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So Addicted To, The Things You Do…


“I’m so addicted to
All the things you do…
…It’s not like anything
When you’re loving me”

Addicted…Saving Abel

I am an addict. Yes, that is correct, I will admit it to the world. I can’t stop myself. My addiction impacts life by bringing strife into my personal life, causing some unwanted attention at work, and is something I cannot bring myself to change. My life is inconceivable without the instant gratification my addiction gives me. So, here today, I publically announce my problem in hopes of taking the first steps in coping with my addiction.

<clears throat>

“I am addicted to my smartphone. Yes, I said it. I have a problem and admit it. “

addicted to dataI do not know if there are other smartphone addicts out there. I am sure there are a few closet addicts hiding their problem better than I do. My smartphone is like an extension of my arm, constantly in my hands as I look through email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and all of the messages arriving through the millions of chat programs. My thumbs are in a constantly flurry of motion. Recently, I changed phones and while I miss my previous one dearly, I am excited for the new addition, I mean, the phone I have started using. The phone gives me a feeling of being connected to everyone around the country, world, and across the house. Yes, I have sent messages to my wife while she was upstairs and I was downstairs. I see it as being efficient even though some may call it lazy. I embrace technology and accept its multitude of uses.

Looking for a support group to help me with my smartphone addiction, I searched the internet-on my phone. What I  found were some really cool discussion groups along with some sites my computer firewall blocked (not sure what those may be but I find that scary). However, my search was in vain as I did not find like-minded people. Maybe the other smartphone addicts are unaware of their problem or are not willing to admit to their problem. Let’s see if I can help others realize just how much their smartphone is a part of their lives, then I won’t feel so alone when I do look up from my phone.

You may be a smartphone addict if:

  • Your office at work was completely remodeled yet you were unaware of the changes due to walking around reading your phone-when did they add the new section?
  • You do not realize someone is speaking to you unless they first make a “ding” noise.
  • You have a mental image of what Siri looks like and wonder what it would be like to spend some time with her in person. 
  • You have a panic attack if your battery drops below 30% without a charging cable. 
  • Your response to every question is “there’s an app for that”. 
  • You plan your vacation based on your cellphone coverage as well as making sure you can carry all your phone accessories in the carryon compartments. 
  • You purchased a phone for your six-year-old so you can text with her from across the room. 
  • Your nightmares are about having to use a “flip” phone to text. 
  • You break out in a cold sweat at the very mention of “data usage restriction” by your phone provider. 
  • You are reading this post on your phone instead of a computer.

Being a smartphone addict is not necessarily a bad thing. I would venture to say that if you believe you are not addicted to your phone then you are in denial and should just learn acceptance and take the first step to recovery. I am seeking others like me so that we can meet in the dark basement of a community center, drink bad coffee, and text message our stories to each other.

I am easy to find walking down the street because I am the one who is laughing at the latest meme viewed on my liquid crystal display as I walk out into traffic. Please do me a favor and text me a warning. I may not listen to your shouts as I read the latest tweet.

Until next time…

jerry b

© 2014

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Editorial, Humor

 

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So You Want to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse


The credits roll up the screen as the movie ends. After watching World War Z, Shaun of the Dead, and every single episode of The Walking Dead, a feeling of calm flows over you.  Piles of tattered zombie books, with colorful post-it notes protruding from the pages, are scattered around your windowless room. The house is quiet, which means your mom’s medicine must have kicked in and she will give you a moment of peace allowing you to continue your plans. Since the collapse of your motivational speaking career, the criminal charges filed, and your destruction by your wife in the divorce (who would have thought she would be that upset about your mistress?) living in your mother’s basement became your best option. Anyway who needs a job when the end is near and there is a higher calling? You have it all figured out as you eagerly await the zombie apocalypse and begin your true destiny. You are going to be a zombie killer.

To learn how you ended up in your mom’s basement, here is a review.

Be Ready

After hours of practice killing zombies in Left for Dead 2, you have the skills needed to champion the minority of the living. The only thing needed now is the zombie apocalypse to occur and catch up with your mad skills. When the dead turn the world into an all-you-can-eat-buffet, you will be ready for greatness.

The “bug out bag” is prepared with all the emergency items you will need: hatchet, variety pack of Combo Snacks, the goggles you stole from your high school shop class, a copy of Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide, and a roll of soft toilet paper. You wouldn’t want to be caught at the end of the world having to use the harsh paper found in most public restrooms.

Research done through movies, books, video games and graphic novels, you have studied all types of possible zombies and are ready to wipe them off the face of the Earth. The slow moving “shamblers” that were first reported in George A. Romero’s insightful documentary, Night of the Living Dead, will be no match for your moves as you dance around them. The faster zombies of World War Z may give you more of a challenge, but if Brad Pitt can survive, you can too. Pitt is pretty old these days. The biggest worry is the rage filled zombies of 28 Days Later. However, most zombie experts do not consider these rabid creatures to be zombies so you might be safe.

As you make a mental inventory of the types of zombies you may face, it is now time to figure out your weapons.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the trade

Building the arsenal

What does any successful zombie annihilator require? Only the very best weapons will work for your new adventure. Since that pesky felony conviction (how can they say your motivational speaking career was a scam?) led to your probation, firearms are out of the question, well until the end comes.  You need alternate weaponry so locating the weapons for your arsenal becomes your priority.

Nothing tells the mindless undead that you mean business better than the right weapon. Anything will work in a dire situation, but you are a professional, so you will be prepared for the zombie apocalypse. Since your mom will not give you an allowance to buy the tools of your new zombie fighting trade, you have to start borrowing yard tools from your neighbors. The neighbors won’t need the tools back anytime soon and you need to build up your arsenal. In the dark corner of your basement command center, you have proudly built up a collection of axes, picks, shovels, and machetes. Who would have thought that people would be so generous and loan you their expensive yard tools? You have even talked the coach of the local little league into letting you borrow a few bats. See, the motivational speaker gig really did have potential.

Since you have to be mobile to save the world, it is now time to figure out your transportation.

The proper vehicle

Well, your mom’s car will never due for a proper post-apocalyptic world. Who wants to traverse the ruins of civilizations in a Geo Metro?

Zombie Monster Truck

Acquire the proper zombie killing vehicle

You need a bad-ass vehicle to go with your new zombie hunter/hero status. Since most of the world will not be as prepared as you, there isn’t a need to buy the perfect vehicle now. You plan to “acquire” the vehicle when most of the population suffers an untimely demise at the hands, or mouth, of the rampaging zombies. At this time you just need to keep an eye out for the perfect assault model befitting your hero status.

The military grade Humvee is a good choice. However, they might be difficult to find just parked in a driveway in your area. Thankfully, your neighborhood does seem to have an assortment of potential replacements. What better way to plow through the hordes of undead than with a “monster” truck? The large tires, high clearance, and multi-colored paint scheme will enhance your killing credentials. The roar of the loud exhaust will announce your presence as you rush in to rescue the damsel in distress. You can just picture yourself driving off into the sunset, spewing a black cloud of exhaust. Yep, that will be your moment of glory.

Unleash the fury

As you mentally check off the important items of your new zombie hunting trade, you grow even more confident in all your meticulous planning. The few pounds you have gained in recent months will only enhance your towering presence. The patchy beard and coffee stained teeth will give you the menacing appearance needed to strike fear in the non-beating heart of your zombie enemies. Your imagination drifts as visions of grandeur float in your head and your excitement builds to start wiping out zombies. You visualize the people you know karma will make into zombies and anticipate them suffering your wrath. It’s not like you have a list of potential people you want to be zombies… Oh, what a moment you will have as fear registers in the undead eyes of your victims. Greatness is only an apocalypse away!

Admiring you forward thinking abilities and total preparedness, you ease back into your sweat stained couch, knock the empty pizza boxes off the cinder-block coffee table with your feet and think to yourself, “When the zombies attack, I will be a legend…” 

Until next time…

jerryb

© 2013

Related articles:  So You Want to Be a Motivational Speaker; So You Want to Be A Blogger;

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Humor, zombies

 

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October is Zombie Month at TTMM


TTMM ZOMBIE Month

Halloween is the time of year where we embrace our fears and mock the things that would normally send us screaming from the darkness. Common villains such as witches, vampires, werewolves, and zombies that once drove our ancestors into hiding as the nights grew longer, are now common themes with their own fan bases in modern books, movies, and television. Times have changed since our superstitious ancestors hung bells on graves in case the dead would rise. Witches no longer hold the contempt that they once did when we believed they all wore pointy hats, were covered in warts, and their voices echoed with cackling laughter. The television show Charmed introduced audiences to the concept that witches could not only be good heroines but smoking hot, and not because they were burning at the stake. Thanks to Joss Wedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel series, vampires can be heroes and funny while witches are bubbly red headed sidekicks. Vampires have been reduced to characters in twisted love triangles with werewolves and some even sparkle in the sunlight. Book series like Laurell Hamilton’s “Anita Blake” read like a play by play of pornographic orgies between the heroine, vampires, and werewolves.  The werewolves have become less of a nightmare and more of panting pups in modern literature and media as witnessed in the Twilight Saga. All of these characters, historically so beloved for their malice and evil are now merely brooding, misunderstood, love struck wimps. Who fears a sparkling vampire or a werewolf that is trying to save the world? My childhood nemeses are modern anti-heroes. Then I remembered the last holdout in the romanticism of evil…zombies.

Zombies are unadulterated evil. Nobody wants to be romantically interested in a creature whose only desire is to eat your flesh. George A. Romero brought them to the screen in his classic “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 and started the zombie sub-culture that we know today. With the exception of titles like “World War Z” by Max Brooks, large publishing companies were slow to recognize the public’s hunger for zombie fiction. It wasn’t until indie authors were able to give voice to zombie stories with the invention of e-publishing, that the book industry was finally able to provide many different takes on zombie lore.

The popularity of the horror sub-genre of zombies and the indie author’s ability to publish new fiction prompted ground-breaking changings in other mediums as well. In 2010, AMC took a chance on a television series, based on Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore graphic novel “The Walking Dead”, to broadcast the first television series set around zombies. This month, “The Walking Dead” will begin its fourth season and rumor has it that there might be a spin-off related to Kirkman and Moore’s zombie world. Zombies have firmly rooted themselves into modern pop-culture.

I, personally, was one of the late-comers to the genre. Years after it was published, I picked up my copy of “World War Z”. I quickly followed with Bourne’s “Day by Day: Armageddon”. I couldn’t get enough of the genre and sought out more. This fascination with all things zombie, took place around the time I received my first e-Reader. As I was looking for more titles, I came across the listing for an indie author named Mark Tufo and his “Zombie Fallout” series. Mark led me to another indie author, James Cook, and the “Surviving the Dead” series. Book after book, I have been reading all that I could get my hands on for well over two years and eagerly awaiting the next installment of each in the series I am reading. What is it that I like so much about stories of the smelly, slow moving, undead?

Zombies fiction represents more than what is seen on the surface. While the zombie genre features the mindless, creatures that once were human; the stories are also about the fight to survive for those that are not infected. The survivors represent our fears of being alone, of battling something we cannot control, the will to hold on to our own humanity, and the importance of community. Zombie stories are stories of the choices we make in order to live another day. The stories are about the battle to continue on when everything around us has been lost. The stories of the zombie apocalypse are stories of hope.

The month of October will highlight one of my favorite horror genres, zombie apocalypse. Each Tuesday, a new piece will be published leading up to Halloween. I hope to introduce you to some of the authors and series that I have been enjoying over the years. With Halloween drawing nearer it is time to celebrate, with a month long dedication to the last holdout of evil creatures. Welcome to Zombie Month at TTMM. 

Until next time…

Jerry b.

©2013

Related articles: The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?;  When Research Goes to Hell

Follow TTMM on Twitter for the ideas before they grow into the stories here @trpthroughmymnd

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Writing, zombies

 

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When Research Goes to Hell


ZombieWalkOccasionally ideas bounce around my head, begging to be developed. One particular genre is currently calling to me.  I was considering creating a zombie (don’t laugh) themed blog. In the zombie blog, I would do some book and television show reviews, maybe get interviews with different authors or organizations, provide a platform for fan groups, have an online debate with vampire fans, and just have some fun with it. My zombie blog would be good fun, a way to separate the rantings and observations of my current blog with a more themed one. Zombie blog was inspired by the art, media and stories that have been on my reading list lately. I know an art student and admire her work so much I want her to create some original drawings making zombie blog even more creative.  Zombie blog is a pet project for fun and entertainment, where like-minded zombie fans can explore and be amused. It is in the spirit of creative, good clean (undead) fun.

And then I did some research on other zombie themed blogs….

As I researched, I began to rethink my zombie blog idea. A quick search of the internet led to a multitude of themed blogs, and yes many of them were zombies so much for the “original” part of my idea. Some of the zombie blogs are doing what I had in mind by promoting the genre, author interviews, book, movie, show reviews and links to fun events.  However most zombie blogs are, for a lack of better term, completely INSANE! Seriously, I hope that these blogs are a joke and not meant to be taken seriously otherwise there is some scary stuff out there.  Most of the zombie blogs contained so much nonsense from people about the “reality” of a zombie plague happening, or what weapons are the best to use, or exactly how a man-made virus would  turn people into zombies. On one blog there was even a study in Philadelphia that had a time line for a zombie epidemic infection that would begin an apocalypse. One company has created a line of weapons available on their websites to fight off the zombies. What in the name of all that is Romero is going on?

Maybe most of the zombie blogs started off as my idea had; a tongue in cheek idea. Then the infection of “zombism” came over them, making the site live long after its undead shelf life. I for one, am all for digging in and having a playful site, but the zombie blog populace actually seem to either 1) believe zombies are real or 2) promote very bad information to people who are mentally unstable enough to believe zombies are real.

Here is a case in point; a medical student in the UK wrote a paper attacking a zombie blog site. He referred to the creators of the blog as a bunch of conspiracy theorist who do not know a damn thing about medicine. He went on to argue that Max Brooks (yes, Mel Brook’s son and the writer of World War Z and Zombie survival guide) was not serious when he published the first book on surviving zombie Armageddon. Do we need scientific clarification of that little bit of information?

What happened to having fun? I am sure that there are people who TRULY believe in vampires and some even believe vampires sparkle. I just wonder what mental infliction causes people to believe in and fully embrace the idea of the reality of UFOs, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and the ability to cast spells. Truly, someone should have stepped in when they were children to take away their dungeons and dragons game. Oh wait, these are the same people who actually LARP their characters in the local park on the third Sunday of the month and have deep discussions on the merits of a spork as a weapon for their RPG character.

As I take a deep breath and calm down, I realize that maybe I am the one that is being a little over the top. I do not know the drive behind the blogs. It could be that they are sitting at their computer, getting people like me all wound up. I love the zombie apocalypse genre of books and movies. I feel that beyond the smelly, walking dead people, there is a social message. I also believe, as the organization Zombie Squad, that if you are prepared for the walking dead, then you will be prepared for any other disaster that may occur. There is a part of me that is sitting in the coffee house, listening to a group of people argue about what they will do WHEN, not if, the dead would rise. Not one of them had my answer…run like hell!

<storms off his soap box to search for a brief glimpse of sanity>

Until next time…

Jerry b.

©2013

Related articles: The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?;

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Humor, zombies

 

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TTMM Weekly Wrap and Blog Question


TTMM Weekly Wrap

I had an interesting question this week from one of my acquaintances:

“Why do you write a blog? Isn’t that like a diary?”

Let’s be clear on the second question. No, blogging is not like a diary. If I wanted to write my most personal thoughts and share them with the world, I would probably set up a Twitter account. At that point, everyone would be able to hear about my trip to the grocery store and every time I used the bathroom. My blog is not a journal of my daily activities, which is reserved for Facebook. Blogs can be many things. Some blogs are company sponsored advertisements or special interest communications. Many of the blogs that I read are created by people who have ideas to share on politics, personal perspective, sports, humor, or other subjects that might interest the author and the reader.

As to the first question of why do I blog? The most obvious answer is that I am narcissistic enough to believe I have something to say that readers would find interesting. You do find it interesting, right? Mostly, the reason I blog is to write, to improve as a writer, to share my humorous thoughts or viewpoint. I hope that you find the post entertaining.

  • Monday, TTMM had a little fun with first date warning signs. A long time has passed since I have had to deal with the awkward and sometimes scary first date. Maybe I needed an intervention to safely remove me from the some of those dates. Regretfully, it took many dates after the first one to show me the error of my ways. Take some time to check out Monday’s Warning Signs of a Bad First Date
  • Wednesday brought a subject that took a thought on whether to add it to the rotation on TTMM. A new HBO program The Newsroom spoke to me. The video clip of the first few moments of The Newsroom convinced me that it was time to share this little editorial I have been contemplating. In the clip the question was asked “Is the U.S. the greatest country in the in world”. Check out the video clip from HBO’s The Newsroom that inspired this Wednesday’s editorial Are We the Best Country in the World?”
  • Friday closed the week with an early morning muse about potential television programming and advertising disasters. . What can I say? My mind goes to some peculiar places when I am between sleep and the waking world. Come explore some of my thoughts and add a few of your own suggestions to Awkward Morning Musing of a Sleepy Mind: Advertising

I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s TTMM as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.

Until next time…

jerryb

©2012

 Related Post: TTMM Weekly Wrap and eBooks; TTMM Weekly Wrap and Facebook Thoughts

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Weekly Wrap

 

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TTMM Weekly Wrap and eBooks


TTMM Weekly Wrap

How was my vacation? Is that your first question? Watch it or that might end up being one of the office inner monologue blogs. I am sure I can come up with a few choice responses to that question. Now that I think about it, maybe I should do just that. Anyway, my vacation was wonderful. Thank you for asking.

This week I missed a day on the blog as I was recovering from all the fun I had with the family. I had hoped to use the hours on the train to work on this week’s post but instead, I took the moment to hold my wife’s hand and read my Nook. I find that between work, family, and writing, I have to actively attempt the balancing of “me” time in there. Thus, reading was what I chose. If you are wondering, it was a good book and I finally finished. You weren’t wondering? Well, never mind. I will move on.

TTMM was in vacation mode this week as well. As I long to be back enjoying the time I had off work, it manifested in my writing. Let’s take a few moments to review.

  • Of course, there are things that inspire you to question what the hell is going on or make you wonder. Vacation time is the perfect time for human theater and observation. I discuss some of them in ”Vacation Observations
  • There are quite a few things that go into planning a vacation but then there are moments that make it all worthwhile. Discover some of those moments in “A New Adventure

As mentioned before, I tend to read quite a bit. Most of my current library is in the eBook format. Not only is the cost of books a little more acceptable but I won’t have to add an addition on to my house for my book shelves. It is my personal opinion that the new format has changed the face of publication and has brought popularity to reading again. One of the benefits of eBooks is the opening of doors to new authors that may have never been able to be published otherwise. Self-publishing has given opportunities, not only for the author but the reader, to explore stories that wouldn’t normally be accepted by the print publication industry. For those that have an eReader, have you been reading more than you previously were? Are you discovering new authors? What are your thoughts on the shift of the industry?

Until next time…

jerryb

©2012 

Related Post: TTMM Weekly Wrap and Facebook Thoughts; TTMM Weekly Wrap…Holiday Week Edition; Love at First Sight

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Weekly Wrap

 

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Vacation Observations


Did you miss me?

We are settling back into the routine after our family vacation. There was not much time to sit down and write, or when there was, I have to say I was exhausted. This week will be a little light on TTMM as I get back into work mode, raise my energy levels up to the normal levels, and sit down to do some writing again. I have many ideas of coming articles but the words are not flowing as they should to make them presentable. Please, forgive the holes in the schedule.

I did want to leave everyone with something to think about from my observations away; just a few quick notes of reference. What do you think?

  • No matter how someone parents their children, other parents will have a “better way to handle” the situation. Some of those methods may be better but we have to remember that we are not the parents of that spoiled brat that is causing all the issues. We are just sharing in the awkwardness of the situation. 
  • It doesn’t matter how exciting the place you are visiting, there is probably a large portion of that city’s population that that wishes they were somewhere else.
  • Can someone tell me how so many people can spend business hours riding their bikes, running, and rollerblading? It is in the middle of the day, don’t they have jobs?
  • It doesn’t matter how well the hotel is rated, there will always be a group of children running the halls and playing in the elevator. It is a fact we must accept.
  • Yes, the cab drivers will run you over if you walk in front of them.
  • Never sit in the front seat of a taxi cab if you are a squeamish about other people’s driving. If you have to do so, spend the time reading your phone but never look out the windshield. You will not enjoy the trip.
  • Wearing your sports team swag while visiting the rival’s city is just fun, especially when you repeatedly win against them.
  • Food that you would normally not eat will actually sound good after walking all day. That is why it is available around the tourist areas. The only regret you will have is paying the absurd amount.
  • No matter how much time you spend on vacation, it will take twice the amount of time to recover from the time away. There should be a vacation after the vacation in order to rest up.

For all those on vacation at this time of year, what are some of your observations that you have discovered? Let’s see if we can add to the list.

Until next time…

jerryb

© 2012

Related Post: It’s Family Vacation Time

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Children, Family, Life, Travel

 

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