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Growing Conditions

On the left, lush seedlings 8cm high. On the right, struggling seedlings barely showing true leaves, 1cm high.

These seedlings come from the same package of Thai basil seeds (source), planted 6 weeks apart. I gave them the same fluorescent grow light and kept them both watered. I used a different planting medium.

The ones on the right are 6 weeks older.

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How to talk more?

As Peter Rukavina experienced with Sobey’s Sensory-Friendly shopping hours, you often don’t realize an inconvenience until it’s gone.

So this new anti-anxiety medication that I’m on seems to be having quite an effect already (it’s been a week). The other day I spoke, in public, and while speaking was able to adapt what I was saying and how I was saying it (tone, inflection pattens,…). I did this with an intuition of how I wanted to be in that interaction, and a newfound realization that I had multiple ways of presenting (myself, my thoughts). I was even able to hold space and expand on something that I realized required an explanation after I’d said it. I didn’t realize I’ve had an inner voice saying “shut up! nobody wants to hear you! nobody will get it! Stop talking!” until it was gone. 

So in the spirit of Ton’s article on How To Blog More?, I’m listing some strategies for being comfortable talking/blogging/generally, expressing. This is notes-to-self, audience me, expressed out loud. Not prescriptive.

  • Find some templates for contributing to conversations. “Yes, and…” is a good start. “I was thinking about…” is another. 
  • Keep it concise. I’m gonna struggle with this one because I really like the giant web of connections that my brain makes around any topic. 
  • When contributing to the conversation, consider that the ideas that you bring up are ideas you are directing the audience’s attention to. Make sure that they are where you want to direct attention. 
  • Respect everyone involved, including myself. (inner voice, take note)
  • It’s okay if it’s not complete, if it points in the direction you want to go. Value the dialogue. 

Elmine wrote a beautiful post about the value of communication, and making people feel heard. Ton and Peter are discussing the possibility of creating QSL cards (letterpressed, of course) to celebrate successfully sent webmentions. (I love it, I’m in, I just have to choose a non-doxxable address and figure out how where to put the h-card)

Speaking of, webmentions should be working now, thanks Ton for being my blogfather, checking your site’s logs while at the airport, and explaining to me that I had to link to a specific article, not the blog in general, for the webmention to go somewhere. Ton, is it bad form to webmention multiple of your blog posts in this one? Is that like spamming?

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Press Pound to Publish

Who starts a weblog in 2019? This kid, apparently.

I’m sitting on my porch in Charlottetown on a sunny Sunday morning. It’s the first day I’ve worn shorts outside this season. Everything is fiercely green and the critters sing their existence from around the neighbourhood. Most I don’t know, but I can pick out squirrels, crows, and the grackles that have nested in our eves. Sam the cat kept me company on the porch while I set up a new VM, WordPress, Apache vhosts, and SSL certs – the method I’ve chosen to do this… new blog project thing. It’s not hard for me, I’ve set up websites before, but I find it hard to get through without a checklist – my brain doesn’t hold a stack well.

For the last two days I participated in a… human person meetup thing called an Un-Conference, hosted by Peter Rukavina. Among the amazing people, discussions, and activities, I heard a lot about blogging (and I apologize for not citing all the following thoughts appropriately, and they’re a bit disjointed because I’m following the cat around the yard now).

Blogging as a way to create community and make or maintain friends. Blogging as a way to think through things out-loud (Peter), to slow down and re-engage with the long-form, as a place to put down those thoughts that come when the mind has space to process (Steven), and to encourage thoughtful, meaningful discussions. Blogging as a way of crafting and owning a digital identity (Ton), and to craft tools and communities that support a social web that doesn’t rely on Those Platforms (IndieWeb, via Ton). As a place to share your own stories, and, albeit with some risk, to be vulnerable (Elmine). But that to maintain a blog, for a period like 20 years (!!) as Peter has, it helps if you’re writing for yourself.

So this is a project that I hope will improve my mental, social, and digital well-being. That will give me some brain space away from the constant distracted inattentive scrolling. That might make me better at wrapping themes into thoughts, and thoughts into stories, and stories into words. That might be a place to collaboratively make meaning, even though the world is burning. And maybe I’m finally old enough to do that thing cool people do.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go retrieve my favourite fearsome predator, who wandered off. The grackles are anxious, so I know she’s not far.

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