I own this…

When I post something to Facebook who owns that? Similarly, when I put a picture on Instagram it’s mine, but I’m sharing it there so does that make it theirs? I don’t pay them money. The only transaction provided by Facebook and Instagram is the serving of ads. I use their service and they sell my data to companies who then target ads at me. I become a demographic to a conglomerate of ad agencies who then try and figure better ways to sell to me and my cohort.

I recently suspended my Instagram account because I started to find the service boring. I don’t actually like taking pictures and when I looked at what I was sharing I realized all I was doing was helping Facebook build a profile on me. I haven’t used Facebook in months and I only posted a few things last year. Even those few things I did post made me wonder why I posted them. I thought about canceling Facebook but I do need it for my son’s cadets and for coaching football. Instagram can go. I totally don’t need that at all. This leads me to my ultimate point. I own everything I post here.

I pay for my domain and I pay WordPress money to host this site for me. So I own it. WordPress isn’t advertising on my site and they aren’t trying to get me to buy anything (other than add ons I don’t need). Everyone should do this. Start a site and and pay to host their content. I think ultimately if people had to pay money to share their thoughts the internet would be a much quieter and more civil place.

A Fresh Start

I’ve heard that there’s an age where the music you’re listening to at that time sticks with you for the rest of your life. I see it all the time with older people being stuck in a certain age. They feel that “THAT” music is “REAL” music and anything else is garbage. For my Mom it’s sometime in the late 50s and early 60s. I’m not sure what it is about those years of our lives that makes music so impactful but I certainly see it in myself as well.

For me the era that was most impactful was the early 90s. It was late in my high school years and early in college that I guess I really started listening to music and hearing it for the first time. I’ve always listened to music but the early 90s is always my go to for when I want something comfortable to listen to. Mainly I listen to the Accuradio 1990s Alternative station but the audio quality isn’t great so I started adding those albums on iMusic to build up a playlist. Before I knew it the 90s had taken over my phone and there wasn’t much else on there. During car rides I found myself pressing the skip button endlessly, not because I didn’t like the song, but because I was just so tired of it. At that point I realized I was stuck in a musical rut and had to break out.

My phone currently has no music on it. I erased everything so that I wouldn’t be able to fall back into the same boring stuff. Now on my car rides I pick an Apple Music station, but it HAS to be a modern station that plays music from the last 5 years and I can only skip a song if it’s truly terrible. Lately I’ve been listening to Apple’s Adult Alternative station and I’m enjoying it. I can’t really comment on what artists have caught my ear because I don’t actually know any of them. I guess that will come with time.

What this comes down to is forcing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. We all get stagnant in life doing the same things over and over again and I don’t think that’s good for anyone. Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable to grow, that’s probably why they call them growing pains. I think everyone should do this kind of thing once in a while to find new and interesting stuff, since there’s a lot of cool stuff out there that we never see since we’re buried in what we already know. I think I’m going to start trying this on other areas of my life as well. Right now though I’m really enjoying this new sonic journey. Give it a try, maybe you’ll like it too.

What’s worse that Monday?

I’ve had a great weekend. I watched some football. I saw Aquaman in theatre. I bought and set an Amazon fire stick and my wife and I discovered The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. My son had his friend sleep over this weekend they had fun sledding and playing video games. All in all it was a restful relaxing weekend.

I’m currently sitting on my couch at 10pm knowing I should go to bed but not wanting to. It’s too late to start a movie or get into a video game and I’m slightly too tired to read so I’m just sitting here, my fingertips gripping onto the ledge that was my weekend not wanting to let go. All that’s left is for me to close my eyes and sleep but once I do it’ll be Monday… so, what’s worse than Monday? The late Sunday night dread of waking up Monday morning, that’s what.

Does coffee count as breakfast?

I’ve heard time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you want to lose weight eat breakfast, if you want to have a better day eat breakfast, if you want to raise an army of the dead to do your bidding and take over the world… you got it, find the necrinomicon. Oh, but eat some breakfast before you begin your search.

Thing is, does breakfast actually need to be food? I wake up and have 2 cups of coffee with cream. I’d say my coffees have at least 100 calories each. So 200 calories in liquid. Is that any different than waking up and having a protein shake or food replacement drink? I always figured it was to do with getting your metabolism started but I suspect anything you put in your body would do that. So, do I actually need to “eat” a breakfast, or does my coffee count as breakfast?

Btw I am asking because I really don’t like breakfast. I love breakfast foods, just not eating early in the morning.

Atomic Habits in Action

In case you were curious why I’ve been posting more lately, it’s due to the way I interact with this site. Since I used to believe that this was hallowed ground for important long form dissertations on important topics I only used my laptop, and laptops, are for work… silly right?

When I was recently listening to the Art of Manliness podcast about habits, one of the tips for forming a habit was to make it easier to perform. For example, if you want to floss more, leave the floss out next to your toothpaste. Simple. I’ve applied that here and put the word press app on my phone. I always have my phone (I’m typing this on my phone right now) so might as well use what’s easy.

The small downside to this will inevitably be a bevy of typos, but at least I’m exercising my writing more than ever now (even if it is with just my thumbs.) I figure that I probably type a novel a week in text messages so why not do the same in this space? That being said, if you see a typo, blame autocorrect.

I am going to pick up that Atomic Habits book at some point and see what wisdom I can squeeze out of it but in the meantime if you want to hear the podcast I’ve linked to it below. It’s really good.

Here’s the link to that Art of Manliness podcast.

My journey to being a fat guy

When I was young and single I decided it was time to get my ass in shape and find someone to share my life with. That getting in shape part didn’t happen but I did lose some weight and look better. That was 15 years ago and since then I’ve put on about 50lbs. Funny what a family and work can do.

Anyway, much like many other fat bearded 40year old men I am going to start a personal adventure of getting back to my marriage weight.

When I got married I was 220lbs and after 15 years of steady 3.33lbs of unlost holiday weight I am currently 270lbs. My goal is to be back to 220 by the time I die… or maybe 2020. 50lbs, one year… sure why not.

I’ve been doing this all wrong

This whole time I’ve been under the assumption that I can only put long form “important” things here. I kept telling myself “this isn’t twitter boy, you gotsa write meaningful things in this space!” Well, fuck that, I’m going to start putting everything here, all the same garbage I litter social media with on a daily basis, pics, dumb thoughts, etc. So basically, sorry in advance.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Sleep In

With the recent round of daylight savings time ending I found myself with a bit of a problem. I wake up at 5:30am naturally, but with the time change I was now getting up at 4:30am… that’s really early. Too early. I mean, I enjoy some quiet time in the morning but no one needs quite that much. This new 4:30 wake up time was seriously effecting my work and family time as I was exhausted earlier in the day and felt behind on sleep. On top of this I have a total inability to sleep in so even on weekends I was still getting up too early.

As a bit of back story I spent my summers in high school working on a farm. Often times in the summer I’d be getting up at 3:30 or 4am in order to get to work on time. This was stressful since I was usually doing this on my own. The stress of being late must have seeped into my subconscious because I never seemed able to shake it after all those summers. Nowadays I do set an alarm, but often times I am up well before it goes off. For example if I set my alarm for 6:30am I’m usually up at 5:30 checking the time, then I doze till a few minutes before my alarm goes off. All this being said this weekend I managed to hack my body to sleep in until 8am and here’s how I managed to pull that off.

Quite simply, I removed the alarm clock from my bedside table. I had no idea how often I woke up in the night to check the time. With my alarm clock gone, I did have an initial shot of panic about what time it was, but I just told myself that it wasn’t time to get up. I suspect my subconscious mind was stressing over not being able to sleep in, even though I know I need that extra sleep. If I woke up at 5:30 I’d start doing the math of how much I slept, how much more I wish I could sleep and then I’d start checking the clock and getting annoyed that I was up at such an early hour. Then, with all this brain activity I was wide awake. By removing the clock I deprived my mind of that ability to measure my sleep.

Another unexpected benefit of removing my clock is that my bedroom is actually a touch darker now as well. I never noticed that the glow of my alarm clock was right in my face, like a glowing billboard on a dark street. This can’t have been helpful.

I am not sure if I should put back my alarm clock during the work week so I think i’ll do a little experiment and see what happens if I don’t. I always use my iPhone alarm anyway so my alarm clock is superfluous anyway. It’s just a matter of how much do I trust my phone to wake me up? I guess I’ll see what happens and report back at some point with that and a few other tips I’ll try to get a better night sleep.

On a final note, as a bit of irony, this post was really difficult to write because normally I am up a few hours before my family giving my lots of quiet time to think… this morning because I slept in I had to put on my headphones to drown out of the distractions. Funny that I chose this morning to start writing again 🙂