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.

Party.

We are at a Bear Event in Phoenix this weekend. It’s been a very long time since we’ve been able to socialize in this manner. While it was mentioned that I tend to stand in the corner and observe (I kind of do that), we still engaged in chit-chat with folks and are having a great time.

The Twitter Thing.

I’ve been following this mess of a deal Elon Musk has put together to buy Twitter and take the company private, in the name of “making free speech a priority again”. He says the right words to get a certain segment of the population whipped up so he can line his coffers with more billions.

Look, I used to be impressed with the technological things Elon Musk has accomplished over the years. He bought Tesla and subsequently changed the paradigm of electric vehicles. SpaceX is filling in the gaps that NASA can’t seem to handle. Why he wants to buy Twitter, other than to grandstand on the platform and get money providers whipped up, is beyond me. In a way it’s kind of sad that one man can buy a public company, turn it private, and basically become the king of a social platform that the news media can’t seem to live without. What is his end game? I have no idea and honestly I’ve become quite bored with the whole affair.

What I have realized while wading through the barrage of news feeds is that it’s not really in my best interest to be dependent on social media platforms that are owned by eccentric billionaires. This is one of the reasons I keep this blog going; I can say what I want, when I want, in my space.

A few years ago an alternative to Twitter came to fruition. It’s called Mastodon. It works a bit differently than what the common user knows as the Twitter experience. Basically, a Mastodon server is an island in a sea of a Mastodon servers. They are connected to one another and you can see the feeds on any other server you wish. You can follow users on other islands. There’s no central configuration or central control point, either you run your own server and do your thing or you jump onto a server that someone has set up that aligns with your interests. In the past I’ve belonged to two “general” instances, mastodon.cloud and mastodon. social. More recently I belonged to mastodon.technology, which is geared towards those of us super interested in technology. While it was never required that I talk only about technology in my mastodon.technology feed, I always felt someone obligated to stay with the theme of the server. My Twitter feed can be all over the place.

I decided to start up my own Mastodon server last night. I’m the only user on it and will keep it that way for the time being (data can be expensive), but I’m able to chat with all the other folks I’ve met on Mastodon and I’ve been having fun meeting new people. I administer the server, I pay for the server (it’s less than 10 euros a month), and I am the only user.

The server names can be anything and I wanted mine to be general and memorable, so I picked the domain name shavingcream.online.

I figured that I use shaving cream on a daily basis, I’ve always considered myself a shaving aficionado, and it’s offbeat enough for people to remember. So my Mastodon username is at (it’s actually the “@“ symbol) machias@shavingcream.online. If you’re on Mastodon, you can add me with this URL: https://shavingcream.online/@machias

I’ve made quite a few online acquaintances through Mastodon over the years and I’m probably going to use this as my Twitter replacement. I’m not comfortable with the idea of providing my data to eccentric billionaires who buy public companies on a whim (or the creepy Zuck and Sheryl show at Facebook) so having my open-source, federated social instance on Mastodon gives me great geek joy.

Feel free to add me if you’re on Mastodon. If you’re curious about the platform and don’t know where to start, here’s a place to take a peek:

https://joinmastodon.org

As I mentioned before, you don’t have to run your own server, you can join one of the many public (free and open source) servers that fit what you’re looking for in a social media experience.

Happy engagement!

Dinner Out.

We went to a local restaurant called “The Barnyard” for supper. I was planning on an instrument flying lesson with trusty instructor Prabesh but the winds were a bit on the high side and the high temperatures of the desert would have made for a bumpy ride.

We had a nice time at The Barnyard.

Zoom!

I took this photo during a Zoom call at work this afternoon.

A colleague at work asked what was going on with my mustache. He wanted to know if I was going to wax it into a handlebar mustache at some point. I told him it’d been about a decade since I had a big mustache and I was growing it out again to see how it looked and how much grey had moved into place. I’m not ashamed of the grey anymore as I have earned it. I didn’t think I’d ever make it into my mid 50s but here we are.

One of my uncles had some nifty muttonchops and a waxed handlebar back in the 1970s. I always thought that was a cool look, but I never mentioned it to him because we never saw eye to eye on anything. My dad was always clean shaven. Always, without fail. One of my city uncles always had a beard and another had a mustache in his later years and I found that nifty. The country uncles sported various facial hair configurations, usually around hunting season.

Growing out my mustache has been kind of fun and it won’t last forever but it’ll be around for a while. I have to keep a napkin in hand when I’m eating because I don’t like food hanging off of it, especially after I’ve left the table.

Our friends Homer and Matt have great facial hair. I’ve followed Homer’s blog for many years and I’m happy that we’re real life friends now. He’s interesting to talk to and interesting to look at.

I’ve always had an affinity specifically for mustaches. Back when I was in my later high school years in the mid 1980s many of my male classmates grew mustaches. I tried but it was hopelessly blond until I went away to college. It wasn’t until the latter half of my freshman year of college that you could actually see my mustache. I guess the red mustache was only destined to last a few decades before going to grey.

Of course, my husband always has facial hair of some sort and that is most enjoyable to me. In fact, until recently I was the only one in our family of five that was clean shaven. That’s no longer the case. I feel a little less out of step with the rest of the family.

Gen X Supper.

My husband is out socializing and the others in the house are eating leftovers, so I am left to my own devices for supper. I fell to my standby of popcorn and soup. It was delicious.

Picnic Prep.

We’ve rented a ramada at Lincoln Regional Park here in Tucson for a family picnic. We are celebrating Jamie and Mike’s birthdays today and we decided to do it with a picnic. It’s a beautiful day for an outdoor gathering. My husband and I went ahead and arrived early to get things set up; the rest of the family will be here shortly. They’re bringing the puppies along for their first outdoor adventure.