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Spruced Up.

If you visit this website on a regular basis you may notice I’ve made some changes to speed up the response time of the user experience. We’ve been with our web hosting company, Machighway, for over 10 years and they continue to be a joy to work with. Pages and photos should be loading faster. Please, if you see anything broken, please leave a comment so I can go fix it.

For the technically minded, I finally updated the version of PHP running the show here. I also fixed some WordPress plugins that had memory leaks and were slowing things down and discarded several that were no longer needed.

There are other blogging platforms out there, and many of them are quite fast, but with nearly 20 years of blog entries managed through WordPress, I’m not ready to jump to anything else yet. It’s all a matter of care and feeding. It’s not good to treat the underpinnings of this blog like the proverbial server that’s been forgotten and dry walled into a new wall.

One thing I do struggle with is finding a WordPress theme that fits the mood of the blog I’m maintaining. I’ve had this commercial theme here on this site for many years. I haven’t found anything that comes close to what I’m looking for, so it’s going to stay. It took me a little while last night to find the theme I thought best suited my new blog over at The Vintage Point of Sale Site but I finally found something I thought fits the mood.

Thank you for stopping by and continuing to follow my adventures here at Life Is Such A Sweet Insanity. I look forward to continuing sharing my adventures here and in my various annexes for the foreseeable future.

I Can’t Quit You.

Twitter’s “Fail Whale” graphic from its early days.

We really have some poor choices available to us in this here 21st century. You know, our telephone calls in the 20th century were of a better voice quality than what we have today? That’s right, when we “let our fingers do the walking“ and we talked to friends and family over 20th century telephone equipment, the reliability of a connection and the quality of our speaking voices was better than what we experience today, even if we are still using a land line and a corded phone.

Progress?

Society has also shifted to social media for things far beyond sharing little bits of life like “I just had the most awesome hamburger!”. Government officials use Twitter to declare war. Family members have moved their entire lives to Facebook. Geeks used to talk about their geeky interests on Google+. If there’s late breaking news you’re most likely going to read about it on social media first and then let the news media fill in the details (hopefully).

Yesterday I tried to stop reading Twitter. I didn’t delete my account because I was still working on downloading my data but I told myself if I could go one month without touching the platform I would probably delete my account.

Didn’t even make it a day.

We live close enough to the CTA tracks to be able to hear announcements to the platforms when we have our windows open. Even though I haven’t ridden a train in over a month, my spidey-sense knew something was amiss and then I heard an announcement. The trains were stopped for a sizable chunk of the line and mumble mumble mumble. I instinctively turned to Twitter to see what was going on, because as a Chicago I follow the CTA Twitter feed to see what’s going on with the trains.

Now, there’s other places I can see what’s going on with the CTA, however, the fastest response is usually on their Twitter feed. It’s not like I’m looking to ride the train but in these idle, lockdown times, I was curious as to what was going on.

So I fired up Twitter.

It was then I saw several tweets about airplanes from my pilot friends and I also saw why the trains were stopped and I caught a couple of nifty little musings from folks amongst the 600 or so accounts I follow on Twitter.

It was a beautiful day in Chicago, it would have been a great day to fly, but the airplanes are grounded for non-essential flights. It was good to see aviation stuff from aviators.

I believe Twitter has been a major contributor to the negative conditions we are experiencing in the world today. I think the basis of why the platform was created is sound, I just think it was ahead of its time. While I have major concerns with the uneven application of Twitter’s Rules of Conduct policies, I also believe American society was not equipped to handle Twitter, and much of the other technology we have available to us today. The evolution of technology has outpaced the evolution of our society. This leads to bad actors, weaponization, and general misuse of the tools we have at our disposal.

So I went back on Twitter via Tweetbot and am tweaking it again to make the best of it.

It is my intent to share my displeasure with Twitter’s uneven application of their Rules of Conduct whenever and wherever appropriate. Without users Twitter would have nothing. Without loud voices trends can never be changed.

In the meanwhile, I’ll know what’s going on with the trains and I’ll be able to chat with the friends I’ve made on the platform.