Hello in there, hello
One of the sweetest, rarest gifts you can give anyone is just a quality of unhurried, undistracted attention that notices and honors the basic humanity in them.
One of the biggest obstacles is that you have to be able to filter out a lot of your own mental chatter in order to offer that quality of presence to someone else.
It’s me, not you
On the matter of the change in email subscription systems, you didn’t miss the confirmation link. I haven’t sent it yet.
one star, piece of junk
I was hotfooting around in my new walking shoes, as pleased as could be, when came the sharp “snap” of my trash claw breaking in half. The wires that connect the trigger mechanism to the grabber mechanism just wore out, even though they were new four months ago. So much for full speed ahead into a new year of litter-picking.
In the claw’s defense, it withstood 125 hours of constant use before succumbing to its ailment. If you figure that use (conservatively) at two openings and closings per minute for 125 hours, that means the claw opened and closed 15,000 times before breaking. I suppose I will not leave a scathing review for this $10 item on Amazon.
(Speaking of Amazon reviews, I believe my favorite negative ones are those in which you get both the reviewer’s indignation and enough hints, through the imprecision and inapplicability of the words chosen, that he or she has utterly misunderstood the product’s purpose and how one would use it. Chef’s kiss.)
New year, new me!
One can gain a certain sardonic cachet by dumping on the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but I’m all for whatever makes people think they are capable of trying something different for a while. If a person’s cycle ends up being that they only do that for two weeks every January, that’s probably better than never doing it at all.
Back to the bloggy days
While I wait for the age of social media to run its course (I’ll be waiting, and waiting…), I hunger for a return to the olden (early 2000s) days of blogging.
Instead of centralized, monetized, socially engineered platforms we were all pushing our updates onto, there were different sites you’d visit for different things. Discovering a new voice you enjoyed and bookmarking the site so you could check in periodically to get that person’s take on things had the feeling of visiting a friend in their living room. One blogger linking out to another was a vote of confidence, and these links made up a quirky, human, algorithm-free discovery engine for further reading.
The systems we have today feel more like everyone gathering at the town square to holler at each other all the time. Some good comes of it, but it usually feels like no one benefits as much as Mark Zuckerberg does.
Of course, if you had asked someone back in the good old days, I guess blogging was probably the worst thing that had happened up to that point.
Follow-up to “Friendship built of bread” from November:
The latest Christmas morning delivery of baked goods to neighbors’ doors brought a different neighbor to our door raving about a particular item, which has now resulted in a special delivery of a bonus batch to that neighbor. We’ve got a whole thing going here.
You really have to be careful about giving me even the slightest bit of encouragement.
Thanks to a reader in Redding for contributing toward this year’s hosting costs.