Charlie's Blog: Junk Drawer


Junk Drawer

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

The long things I write become essays for the blog, and the short things I write become tweets for my Twitter feed. But, sometimes, there are things that are between that are too short for an essay but too long for a tweet. These are the odds and ends in the junk drawer of my brain, so I am putting them here.

1. Facebook is evil.

This struck me as I was listening to a news report on the radio about the damaging psychological effects on children from being on Facebook. Basically, kids are cruel to each other, and Facebook is a forum for cruelty. Then, there is the issue of Facebook envy as people post updates and pics from their fabulous lives while leaving out the bad stuff like hangovers and divorces. Finally, Facebook is a gigantic invasion of privacy and thief of time. I quit Facebook sometime ago, and I use Twitter now to post the hundred items I like each day. Twitter is a much better platform because it is virtually free of the evils of Facebook. The only real victims on Twitter are drunk celebrities with smartphones.

2. Frivolous hobbies.

I was over at a friend's house to purchase some used tools, and I realized that most clutter comes from frivolous hobbies. There's nothing wrong with having outside interests to fill one's leisure time, but it seems that people rarely can pick one or two and stick with them. This leads to that bag of rusty golf clubs in the garage next to the tennis rackets collecting dust. This may expand into the jet ski, the bass boat, the motorcycle, and the home gym that are also unused. Then, there is the attic with the decaying musical instruments. What makes all this sad/tragic/pathetic is that all this stuff represents so many dreams and good intentions that are now one gigantic colossal waste. I have learned to not start or attempt new hobbies or projects without a period of reflection at the start. I ask myself if I am really going to pursue this thing or merely buy things to accumulate in storage. 99% of the time I come to the conclusion that I am going to be a clutterbug instead of a hobbyist, so I abandon the hobby before the start. The result is far less clutter.

3. Japanese flip phones.

Recently, stories have been coming out of Japan that smartphone sales are declining while flip phone sales are growing. A lot of words have been spent on trying to explain the retro phenomenon from high data fees to an aging population. I think all of these reasons are wrong. The simple fact is that the form of the flip phone is the ideal one for a cellphone. Your typical smartphone is a slab of exposed glass waiting to be destroyed, so people end up buying expensive cases to protect their fragile devices. Yet, the clamshell nature of the flip phone is the best protection for a phone which is why they are so durable. But the real secret of the Japanese return to flip phones is the fact that flip phones there are much better allowing you to do many of the things you can do on a smartphone. These phones are hybrids of a flip phone and a smartphone. Will they ever come to the US? Probably not. Carriers make too much money from replacing broken smartphones.

4. Squirrel shoes.

The picture above is an image of my favorite shoes. I got these on a trip to Rack Room Shoes, and I think these things are genius. Sneakers are comfortable, but they look awful on an adult. Dress shoes look good, but they are not comfortable especially on long walks. I got these things because my work boots were not good for the long walks I take on my trips or "squirrels" with my wife. So, I bought these things, and they are my number one shoe. I wear them everywhere. They are not hip or fashionable, but I can wear them just about anywhere including church. Basically, they are brown sneakers. I recommend them.

5. New old computer.

My old Windows XP machine finally bit the dust. I replaced it with another desktop from HP running Windows 7. I know. This setup has zero sex appeal. In fact, people have snickered and laughed when they hear about my new computer. It isn't a laptop. It isn't an iPad. It is not an iMac or a Macbook Pro, and the thing is that I have not noticed much difference between 7 and XP because 90% of what I do is done through Google Chrome. I was waiting for Windows 10, but I think it will be little more than Windows 8 with a Start button. People laugh at me, but here's the thing. Windows 7 has 55.99% share of the market. Add that to the 19.15% share of the market that XP has and the 2.11% that Vista has, and unsexy non-touch Windows machines comprise 77.25% of the computers running today. I suspect that the bulk of these machines are in businesses. Eventually, these machines have to be replaced, and the preference for these businesses have been those boring Windows 7 machines. I love boring. Give me boring over sexy anyday.

That's it for the junk drawer. It's now empty. When it fills up again, I'll do another one.