poor birdie

3 folks dropped out of the PLN in just 3 days…   Why?


One of them, Gavin Dudeney, gives his preliminary reflection why here, and I sympathize with with his particular situation.  However, as a newbie, I’m on a “tweet high” these days– sharing, learning, giggling and meeting tons of great new folks.

I think most people would agree that twitter can be anything for anyone, as it’s really just a reflection of the community we engage—- the same as any tool that connects/disconnects people… be it a flower, a poem, an AA group, or a weapon.

This reminds of an odd piece of advice that defined me as a young chap.  It’s a personal story that had a big impact on me, and I feel like sharing it, and hence sharing a bit of who I am, and my background.  At a mere 9 years old, I joined my father, his father and 10 of my grandpa’s buddies on a weekend retreat at a small cabin in the countryside.  I was the sole lil’ person.

dad, me and poppa

One of my grandpa’s buddies, Chuck, was known for being a great guy, but also hard as nails. He shared with me the following words, and I remember that moment perfectly– his “old man breath”, the intensity in his eyes, and that smile that came at end because he knew he had planted a seed.

“If you hang around with assholes you’re gonna get shit on”



Strong words for a nine-year old, eh?

here i'm 9. can ya guess which one's me :)

I’m 31 and crude as it may be, it still rings so true.  The language marked me, and, though I know his intention was good, his message was fear-based more than encouraging me to find “good” friends.



Why share this?

To encourage my community to be the master of this amazing tool.

To be supportive but also genuine.

To connect with interesting people, but not make it a popularity contest— if you join hundreds or thousands, many will be superficially so…

Have fun but remember, as Old Chuck said, that there are assholes out there.

In the end, often, what you seek is close to what you find, but sometimes the wind will be the wind, and we can control but the sails.


Would love to hear what you think about it all.      Cheers, b


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About Brad

--- i'm a learner-teacher, language geek, outdoorsy kind-of-guy --- U might miss the next tweet... Wanna subscribe by email ? ;-)
  • Vladimira

    Hi Brad!
    Strange what happens on Twitter these days, huh? Well, to be honest I can undersatnd Gavin’s decision…after his unpleasant exprerience. Anyway, I love Twitter and try to get most our of it but I am not blindly “following” everything and everyone there. It needs common sense and rationality….and lots of positive thinking and enthusiasm too…weird combination it may seem I know :-)
    Nevertheless, it’s the fact that people can be good as well as bad (as it is with everything)…and we can’t be friends with everyone…

    omg…am I leaving you philosophical comment? :-P


  • Brad Patterson

    philosophical…. as in “phil” “soph” love wisdom… love vision? LOL

    thanks for your thoughts, V! Yep, life is life, and so is twitter :)

  • Anna Varna

    Totally agree with Twitter is what you make of it. Each one of us uses it in their own personal way and I don’t like to be told how to use it. For me it has been magnificent these last two years and I don’t regret a moment of it.
    But I recently had a similar discussion with an older (than me) person who is not involved at all in social media and does not understand how getting so much info can be good for you. It gave food for though certainly…

  • Brad Patterson

    à propos your older friend, it’s again a question of balance. I’d love to spend as much time in a garden as I do on the net. Don’t see it happening this year, but maybe sometime in the future. There is SOOO much on the net, and so much interest and fun to be had. It’s like a sweet sweet sugar for many, and sometimes it’s hard to stop after one cookie. :) So, because it’s such a hot medium and because it’s limitless, I do wonder if it can be detrimental for some. As you said, Anna, food for thought !

  • ???

    Hi brad !

    I didn’t knew you were such a great soccer player ! However your little tiny ferret head doesn’t change and i think that you’re at the right of the picture ! I hope see you before our wine testing in plonevez porzay !

    A mysterious friend

  • Brad Patterson

    good job my mysterious friend who is forced to register his email to leave a comment. LOL !

    I am effectivement the ferret headed one on the bottom right. Comme on dit en ricain: “got beat with the ugly stick” CTB

    ze wine testing WILL happen this summer… or maybe even if May. Can’t wait!!!

  • Anonymous


    Love this post and that you are sharing some of the personal side of your self.

    I see Chuck’s point of view but maybe that’s exactly what young man needs? To learn for himself and then to brush off the shit and march on, stronger for it.

    Twitter is kind of like that. There are so many kinds. I’ve grown and learned a lot about others. I’m a bit of a hard core guy – I don’t banter much and just like the links/info. However, its made me be more tolerant of the other side to twitter and I’ve grown through that exposure.

    I do think that if I ever commit twiticide – it’ll be gently into that good night. But some like Dylan Thomas and takes all kinds of folks to make a great world and make a twitter community.


    PS. Can’t seem to log out from my EnglishCentral account… love disqus but this is a shortcoming… or maybe my own?

  • Brad Patterson

    Huh… never had more than one disqus account… that’s odd. N I love it too… nice to have a trail of our thoughts— and as I’ve heard others say: the “resume” of the 21st century.

    Glad you liked the post. It’s the only post I haven’t been quite “sure” about on the blog, so it’s interesting to have your feedback. In that vein of thought, I always like sharing a bit of myself for two reasons— 1) i feel people want to know who you are, and not just your thoughts— the magic of blogs where we start to get to know the author through interaction. 2) our past is a part of what we write, and sharing that shares what motivates our writing.

    I liked your thought of being shit on, and wiping it off and moving on. Reminds me of my grandpa in the picture. He lost his wife and daughter within a year of each other, and then watched his son, my dad, pass away before him as well. I remember asking him how he handled it all, and he looked me in the eyes (like Chuck did), and said “just gotta get a bit bigger in the shoulders and keep busy”.

    Thanks again for your visit AND your comment 4 snapanda on youtube! Cheers, b

  • seburnt

    That quote is fantastic!

  • Brad Patterson

    AND finally, the wine testing is TODAY…

    CHATEAU PETRUS… here we come !!!  MERCI d’être née mon pôte mystérieux !  :) 

  • Brad Patterson

    4 sure.  The delivery was the magical part. :)