Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Overnight

The Overnight

I brought this up for awareness with my pastor, Rev. Mary Blessing at St. Luke's Cupertino, and with others in my life. I just need a clear full hour to sit down with my thoughts about how to garner formal support for the event. I am walking a few miles every day, and I am walking more and more each day. It feels great.

I saw a shooting star last night under the feet of Orion. I made a wish!

Feel free to make one too.

This helps save the lives of others. Of course, it is always the individual's choice whether they wish to live or not. Each day they feel hope in their own heart, faith in their own lives, they will choose life over death. Sometimes the memory of one really good day keeps people alive for a century.

This Overnight is also good for my own heart. I am 41. I may see 82, and possibly 123 if I am so lucky.

I see each spirit with great possibilities. So many young men and women lose hope and faith in themselves and the world. Many of them are looking for reassurance. It is true: life can be better. Life can always be better. What we each want is to live life as best as we can. And to take comfort and find joy in whatever life we have.

I'd like to invite you all to also walk under the stars. Every night that the spirit so moves you. Under the beautiful canopy of heaven. It's free. To point out Orion and Ursa Majoris and the planets and each constellation as it rises. To celebrate the music of Urania. Or under the sun. Take a walk on a sunny Sunday morning. Perhaps to celebrate the ways of Socrates, or to take the quite sensible implicit advice of C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. Or any other thinker of the past. Or be your own great thinker.

I remember taking my first 10 mile hike on Staten Island with the Boy Scouts a long time ago. I was amazed that I could walk 10 miles, but it wasn't so bad at all. In fact, it was good. I liked it. It wasn't as far as I thought it would be. I remember walking over a hill and coming down to a residential intersection. It wasn't a "hike" as if it was off in the wilderness. It was basically just walking through neighborhoods. Oh. Alright. I can do that.

Here's a shout-out to the Boy Scouts of Rockaway Beach, past and present, and future, and everywhere. Girl Scouts too. Church groups. Community groups. Parents and uncles and aunts and grandparents. All the people that get kids out under the stars, out in the sun, into the wilds and neighborhoods of the world. If we did more walking we'd know more about our neighborhoods and our neighbors. We might fear them less and love our communities even more.

I once marched 20 miles over 2 days with a full suit of Roman armor in the summer sun. It was quite a hike. It was with a full 50-pound pack of wooden pilum — stakes (I had to set up the stakes to protect the camp). It was a few years ago with a group called Legio Deci Fretensis (Legion X Fretensis, LXF, or the 10th Legion). His son, Anthony, I believe, also marched with us that summer.

We came across a vineyard and there were grapes growing in the summer sunshine. Like a flock of birds our little column of marchers swooped in. We were gentle and took only a few, but those were the best grapes I ever had in my life! We had marched in the sun all day and those grapes were magnificent!

The watermelon we had carried was just as good. You could really taste the fruit, through all the dust of the California central valley. The taste put aside all the smell of the sweat and the leather and oil residue of our gear. That was a good hike. It was a march. I even got paid in an ancient Roman coin at the end. Robert Garbisch does these sorts of things. He's Captain of Company G, the 20th Maine. I just missed their Fort Point event. I'm quite interested in what else Robert's been up to since the last time I took the march with him.

He once made an entire scale model of the Forum of ancient Rome. This guy knows his stuff. If you are ever fortunate enough to meet him, you'll remember him forever.

I also did the New Year's walk/run a few years ago in San Francisco with a friend and her dog. It was a way to get my spirits up after I broke up with a girlfriend. It was drizzly all night. I loved that walk. We even jogged a bit of it.

If we are blessed this year, we'll have clear skies. Even if it rains and thunders, I am hoping to do my walking. Just as we were in the rain that night on New Year's with the dog and the llama and the people of all walks of life. I'll bring an umbrella.

This is the first time I am walking for others. As a service. I am a life member of Alpha Phi Omega, national service fraternity. I pledged to it in the year following the death of my friend Molly at Carnegie Mellon. Though once I was considering doing work on the national organization, for years I fell away from the A-Phi-O way, except for some friends who were also in Kappa chapter at CMU.

I reaffirmed my pledge to those ideals — leadership, friendship, and service — at Saint Timothy's in Mountain View this Sunday. Leadership. Friendship. And Service above all.

I am looking forward to this walk. Even if something happens to me and I come up lame. Whatever happens. I'll do what I can to be there. I remember when my mother sprained her leg at my graduation day. She still showed up for me.

For Molly, I will be showing up for the Overnight, and for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). You're invited to help contribute to my personal participation goal, or, if you feel so moved, join us for one night in your life you'll always remember.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Holy Chocolate!

Mar Tome was founded by Father Stan M. Smith, of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church of the East to combine two great loves: a celebration of God and an enjoyment of His great gift, chocolate.

Many of us love chocolate like God loves us. Unconditionally. In all its forms, shapes, and creations. Much as God loves all life. Much as God will take us into His kingdom when our day comes, we take chocolate into us. We love chocolate's warm, nourishing richness much as God loves when we live a warm, nourishing rich life.

Mar Tome is from the Latin, literally "Sea Book," or "Sea Volumes." So as you sip your Holy Chocolate, consider the peace and calm of the sea. Consider curling up with a good book. Or even the Good Book. Just keep from spilling your Holy Chocolate on Deuteronomy.

We Can be Heroes

David Bowie KFOG is singing his anthem.
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
I had a great day yesterday on Sunday.

Speaking about drive them away, yesterday I got a ride down to St. Luke's, which launched a major change of my life. From there I went again to St. Timothy's for ETC. I got a ride back from Mary Blessing up to St. Timothy's and she dropped me off at the door. So I'd gently correct David and say we can drive "them" away by driving each other around a little more. Who'da thunk it? Carpooling.

You can chat. You can listen to the music. You can get to know each other.

Before, during and after that I had a great experience. I became a hero to a new friend. Although late again for the start of mass, the universe had its reasons for that. I got a lift to church and sung in the choir. Thanks, Kate! I counseled a young woman who is as talented as any movie star you've ever seen to go to Carnegie-Mellon and join Scotch and Soda so she can get both her psychology degree as well as express her inner dramatic talents. I got to be a squad leader for a team searching for "Where's Waldo?" I got to be a "coach" for a bunch of young men and women tossing basketballs at the rim. And then I came home and got my life a bit more straightened up and let someone crash at my place. All before sundown.

Win! Win! Win! Win! Win!

We can all be heroes. I pledged yesterday to renew my life-long commitment to Leadership, Friendship and Service, which I had taken in Alpha Phi Omega.

I also decided to roll my Hospitality passion on the character sheet of my life, and I made a Critical Success. I let a new friend crash at my place, with her two dogs. It's been a long time since I've had dogs in my life. Yesterday I let my lifelong commitments come home to roost, and I also let a few dogs in the front door.

My sofá es su sofá!

I love KFOG. They are playing an audio news clip about Elvis' death. The King of Rock and Roll is dead. But Pete Townsend sings in my mind in refrain, "Rock is dead. Long live rock!"

Now there's on to the 1977 hit "I Couldn't See The Light." Couldn't get it right. Couldn't get it right. I suppose that was the problem with a good few things with Cisco, Green Knight, and my own balance. I suppose you could say I see the light better now.

Now Steely Dan is singing "Peg." This is my big debut. It's like a dream come true.

"Touchdown Raiders!" "John Madden's grin is ear-to-ear!" "The Raiders are closing in on the Superbowl Championship!" I suppose somewhere there's a crowd cheering that there was a change yesterday.

Now K.C. and the Sunshine Band is rocking out. I'm Your Boogie Man. Doing what I can. Doing my own little boogie through life, I suppose.

Oh, KFOG! You really are plucking the heart strings! 10cc: The Things We Do for Love. Not only do we do things for romantic love, we do things for chaste love, for friendly love, for familial love, for universal human love. Yesterday for love, I let a stranger become a friend, and a friend become a house guest. It felt great.

The hits from 1977 are incredible. It brings me back to that time between Operation Sail in the summer of 1976 to the time just before the release of Star Wars. Just before I realized I was a young Jedi-in-training-for-life. Ah yes! And here it comes! The Star Wars Disco Theme! Lasers! The drum beat! Thoughts of R2D2. The Cantina. It was like Rick's Cafe of the mind. You could almost see Humphrey Bogart off in the corner. Just after Luke and Obi-Wan left with Han Solo, Ilsa walked in and took off her head scarf and gazed eye-to-eye with Rick Blaine. "Of all the gin joints in all the galaxy..."

Buzz-buzzzz! That's tune number 10! That will fire me up for the rest of the day.

If I heard correctly, Some Other Time, from I Robot, by the Alan Parsons Project won the set.
Like a mirror held before me
Large as the sky is wide
And the image is reflected
Back to the other side

Could it be that somebody else is
Looking into my mind

When you have a few blogs and a lot of people wondering how you're doing that might occur to you naturally. If you believe in God, you know there's already the Eye in the Sky, the Eye in the Pyramid, who has the best CCTV security system in the universe. I have a hat with the Eye of Heru upon it. I bought it at the Martin Luther King, Jr. event in San Francisco. I call it my "Super Visor" cap. Thinking with the third eye in mind. Gotta be good for grandma, you know. Show some hospitality for the glory of good King Arthur.

Even after 10 at 10, Trey Anastasio's song "Shine" blazes forth in audio rays of light and color straight to my skull. Annalisa's speaking about the Rock of Ages. Perfectamundo! The perfect world.
It might not be a perfect world yet, but it's looking better every day. So welcome, Kate, Meadow and MacKenzie. And thanks again, KFOG. To everyone tuning in — Rock is dead. Long live rock!

Rock on!


Saturday, January 21, 2006

To LL:


Dreaming is Free

Last night I slept heavy!

I have been doing a lot of walking lately, and so when I sleep, I have gone FLOOMPF! down on my bed.

I've been waking up earlier and more energetic, though.

I've been doing a lot of walking to downtown Mountain View. A lot more since the New Year than I had done in ages. I walked all over Manhattan while I was there. From 71st Street to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

I remember I used to do a lot of walking in New York City when I lived there. I stopped walking pretty much when I came to California in 1989. The car was facile, but it was also unhealthy.

In the past year, I lost ~33 pounds (245 —> 207). I'd like to get down another 10-15.

In my walks, I have been using my new Palm Treo, from Sprint PCS, to call my business associates. I have been using it as a camera to take pictures for my creative photo-poetry project. I've also been using it to take pictures of my friends — without using the nasty developing chemicals I can still smell in my nostrils and delayed development time.

In a way, my walks are my office. Outdoors in nature. In the quietude of a stroll, an idea comes up. I call my friends, my family, my business associates. We laugh. It is like they are strolling with me, and we're walking to the goal together.

It reminded me of the scenes near the end of Farenheit 451 where everyone is walking around speaking the memories of the books they are. Only we have ear buds and are chatting to a friend in another place in the world. It's not a fixed, perfected book, but it is the book of our collective works we are co-authoring. A collaborative novel played out in earbuds and strolls.

This seems to be the way of the future.

All I know is that since I started walking and talking more naturally, or supernaturally, I sleep deeply, have great dreams, and wake up far more refreshed.


Friday, January 20, 2006

ETC at St. Timothy's

Tonight I went to St. Timothy's in Mountain View. There was youth program called "ETC." Episcopal Teen Community. There's a larger ETC organization across Santa Clara County.

It was a rather good experience to speak to the kids, play games with them, doe a few thoughtful exercises, and then speak with them to find out how creative they are.

One young woman wrote a psalm. A young man wrote his own rap and poetry. Another young woman was into art and writing, and published her own fan fiction. And a brilliant young man enjoyed reading the Bible though he was somewhat embarrassed to admit it. A few folks had come over in Carter's car from Santa Cruz. I began the story of the Green Knight. I'll have to catch up with part two another time. And a large contingent came up in Mary's van from St. Jude's in Cupertino.

The evening was filled with running around too. I am wearing a pair of glowing purple and orange bracelets. If you want to know what those were for, you can come next time and find out for yourself!

My thanks to the folks who gave me a root beer float. Yummy! Finally, my thanks to Katie who dropped me off afterwards.

Onwards to adventure!


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Beth Orton — Comfort of Strangers

Plus Our New Orleans.

Today, Dave Morey and KFOG had another song for me. More than one, of course, but this one was most special for us all today. This is the one that moved me most. Conceived.

They are also playing a wonderful cover of the Pointer Sisters' Yes We Can. It's a version for a benefit for the Gulf Coast. KFOG is always incredible.

You can pre-order Beth Orton's CD and the Our New Orleans benefit album off the KFOG site. Good stuff! I just put in my pre-order for Beth Orton. She's worth it.

My sister went down to New Orleans to help out. She walked the walk and talked the talk and went to help out. Me? I am humbled. I am doing little more than buying a CD. Maybe that's why I am doing more walking these day. Playing catch up, you could say.

Put these on your shopping list:

Beth Orton ~ Comfort of Strangers [Limited Edition]

Pre-order CD - Est. Release Date 02/07/2006 - Price: $17.98

Various Artists ~ Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast

New CD - Price: $14.98
Flowers in the Cracks

The Flowers in the Cracks
Express the joy of renewal of our spirits
With beauty, truth, and love

"The Flowers in the Cracks"
Is a cultural arts program
Celebrating the renewal of our spirits and communities

At the wake of my grandmother I ran into my childhood friend, my sister's friend Ilona Lieberman. She is a professional photographer in New York City. She's photographed emerging musician Martha Wainwright, who sings "When the Day is Short."
Love me tonight
and I'll be alright
I'll be alright
I'll be alright
Until tomorrow night
She also photographed Lasse Hallström, who reminds me of my Life as a Dog. Tonight I took myself for a walk around the park. My life tonight was a dog. I was sniffing out all the sidewalks and flowers.

Tonight Ilona and I conspired to create a project called "The Flowers in the Cracks." It will be a project that looks at the world in a new way and yet a very old profound way. A celebration of the present. And a hint of a future way forward. It will focus on the emergence and triumph of beauty, love, and truth, producing joy. Platonic love. Creative love. Ideal and real values.

Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato, we hope to do you all honor and homage!

Mnemosyne and your daughters, the Muses, we pray they will be pleased!

Yet it should also go beyond these to Abelard, von Eschenbach, and St. Catherine of Sienna. It should have the levity and wit of George Carlin, the gentleness of Bill Cosby, the wry chutzpah of Bugs Bunny, the satire of Al Franken.

Apollo! Aset! Buddha! Jesus! Sophia! Guan-Yin! Wonkatonka! All celebrations of the divine shall be upheld. We are not the first and we shall not be the last to proclaim this. Obviously this goes back to ideals of Pythagoras' universal harmony, Platonic ideals, Aristotelian logic, and hopefully beyond these too. Many people speak about the growth of Faith in Our Present and Future. We are all together in the boat.

On the day commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we celebrated the Dream. He proclaimed he had a Dream. The Saturday before I created a flower arrangement, inspired by both Zen Buddhism and Christian heritage, celebrating also in hidden ways the Arthurian and Romantic traditions, naming it "The Passion of the Dream."

We now all have a Dream. It is a collective dream. It is all of ours, and it is truly the property of none of us. For the Dream is Free. The Dream is Free, and it lives and breathes as surely, or more surely, than any mortal form. It is ideal. It is perfect. It is eternal.

Our so-called waking lives are where we damage the Dream. Where we enslave the Dream. Where we hurt each other and are hurt in return. And so we let the Dream die.

Once I was told each blow upon our hearts is to shatter our illusions of love. Not to damage the heart, but, if the blow is correctly interpreted, to chip away the hardness that builds up around our hearts over our lives. To whittle it down so it can beat, and circulate our blood, and even bleed if need be. So it can express tears and blood, like the water and the blood coming from the side of Christ. So it can be pure and clean, in touch with the heaven above and the earth below.

From the cracks in our cold and hardened hearts, a flower can grow. Only by the hammer blows of an Invisible Hand can we be forged into the swords of logical insight, into the plowshares of natural growth, into the rings of gladly-bonded love, into the needles of right livelihood and industry, into the jewelry of pure beauty. We are forged in pain to become pure, and polished, like metal. Gold and silver. Spiritual Alchemy.

Yet we are growing things. We are creatures that need to have the sun removed from us. We need a balance of fire, water, earth and air. Wood and stone. Meat and bone. Plants and animals all around us.

So Ilona and I have pledged to begin this project. She from New York City, New York. Me from Mountain View, California.

We will each bring our artistic spirits to the project. Our hope is to highlight different, already-existing truths and loves and beauties at first. For there is so much good work around us already that can be celebrated. So often we overlook the good deeds around us. So often we miss an opportunity to join in ourselves into existing works.

In our initial phase of the project, we are going to see what people, what communities, already are out there. Like Santa and Mrs. Claus, we are going to look for those who have been nice, and reward them with attention. We will be witness to their good deeds, and we will celebrate how they have been able to bring the Flowers from the Cracks. We will also look for those who are in serious need, and who have quite somber, solemn, grieving moments. For not all is well in the world, and this cannot be overlooked.

Tonight I spoke to Ilona for hours. We talked and talked and talked and talked. It all had great meaning, and it was all having to do with this project, our lives, our love of life, and our future. It was a conversation like the double-helix of DNA, yet it was an ideological dance. It was a dance of IMA — Interpersonal Memetic Art.

IMA is when two people collaborate on an artistic idea, and the different contributions come together like chemical pairs. Ideas that fit together. Some are rejected. Some are stubbed out. Others fit perfectly, and the chain builds and builds in mutual collaboration.

We did a lot of collaboration tonight. We have a very strong IMA strand.

We agreed that it should not just be "win-win" thinking. It should be "Win^∞+1" — Win raised to the power of the infinite plus one more for show! Now, that's a tall order, yet one's ideals should ever be raised as high as possible. We might indeed burst into fusion reactions and lasers and forge order and energy from pure void. We'll also have realistic and modest goals. Step by step we'll climb Jacob's Ladder. Just as they sang at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Spiritual.
Oooo.... Oooo... Oooo.... Ooo-hoo... Ooo-hoo...
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Children of the Lord
We are climbing higher and higher
We are climbing up
We are climbing up
I looked up at Orion and I can close my eyes and see Orion. Maybe he's not wielding a club. Maybe that starry man is climbing his own ladder. Maybe he's on his own Faith Walk in the heavens. Questing.

I thought back to the spoken words that the Glide singers professed. Some words stuck in me like pure shafts of light.
God is in this place.
This is God's house.
This is the Gates of Heaven.
And there I was under Orion. Under the Orion Nebula. And like the formation of the stars in a distant crucible of pure energy, Ilona Lieberman and I created a new light between us. And it was good.

IMA is a form of levity and gravity both. It is hypothesis, arsis and thesis and synthesis. It is science and art and engineering and craft and philosophy and religion all conjoined. It is the purest form of communications possible between people as creative principles (doings) and creative principals (beings). It is a praxis of perfect harmonious ideals and real progress.

In the darkness and the light I walked around and around and around the paths and grasses at Rengstorff Park talking with Ilona. If people saw me out there, like the jogger with the two big dogs who barked at whoever it was out in the darkness in the middle of the field, they probably wondered why I was talking to myself.

I had an open mind to the voice of God and to Ilona and to so many things tonight. I had an earbud that allowed me to hear Ilona's voice 3,006 miles away in Rockaway Beach, New York. We indeed spoke of cabbages and Kings, literally, since I had used a cabbage blossom in my flower arrangement for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Passion of the Dream." And I was living it.

It was a Wonderland conversation, and we did indeed peek after Alice to see how deep the rabbit hole went.

The baseball field was squishy from the rain. The sky was clear and brilliant. Orion gazed down at me. A bat flew around chirping in the darkness. There was light from all around but I was in the middle as far from the light as possible, yet able to see the clear light of the stars above me. Betelgeuse. Bellatrix. Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka. The Orion Nebula. Rigel and Saiph. I didn't know the name of Meissa until I just looked at the chart again. I suppose his club had never hit me between the eyes until now.

Tomorrow, because of Ilona's photographic work on a NYC civic project, she has the opportunity to pitch "The Flowers in the Cracks" with no one less than Hizzoner Himself, Mr. Michael Bloomberg. At a prior opportunity she had a photograph taken with her sister's young baby. Any Mayor that stops to have a photo with a baby is a smart man. That's as old school politics as you can get! He also sounded like he genuinely enjoys kids. According to his official NYC.gov biography, he clearly supports the children of homeless families, as well as widows and orphans.

For our project, I gave her the "elevator pitch."
"It is great to see you again, Mr. Bloomberg. What you have done with this city is remarkable. What all New Yorkers have done to revitalize this city over and over again is tremendous. My new project will be a celebration of the enduring spirit and constant renewal of this city, and the world which it touches and transforms daily. It's called 'Flowers in the Cracks.' I'm working with Peter Corless, an author from California, on the first stages of the project. With your support, we can celebrate the great work unfolding all around us."
He could probably speak about any of his twenty favorite charities. And there are so many more in NYC alone that could use praise and recognition.

My own self? I wish to take the same story, and put the case before Mr. Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, who is looking to revitalize the Tenderloin and other challenged neighborhoods, and Mayor Galiotto of Mountain View. Not all at once. Step by step.

I even began to think about the fund raising opportunities for some non-profits. Use the project to frame their work, and donate of proceeds from artworks to support these programs further. A sort of "ad council" work.

We're going to start for now with some conceptualizations of how the project will actually pan out. I want to leave some creative surprises for you all to experience. I also cognitively give a nod to my own mortality. I will only get to experience, record and celebrate so much during my life and times. The rest will come from those who wish to be part of this all. To carry on the work to the next higher level.

Tonight, a dream was born in the darkness and limnal light. It was not even ours, really. Others have spoken about the Flowers in the Cracks before us. The trope and visual imagery have been around since the first time a natural flower poked its petals out from between two rocks, even long before humans laid down the first sidewalk or stone pavers. Our ideas and thoughts came to life under the stars, in a park, as dogs ran by happily baying, friends spoke deep truths and made each other laugh, and as bats whistled a cheery tune. Also, in our minds, there was a park bench, the sunshine, a seagull calling, the sounds of the sea crashing gently in the distance, and a dandelion pushing up from between the cracks in the sidewalk. It was all true, and it was all good.

The waning gibbous moon was swinging back earthwards from its apogee. The first call began at 7:15 pm. It lasted over two hours. The next call began at 9:31 pm Pacific Time. For me, the waning moon was just rising above the horizon at 9:32 pm in the east. For Ilona, it was half-past midnight. We spoke on and on until it was just after 3:00 am her time.

Our project began as a possibility of dreams, and Ilona went straight to bed. Straight to dreaming. I wonder what sort of dreams she'll have tonight. Good ones, for sure!

Meanwhile, it's 2:34 am for me. I still have some good work ahead of me for the web site I'm working on. Scheduling, project plans, and getting alignment on priorities.

My experiments on Joomla and Apache continue. I did indeed get the Xcode Tools, and even WebObjects, installed on my Macintosh. Another green dot on my checklist of things accomplished.

In the winter, the days are short and the nights are long.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Installing Apache & Joomla

In progress on my work for a client, I am installing Apache & Joomla today on my own test box. I want to see how easy it is. I want to have "walked the walk" for them, so that their own installation can go easy, and so that I can do this myself for other clients.

In fact, I installed Joomla last night on my test box. That was really darn quick. But then realized I had forgotten to install a web server. Talk about scatter-brained?

So today I'm getting straightened out.

In the past, I worked with fantastic systems administrators, including some of the best Unix SysAdmins you'd ever hope to meet. John Stewart, Mike Fuller, and all the folks in Advanced Customer Systems at Cisco Systems, Inc. John is that smiling guy in the right-hand of the photograph. Also the folks in the rest of Cisco IT and Engineering Computing Services (ECS). Back in my heyday there. Wow. I was standing amongst the giants.

I still run into them now and then. I am humbled when I realize I don't know a hundredth of the specialized knowledge they know about how to really make a box shine. Then I realize why I have always liked a Macintosh — because it did not force me to know everything about how a computer worked to get some utility value out of it. And I always liked Unix and Linux because once you got under the hood, you could monkey with just about anything, including kernel patching. That sort of flexibility allows you to make Ford Tauruses, Toyota Corollas, Saturn Station wagons, sporty VW rag-tops or custom-built crazy cars.

So is it any wonder that I use a Macintosh today, even now, in the year 2006? It is the Mac, for my artist/writer creative head, and it is Unix for my technogeek head.

SysAdmins need your love. I would often hang around and bring them cokes. Listen to how they did their jobs. The "High Priesthood of Computing" I'd call them. To whom we all bowed when the really big miracles needed to be performed.

John Stewart left for Digital Island. He looks darned handsome in this 1998 photo, don't you agree? If you want to know some of my own history, you can read John's views. I worked beside him and we often high-fived or shook hands or did a freaking victory dance when we got something nailed. He was a hero to me, and I always admired his style.

So today, for John Stewart, I work!

I am downloading Apache httpd-2.0.50-powerpc-apple-darwin7.4.0.tar.gz. Oh yeah! I can smell and hear the bits flying off the DSL connection. The download is from a slow mirror site, so it'll be a few minutes.

After revising some of the above, there we go! It's decompressing. Gotta love it. Hrm... A new update of Stuffit Expander. I'll have to take care of that later. For now... Apache is installed!

Err... Now, reading the httpd Project home page in search of documentation, it seems I downloaded the old revision. Apache HTTP Server 2.2.0 Released. The article's not dated. When did this come out? Hrmf. That shows me for skipping "Step Zero."

Moral of the story? Read The Fine Manual (RTFM).

Not a problem, though. Back to download. The first time I downloaded, I selected "Playboy" mirror on a lark. I thought it was humorous that the grand old bastion of porn was hosting Apache. What would my Aunt think? Anyway, I think it's better to chew up their bandwidth downloading Apache instead. Perhaps, in a way, Apache and the Internet is a bit related to porn. It's "instant gratification of knowledge." Hrm. At least they did not charge me for the download. Curious.

But the download was slow. It took minutes. This time, I chose "Seekmeup.Studio." They profess "Superior Creativity." Hey! Now that is far better. My aunt, who is a Dominican Nun, would approve of that. Trust in a superior creator is right in line with the best of teachings.

So let's download the latest and greatest Apache from there instead. Wow! That was fast. Like, two seconds. Alright. Next lesson? There is less resistance in the universe when getting something from Superior Creativity than the best of porn kings.


Alright. So I got this far in the documentation:

Configure $ ./configure --prefix=PREFIX

I get the error:

configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH

Well, um... Hrm. (Peeks under the hood. Sees no engine.) There should be some C compiler in Mac OS X, yes? Whazzup with that?

I might also need to install perl, and php. So do a "which perl", right? Right.

I have perl in usr/bin/perl, and php too.

So what's going on with my C?

Gah! I have no GCC! Where's my GCC for Mac OS X? You'd have thunk they would have given you that, and GDB (the GNU Debugger) before installing perl, ya think?


For those of you not familiar with programming. GNU's C Compiler (GCC) is what Real Software Engineers™ use when they crank code. With my own eyes I watched them do it. It's fun!

Now it's my turn.

Apparently there's a toolkit for Mac OS X, called, Xcode 2.2, which includes GCC. You know, Steve Jobs, you could have saved me fair bit of time here.

Could you just have Apache installed along with Xcode (and thus, GCC) for OS X 10.5? It's not like you wouldn't have people doing a victory dance in the streets of Cupertino if you did so.

Pile it all in! It's free! You have the hard disk space for it.

Yes, install it, but just do not configure it or enable it without the user/sysadmin's permission. That would be sweet. Or have it as a stored-away package that someone could one-click to install.

Anyway, now I am registering for the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) to get access to the tools. Registration is free, and I am using the same account I have there for my peeking at their job postings.

You might not know this, but when I first came to California, I read the Macintosh Way on the flight over. I was so impressed that I found Guy Kawasaki and shook his hand. It was a great book, and it led me to earn a million dollars. Of course, I have to credit "The Cisco Way" for the real money I made out here. John Chambers was a heck of a boss' boss to work for.

And now I am here downloading GCC in great thanks to the Macintosh and to the great engineers at Cisco who inspired me. And all the programmers I have known since my days at Beach Channel High School (where I did my first punch-card program, which I had almost forgotten about) and Carnegie-Mellon University, where I learned Pascal and noodled with Unix and Macs for the first time.

So, back to the ADC. You might want to read the Terms and Conditions (PDF). Rather curious to actually read through as a contract.

Relationship with Apple. Use of Apple Trademarks, Logos, etc. Transfer Of Membership Benefits And Materials. Apple ID And Password. No Warranty. (Of course. I'll need to do my own debugging and troubleshooting. Self-service. Gotcha.) Confidential Information. Apple Pre-Release Software. (Oo! Nice.. Hrm... And dangerous too!) Third-Party Software & Information. (Right. GCC is from the GNU folks, not from Apple.) Free as in Freedom! It's amazing how I'll be using free software the day after I marched for freedom. I suppose I should have been wearing a GNU logo while I was up there. Most people would not have gotten the reference.


Six Dwarves and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Export. Hrm. I know about this one, but the list has changed. "Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria" are the "six dwarves" now. Which means that I'd not be allowed to take my install box to those countries, and that downloads would be prohibited to those nations. Or, if I wanted to, I'd need to get a special permission from the US government to do so.

Which means the US government is keeping Apple from helping those nations build up their programming savvy. There you have it.

Also under "export" is a curious term: "You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes where prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missile, chemical or biological weapons."

Huzzah! Readily agreed! I closest I ever come to that is in simulation games, such as NationStates. My country of Listeneisse (which I had almost forgotten about until reminded by my friend yesterday to check in on it) is the Grail Kingdom.

Would the Grail Kingdom ever need nuclear weapons if it was being invaded? Or can it rely upon spiritual defenses to save it from wrack and ruin at the hands of jealous and spiteful agents of darkness? Hrm. Well, if they can depend on faith in God, I suppose I can too.

So there! Yes, with a clear conscience, I can say that I will not work on Nuclear, Biological or Chemical weapons with my Macintosh. I might simulate "bad guys" in roleplaying games where the bad guys use nukes (or even good guys trying to fend off bad guys), but no real nukes. I'm a lousy scientist anyway.

It's a deal!


The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog

Terms. Right. This is an agreement which is unilateral. Apple is granting me rights to cool stuff, so long as I play by their rules. Which they can change at a moment's notice. I'll just have to be a less-than-utterly-lazy dog that goes "Woof!" watching as they can quickly jump all over me.

Apple Independent Development. Gotcha. I might develop something using these tools, and Apple might want to use it. Unless I protect myself through Intellectual Property mechanisms, they can and will run with whatever I give them. Some things I'd be alright with. The Bits want to be Free!

Other stuff I might need to protect, so that I can pay my bills and so that I can keep an idea perfected and not see it dissolve by the dissection of nay-sayers. I've already filed a bunch of patented developments, but those ideas are owned by Cisco. It's been years since we've gone anywhere with them, but I am grateful to Cisco and the lawyers they could afford for me to have four numbers at the Patent and Trademark Office with my name attached to them. The ideas are actually owned by Cisco. That's fine with me. They are a powerhouse that can hopefully take them somewhere.

Meanwhile, Steve Jobs also wants my good ideas. Steve. Let's have lunch. I'd be glad to share some of the ideas I got. Otherwise, I'll put a small copyright statement in my code if I ever post it back to the ADC site.

Hardware Purchase Terms And Conditions. I'd love a discount. I've paid retail on enough Macs in my day. My first was a Mac Plus. That was stolen when I lived in Astoria, Queens. I came home one day, and it was missing. They had also tromped all over the game "World In Flames" laid out on the floor. I cried and picked up the pieces. It was so ironic. A world in flames. Whoever stole my Macintosh would poetically end up in Hell. Eternal flames for the sin of avarice and crime of theft. I cried and picked up the pieces of my game, and kissed my Mac Plus goodbye.

My next Mac was my Macintosh II. I got that when I was working at Chase Manhattan Bank, and did a deal for it at a steep discount with my elder sister for it. I wanted to give it to her, but I believe my mother wanted me to be fiscally responsible, and my elder sister too. She arranged for me to charge my own sister for it. I'll have to call my sister to see if she remembers what she paid for it. I recall clearly that it was about what? $7,200 or something like that. The RAM was something like $500 per megabyte alone, and I got 4 mb of RAM for it, for $2,000. It was as expensive as a year at Carnegie-Mellon University.

I kept that computer for less than a year, and then moved to California to be in the land of Macs.

Since then I've had a series of Mac, mostly laptops. The latest is a 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4. It's already a dinosaur as the next generation will be shipping with Intel chips. But I paid so very, very little for it in comparison to my old Mac II. Heady days of the late 1980s. And heady days to come!

Technical Support Terms And Conditions. Yes. I believe in paying for technical support. I was a technical support guy at ComputerWare. I opened my copy of Russia at War last night, and found an old faded business card from my fond alma mater. The first job I had here in Silicon Valley. Pierre Pellisier and Keith Redfield, Arnaldo and Dharma and Rose and Chris and Linden and Roger and Ugi — I loved working with you all!

From that, I worked at Apple Computer. I miss the laughter of Pam Boyman, and the wit of so many brilliant souls. It was there I learned the lesson, "Darwin got him." How to be that quick brown fox to jump over the lazy dog. It was also from there that I learned the expression, "Ask for 100% of what you want 100% of the time." A vivacious woman told me that. I smile at the memory of her daring freckled face.

I hopped again to Cisco, when Apple made clear it was going to move technical support to Austin. That was where I drifted away from Macintoshes after the company standardized on Windows. I mostly clung to the Unix systems, reading my email in elm or pine. But I missed QuickMail. I tried Windows mail systems, but ugh. Me no like.

Me have Apple's Mail now. Me have Thunderbird too. Me like.

I got down to primitives when I played "Mortalis Victus" this past year. It will be launching again in March-April of 2006, so stay tuned. You can play too.

Anyway, I love technical support. It helped me earn my first million dollars which has come and gone. It will be crucial for the earning of my next million. So I pay for good technical service and gladly. You should too.

More Terms and Conditions

Credit Application. When I need more than $3,500, I'll fill out an application. For now, I have money in the bank in excess of that. I also prefer to do things cash-and-carry as much as possible. With interest rates so low, though, it gets tempting to borrow. But the economy is going down, or staying about the same, which means that cash remains king. Thanks but for now, no thanks.

Disclaimer of Liability. I really do not like blaming people for things that go wrong, so long as there is not specific malfeasance in their behavior. "APPLE'S ENTIRE LIABILITY FOR DIRECT DAMAGES UNDER THIS AGREEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR YOUR ADC MEMBERSHIP." Considering that's $0.00, that's all I can expect from Steve. Hrm. I actually believe there's other laws that can override these terms, but in principle, you know what? I'm in agreement. I cannot blame Apple if I use software and get in a pickle, and then point fingers. This is a "take responsibility for your own code" clause. I'm down with that.

Governing Law. Considering I live within a short ride of Cupertino, where I go to church at St. Jude's, I'd have to agree the same state laws apply to me.

Survival. We all want to, for as long as we can, to do the most good we can while we're here. However, like people and their memories, certain memories, truths and covenants will survive long after the termination or expiration of this embodied agreement.

Agreement in English. "Les parties ont exigé que le présent contrat et tous les documents connexes soient rédigés en anglais." So why did they throw in French? It must be some "Canadian content" tip-of-the-hat. Merci, Quebec!

No Waiver or Assignment. You know, I'm almost half-tempted to see if I can get a waiver. I'm not even sure what I'd want a waiver for. Maybe something on intellectual property rights. But I'll waver on the waiver for now. On with the work.

Complete Agreement. So far so good! This means I cannot try to add in any conjuctions with "And," "but," or "or."

License to Ill

Applicable Terms & Conditions. Prototype License Grant. This is a license. A grant of rights. Not an assignment of them. They can be withdrawn at any time. I can use this, but I cannot use Apple's tools themselves as a component of a product.

Though it would be a sweet service to set people up with developer stations. I can see how you could sell small businesses with Macs, Apache, Joomla, and these Xcode tools. It'd be darned easy to get them going on their own web sites. Darned easy.

Definition of Confidential Information. Nonuse and Nondisclosure of Confidential Information. Wow. I'll get some confidential information! Trade secrets I suppose? If so, I'll be good and keep quiet. Of course, Apple will have to properly mark what is confidential versus what is generally-knowledgeable information. For instance, GCC is no secret. It's defects and flaws on the Mac OS X platform are probably not covered under this either.

Storage of the Prototype. Why refer to it as a "prototype" and not simply as a "product?" In other words, this is a "work in progress." I wonder how long this program has been going on for? It seems real cool to get GCC on a Mac. You'd think they'd have a bit more confidence in the concept.

Verification of Compliance. Sure. I know where the software will be installed. Hrm. They might want to come over and inspect it? Err... I need to clean up then. (Sheepish glances.)

No Warranty. You get what you pay for, and I didn't pay at all, except in my time to download.

Equitable Relief. Sure, if I start going nutters using software Apple gave me, and they ask for me to knock it off, you have to knock it off. Got to be good.

No Export. We're back to the Six Dwarves and the WMDs again.

Term and Termination. They do not want this software lying around. It needs to be destroyed when the project is done. Which is somewhat silly, because you might come back to your work years later and need to pick up with the old tools where you left off. I'll agree to it. Yet I believe there are laws that protect software developers so that you cannot be forced to destroy software under certain conditions. In fact, large businesses can even force software develepment companies to hold their software, even their source code, in escrow in case something happens to the original developer. I don't know the specifics of this, but I believe I'd be able to keep an archival copy for historical purposes even with this term and condition.

No Waiver or Assignment. Right. I'm not supposed to turn this software over to anyone else. Yet how enforceable is this? What if I sell my business? Or my laptop? Ideally I should destroy the software, and make the next guy download it again. Few people do that, as it is simply inefficient and silly. But a deal's a deal, and this is the deal I was given.

Governing Law. Yes, we are still in California. Some of this is redundant. You'd think they would not have to repeat themselves.

Government End Users. Oh. The invocation of the FAR! Now here is a specialized language all its own. Fortunately, I am not a government end user. I'll quickly skip ahead.

Agreement in English. Yes. Again. In the future, the agreements will be written in C and XML.

Complete Understanding. Again, the echoes of the past, the reminder of the case. Yes. But do we really ever have complete understanding?

Hardware, Old and New

I like the hardware discount. I don't need a new computer now, but I'll consider one in the future. I still have one which had a hard drive problem I never sent off to DriveSavers. Soon, I keep promising myself. Soon.

It has my old Green Knight content, and my old Skotos folders for both Pendragon Online and Castle Marrach.

I had almost gotten everything transferred over to my new Mac when the thing went belly-up. R.I.P. I am sure the DriveSavers people will be able to get the rest off. I just have been working too hard to get my new life up and running to deal with the archaeology of the past four years.

Technical Support

"When requesting and receiving technical support, you will not provide Apple with any information, including that incorporated in your software, that is confidential to you or any third party. Any notice, legend, or label to the contrary contained in any materials provided by you to Apple shall be without effect. Apple shall be free to use all information it receives from you in any manner it deems appropriate."

Err... I'm not sure this is strictly enforceable. I understand why their lawyers are asking for it, but this could lead them to a major snit if they exploited this to unreasonable levels. "Appropriate" is the operable word here, which lawyers could go back-and-forth over for a long while.

Well, I have to get going now, so I'll agree to it. I'll just have to be the quick brown fox jumping over the lazy dog with Steve & Co. and trust that they won't abuse my own good will, nature and rights.

When I get back later today, I'll continue the saga of Apache, Joomla, Xcode, and GCC.

Onwards to adventure!

An Interesting Thread of Discussion

I'll let the speakers speak for themselves.
More Detailed Proof of God

To: editor@edge.org

Peter Corless
Web/Internet Consultant, Game Designer, Author, Owner, Green Knight Publishing
Mountain View, CA
650-906-3134 (mobile)

Q: Did Isaac Asimov predict the future science of applied memetic sciences, calling it psychohistory, in the Foundation Trilogy?

A: Yes. The sciences of applied memetics underlies economic sciences, marketing research, political and social sciences. Game theory is being applied to problem-solving domains to create predictive future scenarios, from war games to peace games. A form of proto-science of psychohistory is being used to predict optimal future human interactions. We already have a large body of sciences to predict human behavior. We are merely lacking some of the grand unifying theories, or we are ignoring the actual theories discovered centuries and millennia ago because they are lost in the rhetoric of philosophy and religion. That does not invalidate their scientific truths, but many who are supposedly-rational minds have a cognitive dissonance to look back in history or into the face of religion and acknowledging the facts within the mythopoetry.

Q: Is there mathematical proof that God actually exists which even Pythagoras, Aristotle, Albert Einstein and 99.99999% of humanity would nod in agreement with?

A: Yes. It is eminently simple to prove God exists. What is amazing is how easy the math is, and how it was so apparent to Greek mathematicians long before the Age of Christ.

Definition of God

C´ = "God"

C´ —(A)—> ∞ —(Ω)—> C´

Proof of God

1. Things exist.
At the most fundamental level, it is arguable whether anything truly exists, get for the sake of the proof, we shall deal with the hypothesis that things exist, because we see so many of them. The true nature of things can await a later analysis. Even if we see that things are an illusion, an illusion is still a thing, and therefore it is. Ergo, "things exist" can be our first axiom for rational discourse.

T = Set of "Things"

X = "Existence"

X of T = True

2. Everything exists because of a cause.

C = "Cause"

3. An implicit cause lays behind the instantiation of any thing, whether in the world of reality or in the realm of possible ideals.
If there was no reason for something to exist, whether beautiful, true, positive, rational, and whole, or even if irrational, negative, ugly, false, and divisive, then it would simply not exist. All things exist for a reason, whether we have observed the existence of a thing or whether it remains unobserved, whether we understand the reasons or fully understand them. When there is no reason continued existence, things cease to exist in the real world, though they continue to exist in the plane of eternal ideals, because they had been, or could be again. See the "Sundial" argument of Cicero, or the "Watch and the Watchmaker" of more recent centuries. Also see Plato for the difference between the world of the real and the world of the ideal.

t = any one element of T

If t,

Then C(t) ("there is a Cause of t"),
Instance of t in eternal ideal world = True
And possible instance of t in real world = True

4. If there was no cause for each and everything to exist, it would not exist.

If C = Ø, then

t = Ø,
and instance of t = False

5. There is a Prime Cause behind all things and all causes.

C´ = "Prime Cause"

6. The Prime Cause leads to everything.

C´ —> ∞

6. The Prime Cause is still the source for all things and all subsequent causes regardless of all simple and complex paths of causality.
One specific cause is the Prime Cause, from which all others causality and all other products of causality emanates. Regardless of simplicity or complexity of inheritance or graph of causes, C´ remains the ultimate source of all causality. If something we observe and believe to be the prime cause is not the ultimate source of all causality, then it is simply replaced by whatever truer cause is the cause of all things, ad infinitum, until we arrive at the true Prime Cause. However, until human understanding comprehends the possibility, it is still mathematically obvious that all things exists for a unified reason at the ultimate end of all other reasons.

C´ —> t1 (The prime cause is the direct cause of t1)
C´ —> C´´ —> C´´´ —> t2 (the prime cause leads to other causes that lead to t2)

7. Human linguistics assigns many names to the Prime Cause.
Regardless of what we call it, whether a mathematical symbol or a poetic or profane construct, we can assign a semiotic representation to the Prime Cause of all things, which, for convenience's sake, we can call "God" in English, or "C´" as a mathematical term.

C´ = "God", "Allah", "Yahweh", "YHWH", "Jehovah", "Jah," "El", "Elohim", "Theos", "Deus", "Dios", "Dio", "Gott", "Dieu", "ShangDi", "The Creative Principal", "The Creator", "The Prime Cause", "The Supreme Being", "I", "I AM", "The Big Guy" ...

8. The Prime Cause is the cause of creation of all things, which leads to the creation of all things through the creative principle.

A = Alpha, or creative principle

C´ —(A)—> instance of ∞

9. The Prime Cause is the cause of the destruction of all things, which leads everything back to the Prime Cause through the destructive principle.

Ω = Omega, or destructive principle

∞ —(Ω)—> C´

10. Therefore God is the Alpha and the Omega of all things.
The Greeks were not Christians nor Jews, but they clearly believed in the mathematical clarity of the existence of God.

C´ —(A)—> ∞ —(Ω)—> C´

There are definitely conundrums. For if there was a watch and watchmaker argument, what created God? What created the Creator? What was the cause of the prime cause?

This is answered by the rational that God is, always was, and always will be. His instantiation is ∞ in both the real and ideal worlds, across all time, space, and scale, microscopic to macroscopic.

Even if we prove "God" was invented, thus did not always exist, this is a "false God," or more rightly, a false interpretation of God.

The only way for causality to exist is if there is some grand unifying theory of power and force beyond what we would see as "real world" causality that we allow to exist which leads to the existence of everything else. There is an ideal creative force from which everything, ideal and real, emanates, and to which, everything returns when it is destroyed.

Perhaps I have not searched far enough across the Internet or in books for another Proof of God with as clear and simple terms. The above is my own work, and it is "Copyleft" as of this day, 18 January 2006, 10:10 AM, Peter Corless. Copyleft = "It is all right to distribute, as long as you attribute."

Further Reading (for myself too)

So God's Really in the Details?
see works of:
Richard Swinburne, University of Oxford
Alvin Plantinga, University of Notre Dame
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University


-Peter Corless
650-906-3134 (mobile)
The Walking is Just Beginning

No sooner had my walking on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day end than I was given my next quest by KFOG, 104.5/97.7 FM. There was a public service announcement for The Overnight.

A few weeks ago, I had been on the Sam Harris site, the End of Faith. Not only do I believe that Sam Harris is deluding himself that we are at the End of Faith, I believe he is deluding himself about the value of faith in everyday life.

For without faith in everyday life, we'd just commit suicide. According to the BBC and quoted on Aneki.com, apparently nine of the top ten countries with the highest suicide rates in the atheistic Communist and former Communist countries; the tenth is Finland. Yet another source said that there are strong rates of suicide among Christian and Muslim populations. It is tragic that those supposedly undertaking to heal others, such as medical professionals and psychiatrists, in particular suffer from depression that leads to suicide. At least according to the Straight Dope.

My own life was affected by suicide in my Junior year at Carnegie Mellon. In my illustration studio, the woman who sat next to me, Molly, committed suicide after the 1985 Beaux Arts Ball. She was a beautiful but tragically sad young woman. Talented. Wry and witty. Yet deeply pained. Her art work was always strongly rendered yet often bitter.

Two of us from her illustration class went to see her February funeral along with other friends of hers from school, and her family. Bruno drove me down. Molly's was a large Irish family. Like mine. I saw the stunned look on their faces. They grieved so strongly. I grieved with them as well.

I recall how beautiful Molly had been the night of the ball. She was dressed as a southern belle. She was better than good-looking. She was gorgeous. I wished I had told her so when I had the chance. For years I considered that if perhaps I had said more good things to her, she might not have taken the pills. I wondered what had driven her to such extremes. From what I hear, she wanted to live in the end, but she had taken too many aspirin. Her blood was too thin, and they did not have enough time to save her.

So for Molly, I will be walking from dusk to dawn. I will take a long day's journey into night. That's the plan for now at least. If her surviving family reads this, I pray you each and all well. As a fellow artist and student, I admired her talent. As a young man, I loved her with what small chaste friendship two cubicle-cohorts might develop over all-too-short a time. Know that your sister is not forgotten, and her memory, her fiery spirit, lives on forever. The precious gift of her presence in my life will always be there.

For the sake of the other Mollys of the world, those young men and women on the verge of hope and precipice of self-denial, I will walk the Overnight.

Out of the Darkness Overnight
Peter Corless, Walker
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
July 22-23, 2006
Please Sponsor Generously

I have already paid the $75 fee for entry. Now it's up to you to help me raise $1,000 for suicide prevention. That's not very much to save a life or ten.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Moved Me

Yesterday I had the tale of brave Ulysses. Yesterday I marched from my apartment in Mountain View to the bus stop, to Caltrain, to the bus again, up to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and then from there all the way to the Tenderloin, and then back down on the train and a bold stride homewards.

My steps home were buoyed by angels. There was so much love and beauty and truth that I met Plato and shook his hands. Both of them. I clasped people, homeless, immigrants, or long-time San Francisco residents. It didn't matter. It was met with big hearty hugs.

I walked more than a mile in the shoes of others yesterday.

Even as I typed this, this very moment, that very moment already past, on KFOG-FM, poor Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones are singing, have sung, will ever sing:

"I'll never be your beast of burden.
I walked for miles, my feet are hurting.
All I want is for you to make love to me."

Well, Mick, that's just not the deal to get your best results.

Myself, I felt more like a beast of burden than ever in my life. In fact, I accepted the burden again. The burden of human interaction as a social, political, economic, communicating band utterly human animal. The burden of being a real Christian, a real spiritual being.

Like a beast of burden, I need to carry my weight in the world. I need to walk a mile with more people. To meet more people. I need to continue my pilgrimage in life, as a witness to the wonder of it all.

As the Edward Bullwer-Lytton contest proclaimed decades ago, "If you want to eat, you gotta work. And at last I knew Pittsburgh." So today, I'll be focusing more on self-work and the work I need to do for a very good set of folks in Berkeley, California, who are creating cell phone games that are quirky, fun, and utterly charming.

My job is to help them build their Web and Internet community. Of all the Content Management Systems (CMS), we chose Joomla. Why? Well, there was a rather complex decision-making cycle between me as a Web/Internet consultant and the client. We both looked at the options, but in the end analysis, Joomla, as a name, just sounds more fun than other systems, like MaxDev's MD Pro. If we were into medical research, we might want a lot of M.D.s who are pros. For now, we have no idea what a Joomla is, or where the name came from, but it sounds quirky, fun, and more in line with the spirit of the company.

Music surrounded me when I woke up, but only by my conscious choice to turn it on. I was so tired when I went to bed last night I must have snored like a sawmill.

Yes, I left the alarm clock off, since I had fallen asleep some time after 2 am. I woke up, and thought it was before the dawn. No, the red letters on my trusty old alarm clock assured me it was 11:21. So I turned on the radio.

Tears for Fears. Shout.

The 1985 hit from "Songs from the Big Chair." Of course, that was all too "sensitive new age guy" music at the time. But for some reason, 21 years later, the lyrics were just as powerful.

In violent times, you shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white, they really really ought to know
Those one track minds that took you for a working boy
Kiss them goodbye, you shouldn't have to jump for joy
You shouldn't have to jump for joy

No, I didn't jump for joy yesterday. I walked for it. And in my pilgrimage, I found plenty of it. And not just in black and white but all the colors of the rainbow. Dr. King would have been happy to see all the people at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. However I did jump to my feet with applause at the song, the poetry, and the speeches!

I wore one black sock and one white sock all yesterday to show that we were all black and white. Like Feirefiz from the tale of Parzival, who was "motley like the magpie," the second-self our hero Parzival needed to meet and embrace as his brother before he could get back to the Grail Castle after his years of searching alone in all the wrong places for what was ever all around him.

The Revolution Starts Now. Another great song.

More to come, but for now, I need to get rocking and rolling on other things.

Monday, January 16, 2006


What follows is a post to my MBA/Technology Management class on why I might be late getting a paper handed in on Cultural Values and Ethics:

It's past midnight now. Almost one AM.

I will be on the Freedom Train today. In my mind, I already am.

So if I get this paper done late, it's because my personal, organizational, and cultural values say it's far more important to commemorate the 59th Anniversary of the original Freedom Train than to get this paper turned in immediamente. I want to do this ride this year in preparation for the 60th Anniversary next year. It will be part of a creative project that I'm working on in conjunction with a New York City photographer, if all goes according to plan.

"Flowers in the Cracks."

Ideally, it will begin as a photo-essay project, socio-political, visual and poetic, on the renewal of the spirit, tying together such disparate elements as the Holy Grail, the Declaration of Independence, the United Nations, 9/11 and Iraq. In this case, you can fairly say it's the renewal of the Spirit of '76.

I will be carrying printed-out copies of the documents on the original Freedom Train from 1947, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights passed in that same year.

I'll see if I can get this paper done according to the curriculum standards by midnight, but I'm still trying to get back up to speed after being gone most of the week for my grandmother's funeral. I also have my professional position to attend to.

I don't need 900-1,050 words to write such a paper. Nor APA format. Nor Microsoft Word.

All of that is illusion. Artificial schematic "requirements" that we can either opt in to, conform with, and use to limit oneself and one's expression. Or not, if we so choose differently. Pardon me a moment, and I mean no disrespect to the class, the instructor, nor the APA, the University of Phoenix or the Microsoft Corporation, but in the spirit of true freedom, I'm going to color outside the lines. Using every color of the spectrum at my disposal.

I'm going to be on that Freedom Train tomorrow!

I'm going to get a good night's sleep too.

If I can get this paper done when I get back, adhering as best as I can to the required format and content, I'll do the best paper I can given the time left in the day.

I'm not trying to get excused from school work, especially on culture and ethics.

Instead, I'm going to be walking the walk. Talking the talk. No theory. Action. Praxis.

I hope to be amongst our culture and expressing my ethics with the rest of the San Francsico Bay Area. Or at least as many of us that care to show up. Out of universal charity and fraternity, I promised a homeless man, Winston, I'd see him tomorrow and shake his hand if I could find him at the Caltrain station. Even if I cannot find him and never see him again, I'm going to be there for him. I promised a lot of people I'd be riding that Freedom Train up to the city. I promised my pastor and my God.

I'm going to be there for them. Even if I get hit by a car on the way to the train station, or if the train crashes, I'm going to be there. Even if I miss the train due to the fate of space and time, I'll try to catch the next. In whatever afterlife I find, I'll ask where the train station is. I'll be on that train. You might call me a bit obsessed, but I'd simply call this commitment to the principles of the day.

Other people are getting shot at, stabbed, and bombed for the sake of freedom. Some people are being executed rather than ever find a shred of human dignity granted to them out of kindness, regard for equality and fraternal love for all humankind. For their sake, for only a few hours, I will get out of my apartment, give up my normally rather ordinary, sedentary, isolated lifestyle, and I will walk with humble steps as a witness in compassionate solidarity to their suffering, their struggle, and their achievements. To celebrate Jana's life, and the life of all those of her nation and all nations that lived through, suffered or died due to madness and hatred, I will ride that train. This was why I had started my own non-profit some years back — Celebrate History. For the demise of that organization, I will also be on the train in glad rememberance of what we had done when we had the chance, and to celebrate the history of the Freedom Train and all it stands for.

And not just for the past. I will ride for the presently extremely impoverished and homeless who haunt the train stations of our nation, and the poor around the world, who are often in such a state not because of their inherent unworthiness, but because of the often mercurial nature of politics, the fear and hatred of xenophobia, economics, ironic chance and pure malice.

It is also the celebration of my sister, who is busy planning and working to get the NYC MTA rebuilt after 9/11, to get back to normalcy and peak efficiency for the people of my home town, New York City, and all the people of all the mass-transit systems in the world. Such a symbol of unity with mass transit is also vitally important to me as the gas prices rise to $3.00 a gallon, and as we lose touch with our neighbors in an isolated car-driven world.

I'll also be riding that train in honor of my grandfather, and my grandmother, and for many others you will read about in an essay I will point out below.

You can call it my own pilgrimage, my hajj, my Selma, and the worship of so many heroes who have lived and died, and who continue to work uncelebrated today, from the deep south to the South Bronx to South San Francisco to South Africa and South America, and everywhere in between from south pole to north pole.

If you are wondering, no. I have not ridden this train before. This will be my first time aboard. By fate or fortune's hand I might not ever do it again. We can never truly know what the future will hold, or what this might lead to in my life or in the lives of others who find out about this event and what it may mean for them.

For various personal and private reasons, today's going to be a special day for me. I don't want to miss it.

If you want to hear more why I'm playing "hookie" from school on a day when every other school I know of is closed, you can read my essay:

I Think I Hear My Freedom Train — Do You?

There's my cultural values. There's my personal ethics. There's the organization of individuals I will be standing with.

Let me ask: What will you stand for and do tomorrow?

Whatever it is, love it with all your heart and might.

Onwards to adventure!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In Memory of Olivia Conlon

To all,

If anyone would like to donate to a cause to celebrate the memory of Olivia Conlon, please volunteer your time in service or donate to a religious, educational or cultural charity, elderly or health care group, or environmental organization. It might be your local place of worship, or a school (parochial or public), or after-school group. My own aunt was the long-time principal at St. Charles Parish, yet every school in the nation could use more assistance, and even moreso, many schools overseas. Perhaps choose a place caring for the elderly like the Irish EnergyAction. It could be for domestic natural beauty, like Environment California. Perhaps treat yourself to some Irish music while helping out St. Luke's Hospital, Dublin with the Cairde CD. As for an educational and cultural project that could use your funds, Wikipedia seeks to serve the world by sharing our collective human knowledge.

Best wishes for you and your family and friends,


Monday, January 09, 2006

The Death of Olivia Conlon

On Epiphany, the day of spiritual awakenings, I was given a literal wake-up call by my brother John.

My last surviving grandparent, Olivia Conlon, had passed away.

July 15th, 1909 - January 8th, 2006

She died at peace. Her heart just beat fainter and fainter.

I'll be away at her wake and funeral services. Her services are being held at Colonial Funeral Homes, Staten Island, NY.

Murphy, being an Irishman, already signed the guest book. It's got a bug. I let the funeral home know. I got a message in before it went awry.
Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /usr/home/websites/www.colonialfuneralhomesi.com/Global/Guestbook.inc.php739 on line
I'm getting ready now to scoot out of here.

My prayers and best wishes to you and all your friends and family.
I Think I Hear My Freedom Train — Do You?

Indulge me. Indulge yourself. We're about to take an adventure. You're already on it. I'm just going to point at the scenery outside your window as we chug along. The train's pulling out of the station.Take a breath and relax.

If you're not familiar with the original Freedom Train, here's the Museum of America's Freedom Trains, the vehicle that went around the county from 1947-1949 hosting the most valuable documents of our country so that each of us could ride along with the legal vehicles of our freedoms and our rights. A subsequent Freedom Train toured the nation during the 1975-1976 Bicentennial.

WHY A FREEDOM TRAIN? The Freedom Train was conceived as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of American citizenship at a time when the nation was finding a new and central role in world affairs. Americans had experienced a decade of pre-war economic Depression...The result, they hoped, would enable Americans to rediscover for themselves just how hard-won their freedoms were. Clearly, they hoped to enable personal reconciliations with the still-fresh sacrifices and human costs of war, and to impart a sense of meaning and worth to those sacrifices.FreedomTrain.org

Today, the situation is no different. We are engaged in a war which we question far more deeply its worth — in economic terms and in the toll of human life, misery and death. We search even more deeply for meaning and national purpose in a nation divided, though mercifully not as deeply as during Lincoln's age. We search for our place in the community of the United Nations, and even the value of that august body. We should keep on the rails of our principles, and honor theworth of all human life, American, Iraqi, yours, mine, and our most distant neighbors.

Whistle Stops on the Freedom Train: 1215, 1658, 1776, 1828, 1863, 1947, 1963, 1964, 1976, and 2006 (Not Necessarily in that Order)

Long before and since the founding of the nation of the United States, billions of people around the world have stood up for the rights of all humankind, especially freedom of religion, in a compassionate and truly Christian way, but also in a Muslim way. In a Hindi way. Even in an atheist way. In a way for men, and for women. In a way for all ethnicities and creeds and genders. Follow the train away from the benighted stations ofhatred and intolerance! Follow it to freedom, love, and a commonweal, cosmopolitan future.

Follow the Freedom Train, your Freedom Train, our Freedom Train, and the legacy ever since the 1215 A.D. Magna Carta (the Great Charter), which preserved the rights of men from tyranny. An authentic, ancient, original copy of the document travelled on that train.

Follow the train to its first whistle stops in 1947. Read what the new web site, the Western Queens Gazette, uncovered just last year from the old, folded Long Island Star-Journal, and what it was like when the train rolled into Queens, New York on December 7th, 1948. What it meant to the people of that day and age.

Read too in that article how this was just the latest historical event for human freedom. How, to these people of Queens, the efforts for freedom went back at least to the Flushing Remonstrance, the first "Bill of Rights" put forward on January 1, 1658, to protect the right of worship of the Quakers.

Follow the Freedom Train when it became the nation's first subway as the Underground Railroad, through the 1800s, up through 1863, when Abraham Lincoln, stewarding the nation through the terrible Civil War, declared in his Emancipation Proclamation that all men and women, regardless of their color, were henceforth and irrevocably free. That no human could claim another as property, as chattel, as a possession.

Follow that train back to 1828, to when William Lloyd Garrison met Benjamin Lundy, the Quaker (remember them), who inspired him to found the Liberator, which worked on Emancipation. He was a man of peace, but adamant principle.
"Our country is the world - our countrymen are mankind...
I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - and I will be heard."
— William Lloyd Garrison

He was fond of big, bold typefaces. If he could have afforded color inks, he'd have leapt at the chance to put his credo into the largest and most daring color imaginable. His biography is called "All on Fire." He believed in unleashing his fiery spirit in unequivocal words, while maintaining a calm and peaceful outward demeanor of a proper, spectacled New Englander.
And even as that challenge was well-underway, far before it was complete, he went on to ally with women for their Suffrage. Side-by-side, women and minorities sought what others had presumed for centuries for themselves: freedom!

An Uphill Crawl to 1947

Now we need to turn this train back around. Chug uphill once again to 1947. Pull the load of history along with us. The grade is steep. The train will move slowly, but gather momentum year by year. And at times the train will backslide with a screech of metal-on-metal, until it gains traction again. And while it races to the top of the pass, beside it another railroad of tyranny tries to out-race it.

Slowly it struggle uphill through the American Civil War, the terrible Indian Wars on the Great Plains, to the Spanish-American War, through World War I, the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines, through the raids of Pancho Villa, to the first repression of the Kurds in Iraq where they first suffered the ravages of air bombardment and mustard gas (dropped upon them by the British), to the Battle of Warsaw, to the invasion of Ethiopia—the only non-colonized nation in all of Africa fell to Italy's Fascism, to the Spanish Civil War, through the opportunistic invasion of China, the rise of the Nazis, the promulgation of the Holocaust, and the horrific the carnage of World War II.

Show Me the Independence

We've arrived at last in 1947. But we have not found the last stop. The Freedom Train was not finished in its work. But let us pause here, where the first red, white, and blue Freedom Train was being prepared, and when its rolling stock first left the station on its mission.

Work was still ahead of it. And Harry S. Truman, the man from Independence, Missouri, the "show me" state, wanted to show the nation what we had wrought so far, so we could see what we had ahead of us still yet to go. He wanted to show independence to the American people. He loved the whistle stop. So the Freedom Train was born.

For those of you who love your railroading, here's information from North East Rails about the 1947-1949 Freedom Train.

Birth of the United Nations

The United Nations was brand new. They had agreed to their origins in San Francisco, on October 24, 1945. I have stood on the spot where it happened. There was no UN Headquarters. Temporarily, the founding fathers of the United Nations met at Lake Success, on Long Island. The unity of the body was challenged from practically the very start.

The end of World War II left a world in shock, awed at the possibility of freedom not just for Europe or America, but for untold millions around the world. The success of Democracy and Communism over Fascism led to a revolutionary change in the map. And now, the two great ideologies of humankind could not stop fighting. The Cold War was born and the post-colonial era began.

The United Nations was faced with thepartition of Israel. The peace proposal in the Middle East the looks incredibly similar to the facts on the ground today, decades later. The first UN soldier lost his life in the pursuit of peace.

The UN also had to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations dealing with the new Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

We the People...

And most urgently, they had to face the sundering of India into the new states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

India's story, and the inspiration of Mahatma Ghandi, are supposedly well-known to many Americans. But many see the spectacled leader of the Indian people with quaint nostalgia without ever reading his words. He was a revolutionary, with the same passion as William Lloyd Garrison.
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."
— Mahatma Ghandi (and see his other quotes.)
When the Freedom Train came to take on the assassinated Ghandi to his next incarnation,shot dead by January 30, 1948, he took his seat in solidarity beside Mr. Garrison. He had seen the possibility of peace between Hindu and Muslim believers in God, but someone denied that truth and cast the vote of their denial with a bullet.

Mr. Garrison, Mr. Lincoln, Ms. Susan B. Anthony, Mr.Frederick Douglass, Mrs. Harriet Tubman, Mr. Ghandi and countless others were probably joined by a lesser-known figure to Americans.

Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah (Sher e Kashmir) (briefbiography) had been working for the freedom of his own people since 1931. While Ghandi tried to keep India together, he saw the tyranny that many in both India and nascent Pakistan wished to inflict upon his nation.

"We the people of Jammu and Kashmir, have thrown our lot with Indian people not in the heat of passion or a moment of despair, but by a deliberate choice. The union of our people has been fused by the community of ideals and common sufferings in the cause of freedom".

— Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, in the History of Kashmir

"We the people of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and the Frontier regions, including Poonch and Chenani Illaqas commonly known as Jammu and Kashmir State in order to perfect our union in the fullest equality and self-determination to raise ourselves and our children forever from the abyss of oppression and poverty, degradation and superstition, from medieval darkness and ignorance, into the sunlit valleys of plenty, ruled by freedom, science and honest toil, in worthy participation of the historic resurgence of the peoples of East, and the working masses of the world, and in determination to make this our country a dazzling gem on the snowy bosom of Asia, to propose and propound the following constitution of our State."

We the people? Great Madison's ghost! Note how that same phrase was as resonant from a Muslim leader of a new nation in 1947 as it was from our own founding fathers century's before? We the people! The Constitution of our own nation had inspired the world to their own freedoms.

What sort of people are these? Ladakh is a traditional Buddhist land. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even Christians, all living and loving together? Such hippies! Crazy talk! Wasn't it? All done with a sober knowledge of the beauty of open land, living near the roof of the world.

Within two years, the year after the Freedom Train ran its last route, Tibet would be invaded, and the Dalai Lama would be propelled on his own way on the Freedom Train, which he rides each day, with his smile and gentle laughter. But not yet. In 1947, Tibet was free. And many others wished to be.

Thank You, Eleanor

Another thing that occurred in 1947 was Eleanor Roosevelt. She happened in a big way. The once intensely shy woman who encouraged and supported her polio-stricken husband to rise and stand again, who stood beside him and behind him through the years of the Depression, who had worked quietly and diligently for the rights of women and all peoples, who had helped in her own small way during the Second World War — the silent partner behind the New Deal — was now a widow. Yet it was then she made her greatest contribution to human law.

She helped craft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1947, at last there was a vehicle for the Freedom Train that was not just for English barons against their tyrannical king, nor just for white male Americans, or even just for all Americans regardless of gender. It was a revolutionary idea: freedoms for all people in all nations.

The impact of it was the shot heard round the world, from Lake Success, New York, to Jammu and Kashmir.

You can't get more revolutionary than Eleanor Roosevelt!

I Have a Dream

It was still another decade and more before the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior stood up in Washington DC, at the symbol of Lincoln's Memorial, and declared "I have a dream!"

It was a hot August day, the 28th of that month, in 1963. I wasn't born yet. I would be born into the world where the dream had been spoken on September 23rd, 1964. The year of the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows. By then, the United Nations Headquarters had been established in Manhattan. I was born in the capital of the world.

I was born on the Freedom Train, in the Bronx. My first stop was in the hospital at Pelham Bay. I was born into the same borough of New York where the Piccirillis brothers carved that statue of Lincoln in 1922 which Dr. King stood before. It was carved around the same era when my own grandparents moved to the Bronx on their own migrations from Ireland, each seeking personal and economic freedom. My grandfather's job? He was a motorman on the IRT.

When I was a young lad, he took me into the cab of an elevated train. He lifted me up in his arms. He put my hand on the throttle of the IRT subway train, and he pushed my hand down. The train lurched forward.

I clearly remember that day. I didn't even know how to read. I recall clearly the vast row-upon-row of the tracks stretching out before us. The narrow rails converging towards a vanishing point on the horizon. How the trees began to approach and then move past the train to the side. The glass windows of the motorman's booth. The feel of the metal under my hand. The mostly grey cloudy sky and the sunlight behind it. He taught me how to drive the train.

It didn't last very long. I was lowered to the ground, and I got to stare up at him as he took the train faster and faster. And then, it slowed. He gently pulled the train into the next station, and with a nod of his head he handed the train back to the other fellow he worked with from whom he had borrowed it for a "treat" for his grandson. Yes, I guess you could say that he broke the law, but he was not going to let that stand in the way of showing his first grandson how to drive the IRT! That was my grandfather, through and through. I didn't just love my grandfather. I worshipped him.

The dreaming was just beginning. "I have a dream!" My Irish-Catholic mother heard that speech. She loved it so much that in 1969, the same month that humankind first stepped foot on the moon, in fulfillment of the words of the dream of the fallen Irish-Catholic President, she gave my brother the first name "John" in honor of that President and the middle name "Martin" in honor of the man of freedom and that speech. And his other middle name was "Robert" in honor of the other brother struck dead while running for President.

She had gotten the dream too, and she passed it down to me, and to my brother by name. I clearly recall when she gave me the Autobiography of Malcolm X. I blinked and wondered why she'd give that to a grade-schooler. It's a good book. A highly different dream, but my mother could see how Malcolm X and Dr. King saw the same problem, and just were tackling it from different points of origin. They were both heading to that same vanishing point before the rails of the Freedom Train.

I missed the 1976 Freedom Train. For me, that was the year was Operation Sail. It was another legacy of John F. Kennedy, founded in 1961. My heart and my mind went to sea as the ships sailed up and down the Hudson River, and swirled around the George Washington Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center, and the docks of Brooklyn. We followed every glimpse of it we could from the windows of a small car packed with seven sweaty kids. We'd get out and crane our necks. The radio music was alive with Paul McCartney's top hit, "Silly Love Songs." Casey Kasem did a special American Top 40 for all the July 4th songs of the century.

The message was obvious. We were going to win freedom around the world with silly love songs.

In my youth, I also remember the train that ran to the Mark Twain-like town of Willoughby, which Rod Serling introduced me to through television re-runs of the Twilight Zone. In recent years since my 2001 layoff, I have had my own stop at Willoughby, I suppose it's fair to say. Now, in 2006, I'm back in school for my MBA and have a sweet consulting position. I'm out of Willoughby of my reclusive reflection, perhaps, but I'm also not at the job that was telling me to "Push! Push! Push!"

I'm in neither place. I'm back where I belong.

I'm back on the train.

Next Stop on the Freedom Train

Just yesterday, I was informed that on Epiphany of this year, my grandmother passed away. She had faded off, her heart slowly and gently beating softer until she slept eternally. She's gone to see my grandfather. I'm sure she's got all the subway tokens heaven can shower upon her, and he'll be driving her to whatever station she wishes. Her husband, my grandfather, will be there to meet her at the turnstile.

I was born the grandson and son of dreamers with adamant beliefs in what was good and right. Now my own brothers and my sister have their own children; two were born just around this Thanksgiving past. My grandmother died a great grandmother — which she always was. A great grandmother.

I can only dream about the world my niece and nephews will find on their own train ride. So when I get aboard this Freedom Train, I'll be bringing the hand of possibility the youngest motorman in New York City history, and the love of all those I have known who have loved freedom I have ever met since then. I'll be bringing my mind, filled with the possibilities for the generations ahead.

Hope to See You On Board

It doesn't matter if you own a car, or need to borrow five bucks to pay for your ticket. I've been unemployed for years (and I recently got a job, yay!), butI'llloan you the money if you need.I'll give you the money I have in my pocket until it's gone. Just to get more on board.You just need to get down to the train station, and we'll get on that Freedom Train together. I'll get myself to the Palo Alto station, as Malcolm X said, "by any means necessary." I'll see you there unless something untoward happens. You'll see me on that trainin spirit, even if something happens to my body, even if it's standing-room-only. I'll be the guy hoping to peek over Mr. Ghandi's shoulder to read what headlines Mr. Garrison published today about Mrs. Roosevelt's latest appeal to us all.

If you miss getting on the physical Freedom Train this year, then plan for next year, the 60th Anniversary of the original Harry S. Truman-era train, and to celebrate the Universal Bill of Human Rights. But if you can, come on out this year. Join the revolution. You'll be able to tell people you've been there and did that for Freedom.

Only One Way We Can Go Out — Singing!

We need people on the train just as much as ever. Blue Meanies are still around every corner. We need Crazy Wisdom to fight them, as Wes "Scoop" Nisker would say. If you can't get on the train because of a Blue Meanie, maybe you can take a Yellow Submarine. As you know, St. Jude the Apostle in Cupertino has a great choir. With them in mind, and "Hey, Jude" running through the back of my brain, I end our train ride today. Hope to see you on January 16th for the next ticket to ride.

Paul McCartney: What's the matter, John Love? Blue Meanies.
John Lennon: Newer and bluer Meanies have been sighted in the vicinity of this theatre. There's only one way we can go out!
George Harrison: How's that?
John Lennon: Singing!

Freedom Train

It's been a long time comin' -
Now it's time to dance
By the golden thread of circumstance
You're destiny come dressed as chance
We've been a long time comin'
To this romance
Now i'm an honest man
But the time has come
And i'm a peaceful man
The peace before the storm
I think i hear my train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
Now the world is changin' -
Faster than we know
In these troubled lands
Where hate dies slow
I think a train of change
Is comin' down the track
Comin' right this way
It ain't turning back
Now i'm an honest man
With a message of hope
And i'm a peaceful man
On a slippery slope
I think i hear my train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
I think i hear my freedom train
Comin' down the track
Comin' down the track
— Lyrics to Freedom Train by Queen

Copyleft 2006 Peter Corless — "It's Okay to Distribute as Long as You Link and Attribute!" — Email on to friends, copy to a newsletter, or post to your site or Blog as you feel so moved.

How You Can Ride the Freedom Train in San Jose, CA, 16 January 2006

21st Annual Freedom Train — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, Inc.