Thursday, March 23, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1.  I confess I hadn't properly thought about the environmental destruction side of war, despite having grown up near a WWI munitions dump.  This article about Afghanistan was eye opening.  
2. Some historical Hawaiiana will be returned to Hawai'i.  (For money, but returned nonetheless.)
3. I found this article on prioritizing your creative self, even when your dayjob is financial writing, really interesting.  

Monday, March 20, 2023


So, we have reached the time where a number of folks start marking when we did what in this country we called shutdowns, but mostly meant encouraged people to work and attend school from home. 
As humans, we have lots of rituals to mark the passage of time. Honestly, I am constantly amazed that we divided the calendar into quarters and assigned seasons to each one, leading to endless discussion about why the weather has chosen not to play along with our assigned categories. 
And it is also that time where people say genuinely well meaning things, like what have you accomplished since the pandemic started. And a lot of people have done amazing things. And those should all be celebrated! 
But also, if what you have done since a world changing pandemic, well, changed our world, is survive - then gold star. Because seriously. Pandemic life is harder than pre-pandemic life. Even ignoring the deadly disease, we're watching a lot of systems begin to seriously crack, making so many things we do more difficult and more expensive. 
And so learning how to navigate this world has been a lot. And if you didn't also have time to do all the other things you had hoped, getting yourself to a place where you are still here to do those things, is really a lot. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. My fascination with the Iditarod continues, and this year the top three were all from Alaska.  
2. This article in Teen Vogue about kids who are content on their parents' social media is fascinating.  

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Slow Shrink

I was chatting with a friend who still gets a physical paper and she mentioned that the paper she gets is lighter than it used to be. Now this is a function of many things, including a change in the way advertisers spend their money but it reminded me of a few things.
If you ever want to get a little mad, stand in front of a line of things in the grocery store like crackers. And then just read the weight in each package. The weights will vary widely, some crackers that appear wildly similar will be in packages of the same size, and yet the weight differs by several ounces. 
Now of course using the same size packaging isn't just to fool you that you're getting the same amount. There are reasons of logistics, and shipping, that make sending everything in packages of the same size more economical. 
Similarly almost every phone game I've ever played has rolled out updates that do one of two things. I either now need more thingies to advance to each level. Or I have to watch more ads. Or sometimes both. And sometimes I put up with it because the game is fun, and I like finishing things. And sometimes I quit because if it takes a so much longer to refresh, the game is less fun, and I just go in search of a new game or go read a book instead. 
But in some ways, it feels like a metaphor. You sign up for or purchase a thing. And then, over time, the thing is less of what it was when you signed up. And you have to evaluate, not just am I getting value, but is this thing slowly morphing into something that I wouldn't have wanted. 
Now am I saying you should cancel your newspaper? Absolutely not. Or maybe. But I think instead of viewing things as my local paper sucks now, or crackers are too expensive, look into what are the larger forces behind that. And try and figure out can you support local news and maybe even local crackers in other ways. (The local cracker things sounds like I'm kidding, but I really am lucky enough to be near some very excellent cracker makers.) 

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Researchers have named a chemical compound Keanumycins due to their deadly effectiveness fighting blight. (Hat Tip to Mark Lewis who tweeted about this.)
2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation put together some digital security tips for folks seeking abortion.  It's likely also useful for anyone seeking healthcare that is or may be soon under attack.  Worth noting that activity trackers and video doorbells are also things that track movement and the companies that run them often turn over info to police without consulting consumers.     
3. I sort of love reading food diaries of people who are very busy and yet really like food.  This one from cookbook author Abi Balangit is that.  
And in a promo note - Smashwords Read An Ebook Week continues.  Most of my stories are on sale, plus tons of other authors are discounted or free through Saturday.