Your next new phone.

Apple does a few things really well, but one of the biggest impacts on the cell phone world, is the way they’ve managed to make getting the newest iPhone an obligation of your status.

Of course, not every iPhone user lines up to be first, and many don’t even bother with the new release at all, but we’re all still aware of the concept. New iPhone day is a big deal. It gets more news coverage than almost anything happening outside America.

Even if you don’t own the new iPhone, you’re aware of that fact, and many of you may even talk about it with a hint of shame. I constantly hear people say things like; “its not the newest model or anything, but it gets the job done”.

People who don’t own the newest iPhone still would, if they could afford it without issue. Nobody actually chooses to want the old one… And in time, those iPhone users will upgrade. Not because they have to, but because… Well, because it’s the new iPhone.

Well done Apple.

Now they’ve even made the new ones have a different shape, so you can judge people from a far, without even meeting them.

In the other world of Android, we don’t have that. Android users have a different kind of arrogance, founded by a belief that they have a superior product that the masses just don’t understand. Proud underdogs. The inner battle between iPhone and Android isn’t as pronounced as it once was. As the Android system grows up, it’s polish and style approaches Apple, and each new version of iPhone catches up on features. They each do my things better than the other.

This article isn’t to compare Apples to Lollypops. It is simply an observation that Samsung, HTC and Motorola (among other brands) all have new models each year, but Android masses don’t really know when, and we don’t seem to have the need to care and upgrade.

The article that inspired this blog, was talking about how Samsung was surprised and sad that their S5 flagship sold only 40% as many units as their S4 last year.

I am not surprised at all. The S4 was a great phone and there is no real reason to upgrade. There is no peer pressure to have the newest Samsung. A Samsung phone is to be used more than it is to be seen with. Most people don’t know what is the new model anyway.

Because multiple companies make phones under the Android OS system, we have a bit if an identity crisis to begin with. If you SK me what phone I have, do I say Android or do I say Samsung. For many people, all I need to say is; Not an iPhone. They tune out.
I remember the days when my phone was still a wow factor. I had one before you. I had a smaller one than you did. I owned the first Motorola StarTac and I paid $2000 for that private when everyone else had a 2 pound brick. People would want to see it and touch it.

Those days are gone. He new iPhone have retained a little of that feeling, but only for the few who still bother to be current in release week. Everyone else doesn’t care anymore. Nobody asks me what phone I have. Nobody wants to touch it.

Hey! Have you seen my cool new Smart Watch?

My Mother

Today is October 27th. A day some sons would remember, if it was the day their mother died, but I’ll probably forget in time. I don’t remember the date that my father died. I didn’t really mourn their deaths. It’s different situation when you say goodbye to family members who don’t remember who you are. You tend to reach deep into your memory, and think of them as they were 10 years ago, when they knew your name.

Both my parents suffered similar memory loss around the same time, which rare I’m told, but makes perfect sense if the loss was triggered by environment. I suspect something like the aluminum pot my mother cooked Sausage casserole in, or some similar case. The doctors use all sorts of words to avoid saying Alzheimer’s. Officially it is some sort of dementia.

In any case, I said goodbye a long time ago to both, so m mothers death last night comes more as a relief for her, and for the family. I won’t turn this into a political blog about the right to die on your own terms. She lived a long and happy life, and despite not remembering much from each day, she still managed to smile and make others smile with stories from her past. In the final years, the stories were completely fictional, and sometimes outrageous, but she always told them with a smile, and made others smile.

I have my own stories too. I started a list of mom memories a few years back, just as I did for my father. As you get older, you tend to tell the same few stories over and over, and both my parents had their favourites. As I recall each one from here till my death, they’ll make me smile and remember them. They both lived to be over 85, older than the memories of my Grandfather ad Grandmother before them. A good life I suppose, and although we were a close family in many ways, I never really knew much about my parents, beyond how they related to me. They were superheroes for my early life, and then, as happens to most of us, I began to grow older myself, and discovered that my parents were just people, with flaws like anyone else. My mother was not a superhero, and in fact, suffered from depression and self esteem issues much like I do. She saw the negative in life rather than the positive, and often told the sad side of any story.

019 100_0206 100_0248 100_0252 IMG_0010 IMG_0076 IMG_0096 mom 3 Christmas 2013  momthinner tuckers with mom 000_0005 004 012 013 (2) 015 018 (2)

Still she was my mother. The prettiest of all mothers, and the coolest. She was a teacher, and a theatre performer. Our house parties were great, always attended by other actors from Georgetown playing games and telling stories.

I saw little hate, or anger, or prejudice in my mother. She was supportive of me, even before anybody knew what attention deficit disorder was. I feel she was always a little sad that everyone told her I wasn’t living up to my potential, which was what they said about smart A.D.D kids that couldn’t sit still enough to read a book or finish a report. I didn’t do very well in school, but everyone agreed I was smart.

I got into computers at an early age in a time when adults didn’t, and although she tried her hardest to understand them, so we’d have something to share, it was clear she did it for me. She never really understood what I did for a living, and bragging about me was harder than it was for the other neighborhood kids who were doing well in school or sports… but I know she loved me.

My mother had a great sense of humour, and we shared that, often at the expense of my father, who tried – but didn’t. Perhaps his upbringing ina a foreign culture just made it harder to understand our humour, but Mom and me would make jokes al the time.

Although I was the youngest of 3, both my sisters were a generation older and moved out of the house fairly early. For much of my youth, I was like an only child. A full 7 and 9 years younger than my two sisters, I was the baby. I was perfect. I was over protected I suppose. My sisters were often in trouble or in the hospital. I wasn’t.

My own memory isn’t as stable with regards to emotions and family. I have huge blank spots for most of my childhood. I remember a lot of yelling coming from my Dad and crying coming from my Mom. He’d call her stupid and other such insults in anger. I’m sad I remember less of the good times, because I know there were many. We’d play games, and even though I almost never won any, it was still quality time.

I’ve lived away from Mom for the last ten years or so, as my sisters took care of her in BC. I visited once, and was frustrated to see her get old. I prefer my memories of pretty – reasonably happy Mom. It’s how I’ll remember her.

The Gift of No Gifts

One of the issues I’ve had as an obsessive mind that overthinks every scenario of life, is regarding the idea of receiving gifts. I have very few memories of receiving gifts, where I enjoyed the process. That is one serious imaginary memory deficit. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy getting gifts, but I always hate the way I react. It stresses me to receive gifts, because a gift is somebody else’s idea of what I’d like, and seldom live up to hopes and expectation.

My mind pre-imagines all the things I want, but I never tell anyone my preferrences. I don’t like to ask.

Invariably the gifts received don’t live up to my hopes, in many cases, because my expectations were far from reasonable.  Because my sisters were so much older than me, I lived much of my youth almost like an only child with no cousins. My circle of gifts was smaller than almost anyone I knew.  My friends had more siblings, or more wealth, and I always compared my gifts to theirs with disappointment. As an adult remembering back, the reality is that I did quite well. It’s only my memory that retained the negative stories. I’m working on that.

For similar reasons, I don’t like to give gifts wither, and especially hate any situations where we might exchange gifts. The pressure of my obsessions is taxing. I can be in a foul mood for weeks in advance, or even the entire December gift season. As much as I hate the feeling or a bad reaction to a gift given, I don’t like the feeling of passing that on to others. Getting a gift you don’t like — or love, is stressful, because you’re forced to fake happiness and be polite. Giving the wrong gift is a horrible deal for both parties. It’s a failure. I hate failure.

Gift exchanges are even worse, because there is the possible cost differential to add to the uncomfortable feelings. You may have bought a cheap gift, or worse – a gift card or lottery ticket for a few bucks, and the other party spent weeks searching for a perfect present and spent more. When this happens, not only do you have the bad feeling of the wrong gift, but you have to cope with an obvious unbalance of cost. It can effect friendships if I let it. It can cause feelings that linger for years, generating additional obligations to make it up on the next annual birthday or party.

I have somehow managed to work my reputation into that of a guy who doesn’t do gifts. At all. I’m not sure how. It just happened. I don’t give birthday gifts, Christmas gifts or anything. In return, nobody gifts me. I say that I am happier with this arrangement, but I know I’m missing out on the joy and surprise of a good gift. It’s a brain thing. My gift is to not have to worry about gifts.

Now let me be clear; there is a huge part of me that loves getting free stuff. Any gift is at minimum, a surprise, a story, and a memory.  Great gifts are memories all by themselves. I have several ornamental gifts decorating my home, and each time I look at them, I am reminded of the person or event related to that gift. A good gift can be precious.

I suppose I’m not against the idea gifts itself, as much as I am afraid of receiving them in front of the giver. It’s the fact that I have to react live, and show happiness regardless of the gift.  My unhappy and stressful gift memories are of the bad and hurtful reactions. I find it hard to hide my disappointment, or fake it. On the other side of the coin, I can’t stop going on and on with gleeful excitement when I get a good gift. 

I wrote this with my birthday just over two weeks away. I know I will probably not get any gifts on my birthday. I am an adult. Not getting birthday presents is a normal fact of life for single adults. In one way I’ll be relieved, and in another way I’ll be sad.

Maybe it’s time to change my position, and reputation.

 

The ABCS of Me

FaceShotOne of the popular things that happens on Facebook from time to time, is your friends start posting lists and forwarding them. They also try to force you to do the same.  I have a policy to not do anything on Facebook that a status post dared me or even asked me to do. However I do often enjoy these kind of list posting because it lets me get to know people a little better. Although I’ve met and shaken hands with almost everyone on my Facebook friends list – that doesn’t mean I know them. Sometimes an informational post is helpful when making better relationships.

The answers on this list can be used to get to know me. They can also be used to build my FBI profile, or steal my identity, and I have to decide whether sharing is worth the risk. I’ve never really been scared away by conspiracy theories. I readily admit that marketers online want as much information about me as they can get. They love building detailed databases, and these answers will help. If it lets you know about me, it lets anyone know about me, and for now – I’m OK with that. My income and wealth are low enough that anyone who stole my identity would actually end up owing more money than they do now.

Having said that, here are the ABCs of Jeff Goebel.

A – Age: 50

B – Bed: Double size on steel stand and box springs. No frame or design. I prefer Queen size, but bought a smaller one two years ago when we couldn’t fit a Queen into my apartment.

C – Chore you hate: Dusting and Vacuum.

D – Dogs: No. I grew up with dogs, but since moving out at 18 have never had one. Barking bothers me.

E – Essential start to my day: Cereal and some news reading.

F – Favorite Color: ORANGE!

G – Gold or Silver: Neither. Not a Jewelry Person. I own no jewelry at all.

H – Height: 6′  No clue in Metric.

I – Instruments I play: I whistle. IN my head, I am quite god, but others may disagree.

J – Job: frogstar.ca

K – Kids: None. Never wanted that stress and anxiety.

L – Living arrangement: Alone, although I prefer living with a roommate.

M – Music: All, as long as I can tap my foot to unchanged tempo.

N – Nicknames: I never had a nickname, but use Frogstar42 online

O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Not since I was 7.

P – Pet peeves: Loud Noises, Barking, Kids in my Jello Tree.

Q – Quote from a movie: “Wherever you go, there you are”

R – Right or left handed: right

S – Siblings: 3 – two sisters

T – Time you wake up: Around 6am with no alarm. Changes seasonally

U – Underwear: White Briefs

V – Vegetable you dislike: ONIONS and Squash

W – Workout Style: Walking weekends

X – X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, Shoulder

Y – Yummy food you make: Mac and Cheese

Z – The best place to visit: Back to Vegas! One day!

Blogging

I’ve always liked my writing style. It’s sort of like the way I talk. It is something I do that I’m proud of, and there are not so many things in my life like that. However, I also don’t seem to be able to do anything serious with it. I made a pledge to write a blog post every day, and failed. I missed multiple days, and even skipped a few of my GIVEIT100.com videos.

I wake up each morning and start a fairly regular routine. I surf a series of web sites every day, and then start to work through my new emails and my daily TO-DO list. Writing a blog a day is a new task, and I have not actually added it to the TO-DO list, so I forget about it. I’m not always motivated to write first thing inn the morning, but then as the day progresses, I am even less likely to return and type.

I tried writing on my phone or tablet outside during the day, but often that doesn’t happen either.

It’s hard.

Then I write, out of obligation rather than because I want to, and the topics are forced or timed when I’m not really in a creative mood. I write short blogs, or notes like this one instead – and I don’t feel the same pride. Then I lose my excitement for writing.

I have a new respect for creative writers who do it for their profession. There must be a point where it gets easier. Like a runner second strength… When you do it for 20 days straight, maybe it becomes a part of your routine. A habit. I’m not there yet.

I have a list of topics to write about, but my mind doesn’t always work that way. I can’t re-force a good idea and write about it.

sigh.

I’ll keep trying. Every so often I’ll post an entry about the progress, instead of a topic.

 

 

+1 Pleasure Points

A new idea is exciting. It actually feels good. +1 Pleasure points.

As I was thinking new thoughts the other day, I was able to actually feel the good feeling and sensation that comes with a new idea. Learning something new – at any age is good, and figuring it out on your own is even better. I can actually feel it.

When I learn a new fact, I am pleased. It happened this weekend, and I was with somebody. I actually said; Pleasure +1

That made me smile even more, and I felt the joy of a new idea. A new slogan.

This little slogan has two meanings I can think of. The idea of “+1” is a gaming term meaning a point, or add to your health or some other accomplishment of some sort. In games, we also refer to points of battle or skills. +1 Armour makes us better equipped in the game. +1 Experience makes us wider. I assume +1 Pleasure makes us very happy.

When reversed, as I said it originally, “Pleasure +1” can also mean more pleasure – up to 11. Maximum plus a bit… infinity +1.

A lot of pleasure. We’re adding to it.

We’re not always able to detect the feeling of pleasure when we succeed, but sometimes we do. An actual feeling of well being and happiness floods over our brains and we smile. Getting praise, doing well at something, winning are all things we can feel good about and actually FEEL pleasure.

Or at least I do. I may even sigh a little bit. A happy sigh. MmMmMmmm

I am even more pleased when I see happiness and pleasure in others. The pleasure I experience when I have made another smile – or laugh is the best. It almost warms me up. When I see happiness in others, I feel it so much, I unconsciously mimic it.

I only noticed I do this recently. When you smile, my lips mimic a smile. When you laugh, I laugh. This may be true of you as well, and you didn’t think about this way. Smiles and laughter are often shared and spread contagiously. I noticed the mimicry factor perhaps unique to me, when I detected I also seem to mimic kisses. I pucker my lips when I see others kiss, every single time. It’s an instinct reaction. Whatever you do with your face to show joy, I mimic, and feel joy too.

+1 Pleasure point.

I can’t help but smile when you do. My face just does it, and I feel it.

Justin Beaber had it right when he sang; “You smile, I smile”.

Profound lyrics from the Canadian son.*

* The above is to be italicized or written in the Sarcastic font when it is finally invented.

Adult Nap Time

For many of you, the last time you took a daytime nap may have been in kindergarten, when nap time was enforced. That’s too bad.

Once we hit grade 1, we are encouraged to make it through the day in one continuous state of awake. In fact, napping at school is not acceptable behaviour at all, for students or teachers. You can actually be fired for napping at work especially if you drive for a living, or operate heavy machinery.

One of the greatest ticks in the PRO column about self employment, is that I get to schedule nap time as frequently as I want. I have no rules to follow,  and no boss to catch me.  I often wake up before 6am and start working instead of going back to sleep for another hour like many people would.  I’ll rise and shine till 10am or so, being very productive in the hours before many people start their jobs, and then go back to sleep for a short nap.  Right around the time some of my office job buddies are mentally fading and needing a caffeine pick me up,  I get to take a lay me down.  It’s glorious.

If I miss my 10am “second sleep”, I may have one after lunch, or mid afternoon. Unlike kindergarten, my naps are not on a set schedule. Sometimes I’ll have two in one day, or three – even as late as 630pm.

The Spanish had it right. Nothing refreshes a body and mind like a middle of the day Siesta. If you’ve read my blog before, you may know how much I like fresh starts. Monday is my favourite weekday, and the first day of the month is like a mini January 12 times a year. Any excuse to start over is welcome, and a nap can do that for me. A new day resolution to do it right this time.

My brain often drains it’s excitement quickly, and when you live and work alone, lost motivation can be a problem. I won’t say I need a nap and an excuse to return to work, but I won’t deny that often, it works wonders. I lay down, and 35 minutes later,  I re-emerge with a new outlook and clear mind.

I’m lucky enough to be able to nap well. No matter what stresses or depressions or concerns may be on my mind, they fall away quite easily in my rest. I fall asleep faster for a nap than I do in the evening. Insomnia doesn’t really effect napping for some reason.

For a few years, I was amazed at how often my naps ended up being exactly the same length. Like magic I was consistently taking 39 minute naps with no alarm except my internal clock. These days, it’s not as regular, but each nap is usually between 30 and 50 minutes. Rarely do I sleep for longer, unless the nap is from exhaustion.

I can nap with the light on, with the TV on, or even with people in the room talking, although it may take me longer to fall. Music or silence is preferred. It’s like a special power I have. The power to sleep.

I recently got a wrist band that can detect my sleep patterns and figured out a nap is one sleep cycle, which for me, during the day, is less than an hour. At night, when I fall asleep, I really am just performing 3 to 5 consecutive naps.  I fall asleep and wake up all night, but because my brain knows it’s not yet morning, they happen back to back, and eventually some of the sleep cycles last 90 minutes or so, but seldom much longer. My wristband records it on a nice little chart. Nap, wake, nap, wake.

I’ve never really had a problem with sleep. I enjoy it, and really enjoy my dreams, many of which I remember and journalize when I wake. Remembering dreams is a skill you can learn with practice. Nap dreams and night dreams seem different, at least for me, and weather and food influence them greatly. Nap dreams are my favourite.

NAPS RULE, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

It’s one of the luxuries I get that I use to gauge myself as a success.

Post-A-Day

When I first started my Giveit100.com project in January of 2014, it was a great motivator of creativity and energy at a time in my life when I needed it. Through the process of making 100 consecutive 10 second videis everyday, with follow up YouTube videos, I found a purpose, and a new community if fruends/fans.

SShortly after that, I created a second instructional project and created 100 10 second videos of Microsoft Windows tips and tricks. It was a lot of fun. When those two projects re theur course, I took a break, and in the month or two that followed, I felt listless without a goal. I had no project to commit to, and my daily obligation took a lower priority until I just stopped one day.

In the first 100 days of this year, I went through a lot. I changed my way if working with a new structure and a daily to do list, which I shared with others, thus turning it into more of a responsibility rather than just a list I could ignore. It helped. In addition to that, I got a new doctor, and  new social worker councillor to guide me through some needed life change. Most important of all changes, I also started on a new medication that was to really help me with my over obcessive thoughts and calm the negative low self esteem thoughts a bit.

All in all, it was a year of some significant change.  I turned 50, and made the move to make this decade a better one than my last.

Eight days ago, I decided it was time to start again, and give myself a new project. Instead of video blogging to my YouTube channel, I’d take the step to let my creative juices flow in a literary context, and blog a post a day.  I have been writing occasionally for as far back as I can remember, but I have never committed to a routine of doing it every day. Setting aside some time to write is harder than just pointing a camera at my face and talking.

TThe main problem I find isn’t content or topics. I have a list that grows each day as I walk around and live my life.  So much of this universe is awesome and profound and journal worthy. The problem I have is keeping the energy and excitement I feel at the start of my writing, through the middle to the end. At some point,  my brain just feels like giving up. In conversations, I’d change the topic and move on, but in writing, you need to have an end. That seems to be the hardest part for me.

Starting is easy. I can pick up a  pencil or a tablet and start typing quickly without hesitation. It’s the later parts, after I’ve said my concept and lost my mood, I lose interest and excutem0and at that instant, the process becomes a chore. It’s the way an A. D. D. Brain works I think. It starts looking for the next big thing, and abandons the lesser thoughts mid sentence. In writing, there is nowhere to run.

As part of this 100 day project, I hope to improve on that. I intend to mix up my blog posts and offer some variety from personal history updates, to philosophical viewpoints, to TV show reviews and lunch time observations. I may even try my hand (or finger) at creative fictional writing. I am strongly considering taking a class and learning more. Writing may have a smaller audience in the blog work than video, but it’s a good challenge for personal growth.

Ideally it could lead to a new book, or even a new career.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Fake Monday

Fro some reason, we North Americans tend to like our long weekends to favour Monday, rather than Fridays. Somehow it seems like a longer holiday when we get an extra day AFTER Sunday, rather than taking Friday off and going back to work on a Monday. I suppose some luxury livers often take the Friday off too, and enjoy a 4 day weekend, but the majority take a holiday Monday as a relief, since they hate Mondays anyway.

In Canada, we have a long weekend most months of the year. Not all (yet) but most. The majority of them are on a Monday.

As I write this blog, I am supposed to be enjoying a free Monday. The labour day holiday, which comes on September 1st in 2014, making all the school children feel a little cheated that they have to go back to school so much sooner than last year, when the Labour day was later in the week.

I too feel cheated, although for a different reason. I work for myself, and Mondays (as I’ve blogged about previously) are usually my favourite day. A fresh start to my work week, and the day I try to get a lot of stuff done. When it falls on the first (the Rabbit day),  it is an especially great fresh start., It’s “happy new week” day and “Happy new Month day” combined into one. It should be an incredible fresh start day where I get a whole whack of work completed.

However – it’s a holiday, although the term, in technically irrelevant to a single self employed guy, it still “feels” different. I can twist my mind into relaxing and taking it of, and then starting fresh Tuesday. The day I call Fake Monday.

Starting fresh on a Tuesday doesn’t work though. It’s not the official start of the week – or month. It’s like I skipped a day and am already behind.

Even though it is only 9:40am on this holiday Monday, and I could certainly step into working mode and start my task list, my brain is too smart for me, and I’m just not feeling that Monday spirit. I don’t have the Monday motivation. I feel like going back to bed.

Labour day. How ironic.

I think holidays should be on Fridays. An extended weekend that doesn’t screw with the system. We always go back to work on Monday… but Friday is a free day. It’s so close!  It inspires the whole week. Weeeee….

Then back to work Monday.

Oh well… I will rest now, and wait for Fake Monday tomorrow.

 

 

 

Society Evolves

The Internet has become a form of education we never expected. For the first time, we are globally seeing more and more real people. Reality TV started it, but the Internet is King, where every human can broadcast themselves or their neighbours, and we can see, for the first time in many cases, how stupid and rude and obnoxious a society we all live in. There are more recent data in this publication. Who knew? I believe this knowledge will change us, and we will evolve into a more aware, responsible society.

We are learning about injustice and class.
We are learning about poverty and drugs and crime.
We are learning how much of society are stupid sheep.

The shocking lower class intellect we didn’t realize is everywhere. There are a lot more stupid people than I ever imagined.

Society has a place for everyone in the puzzle of life. We make a place. We invent roles for each and every one of us, no matter how stupid or abnormal you may be. It has always been this way. Farther back than we can record history, it seems obvious we have had roles for the workers, the thinkers and the artists. We have accepted that art is a valid life choice, and we paying great sums for art, allows creative people to profit in the society as well as the thinkers, and the labourers.

Every decade or so, we give more fair and equal rights to a group of society that didn’t have them before. Races, Women, Gays and the handicapped have all seen their lives improve towards equality in the last 100 r so years. We’re still not perfect, but it is certainly harder to be a socially acceptable bigot in today’s world than it was in my Grandfathers. We still need a few generations of hate to fade away, and sadly they keep teaching their children the ways of hatred, so it’s taking longer than we’d hoped.

The Internet is instant and much less filtered than we’re used to. When somebody does something stupid, we all get to see it, comment on it, debate it and frequently laugh at it. We do however get to learn from it. We’re seeing racism and homophobia almost daily now without looking for it. It’s there, in the news and online and we’re seeing the reactions. Even die hard bigots at least know they’re not going to get praise for being openly racist. They’re learning it’s wrong in a whole new way.

I am loving getting old.

I get to watch the world go through it’s infinite loops of time and get better, each passing year – or generation, like practicing for a play.

All the world is a stage and I’d like to think we’re still in rehearsal. We’re getting better. We’re evolving.