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Thursday, October 10, 2019

To delete, or not to delete...


I pride myself on generally being able to begin writing with a germ of an idea and expanding it quickly into a cogent (if not necessarily entertaining) blog post without a lot of editing or rewriting. I may not be able to improvise playing music, but I have always seemed to be able to improvise writing on just about any subject.

But after 15 years and 1345 blog posts, I'm starting to notice that sometimes the stuff doesn't flow as easy as it used to. For one, I think I'm running out of things to say. Which is kind of ironic, because the blog post that prompted this one was one I just deleted called Talking about yourself. It was prompted by how I feel about blow hard's who can't talk about anyone but themselves.  This led to a declaration that I don't really like talking, period.

Then I realized that all I generally do is blog about myself. So I deleted the post. Because sometimes even I can't deny how self-centered and boring some of my blog posts are.

This is where feedback (something I truly hate) would be nice. When people used to read my blog and comment, I at least had some indication that I was being entertaining or educational or thought provoking. But no one but spammers leave comments anymore. And the joke is on them. Since no one reads my blog, no one is reading their spam either.

I can take some comfort in that.

Reflecting on things, it is not just my blog that doesn't get comments. In day to day life I don't get much feedback anymore. I don't hear, "Nice haircut" or "You look nice today." I don't hear many "thank you's" or "you did a great job on that," either.

Part of that is the politically correct world we now live in where everyone is afraid to make any personal comment about anyone or anything. And part of it is that dreaded invisibility cloak age puts on me.

I am speaking at a conference at the end of the month. I keep getting marketing e-mails from them asking me to attend the conference and listing some of expert speakers who are going to be there to entice me to attend. Then they list me and show my photograph.

Now that's invisible.

Monday, October 07, 2019

I'm a little bit country...


I've been binge watching Ken Burns latest documentary series, Country Music. The series has eight episodes that incorporate 16-hours of content. It begins with the roots of what we think of as country music and traces its meandering path to present day country.

I watched all 16 hours and as usual, I was amazed at Ken Burns sense of detail and history. The series brought back a lot of memories and created a few more. It's not that I grew up listening to country music. But I grew up in what I think of as a country place. And as I root around in my family tree, my people were all from country places.

I listened to Hank Williams as a little kid. I didn't know it was Hank. I remember in particular listening to his song Jambalaya.  I also listened to Tennessee Ernie Ford singing Sixteen Tons. That was pretty much the extent of the classic country that I knew. I did get exposed to some from watching television. I knew Roger Williams wrote King of the Road while staying in a sleazy motel in Garden City, a shady part of my hometown in Boise.

I also remember watching the Jimmy Dean show and thinking he looked and talked like a male version of my Aunt Irma. All of my many aunts and uncles talked country. It has a unique sound. It's slow and measured with a bit of a twang. It isn't southern, it's country. I think you can be from any state in the union and have a country accent. It's your people, not your place.


Friday, October 04, 2019

Inside my brain


I've been watching the documentary series, Inside Bill's Brain on Netflix. The brain it refers to is Bill Gates' brain. It has given me new respect for the man because I basically despise Microsoft and all of its products. But I appreciate what Gates has done with his charitable foundation once he stepped down from being the head of Microsoft (no pun intended).

I have to admit if I suddenly had billions of dollars being charitable wouldn't be my first thought. Oh, I'd eventually get there after exhausting all of the luxury things I could indulge in that I've never had before. After awhile I'd think of other things to do with the money. At least I think I would.

But it is painfully obvious that Bill Gates and my brains have very little in common. For one, although I am an introvert, I was never as socially inept as he apparently is. And although I was a voracious reader as a child and much of my early adulthood, I generally read fiction. Bill Gates is also a voracious reader but he reads non-fiction, dry as dirt stuff at the rate of 150 pages an hour and remembers 90 percent of it. I forget what I got up to go to the kitchen for.

I was a good student. I pretty much always got A's without studying too hard. Bill Gates apparently took a statewide math test before junior high and got the highest grade in the state. I hated math.

The one thing I have up on Bill and his brain is that I graduated from college. Bill dropped out and founded Microsoft. But he never finished college so that gives me a right to look down my nose at him even if his net worth hovers around the hundred billion level.

So I'm not a billionaire genius. Apparently you have to be pretty much on the spectrum to be considered a genius. So I'm wondering if it is really worth it to be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

Okay if it means making billions of dollars I'd have to say yes. But it still hurts my brain to think about it.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Self image


I think it is difficult to have a realistic view of what you look like to others. Because what do you have to base it on other than mirrors and photographs. And those are notorious liars.

Add to the mix the games your brain plays converting signals from your eyes and you really don't have a true image of anything let alone yourself. And let's not forget the unrealistic standards given us by Hollywood and ad agencies for what we should look like.

I have never considered myself handsome. As a boy I was, what I overheard my mother tell someone on the phone, stocky. I remember being teased by some classmates in grade school about how fast I consumed my lunch. They then started saying I had a spare tire.

The spare tire disappeared in junior high. I was pretty skinny. That lasted into college. Along the way I had your typical teenagers battle with acne. And the style for hair at the time was long and pretty much unshaped.

I never had very good muscle tone. I wasn't athletic. I hated running. To this day I have skinny arms, huge calves and the spare tire has returned in a vengeance. I also have a big nose, big ears, a few double chins and crooked teeth. Oh and I have very gray, almost white hair.

Not a pretty picture.