Taking a Break From it All

Hey, it turns out that Ann’s dad gifted us his old laptop which actually works rather well and that said, it looks like blogging may be a regular thing once again. That’s good news to all two of you who take the time to read it!

First things first, the whole family has gotten their first COVID microchip implanted in them so Alex Jones knows our every move (this is all a joke, folks). Seriously, we’re all doing well and looking forward to Shot 2 in a few weeks.

As for the title of this post, I’m currently on a social media detox with Facebook and Instagram being the main offenders. While Facebook gives me its own set of reasons to keep me away, Instagram tends to be my creative outlet but even so it can turn toxic rather quickly. I sometimes find myself struggling to find subject matter to shoot and later post. It turns into work instead of fun but for what? A few likes? Nah. I need a break from that.

I also need a break from the thick-as-syrup, Pollyanna bullshit posts that some people lay on to make the world feel sorry for them. Come on, now. Ann is missing several organs and gave birth via C-section and didn’t whine like some people do getting a tooth pulled. Yeesh.

As far as Twitter goes, I haven’t posted/read anything there on a regular basis in months. Strangely, since January 2021. Things that make you go “Hmm…”

And taking today’s date of May 4th into consideration, there’s only so many posts on any platform with that phrase I can take before I heave up my dinner.

Another reason I’m taking a break from it all is because, quite simply, they are rabbit holes. You can seriously sit with phone in hand and lose yourself looking at the lunches of strangers before realizing how much time you’ve wasted (look at your ScreenTime, Apple people) – and wasting time is exactly what you’re doing. Part of the detox is finding something else to do with that time and one of those is sleep – and it’s been a good thing.

Another thing I started doing last night was – wait for it – read. Yes, the guy who hates reading because he does it 8 hours a day working from home has decided to try it again. And last night’s choice was The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. It’s not a long book by any stretch of the imagination but the wisdom contained within it is timeless. We’ll see how far I get tonight because uh, I fell asleep last night while reading it.

And this is why I don’t read.

I’m also trying to draw a little more on that shiny new iPad Air I talked about in my last post. In fact here’s my latest drawing done in Procreate: a mashup of the character Pops from Regular Show and the Cincinnati Reds’ mascot Mr. Redlegs.

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Colors are subject to change and the username you see on the bat is my art account on Instagram. Like a few other drawings I’ve done, this is destined to become a sticker that literally nobody will buy. In fact I closed my Etsy store because I sold only one of my first sticker and it wasn’t worth the effort to keep it open. Maybe once I get a few more and make sticker packs they will sell since people will feel like they are getting a bargain, rather than pay X-dollars per sticker.

Well I better get some reading done before I fall asleep doing it again. We’ll see how long it is before I start getting messages from people on Facebook and Instagram asking where I’ve been.

That’s if they’re not busy being a hangnail martyr…

 

 

Holy Shit, It’s a Blog Post!

Feeling lucky, punk? Well for the second day in a row, you’re getting a blog post. You’re kind of special.

The notable exception between last night and tonight? I’m using my iPad and wireless keyboard instead of my jank-ass Gateway which tends to freeze up quite a bit, which made composing last night’s post a bit of a pain. The only pain here is the freakishly small keys on this wireless keyboard and odd commands (Function + O = apostophe).

So what do you get with this post? An update from the previous one which outlined what I’ve been up to. Let’s see what changed.

Learning Japanese. For the umpteenth time, I started to dabble in learning the language as a means to kill time on the bus to work. And for the umpteenth time, I’ve given up. There’s no going back this time. If I do decide to learn something, it will be brushing up on my Spanish.

Speaking of the bus, the route changed to the summer schedule and it’s no longer convenient to take it to work since I’d have to leave the office much earlier or wait for the next bus at 6:30, then get home at 7:30. That’s a long day, and I’m back to driving until the schedule changes back.

I’ve Been Sick. Well, I had one day of being sick after the last time but it wasn’t so bad. Just took a day off from work to hydrate and recover.

I’ve Been Drawing On My iPad. While not lately, I do have a few projects going currently. Here’s one of them.

I’m Considering Leaving Instagram. Well, that never happened. It was just a rough time of being shadowbanned and just waiting until the ban was lifted. All of my accounts are now active but here is the main one if you’re so inclined.

Now you’re al caught up. Let’s see if I keep my blogging interesting going!

What’s Happening!!!

Hey hey hey! I’m still alive, as this post clearly indicates. I just thought I’d give you an update on things and what I’ve been up to.

Learning Japanese. It takes about an hour for the bus to arrive at the office, and I literally catch it across the street from home and stops about 500 steps from work. Why I didn’t think of this before is beyond me.

At any rate, I tried a number of things to pass the time while commuting with the masses: music, podcasts, etc. Then I figured that if I’ve got time to kill, I might as well make it productive so I started using the Lingodeer app to reintroduce myself to Japanese. It’s just the beginning; there are a number of different apps I’ve used in the past but I seem to retain more with this one. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve Been Sick. Rather than blast constant updates all over Facebook, I’d much rather do it here and go into more detail and fucking cuss if I need to. Basicallly, I was having a hard time swallowing as well as a few other things. A trip to the doctor last Thursday confirmed I had tonsilitis — yes, I still have my tonsils — and I was prescribed a medication called Cefdinir. It’s a pretty strong antibiotic that I had never taken before.

And I had an awful reaction to it. After a nap on Saturday afternoon, I woke up covered in a rash around my neck. (Sorry, no pictures — I’m not my brother who once posted pictures of his heat rash on Instagram. Ew.) Later that evening, the rash had spread to my arms and torso. It was ugly so I stopped taking the medication and broke out the calamine lotion.

The rash was only part of it. Conjuctivitis is another as well as…let’s just say I’ve needed to hydrate a lot. I had all of it.

The doctor has since prescribed me a new antiboitic and so far the breakouts have been minimal and I’m feeling better. I’m never sick and the one time I am I take medicine that makes me worse, but I guess none of us are allergic to any medications until we take them and see what happens.

I’ve Been Drawing on my iPad. Each family member has their own laptop. I don’t, so when we were thinking about buying a PC for home, it only made sense for me to get an iPad so that I can do whatever (like, for example, blogging as I’m doing now). But it’s gone beyond that — I’ve since bought an Apple Pencil in order to broaden my horizons, and here’s the first thing I drew.

It’s not the best and there are a ton of things I can tell you are wrong with it but it was an experiment to see how it would go. So not too bad methinks.

I’m Considering Leaving Instagram. The Powers That Be have determined that all of my accounts have been violating their terms and have shadowbanned all of them. One of them is even blocked on my phone. My only guess is that since I do use the same hashtags on a lot of posts, Instagram thinks I’m spamming. So after nearly 5,000 posts, they think I’m spamming. Thanks, assholes.

Here’s how such a ban works:

  • Users are not told they are banned; they will suddenly see a drop in likes and followers
  • Hashtags are blocked so your account is essentially private (only your followers can see your posts)

Because of this, it’s no longer fun and pretty pointless to keep going. I’ll keep the accounts open in the hopes that the ban is lifted but I’m not very optimistic about it. I will resurrect my photo blog Digital Resolution and start posting there, where I’m the boss and can pretty much say what I need to.

And now you’re caught up. I’ll try to be better about posting here 🙂

Instagram

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As the photo above clearly indicates, I’ve been taking photos since the days when shooting with film was the norm. The camera you see above was my Christmas present from 1986 and it still works. I also worked in my share of photo labs as well as processed my own black-and-white film at home (although I had to rent a professional darkroom to produce prints).

Then I bought my first digital camera and pretty much left my beloved film camera behind, even though I still own it. Now with phones having the ability to take decent quality pictures, it’s even easier for me to capture the moment and never have to worry about saying, “Man, I wish I had a camera.” And believe me, back in the film days I said that a lot.

While I do shoot lots of personal images, I export some of them to Instagram to show off my artsy-farty side and to post them simultaneously to social networks. Don’t get me wrong: I do like Instagram but not I’m there to beg and plead to users to rate my photos. I honestly don’t care how many ratings they get but if someone rates it then hey, good for everyone.

I do like to sharing them with those who follow me, mostly friends and family. And now, if I can be so bold, I’d like to entertain you with some of my favorite Instagram shots in no particular order. Click on each image to see a larger version.

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Me and the kids played baseball today.

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My son’s LEGO hockey set.

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Monte doing his thing.

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Viewing the moon.

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My finisher’s medal from the Hollywood Half 5k.

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I like my Bimbos.

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Keyring found in parking lot.

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Grasshopper.

If you’d like to see shots I took with regular digital camera as well as film, you can check out my photography blog. Note that I haven’t posted anything recently since my wide angle zoom lens took a dump. When I do finally get to shooting regularly, I’ll get back to posting.

And if you would like to see more Instagram shots, I post them to Twitter @aeromat.

Have fun and happy shooting!