colleague Matt has been rocking. It's interesting getting into new technological territory in terms of writing extensions for Firefox. Still following reliable trailblazer John Reisig, one of the real shining lights of the internet. Big ups and terrorist fist-jabs for him.

It's got me thinking about how much I'm over this old Dirtstyle website. Coming into the Autumn, I feel the need to start living the dream a bit more, even if that means experimenting around the margins of what the dream might entail. Fortune favors the bold, and I think it might be fun to work on my own website as a project. My entrepreneurial activities of the past two years have sucked a lot of the joy out of the web for me, and that's a real shame. Doesn't have to be like that.

This might also a good way of getting back into a regular writing pattern. I've realized that this (writing) is something I'd like to keep up, and that in the longer-run, maybe I can have some of my career based around writing english rather than writing code. That or I'll hit the high grade one of these days and can start living that charmed boho life that suddenly becomes possible when you've got a pile of cash on reserve. Ah, dreams.

Read More


Another glorious time-compressed post from under the Embarcaderro.

It now looks like I'll be in SF through early next week. Got some important meetings to handle. I'm more or less dust-free now (though the back of my pickup is a hazard zone) and I'm enjoying being out and about on my Mission Bike here in the watered-down SanFranSwelter of summer part two. We slung out 41 bikes in August, and got ourselves on Current TV. Pretty neat!

It's back to the grinder though out here, and looks to be that way for some time. We're sort of at a critical make-or-break point with the biz: can we get our process solid enough and score enough high-quality Drupal work to last through the winter, or will we be the proverbial Grasshoppers of the internets, starving and shivering our way through the cold and dark.

Time will tell. Hard work until then. Here's comes the train again.

Read More

Slip-Siding Away

The Redman Wants Out!

Sunlight breaks through the fog, the clouds lift, and the earth practically reeks of fertility. I roll down my pickup window on the safety corridor, letting the air waft up off the newly re-greened median divider and ease my troubled mind.

Things have been better lately; getting a little more balance in life, and starting to trust in The Others to do their thing at the office. That's an important thing for improving the overall outlook. Letting some of the weight fall. On the downside, the little muscle spasm that's been intermittently but persistently troubling my right eye has expanded its territory down to my right tricep, a much more noticeable flutter when it crops up. Seems like a bad sign.

Sometimes I wonder if this context really argues for taking my first real Time Off and going to a balls-out bacchanal in the Black Rock Desert. But wow, I'm sick of doubt. No more second-guessing, just forward progress.

As someone close said to me a few nights ago, it's hard being talented and gifted. I laugh that kind of thing off -- forbearance against deadly Hubris, doncha know? -- but it's undeniably true that those of us with pronounced personal expectations and ostensible potential have a tougher time finding our grove. There's always more, and it's never enough.

Read More


Not much to say of late it seems. I've been head-down trying to clear the decks so I can take off next week for a little Black Rock vacation.

Things to report briefly:

  • I got a haircut. Less tangles, more angles. The barber is a local fixture in Eureka: a half-Yurok half-Irish man named Rockey who's been cutting hair in the same downtown spot for more than 35 years. He's up in everybody's business.
  • Visit from The Big Irish on her long-awaited tour of California cheeses. People always think we're related or dating (hopefully not both), though neither have ever been true. She is my best female friend, and something of a confidant though, so it was well-timed for her to arrive what with all my Sturm und Drang of late.
  • Also had a good talk with the moms about life in general. I'm feeling lighter about things this week as compared to last, but generally increasingly aware that I need to shake things up to get my life to be where I want it -- the lack of creative outlets and physical exercise is causing some serious moldering of the soul.
  • Politics is a drag again. "Obama leads 20 points with 18-34s, McCain leads by 1 with everyone else." WTF? Hopefully the buzz will return post-convention.
  • This music my blow your mind.

Things seem to be coming together slowly but surely. Life is a two-steps-forward/one-step-back affair most of the time. That's frustrating for a guy like me, especially when I make the mistake(?) of extending my sense of responsibility to include a lot of things outside my control.

Read More

Sunday Sun

It's been a hell of a week. I made a promise to myself to take a true "day of rest" this Sunday.

Did a middling job catching up on correspondence, but am feeling better about the universe overall.

I really need some vacation; may try to take a three day weekend for Rest purposes before Burning Man at the end of the month.

Read More

Back In The Saddle

Gyarrr! My own site just ate my post! Time for an overhaul...

Well, that annoyance aside, my point was going to be that things are looking up. I have Moamar back, and with a brand shiny new engine that aught to be good for as long as I want to drive it. I also got a fresh drivers license (lost that too) from the DMV, and overall my mood pendulum has swung back.

My schedule is still fucked -- spent all saturday working on TODOs that emerged from our work retreat, which went swimmingly; did not make it up to Pickathon -- but it's a joyous kind of struggle. I'm anxious to round out my life a bit more, but for now it's good to feel that all the hard labor is adding up to something great. It helps. Whistle while you work.

It's always moved in waves. Two steps forward, one step back. April and May were very much on the upswing, June and July not so much. It feels like things are turning right now, so perhaps the late summer will be a burst of awesomeness. It would be nice to start putting together some winning streaks soon.

Read More

Deep In The Heart of Texas

Things are churning here. The Netroots Nation scene continues to evolve. It's a younger crowd every year it seems, though still wonky and sometimes a bit paranoid (the cute blond girl I chatted with complained of accusations of being a Republican plant), but overall everyone looks good. People have lost weight and look healthy; they know they're winning, even if the win is questionable and the progress seems too slow.

A great find has been hanging w/the coolkids behind Music For Democracy, which is shockingly familiar, and fun. I also got to play Phil Donahue -- microphone man -- in a nice little "Dean to Obama" session. You might have seen my somewhat poofy hair on C-Span there.

It all makes me consider my own future. This world is one I've grown ever more distant from over the past four years, and a world in which I feel like I've let a lot of people down, or at least not realized the great expectations that I and others helped to engender. For instance, we evangelized Drupal as a platform technology which helped break up the DC tech oligarchy and drive "the .org boom," but ultimately that promise remains unfulfilled, and our personal interests become diffused, focused on other things. The technology is better than ever, but our crucial human energy is missing, and so the value remains undelivered.

As I said before, it feels like my immediate first-degree network is coming up in the world, starting families, careers, etc. As I said before, it's a wonderful thing, but I feel the spread, the phenomena of "continental drift" as my Pa used to say.

I realize the impossibility of holding on to the past. In truth there are more people I love and cherish that could ever be knit together directly. I just worry that in the midst of everything everyone will just slip slide away, that I'll say stuck where I am and the distances will continue to grow.

Read More

That Ole Tyme Bloggin'

It's time for a good old fashioned post, like back in the day. Contrary to what you might think, literary exhibitionism and all, I do all this first and foremost for myself, as way of processing my life. In the 21st Century, blogging is the fist draft of history, and doing ones own autobio in real-time is a powerful way of controlling and making sense of the personal narrative. I'm glad if it brings some light into the reader's world, but the main thing for me is pursuing my life goals; truth, presence, appreciation, flow.

Today was my first day working in our brand-spankin' new Humboldt County office, located in Old Town Eureka. It's going to be good, a really nice feeling. Currently it's somewhat empty as a space, but the potential is palpable. It feels like the beginning, pun intended, of a new chapter.

My life for the past few months has been -- more than my life already was -- consumed by my job. Workaholism runs in my blood, and it really does have all the lovely features of addiction. Patterns, void-filling, debilitation of other life-aspects, the whole gamut. If I really were a devotee of the bottle, say like Charles Bukowski (we should be so lucky), this would be the part where I'm haunting some seedy bar where I get a few pints for free in the morning, and the bartender lets me sleep away the afternoons on a pile of cardboard boxes in the alley out back.

But I'm not writing epics of the lush life, and so the outcomes are different. Arguably favorable. And yet I wonder where this leads. Conventional career success feels more and more like a potential bait-and-switch. As the hippy engineer used to say, "don't get a job, get a life."

Read More

Independence Day

Tom Jefferson ten days before the 50th 4th, and his own death, too sick to join the party:

I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made.

May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings & security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.

The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of god. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

I added paragraphs and capitalized sentences for readability. Nice sentiment.

I'm my own quest for self-governance, I've gotten spread too thin again. The muscles on the lower half of my right eye socket are now twitching off and on -- a few weeks ago it was the other side -- which I take to be a bad sign. But there's light at the end of this tunnel, and a baseball game this evening.

Read More

Mexican Disco

It sort of boggles my mind that getting 36 free hours can have such a restorative effect on my psyche.

Of course it's not just that I got a little time off, it's also that I got to see my family (blood and otherwise) and see that Life Is Still Good outside my hexagram of stress. It's easy to lose oneself in the whirl of Important Things, projects and deadlines and commitments and responsibilities. It's easy to bite off more than you can chew; what happens then? Choking, usually.

The feeling of choking is a kind of panic, a freakout. Even if all that's happening is you've got a popcorn kernel down the wrong pipe, the lower reptilian brain will reach up and start strangling higher consciousness. Under pressure to survive, to breathe, everything else falls away. Welcome back to the base level of Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs. This is why people who are drowning often drag would-be rescuers along with them. This is why waterboarding is an effective form of torture.

This same phenomena is operative at higher orders of consciousness as well. Intense and seemingly overwhelming pressure can come from peer-acceptance, from a loved one, or even from one's normally wholesome source of spiritual light and guidance. Luckily, the further you get away from bare physical survival purposes, the more likely this pressure can be dealt with via a quick bit of social or mental judo. Abusive relationships can be escaped or even mended, truly loved ones communicated with, etc.

Even better, if you're getting all fouled up at the highest levels -- which is to say confused or upset about purpose and meaning, as I have been -- resolution is just a matter of perception, perspective, organization, reclaiming the dignity of your own experience. Not that this is ever easy, mind, but it's more within my power than overcoming a physical lack of oxygen, or the like.

Read More