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If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th. Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Magnet Poem #4

soft lips cry out with gentle
passionate bliss.
a boy entwined with
his goddess
always faithful through time
heaven and hell have
no power over his soul
for he has paradise
in her velvet embrace

 

 

 

 

Magnetic poetry copyright info can be found here.

A great man has left this world, and I need to take a moment to talk about him. His name was Theodore Jerry Baum, and he was my English teacher in my junior year of high school. Mr. Baum died almost a month ago. I’ve been trying to figure out how to memorialize him in a better way than the sadly lackluster obituary our local newspaper provided.

Like most of the kids my age, I met Mr. Baum long before I took a class with him. When you live in a small town, everyone knows everybody else. He taught English and Television Production at Holyoke High School. My first (and sadly only) class with Mr. Baum was my junior year of high school, and I’d been terrified of him. The man was a sort of urban legend, and he had a reputation, at least in my head, of teaching the hardest English class around. No nonsense. Strict, straitlaced. Or so it seemed.

After a while, though, I got to know him a little better. I learned that he loved German food, and that he delighted in playing practical jokes. When my independent study German group decided to have a German meal at school, I made brats and sauerkraut, brought a crock pot full, and let it simmer in my classroom all day. Mrs. Ortner’s room was right across the hall, and she made it quickly known that she HATED the smell of sauerkraut. Naturally, after sharing lunch with us, Mr. Baum took a cup full of sauerkraut and left it hidden in one of Mrs. O’s trashcans for the rest of the day.

He could move far faster than I ever would have thought possible for a man his age. One of his best pranks involved sneaking up on then-counselor Mrs. Vieselmeyer with an air horn, letting it off right next to her head. She spun around and would’ve likely knocked Mr. Baum into the next semester if he hadn’t jumped away.

On another day, I was walking through the library when a book fell from one of the shelves. As I bent to pick it up, another fell. I glanced up in time to see Mr. Baum hiding on the other side of the shelf, chuckling to himself as he pushed the books through onto my side.

As a junior, I participated in the district academic bowl. He was one of our moderators, and at one point in the evening, a question required the phrasing of a line from Oliver. Cue Mr. Baum singing “Consider yourself at home, consider yourself one of the family.”

No tribute to Mr. Baum would be complete without mentioning his cat, Brutus. There were several cats that he owned throughout the years I knew him, and each one, regardless of gender, was named Brutus. I never knew how many of them there were altogether, just that there was always one at a time, a constant companion for him.

He loved to garden during his retirement. He moved into a house down the street from my parents, one that had a lovely garden in the back that had been carefully tended for years by the previous resident. Many afternoons I could go for a walk and find him there, Huskers cap on his head, trowel in hand, continuing the work of maintaining the flowers and vegetables that were growing there.

I’ll never forget him. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I knew him better than most. That would be doing a great disservice to the many people whose lives he touched. I knew him. That was enough.

 

Today is August 13th, International Left Handers Day. To celebrate the joy of this day, I’m writing this post with only my left hand. It’s not as much of a challenge as I expected it to be, though I am having to look at the keyboard a lot more, rather than relying so much on muscle memory.

It’s a fascinating world I live in. I’ve been left handed my entire life, no thanks to my otherwise wonderful grandmother for telling my mother that it was something that needed to be “corrected right away.” I am the only lefty on my dad’s side of the family, and to my knowledge only one of my first cousins on mom’s side is left handed. I grew up with a left handed best friend, and in elementary school and junior high, his twin brother was the only boy in the class who could pitch against either of us in baseball.

I’m damn proud to be left handed. I’m going to go celebrate with beer from Left Hand Brewing Company.

It’s August 12th. Eight years ago today, I attended orientation at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and made one of the biggest decisions of my life. Eight years ago, I decided to move to Colorado Springs. I’m going to come right out and say that my life would not be anywhere nearly as amazing if I hadn’t. Eight years ago, I met people who have stayed by my side through four years of college and four more years of whatever this beautiful mess I call my life. I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me. The people that I’ve been close to over the last eight years have made me who I am today, and I love you all.

It’s the middle of August, and this past weekend was the first weekend since the Colorado Renaissance Festival came to an end. After eight weekends of working for the Belrose Costume Rental Shop, I’m sad to see close of the season.

This was the second year that I’ve worked for the faire, after taking a year off to just enjoy being a patron last summer. It was great to be back, and to be at the festival in a position that allowed me to catch up with old friends and make lots of new ones.

I had a fantastic season, and I can’t wait for next year’s faire to start. In the meantime, however, I have time to write. I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting you, dear readers, and I thank you for your patience. I have more for you.

“Want”

I want to sit with you,
Coffee in hand, under
Your favorite blanket
As rain streaks down.
I want you to lean up
Against me, look into
My eyes, and tell me
How your day went.
I want to share all of
The words that are in
My head and heart and
Let you know truths.

 

 

Magnet Poem 3

she was a dream
a beauty like music
a frantic need
I pictured her
watching rain and mist
my love by the sea

 

Magnetic Poetry copyright info found here.

So apparently June was a thing that happened this year. I’m not sure exactly how I missed it, but I want to apologize. I’ve not been writing lately. I’ll make all manner of excuses. Working at the Ren Faire again this year eats my weekends, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Faire’s a whole different world, and it gets even better when you get to know the people who make the magic happen. I moved, too. Not far, only about five miles, in fact, and my shortest move from one residence to another in over five years. Now I don’t have the workout room that I was finally utilizing at the apartment, and I don’t have the pool, and so on and so forth, but I have a house that my roommates and I can spread out in. We have space. So much space. SPAAAACE.

I’m closer to my favorite cemetery. I’m closer to work (all three of the various things that I do that people pay me to do). I’m closer to most of my friends (with one notable exception [the one who would go walk in said aforementioned cemetery with me if circumstances would allow]). It’s going to be a good opportunity for me. I’m really very happy about things (except as mentioned above).

My room’s coming together nicely, so there’s that. On the other hand, I’m still more than a little sleep deprived (for all of the best reasons). I’ll post a picture of the new setup once it’s all done. I’m pretty proud of the whole thing.

Anyway, I’m going to get my ass in gear and knuckle down on my writing again. It’s not been fair to you, dear readers, especially after tolerating my poetry for the last few months. New original stories are coming. I’m also hoping to get into some more writing challenges. Stay tuned. This is going to be big.

Thanks.

“Camera”

 

The camera cannot capture
The vastness of the sky.
Only fragments,
Memories of that summer
Afternoon, many years
Ago.

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