J.P.

Calmer.

So for the past seven days I’ve reduced my Twitter usage by about 98%. I haven’t deleted my accounts or anything but my interaction time has waned. I miss some of the people I’ve developed a friendship with over the years; I need to find alternate ways of maintaining a connection.

The biggest change I’ve noticed from this new approach to Twitter is that I’m a lot less anxiety ridden about what’s going on in the world. As I’ve mentioned before, opinions and debate from all sides of the political spectrum can become quite shouty over on Twitter. I don’t know what Elon Musk is talking about when it comes to “limitations of free speech” because there’s a lot of free speech being bandied about over there and a good chunk of it is quite ugly.

I still firmly believe that technology has outpaced society’s ability to use it properly responsibly. There are too many people that lack the moral foundation of sharing truth, listening to others, and such and more concerned with the dopamine hit that results from screaming absurdities and getting the audience riled up.

We need to thrive on intelligent dialog and debate, not dopamine hits of this nature. Of course, the dopamine hit approach is egged on by algorithms designed by the social media companies to ramp up engagement so they can get richer. It’s a rather ugly situation but one that is not going to go away any time soon.

In the meantime, I decide to step away a lot. My sanity is much more important.

Caturday.

Things have settled down in the world of cats and puppies and Truman seems much more calm in his usual haunts. He does enjoy eating out of the dogs’ water bowl. He tried a couple pieces of dog chow and decided it was not for him.

Here’s a photo of him checking out the sunset, followed by the relaxation period after enjoying the sunset.

A Night Out.

We decided to go out to dinner this evening. It was a good time; even after 26+ years we still very much enjoy each other’s company

The service at the restaurant was a little uneven. This didn’t deter us from an enjoyable evening, but the awkwardness was noticeable. The server seemed to be struggling a little bit, for example, when he ran down the dessert list he mentioned “chocolate chip, pumpkin, strawberry shortcake, etc.” but didn’t tell us what the dessert actually was. To avoid making things more confusing, I passed on asking “chocolate chip, what?” and just went with strawberry shortcake, which turned out to be a cookie with a scoop of ice cream.

Good Enough?

As I get older I’m finding I have less tolerance for things that are “good enough” or “fine”, especially when it comes to using technology.

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I have a Lenovo ThinkPad t460s laptop. It’s a nice little rig and I’m able to swap out parts and upgrade it all I want, which is the direct opposite of an Apple experience. Unfortunately, the overall computing experience with the Lenovo hardware is several notches below the quality of the experience on an Apple device. Linux works great and does everything I want it to do, and this older laptop has plenty of horsepower for what I expect it to handle, but the trackpad and the quality of the display are a bit of a mess.

I often run into this sort of thing with the computer provided for work. While I am much more productive in a Mac or Linux environment and work insists on everyone using Windows, it’s not Windows slowing me down as much as the cheapest laptop hardware possible. Like my Lenovo ThinkPad, the work provided computer has a tiny trackpad requiring a crazy amount of pressure to click anything, the keyboard is sized slightly off from normal, and the display is just too dim for my aging eyes.

I’ve been using my 2018 iPad Pro in tandem with the Linux laptop and I’m finding I’m getting more acclimated to using the iPad as my daily driver that I carry around with me. If I want to get into full geek mode I still have the Linux laptop, the experience just doesn’t have the fit and finish of an Apple experience. Doable. Good enough?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve earned better than “good enough”. Now, if my budget would only cooperate with my plans.

I know, first world problems.

Opinions.

My opinions on abortion are really not that important because I’m never going to have an abortion and I’m never going to be in the position of being involved with that sort of decision.

I do believe a woman should absolutely, without question, have 100% authority over what she wants to do with her own body, and for the U.S. Government to reconsider legislating otherwise is regressive, absurd, and down right stupid. In no way does any American have the backing of using the phrase “Land of the Free” when there’s active legislation, against the will of the majority by the way, to take away a woman’s right to choose. There’s nothing free about that.

How about this: if a man rapes a woman, instead of forcing the woman to carry a pregnancy to full term and then raising a child that was forced upon her, we give her the right to choose what to do with her own body and then let her decide what to do with the man’s penis.

The Supreme Court justices that were jammed through at a record pace during the dark ages known as the Trump Administration lied. And the Republican women (Collins, etc) that touted “I believe them” and voted for their confirmations knew very well they couldn’t be trusted. They are as much to blame for this mess as the idiots we are stuck with on The Supreme Court. I have little faith the Democrats will be able to rectify the situation and we’re going to be stuck regressing the United States back to the mid 20th century. Ladies, get out your pearls and get ready to give up your careers, because they’re not going to stop with reversing Roe v Wade. These crazy men in power want you back in the home peeling potatoes.

And of course, there’s a decent chance these reversals won’t stop at Roe v Wade and they’ll start coming for other landmark decisions around racism, education, and gay rights.

One of the things I can’t help thinking about is the women I know personally that have had an abortion and continue to vote Republican because they simply couldn’t vote for Hillary or they don’t like Biden raising gas prices (which he absolutely has no control of). I don’t understand how any woman that’s had a safe and legal abortion can vote for a party that is actively trying to take this right away from current and future generations. Where would these women be in their life if they had to carry their aborted pregnancy to full term?

And just so I’m clear, if the GOP and their cronies in SCOTUS start coming after gay marriage, and/or the ability for future LGBT folks to get married, I will cut any and all ties I have with folks I know that continue to vote Republican. No stop, no explanation necessary, good bye. You do not get to be on friendly terms with me and continue to vote for people working to reduce the rights of Americans.

Unfortunately, the Democrats are as entrenched in corporate donors as the Republicans and I don’t have a lot of hope that any of this will get sorted out within my lifetime. The U.S. has been on a downward spiral, especially after 9/11. It’s too bad so many are trying to push things downward at a faster pace.

Interlude.

I had written a long post about modern day Christianity and my thoughts around it. I found the post to be extremely hostile and “loud”, something I’m trying to avoid this week.

Instead, here’s a video of Samantha and Endora arguing over the Stephens’ living room furniture.

Close Up.

When I was a young gay living in Boston (late 1980s), there were a couple of gay-oriented magazines that would have photographers milling around the bars on the weekend and taking photos for their publications. I never made it for one of my closeups back then as apparently I wasn’t photogenic enough for the use of the film.

Now there’s cameras everywhere with the vast majority of them on smartphones. Everyone has a camera. Still, there were one or two “event photographers” milling about the bar on Friday night. Some of the photos have come out today. Here’s one of them, with my husband and I standing with our friend Marshall (he’s the one in front) and a couple of other guys we were chatting with.

Buzz.

I’m a little concerned that the Vanilla Latte Buzz was spelled “Vanilla Late Buzz”, but it was still enjoyable for brunch over the weekend.

Vanilla Latte Buzz.

Zesta.

I thought Keebler made Zesta crackers? For some reason I do not remember a Kellogg’s logo being adjacent to a Zesta crackers logo. Ever.

Caturday.

Truman has become more relaxed around puppies Lucky and Jinx. He occasionally gives them a growl or a swat, but we’ve noticed the claws are always in when he’s giving them the what for. The puppies still want to play rough with him from time to time but Truman sets the tempo. It’s what cats do.

Most of the time he is relaxed, observing from afar.