from Dino’s Journal 📖

It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

~ Address of the Holy Father John Paul II – 15th World Youth Day


This post is Day 75 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #Bookmarks #Spirituality #100DaysToOffload


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from Roscoe's Notebook

Full-Radio Saturday

It's good to hear The National Anthem played by a college band before a football game. Of course it was done virtually, and I'm following the game over the radio so I don't have to see anyone disrespecting. Still, it's nice to hear.

Ohio State kicks off, Nebraska has the ball, and the game is underway.

This will be a full-radio Saturday for me. I'll be following college football games on the radio all day long, purposefully avoiding those obnoxious political ads that are EVERYWHERE on TV.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 24 October 2020, ~11:15 CDT, this is my post number 95/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #RoscoeEllis #microblog #SeniorLiving #Saturday

 
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from kmwallio

I found my old journal. It's embarrassing and interesting to read. Reading your own thoughts and hearing you own voice are pretty similar. They're both embarrassing.

I was pretty big into Harry Potter at the time. One of the things that brought a smile to my face was the journal was about Finding 5 Magical Moments everyday. Not life changing magical—one of the moments was about the perfect fall colored leaf. The journal project was called “Finding Magic in the Little Things.”

Rereading it makes me wonder when I stopped looking. From my journal, it sounds like a breakup 😅. The journal starts off with me moving to Seattle and exploring the area. Adventures to Pike's Place, my first fall in Seattle, and finding new coffee shops are most of the magical moments.

Gradually, I started writing about friends and becoming more than friends. Then the writing stops.

I stopped writing and journaling for a while after that. You should never let someone else define you magic.

I knew I wanted to journal again. I've thrown away journals in the past only to buy a new one. I think I kept this one because it's a limited edition Moleskine. Looking for the magic was another thing I wanted to keep doing. I just didn't want to write anything new down and have it turn into a painful memory.

With the world as it is right now, I'm going to start looking for the magic again. It's too easy to be mean and find something to dislike. Appreciation seems hard to find and give.

This past week I found out I'll be able to stop taking medicine soon. I also made Milk Bread for the first time. It was delicious. I also found my old journal and remembered to find magic in the little things.

Day 3 of #100DaysToOffload #findingMagicInTheLittleThings

 
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from Dino’s Journal 📖

It's been over a month since my last music log. What with the digital declutter and all. Anyway, it's time for another one. I've got two hard hitting head-bang inducing rock songs in this music log. Both tracks deliver great messages to their listeners. Let's get started.

First up is the song “Justified” by one of my favorite bands, A Day To Remember. This song is a great reminder for all of us to stop being judgemental of other people. Especially those with a different set of beliefs than ours. If your set of beliefs or religion has you looking down at other people who believe differently, then there's something wrong there.

Just as an example, Jesus said, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” Note that He didn't say to love them only if they believe what you believe. He said to love them as you love yourself.

Anyway, I don't want to sound like I'm preaching in this music log. Here are some of the song's lyrics. This is a great rock song from start to finish.

Burn me alive If you feel that's justified I need more than faith To see you on the other side, the other side

Can you hear me? The lowly one Do ya fear me? You righteous ones

Song links:


Second song for today is “In Between” by Beartooth. This is a good, hard rock, anthemic and uplifting track. It delivers a great message to listeners.

Life's so dark when every day is a struggle why go out and see the world on fire Don't let your mindset become what controls you Speak right now and make the choice to grow

Don't run away, run away, run away Don't run away, run away, run away (Run!) Up on the mountain I see down below It's easy to lose yourself I know Can't hear what you're shouting, I'm deaf to your show It's easy to lose your self control Everybody gets high, everybody gets low Life can be such overdose Up on the mountain I see down below It's easy to lose yourself I know in the in between Oh! In the in between

My favorite part of this song is the bridge. They captured this moment really well in the music video. You can see that the vocalist has given up and starts drowning. But help is on the way and what a relief that is to see.

I won't let pain get in my way I can't have silence claiming me We have strength in numbers, strength in numbers To get us through the day

Everyone battles their own demons in life. Whether that be addiction, anxiety, depression, sickness, whatever it may be, keep on fighting! Don't let suicide be your only way out. Find other people in the same predicament as you. Find other people who can pull you out of the darkness that you're in. And if all that fails, look up. Help is there, when you need it. Just don't give up.

No compromises to be made, this is a war we're gonna win We have strength in numbers, strength in numbers To get us through the day

Song links:

And that's it for today. I hope y'all have a good weekend.


This post is Day 74 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #MusicLog #ADayToRemember #Beartooth #PostHardcore #100DaysToOffload


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from Nate Dickson Thinks...

This year has been hard enough on the face of it, but for some reason I have come up with a number of ways to make it even harder on myself. This wasn't really intentional; most bad habits aren't.

Some part of my mind has decided that “the past” has nothing to teach me, because nobody else in my lifetime has had to deal with all of this. But that's a very myopic view. True, this is the first worldwide pandemic in living memory, but not the first one in our history. My parents had to live with a very different looming threat: that of sudden, unexplained nuclear annihilation. We look back on the cold war era with a little bit of amusement now, but that's because we know how it “ended”, even though it hasn't.

And worse than that, I've been cutting myself off from comforts; mostly, again, unconsciously. I think about watching a movie or reading a book and thinking “but how can that make me feel better if it doesn't directly address our current problems?” and the answer, of course is that it doesn't address our current problems. I'm sheltering in place, I'm wearing a mask when I go shopping, I've voted, I'm doing all I can to be a good neighbor and keep my family and community safe. It's okay to take my brain off the hook once in a while and think about things that aren't the here and now.

So I'm trying to let myself listen to more old music, watch TV shows from happier times (or at least shows that portray the past as a happier time) and let my mind take some refuge from the current world. The world will still be there with all its attendant problems when I get back, I can take a little break.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

#100DaysToOffload 46/100

 
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from Roscoe's Notebook

Now... and Then

CIC2020

NOW: This morning I registered for the Catholic Identity Conference 2020 which is taking place this weekend. The event is being live-streamed and I'll be watching many of the speakers as they give their presentations. The whole thing is being recorded so those parts I miss live I'll be able to catch later.

THEN: Several decades ago when I was younger, when I drove (I no longer drive – eyesight is shot, you know), and when I had the time and health to do such things, I attended many conferences similar to this in person. I found them in Chicago, in Louisville, different venues in Ohio, all Midwestern cities to which I could easily drive, check into a hotel and spend the weekend. Great experiences I remember fondly.

Times have changed now and so have I. And I find myself looking forward to this weekend's Conference enthusiastically.

The adventure continues.


Published on 23 October 2020, ~11:15 CDT, this is my post number 94/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #RoscoeEllis #microblog #SeniorLiving

 
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from Simbly Me

Day 29

I gravitated towards toot tui for its simplicity and have been on it mostly even on Elementary and Artix. Toot is great if your timeline is slow. There are times when the timeline gets flooded (I really wish people would use unlisted for replies but I am not sure if other toot clients respect mastodon settings either. toot tui does [1] ) and since there's no visual indicator for new toots and given how toots are organized on toot tui, its a chore going through the timeline. The last time I was checking out native apps for mastodon, Tootle seemed abandoned. Their stable build is still broken and crashes upon loading but the git build (alpha) doesn't have that issue. I have been on Tootle since yesterday and things have been pretty smooth so far. I tooted as soon as I jumped on it.

Since then, I have resolved the emoji issue by installing Noto Emoji fonts from the arch repository. The instance specific emoticons like the one in my name :artix: is not supported yet. Those don't show up on firefox tab headers too. I haven't checked if anybody else has found a solution for it yet but that's not worth losing sleep over. The preferences are sparse with dark theme toggle, default post visibility, streaming behavior for timelines, how many posts appear on the page and the text size. Multiple accounts are supported. One can check out their Favorites, Bookmarks and Lists and Refresh the timeline manually if required. It's a good idea to not let the public timeline stream and refresh it manually to save on resources and avoid tootle from freezing up occasionally.

Even though the git build is in Alpha, Tootle is a capable mastodon client and has no issues for daily use. I would love it if tootle added multiple columns for different timelines but it's fully functional otherwise as well. Here's an obligatory screenshot.


[1] update: I was under the impression that the default reply mode and toot mode was a mastodon setting but it's an exclusive setting in iOS app Toot!. Apologies.

Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

 
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from Dino’s Journal 📖

During my second digital declutter, I found that I had a lot more time to tinker with my websites. And so I did. Here are some of the updates I've made to this site during that time.

Blazor WASM Search App

I've got a new Search app for this journal. It is a Blazor Web Assembly app. So, basically a .NET app written in C# that runs as a client-side web application. And it loads much faster than my previous Search app hosted on Glitch. That's because it is a static site hosted on Netlify. Which means it's always up and running. There is an initial load where your browser downloads the .NET DLLs. But after that, it should load pretty quickly next time you use it.

You can find the source code for it here.


Removed Random Post Link

I took away the link to get a Random post from this journal. I did so because it had a slot machine feel to it. Watching The Social Dilemma reminded me of the slot machine nature of it. But my main reason for removing it, was because it took so long to load at times. This stood in stark contrast to how fast this Write.as powered site loads. I can redo it as a Blazor Web Assembly app, but that's not a priority right now. Maybe something to tinker with in the future.

Did anyone by chance like using it? If so, let me know using the reply links below.

While editing this post, I just thought of a new way to implement it. Instead of getting all my posts from Write.as and then deciding in random which one to return — I can get the contents of my static Archive page and pick a random post from the links on there to return. Pulling the contents off one page and picking a random post, should be way faster than pulling all posts and picking a page in random.


I've started adding reply links at the bottom of my posts. It's an idea I picked up from some bloggers I've seen on micro.blog. Most notably from Ben Crowder's blog. If you open one of his blog posts, you'll see what I mean at the end of his posts.

In my case, you should see a link to reply by leaving me a message, or by sending me an email. The reply link to send me an email gets extra functionality if you have Javascript enabled — it will actually add the title of the post as the mailto subject. If you didn't have JavaScript enabled, then you'll just get a plain mailto link.


This post is Day 73 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #SiteUpdates #Blogging #100DaysToOffload


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from Mike Stone

We’ve been using our phones to ask for information for almost as long as there have been phones. Modern phones have taken this to a new level by having automated assistants answer our questions and even anticipate our needs. The problem so far has been that these assistants don’t necessarily respect our privacy when they’re telling us the weather.

Phones have always been a logical source of information for their users. If you don’t know something, you ask someone else. If they don’t know, you ask someone else. Your phone is an obvious way to extend the reach of the circle of people you can ask questions. People will ask questions ranging from the mundane like what a person’s phone number is, to the more complicated. I remember calling Information when I was in college to get the volume of our campus Field House. I didn’t expect an answer, but was pretty surprised when they only wanted to know if I wanted it in cubic feet or meters. Meters of course. I’m an American but I’m not a savage.

When smart phones arrived, it made obvious sense to even go beyond asking people on the phone to asking the phone itself. After all, the phone had access to the Internet, and the Internet has access to almost everything.

Apple made a lot of noise after it purchased Siri in 2010 and integrated it with iOS. Of course, Apple wasn’t the first to do this, but they probably took it further than other companies at the time had. Google wasn’t far behind, and soon there were offerings from other companies, like Samsung and Microsoft.

Privacy has always been a concern with these assistants though. To make them respond to a keyword, they need to be listening to their surroundings all the time. The companies that are making them do not have your best interests at heart when it comes to your privacy. Google and Amazon barely pretend, and while Apple makes a good show, I have no belief that they wouldn’t sell their customers down the river if it would make them a few extra bucks.

So, what are our options?

Admittedly, at this point they’re very limited. I’ve written about Mycroft quite a lot, and I’m a huge fan. Up until now, it’s been limited to computers and the Mark 1, but now seems like a perfect time to get into the mobile space.

The new Mycroft GUI designed around the Mark 2 is coming out, and it was brought up by daver98 the other day on Fosstodon, wondering if it could be used on the PinePhone. I don’t have the phone right now, but it is on order and I’m looking forward to getting it. Pine64 also has a Linux based tablet and computer. They’re inexpensive and privacy respecting. I recently received my PineTab, and I’ve been enjoying playing with it. It’s obviously a first offering, but it’s still pretty decent for the $120 American.

daver98’s question inspired me to give Mycroft a try on my PineTab, and it actually works, no modifications, from the defaults Linux instructions on the Mycroft site. I’m using Mobian as the OS on the device, which is a Debian based OS with a mobile focus, and it uses the Phosh shell from Purism. Because of it’s Debian roots the installation of Mycroft was pretty simple. I followed the instructions from the site.

git clone https://github.com/MycroftAI/mycroft-core.git
cd mycroft-core
bash dev_setup.sh

I declined doing the local Mimic build after it failed on me a couple times. No errors, but locked up during a compile. Mycroft will work without a local copy of Mimic, but having it would be better for a tablet.

The GUI is a bit of a different story. Mobian worked great for the installation of Mycroft Core, but the GUI is based on QT. Phosh and Mobian in general is not. I tried the installation anyway, and there was just a ton of stuff that needed to be installed. The installation of the GUI is very similar to the Mycroft Core installation:

git clone https://github.com/mycroftai/mycroft-gui
cd mycroft-gui
bash dev_setup.sh

That’s fine if you’re on a desktop, and really fine if you’re using KDE, but after the dev_setup.sh started, I experienced hours of downloads and compiles and crashes. I’m still not 100% confident it won’t work, but as of now it’s not working.

I feel like this is so close to being a workable solution. I would love to see Pine64 and Mycroft work together to create a privacy respecting mobile personal assistant. Maybe moving from Phosh to Plasma Mobile would ease some of the library overload and make things work a little more smoothly. Some improved hardware would be a real benefit too. There’s just not enough oomph in this version of the PineTab to drive its apps and all the components that Mycroft needs to work efficiently.

If you’ve got a Pinephone and you’re willing to give this a shot, I’d love to hear from you about how your experience went. Hopefully, Mycroft and Pine64 can get something going together in the near future. To me, they seem like a match made in Heaven.

Day 91 of the #100DaysToOffload Series.

 
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from Roscoe's Notebook

Mystery solved!

two missing pills

When I took my morning health metrics today, as I do every day, I was curious about my blood pressure reading. It was higher than normal. Not scary high, mind you, but significantly up from my norm. And I couldn't understand why that should be. Now I wonder no longer.

When I took my Thursday morning meds a few minutes ago I noticed that there were still two tablets remaining in the Wednesday morning pill box. And one of those is prescribed primarily to keep my blood pressure down. Doh! Apparently I failed to unload them yesterday.

I'll have to watch that, won't I? Yes. Yes I will.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 22 October 2020, ~10:45 CDT, this is my post number 93/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #RoscoeEllis #microblog

 
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from kmwallio

I'm a fan of the phrase, “It's better to ask forgiveness than permission”. I'm not sure how well that works out in the real world, but I'm a fan.

For projects at work, there's a legal team. If anything goes wrong, the company is in trouble. I've been told when you get into open source, the first thing to do is register an LLC. I don't have an LLC yet 😨.

Did you know GtkSpell has a patent concern section on their site? These types of things interest me, and ignite a fire of fear within. I always thought Open Source was the land of the free and the do what you want with it. The more I look into it, the more I want to remain in corporate development environments.

The road to ruin is paved with good intentions, is a phrase I'm not a fan of. It's also the phrase I feel I've been acting on.

I've found that a lot of developers (open or closed source) are pretty open to communication. Like asking for a recipe at a restaurant, it's sometimes awkward. If the chef gives you the recipe, you're ecstatic.

Communication isn't just for getting the secret sauce or permission, it's also so someone will possibly say “Stop” before it's too late. Not that hopes offer legal protection.

I've been having a lot of fun working on open source though. In a time of quarantine, it's been fun finding new communities.

My company these past few months has been Persona 5 Royal. I'm on the final month of the game... it's all ending too soon, and I need to reconnect with real people 😝. I'm just kidding on that last part.

To be completely honest, trying to find a sense of purpose during the Coronavirus has been tough. Communication and work in the open source community has been somewhat checking off that box.

Day 2 of #100DaysToOffload

 
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from Dino’s Journal 📖

This post first appeared on my dev blog at dinobansigan.com. It was published back in 01/28/2019. I've updated the post and moved it here as it was not really a software development or tech related post.


A few days ago I heard an ad on TV that said something like, “people say less is more, but more is REALLY MORE!” Obviously, the intent of that ad is to get you to spend more money. We live in a world where people are judged by their material possessions. The narrative being, if you have more, then you are living a better life compared to everyone else around you. That is ridiculous.

The older I get the more I really believe that less is more. Dan Erickson wrote a post about focusing on the “less is more” mindset. It is an absolutely wonderful read.

So often we want more. We have been trained to think more is better. More money. More stuff. More success. But this idea of getting and doing more often gets in the way of our goals. ~ Dan Erickson

Visit Original Post: Sometimes It’s the Things We Leave Out

When I wrote this back in 2019, I was mostly thinking in terms of material possessions. Fast forward to today and I can't help but think that the “less is more” mindset, is also applicable to my online activities. One thing I learned during this second digital declutter, is that I definitely had too much going on with all my online activities. I mean I had five websites that I was trying to maintain for crying out loud.


This post is Day 72 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #Bookmarks #SelfImprovement #DanErickson #100DaysToOffload


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from Nate Dickson Thinks...

I've done NaNoWriMo every year since 2008, and I have “won” (meaning I have written 50,000 words in one month on a single project) every year as well. So I'm doing it again! Last year I wrote my novel “in the open” on my (now defunct) private write.as instance. This time I've created a little blog for my project this year. I don't have a real title for the novel yet, so I'm calling it Exchange Magic, because that's the idea that sparked this year's novel.

I'm taking things a slightly different direction this year as well. I've been writing a lot of more serious sci-fi for the past few years, including a moderately dystopian novel, but 2020 just ain't the year for dystopia. This year I'm looking more at a young-adult novel, with lighter themes and...just...happier.

Probably. I have very little planned out so far. NaNoWriMo tends to jokingly categorize writers into three categories:

  • Planner: Someone who has everything planned out as they go into it.
  • Pantser: Someone who just flies by the seat of their pants.
  • Plantser: Someone right between the other two.

I've been all three, from time to time. But this year:

I have a slight concept of an outline, an idea of what I want to do. But I don't actually have a whole plot treatment laid out. And I'm kind of excited to try it this way for the year.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

#100DaysToOffload 45/100

#NaNoWriMo

 
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from acererak

Day 36

When life gets rough I close my eyes Then I wake here

Sitting cross legged I feel the waterfall on my back The warm sun and brilliant sky before me

The weight of each droplet hurts A thrumming pummeling wave Travels over my head neck Slamming down my back

I don't try to end the torrent Breathing slowly, letting go I embrace this

Pieces of my body start to chip away Slow at first, then quicker and quicker Collapsing into the water

Soon I am nothing Just colors swirling in a pool below a waterfall

Somehow I can still feel Somehow I can still see Somehow I can grow and so I do

I let myself reach out Let myself find warmth Following that heat Until I find the source

There at the hot spring I relax and let myself coalesce until I form into something like me again

Not the broken mass struggling under a torrent But A new person having survived it


I don't do that visualization as much as I used to. But so many times I would be in board rooms or giving a talk. The eyes of people looking or when I misspoke seeing how my words missed the mark. Id go back to a cube or an open space, my small designated corner of the world. I'd put my head in my hands and I would see the above poem.

Life can be so hard sometimes and I know it could always be worse but I have this nagging feeling. That this life isn't how things should be. You shouldn't work years for the privilege of baseline economic security.

Why can't I just become a doctor or poet or artist because I want to. Where is my time and choice? Why does it always have to be so one sided.

People are kaleidoscopes In a world that frowns on colors

100DaysToOffload, visit and write more

#100DaysToOffload #Poetry #Poem

 
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from ego echo

Nu het werk in de bieb een beetje anders wordt gepland dan normaal, is mijn dagritme als vanzelf ook anders (joh?). Daarom zit ik nu haast smekend de regenwolken te verzoeken heel even ergens anders hun buien te botvieren, dan kan ik zo de dagelijkse ronde door de supermarkt maken. Ik heb besloten dat dit bijna hemels genot gecombineerd wordt met een rondje door het park. Zo net na de regen loop ik daar graag. Waarschijnlijk is het dan rustig (hoewel) en komen de vogels ook weer uit hun schuilplaatsen. De bomen druppelen na, plassen moeten worden ontweken met alle sociaal onhandige capriolen van dien – probeer al slalommend maar afstand te houden van tegenliggers en meelopers.

Ik moet eerlijk toegeven dat mijn extreem commerciële handelsgeest de grijze, druilerige dagen toejuicht. Het is duidelijk te merken dat de gedichtkaarten (met beeld van TUHBA) dan beter verkopen. Maar hé, die netto 10 cent per kaart die eraan wordt verdiend kom ik ook wel weer te boven als de zon zich weer laat zien. Wat nu zowaar gebeurt, al is het met grote twijfel.

Twijfel, ook zoiets. De twijfelachtigheid van een koningspaar dat nu in een video excuses aanbiedt. Wederom, het is heus te waarderen dat ze het doen, maar je zou toch mogen verwachten dat mensen in die rol bezinnen eer ze beginnen. Het geeft alleen maar aan dat er een dikke, vette kloof zit tussen het gepeupel en het royale leven. Gepeupel. Dan is de stap naar popi-pope klein. Gezellig handen schudden en geen mondneuskap op. Tel je zegeningen en doe er maar een gratis aerosooltje bij. Goed bezig. Het is welbeschouwd niet heel gek dat er zoveel onrust is wanneer bepalende personen zelf schijt hebben aan alles en iedereen.

Nou, zoals gezegd, een rondje door het park en dan terug met wat boodschappen. Even een frisse loopneus halen.

#waanvandedag #pope #royalty #100DaysToOffload #zon #kaart

 
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from Dino’s Journal 📖

My second digital declutter officially ends tomorrow. There's a lot to unpack from this latest declutter, but that will come in time. This post is to address some changes I'm making going forward.

First — I'm tentatively setting this journal back to Public. This means my posts will once again show up on the read.write.as feed. But...

Second — I'm no longer going to check the read.write.as feed. So, if you respond to a post of mine with a post that shows up on the feed, I have no way of knowing about it. For any questions, comments or concerns, I highly suggest leaving me a message or sending me an email. There's also some more ways of reaching me listed in my Contact page.

It is unfortunate, since I was one of those who happily participated in conversations over the read.write.as feed. But for now, I'm choosing to prioritize my mental health over it. I'm doing this for my own sanity.

Third — I'm going to start experimenting with micro-posts or short untitled posts on this journal. I don't think this journal has a lot of readers, but if you are one and this change somehow affects you, I want to understand why. Please leave me a message or send me an email at your earliest convenience.

Lastly, and this is not a change but a public service announcement. I just realized that if you are an email subscriber, and you reply to one of the subscription emails sent from dino@writeasletters.com, note that I will not receive your reply.

It would have been fine if your email bounced back with an error, but it does not, I just tried earlier.

So, again the best way to reach me is by leaving me a message or sending me an email.


This post is Day 71 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #Blogging #100DaysToOffload


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from kmwallio

Is Pumpkin the Spice of Life?

I know, Starbucks started the Pumpkin Spice season back in August this year. It's 2020, and that still feels like yesterday.

My friends call the season basic, but I love it. I am also a firm believer that Pumpkin is the Spice of Life.

Track with me now.

Fall is when you cozy up with a book to read. Writers are in cafes hiding from the rain in Seattle. Cinnamon fills the air. Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks.

But what does this have to do with Pumpkin being the Spice of Life? Well, Pumpkin Spice season starts in August. NaNoWriMo is in November. NaNoWriMo is when thousands of people are writing stories and creating life. The next Holiday season of drinks doesn't start until November 7th.

Coincidence, I think not.

This means seasonal coffee drinkers have already written 25% of their novel on Pumpkin Spice. “But Miles,” you may be inclined to ask, “what about the other 75%?” Well, if success is 80% to 90% of work, then technically, after Preptober, at most 20% of the novel remains.

At a minimum, seasonal coffee drinker novels are powered by 85% Pumpkin Spice. There's a high probability your favorite character's life owes some credit to Pumpkin Spice. It's basic math.

And when I say coffee, it's any seasonal Pumpkin Spice beverage.

Without cafes to frequent this year, I've been using my home espresso machine a lot. I've gone through 3 bottles of Pumpkin Spice syrup 🤭. I was looking forward to taking a photo of a latte poured into one of those small pumpkins, but the Pumpkin Patch didn't have any this year. I did get a large pumpkin, so I'm wondering if a photo of a pumpkin filled with Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew would communicate the same amount of Pumpkin Spice Love...

Anyways, I'm Miles, thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to joining the Write.as community.

Day 1 of #100DaysToOffload

 
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from Simbly Me

Day 28

This will be a short post. I have to kill this earworm. When I have a song in my head, it typically runs for a week at least. I will sometimes hum it to death or play it couple of times till I am bored. This one refuses to leave. My current earworm is 'Baawra Mann' from the movie 'Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi'. The original song plays towards the end of this movie. The video starts with the first line of a famous poem by Ghalib.

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle (Thousands of desires, all worth dying for I have fulfilled many but so few were fulfilled)

Apart from the original sung by Swanand Kirkire, this cover by Darshana Rajendran is what I love the most.

Pretty song. Please leave.

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from ego echo

Dan lees ik dit Milieuorganisaties vrezen toename 'zwerfkapjes' (NOS.nl) en dan denk ik: domme kop. Op deze manier wordt het hele zwerfkapjesprobleem weggezet als probleem voor klimaatgekkies; de mensen, zoals ik, die zich druk maken om de vuilnisbak waarin we leven. Volgens mij mis je dan de doelgroep je zou moeten adresseren. En dat is een beetje dom.

Precies de mensen die geen reet geven om waar ze hun teringzooi neergooien, dat zijn de mensen die dit probleem veroorzaken. Maar door zo'n kop voelen zij zich niet aangesproken. Niet hun probleem, maar dat van de klimaatdrammers. Een betere kop zou dan naar mijn idee zijn: Achterlijke idioten die hun puinzooi op straat flikkeren krijgen als beloning alleen nog plasticsoep op een bedje van zongedroogde tweedehands mondkapjes te vreten. Maar ja, dat zullen wel teveel woorden zijn voor een pakkende kop. Sowieso moet je er geen woorden meer aan vuil maken, de wereld is al smerig genoeg. Dus daarom: stok- en zweepslagen, schoktherapie en eventueel een langzame doodstraf. Hoewel, dat laatste is natuurlijk overdreven – tergend traag uitsterven is door dit gedrag al een garantie, tenslotte.

Ja joh, ik maak me er maar weer druk om. Zo las ik op een onderzoekswebsite dat de mens met z'n oeverloze geconsumeer (en dus afval) ervoor zal zorgen dat uiteindelijk 74% van al het land in vlammen op zal gaan. Dat is op zich best een knappe prestatie, zeg zelf. Blakerend van trots groeten zij u die sterven gaan. Oh, maar wacht, het tij kan nog worden gekeerd hoor, heus! Nope. Gaat niet gebeuren. Too little, too late. Dikke doei.

Het goede nieuws dan. De nacht verliep sinds lang weer eens zonder paniek. Gewoon fijn een uurtje of drie knorren, wakker worden en dan in de spiraal van waanbeelden, slapen, waken, halfslaap, dromen tot de ochtend haar geluiden brengt. Om dan nog heel even weg te zakken, wakker te schrikken en te beseffen dat opstaan nog steeds een optie is.

Inmiddels is het tijd mijn mondneuskap op te zetten en mij te begeven richting boodschappenland en onderweg net te doen of ik het allemaal niet zie.

#waanvandedag #virus #nos #scientias #100DaysToOffload #human #capiche #kappies

 
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from Marsden

17 of #100DaysToOffload

At twenty-two, I explored different styles of Christian worship and drifted from one church to the next.

I eventually found a positive environment in one church and became involved with the youth club. Soon after, Debby crossed my path. I'd been spotted, and she made gradual moves into my line of sight.

Childhood had been a lonely affair, replete with bullies and long periods of isolation. As my twenties began, I acquired a car and with it, a sense of independence.

Then this beautiful girl showed interest in me.

It took another couple, Thomas and Elise, to do the match-making. Thomas convinced me to buy a car — I did and boy I loved the freedom. I could go anywhere, anytime and take Debby out on dates, alone.

Some dates led to night-time use of car parks. Steamy car windows progressed to the sofa while housemates slept upstairs. When the chance arose to spend the night together, we took it. Our passion only limited by the guilt-induced fears of church-based religion.

Our faith didn't stop us from being physical but made it feel wrong but more exciting.

Decades later, I can't say if we loved each other or if sex created an illusionary bond.

Debby was kind, sincere, and beautiful. Falling in love was fun and carefree.

One rainy night, a year into the relationship, we strolled along a seaside promenade.

“I can't imagine being with anyone else,” I said.

“I can't either.”

“Will you marry me?”

“Yes, I will, Alan. Yes.”

I spent all my savings on a ring — a ruby surrounded by six little diamonds. Though how we'd afford the wedding on a minuscule salary I had no idea.

Soon friends and family adorned us with engagement presents but around the corner awaited an overwhelming loss.

Less than a year into our relationship, Debby returned from a trip to England in a strange mood. She became distant. While my confidence was never sky-high, Debby's behaviour didn't help.

Soon the atmosphere returned to usual, and wedding plans continued.

However, the arrival of Debby's English friend, Dorian, marked the start of the end.

Debby used to babysit for Dorian and family. I can't recall all the things we did except for a few day trips to show off the sights of Northern Ireland.

Dorian left, but my relationship with Debby had changed.

Months later, Debby did what I suppose is the honourable thing and explained the peculiar background to Dorian's visit.

A marital affair occurred between Dorian's husband and Debby during their time at bible college — yeah, bible college of all places.

Rather than lose her husband, who still longed for Debby, Dorian came to explore if they could agree on an arrangement to live together. But Dorian hadn't known about me or the planned marriage.

Although Debby rejected the offer, the atmosphere darkened, and I had to ask myself — do I want this? Would the marriage last?

Debby became colder, and I wondered if she still had feelings for the other man. We tried to keep the relationship going with several splits and reunions, but nothing worked.

Angry exchanges led to the inevitable crash and burn.

It was a painful time and rumours spread as to the reasons we cancelled the wedding.

I was distraught.

But I never reached the point of no return. After all, bullies never broke me so neither will a broken heart.

I was left with questions, memories and a bloody ruby ring.

The ring failed to sell at a local auction, so I went to my Dad's garage and crushed it between the steely teeth of his workbench vice.

The diamonds and ruby turned to dust, and I realised the ring was a fake.

The crushed pieces in my hand were not real, like the relationship it represented.

One of my favourite haunts was a local lake surrounded by a woodland walk. I would go there to walk and day-dream.

At a wooden footbridge, I flung the crushed ring into the lake, and there it lies beneath the bulrushes.

Looking back, I'm relieved the relationship went pear-shaped.

Five years later, I married Rita, and we've been together and happy ever since.


I’m publishing this as part of #100DaysToOffload. You can join in by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

 
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