We had the first snow day of the year yesterday. It was kind of a dud. The storm that was supposed to drop 5–8” of snow here could only muster about 2.5 inches. As the storm was expected to hit right at the morning rush, most area schools had either cancelled classes or jumped to e-learning well before bedtime Tuesday. M and C found out they would be home Wednesday while they were still in class Tuesday. St P’s didn’t call it until about 10:15 PM.
That was still probably the right move, as the roads were not great right when high schoolers would be driving and younger kids would be waiting for buses. But once the heavy snow ended, it was a letdown to still see grass poking through in our yard.
The real bummer was that the snow that fell was very wet and heavy, making it difficult to move. It was too thick for the snowblower and too heavy to pick up with a shovel. So L and I spent about 30 minutes struggling to shove it off the driveway. Even that was tough, since if you pushed snow for more than 10 feet it compacted into big lumps that didn’t want to roll any farther. But it was good for snowmen and snowballs! Once we were done L spent about two hours at a friend’s house playing in it.
She was upset she didn’t get to use the snowblower, though. Ours broke two years ago, then I gambled, and won, by not getting it fixed last year, a season we avoided any big snows. I got it fixed before Christmas and she was fired up to get a chance to use it.
After nearly a month of relatively mild weather, looks like it’s going to be more typical of winter here for the next few weeks. Not super cold, thankfully, but lots of chances for snow. So L may well get her chance to unleash mechanized fury on some snow.
She was done with her school assignments pretty early. Or maybe it’s because she’s been getting up at 5:30 AM lately that she was done so quickly. Her sisters slept much later but were still pretty much done with their work by mid-afternoon.
I spent most of the day and evening reading a very good book. I started it late morning and was done by 10:30. You’ll hear more about that soon.
Twitter has been a huge part of my life for 12–13 years now. I can’t remember exactly when I signed up; my current account was not my first so its 2011 start date wasn’t my true introduction to the service. I just remember that was when I listened to a lot of tech podcasts, and they were all raving about the platform, so I logged on pretty early in its life.
My experience with Twitter was always through using some of the great Mac and iOS apps that were made for it. Tweetbot and Twitterific were the two I used most, although I know I dabbled with others over the years. These were great because they were much more user friendly than either the Twitter website or the official apps. As the company moved into areas like promoted tweets and advertising, these third party apps kept those out of my feed. Until two weeks ago, I had never seen an ad in my Twitter feed or Tweets the company thought I should see based on their algorithm. And I could completely avoid the For You feed.
When Tech Karen suddenly shut down access for third party apps two weeks ago, I suddenly had to see how most Twitter users live. And it sucks. A hostile interface that is constantly pushing things on me I don’t want, and forgets changes I’ve made in my personal settings to reflect my interests. It’s pretty much the same way that Instagram has gone from one of the best and most enjoyable platforms to one that shows me more ads and Reels, which I never asked to see, than photos from people I choose to follow. Only Twitter has Nazis and people complaining about Furries and constant suggestions that I need to gamble on sports.
Because of all of this, I’ve been using Twitter less and less. I still check it a couple times a day. Where it was once my default time waster, I have reached the point where I often realize “Hey, I haven’t looked at Twitter in 12 hours.” Because my feed was so carefully curated, I got a lot of good info out of it without being weighed down by things I didn’t have time for. So that’s a loss. But I’m realizing it may not be as big of a loss as I feared it would be when Tech Karen took over and began tearing the company apart like the toddler he is.
I’m hoping that TK either bails and someone else saves Twitter, or some other service pops up to replace it as my favorite virtual water cooler. I’ve signed up for Mastodon, which a lot of techies are jumping to. But it seems very weird and not functionally ready to scale to the size of Twitter so I’m not spending any time there. I guess as long as the people I get the most value from on Twitter remain there, I’ll keep checking in occasionally and tolerating its many issues. And hope that if/when it is saved, rationality will return and third party apps will be allowed again.
- Based on lies about violations of their policies and with no communication for nearly two weeks after the fact. ↩