Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hair, long beautiful hair, hanging down to there.

Recently, for lack of anything better to write about, and my unreasonable excitement over getting a haircut, I wrote a blog post about getting a haircut. And then +Jesse Zahrt wrote a blog post about hair. Since I firmly believe no good deed goes unpunished I have decided to elaborate on my hair problems.

My hair is the worst hair in the world. As evidenced by the pie chart to the right. This was a formal survey performed by the United Nations toward the end of the cold war. It was a misguided effort to calm the nerves of nations whose past 40 years had been locked in a tenuous state of peaceful belligerence, kind of like my marriage. (Just kidding, my wife is wonderful)

When I was young all of the really cool people had long, wonderful hair. Jim Morrison, John Fogerty, the Beatles, Clapton, Burdon, the entire cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. But, my hair was like a brillo pad, with ADD. Like Medusa's it had a life of its own. And I had to wear a pony tail, which looked like I was carrying a rodent on a my collar.

Then, when I was in my early twenties it started turning gray. Salt and pepper hair may look distinguished on an aging politician, or actor, but on a twenty five year old with a wild mop of uncontrolled curls sticking up all over the place it was decidedly uncool.

So, at thirty, I decided to get my haircut short, and have never looked back. Occasionally, after a few glasses of wine, and some Grateful Dead, or Hot Tuna I will say to my wife, "You know, I am going to grow a pony tail."

She will sigh, and say, "Whatever you want." And then I will drift off to a world in which my hair is fantastic, like Jeff Bridges' hair in "The Big Lebowski," Man, did it look good.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Things are Heating Up, Or Maybe Just Becoming Absurd.

I didn't watch Matt Lauer hack and choke and stumble through his Presidential Forum last night. I don't much care for Matt Lauer, he always seems a little pompous, freighted, arrogant. And the candidates are worse. I live in fear one of them will be elected, wait. The producer is telling me one of them will be elected. Oops, the last vestige of hope is stripped away.

But, it seems people are angry. It seems that people feel he treated Clinton more like a candidate and Trump more like a celebrity. Not in the sense of "well Mr. Trump, how do you get such amazing height on your shiny, lustrous hair?" At least I don't think he asked that.

But, this is going to be the burden of the public for the next two months. Clinton is a politician with a record, and a history. Things can be questioned, votes, decisions, actions are available. Trump is mostly a television spectacle.

He said "I was opposed to invading Iraq." Even though there is overwhelming, empirical evidence that he was in favor of the action.  And nobody questions why a reality television "personality" is on record taking a stand on the actions of his government.

How did he feel about Obama's expensive modernization of the nuclear arsenal? That has always bugged me, and seemed disastrous, what does he think of it.

And while I am at it, how does Mario Lopez from Extra feel about the Affordable Care Act?  How does Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and American Idol feel about the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement?

These things are important. Who knows when Harry Connick Jr. is going to decide becoming president is a good way to retire in style. Honestly, the post presidential years are extremely profitable. Everybody loves money. How did he feel about the decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

Dangit, I have rights, I need to know, where is Matt Lauer when I need him?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hi, it is so nice to meet you, sort of.

One of the greatest things about blogging (for me anyway) is the constant self discovery it allows. Over the time I have written things, gone back to check them, yes, occasionally, I do edit my posts, and thought "wow, I had no idea I felt that way." Sometimes the words just line up and form themselves into sentences, paragraphs and complete thought, more or less. And they reflect an opinion of mine.

It is never earth shattering, or even all that amazing. Nothing that would result in jail time or extra prayers at confession. Just little, unexpected quirks, maybe personality flaws, maybe character virtues, maybe just mundane trivia, but quick glimpses into who I am. Which is a complex organism.

Over the years I have taken bits of other people and incorporated the traits I found admirable, or amusing into myself. Affectations, mannerisms, whatever seemed unique, and interesting became conglomerated into my personality.

It has made me more than I was, but it has come at a cost. I am not always sure where I end and others begin. It is not a high cost, or big expense, but it is inconvenient at times. Particularly as I age.

Something fantastic will pop into my head, and a smile will start to form. Then the doubt creeps in.

"Is that me, or Mike from my days as a masonry laborer?"

So many things from so many people, and somehow there is still a whole person, perhaps, inside. And once in a while he will take the reins and type away. And it will surprise me.

It is always nice to meet me though, and often times I have blogging to thank. So, if you need to get in touch with yourself blogging might be the answer. And if you need to get in touch with me, blogging is almost assuredly the answer. And if you need to get in touch with your boss, call, a selfie of you laying in bed complaining about the near fatal illness that has almost crippled you is not going to help your case tomorrow when you waltz into work talking about how great the fishing was.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Go ahead, start a blog, what do you have to lose

Blogging is an art, kind of, and an opportunity, occasionally. But one thing it should never become is a chore. It should flow naturally from life, it should spring from the day, it should be the bountiful harvest of living. Well, maybe not, but it should never be difficult. There should never be a time when a blogger thinks "oh, dang I have to write a post."

Perhaps a blogger on the payroll could occasionally feel put upon, an imposition, but, as an amateur in no danger of losing my unpaid status it is a little difficult to generate a lot of sympathy for a person squeezing a little coin out of a few words. Still, following a schedule, and writing to the requirements and specifications of a task master would add some challenges. But, blogging is the ultimate platform for self expression.

My life is deadly dull, tedious, mind numbing. But, my blog is where I scream with pride "if I had any life at all it would be something like this." There is some element of truth, but, not much.

What is important is that you take a blog and put yourself into the words. It is your blog, and it should be what you want. If you are spiritual, it should reflect your faith. Never be ashamed of who you are. Politics are fair game, but it will invite criticism, and counter points, so be prepared. If you like sailing, or fishing, hunting, trapping, playing card games, tell the world. There will be others that feel the same.

Blogging is your soapbox, your dais, it is the stage from which you can tell the world "this is who Iam." Or, if you want to follow down my path "this is not who I am but this is who I see when I look in the mirror without my glasses."

Here is my only advice about blogging, give it a shot, it don't cost nothing.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Follow The Bouncing #Hashtag

I love the people that tell me the #Hashtag is dead. I mean to think that people take a minute out of their busy day to remind me that adding #Hashtags to my posts is a total waste of time is kinda like the person who asks me why my headlights are on in the broad daylight. You certainly seemed to notice didn't you?

I mainly use #Hashtags as an excuse to posts things. The #SelfieSaturday and #MotivatedMonday #Hashtags are good examples of this. One is a great excuse to post old and tired posts, and the other one is an excuse to post old and tired me. The same goes for #WorkoutWednesday, #FitFriday and #FlexFriday, but then again health and exercise is kinda my shtick yanno? On Twitter (where #Hashtags are still a very vital part of the experience) I like to see how insane I can make #Hashtags in general. I actually got the #Hashtag #BecauseIFarted to trend one day when I was bored, but when it comes to the #Hashtags I use on a weekly basis, they are pretty serious.

I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing #FixThePlus but as of yet, it doesn't appear that the Google folks are sick enough of it to actually #FixThePlus, now does it? #ThrowBackThursday is another excuse to post old crap and I see some people use #FlashbackFriday to post old crap. My Friday #Hashtag schedule is way too busy to add another one at this time, but you never know. With #FitFriday and #FlexFriday being pounded out all morning I also do #FollowFriday which is hugely important. When you see one of those that is my way of saying, "HEY! Follow these people, and follow their blogs," if for no other reason then they are certified cool, by me.

Amazingly enough #Hashtags can be very useful tools as well. My little online newspaper The Whacko Blogs Daily is all generated by #Hashtags. No seriously, by adding the #Hashtag #TheWhacko to the feeds of all of the Whacko Bloggers when they get fed to The Whacko Blogs twitter page, then the newsfeed knows to grab and add those posts. In reality it doesn't matter how many people tell you that #Hashtags are dead. It really doesn't hurt to play around with them in all of your online profiles. I should know, I don't just play blogger on TV, I pretend to be one in real life!

Friday, May 20, 2016

More Crazy Online Folk

For the most part I started blogging (or leading a life online in general) to escape the many sad factors of my own life that required me to branch out and seek something. I think what I was really seeking was some form of affirmation because once I received a little of that I was hooked. I think we all in our deepest moment of honesty are willing to admit that is what drives us to be online. There is usually a period of self gratification followed by some sort of moment where we realize that we are basically the same person online that we are offline, and then we figure out what we are going to do with that in formation from there.

When I overcame the "look at me look at me" Bart Simpson mentality (and for those that think I may have not, just trust me on this one) I started treating my computer as a serious endeavor for a while. I started writing books and proving to myself that my attention span is not made for books it is made for blogs. I then went back to writing blogs and was free of the need to be read. Now of course you have probably noticed that I am read, but without all of the overly serious need to be read the way I used to. Either you can attract an audience or you cannot. When I had started the "My Brand" mentality and spent more time playing to my strengths and not to my audience, it was a lot easier to maintain my audience. If you don't get it, stick around you will.

My bread and butter of course are the diet and exercise things. I've honed that craft to a point where it comes a lot easier than the rest, although many have said that I am just as good at reciting political rhetoric. My passion though for those who haven't figured it out is people watching. I really like to watch the way people communicate and interact. A lot of my humor is based on finding stereotypes and exploiting them for my own amusement. No, not a racism or sexism thing, but a tweeking people and finding out habits or abnormalities. If you haven't found yourself doing this yet then let me give you a brief lesson on this form of amusement, or at least being able to figure out people's inner selves.

My most popular blog by far is the Quote Whacko. Go figure the only one that has no original content is huge by social media standards. Don't take my word for it, but look at the graphic above. 181,000 followers to "People& Quotes" which is where I post my Quote Whacko daily blog exclusively. If the Plus was working on G+ each post would have over 400 +1s every day. Now with that said, those posts are quite the social experiment, especially as it pertains to politics. Even if the post isn't political there are certain people that have been so polarized in the general populace, and some topics that are such taboo, that certain people who are so amazingly sure of their stance will make complete and utter a-holes of themselves. All the while assuming that they are making a-holes out of everyone else.

If I have learned one thing in my years of living a life online, it is that an overwhelming majority of the people online DO NOT troll. We see the trolls who find their way to a post and then set it on fire. They attract a certain level of follower, but for all intensive purposes, we will call them what they are "losers following a loser" and you can't let their babbling effect you. Trust me they don't actually effect anyone else. Just because you see them blowing up online, and throwing trash bombs, most people don't even read the comments. Most people don't feel the need to respond to them, but more important for everyone out there who has come across a troll, with an agenda, you don't have to feel anything what so ever when a troll bombs something. They are just the same old idiot who dominates the zone around the water cooler that HR hasn't gotten around to firing yet.

You don't have to have a blog, or a gigundous social network to learn these things. You just have to understand that despite what we all think of ourselves, we are basically normal. If you see something idiotic being touted online, chances are pretty good that you just move along right? That's something that you and most people have in common. If you feel the need to blow up all over the comments then that might be a problem that needs medication ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

More Fun from Our Friends at Google

Well I have been pounding the #FixThePlus project along. Getting others involved, and posting more often just so I can get the #FixThePlus hashtag to trend. I have diagnosed the problem to be that only comments on the actual blog will register a +1, and of course I have posted to the message boards (lack-of-help forums) just to have "Google Experts" (Think Reddit-Like folks in Google Forums form) tell me and others that we are either wrong, or Google is fixing an international problem of some sort. Today I am happy to report that the problem of the +1 only registering when someone posts a comment to your blog and not when someone actually +1s your post is finally over! Yes, today +1s don't work on the blogs at all.

Yes, we shall no longer have to worry or analyze what we actually need to do to get a +1 on our blog posts, we can just expect NO +1s on our blog posts. A little over two months ago I lived vicariously through the 150 to 200 +1s that the mere posting of a blog would garner me, to have to figure out ways to get my blogs re-posted around so I could break 20 +1s to looking at a big fat ZERO at the top of my blogs. There are no answers to this folks and I apologize if it has been effecting any of you the way it has been effecting me. If it isn't disheartening to you, then you are lucky because as cheerfully as I have tried to put up with it all it is kinda depressing.

I don't know what to tell anyone beyond that. I'm personally fortunate that over the last month anyway I have simply enjoyed creating content, building a brand that is (MINE ALL MINE! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) growing for whatever reason despite the lack of instant gratification. I've even spent a pretty good amount of time streamlining the operations, as it appears that a lot of my blogging friends have started slacking off on the creation process (gee I wonder why?) which has given me less to read. I have also been giving rounds to a lot of my old favorite Twitter Hashtags on the Googleverse. #FollowFriday has been one that I have tried to bring back. Hey if you can't bring sexy back, try bringing back the old tired #Hashtags huh?

My next goal (along with flooding the Googleverse with the #FixThePlus hashtag) will be to flood the #Googleverse with as many hashtags as I can think of. Why might I be doing this? Well it's simple folks. If G+ and Blogger are going down, I want to be a lighthouse before everyone ends up on Facebook wondering why posts of "I farted" are more popular than a thoughtful blog, or a relevant news story. How do we do this? Well you can start by clicking the "Join This Site Using Google Friend Connect" over there on the right. That's what I have been doing a lot lately. Even if a friend's blog doesn't have that gadget, you can copy and paste their blog address (like blog.thewhacko.com for example) and then pasting it into the Reading List on the blogger dashboard (just click the add button) to make sure that we are all community, long after the community that brought us together dies. If it dies.