Showing posts from November, 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 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.

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

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.
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!

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 f…

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 o…

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.

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 onl…

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 ow…

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 l…

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. St…

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.

Another post that is all bread and no meat

Back on November 1, I declared that I would try to write one post a day here for the whole month and twice I have posted stuff so lazy that they fall under a new category I added called lazy post. This is not good. I don't want to post crap just so I can say I wrote something. So, the pledge to write each day of the month ends today. I'll be back when and only when I feel I have something worthwhile to share. That might be tomorrow. It might be next week. I'm just no longer going to force myself to sit down and write when I don't particularly feel like it.

Also, I had the whole @jasonwriteshere Twitter thing that I thought I would turn into a writing-centered deal. I've given up on that also and will just leave @jasonwriteshere as a place that all of the links to these posts go. I'm getting the inspiration/stealing the idea from Seth Godin's @ThisIsSethsBlog account. I also noticed that he never responds to anything on Twitter from that account. A list of li…

Lazy post number two

Yesterday's post was far too ambitious for the amount of time I ended up having to write it. To make up for that, today's post is not ambitious at all. I already recorded a podcast today so my daily creative impulse allotment is just about spent.

I have a slight update in my NOtification quest. I changed the email notification sound on my phone for the first time in years to something a bit quieter and shorter. I also got rid of most of the notifications on my Pebble Watch. It's all about minimizing distractions so I can stay more focused.

I don't have much else tonight. This is going to be another lazy post but that's what happens when I try to write every day.
As much as I am phoning it in here, this is sort of a first, though. I am writing this while sitting on the couch at 7:22 pm instead of writing while sitting at the kitchen table first thing in the morning. It's pretty rare for me to do much more than stare blankly at the tv or the iPad at night.

Time for …

The return of the roving reporter

For the entirety of the too brief return run of the Dicks 'n Janes zine, I submitted stream of consciousness letters under the non de plume of 'your roving reporter' and I typically wrote my letters from different places around town starting in September of 2015 at a Starbucks in Nashville.

Today I return to you with another entry in the series as I sit at the orthodontists office waiting for my youngest to complete her checkup. I could be interrupted at any time. These appointments don't typically take too long. As soon as she walks out, I'll finish the sentence I'm on and click on publish. That's it. No editing. If I'm in mid-thought, that's where this post will stay forever.

For this post, I'm going to use the list of blog ideas I keep in Todoist. I have learned that any time I have an idea, I need to put a short note somewhere as soon as possible or it will be out of my mind as quickly as it arrived. I'll start with the note "turning …

Template tweakin'

When I started the blog back up in July, I wanted to think less about the template and more about the writing this time around. I have this terrible habit of not being content about the smallest design things like how the header looks or is the font 2 points too big or too small. It's the same thing I do with the living room furniture. It looks fine to me for months until the day I suddenly feel the need to move everything around although there are only three or four ways to move this room around and I've already done them all more than once.
What was bugging me this time about the site here was the header. It seemed so big that it was taking much needed space away from the posts. I tried to tweak the template but nothing I did reduced the space of the header so I ended up moving to a different template (of course, one I have used in previous versions of the site because I've tried them all over the years) which allowed me to shrink the header size and simplify the look of …

Poncho-less football

We did it. Unlike the previous week in pouring rain, we ended the football season last night with no rain and above-average temperatures that made it feel more like early September than early November. Now I will have to adjust to quiet Friday nights, hopefully at home! It was a fun season travelling with the band and loading/unloading equipment but last night I felt just plain tired and that has continued right into today. I think I finally reached my limit so I have to admit that I'm a tad relieved that we're done.

Speaking of being tired, I haven't been worth a flip today. I kept thinking I would finish the book I'm reading (I'm so very close!) but I ended up wasting an afternoon on the iPad, mostly goofing around on YouTube. What a throwaway day. What a lazy post this is.

(I just added a lazy post label here on the blog so I can go back and see all of the posts where I knew I was just phoning it in when I wrote them!)

On a final note (no pun intended!), the hospic…

Turn Up Your Speakes: "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do" by Huey Lewis and the News

It's been over a month since our last (and only until today) Turn Up Your Speakes so I'm glad I didn't commit to doing these weekly!

For this rainy Friday (our second rainy Friday in a row) TUYS entry, we're going back to 1982 for a #36 hit by Huey Lewis and the News, released a year before the album that really made them, Sports. This song is off of their second album, Picture This, and it's one I certainly don't hear often. I like it and have heard it a bit over the years. I was listening to a classic Casey Kasem countdown this week and there it was at number 36!

As a bonus, here is my favorite Huey Lewis and the News song. Luckily, this one still gets played on the radio around here fairly often and I still have my Sports LP that I got brand new thirty-four years ago. Also, the video is fantastically 80's!

All of my memories are in HD

Steve sent me a link to a music video recently. The song was good but I couldn't stop thinking about how dated the video looked. It's just from 1998 and 1998 doesn't seem (in my mind) like that long ago!

Maybe it's because this is right before HD. Maybe it's the hairstyles and the fashion but the video looks like many of the other older videos that people post on YouTube. The difference is that most of the videos that feel dated to me are from the early 90's and earlier, not 1998!

The reality is it's been almost twenty years since 1998. Twenty years! It's hard to reconcile that with the vivid memories I seem to have in my head. 1998, what pieces of it I think I remember, looks pretty normal in my memories, almost like the world hasn't changed at all.

This, of course, is my mind playing tricks on me. The memory filter we all have makes everything look great and most memories are facts that have been converted into slightly better stories!

Watching the vi…

Trying to take the No out of November

I've gotten lazy, creatively.
That would be the easy way to explain my absence from this blog and the shorter episodes of the podcast. It would be easy but untrue. My energies just shifted from creativity to loading band equipment and spending most Friday nights and Saturdays at football games and band contests.

The band season has been winding down (at least one more game to go) but I still haven't returned to the old pre-marching band schedule of recording multiple podcasts and tweeting most of my insane thoughts and blogging quite a bit and now I realize that I probably won't ever return to that pre-marching band schedule.

One thing I do want to return to is writing regularly. I'm not sure why. I think I miss the act of writing more than I have any need to get thoughts out of my mind or share any particular ideas with the world. I'm going to try to do at least one post a day each day in November. That's the goal because I need to A) write more and B) get in a w…