More fun with Mastodon and

This is a let’s-see-what-this-button-does post. I’m publishing it to my personal “Notes” site (, and letting sniff out its feed, which it federates to—and maybe cross-posts to I don’t know! Let’s find out!


One way out of the daylight-savings trap

“Hello. My name is Jason. I like to be called jmac. Any pronouns. Standard time.”


Thirteen months later

For a variety of reasons, I slowly come to comprehend a growing personal conviction that only professional drivers should operate motor vehicles.

But that I could drive a wooden stake through the oily heart of every privately owned engine block. I would, I would.


MLK 2021

The rise in Black American voices, year by year, shifts and widens the message-legacy of MLK. I think it helps me understand the historical Jesus a little better.

Both of these men were subtle but radical revolutionaries who freaked out the powers they spoke truth to. Both died young for it. And both had their legacies claimed, subverted, and simplified by the powers that rose after their deaths.

But no amount of cherry-picking erases the whole of their recorded work. The truth of it remains for all with the attention to spare for it.


Attending the Dec 16, 2020 IndieWeb meetup

I plan to attend this Wednesday’s IndieWeb U.S. meetup. It’s been many months since the last time I did anything like this, and I look forward to talking about the independent, open web with knowledgable folks again.


Retiring the Rolandizer

Brave, dying Roland, blowing his horn.I have officially retired The Rolandizer, a silly bit of CSS that I wrote in 2014. It transformed one’s Twitter timeline into an experience not at all similar to reading the 11th century epic poem The Song of Roland, other than the insertion at apparently random intervals of the poem’s mysterious trigram “AOI”.

Naturally, this stopped working some years after that. The Rolandizer depended on Twitter using HTML in a certain way, and when it finally changed the way that it renders tweets, it ended this project’s silly song. Thus, I set its Github repository to read-only.

For obscure reasons, I spent a couple of hours today seeing if I could make it work again with today’s Twitter. I did get some approximation off the ground, but the joke just doesn’t land as well in 2020 as it did six years ago. Back then, one’s Twitter timeline was still largely little snatches of text, one after the other, with an occasional static illustration. Today it’s a multimedia extravaganza, and the Rolandizer gag—even when it does work—just looks like weird noise instead of a fun, occasional surprise to break up the rhythm of one little tweet after another.

It was a project of its time, and I’m glad that it worked for a while. AOI.


Responding to bad-faith questions

I enjoyed this tweet as much as anyone on Saturday, after the big news came down, and it has come to mind quite a bit since.

One is initially shocked by this reporter’s response to an inane question, asked in transparently bad faith by a rando who wanted only to waste his time. But in about as much time as it takes for the reporter to turn back around, we feel struck by the perfection of those two words. (The reporter seems to go through a similar journey in that moment, his candid smile suggesting both surprise and relief.)

This will be all I’ll have to say to anyone proposing to commence political head-games with me, for the foreseeable future. There’s just too much work to do. These people don’t deserve any response requiring even a half-second more attention than that reporter so masterfully demonstrates here.


How I’ll empathize with Trump supporters

Trump-supporting ordinary citizens, however misguided, must accompany the rest of us into the brighter future that just became a little more possible. Let them vote against that future, again and again, and find only defeat and disappointment. Each loss will make life a little better for themselves and their families, even as they resent the notion of life improving for other families too. All of this works only if it works for everyone, so along they come, whether they like it or not.

Trump-supporting political actors, on the other hand, are anathema to the human species’ future. They deserve nothing but shunning and scorn. Nobody with a reputation to maintain should associate with or hire them, for any role: not a cabinet job, not a teaching gig, not a parking lot attendant down at the Safeway. Fill all these positions with anyone except for Americans who, granted with political power, bent it towards selfish, hateful, destructive ends. Let them spend the rest of their days mired in regret, those of them with enough heart left to feel anything.


You don’t need to drink the whole beer

During my 2018 summer vacation in London, I learned that one way Brits famously relish their beer while avoiding excess is through small glasses. Just about every pub or café I visited prominently listed prices for small and large sizes across all its taps. How different from America, where beer purchased in public generally comes only in big old pint glasses (or larger).

And I quickly discovered how much I liked this foreign arrangement! To be more specific, I discovered that when I felt like a beer, I often just want some: enough for a refreshing loosen-up, but not the filling, firm twist that a whole pint offers. I did miss the English style of unabashed half-pints when I returned to familiar shores.

Since then, the pandemic has taken the pubs away from me entirely, but I have discovered a marvelous method for simulating British serving styles when enjoying beer at home. When I open a bottle of Lagunitas or whatnot, I now often eschew my pint-glass collection and reach for a small glass to fill up instead. And then, having done so, I stop the bottle with a bottle-stopper — the sort of thing one generally associates with wine bottles, you see — and replace it in the fridge. This remainder shall accompany some future lunch.

And that’s it! I truly feel like I’ve discovered a new way to enjoy beer. The bottle’s design, to say nothing of the culture surrounding it, do not make clear that you don’t need to drink the whole beer, especially if you’re a grown-up fixing a meal or snack in your own kitchen. I feel like I’ve found a new and more personable side of beer, by having less of it at once.


A tasteful alternative to Amazon book links

I just learned that hosts a simple service presenting an attractive alternative to “just link to Amazon” when it comes to hyperlinking book titles. Here’s an example: The numeric part of the URL is the book’s ISBN.

In my own blogging, I’ve tended to link to a book’s Goodreads page, even though that feels only marginally less nakedly capitalistic than an Amazon link. (And yes, Amazon owns Goodreads.) I’ve also experimented with hyperlinking directly to WorldCat, but have found its pages a little too ornery. This service feels like a viable intermediary, offering links when available to WorldCat, (promoting local bookstores), and the inevitable Amazon.

I look forward to trying this one out in upcoming book posts.


Jots, scraps, and tailings is a microblog by Jason McIntosh. It has an RSS feed, and accepts responses via Webmention. For a less-micro blog, see Fogknife.

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This particular page was last modified: Sun Nov 27 16:37:39 2022