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There lies a great sound and between two great hills it can be found. Each hill is adorned with its own town. And those two towns across the sound disliked the other with complaints abound. They would range from complaints of a hound in the town that would howl far too loud and the sound would echo across the sound. The other town would complain that the town had far too many ships in the sound causing their own ships to sail round and round waiting their turn to enter the sound. Some of the younger people had found they could make friends across the sound. They would meet on an island that centered the sound. One day the children from either town were playing and fooling around. They chased each other around and back and up and down. And as one child had wound round a tree, He tripped on a mound and suddenly found he was being launched into the sound. Oh the splash and subsequent yelling made such a sound it could be heard for many a mile around. Many people came rushing to the sound to see what was the terrible yelling around. The boatmen saw first and quickly rowed the island in the center of the sound. But what they found was that they were too late; the child had drowned. And as the news travelled the people all frowned for they all knew the child who had drowned. And when they finally put the child to ground so many came from all around. The held the service on that very island and they found that the crying and wailing did resound in the sound. And in a memory of that very child the feud was ended, relations were mended, and there was finally peace all around.

Why do we say tickled pink? Why is envy green?
Why do people think I'm red when I'm mad or mean?
Does being sad and lonely really make me blue?
Does my current state of mind really change my hue?
Why are bad guys all in black, while good guys all wear white?
And things are always sort of gray when you aren't sure whats right?
What will people think of you if you've got multi-colored skin.
Will they tip their hat and smile or will they laugh and grin?
Purple can mean you are regal, if scared then you are yellow
But what will people really think of a pink and orange fellow
A green thumb is good with plants, red handed, caught being bad.
But what exactly does it convey when hands are teal and plaid?
These are the things that I now ask ever since our class trip
to the tie-dye factory and that big dye vat slipped.

My name is Herbert the hermit crab and I live here in this shell.
It has everything I could need and I live here quite well
I do not like to leave my shell as it's the safest place for me.
I block the doors with my claws and there's no entry
But there is one big disadvantage to this sheltered little zone
And that is that I spend my days feeling so alone
No friends will ever visit since I haven't made a one
And playing games without a friend isn't very fun
But I am growing quickly and I'll soon outgrow my shell
So I should search for a new home and a friend as well
This shell is too wide, the shell is broke, and this one is too thin
Finally I find one just right and shut myself right in
No friends this time I guess that this really does confirm it
I'll never make any friends living like a hermit

We came to this shop to eat
My very favorite summer treat
Now to choose my ice cream flavor
A joy I thought would never waver
Strawberry or chocolate, yum
Maybe try some bubble gum
Vanilla bean, pistachio
But this list has lots to go
Candied corn sounded sweet
But then there is smelly feet.
Coffee crusted candied crab
Blackened cod or taxi cab
Fudge and pickle elderberry
This list is getting kind of scary
Sea salt swirled chicken wing
Antelope with onion ring
Caviar caramel crunch
I think I'm going to lose my lunch
Malted mushroom, sweet sardine
Candied yam, peach praline
spinach mixed Asparagus
I stopped right at octopus
All the flavors I could try
No thank you and goodbye

Picky Eater

I cannot eat this soup, mommy
No, I won't touch it one bit
It will never reach my tummy
Right in this bowl it shall sit

I doubt this soup agrees with me
I'm quite certain I would sicken
The contents seem quite strange you see
But I'd pretend it were chicken

It's not the broth I will not try
It's not the gunk from the sink
It's not the eye I saw float by
Though I'd swear I saw it wink

I'd rather eat a mound of goop
Or a whole dune of sand
For when I tried to sip this soup
It tried to eat my hand


My mind is blank.
Yes blank.
I think I thought an important thought but that was yesterday.

I got so distraught that I forgot my thought,
Later I thought
my thought might have been for naught and I just dismissed it away.
But then my mind was fraught
with the fear that that thought might not have been for naught
and I was left with only dismay.

You see my mind hadn't had time
to think a thought, for good or for naught, in so many a day.

But then I had a very good thought
and now I have taught
my brain a trick for remembering things anyway.

Writing down thoughts
aught to keep your thoughts
safer than thinking your thoughts
and letting them slip away.

So that at the end of the day
my mind may be blank
but my page isn't
and my thoughts are all okay.

Mix up at the zoo

There's been a mix up at the zoo
And no one knows quite what to do
the turtles say nay
and the zebras turned grey
And the monkeys are now turning blue

There's been a mix up at the zoo
The giraffes are as short as you
The lions take flight
But only at night
While the bears just sit there and coo

There's been a mix up at the zoo
The sheep all travel by kangaroo
The llamas now toot
while the elephants hoot
And the ducks are all saying moo

There's been a mix up at the zoo
The chameleon, oh how he grew
he's as big as a house
but still scared of the mouse
who runs faster than the emu

What has gone wrong at the zoo?
How'd this happen? We haven't a clue.
The gates have all shut.
They tried their best, but
Nobody knows what they should do

The Jungle

I have a jungle of my very own, I explore it all through the day,
All round the clock
turning up rocks
Hey, I just found someone's sock
I guess its not quite so unknown, in this part of the jungle today.

I have a jungle not far from my house, but my mom doesn't like it none
I sneak out the door
and proceed to explore
my jungle is never really a bore
One day I even found a mouse, of coure it was only a stuffed one

When I awoke this morning at nine, and oh it was such a bungle
my jungle is gone
dad went out at dawn
he destroyed it, he went and mowed the lawn
and Mom just said "Its about time, it had grown into a jungle"

Continuing my Shel Silverstein inspired poetry...

The Trees

The trees don't scare me, one bit.
They don't frighten me at all.
They are lovely and green and wonderfully tall.
And the colors they show throughout the fall.
They house all the birds with their lovely call.
And they grow lots of fruit, both big and small.
Why should they frighten me at all
Even when it's this dark outside?

The trees don't scare me, no sir.
They don't frighten me at all.
Sure they are tall and dark tonight
And they sway about in the wind alright
And they always seem to block my sight
And this path is certainly awful tight
But they don't frighten me at all.

And what are those eyes gleaming in the moonlight?
Probably just an owl about to take flight.
Or maybe a bat out for a bite.
They shouldn't frighten me at all...

I was told recently that just writing reactionary content was not "in the spirit of the 100 days challenge." To that I say bullshit.

I can see the 100 days challenge being many different things to many different people. For example I believe originally it was top get would be authors writing more and more. Not publishing every day, just writing. The idea is to not take any days off. For bloggers this became publishing well thought out ideas daily for 100 days. The other part of the challenge was to restart counting if you didn't do one day. Anyone who says "I did the 100 days challenge, I just missed ..." didn't follow the spirit of the 100 days challenge.

For me the point of the challenge is two fold. Firstly it is to be social. I am working to define the future of the social web, it's rather silly to not be using ny site constantly, trying to be social. Second, the point is top use my site. My site is always in need of work and the more I use it the more I find things to fix.

Actually, after yesterday's Silversteen inspired poem, I am thinking about sifting to a lot more poetry.

One Hundred Word Poem
By Ben Roberts
And yes, I count those.
Starting out a silly thing and seeing where it goes.

The hardest part is always trying to make it rhyme.
And that is why I went ahead and just rhymed rhyme with rhyme.

Seuss cheated with his words by making new ones up.
But I just find that so simplistic and a little flizzerup.

To drive some readers really mad, throw in an unmatched part.

And so I'm getting near the end and running out of time.
But sadly, I only reached a count of ninety nine.


There are still a ton of things I want to add to Postly (what I call the software that runs this site). I have something of a running list and I honestly cannot keep up with it. One of the next features I really want to add is getting reposts working well. Twitter has 'retweet', Facebook has 'share', IndieWeb has 'repost'. The really tricky, but also somewhat fun part is getting the look of it just right. Do you pull in the HTML or just the text? Hint, displaying HTML from another site opens you up to all kinds of security issues. My real desire on this task is to get the ability to really show what other people are saying. But suppose I want to comment on it. Once you start adding commentary, things get a bit weird. Are you just citing them and commenting, or are you reposting? If you only include part of the text, you are clearly just citing, if you include the entire original post its a reposts. If you include the entire original post, and then comment its.... both? These weird little corner cases actually convey a significantly different intent when reading. I really need to think carefully about what I really want to get out of it. There are so many options when it comes to these fine nuances which is what makes IndieWeb so excellent. You can all have your own way to make your system, and we still all place nice together.

Google is not a rabbit

This morning I was chatting on Google Hangouts with my brother, currently living in South Korea.  When I left the house, I just picked up the conversation on my phone, but I realized something that hadn't dawned on me before.  The sound it makes is not the sound I set back when I first started using hangouts.  When did that change?  My best guess is that this changed when I Google finally bestowed upon us the ability to set custom sounds for our hangouts conversations.

If Facebook is the "move fast and break things" company, then Google is the "test everything" company.  Google hangouts had so much hype around it.  A place to unify all our communications.  A single place to have merged conversations.  The hype has us believing it would give us a single communication platform.  The reality has been anything but.  Almost immediately people realized the lack of functionality in it.  You couldn't even set custom sounds per person.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who sent feedback almost immediately.  And it took quite some time for that feature to roll out.  WHAT TOOK SO LONG? 

This singular feature isn't just a one off case either.  I feel like every feature users request takes 6 months to a year to roll out.  Google moves with the speed of a tortoise.  Google Hangouts' group chats still don't feel properly integrated.  Try using voice to send a message to a group.  We only recently got the ability to do this with individual hangouts.   I hope Google is very much regretting its deal with Vidyo in the creation of hangouts.  What used to be an open platform of Google chat (XMPP behind it) is now a very much closed system that is slow to add functionality to.

Maybe at some point Google will realize its folly but I suspect we'll have a long time to wait for that too.

Tantek coined a phrase this past week that I wanted to share with everyone. Denial of Productivity Attack. This is simply a way of describing when people troll your group and try every which way they can to prevent you from getting any real work done. Sometimes its making asinine statement to incite argument. Other times its continually bringing up a subject that has already been discussed and dismissed by the group. The question is how best do you deal with such a person. Letting them drag you in to argument after argument is certainly a mistake, as they win. The solution I think is to call bullshit when you see it and just move on. Give as terse a response as you can that will shut down their argument and go back to getting real work done. Most times they will likely just ignore any faults in their own logic. It can be a challenge for sure. The light at the end of the tunnel is that most people are pretty good at detecting bullshit themselves. All one need do is call out the bullshit and then others will see the gaps in their logic, the dodges to other subjects, the outright lies. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I told Ann that I would write up some of my thoughts on why deleting other's posts via any sort of social web api is not needed.  So here it is in my bleary eyed state.


There is a bit of arguement about how groups should work in federated social web.  Realistically there are 3 key concerns, independant sites, public silos, and private company networks.   One of the key points of the indieweb has been control of your own data, so while groups might merge all of these users together, its of particular importance to indieweb that our own posts cannot be deleted by anyone else.   I believe this same policy can work just fine at an API level in group interactions.  Lets start with the indieweb site creating a group, however that happens.  If another indieweb member joins and posts, they are posting their content on their own site, and then a copy is just propogated to the group.  Likewise they are free to pull in the original group conversation back to their own site.  If we abstract this to say that one of those indieweb sites to have multiple people within it, this works just fine.  Go one step further and it is the equivalent of a silo.  Between and indieweb site and a silo, data can move exactly the same way, no indieweb site can delete a post that exists within a silo, they can only delete their own post and tell the silo the post was deleted.  You can swap a company network in for these public silos and again, it will work exactly the same.


With a "group", the question comes in the form of deleting the entire group.  We see in facebook that deleting a group removes all posts within that group.  But in the indieweb, the oposite would be wanted, deleteing a group would do nothing to the original post.  This is actually not a conflict at all when you consider that within a silo, anything can be done.  A silo could choose to delete all posts of its user's when a group gets deleted. A silo cannot delete any indieweb user's content, but the silo can remove all reference to it.  While on the indieweb site, the copies of posts from the silo users might still exist on the indieweb site but all links to the silo copies of these posts would be gone.  The basic thing is that within a silo, there is no limits on how the internal implementation handles this.


Again this all applies equally to any sort of business setting.  If there is a group project between two companies, neither company should be able to delete the posts of the employees of the other company.  Also each company would prefer to keep copies of anything posts from the other company, so as not to lose context to the comments made.  Any attempt to force deletion of content from the other will ultimately be futile as there is always a way to save anything that is viewable by someone.  Inside of a company's system there could be complex systems for deciding who can post, where, how data is archived, approval processes, etc.  It is still all internal implementation, and not an issue for the API.

mpTweet now working

I have successfully managed to get my micropub to twitter bridge software working today. The basic idea is this, I log in to mpTweet, authorize mpTweet to publish on my behalf, then I log in to mpTweet and allow it to register itself with my site. It sends over a token and registers itself as a micropub syndication endpoint. Thats it! Now i get a new option in my list of syndicate-to values in all my apps. Whenever I use this option the micropub endpoint on my site will post to my site then immediately resend this data (along with the url) to mpTweet, which in turn posts it to twitter. Just as a regular micropub endpoint, this returns the URL of the syndicated copy, which can now be displayed on my site. The main goal is to get it so that I can publish to any micropub server as a syndication of my site. Actually, i can do this right now I suppose, I just need to manually insert the token to my site, and the syndication target won't necessarily know to treat the post as a syndicated copy. But its simple and cool. Now to make a facebook version... eep.

Building out of yesterday's post I have seen the problem with most all of the JSON-LD crowd. They want to map JSON-LD to EVERYTHING. They will tell you to how popular JSON-LD and refer you to a list of sites that are just data stores. Marking up data to share between organizations is great. I'm all in favor of that. NASA is sharing via JSON-LD. Cool. But thats a far cry from social website. Nothing social is in that list. A format for data transfer would work, sure, but its not the easiest way, and its not the more user or developer friendly way. Developer friendly systems let you add pieces and support as you need it. For large system's thats fine because its an "add it once and you are done" type of situation, but for a decentralized system there are going to be a lot of different implementations. You need something simple to get people to bother with it.

Academics always want to have everything uniform. So many specs for data start out clean but end up so messy specifically because they try to cover literally everything. is often made fun of for its "fax number for a volcano". And it's a perfectly valid point. They want perfect uniformity in all locations and since a location can have a fax number and any landmass is location, then oceans and volcanos get confusing fields. This isn't really the worst part however. The worst part is that they try to specify "everything you will need" which means anything outside of the standard will need some messy extensions system. To add a single field like last active eruption, you need an extension which requires a separate file to describe that extension, and developers are dissuaded from this extra work. At that point a non semantic method of markup is much easier. Honestly is only useful because Google says they read it this format for their quick answers to things. Which means developers only use it where they need it. If you don't need to do so, why add a complex mess to your code.

Today I heard of something I had not heard of before. A challenge. Write 100 words a day for 100 days. I honestly have no clue how I am going to do at this, but I am going to try. It may well end up as random babbling by the end. This suits me rather well after I had something of an epiphany when trying to write up a post recently. I realized I hate my writing style. I get side tracked in explanations or just random thoughts, and in the end, its just a mess. It doesn't feel terrible but it's not great. If I wouldn't read it, I can't really expect others to.