Future History

This morning someone said something on the fediverse, and I responded, and my response in that moment caused me to have some thoughts. Naturally, I feel compelled to share them with you.

First, the thing I said that got me thinking…

Sometimes, someone unwittingly pushes a button you don’t know you have, and sometimes, you are well aware that button exists, but you’ve been ignoring it. I’ve been ignoring my feelings on the ephemeral nature of digital data for quite a while now, but I’ve always known that in the future, the lack of analog sources of information could (and likely will) be devastating to the study of our current time and place in history. I’m a big fan of hard copy. Things written or printed on paper have the potential to survive even the most damaging of disasters. Digital data struggles to survive on your desk in a temperature controlled house. If you want it to exist throughout the entirety of your own lifespan, you must maintain it. Coddle it. Tend to it like it’s a living thing. A photograph or a handwritten journal can sit in an attic long enough for everyone to forget it exists, and when it is rediscovered, it can be seen, read, enjoyed, learned from.

At this point, those of you who don’t know me well may be thinking I am some sort of Luddite opposed to all things digital. Untrue! I love this digital age we live in! I love computers! I love the things I can do with my iPad. I’m thrilled I can take a thousand photos to get one that’s perfect, and all it costs me is a bit of electricity to recharge a battery. It is amazing and delightful that I can communicate with the people I know near instantaneously, no matter where they are on the planet, and it brings me great joy that I can babble at length here on my blog, and once I hit “post” anyone who cares to can read it. Our digital age is wondrous, but I do worry for how humans in the far off future will learn of our time, what might survive, and if what survives (if anything) will give them an accurate picture of who the people of the 21st century were, what we believed, how we lived, and what felt important to us.

So as I’ve been shambling about the house doing all the usual morning tasks, making coffee, feeding cats, and seeing the husband off to work, there have been all these discordant thoughts and feelings bouncing off each other in my brain. That’s what my brain does when it senses a problem needing a solution or two opposing ideas that need resolution, and it can churn away at it in the background for days (sometimes even weeks) before a finished thought pops into my conscious mind. Today, it took an hour…

Don’t do an email newsletter, bring back the hard copy zine. Create something that has a chance to survive, which might outlive you.

Be the change you want to see.

A few months ago, I promised everyone a monthly email newsletter, and I have tried to make that a reality, but because I refuse to have any tracking going on within said newsletter, that cut me off from the services that make newsletter making/sending painless and easy. As I tried to spin up ways to do it all myself, I realized I wasn’t enjoying any of it. I didn’t want to do an email newsletter, but I promised people I would, so I felt like I had to do it. This only made me hate the idea even more, and so last month I (somewhat intentionally) “forgot” to keep working on it.

But oh … how I loved making zines (and receiving them), and since the day I stopped producing mine, so many years ago now, I’ve often thought of doing a hard copy zine again. I enjoyed the entire process of deciding what to do each month, what to include, how it should look, and taking the time to draw things, hand letter things, and physically cutting and pasting it all together. Printing copies on the library’s Xerox or having it printed, and then mailing it out to people who wanted to receive it and sometimes receiving their own zine in return! No pain, no struggle, no frustration. Just joyful work.

So I’m going to take the advice my brain spit out this morning. I will not be doing an email newsletter. I’m going to do a zine, and not one created digitally and then printed out (an email newsletter without the email). Nope, I’m going 100% old school. Doing it the way I did in the past, the way I enjoyed doing it. How will the people who were expecting an email newsletter react to this news? Don’t know. Don’t especially care. I can’t keep doing things just because others expect or want me to do them. I gotta do what I want to do, and what I have wanted to do for quite some time now is breath new life into my not at all forgotten zine.

Current Sims 4 Project

I’ve been working on this particular lot for entirely too long. I’m still not done with everything, but I’m DONE, if you know what I mean. Just tired of working on it. Later, I’ll move some sims in and see how it goes. Might have to make some changes to account for pathing. Maybe not! Hope not. 🤣Front view oh a pair of two story townhomes separated by a single story central lobby. The style is late Victorian, with grey brickwork and dark wood and ironwork trim.

Rear view oh a pair of two story townhomes separated by a single story central lobby. The style is late Victorian, with grey brickwork and dark wood and ironwork trim.

Greedfall Done!

At long last, I have completed my first play through of Greedfall. I count it amongst the best RPGs I’ve ever played. Truly enjoyed the game, even though the controls were a little weird. Eventually, I’ll play through it again … when I’ve forgotten the choices I made this time. Maybe my story will go differently!
A man and a women wearing European colonial garb lie on the rocky ground after a major battle.

What’s That Smell?

Him: Do you have the oven on?

Her: No. What I’m smelling right now is lighter fluid. Like someone is firing up a BBQ.

Him: Yes, lighter fluid! Why do I smell it in the house?

Her: Kitchen window is open. I’ll investigate.

So I did investigate. First I stuck my nose up to the kitchen window. The lighter fluid smell was coming from outside, but no neighbors were outside. I didn’t hear the sounds of anyone having a BBQ. All the yards were dark. To get a better bead on where the smell might be coming from, I stepped out onto the front stoop.

The smell of butane slapped me in the face so hard it made my eyes water. There was no telling what direction the scent was wafting from, because it was everywhere.

Other people likely would have called neighbors, the gas company, or maybe 911. I shrugged my shoulders, went back inside, closed the kitchen window, reported to the husband it smelled like someone had crop dusted our street with lighter fluid, and went back to making dinner. If I’m going to die in a fiery conflagration, I’d prefer to do it on a full stomach. Wouldn’t want to arrive in any possible afterlife with low blood sugar and a grumbling tummy.

By the time we sat down to eat a few minutes later, the smell had dissipated, at least inside our house, so I forgot all about it. We ate, watched an episode of Star Trek Prodigy, I did a little reading, and then off to bed I went. With not a care in the world and my stomach pleasantly filled with feta and basil ravioli, I immediately fell into a deep slumber.

This is probably where you’re thinking we were rudely awakened in the middle of the night by some terrifying catastrophe, but no, we were not. I slept for for four hours, awakened at 2 am as I do these days, and bounced off to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. While I was waiting for the water to boil, light coming from the neighbor’s workshop caught my eye. I hadn’t noticed whether or not they were on during the nasty smell event during my dinner making, but why would I? It’s as normal for those lights to be on at all hours of the night as it is for the stars to be in the sky.

The fact our neighbor is in his workshop tonight, doing whatever it is he does back there, does provide a possible answer to why the air was thick with the smell of lighter fluid. I’ve only been in his workshop once. It was a tool-filled place which also contained a gas welding rig and a variety of other tanks/containers holding an assortment of gases/liquids that required warning stickers. Unless further evidence presents itself, or I hear anything on the grapevine, I’m just going to assume he had some sort of incident in the workshop involving butane or kerosene.

If I bump into him on trash day, maybe I politely ask if they noticed any strange smell on Saturday night. More likely, now that I’ve written it all down, I will forget all about the night the air smelled of lighter fluid. Unless it happens again. Once is weird. Twice in a period of time before I have forgotten the first instance escalates the situation greatly. I would prefer the air outside my house not reek of chemicals on the regular. Can’t be healthy.

And thus ends my tale of the Stinky Air Incident. 🤣

Note: There are probably a hundred other explanations for why I stepped onto the front stoop and got slapped in the face with the overwhelming smell of lighter fluid, but this one seems most likely. I love our neighbors. They’re odd in all the right ways.

Morning Coffee at 2 am

Lately, I’ve been going to bed at 10 pm (because I’m actually sleepy, which is rare) and then waking up at 2 am. I go about my day until 4:30 pm and then have a three hour pre-dinner “nap”. I occasionally slip into this split shift sleep pattern, and while it’s certainly weird and not at all normal, so long as everyone in my life just rolls with it, I’m fine.

This time I’ve decided to go on ahead and have my “morning” coffee. Might as well! Not like I was going to head back to bed anyway soon.
A mug filled to the brim with coffee sits on a cluttered wooden table surrounded by art supplies. On the mug an illustration of a skeleton cat in the style Dia de Meurtos (Day of the Dead) art.