Monday, November 17, 2014

Top ten lists of top ten lists

Ten must be a magic number. Because I've sensed a pattern of tweets and "news" sites of hooking readers in by the promise of a top ten list. And it works. I inevitably get sucked into pages that promise to give me a list of the top ten foods to eat or not to eat, the top ten islands I can't afford to buy or the top ten celebrities that have aged ten years in the past decade.

I imagine some researcher or psychologist told marketers that ten is maximum number of things the ADD public can focus on before rushing off to the next list of ten. For the heck of it, I Googled "top lists of lists" and sure enough there were a plethora of top lists of top ten lists. One, Listverse, ironically, had not ten, but a dozen list of top-ten lists of top ten. They included:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ravings



I was tempted to call this post "Twitterings" but it thought it might be too hypocritical since I've been making my own ventures into spouting wisdom in 140 characters or less. And in all fairness, ravings take place on all parts of the Internet, not just Twitter. It's just seems to be a fire hose to drink them from.

I confess, I have never paid much attention to Twitter or how it works up until a few weeks ago and I was forced to try and understand as part of my job. I had basically relied on Facebook posts to repost on Twitter when I had made a new post on Dizgraceland. And I assumed the lack of attention I received on Twitter was due to the short attention spans of people rather than the fact that I only had 40 followers. And only two or three of them actually were following me because they were aware of my blog.

After reading a book about social media marketing, I finally realized that in order to get attention on Twitter, you actually have to have more than 40 followers. It is nothing like Facebook where you are actually trying to communicate with people you know and sort of like. Twitter requires volume.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Blogs that apparently don't suck

I watched the first season of Betas on Amazon Prime. It is a Amazon produced series about a group of social app developers in San Francisco trying to become millionaires by launching a social media app that makes people put down their smartphones and hook up face to face. It is an interesting series filled with nerds/hipsters...nerdsters I guess. Or maybe hiperds. Then again they may be more geeksters or hipeeks. Whatever. I think you catch my drift.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Día de las muertos fotos

“ On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations. ” 
—Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature
In honor of Halloween and the Day of the Dead, I've taken advantage of Google's Halloweenify yourself app to honor (?) my family. I suppose it is also a way to welcome the spirits into my blog. God knows it has been dead around here. 

My great, great grandparents and my grandmother

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Haunting


I watched a horror flick on Amazon Prime the other day called Grave Encounters. It was sort of a Ghost Hunters meets Blair Witch Project. The plot premise is that a reality show camera team (bearing a striking similarity to the real life Ghost Hunters crew) are spending the night in reportedly haunted abandoned mental hospital. They do the obligatory interviews with grounds keepers and building caretakers and get secondhand stories of odd sounds and misty figures. But nothing real concrete (just like the real Ghost Hunters).

Monday, October 20, 2014

I ain't afraid of no ghosts


Halloween is rapidly approaching. So you would think that there would be more paranormal activity going on. After all, it's a holiday for ghosts, right?

Apparently Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (it's pronounced SAH-win..sowing...get it),  It was a day the Celts used to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. They believed that the transition day between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the supernatural. The time between sunset on October 31 and sunset on November 1 was supposed to open the door to the spirits of the dead and other supernatural beings such as fairies.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Hulk wasn't in touch with his emotions

"Don't make me mad. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad."
--David Banner (The Hulk)

After a week of intensive management training and using "I" language (I think...I feel), it strikes me that the Hulk didn't own his emotions. Because, in theory, no one can make you feel any way. You feel a certain way because of your reaction to something external to you.

It would have been better if I phrased that, "No one can make me feel any way. I feel a certain way because of my reaction to something external to myself." I have to keep poking myself in the "I" to remember to use "I" language.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The creator


Despite the headline, this post isn't about god or God. I just started thinking about my job and my life and wondered when I stopped being creative. Because that is one thing I always clung to as being my identity in life. I was creative.

Being creative to me means creating something...something original. Creative writing is original writing, not regurgitated prose or hackneyed plots. And even though I studied Journalism (which frowns on creative license in telling a story), I always held onto the belief that my writing was different from others. And in retrospect, maybe it is different, just not in a good way.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fake Blood



I finished binge watching all of the seasons of The Sopranos and I've moved on to the HBO series True Blood. There are seven seasons and 80 episodes. I figure I can watch about three a day between my commute and my daily workout.  So I figure I should have watched them all by Halloween.

Unlike The Sopranos, I had only watch a couple seasons of True Blood before being distracted by life. So, also unlike The Sopranos, the final episode (which only aired last month) should surprise me and not jump to a black screen with Journey playing in the background and everyone saying WTF happened.

Sorry if I spoiled The Sopranos finale for anyone who hasn't seen it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Schrödinger's cat


An explanation of Schrodinger's cat experiment from whatis.com: 
Here's Schrödinger's (theoretical) experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead and alive according to quantum law, in a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that it can never be known what the outcome would have been if it were not observed.
Why am I dredging up quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox again? You (whoever you are) may have recalled me posting about having my cat of 17 years euthanized back in July. A few weeks later, we received a call from the vet that I we could pick up her ashes. I numbly drove to the vet and waited as the same assistant who had put the IV to administer the drug to end my cat's life went and retrieved a small cardboard box housing the container with her ashes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What ya gonna blog about it?


Bless Amazon. Despite all of their mega corporation faults, they have provided many HBO series classics for free on Amazon Prime. And you can download and watch them. I am on season six of The Sopranos, the series that made New Jersey crime families seem like regular Joe's (regular Joe's that cut people's heads off, cheated on their wives, set fire to horses and stole indiscriminately).

I guess I'd seen all of The Sopranos episodes over the years, but nothing beats binge watching six years of a classic to maintain continuity. The thing I've always hated about watching a series on HBO or Showtime is that you never seem to be able to catch them from the beginning unless you DVR them or watch them on demand. So I think I originally watched The Sopranos in fits and starts and out of order.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Damn, I missed my blogiversary

On August 4, 2004, I made my first blog post protesting that I wasn't a rabid Elvis fan despite the fact I called myself Tim-Elvis. Now, a decade and more than a thousand posts later, I am still here. Not that "here" has any significance on the Web. Here could be anywhere and everywhere on the Web.

But I digress (something that hasn't changed in ten years).

I no longer call myself Tim-Elvis. I am simply Time now. And Time goes on, slipping, slipping into the future.

A lot has happened in ten years. But since I try to keep my personal life out of my blog life, not much of it was chronicled in Dizgraceland. Just so you know, though, in ten years I got married, had two children, moved three times and have lived in three different houses. And in ten years I lost my mother and my cat that I had seven years before I started blogging.