Covfefe: Obligations and What-Not


The ‘Fefe Was That?

Not meaning to toot my own horn, but “toot-toot!” I went the entire day without sayin’ boo. Covfefe? More like covwhofuckin’cares? I’m going to take high road travelled by grumpy old men and look down on anyone who jumped on the bandwagon. For shame!

So gloats the great horn of irony! It’s not lost on me that this post is a contradiction, but I needed something to write about and I might as well go where the money is.

What the hell was it all about anyway? I can’t be bothered to google it or look into much more than the shallow end of twitter, but I believe it was intended to be “coverage.” I typed it like I was playing accompaniment air guitar on a Jim Brickman song. Meaning, so gently I didn’t depress a single key.

My investigation concluded with substantial evidence that everyone is an idiot. The person who typed it, the people who jumped on it and made it go viral, me for writing this. We’re all in this together! We just spread a virus. Symptoms include shrinking of hands and being an idiot. Covfefe, catch the fever!

 


See you in the funny papers. Which now happens to be every paper.

 

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Failing At Blogging?


 

Failing At Blogging

That’s what the tweet said. Mimicking one of those desperate 900 numbers from the 90’s that wanted to teach me TV VCR repair. “But I’m just a chubby child? What am I going to do with the knowledge to fix a VCR?” Looking back now, I could have made some major coin with that knowledge. Not only would I have been savvy enough to program VCR’s and repair them during their heyday, I could have been the Dr. Frankenstein resurrectionist that hipsters come to for the absolute worst in home video entertainment.

I kept an open mind this time and didn’t shoot it down immediately. Am I failing? Well, by this guy’s definition, yes. How could a single person not be failing when he is comparing them to Huffington Post and Mashable. Is your blog missing the financial backing of a publicly traded company? Do you have less than twenty full time writers, editors and contributors?

The site looked like what a Smart Car would look like all tarted up like a Nascar. Stickers, bumpers, creepers and bleepers were everywhere. My first reaction was to have a seizure. However, before my eyes could roll back in my head and my mouth began to froth, a popup, er, popped up. Perhaps popup isn’t the proper name, as it covered the entire screen and descended from the top of the site, like someone drawing a blind to cover up some hideously bright scene.*

My faculties came back to me. The clickers started clickin’ and the peepers started peepin’. That’s when I realized the shade was wanting my information. My digital digits. I wasn’t in the mood. Hell, I didn’t even know why I would want to come back to this site. Ever! So I clicked the X in the corner. And the nuclear Nascar sensibilities came back into view. I was ready this time though. Steeled like some ancient armored sentinel with an evil looking blade and a worse attitude.

Yet, as quickly as the site appeared, it was grayed out again. As a different popup, well, popped up. This one was the more standard rectangular affair that wanted my email address. At this juncture, I still had no idea whether or not I liked this site. Scratch that, I knew I didn’t like the site, but perhaps I needed the site. Maybe it had an untold trove of information that would turn me into a trend maker. Visions of putting an ad on Craigslist for an unpaid intern, as I read on for the life changing information it contained.

It didn’t! It told writers to write and artists to art. In summary, keep blogging. Post whatever it is that you do. Link it to your other sites and creations. I saw the flailing magician, trying so desperately to get his trick to work. I heard a drumset falling down the stairs, the cymbals rolling at the end. For all the glitz of the site, it seemed lackluster. Like something anyone could have cooked up. A Captain Obvious for obvious times. Yet, there he was with a zillion followers and shares. Who knows if any of them are repeats or if they are the poor souls who don’t know about the X buttons and sign up for something every time a popup, phew, pops up. Heck, maybe he bought them.

When, why, did blogging turn into this? Sure, it’s great to gain followers and have readers, but this was such an overt desperate plea for attention and numbers. It was making a scene, dropping down to its knees, made huffing puffing sounds as it tried to work up some tears. “I love you so much, stay with me forever, follow me.” It’s like going to the bar and someone sneaks up behind you and demands your phone number before you can even turn around or talk to them. That’s some power tripping creepazoid Fifty Shades of Grey shit right there. That being said, I’m going to turn on all the wingdings and doo-dads my blog can muster.

 


The love child of a Sally Struthers quote and this post: “Failing at blogging? Sure, we all are!”

*Something that happens all the time in Las Vegas.

Blogging On The Cheap


Blogging has been a hobby of mine for the last three and half years. That’s a long time for me to stick with anything. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older that I’m able to focus better on one thing. Perhaps I simply enjoy blogging so much that I’m still willing to put in the time. Regardless, when compared to other hobbies I’ve had: video games, comic books, magic cards* – it’s inexpensive. Especially when one makes the cheap choices like I do. It may also have something to do with me moving the blog several times.

Blogging In The Beginning

I started out with blogspot, which was fine. It let me post, which was really all I was wanting to do. Yet, when I would go to other blogs I couldn’t help but notice how much cooler they looked. Good looking themes seemed easier to come by on other platforms. That was when I decided to move to wordpress.com. Which was a better move, but overall frustrating. I got the cool themes I was looking for and wordpress reader was a great way to gain readers. Yet, there was a paywall that was always lurking behind a button click or grayed out options. Themes and features could only be used to certain points before wordpress would ask me to shell out two to four times the amount of money I would to host a site somewhere else.

That was when I decided to move to wordpress.org. Which I’m overall happy with, I get to implement all the plugins and features I want and customize any part of a theme – granted it’s not hobbled by the developer. Although, most things that present a problem can be fudged in CSS, but sometimes they lay beyond my current skills. That’s when I use an alternative, which are easy to find in the wordpress dashboard and marketplace.

Still there was one small step back. That’s the lack of wordpress reader integration. As mentioned, it’s a great way to gain readers. It’s an RSS – think facebook feed – for wordpress.com blogs and others. It does what Feedly and Bloglovin’ do, but automatically and with a shootin’ fish in a barrel attitude. Anyone who posts to wordpress.com gets access to reader on top of their other platforms. Those not on wordpress.com do not get the auto access, although they can still be subscribed to.

Blogging Right Now

Ultimately, I find running my blog through wordpress.org preferable and wish I would have started with it. The move was basically a tear down that burned it all to the ground and started over. I changed the name of my blog from the difficult to remember Zweihander Plus Eins to Sweatpants Life. So basically, I threw some of my audience off the trail. That’s my bad. Although, I am doing my damnedest to earn them back and gain new ones.


Fun Fact: Sweatpants Life is preferred by Apple users.

*The card game, not for doing magic tricks. I’m not that nerdy!

A Blog Post Found In An Abandoned Cabin and Six Things To Do While Twitter Is Down


 

Why is twitter down? It was behaving kind of odd last night, before I gave up and went to bed. This morning it was no better. In fact, it was no longer “kind of odd,” it’s full blown screwed up. Like a child actor with midlife crisis action.

Somehow I see my feed, but that’s it. Interacting with tweets or trying to check notifications etc. causes twitter to barf. Which is concerning. What is that indie author who sent me a link to their cool new book going to think when I don’t engage with their link? That’s sad twitter and it’s on you.

Maybe all I need is a restart. Perhaps I should just do a quick google search. See if twitter is down. Ah, yes, there it is. Fifteen minutes ago. Maybe I should have said something before I got my solid eight hours. Become the world leader in twitter news. A source that people trust and come to in these dark times. Years will pass before anyone will know which news sources to trust, which end is up, or whether to scratch their watches or wind their butts.

What am I on about? Wait, what was that? Did you hear that? Sounded like chatter, a tap tittering on the floor. Like thousands of bags seeping through the walls and beginning their journey toward me. Is that someone standing outside my window? I could have sworn I saw them, across the street. Now all I see is a nondescript van.

Think I’m losing it. Need to keep myself busy, with these:.

Six Things To Do While Twitter Is Down!

Drink Coffee

Sure, sounds good. The good ol’ mornin’ tradition and the best part of waking up, besides reading twitter. I mean I was going to do that anyway. While I read twitter, but it’s down. The caffeine is starting to really kick in.

Go To Facebook

I’ll go spend some time on facebook. Which is where I actually start every morning. It’s kind of like doing some stretching before a vigorous physical activity. I get to judge people based on their political stances and compare my life to others. Eventually, stupid image shares will get the best of me. The kind that beg for shares because a dog addicted to wearing fedoras or whatnot. That’s when I have my fill and move on.

Make a Podcast

Twitter down? Have a lot of opinions, no audience and no experience with recording audio? Then making a podcast is for you! What about? Who cares, just talk. Don’t edit a thing. The best podcasts like two hours long or something.

Do Taxes

Just did them, but why not get a jump on next years.

Clean the House

No thank you.

Go To Work?

Why not.

 


 

Facebook Anniversary or Wedding Anniversary


 

Facebook has been around for ten years or so. At least, that’s when the first wave of schmos realized it was there. MySpace was fad in the rearview mirror. I thought social media – not that I knew that was what it was called – was dead. I logged onto facebook right after the hipsters, who came in on the coattails of affluent ivy league students, who coked it up with the founders. Yes, even with those twins!

Ten years have come and gone in almost a flash. I’ve witnessed people growing up from thousands of miles away. All everyone seems to do is get married and/or have kids. Hell, I remember when all anyone did was play Mafia Wars or that Vampire game that was Mafia Wars, but with Vampires. Here’s a word no one has uttered in four years, Zynga. BAZINGA! They’re still around, just not in my face each time I log in.

With ten years came the anniversary notifications. I used to get them when an odd number of years had passed. Now those odd numbers have evened out and I’m getting the big one-oh. The first one was my wife, which it should be. I logged in like twenty minutes after she did and had a conversation with myself on my wall. The next one I got was from my best friend, Montague Cummingsworth.

Now, Montague and I’ve been friends for closer to thirty years, but our choices split us apart closer to fifteen years ago. Not that we did bad things. Neither one of us got into drugs or macrame. We just went to different universities and ended up moving to northern and southern extremities. Needless to say, we only see each other every couple of few years. Which means six or so.

When we do meet up, there’s a good chance it’s for a wedding. A fact that facebook capitalized on. Of the ten or so shots, each and every single one of them was from a wedding. For the keen eye, there is a difference in our tuxes and ties, but it isn’t easy. At the end was a photo from my wedding. We had taken a shot with our wedding bands on our fingers. It was to show that we had both grown up and fooled some poor women into marrying our dorky asses.

For this video though, it’s the nail in the coffin, the cherry on top, the finishing touch. I started laughing. My wife asked me what was so funny. As I replayed the video for her, I walked her through this narrative.

All those other shots, we’re two guys in tuxedos. We’re always together and sometimes, a little too close. Some shots were just us sitting right by one another. Others, we had a friend between us. Then our hands with rings on them. We’d also happened to like each others posts 69 times. It looked like we’d gotten married! Not that there would be a single thing wrong with it if we had.

 


Please remember to like and share!

OOC: Good News


New category, OOC or Out of Character for You People who don’t know a thing about LARPing. Not that I, myself know a lot about that topic, but I know more than the average schmo. This is a chance for me to take a break from being a smart ass and/or a grump bear and write about something else. Topics that are a little more personal and a bit more honest.


Out of Character

I got some good news today. News that made me grin from ear to ear. The kind of good news that is even better because I wasn’t expecting it. Like winning the lottery or getting hit by a dump truck, that is owned by some rich company, and getting to sue the pants off of them and it causes no long term disabilities.

One of my besties from, hell, how best to describe it? I guess from the first half of my life. Yeah, something like that. Sometime around the mid teens on. Heck, we were even roomies a couple of times. Anyway, this guy I’ve known forever is coming up to my neck of the woods this summer. While he isn’t coming up to specifically see me, we’re still planning on seeing each other. This is a big deal as it will be the first time in seven years. Give or take. Regardless, it’s been a long time. I can’t wait!

I find it kind of strange though. It’s been twelve years since I moved to Canada. There are people I’ve only seen a handful of times since, there are others I haven’t seen at all. Yet, it still seems like yesterday. Like that part of my life was put on pause. Whenever we do run into each, we simply unpause it and basically pick up where we left off. While we’ve all changed, we haven’t changed that much.

 


Getting Older: The Concert That Could Have Been


 

Where I come from, concerts were hard to come by. I should stress that the local stuff was there, it was easy. It was the big names, they were the difficult ones. They required that you drive three hours to watch them. Heck, even the local ones required a half hour to an hour long road trip. It was a really small town.

So, for me, the culture of seeing live shows isn’t exactly engrained in my DNA. I didn’t do it enough then, to feel like I need to do it now. Don’t get me wrong, I like going to concerts, but I have to really want to go.

My wife and I had had a busy day, a trip to the dentist and other errands. We were eating dinner at the local hip music place to eat the foods. While I waited for my hotdog, I sipped my beer and looked at the wall with the gig posters. Down at the very bottom, far out of the gazing eye of the average looker was a poster for Windhand. I dig ‘em and have been listening to them a lot. Especially while I’ve been writing one particular project. I would love to see them live and here was my chance.

I looked at the date on the poster and it sounded familiar. A quick glance at my phone revealed the reason why, it was that very day. Not only that, but with a quick glance back at the poster and my basic math skills, I realized the doors were opening in eighteen minutes.

Our food probably wouldn’t be at our table in that time. We’d also have to go back home and take care of the dogs. Then catch a bus back downtown. Sometime in that amount of time we would have to buy tickets as well. For me, that was just enough logistical effort to pass up on the deal.

My wife, knowingly laughed at the defeat we were about to experience. She was down to go, but she knew, and was willing to admit before I was, that we were not going to go. We can be spontaneous, but this was a little out of our wheelhouse. Wanna go get some ice cream? Okay! Wanna go get a beer? Alright! And come home stumbling drunk? Wasn’t on my radar, but sure*! Wanna go to the library? Hell yeah! Wanna go to a doom metal concert that probably starts within an hour, still need to get food, eat food, take the dogs out, buy tickets, get there and may miss the opening act? Hmmm.

We didn’t go. Heck, we didn’t even try to go. I think I’d even forgotten about it by the time we got home. We took the dogs for a good walk and talked about comic books and graphic novels instead.

 


Next time Windhand, next time.

*Once or twice a year.

Little Free Library: Sin Bins


 

Little Free Libraries was blowing up on twitter the other morning. Like any good blogger, I followed the trend, albeit hesitantly. I thought to myself, Oh good gahwd, what are the lefties up to? Why do you believe it’s the lefties and aren’t you a lefty, what would your friends say? Well, because only lefties could find the faults with and complain about Little Free Libraries. It’s probably that they are only in “well off” neighborhoods or have uncurated collections. And yes, I am on the left side of things, but I’m not a silly goose and I think my friends would agree. Even the more conservative ones. They may think I’m destined for hell, but at least I’m not a silly goose.

It turns out I was right, about everything. I clicked Little Free Libraries and was mystically whisked away to a land* of buzzkills. “They are only in affluent neighborhoods where there is no shortage of books,” and “they are just random piles of books,” some people with presumably nasally voices and a penchant for 1950’s British Comedy said. There were others that basically said the same thing. Then, I found patient zero. A blog post from a librarian in cahoots with another librarian.

They had more arguments that seemed to get stuck on the words, “free” and “library.” That a Little Free Library isn’t “free” and costs at least $130, if not just south of $1000 – for the true narcissistic philanthropist – to build. In fact, the author of the post said she spent $600 on her own Little Free Library, so she could conduct her study. As for “library,” well, libraries offer many services and have more books. Which is actually where the word free should come into play, but it was well spent on the dollar amount of the construction price. Perhaps if we called Little Free Libraries, Little Non-Taxpayer Funded, Subsidized, or Affiliated with the Government In Any Way and Therefore Non-Curated Pile of Random Books, it would clear up most of the argument. Put them in “less well-to-do” communities and book deserts and we’re done.

I’ve seen the Little Free Libraries near me thrive. Just because it’s in a good neighborhood doesn’t mean people have money to buy books or have the energy and schedules that facilitate trips to the two libraries that are within three kilometers. People of the community rally and continually trade books back and forth. One’s used Dan Brown is another’s Margaret Atwood.

Let’s take a page from The Politicians Hand Book for Arguing Good: A Table Flippers Guide to Appearing to Win Any Argument By Having The Whoops and Chortles of Your Lemming Followers Drown Out Your Opponent – I picked it up at my local Little Free Library. “If one isn’t in favor of Little Free Libraries, then that person wants people to simply throw away old, unwanted books. Mountains of outdated and ancient** texts will appear at landfills. As these books break down, the pulp and ink will strangle sea turtles. (Allows for gasping and bleats of fear.) And if they don’t want you to throw them away, I don’t know, maybe they want you to burn them, like Nazi’s. (Give’s time for cheering to subside.)”

 


 

*Feed.

**From the eighties.

Throwback Thursday

 


 

What’s the statute of limitations for Throwback Thursday? That’s what I pondered this morning as I set up Buffer for the day. Maybe I was being a little liberal with the hashtag, but I don’t feel that I abused it. Seriously though, how old does the content have to be? Do I need to show off how sweet my watermelon head looked with that Butthead haircut? Should I show off how awesome I looked in a pair of jams*? Is it necessary to have a topic that makes the Gen Y’ers whine about how old they are and start clamoring for the Xanax?

According to Urban Dictionary – one of my most trusted sources in this era of fake news and bullfuckery – the only requirement for Throwback Thursday is that the content be from an era where you were different. An era is a distinct period of time. Sure, it says long, but one man’s long is another man’s short. Whoop De freakin’ doo!

I say as long as it happened before last Thursday, that’s far enough for a throwback. That’s ancient history in this day and age. Hashtags have burned out faster. If you were constipated for that week, so much the better as it adds a distinction to that period of time.

What do you think? How much time needs to pass before a throwback is Throwback Thursday certified?

 


I’m sure we’ll look back at this and just laugh, laugh, laugh…

 

*What the hell! Jams was a brand? Mine obviously weren’t name brand.

Music Streaming of Time: Color Me Badd


 

I’m one of those scum sucking chumps that subscribe to a streaming music service. Deemed scum sucker by some musicians because they have to get a zillion streams before they get a dollar. Labelled chump by cheap asses who only use soundcloud, bandcamp, or youtube. Personally, I love it! I thought I wouldn’t. Didn’t think it was fair to the musicians, but other options are worse. I don’t go to live shows much anymore either. I just figured artists should get some money – hopefully – for entertaining me.

Since subscribing, I’ve discovered tons of new bands and musicians. I’ve listened to stuff that I typically wouldn’t listen to. I’ve also tracked down the old stuff that defined my childhood. In this case, the pre-pre-teen years.

I was writing a post about being sunburned, and was looking for something different to listen to. Metal and jazz just didn’t seem appealing. For reasons barely knownst to me, I opened up Google Music and punched in Color Me Badd. It was one fluid motion. I didn’t have a spare second to comprehend it. A simple click in the search field and immediately, Color Me Badd, was typed and submitted. I chose their debut album.

It was like hitting eighty-eight miles per hour or making a call from a time travelling phone booth*. I was transported back to my childhood home. Back to christmas vacation 1991, I had a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World and Color Me Badd on cassette. From where I sat – on the floor in front of the TV – my fat child life was rad.

A menagerie of images from Super Mario World swam in my visual memory center cortexy lobe thing. The memories kept coming and so did the songs. I’m uncertain whether the album sequentially became less cheesy or if I was growing accustomed to listening to early 90’s poppy R&B.

One could say it’s a concept album, if the concept is the precarious balance of a committed relationship while maintaining a wanton sex life. All the hits were frontloaded and other than “I Wanna Sex You Up,” I’d forgotten them. Later songs, like “Roll The Dice” and the eponymous “Color Me Badd,” still creep up in my brain, sometimes. They weren’t hits, but they were catchy. The last recorded case was within the month. Which may be why I felt compelled to check out the band.

Did it hold up and was I enjoying myself? Yeah sure, why not. I wouldn’t buy it today, but back then, no one could have convinced my watermelon head otherwise. It was the bomb-diggity or whatever the kids were saying between twenty and thirty years ago. Time for their follow-up.

 


Has anyone else ever listened to the music of their past and had the thought, Donald Trump probably had sex while listening to this? It puts a damper on things. #novisuals

*To be clear, this is a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, not Dr. Who. Hipster!