I Begin Blogging Again To Resist The Melon Husk

With Twitter being ruined and hamstrung by well-known rich man-baby Melon Husk, I’ve been considering options and preparing several lifeboats.

This tweet – the whole beginning of the thread, really – encapsulates what I feel is my way forward.

The mention of Google Reader’s much-lamented loss was also the beginning of trying to find a quick, easy way to “microblog” via G+ (also gone) and Twitter (going) for me.

So I finished a draft post about last week’s trip to Salt Lake. Published.

I had Thursday and Friday off, thank God, so I spent it working on the T-shirt quilt which is turning out to be quite heavy, and I had a number of “learning experiences” during construction (okay, “mistakes were made.”) It will be a wall hanging so the ugly back won’t be visible. Next time I make one, will use a normal woven cotton backing! But it has been fun remembering the various trips (and figuring out how to turn the stains and bad seam intersections into fun appliqué bits). I did a lot of anxiety-reducing procrastinating, never fear. And ordered some fabric for my next few projects, too. 

Thanksgiving Day was spent baking a couple of loaves of sourdough/oat bread, cooking sweet potatoes, prepping carrots to steam, and packing them all into crocks and Dutch ovens into this insulated bag thing I bought from Amazon. The bag will eventually be a bread proofer, as I also got a seed warming mat and a thermostat controller, much cheaper than a Brod and Taylor proofer and multitaskers, too. Anyway, dinner was at my in-law’s new place, which is all of 5 minutes’ drive from us. So easy.

Other family members gathered for brunch that morning before dispersing to various other branches of their extended families; for us it was nice to just be the 4 of us plus one guest who is part of the family but didn’t have dinner plans other than going to the earlier brunch to see some of the young ones. 

One of my Illinois nieces seems to be needing to assert independence or something and did her own thing; not sure what’s up with that but drama has always been her M.O. – now  it appears that she’ll also skip an upcoming birthday for a very young lad, and holiday gatherings because “reasons.” We have something for her and her daughter but keep putting off presenting it to her, either because we didn’t want to pull focus in front of her ex-husband’s family, or because she teases her birth family with a possible appearance at a planned event, and then doesn’t show up (again, “reasons”).

One thing for sure, I won’t be making any more elaborate (or amateurish) attempts at sewing projects for her, because she’ll just throw them out.

Meanwhile, Twitter is in the news, and not for good reasons. Supposedly Husk is letting Herr Drumpf and some other horribles back in. Trolls running wild! Spam galore! Advertisers leaving in droves! Hackers shitposting! Oh, the inhumanity!

You may think that I’m grousing unnecessarily about Twitter’s decline under the overshitlordship of the Melon Husk, but events in Iran, China, Ukraine, and everywhere in the world where freedom of the press and of self-expression is not assured show that Twitter has been an invaluable resource. The Husker Duh has been gutting the security and human rights teams, not to mention the “banging on stuff” teams. It’s not good.

I’m exploring footholds on Counter.Social (run by an anonymous hacker dude, so hardly sketchy at all) and Post.social (all the cool newsies are waitlisted) and some instance of Mastodon (where a RL friend, Jette, plus some Resistance crewmates have landed). 
And I’ve been engaging more on Facebook with friends and family. It seems like blogging here, and having IFTTT handle crosspositing, may be my way forward. I like Twitter, but can try to retrain my brain to write long-form instead of short form again. 

I Begin Blogging Again To Resist The Melon Husk

With Twitter being ruined and hamstrung by well-known rich man-baby Melon Husk, I’ve been considering options and preparing several lifeboats.

This tweet – the whole beginning of the thread, really – encapsulates what I feel is my way forward.

The mention of Google Reader’s much-lamented loss was also the beginning of trying to find a quick, easy way to “microblog” via G+ (also gone) and Twitter (going) for me.

So I finished a draft post about last week’s trip to Salt Lake. Published.

I had Thursday and Friday off, thank God, so I spent it working on the T-shirt quilt which is turning out to be quite heavy, and I had a number of “learning experiences” during construction (okay, “mistakes were made.”) It will be a wall hanging so the ugly back won’t be visible. Next time I make one, will use a normal woven cotton backing! But it has been fun remembering the various trips (and figuring out how to turn the stains and bad seam intersections into fun appliqué bits). I did a lot of anxiety-reducing procrastinating, never fear. And ordered some fabric for my next few projects, too. 

Thanksgiving Day was spent baking a couple of loaves of sourdough/oat bread, cooking sweet potatoes, prepping carrots to steam, and packing them all into crocks and Dutch ovens into this insulated bag thing I bought from Amazon. The bag will eventually be a bread proofer, as I also got a seed warming mat and a thermostat controller, much cheaper than a Brod and Taylor proofer and multitaskers, too. Anyway, dinner was at my in-law’s new place, which is all of 5 minutes’ drive from us. So easy.

Other family members gathered for brunch that morning before dispersing to various other branches of their extended families; for us it was nice to just be the 4 of us plus one guest who is part of the family but didn’t have dinner plans other than going to the earlier brunch to see some of the young ones. 

One of my Illinois nieces seems to be needing to assert independence or something and did her own thing; not sure what’s up with that but drama has always been her M.O. – now  it appears that she’ll also skip an upcoming birthday for a very young lad, and holiday gatherings because “reasons.” We have something for her and her daughter but keep putting off presenting it to her, either because we didn’t want to pull focus in front of her ex-husband’s family, or because she teases her birth family with a possible appearance at a planned event, and then doesn’t show up (again, “reasons”).

One thing for sure, I won’t be making any more elaborate (or amateurish) attempts at sewing projects for her, because she’ll just throw them out.

Meanwhile, Twitter is in the news, and not for good reasons. Supposedly Husk is letting Herr Drumpf and some other horribles back in. Trolls running wild! Spam galore! Advertisers leaving in droves! Hackers shitposting! Oh, the inhumanity!

You may think that I’m grousing unnecessarily about Twitter’s decline under the overshitlordship of the Melon Husk, but events in Iran, China, Ukraine, and everywhere in the world where freedom of the press and of self-expression is not assured show that Twitter has been an invaluable resource. The Husker Duh has been gutting the security and human rights teams, not to mention the “banging on stuff” teams. It’s not good.

I’m exploring footholds on Counter.Social (run by an anonymous hacker dude, so hardly sketchy at all) and Post.social (all the cool newsies are waitlisted) and some instance of Mastodon (where a RL friend, Jette, plus some Resistance crewmates have landed). 
And I’ve been engaging more on Facebook with friends and family. It seems like blogging here, and having IFTTT handle crosspositing, may be my way forward. I like Twitter, but can try to retrain my brain to write long-form instead of short form again. 

You Can’t Go Home, Or To The Cabin, Again

flic.kr/p/4FgPK

Old Log Cabin, Lamb’s Canyon

The family cabin is slowly collapsing… this photo is from 2005, so things have probably gotten even more dilapidated. My cousins own it and though we used to have access, apparently that’s no longer as simple as asking for the key and checking the calendar. My oldest cousin tried to sell it a few years back, causing shock and dismay. Yet it’s a pretty big tax payment each year, so I can see why he’d want to sell.

Reportedly he sold off the piece of the property where I stood to take this… there’s a fancy new vacation home there now. There’s some sad memories associated with that spot, but some of us consider the property almost sacred ground. So it’s painful. I still have dreams where I’m in the mountains, trying to get to The Cabin.

My mom’s old house still looks much the same; on last weekend’s visit to Salt Lake, I didn’t need to drive by, but my niece did, and took this photo.

Both buildings have seen better days. Both contain memories of people long gone. I spent last weekend with family and had fun, but felt this pull to look for places I remembered (so much of Salt Lake is being rebuilt, it’s hard to find those old familiar places).

My room was the dormer window. They’ve put in window-mounted AC there and in the dining room window… the weaklings. And the only visible change is the fence on the side, and they took all the stinky “Trees of Heaven” down. Good riddance, they rot from the inside out and drop a mess of branches after the smallest storms.

What I wouldn’t give to smell the scent of those trees on a sticky, hot night again… or to lie awake in an old Coleman sleeping bag at The Cabin, listening to the faint hooting of owls and the stealthy fluttering of the resident bat.

It was good to see my side of the family last week – both sisters, all four nieces and most of their spouses. It wasn’t a super planned long weekend; we hung out at Holly’s house to reconnect Thursday and Friday, we managed to meet up with Raeanne and her husband Ron at Hogle Zoo (Ranny and I were raised together and we’re closer in age than I am to my sisters; same with all of my nieces).

We even had a chance to meet some of David’s co-workers face-to-face for dinner at a suburban Italian joint, a very enjoyable evening. Who knew that one couple would turn out to be avid parachutists??

Salt lake has changed and is changing so much. We stayed downtown near the City-County Building, now surrounded by a nice park and a lot of Trax light rail lines. I chuckled as we passed the corner where Mom got a ticket for pulling a “U-ey” in the middle of the road. “Ma’am, I’m afraid I have to ticket you, you can’t do that right in front of the main police station.” Heh.

Every time we went somewhere, I felt a need to spot familiar buildings and landmarks and reconnect to forgotten memories. However, though we drove down the neighborhood arterial street near Mom’s house, I didn’t need to drive by (although Raeanne did later to take her picture). It was somehow comforting to see some of my neighborhood remains as I remember it, and some shops and houses have been nicely updated.

Holly’s party was held at Trolley Square and it was fabulous – the local arts alliance have a theater and event space and the food was catered by a local Brazilian restaurant and butcher, so good. I even danced with my sister and nieces, though the band was a Grateful Dead tribute outfit and definitely not my favorite party music. It was interesting though in that the keyboard player was Mike Lookinland, yep, from The Brady Bunch.

David and I drove up the canyons – ALL of them. Emigration, Parley’s, Mill Creek, Little Cottonwood, Big Cottonwood. But we mostly had to go to Lamb’s Canyon to see how far up we could drive in our rented SUV. Turns out, not far at all, there’s a new gate at the mouth of the canyon, just off I-80.

On Birthdays, And Continuing To Have Them

More than a week ago, it was my birthday, so once again, what is it to me?

Wedding at The Alps, Boulder Canyon Inn September 6, 1997

25 years ago, at a very advanced and nearly-spinsterly age, I married the love of my life, David. We met in Colorado, and a little more than a year later, we got married in Colorado, at a B&B that’s now closed and for sale. Much has changed since this photo was taken – my mom on the left died in 2006, and my mother-in-law Leah died in 2012. The Alps closed a few years ago; we stopped by on our June road trip to Colorado and spent a rather sad hour walking around seeing if the owners were there to condole with. We had stayed there a half-dozen times over the years and in its prime, it was the nicest B&B on the Western Slope, IMNSHO.

The Alps Boulder Canyon Inn – closed but not forgotten

So it was my birthday, and I’m not having it. Meaning, I didn’t want to make plans, or be the center of attention. And yet attention is insisting on being paid, as my in-laws dropped by with a card and their cat in a carrier (their house is on the market and was being shown).

Linda and the Aged Person

This is Linda, my step-MIL, and me looking about how you do on 20 minutes’ notice that company is coming and maybe one might want to brush hair and put something on other than pajamas. So I chose my “unicorn travel consultant” T-shirt because I’m all about formality and shit. Gracie the cat stayed in her carrier, she’s somewhat grouchy on decanting and would deffo be disenchanted to be encanted after only about an hour.

Sheldon, my pop-in-law, brought Dunkin because he had a gift card.

I was all set to have a nice lazy Saturday morning, bloggity blathering about my natal day indifference, when we got the call. WBEZ was comfortably into Saturday Edition, we had coffee, I had my lap desk and iPad and wireless keyboard set, WordPress set, and… “ring ring, can we drop something off for the birthday person in about half an hour?”

There was consternation, vigorous miming of reluctance, eventual acceptance, and then David leapt heroically into the shower while I bustled around finding something to wear and tidying the living room.

I’ve been very, very anti-social this year, some of which I detailed in a recent blogpost, but when they arrived, they had Gracie in a carrier and just wanted to hug, hand off the card, and go sit in their car at Dunkin and wait while the realtor showed a prospective buyer around their house. I came out to see Gracie, barefoot on a cool, autumnal day, and thought “Oh, for hell’s sake, why not just make coffee?” They brandished Dunkin Donuts gift cards and said they weren’t planning on staying. I suggested that I could make a pot of coffee, they could go get donuts, and come back to hang out in comfort, with Gracie in the carrier.

It worked out fine. By the time they got back I had a coffee tray all set up with creamer and mugs and a carafe, and even a bottle of Bailey’s that I usually set out on Christmas brunch. What the hell, socializing isn’t so bad even for a near-recluse. So they came, and we had a pleasant time discussing the sale of houses and the renovation of houses, and now they’re off home to wait to hear if there will be an offer or not.

Today’s plan: have to get some stuff together to go down to Aurora for the Tour de Cure, which I’ve been very quiet about this year, too. I spent the last 5 years begging for donations to my fundraiser for TdC and this year…. I just didn’t want to keep begging on Facebook or at church, didn’t want to go to church at all, didn’t want to post anything on Facebook at all, and so on. I do have some gift checks to log. The ride is tomorrow and I haven’t ridden more than a few miles this year, because Reasons.

UPDATE, a week later, because I had some important reclusing to do.

Eric Spade, Laurie Scheffers, Carlos Gravis, and me. PICKLE JUICE

Tour de Cure was Sunday, September 25th, but the night before, we went down to Aurora to stay overnight because David was riding the metric century and had an early start. He ended up riding 67.49 miles – he said “bonus miles” which usually means a) he made a wrong turn or b) the official route had “mileage creep” once they finally positioned the rest stops and finalized the route

We had dinner at Two Brothers Roundhouse with Rita Barksdale, who came in from Virginia to ride with us. David leant her one of his spare steeds, and she also had bonus miles because she couldn’t decide which route to ride and freelanced her way to the shorter route after deciding the metric century was biting off more than she could chew on a borrowed bike.

Rita Barksdale, me, David, and Kate Cogswell after everyone finished.

I came in earlier than the others so I had the fun of cheering for people crossing the line and dancing by myself to the musical stylings of an okay Heart/Styx/Cheap Trick cover band. I ached the next day more from all the gyrating on a hard surface than a piddly little 14 mile ride. I’m way out of training, and also I stubbed my toe badly on Saturday so I didn’t want to risk losing the toenail. Ugh.

It was good to see friends that we hadn’t been with in years; I spent a lot of time jabbering with Eric Christy, who used to be a chairperson of the planning committee. We groused quite a bit about how things were organized for this first year back post-Covid, but we weren’t involved in planning (in previous years David was on the planning committee and headed Team Red Chicago). We’ve all drawn back the last few years.

Attendance was down; the event was moved to September from June during Covid when they thought there was still a chance of putting on an in-person event the first year. In 2019 we had a rainout due to a severe thunderstorm that forced a cancellation as we were all ready to start; it’s severely impacted the Tour de Cure ever since.

You can still donate to my fundraiser for a month, here’s the link if interested.

Ride With Ginny

Anyway, I wore my Red Rider jersey and yelled “Go Red Rider” every time I saw someone else wearing one, but it was so cold and windy that I had my windbreaker on for the first half of the ride. So I didn’t hear any callouts in kind.

I have to get serious about riding and nutrition again, because for the last few years I’ve been really slack on doing regular blood glucose tests and my weight has crept up. So after my experience last week, feeling sort of let down, I decided to start testing consistently again.

And it’s clear my numbers have crept up again along with my weight. I seem to go into remission when I’m fitter, so it’s time to get my indoor trainer tidied up and figure out how to get Zwift started again.

I prefer indoor riding to outdoor, anyway; I get more consistent results and I completely avoid issues with road-riding nerves.

I do want to continue having birthdays as it’s kind of a requirement for living. As I’ve reached the advanced age that confers Medicare coverage (yes, I signed up) and I see and hear my friends’ stories of various health problems, it seems like a dumb idea to ride the couch instead of my bike.

Also, in November we’re going to Shit Lake Salty to help my niece Holly celebrate a big birthday and her retirement (she’s a VA nurse-practitioner muckety-muck of some kind, goes to international conferences sometimes). My whole family will be there so I’d like to be looking and feeling fitter. Need to get a few things done before then, too

I may not like celebrating my own birthday, but it’ll be fun helping Holly celebrate hers. Many happy returns!

On Birthdays, And Continuing To Have Them

More than a week ago, it was my birthday, so once again, what is it to me?

Wedding at The Alps, Boulder Canyon Inn September 6, 1997

25 years ago, at a very advanced and nearly-spinsterly age, I married the love of my life, David. We met in Colorado, and a little more than a year later, we got married in Colorado, at a B&B that’s now closed and for sale. Much has changed since this photo was taken – my mom on the left died in 2006, and my mother-in-law Leah died in 2012. The Alps closed a few years ago; we stopped by on our June road trip to Colorado and spent a rather sad hour walking around seeing if the owners were there to condole with. We had stayed there a half-dozen times over the years and in its prime, it was the nicest B&B on the Western Slope, IMNSHO.

The Alps Boulder Canyon Inn – closed but not forgotten

So it was my birthday, and I’m not having it. Meaning, I didn’t want to make plans, or be the center of attention. And yet attention is insisting on being paid, as my in-laws dropped by with a card and their cat in a carrier (their house is on the market and was being shown).

Linda and the Aged Person

This is Linda, my step-MIL, and me looking about how you do on 20 minutes’ notice that company is coming and maybe one might want to brush hair and put something on other than pajamas. So I chose my “unicorn travel consultant” T-shirt because I’m all about formality and shit. Gracie the cat stayed in her carrier, she’s somewhat grouchy on decanting and would deffo be disenchanted to be encanted after only about an hour.

Sheldon, my pop-in-law, brought Dunkin because he had a gift card.

I was all set to have a nice lazy Saturday morning, bloggity blathering about my natal day indifference, when we got the call. WBEZ was comfortably into Saturday Edition, we had coffee, I had my lap desk and iPad and wireless keyboard set, WordPress set, and… “ring ring, can we drop something off for the birthday person in about half an hour?”

There was consternation, vigorous miming of reluctance, eventual acceptance, and then David leapt heroically into the shower while I bustled around finding something to wear and tidying the living room.

I’ve been very, very anti-social this year, some of which I detailed in a recent blogpost, but when they arrived, they had Gracie in a carrier and just wanted to hug, hand off the card, and go sit in their car at Dunkin and wait while the realtor showed a prospective buyer around their house. I came out to see Gracie, barefoot on a cool, autumnal day, and thought “Oh, for hell’s sake, why not just make coffee?” They brandished Dunkin Donuts gift cards and said they weren’t planning on staying. I suggested that I could make a pot of coffee, they could go get donuts, and come back to hang out in comfort, with Gracie in the carrier.

It worked out fine. By the time they got back I had a coffee tray all set up with creamer and mugs and a carafe, and even a bottle of Bailey’s that I usually set out on Christmas brunch. What the hell, socializing isn’t so bad even for a near-recluse. So they came, and we had a pleasant time discussing the sale of houses and the renovation of houses, and now they’re off home to wait to hear if there will be an offer or not.

Today’s plan: have to get some stuff together to go down to Aurora for the Tour de Cure, which I’ve been very quiet about this year, too. I spent the last 5 years begging for donations to my fundraiser for TdC and this year…. I just didn’t want to keep begging on Facebook or at church, didn’t want to go to church at all, didn’t want to post anything on Facebook at all, and so on. I do have some gift checks to log. The ride is tomorrow and I haven’t ridden more than a few miles this year, because Reasons.

UPDATE, a week later, because I had some important reclusing to do.

Eric Spade, Laurie Scheffers, Carlos Gravis, and me. PICKLE JUICE

Tour de Cure was Sunday, September 25th, but the night before, we went down to Aurora to stay overnight because David was riding the metric century and had an early start. He ended up riding 67.49 miles – he said “bonus miles” which usually means a) he made a wrong turn or b) the official route had “mileage creep” once they finally positioned the rest stops and finalized the route

We had dinner at Two Brothers Roundhouse with Rita Barksdale, who came in from Virginia to ride with us. David leant her one of his spare steeds, and she also had bonus miles because she couldn’t decide which route to ride and freelanced her way to the shorter route after deciding the metric century was biting off more than she could chew on a borrowed bike.

Rita Barksdale, me, David, and Kate Cogswell after everyone finished.

I came in earlier than the others so I had the fun of cheering for people crossing the line and dancing by myself to the musical stylings of an okay Heart/Styx/Cheap Trick cover band. I ached the next day more from all the gyrating on a hard surface than a piddly little 14 mile ride. I’m way out of training, and also I stubbed my toe badly on Saturday so I didn’t want to risk losing the toenail. Ugh.

It was good to see friends that we hadn’t been with in years; I spent a lot of time jabbering with Eric Christy, who used to be a chairperson of the planning committee. We groused quite a bit about how things were organized for this first year back post-Covid, but we weren’t involved in planning (in previous years David was on the planning committee and headed Team Red Chicago). We’ve all drawn back the last few years.

Attendance was down; the event was moved to September from June during Covid when they thought there was still a chance of putting on an in-person event the first year. In 2019 we had a rainout due to a severe thunderstorm that forced a cancellation as we were all ready to start; it’s severely impacted the Tour de Cure ever since.

You can still donate to my fundraiser for a month, here’s the link if interested.

Ride With Ginny

Anyway, I wore my Red Rider jersey and yelled “Go Red Rider” every time I saw someone else wearing one, but it was so cold and windy that I had my windbreaker on for the first half of the ride. So I didn’t hear any callouts in kind.

I have to get serious about riding and nutrition again, because for the last few years I’ve been really slack on doing regular blood glucose tests and my weight has crept up. So after my experience last week, feeling sort of let down, I decided to start testing consistently again.

And it’s clear my numbers have crept up again along with my weight. I seem to go into remission when I’m fitter, so it’s time to get my indoor trainer tidied up and figure out how to get Zwift started again.

I prefer indoor riding to outdoor, anyway; I get more consistent results and I completely avoid issues with road-riding nerves.

I do want to continue having birthdays as it’s kind of a requirement for living. As I’ve reached the advanced age that confers Medicare coverage (yes, I signed up) and I see and hear my friends’ stories of various health problems, it seems like a dumb idea to ride the couch instead of my bike.

Also, in November we’re going to Shit Lake Salty to help my niece Holly celebrate a big birthday and her retirement (she’s a VA nurse-practitioner muckety-muck of some kind, goes to international conferences sometimes). My whole family will be there so I’d like to be looking and feeling fitter. Need to get a few things done before then, too

I may not like celebrating my own birthday, but it’ll be fun helping Holly celebrate hers. Many happy returns!

Need a laugh? Behold the ‘Staches of Santa Clara Men’s Cross Country Team

The Santa Clara Men’s Cross Country team is a glorious sight to behold. The team’s headshots have recently been circulating across social media, and the goofy photos — all featuring some sort of ridiculous mustache — are a huge hit. The East Bay Times explains: The growing of mustaches for team photo day is a…
— Read on boingboing.net/2022/09/28/the-santa-clara-mens-cross-country-team-photos-are-a-glorious-sight-to-behold.html