We Are What We Consume; Not Talking About Food…

I probably can make the connection to the phrase “we are what we eat”, this post isn’t about food, although as I’m sitting here writing this I’m also thinking “I wish I knew where I could get some good cookies besides heading to the store for some mint Oreo’s”. Such is my life. 🙂

Mamma Mia.  りんご娘のライブ コンサート.  Over  4,500 visits to this photo.
Glenn Waters via Compfight

As I’ve probably stated multiple times in the last 10 months, I’m presenting working a consulting assignment out of town. This basically means that I’m showing up in an office and working at least 8 hours each day. Because I’m not working in a leadership capacity, it’s basically the same thing every day, and, well, my mind doesn’t work like that because it likes diversity of work. Sure, I get to basically create a lot of my own work, but it’s dull, mundate stuff, though necessary.

The lucky thing about living in the 21st century is that we have all these different things we can take with us to work to watch & listen to, although folks frown on your “watching” stuff per se. However, you can listen to a lot of stuff, and I’ve always enjoyed documentaries so it’s a great time to catch up on a lot of things I’ve never seen. YouTube is a lifesaver… or is it?

I was going along pretty well there for a time until I noticed that my mood had started to change. I wasn’t feeling all that happy mentally, and it was extending outside of the office. Frankly, being out of town all by myself is pretty lonely, and yet I was starting to embrace the loneliness as a shield and didn’t want to bother with anybody, even on the weekends. I wasn’t getting depressed, but I was getting a little bit paranoid.

Then I figured it out. The documentaries I was partaking in were, for the most part, about the darker aspects of human life. There are lots of documentaries on serial killers, gangs, drugs, despots and dictators, death, murder… in other words, there’s lots of negativity that looks like information we all need or might crave.

I liked this stuff because I was learning a lot… of useless stuff. Sure, we all need to be careful of our surroundings and watch out for nefarious characters, but we also need to be ready to enjoy life a bit; wouldn’t you agree?

I decided I had to change up a bit. I started looking for comedians and funny stuff. I started listening to more motivational speakers and those TED talks that are pretty popular. I love Neil deGrasse Tyson so I started listening to everything I could find with him in it, as well as a lot of science stuff, mainly astrophysics; I’ve always been fascinated by things like that.

I also decided to go back and listen to some of my own videos on my two channels, something I really hadn’t done much of because, like blog posts sometimes, once they’re written it’s often on to the next thing. A couple made me cringe, but many of them just made me laugh, even the serious stuff; sometimes even I wonder how I come up with the things I talk and write about.

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What happened? I started feeling good again mentally and even the boring work took on a different feel. I found things to laugh about that may have only been funny to me, but it’s a better state of mind than where I was, and truthfully it’s a state of mind that I strive for most of the time.

But I went further than that. There were some people I was following on Twitter who kept up the negative stuff, even if it was stuff I agreed with. I’m a liberal in my politics, but there’s just so much conservative bashing one can take without getting riled up. I don’t follow any conservatives on Twitter, so no problems there.

On Facebook, because of F.B. Purity (come on, y’all aren’t using this yet?), I block a lot of stuff but some gets through via images. If I kept seeing the same thing from certain people I just stopped following them, because my closer friends don’t put that stuff out all the time. I don’t really mind the occasional thing, but 24/7? Who can mentally be in a good place putting stuff like that all the time?

I like this blog, I’m Just Sharing. You know why? Because I vacillate between happy and serious stuff, teaching stuff, opinions and the like, but overall I think the tone of this blog is more towards the uplifting, motivational side. I think that when one’s mind is in the right place, their writing style improves and, hopefully, others can read their words and know that even when there are complaints it’s coming from a place of love and joy, such as my post on commenting courtesies.

Think about your own life for a bit. What types of things are coming into your life on a daily basis? Is it positive stuff that makes you feel good? Are there a lot of things that you deal with that make you feel bad? Are there things you can change to help change your mindset towards more positive feelings, even if they’re small changes? In the long run, doesn’t everyone really want to feel happy at least most of the time?

Do you need more? Then check out this post on ways to reach your own personal Super Bowl that I wrote 2 years ago; just something to think about that may help you on your way to feeling better.
 

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5 Commenting Courtesies

First, I want to thank everyone who’s ever left a comment here. Second, I want to congratulate anyone who’s ever left a comment on any blogs. Third, I want to say that I offer what’s following this paragraph with love… well, sort of… lol And fourth… except for those phonies who are leaving comments to get links that, later on, you ask me and others to remove because you got a “slap” letter from Google and you think it’s our problem to now remove your stupid links. Huff, huff… lol

Hef and the Icon Shot
Christina Saint Marche
via Compfight

I’m big on courtesy; always have been. If two people are already talking I won’t interrupt unless it’s extremely important. If people are following me towards a door I’m compelled to hold it open. I was raised that way, and even though there are some people who don’t deserve it, I’ll often say hi or hello to people who seem to be looking my way, even if deep down I know they’re not going to respond… and most of the time they don’t; sigh…

It’s for that reason that I’m glad to have my own blog, where I can put out my missives on blogging and writing and Bigfoot and behavior and… commenting.

Yup, this is a post specifically on commenting. I thought “Hey, I’ve written lots of posts on commenting” and then I decided to take a look back through the archives to find out it’s not true. I’ve mentioned commenting lots of times but out of all my articles I’ve only addressed the specific acts of commenting 7 times, with the first article coming in November 2008 and the last coming in August 2013, and neither of those are on the specifics of commenting. As a matter of fact, it seems that I’ve never really addressed commenting and courtesy in any fashion; now that’s a shame.

I thought about turning this into another 10 point article but I decided to just hit the biggies quickly and get away; y’all have seen way too many words for me and maybe a shorter post will generate better conversations… or not. 🙂 Let’s find out with these 5:

1. Address the topic of the post. This is the number one courtesy and it’s the most vital because how one comments could decide whether the owner of the blog will accept the comment or not.

Sometimes people launch into something that might be pertinent and yet it looks like they have an agenda because they didn’t even mention anything within the post. Sometimes the comment may skirt what the article was about, indirectly touching on the topic, and might not be fully understood for relevance.

2. Get a gravatar. Or, if you prefer, avatar. I gave reasons last April on why people should have a gravatar and even included a link telling people how to get one. If you’re going to be a one and done visitor maybe you don’t need one but many people won’t accept comments from people who don’t have one.

Just like readers love knowing the people who are writing the content, blog owners like to see a picture of who’s leaving comments. It’s easy to do and, if you have a business or are looking to make money in some fashion it’s also smart.

Two hints; one, don’t use the image of someone of the opposite sex from the name and two, logos and cartoons aren’t always good unless it’s what you’re known for in many places already.

3. Fake or keyword names. Nicknames are one thing but stupid fake names like “jonny’s dog” are, well, stupid. And in these scary Google days (for most folks; I don’t really care as much…) keyword names are more dangerous than you can possibly imagine, and people like me won’t accept those comments anyway so you could be wasting your time. No one wants to respond to someone’s fake name and we also feel that either you’re spam or you’re a fly by commenter who’s never coming back.

4. Don’t leave one line comments. Unless you’re a regular and the writer understands your humor (the only time it’s acceptable to leave a one-line comment) it’ll be considered a throw away comment and most people will delete it. One line means you really didn’t have anything to say. I’ll admit that some articles don’t leave a lot to say but come on, you can’t think or more than one line? I’ll offer the caveat that if that one line happens to be a well thought out and long line that it might not be as bad, but it best not start with “It was a dark and stormy night” type of language. lol

5. Try using the writer’s name in the comment. By the way, this one goes for the blog owner as well. Not only is it courteous to name the person who wrote the article but it helps people figure out if you’re a real commenter or not. You get a break if you have to go searching for the writer’s name.

If you’re the blog owner, share your name somewhere to make it easy for people to use your name. Look at my blog; go ahead, look at the thing! My name is in my About area and on my About page. It’s on the top book and in the sales area for both books. It’s in the little thing advertising my YouTube channel. And it’s at the top of every article, just under the title. Why write if you’re not going to tell people who you are? lol

There you are, 5 tips for being a courteous commenter, and something for the writers as well. So, what do you have to say about these?
 

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5 More Android Apps I Recommend

Continuing on a theme I’ve been on for some of the last few posts, the last time I talked about Android applications I’m using that I liked was December 2011; man, I’m slow in getting back to stuff, but at least this time I’m not as far from the last time.

Multi-Touch
DaveLawler via Compfight

I know for sure that 4 of these I downloaded independently; the last one I’m not so sure about. I know I’ve written about #4 here, but it earns a second mention:

1. Dropbox I have to admit that I was really hesitant to add Dropbox. Sure I had added Evernote, but I wasn’t moving any large files or personal files to it, just some notes and such. But an organization I belong to wanted all of its directors to set it up, and I did and it’s been a godsend.

How? Most of you know I’m working out of town. Over the winter I’ve been staying out of town almost an entire month, then going home for a long weekend. I’ve always needed stuff, and finally I decided to move all my written files, all my web files, and a host of other files over. Then the other day my wife called me while I was leaving work for lunch and was frantic because she didn’t have a couple of files she needed. I had them in Dropbox so I pulled them up, and you can email files from Dropbox. She had them in a minute; catastrophe solved.

Here’s the thing. It’s free, and the more things you add to it so you can access it, such as your computer, laptop, smartphone and, for me, my Nook, the more free space you get. You can also pay for 100 GB at a nominal rate. And if you get other people to download the software via your link, you earn 500MB per person, up to 16GB of space. I don’t know if that’s forever but hey, here’s my link if you want to download it or check it out; help a brotha out! 🙂

2. WatchESPN Y’all know I’m a Syracuse Orange sports fan. I’m also in the south right now. Because they’re a top flight team I’ve been able to watch many of their games on ESPN, but not all of them.

The WatchESPN app lets you watch any game for any sports that ESPN happens to cover for free online via their app. So the night Syracuse beat North Carolina State with a final steal and scoring with 9 seconds left, I was sitting at a desk in my hotel room watching it in high definition on the Nook; life doesn’t get better than that.

3. Flixster I hadn’t paid any attention to having a Flixster account previously. I knew I had an Ultraviolet account, but at some point they must have merged. Anyway, turns out that I have 2 digital movies that I can watch either on my smartphone or on the Nook, and I can add more via streaming from their site or purchasing the digital rights via Barnes & Noble. Here’s one more thing; if you purchase any movie anywhere and it offers you a digital copy, you can hook it up so you can watch it on your platforms without having to find someone to crack the software… not that I know anyone who knows how to do that anymore (cough).

4. Instagram I wrote about this in June 2012 once it was finally available for Android and I still love it. Not only can I share my pictures with others but if I don’t have it downloaded to my computer I can link my own pictures to my blog via a link. Also, it’s a great way to store pictures if you want to download them to your computer or other platforms later on. And now you can upload 6 second videos, although for the life of me I can’t seem to figure it out; oh well…

5. DU Speed Booster I was having problems getting a couple of apps to work on my phone one day and I happened to come across an article in PC World Magazine about this one. It runs optimization processes on your smartphone (they don’t have it for the Nook so I don’t know if it’ll work on the iPad) that not only helps to resolve conflicts, but clears out all those extra files for whenever you upload, download, or update programs and other apps. It’s fast and speeds up your smartphone at the same time.

There you go, a recommendations post and, funny enough, post #1,499 on this blog. I wonder what’s coming up next…
 

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10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 Minutes

I have a series of these posts where I believe, if you read well, you can polish off the post in about 2 minutes. I’m doing it this time because that previous post was so long. It was so long that I’m giving it an extra day as well, and I’m once again on an airplane as you read this.

D.A.R.E
Greg Nissen via Compfight

Once again these are my opinion, but I tend to believe that the majority of people who read these will agree with me. Those other folks… well, they just ain’t no good! 🙂 Here we go:

1. Don’t steal someone else’s stuff. Don’t plagiarize or use without attribution. That’s content or images.

2. Don’t be a nuisance. I could have said don’t spam but I wanted to reach a broader spectrum. Don’t overdo advertising, contacting people, etc.

3. Don’t be a troll. This is worse than being a nuisance because you’re probably just trying to cause trouble for no reason other than your own pleasure.

4. Don’t be too sensitive. Just because you feel you can identify with something doesn’t mean it’s for or about you.

5. Don’t wuss out on your morals or principles. I get it, peer pressure can be strong. Truth be told, standing up for your principles and the rights of others is a lot easier than living with guilt.

6. Don’t bully others. Sometimes you might feel like you have to call someone out. That’s fine, but know where and when to draw the line; words can kill.

7. Don’t ramble. If you have something to say just say it and move on. Don’t spend 10 minutes repeating one thing over and over, whether it’s blogging or on social media.

8. Don’t stalk. Yes, there are some attractive people out there, or some famous people you enjoy. Sometimes people go too far and they don’t know they’re doing it; self control is always a good thing.

9. Don’t forget you’re in public. How do you want people to perceive you? Always think of that before you say or put anything on the internet.

10. Don’t forget that once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. If you think you can do something stupid now & in 10 years it’ll be forgotten, please! Notice how fewer people are putting those drunken party photos of themselves on Facebook now?

If you couldn’t read this in 2 minutes… well, that’s on you. 🙂
 

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