John Y’s Musings from the Middle: TMI

jyb_musingsTMI? (Too much instruction?)

I just tried to look up on YouTube “How to whistle using a blade of grass” to prove to myself how incredibly exhaustive “How to” videos are on YouTube. 

And I found one!! 

But what really caught my attention is that 45,459 people had “viewed” the video.

Including me.

(It’s actually an excellent instruction video, you know, if you are interested and don’t already know how to.)

And I will point out that to date no one has yet put out a “How to” video on how NOT to whistle using a blade of grass.” So there is still a vacuum waiting to be filled.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: John Y’s Excellent Adventure

10418405_10154346633880515_7804120481723846073_nWhoa, Dude!

John’s excellent adventure–at least according to Facebook

Last night I was in Lexington and did login to Facebook account with a new replacement phone.

But this morning when I woke up and read the notice, it says I was in Atlanta, GA!

jyb_musingsI have no recollection of driving to Atlanta last night to log into Facebook but apparently, according to Facebook, I did. I do remember the drive back to Louisville seemed a little longer than usual.

All I know is I woke up this morning with a hazy memory of last night. I just hope it was awesome.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Why I Love YouTube

jyb_musingsWhy I love YouTube.

Not because it can capture funny home video clips, or humorous gags or sports highlight or memorable musical clips or an embarrassing public moment or a truly newsworthy current event.

Although I enjoy all of those things, too.

Rather, it is because from time to time, a rare gem of a video clip gets formatted to YouTube and shared with the world.

Like, for example, this 1963 interview with Peter O’Toole and Orson Wells discussing Hamlet that reveals the day-to-day personalities of both these extraordinary gentleman.

It’s not just educational; not just entertaining. It’s mesmerizing and magical in its own mundane way.

And that is why I love YouTube.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Privacy Policies on the Web

I just always check “I agree to all the terms and conditions” without ever actually reading the fine print of a website privacy policy.

But today I decided to try something different and read a privacy policy I was asked to agree to. In fact, I read several. It all sounded like fairly routine language and, you know, they all have almost identical language. But one section I found hidden in every privacy policy that I found gave me pause. Maybe it is standard boilerplate language but it seemed to stand out to me as somewhat concerning.

jyb_musingsHere it is below in a section of the privacy policy. See the portion in parenthesis.

“We do not sell or rent any part of your information to a third party without your permission unless you opt out, we may use your (Hahahaha your mother wears combat boots you stupid moron!!! Oh, and by the way, your combat-boot wearing mother can’t do anything about all the crazy ways we are gonna make bank by using your personal information even though we pretend we aren’t going to. You just signed your life away. Hahaha!!!) contact information to provide you or others with information we believe you or others may need to know or find useful, such as but not limited to…….”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Spam

Please!! Seriously! Would someone just contact this poor guy from Malaysia and take the $10M he has been trying to give away for the last decade —so he’ll quit filling up my (and others) email inbox and Facebook message box?

Here’s the latest from him. (see below) He’s been pursuing me under various identities for years. Sure, I’d love the money but it seems like such a hassle and then there are the tax consequences and having a new lifelong friend (named Godfrey Lau??). What would that entail? I am not ready to make that kind of commitment but am sure someone younger and more adventurous would. So, please, have at it. And help this poor Mr Lau out so he’ll leave the rest of us alone.

“My name is Mr. Godfrey Lau, an external auditor working with MayBank Malaysia. I have taken pains to find your contact through personal endeavors because a late investor who bears the same last name with you has left funds totaling a little over ( $10 Million ) with Our Bank for the past Eight years and no next of kin has come forward all these years. To affirm your willingness and cooperation to my proposal, I will like you to get back to me as soon as possible and treat with absolute confidentiality and sincerity.”


Ok. I don’t know what to think about this!!

jyb_musingsIn my post above I asked for someone to please, please help the poor guy from Malaysia who has been working feverishly for years to give someone in the US $10M for a little help on a minor matter.

I finally got someone to offer to do the job.

But her response seems suspicious to me:

“Hi,you got a nice looking profile picture that interest me to write… you for a mutual benefit,I must confess you look very attractive.I hope we can be friends?my email is(,Tracey Fujikawa”

Heck, I can’t even be for sure she is responding to my request to help out this Malaysian feller. They both seem crazy as loons, though, if you ask me— and like they deserve each other.


Bad habits are like spam emails.

We sign up for them (both spam emails and bad habits) motivated by a  belief we are getting some reward without paying the usual price.

You can unsubscribe and think that the bad habit won’t return. But somehow the level of spam (bad habits) stays fairly consistent. And we don’t really know if the bad habits are the same old ones or some new and recently devel.ped bad habits.

Same with spam email. We aren’t  sure if the unsubscribe didn’t work or if we signed up for a new bad habit. I mean spam email. What I suspect is really going on with spam emails is that it is much harder to shake them off….to end them for good…with just a simple unsubscribe click after we have finally had enough.

Unsubscribing from spam emails —or ending a bad habit–is never that easy. And there always seems to be a disappointing number of them in my inbox at the end of each day. Spam emails, that is. And the filter to eliminate them works about as well as just trying to stop a bad habit. We may need to just embrace the fact that spam email will always be with us and focus instead on just eliminating our bad habits Or vice versa.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Twitter

Twitter is kind enough to keep track for me if how many Tweets I have created, how many people on Twitter (fellow Tweeters) whom I follow, and how many of them follow me.

I wish Twitter would track a fourth category for me—one that I suspect would surpass the other three.

jyb_musings“Number of times my Twitter account has been hacked.”

And a fifth for number of people in Twitter who have told me I sent them a personal message claiming to have a funny picture of them.

That way at least two of my five categories would have impressively high numbers next to them.

; )

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What Does a Man (or Woman) Truly Thinketh?

“As a man thinketh in his heart –so is he. ” –Proverbs

Of course, we try to fill our minds with lofty, visionary and aspirational thoughts that lead both to self improvement and a better world.

But what does a man (or woman) really and truly thinketh in the course of a day? If you really want to know look at your internet search history.  Mine over the last two days includes:

  1. Looking for the actual name of a restaurant in Louisville I had forgotten but had the word “pig” in it.
  2. Ebay and charging cables for my cell phone
  3. Looking up the definition and history of the word “Nimrod” which came to me out of the blue and I wanted to make sure if I ever used the term I would use it correctly
  4. Terry Meiners Twitter account because I heard he tweeted a funny Sigmund Freud quote yesterday about assholes.
  5. Whether it was “John” or “David” Hume after my son made a joking reference about the English philosopher and I couldn’t remember his first name. (It’s David Hume and John Locke).
  6. The number of calories in a pineapple curry dish that I like a lot from Viet Nam kitchen.
  7. The lowest BMI number for my height for “obesity.”
  8. Googled myself and my book to see if anyone had written a review on They hadn’t.
  9. Pictures on Facebook of some of the students in my daughter’s sophomore class. And to see if the boys were bigger than me yet. (Only taller)
  10. jyb_musingsLooked up “How to meditate” without wasting a lot of time. And if meditation can improve circulation. (Open to debate.)
  11. Zillow to see if the estimated value of our house had gone ip enough to refinance and borrow a little more. (It handn’t)
  12. Googled myself and my book to see if there were any new reviews on (There weren’t.) Thought about increasing my own review of the book from 4 starts to 5 starts but couldn’t find out how to edit my review.
  13. Dates of Kentucky’s special legislative session.
  14. Checked if the classic rock group Traffic was touring through Louisville this year. (Steve Winwood is but didn’t buy ticket and may not if Winwood is by himself.
  15. Confirmed exact definition of Nimrod since I was having trouble remembering it from earlier in the day.

And so… Proverbs teaches us, more or less……”As a man searcheth the internet–so is he.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Picture of Food

I feel sometimes like I don’t post enough pictures of food I am about to eat.

Frankly, I don’t eat many meals that are that interesting or that others would probably want to know about.

But I want to fit in and had a friend of a friend send me a picture of a meal he found on Facebook recently of something someone somewhere was about to eat.

jyb_musingsHe wasn’t sure of the entire backstory — only that someone was hungry and took a picture—but was able to download it and send to me to share so I could hit my food pic quota this month on Facebook.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Parental Genius

Parental Genius!!

I wonder if young people will ever figure out what we adults did to them on Facebook?

Early on we hand-wrung, threatened, even took down our children’s Facebook pages to protect them from stalkers, bullying and time-wasting.

But nothing worked.

jyb_musingsFinally, in a brilliant stroke of parenting genius, we switched to a final and dramatic strategy.

We decided —without our children suspecting—to take over Facebook by using it ourselves until our children no longer believed Facebook was cool.

After just a few years into this brilliant and bold move it is working beyond parent’s wildest dreams.

Stephanie Abrams & Courtney Spritzer: Social Poker

Courtney and StephanieWe’ve already talked about how influential Social Media and related platforms such as Twitter are in helping change the political landscape (check out our contribution to the Recovering Politician’s 12 Step Program to Survive Crisis).

However, while following our favorite “recovering” politician, Jonathan Miller (a.k.a. Johnny Poker) during this past weekend’s World Series of Poker tournament, we recognized a new reality of the pervasive influence of Social Media.  It has officially permeated the world of professional poker as well!

Where else besides social media could one directly ask all of their family, friends, followers, and fans to help strategize on what outfit they should don at the table (Good call on the Maccabee jersey, Jonathan)?   How else would poker fans not only know who is playing at Phil Hellmuth’s table, but also get a picture of such to boot?  Where else could you hear about which tournaments poker legend Doyle Brunson is contemplating entering?  Yes, that’s right.  Even Texas Dolly, well into his 70’s, is active on Social Media and Tweeting with his fans and the poker community.

Social Media provides any interested party an instant inside look at the personalities, battles, and tough breaks this rare group of individuals contend with each time they saddle up to the table.  Now all can witness first-hand, and in real time, what the players themselves think, see, and feel while in the heat of competition.  The conversation doesn’t stop there.  Take the recent social media beef between Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu.  “The Great Dane” took to Twitter to not only remind Negreanu of the $300M he won from him in a recent tourney, but provided a link to a YouTube clip of it as well.  Negreanu responded in kind by issuing a battleship style challenge to Hansen in which he asked his fans to Tweet him names of players they think he should select to play on his team.  So fans are not only able to see and hear what the pros are thinking and doing, they can directly engage and interact with them as well!  This type of access is priceless and extremely valuable to a “sport” which isn’t blessed with the saturating media coverage enjoyed by other professional leagues.

Now a beginner player can get a tip directly from a pro on how to improve their game, all while watching them use those same skills against elite competition during the biggest poker event in the world!  Intimately sharing the joy and pain they experience while playing this crazy game gives us virtual front row seats to the annual Vegas spectacle.  We here at Socialfly are on the edge of ours!


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