Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Thoughts (Page 1 of 13)

Builder Of Unwanted Things

I love building things. Heck, I think I wrote about that here recently.

Sometimes, people even appreciate and/or make use of those things. That sure feels good, doesn’t it?

Usually, though, nobody really does. This goes back so, so far. Heck, my last really successful endeavor was when I took over the Anime Blog Muyo forum (well, kind of… I built my own and everyone migrated over when RadicalBender was done running his forum) and that lasted for… a couple of years? The Wayback Machine stopped indexing AEIOU’s content in mid-2008 and I genuinely don’t remember when we closed up shop there for good. We had some good times back then, the handful of us who remained…

(Side note: Nailing down some of the details in the previous paragraph involved reading through a lot of my own blog posts of the time and boy howdy was that a dark couple of years for me. Yikes.)

Then there’s stuff like the Mastodon server (I had two other users besides myself, and only one of them “tooted” more than a small handful of times). The home-theater computing rigs that only I would use in the household. Various purchased and/or assembled gadgets like that. Websites, forums, what-have-you. I ran a webcomic for four entire years with a readership of… half a dozen entire humans? Maybe?

Never mind this website that almost nobody reads. (Ha ha, how meta.)

It happens at work, too. A wiki almost nobody used. Fancy scripted automation stuff that only I ever actually use. Documentation nobody reads. (Well, I do: I don’t always remember how I did the fancy scripted automation thing the last time, after all.)

I can’t help myself, though. Not really. The challenge of getting something built has its rewards, and what else am I supposed to do? Just… not make stuff? Be serious. This is why I’m probably going to fire up another Mastodon instance (the one I’m on currently is shutting down, which may be ironic, I dunno). It’s why I’m still hoping to do more GoPro-footage YouTube videos that nobody will watch.

It’s fun to make stuff, dagnabbit. So… as much as some recognition would be (hugely) appreciated, I’m going to keep at it.

The alternative isn’t worth considering.

Celebrating What, Exactly?

Look, between the annoying people with annoying over-loud explosives and the general atmosphere of feeling like we are bound & determined as a nation to make things worse for literally everyone (other than rich people, they’re better than us after all) and the absolute uncaring incompetence of our collective response to an ongoing pandemic (no, we’re not “post-COVID”)…

… why am I supposed to be happily excited about anything today?

A Holiday Like None Before

Partway through February, we all prepare to celebrate and revere the concept of things happening before other things that can be used as examples for reference going forward…

Wait a moment.

[presses finger to ear]

Ah.

I’ve been told that the holiday is not, in fact, Precedents Day.

Sorry. Apparently it’s about some former heads of state for the USA or some-such. Never mind. Carry on.

Friday? I guess.

The downside to the combination of working from home and getting up at the same time all seven days of the week (for maintaining a medication & exercise schedule) is that Friday just means I don’t have to sign in to all of the work-related software & websites the next day.

That Pandemic Life, eh?

Interdependence Day

If I’m going to celebrate anything about today, it’s the continuation of an experiment.

I’m working my way toward fifty years of age and I don’t have a lot of what one could call “patriotism” left. The country’s a mess, its ideals under attack from without and especially within, by the rich and the powerful and the willfully ignorant, by those who are gaming the system to the breaking point so they can win ongoing perpetual rule and control. But the ideals stated at the start of it all still mean something. Maybe I’m naive to hold onto that belief. So be it.

If I’m going to celebrate anything, it’s those ideals.

Not for the troops, because as soon as we decide that a uniform and a weapon automatically make a person superior then we have ceded a level of personal responsibility, but for the kind of people who choose to take up arms specifically for the cause of protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Not for the flag, because crass symbolism has become just another wedge to divide us, but for the kind of people who see the flag as a reminder of the importance of those naive ideals that started this whole grand experiment off in the first place. Not for the history, because boy howdy is this country’s history full of greed and corruption and outright evil swathed in lies meant to convey respectability and holy purpose, but for the future that I hope we still have the chance to make together, a more inclusive and honest and understanding future for everyone.

Not for independence, but for the hope of interdependence.

Not sure what’s next. Gonna be something.

The 3WA thing kind of ran its course. I went into this year with big ideas but I lost touch with the whole “makes me happy, might make you happy too” aspect. So away it goes. Sorry, no more book reviews about books that don’t need my reviews anyway. (If anyone’s curious, say the word and I’ll do a quick round-up bundle post about what was on my list.)

This past week or so I’ve been in a big re-think mode while I figure out what I’m going to do with my online presence. I shut down the Mastodon server a while ago. I haven’t done anything with PixelFed (still percolating on that) or any of the other domains I’m running. I’m back on Twitter as my main communication/interaction system but wow, the reasons that drove me to Mastodon in the first place certainly haven’t gone away and the overall experience of being a Twitter user is generally deteriorating, so that’s probably not a good long-term plan.

What I need now is a better toolkit. I need to be able to do more things here, where I can control and archive them. I need to tie in just the external pieces I actually need and jettison the rest. At the same time I need to acknowledge that I’m using the mobile devices far, far more than I am using my actual desktop computer. The WordPress app is… not great. (It’s designed for sites actually hosted on WordPress-dot-com servers.) Is the mobile experience for WP5.x better than it was the last time I tried, which was back in the early 4.x days? Maybe I’ll find out.

As for what I do here… I’m not sure yet. I work well to a deadline and seem to slack off rather badly without one, but deadlines imply a project, a concept. I want to be able to do more free-form material and not feel shackled to an idea I came up with most of a year prior.

There’ll probably be more pictures. The most fun non-3WA thing I did recently was that Raspberry Pi build. The new Pokémon Go camera feature (where you take your Poke “out of the ball” on demand to take pictures in AR+ mode) looks promising so far. I haven’t shared all of the results of some of the photo shoots over the last couple years; I made a few rather nice 1920×1080 wallpapers, for instance. And there’s a bin full o’ ducks that haven’t seen daylight in far too long. We’ll see.

Thank you, reader, for being here. I’ll try to make your visits more entertaining from here on out.

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