Apple’s You Moan While iWatch Is Exceptional

e550 with telescope finder Apples You Moan While iWatch Is Exceptional
The new Apple iWatch while you moan is destined to be one of their best selling products. Call me what you will but I have a hard time believing I am the only person who hears iWatch and thinks of a different sort of product than the one Apple is selling.

Don’t know about you but when I hear people gush about the iWatch and Apple products in general it reminds me of how people go crazy about bacon. I like bacon but I am not one of those people who wants to populate my home with a plethora of products that smell or taste like bacon.

That is the sort of thing that makes me want to start selling Bacon Products That Don’t Taste Like Bacon. If you know me well you know I am the guy who thinks about How To Use 5000 Pounds of Bananas To Terrorize Noisy Neighbors.

Or maybe I am just the guy who loves to write and has fun coming up with all sorts of different headlines and topics like A Dad Blogger Teaches You To Cook the Perfect Steak- A Post People Will Read.

Yeah, I have been pumping out posts that are populated with links to older posts quite a bit lately, but that is because these posts are like my kids and I don’t play favorites. The older guys need a chance to catch some fresh air and be read again, wouldn’t be fair to just keep them buried now would it.

Brands, Businesses and They Stories they/we Tell

I spend a ton of time thinking about storytelling. I think about the stories brands/businesses tell as well as the ones we as people share. Good stories fascinate me which is probably part of why I spend so much time thinking about what stories to share here.

Some of them are pure fiction  and some are filled with more truth than is comfortable to think about.

Most days my favorite way to write is with a set of headphones on and music that moves me accompanying the pounding of the keys. Today Toby Keith is playing Bullets in The Gun and the words are flying from my fingertips.

I like Toby because most of his songs tell a story and his videos do too. Reminds me of being a kid and the days when we were supposed to shout I Want My MTV!

*****

Been through a half dozen interviews the past few days. Spent ample time being asked to analyze campaigns, offer thoughtful criticism and or commentary about the ways people do business and done my best to dance in the fire and not fall in the flames.

That is my way of acknowledging that although I am unfiltered in my personal life I am filtered in my professional. That is because I don’t have enough cash in the bank to retire. Can’t waltz through the office without any regard for the consequences of my actions and that is something I think about more often than I used to.

Probably because I spend so much time writing copy and or helping out with social media efforts. We live during a time when people actively hope brands will make a mistake. They look for the misguided tweet, the Facebook flop and or Google gaffe.

It doesn’t take much for the villagers to grab their torches and pitchforks and storm the castles. I sometimes wonder how much rage is real and how much is manufactured.

We live during unforgiving times. It is part of why I caution my children to be careful about what they do and how they do it online.

It is not just because of the digital footprints they may leave for discovery for later but because we have to be prepared for what happens today.

Ask the PR professionals about the crisis communication plans they have created just in case the CEO or another company representative says/does something offensive and or stupid.

*****

I look at my stats and see some of the people I have spoken with have come to the blog to visit. Some of them are actively poking around to see what is here and I can’t help but wonder what they think.

Have they found golden nuggets of goodness that make them think I am a creative force for good that must be part of their team or do they see signs of decay. Do they read posts and wonder what the hell is going on with this guy?

Ultimately I shrug my shoulders. I am not here to be all things to all people. No one can do that and I am not interested in it. I am at my best when I am partly reserved and not conflicted about what I can or cannot do.

It is exciting this moment in time. There is an electrical charge running through me and I feel energized, changes are coming.

Should make for some good stories, time will tell.

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5 Posts & 5 Songs

blacksmith at work  colonial williamsburg 5 Posts & 5 Songs
If I had been born in a different time and or place I think I might have been a Blacksmith. There is something about it that attracts me, metal, fire, will and hard work all melding together to make something special and useful out of disparate parts.

Writing reminds me of it.

It is a puzzle composed of letters, words and pictures. We work hard to do more than just place the pieces. Each moment is part of an effort to do as Coach Lombardi pushed for, to chase perfection and hope to achieve excellence.

This afternoon I present you with 5 songs and 5 posts:

  1. Those Three Words
  2. Where The Streets Have No Name
  3. The Right Words Written Right Write Their Own Tales
  4. Goodbye Grandma
  5. Grandpa

And now 5 Songs:

  1. Reflections of My Life- Marmalade
  2. Livin’ Thing- Electric Light Orchestra
  3. Reelin’ In the Years- Steely Dan
  4. Out Among the Stars- Johnny Cash
  5. Wasn’t Born To Follow- The Byrds

See you in the comments or around cyberspace.

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Writers Need Pinterest

butterfly on fire Writers Need Pinterest

Sometimes The Shmata Queen tries to pick on me for using Pinterest but I always remind her that a good writer finds Pinterest to be exceptionally useful.

That is because my boards are filled with bits and pieces of things that interest and inspire me. The opening quote I used in  This Post Is Not About Sex Or Blogging is one that I filed away there.

Pinterest is a cyberspace filing cabinet for putting together ideas for posts. It is not just the flotsam and jetsam of a mind or the silly ranting of a man who has a fire in his belly that never burns out.

It is a series of parts and puzzle pieces and collections of ideas about things that I can write about now and stuff I haven’t come up with yet.

A Giant Puzzle

I rarely use outlines to help me write my blog posts. I prefer to compose at the computer on the fly. I do it because the blog isn’t supposed to be so polished it is devoid of feeling.

These are supposed to be raw chunks of emotion.

If Pinterest won’t work as a proper tool for saving a puzzle piece I’ll drop words into a separate blog and make a post a placeholder.

I have an idea. I have a sense of it but I don’t really know.

Where is my place? Where do I belong? What is best for me?

These are questions I am asking now and things that I couldn’t have addressed before because I hadn’t had enough life experience to know the answers to them.

Writing a post/story/essay reminds me of a giant puzzle, it just a matter of figuring out where to put the pieces so that you have your beginning, middle and end.

Writers Need Pinterest

I rarely struggle with writer’s block. More often than not I don’t have enough time to write about all the ideas that are floating around inside my head but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to prepare for the times when it is harder to come up with something.

Writers need something  to serve as the repository of ideas and inspiration. I figure there is no reason to work harder when there is something like Pinterest.

What do you think? How do you come up with ideas?

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Stop Worrying About Whether Anyone Reads Your Blog

shareasimage 4 Stop Worrying About Whether Anyone Reads Your Blog
I often write about the 17 long time readers but I know I have more than that. If I looked up the stats for everyone who follows via RSS, Jetpack subscriptions and or other methods I would come up with a much larger number and then I would ask myself if it really matters.

Once upon a time the Shmata Queen suggested I was addicted to my stats and to an extent she was right. I was on the hamster wheel where every day I would check them and wonder why there weren’t more people reading my wonderful words.

Eventually I reached a place where I stopped obsessing about why the numbers weren’t what I wanted and when I checked in it was to see if my wacky queen had come by to visit or it was when a brand was vetting my blog to determine if I might be among the lucky chosen few to represent them online.

You see I blog because I am compelled to do so. I have so much inside my head that if I don’t share these stories my head will explode. And I write because writers write. It is what we do and I am obsessed with improving.

Stop Worrying About Whether Anyone Reads Your Blog

I am not going to lie and say I never think about it. Not going to lie and say I never wonder why some inferior writers get more attention and more traffic. It could be because they are better marketers, networkers, luckier or better at kissing ass.

None of that really matters to me.

It would be nice to have more of everything. It would be nice to have more readers. It would be nice to have more subscribers, brands working with me and opportunities but I don’t know if it would be as much fun or as easy to rant.

And believe me, it is fun to rant about the number of people who don’t blog as I wish they would, who ignore the ancient art of blogging and defile it.

I like ranting about how bad and or basic some of the advice from experts is. Every month there is another post about bad pitches and how brands don’t understand how to engage with bloggers. Every month there is a post about how bloggers don’t understand how to engage with brands and why they shouldn’t be so goddamn self important.

You can take that admonition to stop worrying about whether anyone reads your blog to be me talking to myself as much as anything else.

You can call it a printed reminder to focus on becoming a better writer and communicator.

What Is The Ultimate Goal

Social media is fun. I have made friends, gotten jobs and gained a lot from it. Been around the block enough times to know all the buzzwords and to have my own bit about how to define influence/power in social media.

But that doesn’t necessarily sync with my goal.

The most important thing I can do here is become a better writer/communicator. That goal is a big part of why I write daily and don’t focus on any one topic.

It is because I want to be able to produce compelling content. I want to be able to write about any topic and be entertaining and informative.

If you really lucky you are graced by god with the kind of talent that makes golden words flow like honey from your fingertips.

Or you have a knack for constructing sentences that tell stories that make people laugh but most of us don’t get that sort of gift.

Most of us figure it out by grinding away at the keyboard and by reading hundreds of books.

You have to be willing to write dangerously and share the stories about the things, people and places that scarred you. I have done quite a bit of it but not enough of it lately.

When you worry about readers you start to forget about the importance of telling stories about stains that don’t wash away, stairways to heaven, relationship ads, Donut Shops, Detours or burying dear friends.

A Few Final Comments

There are some technical issues here that need to be attended to. Duplicate comments, SEO issues and broken links. I am working on them because I hate the clutter and chaos they cause but the bottom line doesn’t change. My focus is on the words and on becoming a better storyteller.

You are welcome to join me on the journey if you would like.

Who Blogs For The Love Of Writing?

star walkers Who Blogs For The Love Of Writing?

Who Blogs For The Love Of Writing?

Does anyone do this anymore because they are compelled to write for the love of writing and not because they hope to be discovered. Does anyone write because they have so many stories floating inside their head they feel like they might explode if they don’t put something down on paper.

Or have we all succumbed to the rat race that pushes us to get more readers, more followers, subscribers and likes than everyone else.

I can’t say that I never write with an idea that this is going to be the post that puts me on the map. Can’t say I never write and think “fuck, I have never written something more profound, more insightful and more deserving of recognition than this amazing thing I am looking at.”

Some people tell me that posts like this where I ask if anyone writes for the love of writing are hypocritical. Some tell me I can’t complain about popularity contests and cliques in blogging because I haven’t done enough to market my blog.

They say people want to work with their friends and that if I did a better job of playing the game I would have broken through. Or they tell me that nothing is in my way other than myself and that my perception is wrong.

Personally I prefer those who say the problem is that old Jack is a crusty asshole and that I have pissed too many people off. I don’t know if there is any truth to that but it just feels better to me, gives me something to rail against.

I Am In Love With A Photo

That wacky Shmata Queen is going to wonder who I am talking about. I am willing to bet she hopes I’ll say it is a picture of her and maybe that  picture exists but I am not referring to it here.

No, I am talking about the shot above because I can’t stop staring at it. That is a picture that I could use to tell a thousand stories. It is the kind of picture that makes me wish I was like Gumby and could just step into it. Oh the places I would go and the things I would do.

The kids went back to school today and came home with homework. My son told me I was right and that the teachers told them this year is going to be tougher because they are preparing for high school.

I laughed and then wondered how I have a kid in 8th grade. That is young to some of you and old to others. Those of you in the latter crowd might appreciate how surreal it is to see puberty start to turn our babies into big people.

His body is changing, he isn’t very tall yet but he is filling out and the muscle I remember gaining a thousand years ago is starting to appear.

Hair is showing up in unusual places and he is asking me questions about when certain things happened to me and simultaneously I am discovering some new aches, gray hairs and other heralds of older age.

Eight or nine hours ago I took a break to lift and felt something pulling in my left forearm. I looked at my arm and muttered “what the fuck” and tried to decide what sort of pain it was. Wasn’t enough to stop me from lifting so I did another set to see if I could work out the kinks and it never went away.

Marched downstairs and went outside and tried breaking into a sprint from a dead stop and cursed again. I just don’t move well until I have broken a real sweat.

It is beyond frustrating, I am not old enough for my body not to respond. It would be fair to say I have put it through its paces. We have lived and lived hard.

There have been more than a few moments of contact sports and lots of pounding but I always prided myself on being the guy who didn’t break because I don’t. It is those other guys, you know the two that broke their hands hitting in me in the head, what is this.

Change Isn’t Coming, It is Happening

I don’t have to look at my kids, myself or the calendar to know that change is coming. I can feel it in every part of my being.

This is a time of transition and part of the great adventure of life. It is the time when certain decisions will send us all in a new direction and there is no telling what will come with that.

There is nothing particularly new, insightful or profound by saying that but I do because it makes me feel better. Reminds me that we can’t control all that happens but we can try to smile while it does.

I kind of feel like I am in that kayak Marshall, Will and Holly were riding in just before they ended up in the Land of The Lost.

Did I mention that someone told me they were having trouble following some of my references. I had to thank them for making me feel older.

I suppose it is fair to say aging is on my mind and has been for a long while. I am not old, don’t really think of myself that way but I definitely don’t feel like a kid.

There was a time not long ago when I was the kid in the office. I was always among the youngest but it hasn’t been that way for a while.

Been working long enough to be a guy who has seen more than a few things. Been around long enough to see friends grow up, get married, divorced and die.

Seen the economy go through cycles, up and down. Heard lots of stories and told a few, some of which actually happened.

I like that. It adds some depth and substance that didn’t exist years ago because there is not substitute for life experience. But sometimes I think about the story I have been writing and wonder if this is the life I want to be living and think about how to make the adjustments that have to be made.

Think about the tinkering and tweaking that needs to happen to bring more happiness and joy and wonder what it will cost to make those things happen.

There is a price for everything and that is not a bad thing. It is part of life and sometimes you need to live a little bit before you really figure out what you need and what you want.

You Are Never Too Old To Change

My entire life people have said you are never too old to change. I have seen more than a few blow their lives up and make changes so I know those aren’t just words.

Seen enough to know that sometimes it worked out beautifully and sometimes not as well as they would have hoped but always respected those who were willing to take a chance, better to fail than not try.

I keep looking at that photo and imagining what it would look like to be inside it. I keep remembering moments where I have been out of the city and under a starry night sky that felt like I had been dropped into a magical painting.

Keep looking at it and thinking about how much more I appreciate these things because I am so much more conscious of time.

Keep thinking about Robin Williams and the other people I know who reached the end of their rope and couldn’t find a way to tie a knot in them.

Makes me angry to think about the people who make these proclamations about how weak those others were. Those judgmental souls who have answers for how to fix everyone else’s life.

Feel badly for those who have lost loved ones and the people whose lives became so dark they couldn’t find the light.

At the same time I am grateful for never losing sight of my north star. Even in my darkest moments I always feel like if I fight a little bit longer something good will come of it.

Does anyone blog for the love of writing anymore.

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