Why am I still blogging? (And why about this stuff?)

This blog has been around 15 years. Social media has mostly moved on, to silos like Facebook and Twitter. People don’t follow random personal blogs. Topic-focused sites are what people actually read, and even that mainly following links from silos.

Meanwhile there are so many major things going on that make the things I post about here — comics, fandom, photos of things I found interesting, random tech thoughts — seem trivial.

So why keep a blog going? And why write about trivialities, and not big things like the battles over civil rights, healthcare, environmental protections?

As for the first: Some of it is stubbornness. And some of it is wanting to keep part of my writing/photo presence somewhere “permanent” (to the extent that anything online is).

As for the second: I’ve never really liked talking news and politics online. I rarely feel like I can add anything that hasn’t already been said (probably better) by someone else. Online conversation has gotten way too toxic. And while the little things may be trivial, they add up. They add up to your life. It feels like I might actually have something to say that’s not already been said a thousand times by people more familiar with the issue than I am.

Plus it’s a way to assert some normality in a world that feels decidedly abnormal.

I’m not likely to come up with anything super-profound on the most important topics, but I can make short statements, and I can amplify other voices. And I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that that’s important. I’ve been reading a lot more and posting a lot less over the past year or so, but even if I can’t say anything profound, I shouldn’t stay silent.

So I’ve been microblogging, and linking, and reposting — all things that are better suited for a service that’s built around those use cases. When I have something longer to say, I do try to bring it in here, because a blog post is better than a Twitter thread… But I think more people probably see my retweets than my blog posts, anyway.

Recycling the News

The practice of recycling old news articles still throws me off at times. For instance: here are two recent LA Times articles using big disasters as springboards to talk about possible giant earthquake scenarios in California. They start out talking about the Houston flooding from Harvey and yesterday’s quake in Mexico, then segue into Los Angeles disaster planning. By the end, they’ve segued into the same text. I was reading today’s and thinking, “I just read this, recently.” A ten-second search turned up the older article.

It’s not plagiarism. It’s the same reporter at the same newspaper. It’s basically the equivalent of stock footage, and it’s hardly the only example. It’s probably not even a new practice, just a lot easier to find now that everything’s online and searchable.

Color Scheme: Brutalist Blue

Adding a splash of color to Brutalist design, in the final stages of converting an office building near LAX to a hotel. Believe it or not, the bolted-on cross pieces are new. I can’t imagine they’re aesthetic, which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of earthquake retrofitting and they’re making the best of it.

It’s an interesting approach, but it still looks way more institutional than inviting, IMO.

A Short Visit to Long Beach Comic-Con 2017

We finally got the whole family out to this year’s Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday! That was the plan last year, but Katie and J. both got sick.

Whitney Frost (2/2)

Katie brought her Whitney Frost cosplay and managed to find not only an Agent Carter, but another Whitney Frost!

Sumo BotsAt 6½, J. wanted to spend the whole afternoon at a LEGO club’s booth, though we also managed to do a round of laser tag and check out some of the robots and telescopes at the space exploration area. He was in a very hands-on mood all afternoon, which was OK in some booths, but not in others (like the demo of the automatic embroidering machines).

I didn’t get to do much exploring myself, but I figured I’d make up for it on Sunday.

The con was back at the front entrance and lobby this year, so Lobby Con was back as well. Artist’s Alley continues to be the biggest part of the main floor. Space Expo had some cool stuff, and I think the Cosplay Corner was bigger than last year, and of course there were the usual small press, fan groups, and lots of vendors.

Continue reading