What a year. I’ll have some updates on my goings-on once school is out, but today, I just want to share the most valuable thing I’ve done in a while:
I deleted my Twitter account.
I’ve been considering it for years. There are a few people I really enjoy following on there, but most of the time, reading good content on Twitter is like bobbing for apples in a cesspool: You’re ingesting an awful lot of crap for a pretty unimpressive ROI.
For me, the last straw came when I looked at a thread containing 40 comments and realized at least 35 of them had been posted by what appeared to be fake accounts created for the sole purpose of harassing women and minorities. When I realized I’d blocked and reported 39 suspected fake accounts in the span of 48 hours, with zero response from Twitter, I made a decision: If that number reached 50 before I got a satisfactory response, I was done.
Amusingly, the 49th and 50th accounts I reported were fake accounts with single-digit follower counts that popped up to troll me for calling out fake accounts with single-digit follower counts.
I set up my Twitter account in 2008, but I didn’t really use it heavily until I took a job doing social media for a hotel in Tulsa in 2012. I learned some useful things from the people I encountered online, but I find it interesting that in the past seven years, my health has gone to hell in a handbasket.
This might be a coincidence.
I doubt it.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.”
I used to do that. And I used to feel a lot better than I do right now.
Probably not a coincidence.
We spent Saturday morning and part of the afternoon helping the Fins of the Blue Whale clear branches, vines, tree saplings, and enormous canes away from the fairy ring of giant concrete-and-fiberglass mushrooms that surround a small pond behind the old ARK building.
I came home tired, sunburned, and covered in dirt and scratches — prima facie evidence of a weekend well-spent.
It’s good to have time to get involved with historic preservation projects again. I’ve really missed that the past couple of years. It’s awesome to get to do something to benefit the Blue Whale, too, because it’s always been one of my favorite places on Route 66 — right up there with the Blue Swallow Motel and the Rock Cafe.
Thanks to my little sister, I have a new hobby this week: geocaching. In the past three days, I have hunted for 13 geocaches and found nine, which I think is a fairly decent batting average.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, geocaching is a game in which you use a GPS device to hunt for hidden “treasure.” The treasure consists of a (hopefully) watertight container in which you will find, at a minimum, a piece of paper for logging your visit. More elaborate caches contain a logbook, a pen or pencil, and a collection of small objects for trading purposes.
Cache locations are posted online at Geocaching.com, where you can search by ZIP code to find caches in your area, along with GPS coordinates and clues to help you find them.
When someone posts a new cache on the site, it’s considered kind of a big deal if you are the first to find it. I figured it would take a long time for me to score an “FTF,” but someone posted a new cache in my area the other day, so after calculus this afternoon, I fought my way through trees and brambles and spiderwebs and barbed wire and copious amounts of poison ivy to find it.
Being new to geocaching, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from each terrain rating, but I figured something rated four out of five stars for difficulty would take a little effort. As it turns out, I could have approached the cache location from the opposite direction and had a much easier time getting to it (I think my route took me through some five-star terrain), but that’s OK. The woods were pretty, I was well-equipped with sturdy boots and a cap, and my efforts were rewarded with an FTF and a cute little green plastic dinosaur — not to mention a chance to burn off about 400 calories without really thinking about it — so I really can’t complain.
Hope you had fun today, wherever you were.
Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a couple of days. I’ve been swamped all week, and by the time I caught my breath last night, there were storms in the area, which meant I had to unplug my Mac.
In any case, this week’s Folk Thursday should be worth the wait. This is definitely the best thing off Neil Diamond’s last album. No video — just a rather distorted still — but you don’t need a video. Close your eyes and listen to the lyrics, because this is quite possibly the best thing he’s written since 1973.
Incidentally, his new album will be out Tuesday. And tickets to his Oct. 21 concert in Tulsa just went on sale this morning. (And yes, Ron did get up this morning and order a pair for us the minute they went on sale. Thanks, Ron….)
And just for fun, here’s our boy showing the kiddie-poos on Idol what a professional looks like:
I’m carpooling with a bunch of other people on a three-hour road trip tomorrow. We’re trying to figure out who’s riding with whom. Something tells me the decision may boil down to that brilliant quote from What About Bob?
“There are two kinds of people in this world; those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.”
— Bill Murray
Have a good weekend.