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Why are you on Mastodon? What brought you here?

I’m here because I want to help build a friendly community and be part of it. What’s interesting in your world? I want to hear about it. Who are you? I want to know. What makes you smile? What did you learn today? What are you working on? I want to connect with people like you, people who have taken the time to find this rather special social network.

Why are you here?

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I was on a large Mastodon instance for a long time, until it vanished. Just *poof!* gone without a trace. No idea what happened, but that left me homeless on the Fediverse.

Now I’m like a hermit crab, considering shells of various sizes to see what might be the best fit for me. This instance, or that one? I’ve figured out that I want a friendly and well-moderated community, and one that doesn’t have advertising. I, um, think I might have found the right place here at Chinwag Social. Maybe?

The trail along this beach is quiet now that the summer visitors have gone home.

If my dog could fly, he would totally sort out the woodpecker who knocks on the side of the house.

Of the things that grow wild in your region: is there some plant that people pick for the floral industry?

This is salal, which grows on the west coast of BC, Canada, and down the coast to California as well. It’s used in bouquets, and is prized by florists. And that’s why there are salal pickers in my local forest, harvesting this stuff (illegally) by the truckload.

There’s a local retail business that is short of staff. They advertise for staff in the paper, never listing a salary range. Management moans about lack of reliable staff. And do they pay well? No. Do they plan to increase salaries? Also no. This place is so short of staff that they may have to close some stores altogether.

I find this fascinating, in a morbid kind of way. Are they really going to go out of business because they’re not willing to pay people more? Maybe.

“Welcome to the United States,“ says a text message from my cell phone carrier. But I am not in the US. I am in Canada, where I live, rather a distance from the border. I’m in the forest, on a trail I walk frequently. Every time I walk this trail, my phone thinks I’ve crossed the border, and my cell phone carrier bills me for international roaming.

What the heck?

From an article by Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM, in the Guardian:

“ As the corgis introduced themselves to us, Thérèse remarked to the Queen that one of them looked a bit different to the others. Her Majesty put down her glass of Dubonnet and, with a knowing grin, admitted to the dog’s dubious pedigree, saying the dog’s mother had been “a hopeless trollop”. The entire table descended into raucous laughter.”

Thanks for this! I will be better about using nettle.

A pleasant thing to think about today in the middle of our heat wave:

“The little-known network underneath the French capital is Europe's biggest ‘urban cold’ system.”

What have you done that you’re sorry for now?

I’ll tell you my great shame. I once planted honeysuckle on purpose.

Are there too many deer in your area, too?

“… deer dietary preferences do not lead to equal browsing across plant species — they’re often happy to consume seedlings, saplings, native flowers, and other understory plants while leaving invasive brush alone. The resulting lack of biodiversity can make forests less resilient in the face of pest pressure and major climate events.”

This variety of monarda is a favourite flower of mine. The way I grew it before no longer works - it’s too dry now, so it just withers. So this year I tried new methods, and yay! Here we are. I have six plants, and they are all blooming.


What better news than beavers creating a wetland?

“… within a matter of months they have already transformed what was once a small stream into a bustling wetland thronging with life.”

I wound up growing this sort of by accident, and thought it would die at the end of the season. It didn’t. And now it’s turned into a tree! A flimsy-trunked tree, but a tree nonetheless. It has endured winters and mishaps, and still it is here.

I think it’s lavatera.


I’m interested in protein-rich foods I can make that will keep, especially ones that are traditional. This could be fun to try!

We ordered a large thing online. The order form said they can’t deliver to a post box, so we faked an apartment address. (Post box number, then street address of post office.) Thought we’d see what they’d do.

Courier company phoned, said hey! We have your item, can’t deliver to post office. Can we leave it at this local business for you to pick up? Oh yes, yes, please do. Who knew that was an option?

Beats giving our home address to courier company.

I hate how courier companies won’t deliver to a post office box, instead requiring a street address for delivery. I don’t want to give these guys my home address.

So I’ve been using the number of my P.O. Box as if it is an apartment number, and then the street address of the post office. This works surprisingly well. Small packages miraculously arrive via post, even though this is supposedly impossible.

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Chinwag Social

Consider this a friendly, local pub. Make yourself at home, bring your friends, have a good time! Meet new people, have a laugh, enjoy the ambience, and the Oxford commas.