I realized some time ago that there are a lot of things that I needed to write down, and that I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t doing it mostly because they were things that I didn’t necessarily want my whole Twitter feed reading.

So, I started a new blog and Twitter feed that will probably get a lot more posts than this one. But, of course, I’m not telling y’all what they are, because that would defeat the whole purpose.

And, seeing as how I am a geek, I wanted to provide anonymity for myself on a technical level as well. To this end, I am using the Tor Project to anonymize my IP address. I am using a completely different browser just for using Tor. I didn’t want to share my regular browser (Firefox at the time, Chrome now) for my regular browsing and my anonymous browsing because there was the risk of not using Tor when I meant to, the risk of my anonymous browser visits getting logged in my browser history unintentionally, the annoyance of possibly having cookies get mixed up, and also the annoyance of having Tor possibly slowing down things that I didn’t need or want to use Tor for. It was much easier to just relegate Tor to its own browser.

Unfortunately, a couple of browsers on OS X use system-wide proxy settings. I didn’t want to use Tor for my whole system, just one browser! I settled on Opera as my Tor browser because it allows you to set the proxy settings that only affect it and not the whole OS. Also, Opera for OS X is a pretty nice browser, even if Opera Mini for the iPhone has awful privacy implications (please, please don’t use Opera Mini).

Anyway, I don’t know if my new blog means that I’ll be blogging here less. Probably not, seeing as how I only post on here about once every month or so. But the ten or so posts that I have made on the new blog have been really helpful for me so far. It is really good to get thoughts and feelings down in writing sometimes to help myself really understand them.

I did tell one lucky person about the blog – Mags. I wanted to make sure there was nothing hidden, and be completely open with her. On the flip side, she said that she decided not to read it unless I showed it to her, as to respect my need for a private outlet. One thing I thought of, though, is that I’ll need to show her how to use Tor if she is to view my blog from her computer, because my paranoid side knows that combing the visitor logs would reveal her IP address… which is also my IP address. And my anonymity would be potentially blown 🙂

I had been thinking for years of starting an anonymous blog. I am not sure what took me so long to do it. One thought of mine has been – if I want the blog to be anonymous, why go through all the trouble to put it on the web at all? An encrypted text file would do just fine. And I am not really sure how to answer this question completely. But I guess my vanity demands the potential for some readers, which I have had zero of so far 🙂 Also, with the potential for other people reading what I am writing, I am motivated to make my writing more coherent more thoughtful and complete, which helps to further the purpose of the blog to begin with.

OK, it is time to make another post on my super-secret paranoid anonymous blog!

Mags and I want to go camping, and I had a fresh desire to do so just this morning. I really want to see the stars clearly, snuggle up in my sleeping bag, sit by the fire, go hiking, you know, all that good stuff. Anyone want to join?

We’re going to Copenhagen in September or October, for about ten days!

Yeah, it’s a long way away, but we’ve got to save up our paid time off 🙂 Immediately after the wedding, we’ll go to a bed and breakfast for two or three nights.

I’m getting pretty excited. Things are moving along pretty smoothly. Invites will start to go out tomorrow night.

I decided recently to start blogging more in lieu of certain posts on Twitter. I find that, whodathunkit, it is hard to fully contain a thought in 140 characters sometimes.

Mags and I talked tonight and it seems like it will probably make the most sense to have a short two- or three-day honeymoon immediately after the wedding, with the full honeymoon coming some months later. The short honeymoon will probably be at a nice bed and breakfast. Here are some ideas for the longer honeymoon – maybe about ten days in length…

Copenhagen. Cute, European city from what I hear. The most appealing thing, though, for both of us I think, is the huge bicycle culture here.

Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo. Seems like there would be endless partying and world-class food here.

Mixed trip: Napa Valley and a cabin in the woods somewhere. This would probably be the most relaxed, peaceful option. The days would be filled with wine tastings, hikes in the woods, and lazy days in small towns.

Obligatory island somewhere. This option obviously has to be explored.

That’s all I can think of for now. I am sure we will come up with more ideas. I’d love to hear your ideas, too!

After more than a year of using a bicycle as my primary means of transportation, today I experienced the worst yet dangerous confrontation on the road.

As I was going down the hill on the 200 block of Chenery St, one block from my home, I heard a car behind me trying to pass in the oncoming lane. There was a car in front of me already, a stop sign coming up, and I was already going fast, as I was going down a hill. So I put my left hand out, palm facing the passing motorist, to tell her to “stop.”

Indeed, she did stop trying to pass me, and also yelled out a few things like “Move! Move!” and “Hurry up!”

Keep in mind that this is a residential street. Also keep in mind that on this downhill, bikes go faster than cars.

Of course, I point out all of this to you, my logical reader. Unfortunately logic literally does not enter into the decision-making process of many people. Moving on with my story…

So I am still in front of her, and I come to a complete stop at the stop sign. I turn around and ask “Just how fast do you think you’re going to go on this street?” She only responded, “Move! Shut the fuck up!” She then went around me at the stop sign, almost hitting me.

I am glad I am not a naturally violent person, because I did have a strong urge to kick out her tail light, but obviously I didn’t do that. You can probably guess that I easily caught up with her again, showing that in this case cars slow bikes down, bikes don’t slow cars down. I pulled up alongside her car at the next stop sign and said, “Did you happen to notice that I am going as fast as you are?” to which she responded (using her immense powers of logical argument) “Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!” She then sped off.

This is the worst confrontation I have had yet with a motorist. Mags and I did have another person yell at us on Chenery a few weeks ago, though. This time, we were going up the hill. I was hauling 60 pounds of bagged compost on my trailer, and Mags was riding alongside me. A car behind us gave two light beeps. Mags motioned for her to go around us. For some reason this really pissed the motorist off, and she passed us, cursing up a storm as she did so. She was an elderly woman, acting this way. A nice pedestrian on the sidewalk remarked, “You just can’t win, can you?”

Oh, but we can win, and we will. It is incidents like this that show the continued need for Critical Mass, which just so happens to be tonight! And, as long as it is taking, we are getting better bicycle infrastructure in the city, starting soon.

Bikers are pissed, organized, and we’re going to stand up for ourselves. Motorists don’t have that going for them, that’s for sure.

This time last year, I was living in the Tenderloin. Peter-man was “the guy on the couch” (or the floor, or the air mattress). It was good times. I had only recently met Mags, I think about a week previously, and I had a major crush on her but I waited about another week to take action. My birthday was celebrated with Fun-yuns and Slim Jims at the Brown Jug Saloon in the Tenderloin, along with a sandwich party in Dolores Park. Last year’s celebration was a lot of fun, but I dropped the Brown Jug, kept the sandwich party, and added a small meal with a couple of guests at home for this year.

I was working at IS Logistics, and generally enjoying that. I was probably about 8 pounds lighter. Oh, and another major difference is that a year ago I had basically no savings, but that has changed drastically. I am much better with my money now.

Also one year ago I was going to school and working at the same time, both full time, which gave me three near-breakdowns. Not doing that again 🙂 I value my mental health too much.

Overall, I had a good life one year ago, and I have a better one now. I am working at EFF, living happily with Mags and two great roommates in Glen Park. I am about to move my Mom out here, and I am excited about what is going to happen on that front. Also, I am becoming more politically active, and I have made a lot of new friends.

If it is this good at 26, could it possibly get better at 27? Well, I’m not going to worry about that too much. I am just going to do what feels right.

Bike Trailer Shopping!

Bike Trailer Shopping!

Yes, that is a whole box of firewood strapped to the bike trailer.

Wait, you are coming to our housewarming party tonight, right?

In trying to automatically upgrade WordPress to 2.8.3, I got the following error: “Missing zlib extensions”

I am using apache 2.2.11 and FreeBSD 7.1-RELEASE-p3.

To fix…
cd /usr/ports/archivers/php5-zlib
make install
apachectl restart

Voila…

Posted to fix the nonexistent Google results, hopefully.

I realized yesterday, not for the first time, but maybe most poignantly so far, that I spend almost all of my waking hours consuming someone else’s ideas. Even in my downtime, I am often reading. In the many times per day when I have the opportunity to be occupied solely by my own thoughts, I often break out the iPhone to read emails, RSS items, or Twitter updates.

Even at work, I am implementing someone else’s software.

Sure, I do create my own things from time to time, but this creativity is not frequent enough and it is often small in scale. Posting a tweet, designing a system or network, discussing my ideas with someone… these are the kinds of things that are usually my only creative outlet.

Things I would like to do, just off the top of my mind, are blogging, journal writing, meditation, building a bike trailer, contributing to open-source software projects, and DJing.

Hopefully these thoughts of mine will mean more posts here 🙂

What is it about our culture that makes us care so much about one dead pop star, and so little about so many others? Why do you have to go back two hours on Twitter to get twenty mentions of the Uyghurs, but you only have to go back one minute (!) to get twenty mentions of Michael Jackson?

Twice today I counted the occurrences of the word “Jackson” on cnn.com. The first reading caught twenty-seven instances. The second reading caught twenty instances. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China/Uyghurs got one mention each at most, and all mentions were pushed down to a much less prominent part of the page.

Our mass media is broken in that it promotes insignificant stories and neglects extremely important stories. It is also broken in that the stories themselves are filled with propaganda. But the mass media isn’t the only thing that is broken. Our culture is broken in that, when people go to cnn.com and see it plastered with “MICHAELJACKSONMICHAELJACKSONMICHAELJACKSON” they don’t have a mental gag reflex that says, “What the hell is this? I came to this website to see the news, not this crap. Surely there is a better source of news. I am going to go look for that source right NOW.”

What is it that causes this blatant disregard for the rest of the world, the significant things that are occurring in this world, the horrible injustices that are being carried out, many of them in our names?