The sad, the bad, and the funny

Sad: Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan Dead at 76. It may come as a surprise to casual readers (and as no surprise to a few close friends) that I don’t follow the machinery of government closely. I tend to kneejerk very handily in favor or disapprobation of whatever crosses my radar screen, but it wasn’t until I spent time talking with Lisa about her former career as a Congressional staffer and public policy maven that I understood how pivotal Moynihan had been in shaping intelligent, humane public policies during his career. His like will not come again for a long time, I’m afraid.

Bad: Use a firewall, go to jail. Ed Felten points to legislation pending before Massachusetts and Texas (among other states, including Georgia) that would extend the DMCA to criminalize the “possession, sale, or use of technologies that ‘conceal from a communication service provider … the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication.’” Firewalls, anyone? Encrypted email? NAT (such as is performed by a wireless hub)? Not if you value your liberty, ironically. Call your state representatives and let them know they’re being idiots…

Funny: The Index of Evil at A brilliant application of, this one uses the hourly changes feed and scans all the newly updated websites for four keywords—“bin Laden,” “Ashcroft,” “Hussein,” and “Poindexter.” While their methodology may be suspect (surely Saddam is more commonly used?) their intent is sterling. And the Index may be syndicated. If I have time, look for an Ashcroft ticker to appear on this blog soon…

If I didn’t blog…

…I would have gone nuts by now. Honestly. I was thinking today about how crazy I was living by myself in the summer of 2001 during my internship, and how starting the blog got me through many of those dark nights (and occasionally on a road to self-discovery, though not often enough).

I also thought today about how I use this blog. Some of it is as an outboard memory, a commonplace book of things I find useful. Some of it is about things I have to say, or ideas that grab me and don’t let go until I write them down.

And some of it, honestly, is what I do to fill in the corners when I’m uncomfortable and feel myself slipping back into depression. I don’t write about the depression, I just write. It’s activity, and it consumes less thought and is more productive than the alternatives. But it doesn’t face or solve the problem of the depression, it just gets me past it.

I’m going to try to alter my writing patterns to: write fifteen minutes in the morning before work, for half an hour during lunch, and then anything else after dinner. I think if I can keep myself from compulsively blogging every time I feel a little depressed, I can both improve the content of this site (you win) and be more motivated to face depressive episodes head on and manage constructively through them (I win).

Continuing blog problems

Posts are going to my blog but then disappearing from the home page. This is problematic because gets pinged anyway (though the RSS feed doesn’t update). Anyone seen this on a Manila site before?

Also, the server that runs the editorial part seems to be falling over regularly, and losing many of my changes with it.

Morning foliage, almost

I took a bunch of photos of our back yard this morning, with the full intention of posting them, until I remembered that Lisa has the USB cable for the camera with her at her conference. (Mental note: buy another A:B cable, cheapskate.)

It’s the kind of grey humid morning, just after a rainfall, that was so rare in Virginia… heh. Not here…