An introduction to great music, counterculture and urban design.

I was a pretty normal middle class kid who got into skateboarding despite his parents protestations around 10. My dad is a penny pincher and absolutely wouldn’t pay for a sick design like the ones in the catalogues I poured over after bed time. So a blue deck and Independent trucks, some decent bearings and middle of the road wheels. Even at 10 we knew it was important to have feelings about your gear. (To his credit we bought the parts individually and put it together and that really helped me understand tool maintenance and feeling.)

Reflecting back on how exciting it was when they built he skatepark in town... just awesome. Now parents couldn’t yell at us and we could skate. I realize now this was a ploy, and a NIMBY capitalist distraction from what they deemed “proper” use of space. To this day I still look for cool skate spots when I’m in an unfamiliar area. The creativity that skaters have is unmatched when it comes to utilization of public (and private 😈) space.

It was something that almost anyone could do. And you could trade tricks and tips. You could heckle from the sidelines and you could appreciate Beauty. It is probably the closest thing to a true meritocracy that I’ve seen in practice (although as a principle hierarchy is rejected).

It’s something that I don’t know if adults could pick up since it requires failing and literally putting your body on the line in a way that we’ve learned and been socialized against. The mental, physical and physic fortitude that picking up a new bit requires... We knew our parents were wrong about us since we were working so hard. And yes mom, we should’ve been wearing more pads that we were 😉.

You could be anything you wanted in those moments. I always had a penchant for anachronisms so when I discovered a whole crop of tricks called “old school”, you know that I was in. These kind of tricks are off your board. I wasn’t ever particularly good at flip tricks and this opened a whole new way to interact with my environment.

Seeing the older kids and getting help and teaching new people; I’ve been involved in very few spaces where people traded knowledge as willingly and openly. And before the internet we had to trade and borrow the tapes.

The tapes. I’ll never forget holding onto my friends older brother’s copy of a copy of a VHS. It was the most precious cargo I’d ever held. A most forbidden item that was sure to expand my mind as it had the previous wielders. Buried beneath my vocab book and Pokémon deck holders, nestled cozily until I’d unwrap it without adult supervision.

Talk about an introduction to art. It recontextualized the thing we were doing everyday after school to a sick soundtrack, amazing cinematography and skits we could steal as our own to reperform.

We stayed up late at sleep overs, way closer than the recommended 6’, bathed in the light from the staticky cathode ray tubes that we loved to degauss. The physicality of tapes and the warmth of the TV a wholly different experience than now. We were right there with them.

Geoff Rowley’s part in “Sorry” 2002 changed my life. Sure I’d heard The Beatles. But had I ever heard The Beatles covered by a punk band? Could they do that? Wasn’t it sacred? The world broke open to me in an instant and I would never see it again the same.

Also in that same video is Mark Appleyard’s part set to Placebo’s “Every You and Every Me”. I don’t remember how I felt the first time I heard that song, definitely in that video, but I do know that I did not anticipate it making me Feel Things nearly 20 years later.

How blessed were we, young spirits exploring with appetites for the stars.

I don’t really know what this is about or who it is for (jk it’s just for me), but I do know that I’m going to find a charity so I can hopefully give some kids the same revolution that I was lucky enough to have glimpsed in my youth.

ejabberd is what we should've had all along. Federated, encrypted, roll your own chat. Google and Facebook started their chat empires off the XMPP protocol, and then slowly limited and deprecated the federated support so you were locked into their walled gardens. Let's Encrypt gives everyone (not just MegaCorps) the ability to encrypt their web traffic. Combining the two allows us to deploy our own End-to-End encrypted instant messaging services! First we install ejabberd. This was so much easier than I thought and required virtually no manual configuration. I used the system packages from Debian Bullseye. This is all in one and doesn't require any provisioning with other services. We do however need to add our domain name to the configuration, make an admin account and add that user to the config.

Second we use cerbot to nab some certificates. This is something that we used to have to pay for, but now anyone who can use this command line utility can request, renew and manage certificates for verified encryption. [foot note: ejabberd has native support for handling LE/ certificates because it is a fantastic tool, but I already had certs for this particular server so wanted to reuse them]

Third we need to use the classic unix utility cat to combine the Let's Encrypt parts into a format that ejabberd wants: cd /etc/letsencrypt/live/MYCHATDOMAIN.com/ cat privkey.pem cert.pem chain.pem > /etc/ejabberd/MYCHATDOMAIN.pem chown root:ejabberd /etc/ejabberd/MYCHATDOMAIN.pem chmod 640 /etc/ejabberd/MYCHATDOMAIN.pem emacs /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.yml look for the “certfiles:” line and add - "/etc/ejabberd/MYCHATDOMAIN.pem" ejabberdctl restart

Et voila!

Now we've got a chat server that we control that can talk to other servers over an encrypted channel.

Notes on freeing our communications

This is not for everyone; unfortunately this is a case where systemic power imbalance has forced us to use individual action to assert ourselves. Not everyone has the privilege (skills, extra time, knowledge of existence, currently being surveilled, etc) to run their own services. But I'm hopeful that leveraging economies of scale can allow those of use with the know-how to enable everyone to enter an open ecosystem of communication software. We need resources to advocate for consumers rights against banks, landlords, bosses and the tireless and thankless work advocating for the disempowered, houseless, underrepresented. With all the money in technology it can be disheartening to see such a lack of resources being put into the human rights around it. I see this kind of technological work serving as a parallel for human liberation. We need to lift up everyone at the same time, little by little, and this is one very small piece that I can help contribute to.

How do I repeat myself? To find enlightenment in repetition seems oxy moronic But alas, I think that’s what I’ve been failing to hear I am not going to find heaven in a new experience. It’s going to be washing, measuring and cooking my rice Or trimming my beard, fixing my bike, watching the ants We talk stories about the seasons not because they are new But because they are steady, slowly dancing and revolving The fox and Raven are clever and wise and forever will be The moon pulls the ocean towards it with the precision of clock As if exercising a muscle it expects to use, soon So too shall I live, imagining, helping, cooking, listening Like my life depends on it

tl;dr: There didn't seem to be a straightforward guide on how to create a systemd service for a virtual environment, so here's a quick'n'dirty version.


Foxy was an award winning Morgan horse. This website is a token of remembrance for a family member who left an indelible mark on the lives around her. While she never became a mother, she showed how to daughter and teach and care and trust and lead. Her life is a way for us to remember that our loved ones are not gone once they pass on. Rather they will continue to exist in our bodies and stories as we move forward. Life is not just the time that we spend in the sun talking and grazing; we existed as aspirations, dreams and possibilities before we came into our bodies. Just as we will continue to inspire and comfort as memories once we are gone. Just like the perennials that are blossoming around us now, our ties to life will come and go. So while we bid adieu to brown mare that always knew when to start cantering even before we were done trotting, we welcome in the sunrise and sunset of our continuing relationship.


I started on Linux with Gnome way back in the day (2002ish?). GNOME circa 2002 Quickly moved to a lighter window manager as the desktop I had to mess around with Linux was pretty low spec. So openbox/ fluxbox (these also worked on Windows which was nice to be able to have the same window manager on both my computers) and eventually settling on XFCE. Since I've almost always had low resolution computers (I've been on 1366x768 for 12 years now for my laptop and only moved to a 4k monitor on my desktop a few years ago), efficient use of vertical pixels has always been important to me. For instance, removing title bars whenever possible, Tree Style Tabs for Firefox, and hiding the taskbar by default.



A crown of pebbles strewn about Th smallest thing at the tallest peak A chorus of winds sing from their homes Fewer flutters of crow wings than the amount of bodies would suggest It's harder but quicker coming down In the middle the rocks are about the same size Exiting the stone garden we enter forest as if combing the bristles of a brush Cool mud squishes between the toes of a clumsy salamander Done with our legs we let the circles do the work

1 block makes about 3 portions.

Cut into bite sized pieces, nothing too big or small, you might need to adjust cooking times of veg based on density and size.

Needed: Half an onion 1 potato 1 carrot

Optional: Celery is great Hearty veg like kale, broccoli, daikon, etc Protein: sauteed meat, tempeh, seitan, or tofu Lentils or some beans are super nontraditional but work fine Frozen veg is great, and generally I throw all the old produce in my fridge in.

(-1. Cook protein and set aside) 0. Slowly brown onions, the longer and slower the more flavor but it's up to you 1. Add potatoes, brown for a bit (2-5 minutes), add then add carrots (and other hearty veg). 2. Add protein and lighter veg (celery, greens, etc). 3. Once stuff has softened and gotten a bit of color, add about 3 cups of water/dashi/stock (this will need adjusting based on your veg and how soupy you want it at the end). Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Now is a good time to through in the frozen veg too. 4. Add curry block(s) whole and stir every couple of minutes. Make sure these completely dissolve, you don't want a mouth full of roux :P Let it simmer once it is all dissolved for 5-10 minutes. (5. Adjust water to get a viscosity that you like, I aim for a thick chowder like texture, lighter than cream of wheat. Also test for salt here, the blocks have some salt but it will need more!)

Serve alongside white rice 🍛 and a small portion of pickled ginger or something sharp and acidic. Enjoy!