The Toiletfire Continues: 2018 Begins


The Toiletfire Continues

The toiletfire that will define 2018 is off to a roaring start! How could it not when 2017 went out in a blaze of glory? Might as well address that we all have the Bon Jovi song in our head at this point and if one doesn’t, then one is broken. Imagine those last few days of 2017, the final moments, set to that beautiful piece of music. Now imagine the version worthy of 2017, which is covered by a band of people who don’t know how to play, except for the oboe player – who’s just fucking on point, and said band is fronted by legendary comedian Gilbert Godfrey.

We’re halfway through January, which is a mixed bag of good news, bad news. Which means it all averages out to okay news! For instance, a good chunk of people have given up on their resolutions. Treadmills sit vacant, stairwells have tumbleweeds rolling down them, facebook accounts have been reactivated, and twitter is once again brimming with A-holes.

My Resolutions

As for my new year’s resolutions, I retroactively created two. The first one was, change a tire for the first time in over thirteen years. Completed and created on new years day, in that order. Crushed it! Boy did I feel great!

The next day, still high with accomplishment coursing through my veins and seeing an exodus of people, my second resolution was created, take the stairs at work less. If stairs are generally slower than taking the elevator, then the stairs at the first of the year are even slower. There’s a zillion people – each and every one of them with good intention in their hearts – shambling up the damn stairs, moaning, groaning, and wheezing.

So much so that nutter doomsdayers and fans of The Walking Dead get all excited because they think “This is it! The big one! The day uncle granpappy trained me for!” Grabbing duffle bags and cocking the guns they picked up on their way to work, they form a defensive line at the top of the stairs flipping over couches and plugging the gap between said couches and wall with the ficas*. Triggers squeeze, hammers rear back, and then, “Oh! Hey Bill from accounting! You look great! Did you get that fitbit for Christmas?” Bill can’t answer, he took the stairs. Avoid getting shot by the guy that thinks military boots are acceptable as “everyday wear.” Take elevator. Treat yo’self!

As For Other People’s Resolutions,

From what I see on social media, the resolution of be a better person was a fairly unpopular one this year and those that did resolve to be better people inserted “at holier than thou condescension” in the middle. For an example, of use, see the previous sentence.

That Guy On Facebook

The guy that’s facebook tile says he is unemployed and studied at school of the hard knocks ought to be a red flag. If that is a rando transient hobo bot 600, then the part that says he has a great sarcastic and ironic sense of humor, yet is angry at The Onion, well, he truly is a master of irony or an idiot.

Year of the Dick

2017 was the year of the rooster and as we should all know – without having to go to thesaurus.com – another name for rooster is cock. Under the guise of a big veiny bastard, 2017 starts to make a whole lot more sense. It flopped from left to right. It was hairy, stinky, and looked dumb. Then it ballooned for absolutely no freaking reason. People tried to run, but most just got pinned to the wall and had to stay there for four hours.

Of course, if one could reach their phone, those four hours were spent arguing with someone on social media. No one could tell if they were being yelled at by fake shitheads or real ones who think the pasty German Olson twins from The Matrix Reloaded are still cool and get raging four hour car door slamming boners each time they see a “What if I told you,” meme. Hell, no one seems to know anything anymore.

The Toiletfire Continues To Continue

Fires have a tendency to spread. Toiletfires are no different. Whether that toilet be in the boonies, the suburbs, or a prison, it doesn’t really matter. A toiletfire is a toiletfire. And a toiletfire doesn’t necessarily have so much to do with the contents of the bowl, but rather the amount of flammable material found in the water supply. Flush it once, avoid the backdraft, and now all the toilets are on fire.

At the moment, I’m joking about fire water. Yet I can’t help but think, that’s an all too plausible scenario. Hell, under an administration that seemed to give a shit, Flint had rusty water. Now we have folks that don’t give a flip about the masses water supply one bit. Not wanting to wear a tinfoil hat, but it could happen.

Especially with the repeals of laws and erosion of protection for the environment.

When laws were in place to protect water, land, and animals, they weren’t hurting us. Meaning it would be better to have them around than not have them. I mean, I’m not trying to bang my step-mom on the family yacht, I don’t need impress upon her how masculine my junk looks by cramming elephant tusks up next it. I also don’t have barrels of hazardous waste just sitting around that I don’t know what to do with. Nor have I ever thought, “this national park is way too big and would be improved by the addition of some fucking condos or a Wal-Mart.”

 


Only eleven and half months to go!

*What the actual fuck is a ficas? I hear it a lot. I say it a lot. It’s a funny word, but I don’t think anyone would know what a ficas looked even if it went all The Happening and head-butted them in the no-no’s.

 

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!

The MySpace Exodus of Two Thousand Whatever


 

The Rise, The Plague, The Fall

MySpace, remember that? It still exists and at one time, scrolled sideways in an effort to be cool. My page is* derelict and full of plug-ins and quizzes that no longer exist. Remember how easy it was to take the default page and turn into a late nineties DIY blog’s interpretation of a Las Vegasian nightmare?

Someone once said that MySpace was founded on three principles. Skanky pictures, of skanky people, doing skanky things. That isn’t an exact quote, but it is damn close. It may also be only one principle. Either way, they were right, so very right.

MySpace started its descent from popularity around 2007. Facebook threw the first punch and everything else swarmed it. Someone flipped on the lights and the skanky people scurried away like plague infested rats scrambling from a sinking ship. Problem is, they took up residence on the surrounding icebergs, in other words, the new cool social networks.

Back In Your Ass With The Resurrection

A while back, I discovered a vein of skanky people on twitter. One follow back and the next thing I knew, my feed looked like it was straight out MySpace. In other words, the digital equivalent of watching from behind the curtain as the neighbors have a naked fist fight in the front yard and, as the cops pull up, their toddler – the one with tattoos – steps out on the porch shooting a .44 while dropping bombs of the eff and cee variety. Then Ron Jeremy shows up. It was 2004 all over again!

Have you been to MySpace lately? It’s rebranded cleaned up and seems to completely be about music. No one gives a fuck about Tom. I assume he is either chugging beer at the frat house in the sky or moved onto other marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, he left his skanky friends down here.

 


Written at Ikea while waiting to return something, refined at home.

*Was. Now it’s shut down.

The Blaring of Trump’s Noise


So Much Noise…

Sweet Geezus, it’s a fucking quagmire! One no longer goes online without getting pulled into Trump bullshit. Whether it be for him, against him, or whatever the hell there is in between. There is simply so much shit, so many opinions. Who has the time for this? Does anyone really want to spend their time talking about this guy? Get a hobby! Play with a model train!

Otherwise, it’s like running into a lake from the shore. You’re tracking pretty well then you’re feet hit the water and you begin to slow, just a bit. As the water raises to half-calf, you begin to feel the drag and start waddling. You’re really high-kneeing it a step or two after. Your feet a sinking into the sand ever so slightly. That’s when it happens, you step off the shelf and fully fall in. You gasp as the icy grasp of water enshrouds your no-no’s. The gasp, causes water to enter your airway. You cough to force the water out or your airway and it sounds super disorienting as your underwater. In the state of discombobulation, you inhale once more to cough again. Which causes your lungs to fill. It’s at this point in time that you recall that you can’t even swim. Curious what you were doing running toward the lake with such excitement in the first place. You sink into the silty muck below.

Phew!

This is more of an observation really. I mean, I’m guilty of contributing to the online noise. I’ve written plenty of blog posts, tweets, and even some facebook posts on the matter. Not that these do much good, or so I hear. People seem to pretty much have their minds made up and are unwilling to budge. I can appreciate that. It’s hard to convey a belief altering thought in a tweet and it’s even harder to find a headline that invites people to have their views challenged. Not to mention that you have to find a person willing to click it in the first place.

Keep On Being Loud!

That being said, in fact, all of this being said, keep doing it. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Acceptance is for people who don’t get the punchline to the joke that we’ve just been told. Complacency is for those who don’t even realize they’ve been told a joke. Keep posting stuff. Good, verifiable stuff. Try to stay as classy as possible. Don’t spread lies, that weakens the cause. Be sure to click on the other sides links to. Then read those things, with an open-ish mind, just in case there isn’t a literary flaming bag of shit inside of that article.

And if anyone wants to make an app or extension that filters out Trump stuff, that would be great. Although, I caution people not to run it all the time. Just when you need some time away.

 

 


I’m going to go buy a donut.

The Follow Unfollow Game

I am a proud member of #TeamFollowBack. If someone follows me and they aren’t trying to sell me followers or they don’t seem like a fake account, I will follow them back. I don’t care what they do or what they are into: Accounting, kittens, travel, marketing, erotic authors, whatever. Just as long as those erotic authors aren’t hosing my entire feed with NSFW images, I will follow back.

Here is the best part. I won’t unfollow after two days. In fact, tweeps I follow have to try super hard to annoy me. There are only a few ways they can do so. For one, I don’t particularly enjoy getting my feed filled by the same person. As far as I remember only one person ever performed such a feat. I felt bad. Perhaps it was more my fault. He seemed like an elite tweeper and I was just a fledgling on my first few days. Maybe if I would have followed more folks like him it all would have evened out. In the end, it was too overwhelming. Other than that though I won’t unfollow on my own accord.

Unless of course I am unfollowed. For those who aren’t twitter hounds, this happens a lot. People follow folks to grow their numbers. Which is fine, that is what we are all trying to do. Peddle ourselves and our products. Here is the kick in the pants, some tweeps will unfollow after a few days of you following them back. That’s right! They started this by following you and after getting your vital follow, they unfollow you. This is like inviting someone over for a beer that they have to bring, then taking said beer and not talking to them.

Why do they do this? So they look cool and appear super popular. Many celebrities have gazillions of followers, but aren’t following very many people. They don’t need to. Why would they want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas? Hell I don’t even want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas.

Being like a celebrity is the effect that these fairweather followers are going for. A huge number by followers, small number by following. Enticing folks to follow them to inflate their numbers. Then trying to make themselves look cooler by unfollowing. Bringing down their numbers and looking more in demand. What a bunch of jerks!

 

 

 

Twitter, I Will Not Favorite the Like.

Today was my first day of actually seeing the heart. I had read it was happening. That the excellent, versatile, and contextually sensitive favorite star was being replaced by the low brow, easy entry, noob friendly, lowest common denominator, facebook migratory sign, the like with heart button. I do not like it. It isn’t that I am resistant to change, far from it in fact. However, I am resistant to devolution!

The favorite star was great for several reasons. For starters, both word and symbol don’t have an overwhelmingly positive context. Both were content neutral and could be used for liking a hilariously happy tweet one moment and terrible news about a national tragedy next. It wasn’t based on positivity which the word “like” and the heart symbol are. When tweepers and readers get down to the knitty gritty, they won’t be able to hit that like button on the latest dour news. Well they can, it will just look weird that news of the latest mass shooting has hearts underneath it.

Other social media sites can get away with the like. Who isn’t going to like a photo on the all you can eat buffet of optimism over on instagram? The whole site is photos, what isn’t to like? Over on Facebook, the like button has been in use the whole time, and yet it is somewhat limiting. People can like the happy stuff, but when it comes to terrible news things get awkward. So much so that Facebook has been talking about adding a dislike button.

It is worth to mention to Facebook that the favorite star is up for grabs. People are smart enough to figure it out and it adds so much versatility to the culture. It isn’t just hearts, love, and optimism. It’s excelling, important, and worthy of noting. Don’t be the pandering shareholder types over at Twitter who believe that one little icon is going to bring the facebookers over in droves. It could quite possibly have the opposite effect. I hear Google+ has a context neutral +1 button.

Deep Feed

Some mornings are better than others. Most are pretty good in my books. Some nights just aren’t as restful as I would like them to be. After waking up and the rigamarole, the first thing I do before I start writing is check the social media feeds. First! Because I care about each and everyone of you guys, except for one of you – I will let you discuss that. Second! Because there is usually some inspiration or a prompt in there somewhere. I am usually looking for something that makes my blood boil or something I can offer a sane person’s view on.

However, on those mornings that aren’t better than others. Those mornings that are the exception. I get trapped in the deep feed. Hypnotized by the sensation of my index finger constantly scrolling I continue deeper and deeper. Minutes pass and turn into hours that slowly add up to days. The incessant muffled clicks of my mouse wheel drive me deeper and deeper. I come across many things I have already seen. I know this is familiar territory. Old news. I continue. Scrolling and scrolling. Incorporating my scroll wheel on my wacom tablet I can move at a constant speed and use the mouse wheel as a rhythmically incremental speed burst. Is this the closest to time travel I will ever get?

I snap back to attention. Back to sitting at my desk. I realize I have gone to far. So far that I have to use the home key or click the header to get back to my current time. Once back at the beginning, I realize there are new posts. Many things have happened and been shared while I was time travelling. I begin to scroll.

I didn’t know what to write. What Happened Next Was Amazing!

Has anyone else had it with this kind of headline? The whole – something did or didn’t happen; resulting in the worst/best thing anyone has ever seen and luckily we have video – approach to getting people to click and share links has been over used. For years now people have been beating a dead horse and now the horse is turning to glue. In other words, man beats dead horse. You will never believe what happens next! Which is a total missed chance to say, “what happens next is sticky situation.”

I am not a journalist and have never worked for a newspaper. Although I can tell you that there is an art to writing headlines that has fallen to the wayside for this cookie cutter approach. I doubt that the following scenario would have happened. Way back in 1969 in a smoke filled room permeated with the incessant punching of typewriters. An overweight and balding head editor puts down the Beefeater and pulls the cigar out of his moustached covered mouth long enough to point his hand skyward and paint the air with the words, “Man in tin can hurled into space. What happens next is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Got to admit, that line is better than most.

Perpetual Trending

You know that little box on to the side of the twitter and facebook feeds? That space where stuff that everyone is talking about and liking shows up. I swear that not a day goes by that a Kardashian, Sheen, or Palin isn’t inside that box.

When I began writing this, I believed that the Kardashians were trending again. To be more specific, I think it was a person associated with them. I did not add fuel to that fire and click that link to find out though. I am just going with my somehow extensive knowledge of celebrities and who they are dating.

I am not sure how I have accumulated such a vast wealth of knowledge. I don’t seek it out. I don’t read the TMZ or anything like that. Sometimes I get a glimpse of a magazine in the checkout line at the store, but that is it. Whatever little bits of info I gather get lodged in my brain.

Anyway, how the hell do the Kardashians trend? For the most part they aren’t all that fascinating. Yet, they are like male nipples at a beach; everywhere and completely useless. Maybe that is the trick, the old spend 90% of the budget on marketing the other 10% on content. Life, I’m doing it wrong.

Then there are the Palins who, whether it be out of their mouths or their vaginas, always seem to have something falling out of them. I believe that to be the crudest thing I have said on the blog, although there was this (NSFW) post. Recently, they seem to be showing up more and more. Which makes me worried that the queen is about to become the umpteenth Republican candidate.

Finally there is Charlie, Charles, Chuck, you were a dick in Young Guns and have been trying to repent for that stuffy character ever since. I mean you were great in that role, every group needs that leader guy. X-Men has Cyclops and the Lincoln County Regulators had Richard “Dick” Brewer. And boy if everyone involved with the script, directing and acting didn’t concentrate on the Dick aspect. When I come across a cinephile who doubts your skill as an actor I point them to that role. But look, you have done enough redeeming. Boromir only had to die once and you have been close like a zillion times. Stop trending damnit!

For that matter all of you stop trending! Give someone else a chance. Take the day off, go to the beach. Throw your phone in the ocean. Just take it easy. If a McDonald’s commercial doesn’t air for a day, do the consumers forget about McDonald’s? This is rhetorical, but just to be clear, “no they would not.”