3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Posting Something On Social Media

This will help you become a better poster. Before you fire away with the latest comment, update, tweet, pic or whatever, here’s the 3 questions you should ask yourself:

1. Does anyone care? Answer: no.

2. Have I posted this before? (I’m looking at you, people who post about your workouts)

3. Did I spell everything correctly?

The answer to question 1 (no) is really the answer to the other two questions as well. It’s precisely because people don’t care – and I mean in general (yes, my mother cares) – that they’ll roll their eyes and consider hiding/unfollowing/unsubscribing to you when you post, again, that photo of your latest salad creation, or that today is legs day. It’s also because they don’t care that when you try to share something but spell it wrong they’ll troll you ad hominem instead of contribute to the conversation.

Hope this was helpful.

And yes, I know you don’t care either which is why we’re all going to look at cat videos now.

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Maybe I need new glasses.

I was riding my bike headed toward the forest preserve where there is a crushed limestone path. When I was approximately a block from the entrance, I noticed a person coming out of the forest preserve. I had one of those internal discussions and it went like this.

“Hey look at that guy! He’s carrying his dog out of the park.”

“Wow, that guy carrying his dog has some unfortunate hips.”

“Wow (oops), that girl has an unfortunate hair cut.”

“Oh, that girl is carrying her jacket.”

“Maybe I need new glasses.”

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Websites That Are Dead To Me

1. Websites that only have one item per page need to be punched in the solar plexus.

I know how it all works. Websites get money through ad revenue and the more clicks the website gets the more revenue they generate. So I can understand spreading your article to two pages but the real loser pages do something like this: “Top 10 Knock-Out Punches Thrown in UFC History” – and then when you go the website they have one page per knock-out punch. They blow that sucker up to 10 pages. It makes me so angry. I love lists, but I hate having to navigate to each separate item. Sometimes they try to trick you by making the article appear as a slide show, but in reality they’ve just dressed up a scheme to make you navigate through a new page per click.

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2. Websites featuring full-page ads (that you are afraid to close) should all be voted off the island.

Some of my favorite websites have full page ads that just take your whole screen hostage. The good sites usually offer a quick close feature that is easy to spot and use. Some websites, however, you just kind of aren’t sure about the site in general and so that full page ad seems particularly menacing. You want to close it, but also would like to avoid being redirected to all the viruses that ever existed ever.

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3. Websites that have auto play ads (that you can’t find) have no concern for the human spirit and should therefore be incinerated.

I used to use a reader. It would post me a list of links each day whenever one of my favorite websites had been updated. So I’d sit down and just open each website in a new window until all the pages I wanted to read were open and I could just go one page at a time. Then something terrible happened. Websites would put a video ad on the site, drop it in some obscure location on the sidebar, and have it play automatically upon loading the page. I would go into scramble mode trying to figure out which page had done this. If I had multiple pages open from the same site featuring the auto-play ad…well we’re no longer on speaking terms.

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4. Websites with big splash pages should get a big splash karate chop to the neck.

You go to a website, only it’s not really the website, it’s an annoying splash page that introduces the website. There’s usually nothing to do on the splash page except wait for the real website to load and get your info. Band websites are usually the culprits here. Stop that, you criminals of good navigation!

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5. Websites that optimized for Internet Explorer should go die in a fire(fox).

Yeah market share blah blah blah. Nobody cool (read: knows how to use the internets) uses IE.

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6. Websites make you watch ads that can’t be advanced within 5 seconds should hang their heads in shame.

I remember the golden days of YouTube when there wasn’t an ad at the start of each video and then not a subsequent ad popping up after 5 seconds covering the bottom fourth of the image. There is still some hope when these ads offer a “close ad” feature that becomes available after 5 seconds. But when I have to watch a 30 second ad so I can watch a 25 second video of someone falling down I want to write an angry letter to whoever is in charge of this stuff. Or how about this one: watch an ad before watching a movie trailer (an ad). Am I taking crazy pills?

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(My) Best and Worst Movies (2012)

Not all of these were released in 2012, just I saw them for the first time last year.

Best Movies

1. 50/50 (4) – The movie is funny in all the right places and serious in the other right places. If you are a fan of JGL and haven’t seen this one yet, shame on you. I especially like the scenes b/w the lead and his mother.

2. The Artist (4) – I think the cliche goes like this: “The movie says a whole lot without uttering a word.” I was skeptical about watching a silent film, but this was good.

3. The Avengers (4) – This movie was the most fun movie of the year for me. One of the movie’s greatest strengths: there’s lots of screen-time devoted to showing the heroes being heroes.

4. Moonrise Kingdom (4) – If you like Wes Anderson, this movie is a real gem. I always appreciate movies with child actors that aren’t annoying or some king of major liability.

5. Dredd 3D (2.5) – I’m serious, this movie is one awesome action flick. And you have to give props to Karl Urban for pulling off the role, not taking off his helmet, never seeing his eyes, for the entire film.

6. Looper (4) – Original sci-fi. Also, Bruce Willis.

7. Lincoln (4) – This was my favorite movie of 2012. Daniel Day-Lewis is Abraham Lincoln.

8. Waiting For Superman (4) – I don’t see many documentaries. This one is especially well done. It’s both entertaining and informative. And it will make you ask some big questions about our systems of public education in America.

9. Jack Reacher (3) – This one snuck up on me. I’m not always on board with Tom Cruise, but this was really good.

10. Django Unchained (3.5) – This may be my favorite QT movie yet. It bounces between feel-good and hard-to-watch in such major swings that I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I’m not exactly sure what to do with how the movie deals with racism/slavery, but it’s certainly unique. Not for kids.

Worst Movies

1. Soul Surfer (2) – Every now and then I’ll watch one of these “christian movies.” I’m not sure why. Maybe I just want to prove to myself how bad they are. Craig T. Nelson was pretty good, but he’s only in the movie for 3 min. Cringe-worthy.

2. Act of Valor (2) – A movie featuring real special forces teams instead of actors seems like a good idea until you realize that the art of acting is largely what makes a movie good in the first place.

3. Wrath of the Titans (2) – This movie was boring. And the titan? Did they run out of money when they got around to building the CGI for that?

4. Contaigion (1) – Just like the movie skips over the whole grieving of the wife who died suddenly, you can skip over watching any of it.

5. Iron Man 2 (2) – I’ve seen this movie twice now which means it shouldn’t be on this list. I wanted to include it anyway, just because I like pointing out how bad it is (especially compared to the first).

6. Dark Shadows (2) – I think it’s time to separate Burton and Depp for a bit. They’ve gotten stale. Oh and “I’m a werewolf  at the end. That was a joke.

7. Nowhere Boy (1) – Sometimes you watch a movie simply because you like a girl and she wants to see it. Sometimes you fall asleep five times during that movie.

8. Ironclad (2) – It has some of the right ingredients but something bad happened when they mixed them all up.

9. Swingers (1) – The dialog is so annoying I had my thumb over the remote’s ‘stop’ button several times. Finished the movie out of principle, but it was difficult.

10. Rampart (1) – Despite the terrible reviews, I thought “no I’ll like this because I really like Woody Harrelson.” I didn’t like it. It’s what my buddy Eric would call a “godless movie.”

11. I’m Still Here (1) – This is a documentary. It’s Casey Affleck following Jaoquin Pheonix around with a camera. Unless you are doing research on how to be a loser, make terrible decisions, and alienate friends, you can safely skip. It’s painful to watch such a talented actor be so stupid.

Check out my 2012 movie lists for biggest surprises and biggest disappointments.

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Biggest Movie Disappointments (2012)

Not all of these (or any?) are bad, just kind of felt a little disappointing and so soiled my experience.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (3) – There’s a lot of things I could pick on here, but the main this was this: the movie was seriously lacking scenes of Batman being Batman. You could have titled this movie Bruce Wayne Rises.

2. 2001: A Space Odessy (2) – I know it’s supposed to be great. Even after watching some of the bonus material about Stanely Kubrick attempting to make a legend it still seemed to be the longest movie of my life. I really like sci-fi but this was too weird and obscure.

3. Brave (2.5) – Even Pixar is capable of churning out mediocre – though it happens so frequently that when I see the little lamp hopping just before the opening credits I still always expecting something great. This one was only good.

4. The Hobbit (3) – Let’s sit down over coffee and I’ll tell you a list of reasons I was disappointed with this. But here, I’ll be quick about it. The overall look and feel of the movie seemed a bit childish and cheap. Against the backdrop of the existing LotR movies this movie just seemed a bit of a let down. (to be fair, this is how it goes in terms of the books as well, but I was disappointed that Jackson’s interpretations aren’t the same caliber)

5. Total Recall (2) – They don’t go to Mars. It’s like remaking Star Wars and leaving out the Death Star.

6. Men In Black 3 (2) – Aside from Josh Brolin’s outstanding impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones, I didn’t think much of the humor or the action. The story (TWIST!) finished nicely, but it took too long for the pay-off to be worth it.

7. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2) – How can you make a movie about Honest Abe slaying vampires boring? I’m not sure but it happens right about 1/2 way through the film (when he stops slaying vampires). All of a sudden the whole fun of the thing lands with a thud and never recovers.

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Biggest Movie Surprises (2012)

This year’s first movie list! This is probably my favorite list to discuss, because most of these movies caught me off guard and though they may not be the best movies I’ve seen all year, they certainly had an extra surge of entertainment value due to my low (or sometimes uninformed) expectation.

1. Crazy, Stupid, Love (3) – RomComs don’t do much for me, mostly because I find them terribly formulaic, but this one had a few things going for it. 1. Ryan Gosling (more on that later…maybe). 2. Multiple plot lines that you actually care about. 3. TWIST! I won’t say more, but if you are expecting the same boy-meets-girl routine, you won’t find it here.

2. Limitless (3) – This one just keeps going and going (in a good way). What if you could take a drug that made you awesome? Not just feel awesome (I don’t really have any experience with drugs save for daily doses of the socially acceptable amounts of caffeine), but actually be awesome. Yeah, I’ll watch 2 hours of that.

3. Lincoln (4) – sometimes a period piece or a movie that is historical/biographical in nature will get me bored (Walk the Line, for example). But truly, I was on the edge of my seat for the entire movie. That’s excellent considering I kind of already knew what was going to happen. I knew Lincoln would be good, I just was surprised at how good it was.

4. Jack Reacher (3) – Whenever I see a Tom Cruise movie, I always tell the same joke (to whoever is listening), “Every Tom Cruise movie could be entitled Tom Cruise.” You just kind of know what you are going to get with nearly every Cruise movie that ever existed ever. But Jack Reacher? Something weird happened where I was perfectly at home with the pacing, acting, and Cruise-ish-ness. He was still himself, but I had such a blast with this movie never once wanting to check my email or refill my popcorn.

5. Dredd 3D (2.5) – I’ve never seen the original (so I don’t care about the rebooting). I don’t like 3D movies (wearing 2 sets of glasses, yuk). The trailer was bad. So why go see it in the first place? Well, sometimes a guy just needs to go watch another guy shoot all the bad guys and blow everything up. And that’s what you are going to get. Dredd delivers on exactly what it promises and nothing more (nothing less). I don’t want you to think that Dredd has some kind of hidden gem that you can discover by seeing it. It doesn’t. There’s barely a discernable plot and zero character development. There are no break-out performances, and no twists. And it’s awesome fun.

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Movies 2012

I watched a grand total of 105 movies in 2012. I made a note of each movie as I watched it, including a number (1-4) representing my evaluation of it’s entertainment value. I will be sharing this week some of my favorites and least favorites. It was a great year for movies!

When I tell people I write down every movie that I watch, they always seem intrigued. Why do I do that? It’s simple. There are two reasons:

1. In the last 3 years that I’ve done this, I’ve seen over 300 movies – it’s a lot to keep track of! Now that I’m making lists I can check to see what I’ve seen. It makes it easy to not accidentally rent a movie I’ve seen (which I’ve done before!).

2. The best reason, however, is this. When someone asks (and they often do), “have you seen any good movies lately?”, instead of trying to jog my memory and just spout off the last thing that I saw, I can pause for a few moments, look at my list and respond truthfully with a movie that I recently enjoyed. I can do this because I’ve written them down and rated them. All of them.

I like to consider myself a credible source for both movie recommendation and movie discussion. I’m no critic by any means, but since I started paying more attention to what I was seeing and why I liked or disliked it, I’ve found movie-watching to be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.