Monday, September 11, 2017


There are many times when you want to have a chat in private, such as when you have something confidential to say or you simply don't want the world listening in. Hey, that's what social media's for! 
Imagine you have a personal butler, eager to run errands on your behalf. You want to send a private message, so you put a hand-written note in an envelope and give it to your butler for delivery, hiding its contents from plain sight. There is a risk, however, that your butler could be bribed, threatened, or just plain nosy, deciding to read your message before delivering it, and perhaps sharing it with others. Not so private after all...
The way people have historically gotten around this problem is sealing the letter in wax, to discourage people from prying.

Today, online messaging is similar, with messaging apps serving as your butler. Instead of sealing an envelope, though, you can use "encryption" to ensure your message remains private. Encryption is simply a means of converting text into a jumble of letters and numbers that's unreadable to anyone without the key to unlock it. If only you and the receiver have the key, then only the two of you can get access to your private message, and not the messaging service (butler) or anyone else. This is known as "end-to-end encryption." Great news: there's software freely available that can do this for you automatically!
If you'd like an easy way to use secure, end-to-end encrypted messaging, we highly recommend Signal. It's free, open source, and available from the iPhone and Android app stores. Not only that, it also allows you to make secure voice calls. Your butler would approve!
Proudly Private,

Dax's Signature

Dax the Duck,
Mascot - DuckDuckGo

If you think we'll get in trouble for this then use this link to read the post on their blog. I'm too tired from making a detailed dinner to do the proper thing. But my stronger desire to share this with you flat out, overrode my personal code of propriety. And I'm saving you from risking carpal tunnel syndrome by having to commit one less click, so here's hoping Dax the Duck doesn't get his tail feathers in a twist because I cut and pasted his letter for a whole bunch of folks who probably don't even know he exists. 

Now. This is the crux of the matter at hand. I use DuckDuck because I tired of Google stealing my footprints every time I went about online. They didn't ask, they don't compensate . . . So I make it point to never buy anything from the links that intrude on my life. Ever tried messing with their head? Try Googling "artificial testicle sacs" for Halloween costume" and see what happens. Chances are good that such things might actually exist, but you'll see how stoopid certain entities are too. Besides, are you an impulse buyer? Do you bite the bait dangled before you? Do you gasp at how much you'll save by spending $500 to save $5 on a future purchase then buy buy buy?? Sorry. That's not what this is about.

This post is about the irony of how the lack of Internet privacy reinforces the righteousness of mail. Who knew, right? It's all about the super privacy of . . . *drum roll* . . . . . .




Wait for it . . . . 

Aw, you already guessed! I'll declare it anyway. Mail! A simple envelope sealed shut with good old spit!!! Or glue, if you're icky picky. Remember the old fake news story about some janitor or tech dumping mop water into the automatic stamp glue machine? I imagine thousands of letter writers who rushed to the closest mirror to check their tongue for mop water grit and hair. Bet no one ever licked another stamp either. My sister, who does nothing with e-mail beyond forwarding chain letters and animated gifs sent me that one. Sorry sis. *grin*

So see? It's safer to send dirty pictures and chain letters through the US Mail. Had that Khardashian girl used the USPS to send her sex tape, none of us would even know her name.   Why-y-y? I know. I know. Bad me. I won't even duck over that one. Go ahead. Throw your shoe at me. I use DuckDuck! So throw! DuckDuckThrow. Get it? Yeah, y'all are smart. *grinning*

Such a lovely letter this is. And it's from someone I'm partial to for very specific reasons, as if the bird stamps and matching arrows washi aaren't reasons enough. You know how parents say we're impartial when it comes to loving our children and believe we really are because of guilt? I never understood that, which makes me think parents lie as much as their children; in fact, parents teach their young 'uns how to lie every time we tell one of the doubters that we "leach and every one of y'all the same," since no one can love each child to the same degree, because each child is different. And if we love each one because of their particular personalities, then there's no way that love is equally proportioned. 

One child might need more love and attention than a sibling. One might not push our love button as fully as another might. You get what I mean, but go ahead and tell me I'm wrong. Who knows? You might be right. But each of my pen friends is special in different ways, and I like all of you, else I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing such a sincere secret. *sincere smile*

I've gotten good at writing two letters in per night. It's a good way to end the day. Writing at night turns out my light. No. Not really, but it allows me to tell a final "lie" with a clear conscience. Stories build in my mind all day long, and most often Minuet is my only audience. Erin grew up hearing my lies tales. She learned to write and draw by the time she could handle chalk, 'cause we she grew up to the sound of me making up stories to words she got to choose. And her first drawings came from her markings that I turned into drawings. *grin* We stapled our efforts together, and read them twice. Once, then and there. And once at bedtime.

These days posts and postcards provide just the right amount of space for short lies. Enough of them and they're like short stacks. I've saved this postcard for about two years. These guys' story kept changing! I nailed them to last night's 1,002 tales. It went something like this:

It wasn't all lie. I really cannot sing. I can still dance though! And sincerity is never so sincere unless I declare it so. Honest. Sincerely!

And see? Minuet is the perfect audience. An arched brow and I know something doesn't read true. Two blinks and a head turn means, "How boring. you can do better." The yawn means one of two things. A small yawn means she's tired of my voice. A big yawn means she'll be leaving the room in a hot minute. But last night was . . . 

I haven't had dinner. JC's shutting down the kitchen. Gotta go eat!

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