Randomly Random Stuff of Randomness

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It seems lately I have had a steady stream of rather serious and heavy posts, but at the same time I have been amassing drafts and filling up my ‘junk draft’ with stuff – so it is time to purge with a ‘thinking out loud‘ theme! And so … let’s get to it …

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. You Really Never Know!
In a comment last week Megan said “I just have no idea how you put out so MUCH content without putting junk out there” – and here is the thing … neither do I.

This was originally where I had what became the Continuous Trust Fall post. It is still interesting to me what gains traction, and also how I can have an idea that seems like a throwaway and then suddenly there is a post! Like today … what started as a random collection of recent stuff gained at least somewhat of a theme as I went along … hope you enjoy! 🙂

2. Dreams Followed

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Here is a random one based on the ‘passion over paycheck’ post – last week in our area one of the engineers in our group found a new bakery that had opened. Turns out that it was someone a couple of people had worked with, and he had always expressed interest in opening a wood-fired bread bakery when he retired.

He calls the place “Ash Hole Makers of Dough” – yeah, the name … but the bread? Awesome! Oh – and if you are ever doing the Wineglass Marathon or coming through Corning, check it out!

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3. Diner Micro-review: Maple Lawn Dairy Restaurant

OK, I love how Hollie does her diner reviews, they are fun and seem like they would be functionally useful for folks in the area. Plus it is never bad to look at pictures of the monster cakes and sundaes she gets!

On our way to New York City for vacation, we asked around about a place to go and were told about the Maple Lawn Dairy Restaurant, and since it was along the way … we stopped.

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Atmosphere: it really IS both a dairy and a restaurant! You walk through the ice cream place as you go to get seated … and in that moment you want to stop and say “I think I’ll have a sundae for breakfast!” The place looks more like a family-style casual eatery than a diner, with plenty of windows and natural light – so we could also see it was really clean.
Coffee: diner coffee, but good! We only had a couple of cups each – because we still had more than a four hour drive! But it was good enough that we would have had more.
Food: Between us we had two specialty omelettes, one Belgian waffle, and I got the jumbo breakfast wrap. The portions were huge – none of us left remotely hungry, and there was food left behind on most of the plates.
Price: Four people, huge breakfasts, and a total including tip of $50.
Overall Thoughts / Would I Come Back: One great thing – our waitress brought us a French toast sample plate while we decided, and the staff in general were incredibly friendly and helpful. They have a rewards program that immediately gives you a discount coupon – and my older son and his girlfriend already returned for another awesome breakfast.

This is one of the best breakfast places in the area, a bit off the highway and about 30 minutes east of Corning. Again, if you are coming for Wineglass or just driving through the area – worth a stop!

4. Amazon Kindle Unlimited and Prime Music

Do you love to read? If so check out Kindle Unlimited – it is $9.99 per month, on top of Amazon Prime if you have it. The selection is somewhat limited now, but does include audiobook versions of more than 1200 books. It includes things like ‘Life of Pi’ as well as the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Hunger Games series. The estimate I would make is that if you read more than a couple of books a month it pays for itself.

If you DO have Amazon Prime … you should really check out Prime Music. They JUST added hundreds of thousands more songs (it launched with over a million), and also hundreds of cool pre-fab playlists. The really cool thing is that you can add the music included with Prime directly to your music library, and can then download to your devices to play on the go without any internet access.

5. Running For a Reason

I have talked about Laura’s run across America before, and this week she wrote in frustration about the challenges in finding sponsorship for her cause, which is sexual violence. It is sad that what seems like such an easy cause to support should be proving difficult:

As women, we view the world differently because of what we’ve been told to be afraid of. We may even trust differently, and have learned to be suspicious first. We’ve also been told that rape could be our fault if we behave in certain ways, and I know that is a thought that has passed through my mind as I make decisions (although I contradict it, it’s still there). Please note: it is never our fault.

As I spoke to a potential corporate sponsor on Friday, she was initially excited about the run. But then she found out what cause I was running for, and I was told, verbatim, that this was “not a cause they would choose to align themselves with.”

Again – I find this really sad. And so I want to again encourage everyone to check out her site, her fundraising page, and even her Amazon Wish List and see what you can possibly do to help.

6. 8 Signs of a Relationship Gone Wrong

Speaking of Laura’s cause, over at UpWorthy this week they provided the following graphic and also the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233. It is sad that any of this needed … but it is, very much.

Relationship Gone Wrong

7. My Family Went to New York, and all I got …

Was a new debit card.

True story – last Thursday night Lisa and I were paying a few bills and noticed an odd $0.25 charge from a New York parking garage. All I could think was it was possibly related to our parking garage where we stayed, or maybe the Metro … but none of it seemed right. We made a note to keep an eye on our account.

The next morning Lisa got a call from our bank (Corning Credit Union), who had detected suspicious account activity … and we discovered that the $0.25 was the second ‘test charge’ (the other one was immediately reversed) and that someone had attempted a shopping spree with the card before it got shut down.

That afternoon we were in the branch office going through everything, and they had dealt with all of the charges except for a few that were still pending, and none of it was our responsibility. They shredded my card and issues a new one, and everything was handled incredibly quickly and easily.

I had gotten a new card because I made one trip to Target before their whole system got hacked, and now I just got another one. But what really struck me was the level of fast and friendly customer service we got during the whole process. It made a potentially awful situation much less stressful.

8. Overcoming Negative Thoughts

I loved the post by Harold at Runnah.com where he did his own version of ‘Overcoming Negative Thoughts’ … which was a great post by Christine at Love Life Surf.

Here are her basic thoughts:
1.Write about it.
2.Let it go.
3.Remember what you have accomplished.
4.A good coach helps too.
5.Believe you can fly.

Both posts are great and worth reading, and a great reminder of how negative thoughts can consume us and how important it is to purge them from our lives.

9. Speaking of Runnah.com

When I did my ‘blog process’ write-up, I nominated three wonderful people. But then I was surprised to see that Harold had done his own process post! Why? Because he is generally not a huge fan of these things … but I LOVED that he did it, so wanted to share it here.

Since I am off the running routine for a bit (one of those freak injuries), I have looked for things to blog about and after reading Mike’s blog today about the Blog Writing Tour, I decided to invite myself into the party :-).

I know, I know it probably is not good form, but…hey this seemed like fun and sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it.

Check it out, and also Lauren, Michele and Sara!

10. Watching Out for Emotional Manipulation

As all of us know, there are many ways to cause pain that do not leave a mark. Many of us deal with emotional manipulators in our lives – they are easy to spot, because they are the ones who will do something to you (or not do something they promised) and yet YOU end up apologizing. There is a great post on 8 ways to spot emotional manipulation – and freeing yourself from emotionally manipulative relationships can be one of the greatest gifts you will ever give yourself:

If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now – but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish – or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother – TRUST your gut and walk away!

11. GOMI Good or Bad

Hollie referenced the ‘snarktastic’ site called ‘Get Off My Internets’, or GOMI, in a post this week. The basis of the forum site is based on people creating threads that reference a site in a number of categories. Most of the sites I track and that comment on mine are in either Running Blogs or Healthy Living categories.

In general, no one creates a thread for a positive reason. Sure there are supporters of bloggers who will post, but the preponderance of thoughts are negative – hate reading, criticizing content or style or appearance … and most positive comments are made in the context of a comparison used to criticize someone else.

As for me? I get a single reference in a thread about Sara at Loving On The Run … . Given that (a) I’m older than most of the people I follow by at least 10-15 years (b) I’m a guy and most of the blogs I follow are by women and (c) that I write the comments I do … well, I wasn’t surprised by what was written:

mirulhi said
Plus: Who is this self-righteous weirdo (https://txa1265.wordpress.com/) who comments daily on her crap? Maybe it’s just me, but for some random, old, married dude to be excited to read “a peek into who you are as a person, wife, and runner” seems super creepy. Besides, he posts on his own blog too many late-middle-age man full-length mirror selfies. *shudder*

I KNOWWW!! Everytime that guy comments I get super creeped out. I just know he’s at home, poring over her blog/Twitter/Instagram having dirty thoughts. He loves to dole out relationship advice too.

If you read anything else in that thread you’ll see that I make out better than Sara. Similarly I find many people are pretty harsh on Hollie … and when I was looking there I noted they now have a thread on The Suz … ugh, just not nice. Personally I can’t change the gender and age distribution of our community, and since I thoroughly enjoy our interactions, my approach has always been total transparency with Lisa about, as she calls it, my running cult’ 🙂

To be honest, GOMI is FAR from the worst or harshest forum site I have spent time on, and a lot of it comes across rather pedantic, as well as tired, hackneyed, petulant and immature. Certainly compared to some game forums it is positively sedate!

But it is also worth noting that there is a place for this type of criticism. I have talked about the lack of constructive feedback and the overly-positive nature of things … GOMI helps provide an outlet off-blog for people to talk about things. Of course, I think a firect approach would always be better – if you have an issue with a blogger, drop an email.

12. Oldest Sub-4:20 Miler

Since I am 48 I was drawn to this article about a 48 year old runner becoming the oldest to run a sub-4:20 mile. On the one hand I think I look younger … but on the other I look nothing like him rounding the track! haha Check out the video:

13. Random Randoms

– Danielle has a great new featured column at Women’s Running’s Competitor site about sweating – it is awesome and 100% Classic T-Rex! Check It Out

Shamus has fun poking at the new music service Milk … which is basically radio. Not reinvented, not ‘for the next generation’ … just radio.

– Worst Conflict Resolution Ever – So a guy emails his wife about why he won’t miss her on her 10 day trip, using a tabulation of denied sex requests as a backdrop. So yeah, actually you should head to the original Reddit page … great comments, really sad situation. Nothing is clear except that the level of communications and intimacy in the relationship is dreadfully poor. As many there say, if he has a 7 week detailed spreadsheet with verbatim responses … how long has he been mentally tracking, and how long has it bugged him before … and what was his level of communication about the situation, and how involved was SHE in any of this. To be at this point at 26? Wow … even MORE sad.

– New ’10 Days of You’ posts – you know that Sara got me hooked on this (and is down to her 3 films), and now Laurel has picked it up with her 10 secrets post. My faves? Her talent for learning song lyrics and “I will sometimes sleep in my running outfit so I have one less excuse”. haha!

15 ‘Not to Do’ List Items – one way Megan is changing up is posting more things that would be blogs on Facebook – like this. My only addition would “Don’t allow others to dictate your personal boundaries.”

14. Colby Callait’s “Try” – Great Message

Lisa was singing this song and wanted to share it, so we looked on YouTube and found the video and played it. The video was about honestly representing yourself – no Photoshop or other dishonest alterations.

Here is the video:

Sara shared the video as well based on this powerful message. And linked to a site where Callait shared some thoughts:

When I see gorgeous models and singers and they look perfect on their album covers, it makes me want to look like that, too, and it makes me feel like if I don’t Photoshop my skin on my album cover, I’m the one who’s going to look a little off and everyone else is going to look perfect. And that’s what everyone is used to seeing.

They’re used to seeing people on the album covers completely Photoshopped. On one of my album covers, my arm was shaved down and it made me look very skinny. I think that gives a false reality.

So What Random Thoughts Do You Have Today?

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33 thoughts on “Randomly Random Stuff of Randomness

  1. The fact that you just put the GOMI stuff that was said about you up on your blog makes you the coolest blogger ever in my book 🙂 Not sure how I missed that one! I’ve lurked on GOMI and I think it’s been educational in terms of figuring out some of the blog world! And I completely agree with you that a direct approach would be preferable, but if you get passed some of the petty gossip there are some decent reality check in the threads.

    Like Megan, I’m also continually amazed you come up with such valuable and plentiful content! You probably could’ve published 5 bestsellers already 🙂

    • Thanks so much Michele! I figured if I was going to mention GOMI it would really make sense to show how I was mentioned. And I agree – I have read some threads where the people seem to care and get annoyed with people doing silly things … and some of them were people that I was amongst the chorus saying ‘be careful or you’ll get hurt’ … only to be brushed off … and watch the person get hurt. Ugh!

      Thanks for the feedback on content … I really DO need to work on my creative writing stuff heading into the fall. It has been a goal, so now I have to look into seriously putting it into motion …

  2. I have to agree with Megan, there is no way I could come up with daily posts that are as compelling and thought provoking as yours are, so keep up your general awesomeness! As for as GOMI, I have been on it a few times and the things being said about a few of the bloggers I really like turned me off to it. It’s just a place to put down others. My thought is if you don’t like a blogger for whatever reason…STOP READING THEIR BLOG! It seems pretty simple, but these people continue to read and tear them apart on another message board. If you have a huge problem with someone, address it with them and move on. It just seems very childish to me.

    • Thanks Sara! 🙂 And I totally agree on not ‘getting’ hate reading or trolling about it elsewhere. If you don’t like it, stop, if you have a problem … say something.

  3. I’m glad you enjoy my diner reviews and can relate. I always hope people enjoy them.

    GOMI is always interesting to me. I don’t think everything they say is accurate but I also don’t think everything they say is inaccurate either. It’s just all people’s speculation.

    • I saw yesterday that I have a GOMI and the only way I knew is that it was in my site stats. I guess that means I have “made it”? lol sooooo excited….

    • You have an incredibly awesome attitude about it … which is great. We can’t control what other people think, only our reactions – and yours are very mature!

  4. I’ve said it before (as you noted), and I’ll say it again … HOW DO YOU DO THIS?!?! Ha ;). I love all of it! The credit card thing never ceases to amaze me … I think it’s really cool how they can identify fraud, and would love to learn more about the algorithms behind it (a $0.25 test charge is pretty obvious, but some of mine have seemed like things I might purchase and it wasn’t me but was still identified).

    And omg … the GOMI thing. I just have no words. I’ve never been to this site, and it seems like something I could totally get sucked into … but I just closed it because I don’t want to give my time to something sooooo silly and petty. I did search for myself and didn’t see anything though … I think that’s a good thing, but let me know if you see me popping up around there! WOWWWW.

    • My thoughts on “GOMI Takes on Megan”

      First post:
      Did you guys notice that her site title is kinda a bad pun? I mean, her last name is ‘lyons’, and site is lyon’s share, and she used lyon’s share in her catch phrase?!?

      Reply:
      Yeah, haha saw that … and also … um, well, she is really nice, her posts make sense … um, she has healthy relationships … is respectful and thoughtful ..

      Reply:
      Crap, BORING … who else can we go troll!

      haha … sorry 🙂

  5. Ok that reference to you is just too funny! I have never thought such things but it is funny how people can interpret things so different. One thing I love about you and your blog is that you are able to sit back and reflect and have a sense of humor about yourself. This whole internet thing can be pretty nasty huh?

    • Thanks Sarah … I had mentioned before that I found it flattering yet a bit weird when one of my kids’ friends was following my Instagram and commenting on all of my running selfies, but it was totally open and became a joke because neither of her parents can use their smartphones well, let alone use instagram … sometimes you just have to have a laugh about it.

  6. Ugh, I just found out yesterday that I have a GOMI. That is the reason for thought #10 today. Made me doubt myself, well, more so feel self conscious about my blog than anything. I am used to people judging my body. I’m over that. And I know that my blog is….intense. But so am I. I am colorful and in your face. And sometime I annoy myself. But I can’t please everyone.
    Too many interesting things to comment on, otherwise. Thank goodness you found out/had a good service. Like when my mom’s card got stolen (our first official day as Chicagoans) and the idiots immediately tried to go on a spending spree. Idiots. I think that the infographic about unravelling relationships. I want to go look at that closer.
    Because you continue to do this. Stop being so interesting, it makes my minds hurt.

    • Thanks Suz – I was really disturbed by the comments about you in the context of your body and weight … because that is hurtful stuff. I have to look back at #10 from yesterday …

      And yeah – the day my paycheck (and a nice bonus) hit our account we see this … I love the amazing service we got- you never know with local stuff, but they have the high tech AND the local small-town feel. Double win!

  7. I laughed out loud at the name of that bread store, and now I’m doubly sad I’m in a wedding that weekend and had to miss wine glass. That was my top pick for a fall marathon this year till I got the wedding date. Hopefully next year it will work out! And I need to check out that diner…French toast sampler?? Why isn’t that standard in every breakfast restaurant? Gomi seems so childish to me. That’s really the adult way that you think is best to deal with something or someone you don’t agree with? Seriously grow up and get a new hobby. Bringing other people down is far from cool

    • Haha … yeah, we all shake our head over the name, but hey, it was his dream and he made it come true.

      Wineglass IS awesome … it is hard timing for me every year because it is right around my wife and older son’s birthdays. So after 3 years in a row .. yeah, took this year off!

      And that diner … totally should be standard!

  8. Non-techie question. If you have a Kindle, how do you listen to audio-books? Does it sync to your car or something?

    As for the sub-4:20, so sad in some ways. Just to see his disappointment at the finish. And even though I knew he didn’t die, seeing him collapse, yikes. But the “pain pegs” made me laugh — haven’t we all been there? For me, it certainly wasn’t going that fast, but what an expression. I am totally going to think about it next time I feel like I’m on pain pegs.

    • Good question – you use your Kindle, then switch to the Audible app on your phone or tablet (with your Amazon account) and it will pick up right where you left off. I tried it and thought it was cool … but don’t even have the Audible app anymore – just don’t ever listen to audio books and don’t have a commute …

      Yeah, pain pegs – that collapse was brutal!

  9. Thanks so much for your kind words on my post and I’m so glad that Harold wrote his too. I really needed to write it and let go of all those thoughts that were bringing me down! And GOMI, I went on there once and had to click away. I agree with Hollie that not everything is accurate and not everything is inaccurate either but the negativity is what I had a hard time with.

  10. I love your randoms! Isn’t it nice to just do a brain dump sometimes?

    Also, this is the first time I’ve heard of GOMI, and I will probably never visit. I don’t need any more negativity in my life, thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for the huge shout-outs!

    I love the post, but at the same time I sort of wish that you hadn’t named the site, even though I know why you did. No, I don’t bury my head in the sand and have known about this site for a long time. I am sure that I have a spot there somewhere, but I really don’t care and have not visited the site – ever. I refuse to give it page views, my time or allow what is being said about me to negatively affect me :-). It serves no purpose for who I am and the direction I am going.

    The rest of the post amazes me with the amount of great stuff you write about in your blog. That stealing your debit card info does scare me and why I am careful where I use them. If it is a schechy place or place I do not know, I tend to use cash if possible, if not I do it on my credit card, which has a very low spending limit.

    We have Hillman’s Bakery up heah, not as classy as name as your’s, but it sound similar and the food is top-notch.

    • I had thought about not saying anything … and it has been a topic I’ve had sitting around, and even alluded to in posts and comments but didn’t do explicity for exactly the reasons you note.

      And I always love finding fresh local places – and since whenever we go someplace we want to find non-touristy haunts with good things, I figured I would offer the same … and I made note of Hillman’s for the next time we hit Maine!

      Thanks!

  12. I’m still laughing at Ash Hole. Hahaha apparently I’m 12.
    And I love me a good diner! We have one near my house and Betty always gets pancakes the size of her head.

    As for that forum, I don’t even want to know. A whole website for people to discuss/tear down bloggers they’ve never met? Sounds sad. Go get a hobby or do something nice with your life.

    • Nothing wrong with laughing at a pun … hey, one of the great benefits of kids is you don’t have to pretend to be grown up, and pretty soon you don’t even care 🙂

    • Apparently I need to try harder! haha Seriously, thanks … for everything. You are an inspiration with how you handle all of the stuff you have been through …

  13. I would have to agree that I am always amazed by your content. I feel like my random posts have zero meaning to them while you write a random post and its all though provoking and meaningful, but still amusing:)
    I remember when I found out about GOMI I couldn’t believe that there was really a website for people to make fun of bloggers…it just seems crazy to me! And for awhile I felt more removed from it all because it seemed to be focused on really big blogs…like the ones that earn their living just from blogging. But now as some of the people who I consider my blogging friends have popped up on there it bothers me more. I want to get on there and defend them, but I also don’t want to feed into the people who write that stuff because then it shows people are reading and paying attention. So I’m just gonna go on ignoring it and reading my favorite blogs:)

  14. Wow, loads of stuff in here. Maybe you are a dirty old man sitting in your basement with nothing better to do 😉

    That made me laugh because it’s about the last thing I’d think of regarding you. I have to admit I do spend some time reading GOMI and have found some good blogs to read through the site. And some eyebrow raisers.

    Re corporate sponsors shying away from violence against women causes: holy hell that sucks. Recently, I think on Jezebel, I saw someone write that the message shouldn’t be that women should behave differently to prevent rape but that men shouldn’t rape! It’s really as simple as that. Still, I get alarmed when I see some of the pictures of my teen nieces that are up for public viewing. I hate that from those pictures it appears that their value is in how sexually attractive they appear. So I guess I’m torn on how to handle stuff like this.

    • Totally a basement dwelling troll 🙂

      And yeah – I totally agree that the focus NEEDS to be on people not committing violence against women, NOT what women can do to avoid it … that is nonsense logic and I find it insulting as a human to think that a woman should have to look and her closet and think ‘I really want to wear that dress today but I’m meeting with a few guys and it is low cut, what if it causes one of them to leap across the table and rape me’ … huh, wait, what?!?

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