Happy Father’s Day to my first unconditional admirer. 🥰

(It’s amazing how I’m still finding photos I don’t remember ever seeing in the process of clearing out the house.)

me at 6 months old with my dad in 1960

Thanks for all the nice birthday wishes! It’s been a nice low-key birthday with some fun video chats.

Favorite Chinese food delivered. Tonight I’ll be recording a movie commentary track with my Incomparable Agents of S.M.O.O.C.H. podcast pals. It’s like a party with special drinks and the birthday person gets to pick. We do trashy films, and my pick is American Gigolo. 😯🍾

“You say it’s your birthday. It’s my birthday too, yeah.”

It never fails to delight me, listening to Paul McCartney on our shared birthday. Happy 79th, sir. 🥳

If you have a nice photo of your favorite pen, ink, and/or notebook, please post it with the ✒️ or 🖋 emoji and it will be added to the new Discover timeline for pen enthusiasts!

New "Pens" Discover Category and Emoji Tag ✒️🖋

We are pleased to announce the addition of another topic to our emoji-based Discover timelines: “pens and ink.”

If you use either fountain pen emoji (officially named Black Nib and Fountain Pen) in your micropost, it will appear in this timeline.

There are quite a few pen, ink and stationery enthusiasts in our community, and starting next week, we hope to welcome more. will be sponsoring The Pen Addict podcast with Brad Dowdy and Myke Hurley!

ICYMI: This week’s straw poll aka roll call topic is runners and running. Check out the thread and add your comment if you too are an enthusiast.

PS. I am not a runner. I’m just the roll call facilitator.

It’s Micro Monday again. While the podcast is on hiatus, I’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other. This week’s topic is running. If you run or jog for exercise or fun, take a moment to stop let others know in the comments. 🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏾‍♂️

I drove for Lyft today. I really like tooling around the greater Portland area. Today I shuttled a flight attendant, a pilot, and a truck driver, so we bonded over our shared experience as transportation professionals. ✈️🚚🚗

Masks are worn, windows down, so chitchat is tricky.

Uh-oh. I just noticed that my spam filter snagged several sticker requests going back to February 2020. 🤦‍♀️

Give me a another chance and let me know if your request has gone unfulfilled for a long time. I’ll get it into this batch.

Ok, next batch of stickers is about ready to go. If you too would like to get our cool stickers in the mail, send your mailing address to 📬💬⭐️

Microbloggers: email me at if you want one of these souvenirs. I’m going to post the WWDC jackets on Twitter in a little while, so you all have first crack at them. 😇

Update (3 pm PDT): crafting that tweet now…

Estate sale done. 🎉 I had to take Monday off to recuperate so I’m a day late with the roll call. I’ve been doing this series to help enthusiasts find each other. For this belated edition, I’m calling on folks following Apple’s WWDC this week to raise your hand and comment! 🍎🖥

WWDC Eve! Here’s me at my first one, waiting for OK Go. 🥰

For the annals of “People Never Read Documentation”: a visitor to my estate sale was briefly locked in the basement today. 🙄

No Entry Nothing For Sale Here sign

It’s Day Two of the estate sale. I have a new team of friends helping today, and that is awesome. So grateful. I could never do it myself. I can’t even stand to be in the house. ☺️

It’s the final stretch of prepping for the estate sale. The next 72 hours is the most stressful I’ve faced in a long time. I’m blessed to have so many friends who are helping me, holding me up. 🥰

I have been hanging on to these devices for quite a while now, because they gave me so much delight when I got them. But it really doesn’t make sense for me anymore. If having them would bring you delight, let me know. I’ll figure out a way to hand them off.

Every decision-making neuron I had is tapped out. I pick up items in the house and manage to figure out “keep/sell/donate/dispose” questions.

“Keep” is not really an option any longer; after this weekend “sell” will be off the table. Hopefully the table itself will be gone too.

PDX friends: details of the estate sale are online now. Saturday and Sunday, 11-4.

Please share and be sure to say “hi” if you drop by. (I’ll be the one looking really tired but grateful and relieved. 🥱🙏🥲)

Spending a bit of time communing with my backyard tree, which I’ve maintained the last 13 years. Reflecting on the fact that it was never my tree, that I’ve just been its temporary steward.

large maple sycamore in the backyard

Friday is the finish line of the home clearing and estate sale prep. After yesterday’s session with Penelope the organizing angel, I’m close to empty, energy-wise. There are many details to sort today including painters.

Translation: I’m taking a day off of 😓

The most precious item in the house has now been relocated to the apartment. Two hideys to help ease the transitional anxiety.

guinea pig hiding in a pigloo

It’s Micro Monday again. No podcast while I concentrate on moving/house prep.

I’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other. For this Monday, I’m calling on bird watchers, photographers and enthusiasts to put up your hand in the comments. 🐦🦉🦜🦩🦆

How to be the favorite kitty sitter: liberally dispense treats before dinner. (Favorite aunt strategies applicable here.)

The treat is, as my neighbor describes it, “kitty Go-GURT”. Chicken rather than strawberry flavor.

Two kitties enjoying a kitty chicken treat.

Wow, the demand for Lyft rides is very high. If I didn’t turn off the app, I would have had no breaks. After six trips, I set the app to Last Ride, which prevents them from adding new rides to your queue while you’re driving another passenger.

Two very nice ladies were going to “Columbia River Scenic Area.” (Lyft only reveals the destination when you arrive to pick up the customer.) I asked them where specifically, and they said “The waterfall!” That’s Multnomah Falls is our biggest attraction. But it’s close to an hour away. I told them apologetically that was too far for me. I felt bad but adding big two hour trip on my first day out would have been overwhelming.

Two weeks since my second shot! I’m celebrating by getting the car spiffed up so I do some Lyft rides. 🚗😷🎉

Red Honda Fit at the car wash

ICYMI: I’m ready to send out more stickers.

Send your name and mailing address to to be included in the next batch. 😊

Pro tip: store your foreign currency with your passport, not in some unmarked box in the basement.

Found while house clearing: 160 francs, 50 marks, 15 pounds from my 1996 stint working in Paris. 🤦‍♀️

Foreign notes

I was just checking out this 2016 photo from WWDC, me and my sister at the Smile party, and just noticed a familiar face there in the background. /@manton

It’s the 30th anniversary of Thelma & Louise. It made such an impression on me. 😮I remember the uproar it caused. Imagine how social media would have raged.

Also, I started taking selfies with friends then, but I called them “Thelma & Louise” pics.

Geena David and Susan Sarandon in the iconic promo photo

The subject of this week’s roll call is bicycling. So far, 15 people raised their hands. Add them to your follows if this is a topic that interests you, and add your comment to the conversation thread if you too are an enthusiast! 🚲

My turn to share fun stuff arriving via post. The perks of being a @Hemisphericviews patron.

You had me at “guinea pig stamp”. ❤️ I didn’t even know about these!!

blue and yellow Hemispheric Views stickers

I’m ready to send out more stickers.

Send your name and mailing address to to be included in the next batch. 😊

In other pet news, I get to kitten sit for the neighbors this weekend, so I’ll be contributing to the abundance of cat photos.

cat at the sink

There are a lot of cats in the Discover timeline right now. For a little while, it looked like dogs were getting the upper paw.

Photo: Dog nephew Louie waits in my car for his people to come home from a trip. Puppy sitting was fun and tiring for all involved.

It’s Micro Monday again. No podcast while I concentrate on moving/house prep.

I’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other. For this Monday, I’m calling on bicycle enthusiasts to halt for a moment and put up your hand in the comments. 🚲

_ Knowing I have an audience really makes a big difference to me, makes it a lot easier to push forward with writing, even when I don’t really feel like doing it._


Just a reminder to leave a comment on other folks’ posts here, if you like what you read/see. 🥰

Ube cookies at Trader Joe’s, @rom. First sighting of ube in the wilds of Portland.

purple yam tea cookies on display

I’m the aunt of a graduate in professional nursing at the University of Vermont. I’m glowing with pride. 🥰

iPad streaming a graduation ceremony

While decluttering the house today, I came across this photo. UNC Chapel Hill, Class of ‘82, with my sister Judy, Class of ‘83.

Tomorrow morning, my dear niece graduates from University of Vermont. Yikes, does time fly!

Me in blue graduation gown with my sister

I’m working with a professional organizer to clear out everything in my house. Penelope is my angel. I couldn’t make this epic progress without a coach. Here’s my recycling bin today, which was empty this morning. My office was out of control with unfiled papers.

Blue recycling bin filled with paper and cardboard.

Has anyone ever used an evaporative cooler aka swamp cooler at home? I can’t have a window a/c, portable a/c units are big, heavy and expensive. I was thinking I might try this.

Also, I like saying “swamp cooler”. 🐊

I get a lot of cool Field Notes notebooks at various conferences but it turns out I use about 5 pages and forget about it. Finding quite a few while house clearing and have skimmed each one for insights from Past Me. Here’s my favorite, from World Domination Summit 2014.

pocket size notebook"Choose love over metrics."

Another great episode of Causality podcast by @johnchidgey, exploring the engineering failures, both hardware and software, that led to 3 patient deaths from overradiation by the Therac-25. The issues of software testing are eye-opening. 😬

This is one of my favorite podcasts.

Previous Monday roll calls:

Conversation threads are still open if you want to declare your enthusiast status. And feel free to suggest future roll call topics.

It’s Micro Monday again. No podcast while I focus on moving/house prep.

I’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other. For this Monday, I’m calling on crafting enthusiasts to put down your projects and put up your hand in the comments. 🧶🧵🪡✂️🔨🪛

Second shot buddies: me and 16 y.o. nephew. He even did the driving.

Teenage nephew drives middle-aged aunt to get their second vaccine shots.

Maybe Louie is not a perpetual motion machine after all. Much playtime —> much sleepytime. 🥰

Puppy tired out and asleep beside me.

Puppies are tricky video subjects, perpetual motion machines. Louie and his dog cousin Zoë played nicely together.

It’s Louie time! (My brother’s family is going out of town. We’re having a puppysitting orientation session.)

holding my puppy nephew

Patio furniture sale = ready for summer drinks on the balcony at the new pad. 🕶☀️🍹

Two red patio chairs, glass-topped end table.

An old German pop song popped into my head, and now I’m deep into a playlist of schmalzy tunes that are great for refreshing my language skills.

Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht, aber unsere Liebe nicht…🎵

Album cover, Wolfgang Petry

Previous Monday roll calls:

Conversation threads are still open if you want to declare your enthusiast status. And feel free to suggest future roll call topics.

It’s Micro Monday again. No podcast while I concentrate on moving/house prep.

I’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other. For this Monday, I’m calling on coffee enthusiasts to put down your cup and put up your hand in the comments. ☕️

Reentry tracker for the Chinese CZ-5B rocket body h/t @phildearson. Reminding me of the opening narration of my favorite film:

“1999 was the year that the Indian nuclear satellite went out of control. No one knew where it might land. It soared above the ozone layer like a lethal bird of prey. The whole world was alarmed. Only Claire, couldn’t care a less. At the time, she was living her own nightmare. The same dream arrived each night. She was gliding over an unknown land, pleasantly at first, but; then the gliding would turn into falling, the falling into panic, and then she’d wake up.” (Until The End Of The World, 1991)

This is my dog niece Zoë. She loves me and goes completely zooming when I drop by my sister’s house. She’s 8 years old now, but still has puppy energy. 🐶

Medium size brown dog with white paws

Reminder! We are working on plans for Micro Camp 2021, and need your input on time zone availability so we can craft a schedule that is as inclusive as possible.

Please take the survey and let us know what works for you.

I have wanted to do a general gathering for some time now. I thought it would be an in-person event, but I think it will be enough work just organizing a virtual one.

I’m excited about the possibilities for our first Micro Camp!

Announcing Micro Camp 2021: August 13-15

We are excited to announce the planning of Micro Camp 2021, a virtual gathering of the community to share knowledge and make new connections.

Micro Camp will feature: - short talks by community members on a range of topics of interest - live text chat during presentations, Q &A breakout conferences afterwards - Mutual interest meetups scheduled throughout - 101 live Q & A with Manton and Jean

More details will be available soon. If you have a presentation or meetup you would like to propose, or if you have any questions, please email

The schedule will strive to accommodate the many time zones in our community. We expect to start sometime on Friday (August 13) on Pacific Daylight time, finishing Saturday (August 14). In some time zones, that will be Saturday and Sunday (August 14-15).

Help us fine-tune the schedule by indicating the time slots you would be able to attend.…

(Your answers will only be seen by the Micro Camp organizers, and won’t be publicly displayed. You need to enter a name, but it can be anything, if you’d like to be anonymous.)

Microbloggers: try Ulysses for 3 months free

Recently Ulysses, the writing app for Mac, iPad and iPhone, welcomed to their publishing family. Ulysses 22 added support for publishing directly to Manton wrote about this in March, including a short guide to getting started.

Since then, the community has welcomed quite a number of Ulysses users. Our goal has always been to make writing on your blog as easy as possible, regardless of the length of your post. We also offer a safe and civil place to follow bloggers and to engage in conversation. Welcoming new members with an interest in writing and communicating is a pleasure.

Being part of a family has benefits! I am happy to announce that microbloggers who want to try Ulysses can use it free for 3 months. Activate the offer via this link, and follow the instructions.

Ulysses and are both part of a larger family of indie app developers. Ever since I first started at Smile in 2004, working together with like-minded folks to bring benefits to customers has always been one of the things that makes it fun to be in this corner of the software business.

The parties are also fun…
(on the left, Max Seelemann, Ulysses founder, at the Smile WWDC party.)

It’s Micro Monday again. No podcast while I concentrate on moving/house prep.

Shall we do another roll call? The pen and paper list keeps growing. @bensmithuk inspired me to find out who the wristwatch enthusiasts are. You can’t reply with photo, but feel free to share links.

Seeing @hutaffe celebrating his fourth microblogaversary got me to wonder when mine was. March 7th: “Good things come in small packages.”

I should have realized it was a bit earlier than April—I met with @manton March 2nd to get a preview and discuss working with him.

Last week I asked the pen and paper enthusiasts in our community to identify themselves, as a new microblogger expressed interest.

About 35 people replied, and now the post conversation is a good place to start if you are looking for new people to follow.

I’d like to do more of these casual polls, as part of the @monday theme of helping folks find other microbloggers. If you have a niche interest you’d like me to propose, email me at

A bonus of packing to move: I had a feeling I’d find my AirPods, which went missing in the early days of the pandemic. I didn’t go anywhere, so they had to be in the house somewhere.

Today was that day! They were tucked in a little backpack I had no reason to use. 💃

The latest episode of ATP helped me understand how the podcast ecosystem could be affected by the latest Apple announcements. Podcasts are my favorite thing in the world. Open standards helped them grow so popular among listeners and creators. This slope feels slippery.

I have the domain It’s coming up for renewal and I’m ready to let it go. I’m never going to finish the simple habit tracking app I started during the iOS course at Big Nerd Ranch.

Would anyone like to take it? No charge. I’ll even throw in my storyboards. 🙂

Proprietary cat wishes I would cede the backyard to him. He will wait me out.

cat peeks out from the foliage

This cat has been checking out my house quite a bit lately. Too bad he can’t apply for a mortgage, because he’s got a very proprietary air.

cat surveys backyard

I could imagine putting an AirTag in my car, to figure out where I left it as on-street parking gets scarcer in my neighborhood.

I wish the Apple Watch would notify you when it gets disconnected from the iPhone. That would save me from leaving the house without my phone.

Picking up the key to the new place. It’s so close, you can see the corner of the building from my backyard. I have a big wagon I’ll be using to move everything that fits in it. The downsizing adventure begins.

Corner of a new apwrtment building peeking out above my massive hedge

The new album from The Offspring makes me a little sad that I’ll be giving up my amplifiers, guitar, and drum kit when I move. They inspired me a lot back in the day, so smart and catchy.

I finally watched Cloverfield. It always intrigued me but seemed beyond my scary movie boundary. It was proposed as a topic for an Incomparable panel. Watching it for “work” gave me courage. (That’s how I finally watched Jaws)

I liked it quite a bit! Podcast episode out soon.

I met with my real estate agent today. He’s so great. He helped me find the house in 2007. I would be way more stressed if I didn’t have a trusted advisor.

Pictured: the massive hedge that was the tipping point. Hedge trimming was the first project I could drop from OmniFocus.

massive laurel hedge

Hey, fountain (and other) pen and paper enthusiasts! We don’t have a Discover emoji tag feed for you folks yet, but I know there are quite a few of you. Roll call? I’d like to keep a list. There are new microbloggers joining us right now who are interested.

Congratulations to Dr. @kimberlyhirsh ! A great dissertation defense. I will never look at cosplay without thinking about your research. 🎉👏🧑🏻‍🎓

Repeating for time zone coverage:

Getting ready to send out a batch of stickers. If you’d like one, just send your name and mailing address to International is fine. stickers

Getting ready to send out a batch of stickers. If you’d like one, just send your name and mailing address to International is fine, though I only have poinsettia, i.e. holiday, stamps because that’s all I could get for int’l post.

Smile is looking for an iOS developer, @macgreg posted today. The best people and company—check it out if you are interested in a cool new job.

There’s no new episode of Micro Monday today. I made a big decision to sell my house and move to a small apartment, so I’m going to be distracted while I focus on everything that needs to be done. I’m going to take a break before starting the next 100 episodes of @monday.

Moving: suddenly but not-so-suddenly, a big decision clicks

I made a big life decision, and it took less than a week. I’m selling my house and moving to a much smaller rental apartment.

The idea of making a change germinated 18 months ago. I was recovering from major knee surgery after a trip-and-fall in the summer of 2019. I was on a day trip to Italy from Slovenia. (I talked about this on @theweeklyreview, if you want to hear the tale of how I ended up in a Trieste emergency room for 30 hours without a phone charger: “Putting the Trip Into Day Trip”)

I came home to Portland for surgery, and I was not mobile for three months. A little later, I was visiting the apartment of a young friend who recently moved here, and I thought, “I could do this.”

My house is big for one person. When I moved here in 2008, I had young nieces and nephews who enjoyed sleeping over. During App Camp For Girls, I hosted out-of-town volunteers. The house has upstairs rooms, and a downstairs basement where laundry gets done. Thanks to my awesome surgeon and physical therapists, I am able to do stairs again. But I don’t love it. There will always be a twinge, a reminder of the accident, of the fact that I’m just getting old. I saw how easily one’s life can change in the blink of an eye, one paving stone can change your future. It could (read: will) happen again.

It’s a good time to be selling a house. I was on the verge of doing a major (read: expensive) landscaping job to control my out-of-control hedge and thinking about refinancing to take out some cash to cover house maintenance projects over the next few years. My sister pointed out that maybe it was time to sell anyway.

And it just clicked. The clincher was that there are some very nice new apartments a block from my house. I like my neighborhood and neighbors. I could postpone the decision about whether to buy something smaller and where I would be willing to move.

So I have a lease starting soon, and I’m doing small sprints of decluttering and recycling to get the house to a pre-pandemic state of neatness. Moving is a big stressor, I know, but the fact that I’m feeling excitement instead of anxiety now is a sign that I’m doing the right thing.

And if you are so motivated, record your tip as an audio file so I can include it in the episode. Email the file or a link to

Here’s a sample. I’d limit yours to 60-90 seconds. If you want to do something lengthier, let’s chat in advance.

The next episode of Micro @monday is 101, and we are going to take the opportunity to create a good audio introduction to (101 is typically the number assigned to entry-level courses.)

What tips do you have for a new user? Replies are fine, or email

Guinea Pig Easter extravaganza, 2016. Now that Ada is gone, I haven’t had much enthusiasm to do more holiday tableaux. Ada was the sassy actor. With Grace the scaredy-pig, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a still and a video. Freeze over fight or flight!

Two guinea pigs and a stuffed rabbit in a purple Easter basket, with carrots and plastic eggs.

I’ve been listening to the audio version of “A Wrinkle In Time,” read by Hope Davis. 📚

It’s been many decades, and it brings me right back to my childhood. (Inspired by Ted Lasso assigning it to Roy Kent: “Am I supposed to be the little girl?”)

Grace, the guinea tortoise, comes out of her pigloo shell just far enough to capture her favorite prey.

The crowdfunding campaign for the Star Trek: Voyager documentary broke the record with $1.2 million raised, almost double what they raised for the excellent DS9 doc, What We Left Behind.

To The Journey: coming 2022. I’m proud to be a Voyager fan. 🖖

It’s already April 1 for some of us. I remember when it used to be fun to pull a light-hearted April Fool’s joke.. But somehow the pranks got out of hand. And tedious. Anyway, be wary.

And I can promise you that nothing called is being cooked up by me or @manton.

Happy birthday @Gaby and all the other March babies.

I thought you’d appreciate this birthday photo from 1962. Little girls do grow up fast—my dad could tell you. 😇

The drooping flowering tree has flowered. It also grew two shoots straight up like antennae. Usually it only gets one. The landscapers will trim it.

In other news, hairdresser’s shears are on their way to me today. Pandemic coiffure coming soon.

Spring flowering trees in the neighborhood

It’s already Monday for this week’s Micro @monday podcast guest @rom. Have a listen! It was a lively chat, and I also learned a lot about ube, also known as the purple yam, a delicacy I spotted in Rom’s photos recently. 💜

Asking the Ulysses-using folks out there: can you offer tips to @SolwayGal on posting photos from Ulysses? Thanks!

It was a treat to chat with @jayeless who has so many interesting interests! Have a listen to the latest episode of the Micro @monday podcast, as we cover: Melbourne, indieweb, linguistics and regional English, Harry Potter houses, and of course, Gidget the cat.

Lots of folks checking out, thanks to the new version of Ulysses adding support for posting directly! I look forward to seeing new voices in the community.

(As a reminder, we take our community guidelines seriously. Email if you have concerns.)

I can’t believe I’m in the middle of #7 in the Joy Ellis series featuring DI Nikki Galena. On audiobook, that’s over 40 hours of listening, but how can it be? I swear I just learned about this series from @Miraz a week ago. They are very good! 📚🔪🕵️‍♀️

Vaccination envy is something I didn’t predict I’d be plagued by.

(If I start getting crabby, I remind myself that each vaccination benefits me too!)

The latest batch of stickers are finally in the mail. Apologies to those who requested them a while ago. I can’t even blame it on procrastination. It’s more like “nocrastination”—a task that appears nowhere on my list completely slips my mind. ⭐️📫

I really enjoyed the latest episode of @HemisphericViews. If I had to be performance reviewed by a manager (something I’ve never experienced before), I’d want it to be @Burk.

I can’t believe it’s been six months so far. Good job, guys!

The sunbeam is more attractive than my lap this morning.

Hopefully I’ll get some cuddle time tonight when I come back to serve dinner to the kitties.

Two kitties on the cat perch in the sun.

The good news: I appear to have passed neighbor kitty inspection.

The bad news: I can never leave.

Two cats inspecting my shoeone cat in the lap

This weekend I get to take care of my new neighbor kitties. I finally get to meet them!

Two kittens

I’m trying to be nice to myself today because I had to go to the dentist. (Second visit for a replacement crown.)

Pain, expense, self-recrimination, plus a dash of childhood trauma. There’s no sensitivity toothpaste for the soul, but bourbon is helping a bit. 🥃

I had great fun chatting with @NellKate this week for the Micro @monday podcast She shares some of her favorite books.📚

I had planned to edit this yesterday, but the weather was too nice to sit in front of the computer for long. 🌤

The Feb. Photoblogging Challenge (+ March Bonus Days) is over. So impressed with the creativity and variety of posts. Manton has wired up a special Discover page in grid format which is fun to scroll through. So many thumbnails! (We have ideas on enhancing the display.)

For some folks, there is some time left to post a photo for March 3rd’s prompt defiance, suggested by @Portufraise.

If it’s already March 4th for you and you haven’t posted yet, feel free to defy the calendar.

Day 31 of the Photoblogging Challenge - March Bonus Days: defiance.

Defying gravity.

I took my eldest nephew skydiving as a high school graduation gift. 🪂 Defying my natural inclination not to exit a plane mid-flight. (Defying common sense…)

Jean and handsome nephew survived skydiving.

Bonus Day 30 privacy photos—guinea pig edition. Grace rearranges her hideys for maximum privacy. The cardboard tunnel is like a porte-cochère for the pigloo.

guinea pig cage with pigloo and tunnelGrace in her private lair

Day 30 of the Photoblogging Challenge - March Bonus Days: privacy.

The Hedge of Solitude.

View of hedge fills the window

“More parsley or I will keep this up all-day.” - Grace

I’m partially responsible for spoiling her since Ada’s been gone.

cc: @herself

Living at home alone for nearly one year, nothing springs to mind for the prompt photo today. I have nothing but privacy. I will have to get creative.

Day 27: Pompasetting

My dad was a guest on Voyager Revisited. Besides Star Trek, we also talked about our memories of space mission launches in our home state of Florida. He snagged VIP passes for the launch of Apollo 13. He said my mother wore her best dress, and here she is.

Day 26: Favorite

One of my favorite conferences is Release Notes, at this venue particularly. The hotel was built in the Indianapolis train station, the meeting space was the old main hall, and many of the rooms were converted train cars. I love trains! / @DazeEnd @joec

train car hotel room exterior with statue of a conductor

Day 25: code

There’s a little Morse code baked into the Micro Monday podcast theme.

M M: — — — —

Not that anyone would notice, but it gave me a good starting place for composing.

Screenshot of Garage Band

Day 24: babies.

Not the best photo, but the best photo I have of my guinea piglets, when they were just 2 months old and could fit into one pigloo with room to spare.

I gathered up lots of little branches in my backyard, and some big ones, the product of our windy ice storm last week. They’ll be fodder for the Solo Stove! 🔥

My Watch credited me with 0 exercise minutes, but my back says I’m done for today.

Steel fire pit and pile of branches in wooden garage.

Day 23: Banana

I’m eating a half of a banana every morning, improving my potassium intake in an effort to reduce my blood pressure. 🍌

one and a half bananas in the refrigerator

Day 22 (slightly late)

I just finished a rewatch and podcast recording about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6. Dark but still compelling. The musical number “I’m Under Your Spell” in Episode 7 demonstrates a double meaning.

Willow watches while Tara casts a spell. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I’m taking today off. I had a dentist appointment for my broken crown that happened while I was on my little coast trip. The dentist lost power last week during the snowpocalypse.

Day 22 photo prompt is spell (@poetalegre) and 23 is banana (@Ohbananajoe). @manton is curating.

Day 21: colors

In 2008, I was on the Macworld Geek Cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean, with a stop in Marmaris, Turkey. I bought this magical scarf there, with so many colors that it goes with everything. It’s a staple of my wardrobe. I’m always happy when I’m wearing it.

Attractive middle-aged lady wearing colorful scarf

It’s been very busy Sunday. I was late to curate the photo challenge photos; ironically, the bulk of my time was spent producing and recording the annual Incomparable Spelling Bee. Now it’s dark and I don’t have a new photo for colors.

On the plus side, new Micro Monday edited!

PS. We’ll have a bonus extension of prompts for March 1-3, since it’s a short month, for those who are looking to get a 30-day streak.

Day 20: Weather

Enjoyment of the Oregon Coast is weather-proof, a revelation to me, who only went to the beach in South Florida on warm sunny days.

Rainy view of Twin Rocks, Oregon

Inspired by @arush’s trip through the Sue Grafton alphabet, I started the series again via audiobook. It’s almost 30 years since I read A-J, so I’ve forgotten “whodunit.” I’m reminded why I loved Kinsey Milhone. A calming listen, despite the murders! Next: D is for Deadbeat.

Day 18 (belated): at home

Guinea pig home décor goals. I like elements spaced apart, maximizing open space. Grace likes her pigloo next to the food bowl, to minimize her time exposed in the open where I might catch and eat her. (Yeah, I t’s been 6+ years, but it could happen?)

guinea pig cage with hideys spaced apart on one endguinea pig with pigloo next to food bowl

Day 17: Still

My car is still in this spot after 6 days. I have canceled two appointments (dentist and PT) rather than try to get out on the roads and then find another parking space.

Day 16: erudite

My narrow field of erudition: the work of Jean Stafford is something I like to collect. I feel an affinity with other women named Jean.

A few photos of my guinea pig habitat supplies for @ericmwalk. This is just the tip of the iceberg of stuff I have purchased for them. 🤣

Parsley acquired. The human food shelves were still quite bare. Even the wine selections are getting sparse. Luckily I have a stash of pasta and some frozen Instapot stews on hand. And I splurged on a box of Blue Star chocolate donut holes, since real food was unavailable.

In January, I offered to send out a batch of stickers. Well, I still haven’t done it. 😔 Apologies to those who are waiting! If you want a sticker, send your mailing address to Hopefully the snow has melted by Friday, and I’ll walk to the post office.

We are officially out of parsley. I tried to buy a backup bunch at the corner store Saturday but it was sold out due to snowpocalypse. Must go out in the slush today or face the wrath of my rodent overlord.

This morning at 5 am, I woke up with a panicked thought. “I totally forgot about the cat during this snowpocalypse. He must have run away! I’ve been too focused on the guinea pig.”

It took me a while to reach the logical conclusion that I must not have a cat, because I never buy cat food. (I haven’t had my own cat since 1994.)

Day 14: Compassion

Dr. Burgess of Southwest Animal Hospital loves guinea pigs…and ferrets, hedgehogs, rabbits, turtles, lizards. A true specialist in small and/or exotic pets. His care and compassion for little creatures always impresses me, even if the patients are skeptical.

We still have spots on the challenge calendar open for new suggestions! Email me at with 2-3 ideas.

I really like having a community-generated prompt list. It’s much better than the Random Word generator or me trying to craft a month’s worth of prompts.

Photo from this afternoon. Tonight it’s sleeting. I probably won’t be leaving the house for a while. Please send bourbon. And parsley.

You’d think I’d be used to being stuck at home by now, but I always feel trapped when I’m snowed in.

Snowy back stoop

Day 12: I didn’t spot a sporg at the coast this week but I’m told this is where they hide out.

The snow and/or freezing rain has started. I’m glad I had the sense to put in a grocery order for this morning, or else we’d be out of parsley.

large orange guinea pig staring at me

Day 11: This is a serious machine. I think it is the same vintage that we had when I was a kid.

Remember when things were built to last forever?

classic Maytag washer

Day 10: Energy

At the coast, I was really in awe of the effects of the sun and the moon. Such energy affecting everything around me.

Sunset on the Pacific.

Day 8: Hope

I hope the next couple days next to the ocean help me reset my circadian clock to Pacific Time! 🥱😴⏰

The new episode of Micro @monday is available. I had such a nice time chatting with @mariovillalobos. I was under-caffeinated when we recorded, but he was very nice to put up with my frequent flubs, edited out of course! Give it a listen!

Day 7: craving

I crave a visit to the Oregon Coast. I crave fun hangout time with my niece and nephews.

At least in the former case, I will be remedying that with a 3-day solo jaunt to the coast starting tomorrow. The latter case will have to wait until we are all vaccinated.

Oregon coast with kids playing

Oh! I found a photo with me in it, standing next to my target. But no bullseye. 😒

Me standing next to an archery target.

Day 6: Sport

It’s been a while since I “arched.” This is from July 2011. It’s possible that it was @macgreg’s arrow. It could have been mine. I am not terrible at archery.

Archery target with one arrow in the bullseye

When I bought this house, the siding was one of the few things I didn’t love. Layers of textured aluminum that needed cleaning and painting, and would still look pretty shabby. Today’s prompt led me to read about siding history. 70 years ago, I bet the owner was happy to get it.

Close up of vintage alumminum siding

Day 3: Comfort Pre-pandemic, I had “fix chimney and install a gas fireplace” on my to-do list. Thankful that I got my act together and managed to have the whole thing completed by mid-March, because it made a big difference for stay-at-home comfort.

Living room with a gas fire and comfy chair

So this is what you get when you share from Flickr to on iOS. In an ideal world, it would be nice to display the photo with a link. cc: @canion

So cute

Ram Dass:

If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family.


Or just record a Star Trek podcast with your dad.

I thought it would be a bonding experience to watch Coda together, the one where Janeway’s dad shows up. 🤷‍♀️

New: Voyager Revisited 22

February 2021 Photoblogging Challenge Details

It’s been six months since our last photoblogging challenge in August. Time has flown by…or has it? 🤔

We’ll begin the challenge on Monday, February 1, with a prompt for each day. Again, the list of prompts are compiled from community suggestions.

New prompts posted below

If you want to earn the 30-day Photo Challenge pin, posting a photo every day in February is a good start. But February is a short month, so we are going to add 3 bonus days of prompts March 1-3 in order to help you reach this milestone. (And 31 days of prompts gives a little leeway for people who might miss the first day. This happens every challenge. ☺️)

Here are the first week’s prompts, as suggested by members of the community. The order was chosen at random. Thank you to everyone who has made a suggestion so far! There is still room on the calendar for prompts–let us hear your ideas. Email your top 3 suggestions to

Bonus prompts

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

It’s been a challenging week, due to (or evidenced by) serious insomnia.

I landed on a little mantra for myself: pick up where you left off. It’s helped me not to add overwhelm to the other issues. Much better than trying to double my efforts and “catch up.”

Our 2nd Annual February Photoblogging Challenge starts Monday. 📷😮

As we did in the August 2020 challenge, the daily prompts will come from community suggestions. Email 1-3 prompts to

And thanks for all the great suggestions so far!

It’s almost time for our 2nd Annual February Photoblogging Challenge. 📷🥳

Like our August 2020 challenge, the daily prompts will come from the community. Email 1-3 prompts to

Larry King’s passing reminds me how my grandmother always listened to his late night radio show on Miami’s WIOD 610 AM. My sisters and I had many overnights at her house in the 1960s and we all fell asleep to loud Brooklyn-accented chatter.

I think I finally figured out the math: for each shot of espresso I have in the morning, I stay up one more hour past midnight.

Someday I’ll get back to a more conventional circadian schedule. Today is not that day.

I’m feeling a lot more creative about plans and projects today. It’s as if a significant part of my brain was in silent anxiety mode, using up most of the energy the last several months.

It’s a done deal now. :: exhales ::

The singers all moved me. I wasn’t expecting that. 😭

Amy Klobuchar was really good.

Biden hit the right themes. I wish we could have a VP address in the same program.

The new firepit has arrived, and both my brother and brother-in-law want to come over for a fire warming. One is a bit of a pyromaniac, and the other got a new axe for Christmas and wants a reason to chop stuff.

My Moment: 4th Anniversary 🎉

Today is the 4th anniversary of Manton’s announcement that the Kickstarter stretch goal would be to hire a community manager for…and also the 4th anniversary of proposing myself for the job. 😇

My plan was to celebrate today with a “state of the community” post, including updates on discoverability and engagement, and on diversity.

But I’ve had a busy and tiring few days, and I’d rather postpone writing about these important topics when I’m feeling sharper next week.

PS. wow, four years goes by fast! 😳

Almost time to walk down to my local post office. If you’d like a sticker, email me your postal address:

(I have international stamps, so no worries if you are outside the U.S.)

Ok, it seems to be working again. Whew! I had that terrible feeling one gets when one’s primary social media outlet is no longer available. 😅

Something is definitely not working for me on I will need to sort this! I need to use this platform for my job. 😉

My account was having an identity crisis last night and posted personal posts to the Micro Monday account. It looks like signing out and signing back in on the app solved it. Admittedly I’m an edge case: multiple micro blogs, two teams, and a renamed user.

Also it was 2 a.m.

New episode of Voyager Revisited has been posted! A great chat with Shelly Brisbin, whom I would love to lure to, about the episode Revulsion (S4E5), one of my faves.

Organics Are So Revolting

After @cheesemaker’s enthusiastic recommendation, I put the Solo Stove fire pit on my Christmas list. It was backordered to mid-February, but it coming January 12. 😀

I think Pandemic Backyard Micro Cinema will still be a thing in 2021, so this will warm up me and my guests.

Solo Stove fire pit in use in the great outdoors somewhere

And the vote is certified. Time to go to bed. I wish I had a time machine to go to January 21, i.e. the day after the inauguration, which I was already nervous about.

I feel like I need to watch this through to the end. Someone needs to keep an eye on these people, and to sigh with relief when the vote is certified.

I did not have “glued to the television all day and evening” on my to-do list today. 😳

I’m grateful they were able to get the Senate proceedings moving so quickly. I thought I’d be up all night seeing this procedure to the end.

If your resolution for 2021 is to have a sticker, I can help. Email your postal address to I will probably send out a batch next week.

(If you listen to @theweeklyreview or @voyager_cast, let me know for a bonus sticker or two. 🗓🖖) stickers on a windowsill on a rainy day

The Fave Eight is a corrective to what 2020 felt like overall to me, which was this:

Several shots of my backyard and hedge throughout the season

I don’t remember who suggested this last year, as an alternative to Instagram’s top liked photos.

Here’s my 2020 Fave Eight.

Eight 2020 photos, incl. me in Fla., at the Doctor Who con, with my nephew in the backyard, guinea pig birthday and more.

Happy First Monday of 2021!

I don’t have a fresh episode of Micro Monday to offer, but the latest episode of the @relayfm Parallel podcast features @stevesawczyn and me as guests of host Shelley Brisbin. I was glad for the chance to get to know Steve a little better.

Goodbye @macgenie, hello @jean

I’ve been using “macgenie” as my internet name since I first signed up for Digg (Wikipedia article) in March 2007. A friend asked me to “digg” his news story, and I said I would try to do it quickly, but that I often suffered from decision paralysis when it came to choosing a user name. He suggested the name macgenie, a play on my first and last name, with the added hint that I am a Mac-using person and (laughably) have some magical touch with my computer.

It was before Twitter, before the iPhone. I felt a vague unease about using my real name, so I just stuck with @macgenie for all the signups that followed. But I never truly felt connected to the name. Years later, when I tried to switch to my own name, it was too late. (There are tons of Jean MacDonalds out there.) I resigned myself to this online identifier, which had the advantage of being relatively unique.

When we first launched, I debated whether it was time for a new user name. I decided to use @macgenie, because it would be helpful to others if they were cross-posting to Twitter. After nearly four years of microblogging, managing the community, and being part of something that is unique and wonderful, I care a lot less about Twitter. A LOT less. I’m not closing my account there, and may occasionally post and interact with my friends over there, but it’s time to make the switch to @jean. The fact that I asked Manton to reserve the name when we launched was an indicator that I wish I could just be myself.

I’ve noticed a number of people on changing their user names lately. I think this is a natural evolution once you get comfortable with a community and figure out how you want to use your account. It’s not hard to change your user name. But there are some consequences, which I will now be experiencing. The good news is that I’ll be reporting issues to Manton and requesting features, and will soon document the process in a new Help article.

Unexpectedly I have my dog niece for New Year’s Eve company.

Related: I do not like people who shoot off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve and 4th of July, especially 2 hours after midnight.

Dog sitting by the door, ready to escape.

I’m also going to be watching Trading Places this afternoon, which is a good New Year’s Eve movie. I wonder if @bitdepth has any other recommendations. cc: @Alligator

Apparently, if you start watching The Poseidon Adventure (1972) at precisely 11:35:28 on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be right on time for the movie’s 10-seconds-to-midnight countdown.

I’d tell you what happens at midnight, but spoilers!

All my best wishes for 2021, microbloggers and families! I learned to appreciate staying close to home this year. 🏡🥂

View from my backyard x 20 in 2020

Planning a New Year’s Eve movie watching party with my siblings. Until The End Of The World is appropriate, but too long and complicated for the purpose. 🌏 🔚 🎥 🇮🇹🚗🇫🇷🚊🛫🛬🇩🇪🛫🛬🇵🇹🛫🛬🇷🇺🚊🇨🇳🛫🛬🇯🇵🛫🛬🇺🇸🚢🇦🇺🛻🚀

So maybe The Poseidon Adventure? 🇬🇷 🌊🛳

Last Christmas treats and cuddles with Grace. We hope everyone had a nice holiday. 🥬🥂🍰

Guinea pig eating lettuce in a cuddle cup

Merry Christmas/Eve, 🎄🥂 🌟

wheek wheek wheek (insert guinea pig here 😏)

Tonight’s coquito making was a success. I even put together a dairy-free batch for my brother-in-law using coconut milk instead of the evaporated/condensed milk.

Coco Lopez brings back memories of college. 😇🍹

mason jars of coconut nog, aka coquito

I’m feeling a lot better today. I managed to get to the store for the coquito ingredients (h/t @Gaby) and will make a batch to share with my family as part of tomorrow’s socially-distanced gift-and-treats swap.

I made the mistake yesterday of doing one more chore (guinea pig cage refresh, disproportionately strenuous to pet size) and tweaked my back. I’ve been laid up with my heating pad and that’s just depressing.

Then I open, and it made me happy. I’m grateful for this.

Rereading 12 days of microblogging, Day 2: photos

On this week’s episode of Micro Monday with @helgeg, I commented that I have noticed a “blossoming” of photoblogging on M.b, and I think it has really enriched the community. I love that it brings the world closer to me.

In 2018, we did a series called the 12 Days of Microblogging, a way to showcase all the things you can do with your I’m going to be highlighting these every day, starting with Day 1: Microcasting.

Have you thought about doing a podcast? It’s easier than you think.

Here’s a quick way to close all browser tabs on my iPad Pro: knock it off the chair so it lands on the lamp’s granite base. Weird. And painful for both me and the iPad, which got a little chip on the corner.

I also dropped my iPad mini this morning. Can I go back to bed now?

All afternoon, I’ve been thinking it’s Monday. I realize it’s because I had a great chat with @helgeg for the Micro Monday podcast earlier.

Now, shortly after midnight, it is Monday, so here’s a new episode. Helge has quite a variety of interests!

(Are you following @monday?)

I let a predictable frustration knock me off my stride this week. I had to fill out my application for health insurance and reevaluate the plans. After hours of research and phone calls, I determined there is no way I’ll be able to continue with the three doctors I see most. In the end, I decided to prioritize one and save $1200 in premiums.

After each session of trying to sort this, I’d be spent. I find that I take it personally, as if corporations are specifically uncaring about me. Then I’d retreat into doing nothing productive for the rest of the day to calm down.

Anyway, it’s done now. No wonder I procrastinate doing this every year. Next year, I’m going to just put a couple days off on the calendar with no expectation of getting anything else done and (hopefully) schedule something nice like a massage or pedicure as a reward to offset the crankiness.

Docsember Day 8: I edited Finding people to follow.

I added a recommendation that people fill out the “About me” profile to help others learn about their interests and decide to follow them. I also added a bit more detail about Discover subcategories and emojitags.

Docsember Day 7: I spent some time drafting a new document but it needs some tweaking. Hopefully I can post the finished version tomorrow.

I haven’t been actively promoting Micro Monday lately AND I am behind on posting new interviews on the @monday podcast. 😬

But there are so many new interesting people who have joined M.b lately, I bet they would love your follow recs—and they probably have some of their own.

Docsember Day 6: I edited Profile photos

I added the specs required for podcast profile photos. I also de-emphasized the use of Gravatar. For a short while in the early days, you had to use Gravatar to have a profile photo. It still works, but most people upload a photo to M.b.

Docsember Day 5: I edited Frequently asked questions.

I had a rough night of sleep, so I was looking for a quick victory. A few questions could be deleted—the issues had been fixed! I plan to do a more extensive edit on this page and research new FAQs. Suggestions welcome!

Olive and Mabel, YouTube’s star Labrador Retriever pair, never fail to amuse. Scent of a Dog.

Bonus: the clips are always short. this one is 58 secs.

Docsember Day 4: I edited Writing longer posts

I wanted to clarify what happens on the timeline when you write a long post without a title.

Part of the challenge of this challenge (😅) is resisting the urge to work on more than one article a day. I naturally see things that need fixing elsewhere as I work on one task, but if I’m going to do this consistently for the month of December, I need to stick with one defined doable project per day and consider it a victory.

You don’t have to use titles for longer posts if you don’t want to. If you write a post that is longer than 280 characters, the title field will appear, but you don’t have to fill it in. When you publish the post, the first 280 characters will appear (approximately), and then the post will be truncated with an ellipsis (…) and the URL of your blog, linked to the complete post.

(Yes, I’m creating a screenshot for Docsember!)

The elusive guinea turtle pokes it head out of its shell, hoping for a treat.

Grace in her pigloo, with just her head sticking out.

I was just reminded by @miraz that I forgot to post this time lapse video of Grace’s thanksgiving feast here. Grace is very skittish (after 6 years!) and doesn’t like being exposed. But a festively large pile of lettuces is hard to resist. 🥬

Docsember Day 2: Added links and updated the pricing information on the Welcome to page. Also, from Day 1, the additions to the video intro page are visible. I wanted to start with these to help orient newcomers.

Added to my 2021 list: update the video itself. 😅

ICYMI Next week is this week now…


It’s time to send out stickers! Send me an email ( with your name and mailing address. I’m going to send out a batch next week.

We got a new book! Well, it’s mostly for me. Grace is a big Tribble fan, and sadly, there are no Tribbles in Star Trek: Voyager. I had to bribe her with parsley to do this photo.

Grace the guinea pig with the new Star Trek Voyager compendium

Docsember Day 1: I did an little update of our video introduction page. It’s not posted yet, because I need to sort a technical issue. But I did it. Link to come!

I published the latest episode of Voyager Revisited, with special guest @Miraz! We look at Voyager’s own lower decks, as we discuss the episode “Good Shepherd” (S6E20). There is a lot of good humor, good lessons, and another that answers the question: What Would Janeway Do?

Docsember: A Personal Writing Challenge for December 2020

Organizing this year’s Microblogvember, I wanted to give our community an outlet for daily writing that was doable, even if you couldn’t commit to writing 1666 words a day for NaNoWriMo. (And serious kudos to those folks who did NaNoWriMo!)

Lots of microbloggers participated, myself included. Even though I was posting the daily prompt, I did not slack off and count that as a Microblogvember post for the day. 😇 But the prep of each day’s random prompt, plus the curating of the posts for the Discover feed, was a good way for me to start off each day and I appreciated having something regular to concentrate on during a challenging month.

Focusing on one discrete micro task first thing in the morning became something I look forward to. I need another structured challenge, something doable but valuable to me, and hopefully to you.

Today I’m starting on a project I’m calling “Docsember.” (It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like Microblogvember. 😉) Each day I will review one of the Help docs and publish the update. Some days the changes might be minor. Other days, I might write a new document to add to the Help when I find that’s necessary.

Suggestions for edits or new Help docs are welcome! If you have a bunch of web pages of your own to update, feel free to join me in Docsember for mutual encouragement purposes.


For completionist sake, I’m circling back to Day 4 of Microblogvember, near. It was the day I lost my little guinea pig, Ada, so near and dear to my heart, and I couldn’t bring myself to post about anything. 😢

Selfie with Ada

I think it worked. From my original Microblogvember 2020 post:

We know that a lot is going on in November 2020. A commitment to writing something small every day might help you deal with everything else competing for your attention. And, as a community, we can support, encourage, amuse, and inspire each other during these challenging times.

I’ve enjoyed this year’s Microblogvember. To reinforce the habit of a small daily challenge, I’ve come up with a personal December project. Each day I’ll focus on a Help document that could benefit from updating/enhancing.

Can I call it Docember? Docsember? 🤔

Microblogvember has several more hours to go on the planet, but it’s already over in some places 🌏, and close to being over in others🌍.

The prompt for the final day is reinforce. Lots of great contributions so far, and you can see them here.

I had a lovely day meandering around Trieste last year on a day trip from Ljubljana. After I took this photo, I trippped, injured my knee badly, and my pedestrian pursuits were over for the next four months.

Now I am really grateful for the ability to walk on my own two feet.

The Port of Trieste, July 2019View of my feet in the ambulance

The final prompt word for Microblogvember is reinforce. (If it’s still Sunday for you, you can get in your November 29 post with pedestrian.)

Whether you managed a post every day or missed a few, thanks for participating! I hope you found it a helpful exercise in microblogging.

Random unordered items arrive in my Instacart order. This combination of ingredients is so strange, I worry if it’s a secret message, perhaps a call for help?

Meanwhile they forgot the parsley, which I order every time. The essential guinea pig treat.😫

two large jars of mayonnaise, tortillas and dates

Walked all the way to the store but I forgot my mask. 🤦‍♀️

The upside: more steps!

My dilemma is that guinea pigs are social animals who should have a friend or at least a frenemy, but I’m not sure I want to get another after having lost my pretty princess Ada. Grace and I are getting to know one another better, now that our sassy extroverted one is gone.

guinea pig in a pigloo with a huge pile of lettuce

I could adjust this post’s time stamp to make it appear to come out before midnight.

We did a swap of Thanksgiving dishes, and it felt like trick-or-treat on Halloween.

Trading dishes with friends and family, masked and outdoors.

One of my nicknames for Grace is “sweet pea” which is short for “sweet potato.”

Happy thanksgiving! Enjoy your sweet things. 🧡

Sweet potato imitating a rotund orange guinea pig

It’s time to send out stickers! Send me an email ( with your name and mailing address. I’m going to send out a batch next week.

You know how Snoopy makes toast and popcorn for Thanksgiving dinner? At my house, it’s pie and lettuce. The lettuce is a feast for Grace the guinea pig. The mini pie is all for me. The big pie will be shared, though not with Grace (who would choose lettuce over pie any day).

Bakery pie box, mini pumpkin pie and a container of lettuce

Accidental Micro Meetup: @samgrover was behind me in the pie pickup line!

And now pie (and gluten-free bread cubes) have been acquired. Let the Thanksgiving cooking begin!

Sam and me, masked up of course!

Time to go pick up the pie! Say, @Burk, do you need me to pick up yours? I am very trustworthy with pie…😇😂

One of the most intimidating steps before the first session of App Camp For Girls in June 2013: provisioning all the iPod touch devices so they could run apps from Xcode. I had nightmares about it before, having only provisioned one iPhone in my life, but I was successful.

12 iPod touches being provisioned on my dining room table.

RIP Mayor David N. Dinkins. 1989 was my first year living in NYC, and I can still remember how excited we were when he defeated Koch in the Democratic mayoral primary, and then Giuliani in the general.

The spatial audio feature with the AirPod Pros and iOS 14 is spooky good. I’m watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix in the backyard and at one point I had to pause just to be sure the audio wasn’t coming from the iPad, worried the neighbors would hear it. 🪄

The first time I saw snow was the winter of 1975. I was 15. Our family was driving to Boone, NC to ski. As we traveled north, I could see white patches along the side of the road. I thought they were sand. In Florida, people used white sand on their lawns to fill in patches.

It’s possible that my only pandemic Thanksgiving requirement is one gluten-free bourbon pecan pie from New Cascadia bakery. Anything else will be a bonus. (I’ve ordered mine. Deadline is Sunday.)

I made a stew in the Instant Pot tonight that is so good, I’m in danger of eating it all tonight.

Most people would rather give help than ask for it. But if we never ask for help, when will the helpers have the opportunity? Once this inter-dependence was pointed out, it made it easier to ask for help when I need it. Don’t wait for a dire need: do your fellow helpers a favor!

I like to make these little train ride movies, despite the unfavorable conditions and technique (holding the iPhone flat against the window that hasn’t been washed recently). They remind me what it’s like to be en route. (Puget Sound, Dec. 25, 2018)

My earliest clear memory of being self-aware was when I was five. I was sitting in the bathtub, thinking that five years old was the perfect age and wishing I didn’t have to get any older.

Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far through Microblogvember. We’re half way there. I’m saying a little prayer to the random word generator gods in hopes of good prompts for the next half.

I am always nervous about watching spooky shows. I loved The X-Files, but it was a challenge. I remember exactly where I was Nov. 23, 1997, dog sitting at my sister’s, watching the episode Detour, and spending every commercial break on the phone with a friend who was also 😬😱.

Today’s Microblogvember prompt has sent me down a rabbit hole, listening to (and reading about) that kickass Canadian band The Guess Who.

“On July 17, 1970, the band was invited to perform at the White House for the Nixon family and its guests, but they were asked to eliminate ‘American Woman’ from their setlist.”

Wearing my Kelly Joe Phelps t-shirt at my rock-n-roll stage debut, Satyircon, Portland, Oregon, Ladies Rock Camp showcase, 2008. cc: @pgor

Jean and Kim at the debut of The Toxic Sheilas, 2008.

As I like to say, “There’s always tomorrow.”

(Which is not true, I know, but it lets me off the hook today.)

My house is almost 95, which is a bit elderly by local standards. I do like that it has character, even if it needs some major work occasionally, and I hope that’s how my loved ones will regard me if I get to be that age.

Chimney restoration work on 1926 Tudor style house

I forced Grace on the scale today. I want to keep track so I avoid unintentionally overfeeding her or spoiling her with too many treats.

Large orange guinea pig on kitcen scale. No one likes being weighed.

I’m disappointed in myself that I forgot about “binders full of women” when I was casting about for an idea in response to yesterday’s Microblogvember prompt. Today’s word is force. Time to generate tomorrow’s random word… stay tuned.

I’ve done a lot of odd jobs over the years in between “real” jobs. One was demo’ing software in the big box stores. Once at Costco, I had to inflate Quicken balloons for my display. I should put it on my résumé.

(It didn’t end well. A little boy kept sneaking behind the booth to try to play with the helium. I sternly banished him. Later, his dad came to the display to yell at me. I actually thought he had come to apologize for his son’s behavior. My blood still boils a bit remembering that jerk!)

I slept late this morning. Reviewing all the posts to, I can pinpoint that I was asleep for about an hour after the presidential race was called. It looks like @hawaiiboy was up early* and his was the first post, at 8:27 Pacific.

(*Or maybe up very late!)

Most days, you’ll find me puzzling over Good Sudoku, as a distraction. I think it’s good mental exercise, and preferable to following the news to closely.

New emojis on iOS. 😑 One of my big disappointments this year is the rejection of my proposal for a guinea pig emoji.

proposed guinea pig emoji

I lived in Brooklyn Heights for three years during my NYC days. We lived atop a brownstone on State St. at the corner of Sidney Pl., which featured the classic front stoop. St. Charles Borromeo was down the block. Cammereri Brothers was a short walk down Henry. Very Brooklyn.

When I got up this morning, I discovered that my little guinea pig Ada had passed away overnight. Respiratory infections are very hard on these little creatures. She was 6 years old, pretty good for a gp.

So I’m not up to being on online today, which is a blessing I think.

I am having a hard time feeling “astonish” today. But I’m glad to see that most of you are more creative than me.

Day 4 of Microblogvember should be better for me. The prompt is “near.”

The first election I voted in at age 18, I cast my ballot for “liquor by the drink” (in Chapel Hill, you had to bring your own liquor to a restaurant in a brown bag) and against Jesse Helms for a second term in the Senate.

1 out of 2 is about my average ever since.

I’m grateful to have and the Microblogvember challenge. It gives me something positive on which to concentrate my energies this month.

For @martinfeld: respect the hedge! Mine really needs a big trim, but I love the feeling that I’m inside some massive green castle walls in the backyard. Also, I leave the trimming to the professionals.

For his Halloween birthday, I gave my brother The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack aka @AstroKatie. Coincidentally my 7 y.o. nephew wore a NASA costume this year. I give you future well-read pilot and explorer Jonathan MacDonald!

7-year-old in a NASA costume reading astrophysicist Katie Mack's book.

Day 1 of Microblogvember is off to a busy start. I’m collecting the posts in a special Discover feed. You can bookmark that page or add it to your RSS reader, to admire the work of your microblogging comrades and to remind you not to break your streak!

The Day 1 Microblogvember prompt is dreary.

(For our friends on the other side of the Int’l Date Line where it’s already Monday, here’s the Day 2 prompt: concentrate)

We set our clocks back in the US. As the great band Chicago once said, “Does anyone really know what time it is?”

My most memorable Halloween was 1967. My little brother was born that night, and he’ll always be my little brother, even if we are definitely not little kids anymore.

Best treat ever. 🎉🎃

me and Bob, ages 8 and 1. Bob and me, very middle-aged

The challenge is to write a post with the prompt for 30 days in a row. If you want to pretend you’re in New Zealand and start today, that’s up to you. 30 days, 30 prompts = challenge completion. 🇳🇿 🌏🌍🌎

I wish I could be in New Zealand right now…

Are you ready for Microblogvember to start? Random word prompts every day for 30 days. It will be fun, I promise.

You don’t have to overthink it. Unless you like overthinking. It’s totally up to you.

No surgery for Ada today. After they put her under, they couldn’t intubate her because she’s got a respiratory infection. So she needs a course of antibiotics first.

They sent her home, packed in hay for warmth. Dispensing oral meds and eye drops, I’m going to be unpopular.

In case you missed it, the second annual Microblogvember starts Sunday! A fun challenge to get you into a daily microblogging habit.

I’ll post new prompts will at 7 am New Zealand time, starting on Sunday, November 1 (which will be 11 am Saturday here in Portland.)

I need to get to bed! There are only two hours until my obligatory middle-of-the-night wake-up at 4 am. 😐

Microblogvember Returns! 🗓🖊🖋

It’s time for the Second Annual Microblogvember challenge. I can’t believe a year has gone by since the first one.

The prompts (updated daily; see all the contributions on the Microblogvember Discover feed)

  • Day 1: dreary
  • Day 2: concentrate
  • Day 3: astonish
  • Day 4: near
  • Day 5: stoop
  • Day 6: puzzling
  • Day 7: inflate
  • Day 8: bind
  • Day 9: force
  • Day 10: elderly
  • Day 11: say
  • Day 12: wear
  • Day 13: guess
  • Day 14: spooky
  • Day 15: far
  • Day 16: memory
  • Day 17: train
  • Day 18: dependence
  • Day 19: possible
  • Day 20: fade
  • Day 21: winter
  • Day 22: border
  • Day 23: capture
  • Day 24: provision
  • Day 25: call
  • Day 26: adjust
  • Day 27: dilemma
  • Day 28: mask
  • Day 29: pedestrian
  • Day 30: reinforce

Microblogvember was inspired by the Blogvember challenge, which uses prompts to encourage folks to post every day in the month of November. Because this is, we micro’d it: instead of a long blog post, you write something short that uses a daily prompt.

The plan is the same as Microblogvember 2019:

1) Every day I will go to a random word generator to get the latest prompt and post it.

2) Participants write a micropost, 280 characters or fewer, that includes the prompt word.

We want this to be as simple as possible, so you have fun while flexing your writing muscles and establishing a daily writing habit. We know that a lot is going on in November 2020. A commitment to writing something small every day might help you deal with everything else competing for your attention. And, as a community, we can support, encourage, amuse, and inspire each other during these challenging times.

There’s a Microblogvember pin that you will earn if you complete the challenge. To allow for time zone differences, we’ll count posts made between October 31 and November 2, U.S Central time.

There’s also a Daily Blogger pin, for posting 30 days in a row. If you’ve had your eye on earning that one, here’s a good way to do it.

If you want to use a hashtag, it’s #mbnov. Email me if you have questions at Or just reply. 🙂🖊🗓

Ada has surgery on Friday morning for the lump on her shoulder. The vet’s office just called to remind me no veggie treats for two days before. That’s 48 hours of shrieking deprived guinea pigs I have to endure. 😱

two hungry guinea pigs

The 24-hour trip to Astoria was a quarantine-qualified success. I like big bridges and big ships, and had a view of both from my hotel room on the Columbia River. No hanging out at pubs or in our hotel rooms, but some nice outdoor time.

Astoria bridge, ship, sunset

Manton will cover community management duties for me. And my neighbor will cover my guinea pig concierge responsibilities. 🙂

Have a nice weekend!

I’m going on a little road trip to Astoria today with my sibling and their families. We have to burn some expiring travel points. For social distancing, three separate cars and hotel rooms. I’m definitely anxious about leaving home, but looking forward to a change of scenery.

Last week I worked too hard on too many different projects. By Sunday, I was a mess, equal parts exhaustion and anxiety. So I did something I never have before: I turned off my phone. It worked. But there were consequences. I wish there was an out-of-office reply to texts!

I accidentally left out @rom’s gorgeous photo from the A Day In The Life collection. The downside of human curation.

Checking out one of my daughter’s plants. These two are ready for the harvest. Taken at around 730am (UTC+8), October 14, Southeast Asia #adayinthelife

Thank you to everyone who participated in A Day in the Life!

There will probably be some late additions due to posting delays and to technical questions that we will resolve, but I am so happy to see these 138 views of life around the world.

If you’ve posted a photo for the challenge, you should see your new pin by going to your Account page on the web and clicking Show All.


There are fewer than 4 hours left in the 24-hour photo challenge.

Still wondering what to post? Here are 115 photos submitted so far to inspire you. An amazing trip around the world.

Less than 9 hours to go in the photo challenge. 86 photos so far. Keep them coming! I am going to bed now, but promise everything will be curated to the Discover feed in the morning.

I’m taking a bit of time to scroll back through the 80 photos that have been submitted so far for the global photo challenge, and I’m enjoying each one, as well as the overall impact of seeing what you’re seeing.

I’m ready for some more from the UK and Europe now…

Portland, Oregon / 2020-10-13, 11:30 a.m.

I love seeing photos from all over the world and getting to know people a little better by what they choose to share.

A Day In The Life: photo challenge

heavy moss on roof of bird feeder and garage, rain falling

Here’s the special Discover feed for A Day In The Life of Our Online Community.

All the photos will be manually added to this collection. I will be adding a few random photos to the main Discover feed (truly random–no judgements from me!), for the purpose of reminding people.

It’s noon in Austin, home of HQ, and we are kicking off the A Day In The Life, a 24-hour photo challenge.

Take a photo and post it within the next 24 hours. Include a caption with the location and the local time. Optional: link to the challenge or #adayinthelife

Starting/Ending Times for 24-hour Photo Challenge Calculated

I used to doublecheck, and to correct for Daylight Saving Time status as of the day of the challenge.

Starting Oct. 13, ending Oct. 14:

  • UTC+5:30 (Bangalore): 10:30 pm
  • UTC+3 (Moscow): 8 pm
  • UTC+2 (Brussels): 7 pm
  • UTC+1 (London): 6 pm
  • UTC: 5 pm
  • UTC-3 (Buenos Aires): 2 pm
  • UTC-4 (New York): 1 pm
  • UTC-5 (Chicago): 12 noon
  • UTC-6 (Denver): 11 am
  • UTC-7 (Los Angeles): 10 am
  • UTC-10 (Honolulu): 7 am

Starting Oct. 14, ending Oct. 15:

  • UTC+13 (Auckland): 6 am
  • UTC+11 (Sydney): 4 am
  • UTC+9 (Tokyo): 2 am
  • UTC+8 (Beijing): 1 am

The 24-Hour Photo Challenge starts in less than 24 hours!

Starting at 12 noon U.S. Central Daylight Time on Tuesday Oct. 13, post one photo from where you are. Include:

  • Location

  • Local time when the photo was taken


  • A Day In The Life linked

  • Tag #adayinthelife

I’ve seen some questions of what would make good post for the 24-hour challenge.

The idea is to provide a window on what life is like where you are. Family, home, neighborhood, shops, activities, parks, events, views–those are just a few ideas. It’s up to you!

Some folks have been wondering what type of photo they want to submit for the 24-hour challenge. The idea is to provide a window on what life is like where you are, so It’s really up to you. Family, home, neighborhood, shops, activities, events, views–just a few theme ideas.

Signing up for the challenge means you’ll get a reminder or two from me so you don’t forget to send in your contribution. There’s also a survey of time zones for us to get a sense to what extent the challenge is global.

148 people have signed up for the photo challenge, A Day In The Life Of Our Online Community!

The challenge kicks off on Tues., Oct. 13 at noon US Centrall time, and runs for 24 hours. I’m looking forward to the collection we’ll create of one day around the world.

There was a hiccup with the timeline today, so I’m reposting a few posts I wrote about the upcoming photo challenge.

Some folks have been wondering what type of photo they want to submit for the 24-hour challenge. The idea is to provide a window on what life is like where you are, so It’s really up to you. Family, home, neighborhood, shops, activities, events, views–just a few theme ideas.

Signing up for the challenge means you’ll get a reminder or two from me so you don’t forget to send in your contribution. There’s also a survey of time zones for us to get a sense to what extent the challenge is global.

148 people have signed up for the photo challenge, A Day In The Life Of Our Online Community!

The challenge kicks off on Tues., Oct. 13 at noon US Centrall time, and runs for 24 hours. I’m looking forward to the collection we’ll create of one day around the world.

I am not much good at charts, but here is my attempt to show the time zone representation of the photo challenge participants. The numbers:

  • UTC-10: 2
  • UTC-7: 19
  • UTC-6: 8
  • UTC-5: 18
  • UTC-4: 30
  • UTC-3: 3
  • UTC: 1
  • UTC+1: 25
  • UTC+2: 16
  • UTC+3: 2
  • UTC+8: 4
  • UTC+9: 2
  • UTC+10: 6
  • UTC+12: 3

For @mcg @midath1193: the MacCabin. Our family of six + 🐕 spent every summer in this ramshackle one room A-frame. As adults, we built a larger more modern, insulated (!) home for our retired parents, but no amount of plumbing and heat will replace this little one in our hearts.

A-frame cabin in the woods

To be clear, we’ll be recording today at 1 pm Pacific, a little more than 5 hours from now.

Got any questions for @manton about 2.0, Sunlit 3.0 or anything else?


It’s been six months since our last Micro Monday podcast Q&A with @manton. We are recording a new one today, 1 pm Pacific time (UTC -7).

Submit your questions via @-reply or email (!

Today is the birthday of my friend Michelle, who passed away in 2016. She loved autumn, and threw amazing Halloween parties. She was the positive energy source that made App Camp operations run. I miss her this time of year especially.

Harry Potter costume party: Sybil, Bellatrix, HermioneMe and Michelle, App Camp

It’s been six months since our last Micro Monday podcast Q&A with @manton. We are recording a new one tomorrow, 1 pm Pacific time (UTC -7).

Submit your questions via @-reply or email (!

In case you were wondering, we hit our goal of having 100+ people signed up for the global photography challenge before 2.0 launched. 🥳

117 people in 14 time zones! But only one Kiwi, according to the time zone poll. I hope we get a few more! Sign up,here.

The day of a big release is like Christmas morning. Parents stay up late, finishing the wrapping, bows, tags, and then are pretty tuckered out when the kids open their goodies. Enjoy 2.0.

A new episode of Voyager Revisited went up today. We talk about the holodeck, the old-fashioned 1930s serial adventures, and pheromones in _Bride of Chaotica! _ My guest David J. Loehr knows something about all three. 🖖🕷💘

A Day In The Life of Our Online Community: A Global Photography Challenge

In October, is hosting a 24-hour photography challenge. Members of the community are asked to post one photo that presents a window on life where they are on one specific day.

Here’s how it works:

  • The challenge begins at 12 pm (noon) Central Time in the United States on Tuesday, October 13, and ends at the same time on Wednesday, October 14.

  • During this 24-hour period, take a photograph and post it, along with a caption that provides the location and local time.

  • You are also encouraged to include a sentence about why you blog or what your online community means to you.

  • Your post should fit into the 280-character limit of a micropost so that your photograph appears on the timeline.

Our goal is to have at least 100 participants from around the world in the challenge. Please register your intention to participate. We’ll email you a reminder, maybe two, so that you don’t forget and miss your opportunity to be part of this.

The challenge is inspired by the photography series A Day in the Life of… co-created by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, which launched with A Day in the Life of Australia in 1981.

“The series has acted as a time capsule of sorts to remind us to take joy in our remarkable similarities and celebrate our extraordinary differences.” – Liesl Ulrich-Verderber, “100 Photographers, 24 Hours: A Powerful Legacy,” Ever-Widening Circles

Just had a mini dance lesson from the Hamilton choreographer: a few steps from My Shot. 💃💃🏽🕺🏻🕺🏿 It’s part of the program on today’s Vote Forward event.

I really appreciate that they included a little physical break in an hour of community letter-writing.

Bharath (aka @purisubzi) is on the latest episode of Micro Monday.

His observations on are really nice, an affirmation of our mission here, which made me all 🥰.

Warning: you might be struck with a craving for Indian food. I was.

The Air Quality Index is down from 436 to 26. 🎉 I will be walking to the post office tomorrow to mail stickers to 15 people. If you want to be in this batch, email this info:

Name Address

(Apologies to those who have been waiting since July. 😒📭)

I have become hooked on “reaction videos” from this particular YouTuber, who is just a lovely young person discovering the music of my youth. Today he watched/listened to Aquarius by The 5th Dimension from 1969, which was one of my requests. It’s pure joy and I needed that. ♒️ ☀️

“When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

– Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

August Photoblogging Challenge: Gallery

At the end of the August Photoblogging Challenge, I lamented that we didn’t have a gallery of all the submissions. Manton and I discussed what we could do for the next time, and he suggested using a tool that would let us manually add photo posts to a special Discover section for the challenge.

In theory, this would work very well for a future challenge. I tested it out on the August submissions, but it is nearly impossible to manually fish out 31 days of themed photos from many contributors. I put in a couple hours of reviewing and curating to see how it would work. You can view the gallery but please note:

  • It’s a proof of concept, not a complete record. A lot of photos are missing, so if you don’t see yours, feel free to let me know and I will get them added.

  • We will be adding a grid view as well.

Curating will work much better on a daily as-you-go basis, rather than trying to find everything after the fact. But it was really a nice experience reviewing the photos that I did. There were some I had appreciated properly the first time, or cool details I missed.

Scene: Discussing coronavirus, fire devastation, and air quality with a Seattle friend.

Him: At this rate, would we even be surprised if frogs rained from the skies?

Me: I would be surprised. Then I would immediately search online for “Best Home Frog Filter.”

On Day 23 of the August Photoblogging Challenge, the prompt was filter.

@spratte suggested it, probably thinking about photographic filters. Yet a several folks checked their air filters and replaced them. An unexpected benefit of the challenge, esp. for WA, OR and CA folks.

This morning I got up quite late because 1) perpetual smoke = dusky all day, and 2) why bother to get out of bed.

I felt guilty that the GPs were getting fed so late, so I gave them parsley, which is the equivalent of chocolate cake for breakfast.

Me and my daddy.

This is probably 1961, despite the date stamp. People procrastinated bringing their rolls of film into the photo store!

I’m getting ready to send out a batch of stickers. Send your requests now. I may not send out another batch until after November 3, so as not to stress the postal system during mail-in voting. 😇

Send name & address to 📬

The arborist was already scheduled for Sept. 25, but Mother Nature got the job started last night. (Today I am grateful for neighbors who are handy, strong, and own a power saw. 🙏)

Labor Day always reminds me of my parents, who were involved in organizing teachers into Miami’s first public school teachers union UTD.

I learned the meaning of “collective bargaining” before I was 10. My father created a slide show to explain it. With actual slides!

Based on Screen Time data, I decided to set my first ever limit on an app. After setting what I thought was a generous allowance, I immediately got an alert that I have 5 minutes left for the day. 😳

I may have a sudoku problem.

Backyard Micro Cinema tonight with my bro and his family. We watched “Abominable,” which was just great.

My bright idea about Jiffy Pop resulted in an underwhelming result, OTOH. Oh well. I haven’t made JP in like half a century. 😬

I have really upped my #GoodSudoku game. 🤣

(Actually I kept running into unplayable warnings, so I ended up erasing every number played to start over and then solved it. Edge case, no doubt.)

And finally, an emoji rendition of a month’s worth of photoblogging prompts, a silly but challenging thing I like to try to do:






On to a new month with new things to do! 🗓🍂

August 2020 Photoblogging Challenge: ✅

It’s September 1, which means our month-long photo challenge is over. It was a great thrill for me to see all the contributions each day, responding to creative prompts suggested by members of the community. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

A number of people commented on the quality and the quantity of the resulting posts, compared to our first photoblogging challenge in February. I noticed a “leveling-up” too, though I didn’t try to quantify it. I do know we’ve had some very talented photographers join the community since February, but I also believe that the community as a whole has been more active in sharing their photos and appreciating’s potential as a photoblogging platform.

Update: Check out these recaps with photos:
Maique Madeira (@maique)
Greg Moore (@gregmoore)
David Sinclair (@dejus)
Sam Grover (@samgrover)

Things I did right:

  • Asked for community prompt suggestions. For the February challenge, I created the list myself, using a combination of word generators, thesauruses, and common sense. By getting community involvement, the whole experience was even more interesting for me, and for you too, I hope. I am always looking for good ways to introduce members of the community to each other.
  • Labeled the challenge days numerically, rather than by date. The community is definitely global, and those to the East of the International Date Line are almost always a calendar day ahead of headquarters. I tried to make sure they got a reminder of the new day’s prompt by early morning there. At the same time, other folks did not feel constrained to the exact 24-hour day, and that is just fine. This is, and you control your content however it works for you!

Things I would do differently:

  • Ask for one single prompt suggestion. Initially, I got multiple suggestions from folks, which meant I would have to choose from your lists, defeating the purpose of having the prompts be community-generated. I went back to folks and asked for their top pick, or I used the first prompt on their lists.
  • Figure out a way to showcase and archive the challenge photos without overwhelming the usual Discover feeds. By default, I added every challenge photo to the main Discover feed. This is an all-or-nothing proposition as far as we are concerned; we are not in the business of judging, honoring or even “Liking” your work.

    But, as the community becomes more prolific in challenges, this undermines one of the main purposes of Discover, which is to give a snapshot of what’s happening on Adding so many photos overwhelms the text entries, and could make it harder for new or potential users to skim this sample timeline. I am going to work with Manton to figure out a way to showcase challenges in the future.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, either as replies on the timeline or emails to Our next month-long challenge will be Microblogvember, but I am cooking up some mini-challenge ideas to sprinkle into the schedule too.

A second dose of love: I got to see my oldest nephew before he takes off for University of Oregon tomorrow. His junior year! How can that be?

(He’s mimicking littlest nephew’s pose from earlier.)

Less than a half a day to go in the month of August, if you go by the time at the International Date Line West, which means the Photoblogging Challenge is drawing to a close. I would still love to see more contributions on today’s prompt! #mbaug 📷❤️

Love. (Day 31 of the August Photoblogging Challenge) #mbaug

I’ve had a hard time of late, being a flake in this relentless pandemic mode, feeling meh about discovery and hope. But today my emotional tank got a top off with a visit from littlest nephew.

me in a mask, nephew with a hula hoop

My friend and neighbor Jen, who is an origami teacher, persuaded me to sign up for the Foldspace Origami Convention Sept. 25-27.

I am pretty much a beginner, but it seems like a good skill to add. I’m also looking forward to seeing how they manage the remote technology!

My smart and compassionate niece Paige is in her final year of nursing school. She’s also a sensible person when it comes to pandemic behavior. That gives me hope. (Video here.)

The prompt for Day 25 of August Photoblogging Challenge is hope. In many time zones, you still have hope of getting a photo posted for this prompt on this day.

But if it’s already Day 26 for you, your challenge is:


Thanks @poetalegre for the suggestion!

It’s nice to have a cloudy day for a change. (Yesterday’s prompt, but yesterday was sunny…)

backyard view, trees and large hedge

Day 19 of August Photoblogging Challenge is still in effect for some of us. Show us your ribbon photos!

Meanwhile, it’s already Day 20 for microbloggers east of the International Date Line and the prompt is:


Thanks @mitch for the suggestion!

I’m really enjoying this year’s 360|iDev conference, despite the remoteness. The talks have been great, lots of interaction amongst speakers and attendees, and tomorrow we will attempt virtual karaoke. 🎤🎉

To the spider, this is a grid, I suppose. This one seems to be protesting the opening of the garage as a backyard micro cinema.

large spider web over the garage entrance

Day 18 of August Photoblogging Challenge, is grid. Loving all the orderly compositions.

And now for something completely different. It’s Day 19 for lots of microbloggers east of the International Date Line and the prompt is:


Thanks @agilelisa for the suggestion!

I’m really enjoying being part of the 2020 360|iDev conference. The organizers are doing a good job of facilitating attendee interaction. I miss seeing people in person and visiting Denver, but oh well.

Near my brother’s house, in a spot where a USPS mailbox was removed.

mock headstone. Vote as if your life depends on it.

I am behind on the photo challenge. Here’s my silhouette early yesterday morning, contemplating how the heat would climb 30 degrees by afternoon. 🥵

backyard, sun, long shadow, green hedge

Day 16 of August Photoblogging Challenge, is still going with the prompt stationary. Depending on your location, there’s still a few hours to make a move and post a photo.

Day 17’s prompt should bring out the critter pics:


Thanks @jemostrom for the suggestion!

On Day 11 of August Photoblogging Challenge, a wide range of transport-inspired images, including a couple clever metaphorical takes.

It’s already Day 12 in Aotearoa New Zealand. The prompt will certainly challenge you:


Thanks @rnv for the suggestion!

Transport. (Day 11 of the August Photoblogging Challenge) #mbaug

There is nothing I love more than a long train trip (48 hours or more) with a my own sleeping compartment and a dining car for meeting new people.

amtrak sleeping compartment with the bed made

This is my first political yard sign. Portland’s current mayor has shown himself to be utterly useless in the current social and economic crisis we are in. He’s had 70+ days to step up to the challenge of mediating the protests and taking steps to reform the police.

sarah iannarone for mayor sign

Seeing some stunning views on Day 8 of the August Photoblogging Challenge!

I want to remind everyone it’s now easy to add an accessible description to all your photos. Tap the photo preview for a pop up to fill in, or edit the HTML IMG ALT property after posting.

Screenshot of accessibility description pop up.

Day 7: Daytripping

I know a bit about putting the “trip” into daytripping last summer. Here’s the Parco di Miramare in the beautiful and historic port of Trieste. About an hour later I was in on the way to the emergency room with a blown-out knee. #mbaug

On Day 7 of the August Photoblogging Challenge, I feel like I’ve traveled to many new places thanks to your daytripping photos. 🌍🌏🌎

It’s early morning on Day 8 in Aotearoa New Zealand. The prompt is:


Thanks to @florentin for the suggestion!

Folks have really stepped up to the challenge of bisect on Day 6 of the August Photoblogging Challenge So many interesting takes.

It’s already Day 7 in Aotearoa New Zealand. The prompt is:


Thanks to @Stevsmit for the suggestion!

(Seven new prompts coming soon!)

Just received a birthday card from my sister in New Zealand, postmarked June 5. (She loves meerkats.)

birthday card featuring two meerkats

We could use some more suggestions for the August photoblogging challenge. Our goal is to have a suggestion from a different community member for each of the 31 days.

Got an idea? Email me: (All suggestions will be rewarded with a sticker!)

Flow. (Day 5 of the August Photoblogging Challenge) #mbaug

Every summer I would take the niece/nephews to the coast. They spent hours constructing dams to block the flow of this modest rivulet.

Twin rocks, Oregon coast, kids building a dam

These girls now recognize the sound of an Instacart order being delivered. Or as they call it, “The Parsley Express.”

Up. (Day 1 of the August Photoblogging Challenge #mbaug

I’ve spent so much time looking up at this tree the last 143 days. It obviously needs a trim, now scheduled for September. (My tree is getting a haircut before I do…)

Large sycamore maple canopy fills the frame

I’m thrilled to announce that the ScreenCastsOnline tutorial has been made available now to non-subscribers. Everyone can enjoy @rosemaryorchard’s detailed and extremely helpful presentation.

I created an outline to help folks navigate the 46 minute video.

ScreenCastsOnline tutorial now available to everyone

ScreenCastsOnline released a 46-minute tutorial on how to use The presenter is a voice known to the community, Rosemary Orchard. (The editor is another one of my favorite people in the Apple community, J.F. Brissette.)

If you are a Mac or iPhone user, and you like in-depth tutorials of software that are well-produced and well-presented, I highly recommend you check out ScreenCastsOnline. For a $8/month (or $72/year), you’ll enjoy access to a rich library of tutorials. I’m excited to announce that ScreenCastsOnline has generously made the tutorial available to everyone.

The service has been around since 2005, launched by Don McAllister, a popular speaker and producer. I’ve been following Don all this time. We worked together on tutorials for Smile’s products, and we’ve also shared many good times at Macworld, Blogworld, and the MacMania cruises. The ongoing popularity of SCO is a testament to Don’s passion for helping folks with comprehensive yet clear software tutorials.

I’ve created a detailed outline here of the topics that Rosemary covers, with timestamps for some frequently-used features, to help current community members to skip ahead. 😇

Getting started with a tour of website (1:00)

  • create an account
  • choose a theme
  • add podcast and video hosting
  • writing your first post
  • preview and markdown
  • Finding people to follow and using the Discover tab
  • Replies
  • Chronological timeline
  • Favorites
  • Mentions and conversations
  • Mute or report a user

A tour of the options available under the Account tab (10:00)

  • Complete your About Me profile
  • Add a profile photo
  • Adding crossposting
  • Crossposting to Mastodon

Editing posts and site organization

  • Time/date, title, content (15:15)
  • About, archive, photos, replies
  • Adding pages and navigation links (17:50)
  • Uploading a photo and copying HTML (19:23)
  • Categories (20:55)
  • Using category filters
  • Design (23:10)
  • Site Title
  • Podcast category and author
  • Track podcast downloads
  • Custom themes (24:40)
  • Edit css colors, footer content
  • Include conversation on post page
  • Use a custom domain (26:45)
  • Save posts to the Internet Archive
  • New post options (28:17)
  • Save drafts
  • Show categories
  • Automatic title field for long posts
  • Long posts vs microposts
  • Create photo posts compatible apps (31:00)

  • Getting started with app for Mac
  • Tagmoji in Discover for browsing special interests (33:10)
  • Menus on Mac app (33:55)
  • Create new post (Command + N)
  • Add markdown formatting
  • Add photos
  • Help options

iPhone apps: and Sunlit (35:50)

  • Sign In with Apple or email
  • Allow notifications
  • Create new post
  • Add photo, markdown
  • Choose category
  • Using Sunlit (38:07)

Perfect aunt moment with baby Jonathan, 2013.

My brother commented “So glad we didn’t miss baby time, that would’ve been really rough.” Agreed. Now I view these four critters as virus vectors. 😂


Niece, nephews admire new baby cousin in aunt Jean’s lap

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the first 7 days of prompts for the August Photoblogging Challenge, the morning of August 1 in Perth aka @canion Time.

I’ve received 14 great prompt suggestions so far, each one unique! I’d love to have 31 to fill the month.

Reality check. I canceled my rideshare driver insurance coverage. Took down the @Lyft stickers and the driving checklist by the door.

It will be months at least before I’m comfortable with strangers in my car. I’m sad. I liked driving for Lyft. 🚗

rideshare driving checklist

In an alternate timeline, I’m in the air, winging my way back home after a month studying Slovene in Ljubljana. 😢

The A380 had already been changed to something else so the regret is not as great. (I really wanted one last 380 flight.) ✈️

July 27 LHR-YVR itinerary screenshot

I registered for 360|iDev, coming August 16. The organizers have always done a great job of choosing speakers and encouraging social interaction. I am looking forward to seeing how they translate their creativity to online.

(I’ll also organize the 3rd 360|iDev Micro Meetup!)

It’s 1 a.m., and I am wide awake, following the protests in my city. Inspiring: the Wall Of Moms, who form a boundary between the protesters and the federal agents.

Also, Leafblower Granddad is pretty cool. Apparently they’re great for blowing back tear gas.

August 2020 Photoblogging Challenge

Updated with a list of prompts below. Happy photoblogging!

Time has flown by since our February photoblogging challenge and we’re ready to challenge you again! We’ll begin the challenge on Saturday, August 1, with a prompt for each day.

This time, the list of prompts will be compiled from community suggestions. Email your top suggestion ideas to If we use your suggestion, we’ll include an acknowledgment and we will send you a sticker, so please include your mailing address.

If you want to earn the 30-day photoblogging pin, posting a photo every day in August is a fun way to do that!

Update! All prompts now published

As suggested by members of the community. The order was chosen at random.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

And the final three days:

It’s been three days since Poppy’s family returned from their trip and took their love bug home. I have PCS (phantom chihuahua syndrome), and have to remind myself it’s ok to change positions in bed without worrying about waking her up.

sleeping chihuahua

This is Poppy. She’s staying with me for a week while her people are away. She’s a champion at napping and outdoor lounging, which makes her the ideal housemate. 🐕

Today is the anniversary of the Tumble in Trieste, when I tore up my knee while on a day trip from Ljubljana, resulting in an early departure from my planned month in Slovenia.

Lesson learned: don’t walk and look at your map at the same time. 😕

Congratulations to @becky on the release of YarnBuddy! 🧶

As a lapsed knitter with an unruly stash of unused yarn, I am inspired to catalog it and turn it into projects. I love the intuitive organization of the app and its tools.

It was great to take a break. I stayed away from all social media, Slack, and news. I read an actual hardcover book (I haven’t read a book in ages), I watched Hamilton (first time), Do The Right Thing (first time since 1989), and did some serious decluttering.

What did I miss?

I am taking the rest of this week off. Not going anywhere, but I’ll be on break from the internet*. See you lovely folks again July 6.

*except for streaming Hamilton—first time ever seeing or listening to it, because I always assumed I’d see it live and didn’t want spoilers.

Me: Oooh, big package just dropped off. Maybe a very belated birthday gift? 🎁

:: opens it up ::

Me: Oh right, I ordered this.

Grace and Ada: Thank you for not running out of essentials. 🧻

Carefresh cage bedding for the guinea pigs, aka GP toilet paper

Now that WWDC is over, I can focus on the important job of shipping out stickers. I have been collecting requests since June 14. If you get yours in now, you’ll be in this week’s batch going to the post office. Details:

Be Water, the Bruce Lee documentary, is great. I’m not a martial arts film follower, but having watched Ip Man recently because of Netflix’s insistence that I would like it, I appreciate the genre a bit more. The exploration of racial prejudice in Hollywood resonates still. 🎥

Thursday is a great night for partying at WWDC. We’ve made it (almost) through the week!

Here’s the Spotify playlist we play at LIVE Near WWDC before the show and during breaks. Girl power mixed with nerd tunes and Bash bands.

We didn’t do much socializing during today’s photo op. I will organize more virtual meetups after WWDC, in a variety of time zones no one has to wake up at 3 am to attend.

It is nice to put names and faces together!

I just sent out the invite for the meetup, which begins at 12 noon Pacific time.

Tip: change your Zoom display name to include your handle and your location. We won’t have time for real socializing, but we can put names to faces. 😊

(Jean, @macgenie, Portland, OR)

In about an hour, we are hosting a short virtual Micro Meetup so we can take a snapshot (aka screenshot) as our 2020 WWDC Micro Meetup photo. We’ve done this every year in person, and we want to have this one for posterity.

There’s still time to sign up!

After a poor night’s sleep, four hours of Apple presentations and two hours of Zoom socializing, I think I’m about as tired as I would be if we were in San Jose. Enjoying some backyard self-isolation now without FOMO.

We’d love to have a short virtual Micro Meetup for WWDC at our usual time (Tuesday lunch, 12 noon PDT) so we can take a “group photo” to add to our growing collection.

Please sign up here to get the video conference link and make an appearance in our 2020 photo!

2020 WWDC Micro Meetup Group Photo 😄📸

This year, we would have held the 4th Annual WWDC Micro Meetup. Obviously, that can’t happen this year, but we would like to do a quick remote meetup so we can add another photo to our collection.

If you can make it at 12 noon PDT on June 23, (Tuesday lunch has been our tradition in San Jose), please come say a quick hello and give us a chance to capture a Zoom meetup group photo for 2020 for posterity. Sign up to receive the Zoom link and more details! All are welcome!

Check out previous years’ group photos below. There is also a nice collection of photos by @jeffwatkins from 2018.

Update: 2020 WWDC Micro Virtual Meetup

2019 WWDC Micro Meetup Group in San Jose

2019 WWDC Micro Meetup

2019 WWDC Micro Meetup Group in San Jose

2018 WWDC Micro Meetup

2018 WWDC Micro Meetup Group in San Jose

2017 WWDC Micro Meetup

2019 WWDC Micro Meetup Group in San Jose

Manton is curating WWDC-related posts on a special timeline.

I’ll still be gathering your cats, dogs, kids, and other posts on the regular Discover timeline. Including new Micro Monday recommendations. 😀

Waiting for the keynote at WWDC. (What? Women Don’t Code?)

I know he had more prominent and important roles, but to me Ian Holm will always be Fr. Vito Cornelius. Here’s hoping heaven is like Fhloston Paradise without the Mangalores. RIP.

I came across a podcast I want to listen to, Hear To Slay with Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom. But it is exclusive to Luminary. 😭

I’m not paying $35/yr to support a podcast publishing model I disagree with. I would pay that to the creators for this one podcast though.

How to customise

Community member @miraz created a great trove of tutorials on how to make changes to your blog, including easy and advanced tips.

I thought it would be useful to the new microbloggers (welcome!) to mention it again.

My sister, who lives in New Zealand, wrote a song for me today:

It’s your birthday down here.
It’s your birthday down here.
It’s Jean’s birthday in New Zealand.
So she can start celebrating now.

(19 extra hours of birthday!)


I identified my email problem. The SpamSieve plug-in was deactivated, but its Mail Rule, which moves everything to a Spam folder first, was not. 🤦‍♀️

Thanks to @manton for the tip, and @rnv and @baker for testing. Your stickers will be sent soon!

When I first joined an online guinea pig community in 1997, we called ourselves “guinea pig slaves,” a joke about our demanding pets.

It was the protest against the tshirts worn by the cast of Suffragette that opened my eyes.

Now I’m a guinea pig concierge.

I haven’t gotten any email since 9 a.m. today. I don’t think it’s likely that no one sent me any. This for Gmail and FastMail.

Does anyone need a sticker? Send me your name/address at, and help me test this out!

Not unrelated to my earlier post, I’m looking for my first handheld gimbal stabilizer to improve my photo and video quality. Suggestions?

‪I have a difficult time with anything that requires manual dexterity, a side effect of medication I have been taking for 25 years. I never hoist a glass of water to drink without using both hands. I really felt a sting when I saw this being mocked. Being mean gets us nowhere.‬

Four years have gone by fast!

(June 13, 2016, WWDC San Francisco)

Group of developers at WWDC

I shared Kimberly Jones’s video “How Can We Win?” with my 85 y.o. dad. He watched it. It made an impression. We had a good discussion about it.

The Monopoly metaphor is spot on. I mentioned it when I sent the link to pique his interest. That he took the time made my day.

Anita Sarkeesian: “I looked around at our mutual friends and didn’t see anyone else having a problem, so I gave myself permission to think that there wasn’t one. I did not realise that they were doing the same to me; they were looking at me, and since I didn’t seem to have a problem, they too assumed there wasn’t one.”

What’s Up With Micro Monday?

It’s been over two years since we launched the ritual of Micro Monday. The idea was to help each other find new bloggers to follow. A lot of new folks have joined the platform recently, and I’d love it if we could help welcome them with recommendations. If you use the phrase “Micro Monday” in your posts, they’ll appear in the special Micro Monday category timeline automatically.

Not too long after we launched Micro Monday, I started an interview podcast with the same name, with a new guest from the community every week. I’ve published 84 episodes of Micro Monday. I had a record of not missing a Monday for a good while. In the last year, that hasn’t been the case for a variety of reasons. The last one was April 6 this year. (And that’s a chat with founder @manton.)

I know a lot of you enjoyed getting to know your fellow community members this way. I intend to get the podcast going again. I have a few ideas about how to refresh the format and maybe make it easier to maintain a weekly schedule. (And your Micro Monday recommendations will help me build a list for future episodes!)

Stay tuned.


Want to know more? The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Micro Monday

A lot of new folks have joined recently. Let’s introduce them to Micro Monday, our “Follow Friday” equivalent and help them discover new microbloggers.

Even if you’ve recommended someone before, it’s a good time to re-recommend.

3 years ago today: First WWDC meetup.

Sometimes Twitter makes me happy. Today there was a 4-episode tweetwatch tagged DoctorWhoBlackout. Besides offering solidarity with our fellow DW fans of color, a good deal of money was raised.

Related: can someone come over and help me off my couch? Ooof.

I heard a Black poet on the car radio who read a poignant poem in on the theme that “yes, we will make it, but not all of us will make it.” I heard it a month or so ago, though the poem was written before the pandemic. I didn’t write down the poet’s name. Anyone know it?

I just ordered pea flakes for Grace and Ada from GuineaDad. This site and the YouTube channel bring me much guinea pig info and joy. You will be amazed at his guinea pig architecture skills, too.

I spend most of my time/effort here, not on Twitter, but I can’t stop monitoring what is happening in Portland right now. Thankful to see restraint on the part of those doing the policing.

(First time posting one of my tweets to Promise not to make it a habit…)

(It’s the third night, not the fourth night, of curfew in Portland. I corrected my previous post.)

Third night of curfew in Portland announced. It’s the first time I’ve had my phone unmuted, and that emergency notification sound is quite eerie, breaking the silence. Holding a thought for those who will go and protest nonetheless, and those on behalf they go.

I have been quiet here the last few days. It’s a combination of shock, sadness, quarantine weariness, and a lack of anything worthwhile to add to the discussion. But I wanted to say that I am reading all your posts and I’m so grateful for a thoughtful community.

Just started watching Hannah Gadsby’s new show Douglas and I’m already laughing out loud.

Real loud. “Making fun of Americans is technically punching up, but that window is closing.”

This is good therapy. So far, but I’m optimistic.

I’m going to the post office later today to mail out some stickers. If you want to get yours in this batch, please email name and address to

Not to put blame on the cat exactly, but I suspect it was maneuvering into position to pounce on a bluebird, of which there have been many in the backyard.

A cat got stuck under the gate to my backyard today. I thought he’d wriggle out without my help, but I was wrong. I had to call animal control, who ended up removing my gate. I hope the kitty isn’t too injured and gets lots of love from its people when reunited. (It had a chip.)

Starting May 25, it’s Week 4, the final May Challenge Sprint. Focus: Art. 🎨🖌

Choose 7 drawings, paintings, illustrations, sidewalk chalk art, by you or someone else. Anything that inspires or amuses you.

On Day 7 of the book recommendation challenge, I can see that the recommendations I’ve compiled are books I read more than a decade ago, closer to two. I lost my excitement for reading books along the way, nothing grabs me like it used to, and I’m not alone.

Day 6 of the Book Challenge Sprint 📚#mbmay

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

A fascinating novel featuring an opera diva and a hostage situation. My introduction to Ann Patchett, still one of my favorite authors, who deftly mixes in the everyday and the extraordinary.

An short exerpt from the failed guinea pig playpen video this weekend. I tried setting up a little tripod to catch them at their eye level. It wasn’t long before Grace inadvertently shoved Ada out of the frame.

Queer Eye comes back June 5 from Philadelphia. Something to look forward to!

Due to a grocery delivery mixup, I have Ground Breaker’s gluten-free Porter instead of IPA #5 in the fridge.

How many months until a Porter-loving pal drops by? I’m tempted to put them in front of the house with a “Free Beer” sign, but that’s probably irresponsible?

Last day of the May Photo Challenge Sprint.

We learned a lot about what color Indigo actually is. It was a challenge for many of us, but Violet should be doable. Wikipedia says it is closer to blue than red, while purple is closer to red than blue. 🤷‍♀️ 🌈📷💜

The latest episode of the Causality podcast: Aberfan. @johnchidgey is so good at explaining engineering disasters and how they could be averted.

I learned of Aberfan from The Crown episode, which barely covers the history and science behind the tragedy.

Photo Challenge sprint, Day 5: Blue. It’s not every day that we get a blue sky in the Pacific Northwest. Today is one of those days. 💙🌈📷 #mbmay

(The easy colors were Red, Green and Blue. I think Days 6 and 7, Indigo and Violet, will be most challenging. Good luck!)

I’m getting ready to send out another batch of stickers. Instructions for requesting them are on the Welcome page.

If you need more than one, let me know.

We’ve entered the second week of the May Challenge Sprints. Last week’s theme was quotations. 💬

This week is photos, each featuring a different color of the rainbow. The first day color is Red, then

  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

📷🌈 #mbmay

Kicking off Week 2 of the May challenge sprints.: Daily Color Photo, starting with Red, then Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

Here’s 2020’s overachieving poppy. A couple more have bloomed in the meantime, but that first one is always a stunner.

Doing the quotation sprint was very eye-opening. I don’t usually collect quotations, but I found it an interesting and relaxing activity—but more difficult than I realized. I did miss one day, and I’m glad it’s not a month-long quotation challenge.

Today is Day 7, the final day, of the quotation sprint segment of the May Challenge Sprints.💬

Tomorrow, we begin the photography sprint. Every day a different color will be the prompt, following the rainbow, starting with red. 📷

Week 3: 📚 Week 4: 🎨

My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.”

— Michael Jordan 💬 #mbmay

Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Protest

(This poem was used in Season 5 of Orphan Black as the source of all the episode titles.) 💬 #mbmay

Expectations are resentments under construction.

– Anne Lamott 💬 #mbmay

It feels like the commercialism of Mother’s Day is a bit subdued this year. I’ve felt less affronted by mass culture assuming I have a mother to fête with flowers and brunch.

Mother’s Day #21 since my mom died, and it still hurts. If you’re feeling sad too, my condolences. ❤️

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

— Maya Angelou 💬 #mbmay

If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.

– Eckhart Tolle 💬 #mbmay

My brother, who was 5 when the Dolphins went 17-0, texting the family on the death of Don Shula: > When I was little I believed Don Shula and Bob Griese were always my back up dads. But you were always there for me, Dad, so it didn’t come to that :-)

“The Internationale,” (YouTube), conducted by Arturo Toscanini in 1944, part of a tribute to the Allied Powers, later removed by censors under McCarthyism.

(The full performance of Verdi’s Hymn of Nations: Italy, France, England, with USSR and US added.)

Happy May Day!

Coming May 4: Micro Challenge Sprints

After the success of Microblogvember and the February Photo Challenge, we are ready to challenge you again. Instead of a single month-long focus, we thought it would be fun to break things up with a series of challenge sprints!

Each Monday in May, we’ll kick off a new weeklong challenge sprint. Here are the details:

May 4: Quotations 💬
Inspiring, funny, serious, joyful, famous, made-up: it’s up to you!
Bonus: We’ve just activated the quotation tagmoji as a Discover category.

May 11: Photos: Color-A-Day Challenge 📷
We’ll prompt you each day with the colors of the rainbow, starting with Red.

May 18: Book recommendations 📚
Which are the seven books you most love to share?

May 25: Artwork and drawings 🎨
Show off your own creations, or share someone else’s work.

We are not creating a new pin for this series. But your posts will count toward existing pins, such as:

  • 10 Posts
  • 25 Posts
  • 7-day photo challenge

And if your trying to earn the elusive 30-day Blogger pin, you’ll get very close if you post for 28 days in a row in this challenge.

We’ll post reminders about each day’s challenge, and we’ll also add your entries to the Discover feed. And if you feel the need to use a hashtag: #mbmay

During morning coffee in the backyard laurel fortress, I had a visitor. Or more accurately, an inspector. Kitty observed me for a bit, then left to continue morning rounds.

striped cat gives authoritative stare

Jon Hays (@cheesemaker) and I are holding Micro Meetup this Thursday (Apr. 30) at 5 pm PDT.

If you’re interested, RSVP here. We’ll send invites via email.

This is a trial run to gauge interest and sort out logistics. The goal is to hold meetups in a variety of timezones.

I would love to take the guinea pigs out to lunch today. But it’s a little damp and the temperature isn’t going to break 70F.

And check it out…

**Micro Meetup next Thurs. (Apr. 30), 5 pm - 6 pm PDT. **

@cheesemaker and I will be holding a virtual happy hour. Everyone is invited to be a guinea pig at what we intend to be a regular event.

Mark your calendars. Plan your backdrops. Details to come.

2020 goals that have not aged well so far:

  1. Level up my travel hacking skills.

  2. Plan monthly meetups in PDX and elsewhere.

  3. Start using a big 2020-at-a-glance wall calendar to manage a year full of conferences, cons, meetups and travel.


Meditation book I’m listening to: “Bring to mind someone you’ve spent time with recently.”


Today @manton released an update to for Mac OS with a fix for a bug in the Instagram import.

(Does everyone know you can bring your Instagram photos over to your It was SO happy when I freed my photos from silo captivity! See Manton’s post for a video.)

My brother and I are having an Ip Man festival via Netflix Party. I adore Rogue One and Donnie Yen in it, so it piqued my interest.

Tonight, Ip Man 2.🥋

The Centre for Slovene as a Foreign Language (@centerslo) is now tentatively offering a USA- and South Africa-friendly schedule for the 2020 online course, depending on demand.

It’s an awesome challenging language for which I’m willing to get up to do the class at 7 PDT! You?

The final installment of “Getting Started With Microcasting” covers publishing: how your humble audio file and its RSS feed become a real podcast that everyone can subscribe to! 🎉

Go for it. All accounts include podcast hosting through 4/30/2020.

It’s been interesting curating a virus-free Discover timeline for almost a week. The experiment will be over on Monday.

In the meantime: please post your cat and dog photos so I can add them! (Or whatever pet you have.) It feels like there are fewer lately. 🐩🐕🐈🦜🦆🐓

If you like maps, you should check out @AJgloe’s feed. Lots of interesting new entries. 🌍🌏🌎

We have a new segment on @theweeklyreview called The Weekly To-Do. @jamesdempsey and I commit to one task each week that we’ll get done by the next podcast. It’s good for ferreting out tasks that need an extra dose of accountability. Bonus: new segment music! 🎵

Oops, I forgot about time zones. The daily class takes place at midnight PDT. I am pretty flexible with my schedule, but I don’t think taking a course from midnight to 3 am for 3 weeks will be a healthy choice!

It’s official. The Slovene Summer School program at the University of Ljubljana will go online only this year. Time to look into canceling my trip. 😭😭

  • The good news: I can still take the course!
  • And good news for everyone else: You can take it too!

I’m thankful for discovering this neglected corner of my backyard. It’s my daytime happy place.

I’m looking forward to the weekly Survivor family watch party tonight.

I’m planning to strike out tomorrow and go to the post office to mail out stickers to those who requested them. If you want to get into this batch, send me your mailing address in the next 12 hours. 😊 ⏳

The latest episode of Getting Started With Microcasting with me and @manton covers the post-recording processing you might want to do to make your microcast sound its best.

One more episode to this introductory series to come, focusing on publishing.

Me, one year ago today: “I had a big travel snafu today, my own fault. But it’s April 14, the 107th anniversary of Titanic striking an iceberg, and I have to ask myself ‘Are you on a sinking ocean liner? No? Then life is good.’”

This one holds up.

Weirdly, I just had a dream I owned a hamster. I took it on a train trip and it was constantly going missing.

Guinea pigs like to stay put…


I knew it was a longshot, but I am sad that the Unicode Consortium rejected the guinea pig emoji proposal.

They probably won’t consider a crying guinea pig emoji either. That’s what I’d use here. 😭😿

(But I’m never using 🐹 for guinea pig!)

Curating a Community Timeline During a Crisis

One of my jobs as community manager at is to sort through everything posted to the platform and select posts to highlight via our Discover timeline.

The Discover timeline is where new members of the community can find other members to follow, and where the community can find introductions from new members and follow them. For more details about the details of the philosophy and principles of the Discover timeline, see my blog post.

In the last month, this curation has become challenging. It’s not the influx of new members, who are interested in spinning up their independent microblogs to either record their quarantine experiences or distract themselves with new projects.* It is the reality that the majority of posts are related to the challenges we are facing: staying home, procuring groceries, schooling children, staying healthy and active, missing our friends and families and our public gathering places.

I’ve experienced some burn-out lately, living through all of your experiences vicariously while managing my own stressors. I took the holiday weekend off. This week, as an experiment, I’m not going to add any obvious coronavirus-related posts to Discover. It will make it easier for me to skim the aggregate timeline, and it will be interesting to hear your feedback on what it’s like having a virus-free reading experience.

I believe the Discover timeline should reflect what people are interested in, but given the fact that you are probably getting pandemic content everywhere else, maybe you’ll enjoy a respite. I also believe that community members can be a great support to each other, sharing mutual concerns and offering solutions. That won’t stop.

Take care, everyone, and thank you for continue to support It means a lot to us.

*I am enjoying all the dedication to such pursuits as: 🍞🥘🐈🐕👩‍👧‍👦🎹🎲🎨📷🐝🦆💐📺🎞🧰☕️🧶🧵🧘‍♂️

I’ve published another segment of Getting Started With Microcasting. @manton and I talk about software for audio recording and editing, including our own iOS app Wavelength, which is designed for microcasting.

Look for more episodes next week and have a nice holiday weekend! 🐰

A quiet nook in my backyard. It’s not my usual spot, but the nice weather means the neighbors on the other side of the house are outdoors chatting on the phone. Today I am thankful for my laurel hedge fortress.

backyard hedge and gate, with invisible squirrels.

More guinea pig cuteness. The instinct to stay in the cuddle cup is overridden by the instinct to eat fresh grass.

First fresh grass of 2020. The piggies didn’t get out at all last summer due to the knee surgery. I left the cardboard lid as a hidey this time to ease them into the great outdoors.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of vivid dreams. Last night I dreamed I was in Jurassic Park, with a T-Rex on the rampage.

Related: it’s 2 a.m. and I don’t want to go to sleep. 🦖

Getting Started With Microcasting: a short series of episodes covering the basics of launching a short podcast. I interview @manton, founder of and host of the microcast Timetable.

On the first episode: what is a podcast? (4 mins.)

Getting my money’s worth out of BritBox: a true binge (6 episodes in a row) of the latest series of Unforgotten, a fantastic detective series starring Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar. It was too good to turn off, and I didn’t have to be anywhere anyway. 📺🕵️‍♀️🕵🏽‍♂️

You all are killing it with the baking. I do enjoy adding your photos to the Discover timeline because it’s nice to see the creativity (and the home economics skills) flourish. 🍞🥖🍪🥧🥮

My family has a tradition of big parties for big birthdays. I had a pretty awesome 50th birthday party in 2010, with a Bollywood/karaoke DJ party at McMenamins Edgefield..

A few months ago, I decided I didn’t want to do anything big for my 60th in mid-June. So glad now.

I am thankful for TV watching dates with family and friends. We have standing dates to watch The Voice and Survivor, with video conferencing connecting us. The quality of the video isn’t great, and the shows aren’t the most compelling, but I am there for the company.

For @Gabz and anyone else who needs some cheer, birthday or otherwise. 🎂🎉📻

Finished Series 10 of Vera. I love her so much! Now, what do I do with the rest of my month of Britbox? Let’s see… oh, there is a whole series of Midsomer Murders I haven’t seen yet. 🔪⚰️😵😏

At least the dogs aren’t subject to social distancing. (Goldie, my next door neighbor dog)

Today I’m thankful for my pals on The Incomparable Network. We had a lively chat today to wrap up Picard. A podcast a day keeps the blues away.

I look forward to another quiet night alone with the guinea girls.

Some people think this emoji:


could represent a guinea pig.

Never ever confuse hamsters and guinea pigs. That’s a common but serious faux paw.

I have been meaning to write up the process of submitting a guinea pig emoji to the Unicode Consortium for a few weeks now, but I’ve been distracted. 🤷‍♀️

I thought you all would enjoy seeing the proposed design too, by Neven Mrgan. I really hope it gets accepted!

Submitting a Guinea Pig Emoji Proposal

On March 4, 2020, I submitted a proposal for a guinea pig emoji to the The Unicode Consortium, the folks who decide these things. My guinea pigs are five-and-a-half years old, and I always wanted to have an emoji to represent them. There is a rabbit (🐇), a rat (🐀), and a mouse (🐁). There is even a hamster face (🐹), which some suggested would be usable as a guinea pig. *

Update (4/13/2020): The emoji was rejected. The committee felt that there wasn’t enough evidence that a guinea pig emoji was needed.

You can see that The Unicode Consortium’s emoji proposal request page has been updated, with the Guinea Pig marked “New” instead of “No proposal form.”

Like many guinea pig enthusiasts, I’ve always complained that there was no emoji representing our favorite rodent. I was inspired to stop complaining and work on a proposal when I saw Jennifer 8. Lee of Emojination give a talk titled “How I Became An Emoji Activist” at the 2018 XOXO conference. From Jennifer I learned that there was a process to getting a new emoji accepted. It requires some research and writing. My friend Heidi Helen Pilypas also inspired me with her successful proposal for a bell pepper/capsicum emoji.

The Unicode Consortium has a very specific template for emoji proposals. (Emojination has an annotated template that can be very helpful.) Besides building a case for why a new emoji is needed, you have to do research on the relative popularity of the proposed emoji item via Google and Bing searches.

You also can make the case that the proposed emojii can represent multiple meanings. Guinea pigs are synonymous with laboratory test animals; human test subjects are referred to as guinea pigs; and guinea pigs are also a popular meal in some parts of the world. (Researching that last bit was hard on me 😱, but I knew it was important to be complete and as objective as possible for the proposal.)

You also need to submit a proposed design. I was very lucky that Neven Mrgan, designer at Panic, has also owned guinea pigs and offered to design the sample. His guinea pig emoji so good, I want to start using it right now! But the earliest it’s likely to appear would be spring 2021, and it might not even be accepted. I would be disappointed, but I will still be very happy that I got this proposal together and submitted it for consideration.

I have more time to invent toys for the guinea pigs. 😇

I am thankful to have a cozy home with two guinea pigs for company.

I am looking forward to watching the latest season of Vera tonight. (I’m treating myself to a month of BritBox.)

Ada and I are in the new Cats & Netflix 2020 music video by The Doubleclicks!

The original was about being stuck inside in Portland during the rainy season. The new one features a guinea pig and a cat teleconferencing. (That’s Bandit and Erin on the other end.) 🤣

Today’s happy thought: Tomorrow we get to watch the finale of Picard. 📺🖖

It’s Tig Notaro’s birthday today. I highly recommend her Netflix comedy special “Happy To Be Here” if you need something funny and full of love to watch. 😊

I got some new cards and envelopes for sending out stickers to those who requested them. Let me know if I should add your name and address to the list at

(I’m happy to send out two stickers if you need two—just let me know! ⭐️⭐️)

I just received the nicest email thanking me for creating the Star Trek: Voyager episode guide. It really means a lot to hear from someone who enjoys my work.

If you have time on your hands, maybe take a moment and send a thank-you to someone whose work you like!

Here’s a fun thing to do: The Doubleclicks are updating their “Cats and Netflix” song and making a new video to go along with it. This one will be feature user videos of folks with their cats or otherwise self-isolating.

I’m sneaking guinea pigs into my submission.

Who has taken advantage of’s free microcast hosting through April? I want to be sure to listen to your episodes!

Who wants to give it a go and could use a little push? Or would like a basic intro to getting started? 🎙💁‍♀️

Based on a couple of examples so far, I believe this could go down as the most creative song parody writing period in history:

Birdhouse in Your Soul, TMBG by Lex Friedman

Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen by Dana Jay Bein


I’m thankful for this gratitude practice, because some days it’s hard to remember that there is still more to appreciate than to bemoan.

I’m looking forward to another fun podcast recording tonight. A podcast a day chases the anxiety away.

I am thankful to The Doubleclicks for providing so much uplifting live musical fun, now and always. And they are producing a robot musical!

I’m looking forward to trying to keep family Survivor night going via the internet.

From my landscapers, NW Native Landscapes: “My number one goal during this uncertain time is to keep our crews healthy and employed…if an employee shows any sign of illness, sending them home with paid sick leave.”

I am proud to support these folks.

The memo on plague survival has not reached the guinea pigs. They have been playing around with their water bottle today, and I’m going to have to add fresh bedding.

Impromptu online games last night. I don’t know what I’d do now without my @theincomparable network friends. Thanks especially to @dmoren for hosting. #homealone

I’m thankful for my pal @jamesdempsey for providing moral support via a remote decluttering session. We both cleared off our kitchen tables of old mail and stuff that had been piling up.

I’m looking forward to getting 2 podcast episodes published today. I really enjoy editing.

Today I am thankful for all my pals online, for commiseration, support, and entertainment. I look forward to another quiet night home alone with Grace and Ada. (I haven’t hoarded guinea pig treats, but I am well-stocked!)

I’m stress-posting. It’s super early and I can’t get back to sleep.

I can’t believe this week started with me getting my car cleaned to get back into driving for Lyft with the goal of giving 35 rides to earn a bonus.

Related: Here’s an idea. Rideshare: The Video Game. 🎮

I’m really enjoying @AJgloe’s map collection. He’s been adding quite a lot of new and interesting types of maps, and many are quite beautiful.

Today I’m thankful for the new gas fireplace. It snowed today, a surprise for mid-March in Portland. The coziness is a welcome comfort.

I’m looking forward to another quiet night at home alone with guinea pigs.

Glad to say that typical Portland nice is still in force during this extraordinary time. The same people who wave you through when it’s their turn at a 4-way stop are also pretty chill maneuvering around the aisles at TJ’s at 8:30 am.

Vet: “Have two of everything. That way the big one can’t monopolize.”

Grace: “Hold my butt.”

(Pictured: paper cups with lettuce tucked inside that they have to flip over to access.)

Share this with your dog. (Unfortunately the friend who texted it tome didn’t know who to credit.)

sketch of dog consoling owner in cone of shame

Today Me ignored Past Me’s advice forgetting how cruddy I felt after my first shingles vaccination.

I should have marked the whole day as OFF on my calendar after this morning’s doctor visit for the second shot. 😓💉

(OTOH, I’m happy I got this done.💪)

I really like the zines that @Omrrc is creating, little messages in a bottle depicting life during coronavirus-mandated isolation at home.

RIP Max Von Sydow. He’s been amazing in so many things, but for me, he will always be Dr. Henry Farber from Until The End Of The World. (Pictured here with Solveig Dommartin, who died in 2007 at the age of 47.)

Still photo, Claire and Henry in the lab.

Due to Daylight Savings Time, the Micro Monday podcast will be published on Tuesday. 😏

(Actually, I just ran out of podcast editing steam today, and had to give it a rest. Watch this space for the next awesome guest on the @monday podcast.)

Today I am thankful for my extended Portland family, who make an evening of pasta, wine, and TV (no matter how cheesy) a great night out.

I’m looking forward to a productive week.

So my personal photoblog challenge petered out yesterday. My streak ended after 6.

Maybe I can only do one challenge at a time. I had set “daily gratitude” and “daily photo” reminders in Due. It might be easier to ignore two reminder nags than one. Time to focus on gratitude.

6 y.o. nephew: “The only thing they have to eat in Antarctica is ice cream. They don’t have plants and vegetables.”

Me: 🤔 🇺🇳🍦

6 y.o. nephew: “Penguin bucks are the money in Antarctica.”

Me: “You might be a forger. The government won’t like that.”

6 y.o., scoffing: “There’s no government in Antarctica.”

Me: “You think no one is in charge there?”

6 y.o.: “The polar bears.” 🇺🇳🐻❄️

I Missed Earning the Pin 😧

In an ironic twist, I missed earning the 30-day photoblogging pin. 😧

On Day 23, I used a video for station. I didn’t realize that videos didn’t count as photos. We decided to change that going forward.

But it was still a fun exercise. I’ve decided to start fresh today with my own photo-a-day challenge. No theme or prompts, no text, and the only requirement is that I post a photo taken that day.

Today I’m thankful for the wonderful health care I do receive, despite all our system’s shortcomings. I saw my orthopedic surgeon today, and I never stop being amazed that this friendly guy has the ability to repair a knee.

I’m looking forward to some more rest now.

Day 30 of the No Longer February Photoblogging Challenge: “vision.” #mbfeb

Ta-da 🎉

Thanks to everyone for participating! I’ve enjoyed seeing all the contributions.

Had a peek to see if I earned the 30-day photoblog pin, but not yet. Apparently I didn’t post a photo on Jan. 31, so my streak is at 29 days.

Day 30 is next, the last day of the challenge. The prompt is “vision.” Good luck! 📷 📌 😇

Given their propensity to leap off anything they could climb up at the Oregon coast, I always insisted on packing my niece/nephews’ insurance cards for our annual trip to Twin Rocks, aka Camp Jean. #mbfeb 📷

If you have CBS All-Access 🖖, you can watch classic Hawaii Five-0. 🏝

When I was a kid, I saw one about a bacteria that could wipe out all life on the island—that kept me up nights. With some searching, I found it. Morbid curiosity FTW.

Day 27of the February Photoblogging Challenge : “together.” Just because they’re together doesn’t mean they like each other. #mbfeb

(Day 28 prompt: “below.” Three more posts to go until a new pin. 📌)

Today I am thankful for my physical therapist Kekoa, who reassured me that I didn’t seriously re-injure my knee in Austin. He adapted my exercises and said I’d regain my previous mobility quickly.

I’m looking forward to gluten-free brownies I bought as a reward for PT. 😇

RIP Clive Cussler. As a Titanic buff, I enjoyed Raise The Titanic as pure escapist fiction, but recently I got into his historical Sea Hunters series. This one about the 1945 sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, with a loss of 9400 lives, was especially moving.

Day 26 of the February Photoblogging Challenge: “escape.” The new Brazilian coffee shop in my neighborhood has the right idea for a weekly escape. #mbfeb 📷☕️

(Day 27 prompt: “together.” Remember: the last challenge day is March 1!)

Criterion Collection 50% off sale for one day. I’m very happy with my Christmas present to myself: blu-rays of Until The End Of The World and A Room With A View.

Today I am thankful to be back home in Portland with my guinea girls. I’m looking forward to a day of rest with a little work sprinkled in.

Y’all are posting some great photos for the photo blogging challenge. Only 7 more to go! Day 24 prompt is “double.” Have fun! 👯‍♀️👯‍♂️

I’m thankful for my pal Moisés who took me to Stiles Switch BBQ for dinner tonight. (Second night of BBQ in Austin for those keeping score.)

I’m looking forward to watching the latest episode of Doctor Who now.

Today I am thankful for Natalie and Pace taking the time and care to give such great opening talks at IndieWebCamp Austin. I am looking forward to a night of rest before tomorrow’s project day (formerly known as hack day).

Remembering the person who was my biggest inspiration, Mary Joe Battle MacDonald, on the 20th anniversary of her death. I can hardly believe I’ve gotten along without her for so long. Miss you, Mom. 💕

Day 22 of the February Photoblogging Challenge:“spectacle.” I tripped on these stairs in a dark Austin bar, falling flat and making a spectacle of myself. I don’t seem to have any serious new injuries but 🤦‍♀️ ugh.

(Day 23: “station.”)


Surprise visit from Dave Hayden, an old Portland friend who now lives in Austin., at the Micro Meetup.

Austin Micro meetup coming up soon! We’ll be at Easy Tiger from 5 - 7 pm. Come by to say “hi,” get a sticker (😍), and chat about microblogging. Everyone is welcome.

Today I’m thankful for a sunny day in Austin. I’m looking forward to migas for breakfast.

Nick Cave tickets secured.🤘

Related: OMG Ticketmaster is the worst. The 40% in fees you already hate plus unending upsells and cross-promotions. Just another reason I never want to go to concerts.🖕

Worth a (re)listen: this episode of Micro Monday where Sameer talks about language and civility online.

Manton and I are still investigating the issue that prompted Sameer to leave. I hope he will come back, but I respect his decision to do what is right for himself.

I’m thankful that @Nataliekayh accepted our invitation to speak at IndieWebCamp Austin on Saturday! I’m looking forward to landing in Austin this evening to put the final touches on the event with @manton.

Day 19 of the February Photoblogging Challenge: “space.” Three large apartment buildings have gone up within a block from my house, so I rarely find a space to park right in front. (Night mode with iPhone 11 Pro. 😯)

Day 20 prompt is “scale.” #mbfeb 📷🚗

New thing I learned while researching my proposal for a guinea pig emoji: rabbits are not rodents. They are lagomorphs., an order that includes rabbits, hares, and pikas. 🐰🐇

I’ve found it hard to concentrate on anything besides Doctor Who today. So I’m pulling one from the archives for Day 15’s prompt “balance.”

This is Rosie, my previous guinea pig, balanced on my shoulders. #mbfeb 📷

“The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston.” 15 years after the reboot of Doctor Who, the man who kicked it off. Super exciting moment and a great chat. I’m glad I finally made it to Gallifrey One!

I am thankful I got to say hello to the amazing Pearl Mackie from Doctor Who today. Tomorrow I hope to catch a glimpse of Christopher Eccleston, aka The Ninth Doctor.

What could be better on Valentines Day than the launch of new romance-focused podcast, now on The Incomparable network?! Join The Agents of S.M.O.O.C.H. on our first episode, a draft of our favorite films, paired with romantic desserts. 🥰

Day 13: Rise

These amazing examples of engineering allow us to rise above the clouds.

Today I am thankful for the opening of the Green Zebra market only a block from my house—and they stock the Italian parsley that my guinea girls love.

I’m looking forward to hanging out at my sister’s house for dinner and family TV night, Survivor premiering. 🏝

Day 12 of the Photoblogging Challenge prompt: “attachment.” #mbfeb 📷

11 years ago, I asked my new neighbors if I could attach a chicken wire fence to their garage, where our backyards met up. They said yes, and ever since I am attached to the neighbors.

Day 11 of the February challenge, “plain,” is pretty much over. Day 12 is already here for some folks. I look forward to seeing what you do for the prompt “attachment,” but I’m not attached to any specific outcome. 🧘‍♀️

Day 11 of the February Photoblogging Challenge prompt is “plain.”

When I take train trips, I like to capture a bit of the experience. This is from the Empire Builder, Chicago to Portland, Oct. 2016, going through Kremlin, Montana. #mbfeb 📹🚂

You can also email me directly (… and maybe post an @-mention to me “hey, check your mail” because I live here on this timeline, and not so much in my inbox.

With all the new users we have, it seems like a good time to remind people that there are community guidelines.

We are committed to creating an harassment-free space on our timeline. If you or someone else is being harassed, please let us know at

Tonight’s soothing guinea pig munching sounds are brought to you by cucumber. Lo l P

Day 10 of the February Photoblogging Challenge, prompt: “sign,” is just about over.

Day 11’s prompt is “plain.” Homophones accepted. 🛫 (Actually, everything is accepted, because you control your content at! 🥳)

#mbfeb 📷

Day 10 of the February Photoblogging Challenge: “sign.” Here’s a sign that my second ever major home improvement project is almost done. I can’t wait to check it off the OmniFocus list… and the guinea pigs will be relieved to have peace and quiet. #mbfeb

I don’t plan to watch all six hours of this plane spotting video from Heathrow during Ciara, but just the first couple planes, one landing and one go-around, give you an idea of how wild it was.

It is also pretty entertaining to listen to a true enthusiast at his hobby. #avgeek

My theory about the latest episode of Doctor Who: “Can You Hear Me?” is an allegory about Facebook. I need to collect my thoughts into a post and I don’t want to spoil any details just yet, but that’s where my mind goes when I see a story about omnipotence and mental health.

February Photoblogging Challenge, Day 9 prompt: lull.

I went out, during a lull in a busy day of podcasting and a lull in the rainy weather, and took a photo of the chimney in the lull between last week’s masonry work and the gas fireplace install beginning tomorrow. #mbfeb

It’s exciting to see the Austin IndieWeb Camp listed in the Austin Chronicle. Ironic, I know, but I still like seeing things in print publications. #old

PS: Join us Feb. 22 & 23? All are welcome.

Today I’m thankful for coffee. I’m looking forward to recording three podcasts today and will need a little power up.

When I moved to NYC in 1989, my boyfriend and I had to pony up first/last month’s rent, one month’s security deposit and a broker’s fee equal to 1.5 month’s rent. I was trying to remember how we managed that, straight out of grad school… oh right, we sold our cars. 🚇🚖🚍

My niece just landed in Perth. She’s doing a nursing internship as part of her college studies. She’s broken my record of furthest traveled from home, 9200 miles vs. my 7500 miles to Accra. I am proud, a little verklemmt…and also competitive–how do I regain the record? 🌏✈️

One of my absolute favorite podcasts is Causality, which looks at engineering disasters with a deliberate, well-researched, educational approach. @johnchidgey knocked it out of the park with the latest episode about the 737 MAX. #avgeek

New brain teaser for Grace and Ada: lettuce hidden under paper cups. It took them a while to figure it out, though they clearly sensed something desirable was under there.

I need to do a chore I’ve been putting off and the procrastination has gotten so bad, I’m posting here for accountability. In approximately one hour, I’ll confirm it’s done…or delete this post. 😇/😈

One week down in the February* Photo Challenge! Looking forward to seeing all your interpretations of today’s prompt, “above.”

*Reminder: it’s a 30-day challenge, so March 1 is included. 😇🗓📷

“This facility has gone 5843 days without an assimilation.”

I think we fans of Star Trek: Picard should start a pool on which day this counter will be reset to 0. 😯🖖

Need something to help you chill out? The sound of guinea pigs munching on wheat grass is very soothing.

The prompt for Day 5 of the February Photoblogging Challenge was “hide.” Still a few more hours to go here in Oregon and elsewhere.

If you are on Day 6 already, the new prompt is “plant.” Have fun! 🌱📸 #mbfeb

Today I am thankful for Portland. This city suits me so well. Even the chimney masons are cool. 🧱

I am looking forward to having time to dive into the latest season of Grace and Frankie tonight. 📺

Grace still has the original white spot on her nose that she had five years ago. She’s a lot bigger, but the spot has stayed the same. #mbfeb

The chimney work has begun. The end result will be a shorter, rebuilt chimney and a gas fireplace.

(The guinea pigs need their own noise-cancelling headphones. They are a bit freaked out by all the commotion.)

“Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with their opinion.”

I forgot to wish my fellow Rats a happy new year! I find rodents generally to be optimistic, energetic—and stubborn.

Someone is wrong on the internet. Today I am thankful for techniques I’ve learned to let it go. 🧘‍♀️

I am looking forward to chimney repair work starting today, not because I like people coming to my house and making noise, but because my gas fireplace insert comes next. 🔥

Day 3 of the February Photoblogging Challenge has begun. The prompt is “reflect.” #mbfeb

(If I had been paying attention, this would have been an appropriate prompt yesterday, Feb. 2, aka 02022020 or 20200202.😊)

Like the main Discover timeline, Photos are curated by hand. We include every Feb. Challenge submission. As humans, we can usually discern which photos are entries, but if we miss yours, please shoot me an alert.

It’s Day 2, and the prompt is “sight.” Great photos so far!

The web version of the Discover Photos timeline currently displays only the last 40 entries. You can see the whole timeline on iOS. Sorry for that, we will work on a fix. / @klandwehr @pratik

If you want to peruse the submissions to the February Photoblogging Challenge, you can find them in the Discover Photos feed. #mbfeb

So many interesting images! 🚪🖼🍾🏙🌄📖📽🔥🌷👕🌳🎵🎶🎹💧

I love seeing all the February photoblogging challenge posts using the Day 1 prompt “open.”

The Day 2 prompt is ‘sight.” (The 24-hour period that constitutes your day is up to your discretion, of course. 30 consecutive photo posts earns the new pin.) #mbfeb

If you are cross-posting your photoblogging challenge posts to Twitter, you can include the tag #mbfeb. We’ll be encouraging folks on Twitter to check out and participate, and we’ve extended the free trial period to cover the photoblogging challenge.

Welcome to Day 1 of the February Photoblogging Challenge. Today’s prompt is “open.”

To participate, all you have to do is post a photo that appears in the timeline. It’s helpful if you include the prompt word for Discover, but not required.

2020 February Photoblogging Challenge

The challenge runs from February 1 through March 1, for a total of 30 days. There is a prompt for each day, open to your interpretation. If you post a photo each day during the challenge, you’ll earn a special pin in your account.

We’ve extended the free trial period to coincide with the photoblogging challenge, so invite your friends to register for and join the challenge. Photoblogging is one of the most popular uses of, and a great way to get into a habit of posting.

The photo posts will be added to the Discover timeline and can be viewed in the Discover photos feed as well.

Update: if you include the prompt word with your photo, it will help us adding your posts to the Discover timeline. If you are cross-posting to Twitter, you can include the tag #mbfeb. We’ll be encouraging folks on Twitter to check out and participate, and we’ve extended the free trial period to cover the photoblogging challenge.

(A note about time zones: the prompts are organized by day, not date. In practice, folks in Australia and New Zealand will likely want to post February 2 - March 2. This won’t affect your pin eligibility—we’ve accounted for that.)

Day 1: Open
Day 2: Sight
Day 3: Reflect
Day 4: Spot
Day 5: Hide
Day 6: Plant
Day 7: Above
Day 8: Contrast
Day 9: Lull
Day 10: Sign
Day 11: Plain
Day 12: Attachment
Day 13: Rise
Day 14: Warmth
Day 15: Balance
Day 16: Rest
Day 17: Cool
Day 18: Oppose
Day 19: Space
Day 20: Scale
Day 21: Progress
Day 22: Spectacle
Day 23: Station
Day 24: Double
Day 25: Hurdle
Day 26: Escape
Day 27: Together
Day 28: Below
Day 29: Leap
Day 30: Vision

Today I am thankful for It’s been just over three years since I reached out to @manton to express interest in working with him. I’m lucky to have this interesting and challenging job.

I’m looking forward to a quiet day of re-entry after a week of travel.

The February photoblogging challenge starts in 2 days! The list of prompts will be posted tomorrow.

Do you have friends who would enjoy such a challenge? Invite them to now! We extended the trial period through March 1 for all new accounts to accommodate them. 📸🗓

Scene: I upgraded Dad’s iCloud storage. His iPhone has been backing up for over an hour.

Me: Let’s cancel and do it overnight.

Dad: Will it save the progress or start over?

Me: 🤷‍♀️

Dad: Couldn’t you ask the developers about that?

Me: 🤔

Between the Picard premiere episode and the latest episode of Doctor Who, it has been a great time to be a fan. 🖖🙋🏼‍♀️

Today I am thankful for naps. A road trip of 340 miles in 2 days wiped me out.

I’m looking forward to barbecue dinner for my last evening in Florida with my dad and stepmom.

The only gators I see in Gainesville are students and alumni. But who knows what’s lurking in this swamp on campus? 🐊

(I almost went to school here. It’s so weird to reflect on how different life would be…maybe.)

Made a side trip to Gainesville and paid a visit to the childhood home of Mr. Tom Petty. They named the public park down his street after him. 😍🎸

Today I’m thankful for sunshine. We’ve had mostly cloudy weather here in central Florida, but today the light makes me nostalgic for my childhood. ☀️

I’m looking forward to taking a short overnight road trip on my own to visit friends. 🚗

“Some ‘Carpool Karaoke’ fans have been rather unsettled by footage that suggests James Corden isn’t always driving the car he’s seen in during the videos.”

No!!! Really? 🙉🤣

Reminder: we are running a photoblogging challenge starting February 1. We are working on the prompts, a new pin, and a way to make it easy to invite your friends to join us on and participate. 🎉📸🗓

Today I am thankful for my stepmother. She’s very kind and good to my father. I’m looking forward to walking around in some nearby parks and seeing the Florida flora and fauna with them.

I am sad to hear of the passing of Jeff McLeman (@jeffmc). He was a good friend to App Camp For Girls and I enjoyed our micro Micro meetups at the occasional NSBeer.

53 degrees in Orlando. First time ever I brought a fleece vest to Florida and actually needed it.

I’m headed to visit my dad and stepmom in Central Florida (Leesburg). Maybe someone wants to have a micro meetup. Cracker Barrel? I still haven’t been to one. ☺️

Today I am thankful for my father, who is almost 85, and still lives in Florida where I can visit when I need a dose of Vitamin D. I’m looking forward to traveling there tomorrow.

It’s Micro Monday again (what’s that?). I’m finishing up today’s @monday podcast episode, but in the meantime, I recommend @keinan’s photoblog with fantastic photos of trees, annotated with names, both English and Latin.

Today I am grateful for my next door neighbor and friend Jen. I don’t think I’ve had a friend who lived so close since college!

I’m looking forward to editing tomorrow’s episode of the Micro Monday podcast.

My absolute favorite little Bluetooth speaker, the Soundcore Mini from Anker, is $17 on Amazon right now. I have strong attachments to many of my devices, but I truly love this little baby.

Today I am thankful for Star Trek. 🖖 I loved the show since I was kid, but only recently became an active fan in public via blogging and podcasting. It’s a pure hobby for me, and that’s a nice thing to have.

I’m looking forward to a quiet Saturday catching up on chores.

Got my special 1K @Lyft jacket today and it’s pretty snazzy. (Think WWDC jackets circa 2016!)

I’m up to 1041 rides now, 5-star driver of course. 😇

Coming February 1: a daily photoblogging challenge! I’ll post more details closer to the end of the month, but I wanted to give you all a heads-up. (And yes, there will be a new pin.) 📷

I just love this photo of Jeri Ryan, in London for the Picard premiere.

A reminder: we do have a tagmoji category for Star Trek on Add the 🖖, and your posts will be added to the category timeline.

Today I am thankful that I’m doing the gratitude practice, even if I miss a day. I’m looking forward to having friends over tonight for guinea pig happy hour, i.e. radicchio fest with guests and drinks.

My Favorite 25 Star Trek: Voyager Episodes, Ranked

Today is the 25th anniversary of the premiere of my favorite Star Trek series.

You might say I am a big Voyager fan. I put together a guide to every Voyager episode with ratings and descriptions. I launched a podcast called Voyager Revisited for fans of Voyager and for those who might like to revisit their earlier opinions. 🤨

But there is nothing harder than choosing and ranking one’s favorite episodes. It’s like being asked to choose your favorite tribble. And it would be futile to claim that these rankings will never change.

But today, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a show that I love, I have compiled my top 25 Voyager episodes. I may feel differently tomorrow, next week, or far off in the future, but here they are.

LLAP, Voyager cast, crew, creators, and fans.🖖

  1. Deadlock (S2E21)
  2. Counterpoint (S5E10)
  3. Year of Hell (S4E8 - 9)
  4. Equinox (S5E26 - S6E27)
  5. Basics (S2E26 - S3E1)
  6. Gravity (S5E13)
  7. Dragon's Teeth (S6E7)
  8. Dark Frontiers (S5E16 - 17)
  9. Faces (S1E14)
  10. Flashback (S3E2)
  11. Distant Origin (S3E23)
  12. Living Witness (S4E23)
  13. Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy (S6E4)
  14. Timeless (S5E6)
  15. Blink of an Eye (S6E12)
  16. Workforce (S7E16 - 17)
  17. Eye of the Needle (S1E7)
  18. Tuvix (S2E24)
  19. Random Thoughts (S4E10)
  20. Real Life (S3E22)
  21. Critical Care (S7E5)
  22. Dreadnought (S2E17)
  23. Future's End (S3E8 - 9)
  24. Shattered (S7E11)
  25. Child's Play (S6E19)

During guinea pig playtime, Grace got herself into a narrow paper bag and couldn’t get out. I really didn’t think she’d be brave enough to explore it. I had to rip the bag open, she’s traumatized, and Ada ate all the lettuce. Bad guinea pig mom!

Today I am thankful for my InstantPot. Between last weekend’s shopping and cooking, my refrigerator is full of wholesome food and I don’t need to run out in this cold weather for anything. I am looking forward to staying in the rest of the day.

Today, a few of my friends are having an especially rough day, and I assume there are others I don’t know about. I am holding a thought for you, with good wishes for better days ahead, and also I can offer emergency guinea pigs.

Today I am thankful for my friend and former bandmate Erin. We had a great catchup over dinner last night, and she filled me in on her new band’s first album recording.

I’m looking forward to seeing @cheesemaker and hopefully a few others at tonight’s Micro Meetup.

Today I am thankful for siblings. I can’t imagine where I’d be without mine—literally, because they all moved to Portland before me. I am looking forward to my brother stopping by for lunch and a session of sibling mutual support.

Today I am thankful for a cozy house on a cold, rainy Portland day. I am looking forward to guinea pig cuddles, even though I have to bribe them with wheat grass.

I’m looking forward to IndieWeb Camp Austin Feb. 22-23. It’s a great gathering of people who care about personal blogs at all levels of tech expertise.

Also, mark your calendars for Fri., Feb. 21, late afternoon/happy hour Austin Micro Meetup, downtown location TBD. 🎉

Today I am thankful for grocery stores where I enjoy shopping. I’m looking forward to curling up with my new book after cooking up this weekend’s stew. 👩‍🍳

Today I’m thankful for blueberries. I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Today I am thankful for somatic exercises I can do in bed to get this creaky body moving. I’m looking forward to making coffee.

Today I am thankful for having found a new doctor who seems like he will be a good replacement for the one who retired after I’d been a patient for 23 years. I am looking forward to a better sleep tonight. 😴

Registered for the Jeopardy test again. I think I’d faint if I actually were selected to audition, but doing the online test is actually quite fun.

Inspired by @Nataliekayh during our Micro Monday Microcast chat, I will start off each day with a gratitude post.

I am thankful to have my sister and her family back home safe after adventurous adventures in NZ. I am looking forward to dinner with them to hear all about it.

You have three weeks to finish your Seven-Of-Nine rewatch to prepare for the debut of Picard on Jan. 23. My recommended episodes will take you about 12 hours, so you’ve still got time. Resistance is futile.🖖

I am planning to attend monthly Micro meetups in Portland this year. Would you join me? Let me know what works for you and I’ll get this started.…

Wim Wender’s cut of Until The End Of The World did not disappoint! I have a lot of thoughts to put into a longer post, but here is the most noticeable difference: music. Not the soundtrack, which is of course amazing, but the characters play instruments and jam all the time.

One of my 2020 goals, now that I’m mobile again, is to organize and attend more Micro Meetups.

Portlanders: Here is a simple survey to get us started picking a time. No obligation!

I’d be happy to do a morning coffee or lunch AND a happy hour after-work meet up every month.

One hour into my New Year’s Eve project of watching the director’s cut of Until The End Of The World. About 4 hours to go. It’s set before 1999 New Year’s Eve, so good timing! I know the original cut so well, it’s delightful to see so much more of the story fleshed out. 🍿

Everything in this basket is a New Year’s Eve treat for somebody in my house. #wheek hivemind: I need to find a free or cheap place to host

It’s still a top resource on the web, but I haven’t updated for over a decade. I want to continue to offer it but I am paying too much to Dreamhost to keep it there. All static pages, ftr.

My Favorite Eight photos - 2019

My guinea pigs Ada and Grace

Jean and guinea pigs

Littlest nephew for a sleepover

nephew cozy in bed

Old friends Jean, Rosie, Peggy

Jean, Rosie, Peggy at party

Sonoma sunset

Sunset over vineyards

MacDonald in Miami

Siblings and dad in the pool

Lekcije slovenščine

Slovenian flash cards

Post-knee injury podcast rig

Jean podcasts from bed

Nieces and nephs

beautiful young clan members

Hand-picked—no algorithm needed

Favorite Eight title card

This is Griffin. We have known each other for 17 years. He was not speaking to me because I had the nerve to bring my dog along on my annual Seattle Xmas visit in 2009. This year he forgave me. Or forgot.

I do have a “nose-canceling” solution I highly recommend. I have this travel set of essential oils, one for each chakra. When I need to take control of my olfactory environment, I use a tiny bit on my temples to counteract smells I don’t like.

Taking my first train trip with my Christmas Air Pods Pro. Excited for the noise cancellation.

(And now I wish there was noise canceling for your nose. When will people lay off the perfumes??)

Apparently we haven’t declared an official holiday since Thankgiving…2018.

We are taking a day off from Discover, replies, and help. Have a nice holiday, or just a nice Wednesday or Thursday wherever your time zone may be. 🔕

Santa brought treats for Grace and Ada. Merry Christmas! 🎄🥒

(iPhone Night Mode FTW)

Another account to check out is @Gabrielcornish, who makes animated pixel art. We don’t include animations in the Discover timeline, but if you like them, you should go have a look at today’s 🎄.

Belated Micro @monday recommendation: @AJgloe, whose Sublime Maps are always eye-opening. Per the bio: “Many beautiful, historical, complex, simple, funny, weird, and shitty maps to see!” There can be a lot of maps in this stream, so be warned.

7 Seven-Of-Nine Episodes to Watch Before the Picard Premiere 🖖

It’s one month until the new Picard series is here. When I saw Seven in first trailer, I shrieked with joy at the prospect of spending more time with this character. And I started rewatching Seven episodes of Star Trek: Voyager to prepare, using my handy Voyager Viewers’ Guide.

Expect this topic to come up, when Picard airs, on my Voyager Revisited podcast.

Picard premieres on January 23. That’s 11.5 hours of television to watch over the next month. You can do it.🖖

Scorpion (S3E26, S4E1)
Voyager makes a deal with The Borg in order to defeat the even more deadly alien species 8472. Seven of Nine is designated to work with the Voyager crew. Captain Janeway takes an active interest in the welfare of this borg who was assimilated when she was a young human girl. And that gets this whole thing started…

The Raven (S4E6)
Seven has only been on Voyager for two months, when she starts hearing Borg voices and experiencing a clear case of PTSD. We learn something about her background, and we see how the crew pulls together to help save her. Throughout the series, Seven has given the writers an opportunity to portray mental health issues.

One (S4E25)
The crew must be put into stasis to avoid the deadly radiation of a nebula that they must pass through on their charted course. The radiation does not affect Seven, so she is left with the responsibility of monitoring the ship and the crew for a month, alone except for the Doctor. The psychological toll of isolation is high for a human who is a former member of the Borg Collective.

Bliss (S5E14)
Voyager finds a wormhole that leads directly back to Earth, but Seven of Nine suspects that it may not be what it appears. Neither she nor her sidekick Naomi Wildman (the Kitaran-Human girl who was born on Voyager in Season 2) have a personal interest in Earth, and are immune to the siren call of this wormhole.

Dark Frontiers (S5E15-16) When Captain Janeway devises a plan to steal a transwarp coil from a damaged Borg sphere, the mysterious Borg Queen learns of the plan and uses this knowledge in an attempt to return Seven of Nine to the Borg by issuing her an ultimatum: rejoin the Collective or watch as Voyager is assimilated. This episode flashes back to Seven’s parents and the events leading up to their assimilation.

Someone To Watch Over Me (S5E21)
The Doctor teaches Seven about making friends, dating, and romantic relationships. This is a key episode in Seven’s evolution and her close bond with The Doctor.

Equinox (S5E26, S6E1)
Voyager finds another Federation starship, the USS Equinox, stranded in the Delta Quadrant. But they also find that the Equinox crew is harboring a dark secret. Janeway seems to lose all human perspective, while Seven gains hers.

Relativity (S5E24)
A popular episode in which Future Seven is sent back to undo a sequence of events in which Voyager is destroyed. Bonus: Seven gets a Starfleet uniform and one pip.

Survival Instinct (S6E2)
Seven encounters three ex-Borg with whom she had been temporarily separated from the Collective eight years previously. This episode illuminates the impact of being assimilated as a child compared to most Borg, who were adults when they were assimilated.

The Voyager Conspiracy (S6E9)
Seven investigates a massive “conspiracy” involving the Federation, the Cardassians, the Caretaker, and numerous other alien races, which indicates that Voyager was deliberately stranded in the Delta Quadrant. This is the episode that cements the tight relationship of trust between Seven and Janeway.

Tsunkatse (S615)
Championship wrestling in the Delta Quadrant. This might not be a key episode to Seven’s story, but I love The Rock, who guest stars, so I am including this.

Unimatrix Zero (S6E26, S7E1)
Seven is drawn into a virtual reality that some Borg drones inhabit during their regeneration cycles. It’s one of the best Seven/Borg Queen/Janeway stories ever. Even Torres and Tuvok take a turn on the Borg ride.

Confession: OK, eagle-eyed readers with strong math skills will notice that this is more than 7 episodes. I tried to come up with a short list, and I did leave some things out, but I couldn’t cut it down to 7. These are the 12 episodes about Seven Of Nine that you should watch to understand this fascinating character’s story arc. (Feel free to suggest which 5 are irrelevant, you soulless Borg! Comments welcome to @voyagercast on Twitter and…)

I liked Cats a lot. I have a lot to process, as the story hits you differently at age 59 vs. age 26… Judi Dench, Idris Elba, and Ian McKellen are as good as I hoped. And Jennifer Hudson made the audience weep. 😭🐈💔

Heading out to a morning screening of Cats, because I do want to see it on the big screen and I want to see it uninfluenced as possible by the internet snark. It may be terrible, but it’s a Broadway show I loved in 1986 and I still love the music. Review to come…😸

We didn’t buy Flickr because we thought it was a cash cow. Unlike platforms like Facebook, we also didn’t buy it to invade your privacy and sell your data. We bought it because we love photographers…

This argument won me over. Not surprised to see many Micronauts backing too!

My favorite movie of 2019 is The Peanut Butter Falcon. It’s a beautiful film set in the NC Outer Banks that literally the whole family will enjoy (we all watched it on Thanksgiving). Check it out over the holidays. 🍿

Important info, shared by @emma, which is worth sharing further:

The Western Holidays can be rough for marginalized people.

In the US, you can text CONNECT to 741741 for the @CrisisTextLine.

You can call @TransLifeline in the US at 877-565-8860 and Canada at 877-330-6366

If you are looking for a way to support, pre-order Indie Microblogging by @manton. Not only does your purchase make a difference, you’ll learn a lot about alternatives to social media and why it’s important to control your content, so you can help spread the word!

I used to say I wish I had a transporter or a replicator. But as I get older, it’s the Starfleet sick bay that I want… 🖖

(Oops. I’ve been cross-posting all these M.b specific posts to Twitter, not my intention. On the other hand, something called Welcome to could be a bit of a lifeline tossed out to everyone still trying to find the exits on RMS Twitter. 🛳)

If you read to the end of the new Welcome to page, you’ll notice I’m offering to send new members a sticker. It’s been asked if “old” community members can get a sticker too. The answer is “yes!” I’m fulfilling requests manually, so patience is appreciated.

The new Welcome to page has an easy-to-remember location:

I love that we have an informal “welcome wagon” here, with people taking the initiative to welcome newcomers, so feel free to include the link in your welcomes. 🤝👬👭👫

We’ve created a Welcome to page. I will share it with new users when they pop up on the timeline. I think it is a good intro to how works. We also created a Community section in the Help where these resources articles are posted.

I’d love your thoughts!

Yesterday I got the first of two shingles vaccine shots (highly recommended for folks over 50 now). They say more than half experience symptoms like tiredness and muscle soreness, and I’m in that majority. If you get the shot, get it on the day before a day off.

Video: the making of the 2019 Christmas tableau with guinea pigs. This is one I could put a dialog track to, the way it looks like they are having a conversation. (But I know myself too well, and would spend way too much time on such a project.)

Christmas tableau with guinea pigs. Or, 2019: the year they discover the romanesco broccoli trees are edible. (This is not great, because cruciferous veggies are not great for guinea pigs.)

It was surprisingly unnerving to be the guest on my own podcast. Manton interviewed me for his forthcoming book on indie microblogging. It was fun(ny) to recall my original expectations for Thanks to everyone here for making this job much nicer than I anticipated!

Spider-Man: Into The Polyglot-Verse user Dominik Höcht posted that he liked the animated film Spider-Man: A New Universe. At first, I thought there was a new Spider-Man film I hadn’t seen.

But instead, I learned some fun translation facts. In English-speaking countries, the title is Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. But in many places, the title is Spider-Man: A New Universe, translated into the local language.

And then there are a few interesting exceptions:

  • Slovenia: Spider-Man: Novi svet (New World)

  • Russian: Человек-паук: Через Вселенные (Through The Universes)
    (Note that the Russian name for our hero is “Man-Spider.”)

  • Ukraine: Людина-павук: Навколо всесвіту (Around The Universe)
    (“Man-Spider” again.)

  • Czech Republic: Spider-Man: Paralelní světy (Parallel worlds)

The French and the German versions have titles in English, but not the original “Spider-Verse” title:

Portuguese is pretty interesting.

  • Brazil: Homem-Aranha: No Aranhaverso

  • Portugal: Homem-Aranha: No Universo Aranha

“Aranha” means spider. In Brazil, they actually created a word for Spider-Verse.

I wish I had time to delve into the reasons behind all these variations. If I were to apply to graduate school today, I would go for Comparative Lit and I already have a dissertation idea. 😂

(The source for these titles is the IMDb listing for the film.)

First Christmas with the niece/nephews participating in the grown-ups’ Secret Santa exchange. My niece drew my name and she nailed it.

Five years ago today. These two critters fit into one pigloo with room to spare. I had gone two years without a dog, and didn’t want to get another one. So I finally decided to get guinea pigs. Per ounce, they are the most lovable and entertaining companions I’ve ever had.

Here’s the heaven I’d be interested in: I would be @bitdepth’s neighbor and get frequent invites to watch a great film and eat those amazing pizzas he makes. And he’d always send me home with a loaf of fresh bread.

And because it’s heaven, gluten would not be an issue.

I’m playing my favorite white noise track, Calming Electric Fan, because some new neighbors are being a bit loud. It’s so realistic, I keep getting a chill from the draft…

The streaming services should give us the option to have new series episodes drop once a week instead of all at once. I watched the first episode of the new Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and I am struggling to find the willpower not to binge all 8 into the wee hours… 📺👗🎙

Congratulations to everyone who has made it to through Microblogvember and/or the December extension.

Emoji recap:

🔑 ✖️🎩 😈🚘🏒😱🌟🥶🚀🤗 🏨 💪🦒🌫🗳🏆🏗🛑🥈⭕️🎵😭👭🔐🎛💰🏡🎉🧩


Your Microblogvember pin will be available in your account soon!

December is A Write-Off (and so is June, July, November and January)

The latest episode of @theweeklyreview has been posted. The point was to give tips for staying on track during the holiday season, but apparently we are the ones who need the tips!

Blurry #tbt photo discovered in our trove of digitized slides after decluttering the family home.

April 11, 1970, Kennedy Space Ctr., Apollo 13 launch. My parents had VIP passes, thanks to my dad’s grad school advisor.

Recognize the VIPs in this snapshot Dad took?

Impromptu Well-Tempered Office Christmas party for one: Frozen II matinee (2nd viewing), lunch and a White Tiger IPA at McMenamins’ Bagdad Theater. ❄️🍔🍺

I never met any fans of Until The End Of The World (1991) on Twitter. Now I’ve found two on to be founding members of the UTEOTW support group. @helgeg @rnv 🌏 🔚 🎥 🇮🇹 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇵🇹 🇷🇺 🇨🇳 🇯🇵 🇺🇸 🇦🇺 🚗🚊 🛫🛬🛫🛬🛫🛬🚆🚆🛫🛬🛬🚢🛫🛬🚀

This one never fails.

  • Knock Knock.

  • Who’s there?

  • Interrupting cow.

  • Interrupting c….

  • Moooooo!

🐮🚪🤣 #mbnov+

It’s December, and time to get serious about a replacement for WhenWorks. 😭 @rosemaryorchard: have you picked a replacement for appointment scheduling? I only need 5-6 appointments a month for Micro Monday and Voyager Revisited. WhenWorks was perfect at $5/month.

Today’s Unexpected Thing: a Frozen II reference in Manton’s latest episode of Timetable.

(PS. I loved F2❄️. The music especially, but esp. the sisterhood theme. Anna+Elsa in a crisis reminds me of my sisters. And also my brother, tbh. We’ve got each other’s backs.)

Grace: Mom, please get Ada out of MY cuddle cup.

Grace and I are both mystified by (the normally uncuddly) Ada’s behavior after all the radicchio is gone.

(Oops, I missed an edit at the very beginning of this week’s @monday episode. I am going to let it go of my perfectionist tendency and just leave it. @canion knows I jinxed myself by discussing how mistakes are avoided…☺️)

I learned to love Feldsalat (aka mâche or lamb’s lettuce), when I was an exchange student in Germany. I like to treat myself to this pricey winter green very occasionally.

I feel guilty not sharing with the guinea pigs, but they could slurp down $10 worth in 20 mins.

Today will be busy but fun: two podcast recordings that I have been looking forward to despite a few postponements and then seeing Frozen II with my honorary niece who lives in Portland now. Dread of December dissipating: not horrible at all.

My neighbor Jen, a social worker, volunteered this month in San Antonio with RAICES, the refugee service group, and posted about her experiences. She spent much of her time as an observer in the courtroom. Her depressing reports are leavened with reasons to hope.

Thank you @fiona! Between the YouTube RSS feed and the three-finger swipe, you are my Tip Hero for 2019. 😃

PS. Everyone should subscribe to Little Adventures for guinea pig squees.

Microblogvember: Micro All The Things!

On October 31, I mentioned to founder Manton Reece that I had seen references to a challenge called Blogvember. It sounded like a nice writing exercise for those who wanted to rededicate themselves to daily blogging, much like NaNoWriMo does for novel writers.

Micro All The Things!

Ever since I became the community manager of, I’ve developed an appreciation for the beauty of going “micro”: microposts, microcasts, micro meetups, microcosms of interesting humans interacting online on a human scale. I always think of prefixing things with “micro-” now, so I wondered if “Microblogvember” would have any appeal. I put the question to the community and got an enthusiastic response.

I came up with a simple way to generate daily random prompts (less work for me!) for people to incorporate into a short micropost (less work for everyone!). It was really fun and inspiring to see so many folks participate. Many commented that they were happy to have a nudge to get back into a daily writing habit.

This is what I like about a micro approach. Start with something small, and build on that. It also works with podcasting, for example. has spawned several microcasts (including our own Micro Monday) by making it easy to start small.

Starting small is great. And it’s also important to recognize the value of staying small, if that suits you or your project.

As I write this, there are fewer than 24 hours to go in the calendar day November 30, 2019. Today’s word is integrate. I look forward to seeing more posts from the community, as folks integrate blogging into their day.

A Few Lessons

1) Plan! Unfortunately, the idea didn’t hit me until October 31. It was already November 1 in some places, particularly New Zealand and Australia, where we have quite a few community members. Now that I know, I will be looking at my Focused 2020 Wall Calendar to schedule future challenges and get the word out in a timely manner. (We decided to extend the prompts into December, to give anyone who missed the beginning a chance to do 30 posts and earn the Microblogvember pin.)

2) Time zones make things a little awkward. For a calendar-based challenge like Microblogvember, I felt it was important to provide new prompts on the correct date in time for our friends on the other side of the International Date Line, a concept that gives me a headache! That might have been distracting for people who were still working a day behind. I have done challenges that just have numbered days, i.e. Day 1 is Day 1, regardless of the date, but then the Kiwis and others would be starting on November 2. I will be mulling this over, and would appreciate any feedback.

3) The random word generator was an excellent tool. It saved me from my natural inclination to curate a “perfect” list. Sometimes we got a word out of left field (woebegone?), but overall, the resulting list worked well. I plan to keep this tool handy, if only to give myself a random word when I need a theme or inspiration.

The 2019 Microblogvember Prompts

1: key
2: mark
3: fancy
4: mean
5: street
6: stick
7: frightening
8: star
9: cold
10: space
11: touch
12: stay
13: able
14: neck
15: murky
16: selective
17: superb
18: build
19: abate
20: second
21: hollow
22: hum
23: woebegone
24: company
25: secure
26: mix
27: rich
28: property
29: fantastic
30: integrate

Microblogcember: We are continuing to post prompts through December 6. Some folks missed the launch because we gave no advance warning. We extended the time frame to make it possible to get the 30 posts done and earn the Microblogvember pin, even if you missed a few days.

Dec. 1: horrible Dec. 2: panoramic

A string of hits from my childhood on YouTube: John Denver, The Fifth Dimension, Harry Chapin, Bobbie Gentry, The Turtles, Edison Lighthouse, The Association, The Carpenters, serenading my late night Discover timeline curation. Good stuff to end Thanksgiving Day 2.

Last day of the month!

Microblogvember prompt:

November 30: integrate

We will do prompts daily through December 6 (Microblogvember+) to give those who got a late start or missed a day to reach 30 posts and still earn the Microblogvember pin.

We had a wonderful small family + friends dinner together. I’m thankful that I didn’t overdo it, and am able to remind you of this…

For Microblogvember, today’s word is property. There are about 6 hours left for November 28 on Pacific Time. For November 29, it’s fantastic!

Enjoy your treats on Thanksgiving. (Grace and Ada always want seconds!)


As promised, we’ll continue posting prompts and keeping track through December 6 to give folks who missed the start of the challenge (or maybe forgot to post a day or two) a few extra days to earn the Microblogvember pin.🧷

Microblogvember prompt:

November 27: rich

And for the rest of the month:

-Nov. 28: property

-Nov. 29: fantastic

-Nov. 30: integrate

I didn’t want to take the chance I’d forget while focusing Thanksgiving with family and friends! I’ll try to post reminders, though. 😇


Microblogvember prompt:

November 27: rich

And for some of you, there’s still time for November 26: mix

(Tomorrow, I’ll generate the last three words for Noveember to avoid an unintentional Thanksgiving holiday snafu.)

Microblogvember prompt:

November 23: woebegone

(Per the nursery rhyme, Wednesday’s child may be full of woe, but Saturday’s child works hard to incorporate “woebegone” into a micropost.)

And the prompt for November 24 (aka today in NZ, etc.): company

A member of the royal family hums a David Bowie melody = one of many little treats in the latest series of The Crown. #mbnov

Microblogvember prompt:

November 22: hum

And for November 23 (aka today in NZ, etc.): woebegone

The random word generator has a sense of humour: three syllables that are also three words.

My first (and only) electric guitar is “hollow-bodied.” It appealed to me, as a lifelong folk guitar player, because of its relative light weight compared to other electric guitars.

Danelectro U2 - Wikipedia

(Mine is Commie Red…) #mbnov

Slovenia: one of the few countries to be designated the least risky place to travel on Travel SOS’s 2020 map, along with Iceland, Norway, Finland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

For my Slovenia 2.0 trip, I will not venture into the riskier areas, such as Trieste. 🇸🇮

For Throwback Thursday, I unearthed another photo of my first guinea pig, GP, held by my sister Judy, with sister Peggy and cousin Brian alongside.

GP was a fluffy Abyssinian. In my mind, GP and Ada are nearly identical. But from the old photos, I see GP was mostly white.

The holy grail of my physical therapy: seeing my upstairs again. It’s been five months! Going up stairs is easier than going down. I’m nervous about getting stuck there.

It’s a law in Switzerland that you must have a second guinea pig. Solo piggies are deprived of the interaction they need as social animals. Even if they like to annoy one another, it counts as socializing. #mbnov

Microblogvember prompt:

November 20: second

And for November 21 (aka today in NZ, etc.): hollow

And we are officially two-thirds of the way through the Microblogvember challenge.*

*not counting the extra days added on through Dec. 6 for those who got a late start.


Microblogvember prompt:

November 20: second

(We are ⅔ of the way to the finish line!)

And for some of you, there’s still time for November 19: abate

One of my favorite restaurants, Trifecta, is closing. I really liked their bar especially, and it was a festive place to meet up or drink alone before the fun began at @voiceboxkaraoke. 😭

Microblogvember prompt:

November 19: abate

(And for November 20 (aka today in NZ, etc.): second)

I keep wondering if the random word generator will disgorge “antidisestablishmentarianism” on Day 30, when to make up for all these short words!)

Microblogvember prompt:

November 17: superb

And for November 18 (aka today in NZ, etc.): build

(Sorry, Kiwis, Aussies, et al, for getting this out late in your day!)

Congratulations to everyone who has made it to the halfway point of Microblogvember!

To recap:

🔑 ✖️🎩 😈🚘🏒😱🌟🥶🚀🤗 🏨 💪🦒🌫🗳

(I did my best via emoji, and welcome any improvements! 🙏)

Microblogvember prompt:

November 15: murky

And for November 16 (aka today in NZ, etc.): selective

(So the random word generator can spit out a three syllable word!)

When I was a kid, I heard the term “necking” and had only a cloudy but disturbing image of what it could literally mean. 🤔#mbnov

I believe that Grace has been moonlighting as a plus-size guinea pig model.

Microblogvember prompt:

November 13: able

And for November 14 (aka today in NZ, etc.): neck

(The random word generator is stingy with syllables, it seems.)

Time for Kellyoke, when the Core Audio folks gather for the November edition of our monthly karaoke meetup and celebrate the birthday of our most ardent participant, @verso.

I invented a new guinea pig treat today: lettucicles. They’re easy to make: place a bag of lettuce into the freezer by mistake. ❄️🥬🤦‍♀️

I am exhausted from the weekend trip to attend the excellent @wordcampseattle. I sorta forgot it was Monday, and nearly forgot to post today’s great Micro Monday episode with @ton. He’s a cool dude in the Netherlands doing cool things. Listen here.

I’m happy for Seattle’s MLS victory. I would be even happier if I wasn’t hanging out at the train station waiting for the evening train to Portland amongst the rowdy jubilant fans, many of whom are probably going to be on my train. ( I need Air Pods Pro!)

It’s true we had no windows at North Miami Beach High School. Built in 1971, it was the first school designed to be fully air-conditioned, which was huge for Miami kids. We had almost no a/c in elementary and junior high school. The lack of windows didn’t bother us.

When I was a teenager, it once got cold enough in Miami to snow.

Unfortunately, my high school had no windows, in order to save on air conditioning expenses, so I never saw the short-lived Miami snow. #mbnov

I’m at WordCamp Seattle today. Anyone else here I know? #wcsea

My star guinea pig, Ada. She is brave and seeks The Truth about whether it’s time for treats.

I’m on the train to Seattle and I feel $250 slipping out of my pocket. I want the Air Pods Pro. 😭

My scaredy-pig. Grace finds the world frightening. She is convinced that every time I approach her, I’m planning to eat her.

She’s also afraid she won’t get her share of all the treats. So she’s often frozen by competing instincts.

Microblogvember prompts:

For those living on the other side of the International Date Line: November 8: star

For those of us on this side: November 7: frightening

Sticks are for sharing with your BFF.

Dixie (my erstwhile pup) and Goldie (my neighbor and loaner dog), Portland, 2009.

Today’s prompt unearthed a memory. One of my favorite numbers from the musical My Fair Lady is “On The Street Where You Live.”

The memory is bittersweet. It’s sung by a young man who is smitten with Eliza Doolittle, yet she still ends up with the curmudgeon Henry Higgins.

I’m loving all the Microblogvember posts. You all are quite the creative bunch!

The random word prompt for November 5 is street. Looking forward to reading your entries. 👀

It can be tough posting every day for Microblogvember. But I mean to try. #mbnov

Update We first announced Microblogvember on Nov. 1, and quite a few folks were caught be surprise and missed out. Sorry! It was a last minute inspiration.

We “extended” November. When you’ve posted at least once on 30 days by Dec. 6, you’ll earn the Microblogvember pin.

I never liked the word “fancy.” The way it sounds and its various meanings always make me cringe a tiny bit. I never use it in my writing. When the random word generator served it up as today’s Microblogvember prompt, I sighed. #mbnov

His Dark Materials starts on HBO on Monday. It looks quite good. I’m excited! Anyone else? (Thanks once again to @macgreg for introducing me to this trilogy many moons ago.)

The surgery leaves a mark. Straight down my knee, maybe six inches. I have some scar remedies, but I haven’t been too industrious in applying them. I like having such a clear reminder. (And I’m too old to think such imperfections detract from beauty.) #mbnov

REMINDER Microblogvember prompt for Saturday, Nov. 2: mark

  • If you missed a day or two, don’t give up. We’re adding some padding at the end to make up for the short notice.

  • Already Sunday? Nov. 3 is “fancy.”

Microblogvember prompt:

November 3: fancy

(It’s already Sunday in NZ, and we do have quite a few community members there, so I am releasing the new prompt while it’s still early for them.)

My keys are my touchstone. When I wasn’t able to walk after my injury, I never had my keys because I couldn’t use them for anything. It was unsettling. Now I’ve put all my keys back on my keychain, including the mini gym membership card, and I know I am close to full recovery.

Microblogvember prompt:

November 2: mark

(It’s already Saturday in NZ, and we do have quite a few community members there, so I’ll be releasing the new prompt while it’s still morning for them.)

Microblogvember update:

It’s not necessary to tag your entries in any particular fashion. If you post once a day or more for all 30 days of November, you’ll get the Microblogvember pin. As a bonus, if you still haven’t earned that elusive 30-day blogger pin, you’ll get both!

Hey microbloggers, I’ve still got an extra ticket to WordCamp Seattle. It’s Nov. 9-10. There are many interesting presentations on topics from easy to advanced.

Email me at If I don’t hear from anyone soon, I’m going to ask around on Twitter. 😳


I noticed a few references this week to an idea called Blogvember. It’s like Inktober, with daily prompts for inspiration for blogging rather than drawing.

So of course, I wondered if we could do Microblogvember, to encourage folks to post something short on their blogs everyday. Spurred on by enthusiasm from the community (and friends on Twitter!), I’ve come up with this plan:

1) Every day I will go to a random word generator to get the latest prompt and post it.

2) Participants write a micropost, 280 characters or fewer, that includes the prompt word.

In the spirit of other challenges, you can do any variation of this that suits you: write something inspired by the word, write a longer post and link to it, etc. But I’ve made the basic instruction as simple as possible, so it’s fun while helping you flex that writing muscle and establish a daily writing habit.

On, you’ll earn a new Microblogvember pin for your account. (Manton and I are still working out the exact details of the requirement.) Use the abbreviation “mbnov” or the word Microblogvember so we can credit you for the post. Just post at least once a day in November, and you’ll earn the pin. (And if you haven’t yet earned the 30-day blogger pin, you’ll get that too!)

Email me if you have questions email

Daily Prompts

November 1: key
November 2: mark
November 3: fancy
November 4: mean
November 5: street
November 6: stick
November 7: frightening
November 8: star
November 9: cold
November 10: space
November 11: touch
November 12: stay
November 13: able
November 14: neck
November 15: murky
November 16: selective
November 17: superb
November 18: build
November 19: abate
November 20: second
November 21: hollow
November 22: hum
November 23: woebegone
November 24: company
November 25: secure
November 26: mix
November 27: rich
November 28: property
November 29: fantastic
November 30: integrate

note: We’ll supply prompts through December 6, as promised, to give folks a few extra days to complete 30 days of microblogging during Microblogvember and earn the pin.

December 1: horrible
December 2: panoramic
December 3: knock
December 4: wrist
December 5: verse
December 6: bewildered

Microblogvember idea has some traction.

It’s already November 1 for many folks, so I’ve generated the first random word prompt:


Write a micropost using (or inspired by) this word. Include (mbnov) to be counted toward a Microblogvember pin.

Is there an “official” source for Blogvember? I like the idea, and now thinking about how to execute for myself and maybe Microblogvember?

The Guinea Pig Avengers (Grace and Ada) demolish their Hallowheek treats. If you think your kids are fast, wait until I post video! 🎃

I am impressed with @Lyft’s new required Community Safety Education module for all drivers and for passengers who violate the code of conduct. They developed it with @RAINN, and it’s well-done. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

(I wish everyone could watch it!)

No Micro Monday podcast today. Sorry! Grace is not having the best day either…

guinea pig nail trim

My niece turns 21 today. Every year, I used to take her to the Sylvia Beach hotel, dedicated to writers and readers, to celebrate.The first room we had was Dr. Seuss, the last was Melville.

Reply with favorite book+beverage pairings. I’ll share them with her.

Guinea pigs do get super enthusiastic for meals and treats. I’ve also noticed Grace has a developed a little OCD-like behavior: she nibbles on two spots on the food bowl back and forth at least three times when it’s time to eat.

If you’re in the Seattle area and would like to attend WordCamp, a community-organized WordPress conference/workshop Nov. 9-10, let me know. is sponsoring and we have an extra ticket.

News! will be a small business sponsor at Seattle WordCamp Nov. 9-10.

I’ll be there. We also have one extra ticket. Email me by Friday at if you’d like to go. We’ll do a random pick to give it away.

Watch this space for Micro Meetup details too!


WhenWorks, the scheduling service and app, is shutting down at the end of the year. I am sad because it is an easy-to-use product from a great developer, and now I’m going to have to settle for something else.

Bedcasting. I think I’m close to returning to the office, now that my knee can bend.

(Photo courtesy of my sister Judy, who was visiting.)

Still finding gems from last spring’s family home declutter: my sister Peg with my original guinea pig, the creatively-named GP. #tbt #wheek

Sorry for the radio silence. I have planned poorly this week, forgetting that my sister would be visiting for a week, during which taxes also needed to be finished and prepped. Taxes done! Hoping for things to go back to normal tomorrow.

Sorry I had to punt on this week’s Micro Monday. I have a great show ready to be edited, but post-travel exhaustion combined with family obligations just kept me from getting it done. Look for it this coming Monday.

I’m interested in hearing about how rideshare drivers can contribute to civic policy making, so here I am. 🚗

(Still at least a couple weeks from being fit enough for @yft driving. I miss it!)

Due to technical incompetence, the week’s Micro Monday episode will be published on non-Micro Tuesday.

In the meantime, here’s an @monday recommendation: @dejus for terrific photos from the Release Notes location this week… and for all the great photos of 🐈🐕🦆🐥 every week.

End of another Release Notes conference. My OmniFocus inbox has quite a few interesting new entries, but it’s my heart that really got filled up by the amazing energy I get from this corner of geekdom.

(Next year? No pressure or anything, @Dazeend and @joec …)

To catch my flight to Release Notes Conf, I’m up at Slovenia o’clock, the time of day I can reply to folks in Slovenia in real time.

PS. I’m booked to return to Ljubljana for a do-over next summer. Bonus: I won’t be in the beginners group. 🇸🇮 🕜🇺🇸🕞

So chilly and rainy now. I don’t have cats or Netflix, but I have The Doubleclicks. “And I am going to stay indoors / for 4 or 5 months or more.” 🎵…

I don’t think I am up for any Inktober this year. But maybe later in the month…

One of my nephew’s hamsters. 🐹

It was quite tame and adorable, but oh so tiny! I like a more substantial rodent pet.

(Insert guinea pig emoji here.)

Sigh. My audio editing skills have deteriorated over the summer. I thought I’d have the new Micro @monday and a new episode of @voyager_cast out today, but both threw me curve balls I should have been expecting. Sorry. Stay tuned…

Today’s adventure in mobility: picking up my nephew from 1st Grade. Staying out of the way of the anklebiters speeding around after the closing bell.

New Doc Martin series is starting up on Acorn. A carrot so I get stuff done and can take a TV break. 📺🥕

Related: I canceled BritBox (subbed for the latest series of Vera). No new sub without canceling an old one = surviving the new economy of content silos…

Twenty Years Late to "Law & Order: SVU" Fandom

I do not mind admitting I am addicted to Law & Order. I don’t remember exactly when it was added to my TV-watching diet. That would be like remembering when you started breathing air. For the last 20 years, if you were channel surfing on a hotel room TV, you’d invariably find an episode in syndication. The fact that you could usually start watching in the middle of an episode and still enjoy the story, thanks to the twists and turns, made it perfect channel-surfing material.

I am a fan of the original series and cast, and a HUGE fan of Vincent D’Onofrio and the Criminal Intent franchise. But I have always avoided Special Victims Unit. A series devoted to sex crimes against women and children struck me as too depressing. Until last fall…

I don’t subscribe to cable TV. Even when I had basic channels, I didn’t keep up with cable box updates, since I had Apple TV and Roku, so I didn’t even get limited service I paid for. But last year, I cut cable completely and bought an HDTV antenna. Suddenly, I was back to four networks, broadcasting in real time, just like when I was a kid. I watched the Season Premiere of The Good Place, which I also love. Being sucked into couch potatohood, I decided to stay tuned to NBC for the 20th season premiere of Law & Order: SVU to satisfy my curiosity.

I had no idea how hard I would fall for the star Mariska Hargitay. Until the 13th season, she was the co-star, with Christopher Meloni, with emphasis on the “co-”. Every time I caught a bit of SVU while channel surfing, Meloni’s character was generating the majority of the story’s energy. A flawed father of five with major anger management issues, the character of Elliott Stabler could not be ignored. The actor left in 2011, reportedly over contract issues.

Since then, Hargitay’s character, Detective Olivia Benson has been the heart and the soul of the show. After watching Season 20 of SVU, I went back and rewatched starting Season 12. And I realized, “Wow, I like the Stabler-free version of this show so much more.”

It goes beyond great acting. Hargitay has become a trained rape counselor. She has produced an Emmy-award-winning documentary for HBO about the travesty of untested rape kits, an institutional failing that denies justice to victims and allows criminals to attack again. On SVU, Hargitay allows me to feel safe, to feel that someone on this show actually cares about violence against women as I watch some of the “most heinous” crimes in the L&O universe. (I still skip some that are too upsetting. If they do a Brock Turner- or a Brett Kavanaugh-based episode, I’ll pass.)

I also appreciate watching a woman my age as the lead of a TV action show. Benson is a great role model. And a rare one. I generally gravitate to British detective shows, with lots of fantastic complex mature female characters (Check out the great shows featuring Jane Tennison, Vera Stanhope, Sam Ryan, Catherine Cawood.)

Congratulations to everyone associated with this show, as of tonight the longest-running prime time show in history with Olivia Benson the longest-running prime time character.

I’ve gotten some good advice on the difficulty I’m having removing my XS SIM. Meanwhile I’ve misplaced that little tool TWICE, and haven’t been able to try that advice.

(This is one of those “post about something being lost and it will turn up” posts… hey, it works sometimes!)

Is it me or my iPhone XS? I can’t seem to pop out the SIM tray so I can return it. Don’t want to use too much force, but a trip to the Apple Store is a little bit ambitious for me and my knee.

I know @joec and @DazeEnd will be there…who else from will be at Release Notes Conf next week?

I want to organize a little Micro Reunión (aka Meetup) while we are there, including anyone who is wants to know more about and our community. 🍹💁‍♀️

“Can I hide in this cuddle cup so the vet doesn’t see me?” – Ada

I was reminded by Micro.blogger @philroy that today is the anniversary of the 1991 release of Nevermind by Nirvana, which made me want to share this awesome artwork from Piggie Parodies.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lack of Likes

I like this piece by Frank Chimero about how a function meant to encourage positivity (e.g. the Like button) ends up encourage active negativity, as there is no way to express disapproval except through negative comments.

I’m reminded how I changed my mind about Likes after joining In the beginning, I assumed that Manton would be adding them, along with follower counts. But now I’m glad we have a platform that encourages positive personal engagement with a community of bloggers.

I’m sitting my dog-niece Zoë this weekend. She really likes having people around. Meanwhile, the guinea pigs get a break from the 24/7 human presence they’ve endured lately.

Saw Ad Astra and liked it. For a film that is a cross between 2001 and Apocalypse Now, I’ve heard very little about it in my usual SF circles.

Such an Apple day today. Watched the @relayfm podcastathon for @StJude Hospital while waiting for my iPhone. Congrats to @ismh and @imyke for breaking their $200K goal, and to me, whose patience was rewarded.

Despite what they said at to me at 5 am last Friday, my new iPhone is being delivered tomorrow, not Monday. 💃🏼

‪@smokey @aleen And he said I can stop wearing the brace all the time, and don’t need to wear it at night. ‬

‪AND I’m getting a cane maybe this week.*‬

‪* A sentence I never expected to say with elation. 💃🏼🎈‬

First visit to the orthopedic surgeon with no wheelchair. 🎉🤸‍♀️

Downton Abbey The Movie: very nicely done, and if you liked the series, you’ll enjoy it! 🎥

I’ve lost track of how many outings this makes, but first one to the carts without the wheelchair! 🎉🤸‍♀️

I was looking at some old posts, and realize I need to update this one from July 12 about my upcoming excursion to Trieste.

The plan: 🇸🇮 🚌 🇮🇹🚶‍♀️☕️🚶‍♀️🍝🍷 🚌 🇸🇮 The reality: 🇸🇮 🚌 🇮🇹🚶‍♀️☕️🚶‍♀️😱 🏥 🚗 🇸🇮 🚗 🇩🇪 🛫🛬 🇺🇸 🏥 🔪 🛌🛌🛌🛌

Sixth outing and first trip to the movies: Peanut Butter Falcon is sweet without being saccharine. 👍

American Dream Pizza with brother Bob. Fifth non-medical outing and first pizza place. 🍕🤸‍♀️

I’m back to recording the Micro Monday podcast! In this new episode, I asked Manton to catch me up on the new features that I missed during my downtime. Or, as I call it, “What Manton Did On His Summer Vacation.”

At the Alberta Street Pub to see Adventure is Our Middle Name. 4th non-medical outing since July 13, and 1st live music excursion! 🤘

“Well I know I had it comin’
I know I can’t be free…”🎵

Welcome to Portland, all you @xoxo attendees. I wish I was going to be there, but my knee is not quite up to conference-level activity. I hope to soak up some of that inspiration energy vicariously.

First excursion since my injury that wasn’t a trip to the hospital or physical therapy. I’ve missed the world!

(Sorry for the long silence, but I haven’t been inspired to post after 6 weeks indoors.)

I’ve been on my own the last week, with visitors nearly every day to help out with stuff. I’ve figured out how to do a lot with crutches and/or wheelchair. But the additional hopping around has resulted in more pain in my knee > more painkillers > more naps. 😔

It’s the last day of the photoblogging challenge. The theme is gratitude.

I am grateful to everyone who shared their world with me via photographs. I really enjoyed them, and they helped make these 11 days stuck in bed more interesting.

Day 10 of the convalescent’s photo challenge. The theme: friends.

Here’s my friend Oliver: he drove from Munich to Trieste to rescue me from the hospital, took me back to Ljubljana, and then Munich for my flight home.

(Photo: pre-accident fun at the Gaisberg, Salzburg)

Day 9 of the photo challenge is here: persistence is the theme.

Only two days to go. This has been a wonderful tonic for me. I am doing a lot better, though I’m not quite up to speed for getting lots done. I always have the energy to look at all your great photos. ☺️

It’s Day 7 of the the convalescent’s photoblogging challenge and the theme is relief, like I felt when this transport that got me to my connecting flight in Iceland just in time. I’m not sure what I would have done if I missed the flight to Portland, alone and non-ambulatory.

Today’s photoblog challenge theme is “determination.” A couple of inspiring ones by Pip and Miraz are up already.

I created the list of themes by brainstorming what I need to get through this convalescence with a positive outlook. Each photo has helped me be more mindful. ❤️

So lovely to see everyone’s contribution for today’s photoblogging challenge theme “family”. I have one to contribute: my sister Judy, arriving from Sweden, at the Trieste ER to rescue me after my 24+ hour visit. Just remembering this moment brings tears of joy, gratitude.

Turns out that being laid up is a new opportunity to research and buy gadgets…

Thanks for all the photos on today’s theme of “relaxation” in the convalescent’s photoblog challenge. Each one gave me a pause in which I took a breath and let go a little bit more, relaxing into the reality of living a mostly horizontal life for now. 🛏

Next up: “family”

Thanks to everyone who shared photos in my convalescent’s photoblogging challenge. Your Patience and Movement contributions have brought a smile to my face. The theme for Day 3 is Relaxation. Even though I spend 95% in bed right now, I don’t think I’m actually relaxing. 😕

Accepted reality and marked myself as “unavailable” for Rover dog walks until the end of September. I’m also sad to be missing out on @lyft driving the next two months. Summer is a fun time to transport happy visitors to Portland. ☀️🚗

John August wrote this on Twitter, which made me literally laugh out loud, aka LLOL.

I wrote about this myth that the WGA refuses to negotiate. (I put it on my blog, which is like Medium except I own it.)

I created a short photoblogging challenge with the selfish purpose of giving me something to look forward while confined to bed as my knee surgery heals. Each day’s theme is something I need to keep in mind. For today, to kick off the challenge, it’s patience. 📷

A Convalescent's Request: Share Your Photos With Me

It’s been three weeks since my mishap in Trieste. It will be three more weeks of staying in bed while the knee surgery heals.

There are a lot of things I miss about being ambulatory. One challenge to my mental health is that my view is very limited. The bedroom and the bathroom are the only two places I see. Related to that, I realize how much I miss taking photos. There are only so many photos I can take of my leg in a brace. Even if I did leave this corner of my house, I wouldn’t be able to maneuver my iPhone to take a photo while balancing on crutches.

So I’m asking you, dear internet friends, to share some photos with me and give me some new views. I’ve created a daily photoblog challenge to make it more fun. I’ve chosen 11 days worth of themes that will inspire and cheer me. Tag me (@macgenie) so I’ll be sure to see them. I will collect them and share them on my blog as well.

  • Day 1: Patience
  • Day 2: Movement
  • Day 3: Relaxation
  • Day 4: Family
  • Day 5: Determination
  • Day 6: Support
  • Day 7: Relief
  • Day 8: Happiness
  • Day 9: Persistence
  • Day 10: Friends
  • Day 11: Gratitude

Thanks for giving me something to look forward to.

All Structures Are Unstable. (Knees Included)

One of my favorite passages from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve been thinking about it a lot during this long wait to regain mobility. My mishap was a big lesson in how quickly your life can change, and how little you control what happens.

As I was walking with a friend through a beautiful nature reserve near Malibu in California, we came upon the ruins of what had been once a country house, destroyed by a fire several decades ago. As we approached the property, long overgrown with trees and all kinds of magnificent plants, there was a sign by the side of the trail put there by the park authorities. It read: DANGER. ALL STRUCTURES ARE UNSTABLE.

I said to my friend, “That’s a profound sutra (sacred scripture).” And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms ) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it “eternal life.”

I received a postcard from myself in Ljubljana which was supposed to be for my dad + stepmom who were staying in my house while I was gone. It was a cushy monthlong guinea-pig sitting gig that turned into two weeks home health care assistance when I returned ahead of schedule.

I think my nephew was happy to get a Sound Of Music postcard from Salzburg?

Grace and Ada are on their way to the guinea pig rescue’ boarding service. My best friend is coming from NYC to take care of me for a week. She’s not really a rodent fan. It will be easier for both of us to hand them off to the professionals.

I will still miss them!

While everyone is inside worrying about taking care of me, we forgot my dog niece Olive is outside wrestling with her life’s big question.

This flight alert was confusing for a split second.

In that other universe, the other Jean had an amazing time these last two weeks…and is also practically fluent in Slovene.

Surgery went well, and they discharged me without an overnight! All the good wishes really worked.

No weight bearing or extended knee, so I’ll mostly be in bed or on the couch for a while. I’m OK with that. 

My knee surgery is tomorrow morning. I just realized when they say that you can only bring your ID, that means no iPhone.

Can I say my iPhone is like an ID? An extension of my limbs?


(I’ll catch up with you all when I’m back home.)

I picked up a kid’s pilot outfit from @icelandair on my way home to give to my nephew for his 6th birthday. Here’s Captain Jonathan, paying his disabled aunt a visit. I think it’s a fun gift–he loves airplanes.

Instead of Micro Monday, it’s off to the hospital for pre-op tests. I really miss my weekly chats with y’all.

If you haven’t listened to the whole series, I highly recommend digging into the back catalog. I enjoyed doing every one.

New podcasting setup, now with gimpy knee support.

If anyone is suffering in a heat wave right now, try following @mpospese who is hiking high up in the Alps for a little chill.

Feeling a little low after 3 days in bed and facing 5 days to go until surgery. Got any photos to share that will counteract the bed-bound blues?

Therapy dog Poppy visits again.

A+++ Would hire again.

Zlatko really really wanted in to my apartment last week. Now I’m sorry I didn’t let him visit. #tbt 🇸🇮

Back in Portland, with brother Bob, sister Peg, and stepmom Joella.

I made it onto the Portland-bound plane, thanks to the good people working at Keflavik airport. Last one on the plane. Thanks for all th good thoughts, friends. 8 hours to home.

Now I need everyone sending good airline transfer vibes. My flight into Reykjavik is 20 minutes late, cutting my layover to 35 minutes. No OJ Simpson moves for me this time.

As much as I’d like to visit Iceland, this is not a good time.

Made it to Munich Airport. It turns out Montag ist Schnitzeltag at Airbrau, so things are looking up. Flight tomorrow to Portland.

Last soundscape: view from a hospital bed in Trieste. Mostly Italian chatter from the staff, offstage almost always. You could actually see mountains out the window.

I know I have a challenging couple months of surgery, disability, and rehab ahead, but at least the 24-hour-long absurdist play titled “Trieste Hospital Emergency Room” is over. 🤯

Thanks for all the kind sentiments. It really helps me feel less alone. It looks like my sister, who is in Sweden, will be coming down to help me manage road tripping back to Ljubljana and eventually home.

And my iPhone battery is almost dead, so more details in a day or so.

I had a mishap in Trieste today. I tripped and tore the tendon in my left knee. I’m spending the night in the hospital and then figuring out how to get back to Ljubljana and then Portland for surgery. So I’m out of commission for a while. 😢

Cool slo-mo I made in the butterfly atrium at the Arboretum yesterday. I wish I had gotten the name of this beauty. One of our Slovene teachers called them the supermodels of the exhibit. 🇸🇮🦋

Has anyone been to Trieste? I’m going tomorrow for the day just to commune with the ghosts of history. I’ve got Jan Morris, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, on my Kindle. 🇸🇮 🚌 🇮🇹🚶‍♀️☕️🚶‍♀️🍝🍷 🚌 🇸🇮

A trip to the Volčji Potok Arboretum offers a variety of experiences: hydrangeas to butterflies to dinosaurs, all in view of the Alps.

hydrangeas, alps in the distancebutterfly on an orange slicedinosaur models at the Arboretum

Dragons guard the entrance to my neighborhood. I feel secure. Zmajski most. 🇸🇮🐉

Soundscape: Jazz trio on Mestni Trg (Town Square), at the foot of Stritarjeva Ulica. Tourists ignore them. (And me.) 🇸🇮🥁🎻🎷

FaceTime with the morski prašički. Grace came out to say “hello.” (Actually, my father took the pigloos out of the cage so Grace couldn’t hide.) They seemed to respond to me singing their favorite song, “Who Wants Parsley?” (sung to the tune of Frere Jacques) 🇸🇮🐹

Vocab homework sampler:

trg = plaza

črn = black

prst = finger

čmrlj = bumblebee

Slovenia, I’d like to buy a vowel? 🇸🇮🙏

I have 45 minutes to get ready for school, including finishing my homework and packing my lunch. I feel like I’m 11 years old again. I didn’t work this hard when I was an exchange student! We spent a lot more time just hanging out and attending the occasional lecture. 🇸🇮📝😬

Where my head’s been the last week: “rewrite the sentences in dual and plural.” Slovene has a dual form, in addition to singular, plural. 🤯

I slept all weekend, my brain was so full. But I did get Micro @monday with @pratik published, and managed Discover curation again. 🇸🇮

Soundscape: Street musician and tourists on Stritarjeva ulica, right near the Ljubljanica river. 🇸🇮 🚣‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️

Soundscape: Afternoon thunderstorm, as viewed through my bedroom window. 🇸🇮 🌩

Achievement unlocked: first scooter ride in Ljubljana. 🛴🇸🇮

(It took me a week to get up the nerve, with @rosemaryorchard’s San Jose mishap in mind.)


I’m not sure why I waited so long, but I’m finally watching Good Omens. What a production! I’m so enjoying it, so much so that I broke my rule of “only 1 hour per day of English-language TV while in Slovenia” rule. I will make up for it over the next week. 😬🇸🇮

City soundscape: the bells with a view of Prešeren Square, the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, and the Ljubljanica River.

It’s karaoke night In Ljubljana for the summer students of the Slovene As A Foreign Language course. If I had a transporter, I’d zip @verso over here quick because I’m getting a lot of blank stares when I tell people it will be fun. 🎤😳

Lunch with @anzet. Yes, I am drinking a beer. I spent 3 hrs. learning about Slovene’s extra pronoun category for groups of two. Ex. “I/jaz” (sing.), “we/mi” (plural), and “midva” (me + one other). Or “medve,” depending on the binary gender of who the 2nd person is. 🤯🍺

Anze and Jean in Ljubljana

1 in 20 Slovenians are beekeepers. Yesterday we had a tour led by the director of urban beekeeping. I learned a ton of interesting facts, but did not have the nerve to hold a frame like my classmate Mark. 🐝

Mark holds a frame from an urban beehive in Ljubljana

On my way to class this morning. The bells tell you it’s 8:45 a.m. The bells tell me I better pick up the pace.

After 44 Years, I'm Finally Brave Enough To Watch "Jaws"

When Jaws was first released, first as a book then as a movie, my teenaged self said “No way am I reading/seeing that! I’ll never be able to swim in the ocean again.” As a Miami kid, that was a legitimate concern. But despite the fact that I never saw it, I was still to afraid to go swimming in the ocean, or really anywhere.

I am very suggestible. A publisher’s jacket designer can plant an image of a huge shark with all the gnarly teeth about to gulp down a teeny tiny swimmer, and it stays with me forever.

My pals at The Incomparable network chose this for the Old Movie Club podcast series, and I decided to join in. Since I am already too afraid to swim in the ocean, I may as well see it. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit and it was a fun discussion. [Listen here.]

Once I watched Jaws, I decided I may also as well read a book that piqued my interest years ago, Close To Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks Of 1916 by Michael Capuzzo. “Jaws” was influenced by this story, which took place in the era when bathing in the ocean became acceptable as an activity, an era when men felt supremely confident in their ability to subjugate the natural world (despite the Titanic sinking four years earlier). Mass culture and communication could create mass uproar. Natural history mixed with cultural history is fascinating.

(Doing the podcast reminded me that I had goldfish named Jaws my senior year of college. The fish was completely orange except for a little white marking around its mouth, like lipstick. I won it at a carnival. Poor Jaws. We had a massive ice storm and freeze in North Carolina, our pipes froze, so my roommate and I decamped from our rural rental house to stay with friends closer in for a couple days. Jaws didn’t survive. 😢)

I had to take a break from publishing a new episode of Micro Monday this week. Pre-Slovenia trip preparation sunk my good intentions. I plan to resume next week.

In honor of Canada Day 🇨🇦🎉, check out episodes with @vasta (#27), @bitdepth (#38), and @mikehendley (#55).

FaceTime with Grace and Ada. Well, mostly Ada because Grace is a big scaredy-pig who hates technology.

FaceTime screenshot with Ada the guinea pig

This Airbnb apartment includes a beautiful little backyard retreat. If a cat wandered in and started a conversation, I could pretend I’m @hollyhoneychurch, my idol in house sitting travel adventure.

backyard with table and glass of wine

Apparently I am in the right place. 🎤🇸🇮

Prvi dan šole = first day of school. I have all the relevant jitters. 🇸🇮

(What should I wear? Will I like the teacher? Will the other kids like me? What will a beginner like me be doing for an hourlong placement test?)

After translating a bit of the Bosch manual (it offers Slovene, Croatian, Servian, Macedonian, Albanian and Bulgarian versions), and not being able to find a credible manual online), I decided to turn off the machine and open it. The spin cycle was done. Still a mystery… 🧺

Bosch Washer Hive Mind, new question: The spin light is blinking. (See video.) I could swear I didn’t overfill the machine with clothes but could it be out-of-balance? What should I do next?

Question for the Hive Mind: is there a way to wash clothes in cold water? It looks like every option is hot or hotter. 🤔

Bosch European Washer Controls

To complain is always non-acceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge.

– Eckhart Tolle

So…I am not going to repost the extreme heat weather warning for Ljubljana. Instead, I’m happy I talked myself out of packing a fleece vest on this trip.

I’m using Boomerang iOS App Store to translate words and phrases. It’s the best kind of simple app, and so low-priced: free w/ads, $1.99/year subscription with no ads. (I just sent @ishabazz and @heidi_helen a tip because I get WAY more value than that from their work.) 🇸🇮

12 years ago today was iPhone Launch Day! Possibly my biggest smile after spending $600 on something I didn’t quite understand. 4 hours waiting in line at Pioneer Place with my pal Edward (@emcnair) was actually fun.

I missed the opening of the IndieWeb Summit because Twitch was apparently too hard for my jet lagged brain to figure out and I fell asleep. I wanted to see the opening talks. 😭 cc: @kitt

First Slovenian microbrew with first Slovenian friend Anže Tomič (@anzet). IPA of course!

anže and jean and beer in Ljubljana.

I’m on an old compartment train, very reminiscent of my student days. And I reached Slovenia! And remembered how to say “thank you” to the Slovenian conductor when he took my ticket. (“Hvala!”) The adventure begins.

The view at the Lesce-Bled train station.

I explained to someone today in German. 🤯

Related: liebe deutsche Freunden, wie antwortest Du die Frage, “Was ist” Ich habe irgendwie versprochen, an einem Podcast morgen fruh teilzunehmen. 🆘

I really love this YouTube video in which two grown sons and a father humor their mother on The Sound Of Music tour by acting out scenes. They inspired me to lose some of my self-consciousness and embrace my day as just another crazy TSOM fan/tourist.

On the trail of The Sound Of Music. I pose on the steps and fountains from some Do-Re-Mi scenes, and stand outside the Maria’s convent. The views are spectacular wherever you look. My friend @oliverb is a fantastic tour guide, so I didn’t need to join the bus tour.


Here’s a little video glimpse of Salzburg at night. This morning we are going out to see some Sound of Music sites before the weather becomes unbearably hot. Again. 😰

Goal #3 achieved: overnight stay at the Munich Airport Hotel. I did this in 2011–such a treat. Instead of navigating into the city jet-lagged and wilted, I just walked from the gate to the hotel to rest and regroup. Ready for travel adventure now. Jetzt geht’s los! 🚃 🇩🇪

Everyone at British Airways has been so nice. The flight attendant gave me a delightful lesson in proper scone prep, with jam and clotted cream. Then I overtiredly left my Kindle on the plane, didn’t realize until after customs, and the check-in guy is retrieving it for me. 🇬🇧

Goal #2 achieved: flying to London on a 747 from Seattle. And watching the planes from the British Airways lounge at Heathrow, taking off one per minute! 🛫🇸🇮


Thanks everyone for the warm welcome for my dad @bobmacd. He’s never been on social media or had a blog before. But he is very social and smart, so I think he will like it. (It’s been good for me to see where the points of friction are in the onboarding process too!)

Goal #1 achieved. Checked in at PDX, at the gate early, with just one carry-on, one backpack, and a purse. Compare to 22 y.o. me, going to Europe for the first time with two large checked suitcases with no wheels. 🛫🇸🇮

I’ve signed my dad up for Spotify and in one weekend. We’ll see how this goes. 🤨 cc: @bobmacd

The Kiwis inspired me. It’s already Monday in New Zealand, so they are taking the lead on Micro Monday recommendations, and I thought it would be helpful to explain what the heck Micro Monday is. And also to give a nod to @smokey, who is the most consistent MM contributor.

The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Micro Monday

As we look for new ways to facilitate discovery on, I wanted to recap one of our original approaches to helping you find people to follow: Micro Monday. If you are new around here, you may have seen folks making Micro Monday recommendations and wondered what that’s all about. Here’s everything you need to know about our platform’s weekly ritual!

We launched Micro Monday on January 8, 2018. had just opened up to the public in December, and people were eager to find other people to follow. The idea was inspired by Follow Friday, the Twitter convention, but we wanted to distinguish ourselves from Twitter, and Monday was a day that started with an M. 😊

We also wanted to encourage people to think a bit differently, and rather than recommending a long list of Twitter handles (which I rarely clicked through because it was too much work to figure out who to follow), we strongly suggested that a Micro Monday post consist of one recommendation plus a short description of why someone would want to follow that person. (If you have multiple people you want to recommend on the same Monday, feel free to make multiple Micro Monday posts!)

If you use the phrase “Micro Monday” in your recommendation, it will automatically be added to the Micro Monday feed. You’ll also get a special Micro Monday pin on your account page. We generally add Micro Monday recommendations to the Discover timeline as well.

In March 2018, we launched the Micro Monday podcast. (Subscribe here.) Manton had been working on a podcasting feature for, and I wanted to test it. We will publish Episode 65 tomorrow. Each episode features a member of the community. It has been a great pleasure to host this show and talk to so many of the people behind the microblogs we enjoy. (Your Micro Monday recommendations help me find new people to interview, too!)

This month, June 2019, we launched a Micro Monday newsletter, to complement the podcast and provide updates and selections of some of the posts that caught our attention.

I hope this inspires folks to add their Micro Monday recommendations tomorrow and every Monday.

(A post about Micro Monday would not be complete without a shoutout to @smokey and his regular Micro Monday postings. He maintains a page of his recommendations on his blog too, a great source for finding people to follow.)

Training the parental units in the art of the guinea pig radicchio fest.

feeding guinea pigs

New rule: when making big crazy plans for the future, write a blog post about why I made the plans. It was a big help to reread my six-month-old post about the plan for an extended stay in Slovenia two days before I leave.

It answers the question, “WTH was Past Me thinking?”

And Friday got even better with Flock Friday from @dejus. The ducklings are just adorable and are reminding me of the guinea pigs with their big-eyes stares and focus on treats. Follow David and @yellowcottage to experience homesteading vicariously!

And for those who enjoy Nature in its domesticated form, I was inspired by today’s @friday’s filmmakers to create a short film too!

My mother at the launch of Apollo 13, April 11, 1970. My father’s graduate school adviser at Univ. of Miami had connections, which is how they got invited. #tbt

My niece says I should get WhatsApp to stay in touch while I’m in Europe. Having quit Facebook and Instagram this year, I loathe the idea of installing this. Do I hold my nose and do it?

I organized a spelling bee competition for The Incomparable Network, which was a blast. Antony Johnston, Dan Moren, Monty Ashley, Steve Lutz and Quinn Rose were great sports to be guinea pigs–I mean contestants. 🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes. The day ended with amazing GF chocolate cake created by Kate the Cakestress and best neighbor ever. (Coincidentally, I gave K. a GF baking book for her birthday last year. 😇)

I just realized I should see if there is any possibility of having a Micro Meetup June 26 in Munich, June 27 or 28 in Salzburg, or anytime in July in Ljubljana.

Happy birthday at my happy place, Slappy Cakes Portland. I usually manage to wrangle a kid or two for make-your-own pancakes, but this year I’m solo.

If you want to celebrate my birthday today, I would love it if you would take a minute to respond to someone’s post, photo, music, poem, app, video, podcast and let them know you enjoy/appreciate what they’ve put out there. 🎂🎉

(And send me a link, if you’re so inclined!)

Where Discover Doesn't Help

A discussion is going on about how to discover people with your interests when the Discover timeline doesn’t really help. In a post in this thread, Khürt wrote:

I’d like to discuss F1 and photography and hiking in New Jersey etc.

I actually share Khürt’s frustration when it comes to my own niche interests.

As I review the main timeline of posts, I haven’t seen anyone else express an interest in the topics of F1 or hiking in New Jersey. In my case, I am passionate about Star Trek:Voyager, and even have a podcast about it. There are some ST fans on, but not enough passionate ones to engage in regular conversation or to build an audience. So I scrapped my plans for quitting Twitter because I wanted to be able to reach a larger audience for a niche interest, and Twitter has zillions of Trek fans.

Quitting Facebook meant that I lost my connection to thousands of guinea pig owners. On, we have four that I know of. But I was sick of Facebook, so the tradeoff was worth it.

Khürt also said:

The Discover feed is useless. Hand picked by people who don’t have similar interest to me.

Discover is intended to feature all the topics that people here post about. Anything that meets our guidelines gets added, while striving not to have one person or topic dominate the feed. I intentionally exclude software development posts for the most part, because that interest group is firmly established. Manton even created a special WWDC feed this year to separate that topic from dominating.

We are not filtering out topics like F1. There just are not any posts to add. For a lively community on that topic or other specialized topics, you probably need to find a forum or follow hashtags on Twitter.

When I interviewed Gabriel Santiago for Micro Monday (aka @Gabz), he made an interesting observation:

To be honest, at first I felt out of place because most of the people I happen to follow are coders, developers, engineers, things that I am not… Then I realized they are just normal people and we have common interests.

For general interests such as food, music, film, travel, kids, pets, etc., I think is pretty great. I have gotten a window on so many interesting experiences around the world. For some niche interests (such as the pen and paper notebook folks), it does offer an engaged micro-community. But for others, it’s not yet reached a critical mass and I don’t know if it will in the near future.

Tip: One of the Discover curation guidelines is the Buddy Bench principle. If you want to find someone who shares a particular interest, write a micropost asking “Hey, are there any fans of ___ out there?” We add posts like that to Discover.

It’s been a while since Grace and Ada have had a proper radicchio fest. 🥬🎉

guinea pigs and radicchio snack

Me, my dad, and my brother. Happy Father’s Day to both of them. ❤️

(It’s a tricky holiday, I know. I don’t have kids, and I lost my mother. Thinking about those who’ve lost a dad and those who’ve wished to be a dad. 💙)

Bob, Jean, Bob Sr.

It’s nice to hear how Smile continues to be a longtime sponsor of great podcasts. @macgreg has loads of great advice for indie developers, esp. committing 6 -12 months with new sponsorships. Less time isn’t enough for a really good test.

Went to see Captain Marvel for the third time so I could go with my neighbor/honorary niece. It was still great and she really liked it. I wish we had a movie like that when I was her age.

Curating the Discover Timeline is a blogging platform with a social engagement component. We have a timeline where you can follow and interact with other bloggers. Sometimes it feels like Twitter, because of the timeline, mentions, and conversations. But there are key differences, built into, to make it a safe and sane place to share ideas with others.

For more details on the differences, see my Guide To For People Who Have A Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter.

In our quest to keep people safe from harassment or harmful viral waves of trolling, we limit the usual parts of a social network like search and trending posts for discovering new people. We do want like-minded people to be able to find each other on We tried a few strategies in the beginning: a short list of people to follow, then a photo gallery of the images that microbloggers were posting. Neither was really working for us or for the community.

And then we came up with the Discover timeline. It’s a simple general timeline, with entries culled from everything posted by registered microblog accounts. As Manton recently wrote in his essay on Open Gardens, at, we are curators, not gatekeepers. You control the posts on your own blog, and when you choose to follow someone, you see all of their own posts in the timeline. But for Discover we want to provide an easy-to-skim cross section of posts, so the culling is done by hand: no algorithm, no upvoting, no promotions. And from the response we’ve received, it is a very popular feature with the community.

The curation is done by me and Manton. We thought some of you might be interested in how we choose what to add to Discover. Here are the basic guidelines:

  1. Our goal is to start conversations, not arguments. We almost never include political posts for this reason.
  2. Posts that fit into the 280 character limit, not truncated, are preferred. Sometimes a link to a longer post is included, if it has particular relevance for the community. But in general, the Discover timeline should be easy to skim and read without clicking through to outside links.
  3. No expletives. Not everyone enjoys that kind of language.
  4. No obvious reposts from Twitter or Instagram. The Discover timeline reflects our vision that posting first on your own blog is best.
  5. Limited hashtags. does not support hashtags which can accelerate the spread of fake news and harassment. So we don’t want to confuse people by including hashtags in our Discover timeline. If an otherwise Discover-worthy post has a single hashtag, it might be included.
  6. One or two photos at most. Too many photos affect skimmability of the timeline.
  7. The Buddy Bench principle, as explained by Patrick Rhone. We include posts from people who are seeking out others with similar interests and questions. The Discover timeline can be a digital Buddy Bench, where our community can connect.
  8. The posts we include are from people, not companies or organizations.

The Discover timeline has evolved and will continue to evolve with the community. The guidelines will evolve too. We want to have additional curators from the community. We need to build some tools to make that possible. It would be particularly nice to have curators who can encourage discussions and connections in languages other than English.

This was probably already posted, but it’s such an adorable photo, I can’t resist. @manton and @Burk sporting their Burk-designed tees at the WWDC meetup.

Nice to be back in my home, the City of Roses. (And the City of Massive Laurel Hedges.)

rose bushes, laurel hedge

I had big plans to make my first day home from San Jose very productive. Then I woke up still wiped out from the busy week, and realized I already forgot a thing I was supposed to get done on @friday. sigh. Apparently I need a full day off. 🛌

Every year, when I go away to WWDC, the landscapers give my hedge some kind of punk rock haircut.

Which I’m perfectly OK with.

(And I am completely wiped out and will not be leaving my bed until it’s time to see @jamesdempsey do his inimitable Week In Review at AltConf, 3 pm today!)

It was such a blast to be part of another fantastic Live near WWDC show with @jamesdempsey and the Breakpoints. Thanks to the awesome volunteers who made it possible! My undying gratitude go to @Aleen who managed the door and my sister Peggy who managed merch. 🤩🥰

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the WWDC Micro Meetup today. I can’t believe how much the community has grown since our first WWDC meetup two years ago. You all rock!

The 3rd Annual WWDC meetup is today 12 - 2 pm. We congregate outside Grace Deli, 303 S. Almaden, a block from the convention center.

(Don’t forget: we’ll be giving away one VIP ticket to the SOLD Out Live near WWDC show with @jamesdempsey and the Breakpoints!)

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the meetup tomorrow.

We’ll be there starting 11:30. If anyone wants to come early-ish, you can help stake out the tables. 😇

I liked what I saw of iPadOS. I think I will use my hardware budget that has been planned for a new MacBook when the time comes (1-2 years) and buy the big iPad and keyboard instead. I use my iPad so much more than my Mac these days…

Finally catching a tee-ball game this season. My 5-year-old nephew Jon has an innovative shortstop stance…

kids in baseball field

I’m hoping to organize a small team from to help out at the door for Live near WWDC.

Any Bay Area folks available on Wednesday, June 5th, for a couple hours starting 6:30? Please email me: (You’ll get a ticket to the show and cool swag!)

On the next episode of Micro Monday, I’ll be doing a Q&A with Manton. There’s still time to submit your Qs here on the timeline or via email ( We will record today at 10 am Pacific time.

We’re doing an Ask Manton episode for the next Micro Monday. If you have any questions about, you can ask them here on the timeline or email them to

Bay Area folks: we need a few more volunteers to help out at LIVE near WWDC.

If you can spare a few hours Weds. evening, June 5, to help work the door, please email me: (You’ll get a ticket to the show and cool swag!)

I haven’t forgotten about this week’s Micro Monday episode. Macro family holiday intervened. But it’s a good interview and will be up on Tuesday.

(In the meantime, how about a Micro @monday follow suggestion? @xtof’s photos induce wanderlust. Segellust, more specifically.)

It took me a week, and lots of thinking about the latest announcement about App Camp, and now I’ve put together a very long blog post with my thoughts and feelings about an organizationI care very much about.…

Thinking About App Camp: Amazing Accomplishments That Are Hard to Scale

It’s been a week since the news was announced that there wouldn’t be the App Camp For Girls program in Summer 2019 and that the board of directors would be exploring options for furthering the mission of the organization by other means. I said I would write a proper blog post once I had a chance to process my feelings, and this is it.


(This is a really long post, and there are some nice photos at the end. I thought I would post a photo here at the beginning to balance things out, so you won’t have to wait until the end for photos. This is me and App Camper Aysa. We got to go on TV after the first AC4G beta session in June 2013!)

Jean and Aysa, Live at 7


Back to the blog post:

The board’s announcement noted that the 2019 preregistration numbers did not make camp programs feasible this year, and:

“It has become apparent that the high-touch, high-craft model of App Camp is difficult to scale and the high cost per camper is not financially sustainable.”

I have not been a member of the App Camp board for some time, but I understand and support the board’s decision. The program had a great run. We showed hundreds of kids that they could make apps and they should feel empowered to pursue a career in the software development industry if they wanted to.

Over my years as founder/director of App Camp, I have learned that this financial sustainability is a harsh reality. My original idea was to model the program after Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls. At Rock Camp, participants learned how to play an instrument, form a band, write a song, rehearse, and perform in a showcase at a local music venue. As a volunteer and board member at that organization, I saw firsthand how the experience excited and empowered youth in an endeavor they’d never tried. Rock Camp is an awesome program, but every facet of it is much less expensive than an app development camp.

At App Camp, we taught app brainstorming, UI and icon design, coding, marketing and pitching the finished apps. The participants, usually 12 per camp, worked in teams of four, using design tools and Xcode, under the supervision of an adult who themselves had overcome the barriers of gender inequity. Each camp location had an organizer to manage all the logistics, a lead developer to teach coding and to handle troubleshooting, a design coach to teach design principles and help the kids individually. We had a presentations coach come in on the last couple days to help the kids with their Keynote decks and prep them for public speaking.

This program, which required many specialized volunteers and a lot of hardware, was expensive to run. We thought we could scale the program, both by increasing the size of the camps and by launching more camp locations in other cities.

In 2016, after four years, managing 16 sessions in 5 locations with over 60 volunteers, I learned a thing about myself: I am not executive director material. I got into this endeavor so I could work with kids and inspire them, yet I spent most of my time as unpaid administrator. I was burned out trying to make this camp model work, and so were local camp organizers, some of whom had to step back reluctantly because the demands on their time and energy were so great. In 2017, we experienced our first contraction in the number of locations.

I sought out experienced non-profit professionals who helped me and the board see that a paid staff was needed to:

  • develop a strategic plan;

  • manage the organization and the camps;

  • significantly increase the level of fundraising;

  • improve the outreach to kids and families;

  • recruit/retain the necessary organizers and volunteers.

Since then, the board of directors has employed professional executive directors. Unfortunately, the goal of making the program sustainable remained out of reach. The costs per participant grew as the number of participants decreased. I know each member of the board has been dedicated to App Camp’s mission. Volunteers themselves, the board members have worked very hard to identify new solutions to the scalability and sustainability questions. I support the conclusion they have come to, given the realities of the program:

Rather than move forward with the likely outcome of disappointing campers, their families, our volunteers and our donors, we felt it would be more productive to take the time to research other ways to use our resources to support our mission.

This was a hard conclusion for an organization and program that is so well-loved. For those who are frustrated with this decision, please direct your frustration at me. I established a model of camp that doesn’t scale, and I tried to scale it. I had a vision that App Camp participants could learn to build an app in a week. I knew from Rock Camp that the joy of writing and performing a song in one week was magical. I knew from my own experience that building even the simplest app and running it on my iPhone was life-changing. But the cost of making that happen is high, both in terms of funding and in many dedicated hours of volunteer work. And, by working as an unpaid director for so long, I contributed to the false impression that the camp’s model was sustainable when it wasn’t.


(You’re about 2/3 through this long post. Would some emergency guinea pigs tide you over until the end? These are Grace and Ada, almost 5 years old, named after legendary computer scientists Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace.) guinea pigs


Back to the rest of this blog post:

Accepting the reality that the goal wasn’t feasible does not take away the amazing accomplishments our team has made. Over 250 girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth made an app in one week. They also learned how to design their app and pitch it. For many of them, camp was truly life-changing, and I believe they will take this experience of empowerment in technology with them through their lives. And they got to spend time learning about tech with their peers and making new friends.

It was not only the youth who benefitted. The volunteers, most of whom learned Xcode and Swift along with the kids, were also empowered to level up in their own careers. In addition, they found a community of women, transgender and gender non-conforming adults who became friends and offered mutual support. The fact that the volunteers were able to benefit from the program was a bonus outcome for the team and the organization.

This includes me. I was used to having mostly male colleagues in tech. App Camp changed that forever. I will never forget the day I met App Camp co-founder Grey Osten at WWDC 2012. An app developer, Grey was the first person who believed in the idea that kids could learn to make apps in such a short timeframe. Kelly Guimont was my original personal cheerleader, a boundless source of energy who worked with Grey and me planning that first camp. The photo of the three of us with our three “alpha” pioneer campers during Spring Break 2013 is one of my favorites.

App Camp Alpha Session

For our first “beta” camp session in Summer 2013, Maia Olson and Momoko Saunders came on board and made it happen on super short notice to be team leaders. Liz Marley and Kristina Sontag came down on Thursday from Seattle because they really wanted to help. Again, this photo of the seven of us, completely exhausted but so happy because we made it work, is one I will cherish.

App Camp Beta Team

For our second session of 2013, Michelle Petruzzi volunteered to help out with logistics. We learned from the “beta” camp that we were seriously understaffed and having Michelle made a huge difference in organization of everything from badges to lunch breaks to kid wrangling. In the off-season, Michelle agreed to be our part-time Operations Manager and that was key. Our ambitious 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome without Michelle’s steady hand and friendly manner backing us up. Sadly though, we lost Michelle to pancreatic cancer in 2016, and that was a huge blow for everyone and the organization.

Michelle Petruzzi, operations manager

Under Liz and Kristina’s leadership, the Seattle team started their own successful location, and held a total of five summer sessions from 2014–2018. Next, teams from Vancouver BC, Phoenix, Orange County, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul put on sessions. I have so many great memories from these locations and their dedicated organizers and volunteers. You all have a place in my heart.

Seattle Volunteers 2014

We have also have the most incredible group of supporters in the Apple community and the tech world at large. Our initial Indiegogo campaign reached its goal in 3 days! At WWDC 2013, before we even held our first session, the WWDCGirls team offered to host a cocktail hour fundraiser for camp. Each subsequent year they organized a bigger fundraising party, and eventually combined forces in 2016 with James Dempsey and the Breakpoints to make their annual LIVE near WWDC event into a benefit show for our cause. The show is a highlight of WWDC week for me (I’m a Conditional Breakpoint, playing guitar on a couple songs) and became our most successful annual fundraiser. In addition to James, I want to express my profound gratitude to the organizers from WWDCGirls Michele Titolo, Jaimee Newberry, and Jane Lee, as well as the hundreds of folks who showed up to these events and contributed.

James Dempsey, LIVE near WWDC

(You can see so many more fantastic photos and videos on the App Camp For Girls website. It still astonishes me to see how much was accomplished since the launch of camp.)

Of course, I am sad that things will change. I’m encouraged to see so many new programs springing up since we started. The board is dedicated to making sure that the assets of App Camp For Girls are used to support our mission; that’s the primary goal of the transition. Everyone – volunteers, donors, sponsors, aspiring young developers, and the board – have a lot to be proud of.

As for me personally, after I turned over the reins of App Camp For Girls in 2017, I joined developer Manton Reece who created a new blogging platform that also includes a social community with anti-harrassment standards. I am very passionate about the tools and experience we have built at since our launch. Building a safe space to blog and interact on the web, based on open standards that offers an alternative to the social silos like Facebook and Twitter, is another way I can put my energy into bringing a better experience to those who are currently underrepresented in tech and whose voices don’t get heard on the internet.

You can reach me at blog is at See you at WWDC. I’ll be focused on producing another awesome LIVE near WWDC show with James and the other Breakpoints, and we are holding the 3rd annual WWDC meetup. I’m also planning to attend Release Notes Conf in October.

The Mac Quadcast: Jean MacDonald

It was great talking to Darren, who asks thought-provoking questions about Mac and iOS favorite apps. He also asks you to contribute a favorite book, movie, and album to the Mac Quad Digital Archive. A reference for geeks of the future!

Most of the time, my motto is “What Would Janeway Do?” But sometimes, when anxiety and insomnia are in the mix, it morphs to “What Would Helena Do?” /@mrssoup #OrphanBlack

On Thursday I’m headed to Seattle to see Kate Mulgrew give a reading from her new book, and I’m so excited! I even got Voyager Revisited stickers to share. Hopefully I can find a few more listeners for the podcast.

I’m nephew wrangling this afternoon. Out of the blue, he says, “Alexa, play Strawberry Fields Forever.” He is five years old.

“This is my favorite song,” he explains.

The audio version of A New Earth, read by author Eckhart Tolle, never fails to ground me when life feels bewildering. It’s good in print, but audio is better. No matter where I start listening again, I always hear something relevant to my current problems.