Showing posts from December, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018 and best wishes for a great 2019!

I'm taking my annual break from the blog and podcast and most of the onlines for the rest of the year so, before I shut down the personal laptop and put away the iPad for a few days, I wanted to get over here and wish you all a very 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Touchscreen gaming - bah humbug!

I tried playing games on my iPad again yesterday. This experiment lasted about 15 minutes before I deleted them.

I just don't like using a touchscreen to play games. It doesn't feel right. Give me a joystick or a gamepad!

Maybe I'm showing my age. Maybe I was spoiled by growing up with arcades.

I went right across the room and grabbed my Atari Flashback Portable and played the Atari 2600 version of Asteroids for a half an hour and it was a blast.

Embracing the

I've had a love/hate relationship with the robot that automatically tweets things I post here and over at the podcast.

In yesterday's post, I wrote about the burden I felt adding to the noise online when there is so much noise already out there and that is why I had gotten away from using the robot on my Twitter account.

But, I finally had to employ the services of the robot again @upinthisbrain because I don't always think to go out and tweet when I post something and I had missed sharing several podcast episodes during the countdown. And, with Twitter gone from my phone for almost two weeks now, I've been thinking about Twitter less and less.

Still, I do see the value in Twitter and it's typically the first app I open when I grab my iPad and the best use of Twitter I know is to see what the people I know and care about are creating. The second best use is to share something funny or encouraging. The worst use is to be a negative suction of inaction that brings everyone down.

So, I encourage all of you to share your creations on Twitter. Be proud! Be loud! Get yourself a  and let us and the world know the cool things you are doing and don't feel one bit guilty about it. I no longer do. Anyway, you can always mute me and my  if you want.

What have you evolved into now?

Do you remember in The Big Chill when Nick interviews himself in front of the VHS camcorder? That was pretty nifty and expensive tech back in '83.

Parts of this scene stick with me, especially "What have you evolved into now?" The creator inside me asks this question a lot. I've felt like I've been on a roller coaster since I started podcasting in 2013, gaining momentum, losing momentum, seeking answers in books or who knows what to get back going again, only to get back going again and have the cycle repeat.

(Honestly, when I went back and read through this again, I realize I'd been on the roller coaster a lot longer than that - maybe since, I don't know, 1986 or so?)

For the last few months, though, something has seemed different. I can't quite put my finger on it but I have this odd new attitude about things that seems to have taken me off the roller coaster. It might have started with the Harlan Ellison interviews I watched and podcast I put together back in July.

"It's a very simple philosophy. Anybody who can be deterred from writing should have been. People who want to write really want to write and they WILL write." - Harlan Ellison

I see changes around me in many ways. One way is in the form of empty space thanks to a lack of clutter and a lack of items that had no practical use yet always seemed to surround me. Some people eat their feelings. I spent years buying mine and I've slowly reversed that way of thinking over the last couple of years. I've eBay'd a few things but also have given car loads to the local help center and made multiple trips to the dump.

Maybe it's also a question of priorities. I see the clock ticking down and I understand the importance of making memories versus wasting time being preoccupied with stuff and what people are saying on social media, etc. etc.

My biggest hang up creatively was feeling like I was being a burden on people. Read my blog! Read my tweets! Like my Instagram pictures! Listen to my podcast! I always felt guilty about contributing to the noise when I was having a hard time dealing with all the noise myself.

My attitude lately is that I am going to create what I want to create when I want to create it and I'm going to throw it out there and if people want to read or listen or whatever, they will and if they don't, they won't.

I have to leave it up to you to decide your own priorities but I must create. Creating keeps me going in a positive direction and I'm creating for me and if you enjoy it or relate to it or get inspired to create your own stuff, that is wonderful but it all comes down to the fact that I have to do this for me, in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

Back to evolving - I don't know how this site will evolve in 2019. I will post this and the robot will tweet it and somewhere between 4 and 100 people may read it or at least just flash it on their screen and then close it immediately. Who knows. Those numbers are really down from the early days of blogging, by the way, but that's not the reason I write, right?

Until next time,
Your friend in Cyberspace

From The Big Chill (1983):

So you came back from Vietnam - a changed man.
        Well, why don't you just tell everybody?
Then, in 1972... returned to the University of Michigan to enter the doctoral program in psychology. But you couldn't seem to finish that dissertation.
        I could have. I chose not to. I'm not hung up on this completion thing.
Then you had many jobs, all of which you quit.
        What are you getting at? I was evolving. I'm still evolving.
But your real fame came as a radio psychologist on KSFO in San Francisco.
        I wouldn't call it fame exactly. I had a small deeply disturbed following.
What are you doing now? Or I should say, what have you evolved into now?
        Oh, I'm in sales.
What are you selling?
         I don't have to answer that.

Nice radio station catch on my Tecsun PL-660

I think I mentioned on the podcast recently that I had been listening to a bit of AM radio again at night and had been enjoying that and last night, I had my Tecsun PL-660 tuned to WGN in Chicago (720 kHz) and it was coming in loud and clear. I like WGN because their late night programming is quite unique - you never know who you're going to hear being interviewed or what topic they might be discussing.

I fired up my radio this afternoon and it was still tuned to 720 kHz and a very strong signal was coming in. I was about to log into to see what it might be since we usually don't pick up anything on 720 kHz during the day here and that's when the weather forecast for Chicago started. That's right, WGN, 484 miles away, was coming in loud and clear at 3:30PM.

Maybe the conditions are just right. I don't know. But this radio continues to amaze me on AM and shortwave. On FM, not so much but that's OK. My other Tecsun, the PL-606, makes up for it with fantastic FM reception.

The Blog Fireplace

Between work and family activities and the Christmas podcasts, it's been crazy busy this week so I have had no time to write here and next week is looking just as busy. So, here's a nice fireplace to keep you warm until I return.

Friday Roundup from Armpit

It's Friday and I'm ready for the weekend. Tonight is the band and choir concert and I keep reminding myself that I don't have to move equipment tonight. It's like a reflex. Band equals having to load a truck. I was eating lunch today and I had that thought pass into my mind but then I realized, no, I just get to sit in the audience and enjoy the music tonight. Whew!

In other news, Christmas podcasting is in full swing now! Not only did the first episode of the 12 Podcasting Days of Christmas come out today, but I also recorded a segment for a very special upcoming Garbagecast Conversations. Exciting!

The holiday momentum will carry us right up to Christmas and then bam! The letdown that is December 26th. But let's try not to think about that right now.

Oh, look at this weather forecast for Armpit!

From our nuts and bolts department, the Up In This Blog Twitter is no more! Gone! Whammo! The Up In This Blog url is temporarily redirecting to this very site until it expires. 

It's nice to be down to just one Twitter so I can get frustrated in one nice convenient profile.

That's the news from Armpit for today. Back again next week with more exciting CONTENT!

Snow on the way?

It's been chilly here at the home office this week, a chilly we normally don't have settle in until almost the end of December. And with that chill we have had on and off snow flurries and enough of those west of us to make the roads briefly slick.

It reminds me of the weather I encountered about ten years ago this week. I was working that week up in Bloomington, Indiana and it was chilly, but not freezing, and the light snow seemed to be falling just about the entire time. The flakes weren't big enough to accumulate. They just lingered, sort of getting them ready for the real snow that was sure to come there in the weeks ahead.

Bloomington was one of my favorite places to have visited for work. The Indiana University campus there is filled with amazing historical buildings. But, I haven't been back. Our office there closed just a couple of months after that visit.

We don't get real snow this far south that often but it looks like we have a pretty decent chance coming together for Sunday night. I doubt it will last long but it will be something to behold if it really happens.

Full circle - why I changed the name of the blog (again)

Way back in 2013, I decided to start a podcast but I had a small problem. I wanted the podcast to have the name that this blog had at the time, Up In This Brain. In order to make that work, I decided I would change the name of the blog and make the home of my podcast.

I think I've changed the name of the blog a half-dozen times since then. None of the names sounded good to me. I guess Up In This Blog was OK but I never really liked it.

Recently, I noticed that our good podcasting pal, @aliencg, had assigned a subdomain to his blog and that was that. Nice, simple, neat.

So, that's what I've done. I have moved the blog back under the Up In This Brain umbrella of awesomeness.

Maybe that's a bit much.

The main reason I'm doing this is that I want to have less cyberstuff to manage. One less domain name, one less Twitter account.


Fewer things to maintain should mean more time to create. That's my goal for 2019.