Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Any wedding can be a fairy tale wedding if you serve porridge and release three angry bears.
Primavera by Pierre Auguste Cot

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats last edited: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:16:31 -0700  
 art
Rex Mundi
  
The Storm by Pierre Auguste Cot

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats last edited: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:15:54 -0700  
 art
Rex Mundi
  
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Free Advice for your Monday evening-

Condoms prevent minivans.

Let's be safe out there.
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
me from The Old Quarter rough draft wrote:
The evening wasn't sultry, because using the word sultry would be terribly cliche. The evening was thick, mosquito-laden, and muggy, however. It was easy to sweat but breathing could be a challenge to one not paying attention. The weather created a sedentary lifestyle.


Sometimes my notes to myself in the story are more interesting than the story
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Tuesday 4 August 2015

So after a few days in Colorado I have decided that I really like this place, a lot. Sure the scenery is nice and yes, a lot of outdoorsy activities make me want to take up residence right now but there is something more to it than the “I wish I could live like this all the time” aspect.

These people up here are different. For starters they are polite! Almost polite in an extremist way. They go out of their way to be polite. It is amazing. For me going to a grocery store is similar to the amphibious assault on Iwo Jima during World War 2. Grocery shopping in Midland is a grueling, horrifying experience. Fellow shoppers are rude and have no sense of orderliness or propriety in the store. They will run you over and then cuss at you for being in their way. The store employees are rude and surly and about as helpful as a hungry grizzly bear. It should go without saying that shopping in Midland is about the most unpleasant experience in the universe. So when I am in a grocery store I tend to be rather aggressive and very task oriented which makes me oblivious to everything and everyone around me. It is truly a survival tactic.

In contradistinction to this being in any store here in Colorado is almost a pleasant experience. People acknowledge your existence. Store clerks are actually helpful and worthy of the title. Checkers are chatty and friendly and helpful.

Driving up here has been almost a joy. Even though I am a tourist and have out of state tags on my car the locals have given me room and not been rude when I miss a turn or do something stupid because I am lost. They pretty much obey the traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs and obeying the speed limits. In the past two days I have driven over 250 miles and have only been made nervous by drivers with either Utah or Texas license plates and I have had no junk flying out of oilfield pickup trucks trying to crack my windshield.

The diversity of people up here is something I will sorely miss. Midland is full of $1000 a week millionaires and they all must conform to whatever the yuppie media tells them they must conform to. Unless you are a Republican Evangelical between the ages of 35 and 55, work in the oilfield in some way, live in one of two ritzy neighbourhoods and paying through the nose for that privilege then you are pond scum and not worthy to be there. This is hard for a guy like me for while I label myself a conservative I sincerely do not believe the Republican party is in any way truly conservative, and I am a Christian but believe the modern Evangelical has become a self-indulgent sub-sect of the faith and I don’t want to participate in their practices. I work in residential construction (not the oilfield) and know how the houses were built in the fancy part of town and believe that only a damned fool would buy a house over there.

Up here I have seen people from every location imaginable and every walk of life imaginable and they live together in this (odd-to-me) symbiotic lifestyle. They seem to understand that they need mechanics and cabinetmakers just as much as they need bank presidents and roustabouts. (Note I did not say engineers. No one needs engineers.) Judging from what I have seen so far I’d say that the outsiders are the problem. Everyone here seems to accept everyone else to a point.

People up here walk. They ride bicycles, not as some sort of yuppie show of what they can buy for exercise but as a way of life. Oddly enough I have seen very few fat people around here where back home all I see is fat people and even morbidly obese people. I have yet to see a gym up here. These people are not content to sit on their butts watching Mountain Men they’d rather experience life as a Mountain Man than to watch them.

We drove on Highway 550 from Durango to Silverton today. For those who don’t know that road, Durango is at about 6,500’ above sea level. The high point of that road is about 11,000’. Silverton is at about 9,300’. We stopped at a roadside park to rest a bit and take a few pictures. While we were there two young ladies came in riding bicycles! One of the other wayfarers talked to these young ladies giving them praise for riding bikes under such daunting conditions. The wayfarer asked the young ladies what possessed them to undertake such task. One gave a rather non-descript reply but the response from the other one was priceless. She said “We were in Silverton and needed to get to Durango.”  

Conformity drives me up the wall. People who get iCrap because all their friends have iCrap are morons to me. If you want one fine but if you want one because Suzie, Bill, John, Francesca, and Hortence all have one then you are an idiot. A product that is better suited to your needs may be on the market already and I am almost willing to bet you can find one if you will open your eyes and start looking for it. Colorado is diverse. I have seen people driving ritzy-titzy cars and people driving junk. I have seen just about every style of dress imaginable in the last few days from drab Mennonite attire to people running around mostly naked. I have seen cowboys and bankers, woodworkers and bums, hikers in their store bought hiking gear to hikers who find what they need on the trail. There are people here who, judging by their attire, are Rastafarians cavorting with evil looking biker types in the bar in a pizza place bar.  

All in all, this trip has been a joy and an eye-opening experience.
Mike Macgirvin
  
They're probably being extra polite because the first thing they're thinking is "Uh-oh. He's from Texas. Probably carrying weapons."

Anyway I spent some memorable time in CO. Probably would've stuck it out longer but the only real job opportunity for tech folks at the time was "cable guy".
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
As a general rule I hate conversations about people. We all know that gossip is wrong. I have adopted a policy of not saying anything about anyone at anytime that I wouldn’t say if that person was in the room with me. Over the years I have learned that I really do not have much to say to a person’s face. I am content to allow people to live their lives as they see fit without any interference from me. I am neither God nor their mother so their lives are none of my business.

Facebook reminds me of a bar full of old men sitting around drinking beer. They are all lying to one another. Everyone knows that everyone is lying and it is no big deal in the bar. Unlike Facebook, however, what goes on in the bar stays in the bar. In the bar one assumes that everyone is drunk and lying but for some reason people have this quirk that makes them think that what they see on Facebook is truth.
Thomas Willingham
 from Friendica
I have adopted a policy of not saying anything about anyone at anytime that I wouldn’t say if that person was in the room with me

Odin wrote:> There is mingling in friendship when man can utter
all his whole mind to another;
there is nought so vile as a fickle tongue;
no friend is he who but flatters.

I would never say a word behind another man's back that I would not say to his face - because there is nothing I would not say to his face.
Michael
  
Bring back #celebritygossip
Rex Mundi
  
Ha! It has been a long time since the last #celebritygossip installment
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
At the coffee shop on an early Sunday morning. The air is brisk. The picket line of winter has begun its assault upon the shores of our aged summer. Birds, all poofed out to beat the chill in the air, hop from table to table outside looking for the leftover dregs of yuppie life. The coffee shop is pretty much empty except for two middle aged guys lounging and talking about sports, another middle aged guy with his computer and a newspaper, and a hack writer tapping out some random thoughts on a computer in the hopes of either inspiration or amnesty.

The city is quiet for a Sunday in the Bible belt at Christmas time. Some cars travel up and down the street but not really that many for one of the busiest streets in town. In an hour probably the traffic will be unbearable with the roads choked with the church-going folk. If the usual course is followed the restaurants will be filled after church with those folks going out to eat in their Sunday finery. It will be 2PM or so before anyone can get into a restaurant with any reasonable degree of speed.

Sunday morning at the coffee shop doesn’t appear to be couple’s time. Only one couple is in the place now. Mostly the place is full of middle-aged men. Even the baristas seem to be mostly middle-aged men.

The hipster is an odd phenomenon. I realize that I am not what one would call good looking or even a worthy catch but the hipsters must take a course at some virtually unheard of Hipster U. It is amazing that one spends so much time to look sloppy and disheveled and yet mysteriously looks clean while looking like an unmade bed.
16 March 2017 Portland, Oregon

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
from my #notebook-

Sitting in a bar next to the hotel we are staying in in Portland, OR. I really don't care from nothing about drinking but I am starving and need to eat or I will be fit to be tied in a couple of hours. Though, admittedly, I am having a Goose Port IPA. It is not bad.

Looks like Venezuela is playing the Dominican Republic in some sort of baseball game.

There is a girl crashed in a chair over here to my right. She is all wrapped up in a little ball in the chair. I doubt she is drunk or passed out. I think she is just a tired traveler.

We left the cabin today around 10 AM and traveled to see Mt. St. Helens. We saw Silver Lake and the mountain. We really didn't see much of the mountain. We did travel up the road a ways, maybe 25 miles or so of the 45 but I decided against traveling too much further.

Afterwards we traveled I-5 a way. I was going to take Angel up to see the capital but she turned me off on Highway 12 before we got to Olympia and we journeyed dang near to Aberdeen before I found the road to Raymond, which we took and went back to Chehalis and Aunt Linda's. We gathered Mom and drove to Portland and after about an hour of trying to find a restaurant and returning the rental car I am now sitting alone in the bar next to the hotel waiting on a burger, scribbling in my book and being served beer by a man with a manbun.

I may be the only man in this place not wearing a manbun. His arms are majorly tattooed though. I guess all of this makes him incredibly manly.

Signs all over this place say that this bar is under "intense" surveillance. I wonder what that means. How interesting can watching me write in this book be?

Now Across from me in the bar is a group of four sitting at a table. Two of them have more camera equipment than I will ever own. A young girl is using some of this gear to film two women talking at the table. THey are no one that I recognise and I am not sure that they are speaking English but the young girl with the camera reminds me of a real young Laura San Giacomo.

I am guessing that this group of four are French from some of the conversation that I have heard.

THere is a dark haired girl at the bar with a page boy haircut of sorts. She is 30ish, not overly attractive but she has worked every man at the bar in the last half-hour or so that I have been in here. She will be getting laid by one or all of them tonight.

The blonde crashed in the chair over here just awoke and stormed away when the jukebox- that the bimbo at the bar fed- got really loud all of a sudden, She must be an employee here. SHe has gone in and out of a couple of places that I didn't know were doors.

THe Domincan baseball team is ahead of Venezuela 2-0 in this game of the World Baseball Classic and I just noticed that all the guys around the brunette with the pageboy haircut have left- maybe just outside to have a smoke- and now she is working a young blonde girl sitting next to the her at the bar. I probably shouldn't be so cynical or perverted but what is going on here is so obvious that even I can see it going on and I am an idiot.

THe girl who was crashed over here by me is a pissed-off barmaid. She doesn't want to be here tonight.

I should probably backup a bit and say that we took the car back to the rental place this evening and we had to wait around for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel. That was a hoot! Man, there are some fucked up people flying into and out of the Portland Airport.
In the Wind
  
:) awesome. I wasn't sure if I was reading a journal, or a story.
JRandal
  
I found the post where I went to SP. Wasn't as detailed observing people on the praça as I thought, but you might enjoy it:

http://randalmatheny.com/getting-away-to-unthink/
Rex Mundi
  
It is about unthink time for me
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
With some prodding I have sat down at the computer, fired up some tunes, and am doing some more writing on the story entitled #Sophia. #amwriting
Rex Mundi
  
Ok so I haven't been aggressively writing on Sophia but I have had fun reading my notebook today... I'll go back to Sophia now.
A Kerouac-inspired sketch (not a poem just typed as written)

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
a white dove angered by the
loud truck driving by flys
off mad at the noise-
and here comes yet some more
sound filled traffic-
aging coworker shouts to
another for help carrying a
box and the playful banter
of people with no concept
of time's diminishing
returns- scrape scraqpe
bang what the hell didja
do? The sander's hum
drowns out the laughter of
children playing in a
school yard just a few
blocks away and the
traffic overwhelms the
sound of the sander and
a small voice drowns the
running monologue in
my head a gently playing
radio wanting to be heard
speaks up in and around the
decibels, frail tho it is,
oh Jack why did you fill my
head with your sketches-
damn you. Dead over 40 years
and still rocking the world!
The battle of sound rages on neither
sound gaining an advantage
for brief moments one or the other
of them dominates and then fades
for another to take the #1
spot. The NASCAR of sound
roar, whine, thump, roar,
clank, clank, laugh, laugh
This zoo of sound all the
animals are clanging the
bars with the pathetic cup
Attica! Attica! Now the
clickety clack of a keyboard
wants to be heard. Time to
focus in on the work
at hand but a team
of swallows has come
off pit road to enter the race.
What not to say in intimate moments

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
As some of you may know I believe that one of the more important things that any of us can do is to help out our fellow human beings as we journey through this little journey we call life. This post is in keeping with that mission. Hopefully you will find this post helpful.

Today's topic is talking while in the throes of passion. This is a dangerous game for men to play but for some reason women like to play this game. Now I have no idea what goes on in a woman's mind during intimacy. I have been married for twenty years and have yet to come up with the answer to that question. But as a man I do have some insight into what goes on in a man's mind. First there is the prayer phase and the comes the "Goodie Mantra." These two phases intertwine and become one big phase.

Every man alive whenever he is in the throes of passion, whether a good Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist heck even the atheists, says a massive THANK YOU to their Creator for the gifts they are about to receive. This is a universal. All men are grateful.

The next phase is the Goodie Mantra. Now for those unfamiliar with chanting let me type this very slowly so that no one misses the subtleties involved here. The mantra goes "Oh goodie. Oh goodie. Oh goodie..." ad infinitum.

Both the prayer and the mantra are repeated several times during the act. As a matter of fact they are repeated all through the act. Heck they are even said in the afterglow and cigarette phase. Sex is a very holy act.

Women on the other hand like to do things a bit differently. They want to talk and, this being an emotional experience, men feel the need to respond. This is incredibly dangerous for the man who is in a deep spiritual trance comprising mostly of thanksgiving prayer and mantra chanting.

Men need to be careful. Very careful. Very VERY careful. Here are some things that women have said during intimacy and the responses that the men have made. Let's see if you can see the errors that men have made.

Situation #1

HER: Oh Darling, tell me how much do you love me?
HIM: A whole crapload, Baby.

Now the man was very direct, open and honest, which is a good thing and should satiate the woman's need. But saying "crap" during intimate moments is... well it ain't too kosher. I'd recommend to this fellow that he simply grunt in a passionate way.

Situation #2

HER: Talk to me...
HIM: Well,... uh... baseball season starts tomorrow.

Now the woman must realize that the man's brain is full of prayer and chanting and when there are two big things like that running through a guy's mind it is damn difficult for him to come up with a meaningful and appropriate topic of conversation. This one is not the guy's fault but I do recommend that he grunt in a passionate way so that he is still contributing something to the conversation.

Situation #3

HER: If you were all that I ever had I would be satisfied.
HIM: Well that's a good thing because that's about all you're gonna get.

This dumb sap should've remembered to put his brain in gear before he released the clutch! He needed to take just a brief second from his worshiping to come up with something worthy like grunting in a passionate way.
The Cracked Pot

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Drained this cracked pot has one vaprous drop
The more poured the emptier the pot
This dry desert heat speeds the vapour away
This pyramid mummifies everything
Arrow after arrow fly from failure
More holes puncture the soul of this cracked pot
Hope and joy ooze out leaving weariness
With no need to stand the tired pot crumbles
The pot asks The Potter "why a frail pot?"
"I can only work on the broken ones."
an untitled snippet

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
He turns up the collar of his wool jacket as he walks out of the basement bar and up the small flight of steps that bring him to street level. He rounds the corner and leans on the iron railing that provides ludicrous safety by keeping the moderately drunk from falling from the street onto the basement level floor at the opening of the speakeasy. He fishes around in his pocket for his smokes. He pulls one out and puts it in his mouth as he scans the scene before him.

Not many people venture out in the dark of the night but the city never sleeps. The glow enhanced by the drizzly murk makes the world feel more ominous. Given enough time the drip…drip…drip… coming off of the gutters will drive anyone mad. The fog magnifies every sound. There a dog bark, over there a door slams shut, down the street a car splashes in a puddle. Every sound magnified. Every sound a mystery.

He strikes a match and lights his smoke, not so much out of a need for nicotine but as an act of defiance against the night. The dark doesn’t scare him as much as it did but lately the shadows gave him clues to things that make the day as scary as the night.

He stands up from the railing, straightens his jacket, and saunters down the street. He pauses momentarily listening to the crash of a waste can falling over and then continues onward as the mist wraps him in seclusion.
Looking at the Moon through Binoculars

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
This summer was extraordinarily hot and dry. Officially the government has said that Summer 2011 in Texas was the hottest driest summer in United States history. We have also had to contend with one of the worst outbreaks of wildfires in the history of the state. If all that wasn’t enough we’ve had to deal with all sorts of desert critters which were displaced by fire and drought moving into town looking for food, water,and a cooler place to rest their bones.

Needless to say I haven’t spent much time outside this summer. This saddens me. I like outdoors.

When I finally got home this evening the wind had died down a lot and the temperature is very nice. I noticed that the moon was high in the windswept sky, glowing alone almost in defiance of the Sun’s hasty departure from the land of blowing sand.

I decided to pull out my birdwatching binoculars and take a look at the moon. It has been a long time since I have done this.

Almost hypnotised I focused the specs on the moon, counting the craters, noticing the sunlight on mountain peaks well behind the light line, and all the dark dehydrated seas on the lunar surface. It is mesmerising to watch the sky gradually get darker, or is it the moon actually getting brighter?

Of special interest this evening were the bright white spots. These must be impact point of huge space rocks hitting the surface. When we were kids playing war games we would take caliche rocks and throw the against the concrete, sides of buildings, through windows, whatever. Caliche, or as the science geeks call it- limestone, is a soft rock and if a kid throws it hard enough against a hard surface the rock will explode into dust, leaving behind a chalky residue that looked like bullet impact points on those cheesy war movies of the 60s and 70s. The moon is covered in these impact points.

I bet the kid throwing rocks at the moon is huge.
My Declaration of Independence

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
In light of what I have learned in the seven years since this was written I see that this is horribly simplistic but it is what it is. I'll edit out the html someday soon. I hope you enjoy.

Way back during the days of Windoze98 First Edition my Father bought  me a shiny new computer which had Win98 on it. Oh boy I was excited.  This was the only brand-new computer I have ever owned. I waited for  days almost holding my breath for the UPS man to deliver my shiny new  wares. It seemed and eternity. All the computers that I had prior to the  one that was on order were an antique Macintosh and a dead computer  that had Windows 3.1 on it. I figured that when the new computer arrived  I would be walking in tall cotton.

So after an interminable wait the UPS man finally showed up with my  shiny new computer. I excitedly opened the boxes, plugged in all the  wires and booted it up. Oh I was in heaven. I trolled around the  computer a bit learning what all was new and improved on Win98 from the  old version of Windows that I had been running before. Then I took my  AOL v3.0 disc, put it into the cd drive (this computer was the first one  I owned with a cd drive) and watched as Gates' wonderful new invention  did it's thing.

Within minutes I was on the world wide web!

The next day I sat down at my desk to surf the web, booted up the  computer and got the famed blue screen of death. I did manage to resolve  that problem but my hatred of proprietary systems and software was born  that day.

Over the next ten years or so I have used most of the systems that  Microsoft and Apple have produced. My experiences with the various  operating systems and softwares of those two companies has all been the  same. They are neat and cool for about a day and then they turn to crap.

In 2006 after getting a monster worm and virus attack I finally said  to hell with Windows and loaded Ubuntu Linux 6.06 into the Manhut  computer. I haven't looked back.

Now I realize that Ubuntu is not really as grand a Linux distro as  the propaganda leads us to believe. It is a system that is designed for  the typical user, the user who doesn't really have a problem forking  over their privacy and has no real concern about freedom. Therefore,  Ubuntu is not a free system. You can easily add whatever proprietary  codecs and software you want. It may take some effort but it can be  done.

Ubuntu did, however, open my eyes to the issue of freedom. It forced  me to consider my beliefs. As an American we chant freedom as some sort  of mantra. We always talk about freedom but sometimes I wonder if we  really know what it means. A big case in point for me is the fascist  crap that goes on in the airports. The Constitution guarantees us the  right to be secure in our effects from unreasonable searches and yet we  go to airports and submit to the humiliation and travesty being treated  like a common criminal by a government official when we need to fly  somewhere. Hey where is your search warrant Herr Obergruppenfuhrer?

If we do not blindly submit to the intrusions of our government into  our freedoms we allow corporations to invade us. We shop at Walmart  because the price is cheaper. We are fools if we do not. Twenty-odd  years ago Walmart advertised that they would always buy American when  they could. Have you noticed how little in Walmart these days is made in  North America let alone the United States? Every dollar we spend in a  Walmart is doing nothing but making Walmart (and China) richer and more  powerful. They are destroying our national economy just like they have  destroyed so many local ones. We submit to this weakening of our lives  because the price is cheaper and with the one stop shopping atmosphere  of Walmart it is easier.

Google and Facebook are the two internet giants these days. These two  constantly assault our rights to privacy and even our economy.  Information is what drives the economy these days and Google and  Facebook are the two greatest information gatherers on the web and they  make a lot of money selling that information. The hiccough is that we  freely give them the info and we don't make a dime off of it. They just  keep on getting richer and more powerful tho... and they do it off of  our backs.

Google has many neat services, no doubt. Where would we be without  youtube, or picasa, gmail, docs or blogger? Webmasters for the last few  years would probably not know how to run their webstuff without  googleads or Google Analytics after all. Have we really thought about  what Google really does and how they are able to "give" us these neat  toys for free?

As I stated above- Google is in the information business. They gather  information and then turn around and sell it. When you "google"  something or sign up for an account with them the begin tracking  everything you do online. EVERYTHING. They know what you view online.  They know what you buy. They know when you are most active and when you  are probably asleep. They know what towns you frequently visit. They  know what you watch on youtube, hulu and joost. If you are a blogger  they know what you think. If you use your docs account for work they  know about you business life. Once you sign up for an account with them  they know everything that you do online. They gather this information  and turn around and sell it to businesses and governments worldwide.  They also tailor their advertising to suit you so that their advertisers  will get more money out of you. They get rich because you surf the web  and you don't make a penny off of it.

They have even violated copyrights with the courts doing little more  than slapping them on the wrists and saying they were a bad bad  corporation!

Facebook is not quite as heinous as Google but they do many of the  same things. the bad thing with Facebook is that we voluntarily give  them most of the information without some much as a passing thought.  Facebook at least comes right out and asks us our interests and  philosophical views and then builds their advertising. Facebook's  "privacy" policy is under constant revision and the latest one should  simply read "you signed up for a Facebook account so you are screwed."  Long and the short of it is Facebook (and Google) can do whatever they  want as long as you use their nifty services. The better thing is to  tell them no.

It is all about the money!

I love the way the anti-piracy campaign started out with a plea to  people to not illegally download music or movies off of the internet to  help protect the artists. Bah! Piracy doesn't protect the artists money  or copyrights. It protects the record label's or movie distributors  money. That is all that it does. Take a look at this blog post (<a href="http://www.kn.com.au/networks/2010/02/a-large-dose-of-common-sense.html">#^http://www.kn.com.au/networks/2010/02/a-large-dose-of-common-sense.html</a>)  and look at the picture below.  <a href="https://parlementum.net/sslify/labelbreakdown.gif?f=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjimmorgan.files.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F04%2Flabelbreakdown.gif">Image/photoimg title="label$breakdown" src="https://parlementum.net/sslify/labelbreakdown.gif?f=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjimmorgan.files.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F04%2Flabelbreakdown.gif?w=300" alt="" width="300" height="282" /></a>In any situation in life one can  ask themselves cui bono and find out what the truth of any situation is.  Entertainment companies are all about money. Artists are generally  about their art. Artists aren't nearly as concerned about the money as  they are about their music being heard or their paintings or movies  being seen or their books being read. Most artists do not even hold the  copyrights on their published works anyway. They sell their copyrights  to whomever can get their works heard or seen by the largest number of  people. Money is just a pleasant side effect of their art to most  artists.

Copyrights on music and art is a relatively recent development in  jurisprudence. The US Supreme Court early in the 20th Century ruled  several times that audible music could not be copyrighted. Sheet music  was a little more ambiguous to the Court as was paintings and sculptures  but they were pretty consistent in their rulings that recorded music  could not be copyrighted.

I am not sure what caused the change of heart in the legal community  but I suspect that someone somewhere along the line discovered that  money could be made out of the arts and then began lobbying for reform.  Copyrights are all about securing the financial interest of the work in  question to the copyright holder anyway. The results of the copyright  changes have had catastrophic effect on our society.

Few people stop to think about it but the public domain is absolutely  vital to our culture and cultural development. The public domain  consists of all those works (printed, audible or otherwise) which have  absolutely no copyrights or restrictions on them whatsoever. Some of  these works were originally copyrighted and the copyrights expired.  Others were placed in the public domain purposely or were  uncopyrightable at the time of publication. After a work has run it's  financial course, not everything can remain financially viable forever  after all, the work would slip quietly into the public domain and be  made freely available to the whole world to use as they see fit.

A big way that these works get used is by the creation of derivative  works. The Coen Brothers made the movie "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?"  which is a derivative of The Odyssey by Homer. Many of the movies we see  and books we read today are retellings of Shakespeare plays. Most  notably the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Where would James Cameron be if  he didn't use this story for his epic "Titanic?" When one stops and  thinks on this a bit one will realize that most of the movies we watch  and books we read are just retellings of stories found in the public  domain. Retellings of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, Shakespeare or  the Ancient Greeks and Romans permeate and envigorate our cultural life.  As they should.

My writing of this post automatically gives me a copyright on this  post that lasts in the neighborhood of 95 years. I figured it up one day  and my grandchildren would be seeing the birth of their grandchildren  before the copyright on this post expired. Now I know this post (or just  about anything else I write for that matter) is not really financially  viable so I have released this entire blog under a Creative Commons  By-NC-SA license. I mean, really, let's be sensible here. Just the fact  that you have read this far into my rambling prose should earn you  something besides the headache that you now have.

But that is not so with most things in the entertainment industry.  There is a strong possibility that you are even violating the fair use  clause of the Copyright laws by repeating jokes you heard on a movie. I  know of a fellow who made a parody/satire of the Fox TV show Millenium a  few years back. He posted his work on the web and after a few short  weeks he was contacted by lawyers who issued him a cease and desist  order. I grant that the guy had taken the Millenium logo and tweaked it a  bit to fit his satire, but he was within fair use. jurisprudence until a  few years ago always respected the right to satire.

Even our knowledge is restricted in some form or fashion now. As our  public schools are declining in quality people are discovering that they  need to pay some private school somewhere to get their kids educated.  The sad irony is that this may cost less if the schools would use  non-proprietary computers and software. Even public service institutions  like hospitals and schools have to pay Microsoft in some form or  fashion. This author has never once in his life found the need to build a  powerpoint presentation on anything yet his high school children have  to make three or four of them a year. They have to be the proprietary  .ppt format from your friend Microsoft. I have never had the monetary  resources to afford the program that makes powerpoints so the kids are  forced to remain in the school after hours to work on them thus making  my kids slaves to the school and Microsoft. GRR!

In addition to the technological costs of getting an education we  also bump into our little buddy the copyright again. In order for a  school to use any textbook they must pay royalties to the publisher and  author(s) of the textbooks. If there is some tie in to something digital  then we also have to pay royalties to Microsoft again (usually) and  then again to the folks who produce the disc or operate the website etc  etc. It never ends. Education like everything else in the world is a  money game.

Education is having miserable results with all of this. As an  employer I have hired college grads who can not read and high school  grads who can not do simple arithmetic. I am in a math heavy job. We are  not teaching Johnny to read, write and do his ciphering. We are not  teaching Johnny how to think. We are not even teaching Johnny how to  survive. George Bush's No Child Left Behind is a failure. We should  rename the "Let's sell out an entire generation to the corporations"  law.

Even our religion is all jacked up by this nonsense. Religious  writers have popped out of the woodwork the last few years all getting  rich by selling their restricted wares. Even the new Bibles being  produced today come with copyright restriction. So much for the immortal  words of Jesus "freely you have received so freely give."

Now let me see if I can bring this all together for you in a neat  little package.

Copyrights and patents were given to the geeks that created the  computer revolution. These geeks allowed you to use their products as  long as you conformed to their rules. Sit down and actually read the  EULA from Microsoft someday. YOU DO NOT OWN A MICROSOFT PRODUCT. You are  granted a license to use the product as long as you put up with their  nonsense. You can not alter their product to suit your specific needs or  desires. You can not give away the product. All the folks who have  given me computers with Windows and other Microsoft products are  violating the terms of the EULA and believe it or not could have their  privileges to use them rescinded. I realize that this will probably not  happen but by the terms of the EULA it could.

Under the EULA and other Terms of Use agreements the owner of the  service or maker of the product can gather all sorts of personal  information about you a distribute it to whomever they see fit. No I am  not lying. Look at the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of any of  the popular services that you use online. Twitter, Facebook, Windows7,  iTunes, Google, even your bank is suspect. You will be amazed at what  they can and will do to you.

And they can do it to us and will continue to do it to us because  they have us roped into their restrictive operating systems, with their  proprietary codecs and formats and a host of other freedom draining  measures. We fall into things like Facebook because it is cool and all  of our friends use it so we join up without reading their rules. And  then we have the audacity to get all upset when our email box fills up  with spam. We did it to ourselves. We can not get all wound up because  they placed a Flash cookie on our computer to track us because we  allowed it to happen. We have even allowed ourselves to become victims  of viral attacks because we think we need to have their "cool" and "easy  to use" systems.

Some of us have decided that the cost of "gratis" is too great a  burden to bear. We feel that our generation is being sold into slavery  in the name of money. Slavery is slavery whether it comes from a  taskmaster's whip or the big corporations throwing the economy into the  crapper and taking huge bonuses from the government while doing it. In  plain and simple English IT IS WRONG!

They take our jobs and factories overseas because our workers aren't  capable of doing the job. They fail to realise that they are the ones  who created this world. They dangle the baubles in front of us and we  say "oh look something shiny" and run out to grab them failing to  realise the impact that this decision may have on us.

But thankfully the world has some folks who think outside the box. It  started with Stallman and the Free Software Foundation. He proposed the  Free Software Definition which reads:

*  The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it  do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a  precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor  (freedom 2).
* The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others  (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to  benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition  for this.

This definition has exploded into the world of computing. It has  given rise to many great (and quite a few not so great) products. The  Linux kernel is probably the greatest success of the free software  movement. The s00pergeeks created a kernel that anyone (mostly other  s00pergeeks) could use, modify and share. Many great free Linux  distributions have been created using this kernel.

But in addition to operating systems free software has also given the  world many great free and open protocols which anyone with any  operating system could use. Among these are the Open Document format  which is the free alternative to Microsoft's .doc, .xls, and .ppt and  Apple's iworks protocols.  Other non-proprietary protocols include the  ogg which is the free alternative to the proprietary .mp3, .mpg, .avi,  .wma and a host of others. The .png is an open alternative to the  various picture compressions. The list of open protocols is endless.  Suffice it to say that there is probably a free and open alternative to  any proprietary protocol you can think of.

The beauty of open protocols is that you will not need to buy a  particular operating system if you want to use them. They are platform  independent so use whatever os you want. You have the choice. You are  not required to be a slave to one of the manufacturers of operating  systems or softwares.

Freedom what a concept!

The four freedoms outlined by Stallman and the FSF have found homes  in various other areas too. Education, for example, has been open  sourced. Many educational or educational type resources  have been made  on the FSF model. The largest of these is probably the famed Wikipedia  found on the internet but if you are a more specialised person than a  general wikipedia user I am sure a free resource (probably a wiki) can  be found to suit your needs.

In the arts community (and several other communities for that matter)  the Creative Commons license has taken hold. For example this blog is  released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA v3.0 license. This means  you are free to use anything on this blog as long as I get attributed,  your work is non-commercial in nature and that your work is released  under similar license. For those unfamiliar BY in my release license  means "attribution", NC means "non-commercial" and SA means "share and  share alike."

Libre Music has been the largest area that I have seen the explosion  in these licenses. Artists are no longer allowing lawyers and record  labels to steal 90-95% of their money. They are writing, performing and  producing these albums and releasing them to the public under these CC  licenses. Admittedly some of these artists aren't very good and probably  won't make much money. But the odds of finding some good music released  under a CC license is much better than finding any good music on the  radio.

Free alternatives exist to just about anything you can find on the  internet. You like googledocs? Can't blame you, it is a good service.  Have you heard of <a href="http://www.zoho.com">zoho.com</a>? It does the same thing and  will allow you to upload open document formatted documents without  changing them to some weird google file. You like Blogger? I'm not  really sure why you would but ok. <a href="http://wordpress.com">#^http://wordpress.com</a> is open source  and is much more than a simple blog. It is an excellent content  management system as well. You like Twitter? Then might I suggest <a href="http://identi.ca">#^http://identi.ca</a> or for giggle try my openmicroblog at <a href="http://jimmorgan.status.net/">#^http://jimmorgan.status.net/</a> Do you use url shortening services like bit.ly? Try http://ur1.ca It is  free. It is also open source. You can download it and set up your own  service.

As a sidebar- I mentioned copyrighted Bibles above. If you use one of  them compare it to the public domain World English Bible forun at <a href="http://ebible.org">#^http://ebible.org</a>

I have only touched the hem of the garment when it comes to free and  open source software (foss). I am a trained draftsman in Autocad but I  have found a perfectly acceptable foss drafting program called QCad.  Funny thing with QCad is that if you use a Windoze computer you have to  pay for the software but if you run a free system it comes fully loaded  and gratis. I have foss alternatives to Windows Media Player, Real  Player and whatever it is that Apple makes. I am a ham radio operator  and I have better programs than the average Windows alternative. One  Windows program in particular is gratis but it requires the user to  register and then you have to buy maps for it at $50 a pop. The program  that I use is gratis with no registration and I can get detailed maps  gratis as well.

So the long and the short is: when we have free and open stuffs to  use why submit to the invasions of privacy and the enforced slavery of  the corporations? I have yet to find a good reason. So I have set myself  free of their domination. I have closed account that I had on any of  the "cool" or "popular" services. I no longer use Facebook, Twitter or  Google any longer. I no longer use some neat Bible software that I have  used in the past. I have read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies  of any service that I use and have become aware of many abuses and cut  them off. I am running a tight ship that is a lot closer to digital  freedom.

A week ago I took a huge plunge into digital freedom when I dumped  Ubuntu and went to <a href="http://www.gnewsense.org">gNewSense</a> on the Manhut  computer. Now my computing can match closer to my philosophy.

I am now FOSS!

Another sidebar many things in my non-digital life have become freer  as well. Life has much more to offer than just computing after all.
Sophia

Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Home of the free
Somebody lied
The can bug my phone
Come around my home
They’d only see you and me
Making love....
Call My Name by Prince



Unshaven and rumpled he stood quietly erect as the plane carrying his love sped up and the wheels lifted off the ground and towards the unknown. Until yesterday afternoon he thought their 15 month relationship was solid and going well. He had even thought about asking her to marry him. She obviously didn’t think so, he thought to himself as he watched the plane get smaller from the window. She couldn’t even give me a decent reason for leaving like saying that I sucked in the sack or was an ass or something. Maybe we didn’t have anything after all.

As the plane faded from sight so did the emotion of the last 24 hours. As the plane faded from sight he felt empty. He wasn’t angry, depressed, repressed, anything. He was just empty. He thought that maybe it had to do with his being tired. He didn’t sleep last night at all. He had helped her pack her stuff a little. She pretty much left with nothing but her clothes. She just wanted out. She didn’t care about the stuff or have any sentimental attachments to much of anything in the apartment where they had shared a life for over a year. He had agreed to take her to the airport the next morning in the hopes that a night of ferocious lovemaking might convince her to stay with him.

She stayed at a friends house.

He didn’t even go to bed. He stayed up all night staring vacantly into space hoping to find some answers to questions that he didn’t even know to ask. His mind was a ramble of everything and nothing. He tried to figure her out and where he had gone wrong then out of nowhere he’d remember that he hadn’t fed the fish. His body ached and his eyes burned from being open for so long. It just didn’t make any damn sense. I am smarter than this. I am a better person than this. What the hell happened here and what do I do now?


The plane disappeared into the distance. She didn’t get off the plane and come running back into his arms so it really is over, he thought. He looked down at his shoes. He couldn’t remember if he had put on socks this morning and he was hoping that his shoes would be kind enough to tell him if he had. He looked over the airport terminal building to see if anything caught his interest. It is rather odd for him to not be interested in anything at all but at this moment he didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything. The concourse had all the usual shops. Nothing new or even remotely interesting here.

He looked over the sitting area that he had been standing in all this time. He was etching the place of his heartbreak into his mind. He wanted to remember every single chair, the soap streak on the window, the sounds of people playing Angry Birds on their phones. He really didn’t care about any of this either. I need to get out of here.

Walking the concourse he found the requisite airport bar and went in. It was the usual airport bar. The bar was better than the usual bar but only because of the large windows that allowed the patrons to watch the planes taking off and landing. As expected the patrons perked up with every call over the pa system. People came and went. They were clean and dressed in the soft clothes that help them get through security. He sat at the corner of the bar. Ten o’clock in the morning and here I am sitting at a bar about to start drinking, such a loser, he mused to himself as he ordered a boilermaker and a pack of smokes from the barkeep.

He sat for a while drinking a few drinks and smoking his Camels. He had few thoughts. He was empty, completely drained. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had a minute idea that he should be making plans. Now that she’s gone he might get a new place. A new place would help him avoid the memories. A girl at the office had hinted to him that she was interested in him. He had politely turned her down at the time as he was in love and it was a love that would last forever. He wondered for a second if she still might be interested. Thoughts like these quickly entered his mind and they were just as quickly filed away.

It didn’t matter. Hell, none of it matters. Being alive doesn’t even really matter, it is just what we do because the other option is an unknown and no one like unknowns.

He looked the bar over and noticed that a table had opened up. That chair looks more comfortable than this stool. He ordered some food, another drink, and another pack of Camels from the barkeep and said that he was going to the table with the comfortable chair. The seat was arranged in such a way that he could have his back to the wall and look out the window watching airplanes while drinking boilermakers and smoking Camels.

Time slipped by. He was oblivious to everything. He hadn’t noticed that the sun had gone down and that the runway lights were lit. Throughout the day he had drunk just enough to get him a buzz and eaten just enough to keep him from getting fall-down drunk. The music in the bar had changed from the country which had been playing most of the afternoon to jazz.  

Something about the sun going down woke him up. He looked at the bottles on the table and the filled ashtray and wondered how long he had been sitting there and more importantly why. So she left. It is not the end of the world. Yes, I love her but…

He looked up from the tabletop and noticed a woman walking into the bar. His jaw dropped as he looked at her. She was the perfect Hollywood cliche for the phrase "a woman walks into a bar..." Her dress was scarlet, strapless, and, more importantly, tight. Her jewelry was all diamonds and glitter like her ocean blue eyes. The heels were high and the legs walking dynamite. With a quick glance of the room with her index finger resting on her lip showing the red nail polish she made her choice. She sashayed over to his table, every step a symphony of sights."

Ok that may have been a touch cliche even for me. But he did notice the girl standing in the doorway of the bar. She was an attractive woman dressed in a business suit and obviously from somewhere above his paygrade. She did look across the room and did choose to sit beside him. The bar was about half filled at the time mostly with people waiting for the people who were to pick them up to come.


“Mind if I sit here?” she asked him after she made it across the bar.

“As a matter of…” he responded

“Thank you,” she said as she seated herself to his left so she too could look at the airport runway.

“Look, ma’am, I don’t mean…”

“You know, airports are sort of magical places, don’t you think?”

#tobecontinued #snippet
Maria Karlsen
  
Image/photo
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
As a guy who doesn't have tons of time for researching and fueling my paranoia a warrant canary doesn't sound like a bad idea. Warrant Canary Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a warrant canary? A warrant canary is a colloquial term for a regularly published statement that a service provider has not received legal process that it would be prohibited from saying it had received. Once a service provider does receive legal process, the speech prohibition goes into place, and the canary statement is removed. Warrant canaries are often provided in conjunction with a transparency report, listing the process the service provider can publicly say it received over the course of a particular time period.
Mike Macgirvin
  
The biggest problem with warrant canaries is that they are usually automatically updated and organisations forget about them and/or they get lost during routing website updates - causing their customers to panic unnecessarily. I've also seen instances where organisations should have triggered a warrant canary but didn't - because they didn't want to lose customers. It's basically an admission that your organisation is compromised in a big way and nothing you say can ever be trusted again. Open source organisations might be OK with this, but for any company that has paying customers it's effectively corporate suicide.
Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 
Tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day. As the parent of a severe autistic I find it hard to believe normals don't know about it. If you don't get some knowledge. Having an autistic child (now almost 30 years old) has been the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my life.
giac hellvecio
 
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Rex Mundi
  
A sidebar- nothing animal made is vegan, right?

Hate to sound stupid but it seems that everyone is arguing about every thing these days...
Seth Martin
  
Right, vegan is completely animal product free. My diet matches that of a vegan but I'm not part of any group.

Is it your Mom's family that's mostly veg or all of Washington State?

BTW, my niece and nephew saw your photos and convinced my brother to take them to the farm & home store for baby chicken petting this evening.
Rex Mundi
  
I can't testify to the dietary habits of most Washingtonians. Most of my family there are Seventh Day Adventists and hold to a mostly vegetarian diet. :)