I’ll be honest – I don’t really make much of an effort to watch my language when I post on Twitter, even though I actually do with most of my writing projects. With the exception of Just Laugh and occasionally, but not often, this blog, I don’t really swear in my writing because I want it to appeal to the largest audience possible.

I guess I’m a bit more lax about Just Laugh because I’ve always considered it to be targeted at an 18+ audience whereas my humor column, etc… are read by all ages.

I also post a lot of off-the-cuff political commentary on Twitter – usually filled with lots of frustration – whereas by the time I’m ready to write an editorial about a topic, I tend to be more reserved and thought out at that point.

And sometimes I wonder if this is all a bad thing – if I’m doing myself a disservice by using Twitter like this instead of a more “controlled manner” that would be less alienating to anyone who might find me through social media and have an interest in something that I write … if only I didn’t have such a potty mouth on Twitter! 😛

The thing is, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly use social media like other people trying to promote a brand … and maybe that’s a separate problem. While I do share links to my new columns and articles when they go up, I just as much use Twitter to share random findings that amuse me or even just talk to myself, in addition to commentary on posts that I find that aren’t substantial enough to make into full-blown blog posts.

…although for what it’s worth, I’m trying to do that more when I find that I’ve got more than a handful of tweets to say about something…

That said, it’s certainly something that I think I want/need to dig deeper into in the future as I work to gain some new attention for all of my writing efforts … it’s constantly getting more complicated to drive traffic to long-form writing with so much focus on social media, but I know that I can’t completely ignore it altogether and expect similar results by just doing my own thing.

Plus, admittedly I can see the appeal of an image focused specifically on my brand – namely, if I want to be the writer known for humor, and Disney, and parenting content, and occasional in-depth political commentary, it does make sense that my social media profiles should center around those topics and maybe steer away from angsty rants every time that Donald Trump says something undesirable … especially because lately that has pretty much been every single day anyways!

For what it’s worth, though, if I can manage to avoid all of the Trump-inspired Twitter rants, do you have any idea how much time I should save?! Maybe I could actually keep up with this newfound writing schedule of mine if I watched my tongue on social media a bit better! 😉

one more thing…

May 10, 2017 6:19pm
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If anything, our current political climate – not even limited to President Trump, but considering the entire establishment as a whole – confirms that the United States desperately needs election reform. And fast.

Because it’s painful to see just how fragile the institution of our great electoral system really is…

  • Voter ID laws, cutbacks on early voting, and new voter registration rules being used to restrict access to voting.
  • Gerrymandering to guide regional votes in a particular direction.
  • The opinion of the people being so easily swayed by widespread information regardless of its accuracy.
  • Campaign finance abuse and corporations buying political favor.
  • Questions of the validity of the Electoral College 200+ years after its introduction.
  • Lackluster voter turnout in general

It’s clear that our current voting system isn’t electing the right people to these offices to actually drive meaningful governance in our country, and I’d like to think that these most recent allegations of foreign interference would lead us to take a step back and figure out what really needs to be done to fix the process from the top down. And it’s complicated because not only do we need a new election process, we also need better candidates that aren’t as dramatically tied to party lines and can help to bridge the nuance between the left and the right so that we can start making things better across the board.

I’d love to see these problems solved during my lifetime because they’re really vital to the core of our democracy, but it’s forever going to be a struggle if uprooting the existing system also means uprooting the politicians who’ve established their careers based on these antiquated systems…

A glimmer of hope…

May 10, 2017 5:38pm
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Maybe it’s still just wishful thinking at this point, but I can’t help but feel that Trump’s firing of the FBI director who was leading the investigation about his collusion with Russia has got to be the smoking gun that begins to sway the tides towards his inevitable impeachment.

I’ve always thought that ever since the election, Trump’s best bet politically would’ve been for him to tell Congress to organize an independent investigation right off the bat to prove to those against him as well as to protect the integrity of the American election – if he really had nothing to hide, it should’ve been an easy enough task and he could only come out at the top after the investigation had found that he’d done nothing wrong.

But of course, the high road is no match for Trump’s ego, and instead his administration has played the same unconvincing line of, “There’s nothing to see here, let’s move along…” that the rest of us have been right to question, and then he makes his most suspicious move to date.

At least his supporters were right in that he’s definitely not a politician because a politician would’ve played this whole thing way better! 😛

So the last month or two, I’ve seriously wondered if Trump will even make it through his entire first year in office, and in that direction I think this was a positive move because it’s getting harder and harder for even his most ardent of supporters to admit that something just doesn’t feel right. Boing Boing shared an interesting link today to a spreadsheet someone was compiling of responses on Twitter from every member of Congress about Comey’s firing and it’s very clear to look down party lines and see almost every Republican remaining silent on the matter, which to me is telling in that they’re not exactly jumping to Trump’s defense on the matter, either…

Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I’d like to see something concrete happen sooner than later, I don’t necessarily expect miracles anytime soon, and so I’m sure we’ll likely hear even more ramblings about fake news and paranoia and how everyone is out to get him, except the majority everyone who is still somehow supporting him? 😉

And even if/when he does get impeached, it’s still going to be rough waters because Mike Pence isn’t exactly a saint and Paul Ryan is kind of awful, too. The full line of succession is here – at least Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos are pretty far down on the list! But I think you’ve got to take on one demon at a time and hopefully an event as traumatic as the president leaving office would put the rest of our politicians on notice that it’s time for a REAL change.

We’ll see, and in the meantime I’m going to just soak up every glimmer of hope that I can scavenge as the Trump administration continues to dismantle our society with the remaining power that they’ve been granted. But I think their days are numbered … I’ve got to think that for my own sanity, anyways. We’ll see…

Family Time x3
This week has been very busy, but busy in a good way as we’ve been running back and forth over to Orlando because my Mom is in town for my nephew’s second birthday. Thursday we spent a nice, relaxing afternoon at the beach and yesterday took us over to Disney Springs for a bit of dinner and shopping … during which our kids totally didn’t behave, but what are you gonna do?! And tomorrow we’ll be back in the road again for the birthday party itself, which should be lots of fun and will hopefully give said cranky children lots of time to burn off some energy so that we don’t have a repeat of last night!

Nonetheless, the family time has been nice. 😉

Lego Collectible Minifigs – Series 17
I already mentioned this in my Thing-a-Day post yesterday, but I was both surprised and excited to stumble across the newest series of CMFs at the Lego Store at Disney Springs last night. There was one guy feeling bags when I found them – I’ve never been a fan of doing that, mostly because I’m terrible at it, but also because it defeats the randomness if somebody comes through and grabs all of the rare ones to sell online. Regardless, I grabbed a handful for myself to add to the collection and so far I’m really liking what I’ve seen – fun series overall!

Scott’s Guide to Life Launch!
And I technically already wrote a little bit about this, too, but frankly I’m so psyched to finally get this project off the ground that I’ll gladly advertise it just about anywhere I can! The whole idea for Scott’s Guide to Life is to share some stories that are a little more personal than I might use in something like The Humor Column or Just Laugh. For example, two of my debut essays are about why I started going to therapy and how I learned to bond with my first son, and I’ve got a whole slew of other (hopefully) insightful pieces to come in the future, too!

Granted, they’re not all completely serious, as I already wrote one about never underestimating dirty diapers – it’s going to be a mixture of different moods, so be sure to tune in to see what I come up with next. 😉

374 Lego Minifigures All in a Row…

May 6, 2017 7:08pm
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Apparently I somehow neglected to blog about this a few months ago when I completed my Lego Collectible Minifigure collection, sans Mr. Gold – of course, so now that Series 17 is officially in stores and I was able to pick up a few packs yesterday, I thought I’d knock this post out while the new additions are fresh on my mind…

According to some old blog posts of mine, I first started collecting CMFs around 2011 with series 3, so it took me roughly 6 years to nab 23 series total … with Series 17 that just came out making series #24! It’s kind of fun to track the display itself as my collection slowly grew over the years – how it started with just a handful of minifigs on my desk, then started filling up a single base plate, and a couple of years later I upgraded to four base plates in the display total.

Now about four years after those four plates, I’ve since had to clear off a significant portion of one wall in my office to make room for the massive twelve plate display that are in use today … and really, as soon as whatever follows Series 17 is released, I’m going to have to expand AGAIN!!!

I remember when I first started seriously collecting, I really liked the look of some of the shadow boxes that I saw online, but seriously – with nearly 400 minifigs and counting, it would just take up way too much space … at least in the home office that I have today! Maybe when we eventually move to a bigger house, but for the time being we’ll have to stick to what’s working for now. 😛

My Favorite Minifigs
I know I’m not the only one who’s a fan of the guys in costumes theme that has been present throughout the years, but there’s a good reason – these guys are cool! With so many minifigs, it’s really hard to even pick favorites because there are tons of cool ones, but these guys all stand out, that’s for sure.

Most Expensive Minifigs
If I had to guess, I’d say that each of these three minifigs ran me about $40 a piece … the nurse is one of the rare minifigs from Series 1, the Boxer was a pain because he’s from the London Olympics series and I had to order him from overseas, and I don’t really know why Bunny Suit Guy was so pricey, except that I was a little more cautious because I actually found sellers counterfeiting them when I was ready to order that one. All in all, it’s probably not crazy to estimate that the entire collection cost me a couple thousand dollars between buying blind packs ranging from $2.99 – $3.99, orders on Bricklink, and trading away or selling my doubles.

Ok, so it’s a little crazy, but remember – that’s $2,000 over the course of six years! Maybe that’s not helping… 😛

Most Unique Series
Series 14, also known as The Monsters Series – if these had been more available, I might’ve considered giving them out for Halloween, but the entire line-up is just really creative and spans all sorts of the best themes from ghouls and ghosts, zombies, a wolf man, and even a tentacle monster! (my personal favorite)

Most Coveted By My Son
Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have noticed that I’m currently stuck watching Toy Story approximately 7,000 times a day because my three-year-old son loves Buzz Lightyear. Whenever he comes into my office, the first thing he does is point out Buzz in my minifig collection on the wall, which is thankfully still well out of his reach, but just to help placate him I did first give him the Buzz minifig out of one of the Toy Story sets from a while back, and then later ordered a couple of extra Buzzes from the CMF line as well for when he loses them.

Which he does – often! In fact, I need to remember to look for more, but hey, at least he likes Legos and Disney? 😉


In some ways, it’s definitely a bit of a relief to have my collection done – or at least caught up to the current series – namely because the last ones to grab were the hardest to find either due to price or only being available overseas. I tended to buy them in lots of about $50 worth at a time, though towards the end that would sometimes only end up being a couple of minifigs instead of half a series!

Still, it’s a fun set to look over and enjoy all of the creativity that the designers have put into them over the years, and despite the ever-growing demand for more space, I’d still like to see them keep it going because they’re something simple and fun I can pick up without having to find the time to put together a new set … because not for nothing, but I seriously have a good half a dozen lying around that I just have yet to find the time to build. 🙁

Adult problems, I know. But that adulthood – and its disposable income – allowed me to amass this sweet collection of Lego minifigs over the years, so I suppose growing older isn’t all bad… 😉

Healthcare By Any Other Name

May 6, 2017 6:33pm
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This article from a few years ago from the Huffington Post said it pretty well, but in reading all of the back and forth about the GOP’s new “healthcare” bill that passed the House the other day, I can’t for the life of me understand why everyone who supported it didn’t fight back hard on the simple use of referring to the Affordable Care Act by its formal name rather than the nickname it was given as a jab by its opposition.

By adopting the name Obamacare, it was basically giving the Republican party a free shot to take at the legislation that anyone who hated President Obama could easily get behind, regardless of actual content. We saw that last year when voters were quoted as not understanding that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were literally the same thing!

From politicians to the media, and trickling down to your average Joe on Facebook, this would’ve been such an easy perception to control if every time someone tried to call it Obamacare in discussion, the other party corrected them and called the law by its proper name. It was always meant to be a slam by the Republicans, so make them own it alone and separate the language from the president to better represent what the bill’s actual goal was all along – providing better access to healthcare for all Americans.

I’m honestly not sure if I ever actually was included in one or not, but I frequented a couple of sites that had them and was very jealous of the copious amounts of social fun times that all of their members clearly enjoyed, so for a while I posted my own “cam photos” on comedic-genius.com … I think with the intent of eventually working up the nerve to submit to one of them?

In retrospect, I seemed to like the method of taking a proper picture with a real camera and then using Photoshop to insert the quippy text afterwards instead of having a web cam pointed at me 24×7 and overlaying random quotes or whatever on top of whatever it captured.

Remember, this was long, long before the age of selfies and Instagram and even – *gasp* – moblogging! So you were lucky to get a few witty updates a week in between whatever the hell else we did on the Internet back in the early ’00s!

I stumbled across these when I was hunting for those old blog posts that I just shared, so for the sake of full disclosure … here’s what I looked like back when I had long hair and lived in my Mom’s basement (for about half of them) and divided my time between playing PS2 games and cultivating my budding online publishing empire… 😉

For years and years, my blog here on scottsevener.com was a mirror image of the blogging that I started over at LiveJournal – at least from 2003 – 2011, anyways, until I moved over here and stopped blogging over there. But still, 14 years of blogging always seemed like an impressive archive of the non-formatted writing that I’ve done over the years…

…until now!

Because do you want to know what’s even more impressive than 14 years of blogging?

How about 15 years of blogging?!?!?!

After I wrote my post last week reminiscing about my first adventures of Internetting a la Grex, I got to thinking that even though I technically started blogging on LiveJournal in the spring of 2003 … there was actually some “blogging” that I also did on comedic-genius.com way back when that was the only domain I had other than Just Laugh!

Thankfully I’m a bit of a digital packrat, so I was able to find the old PHP files that made up the original comedic-genius.com that served as the same sort of hub site for my online work that this one does now. But it was sooooo much more grueling because long before the days of adopting WordPress, I created my sites the hard way by coding directly in Notepad – a combination of HTML and PHP in all, with every formatting tag and line break typed by hand instead of this fancy WYSIWYG-editor that is a staple in every major CMS today! 😯

From what I can tell, I did use some sort of blogging software called Fusion PHP … according to the comment tags, anyways … but it was barely a CMS in that I still typed everything by hand and posts were just stored one after another in PHP files as they appeared on the page.

So anyways – I just finished copying the last of 23 new blog posts from 2002 into this site because, err, why not?!

I can’t really vouch for their readability or entertainment value … they’re mostly a mixture of updates about whatever columns I had just finished writing and random life happenings … so I’ll leave that up to you to judge the worth of a 22-year-old’s late night ramblings! 😛

Still, you know me – I think it’s neat to have this kind of stuff to look back at from time to time over the years, and so here are another 11,000 words to add to the pile when reflection time is upon me once again.

By the way – just for reference, I tried to update links wherever I could because all of the humor columns are still available today as well as some of the Just Laugh features, but others never/haven’t yet made it into the latest version so don’t be surprised if a few links here and there appear to be dead-ends.

For what it’s worth, I still think my linking history success rate is probably considerably better than most sites linking back to content from fifteen years ago! 😀

Ignorance Breeds Misinformation

May 1, 2017 7:03pm
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I haven’t had a chance to watch much of Bill Nye’s new show on Netflix, Bill Nye Saves the World yet, however I found myself doing a bit of research into one of the segments on the show after a Facebook comment criticizing Bill of thinking that families with extra kids should be taxed higher.

Wha???

So I found the segment in question – it was the roundtable discussion during Episode 13 entitled Earth’s People Problem – and Bill and his three guests spent about seven minutes talking about overpopulation and ways to address it through education and family planning, and also the impact that different populations (e.g. in the developed world vs developing countries) make on the environment through how they utilize resources, create pollution, etc…

The exchange itself took place like this:

Bill Nye: So should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?

Dr. Travis Rieder: I do think that we should at least consider it.

Nye: Well, ‘at least consider it’ is like ‘do it.’

Rieder: One of the things that we can do that’s kind of least policy-ish is we could encourage our culture and our norms to change…

Dr. Rachel Snow: I would take issue with the idea that we do anything to incentivize fewer children or more children. I think it’s all about … this is where it’s justice, it’s human rights … we’re really clear – people should have the number of children they want, the timing of children, and if some families have five or six children – god bless them. That’s fine, but most people end up with fewer.

Dr. Nerys Benfield: But when you talk about penalties, who are you going to end up penalizing, right? Even in a rich country like the United States, we’ve gone down that road before and who ends up being the people who are penalized is poor women, minorities, disabled women…

Nye: How are they penalized?

Benfield: There was forced sterilization that was legal in the United States even up into the 70s, so we really have not come at it from a place of justice necessarily in the past…

It’s a good, open discussion that sees a question posed and then is almost immediately rebuked by the other experts on the panel … and even the guy who is willing to entertain the idea (not Bill Nye, BTW) only said we should consider it! And yet somehow all of that got construed into this…

Anyone who actually watched the discussion in its entirety – or even the 65 seconds around this specific notion – could vouch that the host wasn’t suggesting “higher taxes” or penalties at all. He merely posed a policy question to address the problem, as the leader of the panel, and then allowed his guests to explore the subject.

The problem is, many people will never watch the actual segment in question – arguably, I have doubts as to whether some of the writers of those articles ever did – but instead, they’ll share these stories around on social media and have discussions about how terrible liberals like Bill Nye want to tell you how many kids to have and then remind you that Bill Nye isn’t really a scientist, anyways – he’s just a TV host whose spent the last 25 years focused on educating people about and advocating for science.

What’s sad is, if any of them really wanted to know what Bill Nye’s perspective is on overpopulation, they could watch this interview he did with Big Think a few months ago. SPOILER: It doesn’t mention higher taxes or eugenics even once… 😛

BBA – Brothers Being Adorable
Fun story from last night – I had pulled some breast milk out of the freezer in our garage and because Christopher was standing nearby curious, I handed it to him and said that it was for David. After locking the door back up, I turned to find that he’d already ran away with the bags of frozen breast milk … and given them to his brother in his swing out in the living room!

Granted, David was already fussy and throwing two cold bags of milk on him didn’t help matters, but it was still undeniably adorable. 😉

Pool Time
Yesterday after wading a bit and sitting outside so that Christopher could frolic and play around the pool, I told him that we’d try to go swimming this afternoon because yesterday the water was already cold and possibly in the middle of the afternoon heat it might be a bit more tolerable!

Well, fast forward to today and it was still really cold, but we all went outside anyways and heated up the hot tub to a fair temperature that the twins could stand for a while, and as a result everyone seemed to have a great time splashing and playing. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon because although occasionally I second guess whether having a pool is really worth it because ours doesn’t get nearly warm enough – I think because it’s shaded by the house a lot, it reminded me that we couldn’t really get away with a day like today at the community pool or a hotel because A) our community pool doesn’t even have a hot tub, and B) hot tubs at hotels tend to be very hot, which is nice when you’re just adults trying to unwind, but may be not as realistic when kids and/or other parents to gawk at you are around…

Also, 4/5 of our family may or may not have been mostly naked during said afternoon frolicking … so that wouldn’t have necessarily flew anywhere else, either! 😛

This Quesadilla
You ever see a picture of something on social media that makes you think, “That’s what my life is missing right now. I must go out and find one of those to fill this void in my life immediately.”?!

That happened today with a video on Twitter of somebody making quesadillas, and so after naptime we went out to a really great Mexican place nearby that we love for dinner, and the delicious steak quesadilla as seen below was indeed procured, and there was much rejoicing… 😀

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