Can you do 3 more?

Being social in the witness protection program

Happy anniversary baby, I got you on my mind…….

Back by popular demand…true story, last week I was at an event and a person I didn’t know came up and introduced himself to say he read my posts and really liked my Once you go black you never go back effort; whoa, you talkin’ to me?

That particular post was written over two years ago; maybe I was on the cusp of greatness and should have hung in there, huh? I coulda been a contendah….

Three years is a long time

Actually, the last 3 years seemed to have gone by pretty quick; heck, I did a 3-year tour in the Army and it seemed like 10.  I seem to be at the end of the toilet paper roll where the years start rolling off more rapidly now.

It could have been worse I suppose, I could have become rich and famous in the last 3 years and turned into a total A-hole and forgot about all my friends. Since that didn’t happen, I just re-upped for two more years with my Go Daddy account in case I ever decide to jump back on the hamster wheel full time. Go Daddy said I would get to meet Danica Patrick if I renewed, but that hasn’t happened yet; I believe they tricked me…

However, March 3rd, 2014 officially marks my 3rd year anniversary; I have to stop by the place every once in awhile to make sure my key still works but I have pretty much moved all the furniture out and had the power turned off not to incur any unnecessary expenses. Of course, this is a cheap free site so I never spent a lot of money anyway…:). There’s nothing wrong w/ saltines and ketchup dip; and the clowns I hang with in real life think this is a delicacy.

I used to leave the backdoor open for the strays that would show up, but just noticed the door has been taken off the hinges and since there is no food around anymore there is not much coming and going anyway.

It’s still one big party

For me it is at least, I thought I was going to get serious at one time but don’t know if I have it in me. Whatever online success I have had was because I loved the networking part, and just like in real life, I still do. It was a way to stay in touch with your friends, some more frequently than others, but you usually got a good feel for what was going on in their lives. Nobody was paying me for all this frivolity and if I would have found a way to make dollars happen it would have been pretty cool, but lack of pay has not really been the deciding factor on my level of activity.

Recently, I have been lucky enough to be selected as a Brand Ambassador from a friend for a book that is to be published shortly; and yes, the author had to increase the cutoff to 1001 requests to get me in, but this person has been the biggest influence on me regarding a social presence and regardless of my invisibleness I still know where to find her and for that I’m thankful. Also, reading this book has opened my eyes and rekindled the spark again so there might be a resurrection after all.

I’m just trying to figure out if I need to hedge my bets because I’m not sure if this internet thing is going to make it or not and how uncool will that be if it looks like I was just jumping on the bandwagon anyway?

I just wanted to say thanks

I’m not really a tech guy but I can be as dorky as the best of them. My strengths are people and the networking part and if that and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, then I’m all in; Venti Redeye for me please.

Until you’ve done this blogging gig, most outsiders don’t understand; but all the friendships I have made on this journey they are as real as real can be and I really appreciate it. For me, it has been time well spent.

What does the future hold?

Who knows, maybe better hair or a new car; or just appreciating all the talented friends I have access to on this platform.

All I would say is don’t form the line behind me just yet, and even though I might smell like I’m dead I just might have some life left in me yet.

Until next time…

Cuttin’ grass, my link to the past

I cut my grass, seriously; and the picture above is the exact replica of the rig I’m currently sporting in the ‘hood right now.

Hey you po’ ass, you think we are supposed to be impresssed?

Ok, there is somewhat of a convoluted story behind this post and since this is my house and it’s all about me, here it goes.

Where I stay

I actually live in a gated ‘hood with only 20 lots so it’s probably a pretty safe bet then that I’m the only one old-school enough to still cut their own grass. And of course, my neighbors are probably laughing at me not with me especially on the dog days of summer when it’s freakin’ 95 degrees Fahrenheit w/ nare a breeze in the air and my St Augustine grass should have been cut about every 4th day instead of 7.

Are you stoopid?

Well, let’s just say if a brainiac apocalypse broke out, I might be safe.

Good thing it’s a small yard then, huh?

Hmmm….my yard’s dimensions are 160X170 which equals 27,200 sq feet and if there are 43,560 sq feet in an acre, that means I am push mowing just about 1/2 an acre.

Didn’t you say your mower was self-propelled?

Yes I did, but I also mentioned I have St Augustine and this time of the year I have the mower on its highest setting and it will still choke it out if I just try to buzz through it.

I could have bought a riding mower, but if I’m going to do that I might as well pay for a yard service.

What’s the point then?

Good question.

When I was growing up my dad not only cut our grass every week, but he also went over to cut my grandmother’s grass as well. Do you want to take a wild guess how many times I offered to help? If your guess was less than two, you are probably pretty close.

This is my penance I suppose. I will tell you this, I’ll bet it rivals any cross fit workout that someone would pay $20-$30 to do. If you don’t believe me, I welcome you to come take the Dorman challenge and see what you think. Actually, I’m just trying to get someone else to cut my grass and disguise it as exercise so maybe they will pay me to do it too…:).

Bottom line? I like being outside, even if it’s August in Florida and I like to exercise (even if my fat pasty ass doesn’t look like it), so I can chalk it up as a win. Kind of like doing squats in the gym, hard as hell but still a great exercise nobody wants to do, so another one of those things you develop a love-hate relationship with.

Point two – my wife thinks golf is just too damn expensive. Therefore, if we are not paying a yard guy and she sees me busting my ass out in the yard, I’m hoping it garners some brownie points for at least a couple of rounds a month. Actually, giving her a foot rub while we watch a movie gets much more cred; and being one step ahead of the dog-house is always a good thing, right?

Point three – my dad taught me to be self-sufficient; I know how to fix things around the house. Yes, I could pay someone to do a lot of this stuff, but I like the challenge of doing as much of it myself as I can. And I know most of you think I’m Mr Excitement and just have absolutely no free time whatsoever on my hands; the reality is, I probably have too much and you know what they say about idle hands…..:).

So, do you want a medal, or the chest to pin it on?


Did you know summers can be damn hot in the F L A? If you try to cut the grass early, it’s still wet from the morning dew and that can make it difficult. If you wait until the end of the day when it might possibly be a few degrees cooler and you can actually catch a breeze, you are probably going to be dodging lightning and rain, and homey respects mother nature.

Ok, then what’s the moral of the story?

I work harder than you?

I’m not the sharpest tack in the box?

There’s really no moral to this story at all?

I used to play little league baseball and fondly recall the smell of fresh cut grass on a Saturday afternoon as we were getting ready to play. It’s not quite up there with bacon, but the smell of fresh cut grass is a good memory for me. It reminds me of play.

Both of my parents are gone, so maybe it’s my thread to the past; the one thing I want to hold onto as long as I’m physically able to.

Or maybe not; I swear to God I think cutting that damn grass will be the death of me, but you know what they say, right? If it don’t kill you it will only make you stronger (I know it was supposed to be doesn’t, but I’m trying to talk Cracker Floridian).

Love-hate; what are you gonna do?

Do you have a thread that holds you to the past?

Do you think grass will ever be legal in Florida?

Didn’t you used to be somebody?

Why yes, yes I did until I became somebody else.

The older I get, the better I was

Athletic exploits, past romances, certain people; does time have a tendency to soften reality and give the impression that things seemed better than they really were?

I know someone who married his wife twice. Guess what? It didn’t work out the second time either. There must have been a reason they broke up in the first place, and apparently it didn’t get any better the second time around either.

It’s ok to fondly recall the past, but I truly believe we are better served to let the past be the past and start each day fresh, moving forward. People have a tendency to wallow in what was or labels that were attached to them even as far back as high school, and instead of growing, allowing this to limit their potential.

That’s letting others control your outcomes; playing to what others think.

I don’t know much, but I do know this

With age comes wisdom…sometimes; if it doesn’t kill you then it makes your stronger and wiser, right?

Do as I say, not as I do. Oh, I am still prone to do some pretty bone-headed things, especially when I hang with some of my male friends, but it’s never malicious; I should get points for that.

In my weekly (sometimes daily) redefining of my social strategy, I think I have come to the conclusion I like playing in social media way much more than I like working in it. Of course, that has probably defined me all of my life; I play much, much better than I work, I was just lucky enough to find a job that incorporates a lot of play into it.

I just wish you would grow up.

Yes, dear.

I tried, I really did but it was just not a good fit for me.

I’m afraid once you grow up, you grow old.

Don’t live life looking in the rear view mirror

It’s hard not to. There are certain moments you wish you could capture and just squeeze the living bejesus out of them and never let them go. Maybe if we can clear our minds and quit thinking about what’s next and fully live for the moment we can get close to maximum appreciation.

Do you ever go through a week and don’t recall one memorable moment; feel like you are sleepwalking through life?

Maybe it’s because I’m simple minded and easily amused, but I really look forward to each day because I know somewhere, somehow there will be some adventure or fun out there. Sometimes it occurs online and a lot of times it’s happening out in the real world. But if you look hard enough there is plenty of fodder to keep it humorous.

If you always think someone is out to get you and it’s never good enough, that’s just draining; no wonder you are worn out at the end of the day.

Want to know my secret of likability? I don’t bitch and moan much; if you are hanging with me I’m probably not going to have an ax to grind.

Maybe because I’m not not too controversial or a big fan of drama, I have a tendency to blend in instead of stand out. Kind of like watching grass grow or paint dry but at least I’m consistent. What you see is what you get…


Age is just a number

Yes, I know it’s only us old coots who say stuff like that, but I can tell you I don’t feel 87. I didn’t get the nickname Mr Happy for no reason and I’m certainly more apt to give you a smile. And it is very rare if you smile at someone, they won’t smile back.

My lesson for today? Attitude; it makes all the difference in the world and if you have the right attitude, you will always be somebody.

And guess what? Attitude is the one thing within your power to control; you might not be able to control much else around you, but how you react to these events are totally within your control.

Pretty prophetic, huh?

Why do you think it’s easier for some to have the right attitude and others never will? Can people really change?

Three reasons your Avatar has a shelf life

First and foremost, if we ever do meet in real life, I might not recognize you because that glamour shot you insist on using already has some miles on it. Plus, this isn’t a dating or casting site, so put it in play somewhere else.

But it was the best photo I had.

I hear ya; once I found one half-way presentable pic of myself it’s been all downhill from there. I’ve tried to come up with a newer, better version of me, but when you only have so much to work with you better run with what you got, right?

Your Avatar tells a story

Because the majority of the people we interact with online and don’t know in real life, we have to pick up on the subtle nuances going on with them online to try and judge their personality.

Avatar’s are a good starting point.

Some use their picture, some do not. When you have a mug like mine maybe I should think twice about what I’m trying to project, huh?

What does that tell you about the people who don’t post their own picture? To me, it screams witness protection program or bad divorce, but either way that is the spice and flavor of this online world; we would like to assume there is much more intrigue and glamour than is reality, right?

What about the ones who have never changed their Avatar? To me it screams lazy as hell, I know, because I am that guy. The reality is, I don’t go out seeking someone to take my picture just so I can change my Avatar. Plus, I am much better looking in real life, right Adam?

What about the ones that change it weekly? Restless souls? I don’t know; sounds like work to me so just refer to the above paragraph to see how I feel about work.

What are your thoughts on the three different scenarios; where are you in the mix?

Have you ever?

Followed or not followed someone back based on their Avatar?

I have used it as a deciding factor; maybe not 100% based on the Avatar, but if they had a cheesy about me to go along with it and I didn’t know them, they might not have made the cut.

The flip side of that is, most definitely I have used it to decide. I have followed back some just because of their Avatar; isn’t that right, ladies?

If you still have some type of follow back policy on twitter, how much does the Avatar come into play?

For the record? It’s a good thing I got to know some of you clowns first, or you might not have made the cut. What? It goes for me too? Well I never….

Have you ever two?

Been surprised at how much different a person looked in real life compared to their Avatar? Of course, in real life you get the whole package, with an Avatar it’s typically just the head shot.

I have, but not in a bad way; it’s just in real life it was much more current. Of course, I shouldn’t talk, everybody probably thinks I’m this relatively young, hip dude and when they see my big ol’ tired ass head, go whoa, what the hell happened to you.

I’m not that shallow thankfully; I look for the essence of someone and can say for most part everybody I have met in real life matched up pretty well.

But I am visual in that every time I correspond with you it’s the image of your Avatar that pops into my head.

So what does that say?

Well, since this is my educational series I would say this:

  1. Your Avatar is the face of you online, so what story does it tell? Do you care?
  2. Your Avatar can make or break a deal; even if that is a very shallow statement, it’s true.
  3. Every once in awhile, your house needs a coat of paint; so does your Avatar.

I guess it says maybe we are all shallow to a certain degree…hey, I’m not going at this alone, I’m dragging you with me, so when I say we I mean all of us.

Am I right or wrong, what do you think? I haven’t changed mine in two years, would you rather see the real me or reasonable facsimile from two years ago?

When we have fertilizer plants blowing up and terrorist bombers at the Boston Marathon, how important is all this stuff anyway, huh?

Have a great day.

Three habits to make you smarter than a fifth grader

First of all, never challenge a fifth grader, ever; you will lose.

The whole contest is rigged against you because you haven’t seen the fifth grade in forever; and we all know you learned everything you need to know about life in kindergarten; everything else in school was just busy work. Quick, tell me who was the 23rd US President? How many pints in a gallon? Which planet is closest to the sun? Carefully is an example of what type of word?

See, it’s bullspit. I can honestly say in my entire professional life I have never had one business deal that was predicated on me getting any of those answers right; I shaved my legs once, but that is an entirely different matter…And whereas the fifth grader is studying that stuff right now, it is so gone from your memory you will look like a fool being put on the spot. Potato, Dan Quayle

School is better suited to prepare you for all the bullspit you have to deal with in life as opposed to actually educating you. School is not fair, people will pick on you for no good reason, somebody will always be cooler and more popular, some people are nice, some are not. It’s a melting pot and if you keep the guns and crazies out, it is the best preparation for life you will ever get.

Even if you could care less which planet is closest to the sun.

How many think the traditional way our schools so rigidly stick to will become a thing of the past?

How many can tell by the tone of this post, maybe someone in this room wasn’t the best student?

Let the doctor offer some roadside assistance

  1. First and foremost, don’t do any Are you smarter than a fifth grader challenges; it’s a sucker bet. There is absolutely no upside so run away as fast as you can; I don’t care how smart you think you are.

If it’s a hardy har har bet among friends and there is some drinking going on, then maybe. But the last thing you want to do is perform in front of a live audience. Just the pressure alone will shut your mind down.

Trust me; no upside whatsoever. Run.

2. Read, and then read some more. It can be blogs, books, the newspaper, online, etc, the options are many, but just read. And don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try things that normally don’t interest you; whether it be self-help, business, fiction or non-fiction, history, etc. Turn that TV off…

A well read person can talk on many topics and appear much smarter than they are.

Being well read is the number one trick in being just smart enough. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, just be smart enough.

3. Write, and then write some more. All those crazy thoughts you have going on in your head? Put them down on paper. It’s amazing how much more creative you can be when you actually take the time to write something on a consistent basis. You get in the bonus round when somebody actually reads what you’ve written and comments on it.

Blogs are certainly one avenue to get this done, right? Although, I’m sure after some have read my masterpieces they question if I even made it to the fifth grade, but I think it was called a social promotion back in the day. Once I started driving in the fifth grade they thought it would probably be a good thing if they promoted me up. The nerve…

Notice I said nothing whatsoever about math. Math was cool until it married the alphabet.

Come back next week and you will have to pay to get into my house

Yep, as you can see I have finally found my niche as the self-help guru with the likes of The Amazing Revolutionary Diet and Fitness Programand 3 Reasons Insurance is a Brilliant Career Choice, But those were just teasers coupled with this fine piece of work and come next week the articles will be chock full of exceptional advice only I can give.

And for the introductory price of only a dollar three eighty seven directly deposited into my HeyPal account, it will give you Charter Member status and a year’s subscription.

Pretty awesome, huh? And don’t think everybody is getting this special offer; that’s a big no way Jose as this is for only my special peeps. Don’t delay…

How do you like them apples…..teach?

Can you get rich on a 99 cent story?


Can you even feed yourself on 99 cents a story?

Now 50 cent seems to have figured it out. If you read my previous post where I strongly suggested my Triberr reach of 26 mil plus each send me 25 cents, then I might be on to something too, huh?

What is rich, do you know? Do you think basketball player LeBron James is rich? If he’s rich then what does that make the guy who signs his paycheck?

Is it all relative? What is your number? They say a million dollars isn’t what it used to be; who would still like to have a million dollars?

I will bet that would buy you some new friends.

What’s your point?

What? Like I have to have one? Last time I checked this was still my post; well, me and WordPress and since it’s free they can probably pull the plug any time I suppose.

While I am still waiting for that BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) on who and what I want to be when I grow up, I’m just trying to be a sponge and absorb and learn what I can along the way.

As long as I am willing to learn then I should able to keep growing…of course now I’m growing out instead of up these days, but who wants to grow up anyway, right?

What I’m getting at is, if none of you are going to let me ride your coattails to fame and fortune then apparently I am going to have to figure it out myself. Being the ‘just show up’ guy, Houston, we have a problem.

Talent abounds

Be patient, I’m getting there.

When Adam Toporek and I met Dino Dogan in Orlando, we talked about many things social. One of the things Dino suggested, more to Adam than to me, was writing and posting 99 cents e-books.

This weekend as I was reading a reply from Mr Extremely Average Brian Meeks, he was contemplating publishing a short story he had shared with me. Don’t tell him, but I changed the title and already published it under my name……….:).

He was going to go the 99 cent route too.

As the ‘just show up’ guy, maybe it’s a sign; just let it be known all who have offered suggestions on my journey it has been appreciated even if I haven’t implemented any some of them.

I can do that too

Trust me, I will not be the early adopter on anything. I’m curious, but it’s just not in my nature to be leading the charge most of the time.

Therefore, I’m thinking this 99 cent gig can certainly allow low risk practicing in my quest to decide which fork in the road I want to take; even if my mother ends up being the only one purchasing a story.

Business or personal? What floats your boat?

I know many in here are much more prolific writers than I, so talk to me, who is actively doing this and what kind of results have you seen?

Are you driving a Bentley yet?

Pamela Fagan Hutchins, what say you?

Is it even worth the effort or should I just blog?

The main reason I’m considering this certainly isn’t for the money, but to be more disciplined in my writing efforts and give it a purpose.

Whadda ya think, can you get rich on 99 cents a story?

Didn’t you used to be somebody?

Well, maybe…I tried to be. I did most of the right things, was personable, visited a lot of places and even got a mention here and there. I might not have made many lists, but I’m sure if the peeps had one more name to add it would have been mine.

But then it was gone.

When you commit to shutting it down, it’s shut down. It went dark so quick I could barely see my way out the back door.

Where did everyone go? Oh wait, they’re still in here; it must have been me…

One thing certainly seems obvious; either you are in or you aren’t, there isn’t much of an in-between.

Some interesting observations from my hiatus

I think I just got a glimpse of what retirement might be like; can’t say if it’s good or bad, but definitely different when you get off the hamster wheel. I have a responsibility to my family and employer to show up for work and perform; there is a certain rhythm and routine that goes with that. I also had the same responsibility with my blog for a time, and I’m not saying I’m done with it, but going forward it will be different…for you and me.

When your routine goes away, what do you really have? Like I said, can’t say if it’s good or bad….just different.

Maybe it was the lazy in me, but it has been kind of nice knowing I don’t feel like I’m always a day and a half behind trying to catch up with everybody. If I want to sit my fat, lazy ass in the recliner to watch TV, it’s my prerogative and I don’t feel one ounce of guilt in doing so.

Maybe it’s spam or something, but other than my usual post days when visits spiked a little bit more than most; the traffic has been pretty steady, even after a month of no posts. Are people really still seeking me out, or is that just a fluke? Was I really that popular?

Don’t answer; it wasn’t really a question.

Back away from yourself

Having a personal blog has been fun; it opened the door for me to meet some really great people. Having any blog has been (and I use the word has-been lightly) my ticket into the show.

But backing away has also shown me whatever I used to fret about if I missed posting on Monday at 7:34 am with my 573 word count post the sun wouldn’t shine, was much ado about nothing. I might not get 3 people to read this, but guess what, the sun really will come up and in the big scheme of things this doesn’t even amount to a flea on an elephant’s ass…nice visual, huh?

It really doesn’t matter with a personal blog.

Well, are you back or what?

I guess it depends on what you consider back. Going forward, most of my focus will be tying my social efforts into something somewhat business related. If I’m branding a certain way through my LinkedIn account and tying my personal blog to it in any way, there probably has to be a consistent message to some degree.

Therefore, there is a good chance I will be writing bidness stuff from here and linking it to LinkedIn. Wow, that’s a novel idea.

I can’t say if it will be good or bad, just different….

A new day dawning

I might or might not be by to visit; it’s not that I don’t see you, but the new me will be somewhat judicious with my social time as I have no desire to chase my tail anymore. If that means you need to move on and do your own thing too, I certainly understand and respect that.

No, I don’t think I have it all figured out but I have reached the point I will be more purposeful. Will it be the same ol’ me? Of course, it’s just some days my voice might sound funny.

Will I have a schedule now, probably not and when my readership dwindles down to my mother and her friend Maude, then it might be time to try something else in the meantime.

Until then? Rock on…