SnorLAX

A Snorlax from Pokemon Go superimposed on the road in front of a giant free-standing LAX sign.

The kid watched the Snorlax episode of the original Pokémon cartoon around the same time I managed to catch one in Pokémon Go, and we had a conversation about text-to-speech on GPS navigation getting tripped up and telling me to take an exit “toward Lax Airport.”

Oh, and something I didn’t mention when I posted this on Pixelfed earlier: The sign is a Pokémon Go gym. So of course I claimed it!

For about an hour. 🤷‍♂️

Instagram Getting Even More Hostile to the Web

Instagram is now requiring you to sign in to view public profiles. You can still look at (for example), my Instagram profile, but once you scroll down a few pages, it pops up a login form and you’re stuck.

A spokesperson said, “This is to help people see photos on Instagram and then understand how to get the best Instagram experience by being part of the community, connecting and interacting with the people and things they love”

Oh, please.

This isn’t to help people.

This is to help Instagram.

This is to force people to sign up for Instagram just so they can see users’ photos that they have posted publicly.

Admittedly, Instagram has always kept the web at a bit of a distance. When it launched, they only had an app. Later you could follow a link to a photo on the web, but it was a dead end. Eventually you could actually browse your timeline, search, and look at people’s photo collections on the web.

And now they’re moving to close themselves off again.

I wrote a few months ago about how I’ve been weighing alternatives. As Facebook exerts more and more control, it becomes less appealing to use. And that’s not even getting into the train wreck of “influencer” culture.

Since then I’ve mostly stopped visiting Instagram, either to view photos or to post them. When I do, it’s frustrating. I’ve been posting more at Pixelfed (lead dev @dansup shared a link to the article at the top) and Mastodon, or just bypassing social networks entirely and going straight to Flickr. You can look at my complete archives on all of those sites, incidentally.

I’m not at the point of deleting my account yet, but I’m thinking it might be time to pull back more actively. Pare down the list of people I’m following, at least, in hopes that it will be a little more welcoming and useful when I do visit. Though I did that with Tumblr and haven’t been back much anyway.

And maybe I should start clearing out my archive. If people are only going to see a dozen or two of my photos, I should at least make sure they’re good ones, right?

Squirrel Guard

I saw this squirrel running across the grass, then got my camera out and caught the first photo as it ran up the side of a tree and paused, looking at me as if assessing whether I was a threat or not.

Then it ran the rest of the way up to look at a gap in the tree, perhaps assuring itself that its stash was still where it had left it.

I walked around to see that there was a hollow between the two major branches, and the squirrel turned around and planted itself firmly, staring at me as if ready to defend its hoard.

My photos taken, I walked away.

Squirrel poised defiantly in front of a hollow in a tree.