In all the frenzied exodus from the deck of the Musk Boat, mass acts of tweet deletion, self announcements in the fediverse, I wonder about how far we’ve come from Mike Caulfield’s classic (to me) pondering of the Garden and the Stream.

Pretty much the last few years the garden has been left dusty for mainly old web hankerers and the scales have more than tipped to the stream.

Sure those toots ‘n tweets may pile up likes and views, some immediate gratification, but they have low potential for ever doing more than flowing downstream. Ah, but a blogged post, on a site you own or control, with it’s permalink, acts as a magical potentiometer for the unexpected. When it’s antennae sizzle, you may never know.

But there is nothing more magical, more fulfilling than something you cast out into the pile of stuff on the web, many years later comes to life, like an unexpected radio call out to you.

While I have many times turned my own revelry with web-serendipity into a collection of Amazing Stories. While not always Unknown Flower caliber, the small ones can feel big.

That was a five paragraph introduction!

It was more than eight years ago that my curiosity of an antique hand fruit juicer led me looking up old patents and inventors and the first product that founded a large appliance corporation. This is usual web rabbit holing stuff.

In September 2022, eight years after this post was published, Shane somehow finds it, and asks a question

Was lead used to make these? I have one and I’m slightly concerned this might be the case.

I never even considered this, and I have drank juice from this machine. But I do my own searching, and this post Vintage stand hand citrus juicer: 2,254 ppm Lead on the bare metal food contact surface. 90 ppm is unsafe for children suggests, while not exactly the same model, suggests it’s likely made from lead metal (this is a blog by Tamara Rubin, who identifies as the Lead Safe Mama). The patent I had found from Joseph Majewski, Jr had no mention of the materials.

There’s no magic story there. I replied with what I found.

But I thought about a recent tweet that went viral (that might be a quaint phrase soon)

I don’t know how this assertion can be “true” (if there is such a thing) when of all the places on the internet, Shane found my post about the Juice-O-Mat and I found Tamara’s blog about antiques with lead analysis.

Maybe it’s because I hate malls in general…

But to me this drives home the truth (yes, now I will be absolute) that planting posts in your garden creates much more powerful potential for web serendipity than just dumping tweets down the stream (says a person who never went viral).

It lead to and from this.


Just after publishing, another comment came in on a 2017 post about my brother’s old rocking chair that seems to have turned my blog into an antique market for Temple Stuart furniture. This is a comment to a comment offering the hinges another commenter was seeking.

Yup. Here again I hear joyful music in the dead mall.

Featured Image:

Defintely Leaded
Definitely Leaded flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


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