Category Archives: Twitter

Five Years

Stealing the idea from Bacardi, here’s Five Years by David Bowie.

Printed on April 29, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

Frankly, I’m surprised I made it here. Five years of blogging every day, at least once a day. I have to work REALLY hard NOT to blog MORE than once a day, but I was reasonably successful; only 367 blogposts in the last 365 days, and I’m sure one of those was a prominent death that JUST COULDN’T WAIT.

But the other reason I’m surprised I made it is that, last summer, I got REALLY discouraged. Continue reading Five Years

David Paterson and Twitter

I was on Twitter, that bane of some people’s existence, this week, when someone online recommended that I follow David Paterson. He’s the governor of my state of New York, so I thought: why not?

What’s interesting is that his site is GovPaterson2010, and goes back at least to mid-April 2009, which suggests that he was thinking about re-election way back then. At the same time, it looks like a site that someone governing would have, talking a lot about the stimulus money. A mixed message, I think.

To confuse the issue, there IS a site GovPaterson, which discusses Paterson’s son’s arrest quite a bit recently. Evidently it’s not the REAL site, because it’s followed by only one party: GovPaterson2010.

So who else IS David Paterson following, on that roster of 222 people? A number of politicians, of course, from the verified White House and Barack Obama sites to the likewise verified sites for the governors of Massachusetts and California.

Mayor of Albany Jerry Jennings tweets though not since before the 2009 general election. I found remnants of Jim Tedesco’s failed congressional race, as well as follows of former presidential candidates such as Al Sharpton and Bill Richardson.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s verified site has over 1700 followers but she follows no one. Meanwhile, US Senator Chuck Schumer’s first and last tweet is: “Just joined Twitter!” (5:02 PM Nov 19th, 2008); gotta work on that, Chuck.

Governor Paterson uses a number of news sources, including CNN Breaking News, The Huffington Post, WNYT (NBC-TV affiliate Channel 13 in Albany), Albany News, All Over Albany, The Daily Beast, The Hill (congressional newspaper), Glenn Greenwald, Stephen Colbert, and the verified account of ABC News’ Chris Cuomo, the brother of the state’s Attorney General; speculation suggests Andrew Cuomo may challenge Paterson in a primary for governor.

David Paterson follows the Working Families Party, an actual political party in NYS. I’m trying to remember: did Eliot Spitzer and Paterson get their endorsement in 2006? Other interests include grassroots politics, state history, gay rights and women’s health.

There are three celebrities being followed, the latter two verified: Star Jones, Esquire, former host of the TV show The View, Joy Behar, current host of The View, and household goddess Martha Stewart.

How does who you follow on Twitter reflect on you?

The Pirate Life QUESTIONS

Well, it’s another Talk Like A Pirate Day. Frankly, I always thought I had an “in” in this pirate game. After all, my original name is Jolly Roger, though I have taken on the pirate name of Cap’n Jim Poopdeck for the nonce.

So, matey, I’ve got me some questions for you lubbers:

1. How many of the pirate laws do you follow? To be honest, I only got about one-fifth of them, but one of them is definitely #65.

2. Who are your favorite pirates? Here are some suggestions. If none of these are suitable, you may consider Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I suppose, Oakland Raiders (but no L.A. Raiders; that was just WRONG). I’ve always been fond of Jean Laffite, Roberto Clemente, Willie “Pops” Stargell and Daryle Lamonica. In fact, the last two times I ever wagered on a baseball game involved Pirates; 1979, “pop’s team. Down 3-1 in the World Series to Baltimore, I picked them to win, in turn, Games 5 and 6. but I wasn’t brave enough to pick them for game 7, which they also won. Arrrr!

3. You’ve no doubt heard about how Kayne West pirated the VMAs from Taylor Swift and how President Obama called him a jackass. There was a Twitter poll and 90% thought Obama was justified. The question: who are the other 10%?
a. people who don’t think Obama should use the word “jackass”
b. people who don’t think Obama should comment on popular culture issues
c. people who don’t think Obama should talk at all
d. people who support the actions of Kayne West

4. I think the Muppet folks pirated Janice Muppet’s name from Janis Joplin, but pirated the look from Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary, who died this week. Anyone else see the resemblance?

Jaquandor posted some PPM music videos though not including the one I REALLY wanted and in fact can’t find anywhere, Big Blue Frog. Ironically, I CAN find that song being performed by…you guessed it, the Muppets.
I saw the trio numerous times on TV, probably including this one, plus live at a number of rallies for one cause or another.
Mark Evanier had a nice obit of Henry Gibson, who also died this week. His last Twitter post was an R.I.P. for Larry Gelbart. My favorite of his roles may have been one of his last ones, as the most peculiar judge, Clark Brown, on Boston Legal, where he’d purloin the scene from the other actors.

Ask Roger Anything, Solstice Edition

Now that it’s summer (or winter, depending), it is time to Ask Roger Anything. Oh, but wait – I’m distracted by somebody who recently noted that if people from space came to Earth, they might conclude the South Pole is the top of the world and the North Pole is on the bottom; after all there is a large land mass. Or maybe they’d pick some point on the equator or the Tropic of Cancer. Is our sense of top and bottom somewhat arbitrary?

Usually I do this because I’m afraid I’ll run out of things to write about. This is not the case presently; I have three or four blogposts re my trip to North Carolina alone. I am, though, having trouble actually composing them, or even deciding if I should. Answering YOUR questions gives me opportunity to muse on them some more.

Anyway, I already have a question from SB: “So perhaps you’ve already written about this, but I’d be interested to hear how libraries continue to change and evolve with stuff like Twitter and Facebook. Do libraries have their own Facebook badges? Is that – gasp! – allowed?”

Our library has a Facebook page, which is fueled in part from our blog feed. We have a Twitter feed that keeps both our blog and our website fresh. Our Facebook badge is a variation on the SBDC logo.

I’ve seen over 1000 libraries on both Twitter and Facebook, and I’d guesstimate that there are tens of thousands of librarians who are on one or both of the sites; I am on those, LinkedIn and a couple others.

The Library of Congress has over 10,000 followers but is following, last I checked, no one. At least the Library Journal is following a couple hundred while it is followed by over 5,000. I – and apparently others – had contacted the LOC about this, and the folks responded, rather quickly, that were worried that there would be too much noise in the feed. I’m not sure I agree with their thought process.

So, any other questions, folks? Everything is on the table. Let your mind get creative.

Twitter redux

Get your twitter mosaic here.

I had a very busy weekend, what with the child’s birthday party, church and a comic book show – so here’s some of my Twitter posts, annotated, for the last month. I haven’t noted retweets or where I’ve plugged my blog. The followers’ pic above was taken on April 5 at 8:45 p.m., EDT.

Went to daughter’s friend’s 5th bday. Princess theme saccharine as you might imagine. Misunderstandings w/ mgmt at end really soured me.5:08 PM Feb 28th from web
This had to do with the number of giveaways Lydia could take. I don’t think the organizer made it clear, and I ended up giving her $5, and appearing to her to be the indulgent parent, because I didn’t make Lydia return some of the items.

Mom in Charlotte, NC getting 3-6 inches of snow in this storm, same as or more than I am- Albany, NY. NOT why she moved south in 1974.5:33 PM Mar 1st from web
In fact, February and March were well below average in terms of snow, after a wet December and January.

Looking at the bus readout; it said 03/03/09. I said to friend Dionne, “Hey, an arithmetic sentence: 3X3=9.
” She said, “You’re weird.”10:07 AM Mar 3rd from web

She doesn’t know about my algebraic calculations with license plates.

Citicard credit card bill arrived today, due in 13 days. Shouldn’t there rules vs that? Or are they hoping I’ll be late paying? Not me.12:01 AM Mar 4th from web
I thought that 2005 “personal responsibility” bill was a war against consumers; it seems, though , thaty it has backfired on the credit card companies.

Woke at 3 a.m.EDT to get pain reliever from upstairs med cabinet, find NO meds. Dental floss, cosmetics, rubbing alcohol, Vicks Vaporub.2:50 AM Mar 8th from web
A sign that my wife, not I order these things.

On the other hand, let child sleep in, took late bus to daycare, which had been w/out power until 5 min before we got there. Serendipity.11:06 AM Mar 9th from web
This was a complaint about Daylight Saving time and how difficult it is for children.

In the market for laptop. Not only does wife need it for school in summer, we have to fight re computer usage each a.m. I generally lose4:32 PM Mar 12th from web
So true.

Schmuck just threw 6 napkins, receipt out car window onto my street. As cars went by, litter spread 5 house lots before I could pick up.8:05 AM Mar 14th from web
Why 6 napkins for 1 Dunkin Donuts XL coffee bought 3/13 5:35 am, 457 Alb-Shaker Rd? And using a VISA (ends w 0507) for a $2.47 purchase?8:09 AM Mar 14th from web

Not only did I want to kvetch, i wanted to note how much info one can glean from a simple receipt.

Wife, daughter away. Go CRAZY! Clean house, get rid of old e-mails, write a couple blog posts, watch the Oscars – only 3 weeks late.10:54 PM Mar 14th from web
The rare times they’re both away, I have my own “to do” list which I can never nearly complete.

Bus stop guy:The bus is taking a long time. Me:It’s not so bad. Guy:It’s just the WAITING. Me:Yeah, the waiting IS the hardest part.8:21 AM Mar 17th from web
Apparently, when I’m tired in the morning and not feeling chatty, I speak in Tom Petty lyrics. I wonder if the guy knew.8:22 AM Mar 17th from web

Generally, I try to keep my tweets into one 140-character post; decided not to for this one.

Discovered leaving 1/2 hour early from work would only get me home 20 min earlier, because traffic is so much heavier at 5:10 than 5:40 pm.8:26 PM Mar 18th from web
Actually, rediscovered.

Town meeting last nt: how fed stimulus $$ will help NYS. Lots of info, LOT of agency reps who were to talk for 3 min ea; many didn’t.1:48 AM Mar 19th from web
Wrote about this here.

Wish I could pick Binghamton, sister’s alma mater,univ of my hometown, over Duke, just can’t. Am picking Siena-ALB Co- over Ohio St. in OH.2:01 AM Mar 19th from web
actually wrote more about March Madness men’s basketball…

Received Mar 23 Sports Illustrated today w March Madness preview, now that I don’t need it. Only a week late; Mar 30 TIME also arrived.2:26 PM Mar 21st from web
…about which i shan’t bore you further.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”-Lewis Carroll, copped by George Harrison, who changed get to take.11:39 AM Mar 24th from web
Listening to George.

ABC’s Life on Mars’ penultimate episode tonight. Reportedly will have decent conclusion, unlike The Nine, ABC show from couple yrs ago.7:43 PM Mar 25th from web
Finally watched the last episode. It was OK.

Kibosh on date w wife tonight; babysitter canceled last night -pneumonia. What a lame excuse!10:12 AM Mar 28th from web
Need either last min babysitter or someone to take our tickets to Albany Symphony or someone to go w Carol OR me to ASO. Quel bummer.10:14 AM Mar 28th from web
It’s not ASO, it’s Albany Pro Musica, St. John’s Passion by Bach.10:53 AM Mar 28th from web
I was really glad someone was able to use our tickets to Albany Pro Musica’s St. John’s Passion by Bach.12:05 AM Mar 29th from web

The woman who we gave our tickets to thanked us by buying us an ASO CD, left in our mailbox when we came back from church.

after several days of cod, cloudy weather, today’s 65, sunny was like a heat wave. too sunny; ended up w near sunburn, function of vitiligo7:55 PM Mar 28th from web
30 minutes of direct sunlight actually did me in for the remainder of the day. Oh, yeah, that was supposed to be cold, not cod.

Happy 50th wedding anniversary to my parents-in-law. They traveled 15 hours to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary back on 3/12/2000.12:08 AM Mar 29th from web
In-laws’ gathering inc presents exchange for Xmas, my birthday, Lydia’s bday, etc. Got my first Brad Paisley and Diamond Rio albums7:25 PM Mar 29th from web

And I’ve STILL not heard these albums.

If I were in NYC: promo for Diana Krall new CD Quiet Nights, FREE PERFORMANCE Tues Mar 31 1pm Winter Garden at World Financial Center12:14 AM Mar 29th from web
Lucky Tosy!

Some are very attentive re who follows,unfollows them. Not an issue for me. Just discovered someone following me, was following me before.7:38 PM Mar 29th from web
Obviously that person had unfollowed me, and I just didn’t notice. I can’t obsess about that stuff; it’d suck all the joy out of Tweeting.7:40 PM Mar 29th from web

This generated a bit of back-and-forth.

Sermon today noted compassion is rooted in Greek word splochna, meaning spleen. Compassion’s not just a surface thing, it’s a guts thing.7:21 PM Mar 29th from web
This was a sermon at my in-law’s church.

Dan Seals died. Very 1st concert I ever saw was Seals & Crofts, 11/12/71, NYC . Jim Seals was Dan’s brother8:07 PM Mar 29th from web
I remember the date of the S&C concert because it’s the birthday of one of the founders of the Baha’i faith, which S&C espouse.

5-yr-old daughter worried her sisters (dolls, plushes) might be afraid of thunderstorm; I put them all in guest bed to support ea other.8:22 PM Mar 29th from web
Gotta talk about the kid SOMETIME.

Procrastination: bought bus pass, filed last of medical reimbursement claims on deadline day.9:38 PM Mar 31st from web
I mailed one batch of forms, faxed another and by this date STILL didn’t know if they were all received. So I refaxed EVERYTHING on the final day.


Twit or tweet

One of the things I just don’t understand is that a number of people have started following me on Twitter. A few of them are at least Internet buds, but most of them I do not know in the least, don’t know how they came to my Twitter feed, and don’t know what it is that is appealing enough for total strangers to want to “follow me”. Britney Spears, I ain’t.

At the same time, I seem to have developed a sense of responsibility/guilt? over the fact that I’m just not yet that proficient a Twitterer/Tweeter. Unlike this blog, I can go three or four days without posting a thing there. Moreover, I haven’t really got a handle on what 140-character message I wish to share.

Interestingly, I DO submit things to my work Twitter account more frequently; it’s easier because it’s mostly business community related. And I have less a feeling of responsibility because there are 150 potential contributors, though in fact it’s usually done by a half dozen of the usual suspects.

But the few times I find something that I think is interesting on a personal or cultural level, I’m usually busy at work or just too tired. These things tend to be time-sensitive, too. I may find it interesting that Bill Richardson stopped the process to be Commerce Secretary, but by the time I have time to tweet it, it’s common knowledge.

Or I wonder if the content should better be put in the blog. Or not at all. There were pieces I considered for the Tweet, passed on, then, as I contemplated the blog, decided, “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t write THAT!” Maybe I’m not that spontaneous a guy.

I DO like to respond directly to folks I know on twitter. I told mikesterling: “My high school prom music was ‘All Things Must Pass’. By George Harrison.” (We were VERY serious young people.) I SHOULD HAVE told tomthedog that not only do I find the word “tweeting” silly, It makes me feel as though I’m in some damn Warner Brothers cartoon.

But I am embracing it. I think the article from last week’s Metroland says it for me:

Twittering Not Just for Annoying Bulls*** Any Longer

Want to know what your friends are doing right now? Neither do we. That’s why we’d written off Twitter almost immediately after hearing about it. But, as usual, our lack of enthusiasm for the latest social-networking craze was the unfortunate side effect of us being old. This year we were won over by a slew of adventurous media outlets that found truly interesting uses for this ridiculously simple little Web app, from the local paper breaking news on its Twitter feed or publishing tweet follow-ups on developing stories to The New York Times tweeting links to its latest stories. So we are sorry, Twitter, for doubting you, and we resolve here and now to embrace the power of the tweet.

But be careful out there. According to WayneJohn, there’s a Twitter phishing scam going on. Also, mistyping Twitter can get some interesting results as well.
FOLLOW FAIL: The Top Ten Reasons I Will Not Follow You on Twitter

Cartoon from the Westport (CT) Public Library.

11 Random Thoughts

Apparently, Wayne John couldn’t come up with an actual post. I’m so cool with that that I stole the idea.

1. At dinner last week, my wife and I actually had as conversation about The Three Bears. To wit, if all of them went for a walk because the porridge was too hot, then why was the porridge in Mama Bear’s medium-sized bowl too cold, but Baby Bear’s small bowl “just right”? Was it that Mama Bear was on a diet and took only a small portion? Or was the construction of their individual bowls so different that they had such radically different cooling times?

2. Does anyone know which DVD of the Simpsons includes The Raven? My wife needs it for educational purposes. Really.

3. I’m obsessed with branches that have broken off from trees but that have not yet landed on the ground. I worry that a stiff wind will tumble those branches onto someone. Last week, I dislodged one by flinging my backpack over my head.

4. I think if Obama wins, it’ll be because people got their third quarter 401(k) reports and blanched. Mine went down 12% so far this year, with half of that just in the last quarter. So did my wife’s. And my daughter also has a little account that tanked.

5, Conversely, McCain may have lost when he had to explain to some audience member that Obama was not an Arab. BTW, are there ANY Arab-Americans out there supporting McCain? Or any American Muslims, for that matter? If so, they remind me of Log Cabin Republicans.

6. I got out of painting the front porch last week by taking three children to the playground for an hour and a half. I’m not sure I got the best end of the deal.

7. The are people who have signed up for my Twitter feeds and I have no idea how they got there. I don’t tweet enough; I do so hope I don’t disappoint.

8. Every time my daughter’s sick, I’m the one who takes the first day off from work. This means that I only have about 139 sick days left.

9. My wife has an unusual item on her Christmas list: to hire someone to evaluate our home for a possible design redo.

10. I wish more sites I read had RSS feeds.

11. I’ve had a book called Play Bridge in Four Hours for years. It’s on my reading list. For 2016.
Every year, writer-editor Andy Mangels stages the Wonder Woman Day event to support women’s charities. Wonder Woman Day includes an auction of donated drawings from a wide assortment of artists. Every year, Wonder Woman Day gets bigger and raises more money, and from the looks of it, the 2008 event will be no exception. This year’s festivities will be held on October 26. If you’d like to see the selection of artwork that’s going up for sale and learn more about Wonder Woman Day, please go here.


Snake in the Garden

Back in the early days of this blog, before I knew any better, I would write a “state of the blog” piece every month, on the first of the month. Now that I’m a more “mature” blogger, I tend to do this only on the anniversary of the blog, which is May 2. So consider this a (temporary) reversion to form.

There was a point in June when I seriously considered quitting doing the blog. not only were my numbers down, I was having this dispute with this other blogger that I didn’t understand over things on that person’s blog,

But then I started having dreams. Vivid dreams. Disturbing dreams. Dreams that pointed out my mortality to a degree that would wake me up and not allow me back to sleep. At the same time, it seemed to help answer unresolved questions that were lurking just beyond my conscious awareness. Sometimes, essays would come nearly fully formed. A couple became blog posts.

Another factor mitigating in favor of continuing – or maybe it’s the same factor – is that I realize I have more to say, whether anyone’s reading it or not. And occasionally, when someone like Shirlee Taylor Haizlip or Glenn Weiser, who thanked me for this piece (and in return, I corrected the misspelling of his name), write, it makes it worthwhile. As did a 13-year-old girl writing in response to my piece on my vitiligo.

I got a Twitter account on July 11. That would be July 11, 2007, made one post, then not again until this past week, when I wrote: “Saw a piece on ABC News about how some companies such as Comcast, JetBlue and Dell track Twitter for customer complaints. Very cool indeed.” So, I’m trying it on for size. Don’t want to have a “300 days ago” notation on it, so I’ll see.

I also finally added SamuraiFrog to my links. One of the curses of being in a cubicle is that pretty much anyone can see your computer, and sometimes, when I’m checking websites at lunch time, there are materials that don’t disturb me but probably would disturb others. So I just check him at home, where my wife can be disturbed instead.

Coming up this month: four or five posts that I started weeks or months ago that I never finished – it’ll be cathartic, at least for me; a feature I was doing regularly, but somehow dropped; on August 28, my annual FantaCo publication piece, already written in my head, but alas, not electronically; plus all the usual nonsense (yikes, I have to take more pictures of Lydia).
Me and Johnny B.

You are an Airbender!


The Sky Bison taught the first airbenders how to bend the air around them. While they cannot fly, airbenders can soar in the air for long distances by using a glider. Most important to airbenders is the concept of non-aggression. When they fight, they do not attack but defend themselves through circular movements that confuse their opponents.

Which Element do you Bend?

(Photo by Mary Hoffman, July 2008.)