Jet Writes

Little posts by Jetgirl.

So back in August or so I got a set of SA keycaps for the GK64 thinking I'd love the super tall format since I type so hard etc. Well, they were alright but I still managed to tap the edges of the top row and some of the bottom ones too. This new set is similar to an XDA format. The difference is the caps are about half the height, and are all uniform from every direction. I find this much easier to hit the keys I'm aiming for with this flat keyboard. Shorter caps + linear switches now it's even quieter but the action is much smoother (I found that SA caps wiggle too much). I also notice now using other folks keyboards how much I hate the plasticky tack from clicky switches. Gross.

Ordered groceries for delivery tomorrow. Went into walmart last week to get kiddo's iPad screen replaced and saw that they removed ALL the live cashiers and put in just two giant rows of self checkout stations. Glad I order from HEB 99% of the time. Speaking of kitchen things we cleared out all the cabinets, threw out all the old plastic and chipped dishes and replaced them with the new Fiestaware set. Made in USA glassware and such will be here tomorrow but I went ahead and tossed about 8 years worth of plastic cups and junk dishes while I was at it.

Finished a bit of flash fiction this weekend, I'll put it up on MOSFET tomorrow around lunch probably.

There are several little pen and stationary shops I've wanted to go to around town but haven't had the chance to. I've ordered from them and had stuff shipped but that's not the same as going in and browsing things. Anyway, as I was looking at pen places I saw one shop post a link to a neighboring sushi place that looked cool, and a bakery next to that so I came up with a little list of places to visit when I get the chance.

Son's replacement phone showed up last night, threw the SIM card in to test it out and wouldn't ya know, it makes calls and sends texts. Everything a teenager needs a phone needs to do. (Call us or 911.)

Zune for scale.

So how does it handle? Well it's pretty slick for an old style phone. The screen is nice and big enough to see everything and thankfully not touch screen. You can slide the cover down to answer a call and close it to end the call. It does have WIFI and will connect to a handful of apps from the shop. I wouldn't trust 90% of the ones in there from the third party developers. There is an RSS app which I want to try and connect r.w.a to for kicks. Typing is slower than a full sized keyboard but it's exactly what I remember from college (but with unlimited texting!). Also, this model does have predictive text unlike what the reviews from a year ago might say.

A second one is also on the way for a spare house phone should one of our fancy ones break on us. Once it's safe to have gaming conventions/concerts again I plan on bringing one of these with me instead of my normal phone. I'd rather someone steal/sniff my $60 “dumb” phone than the one with access to every ounce of my data.

We got four inches of snow yesterday, in the middle of Texas. This is clearly not something we can handle so everything shut down for the day and school was cancelled for today while all the slush melts.

During lunch I ran up to a repair shop with one of the kids to get his old iPad screen fixed as a birthday present. (It is not cheap.) For the past decade I've been the one who orders a replacement screen on ebay, grabs the spudgers and heat gun, and repairs the phone/tablet myself. However, lately even with all my hardware abilities I can't repair these things without ripping a cable or pulling pins or heating up something just enough to melt a microscopic cap off the board somewhere.

Everything is glued together, clipped in place, designed to be fused together for the expected two year lifespan of the device before the battery gets spicy and you loyally bring it in to trade up. I don't care how thin a device is or how it's encased in glass, I would like to be able to undo a couple screws and open the thing up. Plastic enclosures aren't evil. Metal ones aren't either but – signal issues, I understand. Just, let me fix things.

My son's iPhone finally died. He was using my husbands old one for the last two years. We don't have a house phone so if we leave him in charge he needs a way to contact us or 911 etc. Anyway since we severely use our phones it wasn't exactly brand spanking new when we gave it to him and in the last few months it's lost all touch screen capacity which means we can't unlock, reboot, etc. It's well past it's apple care help, and neither me or my husband want to add yet another monthly payment to buy another new iPhone. (Ours are both paid off, kid would be getting my phone and I'd get the new one.)

Then as I was looking up prepaid go-phones to swap his sim card into I stumbled upon the Nokia 8110 4G, a modern version of the old Nokia 8110 “Banana Phone”. This new version has things like Bluetooth and WiFi etc, but no vast app store or anything. The reviews on it were low because of this, and the fact the reviewers were all so young they've probably never used a flip phone. It was funny to see complaints about how long it takes to text using a numpad, or the lack of social media apps, or lack of selfie camera. Excuse me, this phone sounds great. A teenager doesn't need access to the app store or social media, they need access to us.

Anyway, I ordered two new ones off eBay. One will be for the kiddo and the other will be our emergency backup phone should one of our iPhones go swimming or get dropped on the concrete. Will report back with how they act.

It's still small but I've been busy. I also included some podcasts I like, because they've been all the rage for the last decade. The best ones are informative or commentary on film or books, both of the ones in my list are about books so hopefully you've read some of the ones mentioned.

I ordered a series of pencils last week which showed up yesterday. Normally I use a trusty Kuru Toga mechanical pencil for such erasable needs but these days I've been trying to buy stuff made in the US, and well I found a place in Tennessee that does so. I ordered a sampler pack which came with one of each of their types. Three of them were the big beefy kind I haven't used since Kindergarten. They are yellow with a train that says CHOO CHOO on it, amazing. I love it. The thickness and weight remind me of my fountain pens.

Welp, lunch break is over.

Well it has been a day hasn't it. I took a nap at some point this afternoon (I'll explain why I've been exhausted in the future.) and woke up to this clown fiesta. Wrapped up my work for the day and settled the kids for bed. Here I was, gonna tell yall about the rebranding and such of my creative writing blog and this happens. I figure folks might need a break from the news so I'll just leave the link here and call it a day. It's also linked to r.W.a so it should show up occasionally in the feed.

This post is all in response to TMO's post.

When I think of blogging in the olden days I think of LiveJournal or Blogger. Some era around 2002-2007 when blogs were just a daily journal entry and you were lucky if they even had a digital camera to post a photo along with it. A friend of mine from art school even had an account at DeadJournal which was invite only. (Heads up it's still alive and well as a paid service.)

These were the days of using forums to find out how to replace the headlight on your 98 Accord because there was no YouTube or wiki's yet. People would blog about things they discovered or did that would seem like something easily googled these days but would end up as the top hit later for someone else trying to find out that info.

I think that's when the shift from personal blog to side hustle began. When blogs began to pop up in search results the users noticed the traffic increase, and during this time one could actually put one or two google ads in the sidebar and make some spare cash on an old post about replacing a headlight.

From about 2005-2009 I had a free WordPress account that I wrote in nearly daily. I would read other friends blogs and link to them in something known as a blogroll over in the sidebar. Actually I used this blogroll as a makeshift bookmarking tool and would simply go to my page first to check everyone else's blogs from one location. Before WP I used a small LiveJournal account but that never told me things like how many clicks a post got or where the readers came from. Once I knew that some posts would “do better” than others there was a not quite subconscious shift from writing personal notes to writing “for the reader”.

That's when I noticed every other website had ads in the sidebar, ads in the header, the footer, everywhere. Posts changed from an interesting daily habit to the writers top ten flavors of pop-tart. You noticed more posts that were overwritten, that took the whole page to get to the point just to keep you on the site for X minutes to reduce bounce rate. Then the inevitable happened, sponsorship. Companies sent bloggers free stuff in return for an “honest review”. We now see that mostly on YouTube/Instagram/Tiktok etc since video is now king. It turned the humble blog into a free advertising program.

At this point the ads don't really net returns anymore. You can place them on a site but good luck getting anyone to click on them these days and most folks use adblockers. Better to not have them at all and link to a tip jar at best. I see pro-blogger type sites out there still like Medium or Substack which rely on the reach of newsletters, social media, and news sites to gain readers. When researching how to market my novel 99% of the marketing schemes were start a blog, build an email list, and change your writing format from normal human mode to keyword salad and click-bait headlines. Oh and bonus if you start a podcast to go with it like you have that kind of time on your hands.

All this when in the end I just want to log in to a blank screen and talk for a few paragraphs. No themes, no agenda, no promotions, no like and subscribe. (Yes, I know there is a subscribe link at the bottom of this but you know what I'm referencing.) A blog should be a blog, not advertising. Now I'm wondering if I can code up a blogroll on this site...

I spent two whole days in two weeks on my computer. Everything else was phone, which is very limiting. Finally catching up on RSS feeds since I don't have those in a cross-device format. Work starts back tomorrow, the news seems to be filled with politics as usual. I know yall look down on folks who still have a Facebook account, but I keep mine around so my parents can message and see pics of the kids. (They live nowhere near us.) We've just done that for years. I did spend a few hours weeding out friends of friends and not so distant relatives on both fb and insta due to their constant sharing of disinformation. I got tired of reporting it all.

Also, about media posts. What on earth do yall post on linkedin? My husband is on it all the time talking to ex coworkers and recruiters and such about software and jobs. I guess I don't have anything professional enough to post about. Work and school start back tomorrow so that will be in interesting jolt for everyone.