Thursday, December 14, 2017

There's only so much me to go around

After a bit of reflection on what I wrote yesterday, I had the epiphany. No wonder I have so little to write about here anymore - I am saying it all on a five days a week podcast this week and next! There is only so much I have to share and I'm covering it all on there so there is nothing left when I get over here in the afternoons.

Over at the podcast, the struggle is real. I feel like the episodes get more surreal and rambly (not a real word but listen to today's episode and you'll understand) and just plain weird with each passing day. I'm glad I have two days this weekend to recharge.

Pulling a boom mic over to your face and pressing record with no notes each day is sort of like jumping into a pool in the dark. I have no idea what's going to happen from the moment I hear the intro playing in my ears to the moment the final song fades out and I tap the outro cart in bossjock.

This bothered me when I started this thing almost five years ago. Now I see notes and even just thinking about topics as a burden and I feel like I get hung up or slowed down if I go in with talking points in my head. I just let it all go and whatever happens, happens. It's not like I'm worried about major awards or advertisers. It is what it is and that attitude keeps it mostly fun, most of the time, at least for me! For the listener, who knows what they think. Who knows who they are. They have to be just as nuts as I am to be listening to it so I guess that's comforting, right?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Writing out of habit can lead to rambling pointlessness

There is a dilemma I have each day when I think about coming here and writing up a post. That dilemma involves the fact that not a whole lot happens around here most of the time and it's tough to come here each day and try to write something with nothing on my mind to write about.

Sure, I could write about politics and the news but outrage Twitter has all of that covered. I did notice last night that people on Twitter are just plain sore. You have a combination of sore losers and sore winners. People will find something to complain about no matter what happens. The big trend in the middle of the day involving horse Twitter made me think, "What a dumb diversion away from the real issues this is!" but it happens on Twitter and Facebook all the time. We waste a lot of time laughing about how a saddle is placed on a horse or what exactly covfefe means while the world keeps on turning and burning while we are looking the other way.

But, enough of that! I certainly won't fix our gullible culture with one blog post!

The point is to write daily, to make it a habit, to come to the keyboard even if I don't think I have something to share and just start typing and hope that the ideas start flowing. Maybe it's a tad pointless and maybe I feel bad that people click on the links to these posts and end up reading ninety-five percent rambling pointlessness but I guess this site is more for me than for anyone else. I don't mind people peeking into this window I am leaving wide open but I'm opening the window to get the stale air out of my mind and not necessarily so someone can climb in and take a good look around.

I'll close with the weather - it's slightly warmer today but the wind is howling so it still feels cold and the cold is coming back in a few hours anyway so our warm up is going to be short-lived.

Back tomorrow with more rambling pointlessness.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday potpourri

It's another cold, cloudy day here at the home office and I can report that I am still coughing although not as frequently. I assume this stops eventually but who knows. It's a drag staying in most of the time because getting out in the cold seems to trigger more drainage/coughing/hacking and none of those things are fun.

The Christmas podcasts keep going over at Up In This Brain. I have them nicely planned out in a spreadsheet and I prep for them a day ahead so all I have to do is open bossjock and record when I'm ready and then I move in the files, which are already conveniently out in my Dropbox, for the next day. Wash, rinse, repeat. It sure does keep me focused on how quickly Christmas is getting here. The days seem to be ticking by quickly now. School will be out starting Monday and then I am on vacation again starting that Friday through January 4th. It will be my longest vacation ever and I'm sure it will spoil me into a state of laziness I have never experienced before.

Today is Election Day in some states. It's not here until the 19th but I already took care of that via early voting and there is only one race on the ballot and it's not much of a race but my voting streak continues nonetheless. Once again, I was the only one in the polling place when I voted and that's probably a good thing because it minimizes the number of folks I may accidentally cough on.

I guess that's it for this one. I'm not too inspired today. I'm still dragging. I'm about to fix an afternoon cup of coffee to perk me up a bit. I probably should have done that before I started writing this, eh?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas music I've been obsessing over lately

Here are a few songs that I keep playing over and over as Christmas draws nearer and nearer!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Chilly Saturday

Ah, the weekend.

We started off with an excellent band and choir Christmas concert at the high school last night in which my youngest daughter had a solo in one of the choir pieces. The auditorium was packed and it was the final school function of the year that I have to attend. Just one full week of school is left before the break!

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday (big weekend for her) so we went out to lunch and then hit the stores to do something something. I made it through two stores before retreating to the car to rest. The fatigue of this illness is about all that's left of it and I'm thinking the strong antibiotics have something to do with that.

It's still chilly but we missed out on all of the snow. There are folks to our southeast that got a foot and we have barely seen flurries. I'm glad someone else is getting it for once as I know that it's just a matter of time before our luck runs out.

Well, back to the couch with my book now.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Counting it down until Christmas

Yes, on the last possible day at the last possible moment, I decided to update the old spreadsheet and resurrect the Up In This Brain Christmas countdown. Do not confuse this with the original and my inspiration for this, the Robert Dyer Channel Christmas Countdown. That one is daily and far more humorous, interesting and entertaining.

My little show is nothing more than an excuse to share some Christmas songs that I like and drone on about my daily off. Of course, the best feature is the requests from the folks unlucky enough to listen. It's the least I can do for them, poor saps.

Doing the countdown does add to my Christmas cheer especially on cloudy, ugly, cold, barren days like today when we live under the constant threat of nuclear war and I am still dealing with this lingering cough/drainage/illness. I am so over being sick. Blergh!

My little two day vacation came at just the right time and I'm getting recharged for next week which is my last full work week of 2017! Wooo!! Come on, vacation!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Firing the radios back up

Many, many, many, many (this could go on and on) radios have passed through my hands over the years. From early AM transistors to modern digital receivers, I've had way too many.

Although I know I still have more than I need, I got rid of a bunch of stuff earlier this year and sold multiple radios as part of that. I narrowed things down to 1 scanner and four general coverage radios.

My scanner is a Radio Shack Pro 97. I've had it for a long time. I didn't consider selling it because I pull it out in winter weather and listen to the local road crews so I can get an accurate idea of how bad the roads are. I pulled it out last night and reprogrammed it to just a few local frequencies I care about the most including the fire station right down the street from me, EMS, schools and even the local airport for those times when I've in the mood to listen to planes come in and go out.

For AM and shortwave, I kept four radios although only one, the last one I bought, is used often and is the one I travel with if the need arises. That is my C. Crane Skywave radio. I also kept my Eton E5 (it works great although it looks awful) and my Tecsun PL-398BT. For middle of the night insomnia, I keep an old Sony SRF-39 in a drawer by the bed and I can tune around AM and see what my fellow insomniacs and third shifters are listening to.

I just recently pulled all of these radios out again and got fresh batteries in everything. I've been listening to them some in the evenings during time I used to waste goofing on my iPad. It's a nice change to stop staring at a screen and tune up and down the dial in search of other places and voices instead.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ello again! Now, what to do with it?

As I mentioned Monday, I reactivated my old Ello account and goofed around with it a little.

As part of an experiment of sorts, I posted three links - one to my Monday blog post here and one each to two recent podcasts I have been on, Smooth Sailing and Garbagecast Conversations. First thing yesterday morning, I checked those posts and each had around sixty views (not bad for being an unestablished account following hardly anyone) but there were no interactions or clickthroughs. The sixty views were all for naught.

I don't know what constitutes a view on Ello. Maybe my posts appear on a big page of posts and scrolling by them counts as a view. That is how I see other people's posts.

Of course, I doubt there were sixty clicks on any of the posts. Also, my posts required an external link be clicked to see the actual content, whether that's a blog post or a podcast. Most people on Ello publish direct to Ello so it's its own publishing platform.

I think that going all in on Ello would generate results but I am lazy and I really don't seek any further interaction or traffic to anything I create. I see posts on Ello with thousands of views but you have to expand the entries on pages filled with posts in order to really drill down into them unless you post a graphic of some type and I don't really want to publish direct content somewhere other than Blogger or my Posthaven sites. There are no tools to automate this. IFTTT's Ello applets only pull from Ello and don't post to it. For me, it's more trouble than it would be worth to maintain two platforms. For people using only Ello as a platform, it's probably fairly lucrative if there would be a way to build on whatever you are trying to do there.

For now, my Ello sits unused and those three test posts were deleted. I have as much commenting and interaction and thumbs ups as I can handle where I am already established and the number of all of that averages a nice big zero and I'm currently fine with that.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Saying bah humbug to Christmas cards this year

If I sent you a Christmas card last year, Merry Christmas to you! I didn't forget you this year. It's not on the way. It didn't get lost.

It's weird - the guy who listens to Christmas music almost year-round declaring that he's not sending out Christmas cards this year but that's exactly what's happening.

I like the idea of Christmas cards. I don't like the idea of people receiving them feeling obligated to send one back because I know that not all people like the idea of Christmas cards. I assume a far majority of folks consider Christmas cards a "to do" and send them out begrudgingly year after year.

I know people who count them and compare year to year numbers. I don't do that. To be honest, I barely look at them when I get them. They end up in this little card rack thing where they stay until the day we take down the Christmas stuff. Then, most people toss them. I, probably out of some weird guilt, have put them in ziploc bags with the year written on them and now have a tote with Christmas cards in them in the attic. That tradition ends this year also as that tote is being cleaned out as soon as I pull it downstairs to take everything down.

Christmas cards are a nice and slightly expensive way to say hi. We say hi all the time online. I don't think we need a card to cap off the year of interactions. Also, if we don't interact online at all (which is super easy and free) all year or see each other in person at any point, why do we need to send a card at all? If that's the absolutely least thing we are willing to do to stay in touch, maybe that's a sign!

Finally, I'm lazy. I'm getting lazier as I get older. Or maybe my priorities are just getting more in tune to what matters and fooling with taking a picture, choosing a design, printing cards, addressing envelopes, and waiting at the post office is just starting to feel like a bit of a waste when there is so much other stuff to do as the old clock ticks down.

So, this year, let's forego the cards. Post a note on Facebook. Tweet someone. Leave a message on Instagram. Shout them out on a podcast. Shock them and just pick up the phone. Don't mail them something they will look at for five seconds and then throw in a pile awaiting a trip to the trash. Be kind to your mail carrier and don't send out eighty cards. They already have enough to do with all of those Amazon Prime packages.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Feelin' Puny Monday Update

At the start, the side effects of the medicine is just as bad as being sick. I think I'm caught in the middle of a four-way fight of side effects thanks to the four different medicines I am taking. You would think that maybe they would cancel each other out but no, you can feel thirsty, hot, cold, full, hungry, wired, tired, and dizzy all at once and I do not recommend it.

It's a combination of all of this that I blame for reactivating my Ello account today. I've also seen a couple of people tweet about Ello over the last week and that got all in my dizzy mind so why not. I doubt I will do anything with it ever but there it is and I plan on just leaving it sitting there for good now like everyone else has. I do admit that the quiet and calm of what I see when I peruse Ello is a nice alternative to the angst and complaining that saturates Facebook and Twitter these days.

Finally, big time cold is on the way here starting tomorrow. At least it seems big time because it's been warm here for so long. It's probably not that far below what we should normally be at for this time of year. It will be a big shock to the system going from highs around 70 to highs around 40.

I could write more but I'm going to go lay down at 7PM instead. This is highly unusual for me and I'm hoping that tomorrow I feel a bit more, well, usual?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lazy, puny weekend

Well, I'm not too lazy. After being up most of the night coughing and hacking, I drove over to the 24 hour clinic at 3:30AM to get it checked out. Luckily, I was negative for the flu and just have a really bad sinus infection so I got some shots and then headed over to the 24 hour pharmacy to pick my four prescriptions up. After that, Hardee's is open super early so I went there and got breakfast at the drive-thru. I should have thought to record some of that but I didn't think about pulling the phone out until I was on the way back home with the food. I just posted that ten minutes of rambling as episode 340 of the podcast that made Armpit famous.

Aside from getting derailed by this bug, things are going OK. I am winding things down at work for year end and I have two days off at the end of next week before my big vacation starts on December 22nd. I'll be spoiled rotten after that one. I'm off until January 4th and I've never taken any time at Christmas before. It's crazy!

Speaking of being spoiled rotten, I got this picture of the world's chubbiest corgi the other day. This is what he does when one of his tennis balls goes under the furniture. He just lays there until one of us gets it for him. He is quite the nut.

In other news, I'm currently reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and it's very interesting and mysterious. I just finished Sourdough by the same author and I am super glad that the library had both books. The library has been the key reason that I have been able to read 41 books this year.

Have a good weekend! I'll be sitting here goofed up on meds.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The inside is Christmas Overload!

Our two day tour of Christmas here at the home office concludes with this look around the overload of Christmas that has taken over our domicile.

The dogs look annoyed and notice how the angry French one still has a fall blanket out in protest!

My mother bought us the reindeer years ago and every house needs a fiber optic snowman.

Christmas barfed all over the couch and even the mirror has been turned into a salute to snowflakes.

Our tree which we have used annually since 2011. The pre-lit lights died a couple of years ago and I cut them all out, which took forever. This is the first year we've used cool, energy-efficient LED lights. Al Gore should be proud!

Our first year in this house this shelf came out of the wall due to the weight of the stockings. After that, I bolted it in and it is never coming out again. We'll have to leave it here if we ever move!

Even the walls can't escape the yule!

That big Santa days until Christmas thing has been around for years and we never move the candy cane anymore.

My Christmas village is new this year and has been out since before Halloween!

More yule.

These are on my personal laptop desk. Both were found in my mother's Christmas stuff. The Snowbird used to be the mascot of our local television station until he was laid off this year due to budget cuts. Yep, they laid off their own mascot! 

Not even the kitchen can escape the wrath of Santa.

Even the toaster gets a decoration!

No one enters or leaves this house without knowing it is almost Christmas!

Yes, the Rodney Reindeer (and a few guests) collection is displayed at the end of the hall every year.

Finally, two items on my home office desk. Garfield was in my mother's Christmas stuff.

The Leg Lamp was a gift from my family and always reminds me to handle fragile things carefully because someone probably used up all the glue ON PURPOSE!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The yard is Christmas Complete!

I can now declare the yard Christmas Complete for 2017!

Before you scroll down, if you think this is a bit over the top, check out my post from 2010 when I went all out. I have retired from putting lights on the house. It's just too much of a pain!

During lunch today, I added two more inflatables (per family request) and down we're the weird family with five inflatables and two penguins in the yard.
The two additional inflatables. The fox is new (bought last year on after-Christmas clearance) and the owl is in year two.

A penguin guards each side of the landscaping. These are super old now - at least ten years old. I am not sure how they have held us as well as they have especially with spending summers in the attic.

Our other penguin guardian!

This was added today also - light up garland around the door. We did this last year also but a nasty storm took it down and I never put it back up. Maybe the weather will be better this year?

This trio went up Saturday. Santa is the oldest of this bunch with the hot tub and weenie dog only on Christmas #2.

Next I'll try to remember to take pictures of the inside where it looks like Christmas barfed on everything.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Typical Tuesday (so far)

It's Tuesday and there are no chores to do on Tuesday. No clothes to wash. Nothing to clean. Just the normal stuff in the home office and so far it's quite quiet. Fingers crossed that this keeps up.
My 6:15AM-ish view: Raisin Bran, Orange Juice, Coffee, Christmas Tree, Asus Transformer and the TV off!
The sun is out and it's going to be crazy warm today (almost 70!) and I'm sure there will be appropriate payback at a later today. I'm hoping to get outside on the deck at lunch and get some reading done. I am currently in book 41 for 2017, Sourdough by Robin Sloan. I had been on the wait list at the library for a bit and it finally showed up.

I'm not far into it yet but I am enjoying it and I discovered last night that the cover glows in the dark! Pretty cool, eh!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Dusting off the archives

I kept finding all sorts of memories as I was cleaning out my dad's attic last week and for some odd reason this process got me thinking of this here site and all of the history of the site that had been here in the past but was left behind when the old site went away earlier this year.

Unfortunately, my archives are incomplete. The first day of the blog in 2007 through the start of July in 2012 was complete. For 2012 to 2016, I only have an Adobe Acrobat document that I had made at Blogbooker. Somehow, even with all of my backups, I misplaced the backup file for those years and only had a few of the entries backed up.

What you will see in the archives is a lot of stuff from when blogging was in its heyday. For example, there are entries about how I used to live stream our family Christmas Eve get-together here at the house. People all over the world dropped in for those! It was not as easy to live stream back then so it was fairly unique although I stole the idea from my blogging friend in Canada, Randall. He was the true blogging pioneer!

It's nice to have the archives back up even though about 1,000 posts will remain unposted either due to not having a backup or being judged unnecessary (I went through what I had and deleted political posts, dumb posts and some blank posts that made it through the import process.) I'm committed to leaving this site up and going long-term. I might not update regularly at times but I don't plan to make any radical changes moving forward and the archives will stay in place for as long as Google decides that Blogger is going to keep going. Fingers crossed. I'm amazed they have let it keep going as long as they have!


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Another Thanksgiving and vacation complete

What a week it was. I am looking forward to getting a little rest sitting in my home office chair tomorrow. The only day I did pretty much nothing was on Thanksgiving. It was a day of mostly rest and food.

Most of my vacation week involved going up and down attic ladders. We spent Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday cleaning out most of the rest of my father's attic. My daughter took a short video of this on Wednesday and this was how it looked after I had already cleaned about 75% of it out since I started this back last November and had been doing a little at a time.

I am happy to report that it's almost completely empty now and I was reunited with a lot of things that brought back memories including pictures, school programs, toys and more. I brought two totes back to my attic to go through more thoroughly after the holidays plus we found my old Star Wars action figures, my old Lionel electric train set (still in the box) and a ton of old board games that we now have to figure out what to do with.

We spent most of the other days moving stuff back and forth in our own as we got things ready for Christmas and then put up all the Christmas stuff starting Friday and finishing up today. The house is completely festive and I'm glad it's all done.

One thing we did for the first time this year was a Day After Thanksgiving hike that was organized by our local state park, Cedars of Lebanon. I signed up for it several weeks ago not knowing what the weather would be and it turned out to be pretty nice and fairly warm. We got lucky!

The fireplace in Cedar Forest Lodge, a popular place for weddings.

Into the woods!

Out of the woods and into a clearing at the end.

I thought a hike would be a nice alternative to shopping although we did do a little shopping before and after and there were hardly any crowds where we went. I did get a couple of cool Black Friday items at Walmart that I'll be discussing on the Garbagecast Conversations very soon!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

I've been on vacation this week and have spent the last two days cleaning out the attic at my father's house. There have been a lot of memories rediscovered - old toys from my childhood and many pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. 

This has been a good thing. It's like the whole family, many long gone, have been gathered back together one final time at Thanksgiving and that is a good thing. I'll be going through the totes of items I saved in the coming weeks and will be sharing some of them here and on Facebook and Instagram.

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for those of you I first met through blogging so long ago and I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring for all of us.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I'm not ignoring just you. I'm ignoring everyone!

I think I hit peak social media at about the middle of this last week. I had been doing well with my NOtification policy but kept missing stuff and felt like I had freed up more time than I really needed  so, like a forgetful fool suffering from a serious case of FOMO, I turned most everything back on at the start of the week and by Wednesday notifications were lighting up the screen like crazy and I was once again finding myself constantly distracted by bleeps and bloops.

As of yesterday, I went back to my previous settings, turning all of the notification sounds off except for my work emails (which I am paid to read), my iMessages (which is the main way my children pester me about things). I turned off lock screen pop ups from all social media apps on my phone since it sits on my desk while I work and just having the pop up catch my eye was a distraction. I left them on my iPad since I only look at it when I want to. These changes give me control over my notifications (again).

The only way I know I have a social media notification on my phone is to unlock it and look at the badge app icon. On my iPad, I have to open the cover and see the lock screen. Nothing buzzes. Nothing beeps. Nothing bloops. I work or read or sit staring at the wall oblivious of everything happening in the world unless I choose to look.

Of course, I instantly started missing things and fell behind on Twitter conversations (which sort of stinks because I don't want to exclude myself from having the chance to communicate with my far-flung friends) and missed news events (which is actually a blessing).

I've discovered that I can't have it both ways. Social media is either ON or OFF. Even with the limited notifications I get (For example, I have never been notified of every like on a Tweet or Facebook post), I still get a lot of notifications if I leave it all on. If I turn it off, I can somehow feel the pile piling up. Yesterday I looked at my iPad at lunch and the lock screen had at least 30 missed messages between just Twitter and Slack. It felt overwhelming but it's better than having my concentration broken thirty separate times when I am trying to work or not trying to think, both actions that I had forgotten are of equal importance.

I toyed with this Thursday, reducing my frustration a tad over Wednesday and went full in yesterday, starting this day of change ironically by posting a tweet explaining my intentions:
That graphic goes with this great post by Austin Kleon, explaining each step a bit further:
  • Log off (get out now)
  • Mute all (turn off notifications)
  • Carry on (without hope and without despair)
By yesterday afternoon, I could feel my time freeing up again. I was very productive at work and I again had a decision to make. I could enable a couple of notifications and stay caught up with the onlines or I could try to think of what I used to do with free time before I had social media and an endless internet to waste occupy my time.

The choice was clear. I opened a book and read for a bit. Then I started charging some batteries and pulled out my old Eton E5 shortwave radio. Instead of aimlessly surfing the internet all evening (I did a bit, I have to admit), I tuned up and down the bands and marveled at the distant voices coming through the static. It's been a long time since I did that.

I think NOtifications is going to stay for good this time, especially during my work days. I'm even adding this line to my Twitter profile: NOtifications off 7AM-5PM CST, M-F.

It's not me. It's not you. It's everyone!

So, if you tweet me or send me a Slack message or tag me in an Ello post, don't be discouraged if I don't get right back to you. I'm probably busy being busy or busy not being busy. Both are equally important, both actions that I also had forgotten are of equal importance.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The faux coffee community

A little earlier this afternoon, I started thinking about coffee and then I started thinking about Starbucks and how I thought back in August that regular Friday mornings at Starbucks might turn into a thing for me.

They didn't.

They didn't because I immediately questioned my motives behind wanting to go sit in Starbucks and work, read, write, etc. What is the advantage of going to Starbucks over just staying home? I am more comfortable at home. The chairs there are hard and the tables a tad wobbly. The coffee here is a lot cheaper and I don't have to worry about someone stealing my laptop if I need to go to the bathroom.

I considered some of the people I saw in Starbucks. Some tables were full of people, probably study groups or work colleagues. I get that. But the people I saw alone were either reading or feverishly typing into laptops. None of these people were talking to anyone else. Most tables of four had only one person seated.

We were all there alone, sitting at our own little tables, sipping expensive coffee and doing things we could be doing anywhere. Why choose that place? Is it the music? Is it the desperate need to escape for a bit from our cubicles or classrooms or dorm rooms? Or do we simply just want to be seen as the type of people who can afford to buy and sip expensive coffee while we work, read, write, etc.? Or do we simply wish to convince ourselves that we are the type of people who can afford to buy and sip expensive coffee while we work, read, write, etc.?

Regardless of our motives, for a few dollars spent on coffee that most likely originated in a place we'll never be able to afford to visit (and maybe also a pastry) as the price of admission, we can temporarily buy into another life, admitting ourselves for a half-hour or so (that's as long as I last since the seats are so uncomfortable) into this faux community of jazz-listening, espresso-drinking sophisticates and hipsters that doesn't really exist. It's all a facade that is being sold to us and we will happily sit there working, reading, writing, etc. and adding to the mirage of this faux community by our presence, another actor paying to play a part in the big show.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Knowing when to fold 'em!

Several podcasting pals and myself gathered around the glowing computer screens last night and tried to resurrect an old podcasting project that had been lingering in our minds for a few months. I think it was no more than ten minutes in before we realized why this podcast had gone away in the first place but we trudged on until the end so we could make a clear, final judgement.

That judgement was that it's a no go.

As a creator, the toughest and best decision you have to make from time to time is to NOT do something. Maybe it doesn't fit in with the overall trajectory of your creative life. Maybe it's just not fun. Regardless, it's best to invest the short time we have here doing the things we really love and sharing the creations that add something unique to the creative communities we find ourselves residing in.

The last thing I want to do is create something that ends up feeling like a "to-do" to me and to the consumer of whatever I create. I want to add a little levity to someone's tough day. I want people to not shake their head and feel apprehensive when they see a new post from me pop up in Twitter or a podcast I am a part of download to their app. I want to be a part of podcasts that I don't dread when I see the clock getting closer and closer to recording time.

Creators need to know their strengths. Having the courage to admit that our strength lies elsewhere is not giving up or a sign of some sort of failure. Spending more time doing what we love and less time doing what doesn't work is actually the opposite of failure. It's part of the pursuit of excellence that should dictate how we do everything we do, whether it's something we do to make money or something we do just because we love to create.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We are not that busy so why are we so busy?

As I finished the fourth of four loads of clothes yesterday, I thought to myself, "Wow! We must have had a productive weekend!"

It makes me wonder what we would do if we were normal, normal meaning having our children in tons of extracurricular activities. I don't know how some people get anything done with their schedules and I get stressed out over my own from time to time although we have always purposely tried to limit what our children are involved in so they could have time to just be kids and rest and even waste some time now and then. My thought is that there will be plenty of time to have no time to waste later. No point in going full blast until you have to.

Yes, they are busier these days and we had band-related activities Saturday, Sunday and even Monday evening. And let's not forget their social schedules including seeing friends in plays, birthday parties, etc. etc.

I'm looking forward to a few weeks without much of anything on the evening schedule. Starting today, we have until December 3rd before our next out of the ordinary event (another day in the concession stand at the NFL game).

It's the first prolonged break/return to normal since July and as much as I look forward to the rest I don't look forward to being inactive and lazy and sluggish. I now have this need to do something, anything, other than just sit at home all the time and this will contribute to more dirty clothes that need to be washed but that's alright. I'm sure I'll preserve a few lazy days on the calendar to stay around the house so I can get them all done.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The holiday whirl

Today is the day I take a long look at my calendars, work and personal, and make sure everything is remembered, considered and scheduled for now until the end of the first week of January. After this week, the holiday season momentum will fire up into full swing and the rest of the year will be a blur of meetings, days off, band stuff, appointments and holidays. I even have some dentist and doctors appointments thrown in there to keep it as hectic as possible.

As of right now, I think (think) I have everything adequately planned out. I even printed out my calendar to examine more closely at the kitchen table. If I print something and take it to the kitchen table, you know I am investing full concentration.

In other news, it sure feels like Thanksgiving now. There is a definitely a chill in the air and today is another cloudy, dreary day. The sunshine returns tomorrow and a true sign of Thanksgiving will happen in the afternoon when I set out the inflatable turkey.