☠ RoleyShow 02

vance

State Rep. Jerry Bumfiddle joins Roley on the podcast to talk about Vance McAllister getting his privates caught in the cookie jar.   The Crew stages a karaoke intervention, Kris talks about the Ultimate Warrior,  and Hannah Weatherington joins us to talk about teachers defending themselves when attacked by students.  Hanna thanks it should be on a case by case basis, but that’s when it goes haywire…

☠ RoleyShow 01

tinfoil

Roley, Al, and Bubba get together again and things go pretty much how you’d expect.   Fitzroy Delacoudray joins us to defend a One Percenter child molester that’s walking away from jail time because he wouldn’t “fare well in prison”,  We talk about a new after sex selfie  trend on Instagram,  Al still thinks we should consider the Yeti Factor on the missing Malaysian Jet, and Ellie Bartlett Browning wants to talk about a female cosmetic surgery that she is considering having done, even though it’s barbaric.

☠ RoleyShow Alpha 01

RoleySo, after a few months off, I had an opportunity to produce a podcast for some friends.  That was apparently the spark I needed to get back behind a pen, a sheet of paper, and a microphone again.  As a result, I decided to record this little alpha cast.

 

I think it went pretty well.

On this episode, we talk about some advances in medical science that allows deaf people to hear for the first time in years, if not their lives.  Sarah Gurtsmith is one of our neighbors here, and she had such a pair of implants put in on the show.

It didn’t end well.

☣ About Online Female Harassment

I want you to watch this video. It’s slightly uncomfortable, and it’s supposed to be.

When I first logged on to the internet back in the prehistoric times, I lurked on USENET. I read, but never posted. Had I done so, I would have realized a lot sooner that my account name was my full first and last name.

I have a first name that many people consider to be female. I joke about it all the time now, but in my younger days, it was a rather sensitive subject and it opened me up to all sorts of fun being called a fa**ot and all sorts of other wonderful names.

Online, since no one can tell your gender from lines of text, I was assumed to be a female from my very first post. The first response I received was to be called a c*nt, and the second was a request to show my ti*s.

Had they known I was a guy, this wouldn’t have happened. So, don’t tell me that a harassment culture online and in some areas of geekdom don’t exist. I know it does.

I changed my online name from my full first name to it’s diminutive, and later on, I changed it to a nickname. But while that simple change insulated me from that harassment, I have watched many women over what’s got to be close to 20 years get harassed by trolls and much worse. It’s horrible, it’s vicious, and while I don’t know what CAN be done about it, I know something MUST be done.

I think of my daughter, and I want better for her than this.

☣ A Reminder

A reminder to myself, something I said (more or less) to my friend Meri a few months ago:

What are those things that you just can’t shut up about? Those things that make you tick, tock, and a list of other clock related things you can’t think of the names for?

What are those subjects that when they come up, your tight circle of friends roll their eyes and strap in, because they know it’s going to be another 45 minutes before the conversation will come back to what you were actually talking about in the first place?

Those one or two subjects that you know better than anyone?

There’s a whole community of weirdos who do the same thing about the same subject, and they have the same annoyed friends.

Go find them.

☣ Where are you going

Me? Not that you asked…

I’m just some weird version of a secular monk, lately. Repenting for some past sins, and learning how to walk in this world again while doing a little good and planting some seeds on the way.

Yeah, I’m going to fail. A lot. We all do. This monk can still drop an F-Bomb with precision.

Bear with me, I’m still standing on the shore, learning how to fly for more than just my next meal.

☣ Kindles For Kids?

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite. There were some books I wanted to read, and frankly, my 1st Generation iPad ain’t what it used to be. It still has a place on my desk as my sound effects cart machine, but it just doesn’t do much beyond that anymore. I really do want to get a new iPad Mini, but that can wait. The Kindle Paperwhite was affordable under the circumstances, and I could very well imagine using it at the Beach (something you can’t do with an iPad), so I picked it up.

I still can’t believe how fast this thing has become the first thing I grab on the way out the door. I *love* this thing. Everything I hated about carrying around a paperback is totally removed with this device. I can increase the font size so my old eyes can see it better, It’s VERY easy to read, and I can carry a whole library of books without killing a tree.

It occurs to me (and I hope to someone else) that aside from Apple’s iBooks initiative, THIS is the most affordable option to get books and devices in the hands of students. While iBooks give you a lot of interactive displays, schools could opt for a simple ebook format. Give students Kindles, and they can read, make notes, see what others are noting from the same book. The cost of the textbooks comes down considerably, not to mention the weight of a student’s backpack.

Also, a Kindle is relatively inexpensive to replace if broken, lost or stolen (compared to an iPad), and there’s less chance of one being used ‘inappropriately’. What are the kids going to do? Read a book? Isn’t that what you want them to do in the first place?

Jeff Bezos is a smart guy, and I hope this is something he’s given some thought to. If he isn’t, he should.

☣ On Setting Expectations

Let’s talk a little about setting expectations.

Admittedly, this is something I’m not very good at. I have a nasty habit of saying Yes to everyone I possibly can, until I get to the point when a couple of those agreements have gone completely South because I failed to check my dance card. My schedule gets too full, and something historically has fallen to the wayside. On more than one occasion, this has left a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

I can’t be the only person with this problem, but how to solve it?

Well, I think it’s a matter of your priorities. How much time of your day are you willing to give to others? How much time do you need for yourself and your projects and goals? What’s movable in order to accommodate both? What isn’t? Is there a day or time limit to what someone is asking of you, or can one be set?

I’m horrible at this, but I’m trying to learn how to say no, or “Yes, on these conditions”. Part of it is because I don’t want the conflict that invariably arises when you say either one of those. The status quo is me saying yes even though I don’t have the time, and keep my growing dissatisfaction bottled. Problem is, that eventually blows up. You see the potential problem there, don’t you?

Blunt honesty doesn’t quite work either, as it leads to hard feelings.

Diplomacy (assuming I have any) hardly ever works, because it gives someone the reason to believe that something is negotiable when the answer is no. Or, if you like, someone keeps hammering the point until no becomes yes, now please go away and let me find that bottle I keep my bad attitude in. My fault for giving in, I’m well aware of that.

So, how do you handle this? I’m quite interested to know. I agreed to do something over the weekend, with a date certain that I would stop. I fully anticipate that as we get closer to that date, I will be pressured to continue, and there’s exactly ONE reason why I would: My work schedule changes. If it doesn’t, it’s just too much for me to continue past the date I gave.

What would you do?

☣ WTF IS ROLOGORRHEA?

I’ve got one particular nut to crack, and that’s Rologorrhea.

Rologorrhea is the name of the podcast I plan to bring you, but as of this moment I still don’t know what in the hell it sounds like.

I do like this particular statement from my friend Adrion, who said in response to sticking around to see where I go from here, “I do it to see if you’ll ever post something that’s not cryptic but is coherent, complete, and relevant to something other than what’s going on inside your head.”

But, my head is such an interesting place, man. You should move in. I guarantee interesting company.

Maybe a full hour of non sequitur? I like dogs. is that coffee? Everything’s sparkly.

Like that, but LESS coherent.

You’re welcome.

☣ Zero Days Off

It’s natural on Friday to want to take it easy, to have a nice easy day. May I please dissuade you from having a nice easy day?

Show up and grind just like you did on Thursday, like you will do on Monday. Don’t let up.

That big idea is just as likely to show up in your brain on Friday as it would on Wednesday, and it would be a damn crime if you weren’t open to receive that manna if you decided to take a mental day off.

The Grind needs to be your default position. Go. Do. Be.

☣ My Routine

A look at my day:

Starting this Monday, I will have to get up around 630 or 700. I’ll take Kim to work, this will put me back at the house around 9am.

I’ll get in, check email and social, then turn everything off and put in my 30 minutes of writing. I’ll call that 9:45. Upstairs to humanize myself.

30 minutes of reading. We’ll call that 11am.

Eat, and check the RSS feeds.

I leave the house at 12:15-12:30 for work, starting at 1:30, Off at 10. I had been going to the gym after work, but since I value getting a decent night’s sleep, I’ll have to move gym to Saturday/Sunday. As long as I put the time in, I’ll see the improvement. It will take more time.

Home around 11pm. About 30 mins to cool down, and to bed.

Rinse, Lather, repeat.

This card is subject to change: once I don’t have to take Kim to work in the AM again. I’ll move gym back to nights after work on Tues and Thurs, and during the day on Sat.

☣ The Grind

The Grind is the only way. If you’re dead serious about it, you need to show up.

Here’s what’s been working for me. I show up in the office at the same time every morning, and I turn off everything but TextEdit on my Mac. Then I sit down and just start writing. The first little bit is garbage, and I expect that. But as i write, the fingers and the brain connect, and I get to the meat of what I wanted to write about in the first place. I write for 30 minutes every day. I might only get one good decent thought, but that’s ok. I put in the time, the work got done.

You might start with setting aside 30 minutes for nothing but what you want to do, and as that gets easier, consider upping it to 45. My guess is that if you get to the point that 30 minutes is so easy you blow by it, you’ll already be at 45. Up it every time it seems natural to do it without even thinking.

Here’s hoping that by the time you hit the ‘day job’ ceiling, this work you’re doing will BE your day job.

☣ My Addiction

This talk of addiction yesterday, I need to address my own: Nicotine.

Guantanamo Bay, 1981. I was 11 years old. My best friend down there was a guy named Scott. My parents had pissed me off about something, I can’t even remember what it was, and I walked down to Scotts house, and he flashed a pack of Vantage Lights in front of me. “Wanna try?”

What started as something to ‘get back at my folks’ thing is now been a thing I’ve been dealing with ever since.

I’m now at the point where I realize nothing is ever going to get better if I don’t stop now. It will do nothing but get worse from here. I’m 43. that means that I’ve been smoking off and on for 32 years. More on than off.

I can’t talk to another soul about getting to your passion, and getting past the blocks if I can’t get past my own, and boy do I have my work cut out for me.

I’ve rationalized for years about this: Once I get x and y done, and I can get all the stress off me, and once everyone has unlimited chocolate pudding…

The stars will never align. The moment is never going to be ‘perfect’. I either start, or I don’t.

I have to do this. Now.

It’s time.

☣ On Addiction

I’ve got this particular line from a book stuck in my head right now: That the addicted are at once the most interesting and most boring people in the world.

They’re interesting because the things that surround them, and how they choose to ‘dress’ themselves are interesting. They’ve got some great stories, they’ve had interesting lives. They’ve had interesting lives in the pursuit of their addiction, whatever it is.

They’re boring because they do not live past their addiction. It’s inertia. An object at rest stays at rest, and the addicted stay in the comfort of their addiction. They don’t challenge themselves further, especially if it means they might miss their fix.

The addict’s inertia is transferable, especially if you live with them. Don’t let it drag you down. You may not be able to help them see, but you are still alert enough to notice what might be happening to you right now.

That’s not a pool, that’s a tar pit. Stay out, and get to work.

☣ Keep Swimming

A nice quote from Ginger, posted with permission.

Sometimes you just have to have confidence in yourself that when you jump into the deep end of the pool you’ll start swimming.

Ginger is right. You’ll swim. You have to.

What we’re dealing with here is clearing the diving board so you can dive, and getting the courage to jump in the first place.

⌁ Get Colleen Back On Her Feet

Colleen Montini | Get Colleen Back On Her Feet

Colleen is one of my oldest friends, who would like to get a new standing wheelchair. As I understand it, this would vastly improve her quality of life, not only for the things you and I take for granted, but also when it comes to physical therapy.

She’s one of those rare people that you meet once in your life and know you’re better for the experience. She’s nothing less than awe inspiring. To say that she is one of my personal heroes is a bit cliche, but it’s nevertheless true. I admire her faith, I admire her work ethic, and on my grumpiest of days, Colleen has never failed to bring a smile to my face.

Now, she’d very much like our help. If you have the means, and are so inclined, would you please click on the link and consider making a donation?

Thank you for helping one of my best friends, and someone I look up to.

☣ On Distraction

A bit about work and distractions:

It’s oh so easy to get distracted during the process of creating. You’re sitting in front of a PC, thats connected, you’re working, and then your mind goes elsewhere. Let’s check email. Let’s look at Facebook, let’s go check twitter, oh, here’s a link to a Youtube video.

Stop.

It’s like mindfulness meditation: back to the breath. Back to the task at hand.

Put the toys away, and do the work required of you. Whatever that is.

A lot of ‘gurus’ give you tools that are supposed to block the candy-ass sites that distract your time and extensions that time your unproductive time so you can see how much time they’ve lost. I don’t know if these people get anything out of referring you to stuff like that, but tools and extensions are no match for you just growing a pair and displaying the will to do what you need to do in the first place.

If you can’t do it on your own, none of the tools will ever help you.

My suggestion: set aside half an hour to turn off all the things except what you need to have on to work. No phone, no websites (unless for research), and a blank sheet of paper. (real or virtual.)

I use Textedit on the Mac. (The equivalent would be Notepad for Windows), I turn off the internet, I put my phone away (or leave it in another room entirely), and I write.

I can’t give you any other testimony that this works other than the fact that I wrote this on March 4th, which means because I’m sticking to this method I’m about four days ahead on posts to the blog.

So, it’s working for ME. Your mileage may vary, but give it a try.

☣ The Giving

If you catch me on Twitter, I give a HELL of a lot more than I ask.

That’s what a good use of Twitter is, as I understand it.

Yes, I know that Twitter is a great place for news. I also understand that Twitter is a rest place to get spoilers for all the TV shows you’re not watching. It’s also a great place to catch up on all the great boy bands you’re not interested in, but for the creative person Twitter is a place to bring the eyeballs.

But I don’t. At least, not yet. I give those eyeballs to other people. Partly because I’m not ready yet, and partly because those people I give to are friends. People I know that are doing REALLY amazing things. I know a woman who wants nothing more than to write comedy. She BURNS to do it, and here’s the thing: I know she’s going to be fucking stellar at it. When she’s ready, I’ll send her as many of you as I can.

Meri, who is an absolute doll and one of the nicest people I know, just started a website. She’s also working out her own podcast. I won’t STOP bugging you about her. She’s good people, and I adore her.

Jennie and friends do one or two different podcasts(here and here), and I will make you sick with those as well.

I have friends who work in improv and standup comedy, and you will wretch violently by the time I’m done linking you to their events.

I have a friend that just bought a bar. I’m going to help her out every way I can, because she’s a fucking awesome friend that deserves to succeed.

I genuinely like every one of these people I’ve mentioned, and it just seems like it’s dead obvious that I should use whatever pull I’ve got to turn you on to these people. I’ll continue to do so.

Finally, when I’m ready, I’ll ask for you to come check my new thing out, and trust that all the good karma I’ve sent out will work it’s way back. If it doesn’t that’s fine. I’ve still done a good thing in the giving.

Now let me tell you about this sandwich I’m eating in 140 characters or…no?

No.

☣ Toxic Self

In the end, all this talk of Toxic Customers and Toxic People is fine, but then what about you?

Yeah. Toxic Self. It’s a thing.

Are you just on the verge of making that great thing you’ve always wanted, just as soon as you feed the dog, take out the trash and oh, hey, there’s a Law and Order Marathon on, and I should really take a shower, and hey, maybe a beer, oh look a ball game, and let me just check Facebook and Twitter and what’s this link OH LOOK PORN, and it’s already midnight so I’ll start tomorrow?

Yeah.

Tell me that’s not toxic. You bet it is. It’s fucking deadly.

Turn everything else off, even that voice in your head that always finds other reasons to NOT do something…

…and do something.

Go make something awesome.

☣ Toxic People

Yesterday, I mentioned Toxic Customers. What about Toxic People?

I make the differentiation because Toxic Customers are people you can leave at work. Toxic People are in your circle of friends, or possibly family. What do you do with them?

Same thing. In this case, you are the management. You fire them.

I know this sounds harsh, but here’s my take: If you are really serious about spending your time trying to create something, trying to make something happen in the Me Economy, Toxic People will not allow you to do it. They sap your positive energy, your patience, and want you to be down in the mud with them because that’s where you are supposed to be.

No.

If you’re serious about this, your place is not in the mud. It’s in your space, doing your thing.

You owe it to these people to talk to them about what you’re doing, and that you need to work on it. Tell them that you’d like and appreciate their support, but that you are moving forward regardless. You may get resentment, or anger at ‘leaving them behind’. You must understand that this is a normal reaction, but you need to be firm about it. This is your life. If these people were truly in control of themselves, they would understand and support your want to be successful. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen. People who are not in control of themselves sometimes only think of themselves and how your actions are affecting their lives. Toxic people can’t see past the end of their noses a lot of the time.

That’s when you know it’s time to fire them. Yes, you’re going to feel awful about it. It’s not easy. However, it is necessary if you want to do the work required to be successful.

☣ Toxicity

“The customer is always right.”

May we please dispense with this myth?  No.  The customer is not always right.   With 23 years of experience dealing with customers, I can not only attest to this, I can also tell you that on rare occasions, the customer is downright insane.

However, a very large percentage of them–very nearly all–can be helped.

It’s the advocates job to help the ones that they can, and realign the expectations of the ones he cannot.

A truly Toxic Customer is rare.  A Toxic Customer can be defined as one who can be abusive, demeaning, and has unrealistic expectations.  They are manipulative.  They are serial callers, and they are serial escalators.  Sometimes they attempt to game the system as best they can.   A truly Toxic Customer on some occasions are the ones that everyone in the organization can name.

It is management’s job to deal with these customers, and yes, it is management’s job to fire these customers when it becomes necessary.  Toxic Customers eventually display that they cannot be helped, educated, or realigned by anyone.

Management has a responsibility to do this when it becomes necessary.  If management can’t or won’t fire these toxic customers, it doesn’t speak well of them, or the organization.  In my experience, a manager who is loathe to fire a Toxic Customer is more likely to manage out an advocate who speaks out about a Toxic Customer instead.   Better to find a better organization who acts in its advocates’ better interests,  or for that advocate to strike out on their own in this new connected Me Economy if they so choose.

☣ Bullshit

I mentioned yesterday that nothing’s too big a roadblock if you take the time to think it though.  After some reflection, I’m half right.

Somethings really are roadblocks.  They do (temporarily) stop you from connecting to what you care about.  I’ve been reading Stephen Pressfield’s book The War Of Art, and he calls this “Resistance”.

He’s polite.  I’m going to call it what I think it actually is:  Bullshit.  The extraneous bullshit that comes from within you (and sometimes around you) that stop you from getting to your art, your connection, your road to the Me Economy.

To boil Pressfield down to his barest of bones, distraction, fear, and shame are what stops you from doing your work.  I think it all can be lumped into one term, as I mentioned above.  Not sure he’d agree with me, but there you are.

To combat bullshit you must arm yourself with the strongest and simplest of sentences.  “No, I’ve got work to do.”

Certain things are unavoidable.  That is why it is on you to fine tune your detector for what is unavoidable, and what is.

Then, get your ass to work.  The road to the Me Economy is a long game, but you have to show up every day.

 

☣ Molehills

Panic and Frustration.  I deal with people engaged in that every day.

Panic and Frustration makes the tiniest complication seem like an Extinction Level Event.   It isn’t.  It won’t be.  It CAN’T be.

Breathe.

Nothing is ever that big of a roadblock if you take the time to think it through.

Just some food for thought.

☣ A No For Today

Today, was the first day I got to stop…really stop…since November. The Universe let me have a day. I didn’t have to run all over the place to get things done. By comparison, last weekend I saw home while awake for maybe 3 hours. I was in the car going somewhere the rest of the time, and it damn near killed me.

I haven’t complained about not having any time to myself. Much. However, there has been an eye roll or two when as Friday approaches many times over the past several weeks, and I believed that I was going to be able to have at least a day to myself, something has come up or someone has needed something that only I could do.

I did it, whatever it was. No complaints, no hesitation. I would just have to wait another week to stop. Then another week. Then another, and another. Meditation is great for getting back to center, don’t get me wrong. It only goes so far when your body and brain is screaming to stop and you feel like you can’t. Eventually, you have to listen, and get off the bike before you wreck. I’m convinced that another one or two weeks–especially one like last week–would have me heading for a real problem.

Today, I said No. I said it nicely, and no one heard me, but today was going to be the day when I let myself stop. Just for one day. It’s all I asked for.

Tomorrow there are chores and things, but everything could wait at least one day so I could get my head together.

I’d like to thank the Prime Mover for letting me get off the bike today, I’ll start pedaling again in the morning.