Reality Check

Me too!! Me too!!

I’m sick of hearing about your damn emails!

In the cold light of the next morning’s reflection. I have to say that I was disappointed by last night’s debate. Considering that there really is very little disagreement among the five candidates, I would have hoped for a more detailed discussion of what policy differences they do have. Hillary said she is actually tougher on Wall Street speculators and big banks than Bernie, but neither candidate was specific enough about what they would do. Likewise on gun control, Bernie talked about his NRA rating and, to his credit, mentioned some specific policies, but Hillary, who tried hard to lambast him on this topic, never really specified what she would do differently, instead choosing to focus on the past. I couldn’t tell if their foreign policy proposals were different or not, and I was shocked that campaign finance, which, according to Bernie is the lynchpin of his campaign, did not come up at all. I, too, am sick of hearing about those damn emails (although I find her actions to be troubling and am happy that there is an FBI investigation into them) and I’m pretty sure that Anderson Cooper was doing his best to serve his constituency (the media which stand to make billions of dollars from this campaign) and ignore the elephant (sorry) in the room.

Ok, I’m done now. Good morning everyone.

Blog Love/Hate

I have a big list of chores to do around the house today, so, naturally, I’m binge reading this awesome website I recently rediscovered. A quick look at the past article list left about 15 tabs open in my browser. I started with this one yesterday, but only got about halfway through it. I’ll try to finish it later, after I get a few things done. No, really.

But this article, which I read while trying not to do work on Friday is what prompted me to dust off my blog (which I completely failed to add to during my entire Camino :( and post something.

At first blush, the article seems perfect for me, a complete self-hating Facebook addict. But even by the intro, I had some faint misgivings:

By the time I finished reading, I realized that my non-phone hand was clutching tightly to my forehead, forcefully scrunching my forehead skin together. I had the same facial expression I’d have on if someone made me watch a live event where people had their skin slowly peeled off.
It was everything bad about everything, all at once.
But instead of distancing myself from the horror, I soaked in it. I read it again and again, fascinated by how something could be so aggressively unappealing.
It made me think about what makes terrible Facebook behavior terrible, and why other Facebook behavior isn’t annoying at all. It comes down to a pretty simple rule:
A Facebook status is annoying if it primarily serves the author and does nothing positive for anyone reading it.

The central idea seems fine, but I feel that looking at the fine print might lead to some problems. And indeed, looking at what FB behavior is offensive to Tim, I wonder what kind of posts would pass muster for him. Looking at my FB posts in the last week, I see:
1. A butt-load of photos, all of which are obviously curated to make you wish you were living my life share the things in my daily life which give me joy.
2. Funny conversations Jessica and I have with the kids.
3. A bunch of articles that I found interesting, occasionally with some brief introductory commentary.

Guess which of these I am not.

The Vinegar Tasters

Now, of these three, it seems like Tim would only approve of the last one. He claims that only the people who truly love me (defined by him as those folks which are somehow genetically linked to me) are interested in any of the news from our lives, and these people make up a tiny portion of our vast network of FB friends. Tim says that phones, letters, and email are the proper venue for life updates and personal photos. Now, since I am a consumer as well as a producer of FB content, I can say categorically that I disagree with him. Please, folks, continue to post baby pictures, status updates, brags and all. Further, I would argue that if the rather innocuous post that kicks off the article were to be written by one of my friends, I would read it with pleasure, and probably comment on one or two parts of it. That’s not to say that there isn’t a large bit of FB content that isn’t annoying and ill-advised, just that Tim appears to be painting with too broad a brush on this article. Which leads me to conclude that the thing Tim really finds annoying is FB. Now THAT’S something I can get on board with. I am, after all, an all or nothing type of person.

Now, Tim’s Venn diagram does offer us some hope:

Tim's Venn Diagram

There do appear to be a small number of posts which are both self-serving AND useful to the reader.

I would love to read that article.


Edit: I fear that I was not clear enough in this post. Everyone should immediately go to this website and read every article because its awesome, even though I have one niggling difference of opinion with this one article.

Traffic Update

J gave me the nicest compliment yesterday: “Facebook isn’t interesting without you on it.”

But, after a month of steady posting, my traffic is still averaging three or four people a day.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 9.19.24 AM

Can you guess which days J posted a link to my website on FB?

Eye on the Sky

I have rhapsodized before about the Fairbanks Museum Eye on the Sky. Mark Breen and his trusty meteorologist sidekicks (sidenote: who wouldn’t want to have THAT on their business cards?), Mark Breen and Lawrence Hayes, embody much of what I love about this state.

This morning’s detailed forecast, in case you missed it, was a special case, though.

Click this link and see if you can spot the awesomeness.

Hint: Its at 1′ 03″.

This morning’s lunar eclipse for no reason except it was also awesome.

That’s right, he said “Graupel.”

And let it drop.

No explanations, no nothing, just some temperature dropping across the front, and some accompanying graupel. Oh, yeah.

Mugshot from the past

Sometimes, like most folks, I wonder “whatever became of” X. In this case, it was a girl I dated when I lived in New Mexico back in 1993.

Well, I still don’t know what she’s doing now, but fourteen years ago, she was getting arrested :/


Jonah for President!!

Jonah for President!!

Six months ago, I checked myself into Fletcher Allen Urgent Care and had a Blood Sugar Level of 408. For comparison, according to WebMD, the normal level is considered to be below 100. A reading of 200 is enough for a doctor to diagnose a person with Diabetes Melitus. My entire world was thrown upside down.

Six days ago, I reached my goal of 180 lbs. I haven’t been this skinny since 1996. My blood sugar has been below normal for the last five months. Last month, my doctor told me, “the only bd news is that I won’t be seeing you as much.”

I’ll try to write more another day about how I got from there to here. It has been mostly because of the support of my family, who have made great allowances for me as I focused almost entirely on my health last Spring. I also think about how long I must have had diabetes to have a reading like 408. Coming back to America last year was a tough decision, but it may literally have saved my life.

For now, I’m still not out of the woods. Long term weight loss success is about 20%. Not as bad as the 5% that most people talk about, but still not the rosiest of pictures.
As the new school year begins, I’ve been trying to find an exercise regime that I can follow while still being an active member of my family, and trying to set a more realistic calorie level. I feel that if I make it through the upcoming holiday season, there is hope that my recovery may be long term.

Comcast Hell

I spent a total of four hours on the phone with Comcast service technicians this weekend installing a new modem, and then reinstalling the old one I discovered the new one didn’t send a signal through walls. The Internet works fine at home, but I have no working phone at the moment. The technician said she would schedule a service appointment but never did.

Today, it has taken me 30 minutes to get through to a human who would schedule an appointment for me. She just now asked me if I would like him to contact me on my cell phone, or the landline. I (barely) resisted the urge to ask her how I could be contacted on the phone line they were coming to repair.

I no longer have any willpower reserves whatsoever.