a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

everyone's free to wear carbon fiber wings

I decided to stop adding the little reply button to the end of posts. No one was really using it, and the way it integrated with commentpara.de is kinda clunky and confusing, and since I don't have any mobile data left, I have to update on my lunch break at work by walking to a nearby wifi hotspot, which recently has involved standing in the 90+ sun, and doing the whole load/copy/load/paste/edit operation under those conditions kinda sucks. As it is, all I gotta do is paste the entry, type a title and tag, and click post. About a minute of effort as opposed to five.

This shouldn't be a problem next month, because I discovered why I burned through my June data so quickly: I got overconfident, and set my RSS reader to auto-update rather than just updating when I open it. I wanted new items ready to read, not to have to wait for it to refresh every time. I also turned images back on, but I set them to only pre-load if I was on wi-fi. I figured the handful of images I ended up viewing wouldn't be a big deal, so imagine my surprise when I looked at my mobile data usage and realized that the app which had burned through more than half of my data was (sigh, ugh) Flym. It used more data than my web browser and my fedi client combined. I flew too close to the sun, and my wings melted.

(How come everyone says "flew too close to the sun and got burned"? That's not what happens in the story. It's not a cautionary tale of forgetting your sunscreen.

(I wanted to use a brand name here for better comedic rhythm—it'd be funnier if I didn't use the word "sun" a second time—but the only one I can think of is Coppertone, and I still think of that as suntan lotion, which is different than sunscreen; although looking it up, apparently it is marketed as sunscreen now, which I guess is because "suntan lotion" the way we used to think of it isn't a thing anymore? It's kinda confusing, the disambiguation page for "suntan lotion" gives two possible meanings: indoor tanning lotion and sunscreen. But Coppertone definitely wasn't always sunscreen, right? It was something you'd apply when you were out in the sun to make you tan instead of burn, which is good if your goal is just preventing the pain of a sunburn—or if you're interested in the cosmetic value of a tan—but I think from a skin health point of view, tanning isn't that much better for you than burning. They both increase your risk of skin cancer, which is why you really want to use zinc oxide or something that blocks as many UV rays as possible, which prevents your skin from tanning or burning. I guess we didn't know that when Coppertone was invented, so preventing discomfort was the main goal.

(anyway, it's interesting that these days there isn't really a strong brand association for sunscreen, at least not in the US. It's one of those rare fully genericized products; no one cares what brand of sunscreen they get, it could be the cheapest possible product on the shelf as long as it has a high SPF. One cynical point of view would be that this is a market niche just waiting for someone with a clever marketing idea to swoop in and make a name for themselves.

(like Montucky Cold Snacks. Have you heard of this shit? It's a new brand of beer with a goofy name, some lighthearted copy and a cute 80s aesthetic, and it's just a brand. The company doesn't make beer. They buy beer wholesale from a brewery, put it in their packaging, and sell it at a markup. The beer itself is completely unremarkable (like most beer) but they've apparently been quite successful. I don't drink beer and this stuff isn't sold where I live, and I'm still aware it exists. Capitalism is so dumb. Anyway, if you can figure out how to be the Montucky Cold Snacks of sunscreen, you'd probably corner the market.

(Here's my idea: coconut-scented sunscreen packaged in a reusable plastic coconut that also includes a straw and a little umbrella, with recipes for summer cocktails. Call it Cabana or something, run a social media campaign where people take selfies with the coconut. Make people associate your sunscreen with poolside parties and fun in the sun. Good luck!)





But I also signed up for a Retrospring account, which is listed along with the other contact methods on the contact page. I had previously tried to figure out if there were any of those anonymous question asking sites still around that aren't annoying to use, but retrospring somehow slipped by me. If there was a way I could automatically append a link to every post, I would, but doing it manually is too much of a hassle. On the contact page it goes.

I also added a "visited" color to links, going back to the Sega Master System palette. I never think to do this, because I never have history turned on in my browser settings, but I'm borrowing a friend's chromebook until I have a real functional computer again, and there's no way to disable history. Unless I want to use incognito mode and manually re-enter my information every time I want to log into a website, and I don't.

But I noticed that having visited links show up as a different color was helpful on some sites, for remember what I've already read, and I realized that, if anyone wanted to go through a giant backlog of hundreds of entries like mine will eventually be, having a reminder of which entries they've already read would be very helpful. So I did that. Just for links in the main body text; I think it'd look incongruous if only some of the links in the navigation bar were a different color, and that's not important to remember.

I don't think making them a different color is the most elegant solution, and I wish CSS was more flexible there. I had the idea of using an :after selector to add a little unobtrusive check mark after any entry that had already been visited, but apparently :visited is very tightly regulated: I don't think there are any properties you can change but the color. That's kind of a bummer. Oh well. I don't figure the color change is too distracting. Hopefully the only people who notice it are the ones who it would be helpful for 🦝