I was talking for several minutes on a Zoom meeting before I realized I was on mute. It took me that long to figure it out because other people were talking occasionally in ways that seemed like they were responding to me (“Yes, Mitch?” “OK, let’s look at that,” etc.), but they were not hearing anything I said at all.

It was like I was in “The Sixth Sense.”

I may have fixed my email problems.

I found instructions for upgrading MX records, and followed them as best as I could. They did not precisely fit my situation. I improvised.

Instructions say email should begin within 4-6 hours, but can take up to 48 hours.

So what I should do now is simply wait. Check again tonight or tomorrow morning. If there is still no action, check 1x-2x/day thereafter. If the email has not resumed within 72 hours, then see if I can get professional support.

Or I can just check compulsively every three minutes. That works too.

Westhost support was slightly worse than useless. They not only didn’t fix the problem, they didn’t even understand it, referred me to a different department, and then tried to pass the buck to another company.

I am very unhappy with WestHost web hosting.

I have been trying to change plans for months and am getting zero support. Now my email is broken. cPanel is incomprehensible.

The fact that they have not updated their Twitter since 2020 does not fill me with confidence this problem will be resolved.

This is my primary personal email, mitch@mitchwagner.com. If this problem does not resolve quickly, that could be a big deal.

In this week’s episode of “The Gilded Age,” Agnes warns another character that a man who seems nice is actually an “adventurer.”

The meaning is clear enough from context: He’s no good. Watch out.

But I vaguely remembered that “adventurer” had a specific meaning in the Gilded Age, and it’s been bugging me since we watched the show Wednesday night. I finally looked it up on Merriam-Webster this morning, and found this as the second definition of adventurer: “somewhat old-fashioned : one who seeks unmerited wealth or position especially by playing on the credulity or prejudice of others.” Which is, clearly, exactly what Agnes intended to say.

I woke up early this morning, fizzy with ideas and energy, and when I got to my desk my Mac said, “Oh, good, you’re here—shut down Word so I can reboot and update the operating system. That’ll take a half hour. You’re good not doing anything useful for a half hour, right?”

Then my fingers and brain decided it would be super-fun to to mistype my password a half-dozen times for no reason at all so I’d be locked out of my computer entirely for a few more minutes.

That means today is only going to get better, right?

Public domain mythology

Last year I read “Lonesome Dove,” by Larry McMurtry. It took me much of the year. It’s a looooooong book. Then we watched the series. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many Westerns.

After finishing my mini-Lonesome Dove binge, I got to thinking about shared mythology and folklore. 75 years ago, the US had Westerns, and we exported those to the rest of the world. Anybody could create a story featuring Wyatt Earp as hero, or set in Dodge City, and plug into an existing framework.

You didn’t have to pay for it, or ask permission.

Now our shared mythology is all Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, LoTR and the Marvel and DC superhero universes. It’s all owned by big companies. Creators and fans are sharecroppers on other people’s land.

Sure, Westerns were racist, imperialist, sexist, and heteronormative. But we lost something valuable when we traded them for corporate licensed intellectual property.