Aug 312014
 

Gratitude, day one. I was invited to play by Vee. For five days, you list three things you are grateful for, and invite three more people to join.

1) Pizza. Because pizza.

2) My job at the Scout Shop. The schedule is flexible, my coworkers are fun and I like being able to pay down my credit card balance.

3) My rebellious spirit. Okay, I’m not that rebellious, but enough that I don’t feel the need to abide by rules like inviting more people to join. Mwa ha ha haaaaaa!!!
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Gratitude, day two. I was invited to play by Vee. For five days, you list three things you are grateful for, and invite three more people to join. Or zero people. Or a couple dozen. It’s your call.

1) Air conditioning. It wasn’t that hot today, but hot enough to remind me of days when A/C is a godsend.

2) My right patellar tendon. My knee was feeling a bit sore and wobbly today (probably pushed it too hard on the elliptical machine yesterday), but if it weren’t for the surgery that used the middle third of said tendon to replace a torn ACL, my knee might not be functional enough to use an elliptical machine at all.

3) Lamictal and depakote. Because not having epileptic seizures is awesome.

4) Pizza. I know this was on yesterday’s list, but I’m including it again because pizza.

Aug 312014
 

This is a challenge that’s gone through Facebook a couple times. The version I’ve read on my news feed the last few days reads like this: “I have been challenged by ___________ to a gratitude challenge: to post three things I am grateful for for five days, and challenge three friends a day for the challenge.”

Given that I’ve written gratitudes in the past (see: previous blog entries in this category), I took on the challenge when someone tagged me back in July and started posting three things for five days. And then I kept posting more. And more. And more.

I eventually wrapped up toward the end of August, but the one thing that occasionally nagged at me was that I was writing them there, but even with my Gratitudes category here on my blog, I never touched it. My blog has been getting lonely enough as it is, but posting gratitude status messages on Facebook was like rubbing salt in the wound.

I haven’t decided how to proceed, really. It’ll be a bunch of copying and pasting, but will I do one a day? Two a day? Randomly dump five into a single blog post every week and a half or so? I don’t know, but since the ladies say they love spontaneity, maybe I won’t bother with a pattern. I guess we’ll both find out whenever they get posted.

Aside from all that, feel free to take up the challenge on your own. You can post your gratitudes online; you can write them in a journal. Whatever the case, take the time to remember the spiffy things in your life. (Here’s a blog entry from back in 2006 that might help if you need some suggestions.)

Aug 112014
 

One of the plugins I use for my blog is NewStatPress, which shows a wide range of information about recent hits, recent referrers, recent searches, etc. The last one is what worries me the most sometimes. The easiest way to find this website (aside from typing in the web address) is to search for “Shawn Bakken”. (It’s up toward the top of the list if you Google “Joe Bastianich douchebag”, too.) Some of the other search terms, though… yikes. Take this one, for example (and I wish I was making this up):

“boy with a boner in spandex porn”

And that search led someone here.

The page viewed as a result was the first page of the “Journal” category and I was at a loss as to what Google might have found there. I mean, it’s been a long time since I’ve joked about Shawn porn and I don’t look that great in spandex, so what’s the deal? I scrolled down the first page, wondering how it could have made such a tragic mistake, then found these entries:

What are you most proud of?
Marie Porter doesn’t make Canadian porn
Is that a franchise in your pants?

I’m proud of earning my Eagle award in Boy Scouts. Marie Porter doesn’t make porn and she has a website called Queen of Spandex. I got some junk mail about franchising “NHance” that I joked about being “boner medicine”. Add them all together and you’ve got a serious creeper who’s now stalking you online.

What’s worse, this also means that if someone searches for “Shawn Bakken with a boner in spandex porn”… please, God, don’t let any potential employers try to see what they can find out about me on the Internet like that.

Aug 082014
 

Procrastination has been a problem of mine for years. Eons. Since forever. I was born on time, but everything has been downhill since then.

It’s affected a lot of things of my life over time, but the most noticeable (at least for those of you who know me primarily through my blog) has been writing new blog entries. Sometimes I’m really good about writing them consistently. Sometimes I’ll sit back and think about what to write and plan and edit and everything looks great in my head, but nothing ever gets typed. Totally lame, I know.

Just recently, someone pointed out an article on Facebook called “Why Procrastinators Procrastinate”. Yep, that was me in a nutshell. Even the pictures the author drew made sense. (Yay for pictures!) That article in turn had a link—a Part 2—to “How to Beat Procrastination”. I’m not sure how effectively I’ll be able to apply that to my life, but at least it got me to this point: I planned to write something this afternoon about those two articles and here it is. (If you’ve got some time to spare, click on the links below. You might find them insightful. Plus you might like the pictures of the Instant Gratification Monkey, too.)

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate

How to Beat Procrastination

Aug 032014
 

Many, many moons ago (back in 2007), I helped a friend of mine named Jeremy Gustafson make a movie called “Harry Putter and the Sorcerer’s Phone”. It was kinda like the first Harry Potter movie, but way better. Unless you look at the ratings on the Putter IMDb page. Then you’ll see that out of 60 people, a lot of them have really bad taste in movies. 3.5 out of 10? Hah! (The entire movie is posted there if you want to judge for yourselves. I guess that’s an option when it’s less than 14 minutes long.)

My first day on set was at the “broom store” and I was expecting to be part of the crew: use the slate, hold the boom mic, stuff like that. I ended up doing a lot more because the guy who was cast as the broom store clerk never showed. Well, Jeremy had a robe for me to wear, gave me a couple minutes to look at the script and find my motivation for delivering my only line, then the camera started rolling. And it kept rolling. And rolling. And rolling. And rolling.

One of the fun things about Jeremy directing movies is that he waits a very long time before saying “Cut.” That leads to a lot of bloopers, random behind-the-scenes footage, a bunch of improvised lines… enough material that he ended up making an outtakes reel that was over an hour long. That’s right, over four times longer than the film itself. As you would imagine, that isn’t posted on the movie’s IMDb page.

However, he recently started putting together a recut version of the outtakes reel (which includes several minutes of footage from the broom store) and posted Part 1 on his Vimeo page a couple days ago. My understanding is that Vimeo has limits on the amount of data you can upload within a given time, so only the first part is currently available. I’m looking forward to Part 2 as well, but if you want to check out my wide array of salesmanship skillz (or lack thereof), what’s posted is what you want to watch. Jeremy and I both hope you enjoy!
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ADDENDUM: Part 2 is live! Jeremy posted both parts on his blog and included commentary about putting them together, so for some additional insight on the movie and its creation, you can click on the link and read it there.

Jul 232014
 

Last week, the Rainbow Foods located two miles away from home became a Cub Foods, which means the Rainbow Pharmacy became the Cub Pharmacy. That in itself isn’t a big deal: the pharmacists are the same, the phone number is the same and the medications they give me are the same. The biggest change I noticed were the new prescription labels on the bottles.

They’re larger, they have a few extra warnings and they also include a little more information on them. For example, the old bottles didn’t show the name of the company that makes divalproex (the generic version of depakote, one of my medications for epilepsy). The name of that company? Dr. Reddy’s Lab.

I’m told it’s a fairly mainstream producer of prescription drugs, but when I read “Dr. Reddy’s Lab”, I think of some guy in his basement mixing ingredients together to make a variety of medications while sitting next to a bathtub filled with chemicals he uses for making meth.