Lately, I’ve had a lot of “old man screams at cloud” energy. In fact, I opened the editor with a vague idea for a long rant on the ever-increasing enshittification of the internet. And while I’d love to write pages of undirected ranting on the cancer that is the modern connected world, I can’t help but consider the irony that the same cancer is fed by such diatribes. So, instead, I bring an update on new hobbies Fin and I have taken up.
Fin’s long been fascinated with various forms of fabric – she did a fair amount of embroidery earlier in our marriage, and I’ve heard many times about even earlier attempts at crocheting. With our neighbors keeping sheep, we have some amazingly local opportunities for wool. Over the past few months, Fin spent a fair amount of time experimenting with spinning yarn and learning to process fleece. And this past week, she finished her first batch of yarn from hyper-local fleece processed via hand combs she made herself.
Meanwhile, I’ve felt a need to unplug and visit the analog world a bit more in writing. I recently discovered the large world of fountain pens and inks. I’ve obtained a few fountain pens – a few entry-level, a vintage gold nib Pilot, and my most recent addition above. There’s something enjoyable about writing utensils that aren’t disposable. I’ve always been fascinated with calligraphy, and finally unpacked supplies purchased 10+ years ago to start learning. It’s difficult learning as a lefty, but I’m making slow progress toward writing fancy.
Fin and I both struggle with our mental health – the pandemic, cancer and death, employment struggles have beaten us down over the years. Meanwhile, toxic connectivity killed our real-world interests and hobbies. We’ve both pushed each other to do better, and we’re slowly starting to move in the right direction. Fin observed that my blogging – a past time I used to enjoy greatly – was killed by “passive pear pressure”. The sad void of active blogs from others really killed my desire to keep this one going. I’ve maintained a blog of some sort for over 2 decades and lately considered hanging up the website and letting it die.
I’ve been thinking lately about the less toxic distributed web where blogs and small communities existed outside the realm of incomprehensibly large corporations profiting from stoking societal angst. There’s nothing saying that network can’t still exist today. For now, I’m just going to focus on channeling my younger self starting a Geocities page with no expectation of anyone else ever reading. Maybe if enough people try, we’ll figure out something better than TwikBookit.