Social Media

So-So Social Media

Last edit:

Threads is crap. Uninstalled.


I did decide to try Threads, primarily because I have a (very inactive) Instagram account, and because some folks who aren’t on Mastodon are on Instagram/Threads. I figured better than Twitter, but still wish I could find folks on Mastodon more easily.

At that, you can search on hashtags on Mastodon, but Threads doesn’t even have this capability yet. A bit underwhelmed with it.


I’ve been exploring the world of social media, which, for me, means spending more time on Mastodon.

I won’t be trying out Bluesky or Threads, or any of the other social media sites controlled by scary-looking men. I had that with Twitter, and I’ve moved on.

I am still contemplating whether to start my own Mastodon server. My hosting company, Linode, now has a one-button click Mastodon server setup among their marketplace apps. This includes setting up a basic email server, which is necessary for Mastodon. Literally all you have to do is point, click, pay and do a tiny bit of tweaking and you’re ready to rock.

I don’t have an email server setup for Burningbird, primarily because maintaining a safe and spam-free email server just isn’t a fun use of my time.

Still, I am tempted to try the new Linode Mastodon solution. I’m happy on, but I’m feeling stubbornly independent.



The rose is pretty. The photo is pretty. I don’t need 34 pretty photos of the same pretty rose.

Subtle antique peach rose, barely starting to unfurl, against a back drop of dark green/blue leaves.

I finished recovering posts for Burningbird and now it’s on to my second major task:

Cleaning out my photo collection.

As the title notes, the subject may be pretty, and the photo may be pretty, but I don’t really need 34 almost identical photos of the same rose.

I started out with over 100,000 photos from over the years. I’ve managed to cull out the absolute worst photos and now I’m at a little more than 47,000 photos. My goal is to delete 350 or more photos a day.

I hit a different album every day so I don’t get too overwhelmed by too many of the same type of photos. I set my mind to expect to see nothing but bad photos—making it mentally easy to delete. It’s only when I just can’t let a photo go that I know this one I’ll keep. If it doesn’t hurt to delete the photo…why keep it?

We all like photos for different reasons. For me, I have to feel something from it. If I’m not emotionally invested in the photo, it’s not a keeper. So, every fuzzy, motion-blurred photo from my one and only cross-country train trip I kept. Yet another pretty rose photo? Piffle.

I want that rose photo to say something to me. It doesn’t have to speak to others, but it has to speak to me.

Oh, I’m not silly stupid. I have a back up of the original 100,000…just in case. But I suspect I can really get my photos down to 5000 or less and not lose anything worth saving. It’s hard, though.

After all, it’s a pretty rose. And they’re pretty photos. And too many say, “Hi.”

Legal, Laws, and Regs

Fifth Circuit mifepristone decision

So the Fifth circuit has blocked some of Kacksmaryk decision, but not all.

Even it couldn’t stomach reversing an FDA decision from 23 years ago. But it sure jumped into interfering with the FDA’s recent decisions. And the legal document is just as much a legal mishmash of badly applied law as the original decision.

They have no shame, and evidently they have no pride, either. Frankly, I’m a better lawyer than these people…and I’m not a lawyer.

Interesting that only the two Trump-appointed judges voted for the decision. The Bush-appointed judge would have blocked all of Kacksmaryk’s decision.

The Trump taint in our courts…the only thing that can fix it is to water it down. We need to appoint more justices, and not just to SCOTUS.



This is my home. This is Burningbird.

I just published the last of the *recovered posts. I’ve manage to recover over 4000 posts. The last bit went faster than I expected, as I didn’t have as many posts to recover in later years.

I’ve not been chatty in this space in recent years. Months would go by before I’d write something to Burningbird. I spent more time on social media sites than I did my own space.

Elon Musk and his destruction of Twitter has been a good thing. It’s reminded us that we’re only renters in sites like Twitter and Facebook; renters at the sufferance of single overlords who could wipe out our existence on their sites with a single whim.

I have found Mastodon to be a superior offering, if for no other reason than you can pick your self up and move to another instance, or maintain your own instance, and have control over your own space. But you still don’t have permanence in Mastodon. Yes, you can move your follows and followers, and folks following you won’t even know you moved. But you can’t move your old posts.

And that’s right. Social media is intended to be today. It is now. It is a current spot where we can connect and discuss what happened today. You don’t freeze a street corner to keep alive a moment where you run into an old friend and have a great conversation. No, you will move on, your friend will move on, and that street corner becomes a place where someone else will run into an old (or new) friend.

If you want permanence, you need a home.

This is my home. This is Burningbird.

*With many, many thanks to the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine.


Web site recovery continues

Thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine I have recovered over 3600 web posts dating back to 1996. I’m not done yet, but I’m getting into the detective phase of recovery. This means using all the of the tools the Wayback Machine provides for recovery.

For instance, though you get a timeline of snapshots when you search on a domain, such as, you can get a listing of individual pages by using the wildcard (*), such as*. By doing this, I’ve been able to recover seemingly lost writings if there’s a break in navigation between pages.

Considering that I never could make up my mind how I want to display pages—under archives for a time, by year and month another time, by subdomain, separate domain, by others—I’ve made liberal use of the wildcard in my recovery.

Lately, I brought in a new tool: the Ruby-based program wayback_machine_downloader. I’ve tested it in both Ubuntu and Windows, and it works beautifully.

I’ve given it both domain and subdomains and bulk downloaded most of the content the Internet Archive has archived from my sites. In some cases, where I no longer control the domain, I use the –to program modifier to grab just my content and not the content of the new domain owner.

I now have a backup copy of what the Wayback Machine has, and I’ve been able to recover pages more quickly. For instance, I able to recover a fragment of a 2003 post using this approach:

We Met. We talked. We expanded. And then the Net closed in. We reduced. We compacted. The energy was too much, the space too tiny, and we burst forth with wit, despair, beauty and brilliance, laughter, anger, tears, and, ultimately, cat.

We never forget cat. Cat is our anchor when our heads float too high, and we begin to think we’re Gods on a Wire, like pigs on a stick.

It is true that many of the recovered posts will never be read by another living soul in the future. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is I’ll finally have all my stuff in one place.

And I’m having fun. The Wayback Machine and all the tools that work with it are just a kick to use. The people behind this site and the tools are the most generous folk.

I’ll have more details on my Hunt for Burningbird at a future time. I just wanted to provide a quick update. I also wanted to test out the latest update of the ActivityPub plug-in, since its creator is now part of the WordPress team.