What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Good ideas. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with good ideas. There is, however, a point in every project when your thoughts need to turn away from adding bells and whistles and focus in on executing the damned mission. Some guy with a bunch of stars on his collar and a shit ton of fruit salad on his chest once said “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” Words that we’d be well served to keep in mind.

2. Voicemail. Calling a designated customer service number and having to wait a few minutes is standard operating procedure. I got it. Calling the customer service line for a major business and then getting shunted to voicemail isn’t going to get the job done. I’m trying to give your company a not insufficient amount of money. I’m calling you at a time that is convenient for me to talk. Chances are you’ll return my call at a time that is not convenient. Then I’ll call you and leave a message. Then you’ll call me and leave a message and so on. Instead of that, I’ll just go ahead and call the next closest registered dealer that handles the same product and spend my money at their location. Thanks for playing, though.

3. Confusion. Job: “a paid position of regular employment.” Holy Quest: “a chivalric journey undertaken by a knight in order to procure or achieve a particular object or end.” More people should know the difference.

Three long days…

I had three long days to get a post together. I’d like to sit here and make some brilliant excuse for why it didn’t happen. The truth is I kind of completely forgot that today was actually Monday and not the second coming of Sunday. The fact that it’s Monday utterly escaped my mind is the closest thing I have to an excuse for today’s lack of pithy commentary/bitching and complaining.

If I’m painfully honest it was nice to have three consecutive days when I wasn’t particularly worried about stringing words together in something close to a coherent (and mildly entertaining) order. I’m sure all will be as normal by this time tomorrow, but just now I’m going to soak in the last of these three days and appreciate them for the unplanned break they became.

Ask me anything…

​I try my best to keep a pretty extensive list of ideas I want to write about on the sideline just in case I run into one of those bad days when ideas just stop flowing. Over the last few months I’ve been cheating a bit and dragging ideas off the list. I find that quiver becoming uncomfortably empty at the moment and I’d really like to start adding things back to the list of potential topics rather than continuing to draw it down.

You, my dear readers, can do something to help. Although my personal pride would never let me ask anyone for cash donations, I clearly have no shame about asking you to help me out with ideas.

As I do here from time to time I’m opening the doors wide and encouraging you to go ahead and ask me anything. Is there a subject you think I should talk about? Do you want to know my thoughts on man-rompers or fidget spinners? Do you want to know my favorite food, color, and shoe size? I won’t sell this as a once in a lifetime opportunity, but if there’s anything you’ve been dying to know, this would be an awfully good chance to get an answer.

You can leave your questions in a comment here on WordPress, or on Facebook, or Twitter. Since I’ll be focused on answering your questions, that will give me the chance to refill my own pool of ideas, so really everyone wins here. You get the inside scoop about what’s rattling around in my head, I get to sharpen my writing chops on ideas I would otherwise be thinking about, and maybe we all get to learn a little something in the process. Really, what’s not to like about that?

Thanks for nothing…

Due to a particularly long, tiresome meeting today I had papers with margins filled with good ideas – blog topics for days. Once I wrote them down, I promptly forgot about them because, after all, I wrote them down and didn’t need to memorize them. That would be entirely true if I didn’t then chuck my folder with all those margin notes onto a back corner of my desk and then promptly grab my keys and run for the door at the end of the day.

So here I sit with plenty of good ideas locked 20 miles away and utterly incapable of dredging any but the fuzziest recollection from my fragile human memory. This is what happens when I can’t take notes on my phone like a normal person. Yet another reason we should embrace modernity and cast aside the forest of yellow legal pads inhabiting my desk.

So that’s it for tonight. It’s the blog that almost was, but can’t be, because I was fool enough to write my ideas down on a dead tree byproduct instead of recording it as electrons… and because I forgot to throw my folder in my backpack on the way out. But I’m blaming antiquated record keeping methodologies rather than my own, perhaps flawed, end of the day closeout procedures.

The only good to come from this is that it means I may not have to have a single original thought for all of next week.

Posts on demand…

Since this blog has taken on the feeling of a full time discussion of the trials and tribulations of home buying, I’m going to fall back on an a tried and true method of ginning up some new ideas for those periods when my brain is churning through some house related issue about which you likely have little to no actual interest.

That’s right! For a limited time only I’m opening the request line and offering up my take on the topic or topics of your choice.

I won’t make an “I’ll answer everything” promise as there are still a few bits of life I don’t think belong on the internet, but for the most part the field is wide open to your ideas – so go ahead and leave a comment, send me a message on Facebook, a direct message on Twitter, email, text, of whatever method you prefer. I always like these little exercise because they get me outside whatever is going on in my head at any given moment. Hopefully that keeps things a little more interested for everyone out there, too.

So yeah, go ahead and help me help you, ok?

My next fix…

Usually I sit down at the computer with at least a vague notion of what’s going to end up on the screen. It should be something heavy, but not too bleak. Something entertaining, but not too frivolous. It should be witty, but not comical. None of those are hard and fast rules, of course. They’re more like selectively enforced guidelines. Since on any given day what’s going to end up online is up in the air right up until the last minute, I find it best to have very few hard and fast rules. All they tend to do is get in the way of posting something halfway interesting.

Even disregarding the guidelines, I’ve had some trouble today focusing in on what I wanted to say this evening. There were plenty of news articles that I could justifiably talk about. The office? Sure, it’s full of ridiculous things that would be easy enough to spell out in 300 words. The Fortress of Solitude? There’s always something dinging around that I can make sound new and noteworthy. Still, none of those struck a chord today. Nothing stood out screaming “write about me right the hell now.” Most days by the time I get home I’ve got two or three ideas in the running. Days like today, it’s like the theme is just grinding it out, jamming one foot ahead of the next, and getting through to the end.

It’s the kind of day that makes a guy appreciative of the other days – the ones where things go like butter, the words fly onto the page by their own accord, and you’ve got some spark of life left when the lights go out. Three-day weekends, man they mess with the routine. A holiday weekend is a great thing, but getting back makes me feel like a junkie coming down. There’s plenty going on around me, but all I’m really thinking about is where I’m going to find my next fix.