Writing is networking for introverts

men in the office having a meeting while looking at camera

I found Byrne Hobart’s Writing is Network for Introverts to be an interesting read. I see it as a variation on Tom Peters’ The Brand Called You article from way back in 1997 with a little different scope.

My Theory of Traffic Cones

I have plenty of crackpot theories, mostly I use them to torture the kids (bacon prevents swine flu, Chick-fil-a prevents bird flu, etc.)

But I have a much less crazy theory, my Theory of Traffic Cones.

It works like this. People won’t move a traffic cone. Even if it doesn’t look like any work is being done, no one wants a piano dropped on their car. The cartoons we saw as children convinced us that pianos are lifted to the 3rd floor all the time and regularly fall. Parking cones prevent this. We are also afraid that our car will get run over by a steamroller, towed to a junkyard three blocks down from hell, or smashed by firefighters to get at a burning building, all because we moved a cone and parked in the spot. None of this is rational, which is why the theory of traffic cones works.

I mean a traffic cone, Not the little six in soccer practice cones. Big cones, with reflective tape and a little dirt, work better. If the cone has an official stencil that’s a plus, as long as it’s relevant. A stencil from another city is a negative not a positive. Something like Public Works, that’s a winner.

Throw the cone in your trunk and park. When you leave, pull out, drop the cone and drive away. no one will move it. When you come back, the traffic cone goes back in the trunk. This is perfect for hard-to-park places like college dorms, crowded apartments, etc. Places you regularly go back to where you need to save a spot.

Don’t make this too obvious. Move around some and pick different spaces occasionally when you can get away with it. You can also save your cone for when it’s really important, like saving a parking space near the front at work when you have a big presentation the next day.

It’s a hack. A weird life hack. People are afraid to move a traffic cone they know nothing about. A flashing barricade or a barrel will work as well, a cone is just easier. Use it to your advantage.

Downsides to Weight Loss

I’m not going to dwell on this in future writing and I certainly don’t want anyone to use this as an excuse, but their are few downsides to weight loss. I dropped 45 lbs last year with a few more to go, but here’s what’s been weird about the results.

  1. I’m cold all the time. I live in Florida and now I wear a hoodie in any weather below 85 F.
  2. People want to congratulate you, but they don’t know how. I get questions like “Did you want to lose the weight?” Yes, yes I did. People are afraid that I got sick and they don’t want to congratulate me on getting sick. I get it. Just tell someone they look good and move on.
  3. Weird things don’t fit…like my wedding ring…or the temporary silicon wedding ring I bought when my wedding ring didn’t fit. Now I’m just waiting until I hit my goal to get my ring resized. (In fairness, COVID made it a lot more difficult to get the ring resized last year.)
  4. The store still won’t have your size. I’m now a large/extra large in shirt depending on if the materials will shrink. Way better than a 2x/3x. But now I walk into a store and find S,M,2x,3x…grrrrr.
  5. You can’t go back to eating the way you ate before. What got you fat in the first place will get you fat again. Like women having a baby, once the body figures something out, it gets better at it.
  6. You still have to deal with all the stuff. Emotional eaters still have to deal with their emotions, they just can’t use food. Stress eaters still have to deal with stress, just not with food.
  7. There is a lot of support out there and a lot of people who subtly try to sabotage your goals (you can have one piece of cake). Supportive people and neutral people are a huge help. I’m fine with neutral. Just let me do my thing. Avoid unsupportive people. Maybe ask them to be less helpful.

New Lizard Wong Book Coming

I’ve started work on a new Lizard Wong book. No details yet, just that it’s in the works.

What’s in your backyard?

I live in the oh, so boring suburbs, and yet I know things go on in my backyard at night. I see the tracks the next morning and I know we have animals partying all night long. I also know we have black bears that travel through the neighborhood. We’re near a wildlife area and apparently, bears don’t pay attention to signs.

One day I got curious about the party that goes on in my backyard every night. A relative offered up a game camera and I was all set. This was my first pass so I screwed up the time somehow, but this footage was circa September 2020.