It's Time For A Change

As some of you already know, I am kind of nuts. Yes, I admit it. I am not going to say I am alone in this condition, but I Sands On A Winter Beachwill say that I need to spend some time and effort straightening out my head. It is time for a change. So, to that end, I have come up with some goals. I have lined them out below and would love to know what you think.

  1. Spend less time on FaceBook. Starting with a FaceBook diet of only 15 minutes, once per day. I would say the same for Twitter, G+, and the others too, but I don’t spend much time on those anyway. Plus, unlike FaceBook, they don’t seem to be as soul sucking and bad mood inducing.
  2. Spend at least one hour per day on a pure “me” activity. This is not work. Not even my own work for my own business. This is something like working on my model trains, writing, futzing with my old cars, or reading. This could be goofing with my family too – as long as it isn’t in front of the TV or anything like that.
  3. I am going to attempt to say “no” to, or delegate, projects that I don’t have time for and/or that someone else should do. I spend too much time taking on everything trying to make people happy – and it leaves me feeling ragged. And it leaves many of those project not being completed with the quality they deserve.
  4. Quit browsing shopping sites, like Amazon and eBay, for stuff that is appealing but that I don’t need. If I need something I will go find it (or have someone else find it) and buy it, but no more virtual window shopping. This goes hand in hand with the next one …
  5. Avoid unnecessary expenditures like phone upgrades I don’t need or additional toys and projects I will never get to. It is time to finish a few things and make use of what I already have.
  6. As much as possible buy and eat local. Additionally, when eating I will aim for fresher, healthier, less fried, less processed foods. I will aim for local flavor, quality and color instead of fast, faceless, fixtures.
  7. And finally … resume my walking exercise. This was the best thing I had done for myself in a long time and I need to get back into it. Walking dropped my weight, lowered my blood pressure, helped strengthen my back, and gave me time to listen to podcasts and see the world around me. So while it is last on the list, it is a very valuable item on the list.

So there you have it – some goals I am setting for myself. Some will be harder than others, and I know I will slip from time to time. If you see me slip I would appreciate a gentle nudge of a reminder. No need to beat me with a stalk of celery or anything, just help me back on my path. And for that help, I will let you know how it all goes.

What do you think? Is something on the list ridiculous? Have I forgotten something critical? We are always a work in progress, so I can always make revisions.

In The End We Name Ourselves – Exercise #18

In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare asks us, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” That all may be well and good, but names do have strength. This goes back to the ancient belief that if we name something or know a creature’s real name, then we have power over it. So while the task for Kindle in my namethis exercise may sound easy, “The Meaning Behind Your Blog Name”, the story behind that meaning is much more important.

Ok, directly, this site is my blog and it bears my name, Michael Carnell. Simple as that. But it didn’t always have that name. And in the past it wasn’t even my blog. If we go way back, this was my personal business site, business only, and it was named “Palmettobug Digital.” In fact if you got to it still brings you right here. Palmettobug Digital was my professional business identity. On the personal side I had a blog titled “Postcards From Myself”. A cute little title that not only indicated that I was trying to post a good number of pictures, but that I also wanted to travel, and that what I was writing was as much a reminder to me of what was going on as anything else.

Now jump forward a few years – my business is doing better, I am doing more public speaking and writing, and people are becoming more familiar with my work and my name. Well the problem is that outside of the Southern United States for the most part, no one knows what a palmettobug is. By the way, palmettobugs are cockroaches. And, as my friend and unofficial business advisor Andra Watkins pointed out to me one day, those folks who do know what a palmettobug is don’t like them. It was not very inviting to new clients. And the name really didn’t have anything to do with my vocation or skills, it was just some interesting local color. Understanding that then, I started to consider new names for my business. Well, duh, it finally hit me that it was me people knew or were looking for. It was my name that was on those magazine articles and book chapters, it was me standing up giving presentations, and it was my name that was my most reliable search term. With that, my name became my brand.
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Pride Goeth Before Parenthood – Exercise #17

Today’s exercise is about pride. I am going to switch it up a bit, use multiple definitions, and generally do what I feel like. So when the exercise says,”What is your proudest moment,” what I’m going to tell you about is me being proud of my kids. So we are talking about pride in a pride. I am doing this for two reasons.

Carnell KidsFirst is that although I am happy about things I have done, I don’t take huge amounts of pride in my accomplishments. What I do usually involves a lot of people as a team, not just me working by myself. I have partners in business, in hobbies, and in life. So I can’t and won’t take credit for everything goes on. Very often it is other people fixing my mistakes or polishing my rough work that makes me look good.

Second, what I really am proud of is what my kids have done. And what they will do. They are still young and have a lot of time ahead of them, but if their history is any indication then their futures will be burning bright. If I leave nothing in the world other than the legacy of these two young adults, I can be content with that. I have a feeling that they will both leave their marks on people in great ways.

Continue reading “Pride Goeth Before Parenthood – Exercise #17”

Let's Not Get Physical – Exercise #10

I’ve got to admit it. I am tired. The problem with writing that rant of over a thousand words on branding and such is that it wasn’t my exercise. It was extra. Now I have to do my exercise or I will get my knuckles rapped by the dominatrix of word count. (Now there is a mental image for you.)  So, for exercise number ten we shall be discussing why my cat stares at Cat Stares at Pictureblank walls. Wait, no, we are actually discussing “What’s your best physical feature?” Ha! At least this will be a quick post to write – well after I figure out if I have any decent physical feature at all.

Damn, this is hard. Not only am I going to have to do a bit of introspection to overcome all those body self-image things we all supposedly have. But then I have to figure out which ones of them are true or not so I can decide what the best, or least bad, of my physical features is. It sure would have been easier to talk about the cat staring at the wall. Why do they do that anyway?

All right, all right, back to physical features. I am going to be a coward and say my best physical feature is my height. I like being over six feet tall. 6’2″ to be exact. I don’t like a lot of the rest of me including the normal complaints of weight, hairline, MPAL (Male Pattern Ass Loss), and so on. So it is kind of unfair that as I get older I will probably get shorter, or perhaps I already am. Not saying that there is anything at all wrong with being short, you know as in shorter than me, but I do like being a little on the high side of the vertical curve.

Honestly, I really don’t have much else to say on the entire physical feature issue. I don’t hate my body, though at times I think it hates me, but I don’t have major parts of it I love, admire, or think are best. Just call me democratic in regards to body parts – I consider them all equal under the law. And I hope they will just continue working as a single cohesive unit.

[Note: If any of you think I put the reference to my cat staring at the picture in this post just so that I could use that photo in a way that would be otherwise totally un-connected, well … it’s my damn website so why not?]


31 Days of Crap – #1

So this is going to be a 31 day series that has nothing to do with the rest of what I am writing. That is one of the reasons I am going to do it. The “challenge” is 31 days of self exploration and explanation. Not something I am comfortable with or would normally do – but I am basically 31 days away from my 50th birthday. Yup, about to stick my first foot in the grave. So I will do this series not only as an explanation of who I am and what I do, but as a way to get it all down before I forget it all. I still plan on writing my normal effluvium during this period, but there could also, and obviously, be some overlap.

31 Day Blog Challenge
From – be forewarned that our sites resemble each other not in the least.

And by the way, this challenge and the graphic comes from a blog titled “BoyBoyAndMe“. Not sure how I ended up there, or who really writes it, but I can promise if you visit there you will find a much sweeter site and no resemblance between this place and there.

So here we go… #1 Introduction and recent photo. Probably one of my most hated crap tasks – so superficial. Let’s get this out of the way, here is the photo. And yes, I cheated. This is just a photo of my arm currently.  No face at the time being. Wanna know what I look like? Look over at the picture on the right of this site – I haven’t changed much in 30 years. Or more.

My Arm


That is my arm. Yup, that’s it. I draw on myself. Sometimes to help me remember things. Sometimes as a kind of charm. Sometimes out of a nervous twitch. One day I will probably get a real tattoo, but until then I have randomly changing symbols. And now I am going to cheat again. I wrote a brief intro to myself over on Andra Watkins’ Accidental Cootchie Mama blog about a week ago. I am going to snatch that and reuse most of it here. So here goes…

I am also sometimes known as a smart-ass. Or just plain obnoxious. Very often my friends, for some unknown reason, just call me “Carnell”. They seem to ignore my first name. [I have been friend with Andra for a few years now since] at a social media panel, she politely ripped a local “sales person” a new one. She did it in that charming Southern way that few can, and it was wonderful. We have been friends ever since. Plus she has a cool husband who despite is clean calm exterior is actually cluttered and hilarious.

Personally, I am a computer programmer, English major, ex-rare book dealer who loves trains, plays with old British cars, and smokes the occasional cigar. If I had more money they might call me eccentric.

I can be found on GooglePlus and Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Spotify and Pandora and Pinterest and, well just about everywhere. There are links to my junk on my site or you can just Google me.

Oh, and just FYI, I love cilantro!!!

So that is enough for now. Until tomorrow…