I have had my ass kicked today. Nothing out of the ordinary except I am teaching someone how to teach one of my classes so my normal down time is spent instructing someone in the how’s and whys of what I am doing. For the first time in a long time I went up to my room after teaching this afternoon and immediately fell asleep. I woke up a half hour later fully clothed, suited, tied, shoes on and in a full on panic that I had slept the sun from down to back up. That is a fun feeling. Once the panic receded I changed and we all walked to dinner.
It’s 75 and sunny where I am so advantage must be taken while its available. I might have mentioned earlier that one of my backhanded Christmas gifts was an electronic movement tracker and while I am not obsessed with my achievements I set a personal best today by doing noting more than the aforementioned teaching and walk to food. Seven miles worth of mental patient pacing around a room. This is why my feet hate me right now. Anyhow I need to get some sleep because it all starts again tomorrow but I wanted to post the view from my room.
Anything this close to the Gulf would have to try real hard to suck and so far my only disappointment is the lack of ice machines. Not one in the whole hotel. Full size kitchen in my room complete with ice maker but it had to be turned on and I needed to call down to the desk to figure that out. The thing about the now working ice maker is that in an empty fridge and freezer the dropping cubes scare the living hell out of me every time they drop. I have yelped in surprise three times even cussing the inanimate object out and asking it to stop. Exercise sunshine and warm air have turned me into a skittish lunatic and I really need to go now as I keep retyping words.
I might be a little more hyper aware than usual as I almost got in a crash on the way here this morning but that is no excuse. No real story, just me cabbie crossing traffic when my brain clearly thought there’s no way he’s going to go, there’s no way he’s going to go. there’s no way he’s going to go! While we crossed both lanes drivers had to swerve and hit the brakes and my driver was only concerned when I yelled. At least I think I yelled but my brain was running through survivable crash scenarios and wondering who would teach my people this week. Then you my friend are some kind of protected crash class and I actually do feel better about your terrible decision making. Working out in the morning is complete bullshit compared to near death experiences.
I needed to make one call before my flight and what better place to get that done than my airport office with snacks also known as the United Club. I finished my call from one of the ultra convenient phone rooms and decided to get in line with the rest of the grazing herd. I had my eye on a banana but this little gentleman was blocking that section while complaining about low oatmeal levels. Rather than keep the line moving and come back to that later when some fresh was put out he had to make a show of being a big shot. He demanded fresh oatmeal but from a worker not on that duty. She was very polite and assured him that if new was required then it would be on its way.
He replied by telling her from a position of perceived superiority that he wouldn’t have asked if more were not needed and ordered her to take care of it. In my defense I might have been a little hangry and this little display was between me and my fruit. “Congratulations asshole you are the King of the free snacks line. If you were nicer to people she wouldn’t be back there right now spitting in the new pot and I might be able to grab a banana. Enjoy your mucus and saliva porridge.” I don’t think people speak to his highness in such a manner because he had nothing to say. He did try his best glare but that just made me grin.
The club has gone through a major overhaul and once I put my bag down I noticed a beautiful sight.
A mini computerized Diet Coke dispenser and I am sitting right in front of it. If you look behind on the left side you can see that I left the light on in my phone room as well. It has already been a pretty good day.
Life is one complex knot of nonsense. Once you get something figured out and properly working something else you weren’t paying attention to starts to unravel. Its the same for most people but I am convinced I can control some of it if I just figure out how to simplify things even a little bit. And if you haven’t already clicked away due to yet another post about me and my white male worries this is not the ultimate point of this post. Actually, I don’t want to get your hopes up. It’s early and I’m getting ready for a week on the road so a point may never come.
One of the things I am severely limiting is Facebook. I turned the little notifications deal off on my iPhone and iPad because I am now tied to my company’s account for posting purposes so the annoyance level is a factor of ten. But notifications are not the reason for dialing it back. There is almost nothing I care about on that thing anymore. I want to see pictures and hear what’s going on with old friends and family. I counted yesterday and I have six regular posters out of my heap of friends. And most of those “share” other crud from around the internet half the time which means I really have to dig to be able to spy on anyone’s life.
And finally there is complete nonsense like this:
Probably my own fault because I will turn down some pretty dark internet alleys if they look interesting but come on. I had to read that title three times because my brain wanted it to be a cautionary tale about NOT changing your underpants. I kind of feel like that is one of the articles you read when you’ve almost finished the internet. I think Facebook might want to work on that aspect of the “news feed.” And while they’re at it make sure if one person shares something they think is “so funny” (okay quotes guy we get it now enough already) it should stop appearing every time someone else stumbles across it. I have things that show up randomly over a span of months shared by different people. There are a couple approaching their second birthday and it’s those dam rescued dog videos. Idiot that I am I keep clicking on them thinking that it’s a different pile of matted fur and mange. You know the ones that are afraid of human contact because some asshole has abused them…
Anyway, I am thinking about abusing myself for even slowing down at that horrible cartoon drawing of underpants with a calendar behind it. There is so much wrong with that little square. In my defense… I got nothing. Maybe I have grown to hate Facebook because it shows me a side of people I know that I never wanted to see. I deleted a bunch of folks during the recent rash of politics and I’m sure that pile of fun will be back very soon. The only thing that could increase my consumption of this medium is if more people I know start going Live. Right now I’ve only seen flashes of live streamed life but they were all pure gold. My favorites are the one-sided conversations from a car. So good as they pause for an imaginary answer or better yet answer for me. The worst are walk around videos as those can make you a little seasick if they turn the camera back on themselves then out into the world as they go. I know it is SnapChat for old people but it makes me laugh which magically turns Facebook back into something I want to check.
I watch a lot of crap on the internets and I mean a LOT. I have been attempting a new productivity discipline since the first of the year and it involves removing distractions. Before you hit the internet looking for this method it was birthed from between my own two ears so your search will lead you astray. The working title is Only Burn Flammable Time and it means just screw around with nonsense when starting or continuing a project doesn’t make sense. I’ll explain
When I write or create for work I need to concentrate. I don’t listen to music or have any distraction save my own thoughts. I have a goofy method where I hand write the topic at hand to start the ball rolling and sometimes I write the major points I want to cover at random around that scrap of paper. Basically a bastardized Mind Mapping exercise without the pretty boxes and connecting lines. More like jumbled up word jazz but it works for me. Then I get to writing. (side note: unless it is this nonsense I never write without a clear half hour available to make sure progress is made.)
My job is a series of scheduled events. Mostly conference calls, some webinars, but me interacting with people and that too requires some prep. Same principals apply as before but instead of a topic in the middle of the page, I write the person or business name across the top and then bullet down all of the things that need to be covered. The phone work is more interactive so I don’t really have to lock my brain down and here is where the garbage time appears. If I am ready for a call and they need ten minutes to gather everyone or get their end set up I wait. Or if a call ends early and I have another one right away that is already prepped – more garbage time. This is basically time where starting something else doesn’t make sense or could screw me up for the upcoming call and that is where I turn to the internets.
I have a pile of podcasts in my backlog but those don’t fill minutes very well. I am always reading and listening to at least one book but these small chunks of time don’t allow story immersion so the same problem as podcasts but on a bigger scale. The thing I use is the YouTube. Quick little video shows on topics that interest me but not to the point that I can’t immediately put them down. This is where I watch most of my crap. Then there are my daily check-in websites which are located in the top menu of this thing at the time of this writing. I say that because I get bored easily and have no idea how long this look and feel will last but know I will try to keep the daily track up to date under bookmarks. Future readers just look around as I most likely didn’t nuke the entire concept. Usually, when I visit those I find a bunch of stuff I want to read later so I add it to my Flipboard for nightly reading.
WOW I just realized that I have been typing a ton of words on a topic that holds the possibility of actually boring someone to death. This whole thing started when I opened YouTube to look for something specific and got concerned about my recommended playlist. Not really concerned but curious as to what the robotic Google overlords of the future will think about Public Freak Outs, Dumb Drivers, Tiny House Tours, Rocket Mass Heaters, Off Grid Homesteading, Technology Reviews, and Vlogs. Plus the other thousand things that peak my interest for a nanosecond. If I really cared I would stop but I noticed this morning that people are wrapping hundred thousand dollar cars to change the color. gotta go…
Fair warning: This is one of those blog posts on blog posts but it was generated by a reader question and I feel like I need to answer for the official record if such a thing exists for this tiny speck of the internets. The inquiry was more like a trying-to-be-helpful statement than an actual question and no offense to the author (he said knowing he was about to offend) but it was wordy and more than a little confusing. You did, however, furnish me with the disclaimer that you hate writing so I am trying to be kind in my own way. But what in the name of too much typing were you thinking? Your two paragraphs were like eight of my own and last night when I read it the words began to swim around the screen. So here goes the extreme paraphrasing and, mystery person who I am not trying to pick on, correct me if I’m wrong.
“It seems like you are complaining about your lack of readers but you don’t really do anything to get more. Why don’t you try to publish anywhere else so more people come to your site?” (those quotations are dubious at best but just go with it I didn’t know what else to do…)
First, I apologize if it seems like complaining but you might be picking up on my ego leaking into my writing. There was a time over the last fifteen years where I had a couple hundred visitors per day. I know that is nothing in today’s viral video time where thousands are the smallest of increments of measure worth talking about but it was more than enough for me. Too much in fact. I had people in my life who were looking for ways to get upset about things I wrote. Family taking things the wrong way and by family, I mean old people who don’t fully grasp my brand of humor. I had pages of this crap printed out by a spouse and thrown at her then still husband thinking I was publicly airing dirty laundry when that couldn’t have been further from the truth. And I also had some trouble with trolls of the anonymous internet variety. It all came to a boil and typing this wasn’t fun anymore so I shut it down.
I wrote on a couple other platforms under different anonymous names and I waited long enough where people stopped checking to see if I was back. It cost me 95% of my readers but the price was well worth it. I told some people but others were left out due to diarrhea of the mouth and here we sit. I have no doubt I could get the counts back up tomorrow if I would just link a couple articles to my real name on Social Media and say LOOK AT ME. Facebook alone is so void of original content by people I know that if one of my seven hundred or so friends was a regular writer I would tune in. The closest any of them come to writing is a quick sentence above something they are reposting from somewhere else. Its a content desert out there for all the choices we supposedly have.
But Facebook and Linkedin are both connected with work and I know if would connect this with either of those my writing would immediately change. It’s not that anything here is top secret or that I write about stuff I shouldn’t but left to interpretation people will look for things to take wrong. And you might find this shocking but I tend to react adversely when backed into a corner about something I’ve written…
All that being said I am not opposed to readers. I check the stats every day because it shows up on the homepage before I post. I like writing and knowing someone is reading it makes me feel good. SO there you have it my long-winded friend. Don’t take this equally lengthy response as anything but an attempt to communicate the complete answer. And now back to your regularly scheduled internet.
For the first time in our marriage the wife has jumped over me in an aspect of technology. She is now the proud owner of the newest version of iPhone and I even convinced her to go with the bigger one because she does so much on it with grad school. She is a lot of things but an Agent of Change is not one of them so it took her old phone losing battery just after recharging to force a switch. Even when presented with it being cheaper to upgrade than to repair (we are talking monthly impact here people so put your slide rules and smarter economic opinions away) she was hesitant. But much like a good car salesman I took her to the store and let her interact with the new thing and after two minutes I knew we were leaving with it.
Her three-year-old beat-to-hell smaller case wouldn’t work which almost killed the deal but luckily we were being helped by a genius. The two of them went off to look at decorative protection while I watched playoff football on the TV and when they came back she was officially more excited about the case than the phone itself. I tried to argue that it added quite a bit of bulk and maybe the glycerin wasn’t the smartest filling in the freezing environment we call home but I might as well have been speaking Mandarin.
There it is in all of its glory. Really was almost custom made for her. If you can’t read it through all of the sparkles it says GLITTER IS MY FAVORITE COLOR and that is a true statement. On the plus side if I ever found myself at a strip club I could come home covered in glitter and she would just think I stumbled into one of the preschool projects scattered about. That’s not really a benefit because when we met in college I was working at a strip joint and it kind of removed all of the magic from those experiences.
The weather has taken a sharp right turn as I sit here in my bunker and the weather services tell me that wind gusts are as high as 60 miles per hour. That would explain why the last time I glanced out front my wife was chasing Christmas down the street. She decorates the original mother’s day lilac bush with oversized outdoor ornaments or as we all call them Christmas Balls. They are being harvested by the invisible hands of the wind and she was chasing the ones that didn’t burst on impact. I really need to be quicker on the draw with the whole phone camera thing but then I would have had to post the video and there goes all the fun out of that thought. Anyhow, there are some days I love working from home and this is definitely one. I have an upcoming road tour that I am getting ready for but it could be worse as it was supposed to start today.
The company I was scheduled to see no longer exists so it’s hard to visit a thing that is no longer a thing. But I am up to my ass in metaphorical aligators so the time in the office is letting me get shit done. I’m not going to bore you with the details but as I try to build some new content to present I have one of my favorite Christmas presents staring over my shoulder. It’s a mini marquee. I would describe it but that’s dumb when I was just talking about my camera.
well, that sucked. let’s try again…
The only flaw is not enough room and not enough letters. Otherwise perfect.