Showing posts from June, 2018


I'm on staycation this week so I have decided to take a bit of a creative break. That means no blogging this week since I will be away from the onlines more than usual. I'm not sure if there will be an episode of Up In This Brain! or not. If inspiration hits, I'll hit record. If not, I'll take a week off from that also.

I'll be back here writing the typical daily nonsense starting Monday, July 2nd. Have a good week!

Go in the library for one book, walk out with five

Yes, it happened again. I had one book on hold and walked back out of the library with six books. I don't know how this happens! If you are on Goodreads and want to connect, click here and add me!

Here's what I came out with:
I went in to check out this one. I just finished chapter one and I liked it. I almost checked it out and read it last year but did not for some reason. I follow the author on Twitter and she is currently running 1000 Words of Summer. I highly recommend the newsletter although I am sadly writing nowhere near 1000 words a day!

I saw this on the new release shelf and checked it out. I like Michael Chabon and it looks like a quick, interesting read. 

This and the next two books were on the book sale shelf for $1 a piece. I have always been curious about this book. It looks like someone got it new and never read it. Not a good sign but for $1, why not!

Oddly enough, this book was in my saved eBay searches. The cheapest copy was $4 shipped. Here it was for $1. I am not an alcoholic nor am I too anonymous but I have always been curious about the book and had recently read a bit about AA in an article so I picked it up.

I have been wanting to read this one. I was going to check it out at the library, probably in the fall, but there it was on the $1 shelf! Can't beat that. It's another book that looks like brand new. Once I read it, I'll donate it back.

The joy of my Nintendo 2DS XL

Several months ago, I got the sudden urge to get back into playing video games quite casually and this led me to buying a Nintendo 2DS XL.

Until last year, I had the regular 2DS which was fine but the screens were quite small and the handheld was sort of awkwardly shaped and hard to transport around without my being afraid of breaking it. It was also kind of slippery.

All of that is fixed with the 2DS XL. The screens are huge. It's comfortable to hold and not slippery. I've had a lot of handhelds over the years starting way back with the original Game Boy and, in my opinion, the 2DS XL is the best gaming handheld I have ever had.

The main reason I wanted to get one was because I missed playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf (referred to in the rest of this post as ACNL). A few minutes with ACNL is a nice way to wind down at the end of the day. It's sort of silly at times, it's slow paced, the music is fantastic and it's nice, calm fun.

In the game, you have the option to travel to an island so you can catch all sorts of exotic bugs and fish. Catching stuff is how you earn money in the game and I was always forgetting how much things are worth. So, I put together a nice spreadsheet and laminated it. Yes, I am that serious about ACNL.

I found all the data online and formatted it to make a one page front and back sheet. I have posted that in my Dropbox and you can download it by clicking here. The third tab, events, is just for your reference. I could not figure out a way to make all that data fit!

I don't take many screenshots in ACNL but I did take these to share on Twitter last Monday. This was my biggest accomplishment last weekend!

This is on the way to the island. You always get to hear a nice song on the way.

I was able to restore all of the games I have bought online over the years and one weird favorite of mine is Tomodachi Life. Of course, I put my wife and I in there and weirdness ensued fairly quickly. 

Please enjoy some of my favorite screenshots from Tomodachi Life:

Since we were the only two characters in the game at the beginning, we ended up getting married, of course!

It's creepy how much the game nails the personalities. You rate a few traits based on whoever you are setting up and it does the rest!

So now you have a bit of an idea of what I am doing with my 2DS XL. I probably only play 20 minutes every other day or so. There is no pressure. It's just a nice escape whenever I need it.

Dealing with the birds

No, this is not an entry about trying to drive through Nashville although the title pretty much fits.

Remember the old Hitchcock film, The Birds? That was some scary stuff. When I was a kid, there was a bird that would sit up in the tree and wait for me to go get the mail. Then it would swoop down at me. Maybe I was getting too close to a nest? Maybe it did it for sport? Who knows.

There are birds out there today that are even more scary than the ones Hitchcock introduced us to. He can't even imagine the horror of - The Tweet Birds.

The tweets come in all day and night, one after another, and a lot of it is bad news and rage. How can you maintain at least a little control over it all? I have some recommendations.

First, use the handy mute feature. Mute annoying people. Mute companies that post ads over and over. I finally muted The Tonight Show because I got sick of seeing the same Dairy Queen ad every time I opened Twitter. Mute phrases like, I don't know, the name of our President? Mute entire conversations that I somehow end up in. If it wasn't for the mute feature, I'm not sure I would still be on Twitter.

Second, set up lists. I have two private lists. One is named news. Every news and weather organization plus various local school Twitters show up on this list. The other one is named Dogpound. The choice of name is a story for another time but within it are a few key people whose Tweets I try not to miss. Only 8 of the 161 accounts I follow have made the Dogpound list.

But, how best to see these lists? You can get to your lists fairly quickly in the mobile app. Also, you can bookmark the lists in your laptop browser and go right to them.

However, my favorite way to view lists is to have them set up as the first two columns in Tweetdeck.

Third, use Tweetdeck whenever you can.

Yes, Tweetdeck can be overwhelming. It all depends on how you set it up, how many lists you have, how many people you follow and how many accounts you are on the teams of. Plus, Tweetdeck is not the most intuitive thing to use. You get used to it over time. All the functionality of the mobile apps and desktop Twitter is there. You just have to dig around for it sometimes.

Having my lists set up as the first two columns in Tweetdeck is wonderful. I can pop it open, quickly see what is important and ignore the rest until I have the time and patience to scroll through the rest of the feed.

Fourth, if you follow someone that retweets way too much crap that you don't want to see, turn off retweets for that person. If they only tweet one original thought a week, that's all you'll see and I am just fine with that.

My fifth and final recommendation is to take a break from Twitter from time to time. For good mental health, you sometimes need to walk away from the bombardment. Delete the app before you leave the house for the day. You can always add it back later. Don't think you just won't open it. You will. Chuck it completely from time to time.

I know there are many benefits from having Twitter so I don't want to quit it completely but it's good to turn off the incoming flow sometimes and have a bit of time to process your thoughts without hundreds of other voices clamoring for your attention.

And maybe you'll end up limiting it permanently to just being on your laptop and not taking it with you outside of your home. Maybe I will get to that point eventually. Who knows. Right now, at this moment, the benefits of Twitter makes it worth it to me to find better ways to manage it instead of just throwing my hands in the air and giving up on it.

A radio update

I haven't written about a gizmo here in a long time. I used to write about my radios from time to time because I had so many of them. Well, just about all of them are gone now so there hasn't been much to write about.

After the radio purge, I have two shortwave radios left.

One, my Eton E5, is stored in a tote without batteries. I just don't listen to shortwave anymore but that's a great radio and I am keeping it just in case the shortwave bug bites again one day or in case the preppers are right and the grid eventually goes down.

I also kept my Tecsun PL-398BT. A minor reason I kept it is the one-button ETM (Easy Tuning Method) tuning which finds all listenable shortwave broadcasts in a scan that takes only a couple of minutes. The major reason I kept it is because it can be used as a Bluetooth Speaker and it takes rechargeable AA batteries that run it for hours.

Lately, it's become my main Bluetooth speaker for music. It's not great for talk podcasts though. There is not enough bass. For music, it's great and it has that new crazy technology known as STEREO! Amazing, right?

It also picks up the rather weak local classical station perfectly and classical music sounds decent (could use more bass!) enough.

So, instead of languishing away in a tote, my Tecsun PL-398BT is getting almost daily use and it's nice to have things I actually use instead of more things than I really need that just sitting on shelves collecting dust.

I need to stop buying stuff

As I clean things out, I must also stay focused on not letting stuff creep back into the house.

The only way I know to avoid dumb impulse purchases is to stay out of certain stores. 

Here's an example of what happens when I slip. Just last week the day before my attic purge, after weeks of driving by and not stopping, I had a little extra free time and decided the best use of that time would be to stop at Goodwill. Why not?! I'd been good. It was time for a little bit of what Anne Lamott correctly refers to as retail therapy.

What is retail therapy? Well, it's nice, just walking around a store alone and looking for treasure among the trash. Goodwill, unlike Walmart, is full of surprises. You never know what will end up on the shelves and I am tempted by just about all of it. The act of buying something is a nice, albeit temporary, escape from the problems of the world. It's also like a reward - something tangible to show for your work.

Of course, it is also someone's discarded junk, the result of someone else's attic purge probably but let me try not to think about that!!

On this particular trip, I spent only $6 but I found five 99 cent items and they all came back with me to the house. One was a multi-record set of Lawrence Welk Christmas songs and I bought that for the Christmas podcasts so I feel it was totally worth it. My 9 listeners will be the judge of that later this year.

However - the other four items were bags! BAGS! I don't need more bags!

Then the attic purge happened and two of the bags went right back out the door to the help center. Two stayed. One is a nice Jansport messenger bag WITH THE TAGS STILL ON IT so I am keeping that in case me or the kids want to use it. The other was a Targus iPad bag which I have already used twice (WINNING!). To make up for this, I went through all the bags and got rid of several more I no longer use.

But the point is - I didn't really need any of that stuff and the temptation would have stayed out of my mind if I had not gone in that store in the first place.  I really need to avoid thrift stores (a major weakness) and clearance aisles (a huge weakness) and I need to remember that I already have way more crap than I need and I am already making plans to get rid of more of this crap so why would I keep adding to the pile?

The attic purge (what I kept)

What did I keep from the big attic purge? Aside from the one tote that went back upstairs filled with meaningful yet mostly archival things, I didn't save a whole lot but don't get the wrong impression - I am still surrounded by stuff. It amazes me when I consider how much I have gotten rid of over the past few years that I really didn't need yet I feel like I still have a bunch of things that may or may not be valuable or useful!

Of course, this is the end goal and I feel like I have worked quite hard over the past few years to realize it. Sure, there are items around here that are meaningless to everyone on Earth but me but they bring enjoyment just by their presence so that is a good thing.

Without further adieu, here are some of the items that made the cut and are sticking around:

This is an oddity. It's a Sheldon Cooper flash drive. You have to pull off the head (Creepy!) to get to the USB part. I bought it at Radio Shack years ago for two or three dollars. It still works so why not.

Turn your fridge into a nightclub with these California Raisin magnets!

These are very old Sloan Wilson novels. It's a shame that I never had the dust jackets but I like the designs on the covers. On the left is The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. On the right is A Summer Place. Both were made into movies. 

I saved a bunch of my favorite comic strips that were on the walls in various offices and cubicles over the years. I'll be sharing more in the future now that I have found them.

Always the Letterman fan, here is an article I clipped out of the paper back in 1994.

Sadly, I still cannot find my engraved name tag. This was the temporary one I had while waiting on it. I have been through just about everything so I am beginning to think it somehow got lost in a move. Sad face. 

I bought this back when Corner Gas was on the air new. 

Finally, I believe this came from Spencer's in the mall not far from my house. The date on it is 1987 and this button was made after Norm said this phrase on Cheers!

Remembering, on her birthday

Thirty years ago today, just a few months before my own 15th birthday, Stacey turned 15. I would meet her for the first time a few weeks later and there are parts of the months that followed that are still quite vivid in my mind as I type this. Her loss, not long after she turned 17, was shocking and painful.

Of course, suicide has been in the news quite a bit lately and, when it is, it's hard not to revisit the past. The world that existed in 1988 seems, in my mind, to be so much smaller without the internet in our pockets. For example, the act of leaving the house meant you were completely disconnected for a while. There was no phone to ring in the car and no email or iMessage or tweet that had to be answered over lunch.

Loss, however, has not changed. I feel for the families, especially the children, of those left behind by suicide, high-profile or not. A lot of feelings will come up for them in the years to come such as anger, sadness, the idea of not being "enough" to keep someone here and so much more.

Aside from the guilt of what we think we missed, those left behind also live in fear of it happening again so we typically overreact when people we care about are upset or angry or even just too quiet. This can cause a whole new set of problems.

After all this time, I mostly find the balance in this but it is tough and some days the balance is just not there. The worry takes over and it is hard to convince myself that this act is the exception and not the rule.

In the years since, other people I have known have taken their lives. It's always hard for me to understand and all of the emotions from so long ago play back as if they just happened.

I share this because the best way I feel that I can honor Stacey today on what would have been her forty-fifth birthday is to share the information below in the extremely low likelihood that someone in need might accidentally come by here one day in the future and click one of these links or dial the number and make one of the toughest yet best decisions they can ever make - ask for help.


The attic purge (what I got rid of)

As much as I have complained about what my mother had accumulated in her attic over the years, I had still done very little to tackle my own attic. Of course, it's not near as bad but there is plenty up there that needs to be dealt with.

This past Monday, I brought down six huge totes filled with stuff and only one tote went back up. That one tote is full of keepsakes that were selected from across all the totes - some from my kids, some from my younger years and some from my wife's younger years.

Two full totes went to the help center thrift store and three full, heavy bags went to the trash.

So, what did I get rid of? Things that were sticking around out of guilt. A lot of it was stuff I brought back from my mother's attic stash. I thought all the stuff had been gone for decades. Surprise, surprise! I held on to them out of the idea that these things had sentimental value to her but then I realized that if they truly did have some meaning, why were they boxed up in the attic for decades?

Stuff in the attic is stuff you don't love enough to have around you in daily life.

I also got rid of dumb purchases I had made over the years. For example, I finally purged a bunch of "Maybe I'll read them one day" books that I had picked up over the years. I was trying to use the idea of "maybe one day" to justify my dumb purchases.

The big challenge will be to not save or buy things that will eventually need to be purged so that this process doesn't have to be repeated over and over!

So, what did I keep from these totes? More on that Monday.

Some of it matters now

This is what I kept telling myself when I looked at the material things I have/had and decided what to keep and what to purge over the last couple of years: In the end, none of it will matter.

But I realized in the last couple of months that it was this very thought that had stopped me in my purging tracks. "None" is a pretty broad word and it's not at all realistic and I had subconsciously acknowledged this realization by suddenly stopping the ongoing project I have had of getting rid of the things that I don't need or that don't truly spark joy.

The stacked up totes in the attic stayed right where they were and downstairs drawers full of stuff I know I didn't really need stayed untouched.

To get going again, I needed to understand two truths:

One: In the end, some of it will matter. I won't be around but some of the stuff I leave behind will matter to whoever ends up deciding how the things we leave behind are distributed (given away, kept, sold, or junked).

Two: Some of it matters now. Beyond what items I have saved that get only semi-regular use, some of the things I saved have sentimental value and I get joy out of their presence. I may not look at my 11th grade yearbook but there it is on the shelf in the hallway - a reminder of who I once was and how far I've come. Understanding what truly matters should also help me avoid keeping things that have only temporary sentimental value, such as ticket stubs and old greeting cards.

The big breakthrough I had was to change my focus to what to keep instead of what to get rid of(Click here for a great article about Marie Kondo's thoughts on this)

It seems odd to me but when I focused on what to keep, I ended up getting rid of more things.

More on that tomorrow...

Slowing down (easier said than done!)

I've started and given up on two books in the last two weeks and this felt like an incredible waste of time to me. In fact, I got so far into one book that I was fixated on continuing it even though it was a terrible slog. I finally had enough common sense, at about 150 of 400 pages, to throw in the towel.

A second book I had reserved but was not too enthusiastic about popped in (just like magic) and I began that and I didn't last thirty pages. No wonder I thought it was crap in college! Validation for 1992 me! But again, I found my internal nagger nagging away - more wasted time!

What was it, I started pondering, that kept me reading books I wasn't really too excited about reading? Couldn't I just sit back and let some sort of divine intervention take over? Will just the right book to read reveal itself when the time was right if I sit back and wait a bit? What was the rush?

Then, I realized what the rush was. My driving need to be productive had taken the steering wheel away from my love of reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I got hung up on always being "in" a book. I was burning through pages - look at me, the reader! - instead of taking the time to enjoy what I was reading when, in fact, I was reading books I wasn't really enjoying just for the sake of reading books.

Of course, this is not just about reading books. It's also about checking items off of the to do list and getting all the housework done and all the yard work done and all the podcasting recording and editing done and getting all the writing here done, etc. etc. etc.

Getting it done vs. slowing down and enjoying what I am doing.

So, I am making a conscious effort to slow down and focus on as few things at a time as possible and hopefully that is just one thing at a time.

I finally took my time and spent about 30 minutes looking through the "to read" lists I have accumulated in several places and I found a book I am really enjoying at the time that I write this.
I've also made the effort to not speed read but to slow down and enjoy the page.

I'm not on any schedule here. It doesn't matter how many books I read in what amount of time or how many pages I read at lunch unless I am really into the book and cannot put it down and I was fortunate enough for that to happen recently.

(Side note - I don't typically post about the books I start and give up on in Goodreads.)

As for everything but reading, that's more challenging. I still feel the need to get as much done as I can. Why only water the yard today? Let's go ahead and get the seed and fertilizer all down also? Why only wash one load of clothes when I might as well knock out that second basket also?

Plus, there are tweets to read! Groceries to buy! Dogs to wash! Drawers to organize!

So many things are encouraging us to hurry up with it and go on to the next thing. Who has time to read this long entry, I think as I write this. I don't know that I would and asking you, the valued reader, to do it is asking you to ignore all of the other things you have to do right now in order to read this!


How do we slow down when the world just wants more, more, MORE of us?

Self doubt

Self-doubt can be paralyzing. I get it all the time. I used to let it stop me in my tracks all the time. Now it only does part of the time.

I have self-doubt when I am looking at Twitter and get frustrated over something I see. My mind tries to stop me from entering the fray. Will I have to deal with a bunch of randos who don't agree with me? What good will it do to add my voice to the noise?

The answer is probably no good at all, of course.

Minds are not being changed on the internet in 280 characters.

I have self-doubt when I finish recording something for the podcast. I press stop and my mind is overwhelmed by whatever I perceived as negative during the recording. I coughed. I paused too much. I wasn't generic enough for EVERYONE to like me. At that moment, I can't think of one positive thing that I captured in the recording.

I have self-doubt when I see something approaching on my calendar that is going to put me out of my comfort zone. A dentist appointment is a good example of this. It's so uncomfortable having someone poke around my teeth. Also, when I sign up to volunteer at an event. Will the other people working find me acceptable, easy going, etc.?

But, more and more as life's clock is ticking down, I just keep moving forward and I try to ignore self-doubt and all the fun that comes along with it.

I wish I had moved forward and done everything I needed to and wanted to all the times that I let self-doubt prevent me from doing so but all that time and all those chances are gone.

So, I tweet that tweet I wouldn't have tweeted a year ago whether it does any good or not. I keep and even publish the whole recording. I go to my dentist appointments on a regular schedule. I volunteer and things go just fine.

I make new memories. I make new friends. I experience new things that I discuss on the podcast or write about here.

I keep going.

I keep growing.

Planning on paper - an update

Back in February, I wrote about how I had started using a paper agenda as an extra tool (in addition to Google Calendar, Outlook and Todoist) to plan my weeks.

The benefit was seeing everything in front of me from all of these sources. I would write out the week ahead on Friday and then review the calendar on Monday.

It wasn't long before I stopped trying to track my to-do list on paper. Todoist does a fine job of that and I was just duplicating work. Also, my Google Calendar syncs with my Todoist so I don't miss upcoming personal events.

I trudged on with the planner for a bit longer, only using it to plan my week and it worked fine but felt like overkill. I knew about a month ago that I would not buy another planner for next year and I started looking around the web for templates that would allow me to print and fill in my own weekly calendar.

Well, no template I found was exactly what I wanted so I ended up creating my own in Excel in the same way that I created a monthly calendar to track my father's bills which I manage.

This is a work in progress (I tweak it all the time) but here is basically how it works:

It seems to work quite well. I keep it on a clipboard on the lower shelf by my desk and pick it up when I need to glance at it. I was originally going to keep it visible at all times on a bulletin board but I really only use this on Friday to plan the week ahead and on Monday to refresh myself on the week when it starts.

It's like this extra little failsafe in place to make sure I stay on top of everything that is going in. It gives me a bit more confidence as I tackle all of the things I am responsible for.

I also have it posted on Dropbox here for anyone who wants to look at it or modify it for their needs.
Update! Since I originally wrote this, I made some slight tweaks to the sheet, removing the notes section I never used being the biggest. Here are those files:

Too many pencils

How many pencils does one person actually need?

I have a red-leaded pencil that I use to mark up books and other things I am working on and I've only used about one-third of that pencil in the last year.

If that means it will take me three years to use one pencil, I don't guess I have enough life left ahead to use all of these pencils.

Now add in these.

And these. I wish I could say my kids (now in high school) might use some of these but they typically only use mechanical pencils. Having to stand up and go to the pencil sharpener is so 1985. Of course, buying a box of 24 banana pencils was totally worth it. I mean, they are banana pencils. How cool is that?!

I also have a 32 oz cup with pencils in it next to my work desk (not pictured!).

And, I keep a small pencil case in my work bag and these are the pencils I use the most including that shorter red pencil.

Here are a couple of special pencils.

First up is one of my food pencils.

And here is a pencil I bought at the Nixon Library ten or so years back.

What is the allure of the pencil? Simply, I like writing with pencils and pencils are cheap.

I really rediscovered my love of the pencil just a year or so ago and I just like how a pencil writes compared to a pen, especially for marking up notes in books and filling out my weekly paper calendar.

I know I don't need boxes of them but that's how they typically come.

I also know I should never need to buy a pencil again but I probably will.

Hold the influence

It's hard to listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos or read books and not let parts of the creations of others to seep into my own creations in some way.

I want to be inspired by other creators but I don't necessarily want to be influenced by them. 

If I let someone else influence me too much, I will become a terrible copy of them and with my luck I will end up a copy of a copy of a copy.

I can't be original or at least kinda original if I let myself be influenced too much by one particular creator. Maybe this is why I subscribe to multiple YouTube folks and read multiple comic strips and read books on all sorts of topics by all sorts of different authors. I want a chorus of creators speaking to me and inspiring me but not molding me into their own image.

There are also times that I have to shut out the world completely for a while because the world is loud with so many voices that they drown out my own voice and then I don't know what to say into the recorder or type into the computer.

But even worse - and yes, there is worse than being drowned out - is when I experience a creation (podcast, video, book) that is TERRIBLE for one reason or another (boring, rambling, pointless, bad audio, etc.) and I start to see my own creations through the TERRIBLE FILTER and my mind is saying that maybe all of my stuff is just as bad!

Or, I experience a creation that is AWESOME! EXCELLENT! WONDERFUL! and I start to see my own creations through the I'LL NEVER BE AS GIFTED AS THEM FILTER and what is the point of doing anything if I will always be mediocre?

Inspiration vs. influence.

Give me the inspiration. Hold the influence.

The joy of exporting and the necessity of editing

Editing podcasts - a necessary evil. I don't particularly enjoy it but some days are better than others for editing.

Some days I don't procrastinate and procrastinate. I just dive right in and I feel good about the work. I deal with the interruptions that I know will come. I don't get frustrated when I have to replay the same segment four times because the phone rang or an email came through or I had a big brain fart.

Some days I think about the files in their folders waiting to be imported into Audacity and I just want to scream into a pillow. I ignore them and avoid them and time ticks away. This file posts at noon Monday? Fine. I can wait until Friday afternoon to deal with it.

I don't know why I have mixed emotions about editing. The end product is typically delightful but the process of editing is clearly work and wouldn't I rather be reading a book or staring off into space?

One of the best parts of editing is that it gives me the opportunity to listen and hear things I didn't absorb during the actual recording and these discoveries send me off into new directions that I didn't expect.

There is satisfaction in finding just the right sound effect or song or cutting up a conversation in just the right way to eliminate the boring parts and produce something, well, not bad.

I'm not going for awards here. I'm going for a mildly pleasant experience for our listeners whether there are less than 10 or more than 100.

Editing is necessary. It's not always fun, but it's necessary.

Tweetin' is dangerous

Former sitcom star has show revived only to become a former sitcom star again in record time

That's a great headline.

So proud, your family must be.

Twitter turns phones into grenades if the wrong person is using it and the pin of this grenade is not Ambien. It would be nice to have that as an excuse.

Hey, world! Sorry about my blog and all my podcasts. I was on Ambien for all of it!

Sorry, officer for driving 100 through that school zone. Ambien!

It's not that simple.

Some people cannot handle Twitter. They don't have the responsibility it takes to have an outlet to post their thoughts on the internet in real-time. How we expect people to have the responsibility to own assault rifles in a society in which people can't handle apps is beyond me but this is the world we live in.

2018! A front row seat to the destruction of society.

New headline!

Twitter is not destroying society. Dumb people are. Twitter just makes the process simpler and faster.

Film at 11.

My big beef with former sitcom star is that nothing she posts does any good. It's all trash. It's meant to divide people and make people upset. She does nothing proactive. She's not out actually working for any sort of change. She's just sitting in her recliner or on the crapper or in the back of a limo pissed off about things and she opens Twitter and uses it as an outlet.

Twitter is a fantasy. Most of the internet is. You think you are doing something when you are really doing nothing.

And now, former sitcom star is doing nothing.

Freedom of speech. Guess what else is free? Consequences.

2018 - the summer of consequences.

Use Twitter only as directed and that means take 99% of the things you feel like tweeting and just don't. I find myself using it less and less.

Twitter has been the only social media account I have been using that was not private and I moved my main account (@upinthisbrain) back to private this week after getting a new influx of robot followers, spammers and people I didn't know poking around through tweets.

I know being private doesn't guarantee privacy but it does give me a little control over who I give a front row seat to my rambling thoughts.