Category Archives: YouTube

Back Online With Boundaries

I spent December binge watching media while making cards, crocheting gifts and baking. When I wasn’t making, I was reading, finishing the year with 134 books. I also completed the Kindle challenge with a perfect month in December. I traveled a bit, too, to see family and friends. All excuses for not blogging, I suppose, but being offline in general helped me consider how and where I wanted to spend my in 2023.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/therichardsons/52598520938/in/dateposted-public/

I have not made a resolution to post every day but figured I could at least check in to wish everyone a happy new year. I spent yesterday setting up my LibraryThing thread in the 75 books a year group, my 9th year sharing life and reading with a few people. I intend to spend more time there than on social media, developing deeper relationships in this protected environment. I created a new year’s greeting just for them as several of them are bird nerds like me.

I would like to take more photos so I signed on for Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge. Today’s theme was hello and here was my submission.

Hello

Major is loving the nice weather and we usually get out twice each day for a ramble around the farm. We have had regular sitings of a bald eagle and a hawk along with meadowlarks and white-throated sparrows.

I’ll write more this year about the importance of nature in my life.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/therichardsons/52600805088/in/dateposted-public/

I also include a selfie I grabbed on the walk. This is me at 60-1/2, unfiltered. I cringe a little at posting, but I have earned those lines and wrinkles. If I have any wisdom to share, it is to be aware in the present as much as possible. Bad or good, it’s what you have. It is the essential lesson of meditation. It doesn’t mean you can’t change your life and your circumstances if need be, but acceptance of the present can help with that process as well.

For some reason, I thought of Bruce Springsteen as I wrote that advice. His album, Wrecking Ball, is filled with stories of struggle and oppression; yet, there seems to be a sense of hope as well that hard times and rocky ground have moments of contentment and joy as well, even if it is in the listening of a song. I leave you on this first day of the new year with two songs from Springsteen. The first is his live rendition of a Stephen Foster song called “Hard Times (Come Again No More)” and the second the video for “Rocky Ground” from the Wrecking Ball album, which references the Foster song. Many of the songs on Springsteen’s album have connections to old American songs and spirituals.

Nostalgia for Old School Aerobics

Fitness Guru Leslie Sansone

I was coming of age in the late great 80s just as the aerobics movement, led by Jane Fonda, was getting started. I may still have a vinyl copy of her first workout album in the days before everyone owned a VHS player. Live classes were everywhere. My mother and I took a class at the nearby community center. The cable access channel hosted a weekly workout led by a local gym instructor. I could set the VHS to record it so I could do it on my own time…an early version of streaming, I suppose.

I haven’t done these kinds of workouts for a long time, preferring my treadmill, Wii and working and walking outside. But, with the demise of my Wii and my need for a bit of excitement beyond the treadmill, I went exploring online and discovered fitness guru Leslie Sansone. She was a contemporary of Jane Fonda, and her signature exercise was simple: WALK. There are a few different steps, but mostly the goal is to keep moving.

I explored her YouTube channel to start with and then downloaded the app and paid the subscription. Leslie is my age, and her upbeat approach was immediately fun and nostalgic. I found myself wishing I had a unitard and leg warmers! One of Leslie’s claim to fame is that she was the first live on-air guest on QVC. I got to know her colleagues and enjoy the wide variety of walking workouts. As COVID moved in, they began streaming live workouts from their studio in Pittsburgh.* They have also added some strength training workouts in the app.

There are plenty of videos featuring Leslie in the app, including archives of some of her original workouts. But, according to Wikipedia, she hasn’t been featured in any videos since 2020, and there is some mystery around where she might be and her current involvement with WALK. There is some speculation on Reddit but otherwise no one seems to know. Hmm…sounds like podcast fodder to me!

*Part of my attraction to Sansone was her ties to Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.

Think Twice

From a colleague of mine as part of a discussion of protecting privacy:

Sorry, if you’re offended that I embedded it, but you need the effect before the story. Here’s the AP version. And, here’s Doug Feaver’s take on it at the Washington Post. Feaver reviews comments from readers on the story. He says, “I’m with the kid, but of course a recording of whatever message he left has not been made available so perhaps I would have a different view if it were.” That’s what I thought was interesting. The only person who can publish Kori’s message is the administrator’s wife. And, as long as we can’t hear Kori’s message, we really can’t judge for ourselves. Did she delete it? Or, is she just not adding fuel? Or was it a pretty reasonable message and she just overreacted? In the end, it probably doesn’t matter, but like, Feaver, I wonder in whose favor the pendulum of public opinion would swing if we heard the original phone message.

Here were two of my favorite back and forth comments about the incident:

readerny said, “I don’t agree with the tirade by the woman who answered the call, BUT as an employer of young adults, I can say that there are some (not all) who are overempowered and think that they know the whole story, or more than you do, and should be running the show themselves…”

But Nicester wrote, “Overempowered kid” and “self-centered youth” – OK, that’s one perspective. Sounds a bit like “whippersnapper” or whatever the Greatest Generation was calling the Baby Boomers when they were dropping acid and rolling in the mud at Woodstock…”

I just feel sorry for this woman, sacrificed on the altar of the digital generation gap. And, like the story about Heath Ledger and the blogs, it’s a story about the future of “news” in the 21st century. What if the kid hadn’t had access to the Internet? He might have sent the tape to the television news, but they have may have demanded to have his recording. He gets to bypass all those gatekeepers and tell his side of the story in a way that kids have never been able to do.

In the end, I find her tirade to be funny rather than offensive. “Snot-nosed brats” was the worst of it. It is more important as a reminder that digital recording and distribution is almost transparent, and perhaps will finally lead to people living by the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” We have left behind the era of deniability.

I’m tagging this one 21st century skills because I wonder how this fits in? I’m also going to tag it adult learning 😉