Monthly Archives: September 2006


Sorry — I'm not going to be able to update today. I'm in the process of splitting the main BME development machine in two tonight and tomorrow. The box is currently cloning, and once that's done I'll start actually making all the pieces work. But I almost certainly won't be able to post until at least tomorrow.

Other than that it was a fairly productive day… I went into the gym and did my initial assessment, and training (M-W-F) starts on Friday. I'm really looking forward to it. Since I've cut out pretty much all drugs other than the couple things I'm on to help me sleep (which I won't need much longer I hope), I'm insanely hyperactive mentally right now and I'm looking forward to being able to channel some of that out.

I also ordered my custom plates today (I've mentioned this plan before) which I am hugely looking forward to. I hope they don't block them… I'm not sure if you're really supposed to get this license plate because of its rearview mirror effect, but I don't know the rules.

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

Sore obliques

Because I'm sick of having to worry about rootkits and so on, I've been fiddling with getting Xubuntu running on my laptop. It's actually been no problem at all on the whole, and most of my old applications that I don't currently have Unix equivalents too seem to be running just fine under Wine. I just have to find my Photoshop CD so I can install CS (my Windows boxes are running CS2 which doesn't run under Wine yet)…

I couldn't sleep again last night because of the trains. I'm going to be here until the end of the schoolyear I think, but how wonderful it would be to be an old man with a guitar in the country… One day soon I hope. Well, the “old” part I'll have to wait for time to provide, but the rest I can bring about through my own actions.

You know, I can't say that one on level making the commitment to spend some extended time single isn't a little miserable simply because I like intimate human contact, but it's been really good for me in terms of stepping back, looking at past relationships and understanding what was good and what wasn't, and thinking about myself in clearer terms and understanding what I want in life. And I think that what I want in life is largely to be left alone and create art. Not that I'm not perfectly happy to blabber on endlessly, but I think I'd like art to speak for me instead of words on a computer screen one day.

Not that there's not art to words, even on a computer screen. Even when you speak in Assembly.

Anyway, time to run upstairs to check on a file transfer…
(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

Blah, blah, globalization, blah…

[Feel free to ignore my rambling repetetive entry, but the quotes are worth reading]

You know, I hope the oil crash comes soon. The sooner the better. A major energy crisis is probably one of the few things that can stop corporations, because it shifts the balance of power back in the direction of individuals and local, privately held businesses. Even now, megacorporations (who control not only “obvious” things like WALMART, but also now control the production of the majority of food resources, water resources, the military, the healthcare sector, and more), would collapse were it not for the billions upon billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies they receive.

I think if the average person understood just how much of their income is being stolen and handed to big companies (who also pay politicians to run and pay for their campaigns in order to get the subsidies, and in most countries, essentially own or control the government to the point where they are above the law), it would make nearly anyone an empassioned tax resistor. In general I'm all for taxes that are for the public good — healthcare, roads, public energy grids, and so on as long as they're not just an excuse to hand money to friends of the government — but I am absolutely not cool with handing money to, for example, a farming corporation with millions of acres that they are slowly poisoning using nonsustainable methods (and as few employees as possible) just so they can dump surplus grain in Africa, calling it “aid”, when all it does is destroy African econonomies (how can a local farmer compete with free grain?), puts small farmers (often long held family farms) both here and abroad out of business, and makes the average person in the West poorer and poorer as they fill the pockets of major shareholders and executives with money they don't need.

The caste system just keeps getting more and more polarized, and the peasants are so easy to manipulate that so long — What did Hitler say? “What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think,” if I'm remembering it right. Lincoln (who ironically played a pivotal role in empowering the corporation) thought that the American people were strong enough to overcome everything but, he emphasized that they needed the truth… and what did Goebbels call the media? — “a great keyboard on which the government can play.” And now, with no line between the government and the corporation, the corporation plays the keys.

“We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood… It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”
-President Abraham Lincoln (1864)

And we can move a hundred years forward and see what Eisenhower had to say:

“We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

-President Dwight Eisenhower, 1960

So… we have an alert and knowledgeable citizenry, right?

Personally, I don't think so. And even with knowledge, I'm not convinced that we haven't gone so far down this path that even if we wanted to stop the corporations (whether it be the military corporations or be it all of the above) because they are so intertwined and in control of nearly every essential element of most people's lives. The only thing that can stop corporations in a way that doesn't also stop all of us is cutting off their food supply. And the closest we're going to get to that is escalating energy costs.

Oh yeah, and along those lines, if you want to make a good investment that will serve you well in the future, buy up cheap middle-America farmland. It's available remarkably inexpensively, it's good land, and the current populations are old and dying off, with the remainder slowly migrating to the big cities… and as long as oil is cheap, it's less expensive a lot of the time to grow the crops in Mexico and elsewhere, so we have a short window of opportunity to snatch up that land as individuals — because we will have a rough period where companies try to retreat to local land as the crash gets serious and that land again becomes unattainable for individuals.

Anyway, I've rambled long enough.

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

I need a quiet house in the country

Oh, I am so tired! I don't know what it is, but I just wake up every hour or so at the slightest noise, and once about 4AM rolls around, I can't get back to sleep… For the last week I've gotten maybe three or four hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Argh!

I was reading about Ndiyo!'s new Hubster ultra-thin-client idea — in short, the concept is a USB dongle that has a video, keyboard, and mouse port on it, so as many people as you'd like to plug in can simultaneously use the same computer without traditional terminal hardware…

Anyway, that got me to Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog in which he mentioned the new changes to daylight savings time (it's being extended)… He linked to the wiki entry on Daylight saving time and it's actually quite a fascinating read — some of the regional variations and decisions are quite bizarre.


Wow, the last week (including today) I just feel like I keep getting hit by a truck in my sleep or something… You know, for someone who can get woken up by cars driving miles away on a quiet night, I don't know what I was thinking moving into the Junction. There are train tracks probably fifty feet from my house, and it's like a mini earthquake. If I had a computer with an accelerometer on it, I'd post the seismic data. Given that speed bumps cause foundation damage in a house, I really wonder what damage is being done to this house because it's got really shoddy construction.

I watched Charlotte's Web this morning. It's just finishing up now —

“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”

I think the reason that I got tense in the previous entry is that I'm actually a little upset when I think about influences. In some ways I find the massive popularity of tattoos (due to Inked and other mainstream media) and other permanent body modifications a little disturbing, because I worry all the time that young people are facing enormous pressure from the media to make drastic changes in their body… Of course I understand that it is an influence, but I truly hope that BME is more of an archive of our shared personal stories and pictures, and a way of coming together to guide each other along our own individual paths.

A few people have told me that things have changed, that maybe the way I feel, and the way I grew up, is something of the past… But I'm not so sure. I think if anything it could be harder for people with the innate need to transform themselves into who they perceive themselves as because of the strong forces of fashion and advertising driving what is now an industry doing billions of dollars in sales annually (it's quite remarkable, and the industry pioneers who pulled that off deserve enormous credit).

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit, but I when I was a kid, I used manipulating my body both in temporary and permanent ways to learn about myself, and then later when I hit puberty, it became obvious to me that not only was this something that I found fascinating on a deep intellectual level, but also something that turned me on. Something that was a core and inseparable part of me. Did my parents excellent collection of National Geographics and books on indiginous peoples influence me? I don't know. Did the fact that my mother grew up in Africa have an influence on me? I don't know. Feel free to blame it on all the modified characters in the sci-fi and D&D I soaked up as a kid if you want.

What I know is that I have spent nearly my entire life being told that the way I am is wrong and being told to stop. Most of my life I've felt very alone because of it, and have experienced occasional self-doubt, wondering if maybe it's not OK to be this way. I've gone through brief periods where I've tried to cover it up, and become deeply unhappy because of it. Eventually I realized it simply wasn't a choice. I couldn't erase it, I couldn't change it and more than I could change my sexual orientation on a whim.

I've quoted him before, but Peter Shaun Morrison (Mr. Leather International runner up, 1988) was quoted in PFIQ as saying,

“Being gay was never an option for me. It was what I was. Crawling into my brother's motorcycle jacket for the first time and feeling my dick get hard, I knew that leather wasn't an option either. It was what I was.

You know, I've spent over a decade talking to others with the same feelings and I still don't know “why” exactly this is what we're about and into. All I know is it's real, not a choice, and, as Peter put it so clearly — It was what I was. So for me, BME when it was started was a way of coming to terms with who I am, and then when it grew, a way of learning that not only was I not alone, but there were tons of people who felt the same way. And I think we all came together not because we had the same influences, but because we had the same drives and could help each other.

Have I been influenced by others? I know I've been helped by a very long list of people, from the well known (in my case that would be Fakir, Chris Burden, Jon Cobb, Tom Brazda — Tom probably most of all — and Steve Haworth, Patrick Bartholomew, Todd Bertrang, and of course Shawn and Jack by proxy as well) to people who are not well known (my cosmetic surgeon, my highschool art teacher, my highschool biology teacher, etc.), but honestly, the biggest help I've had is simply in meeting other people who feel the same way. Sometimes I think all we need to be happy is to say to each other that we accept the we each of us chooses to be and do everything we can to help each other realize our dreams and our selves.

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*