I haven’t posted much up on my blog in a long time. In a lot of ways, I just don’t feel like I have much to say right now. I keep on trying to change that, but every time I start writing I just hit a block. Between dealing with a decline and death of a family member, work, and life I have just fallen out of keeping my blog up to date.
On top of that These last few months have been particularly hard. Any sort of normal interaction is just out the window. And when we toss in the social unrest we are all going through, it is tough to really want to put up anything right now. I hope once things hit some sort of new normal that I can get myself back to this again.
Happy New Year everyone. I know I have not been posting as much recently. Partly that has been due to finding a new outlet to let my mind reset. But as part of my goals for the year, I want to write more again. So my goal is to do two to three posts a week since that seems like a cadence that will work well. I will be posting about my road trip sometime over the next few days.
But I really want to talk about something that has been bugging me a lot. Lately a lot of my friends have been getting harassed on Facebook through post reviews. In the past, it was always hit and miss since there was a human involved. But now, it looks like Facebook’s algorithms are better than ever and they are relying on them more. Over the last few months, I have had nearly 10 friends put into Facebook Jail over images that would have passed through before.
In essence – Facebook is the new AOL. They are doing everything possible to keep you in their walls. When being placed in Facebook Jail is akin to losing your identity, we have a major problem. Over the last year, I have been trying to get more of my identity over to my blog here. And it is a challenge since even my mind has been reprogrammed to be addicted to likes and comments. And even former Facebook execs think so: Link to Gizmodo Article
There is a solution – Facebook should not be your only social media outlet. If you are going to post images that might hit this – I really recommend setting up your own site (like I have done), Tumblr (and even then I have reservations about Tumblr since they are now owned by Verizon), Twitter, or just something and then link to it. The cost to host your own site with a decent provider is maybe 10 bucks a month (and that includes my SSL cert).
I am going to be preaching this more over the year. As long as you let someone else own the means of distribution, you will always be at their whim. You will be subject to the psychological tricks they use to keep you roped in. I feel that you have no right to complain when the change the rules of the service you are using for free. When many of the people effected by it do have the means to pay for hosting somewhere, I don’t feel like I am out of line. Remember, you are the product to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, et. al. The Internet was founded by many people with their own simple sites sharing information, and we can get there again.
Over the past few months, I have been extremely busy between work and my personal life. I will be getting back in the habit of keeping my blog here updated as it starts to approach rainy season. So for all of you that have been keeping up with me via my blog here, sorry. At least that will be changing soon.
Over the last week, I took a break from running. Between my knee bugging me just a bit, and some allergy issues, it felt right. But this morning I was starting to feel lazy and had to force myself to do my daily 5k run. Good thing I did, I feel much much better now.
But this morning after I finished my run, Facebook showed me this picture since I posted it last year. At first glance I don’t look much different, but when I looked at the other selfies from that set, it is very apparent that I have transformed a lot. It is clear that I have dropped many inches all over my body. The process was just so gradual that it takes reminders like this to see.
Whenever I start getting lazy on my exercise, I need to remember about all of the transformation I have made and continue it. Looking at the pictures of my ass after I run really does help put why I do this in to perspective.
It is also amazing how the body and soul can transform in a short time. Part of my transformation has been diet, but the other has been getting a motorcycle. In so many ways, it has placed many aspects of my life in perspective. Honestly, it just feels right for me and who I am.
One of the things I need to figure out with my transformation is how to balance out all parts of my life. While I was able to get all of the photos from my road trip up, it is taking me longer than I thought it would to write down everything. Part of that has been I have been keeping my life way too busy. When I think about my normal day, I wake up, run, shower, get myself into leather, ride Matte to work, work, ride home, and then crash.
I feel like I have put my journaling on the back burner. I want to restart that. I have bought a smaller notebook that is easier to take with me and I think that is going to help. Now I just need to put the ink to the paper and start it back up again.
But now it is time for me to face the commute and get into the office.
As I reflect back over the last three months, one of the reasons I cut back on the selfies was I started riding the motorcycle into the office. Since I was getting comfortable dealing with traffic, I shifted my schedule to be earlier. As a result, I didn’t even notice when that I stopped writing and cutting back on the selfies since I was trying to hit the road early. Now that I am comfortable in traffic I have been shifting my schedule more or less back to where it used to be. Now I am having time again to relax a bit and get back to this selfie addiction.
One of the goals I am giving myself for the month of June is I won’t commute to the office without taking at least a 5k run before throwing my legs over Matte. Caltrain has since redone the morning schedule and effectively added 10 minute to my morning train ride. I feel like I have less motivation to ride the bicycle into the office since riding Matte in is an hour quicker and just as fun. But I don’t get the same physical benefit, so I need to ensure that I continue to run every day that I commute to the office.
One of the advantages to doing a decent run is that I need time to cool down. This gives me time to take the selfies and write.
As part of the selfie addiction, I have also been doing spandex clad ass shots before I go out for a run and I post them up on to Instagram. And I fully admit, I do this because I still have self doubt in myself. There is an endorphin rush when guys who I think are hot as hell like my photos on IG – it reminds myself that I really have made progress.
While there are still days I go, do I really look like that? But those thoughts are fading each month. And I have a good idea why – I have pushed myself in ways lately that literally require to have confidence in myself to survive.
Over the last few months I have not been writing as much. When I fractured my collarbone – it sent me into a lot of depression. However, after 4 weeks into the recovery my life was starting to get back to normal but I have not bounced back to my old normal. As I have mentioned before, when I fracture bones my life seems to change.
Right now I am sitting in one of my neighborhood Irish pubs watching the band setup while I write this. This pub was one of the first neighborhood bars I walked into after moving to SF four and a half years ago. In this time, my life has changed so much that it is hard to enumerate. Somehow sitting here with a pint of Guinness is making me really reflect hard on things. Over the last few months there have been a few defining moments. Buying the motorcycle, fracturing my collarbone, and getting called “The Cleaner” (Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction) at work.
I am going to leave the work stuff aside – since I personally don’t like taking about those issues openly on the internet. But in many ways, it is how I deal with things and is a very apt description of my personality. The fracture i have talked about before, and honestly, I really feel like it was a bump in the road for the changes that was caused by the primary catalyst – buying a motorcycle.
Over the last 2.5 months, I have put on over 2,500 miles on Matte. Yes – I named the motorcycle Matte after a suggestion from Diesel. Like my puppy name, my bike’s name is also from a friend and it just sounds right. And leads to a lot of S&M jokes. Given that for a month I was unable to ride Matte, It is very impressive that I have put on that much in 1.5 months of riding. In that short time frame, I am learning a lot about myself.
The big thing for me is that I have found a source of zen like no other. This is something you typically hear form many bikers. As soon as I put on the helmet, pull on the gloves, and start the motor up, I have to clear out everything from my head and focus on riding. This state of catharsis is like no other that I have felt, including various bondage scenes. Even on my 50 mile each way commute, I am in this state when I reach my destination.
Over the next few days I need to get these thoughts down on paper. While maybe they are not unique – they have been instrumental in understanding the evolution of myself.
On Monday at the gym I noticed that the shirt I packed looked like it wasn’t washed right. But upon closer look, the Lycra on it is starting to disintegrate. In the end I shouldn’t feel bad for getting 15 years out of a shirt.
While this shirt is not the start of my spandex fetish but it does mark a one of the transformations in my life. I bought this shirt after doing a tough arm, chest, and back workout and I was really sore the next day. I already knew from cycling that a bit of compression made my legs feel good, so why not try these new fanged compression shirts that started appearing everywhere at the time in 2001 or 2002. This was the around the first time in my life that I dropped a lot of weight.
In the end, this shirt got often used for lifting, recovery, and to add a bit of a minor base layer on cool days. I have been scraped up and cut while wearing it, yet somehow it never tore the shirt. They really don’t make them as they used to. The only hole in this shirt after 15 years is from when I had a stripped bolt head and I needed something to make the hex key a fit while on the side of the road.
I have yet to have any other Under Armour gear hold up as well – there was something about the real early stuff they sold that just lasted forever.
But I am not content with just throwing it away – given how much literal sweat and blood this shirt has absorbed in that time. While fidgeting with it, I noticed it could make a good gag. I tried it out, and it sure did. Not it will get nicely tied up so that it is ready to use and hang it next to the rope in the bedroom.