I’ve just posted the third and final part of A good masculinity is hard to find. The third part is subtitled “Gender as behaviour” and in it I reexamine beliefs that I’ve held for most of my adult life.

I’m planning to delete my Google account in October, having used Gmail as my email provider for 15 years. I am very tempted to just zap it and take my chances but I suppose I’ll have to download the archive. It bothers me that these days nothing just disappears, leaving no trace.

I quite often find myself wondering why I’m still following John Naughton. Then he links to something like this — Ted Gioia, Why Gregory Bateson matters — and the answer is obvious.

I wish iPadOS had the option to type curly single quotes by default but straight double ones. The could call it “really smart quotes”.

I’ve seen a wild boar fairly close, when it crossed a remote country road in front of me. I don’t think I’d have chased after one, even if it had stolen my computer, particularly not if it thought I was trying to take its food.

Mark Dawson just revealed a corrupt system, writes Annika Karody on the Melville House blog. Dawson is a brilliant marketer but (on the strength of the only book of his that I’ve read, one of the Beatrix Rose series) an extremely mediocre writer 📚

Excel doesn’t offer the option to turn off this auto-formatting, and the only way to avoid it is to change the data type for individual columns.

Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates. Tail, stop wagging that dog!

I assumed from the moment that I first heard about wireless charging that it must be wasteful and inefficient as compared with the old fashioned, wired, alternative. Now it seems there’s confirmation.

Jason Kottke has a chili recipe “concocted through practice and improvisation” by one of the most influential musical improvisors ever 🎶

Here’s a new short story by Naoise Dolan, Family News told from the point of view of an effectively homeless woman who has moved in with her older sister and niece. I found it a bit close to the bone, because of similarities to my own recent circustances ✏️

The Guardian has great pictures from the Isle of Wight festival, 1970, including a pensive Jimi Hendrix and drummer Clive Bunker in full flight. No Miles Davis, though 🎶

I mentioned yesterday that I hand-edit the JSON feed from my personal site. I noticed this morning that JSONLint, the validator I’ve been using, has stopped accepting HTML entities beginning with escaped ampersands (e.g. \×) in the HTML content. No more nonbreaking spaces.

Another off-cut from my thesis: “Prelate of the grove”: A note on ambition and preferment in Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House” ✏️

Andrew Marvell was no admirer of bishops. Examples of his antipathy can be found throughout his writings …

Panic over. I Googled the MacBook Air keyboard problem and it turns out all I needed to do was hold down Cmd-Opt-p-r while booting up. I don’t know what that does but the keyboard is working again. I’m typing this on it.

I edit the JSON feed from my personal site by hand. Realizing that I can’t use the MacBook Air, and having to rely on the iPad Air instead, I felt a moment’s panic. I needn’t have worried: the iPad doesn’t make it easy to switch between straight and curly quotes, but otherwise 😎

By me: Writing “plain” text. These days, I at least start off most of my writing as unformatted text, the kind I refuse to describe as “plain”. So, maybe I should dust off an AlphaSmart Neo that I haven’t used for 9 years. But what about Unicode support? ✏️

The keyboard on my 2 month old refurbished 2019 MacBook Air, seems to have stopped working. The computer wouldn’t respond, so I rebooted it and now I can’t enter my password, because no keyboard. I wish I’d paired my Bluetooth keyboard with the Air when I had the chance 💻 ☹️

I’ve just finished reading Kate Atkinson’s Transcription. The end is very satisfying: at once clarifying and confusing, which is appropriate to the theme. It includes a very Smiley-like character named Godfrey Toby 📖

Here’s a very new short story by Niamh Campbell, whose “Love Many” won this year’s Sunday Times Audible award: In An Encounter, a journalist interviewing a poet experiences the anxiety of influence ✏️

I’m halfway through Kate Atkinson’s Transcription and enjoying it. With another writer, I’d worry about where this plot is going but Atkinson has a sure touch. And, I recovered my copy of When Will There Be Good News? at the weekend, so I’ll be rereading that soon 📖

After 15 years on Gmail, I’ve switched to Zoho mail (with my own domain name on top). Just now, I noticed that the fan on the MacBook Air was going like the clappers. So I closed the Zoho mail web page and it stopped. This doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in my choice.

A new post by me: Tech’s unfulfilled promises. Tech held out the promise of helping to free humanity from drudgery, boredom and hard physical work. Obviously, that promise hasn’t been kept. So, what now?

Somewhat ironically, I wrote the previous micropost in a coffee shop because I don’t have a home just yet and I badly needed a coffee. It’s very nice coffee, so I’ll come back. The shop is called Théoucafé, which I immediately thought of as a pun on “t’es où, café?”

Emily Temple asks Is this the end of writing in cafés? I like the idea of writing in cafés, but in practice I tend to drink coffee in cafés and write at home and, since the cafés have been closed, I’ve had to admit that I much prefer the coffee 🍮 I make at home … so, who knows?

I spent the years between 1988 and 2011 outside Ireland, apart from the occasional visit, but until Friday evening it had been 5 years since I had left the country. I even allowed my passport to lapse for four of those years. It’s so nice to be “abroad” again.