Wednesday, August 16, 2017

This old blog

Sure, this is only post #20 here so I can't really refer to it as an old blog. But if you consider the posts that were eliminated when Up In This Blog was deleted a few months back, we'd would be adding nine years and over 2000 posts to my Blogger "legacy" and that would be something.

Sometimes I regret deleting the blog and all of the posts but there was a lot I didn't know about making a blog manageable when I started out in 2007 and I had not used labels consistently which resulted in a really big mess, a mess most people probably would not have noticed but I did. I had tried to go back through the posts and fix labels, reduce the number of labels I used, etc.

For this time around, I am trying to keep labels as simple as possible although I know that it was only in my head that people actually use labels to look at old posts especially since it is darn near impossible to get people to look at new posts! Blogging doesn't have the "umph" it once had, especially when it's a blog like this one, filled with sort of pointless rambling.

I was thinking about blogs I read this morning (I use Feedly to read blogs every morning) and I realized that although I read Robert Dyer's blog in Feedly, I didn't follow it here in Blogger so it did not appear under Blogs I Read over on the side of this page. That is fixed now and I highly recommend you check it out. I wish there was a comprehensive blog like that for where I live.

I feel like I know more about Bethesda, MD than I do about my own town! I am in awe of the amount of work Robert puts into his information gathering. To me, it's a great example of a blog that stays relevant and I wish I had the time, energy, focus, etc. to perform the same service for where I live.

And yes, this is the same Robert Dyer that makes the excellent/funny food review videos on YouTube!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cloudy skies

Here I am, exactly one week until the meteor eclipse, looking out the kitchen window to a very cloudy, rainy sky. I am hoping a week from right now finds us gazing up at the sun through a completely clear sky but the extended forecast simply reads "partly cloudy" at this point and at least that is an improvement over what we have today.

The weekend was fairly busy but the real band stuff starts this week and it's going to be crazy busy from now until the end of October. Every Friday evening and most Saturdays are completely blocked out on the calendar along with all of the practices and everything else that happens during the week.

Finally, in non-important news (the real news is filled with all of the important news, most of it horrifying, so we won't get into any of it here), I found a bit of a use for the @jasonwriteshere Twitter. I went out to the New York Times Books Twitter and followed everyone they follow. I think that will add a bit of variety to what I see when I am bored with my main Twitter. Maybe it will keep me a bit more in the loop on the literary things that are happening in the world. I'm still not tweeting over there so don't bother following it unless you just want your following count to go up by one for some reason.

That's it. I have a bit of lunch break left and I am going to spend that time reading.

Friday, August 11, 2017

On location

It's my first "remote" post here on the new site! I am coming to you today from Starbucks on a very overcast Friday morning. Hopefully the weather will not be like this on eclipse/meteor day!

I don't typically work remotely even though I work at home and my boss has told me multiple times that I can work from anywhere so I should get out from time to time. It's just always been a hassle in the past, having to unhook and lug by big work laptop out of the house. I no longer have to fool with that now that I have my much-faster recently installed work router. Now I can connect into my work laptop via Teamviewer and just take my Asus Transformer with me wherever I go.

And, I finally used my brand-new backpack which was purchased just for stuff like this and I am happy to report that everything fits in there perfectly. It is just the right size for my Transformer, Kindle, notepad and canned ham.

Don't you always carry an emergency canned ham, just in case?

Finally, a song for Friday. I was sitting here in the unusually noisy Starbucks – I guess it is because it was packed with people or maybe the music is turned lower than normal – and I could barely make out Hippo Campus coming across the speakers. Hippo Campus is an excellent band that I discovered earlier this year on WFUV and I highly recommend them.

Have a great weekend! I will be in the concession stand at the football game tonight so jump on a plane and get down here and buy a hot dog from me!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Afternoon Soundtrack (8/9/2017)

I don't think this will be an everyday thing but here are three more songs for an afternoon with a few clouds mixing in with the sun and rain on the way...

Of course, we have a little Glen Campbell here today - a huge loss for Music City yesterday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Afternoon Soundtrack

Some music for a cloudy afternoon...

Recorded this day in 1962...

The robot shall tweet for me (maybe)

I finally decided, after a few weeks of writing here, to automate the post tweets @upinthisbrain using IFTTT. I've been doing it manually so far but I am pretty sure I would eventually forget to do one or two or ten.

Also, I am trying to only look at Twitter in the early morning, at lunch and briefly in the evening. I don't want to purposely go there during the day and get sucked in.

There is a @jasonwriteshere Twitter but I still haven't figured out a use for that.

Update! I noticed that yesterday's automated tweet came hours after the post went up so this post is a test. I have it scheduled to post at 7AM Central time (which is about 14 minutes from the time I am writing this) and I'm going to keep an eye on Twitter and see when IFTTT does its magic and posts a tweet. If it's going to take hours for that to happen, I'll probably fire the robot and go back to pushing the tweet button myself! So much for modern technology!

Monday, August 7, 2017

The KonMari Method™ was the breakthough in my struggle with stuff

I discovered over the weekend that there was a KonMari app. I had no idea. I am not sure how I missed it. It would have been great to document the before and after when I went through the tidying process here at the house a few months back.

It all worked out fine though. Using the book Spark Joy as my guide, I went through the categories and followed Marie Kondo's process to decide which items to keep (they spark joy) and which items to part with (they do not spark joy).

Reading her two books was truly a life-changing awakening for me. For many years on the old blog and on the podcast, I bemoaned my relationship with clutter and how I used material things to "buy my feelings" and Marie's two books finally helped me put my relationship with stuff in perspective.

Showing your things respect, just as thanking them for their service when you decide you no longer need them, may seem a bit odd to someone who feels they have it all together but for someone like me that has struggled with the burden of stuff for many years, it was a breakthrough. I was finally able to make peace with my stuff and with my own past buying habits and finally move forward, no longer feeling I needed stuff to make me happy.

Of course, the truth is that stuff cannot make you happy. It is the pursuit of stuff that we use to take our minds off of the negative aspects of our lives.

Back to the app - although I have finished the tidying process, which the app is designed to help you go through, I did sign up and I answer questions other people have when I see a question that is going unanswered and that brings me joy. I get to use my experience in reorganizing and deciding what I truly needed and what needed a new home to help others who are currently in the middle of the process.

I think the KonMari method is about far more than just organizing and clearing clutter. Once the distraction of unneeded material objects was out of the way, I was able to tackle some real issues I had and re-open some doors I had closed such as writing here.

I am more content with what I have and I have new criteria in mind when I do decide I need something new, such as the backpack I wrote about here a few days ago.

Finally, although the tidying process is complete, I am still discovering items that I realize I can part with now although I thought I needed them just weeks earlier.

Maybe a more narrow focus on what you truly need leads to more understanding of which items truly spark joy and which do not so you are able to let go of more and more as you move forward? That seems to be what is happening for me.