Down with Twitter

 Posted by at 15:46  Down with
Nov 232013
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“For me, the most fascinating interface is Twitter. I have odd cosmic thoughts every day and I realized I could hold them to myself or share them with people who might be interested.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Now I get it. Twitter is not for the hoi polloi. It’s a place where the elites can cast pearls before swine and smirk. No wonder I’m frustrated. I apparently don’t have the intellectual gravitas for Twitter. Cognoscenti use Twitter is for sharing those cosmic thoughts that regularly pop into their brains. Lately those cosmic insights for my brain seem to be in short supply. My impression of Twitter was that it was a place to post snappy one liners. Not that I’ve even been good at those either but, at least, I’ve got a chance.

twitterWhat could be more appealing than an audience panting for your input? Theoretically, the idea of a forum for pithy insights is appealing. Something happens. Your synapses crackle. The brain responds but then there’s a problem. What do you do with your inspiration? Blurt it out like fool with Tourettes? Write a letter to the New York Times? Share it with your brain trust? It’s not easy. If you leave it unsaid, it’s like the tree falling in the forest- nobody will know. You brain will explode. It’s a disaster.

When there is a problem, somebody will provide a solution. In this case, it’s Twitter. Continue reading »


Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Down with Google +1

 Posted by at 09:38  Down with
Mar 192013
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Image by marc falardeau via Flickr


I’m no whiner like Bob.

Sometimes, though, you just have to tell it like it is. The world is just not fair. Some people are ‘Cool’ and some people are not. I thought that those days were long over for me, I mean worrying about being ‘Cool’. I know it might be hard to believe but back in high school, I wasn’t cool. In those days, there were two kinds of kids.- the ‘Cool’ ones and the rest. I was one of the rest. I never knew what it was like to be ‘Cool’. I had to guess but it sure looked good to me. The ‘Cool’ kids all hung our together doing ‘Cool’ things and the rest of us watched. Most of my high school fantasies involved somehow being mistaken for one of the ‘Cool’ kids. Well it never happened.

Going through life, being ‘Cool’ faded in importance the farther I got from high school. At work, it wasn’t so important being cool. In fact, sometimes to my delight being ‘Cool’ was a disadvantage for my competition. Over time, I forgot about my painful high school years. I still wasn’t ‘Cool’ but it didn’t keep me from being moderately successful in life. My kids knew but it really didn’t matter because even ‘Cool’ parents aren’t ‘Cool’ to their kids. I coped. The scars healed and I was able to pretend that it was never really very important. Then I started blogging.

UnCool Redux. 

Before long, I was in the same sorry state as when I started high school. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know where anything was. And once again, the world was divided into two groups- the ‘Cool’ kids like Darren and Leo and the rest. It’s pretty much the same hopeless state of mind because what separates the ‘Cool’ from the unCool is stuff you can’t learn – at least I can’t figure it out. In high school, the ‘Cool’ guys were the jocks, the cheerleaders and the student government smooth talkers. Band geeks like me just didn’t qualify.

 So what makes ‘Cool’ guys ‘Cool’?

It is stlll a mystery to me what makes a ‘Cool” blogger ‘Cool. The ‘Cool’ bloggers aren’t necessarily great looking. They have other qualities that set them apart. The trouble is that those qualities are hard to identify and harder to learn. It isn’t the number of words that they write. It is that in those words they manage to touch their readers. You can’t bottle that skill and sell it (although number of the ‘Cool’ bloggers try and us unCool bloggers are willing to buy). It’s like that Supreme Court Justice said about pornography. He can’t define it but he know it when he sees it. Because it is so hard to identify the difference, the Blogging Gods invented Google and on the web, you know that guys are ‘Cool’ when Google tells you the are Cool’.

Well, I’m still not ‘Cool’.

These days with all the social media like Facebook and Twitter it’s easy to build up a following. They may all be band geeks just like me but it takes a little effort find that out.  After getting my feet wet I began to feel comfortable with social media. Facebook and Twitter were great. Why add any more? But then I started hearing about Google +1. It sounded ‘Cool’. I wanted to find out.

But it is by invitation only.

That’s why I’m so upset withGoogle and their new Googlie +1. At first I just dismissed it as another Social Media site. I told myself why bother. I’ve already got friends. But the buzz got stronger. People talked about how it was different from Facebook, how it gave your community different dimensions. I was intrigued. Then the enchanting Guy Kawasaki posted about it. I read the post and decided to investigate. Maybe I could still be ‘Cool’. Maybe I could even be part of Guy;s community, The old high school freshman in me was still working. I wanted to belong with the cool kids.

So the problem is that Google +1is by invitation only and I’m not invited. Sure, Guy is “Cool’ and he says jump right on board. But he didn’t mention, that you have to be ‘Cool’ to do it. Google rubbed my nose right in it when I requested to join, “Maybe later.” they told me. “We are still working out the kinks.” Well, I know what that means. It mean that I’m not ‘Cool’ and everybody knows it. Google didn’t even have to check. They knew that if I was cool enough for Google+1, I’d already have been invited.



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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 012013
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I was just looking at some numbers here on the ol’ Coots blog and I found something interesting.  It seems our tweet out when posted plugin is not working.  At all.  Looking further, there are no updates, the plugin blog post on the developer site is from 2008.  Finally, I have switched plugins.


twitterverse (Photo credit: birgerking)

That in itself is not big news, what is surprising is this, the past 2 posts that have gone out this week have had 11 and 17 views.  The two before that have had 42 and 37 views.  That tells me there are not many people actually reading these posts on their own and Twitter is a huge tool in the promotion of this blog.  This particular post should go out into the Twitterverse and lets see just how many hits it generates.

Now, I have read volumes of stuff about how to make blogs happen and get bigger.  Twitter is good but sharing, out there with people, gets more people here to read our stuff.  If this is your first time here, good deal.  Share with your friends using those nifty buttons at the bottom.

If this blog is your guilty pleasure and you don’t want people to know you read it, sneak some links out and about for us.  We won’t tell.

If you are so inclined, add something to the comments!  We love to hear inane babble er, constructive comments from our readers.  Ralph has been the main writer here for far too long and maybe you are just getting tired of him and his rants about traveling the world and all of the hardships associated with living in California.  Apparently, he is losing his ranting mojo as evidenced by this post earlier in the week.

Or maybe you are just excited to get some Bob back into the cantankerousness with his last two posts, part 1 and part 2.  Maybe you just don’t care.   But, with 2013 fast dwindling we need to raise our alexa score so that we can get some advertising to help pay for this adventure.

Please, share, comment, blast us with incredulity, or find your own cantankerousness and write a guest post.  You will not be sorry.


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Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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Aug 282011
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This photo shows the place where the rainbow r...

Image via Wikipedia

Look for the Good! 

There is just too much fixation on negatives these days.  Nobody ever expects good things to happen. You drive to the grocery store and  expect to be hit by a guy that doesn’t believe in stop signs. Take a walk and expect a pigeon to plant a load on your head. Nobody expects anything good and therefore nobody ever seeks the good- even demands it. Well the Coots want you to suspend all that negativity and believe that good things can happen, even to you, even today. That cynical attitude you have developed just ensures negative results. The world is full of good things just waiting to happen and people who want to make you happy but first you have to believe.  They like to say “Shit happens.” but they forget that “Rainbows happen.”  too. So look for and demand those rainbows.  The shit can take care of itself.

This week we have several examples and the first one is cosmic in its impact. Lucy was right!

Astronomers discover planet made of diamond

Everybody makes fun of these twenty-something billionaires who built fortunes creating social media venues. Not that they care what we think. At least that’s how I used to think.  But then I discover that they have a higher calling than getting rich helping us make fools of yourselves on the web. Some of these guys are building a new web venture to encourage people. It is nothing short of inspiring.

Twitter Founders Want to Make Money Encouraging People

At the risk of being negative here, I have to interrupt these positive stories with a negative on of sorts. But since it demonstrates how venial and stupid the government Is , I just can’t resist. It seems that the government has it’s panties in a bunch because it is losing money when people drop out of college, from the government perspective. It seems they haven’t noticed that all these new billionaires are college dropouts. It looks to me like the new destitute are the ones that believed the propaganda and went into debt up to their eyeteeth to pay for a college degree that can’t get them a job at McDonald’s. That’s the government for you!

Report: College Dropouts Rob Feds of Billions

Now back to the good news. I’ll bet you remember your mother telling you to write polite letters when you want results and I’ll bet you blew your mother off (in a nice way, of course). I’ll be you don’t believe that letters are good for anything these days except killing trees and filling landfills. Well even in these cynical times, one boy finds that, just like your mother said, a simple letter can get results.

Va. boy’s wallet disappears, but handwritten letter gets results

Finally, I saved the best story for last because it proves the simple truth that the world is full of people waiting to help their fellow man. But before all these wonderful people can help they need you to do just one thing. They need you to ask.

Hungry man tweets about steak, gets surprise delivery

So buck up all you cynical and hardened Coots out there. The world is not the awful place the media wants you to believe it is. It is full of wonderful possibilities and giving people. And remember that you don’t know what is in the heart of that scowling guy on the bus. You can’t see into the mind of the cop giving you a speeding ticket. They may be hoodwinked by the media just like you have been. But down deep they want to find the good in people and help their fellow man. Give them a smile and expect the best. It sure can’t hurt!


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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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