Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dilemnas of the Social Media Era

Let me start by saying that I find Facebook to be a useful and enjoyable thing. I have a modest-sized list of friends, some of them folks I met through blogs like Sadly, No! and who I think are quite possibly the brightest people running loose on the Innert00bz. On my list are old friends, some going way back to skool daze in Ottumwa, Iowa, some veterans of the rock bar days of the 80s and 90s, a few met at work, and so on and so forth.

Having spent a lot of time around the lefty political blogosphere, I tend to use my Facebook page as a blog. I post a lot of political, anti-woo, pro-rational thinking kinds of things, and various bits of political humor. What usually results is that I get a lot of brilliant, funny, well-informed comments and an enjoyable discussion. Of course, we don't all walk in lockstep, some of us are argumentative as hell, and occasionally an argument breaks out, even among people who generally have the same or similar ideals but differing ideas about how to get there. As on the blogs generally, there are hot button issues, and things occasionally get heated. This is the way I was raised, though, so it's not a big deal to me. As a child, I used to sometimes wait until all the adults were yelling at each other about some political matter on which they mostly agreed, and then slink down under the table, very gradually, then crawl under the table and out the back door, the carrots or Swiss chard having been successfully avoided.

But FB is not a blog. Most commenters are using their real names, as am I. Some of my old friends wouldn't know Crooks and Liars from Faux Noise or Max Blumenthal from Netanyahu. Some of them, may teh Flying Spaghetti Monster help us, have political views more in common with Glenn Beck than with me. As a result, all hell can break loose, frequently when I'm least expecting it.

Then there's the issue of not wanting to get in a huge-ass free-for-all fight on one of my friend's comment threads, for fear of causing a family rift that will bring trauma for my friend for many a holiday to come, or an unfriending rippling throughout a large group of friends. It can be a balancing act, and it's not necessarily good for the blood pressure.

At least I can retreat to my little Farmville paradise, or swim with the fishies, or dig for treasure. There's that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Get Mail!

Since A's dad, known affectionately as The Old Man, passed away a year and a half ago, his mail has been coming to my address. Much of it is junk of the sort that would make Orac grind his teeth with frustration. Yesterday I received what looks like a magazine, albeit skinny, bearing this headline: "DON'T Suffer with Incontinence Anymore!!" Further investigation reveals that a certain Dr. Kenneth Woliner, M.D., guarantees that his "new formula fights the hidden causes of bladder problems and wins!" For the wee price of $27.95, you get one (1) bottle of capsules, and each of those little mothers is packed with vitamin E, marshmallow root, ginger, parsley extract, vitamin C, white oak,juniper berry, and more, hard to believe though it may be that one little capsule could contain enough of this multiplicity of ingredients to have any effect whatsoever. Now $27.95 may seem like kind of a stiff price, but if you buy the six-bottle pack it drops to $21.65! Yes! You can have SIX bottles of this Guaranteed-Or-Your-Money-Back! magic for the low low price of $129.90!

The poor old man died because he was trying to treat extremely deadly penile cancer with aloe vera and some sort of mushroom powder. I blame every single one of these lying charlatans for this. He grew up on a reservation, or rather lived on one with his grandma and aunt until he was fourteen, and was basically on his own after that. He was a smart old guy, but woefully uneducated, although somehow he managed to learn to read and write both Spanish and English and learn basic arithmetic, something many people who attend school until graduation don't master, and he was a brilliant mechanic. Still, he could be forgiven for falling for this stuff; it's easy to do that, when it's what you want to hear, when you know next to nothing about medical science, and someone in a spiffy white coat calling himself a doctor is selling you on it. But what about the growing numbers of well-educated folks who are falling for herbal remedies and fer chrissakes homeopathy - a form of woo even The Old Man found suspect! - and are refusing to vaccinate their kids or give them fluoridated water? Some sort of regulation needs to be imposed on this nonsense. It's a serious public health crisis, and growing every day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Looks around, everything the same

Since teh Evil Facebook stole my soul, I haven't done anything with this blog in a long time. This is about to change.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, June 5, 2009

Betty Bowers Explains Biblical Marriage

Pretty spot on, if you ask me:

h/t World O'Crap

Saturday, May 30, 2009

On organization, beaurocracy, and a need to go Galt

Seriously, after the day I spent today, I feel the need to retreat to a cabin in the woods and write a manifesto.

Took my son, J, out to the license place which, thanks to the rewarding of contracts to a politically connected rich guy who happened to own land out by bedroom community Ankeny, is now located far, far away from our house - and from the homes of impoverished Des Moines residents as well - to get his driver's permit, or, failing that, his official ID. As instructed on the web site, we took his birth certificate and his social security card with us. Well, this copy of his birth certificate, which we've been using since his birth, was not good enough for the woman behind the counter at the DOT. We'd stood in line for about fifteen minutes with the not-so-great and very genuinely unwashed. To add insult to injury, this was our second drive out there because my son forgot both social security card and eyeglasses and didn't discover it until we'd pulled into the parking lot, so we had to return home to retrieve the items. Also, we'd had to take the backroads route, because I got a flat tire last night and we were driving on the donut.

On the plus side, it's been an absolutely gorgeous day, so the drive wasn't as hideous as it could have been. We got home and left again with A to get J's work clothes for his new job and to get a new shoe for the car. We wound up having to replace both of our extremely worn front tires because they were both toast. We went to a very dinerish maid-rite where I had a not-so-good fish sammich - I've again quit eating meat excepting fish - and then wandered around Valley Junction window shopping. Saw a great pink spiral Hocking cereal bowl at an antique store (junk shop) and when I have a buck or two I shall return and purchase it, if it's still there. (No green spiral Hocking, sadly.)

So, Monday I have to take the kid to be drug tested for his new job, and we'll also have to get him a proper birth cert at the county recorder's office. This will not be fun, most probably. The drug testing place is way out in Urbandale. We can't get the driver's permit on Monday, because they are closed, so we'll be taking another trip to Ankeny on Tuesday, I guess. Wheeeee! In the meantime, I've got to somehow replace my social security card which I've managed to lose and make some serious attempts at job hunting.

At least the kid is employed. He's working for the devil, it's true - not Mall*Wart, though, I'd shoot him in the foot first - but a place that drives local record companies out of business by undercutting them on price. He's thrilled, and as a serious computer geek will be enjoying his employee discount to the max.

Anyway, I'm going to have to do some serious time organizing and agendaing and just thinking about it all makes me tired.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Almost There

Well, it's been a month since I last posted anything, and I really don't have much to say as of yet. I took my art final today, and have my math final on Monday, and then I am done. It doesn't seem possible that I'm actually graduating. Now to find a job. Oh how I need a job.

It is an almost impossibly beautiful day here today. Sixty-six degrees, sunny, light breeze, and all the flowering trees are abloom. The forsythia is done, but the crab apple, plum, and lilac are all in flower. The daffodils are ending but the tulips are now blazing away. The lawns are full of golden dandelions and violets, and there are bluebells in the trashy lot behind our apartment house, making the area almost lovely. Soon there will be peonies and iris, and the bridal wreath is gracing many a path already.

I love this time of year, almost as much as I love October in Iowa, the most beautiful month in my opinion. It's glorious. On days like these, I wonder how anyone could forsake the glory of the returning spring for a seasonless climate. In fairness, I even wonder this in January, when the snow lies deep and there is just the tiny splash of red that is our resident cardinal to mark the grey, black and white plane. The only time I really don't like is when it's 90+ degrees with matching humidity. That I do hate.

But it's good for the corn. Or so they say.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Edumacation Finishing Hiatus

I probably won't be around much for the next four - five weeks. I'm going to need to double down on the final school work, as I'd like to pull out at least a B+ in math. Graduation is May 7th! I've also got to polish up the resume, collect my references, and hit the job hunting hard. As much as I'd like to take a couple of weeks off after graduating and finishing my internship, I'm going to need to get life on a paying basis sooner rather than later.

After the 7th of May I shouldn't have anything to do with my evenings but screw around on Teh Intert00bz! I can't wait.