legal civil disobedience, with RSS

Over at, a set of perfectly legal signs that confirm to the letter of the PATRIOT Act: they don’t tell you whether the FBI has been there investigating your reading habits, but they make it perfectly clear that it’s a real possibility that they have been. Example: “Q: How can you tell when the FBI has been in your library? A: You can’t. (The PATRIOT Act makes it illegal for us to tell you if our computers are monitored; be aware!)

Oh, and Jessamyn: your RSS feed works just fine in NetNewsWire, your concerns to the contrary.

QTN™: Not all barleywines are gold

Tonight’s tasting experiment is LaConner Brewing Company’s Olde Curmudgeon Barleywine Style Ale. I’ve been waiting about a week to try this one, but I think my wait was in vain. This is a truly disappointing barleywine.

Pour: flat, no head. Taste: heavy, syrupy, sickly sweet, with a slightly chalky aftertaste. Smells of yeast, and not in a good way. It’s possible the bottle is old or was stored improperly, I suppose, but I don’t think so. It’s just unbalanced—needs way stronger hop to compensate for the sweetness and alcohol—and not very pleasant to taste. Down the drain.

Looking at the last eight months

Last night I was talking with a friend about my progress since getting out of business school. I went from naïvely feeling on top of the world to feeling that I was lower than dog crap and worthless. Now I’ve climbed part way back. As my friend pointed out, I am now at least to the point where I acknowledge that I have feelings and can talk about them, which hasn’t always been true.

Dave and I had an off-blog dialogue a while back about male grief and male emotion. I was partly right then:

It’s a reinforcing loop. As men stay silent, the culture becomes accustomed to men not expressing their feelings. Eventually, expressing feelings becomes an exception, exceptions aren’t tolerated, and the cost of not expressing feelings becomes over time too high to bear.

But I missed one point. As time goes further by, it becomes easy to forget that you have emotions. Which is a mistake. Emotions can’t be destroyed; they just get expressed in other ways, like inexplicably lashing out at friends or convincing oneself of one’s essential worthlessness.

I’ve been fighting a Black Dog since getting to Seattle, if not before. Now at least I have lifted the crushing cycle of self doubt and understand a little of what caused it. The only question about my newly rediscovered emotions is what to do about them?