Change Your Life One Sock at a Time

I've made a major breakthrough in my life -- one that is certain to alter my future for the better.

Here's the deal.

I've decided that I will no longer sort and fold my socks.

Seriously. Hear me out.


The usual state of my sock drawer is one of intricate organization, but I've come to realize that this is an unnecessary responsibility I have put upon myself.


Consider the math.

On average, I do laundry every other week -- roughly 26 times a year. Each time, I spend approximately ten minutes sorting and folding my socks. Currently forty years old, (God-willing) let's say I live another forty years.

According to the Bozo-puter, that sock-sorting time investment calculates as follows:
26 laundry cycles x 10 minutes of sock sorting x 40 years = 10400 minutes
10400 minutes / 60 minutes in an hour = 173.3 hours
173.3 hours / 24 hours in a day = 7.2 days
That's over seven solid days of sock folding that I will do over the remainder of my lifetime. An entire week that I will waste so others can see that my left ankle properly matches my right ankle.

Forget that.

I'll take the extra week.

Cobra Kai Peanut Butter Stout

I've got all sorts of junk in my office and many of my students -- now born as recently as 2003 -- have no clue what a lot of it is.

Mr. T action figures. A Redd Foxx doll. A "Where's the Beef?" coffee mug.

No clue.

Standing in front of my Breakfast Club Pops are various Karate Kid figures from the mid-80s Remco line. Daniel and Johnny I got when I was a kid and the others I've picked up over the years. There's always been a gap, though. I've never been able to find Chozen in decent shape and for a good price.

Until a few weeks ago.


Now my students have a full set of Karate Kid figures to stare at blankly.


Speaking of The Karate Kid, a few years ago, a friend sent me a picture of a recipe for a drink called "The Cobra Kai."


While that certainly piqued my interest at the time, I recently stumbled across something more in tune with my tastes than a whiskey/energy drink combo -- 'Sweep the Leg' Peanut Butter Stout bottled by Texas-based Infamous Brewing Company!


[Photo courtesy of Instagram user @drinking_partner]

So...who lives in Texas and wants to hook me up with some Cobra Kai beer?

Farewell FASTE. Sort of.

Right off the bat, let me be clear that this post is not announcing the closure of this site.

Disappointing. I know.

Almost seven years ago, I started this blog hoping I could reel in my brother as a co-writer to reflect on the random thoughts and memories we recall from our younger years. For the URL (mattandtimfunny.blogspot.com), I referenced the title of the first cassette tape of nonsense that he and I recorded back around 1981 -- Matt & Tim Funny.


The title of the blog -- Flashlights Are Something To Eat -- referred to an inside joke stemming from a ridiculous comment that I made on that tape as a five-year-old.
Matt: "Tim, I told you before not to bite your flashlight."
Tim: [With flashlight in my mouth] "I said flashlights are something to eat!"
Ultimately, I could never quite get my brother on board. The initial idea for this site never came to be as it quickly evolved into my own personal blog -- an opportunity for me to share whatever random nonsense I had running through my head at any given time. I've often considered renaming the site or moving it to a different URL, but with a somewhat respectable audience among my social circles, I hesitated to do so fearing that I may lose several years of material, create broken links, and so on.

Getting the itch to start writing again, I updated this site yesterday for the first time in quite a while. Then last night, I was asked about the "Flashlights" title by one of my favorite teachers from high school. After sharing the backstory only entertaining to my brother and me, I decided it might be time to look into making a change. Additionally, I became aware that just because I'm the one sharing these links with people I know, it's not always immediately clear that I'm actually writing this stuff. Considering a majority of my audience is made up of family and friends within my social circles and virtual e-circles, I felt like this was something to be clarified.

With all of that in mind, I decided that it was time to retire the obscure "Flashlights" title of this blog and move in the direction of something more clear and centralized. I've owned and used the TimLybarger.com domain in many ways over the years and last night finally created a new subdomain for this blog. With that, I bid farewell to the title "Flashlights Are Something To Eat" and welcome you to the blog portion of TimLybarger.com.

The old links will continue to work as they'll automatically redirect. If you use the old URL, you'll still be taken here. Still, if you happen to have this site bookmarked, feel free to update to the new URL: http://blog.timlybarger.com

Same site. Same format. Different name and location.

I doubt that anyone besides me gives a crap about what this site is called or where it's located. And that's fine.

For those few who might, now you'll know why it changed.

Just...Be...Still

It's been a while, huh?

For a variety of reasons, I've spent the early parts of 2017 distancing myself from social media.

I had just grown tired of it all.

Tired of viewing sugar-coated and filtered versions of the world around me.

Tired of likes, shares, and retweets gauging the value of a person's thoughts, ideas, and opinions.

Tired of people believing everything they read on the internet to be true.

Tired of hearing others constantly start conversations with phrases like "I saw on Facebook where..." or "Did you see where so-and-so posted that..."

Tired of being tied to a device and not giving the people around me the attention they deserve.

Tired of competing with those people's devices for their attention.

Tired of that thin line between social media existence and real existence.

Tired of following an increasingly frustrating virtual world while the real world passes me by.


But in the end, I recognize that social media isn't all that bad -- it just depends on how it's used. Are you using it to build people up or tear people down? Are you using it to keep in touch with others outside your immediate proximity or are you using it as a way to pretend that you're much happier than you really are? Are you wasting away valuable minutes (hours?) of your days scrolling through a news feed of recipes, memes, biased news articles, and filtered photographs?

My perspective on social media has changed immensely over the past several weeks. It's not all bad. Don't get me wrong. But consider these thoughts from a book I just finished on this exact topic:
"I passionately love technology, using it almost nonstop every day of my life. At the same time, I absolutely can't stand it. I hate that I'm consumed with it, dependent on it, and sometimes almost unable to stop my compulsion to run to it as if it holds the answer to everything important in my life." 
"Many of us are making life choices just to create a string of social media moments, and all because we want to show some imaginary life that we think people want to see." 
"People before us lived for centuries without the ability to spray their thoughts in 140 characters or less to a group of people who are barely paying attention anyway because they're more concerned about what they're going to say next." 
"Maybe it's time for you to remember what life is like without your phone, tablet, or laptop. Maybe it's time for your soul to rest." 
"Do you constantly have to check what's going on in other people's lives? Or can you find the discipline ... to just ... be ... still?"
I'll continue using social media and sharing random nonsense on this site. Of course, I will.

But with a newfound perspective.

And only after I've found time to just ... be ... still.

Pencils. Everywhere.

It's never hard to find a pencil in our house. Just don't look in the pencil box. Don't look in the drawer where the pencil box resides. Just close your eyes, spin around any number of times, and take no more than five steps in any direction.

You'll find one.