There’s a tweet going around which says the following:

There is so much in our lives to be thankful for. Let’s take our eyes for example. The very eyes you’re reading this message with.

There are over 40 million blind people in the world. Imagine waking up each morning and not being able to see?

Say Alhamdulillah to show gratitude


Yes, there’s ignorance behind that tweet, but only to a point, and on top of that it’s harmless ignorance. If you ask people which section of the disabled list they’re most afraid of joining, it’s the blind section. That may not be fair, and yes, it doesn’t take into account that you can live a productive life while blind, but it’s pretty damn prevalent. And that’s not going to be fixed by blind people yelling at sighted people for asking other sighted people to be thankful for working eyes. Blind people who live in developed countries have a lot of opportunities blind people living in the rest of the world don’t have, and for the blind people living in the developing world, life is a lot more difficult than it is for their sighted peers. Hell, life is difficult for blind people in the developed world. We bitch about it all the time. And I think if we’re honest with ourselves, if we were given the choice to gain sight, minus the adjustment period, a lot of us would take it. How many of us enjoy that eighty percent unemployment rate, or having to advocate for accessibility for all the selfish reasons like “I need to do my job”, “I want to play this game”, “I need to get my grocery shopping done”, ETC.? Spoiler alert: We don’t. Some of us have learned to love accessibility, and maybe we don’t even remember a time when we didn’t enjoy working to make the world a more accessible place for everyone. But loving accessibility and being willing to advocate for it are learned skills, not skills we’re born with or even skills we learn early in life, and I promise you there are days and even long periods when it’s all tiring and you just want to quit and live a normal life not caring about anyone else and not giving a damn about accessibility. So yeah, I think a random sighted person on Twitter asking other sighted people to be thankful for working eyes isn’t worth yelling over, and if it pisses you off enough to yell, then take a break from social media for a while and go outside.

Dear everybody retweeting the “Retweet this and I’ll give specified number of people lots of money” things: you’ve done the math on this, right? I mean you’ve spent two seconds thinking this through before you hit that retweet keystro—-Oh fuck it.

Dear conservatives who are currently pissed at Twitter: The independent web is always accepting new participants, we span the entire political spectrum, and we even have a way to communicate with each other across domains while ensuring everyone owns their content. Come join us.

OK Neighbor, I get it, you’re an older woman and you have a traumatic brain injury But you wandering into my place and speaking to me when I walk in is still creepy as hell and it’s probably a good thing they don’t allow fire arms on the property or I likely would have shot you.

This is going to be one of those posts where I get to piss off the right and the left at the same time. Regarding government officials, non-governmental email and government business, there are multiple things that are true at the same time: First, using non-government email to handle government business is problematic, for several reasons. Second, no one should be locked up for using private email to handle government business. Not Hilary and not Ivanca. Third, if the government wants to prevent people from using non-governmental email as opposed to its own infrastructure, then it needs to update its infrastructure. There’s a reason people choose to use non-governmental email, and it’s because by using non-governmental email they have a lot more choice when it comes to the user interface needed to handle email, and that matters. A lot. Fifth, please stop saying private email. Unless the mail being sent is encrypted at the sender’s and receiver’s end, it’s not private. Sixth, if you think there’s something special under the hood that causes governmental email to work differently than non-governmental email, you are sadly mistaken and I will suggest, (in the friendliest of manners possible), that you go spend some time reading up on email and how it works. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

My Facebook archive is finally ready. Time to download and then spend time, (although not tonight), adding Python 3 to my path so I can run Ditchbook and import all the content into my own website. I of course will turn of syndication while this is being done because there’s a lot of content here. I still need to finish the work on my “Subscribe” page, add some stuff to my menu, and probably write something on the structure and philosophy of this site. The next step will be pulling everything out of Goodreads and beginning the process of owning my updates on the books I’m reading. I will restart the photo challenge at a later date, (probably later on this week), since I missed Saturday and Sunday.

I’m up because my Apple Watch’s vibrations startled me awake and I needed some water and can’t fall back to sleep. Anyway, it’s just under 24 hours and I still haven’t been notified by Facebook that my archive is ready for download.

“If you did not request a copy of your Facebook information, your account may be compromised. Please take steps to secure your account.” I wonder how many people see that message and immediately think their Facebook account’s been hacked? I’d love to think that Facebook is just looking out for its users’ best interests, but well, given their decade of shady practices and their obvious lack of interest in fixing all the problems, I have to believe that this is just a scare tactic to keep people from downloading full archive, since that’s a good sign someone might be attempting to break out. I’m still waiting on my archive to be generated and we’re going on twelve hours. There’s a lot of data here and I’ve requested it in json format with high-resolution media so it’ll be interesting to see how long this actually takes.

three black and brown ducks

three black and brown ducks

I have some more pins I need to collect on and the one I’m going for now is the Photo Challenge pin. Image recognition says there are three ducks in this one, and it was taken while Wil and Denise were in town last week

Join us for an evening of IndieWeb personal site demos and discussions! Any questions? Ask in the chatroom! More…

Attending VST Americas as well. It’s been a busy but productive night.

Join us for an evening of IndieWeb personal site demos and discussions!
Any questions? Ask in the chatroom! More…

Join us for an evening of IndieWeb personal site demos and discussions! Any questions? Ask in the chatroom! More…

I lucked out and came across an announcement for this week’s Homebrew Website Club meetup in San Francisco by way of the Indieweb stream and I’m going to attend. It’ll give me an excuse for some structured work on the two websites I’m working on, this one and Customer Servant consultancy, which is in the midst of a switch from corporate-looking with very few Indieweb building blocks to not-so-corporate-looking but with lots more Indieweb building blocks. I’m looking forward to it.

Join us for an evening of IndieWeb personal site demos and discussions!
Any questions? Ask in the chatroom! More…

Flue shot achievement unlocked. Also, on a completely unrelated note, if you’re using to crosspost to Twitter you will need to go grab the Twitter status URL and paste it iin the syndication links box in order for Twitter reactions to be retrieved.

I ran across a tweet yesterday that had eight hashtags. If you’re adding that many hashtags to a tweet you really need to go to your room and think about what you’ve done because people get annoyed after any more than three and yes, there are data to back this up.

If I have set things up correctly, I should now be automatically syndicating to Twitter,, and Mastodon. Still don’t know about reactions coming in from Mastodon yet but we’ll find out.

Blue and white braided candle made of bee's wax, burning, in its holder sitting next to a round spice box and behind a kiddush cup, all on a silver plate with a trimming of grapes and grape leaves around the edge

This week I used cinnamon and nutmeg for the spices during Havdalah. Winter is coming and it’s getting colder out, and I enjoy those smells during this time of year.

The end of Shabbat (the Sabbath) is one of the most intense Jewish experiences of time. According to rabbinic tradition, Adam and Eve, created on the sixth day, sinned and were sentenced to exile from the Garden of Eden. God granted them stay of sentence, allowing them to spend one day, Shabbat itself, in the garden. During that day, say the Sages, the sun did not set. As Shabbat came to an end, and darkness began to fall, the first human beings prepared to leave paradise and enter the world outside with its conflicts and challenges, hazards and fears. Assuring them that He would be with them, God gave them a gift, the ability to make light: hence our custom of making a blessing over light in the Havdalah service. Havdalah is to the end of Shabbat what Kiddush is at the beginning: the marking of a transition from secular to holy time and vice versa. It is our way of fulfilling the mitzvah (commandment from God) to “Remember the Sabbath day”, understood by the Sages to mean: Remember it at the beginning and at the end” – in both cases over a cup of wine.
Its deeper meaning recalls the moment at which Adam and Eve, exiled from Eden because of their sin, prepared to enter, for the first time, the world outside, with its darkness and dangers. As a gift, God showed them how to make light. Hence the light of Havdalah.
This profound parable is the reverse of the Greek myth of Prometheus – who stole fire from the Gods and was sentenced to everlasting torment. Judaism teaches that God wants and blesses human creativity. Day 8, for humans, was the counterpart to Day 1 for God. Just as God began creation by making light, so He taught humans how to make light inviting them to become “His partners in the work of creation.”
One of the key verbs in Genesis 1 is bet-dalet-lammed, “to separate, distinguish, divide” -the root of the word Havdalah. It appears five times in the chapter. By inviting human beings to engage in Havdalah at the end of Shabbat, God invites us to create worlds. Creation involves the ability to make distinctions, to rescue order from chaos, to respect the integrity of creation. Havdalah is thus not only a human blessing over the end of the day of rest, but as it were a Divine blessing over the days of work. The Creator invites us to be creative – but always and only in a way that respects differences and distinctions, the laws of nature and the moral law. The message of Havdalah is: if we respect the integrity of boundaries, we can turn chaos into order, darkness into light.
The order of Havdalah is: 1. preliminary verses from Isaiah and Psalms; 2. the blessing over wine; 3. spices, to refresh us after the loss of the “extra soul” we had on Shabbat; 4. a blessing over lights; 5. the Havdalah blessing itself, for the ability to recognise, and the responsibility to honour, boundaries.