Newsblur; Fricassee; old friends – 14/Feb/2019

Things I’m thinking about:

RSS Feeds

I’ve started using Newsblur again. I shut off Facebook a while back for various reasons (nothing drastic, just… tired, mostly), so my news has been supplied by a fairly limited set of channels.

Newsblur fixes that. It’s not just Newsblur, of course; you can use any of a number of feed readers, but Newsblur is the one that works best for me.

I’m enjoying it so far.

With that said: if you know of any sites that are new, flashy, interesting, relevant for … well, news, visual arts, philosophy, creating music, Python or Java programming, let me know! I may already have them in my feed, but I might not, and I want to grow my list of sources if I can.


I looked up what a fricassee was, because I used it as a sort of joke dish. However, my use was copied from, like, Bugs Bunny back in the 1970s; I had no idea what a fricassee actually is.

Now I do:

A dish of stewed or fried pieces of meat served in a thick white sauce.

We learn together! (Unless, of course, you already knew what a fricassee was.)

Old Friends

I have no intention of living in the past – the “good old days” were the “bad old days” too – but I miss those friends with whom I’ve lost communication.

Social networking helps in a few cases, but it’s also so…ephemeral that it doesn’t really establish the connections that made us friends in the first place.

C’est la vie – a phrase I use far too often, I think.

Picking Content

Things I have learned recently:

  • Picking items for these lists can be a drag, because I’m trying to be very careful to have positive (meaning “uplifting”) assertions where I can. It’s not a perfect system; even in this post I have “I don’t like…” but hopefully it’s neutral enough to pass my criteria. My overall rule of content hasn’t changed for decades: I’m very uncomfortable posting anything about which I’d have been ashamed to tell my grandparents. No sexual content, and few (if any) curses, for example. I’m happy with that; I don’t really feel any temptation to write about those things, but it’s a good metric to have to keep my own writing “above board.”
  • The world needs more success stories. I try to do everything I can to help create them… and I’m fine with not being featured in those success stories. The success is enough. “Tikkun olam” – a Jewish idea that means “healing the world” – drives me in this.
  • On the other side of the previous point: I will always be grateful for those who try to ensure my success. It’s one of the ways I differentiate benevolent acquaintances from my friends: if someone works to ensure my success, that person is my friend. I will always appreciate them. Period. Acquaintances are those people with whom my success is of tangential importance. There’s nothing wrong with that, but those people are rarely my friends.
  • When writing a crawler, it’s always nice to save the downloaded files in proper format rather than, well, improper format. Whoops.