Like Spam?

So I decided to take a few days off after my 30-in-30 attempt, and penciled in today as the day I’d come back to start making posts again. Over the last few days I’ve been catching up on some reading, finishing a couple books and starting a third. I’ve also started to pay more attention to the blogs I follow in reader, and I also have a few “tags” saved there so I can look at posts that use the tags I pay attention to.

This means that I virtually always find posts I like on blogs I don’t follow. Not so surprisingly, when I like a post I “like” the post. It just seems like something you should do. The author put time and effort into writing it, and I figure if I really do like the post the absolute least I can do is, well, “like” the post.

But it seems others do that to get people to look at their blogs.

To be honest the thought of that never occurred to me. I “like” the post because I liked the post, not in an attempt to get people to look at my blog. It’s the same when I comment, if I have something worth saying about a post I make a comment. While I’ve seen people include links to their blogs in comments I’ve never done it, so it never crossed my mind that was a reason some were doing that.

If it hadn’t have been brought up in the comments section of a book blog I follow I never would have known it was a “thing”. It must not really be an issue with the people who like my posts because while I don’t get a ton of them considering the number of page views I get, it’s usually the same group of people. And most of them I either follow their blog directly or see a lot of their posts because of the tags they use.

So, for the record, if I like your post and “like” your post, that’s the reason I “like”ed your post. It’s the same with comments. If I say something, it’s because I had something relevant to say. And if I follow your blog it wasn’t so you’d follow me back, it was because I liked the posts I saw and wanted to make sure I saw more of them.

Like, OK?

Spoiler Alert: Some People Never Learn

A couple of years ago I blogged about spoilers, and while it was specifically about a TV show it really is about anything in this digital age. And now with the Olympics winding down the issue of “spoilers” has once again rearing its ugly head. I simply don’t understand how people can’t figure out this one easy rule to follow:

If you don’t want to know about an event (TV, sports, book, whatever) don’t go to websites where that event will likely be discussed.

It truly is that easy. You don’t want to know the results of a sporting event that was streamed live but will be shown on TV later, don’t visit ESPN, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, or any of those types of places because the information as to who won will likely be found there. You don’t want to know about a movie, going to websites that review and talk about movies seems like a place you should avoid.

I don’t get the arrogance of people who get angry when they go on social media or forums and find out things they didn’t want to know about. How about you show some willpower and don’t go to those sites. It’s different if you stumble into that information in a place where it probably shouldn’t have been, like someone you follow on Twitter that never talks about sports suddenly starts tweeting results. But to actively go to sites that talk about the very thing you’re trying to avoid is stupidity to the Nth degree.

You have a responsibility to avoid information that will spoil the enjoyment of watching an event, movie, or TV show. People don’t have any responsibility to avoid discussing those things, especially in places where discussions of those topics is what usually takes place. It’s one of the reasons I don’t follow on Twitter or “like” on Facebook many TV shows; they talk about those shows seconds after the episodes air. I tend to DVR stuff, so I need to avoid the places that talk about those shows until I get around to watching them.

Spoiler Alert: It’s so easy to do I never have an issue.

Thirteen Month Old Baby, Broke the Lookin’ Glass

Wasn’t planning a sequel to yesterday’s post, at least not so soon after making the first one. I had something else I wanted to blog about today, but now I guess I have something I can use on my getaway day on Saturday. Something related to yesterday’s post happened over the last couple days and now seems a good a time as any to talk about it.

Yesterday’s post was about being superstitious and how I might be a tad more than I think I am. Now I know I have some things I do because I suffer from a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it isn’t superstition that makes me do those things. Last night showed I’m more than a tad superstitious.

On Monday night the Bravehearts were in Lynn, MA to take on North Shore in game one of their series. It was 1-1 late in the game and Worcester really hadn’t had much going on for a few innings. So I decided to tweet out some encouragement despite the fact I know there’s virtually no chance they’d see it.

Simple and direct, right to the point. Only autocorrect took over and changed the spelling on one of my hashtags. “#Mission3pete” should be “#Mission3peat”. Had I noticed at the time, and I should have because autocorrect has done that same thing to me before, I would have deleted it and tweeted again with the “correct” correct spelling. But I didn’t notice until much later, and out it went.

Within minutes the Bravehearts scored four runs and went on to win.

Obviously my tweet played no role, right? It’s not like they even saw it. Heck, I’m not sure anyone paid the least bit of attention to it. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”) is one of my favorite sayings because many people presume that things that come before other things caused that other thing. It is virtually never true that what came before is the cause of what comes now. Basically, correlation does not imply causation.

But what if it happened twice?

Tuesday night, with the score once again knotted in the bottom of the eighth I scrolled back to the misspelled tweet, copied it, and tweeted it out again. This time it was noticed by “SC” who runs the Bravehearts’ in-game twitter account. He direct messaged me that I had misspelled “#Mission3peat”. I replied that I knew but had made the exact tweet the night before (in fact I’d copies and pasted it) and what happened. I got a “LOL” reply back.

In the top of the eighth Worcester manufactured a run and won to advance to the finals.

I’m guessing we’re both laughing at it now. And you can bet if it’s needed in the finals I’m absolutely tweeting that out again, misspelling and all. Can’t mess with the magic.

Like “SH” commented on my link on Facebook, “Superstition in everyday life is silly. In sports, it’s gospel.”

Amen, brother.

Very Superstitious, Writings on the Wall

I am not a superstitious person. While I do avoid walking under ladders (let’s be honest, you shouldn’t do that for any reason), I don’t care about black cats crossing my path, or breaking mirrors, or any other of the hundreds of things that supposedly bring bad luck. Superstitions are just plain silly, and I really don’t get people that truly believe that things like that matter one bit.

But I just canceled a bunch of blog posts for that exact reason.

As silly as it sounds I’m not making planned blog posts on 210Sports specifically because I’ve never done that before during the previous Worcester Bravehearts playoff runs. They won both times, and according to at least one person I shouldn’t mess with karma. For some reason I can’t really explain, despite being ready to mash the “post” button as soon as the game was over last night, I instead dumped the post in the trash and tweeted I wasn’t going to make post-game blog postings.

Now before you call me crazy, something like this has happened before. Before every Bravehearts’ playoff game last season I retweeted my preview for the current match-up. Well, almost every. I didn’t do it once. You see, it didn’t make sense for me to retweet it, unlike the early rounds of the playoffs in the finals they played the same team in a best of three. Retweeting my link before each game made sense when it was a different team everyday and folks might have missed it from the night before, but to do it before game two? Why would I do that? I had already retweeted it twice by that point. So I didn’t do it again.

And they lost that game.

Of course my not retweeting played no role in the loss, but the next day I retweeted it and they won. So now that the example has been set, I’ll retweet those previews before every game. Hardly anyone clicks on them after day two, but hey, if people demand I do it because they think it helps the Bravehearts win, I guess I’ll do my part.

The thought of not making those post-game blog posts never entered my mind. I was asked a couple weeks ago if I was going to post some post-game recaps and thoughts, and without really thinking about it I decided right then I was going to do it. Seems like something someone blogging about a team should be doing, so I figured I’d spend a few minutes after each game mashing out a post.

In fact, I had one ready last night. It was all set to go, just waiting for a quick update if anything “newsworthy” happened late in the game. And then I heard my phone chirp that I had a new email. It was from “LF”, and she begged me not to make game posts because I didn’t do it last year, and we have to do everything the same as to not “change our Karma”.

I have to admit, I thought this woman was a kook. Seriously, how could that even be a thing? 210Sports didn’t even exist in the Bravehearts’ first season, and blogging about them in year two didn’t stop them from repeating. So why would me adding more coverage of the team cause them to lose? I mean, come on. No reasonable person would even think that.

Then I put the post in the trash.

I guess I’m a little more superstitious than I think I am.

The Silliness of Sports Motivation

If you’re someone that’s doing something to improve your health or life, being motivated to continue doing a thing that is likely contrary to how you’ve been doing stuff before is important. To convince yourself to walk that extra half mile, to eat that piece of fruit instead of a doughnut, or to have the willpower to not have that drink, motivation is an incredible tool for your success.

But if you’re an athlete that needs outside motivation, you certainly won’t be a successful one.

You always hear about great pregame speeches that helped a team to victory. Odds are in the opposite locker room there was a speech just as good, but because they lost no one hears about it.

In the movie Miracle Herb Brooks’ speech to Team USA was brilliantly reproduced by Kurt Russell. It’s a great speech, although not not exactly word for word what Brooks said. No matter, it’s still a great moment in the movie. How much would anyone care about that speech if Team USA lost the game?

Yesterday the North Shore Navigators retweeted some comments I made weeks ago, paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen, saying the Navigators weren’t the Worcester Bravehearts. Called it “bulletin board material”. I call it silliness. Are they going to play better because of something anyone says? Are they going to run faster, or throw harder, or see better to hit the ball? Of course not.

To be honest, I’d be insulted if it was insinuated that I wouldn’t have won were it not for some speech or tweet. That would mean someone else gets credit for my victory.

That doesn’t sound very motivating to me.

Just can’t get it right

There are some things in life you’re never going to be good at. No matter how hard you try, or how many people show you the right way, or how many books and articles you read about it, there will be things in life you can’t grasp the fundamentals of or will just never be good at. If that thing you can’t do isn’t something that comes up on a regular basis you can go through life with hardly anyone knowing you can’t do “whatever”. But if that thing is something very simple and comes up often, it’s best to just come right out and admit you can’t do it.

I can’t make a good pot of coffee to save my life.

You’d think someone like me who is addicted to coffee would be able to make a pot. Now I know this is the simplest of tasks, and I follow all the steps required. I mean seriously, how hard is it to put the right number of scoops of coffee in the brewer and then add the correct amount of water? I got those things down pat. It’s just that when I do it the coffee that comes out after brewing is vile tasting.

It makes no sense that would happen, but it indeed does. I’m not the only one who thinks the coffee I make is terrible, so does Trish. Just this morning when she left for her cult Weight Watcher’s meeting I was still sleeping, so she didn’t make any coffee. When I got up, I put together a pot, and drank the vile concoction that came out. When Trish returned home she poured herself a cup. Three sips later, she dumped it out.

I wasn’t kidding.

There have been multiple times that Trish has stood next to me and watched me get the pot ready to brew, and said I did it all correctly. And then we end up with a pot full of crap. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet, it happens all the time.

What’s even worse about this is many years ago my niece, who was about age 6 at the time, slept over at our apartment. When we all got up in the morning and Trish said she was making coffee, “M” said she made coffee for her mom and dad all the time and could do it. So Trish watched her, and she got it right. Of course, it tasted fine.



I don’t know about other people, but for me nearly every workday morning is a blur. Just about everything I do is automatic, which is good because most of the time I’m pretty much still sleeping. Folks I work with will tell you I’m still sleeping at noontime too, but that’s a story for later.

Being on “autopilot” means that as long as every step is the same as usual your next step comes without thinking about it. It also means that if you don’t notice something was different you can cause yourself some issues.

It was late last week when I began questioning what I did the day before. Our usual tasks when we leave for work is I head out to the car first, putting our lunchboxes in the car and starting it, turning on the heat or AC depending on the season. Trish soon follows carrying our travel mugs of coffee. When we get to work I leave my mug in the car. If there happens to coffee in the mug I dump it out in the afternoon. But the key is I never take my travel mug out of the car.

My problem happened when on Thursday when I noticed Trish had bought some disposable cups. We used to use disposable cups years ago, so I had an “autopilot” for those where I carried the cup into the building and threw it away.

But now I couldn’t remember what I did the day before.

I “remembered” carrying my empty mug back into the house, only I wasn’t certain if I’d really done that. As I stood there staring at the disposable cups I really couldn’t be certain what had happened the day before. Then I realized I was concerned about what kind of cup I had used the day before, as if it mattered at all. But it did matter, because I couldn’t remember. Turns out I went back to my old autopilot, and threw the cup away.

Mystery solved.

Trish and I both have a funny autopilot story, which we still talk about because it is the true definition of the word. It was years ago when we were living in the apartment, and we headed out on a day off to do some errands. It was nothing out of the ordinary and we did as we always do; we drove to the furthest destination away from home and began our errands heading back toward home.

While we were headed out to the Oxford Wal-Mart (the one in Leicester didn’t exist yet) we talked about some of the odd things that had been happening at work (some things never change). We got to the store, grabbed a cart, and walked inside. After walking up an aisle I asked Trish what we were looking for first on our list. She glanced at the list, looked around, and started laughing. I looked at her, then looked around too.

We were standing in BJ’s.

So, now I got nothing

This obviously is not the post I intended to make today. I had one ready to go that I finished Thursday, and was looking forward to just hanging out this afternoon as I have all day tomorrow to come up with something for Saturday. So when I got home from work I just double checked to make sure the image would load correctly, and then skimmed over the post one last time to see if there was any editing errors I’d made. It was while I was skimming I noticed something.

The post was terrible.

I mean, it was god-awful. I know what I meant to say in the post, it just didn’t really say what I wanted it to. Then I noticed that many of the humorous asides I added weren’t anywhere near as humorous as I originally thought they were. The image also didn’t really convey the right tone of the post either. For the most part, it was total crap.

On the plus side it was grammatically perfect, so it had that going for it. And there was one good joke in it, which I will share at some point if I can work it in somewhere. But that was it. Into the trash it went.

So, now I got nothing.

I guess I could have just passed on making a post today, but I’ve got a good run going this past week. Despite knowing I pretty much have no chance of winning the challenge/contest that started me blogging again I really want to keep this going. That means making a post even when you really don’t have anything worthwhile to bring to the table.

Scrolling through the news sites I don’t see anything I really want to make a huge blog post about. I did notice it was Geddy Lee’s birthday, but does the world really need anyone else posting videos of Tom Sawyer and New World Man? I think not. Writing anything political that isn’t comedy based makes me want to throw up, so that’s out. I’m trying to avoid anything book or TV related for now, so those are out. Essentially, this is it for today.

A whole lot of nothing.

I’m blue, or so I’m told

Had an odd encounter yesterday, one that even as I write this post Thursday afternoon has my head shaking. Apparently, at least based on the conclusion of a slightly deranged individual, I’m a “no good, liberal socialist” and I “want to destroy this country with my communist beliefs”.

Now to say I was taken aback by the outburst is an understatement. The conversation wasn’t about politics, nor could anyone’s comments be construed as anything even resembling a political statement. And it’s not like he should have been confused about we were saying as the conversation was about takeout restaurants.

Pretty much everyone went silent at that point. All I could think to say was “excuse me?”, to which I got a similar rant in reply. Now everyone had a befuddled look on their faces. Before I could get word out another conversation participant asked, “How did you come to that conclusion?”.

Now folks, I want you to know he was dead serious when he gave his answer. The look of disgust on his face would have been perfect if he had been delivering a punchline. He stood there in front of several witnesses, looked me dead in the eye, and told me I was a no good liberal communist because…

…I wear blue t-shirts.

At that point he would have had an easy out by acting like it was a joke because of the amount of people laughing. Comedians dream of a reaction like that when they tell a joke. Every single person who heard him was laughing hysterically. He would have looked like a hero if he’d started laughing too.

Instead, he doubled down.

I’d love to tell you what his rant was, but I and the others were laughing so hard none of us heard him clearly. The laughing only made him angrier as he then called everyone “worthless commies” and stormed away. Which made us laugh harder. At that point our conversation turned to how you could tell other things about people just based on the colors they wear. Being a male crowd there aren’t many I can share on a family blog, but I can tell you I’ll make sure to never wear chartreuse.

Once our conversation was over I wandered into the men’s room to get some tissue to wipe my eyes. They were watering so much from laughing they were starting to burn. It was there in the bathroom I discovered I was not a “no good, liberal socialist”, that instead I was a “heartless conservative villain”. I came to the concluding while splashing some cool water on my face to rinse out my eyes. the answer was right there in the mirror…

….I was wearing a red shirt.