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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?

@cosullivan It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Your friend is lucky to have your care and attention.

What’s a happy thing in your garden today? This is one of mine: perennial greens in front of some daffodils. The greens are going into my lunch. Don’t eat the daffodils!


“… using motive to prevent mass shootings will just get you a useless answer to the wrong question.

“The right question is: What happened to this person? What happened to a beautiful baby boy to turn him into an 18-year-old killer spouting racist screed?

“In those questions—and looking at the answers through the lens of positive and adverse childhood experiences—lie our solutions.”

I went to a public event today. For me, it was kinda ruined by hundreds of cell phones and tablets held up to photograph every last thing. So distracting. And besides, I don’t want to be filmed by all and sundry. Do you?

I would love to go to some event that is not photographed. I’d like to be with people who are there to take part in this moment, not to capture it for whatever digital thing they have in mind.

A decade or so ago I grew hyacinth vine, having read about it in a book about perennial vegetables. And now, after all this time, a self-seeded hyacinth vine plant has popped up in the same spot. After all that time! What the heck?

Well, the flowers are pretty. Maybe I’ll give it another go.


“Clad in a red sari with a gold border, Meenakshi Raghavan wields a sword and a shield. The petite woman assumes a formidable stance and matches each strike from her opponent—twice her size and less than half her age—with an alert ferocity that reflects in her eyes.”

She’s 81, and she teaches this martial art.

“For 50 years, SACC Movers has moved household goods for people facing the challenge of moving without sufficient funds. “We go into someone’s home and move all their worldly possessions,” notes Willis. “We carry a person’s life. And we make a unique and vital contribution each time.”

If you ever want a plant to display raindrops, this will be a good one to consider!

This is Lady’s Mantle. Apparently it is so named because its leaves were thought to resemble the Virgin Mary’s cloak.


“ Field experiment in Bangladesh shows the poor simply lack opportunities to gain wealth — but a one-time boost can make a major difference.”

There’s a new house nearby, and the owners have made themselves a fancy garden bed. There are huge rocks around the perimeter, and they had topsoil dumped in the middle. It’s the sort of place where you could plant a food garden, or 500 tulips.

And what did they plant? A lawn. Sigh.

Do you ever order spring bulbs or corms online in the fall, then kind of almost forget about them by the time they ship six months later? Yeah, me too. Just got an email notification that the 115 crocosmia corms I ordered last fall have shipped. 115! The varieties I ordered are Lucifer, Saffron Fire, and Montbretia.

Later, the dad explained that his kid was a new driver, was terrified and shaken by the accident, and didn’t need a reprimand. And that in that moment, the important thing seemed to be attitude: choosing to be amused instead of terrified, choosing to go on with good cheer.

Years passed. The kid became a good driver.

The dad died last week. This is what I’ll remember about him.


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It was snowing, the roads were icy, and I was out walking my puppy. A car came careening down the hill, and slid across the street into a snow-hidden ditch. Two men climbed out. The driver was young, the passenger was his dad. The dad said “that was fun! Let’s do it again!”


A little shed stands at the side of this rural road. Inside there is a refrigerator full of eggs that were laid this morning, and whatever produce is in season. I take what I want and leave my money in a little box. This is my favourite farm stand.

Today I got eggs, rhubarb, and lovage. I’ve never had lovage before, so no idea what I’m going to do with it. But it seems interesting, so here we go!

This article is about the method of organizing bits of information you save for later reference. I’ve been doing this for years, but only just learned that is has a name!

Do you use a zettelkasten?

“ The vie fittizie, or fictitious streets, are a hand-me-down from the post-war era, when local authorities invented imaginary addresses as a way of linking the population to the land.”

This is our local wild strawberry plant; I find it in meadows and sunny areas in the forest. I think the Latin name is Fragraria YouCannotHaveMeAh, as I never get a chance to see the fruit, much less eat it. Deer and other wild creatures get there first.


I met a woman who has a distinctive last name. I did a web search for her, because reasons. What I found: a letter she had written to a government official, who had decided that this correspondence should be public, I guess.

The online version of the letter redacted her house number, but not the street she lives on. Would you like to know how many houses are on that street? ONE. Hers.

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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.