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San Francisco Journalcon photos
Oakland Million Moms March

December 20th, 2002

Week Of Mumbles
I finally shipped a Christmas package this morning. It has taken a week, first to buy the thing, then to let it sit on the floor gathering dust, then to buy wrapping paper, then to wrap it (this morning), then to walk it down the street to a Mailbox store. There are people who do things like this in the bat of an eye. There are things I do in my work in the bat of an eye that many think impossible. Part of it has to do with this operation, but more of it has to do with my own psychology and the season.

The book on Linux firewalls arrived yesterday and the software itself arrived this morning. I placed the order for the firewall computer with Dell, because I realized it would look nice beside the Dell server (same machine, same color, less horsepower) that has been sitting here unused under the desk for three months. That's what I told myself, anyway, matching computer book ends. As good a reason as any.

The test, however, was reading the first fifty pages of the firewall book last night. How many of you read books about computer firewalls? Believe me, even among techies, this isn't like eating chocolate. It went well, primary ports and probes and hacker attacks, but we'll see. Firewalls. Thrilling cocktail party conversation. A project started. Will it fizzle out? Will I be disenchanted and done with the project before the computer arrives? Do I know and I'm not telling?

Could be.

Some of this is the season, you know. You get crazy in the best of times when you're barricaded in your apartment listening to the radio (war, invasion, company layoffs, failures) and it's raining outside. Play some Christmas music. Bend your head in a better direction.

Well, yes. No need to focus on failing body parts. Phil Spector, Darlene Love singing Winter Wonderland. Add a whiskey and water. I mean, what could happen? That hasn't already? (Insert long soliloquy here on what can happen that already hasn't. Do you detect a loss of coherence, a Friday gone sour?)

Mumble. A week of mumbles.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Million Moms March on Lake Merritt.