Bubbling Anger, a plea for sanity.

Everyone is angry.

I’m sure that you have noticed.

We are all angrier than usual these days.

Everyone is talking.

Loudly.

No one is listening.

Eyes glaze over.

The volume increases.

The cacophony fades like static into the background

as we scream

and shout

desperately seeking to be heard.

But still

no one is listening.

It’s almost like we’re living in some alternate reality

created by Springer

and populated

almost entirely

with Mamma Grizzlies and gun crazy Hee Haws.

Self centered righteous indignation

leads to anger.

Anger breeds more anger.

No one is immune.

Even I have become angry.

It’s scary.

Sometimes I can’t identify the source of my anger.

That makes me uncomfortable because,

if I can’t determine the cause, I risk taking it out on the innocent.

And that is just not right.

So I withdraw

from life

from social interaction

just so I don’t inadvertently unleash my aggression on some poor unsuspecting soul.

Fresh air helps.

…a little.

Music helps.

…a little.

The political climate does not help.

…at all.

Everything

is blown out of proportion.

Everything

is a scandal.

Everything

is an emergency.

How are we to identify real crises when everything demands our immediate attention?

News is no longer balanced.

Facts are twisted.

No one reads past the headlines.

Everyone has an opinion based often, on assumptions.

Never mind discourse.

Never mind trying to understand

another point of view,

another person’s experience

Never mind accepting

another person’s existence.

There’s little common courtesy.

It’s my way or the highway.

If your opinion differs, then you are the enemy.

And every day we get more angry.

So stop!

Please.

Clear you mind.

Breathe.

Turn off the TV.

Put the phone away.

Power down the electronics.

And Listen.

Carefully.

Before

it’s too late.

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To Facebook or Not To Facebook

…or, Does this selfie make my ego look fat? 😛

By next month I will have been on Twitter for four years. Four years of absurd puns and double entendres, interrupted by the occasional political rant. It’s so easy to get caught up in righteous indignation that sometimes I forget why I joined twitter in the first place. — For the record, I joined twitter so I could send suggestive tweets to Craig Ferguson‘s Late Late Show. To my knowledge, he’s never read any of my tweets on air. 😦

Since 2010, I’ve joined Tumblr, I tried Blogspot (which I’ve neglected for almost two years), and somehow managed to acquire two G+ accounts. Though I only use one of them.

I chose twitter because it fit well with my personality. Facebook presents itself as this ever-growing community of “friends”. Twitter makes no such claims. On Twitter, people follow one another. No commitment is required. — unless you find yourself immersed in a hilarious hashtag game. ( anyone?) I’ve established some interesting connections on twitter. I’ve even gone so far as to exchange my real contact information with a few of them. But those connections are very casual and fluid. Something about Facebook scares me. For one thing, I’m a bit shy around people that I don’t know. Then there’s the difficulty I have reaching out to people. I find it nearly impossible to make the first move. It’s a wonder I’m in a relationship. — Now there’s a good story I’ll save for another time.– Just because the interactions happen online, rather than in person, doesn’t make them any easier.

So, Facebook.

I DO have a Facebook account. I created it last year after my Acer tablet crashed. My tablet was a year past warranty so contacting Acer through their website was impossible. After trolling through some of the android forums, I learned that this was a common issue with Acer’s Iconia A500. Several forum posters claimed to have had good results after contacting Acer through Facebook. So I created a Facebook account, Acer fixed my tablet, and I’ve been ignoring Facebook ever since.

But why?

Well, the short answer is privacy. I’ve tried very hard to maintain a certain degree of online anonymity. The last thing I want is to have all that disappear because of some piece of wayward information that gets leaked. Sure, if you dig far enough you will discover that my true identity is Bruce Wayne and then I will have to kill you. But, for the most part, I’m very happy being an anonymous entity.

Then there’s Facebook’s intrusiveness. We’ve all read the stories. People’s accounts have been hacked. Private information was collected and sold. Everything you post, tag, or like, every single mouse click, is tracked and sold to marketing companies. This happens on every site you visit but, for some reason, Facebook gets all the press.

Maybe it’s because of ALL THOSE DAMNED PERSONAL QUESTIONS!

God help you if you intentionally leave some information blank! Facebook does not like blank fields. They take it as a personal failure if you don;t answer some of their questions. I’m still being pestered with “You haven’t finished filling out your profile information!”, “Where did you go to high school?”, and “HEY! You forgot to tell us your blood type!”, notifications every time I log on. Okay. That last one was fake but Jeeze! Give it a rest! Maybe I don’t want to give you my mother’s maiden name. :\

There’s also the issue of time. I barely have enough time to keep up with WordPress. When I created ADignorantium.Wordpress, I promised myself that I would try to publish at least one post a week. If I can’t even do that, what makes me think I’m going to keep up with Facebook?

So here I am.

I changed my Facebook header to match my WordPress and Twitter headers. One must be consistent. Maybe that will encourage me to play around with Facebook. Who knows? Maybe I’ll like it.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, and G+, subscribe to my YouTube channel, pin me on Pintre...wait! I don’t have a Pintrest account! And oh, yeah… if you friend me on Facebook it might take me a little while to get back to you. 😛

Warm Wishes For 2014

I wanted to write something clever and enlightening for this post. Lines like, “Good Riddance!” and “”Don’t let the ‘Auld’ hit you in the ‘Lang Syne’ on your way out!” came to mind. But every year has it’s highs and lows. The worst part was losing people with whom I’d become close.

I never intended to get so personally involved with people on the internet. Honestly, what a pleasant surprise.

As I look back on 2013, I have to acknowledge the incredible people who have crossed my path and made my life a little more interesting and a lot more fun. I am especially grateful for the friendships and connections I’ve made through twitter, tumblr, and of course, wordpress.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year’s eve, and that 2014 brings much happiness into everyone’s lives.

Happy New Year!

The New Technology Blues

NOTE: I’ve been with Virgin Mobile for about a decade. I resisted cell phones for a long time. The truth is, I don’t like talking on the phone. I never did. So, for me, a cell phone was a waste of money. It was my boss who suggested I get one. My responsibilities had just increased and well, with increased responsibilities come even more responsibilities. I chose Virgin because they were the cheapest. At the time it was $20 a month Vs $80 for the other major carriers. – You do the math.

The old boy (left) is dwarfed by the new improved model. :\

The old boy on the left is dwarfed by the new improved, I can’t live without it, model. :\

So I just upgraded my phone…

There was nothing wrong with my old one, really. It was only two years old. It’s got a few dings and scratches, but it works just fine.

Perhaps that was the problem. It only worked “just fine”. It was a fine mid-range smartphone for someone like me, who had not yet immersed himself fully into the Android OS.

I blame my e-reader.

A year before buying my smartphone, I bought a nifty little e-reader tablet for a hundred bucks. It was my very first Android device. This puppy had a resistive touch screen, which meant I had to press it to get it to respond. It was the early days of Android tablets. I didn’t know any better.

Within a year I had had enough of the resistive screen. I was tweeting heavily by then, and a resistive screen is just… no. So I saved my pennies and as luck would have it, Tiger Direct and Amazon were competing to see who could offer me the best deal on a new tablet.

Now I had this sweet tablet, with an operating system that I was slowly getting accustomed to, that was supplementing my PC nicely.

If only my cell phone was just as useful.

I had this little “feature phone” which was fine for texting, email, and even twitter, but I couldn’t follow many of the news feeds I was reading on a regular basis. And forget blogging.

Luck smiled upon me again. Radio Shack offered up a “fine mid-range smartphone for someone like me” at reasonable price.

I really did like this small, unassuming phone. I could read my books, magazines, and most of the news feeds I like. It was a little workhorse. 

Then, about a year ago, I started running out of space. I moved as many of the apps onto the SD card as I could, but I was still finding I had to chose between Angry Birds and Twitter. “Oh, the humanity!”

The writing was on the wall.

So I had this two year old phone that still worked, but I’d outgrown it. I made the decision last April to shop for something a little better. I even considered leaving Virgin. – That lasted all of two days; the length of time it took me to realize that I really didn’t want to spend more than $50 a month.

I started saving my pennies again. Virgin had just lowered the price of one of their smartphones, but a little voice in my head asked if I really wanted to “settle” for something I’d probably outgrow in a year. So I waited. …and kept saving those pennies.

A month later, Virgin added the Galaxy S3 to their line-up. It was twice what I wanted to spend. Should I wait? If I wait, maybe the price will come down. But by then, something better might come along.

What to do.

The deciding factor was Amazon. They dropped the price by $50 AND… if you apply for an Amazon credit card, you get another fifty bucks off. Woohoo! The Gods had smiled down upon me once again. Where do I sign?

So now I have this great new phone. It’s fast. It’s powerful. It’s pretty. I love it!

Do you think I should upgrade my tablet?

News Vs. Entertainment

File this under #DiggyRant

I thought it was really nice that the whole world paused for a few days while we learned about Pope Francis. Seriously, it was the only coverage on the Nightly News!

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that selecting a new Pope is important because of how the church influences the world. But that was all we saw on the news! For two days there was very little reporting on North Korea, as if Kim Jung-Un suddenly decided, “Hey, the Catholics have just selected a new Pope. Let’s hold off on trying to kill everyone in the Western World.”

This isn’t the first time I was disappointed by network news. It’s happens more and more. Half of the local news is sports. The last ten minutes of both the local and the national news is a report on what’s coming up on tonight’s prime time TV schedule.

Can someone please tell me why the ever changing list of contestants on Dancing With The Stars is considered news worthy?

The worst is when the news anchors ask for your opinion. I Don’t Want To Know What The Average Person Has To Say About The First Lady’s Hair Cut!!! Why is the First Lady’s hair cut even news???

Hey news anchors! Don’t ask me to follow or friend you. Just give me the damn news!

…we now return you to our regularly scheduled insanity.