Categories
Authoring

New Shiny Part 2: Making Mastodon Comfy

TL;DR: some practical tips are bullet-pointed at the bottom. 

I can always tell I’ve started A New Thing way beyond my comfort zone when it shows up in my recurring dreamspaces.

Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot about the new social networking system I’ve joined. (It seriously isn’t social media in the commonly accepted sense, so in my stubborn way, I have trouble calling it that. BUT I DIGRESS.) 

I found a smaller “instance” or node or server on the network to move into: zirk.us, instead of Mastodon.social. 

Zirk.us is an instance dedicated to arts & humanities, poetry, photography and so on,  being run by folks who are transparent about the logistical costs of being online & growing the membership only as fast as it can add moderation & technical support.

And yes, I confess I migrated there in no small part because it’s called zirk.us, pronounced zerk-us, like circus, like Herkes, so how could I resist? (Answer, I couldn’t.)

Manipulative social engineering is the main reason I backed away from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Interacting with other humans is hard enough. Trying to make connections while simultaneously fighting a system designed to exhaust and use me was increasingly not worth the effort.

side note: Your Mastodon May Vary. the Fediverse is *NOT* equitably welcoming. I come at it with undeniable privileges. The Fediverse’s splintered, uneven nature and lack of institutional-level reporting & blocking system make many of its major instances hostile places, unsafe for people who are targets of exclusionary hate & institutional bigotry.

In contrast, my main issues are mental health and focus-related, and in those areas, the Mastodon software interface shines. It is beautifully designed for building defenses & supports.

I changed a bunch of things right away to cut back on information overload, doom-depression, & focus exhaustion.  I am now going to tediously go through all those things I did, because that way when I forget what I did, I will have a reference for myself.

And, maybe, possibly, it might prove useful to someone else somehow, someday. That said, ‘m doing this in my shorthand, there won’t be full explanations of which menu I was in or where I was looking on the screen, etc. 

First I tinkered with my profile settings through Edit Profile.

Adding a profile pic & banner are key to making myself knowable & demonstrating I am a Real Person. Filled out the bio & later edited to be kind to those using screenreaders: put hashtags at the end, not sprinkled throughout the text. 

PREFERENCES:

  •  Appearance 1: enable “enhanced web interface,” which enables multiple columns to be viewed & pinned in place. I’ve since learned this format  is too intense for some people, but I prefer my information to be in predictable, static places on the screen.)
  • Appearance 2: enable SLOW MODE.  Disables infinite scroll. I choose when I’m ready to access new posts. I love, love, LOVE this. But wait, there’s more.
  • Appearance 3: crop all images to a 16:9 the better for me to tune them out
  • hide sensitive media, again, again, conserving my limited visual attentiveness
  • Other: I selected English, so I wouldn’t be trying to parse my way through posts in other languages. 

FILTERS

 So easy to set up. So customizable. Easy to append. Easy to edit, if I decide I want to change where/if I want to look at the topics I’m filtering out. I set up three perma-filters before I made my first post. One for references to Twitter or Musk, one for Trump related material, and one for pandemic related keywords. I’ve added a couple more since then. 

There’s even the ability to decide how rigorous you want the filter to be, with warnings or hiding entirely, from just some feeds or all occurrences anywhere.

Filters complete, I went from Edit Profile back to the main screen.

Home, Local & Federated columns showed up automatically. I went up to the bar of icons at the top left & clicked on the bell to bring up a Notifications column too. Then I promptly started tinkering with all the column settings.

Column settings are tucked behind a little icon I think looks like an abacus. I unpinned the Local & Federated feeds immediately, and pinned the Notifications. I didn’t pin the Home feed, but I did toggle “Show replies” off so I wouldn’t get caught up puzzling through posts without context. 

NOTIFICATIONS & COLUMNS:

  • I also moved the Notifications column to the far left using the little arrows to the right of the pin/unpin toggle. Pinning eliminates the ultra-distracting badge in the Getting Started column.  Being able to rearrange the visible columns to match the day’s brain order: priceless
  • enabled “show all categories”  It defaults to only showing “all” & mentions, but I can’t keep up & like to go through replies, favs, boosts individually t my own speed. (Again, some find that to be *more* distracting. My love of static information sources is showing.)
  • turned off all the sound alerts & half the other alerts.

Then I went to the Getting Started column on the right & clicked on Lists so I could fine-tune my various info sources.

LISTS.

Like Filters, Lists are similar to features of Twitter & FB, but they’re implemented as readily-accessible, highly-visible elements, proving they’re integral to the experience, not post-hoc additions buried three menus deep & requiring multiple moves back & forth to set up.

Lists are my besties. My tolerance for different types of input varies radically with my mood & energy level. 

  •  a *very* small “Frenz” list for people whose posts I can almost always handle
  • my Writing Community List
  • Interesting Strangers
  • Fun Bots, for days when automated cat pics or astronomy photos are all I can stand
  •  And one more for News–which includes people who mainly post or boost only politics or current events.

The “Interesting Strangers” is by far the largest. Sometimes people move from that to Frenz, sometimes the other way — It’s EASY to change people’s list status. There’s a single menu for adjusting all your interactions w/each person. 

And I can put people on multiple lists, too so I don’t miss friend posts if I’m only in the mood for skimming news, or looking for book recs, f’rex.

Once I tailored my notifications & made lists, I could start adding people, which brings up the last best things: Notes & Muting & Hide Boosts.

FOLLOWING

Following best practice: IMMEDIATELY click on the 3-dot menu & add the person to a list or lists. Since I rarely have Home, Local, or Federated up, this is critical to seeing someone’s posts at all. (If I had to wait & do it afterwards, I would forget. If I had to click into sub-menus, I wouldn’t do it. This way, it’s *done.*)

 I can also hide that individual’s boosts right then & there, if a quick look indicates they post interesting things but also a high proportion of boosts I don’t care about–OR I CAN CHANGE THAT SETTING LATER just as easily. 

Ditto for the mute function — if I want to follow someone so I can find them later, but don’t have a lot of interest in their current posts/boosts, I can simply mute them. 

And Notes? Notes is the ice cream on the hot, fresh slice of fruit pie. It’s a memo line in the profile I see where I can to leave myself an explanation for “Why Am I following this person?”  I can’t say it’s private bc the instance admins see everything, but it doesn’t show up to that person, and that’s all I could ask.

I regularly & randomly lose important contextual connections, I seriously conflate people & places, and I am horrible about keeping track of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey time. Did a thing happen last year, 5 years ago, or when I was 14? I DUNNO.

Basically all the people I have ever known have always been with me everywhere I go. On Twitter & FB, where it’s hard/impossible to design & edit lists on impulse, I got used to doing a lot of looking blankly at posts & stressing over “where do I know them from? Why am I following them? Should I reply? Should I scroll on?” 

I reserve notes for people outside the “Interesting Strangers” list since that label is an explanation all by itself. But when I’m surfing through Writing Community, (f’rex) or my rare jaunts through the Local or Home feed,  it’s a huge relief to see my reminder “on a panel w/ them at WorldCon” or “cool person I bought a book from,” “Person who said a kind thing the first day on Mastodon” etc.

Notes, lists, filters, muting, etc — none of these are necessary for being in the Fediverse. But they do make it a lot easier for me to navigate it without losing my mind or using up all my energy.

Bottom line: there’s a lot about the interface that’s familiar, but the ways the familiar have been revised makes all the difference. It’s wild how much improvement the small changes in design have made.


This post comes to you by the magic of copy/paste & cross-posting from my blog on Patreon. Please consider becoming a regular patron if you like what I write & help me smother my impostor syndrome with pocketbook votes. Otherwise stay tuned to this channel for the next installment.

Categories
3. Other Things Authoring Media Consumption

New Shiny Thing…what the heck is it?

(crossposted from a public post on my Patreon)

Okay, so, Mastodon. 

I’m “on Mastodon” now.

What’s that mean? Damn, I wish that was an easy question.

I’ve had my account** on Mastodon dot social for a month, which in no way makes me an expert, but the way I process new information goes like this:

  • Discover new thing, by which I mean “Dive in heedless & headfirst”
  • Research new thing exhaustively
  • Write. Everything. Down.

I’m in stage 3, which means so I need to hammer out my thoughts for myself to organize them, & that means leaving them lying around where anyone can stumble across them. Lucky you, huh?

I’ll be doing more than this one post. It’s a BIG new thing. This time around, I’m offering meandering general impressions.

Vital Disclaimer: These are all my impressions & mine alone. YMMV. (Your Mastodon May Vary) All my information sources come from the internet & thus suspect. Some of the data might be wrong. I hope not, I’ve done due diligence, but no guarantees.

Also, there’s no particular *point* to this. I’m just moving the new mental furniture around in my head until it fits better. So. Here goes.

——————————

The main thing that’s intriguing me about Mastodon is this: it isn’t what many people seem to want it to be. It definitely isn’t what most people think it is. 

It isn’t a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook, or an online blogging community like Tumblr or LiveJournal,  or evenan interconnected, interacting collection of individual online communities,” which is a mouthful of a description I remember seeing somewhere but unhappily forgot to bookmark for later linking.

Mastodon isn’t a thing at all.

It’s open source server software that can be used anyone with the hardware, the know-how and the energy to make an online community (hereafter called an instance)  and also connect with people in other such communities if you want.

A lot of the think pieces I’ve read about people leaving Twitter for other places use “Mastodon” as shorthand  to describe the larger, overall interconnected internet presence of all the instances running Mastodon or other open-source software.

This is driving me buggy because there’s already a word for the world-wide collection of interconnected open-source servers. It’s called the Fediverse, and it’s been around lots longer than Mastodon software. Check Wikipedia for a fairly decent if technical history and a list of other server software types supporting Fediverse communities. 

I get why media explainers are conflating the two. 

Mastodon is a catchy name, and Fediverse…isn’t. “Mastodon is the new Twitter” makes a catchy headline even though it’s wrong from every possible perspective. 

It’s still driving me buggy. Any time people jam square words into round holes, it grates on my nerves.

So to me, what I’ve joined is the Fediverse not “Mastodon,” and the Fediverse is too sprawling, too complex, too multi-systemic, to be encompassed by the word “platform,” too active to fit under the umbrella term “media,” social or otherwise. 

Even if I only look at the instance where I’m currently roosting, Mastodon.social (one of the largest) it’s nothing like Twitter. Or Facebook. It’s not even like even LiveJournal or Usenet, which I feel at least share neighboring evolutionary branches.

This is a whole, huge, new WORLD.

I picture Mastodon.social as thecyberpunk megalopolis spaceport, all neon & noise, flashy crowds, 24/7 parties, trash, and clutter.  But! The Fediverse is a whole world, remember? There there are also quiet neighborhoods in the same city, and farms, and communes, and even little homesteads of one person alone (if you have the hardware & a domain address, I’m told you can self-host your own little “instance” aka server) There are party islands & mountaintop retreats.

And! I can get to know people in those other places! Best of all, it’s easy for me to close my doors & windows, so to speak, and not have to see anything. There’s nothing encouraging me to click one more thing, no trending topics, no suggested posts, no damned algorithims or endless scroll. I have the tools to find quiet even in the city. 

Someday I’d like to move somewhere quieter in the Fediverse, where I can talk tea & books & cats with likeminded souls locally and not have to hide my home feed &  the local instance to avoid overwhelm. 

(Next post will be about how I set up my account so it would NOT be the pointless, empty timesuck Twitter & Facebook were. Sorry, friends who found friends & community on Twitter, I never felt like anything but a rejected, shunned, & unvalued nobody there.)

ANYway. I comprehend, intellectually, why many new arrivals to the Fediverse don’t like it. Setting up an account is simple, but it isn’t frictionless the way getting started & finding people on Twitter & Facebook is easy. Very little is immediately obvious or familiar. There’s a reason for that, though.

Twitter & Facebook are corporate-owned worlds, to bend my own analogy a little. Everything is tightly controlled, because their success is measured in users, data gathered from users, and ad revenue generated by users. They profit from making things simple & doing everything they can to keep people from leaving. It takes a lot of energy to escape those gravity wells.

The Fediverse isn’t about profit, it’s about existing. Humanity is complicated.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who’ve been on their servers for YEARS. Servers have their own cultures. People have developed community standards & traditional Ways Of Communicating. Some of these are shared by most or all servers. Some are not.

It’s worth mentioning that lot of early servers and the core norms of the Fediverse were established by queer, disabled, and otherwise marginalized members of the tech community. Inclusion is A Thing. 

Are all these cultures and traditional norms healthy? Ha. No. Truth.social is an instance, for example. It’s an island practically no one else connects to/federates with, but it exists. But there is a foundation level commitment to trying to make space and center marginal voices.

But.

When any existing inhabited space gets flooded with new arrivals who have their own ways, their own needs, their own ways of doing things, friction is bound to result. When the influx outsumbers the existing population by multiple orders of magnitude…there’s all kinds of culture clashes going on in the Fediverse right now.

Grief makes us crave the familiar, the comfortable, the known. Many people arriving from Twitter are grieving, involuntarily bereft of connections and communities they spent years building, escapees from a walled city being torn apart at the whims of an asshole billionaire.

Problem is, in the Fediverse, there is no One Way & it isn’t all One Big Place. What’s acceptable behavior on some servers is unwelcome on others. That’s disconcerting. It’s frustrating. It’s not welcoming, the same way The World can be an unwelcoming & confusing place.  

That brings up another factor of discontent: all the pains and frustrations of being in a strange new place get amplified for people who start off in instances that are not a good fit for them or the way they want to interact.

Differences in communication norms shouldn’t lead to flaming rows over fragile, institutionally racist liberals silencing marginalized voices, but those fires are already lit. It’s happened multiple times, in multiple instances, large & small. Some high-profile newcomers have declared with conviction that “Mastodon” is not a good community and may never be safe for them.

Which is…a conclusion I am not qualified to judge.

There are some seriously robust protocols for reporting bad actors locally & across the Fediverse, but it’s hard to tell whether they’re enough or not when there literally aren’t enough moderators to keep up with the incoming flood in many instances right now, and when mods only human, are new, make mistakes — or in some instances may indeed be intolerant bigots. 

Bottom line, there’s no effective difference between hostile fire & friendly fire when you’re the target of it, and people are finding themselves targeted when they are at their newest and most vulnerable.

I expect there will be a lot of instances slamming defensively shut and others being defensively blocked in the days & months to come. I hold out hope it will all settle in time. A lot more listening & work needs to happen, that’s for sure, and there’s definitely room for changes and improvement.

But. Um. I still like it here a gazillion times better than any online outlet for creativity I’ve used since LiveJournal. (I still miss LJ, sigh) I’ve gotten more response & feedback in my 3 weeks on Mastodon.social than in two years on Twitter. Not even joking. And despite still feeling like the biggest no-talent loser kid in the writing world whenever I post, I feel less that way, plus I don’t get sucked into depressive doomscrolling.

I suspect a lot of Twitter migrants will migrate right back out as soon as they can find a singular platform that’s more like the social media they’re accustomed to, one offers them the safety and comfort features they know, want & need. 

Me, I will keep hunting for a little house somewhere far from the Big Server noise and clutter here in the Fediverse. I like it here. People say nice things about my cat pictures.

—————————————

** Minor disclaimer/digression (because I am made of digressions) I am not exactly new to Mastodon. See, I opened an account way back in 2017, invited by a friend who was on a very small Mastodon-based server. I never did much other than set up an account & follow that server’s local feed, though. The friend died later that year, I never logged in again, & sometime between then & 2022 the server went dark & took the account with it.

Categories
Cons & Appearances Writing Life

Windycon 2022 is a go for launch

It wasn’t clear until quite recently how many days I would be attending Windycon this year, if I could go at all.

But! The stars aligned, my schedule cleared itself, and I’ll be in Lombard this coming weekend November 11-13.

This will be the first con in 8 years that I’ve attended without a vendor table to hide behind. That’s shaking things up a bit, my nerves most of all, because the last time was very much Not Fun.

It’s a growth thing. I’ll be fine now that I know more about how cons work. Right? RIGHT.

The plan is to be on some fun panels, attend other fun panels, hang out with friends, look at the art show, and perhaps do some gaming. Laid-back, relaxed, good times. I hope.

Here’s the places I’m committed to being:

Making the Most of the Public Library Friday 18:00 Lilac BD

Your local public library can certainly arrange for you to check out books, music, or films, but it offers so much more, from e-resources to cultural events to maker spaces. Our panel of librarians won’t be shushed when it comes to announcing the ways you can take advantage of the services on offer at your local branch.

Pets in Space 21:00 Friday Lilac AC

Can you really have a pet on a spaceship? Can it be an ordinary earth pet, like a dog, cat, bird or must it be something adapted to space (and what would that be)? What purpose would pets serve in space?

Writers Workshop Saturday 9AM to 1 PM

Ludlow Charlington Charity Anthology Reading Saturday 15:00 Boardroom

Authors read from their work from the Ludlow Charlington anthology published to raise funds for Chicago Shelters.

How to Build a Science Sunday 10:00 Lilac BD

How to introduce the historical development of various sciences in your work? How were sciences actually developed in different areas of the world?

Categories
3. Other Things Authoring Writing Life

Time for an update post

It’s a gray achy kind of day, weather-wise, and a grey foggy day, brainwise, but I have taken a dose of my fancy ibuprofen+acetaminophen OTC pills (they are magic, btw, better even than prescription naproxen) and I am doing things I can get done instead of gnawing at myself over things I am not doing.

That’s the idea, anyhow.

I knew I would be wiped today after a yesterday that started 2 hours earlier than usual. It was worth losing sleep to accompany Spouseman to a car maintenance appointment & walk home w/him afterwards, but adding to an already-long ‘brar day had me dragging by the end. That’s on top of the way this week’s “Chill Drear to Sunny & Back Again” rollercoaster weather is kicking my ass.

So far so good. I got up earlier than I planned–7:30 according to my body, 8:30 according to the semi-annual clock fuckery–but it was a “I feel rested & awake & have Things to do” kind of wakeup, not the ass-dragging kind.

AND I have crossed off all but one thing I hoped to achieve. Granted, it was a short list. Laundry, Chili, Spread Clover Seed. And I don’t want to start the chili until closer to supper time. But it still feels good.

Getting in a blog post, too? EXTRA BONUS ACHIEVEMENT.

To-Do Lists are wonderful organizing tools, but days like today are why I rarely make “normal” ones with assigned priorities & firm timelines. That would be setting myself up to fail, given my inconsistent energy level & focus. Instead, I just list All The Things & then pick my way through them like it’s a smorgabord.

This week I evidently have an appetite for tactile, physical tasks. Writing has happened, as it often does when I stop putting pressure on myself, but I’m mainly indulging in Hand-intensive activities. Fingertip splits are making typing an annoyance, but otherwise my hands are staying in pretty good shape.

And wet weather sucks for me, but the garden loves it. Rainy days are good planting days, actually, and I’ve been plugging through seasonally-sensitive but generally time-forgiving tasks.

Here’s a tidy summation of Various Things I’ve done in the last week:

  • spread lettuce seed in improvised cold frames (planters covered w/recycled plastic greehouse roofing)
  • took down old, broken yard lights
  • stow the last of the holiday lights
  • reset bird feeders
  • removed squirrel-guard wire toppers off the bulb plantings
  • cleared all the herb beds are clear
  • overseeded front & back lawn w/a red clover and grass mix. (today!)

And now I can make new lists, all about starting seedlings, shopping for patio furniture & a pergola, researching low-decibel leaf blowers, and dreaming about MOAR PRAIRIE PERENNIALS.

Inside things I’m working on:

Restocking things I have to order online, like tea & replacement storage container lids.

Baking: I’ve already done biscotti & banana muffins this week. Apple crisp might get made tonight, depending on energy level. Otherwise tomorrow.

And adding things to grocery lists for curbside pickup to minimize in-person shopping. Because yes, I’m still minimizing in-person shopping & yes, I’m still masking in public spaces, including my workplace. (The one exception being a (VERY) few restaurants w/excellent ventilation & mitigations where I’ll unmask to enjoy a meal w/a trusted friends.)

Yeah, I’m vaxxed & boosted. But I also know how to calculate risk. If and/or when the local case count & positivity rates drop below the thresholds we hit last June, I’ll enjoy wandering around stores unmasked like I did last June. But we aren’t there.

Until then, I’ll just keep making that extra set of lists.

That’s enough blathering for one post. Have a photo of Pippin being angry I emptied the humidifier in my office.

Until later!

Categories
Media Consumption Writing Life

After-Capricon post

Yesterday morning Spouseman gave me a cheery “You’re up early!” for getting my ass out of bed before 10 AM.

For context, I usually wake up 7:30ish this time of year. I often go back to bed to snuggle for an hour or two, but I wake up within an hour of sunrise when I’m healthy. (Even with blackout curtains.)

Except after cons. Sometimes I’m in bed as late as 11AM for a day or two or three after getting home.

And I usually get 7+ hours of sleep per 24, but I am rarely in BED for more than 6 hours at a stretch because my joints hate me lying still.

Except after cons. I’m in bed as much as 10 hours the day after a con.

Two data points. It’s officially a trend, right?

My brain pretty much shuts down for a reset after leaving high-interaction events. Unless I crash a few hours before leaving. That’s a simmering hot stew of awkwardness when it happens, so I try VERY hard to avoid it. I was home, unpacked & washed up after Cap before I crashed hard with a cat purring on my lap. Good times.

I had a fabulous time at Capricon this year. It’s always a great convention, but this time was extra-special because, well <waves vaguely> YOU know. Things. I had the most panels I’ve done at a con ever, and I enjoyed every one of them, despite 3 of them being in a room with a CAMERA POINTED AT ME.

And I moderated three panels (two in the Camera Room Of Doom, one in a room without microphones because tech difficulties) and I only screwed up a few times in each panel, so big yay and confetti and buckets of self-congratulatory happiness right there.

The Dealer Room was like a bookstore smorgasbord, books were sold, things were bought, plans were made, and fun was had. Evenings included hallway chats, hotel room haircuts, and late night conversations.

New friends were made (I think, I hope) and I enjoyed getting to reconnect with old friends too! (although not NEARLY as much as I wanted. Sorry to alla y’all who only got bits & pieces of my time, my energy was low & I had roommates & I didn’t feel comfortable crossing the streams or mixing up groups and, well. Anyway.)

Some of us should get together soon, masked & safe indoors. That’s all I’m saying. Soon.

Now the con is somehow a week in the past, Thursday is over, (it’s technically Friday morning wee hours tbh) and my biggest accomplishments since getting home have been…hm. Unimpressive:

  • laundry! Yes, it deserves the exclamation mark
  • dusted my home desk
  • dusted my work desk & did sundry library tasks over 2 shifts
  • put away con stuff, updating inventory & sales records
  • brushed the cat two days in a row (he forgave me both times)
  • reread 2 romance novels, ignoring the stack of lovely new books I really do want to read
  • surfed on Twitter & Facebook more than I’d like
  • played a lot of Absurdle
  • filled out a Con Feedback survey, gushed about my fellow panelists & praised other moderators
  • watched episodes of 2 TV shows and 2 movies (finished Stranger Things rewatch, started Mythic Quest, big thumbs up, sat through Free Guy & Venom: Let There Be Carnage, meh x2)
  • booked 2 hotel rooms & 1 plane flight for 2 separate future events. This involved multiple conversations, negotiations, and consultations over a couple of days.
  • read one whole chapter in the nonfiction book I’m trying to chew through. Stolen Focus. There’s irony to be found in my inability to concentrate on a book about all the ways modern systems demolish our attention spans, but I’m not appreciating it.
  • cooked a spicy chicken casserole from scratch. Well. From a boxed rice dish plus leftover rice from Chinese takeout, and various other add-ins. So, kinda like Stone Casserole instead of Stone Soup?
  • sliced up a cucumber I’d forgotten was in the fridge & set it to soak w/onions & brine for fridge pickles.
  • and wrote this blog post

It looks good written down, but hey, I’m a writer. I’m expected to make things looks good in words.

When measured against my days of otherwise unemployed time, the accomplishment level is…meager doings. George Carlin had a bi about stuff filling the space available. Tasks fill the time available, I guess.

Has it been restful? Oh, yes. And have I enjoyed myself? Mostly, when I’m not ambiguously frazzled, or second-guessing every recent interaction (at the con & since, online & off) and/or draaaagggggggggging myself through daily routines in pursuit of basics like personal hygiene.

It’s silly, all this listing I do, but it’s also soothing. In one sense it’s a long, wordy version of, “Look at me, I can do the bare minimum to survive!” And in the world I grew up in, making much of nothing is tacky, selfish attention-seeking nonsense.

But in another sense, these lists are the vital opposite of making much of nothing. They’re making much of things overlooked and undervalued. They’re balancing the meaningfulness scales.

I am proud of others when they do what I am doing, so it’s only fair I make note of the important basics too. Besides, even just thinking, LAUD ME, FOR I HAVE DONNED CLEAN CLOTHES & INGESTED SUSTENANCE! makes me smile, and smiles are always good.

So I shall feel proud of myself now that I’ve noted all I’ve done. I mean, I didn’t spend the WHOLE time surfing or reading articles about dairy cow milk production and teaching dogs to pull wagons. And I did get in a little good writing time. A teeny bit. But as the That Counts As Writing bot on Twitter points out out, it’s all progress.

So. Here we are, at the end of another meandering life post. That’s all there is to it. Except for a cat pic.

Until later!