Category Archives: Jack Fisher’s Insights

Why I’m Considering An Electric Car In The Future (And Why You Should Too)

The Tesla Buying Experience Is 10× Nicer Than The Auto Dealer Buying  Experience - CleanTechnica

When it comes to upgrading technology, I like to be near the front of the line. That’s not to say I’m the kind of person who will camp out in front of an Apple store for two weeks to get a new iPhone. I love technology, but not that much. I’m more inclined to wait just long enough for the early bugs to be worked out before I completely buy in.

That’s what I did with smartphones years ago. I was not among those who immediately jumped into buying an iPhone when it first came out. I actually waited longer than most to buy my first smartphone, mostly because I felt like there were too many shortcomings to warrant the cost. Once I felt ready, though, I went for it and I don’t regret it.

For certain technologies, I don’t mind being near the back of the line. It’s not that I’m against it or have no faith in it. Sometimes, it’s just cost prohibitive for me and I don’t see gaining widespread use for an extended period. That’s why I never bought a Segway or a Sega Dreamcast.

Like my first smartphone, I like to wait until I’m reasonably certain that this technology is a good long-term investment. Sometimes, I end up waiting longer than I should, but I think that’s important, especially for something I know I’ll use a lot.

For that reason, I’ve never been inclined to consider an electric car. Unlike smartphones, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to cars. I’m also not big on making my car flashy or stylish. For me, a car is just a means of getting from one point to another and nothing more. I get that cars mean a lot more to certain people, but that’s just not me.

On top of that, I’ve never actually purchased a brand new car with zero miles on it. My first car was a used car that didn’t have GPS, Satellite radio, or even a means of plugging in my smartphone. However, I didn’t mind because it was my first car. I just needed it to get from place to place.

My second car, which is the one I’m driving now, is a lot nicer, relatively speaking. It was also used. Specifically, it’s my parents’ old car. They sold it to me nine years ago when they decided to buy a new car. This one has more features, including GPS and an auxiliary port for my phone. It has served me well for many years.

However, it’s starting to accumulate a lot of miles. It’s also starting to show its age in some places. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to pay for some rather pricy repairs to keep it in good condition. It’s almost at a point where the idea of buying a new car is starting to appeal to me.

This time around, for my third car, I want it to be new. I want it to be a car that can last with minimum repairs. Not long ago, that would’ve eliminated most electric cars from consideration. Now, I’m not so sure.

The more I contemplate the possibility of a new car, the more serious it becomes. Over the past several years, I’ve seen more and more electric cars on the road. In my own neighborhood, I know two people who own Teslas and I frequently see them on the road. In addition, electric vehicle charging stations seem to be popping up everywhere. Nearly every major shopping center in my area has at least one.

I also have noticed the increasing price of gas. Even if it isn’t as high as it was earlier this spring, I’ve seen a lot of price spikes over the past few years. That’s becoming harder and harder to overlook. Even though my car now gets pretty decent mileage, the cost of filling up the tank is starting to concern me. There’s also the environmental factor to consider, which is important to me.

At the end of the day, a lot of it will come down to cost. I’m willing to pay extra for quality, but only to a point. On that front, electric cars were always out of my range, but that too might be changing.

It used to be that most electric cars worth having would cost at least over $60,000, even with subsidies. That was how expensive they were when I bought my last car from my parents. Now, if rumors from Tesla are to be believed, there could be an electric car for as little as $25,000 within the next couple years.

That’s actually not much more than what my parents paid for the car I’m driving now. In the coming years, that cost could come down even more, especially as battery technology continues to improve and charging stations become more plentiful. By the time I’m ready to buy a new car, they might be the better long-term option over gas.

That’s why I’m considering an electric car this time around.

That’s also why I encourage others to do so as well.

This is not an automotive fad like station wagons or Hummers. Electric cars are a growing part of the market and that growth isn’t slowing down. Like the early smartphone market, there are plenty of shortcomings, but those shortcomings are slowly and steadily being mitigated.

Eventually, there will come a point where the advantages of electric cars are greater than traditional gasoline cars, with respect to fueling, maintenance, and even cost. That point is not that far off. It may seem like electric cars aren’t too appealing in the short-term, but what happens when the price of gas just gets too high to ignore?

Even if gasoline cars are cheaper and just more familiar to the average consumer, their value is still at the mercy of gas prices. Should gas ever get above $8.00 a gallon, then electric vehicles don’t just become appealing. They become the better long-term option.

That’s often my most pressing concern in buying a car. It’s a big investment and one I don’t intend to make light of. None of this is to say I’m definitely buying an electric car, but for the first time in my adult life, I’m seriously considering it. I think in the coming years, as the technology and the market continues to evolve, I won’t be the only one.

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Filed under futurism, Jack Fisher's Insights, technology

Happy Memorial Day 2022!

Today is Memorial Day.

For many, it marks the start of the summer. The weather gets hot, the pools open, and schools are out. It’s a wonderful time, indeed. We should enjoy it, especially after the events of the past two years.

For others, it’s more than just another long weekend. It’s day to acknowledge, honor, and cherish the brave men and women who decide to serve their country. That is not a trivial decision. Whether we’re in the midst of war or trying to preserve peace, making such a decision takes a special kind of spirit. For those who actually see combat, it takes even more.

Every year, I go out of my way to acknowledge the importance of honoring our veterans. I have family members who served in the military. I’ve even had a few see actual combat. It is not something just anyone can do, but it’s a service that every country, community, and society needs in order to function.

These men and women put their lives, their bodies, and so much more on the line whenever they serve. Regardless of how you feel about the politics of conflict, these are the people who often find themselves on the front lines. They’re the ones who rise to the occasion when their country calls upon them. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that we wouldn’t even have a country without these veterans.

We should always appreciate the sacrifices they make and the work that they do, but a day like this gives us a chance to offer a more formal acknowledgement. It doesn’t just extent to parades, a day off, or good barbecue with family. It’s an opportunity to tell every one who has ever served, even if they’re not with us anymore, how much they matter.

If you get a chance, use this day to help a veteran in need, be it a family member or someone in your community. If you can, please consider donating to one of the many military charities out there. Even during times like this, anything you can spare will help.

So, once again, to all the amazing veterans out there who are serving, have served, or have family members in the line of duty, I sincerely thank you.

Happy Memorial Day!

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A Brief Message After One Of The Busiest Weeks Of My Adult Life

Every now and then, we have one of those weeks that really tests us. Whether you’re in high school or a working adult, you just find yourself navigating each day like it’s a marathon after another marathon. It’s exhausting, draining, stressful, and even frustrating most of the time.

Then, you make it to the end of the week and it feels so good.

That’s basically the week I just had. I feel like this past week has been one of the hardest of my adult life. I won’t get into all the details why, mostly because it would require a book’s worth of backstory, context, and plot. I’ll just say that I found myself juggling way more challenges than most over the span of just a few days. On more than one occasion, I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to manage it all.

But in the end, I did.

I didn’t just make it to the end of the week. I actually finished everything I wanted to finish and did it with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and confidence. That just made it all the more rewarding.

I’ve had long, arduous weeks before. Sometimes, I’ve had several in a row, but this week was different. It felt like a perfect storm of issues and challenges. All sorts of factors, none of which I could control, seemed to converge on just a handful of days. That doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s usually very stressful.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to manage that stress. I like to think I’m better at it now than I was when I was a younger. That still didn’t make it any less draining. When I got home yesterday, I basically fell onto my bed and just laid there for a while. I also enjoyed an extra glass of whiskey, which is typically my preferred method of unwinding on Friday nights. And I can confirm it tasted that much sweeter.

I know it’s a bit cliché to say that hard work can be very rewarding, especially for those doing jobs they hate or dealing with issues that frustrate them. However, there is something to be said about making it through a difficult week and succeeding in everything you set out to do. It really is uniquely satisfying. It shows just how strong you are and how far you’ve come.

I’ll likely face other weeks like that in the future. Everyone reading this now will probably face the same. Take heed from this message.

You will make it through.

You will overcome.

You will be stronger because of it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s another glass of whiskey waiting for me.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, real stories

Happy Easter 2022!

Today is Easter Sunday.

I know it’s not the most elaborate holiday. I also know it is founded in certain religious traditions, which may or may not apply to familiar festivities. It may not be a holiday on the same level as Christmas, Halloween, or even Arbor Day in terms of profile, but it’s still special holiday to many.

For me, personally, Easter has always had some unique connotations. For a family like mine, we never need too many excuses to get together and celebrate. We’ll use any excuse to just craft an elaborate feast and invite everyone we can to a certain location. It’s just how we connect, celebrate one another, and enjoy one another’s company.

Over the years, I’ve really come to appreciate that. I have some genuinely fond memories of Easter Sundays with my family. When I was a kid, it usually involved a big Easter Egg hunt with me, my siblings, and my many cousins. As an adult, it usually involves a nice feast that gives me a good excuse to cook fancy deserts that my friends and family love and cherish. The religious connotations are secondary. It’s the family moments we create that matter.

After the past two years, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting every single tradition we hold dear, I’ve come to appreciate those moments even more. This year will mark the first time my family has been able to enjoy a proper Easter Sunday gathering. For that, I am grateful and I intend to cherish it.

So, regardless of how you view this day, I hope everyone has a chance to do something special today. Even if it’s just something as simple as eating Easter themed candy, use today to celebrate. You don’t have to be religious or understand the elaborate history of the day. You just have to be willing to share a special moment with friends and loved ones. That’s what makes any holiday special.

With all that being said, I wish everyone a safe and happy Easter Sunday.

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It’s Daylights Savings Today (And I Hate It)

This won’t be a particularly long or in depth post, mostly because I don’t think it needs to be. I imagine many in America waking up this morning are feeling the same way I do. They’re all still a bit groggy and frustrated because today is Daylight Savings Day. Specifically, it’s the day we all spring our clocks forward an hour.

For most of us, it’s done automatically through our smart devices. For others, it’s just a minor inconvenience to adjust all the clocks. There’s a reason why it’s done and I’m not smart enough to break down those reasons. All you need to know is that we gain an hour in the fall and lose an hour in the spring. It’s just something we all collectively agree to do, as if the concept of time is that fungible.

All that being said, I’d just like to add one simple sentiment to the mix.

Fuck daylight savings time.

Fuck losing an hour in the middle of spring.

Fuck the whole concept, in general.

There, I said it. I just needed to get that off my chest. I imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way. I just hope that everyone is able to adjust accordingly today. It’s going to be annoying and jarring, but we’ll get through it.

Like it or not, time moves forward no matter what our clocks say.

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A Note To Men: Overpriced Aftershave ISN’T Worth It

The 17 Most Expensive Colognes In The World | Ventured

Being a man comes with its share of issues, some of which have become more political than others. While I generally try to avoid discussing those issues, for the most part, there are times when I feel the impact of those issues personally. Most of it is minor. Little of it is political. By and large, most of the issues that come with being a man comes down to basic logistics and how we deal with it.

This brings me to the world of aftershave, something I suspect many men have experience with. Not every man uses it, but enough do to make it a billion-dollar industry. While it’s easy to bemoan how it’s no different than any segment of the beauty market that caters to peoples’ insecurities, I think this is one instance where the logistics complement the business.

That’s because, like it or not, men sweat a lot more than women. There’s nothing political about that. It’s just a biological fact. I feel it more than most. I work out almost every day. Depending on the time of year, I sweat a lot. With that sweat comes odor and not all that odor is pleasant. While I’ve always used deodorant, even before I started working out, I didn’t start using aftershave until recently.

Some of that was due to supplementing basic skin care. As I’ve noted before, I had a terrible acne problem when I was a teenager. In treating it, I’ve learned how to better care for my skin. Aftershave is part of that.

For a time, I avoided using it, mostly because it burned like hell after I shaved my face. However, I started using it more regularly after noticing that deodorant wasn’t enough to keep all those sweaty man smells from seeping through.

How did I realize this? That’s a bit of a long story. All you need to know is that I fell asleep on my bed for a while after I hadn’t showered for a while. When I woke up, the smells on my bedsheets were a bit too noticeable. I’ll leave it at that.

Also, after having gotten on a plane for the first time since the pandemic, I realized that it really does to make sure you smell nice to those around you. When you don’t, then you’re just another asshole making an overbooked flight more miserable than it needs to be.

After realizing this, I went through a bit of a phase where I was testing out all sorts of aftershave products. It was nothing too fancy. I didn’t splurge on the kind of aftershave that rich people or celebrities use. I just tried out whatever I could, using everything from the best brands I could find at a department store to the cheap stuff I found at Walmart.

Over the past several years, I’ve tried plenty of fragrances and brands. I’ve put them to the test, which includes post-workout routines, parties, dates, family gatherings, and traveling. I’m no scientist or product expert, nor do I claim to be a baseline comparison for most men. However, after all this testing and rigor, I’ve come to a clear conclusion that I’d like to share with my fellow men.

Expensive aftershave isn’t worth it.

Again, that’s just my opinion, informed by my own experience. Other men may feel differently, but through my own personal experience, the same story has played out time and again.

One day, I’ll use the expensive stuff. I’ll even use extra, knowing what it costs. I like how it smells, but few really compliment me for it.

The next day, I’ll use the less expensive stuff I bought at Walmart. I’ll use just as much. It smells plenty nice. Just as many people will compliment me for it, if any.

Both seem to hold up equally well after my workouts. Both serve my needs with respect to skin care. The expensive stuff burns just as much as the cheap stuff. It’s at a point where I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two.

Having come to that conclusion, I haven’t bought expensive aftershave in quite some time. Most of what I get comes from a grocery store or Walmart. I rarely spend more than $25 on it and it suits my needs just fine.

It helps me smell better. It makes me more pleasant to be around. It doesn’t claim to use quack science to attract women. Those are all scams, by the way. It just makes me smell better in public and supplements my manly musk. That doesn’t need to cost much. It just needs to get the job done.

So, to my fellow men, do yourself a favor. Don’t waste money one expensive aftershave. You can make yourself smell great for a reasonable price. Spend your money elsewhere and you’ll be a better many because of it.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, men's issues, rants

Announcement: Taking A Break From This Site

Waving Goodbye to Arbitration | Arbitration Nation

Every now and then, it’s important to take a step back, look at what you’re doing, and think long and hard about how you want to move forward. The start of a new year is generally a good time to make that effort. Since graduating college, I’ve made it a point to use the beginning of a new year to make important decisions about the near and far future.

Sometimes that means changing something about myself, be it related to my health or my personal relationships.

Sometimes, it means evaluating where and how I apply myself on a day-to-day basis.

Sometimes, it can even mean choosing whether or not to let something go, be it a project, a passion, or a goal.

Make no mistakes, I’ve contemplated many things about how I’ll navigate the new year. Some choices are more mundane than others. A few have larger ramifications. The one I’m sharing today might very well qualify.

Today, I’m officially announcing a change as to how I utilize this website. I’ve been posting daily to this site almost every day since 2017. I originally started it as a way to sell my novels and build an audience for my writing. Aside from the two books I got published and several others I self-published, not much has happened on that front. I still submit manuscripts to publishers, but I’ve yet to garner much attention.

Over time, this site has become less and less linked to those efforts. It doesn’t appear to be helping me further my goals anymore. That’s why I’ve made the following decision.

Moving forward, I will no longer be posting to it daily. If you’re a regular reader of this site, I sincerely apologize. Believe me when I say I appreciate the support, especially the kind that comes from friends and relatives. However, I think the time is right to make a change.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to analyze the overall traffic this site gets. I looked at the stats for the entire year. In doing so, I saw some clear and unavoidable trends.

This site does get a fair bit of traffic. However, over 90 percent of that traffic is to my Sexy Short Stories. Since 2019, that section of my site has been generating more and more traffic. It’s now at a point where the daily posts barely register. I’m lucky if one new post gets more than a dozen hits, whereas one of my older Sexy Short Stories get over a hundred on that same day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for that traffic. I’m glad my Sexy Short Stories have found an audience. It has just rendered the time and energy I put into those daily posts less worthwhile. However, there’s another major factor that led me to this decision and that’s my YouTube channel, Jack’s World.

Over the past year, that channel has grown a great deal in terms of content and audience. I have over 400 subscribers at the moment and I’m eager to see that grow even more in the coming years. As such, I’d like to focus more of my energy on making videos rather than daily posts.

I’ve also come to enjoy making these videos. I’m still learning the process, the software, and all the little skills needed to make a quality video. I’d like to channel more energy into that effort and I just can’t do that while also posting regularly to this site.

I’m sorry if this news disappoints some. I know a few friends and family members were regular readers. I still hope to provide content. Some of the content on my YouTube channel is very similar to the kind of stuff I’ve written about on this site. With videos, though, I can add more media elements to make it more engage in.

As such, I feel that’s where I think my time and energy is better spent, at least for now.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning this site completely. Like I said, my Sexy Short Stories get quite a bit of traffic. At some point this year, I’m going to go back to writing those. I don’t know how frequent they’ll arrive, but I hope to make it a regular thing that readers can look forward to.

Other than those stories, I’ll also make a post whenever I post a new video to Jack’s World, just to keep that aligned with this site.

Beyond that, there won’t be much else. That means no more weekly comic book picks, no more Sexy Sunday Thoughts, and no more articles about sex robots. Again, I apologize to those who regularly read those posts. I just feel like the time is right to make this change and move forward.

I still haven’t given up on my goals of becoming a published author. I have a number of unpublished manuscripts that I’d like to sell one day. I just don’t think posting to this site is helping me achieve that right now.

To everyone who has followed this site for the past several years, I sincerely thank you.

To the friends and family who have encouraged me every step of the way, I love you all.

Take care and stay safe.

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Filed under Books, Pubilishing, erotica, Las Vegas, erotic fiction, romance, Crimson Frost Books, Jack Fisher's Insights

A Quick Personal Story About Driving Through Snow (And Energy Drinks)

How to Drive in the Snow: All the Equipment and Tips You Need | WIRED

We all have certain stories from our lives that stand out for no particular reason. They aren’t life defining moments like graduating school, falling in love, or eating your first Krispy Kreme donut. For reasons that are just completely unknowable, you remember them so vividly.

I’ve shared a few personal stories in the past. Some are more dramatic than others. Some were just funny and worth sharing. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how to classify the one I’m about to share. I just think it’s worth sharing because it’s just one of those stories that really sticks out. Hopefully, you’ll see why when I tell it.

Like all my personal stories, I need to establish a little context. This story takes place just a few years after I got out of college. I’m at an interesting point of transition in my adult life. I’m still living at home, but I have a stable, well-paying job that has allowed me to amass some regular income.

I also have my first car, which is a big deal for anyone in their mid-20s. I’m still getting used to the idea of being able to just go out on my own at any time I want. Before then, I was at the mercy of bus schedules and whether my parents would let me borrow one of their cars.

Then, one day, I met up with one of my cousins. She and her boyfriend at the time were living about an hour-and-a-half away from where I was at the time. This is someone who has known me my entire life. She also knew how socially awkward I was and how hard I was struggling to come out of my shell.

Being the wonderful cousin she was, she invited me to hang out with her and her husband one night. Unlike other meetings, I wouldn’t be with other friends or relatives. It was just us, sharing a night on the town, enjoying ourselves on our own terms. It was a bit daunting at first, but she convinced me to try it.

Now, what we did on that outing is another story altogether. The most I’ll say is that we had a great time. She took me to this cool restaurant where we met up with her friends. She then took me to this nightclub where we just danced and hung out. In terms of a night out, it was probably the most fun I’d had since I graduated college.

The real story begins when it gets really late and I’m wondering whether I should drive home. As it just so happened, this was early March and it was still fairly cold out. On top of that, there was some snow in the forecast. It even started snowing lightly while we were on our way back to my cousin’s apartment.

At one point, I’m debating if I should stay the night. They had offered me a chance to stay on the couch and that had been my original plan. However, the forecast kept getting worse as the night went on. I was concerned I might be snowed in and their apartment wasn’t exactly built for guests.

After some back-and-forth, I decide to try and drive home before the storm rolls in. Keep in mind, this is about 2:30 in the morning. It’s the latest I’ve ever driven anywhere, let alone an hour-and-a-half away from home.

Again, it was pretty daunting. Then again, driving on a snowy road in the morning is just as daunting.

Since it’s so late, I’m concerned about staying alert and so is my cousin. That’s when she offers me a couple of Monster Energy Drinks. I’m not talking about the small, discount size, either. These are full-sized cans. Typically, you only need to drink one. Me being so concerned, I decided to have two.

At this point, I’d like to offer a bit of advice to everyone. Do not drink two oversized energy drinks. Just don’t. They’re not good for you.

This is something I had to learn for myself. With flurries still coming down and the roads getting worse, I say goodbye to my cousin. I then get in my car, which is still very new to me, and start making the trip back home at nearly 3:00 in the morning.

Of all the experiences I had that night, this might have been the most jarring. It was genuinely strange, being on the road so late. I wasn’t used to seeing so few cars. There were times when I would drive down large stretches of highway and only see a couple cars pass by. Some of that might have been because of the weather, but it was still a strange feeling.

I grew up outside of major metropolitan areas. I’m used to traffic and traffic jams at all hours. I had never been out at a time when there was so little traffic. It was kind of nice on some levels, but given the late hour and the weather, it was also kind of spooky.

Then, the energy drinks kicked in. Remember, I had two of them, so the effects were definitely noticeable.

On some levels, they did exactly what I wanted. They kept me alert. The problem is, they kept me really alert. I was so alert during that drive that I felt like I was performing brain surgery on the President. I didn’t relax, even during long stretches on the highway. I physically couldn’t. That’s how wired I was.

The weather didn’t get much better, either. The closer I got to home, the worse the storm got. By the time I was on familiar streets, the roads were pretty slick. I drove slower than usual, despite being so alert. I was almost paranoid to go too fast.

Eventually, I do make it home. By then, it’s about 4:30 in the morning. The snow is still coming down and the streets are covered in ice. It’s quite a sight, but what I remember most is just parking my car and feeling like I finished a harrowing adventure. I was both relieved and elated, although some of that might have been because of the energy drinks.

I’m still a bit too wired to sleep at this point, but I ultimately crash after just a half-hour. However, this is no ordinary crash. Coming down from two Monster Energy Drinks is not like coming down from a few two many sugar cookies. I crashed hard.

I remember getting really dazed and drowsy. Then, my ears start burning and my face gets flushed. I then collapse on my bed and go to sleep. When I wake up a few hours later, I have a pounding headache, which I basically spend the rest of the day sleeping off. My whole internal clock gets messed up, as a result. I need the rest of the weekend, just to re-balance myself.

As stressful and harrowing as that night was, I’m still glad I did it. I’m grateful that my cousin went out of her way for me like that. Now, in hindsight, I would not have chugged two full energy drinks. That would’ve spared me the pounding headache later.

Even so, the experience was worth the discomfort. I still don’t entirely know why this story stands out as much as it does for me. I just thought it was worth sharing. If nothing else, I hope it dissuades anyone from chugging too many energy drinks at 2:30 in the morning.

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Filed under health, Jack Fisher's Insights, real stories

How I Choose To Unplug (And Why I Recommend It For Others)

Workout of the Week: Cross-Training Trail Run | Be Well Philly

I love technology.

I love my smartphone.

I love this age of gadgets, gizmos, and gimmicks that we live in right now.

I don’t care that it’s a byproduct of a quasi-capitalist system that isn’t perfect or that it can come off as shallow at times. It’s still fun and it makes our lives easier, richer, and more convenient. For that, I am grateful. The tech industry is still full of assholes, but the products do a lot of good.

I know there are people who claim the world was better off before the age of the internet, social media, and TV. I don’t believe them for a second. I’m willing to bet that if those same people had to suddenly live without all the modern conveniences we have, they’d go crazy with boredom and drudgery.

All that being said, there are times when it helps to just completely unplug for a while. By that, I don’t just mean turning off your smartphone and lying on the couch. That’s not really unplugging. You’re still within easy reach of it all and can reconnect on a whim.

By unplugging, I mean actually going outside without your phone, your watch, or any gadgets of any kind. It’s just you, the outdoors, and nothing else. To some, I’m sure that sounds scary. Some people are a lot more attached to their gadgets than others. For most, though, I think there’s a genuine benefit to just stepping away from the gadgets and being alone with your thoughts for a while.

I learned that years ago when I was in college. I didn’t have a smartphone back then, but I was almost always connected to something, whether it was my computer, my TV, or my iPod. Some of that was out of necessity. I couldn’t really do much work without any of those tools. However, by my sophomore year, I quickly learned that being connected all the time can really compound everyday stresses.

I found ways to deal with it. Most of them didn’t work that well, but they did get me through some tough times. It wasn’t until I started working out that I realized the true benefits of unplugging for brief periods. This is also where I really came to appreciate being alone with my thoughts for a while.

When I first started working out, I would go to a gym. That was fine in the beginning. I just brought my iPod and later my iPhone, loaded with music, and let that play during my workout. Then, I quickly realized that running on a treadmill was kind of boring and not very good for my joints. That’s when I started running around some local trails.

This is where I found the best place to unplug while also getting a better workout. At first, I tried to bring my phone with me so I could listen to music. That was nice and all, but I found it had an odd effect. By listening to music, I became a bit too concerned about how long I was running. Even if I didn’t check the time, my brain could figure it out by just how long each song was.

I just couldn’t stop myself from overthinking. That’s a problem I’ve had for much of my life. In order to get around that, I actually had to leave my phone, my watch, and all my gadgets behind. So, for my next run, the only things I brought with me were my wallet and keys.

Almost immediately, I felt a difference and it was a positive difference.

Running along these local trails, with no music and no watch or smartphone to check, became incredibly therapeutic. Nobody could call me to interrupt. Nothing could prompt me to just stop, take out my phone, and check something. It was just me, nature, and my thoughts as I ran about these local trails. I also found that the more I did it, the more I got out of it.

By disconnecting, I could just let my thoughts catch up with everything I had been dealing with. I could step back, give myself a chance to process everything, and get myself in a better place.

On top of that, this also gave me a chance to entertain new ideas for sexy short stories, sexy novels, and YouTube videos. I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t have produced nearly as much content, including the sexy kind, if I didn’t take this time to disconnect and be alone with my thoughts.

It’s now a big part of my routine. I go running almost every day and I make it a point to use that opportunity to disconnect. It’s a time and experience that I’ve come to value a great deal. It keeps me focused, centered, and inspired to keep being more awesome.

Now, I won’t claim that what works for me will work for everyone. Every person is wired different. Some need to disconnect more than others. Some don’t really need to disconnect much at all. However, I highly recommend everyone trying it at some point.

It doesn’t matter what form it takes.

You can go for a walk, sit on our back porch, or just turn off all the lights in your bedroom.

Go some place where you can disconnect from tech, gadgets, and distractions of all kinds. Be alone with your thoughts for a while. Let them catch up with everything you happen to be dealing with, whatever it might be. I believe that’ll be good for you and your mental state.

Again, I love technology and gadgets as much as the next guy. However, getting away from it every once in a while can have many benefits. You won’t know just how far those benefits go until you try.

If you have a different way of going about it, please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear the input of others on this.

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Filed under human nature, Jack Fisher's Insights, technology

Recounting The First Time I Felt Attracted To A Girl

7 Most Important Social Skills for Kids

We all have certain moments in our lives that really stick out. As adults, we tend to remember these moments vividly. Sometimes, we even know when a particular moment is going to stick with us for years to come. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, getting your dream job, or meeting that special someone, we can remember every little detail and understand why it matters.

When we’re kids, it’s just not the same. Those moments don’t impact us in quite the same way. It’s just a byproduct of being a kid. You’re young and inexperienced. You have no idea how one particular moment will affect you for years to come.

However, there’s often one particular moment in every kid’s life that heavily informs how their adult life plays out. It has to do with that special part of growing up where you start feeling real attraction to someone else. It doesn’t manifest the same way with every kid, but whether they’re straight, gay, bisexual, or something else entirely, it still happens and it can be overwhelming.

Some people can pin down the exact moment when they started feeling attracted to someone. For others, it’s a messier process. Suddenly, you start looking at others in a very different way. You know what love is. You feel it from your family. However, this is something very different.

One moment, you think members of the opposite sex are icky and gross.

The next, you find yourself drawn to them in a profound way.

I don’t care how well-adjusted you are as a kid. That’s going to be confusing, overwhelming, and even a little scary. It’s often one of the first real signs that we’re growing up. We’re starting to become adults.

In that spirit, I’d like to share another personal story about the moment I first felt attracted to a girl. I promise it’s not too crazy or extreme in any way. It’s just one of those parts of my life that I didn’t realize was such a big deal until many years later. I suspect others might have had a similar experience. Theirs might even be more eventful than mine. Whatever their story, I hope this one helps others appreciate those experiences.

To set the stage, this moment took place when I was in the fourth grade. I remember it more vividly than most my elementary school experience. Part of that was because I had this really charismatic teacher. He was such a fun guy and he definitely made school less mundane. He also was big on letting everyone socialize. He was less inclined to lecture us and more inclined to give us activities that we could do in groups.

I certainly didn’t mind that. It beat reading textbooks. However, this also coincided with a time in my life when my social awkwardness really took hold. As I’ve noted before, my social skills have always been sub-par. Even as a kid, I really struggled to make friends, connect with people, and develop lasting connections.

On top of all that, I was somewhat obnoxious at that age. My parents and siblings can attest to this. When I was in the fourth grade, I wasn’t always drawing inside the lines, so to speak. I had a tendency to overreact to things and I didn’t always think before I spoke. While that never got me into serious trouble, it did further compound my social awkwardness.

Then, add being attracted to girls to the mix. It’s hard to put into words just how much that complicated things.

Now, I want to say I was a bit more prepared than most when it came to girls, albeit not by much. Unlike a lot of other boys my age, I never went through a “girls have cooties” stage. I also never went through a period where I thought girls were gross or anything like that.

It helped that I had friends who were girls. Some of my closest cousins were girls. I never saw them as this strange mystery. They were just other people with different body parts. That was it.

It also helped I got along better with girls than boys at that time. At lunch, I would often sit at a table populated by girls. It wasn’t because I was attracted to them. I just didn’t make a lot of friends with the boys. Plus, a lot of the boys I knew in the 4th grade were annoying.

I was comfortable with this setup for the most part. Then, something strange happened with this girl I had sat near during the latter part of the year. I won’t give her name, out of respect for her privacy. I’ll just call her Sue.

Sue was a nice girl with a bright smile and short brown hair. I distinctly remember her laughing a lot. She had a great sense of humor and she appreciated dirty jokes more than most girls. Naturally, I became friendly with her and she became friendly with me. We weren’t exactly close, but we liked being around each other.

In the beginning, I just saw her the same way I had seen so many other girls. She was a friend and I liked her. That was it.

Towards the end of the school year, though, I started feeling something more. I started looking at her differently. I distinctly remember getting a strange feeling around her that I didn’t get around other girls. At first, I thought I was just being obnoxious again. Eventually, I realized it was something more.

I was actually attracted to this girl.

I was really, sincerely drawn to her in a way that was legitimately romantic.

Granted, there’s only so much romantic sentiment a 4th grader could feel, but I knew it was there. Reading superhero comics with romantic sub-plots helped me recognize the signs. I still wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with it. I didn’t really talk about it at first.

However, I do remember one distinct moment in the late spring where I made this comment out of the blue during a class activity. It had been a joke, albeit a very bad one. I don’t remember all the details. I just remember referencing Beth by name and making it clear that I was attracted to her.

She laughed.

The whole class laughed.

I felt so embarrassed that my face blushed bright red.

At the time, I really felt stupid. Perhaps it was for the best that after that year, I never saw Beth again. I know she still went to the same school, but she ended up in other classes. I honestly don’t know if she remembers me or what I said. However, I doubt I’ll ever forget her.

She was very much a turning point in my young life. She was the first girl I looked at and felt real, tangible attraction. I knew what these feelings were and I knew they were more adult than kid. It was really the first sign that I was starting to transfer from kid to adult. While I still had to endure some horribly awkward teenage years, that moment marked the first step.

For that, I’ll always be grateful to Beth. I don’t know if she understood those feelings or if she ever felt that way about me. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to appreciate that moment and the part she played.

That’s my unique story about the first moment I felt attracted to a girl. I know it’s somewhat tame, but I still felt it was worth sharing. If anyone else has a similar story that they’d like to share, please do so in the comments. These moments are profound points in our lives. They’re worth sharing, but they’re also worth learning from.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, real stories, romance