Marcelo has started his first 2 full days of daycare, and he already seems changed in subtle ways I can’t place words around. I’m right now listening to an album I’ve never heard called Handfuls of Night, which the algorithm gods have set upon me. Arthur Jeffes, son of Simon Jeffes who died in 1997 of an inoperable brian tumor, started Penguin Cafe as the legacy of his father’s Penguin Cafe Orchestra. I’ve been listening to the latter since discovering them in the back of an issue of Paste Magazine, which I’d gotten from my high school girlfriend’s dad, who worked in advertising in NYC—all of which is to say that this web of connections and timeliness makes this meaningful to me in the wordless way in which Marcelo’s changes are likewise shifting my inner world in as-yet-unknown ways.

Another of today’s positive bookends is the discovery of an answer to a vexing problem, which I hadn’t had time to diagnose until just 15 minutes ago. NGINX had been failing on reboots on my server, and I just checked the logs to see this:

Sep  8 10:19:04 beto nginx[940]: nginx: [emerg] host not found in upstream "mosquitto" in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
Sep  8 10:19:04 beto nginx[940]: nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed
Sep  8 10:19:04 beto systemd[1]: nginx.service: Control process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Sep  8 10:19:04 beto systemd[1]: nginx.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.

Turns out mosquitto was starting after NGINX in systemd’s queue so resolution was failing, and the simple solution was requiring and starting after:


For weeks/months/years I accumulate the grains of seemingly minor problems that are the soul-grinding earworms of daily existence, and then a seemingly unremarkable day resolves them without any resistance.

A poem popped into my head. It started out “I am the proprietor of the Penguin Cafe, I will tell you things at random,” and it went on about how the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality in our lives is a very precious thing. And if you suppress that to have a nice orderly life, you kill off what’s most important. Whereas in the Penguin Cafe your unconscious can just be. It’s acceptable there, and that’s how everybody is. There is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves.
—Simon Jeffes