All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Weird Or Unique Habits?

Is there anything that’s known as “normal” anymore? I tend to believe that the answer to that is “no”. Having said that, I’m sure that all of us see habits and things that others do that make us question their sanity. Our friend Charles of Mostly Bright Ideas comes up with a lot of stuff that makes many of us think that maybe his parents were saying about him as a child “that boy ain’t right”, but I’m thinking that we’re probably not all that much different.

I figured that after my last video and rank that I’d lighten things up a bit and fess up to a few things. I laugh at myself often but I don’t often do it in public. Still, I’ll admit that I have some quirks that maybe others do or don’t; let me share some of mine.

I can’t go to sleep unless I’m covered by some kind of blanket. Luckily, I have the blanket my wife made for me that fits the bill. I also run the fan every night, mainly for sound. When it’s cold I run the heat and the fan, which seems odd but I need the noise. When it’s hot I aim the fan at me, but I don’t like air blowing on me so I cover up with the blanket, which gets a slight bit of air to my body, but it’s more my face I’m concerned with. I also have a second fan that just blows on my face, but it’s small so it does the job without getting on my nerves. But if I don’t use the blanket, and the equivalent of 5 pillows (in a hotel it’s 5 pillows; at home it’s a body length pillow, an extra “hugging” pillow, one for my head and a booster that goes against the headboard to help the first pillow sit in the proper place.

When I eat cake with frosting, which is most of the time, the frosting must be on the left side. That’s because I’m right handed, and I always want to finish with the best part of the cake, which is the frosting. I also have to eat it in a pattern, to make sure the cake stays even all around until I reach the ultimate frosting and slight bit of cake finish.

Whenever I eat food that has to be cut, I cut it all up before I start eating. I cut everything in precise patterns so that almost all pieces of meat or whatever else I’m eating are the same size. And when I eat more than one thing at a time, such as meat, potatoes and nasty vegetables (I hate vegetables), I eat everything such that my last bite will have one of each in it. My meal has to end that way, otherwise I’ve jinxed myself.

I also have periods where I won’t touch food. I don’t mean I won’t eat; I mean I’m just not touching it, whether raw or cooked. It limits where I’ll go out to eat because if I’m not touching food, I’m not eating sandwiches or many other things. Funny, but that never seems to prevent me from touching cookies. lol

Anything that needs butter on it I need to see the butter, otherwise I’m putting more on. The same goes for salad; if I can’t see it, it’s not there.

Toilet paper must go over the top instead of underneath. I don’t know a single male that does it underneath, though I’m betting there’s one out there. I think my wife does it the other way sometimes to mess with my head.

When I encounter stairs, whether I’m going up or down, I count them ahead if possible so that I always end on my right foot. If there are a lot of them and I miscounted by my quick review, I will stop 3 steps before the end and alter my steps to make sure I end on my right foot.

I count letters and words in sentences. It’s probably why I’m good at spelling and math. I don’t count every sentence, but I count a lot of them. I see how many letters there are and then divide everything by 3, which is my lucky number. If it ends up divisible by 3 I move on; if not, I have to create alternate ways of saying the phrase and recount until it divides by 3. I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old; no idea why.

When I eat ice cream with chocolate sauce, I always eat the first half or quarter the regular way, then I have to mix everything together to finish. After everything is mixed, I eat using the back of the spoon instead of the regular way.

Finally, if I eat a sandwich and it’s meat, it must have mayonnaise or Miracle Whip on it. If there’s cheese on the sandwich, which is rare, it can only be Miracle Whip, not even mayonnaise. If I eat hotdogs at home, I start with Miracle Whip on the bread, then a thin stream of mustard and then ketchup. The only deviations are if I decide to add barbecue sauce, in which case I don’t use mustard or ketchup, or chili, in which case I don’t add ketchup.

Why am I talking about weird things I do? First, trust me, I only scratched the surface, though I’m saying now that if my friend Scott stops here and says anything, he’s lying! lol Second, I mention these things because I just want to show that overall I’m a regular guy with some habits that others might think are a bit different, but that everyone has differences and things we do that might or might not be embarrassing. Trust me, I’m not embarrassed by any of the things I’ve shared because they’re my hard rules; anyone who’s ever eaten out with me can attest to this. My wife will attest to the rest of it.

See, when I talk about blogging I talk both about their being rules and no rules. For instance, the main non-rule is that people should just write and worry about other things after they’ve figured out if they can write things on a consistent basis. Until you find your voice, it doesn’t matter whether you follow any certain patterns or not.

The main rule after that is to be yourself and not to be afraid to show people who or what you really might be. I tend to believe that people love to read whatever you’re writing about if they can relate to the writer in some fashion. Giving one’s writing personality is a big deal; revealing something about yourself that others can read, take in and even potentially laugh at is cathartic, but it’s also a way of making yourself more real to your readers.

So this is me; well, a small part of me. I’m not even going to tell you about Rice Krispies treats.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

June 12th, The Internet, And A Video

Today’s date is June 12th. There were a lot of historical things that occurred on this day that my mind feels are important, or at least interesting, in some fashion. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?

Events

1898 – Philippine Declaration of Independence: General Emilio Aguinaldo declares the Philippines’ independence from Spain.

1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.

1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi

1964 – Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.

1967 – The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declares all U.S. state laws which prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

1978 – David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” killer in New York City, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings.

1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are murdered outside her home in Los Angeles, California.

Born

1916 – Irwin Allen, American film producer

1924 – George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States

1929 – Anne Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim

1930 – Jim Nabors, American actor

1941 – Marv Albert, American sportscaster

1941 – Chick Corea, American musician

1971 – Mark Henry, American professional wrestler and World’s Strongest Man winner

Died

1957 – Jimmy Dorsey, American musician

2003 – Gregory Peck, American actor

Holiday

World Day Against Child Labour

Something else happened on this day as well, and that’s the subject of my video. I include this post of mine now on blogging responsibly, modesty, free speech and consequences as further reference.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

5 Things I’ve Learned About My Smartphone

As some of you know, I now have a smartphone. Man, do I feel old! Actually, I’m getting younger every day because it seems like every day I learn something new about it and thus I have these daily surprises that aren’t all that depressing.

I know there’s still a lot of people that don’t have smartphones, and it’s just possible that I’ve learned something that people with smartphones don’t know yet. I doubt that second one, but who knows, right? I figured this was fodder enough for a top 5 things post, so here we go:

1. These suckers run through battery power like whales eat krill. Initially it was like we’d charge the things all night and by 5PM we were down to our last bar, whether we’d done almost anything or not. Turns out there are apps for that (man, what commercial is that phrase in?) to help at least a little bit. One is called Open Advanced Task Killer. The other is called Juice Defender. None of them are perfect, but they have helped to a degree.

2. Some apps you just can’t get rid of. There’s a lot of junk on these suckers that comes pre-packaged. Unlike with computers, where you can delete it all, if it came with the phone it’s staying with the phone. Now, one might think that’s not all that problematic; unfortunately it is because…

3. Apps are always running, whether you’re using them or not. And even if you use the ATK I talked about above, it only temporarily shuts down apps. Now, if you downloaded something and turn that off it stays off, but all the other stuff already on there is always running, always consuming some of your battery power. The weasels!

4. You have to get a cushion of some kind to put around your phone. My wife and I got these little rubbery things to put on ours. You’re not necessarily putting it on for protection. You’re putting it on so you don’t accidentally keep clicking on stuff on the top and sides that you just can’t avoid otherwise. The other day I got a phone call from a friend of mine, only she didn’t mean to call me. She’d sent me a text, then set the phone down but accidentally hit the button to call me. My cell recorded about 4 minutes of whatever was going on in her car before it disconnected; I’m just glad she didn’t say anything bad about me. lol

5. It’s wonderful being able to access the internet wherever you are. Wow, how great is this? I can find out where places are, look up things that I can’t fully remember but have on the tip of my tongue, get directions, access websites, etc. I’m on one of those unlimited plans that I hear might be going away, and I hope I get grandfathered in. It’s just the neatest thing; I never thought I’d care but now it seems I do.

That’s all I have; what say you?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Only Concern Yourself With What You Can Control

I was on a roll last week. After reading a post on Ileane’s Basic Blog Tips I was inspired to write a post titled Is Your Work Worth Nothing. It seems that, for this person, just because he didn’t understand something he felt it prudent that the people doing SEO work for him should be paid based on results and not based on the fact that they did the work. Of course when I asked him if he wanted to be paid that way he said no, but that SEO work is different; no it’s not.

My comments on that post and then my post here got me an invite to write a guest post for Ileane, which I’ll do when asked, and I came up with one I called 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post got a lot of responses, and I appreciate everyone who participated; it was a lot of fun. And I didn’t gripe about anything I haven’t griped about here every once in awhile, but it ended up being a pretty long post; I’m glad Ileane was okay with that.

I had been on a pattern of criticism, all of which started with how my grandmother was treated while a patient in the hospital. Oh, people were nice, but overall competence wasn’t up to standard; being a health care consultant, I know. I even wrote a small bit of that criticism here.

Funny thing about criticism; once you’ve opened up your eye and started looking for things that aren’t going well, you get really good at it, focused on it, and suddenly all it seems you’re seeing is incompetence everywhere. And man, it’s easy to find. It’s a place that’s easy to get into, but in the long run it might not be all that much fun.

Hence, the day after writing that post, being on Twitter and complaining about the weather. Yeah, the weather. lol In central New York, it’s like we jumped from winter to summer and totally skipped spring except for the rainy part. The temperature hit 92° (33C), and I’m sorry but that’s just way too hot for me. It was already over 80° around 9:30, and I was griping about that as well because I had hoped to cool the house off before it got really hot.

That’s when one of my online friends, Shirley George Frazier of Solo Business Marketing said: “Concentrate on the things you can control, and the rest will fall in line”. Goodness, what a thing to say to me at that moment. She hadn’t known what I’d been going through and what I’d been like, yet it was a very timely statement. I needed to see it and hear it; heck! Of course, being cool, I wrote back with “You mean I can’t control the weather?” She wrote back “Controlling the weather — something to add to your wish list!”

Funny lady, but the point was taken. It’s easy to complain about things, but harder to think about those things that we could actually do something about. There were a lot of things I was complaining about that I actually did something about, but others that I knew there wasn’t anything I could do. In an odd way I didn’t get all that depressed about any of it, but I also wasn’t as content and happy as I could have been, as I had been before my grandmother got hurt.

An important lesson for those of us who blog is to not get so into complaining about things that we don’t try to fix and resolve what we can. For all the complaints I wrote in the post on Ileane’s blog, I could control only what I do on my blog, and I don’t do any of the things I find irritating. For what happened to my grandmother I had a meeting with a representative at the hospital, and so far have also ended up talking to a couple of department directors on how things could have been improved. I feel good about that because I know that everything I say, if they fix it, will help the next patient that they encounter.

If you’re going to complain, do something about it as well; otherwise, maybe channel those thoughts towards something more positive. I think I can say that most of the time when I complain about something I’m also about to do something about it as well, or have done something about it, like when I talked about our smartphone issues. Are you making sure you’re doing something about those things that irritate you? Are some of those things on this tolerations list (it’s a pdf)?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

This Week, I Cut Back Some

About six weeks ago I wrote a post talking about when people disappear. I wondered at what point people miss you, and then at what point it’s done and over and we’ve moved on with life.


by Susan Fitzgerald

Not that this is necessarily an experiment to see who might miss me in some places but it’s more of an experiment to see what I will do with my extra time. For the next week I don’t plan on checking on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn to see what’s going on. The only time I’ll be on any of those sites is to respond to something if someone uses my name. I’ll know when that happens because all of them send emails when someone has said something directly to me.

Most of you don’t know this but Mitchell Allen and I have been working our way through this plan from a book called Get Clients Now by C. J. Hayden. Its basic purpose is to help you get clients, obviously. But it’s secondary purpose is to help you get things completed that have been on your list that will help you in some fashion. It also helps to do it with someone else to help keep you accountable, which is what we try to do for each other.

I’ve had a couple of things on my list for the past couple of months that I haven’t even started. I’m not sure that if I have more time to dedicate to it that I’ll get to either of them. But what I do know is that the marketing part is definitely something I need to do more of. I actually have gotten at least one new client over the past 3 months, so my efforts haven’t gone in vain. But I need to do more. This isn’t a vacation or a rest, but a re-dedication of work priorities, not including my blogs.

So, until Saturday at least, I’ll have my blog posts and be responding to people that post a comment here, but I’m not doing anything beyond that and what I’ve mentioned above. As for the blog posts, y’all know I write these things in advance, so that means I won’t be taking any time out to have to write anything new this week either, as it’ll already be written. I’ll either be working or relaxing some; I could use a bit of each.

That is, unless something big happens; please don’t let anything big happen. 😉

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell