Break Time


As I do occasionally, I’ve been on a self-mandated Facebook break for about a month. And while I’ve posted a total of maybe seven pictures during that time, that’s all I’ve really done.

Quite frankly, if I didn’t have my account linked to so many external apps or services, I would just close the damn thing and not look back. But since that’s not the case I’m doing the next best thing for my purpose which is simply avoiding it. The app is hidden in a folder on my phone’s Home page (still installed for the aforementioned external services) so that I don’t see or use it.

What prompted this move was the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was simply awful and being a parent, I can’t even imagine having to deal with something so incredibly tragic yet seemingly avoidable. And of course, after any event like this, the arguments and conspiracy theories begin and they were out in full force on Facebook.

But this one seemed to really have people divided more than ever.

In the end, I deleted and blocked two people, one of whom is a real gun nut and tried to justify owning a cache of killing machines because it’s in the Constitution. Sorry, *poof* you’re gone. Another was an on-again, off-again friend who thought arming teachers was the solution. We’re now permanently in “off-again” status and I really don’t care to speak to them ever again (we’ve grown apart over the years). I’m a little shocked I only deleted two people after all this.

Then there’s the daily clusterfuck of a soap opera called The Trump Presidency that is saturated in lies and eaten up by his minions. And even though I follow some of his so-called “fake news” outlets, my Feed became a Trump ticker-tape parade and I don’t need to give that idiot any more of my time. I try to avoid the news these days but still visit websites or watch broadcasts at my leisure and not Facebook’s timeline.

But mark my words: Trump will burn out real soon and it’s going to be the most spectacular meltdown in the history of humankind. It’s been my theory that he wanted the power and position of President, but not the responsibility. And so far I seem to be right with that assessment.

There’s other random things that drove me away from Facebook, not to mention their recent privacy issues. Not to get into details but uh, yeah. Not everything needs to be posted on social media, whether it’s your lunch or checking in at the doctor’s office for your [insert procedure/examination of your choice]. Oh, don’t look surprised. People really do post this stuff and I’m not sure why. I have done it in the past but I’ve grown older and wiser.

So I’m content to keep this streak alive. But you may be wondering what I’ve been doing in lieu of wasting time on Facebook.

First, I’ve been a little more active posting photos on Instagram. Photography is one of my passions and I’d rather dedicate my time to sharing my vision – dare I say, talent – with the world (or at least my sub-500 followers) than read about someone’s dinner. In fact, I was recently contacted by Apple (yes, that Apple!) about the possibility of them using one of my shots for their Instagram account (see comments).

I’ve submitted my shot and waiting to hear back. Either way, praise from Caesar is praise, indeed.

Second, I’ve been doing some thinking about my weight lately and decided to once again take charge of it and set a lofty goal for myself by my 50th birthday next February. If you recall, my weight loss blog is called 200by40, implying that I’d reach my goal of 200 pounds by my 40th birthday in 2009 which I did. With 50 around the corner, I’m sure you can use your imagination and figure out the goal I’ve set for myself. Either way, there will be no Facebook posts about it except maybe when I reach my goal. Maybe.

And I’m not saying it’s serious but I’ve given up having cereal for breakfast and replaced it with an egg and almond milk. No more Lucky Charms; I’m eating like a real adult in the morning!

To that end, I’ve been sleeping more because old people need their sleep. Actually, it’s known to help with weight loss.

And with the free time Facebook has given me, I suppose I should blog more as well. I’ll try to be better at that.

Anyway, that’s my story. Hope everybody stuck in Zuckerbergland is doing well.

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Trollin’


I’ve been at this blogging thing since 2004. After 1,274 posts I think I kind of know what I’m doing.

Actually, the fact that I can string words together and form a cohesive thought makes me a pretty smart cookie when compared to the average person posting umpteen selfies on social media from everywhere they go — even church. Yes, I’ve seen it. Never mind why you’re there; just do it for the “likes.”

But I digress. I’m no genius but at least my comprehension of the English language is on-par or better. I mean, come on. I’ve worked as a writer or proofreader since 2003 (excluding that awful 1.5 years in the grocery store). It’s not complete mastery but you get the idea.

That said, I’ll be the first to admit that not every post here is perfect or gold — comedy or otherwise. You haven’t even seen the ones that are still in my Drafts folder that I keep for fun or the ones that I threw out because they were so awful.

And each of my posts has a star rating system at the top so readers can give me some feedback about what they just read. Apparently, I did something to piss off a few trolls on April 14, 2017 since on that day, several of my posts were given a salvo of one-star ratings or, as it reads on the mouseover, “This sucks!”

The WordPress report is a little fuzzy but you get the idea.

Look. I don’t care about your one-star ratings because they were all on the same day and the same quantity. They mean nothing. But if you really want to voice your opinion on any given post, if it pissed you off that much, don’t be a little shit and hide behind a gold star and your keyboard in Mom’s basement. Use the Comments section and speak up.

Blogging costs me money and time but even after all these years, I still get a great deal of enjoyment from it.

The rating system will remain open. A few trolls ain’t gonna stop me.

Blogging Is Dead 


Me and blogging are in a relationship — and it’s complicated.

In a time when social media and viral videos are still king, it looks as if blogging — personal blogging at least — is all but dead.

I remember a time when I could write a post and get a reasonable number of interactions/hits/visits coupled with an occasional comment or even a discussion. But then again that was when “blogosphere” was a media buzzword and before Twitter and Facebook were on the radar. I’ve been at this in one form or another since 2004, just months after Facebook was founded, and years before Twitter would arrive. These days it’s much easier to post a blurb on Facebook and wait for the usual suspects to start clicking that reaction button to show their approval, disgust, etc. Or type “Amen” to send prayers up because…never mind.

And this has never been a profitable venture for me. If anything, it costs me to run this dog-and-pony show in the form of domain ownership, mapping and, of course, my own time. While I do have ads here, I’ve yet to reach my $100 threshold to cash out the revenue they generate and they’ve been in place for years. I’m still nowhere near that threshold.

Maybe it’s because I’m not smart enough to do something stupid enough that will drive the traffic and revenue up (look up any “YouTube sensation/star/personality”). Or maybe it’s because personal blogs just aren’t a thing anymore.

So with all that said, you might be glad to know that I’ve once again ponied up my annual fees to keep this here blog alive for at least another year.

Why?

I like owning a domain and having an email associated with it (send one to dave_at_holographicmeatloaf_dot_com and I will reply unless shit gets out of control). I’ve owned it for years and don’t want to lose it. And it looks much more legit having your own address rather than  an unsightly [username_dot_host_dot_com] URL. Even if you have readers, nobody will want to remember all that crap.

I also like telling an occasional story, with pictures, that nobody on Facebook would bother reading if I had posted it there. Anybody can write a blurb about something stupid that happened in the Costco parking lot but not everyone can tell a cohesive story,  and my stories sometimes require more than 140 characters.

Plus, this year marks my 10th year using WordPress as my host having moved from Google’s Blogger platform, which is as ugly as a website built and hosted by Geocities or Tripod. Look those up, kids.

So even with the doom and gloom of not being what it used to be, I’m still keeping the faith.

And if you’re reading this, thanks for being a part of it.

Composed on my iPhone with the WordPress app because I was too lazy to clean off the stuff from my desk 

But This One Goes to 11


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Well, here it is. Over a week into the new year and you finally get a new post. Terrific!

That said, I need stuff to write about. I’ll be trying my dang-doodly-darndest come up with topics of interest and whatnot without trying to step on too many toes along the way. Try, at least.

So what’s with the 11? This year marks my 11th year of blogging which I started over on Blogger, a site which apparently hasn’t much improved in terms of…everything, and still looks like something created with Geocities or Angelfire. I can’t say anything about Tripod, though. It seems they’ve upped the ante.

I’ve renewed my domain mapping which means that whenever you type in the URL, it will redirect to my WordPress-hosted blog. I will be renewing my domain just before its expiration as well.

So Happy New Year, and I promise to get off my duff and get back to creating the low-quality content you’ve come to expect from me. I’ll also be cleaning up the joint with a new header, links, theme, etc. It needs to be done.

And speaking of the new year, did you see Jesus on the Rose Parade float? It’s not his first time, either! But this year’s Jesus – that could be my new band name – was much thinner with darker hair than the one on the link…

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…and looked much more like a certain galactic princess.

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Anyway. Yeah. I’m back.

Now What?


Whenever I’m absent from blogging for an extended period of time, I always feel the need to explain myself. Here’s my excuse this time. Okay, several excuses.

First, my only pair of glasses broke. Not only are they my backup pair but they are also an old prescription that no longer really help my eyes to see much better. They broke on the hinge and while I sort of temporarily fixed them (and wearing them now), they are nowhere near as good as my previous pair which suffered a similar fate. Both of them are old so I’m not really shocked that either broke but still, viewing any device or looking at a monitor for an extended period of time with my backup pair causes eye strain and not wearing them only makes it worse.

Second, I’m suffering from a case of tendinitis in my right hand which makes using a full-size keyboard somewhat painful. The pain starts in my thumb and goes past my wrist and hurts like a mother when bent in certain directions, most of which I try and avoid. I’m also wearing a compression sleeve around my wrist per my doctor’s directions. There’s very little I can do about it to make it better and all I know is that having it in my dominant hand really stinks. I can’t even throw a baseball. I’m trying to do most of my work using my left hand to carry and lift but favoring that side causes fatigue by the end of the day. To make matters worse, my hand is in unbearable pain when I wake up in the morning. I can’t seem to win this battle.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m writing this post on my iPad using the WordPress app and SwiftKey keyboard which utilities Swype. I just swipe across the keyboard and it (fairly accurately) predicts the words for me. And despite its ease of use, my hand still hurts.

So there you have it. My absence was caused by things I can can’t really control. More posts will come when my wrist starts to feel better and I get new glasses but until then, don’t count on any regular posts.

For some, that’s actually a good thing…