Saturday, September 15, 2018

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What's more old fashioned than reading a blog? Getting an email every time there is an post here!

We have the technology!


It's over there in the side menu under our hi-tech handy-dandy search function.

Get an email every time I post. Exciting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Watch it now before they take it down!

I read Arbitrary Stupid Goal earlier this year and loved it. Best read so far of 2018.
I just finished Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir and loved it also.

Kenny Shopsin left us last week and someone posted the documentary made about him, his family and his famous/infamous restaurant on YouTube. Better check it out ASAP before the copyright police find it and remove it.


Idea gone. Poof.

I had an idea for something I was going to write today. This idea materialized when I was driving back up into the driveway after lunch.

By the time I got parked and got the sunshades up, POOF! GONE! No more idea!


I strained my brain until now trying to think of what it was. I believe it was a pretty good idea.

Oh, well. It's gone. Another one of my pointless, pithy thoughts is lost, never to be shared.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

If I'm not wearing my watch, it doesn't count

I keep not putting on my all-knowing Apple Watch first thing in the morning so I rarely hit any of the fitness goals it has set for me.

In its mind, I am just a slob. I never exercise at all. I barely function. I am destined for poor health and eventually a much-deserved demise.

Maybe Apple Watch constantly reminds me of its health goals for me because it wants to keep me alive longer so I will buy more Apple products and so it can collect/sell as much data as possible about my slovenly ways.

A heaping plate of filler

I don't understand the obsession with Marvel movies.

I've seen a few of them and not because I wanted to. They seem pointless to me. They're all the same. They end with cliffhangers to lead you back to the theater for the next movie. It's expensive to go the theater to see them. The acting is not that great. The writing is no better than most television shows. I've seen elementary school plays that were more entertaining.

A typical Marvel audience on their way to the theater.
© Túrelio (via Wikimedia-Commons), 2002 / 
I think they are pumping them out so fast to keep the momentum going. They keep throwing it at us so we don't have time to figure out this isn't good.

We keep spending more and more money on it so we exclude other movies from having a chance. Marvel takes up three or four screens of the theater so there's no room for anything else.

Maybe one day people will wake up and decide there is more to life than watching mass-produced pointless fluff.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Adjusting, not quitting - Part three: The Blog

I really have to get over the word blog.

I just don't like it. It sounds antiquated like "phone book" or "castor oil."

I also have to get over the "rules" of blogging, such as having labels which I have already stopped doing.

Also, blogging once a day seems to be the norm so I was writing two or three posts some days but scheduling them out over multiple days. As you can see, that rule is out the window. If I want to write ten posts in a day, I will post ten times on that day. If I have nothing to write about for two weeks, nothing will be posted for two weeks.

No labels. No schedules. No rules.


via GIPHY

Finally, there is a Twitter account for this blog. Cool, huh?

I had an IFTTT robot running that Twitter and I never liked that idea. From now on, I am going to write my tweets there and I am not going to post every link to every post. When I feel like it, I'm going to go out there and tweet something like "Catch up on my posts to read about toothpaste, fire and frogs" even if I haven't written about any of those things.

I might even share some writing-related things that I have found on the interwebs that might be of interest to someone choosing to follow a blog on Twitter.

I still don't like the word blog.

Weblog sounds slightly better.

Call it what you want. I write here. I like it and I like it more without the rules.

Adjusting, not quitting - Part two: Twitter

Oh, Twitter, how you frustrate me!

I thought I had the solution back in June. I was wrong!

It's so hard to stay connected to people who I think are basically good but are so very angry and use Twitter as their anger toxic waste dump.

And I'm so tired of seeing likes sprinkled through my feed. Likes are tweets that you nod at but aren't good enough to retweet.

And the ads, oh, the ads! They pop up every third or fourth tweet and 90% of them are about things I don't care about at all.

So, at 2AM last Friday morning, I declared to the world that I was temporarily done with Twitter and during the five days I was away, I figured out a solution.

The solution for me that brought back my enjoyment of Twitter has two parts.

First and most important and something I never tried before -  I turned off ALL Twitter notifications.

If you DM me, if you like a tweet, if you retweet me, etc. None of it pings my phone. I even have the badge icon turned off. I go to Twitter when I want to. When I open the app, the internal notification icon shows if I have something there to look it. I am now totally in control of the app. Before, anyone who interacted with me controlled the app and controlled the pings on my phone and it was downright distracting.

On my tablet, I have some notifications on but my tablet is not always near me. I don't have sounds on. I do see the notifications on the lock screen when I choose to go to the tablet (which sits nowhere near my home office desk) and open it.

The big lesson from this: I am in control.

Second, I am using lists like never before and I have multiple ones, all private. I rarely see my feed now. I go straight to the lists. In lists, you don't see likes. That's a big plus. My lists are filled with people I don't actually follow so they don't clutter up my main feed if I want to look at it. I have a list of creative people that I love to browse through. Most of my retweets come from there.

My muted folks are all in one list together. These are the angry tweeters. I still look in there about once a day because I do want to stay connected to them. I just can't handle all-day bombardments of negativity any more.

I'm still tweaking my lists but between removing notifications and adding the lists, my enjoyment of Twitter has really increased.

I adjusted.
No more quitting.

On to the next "problem" - this site!

Adjusting, not quitting - Part one: The podcast

The podcast was destined to be my next victim. I had already removed this site and was planning my "sabbatical" from Twitter. I was going to become a non-creative and begin a new life sitting in my recliner each evening staring at the tv like a zombie.

OK. Maybe it wasn't going to happen exactly like that but who knows.

I've been podcasting for a while, over five years. It's not a good podcast but it is fun. It's just no longer as much fun trying to do it every week.


Instead of walking away or shadow quitting (Shadow quitting is sort of like shadow banning, which I hear happens to insane talk show hosts. It's quitting for a bit only to come back in a month or so once I realize how dumb I've been), I looked for a solution.

The solution was to make a plan and schedule when I would post episodes based on whatever ideas I have. Right off the bat, I had three ideas. The first, for episode 394 (which drops tomorrow), is something I do annually to celebrate the birthday of fast food hero Colonel Sanders. It also happens to be the birthday of some other knucklehead.

The second and third ideas have been in my Todoist for a LONG time but I have never had time or taken time to get them done. By setting realistic dates and no longer trying to make a weekly podcast, I think they are doable. I'm actually looking forward to them.

The stress is off. The podcast continues. I solved a problem instead of closing the door on the room in which the problem sat. Most of my problems look like this. Imagine opening a door and having to deal with this. The shedding would get all over everything. No wonder I normally just left the door shut.

On to the next "problem" at hand, Twitter.

Back and forth

I enjoy Twitter. I can't stand Twitter. I stop using it. I come back.
I enjoy writing here. I stop writing here. I disable the site. I reenable the site. I start writing again.


WHY?

As life shifts back and forth, my priorities get tossed askew. What I had time for yesterday, I don't have time for today so I get it in my head that it's better to shutter something than to neglect something.

WHY?

What I leave out there neglected serves as a reminder that I should be creating and it's the creating (writing, podcasting, etc.) that sustains me and I feed off of that energy. Knocking it down puts the frustration out of sight but then the dust clears and I realize I need that energy so I get back to it until the cycle inevitably repeats.

But this time is different and the next three posts, one on each main creative outlet I have, will explain why.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Rules


via GIPHY

Some people seem to take incredible pride in controlling some tiny thing and they seem to feel more important by inconveniencing others with their complicated and unnecessary rules about that tiny thing they control. I encountered that a week ago this very evening. Of course, I went over their head and found someone with real power who overrode them, reducing their pride to sawdust.

It made me feel good.

Not tired

I could have gone back to sleep. I'm off work today - a pre-birthday day off, rewarding myself with a three day weekend.

But, I always get up to see the kids (in reality, young adults) off to another day of high school. I fix my toast. I read the comics online. I read the blogs I follow in Feedly.

Then I edited episode 394 of the podcast so it will be ready to be delivered to you invisibly via the internet superhighway on Sunday.

And now I am here, writing and tweaking and about to publish this before I go on to the next task at hand, coffee.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

I hate labels

A real turn off of blogging for me is labels.

I hate labels.

In the early years of the blog, back when blogging was an actual thing that was fairly popular before microthought posting took over, I never used them. At some point, I felt like I needed to start. I don't know why. No one ever left a comment that said "You need labels" or "Where are the labels?" or anything like that. In fact, most comments were spam.

Now that blogging is no longer an actual thing, I don't even get the spam.

I don't miss the spam but I do despise labels so there will be no labels this time around. If you want to find something here, use the handy-dandy search function over there at the top-right of this page. If you are on a phone, you’ll need the view the web version to see the handy-dandy search function because Blogger is so antiquated that the templates barely work on mobile devices.

Although there are over 1,000 posts from before today (there would be more but I lost one of the archive files) that I did take the time to remove the labels from, as of today, this is a whole-new thing but it's not an actual thing since we've already established that blogging is no longer an actual thing.

So I guess that makes this a whole-new, not actual thing. With no labels.

Party Line Podcasting

Yesterday, I got to take a trip back to the past, to my great-grandmother's house. She's been gone twenty-five years this October but the memories flooded back yesterday when I tried to listen to a podcast.

It was not an unprofessional podcast. It was not an amateur production. It was an interview with a fairly successful author that I wanted to hear.

Unfortunately, it sounded like the interviewer and the interviewee and the person recording had all dialed in on my great-grandmother's party line. Do you remember party lines? That's back when several houses shared the same phone lines. If you dialed my great-grandmother's number, it would ring at all of the houses connected to the party line but with a specific ring identifying it for my great-grandmother.


The audio quality on the party line was horrendous just like the podcast I got through about five minutes of before I tapped unsubscribe.