Tag Archives: twitter

When 140 Characters Just Isn’t Enough

There once was time in my life when I actually wrote a lot and it wasn’t in college despite the fact I was an English major. At least I was an English major the last time I flunked out of college. I think. Parts of the 1980’s can be a bit hazy at times but that is neither here nor there and most likely is a potential topic for another blog at another time. (It’s deja vu all over again but now I am getting way off track).

Anyway, as I was saying. I used to write a lot over at the ghetto of social networking more commonly known as MySpace. You could count on my posting at least two to three blogs a week there about football, travel, food, LOST or my real specialty – everything you could ever want to know about nothing in particular. Those were my favorite blogs to write because I tend to look at the world differently than most of the folks I know, yet in a way in which most people can relate if they twist their minds right. Certainly not unlike the way that I write 140 characters at a time on Twitter and that may be in & of itself the whole problem here.

Ever since I joined Twitter and really started tweeting last summer, I have quit writing blogs. Not entirely quit but certainly not written them with the same frequency as before. (I will pat myself on the back and point out that I did pick the New Orleans Saints to win the SuperDuperBowl last September and I did name all 34 winners in my College Bowl preview but everything thing else I have written in the past six to 9 months has been nothing more than a rehashing of stuff I had written before. Not exactly awe inspiring from either side of the page and not exactly satisfying for me.) I found that I got lazy thanks to Twitter and when a thought popped into my head, I would just spin it out in 140 characters and move on without a second thought. But it’s those second & third thoughts that I have now found that I miss the most. I have come back to the realization that sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough. That sometimes even 140 words can’t be enough. (Don’t worry, I am nowhere near the possibility of 140 pages – that’s for my dead in the water for the past 20 years novel idea). That I really need to come back to blogging. Consider this your fair warning. Your “shot across the bow” so to speak. Swampy is back.

And that is view for now from Behind The Shades…


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Monday Missives On What I Had Forgotten Over The Weekend

Maybe it’s just me but it would seem to me that FaceSpace, Twitless and the others of their ilk seem to be devolving into Anti-Social Networks.

I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have Neil Patrick Harris as your personal emcee for your everyday life.

As I walked the recycling to the curb around sundown I noticed hundreds of dragonflies darting & swooping in the front yard. When I turned back to face the sun, I saw the clouds of gnats swirling in the air. The dragonflies were diving through them like sharks through a ball of baitfish.

I did battle with the overgrown thorn bushes encroaching on my new forsythias and based on the scratches on my arms & legs, it was a pyrrhic victory at best.

Today is The International Day of Peace. I am already going to have a hard time observing it and I haven’t even gotten off the train yet.

And I swear I am going to punch the next person who hip thrusts the ID scanner when my hand is there.

I am wearing my compass tie today because there are more than a few people out there who need some direction.

I consider myself a TV watcher but I when they got to the movie & mini-series section of the Emmys last night, I was completely lost.

Speaking of LOST, Ben wins an Emmy. Or did he ? We won’t know for sure until we see the outcome of Juliet whacking Jughead with a rock.

The judges on “Chopped” really, really bug me with their self importance & smugness. Come on already, you just asked people to create a dish with crap that was scrounged from the back of a forgotten cupboard or that you can’t find in Whole Foods without a sherpa. Get over yourselves already.

When you see a cop badly out breath in Au Bon Pain and all they have done is walk in from their car parked illegally at the curb, you can’t feel safe. Can you ?

Russell on the new season of Survivor is a psychopath. Mark Burnett is probably already scheduling another Survivor All Stars so he can bring him back again. I still say I could win but I also still say that mortgages don’t pay themselves.

CBS Monday is almost a slam dunk except for the 10pm hour – I am hooked on Castle mainly because I am a wannabe mystery writer who is still struggling to complete his first novel. I also got turned off last year by Callie & Delko but I can forgive & forget once Delko is dead. I do hope we get more Eva LaRue this year. Either way, one of those 2 shows gets watched online tomorrow here at work….during my lunch hour of course…..

Speaking of watching TV online – thanks to really bad summer tv and limited channels in some of the flophouse I stay in while traveling, I have discovered Kitchen Confidential on HULU. It was a 2005 sitcom set in a fictitious NYC restaurant based on Anthony Bourdain and starring Bradley Cooper. It never saw more than 4 episodes get aired but all 13 that were filmed are available online. I bet Bradley Cooper is hoping that people don’t find it even though it isn’t exactly half bad. Of course it isn’t exactly half good but it beats watching repeats of “The Colony” on Discovery.

And since we are talking about cooking, I made some of my killer easy applesauce last night to go with the fresh bread machine 9 grain bread and the Ham Shank with a pineapple honey mustard glaze that I had going. Too bad I had to take the middle swamprat to a church dinner for overcooked egg noodles and bland chicken noodle soup. We were really there to nourish our soul and not our bodies. I spent most of my time dodging the lightning bolts. The new pastor said he looked forward to getting to know our family but I know he really meant that he looked forward to getting to know my signature in the lower right corner of those green rectangular pieces of paper I keep on my desk.

No sooner do I make fun of Florida State than they go out and kill the # 7 ranked team. Of course having BYU & Utah both lose will help make Boise State’s road to a BCS Wildcard Berth that much smoother. I hope.

Speaking of Broncos, my Denver Donkeys are 2-0 and headed for Oakland. I won’t get my hopes or expectations up but I am suddenly feeling pretty good about that 16-0 prediction.

And isn’t always nice to see the Patricheats lose ? J-E-T-S jetsjetsjets fans are living large today.

Nice to see Brandon Dubinsky is finally signed. Now drop the puck, we have trains to catch.

I definitely write more when I sitting at my desk than I do when writing on my blackberry on the train. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but since I have virtually no readers and fewer comments, I think the point is moot.

Now I remember why I never wear these shoes. They squeak when I walk.

And I knew the FREE special edition of the NY POST, that journalistic bastion of truth, justice and all the news that is unfit to print was a fake because the kid who handed it to me knew how to speak English.

And that’s the view for today from Behind The Shades….swampy abides

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Twitter, Tweeting & Celebritwits

Out of boredom & mild curiosity, I went and looked myself up today on Twitterholic. (Sorry – no link – Google it or Bing it like I did) I had them ‘crawl” my stats and they came up with some interesting observations. At least they were interesting to me but only because I was stuck on yet another conference call from hell and when I am stuck on one of those, well, watching paint dry would be considered interesting & exciting.

Now according to Twitterholic I joined Twitter on September 17, 2008. I remember seeing an article somewhere about a service that would let you “tweet” your thoughts or update your status 140 characters at a time. I found great humor in this because I couldn’t even begin to fathom expressing myself in 140 characters much less 140 words. Hell, based on the length of some of my old blogs that I had written on another site, 140 paragraphs or 140 pages were barely enough to contain the misguided verbiage that poured forth from my fingers to my keyboard. I gave it a try. No one responded. No one “followed” me. So I did what any good attention whore who wants more people to read his stuff would do, I left. I did mention it in a blog and even made considerable fun of it. I figured it was yet another web based service that I had signed up for that I would never see or use again.

As the weeks wore on I started to hear about Twitter being used in politics and in the race (euphemism, I know) for the presidency so I went back. I got passionate and did all I could to dispel the non-truths and to report on the stories that the media was so conveniently “forgetting” to discuss. All 17 of my followers were inundated with my 140 character blurbs and after the votes were counted, I forgot all about Twitter again.

But others did not forget about Twitter. The media saw the “power & influence” that could be accomplished through Twitter and suddenly everyone everywhere was starting to talk, type & tweet about it. Celebrities discovered it and the race was on to see who could get 1 million followers first. I was still mystified (much like I am today) by this sudden infatuation and I figured that this would just be the next fad. But Ashton Kutcher somehow beat CNN to that 1 million mark and Time Magazine soon after had Twitter on the cover. More celebrities flocked to the site which in all honesty has to be an absolute nightmare for just about any Hollywood Publicist who has a client that needs to be “guided” and kept under control. Unsupervised drunken tweeting is even worse than drunken texting because with a text message, only the recipient sees it. If you are a Britney Spears or a Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan and you drunken tweet, you have anywhere from 1 to 3 million people following you who can read it.

And read it the gossip pages do. I don’t know why any celebrity is even on Twitter to be honest other than blatant narcissism or they have a brilliantly fading career and are trying to hold on to some semblance of notoriety. I guess that it is better than sitting on a former lover’s front stoop or bushes at all hours of the night & early morning but that is beside the point and almost totally irrelevant. In fact following celebrities has proven to me how irrelevant we all really are to the majority of celebrities on Twitter. I have “tweeted” a message to just about every celebrity that I follow (and some that I don’t) as a test to see who if any would reply. To date, the most famous people to actually return one of my tweets (and in full disclosure – none of them follow me so they would actually have to read their @ folder to find them) have been syndicated columnist & humorist Dave Barry, best selling author Ridley Pearson and the female explorer from the band of bickering adventurers on Expedition Africa – Mireya Mayor. I’m not even sure if Kathy Griffin would use this group to start climbing up the social ladder. So I wonder, do celebrities ever answer people they don’t know ? It certainly doesn’t seem like it so why should we care what they are saying in this heavily one sided “conversation” ?

Now that brings up another point about Twitter that has bugged me while I have been delayed on a plane, train or automobile – which based on the amount I travel is a lot – and that is how many of those followers that everyone boasts bout having are real ? I know that out of my massive 121 followers I have at this moment, at least half of them (if not more) are twitbots and are only following me because I happened to type in a keyword or phrase that triggered them to click on follow. I also know that a good deal of those that do follow are also no longer actively using Twitter but never bothered to delete their profile. So I have maybe a handful of followers at best that actually read what I write so they must be even more bored than I am.

And with that, I am sure that I have bored you more than enough for today. I’ll post a link to this blog on Twitter in hopes that it will help vault me up the rankings (Currently # 272,155 overall and # 5,100 in NYC) but it won’t and I won’t care.

From behind the shades……swampy abides

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