Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 2 – 02 Aug 18 – FOMO?


Day 1 has come and gone. I created the graphic above from a gif I came across last night, here. It ironically was timely, and since I like black and white iPhone lock screens, there you have it. It will be my lockscreen for the rest of the month. Now, have I totally disappeared from the network? No, I’m still posting my 100 Days of Code progress and these posts to Twitter, but gone is the activity of hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I made no major announcement of unplugging, save a public one to the Apple Watch Fitness Fans Facebook group. I have been a very active admin there and was convinced by two members I privately let know about this jump off, that I should tell the group. Other than that, i told the admins of two other Facebook groups I co-admin. Frankly, in general, I think people rarely care if you decide to take a break from social media or not. They are too busy involved with their social media feeds, and other things to notice…most of the time, anyway,

Today was a good day at work with respect to not missing scrolling social media. Had a brief, but good text dialog with DK today on how we are both doing on this sabbatical. With only one official day in, I’m already seeing how much ‘attention residue’ occurs from constantly stopping to check social media throughout the day, even for a few seconds (whether it’s the phone or via other media). I also realized that this habit is not just relegated to the convenience of a mobile device, but to the computer as well, seeing as though most of us are connected to the internet at work.

I was interested to see how soon I’d have withdrawal symptoms from being off of FB and IG….so far, none. The lack thereof (of withdrawal symptoms and not being on these two sites) is telling because it’s showing me, already, that it’s not as necessary as I thought (or subconsciously felt) it was. That said, once the true realization sets in (I’m being realistic in that it’s barely been two days in), I then have to realize how I will truly use the freed ip time to for the better. I’m slowy assessing it, not in what I will use it for but how I will get in the habit of basing my after work time to do so. After all, this whole thing, in the end, is about using time more wisely and productively. Using time not from a productivity gain approach but from an overall value gain approach.

Thanks for the read….I’m out.

::: oceans of rhythm :::


Now Playing…

Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 1 – 01 Aug 18 – The Reasons

Greetings All.

Here we are again. Over the last month (particularly the latter half), I began to take stock of how much time I was spending time on social media and what the spent time is actually netting me and allowing me to move forward to achieve the goals (of many sorts) I’d like to achieve. In other words, what’s my return on investment (ROI)? In the grand scheme, I determined that ROI wasn’t amounting to as much as I’d it to be.

How did I come about that decision. I reached it in two ways. The first was noticing how many times each day I looked at wasn’t completed on my to-do list and the amount of times I complained that if I hadn’t spent the time posting, reading, and scrolling my social media haunts (primarily Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), I would have accomplished more on that list.

Sure some of that surfing/reading allowed me to gain some knowledge about some things that would benefit me now and in the future, BUT, it still left me lacking in the completion department.

That said, I decided to get off all three for the entire month of August (the exception being posting to Twitter with regards to the rules of the #100DaysOfCode campaign I’m involved in. My long time friend, fellow geek, and podcaster, DarrenKeith Wyatt, has vowed to take the same sabbatical with me, so I guess you can call us “accountability partners”.

We’ll see how far this thing takes us, day by day, in hopes of providing a true picture and realization of just how much spending time on social media (more importantly how you spend it) can affect (negatively or positively) the forward motion, productivity, and goal reaching you hope to attain

Thanks for the read.

::: oceans of rhythm :::


Now Playing

One month in, Deep Work, and human nature story about coffee & the 44th

Greetings all…

It’s been a minute since a posted a web log (actually since last year). DK Wyatt were talking about blogging lately and it was something (before the advent of social media sites like Twitter and FB) that we used to do a lot. IN any event, I got the urge yesterday to sit down and post this – until I ran into some craziness with mismatched USB bluetooth dongles and wireless mice around this house last night.

Any way, some of you know I’ve recently returned to the space missions industry. I’m working as a systems enginner on NASA robotic space missions at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. Nothing but happy about it, although the real work hasn’t started yet, after being there for exactly one month yesterday. The atmosphere and people are great, but it’s been mega reading for the most part. I’ve been working on documents in preparation for a preliminary design review this month for one of the missions but my immediate supervisor has been crazy busy working on a current mission, so there hasn’t been a great deal of face time outside of talking about some documentation he’s feeding me to come up to speed on for certain aspects of the missions I’ll be involved with. No complaints there, the more reading time I get the better. Having a desk with a window view can make it a wee bit distracting though.

I’ve been posting in my FB and IG feeds about this book, Deep Work. It is nothing short of a game changer for me. I’ve already began to put it’s concepts to use (although long time habits are hard to break) and can and will see the benefits of doing such. I highly recommend this book if you desire is to “starve your distracctions and feed your focus” along with learning how to produce quality and value-added work.

I have an officemate who will be working on specific aspects of the same missions I’ll be working on. Over the last few days, we got into discussions about drinking tea and coffee. Those discussions led to various tea and coffee establishments in the DC metro area. One we discussed is called Vigilante. While I’ve never been a coffee drinker, I will make it a point to visit this one, and stop by a Teavana shop before Starbucks closes them all this year.
I decided to check out Vigilante’s website and found much more than I expected. The Yelp reviews are great and I can imagine why just be visiting the site alone. I found an interesting human nature story in the blog, which turned out to be a nice read. It involved the origins of the company and former President Barack Obama. I had to work late for a Friday, but found it a nice way to end the work day. You can read it here.

That’s a wrap…it’s been a quiet Saturday, but going on 1pm – time to get moving.


The Weekend/The List/The Relax Time

blogging Desk+Mac

Isn’t that the name of artist, band, etc?

Greetings readers. It’s early Saturday morning and it’s a quiet (rare) non-busy, no rush one. The house is still sleeping, so it’s a favorite time. My blog software, WordPress, just told me this draft was last saved at 7:14: 33, so yea…still early.

I’m in the studio, doing some housekeeping (file maintenance, software installs, organizing), and thinking that it’s about time I get to finishing up this next personal music release for you. It’s going to be a compilation of tracks that reflect a certain period of my life. I’ve already started dropping some teasers on social media (my music production IG account – follow me, should you like – SFTF Productions

A further glimpse into day is gonna show a gym workout, recording some coaching session from my son’s basketball coaching session (which reminds me, I need to be looking in to summer AAU leagues, Nike Basketball Camp is coming up soon), seeding and weed killing my lawn before this next rain, and a short recording session this evening.

Wait, I did say it wasn’t busy, yes?

Ok, well, back to it. What music am I blogging to right now? Bipolar Flows by The Jazzment some smooth instrumental boombap hip hop out of the Netherlands.

Enjoy your *weekend*


Content Creation, Social Media, and the whole 9…

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Greetings all…

I hope your Sunday afternoon (or whenever you’re reading this) is going well. It’s been some time since I last posted a blog, but one reason for today’s entry is a recent discussion I had with DK Wyatt, a long time friend, podcaster, and social media connection. We were talking about the age old topic of being a consumer vs a content provider on social media. There are tons upon tons or topical matter on this, so I won’t delve deep into it at all, put provide my own perspective. For me, I’ve been a “content provider” since I was 15, the year I started playing in guitar and playing in bands. For those who know my age, this was LONGGGG before social media was born (LOL). That said, the advent of social media (pick your site) has made ANY user a content provider, should he/she want to be. With that, I’ve used social media as a content provider in the area of music production and blogging equally. The thing Dk and I were touching on is the amount of consumption vs the amount of content creation. For us, we’ve agreed (and it can make sense depending on the path you’re own) that consumption, while easier, takes up MUCH time. The question to ask is, how does that consumption benefit you?

I’m an early adopter of Twitter. I’ve had my ID since November 2006, and even though it has become a behemoth in the world of social media, it is still a go to spot when I want to consume information that makes me smarter and helps me achieve things I’m trying to achieve. I’m more of a consumer than a content creator on Twitter now only because the information resources that it provides have become so vast. In addition, creating content on social media is often times associated with branding, another huge topic I won’t touch here. Do I brand when creating social media content? Yes, but I am nowhere near the expert many are or claim to be, but I will say it has benefitted me – doing so created one of the biggest opportunities I’ve had – music scoring for a web series (hence the graphic above).

So, the QOTD, should you choose to answer it – Are you more of a provider or consumer of social media content? Feel free to leave a comment here, on my Facebook page if you are a member or my Twitter feed (this post will be linked to both sites).

Be well…

HNY 2017 – Creativity – a way forward


Greetings readers and Happy 2017 to you. I hope the new year finds (and will continue to) you well. It was an unseasonable 55 degF today and sunny – a quiet day at that, one I couldn’t ask more of.

Interestingly enough, as 2016 was coming to a close, I had a discussion with two FB friends. Our talk essentially centered around the use of FB and other social media venues with respect to things the three of us were doing more of before social media REALLY became big (Note: we are still doing these things in the midst of social media, but not as much as we once did). The three areas I’m speaking of are: photography (digital), music (production and live), and blogging. Add to that a fourth friend who gave opinion on reading FB content which is believe to be “foolishnes” (for the most part). I don’t necessarily agree TOTALLY with that sentiment, HOWEVER, I can truly understand why that opinion was given (which, incidentally, does not solely align itself with FB alone). Of course, this discussion appears to be common as it relates to the new year, resolutions (which I don’t due), blah, blah, blah.

I’ve been blogging since 2007. The original concept for vibesnscribes was two fold – Vibes: (blogging about music, specifically about reviews of the artists and genres I enjoy) and Scribes: general topics that interest me. The latter always took place but the former quickly became more work than I wanted because it took time to succinctly post reviews of what I was listening to in a way that I found complete and satisfactory. Eventually I became interested in podcasting and produced The Sunday Soundtrack. The podcast then aligned itself with the “Vibes” portion of the concept

In any event, the conversation ended up basically summarizing the fact that we will return to doing these (enjoyable) things while diminishing the distractions of these big social media juggernauts like FB and IG. One of us said he is about to leave FB for good, because it is a massive timesuck abd detrimental to the creative process. Personally, I strongly believe that, in the end, spending whatever time one spends on things (social media, in this case) is a matter of choice. Social media, in and of itself, was not designed to become a major distraction, it’s just inherent to be by nature (human nature, that is). When trying to achieve anything, one statement stands true for sure: Starve your distractions – feed your focus. Do what’s necessary to reach the goal. It’s definitely one good recipe for a successful way forward. Your thoughts?

Be well,

A Southern Road Trip


So…greetings readers. First off, Happy 2016 to you, wherever you maybe. I hope this post finds you well. It’s 10:13pm EST and I decided to get this post out before I turned in. I’m sitting in the studio sipping on some iced green tea, listening to the latest by The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Step It Up.

I took a road trip to Georgia this weekend to drop my daughter back at college. It was a quick one, as we left yesterday morning and got back this evening. I’m used to the drive now, but fortunately can split it between me and my wife.

The “OJ” (for those who are not familiar with that term, it’s slang for rental car, the term came from the old OJ Simpson commercials for Hertz Rent A Car. If you don’t know who OJ Simpson, I’m not the only one dating myself LOL) was a Ford Fusion Titanium, which may just be my next car. The ride is very smooth AND it’s entertainment systems fully recognizes my iPod and all music/playlists on in via a USB connection. MAJOR PLUS.

One thing about a roadtrip of this length is that there is plenty of time for napping, conversing, laughing, reading, being quiet, etc. Got a lot or organizing done, plus began reading a new novel I got for Christmas.

We stayed in a hotel (which I won’t name) that was pretty decent, but the oddest thing I found about it is that, while it was fully equipped for cable TV channels, I don’t think it was equipped for internet because it had one of THESE in there (I am still surprised and chuckling big time, and if you know what this is, you’re dating yourself AGAIN).


Left GA this morning at 8:15pm and with minor traffic in VA, one gas two food stops, we made it back in exactly 9.5 hours to the minute. Was a good and efficient trip, we didnt seem to eat up the entire weekend (well, even though it did, it didn’t feel like it).

The bridge above is a shot I caught if it as we left Savannah, which is on the edge of South Carolina. For a non-abstract shot of it, here it is, the Eugene Talmadge Bridge in Savannah (U.S. 17)


Thanks for the read, I’m out.


A Mountain Christmas 2015 – The Recap



Thanks for stopping by. I hope your Christmas (and New Year’s Day – if you are reading this after the 1st) was great. This year was the first time I’ve spent Christmas day in neither of the usual places for the last 20 years…and this was in Swanton, MD, not too far from the West Virginia line.

This was a trip set up by my sister-in-law, Julie The Cruise Director (just kidding – she’s just been the one to plan a lot of family trips over the years), primarily for my mother-in-law to relax, as it’s been somewhat of a challenging year, health wise.

The name of the “resort” escapes me but the amenities are basically high multi-bedroom, finished basement units all overlooking the lake. So nice, that I’d recommend it to others.

So, the squad numbered a whopping 19 people….good thing the house was big enough to accommodate everyone, it didn’t feel claustrophobic at all for the three days there, as there were plenty of bedrooms on all three levels.

The afternoon of Christmas Eve, I finally got on the road to pick up my wife’s nephew, his two kids and his aunt’s step son. We left the DC metro area at 4:45 pm and arrived three hours later, shaving a slim three minutes off the Google Maps prediction. The ride was smooth and we encountered no traffic at all, though we were the last one to arrive (most of the family arrived the day before).

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Since we pulled up the rear, hunger was at an all time high. After greeting everyone (and finding our we got there a half hour after my other sis-in-law (who left 90 minutes before us) I ate, and chilled out.

The remainder of the trip was really cool, hanging out, watching TV, shooting pool and eating, and eating, and eating :-). Three little ones and an infant made the trip enjoyable too.

One thing I found I need the most was…..sleep. I slept…A LOT…which I had no bones about doing. None, because I know that opportunity probably won’t happen for some time to come. Yeah, I brought my laptop, which never got booted up…but then again, I had three novels with me whose pages didnt see the light of day either. I was just super lazy.

Though I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I expected, the landscape was super scenic. The weather was quite agreeable as well, so all in all, it was a good trip.

Driving back in the day time this morning, I believe, afforded me even a quicker trip back. It was a total of four major arteries and there was no traffic at all. One of the most pleasant parts of the trip back was educational, in a way. I got schooled on the residential solar panel industry that my wife’s young nephew works in. Seeing that this is his first real careeer, it was great to hear how happy and enthusiastic he is about the field. It seems he is well on his way to become a team supervisor after a year in the job. For a three hour drive, even in the short amount of time we talked (close to an hour), I got to learn things about him I never knew….all good at that.

Got home in enough time to catch the 1pm NFL games but peeked at a few…all the teams I’d hope would win (except for the Jets) lost. Oh well…today was definitely relaxing. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Peace…have a great week.


A blog post about…blogging.

blogging Desk+Mac

Greetings readers. This is a blog post about…well, blogging. I, along with a few friends here on the net, did a fair amount of blogging in almost the last decade. This was when both Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone were just born. Needless to say, the instantaneous realism of social media’s ability to be constantly in your face was non-existent. It was then that many of us were blogging regularly.

Lately, (as I mentioned to my fellow blogger AND podcaster and geek brother DarrenKeith, we’re bombarded with social media notiifications and updates via our mobile devices and desktop computers that it seems blogging has gone by the wayside.

While I don’t profess to be a writer to any extent, blogging gives one a sense of ownership in a way that posting other media doesn’t (at least to me). So, once again, I think I’ll make an earnest effort to start blogging more – not with the hopes of gaining a large amount of comments (like all secretly desire on FB, Instagram, etc), but just moreso for the joy of expression and sharing via writing. Never know WHO will enjoy the read.


Productivity – The Journey Ahead


5:31 AM EST. Good morning to those who are up with me. Some of you reading this know that as of last week, I was supposed to be starting my first day on the new job today – that is until the government exercised the option to pull the contract awarded to the contractor I was going to be supporting. The result – no job start for me (incidentally yesterday, through another government employee, I found out the REAL story on hewhy the contract was pulled). Nevertheless, it’s back to job hunting. One very nice thing to know is that I have more than a handful of people directing me towards resources that can help me land a new gig, and those just encouraging me to keep the faith. To them I am very thankful.

So, why up at 5:31 AM and I have no where to go? The reason ties to yesterday’s post of mine on FB: “I’m a morning person…and a night person….the two rarely mix well. About ta fix that.” That is definitely a true statement for(basically) one reason only – It’s quiet in the early morning AND late at night when no one is up – I can get things done without interruption. The ancillary reasoning is that when I get an early start on the day, it gives me more time to those things accomplished (provided I stick to the script – ha!). The key (as we are studying and discussing in church) is “maximizing and strengthening what you have”, bring every area of your life to the highest level of excellence, through loving and obeying God.

So here we are, 5:45 am. I through on some clothes, spent some time in fellowship and prayer unto God, feeling thankful and grateful for what I *DO* have, and directly after posting this, get down to the job hunt.

From a tech standpoint, there are number of iOS apps out there that assist in the desire to get things done (GTD), I have a few on my iPhone and iPad, but no app gives one the DESIRE to stay the course toward reaching any goals, however, I’ve that (personally) some assist in that better than others. One I like is Evernote, I’m a new user but I like the functionality. There are few others I may try again, but the key is not to spent a lot of time trying one versus another but to find one that helps best to GTD. I may talk about what that app is in the future.

I’ve got a few daily things I have goals for: 1) Financial freedom 2) Becoming a very good coder (specifically in the Python language first), 3) Getting back to (and exceeding) my fitness goals in running 4) Becoming a much better guitarist and studio engineer, and 5) Finding that career sweet spot when I return to work. Lofty goals, I don’t think so, but goals nonetheless. When it comes to productivity (not just being busy), there is a mantra I try to live by: “Failing to plan means planning to fail, so plan the work, then work the plan.” Having God in my iife, even through times of stumble, makes every journey, not just that of productivity, surely worth the while. I am grateful.

5:55am – I’m gone. Have a good day.

::: oceans of rhythm :::