Inspired by a friend posting a new poem that I’m sure will be a favorite, and apropos of nothing, here’s a short list of my favorite poems. In no particular order.

Prescription for the Disillusioned by Rebecca del Rio

Come new to this
day. Remove the rigid
overcoat of experience,
the notion of knowing,
the beliefs that cloud
your vision.

Leave behind the stories
of your life. Spit out the
sour taste of unmet expectation.
Let the stale scent of what-ifs
waft back into the swamp
of your useless fears.

Arrive curious, without the armor
of certainty, the plans and planned
results of the life you’ve imagined.
Live the life that chooses you, new
every breath, every blink of
your astonished eyes.

Instructions by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never
saw before.
Say "please" before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted
front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.
Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat
nothing.
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.
 
From the back garden you will be able to see the
wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to Winter's
realm;
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back, safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.
 
Once through the garden you will be in the
wood.
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-
growth.
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She
may ask for something;
give it to her. She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.
In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve
months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December's frost.
Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where
you are going.
The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-
man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to
leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)
 
If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.
 
Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one's lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped
to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).
 
There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is
why it will not stand.
 
When you reach the little house, the place your
journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem
much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate
you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
And rest.

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wildred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Just a little note here, hopefully it’ll help someone else.

goss is a really nice, simple little go-based tool for doing server validation.

When using it to validate docker, I ran into an issue. Goss uses go templates to allow you to parametrize your tests. Docker uses go templates to allow you to select a subset of information about a running container (via docker inspect). So if you try and use goss to evaluate a command that runs docker inspect with a specific variable, goss thinks you’re trying to use it’s templates and complain.

command:
  docker inspect -f '{{ range .Mounts }}{{.Source}}:{{.Destination}}{{end}}' registry_dev:
    exit-status: 0
    stdout:
    - \/tmp/dev_registry:/var/lib/registry

leads to

vagrant@fm-docker-registry:~$ sudo goss -g /tmp/registry_service.yml v
2017/03/22 20:11:45 template: test:14:30: executing "test" at <.Mounts>: can't evaluate field Mounts in type *goss.TmplVars

Fortunately, it appears (I didn’t check the code) that goss simple uses the templates to generate an intermediate file (or just yaml if it keeps it all in memory, not sure), and then uses that. So we can use go template escaping to ensure that the correct string gets passed to docker by goss.

command:
  docker inspect -f '{{`{{ range .Mounts }}{{.Source}}:{{.Destination}}{{end}}`}}' registry_dev:
    exit-status: 0
    stdout:
    - \/tmp/dev_registry:/var/lib/registry

Will see us through.

I have been so, so very bad. Sorry about that! I didn’t get around to posting for far too long.

Anyway, we had a winner of the beard contest! And then I shaved my face! And then I waited the requisite 3 weeks! But my face still has the winner face!

The winning facial style was Mutton Chops, it was won in a literally-last-minute entry by Alexis, it was for $35 to Amnesty Internationl, and it beat the second place entry (from Pete) by $0.4885. It was a close one!

So here’s my face for the last 3 weeks:

muttonselfie

And here is what Pete was gonna make me do if ONLY he’d given just a few more cents!

cathulu_face

Oh! You all raised $177.84 for charity. Thank you so much! You’re the best! I hope you play next year!

This is me. I suck at selfies.

beard_selfie

On March 20th, as it is the first day of spring, I am going to shave this beard. But! Between March 1st and March 20th, I have decided that I am going to allow someone else to decide the fate of my facial hair.

That someone…might be you. Yes! You. Winner of the 2006 Time Person of the Year. But! In order for it to be YOU, you need to win…the contest.

Announcing! The first annual (maybe, if it works) Sean Abbott Charity Bearded Face Auction!

The concept is simple. Donate to a charity in my name. If you donate more than anyone else, you get to pick what happens to my facial hair between March 1st and March 20th. I will have a professional shave me to your specifications, and I will post weekly-ish updates to verify that I am following your desires.

Now, since I’m hoping to get a fair bit of participation, it is my face, and I’d like to enjoy this enough to actually make it annual, here’s a few rules. I will try VERY hard not to change these too much, but it’s possible that I’ll need to make an update or two. I promise the updates will not change the determination of the winner.

So here are the instructions:

  1. Donate to a charity in my name. (Sean Abbott)
    • You’ll receive a 5% bonus to the amount if you donate to the EFF
    • You’ll receive a 15% bonus if you donate to SMLX Good (This is a charity run by a friend of mine and they’re doing good work.)
    • I reserve the right to penalize your submission by up to 50% if it’s asymmetrical. I’ll try to be brave, but I really don’t want to hate myself for a month.
  2. Pick a picture, or fill out this handy base image with the beard you want. Find a way to communicate what your beard idea is, is what I’m saying. Be creative, that’s fine. If you win, I’ll make sure you get what you want by talking to you.
  3. Send me the donation receipt. username is seanscharitybeard. Email service is protonmail.com. put an ‘@’ between the two and it’ll be fine. It needs to be in my name or have a note so I know you donated for this contest. Let me know what name you’d like me to post about you as (can be anonymous, that’s fine) so I can try and get a little competition going on.
  4. If you donate more than anyone else (after modifications), you win! I will have a professional shave your desired beard onto my face.

A few restrictions, caveates and notes.

  1. No hitler mustaches. In todays political climate, I don’t want some antifa that I normally would agree with to punch me in the face. That won’t be fun or funny.
  2. Please donate to organizations that I will mostly agree with. You can hit me up if you’re curious, but a good rule of thumb is “liberal”. If you donate to focus on the family, Imma ignore you.
  3. See the bullet points for Rule 1.

I’ll be updating this post with lists of who donated and what their style recommendations are. And possibly, if I get interest and questions, with an FAQ or something.

Here’s a few ideas to let you you know about the possibilities:

Here’s a couple with a “horseshoe” mustache and mutton chops:

chop_and_horse1

chop_and_horse2

Here’s one with just the chops:

justchops

And here’s another mustachey thing I did when shaving a beard one time:

stache_and_minitee

I can probably come up with more examples if ya’ll need. Have at it! And THANK YOU! in advance. :-)


FAQ

  1. Why are you giving extra to a favorite charity of yours?

    Well. It’s my face, and I know exactly how good a person Elly (who runs SMLX Good) is, and how much good she’s doing, and how hard she works. So…that’s why. My intention was to help raise awareness for someone very good with my face. If that bothers you so much that you don’t want to donate I guess I don’t really understand, and I wish you didn’t feel that way, but such is life.

  2. When do we have to have donated by?

    Donations need to be in and sent to me by March 1st. The contest ends on March 1st. I will be scheduliing a beard shaving on March 1st.

  3. What if I make multiple donations?

    I will aggregate all donations from an individual into a single pool.

  4. How much are you expecting people to donate?

    I’m hoping for coffee amounts here, folks. I had one person who didn’t because she thought I was looking for like..$50. No no no…I’m hoping to get to like $100 total. PLEASE don’t let the thought that this is high-roller stop you from donating.

  5. How do I submit again?

    Forward your donation receipt to seanscharitybeard@protonmail.com


UPDATE 1: 17 February 2017

In addition to the FAQ above, we’ve had our first donor! See the list below!


UPDATE 2: 22 February 2017

GUYS! We’ve hit 6 donors! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Keep ‘em coming! You’ve got ‘til midnight on 28 February! Yay! We’ve also had our first person playing “price is right” style bidding. :-)


UPDATE 3: 1 March 2017

It’s all over! We have a winner! I will be making another post announcing the winner when I’ve actually got my beard groomed as directed.

Together, you raised $177.84 for charity! You all rock so hard! Thank you so much!


DONOR THANK YOUS!

Donor Name Donation to Date Style
Dana SMLX Good 16 Feb N/A
Diana SMLX Good 21 Feb N/A
Alex EFF 21 Feb N/A
Tamar Healthy Families America 21 Feb N/A
“President Snow” SMLX Good 22 Feb Hunger Games
Pete SMLX Good 22 Feb N/A
Adam Cancer Research UK 25 Feb Amish
Alexis Amnesty International 28 Feb Mutton Chops

I decided to go ahead and get an EZPass for my car.

This is something of a new idea for me. I have avoided getting one because of ways in which being tracked by lots of databases and cross-correlating them is…bad. I have my own personal list of things that I know could go wrong1. But, now they’re taking pictures of your license every time you drive through and stuffing it in the same database, so, I’m damned coming and going. Might as well get the cheaper tolls.

So I went to sign up on the website. I go to put my car in. It says someone else is using it, please call the phone line (877-627-7745). I call the phone. It’s ALL automated, and says to please use the website.

headdesk

Anyway, so back to the website. Go to their help section, go the chat section. Chat with their rep. They tell me…they don’t have access to the database and I have to call the phone line. BUT! I asked. There IS an operator! You just have to hit a hidden option to get to them! (It’s 9, in case you’re curious. The number to access the ezpass ma operator, on their phone screen is 9. Feel free to tell me more ways to SEO that so people can find it.)

Turns out, my partner who frequently borrows my car had added it to her account. So now we’re all good. But this did turn what should’ve been a 10 minute experience into a 30 minute experience.


  1. So my personal reasons for not liking lots of data correlation are because it leaves way to much room for power hungry individuals to do bad things. For instance, any woman who dates someone who is either in law enforcement, knows someone in law enforcement, or works for any contracting company that works with law enforcement could easily be tracked and hurt by a stalker with easy access to those databases. We can claim that this doesn’t happen, but stories from the tsa to this big ap report no one noticed mean that obviously we do not and will never do a good enough job. [return]