It's officially the first day of Autumn and I could not be more thrilled. I absolutely despise heat, especially excessive heat. And the last couple of years, summers where I live have definitely been just stright up hot with multiple instances of extreme heat warnings. I feel like we never had heat like this when I was a kid. I sure as shit don't ever remember excessive heat warnings. Global warming, yadda yadda, I know. But seriously, heat and I have never gotten along well and with the increased temperatures I'm even less friendly with the season of Summer.

After it hitting 90°F just a few days ago, we've been chillin' in the upper 60°s for the last couple of days and mid-to-lower 50°s over night - and I don't think I have ever been this happy for autumn in a long while. I've actually spent my entire breaks at work the last couple of days sitting outside just watching the clouds and hawks over the parking ramp where I work and smoking cigarettes while wishing I was at home in my backyard playing fetch with my dog. It's not a bad way to spend a break at wotk, lemme tell ya. But I would absolutely prefer to be home with my dog

At any rate, I am excited to spend more time outside - especially in my backyard with my dog - and have fires in my fire pit. I can't wait to take pictures of the leaves changing and general shift in energy that is palpable here in the Midwest USA this time of year.

There's been a bit of a rise in people leaving or considering leaving the Neocities community and it's kind of sad to see. When I initially joined Neocities it was because I had found it randomly mentioned as some sort of throwback to Geocities etc and when I was perusing sites hosted on the platform I found all kinds Serial Experiments Lain themed websites, which I am an absolute nerd about and for, and much to my surprise a decent number of sites created by people who were around for early web days or - at minimum - had a passion for those days and their sites expressed that. So I joined and created my site and followed a handful of those people and life was good here.

And one day I woke up and I had a couple new followers, so I followed them back. Their sites were interesting in some fashion or another, not necessarily people who were a part of early web or who even care about it really. But that didn't bother me, I looked at it as an interesting and curious thing, this influx of people wanting to make their own personal websites full of whatever the fuck they want while also vocal about wanting or needing to leave social media - typically with some sort of ranty diatribe about how much social media sucks. Most of these people, myself included, got tired of social media for needing to identify yourself by your birthname and the decreasing personalization across all popular platforms - as such, more often than not, I wasn't immediately able to understand their age (or any other) demographic. On paper, that's kind of cool and interesting. I was actually intrigued by how articulate and informed a lof of younger people (younger than me, at least) are in this day and age and it made me take pause to reflect on how tuned in and educated my own two children are. They both being young adults themselves now, I don't have the same types of communication and involvement with them as I did when they were younger. Neocities kind of became a weird petri dish, so to speak, of young and old or rich and well-off and middle class and poor or people from all countries and ethnic backgrouns (or any combination of the aforementioned) that I was just really enjoying taking it in.

In short order, a whole lot of drama developed - or was probably already happening and I only learned of it as a result of being followed by and then following these new sites. For the uninitiated (not sure how you would arrive here if not initiated), Neocities has a sort of half-baked "communuty" or "social" aspect to it, wherein you can comment on people's Neocities profiles - which are not their actual site, but a sort of back-end conmment and community system. As someone a part of a community on the fringes who runs across content that is vocally against you, I get the discourse. But, man, so much of it was - and still is - just so toxic in intent, perception, reception, communication, and remedy (imagined, attempted, or real). People getting called out and canceled for small infractions and mis-perceptions all the way up to people being called out and shunned for actual wrongs in the world of pedophilia and borderline hate content and actions.

I am contemplating turning off the comments thing on my profile so I don't have to see all that stuff, because I genuinely believe that at the end of the day - based on what I've seen and read from most of the people calling out and who have been called out, that most everyone is (more or less) a decent human being. Differing opinions and viewpoints are the wrong place to draw lines in the sand when it comes to those you want in your circle or life or whatever - online or otherwise. Echochambers are bad, full stop. My grandpa said it, and I always say it - If you're the smartest one in the room, you're in the wrong room. I believe our purpose here is to learn and grow at every step of the way, sitting in a circle of people who all think and believe exactly what you do and bring to the table the same things as yourself is not a way to live.

Sitting very squarely on the center of the fence in terms of whether to turn the social aspect of Neocities off or not. I definitely enjoy and appreciate when people comment on my profile and I like to see the profile updates of most of the people I follow. But the toxicity I have to scroll through still remains the kind of shit that made me leave social media. The kind of shit most of these people claim to have left social media as a result of. I don't know. Nowhere is perfect, clearly.

I've noticed my fingernails are getting weaker and thinner. The simplest of tasks one needs a finger nail for are becoming complicated because the index and middle finger on both hands have a nail that is trimmed as shosrt as possible to minimize a crack or break that developed in them running from the tip of the finger to the first digit. I'm nervous to look up possible causes, that's always a dangerous rabbitholle to go down. You will find any manner of explaination and cause, most of them sounding terrifying.

Speaking of old web and autumn, Yesterweb has made an open call for virtual trick'or'treat webpages with a treat - a graphic or something along those lines - that the visitor can take and collect for their website and I think that is simply an amazing concept, while being the type of initiative that drew to me Neocities in the first place, and for which I will definitely endeavor to create my own personal Halloween themed page for.

I somehow remembered this weird and - at the time - inconsequential interaction I had with a neighbor on my block. A couple of weeks ago I took a walk through our alley to go to the beer store and he was pissing in the alley with his pants at about knee level. When he heard me coming up he pulled up his pants and apologized. I told him it was no big thing, no worries. And it's not. Truly. But why didn't you piss in your own backyard, homie? I mean, if ya can't make it inside your house, the backyard is a totally acceptable palce to take a leak, in my opinion. I do it in my own backyard on occasion. Also - don't apologize for something you did intentionally. Ever.

My youngest adult child still lives with me. Their 19th birthday is in just under a month. They came out and chatted me up tonight. We figured out all of the answers to the problems of living and life and the world. Hit us up if you need them.

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