26
Nov 22

Tweet ya later, bird site

I’ve made the move away from Twitter. Odd saying that, having spent 14 years with the microsite. It had great value to share information. Then that value diminished somewhat, but it was, nevertheless, still a great way to receive information. The incongruity had been weighing on me for a while, but the new owner and the great deal of baggage he’s brought along became the last straw. No sleep was lost on this choice. I downloaded my archive and moved on. Some new thing will present itself, I figured, and it did.

Mastodon has been around for a long while, but I only joined it on Halloween. I spent a week or so just watching it, another week wondering at its comparative weaknesses and reading longterm users brag on and on (and on and on) about its strengths. Some things in each of those categories are about human engineering, rather than the platform, but they are all part of the experience.

Follow me on Mastodon. Or click the button at the top of each blog page, or the homepage.

(I’m at Post, too, but haven’t done anything with it yet.)

Not everyone I follow on the bird site will make such a move, and that’s fine. Think of it as a group of people with a difference of opinion about where to eat dinner. At some point, perhaps a critical mass gathers, or key people voice their opinion, and that helps you make your own decision. It is gratifying that some of the people I want to follow are now showing up on Mastodon. As more people come over I’m sure it’ll feel more familiar and comfortable. Though I think some of the things that make it proudly different are unnecessarily limiting at this point. (That is an initial impression and very much subject to change.)

But that’s the interpersonal perception. From a corporate or institutional perspective, the biggest words for making this transition will be search and transfer. If you are an entity that has misguidedly put too many of your marketing eggs in any one social media basket, you might be in trouble in this moment of truth.

I don’t want to evangelize it today, but one nice thing about Mastodon is that you can follow hashtags. This absolutely inundates you with the subject matter of choice. The negative is that it absolutely inundates you with the subject matter of choice. There’s a great deal of selection bias to guard against there.

Take the popular Mosstodon hashtag, for example. Following that hashtag puts every use of it, all of them, in your feed. My feed quickly filled up with moss and lichen.

This isn’t bad, but it is dominating my feed So I need more friends to show up, and more hashtags to follow. That, of course, creates more volume, which means more time invested, and one needs to be mindful of that. It’s a great big work in progress.

I’m putting a few successful things on the site so far. Here’s my first Mosstodon post.

Also, I do enjoy a good batch of lichen from time to time.

Another of the real strengths is that you can take any person or hashtag and add them to an RSS reader. That makes so much sense it is amazing no other platform hasn’t tried harder to leverage it.

You still use an RSS reader, right? They’re going to make a comeback! (Try Feedly.)

Dropped the in-laws off at the airport this morning. They have returned safely to New England. The house is the right amount of quiet once again. Amazing how a variable or two changes the dynamic of the domicile. It was lovely to see them. We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving break with them, and we are grateful for the opportunity. I am grateful for the leftovers.

We took a walk this evening, and I marveled at the light, late evening views.

And I marveled at how this week has flown by.


24
Nov 22

Happy Thanksgiving

We didn’t make much, but we were left with plenty. And when it came time to consider all of the many things for which I am thankful, I made sure to tally the list twice, just to be sure. It left me with plenty.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and to your loved ones.


23
Nov 22

More from Newfields

As promised, here’s a bit more from yesterday’s adventures. These are the first 90 seconds of the Monet at The LUME exhibit. You cover a fair amount of ground with the impressionists in the next hour or so. It’s a fine presentation. Go see this when it gets near you.

The giant image of an aging Claude Monet near the end of the exhibit, and before the gift shop.

Try as we might, and we tried mightily, we could not talk the folks into buying a beret.

We went back to Newfields after dinner to see the Winterlights demo. Much better weather this year. A lot of smiles, a lot of happy children. A lot of adults looking with the eyes of a child. (Just imagine if they’d seen someone wandering around in a beret.)

Had a nice bike ride today, I put 40 more miles in the books. That’s almost four loops on this specific Zwift course.

Someone decided two circuits, 21.50 miles, should be a Strava segment. Strava tells me I’ve done that segment seven times. And, today, I shaved two minutes off my best time.

Not bad for being under-caloried.


22
Nov 22

Claude Monet at the LUME

This is Camille Pissarro’s “The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning.” Or part of that 1897 work, anyway. Circumstances, and shooting from the hip, and just trying to get the part I wanted. And the point is to say, guess what we saw today?

That’s the clue, and so was the headline, I guess. But the answer is, the impressionists!

Here’s part of Monet’s “Water Lily Pond.”

But the museum trip wasn’t about paintings directly, but rather a digital introduction and interpretation. Art in the 21st century, remixing the old masters. (More on that tomorrow.) And getting photobombed in the transitional elements of the show.

There’s a part where you can take your picture on an iPad, and select a filter — a big hit pre-Instagram, I’m sure — and then have it displayed on the art wall. Here we are.

This is a small work of Paul Cezanne, “Landscape at Auvers.”

Cézanne was an innovator and influenced countless modern artists as he sought to both reflect nature and show his own response to it, whatever that meant at the time. His mentor was Pissarro, but he would eventually move away from the impressionist movement.

Edgar Degas is also an impressionist, but he also worked in sculptures, and this one is on display at the LUME. The one on the right, I mean.

This is “Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised” which was found in Degas’ studio and cast in bronze in 1920, a few years after his death.

Here’s another painting of Camille Pissarro’s. This is an oil on canvas, circa 1865. Pissarro is sort of the elder statesman of the impressionists, and the neo-impressionist movement. Oh, and also post-impressionism. Talent, longevity and a willingness to grow allowed him to cover a lot of 19th century bases. Now, if you aren’t particularly an art connoisseur, you might not be familiar with Pissarro, so let’s just say this. Over the course of four-plus decades, all of the artists of the era — Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Seurat, van Gogh — were all influenced by the man.

Pissarro was a contemporary of Armand Guillaumin, and this is one of his works, the 1877 “Quai d’Austerlitz.” It shows the left bank of the Seine River in Paris where Guillaumin worked nights for the Bridges and Roads Department. Later he won the lottery, and decided to spend his time on landscape paintings. Excellent choice, moving on to things you love.

And this is Pierre-August Renoir’s “Bouquet in a Vase.” Big broad, rapid strokes. I wonder how long this sort of canvas took to complete in the hands of a master.

And since Claude Monet is the name on the event, here’s a Monet. This is “Charing Cross Bridge, London” a turn-of-the-century oil on canvas. You can tell without even reading the placard that this is Monet’s London.

He spent the Franco-Prussian War there, and he painted almost 100 paintings of the Thames during his time in smoggy London Town. Monet spent a lot of time playing with the light and the smoke and fog that gave the Big Smoke its reputation.

Group picture time! (This is just before the gift shop. Every thing in its place.)

I’ll have more from this fun Newfields exhibit tomorrow.

After dinner we went back to Newfields for Winterlights, and a quick walk through of the famous Lilly House. I was surprised to see this part of the house. They lifted this idea directly from my Pinterest page.

Here are some of the Winterlights. The big blue tunnel near the grand finale.

The weather was perfect. Everyone at Newfields was having a great time and full of the initial holiday cheer of the season. There will be a video or two from the lights show tomorrow, too. But it’s late, and, for now, I want to leave you with one final impression.


21
Nov 22

Thanksgiving Week

My lovely bride returned Saturday. The in-laws arrived safely yesterday. The front-end of holiday travel has been a success. We have a relaxed week ahead of us, which is the way Thanksgiving should be. Less hustle, more time for the small things, and the easy gratitude.

And, also, kitties.

Phoebe is thankful for this little pig mouse toy.

Poseidon is thankful for high perches.

And we are thankful for kitties.

Here’s the view from a high perch. This was the view from one part of the airport, when we picked up the folks. There’s an irregular feature of indoor winter shapes in this somewhere. It’s both symmetrical — you assume — and asymmetrical at the same time.

This evening we tried the inaugural use of our new miniature fire pit. I’m now teaching The Yankee how to start a fire.

She did NOT like it when she said “Every time I touch it I make it worse,” and I agreed. But! When I was eventually able to do it the right way, we had a fire.

I got in 30 miles on the bike yesterday. Just a few desert views.

For some reason, in the middle of this digital nowhere, there’s a dinosaur. He’s a statue. At least I think he’s a statue. He doesn’t seem to move.

What’s nice is the detail; even the road shows its imperfections. Also, my avatar reminds me to have some water. Look, he’s having a sip just now.

You’ve got to stay hydrated. A whole week’s worth of laid back festivities depends on it.

Tomorrow we’re going to a museum!