Jean MacDonald

Starting another film class tonight, focusing on director Penelope Spheeris:

  • Decline of Western Civilization
  • Suburbia
  • Decline of Western Civilization II
  • Wayne’s World

I’m exhausted after a long family visit, but I can stay awake for a documentary about the LA punk rock scene.


My sister rescues a starfish on the Oregon coast.


I love the Oregon Coast’s variability. (Saturday vs. Sunday morning in Manzanita, looking north to the Neahkahnie mountain.)

Clear blue skies over Pacific Ocean and Neahkahnie Mountain.Gray clouds and mist over Pacific Ocean and Neahkahnie Mountain.


This is a photo I took in Redington Beach last September. It’s about 120 miles north of Fort Myers. It gives you a sense of how serious a hurricane storm surge is. My dad and stepmom are in Oregon with us. It seems their home in central Florida is ok.

Sign on a road leading to the beach on Florida's Gulf Coast, showing the predicted height of a storm surge a few feet over a woman's head.

After I posted the announcement of the new Day in the Life photo challenge, I went back to see what I submitted. Typical Portland in October, wet and mossy.

You can see all the 2020 challenge photos in this gallery, and sign up for the 2022 challenge here.


A New "Day in the Life of Micro.blog" Photo Challenge for 2022

The Micro.blog community loves photo challenges. We’ve done several month-long challenges with new prompts posted everyday. We also did a special 24-hour challenge in October 2020. Modeled on the award-winning “A Day in the Life of…” series, the challenge is a collection of photos taken during one 24-hour day, a little snapshot of the community and the world we inhabit. (The 2020 photos are still available to view in this special challenge photo collection.)

On the anniversary of that challenge, we are organizing a new one for 2022. For one 24-hour period, we challenge you to post a single photo that provides a glimpse into what life is like where you are. The challenge will begin October 13, 2022, at noon Central Time USA (Austin, Texas) and run for 24 hours. All photos submitted for this challenge will be added to a curated collection on Micro.blog. For your photo to be included in the collection, you need to take the photo and post it in this 24-hour timeframe.

Please fill out this form to indicate your intention to participate and to receive two reminders via email. We are also asking contributors to grant Micro.blog non-exclusive permission to use their photo in a book we might do. Many folks expressed interest in a published collection, so we are looking into how we might do that.

(You don’t need to fill out the form to submit a photo on the challenge day and have it included in the photo collection on Micro.blog. But we won’t be able to include it in a book unless you fill out the form and grant permission for that.)


🎄😱🎄


It’s been too long since I visited my brother at work. But Squid still remembers me.

Cream colored cat with a regal bearing

I wanted to do a new Micro Monday roll call, but I’m out of ideas. Suggestions for next week?

Feel free to chime in on these:


Deep purple is cool. Related: I’m going to be stuck with Smoke On The Water in my head until the coolness of the new phone wears off. 🤘


Adding spam guidelines and admin tools to Micro.blog

Recently I mentioned that I was testing new tools created by Manton to delete spam accounts as soon as they post. The community reaction was “What spam?” That is the way Micro.blog is intended to work: it is difficult for spammers to get access to individual timelines. If you don’t follow someone, their posts won’t appear in your timeline. Very rarely, we have seen attempts to use @-mentions to spam individuals, but we can shut down those spammers pretty quickly.

The problem that we have decided to tackle is the many spammers who create free accounts on Micro.blog every day. As we state in the new policy, “Hosting spam accounts is the antithesis of our mission.” Even if the timelines of the folks in the Micro.blog community are not affected, it feels wrong for us to allow scammers to consume any of our resources, or to allow our servers to be used for purposes that are contrary to our values. It also makes curating the Discover timeline more time-consuming and a bit depressing, because so many of the posts that come into our admin timeline are spam.

Now, as we curate, we can “zap” a spam account, which turns off that account’s ability to post further or to send @-mentions. We also send a notice that their account will be deleted in 5 days. The decision can be appealed by replying to the notice. I have been zapping about 100 accounts a day. We will keep refining the tools to make them easier and faster to use.

Here is the section we added to the Micro.blog community guidelines. We are always interested getting feedback from the community about our guidelines and hearing about your experiences. Feel free to reply to this post, or email me at jean@micro.blog.

Spam Policy

Micro.blog is a service for individuals to share their writing and other creative endeavors. Organizations can also use Micro.blog to share news and information about their products, programs and services.

Unfortunately, the internet has become a place where entities, whether individuals or organizations, have taken advantage of the internet’s vast reach and inexpensive communications to automate account creation and posting in order to gain search engine placement for their product’s keywords. This kind of spam is a drain on Micro.blog’s resources. Its purveyors exploit an open system and a free account option that is intended for individuals who want to blog.

To protect our service from those who would use it for unscrupulous commercial gain, we delete spam accounts with a five-day warning via email.

Here are the things we consider to be spam:

  • Building backlinks and publishing SEO-optimized articles that don’t offer any real value.
  • Repeatedly posting the same content.
  • Certain types of business in particular will be flagged for spam: escort services, bitcoin trading, casinos and gaming, multi-level marketing, medical treatments and prescriptions. This list of examples is not all-inclusive.
  • Contacting people on Micro.blog for commercial purposes without their consent.

Micro.blog has blocked search engine crawlers for free accounts, so there is no value in opening an account for pure SEO purposes.

Hosting spam accounts is the antithesis of our mission. We will be vigilant and proactive in shutting down such accounts when they are created. If you receive a notice from us that your account will be deleted for spamming our platform, you can appeal that decision by responding to the notice.


I am not going to bore you with all the details of me setting up a new user on my Mac (I might post my setup steps in a list later) but today I used the word Slackpocalypse, and it wasn’t an exaggeration.

Anyway, I’m up and running on my Mac, with microphones working again. 🥳


OK, one more test, to see if this posts to both Twitter and Mastodon. 😬


M.E.O.W: The Productivity System Just For Me 😸

This year, I decided to step back from trying to use the Getting Things Done (GTD) system and OmniFocus to manage my tasks and my productivity. Week after week, on The Weekly Review podcast, my co-host James Dempsey and I would talk more about what we didn’t get done and why. Part of the original inspiration for the podcast was to have an accountability partner to make sure we did the weekly review that is at the heart of the GTD system.

This year, I decided I wanted to step away from all my GTD-inspired checklists on OmniFocus, and come up with something simpler based on the things I was likely to do. I wanted a memorable abbreviation for my system, and for some reason, the word “meow” stuck, and I have been playing with what MEOW stands for. I am pretty happy with the current definition, and so I give you:

My Evolving Organizational Workflow

I have a Drafts document that looks like the one here. I copy it into a new draft, add the date, and proceed with the checklist. If I get any steps done on this checklist, I will report to James on the podcast, that I have done a Weekly MEOW. The MEOW doesn’t require every step to be done every time.

MEOW

Today’s date

  • Spend 5 minutes on a mind sweep to find what is most worrying or most exciting
  • Clear out this past week’s mail using Mailstrom/Chuck
  • Think about grocery shopping and meal plans, and update shopping lists
  • Review Due app
  • Review projects in Tot
  • Review Drafts inbox
  • Review Calendar
  • Open and recycle physical mail
  • Review Micro.blog weekly meeting minutes

The steps are evolving, as the name says. But so far, this is a good start every week for me to know where I stand in terms of where my attention should go.

I talk about it on Episode 219 of The Weekly Review.


There was no new episode of Micro Monday yesterday. Those responsible have been sacked. #notreally

Check out the @monday feed. There’s probably an episode you missed. Now you have time to listen to it.


As a dog lover, I can’t resist sharing this photo. 🥰

Prince Harry pets a yellow lab while meeting the crowd. Megan coos at a baby.

Finally, a character I can cosplay. 😍

(left: me; right Tilda Swinton in Three Thousand Years of Solitude)

Me dressed as Tilda Swinton aka Professor Alithea Binnie, in white bathrobe with hair wrapped in white towel, wearing glasses

Currently reading: Stolen Focus by Johann Hari 📚

The audiobook is due today, but I’m placing another hold. I do feel slightly weird listening to a book about focus while driving, walking, or doing housework, as is my usual.


The annual iPhone Event episode at @theweeklyreview: Getting Rescued is a Multistep Project.

We’re buying the 14 Pro. Jean is buying purple. If you are looking for in-depth tech analysis of Apple’s new products and feature updates, you should listen to a different podcast.


I wonder if there is anyone on Micro.blog who remembers the world before Queen Elizabeth II. I would love to know.

(Maybe my dad @bobmacd will chime in…)


I started a new class at Movie Madness Univ.: Soundtracked: When Bands Play Themselves

  • A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  • Can’t Stop the Music (1980)
  • Purple Rain (1984)
  • Spice World (1997)

Fictional films starring real bands playing fictionalized versions of themselves — a microgenre!


Sterling Lord, Premier Literary Agent, Is Dead at 102

Sterling was my last boss in New York, before I moved to Portland and briefly worked as an agent myself. A legendary range of clients. If you read books, you’ve probably read something he represented. Or seen the film.


My thanks to @vincent for being a guest again on Micro Monday. When I first chatted with him in December 2019, he had launched Gluon for iOS, and was preparing to do the same for Android. Now he also works on the official Micro.blog apps too.

Follow @monday for more episodes!


An update on the hedge at my old house.

The new owner trimmed it and hacked out a portion to reveal a stop sign at the corner. I would have hacked the whole thing. I’m glad I made the decision to sell before doing that. 😅

Large laurel hedge along the property of an old house, recently hacked to reveal a stop sign on the corner.

Bonus: a double dose of Vitamin C. 😺😺

a tortoiseshell kitty getting pettedtortoiseshell and calico sisters snuggle on the couch