I’m a fan of The Ranch

I never thought I would say that I’m a fan of this show but here we are. It has all the ingredients for something that I would automatically dislike. Rednecks who are Republican-minded, not fans of Obama, and are into country music. Yet despite that, I now find myself 2 episodes in season 2 (Part 2) and I thought let me take a breather and talk about it.

The show has a stellar cast, starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson (both of that 70’s Show fame), Debra Winger and Sam Elliot as the Bennetts. They are a family of cattle Ranchers down on their luck. Ashton Kutcher is the prodigal son who comes back after a failed semi-pro football career and is figuring out his life at the age of 34. He left the family 15 years prior to pursue said football career and now has to come with grips of that decision by convincing his stoic man of the earth father Beau (played by Sam Elliot) and smart ass talking older brother. Adding to the dynamic, is Debra Winger, the matriarch, who moved out of the ranch to run her bar and live in an Airstream trailer but yeah comes back every so often for a booty call with dear old dad.

It makes for a riveting family dynamic that keeps me coming despite some of the aspects that I would normally abhor and stay away from. The writing is just that good. What actually got me made me think to give this show a show was a recent interview that Ashton Kutcher had with Stephen Colbert. After wowing me with his venture capitalist investment stories he mentioned that he was in this show that was in the vein of the old Roseanne sitcom of the 80s with that blue collar dynamic. I was a fan of Roseanne in my youth and that was the seed that finally grew roots and made me finally check the show out.

I’m glad I did. Like I said, 2 days later and 12 episodes deep, I’m invested in the Bennetts plight and wish them the best.

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Social Networks Are Losing Their Hold On Me

It’s been some time since my last post. One significant change since then is my lack of Social Network interaction. I removed Facebook and Twitter from my devices about two months. I deleted my Instagram account a while ago. Oh yeah, I removed Snapchat from my phone recently as well. I just don’t see the point in any of them. At least not for me.

If anything, they were a big time suck. There were times when I felt I “needed” to go on them to “feel connected” with the world and those around me. Other times, I would go down my newsfeeds and then realized that I wasted hours away and have to rush other things the rest of my day. There was never a moderate way to use social networks. More importantly, I didn’t feel more connected to anyone using them. If anything, I felt more isolated from everyone and more of a stalker than a participant of some post on any of these social networks.

There have actually been recent studies about how people are getting more depressed while using social media. I agree with them. I did feel less than when I would look at how “great” everyone else is doing compare to myself. It made me think about things in a more superficial and superfluous way. Since I’ve omitted social networks from my life, I have been feeling a better sense of self-worth. Also I have more time for ingesting things that I genuinely enjoy. Whether it be reading, listening to music, watching shows (catching up on shows actually), etc.

Yesterday, in fact, after the all the hoopla of the solar eclipse that didn’t seem to pass over New York City (at least I didn’t see the sky darken at any point in time), I went on a little walk around Central Park, looked around and enjoyed it’s splendor in a way I haven’t in some time. I really started impressing on my mind the grandeur and scale it took to create this thing in the 19th century that is still standing today in most of its original form. I was especially awestruck when I finally took a little break around Bethesda Terrace and just admired the view. It’s amazing to see the work that went into it and the work that’s going into it to preserve it to this day.

Anyway, my point is, I feel like I”m living a much fuller life excising social networks from it and not because of them. And there are some sites and internet services that will prompt to connect my Facebook profile to them etc, but I will not budge. I haven’t deleted my accounts yet (to date, I’ve deleted my FB 3 times and came back for some reason or other), but if things continue as they are and social networks cease to even be an afterthought, I may get rid of them altogether.